Saturday, October 17, 2015

Civil Curs, Demon Debaters, and The Long Haul

So.  Hugo season is over, time to start another Hugo season.

I stopped posting on the Hugos early last summer, as a Project from Hell at work ate my life.  (The reward for successfully finishing that?  More work. *sigh*)  Since then, I’ve started easing back into the SFF/blogging side of things.  (Also the writing side.)  Of course, soon as I do, Larry Correia over at Monster Hunter Nation up and posts a guest article(1) from Chuck Gannon (2) . You can find the column – “Ends, Means, and Arsonists, Or The Importance of Saying “Yes” to Civility While Saying “No” to Passivityhere.  Once read, one should read the comments (here.)  And then one should read the comments at John Scalzi’s Whatever (here), where Gannon crossposted the article.

Go, read.

My thoughts are below the cut.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Nobel Prize Winner for Economics... a man whose book I have actually read.

*checks window for flying pigs*

 Angus Deaton has done close and illuminating work in development economics for years.  His most recent book is  The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality.  I picked this up when I was reading up on effective aid and development, and from the title pretty much expected a philosophical tract decrying Western Civ et al.

I was wrong on two counts - firstly, there is a LOT of math.  Secondly, as far as I can tell Deaton doesn't much care about Western Civ or the many alleged injustices of its past.

He cares that people who are poor get sick and die faster than those of us who are not.  And he looks for ways to fix that poverty thing. (By vastly improving the models used to count poor people, so the experiments can be replicated/tracked.  If you can't count something, it doesn't count.) Plus! Deaton's language is clear and engaging.  And did I mention the math?  There is math.And footnotes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Got hit with a big work project that looks to keep me very busy the next six weeks or so.  Won't be around much until that's done.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Hand We've Been Dealt

(Yes, the title references both The Walking Dead and Miles Naismith Vorkosigan.)

One of the recurring themes from the on-going Hugo kerfuffle is a sense of unfairness.  Among the charges:

a) There was a pre-existing bias against conservatives & libertarians (1) among the small (2) subsection of SFF Fandom (3) who nominate and vote for the Hugos.  The most vocal people expressing this pov are called by those who oppose them “SJW” – social justice warriors.  (It is not meant as a compliment.)

b) That there was a countering bias against women, non-Caucasians, and non-heterosexuals in terms of characters, authors, and fans.(Sometimes this is expressed in terms of matching the general issues of American society, other times it is described as unique to SFF fandom/ SFF creators.) The most vocal people expressing this pov are called by those who oppose them “fascist racist sexists homophobes”. (4)(Also not a compliment.) (They have employed the term "racist" against a Caucasian man in a twenty-year old marriage with an African-American woman, to which I can only say damn, that's dedication to the Cause.)

c) There was an active on-going cabal of influential people who habitually manipulated some if not all of the nominations in order to steer the finalist lists to include selected works and people. (5)

d) That Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies (SP/RP) (6) unfairly stacked the deck against all other parts of fandom in order to get a selected group of writers on the finalist list.

Noses are so far bent out of joint that it’s a wonder any of us can see straight.

Among many people who consider themselves defending the Hugos and SFF / SFF Fandom against the sorts of people and thoughts exemplified by the SP/RP, there has been an oft-repeated sense that The Hugos Were Fine Why Did You Have To Break Them?  As evidence for how The Hugos Were Fine, quotes like this one from Rcade are common:

 What makes me bitter is the strategy of bloc voting, because it made it impossible for nominations I made as an individual in good faith to appear on the ballot. Out of 80 slots on the ballot, my nominations appear 0 times. That’s never happened before. Normally I see around 2-6.

This is given as part of the justification for charges such as that put forth by such otherwise temperate and polite people as Connie Willis that the SP/RP were outright “cheating” and “ballot stuffing.” (7)

The purpose of this post is to demonstrate that such an assumption is inaccurate and – instead of being proof of cheating – is instead evidence in support of an insular common opinion amongst the historical voters for the Hugos.


As we’re talking about cheating, let’s talk cards.

Consider a deck of common playing cards. Take out the jokers and the extra cards with the name of the card manufacturer on them, and you are left with 52 cards.  Four suites – hearts, clubs, spades, diamonds (9) – of 13 cards – ace, 2-10, jack, queen, king. For the purposes of this example, face cards are ace, jack, queen, king. (And that makes four, oh best beloved.)

So.  We have 52 cards, and we want to know, what are the best two cards?

Differentiation depends on, well, differences. If there are no differences, then what appear to be varying levels of support are no more than random chance.

If all the cards are indistinguishable from each other in value of Bestness, and if we ask a large enough group (say, a bazillion gazillion) (8) of people, we would end up with 1326 different unique combinations of 2 cards from that group.  That number – 1326 – is calculated using a mathematical formula called the factorial – generally written like so: factorial of (n) = n!  The factorial of a number is equal to that number times all the whole numbers smaller than it.  Thus:

5! = 5*4*3*2*1 = 120
4! = 4*3*2*1 = 24
3! = 3*2*1 = 6

And so on. 

In our example we talk about “sets of two” – this is the smaller grouping drawn from a larger grouping.  The size of this set is k, so that k =2 if we mean, sets of two, or k = 3 if we mean, sets of three.  For every value of n and k, we can determine how many unique sets of size k are in that group numbering n, using the factorial formula.

The formula for determining the number of unique sets is:

K! (N-k)!

So for a group of size n, choosing smaller groups of equal size k, we can calculate how many unique groups of size k there are in a group of size n.

If we also want to know how many groups of size k we find that include any one item, we imagine we have a group of size (n-1), pick our groups of size k from them, and then subtract.  The remainder is the number of unique small groups that were made up of ONLY the items not included in the second , smaller group.

(Wikipedia also has an explanation of the math, in case I have confused anyone.)

In our set of 52 cards, there 1326 unique sets of two cards.  If everyone’s opinion of the “Bestness” of cards was equal, we would find that each of these 1326 sets would have an equal representation in our poll, and that there would not be any one pair – either the 2 of clubs and the 10 of spades, or the ace of diamonds and the queen of hearts, nor any other pair – would be determined to be best by a greater number of people than any others. (Such is the power of large sample groups, to which all stats nerds burn incense daily.)

If I, as High Queen of the Universe, were to anoint two cards of my choosing from the deck of 52 and declare them to be The Best, no matter what two cards I picked, 92.4% of the people expressing an opinion on the cards would be unhappy, for neither of their cards would match the two I had picked.  The other 7.6% would be moderately pleased, as one of their cards would match one of mine, and 1/326 th of the people would be very pleased, as my choice would exactly match theirs.

But wait, one says – this is a stupid example, because everyone knows that not all cards are alike!  Face cards are clearly More Best than the rest, and so any example that ignored this difference is clearly useless.

Fine.  Let’s run the numbers for ‘two picked from 12 face cards’ – and we come up with 66 unique sets. Everyone of the bazillion gazillion sorts themselves along those lines – again, giving equal weight to any of the face cards – into 66 groups. I as High Queen of the Universe again pick The Best – and this time, there are 31.8% of the people who are moderately pleased, 68.2% who think I clearly suck as a universal monarch, and 1/66 of the people who think my opinions (at least in cards) are perfect.

However, for the people who didn’t share the opinion that face cards are CLEARLY More Best, my disapproval rate is much higher: only 1.58% of the people who were selecting from the whole deck had EITHER of their two cards match EITHER of mine.

With me so far? Good.

If you do the math out, you see that if one is picking sets from larger decks, the numbers get crazy large crazy fast.  More sets, larger decks, and the number of people who think it is clearly time to pick another universal hereditary ruler start to equal EVERYONE.

But what the heck does this have to do with picking Hugos?

Firstly, consider that instead of a deck of 52, we have a deck of “all the novels published that year.”  And we have everyone vote on what they think the best five are….wait.

No, we already decided that there are cards which are clearly better than others.  Face cards, in our deck.  And for the Hugos we have…oh, every one of the novels nominated during the nomination round.  There.  We’ve narrowed the pool of “best SFF novel” from the tens of thousands published that year to…around 400 (it was 230 novels in 2005, and last year at LonCon it was 648.  We’ll use 400 because I’m High Queen of the Universe.)  At any rate, tens of thousands down to 400 is sorta like 52 to 12, except that it’s several orders of magnitude in difference, and so it’s not really the same. At All, because 52 to 12 doesn’t even come close to approximating the degree in change from tens of thousands to 400.

And as it turns out, my version of MS EXCEL crashes when I go over 170 for my n.  So we can’t even use that. Let’s use 160.  (See: High Queen of the Universe.)

If we pick sets of 5 cards from a deck of 52, that there are 2.598960 MILLION different combinations of sets of 5.  For [our 'face cards set' (slight edit)] 160, it’s 98,446,083,840.  Yes, that’s 98 BILLON. And change.  When the High Queen of the Universe comes down and anoints The Five Best Cards, out of those 160, 14.85% of the people see that at least ONE of their cards matches at least ONE of The Five Best.  (Remember, in our last example, we were talking sets of two.  Now we have sets of 5.  That changes the math.)

(Also?  “One out of five” is a lower standard of happy than “one out of two” – or at least I think so.  See: High Queen of the Universe)

And remember, we’re just talking the people who picked face cards.  The people who were picking from the larger set of the whole deck/all the books published that year, they’re much less happy.  (And I can not do that math because, again, when n > 170, Excel = miserable.)

So.  That’s how it is when we look at picking the five best novels from the 160 face card/clearly best novels that year.  15% of the people have gotten at least one of their novels selected.  The rest are unhappy, and collecting pitchforks.

But it gets worse.

What if instead of picking from all the face card novels, I only picked from diamond suite novels?  If instead of picking from 160, what if I had narrowed my selections down to only those which were the ace, jack, queen and king of diamonds, so now I (as High Queen of the Universe) was selecting from 40 novels, while everyone else was selecting from all the face cards (160 novels) or (even worse) all the novels selected (tens of thousands.)

In that case, there are 658,008 sets of 5, from the 40 diamond face cards. (Note the change from the 2.5 million sets of 5 from 52 cards.  Numbers don’t change geometrically here.) Now, 50% of those whose tastes also ran to just diamond face cards have at least one of five selections equal to one (or more) of mine.  Of those still picking from all the face cards, it’s less than one in a hundred.  In fact, it’s a lot less – it’s 4 in ten thousand.

For those picking from the wider pool of all the deck of published cards?  Doesn’t even register.

And remember that I’m talking about out of 160 novels.  It’s been a very long time since we had only 160 novels that someone thought was Hugo worthy.

So when a fan says Up until now, I generally agreed with the Hugo nominations…it means, I think, that their tastes agree with the tastes of the Queen of the Universe.  Or the average of the Hugo nomination voters, who – at less than 1K – are numerically indistinguishable from a single Queen of the Universe, when looked at on that scale.

When SP/RP say, Up until now, most of what I liked never made it to the Hugos…well, it *might* mean that they had a fancy for cards numbering 2-10.  But it could also mean that they liked face cards of suites other than diamonds.

If we were to imagine SFF as a deck of cards(note: Examples not chosen with any intent in mind) – with Literary SFF as diamonds, and MilSF&Space Opera as clubs, and Humor as hearts, and, oh, Movies&TV&Tieins as spades…well, it would easy enough to see that even if one really liked the most excellent work in clubs AND hearts, if the High Queen of the Universe (or the Hugo voters) were only picking from the 40 items in diamond face cards…well, you’d be SOOL(link).  And the High Queen of the Universe would be aghast at suggestions of bias, because She was selecting evenly from the 40 items in diamond face cards- and what could be wrong with that?

Likewise, if one were to imagine a revolt by people who liked just spades, who all gathered together to sacrifice fluffy kittens and blend puppies so that a pleasing aroma rose unto the sky, and the High Queen deigned to select from the spades face cards instead of diamonds…that would look very much like a betrayal to those who liked diamonds. (We are ignoring those who have objections to animal sacrifice of any sort, because they are obviously in league with the Elder Ones.)

To sum up, because it is too much to explain: the SFF field is huge.  The number of Hugo voters is small.  We need to fix this.


(1) These two things are not the same.

(2) No matter how one slices it, WSFS members, WorldCon attendees, and Hugo voters are a very very small fraction of the total number of people who read, watch, write, draw, or play science fiction and fantasy.  Annual nominating membership was under 1,000 people for decades.   It’s only in the last five years that it has hit 2 thousand. Attending membership was under 10,000.  In comparison, Dragon*Con - held the same weekend - was 40,000 in 2010, and is projected to exceed 60,000 in 2015. 

(3) SFF Fandom: that portion of the global human populations who read, watch, write, draw, or play science fiction and fantasy.  At the very minimum, we’re talking 100,000 people – assuming we limit the number to those who can read or speak English.  This group HEAVILY overlaps with, but does not equal, those people who are SFF creators – writers, artists, directors, editors, etc.  (In much the same way, SFWA membership heavily overlaps with, but does not equal, “people who have published something in SFF in the last five years.”

(4) The author of this particular article is Kameron Hurely, two-time winner of the Hugo award, short listed by Chaos Horizon last November as an strong contender  for a Hugo this year for her novel The Mirror Empire.  Yet somehow neither the author nor the editor saw fit to mention this conflict of interest.  I suppose in a world where The Rolling Stone exists this is to be considered of no great note.

(5) While the actions and words of a couple of editors associated with Tor had done a great deal to avoid disproving this perspective, it is my opinion that the fault lies most with a narrow pov on the part of Hugo voters, each of whom is voting their individual preferences, with perhaps some minor influence by those who are attempting to push specific works or authors. More specifically – we can’t get rid of people’s individual preferences and likes, but we can avoid choosing from people who only like one sort of things.

(6) Sad Puppies here. Rabid Puppies here.  These are two different groups who share some overlapping goals.  In combining them, I am unfortunately continuing the disastrously inaccurate lumping together of goals, membership, motivation, and nominated works that has characterized the “trufan” response to the whole mess.  For the purpose of this discussion, I think the shorthand is accurate enough to continue, although I may come to regret saying that.

(6.1) I am not Vox Day, either.  If you have a question about, or an issue with, something VD has said, go take it up with him.  If you have a question about, or an issue with, something I have said, I am willing to discuss that.  For the purposes of this post, the only opinion that VD and I share which is relevant is that the current Hugo process is broken.

(7) Urging other fans – who then purchase their own memberships to WorldCon, and then vote their own ballot - to support particular authors or works has been widely acknowledged as “within the rules.” There are those who disagree and/or who hold that having recommended 5 works on a five opening ballot constitutes undue influence.  Complicating this judgement is Vox Day’s verbage regarding the Rabid Puppy slate: “Those who trust my judgement will vote the slate exactly as it appears.”  Be that as it may, the range of votes even across Puppy dominated categories does not support the charge of lock-step voting. (Obligatory link to herding cats video.)

(8)In the most practical terms, one needs 40 “normal average” individuals to achieve a measurable range of values for any test (like blood pressure or lung volume) and that sample sizes of 100 individuals per data point is sufficient to get a good random distribution, but there are different schools of thought on this.

(9) Assuming traditional French suites, not the German.

Comments and critique of all sorts welcomed!  Please leave a note or drop an email - excel spreadsheets available on demand.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A renunciation of litmus tests

So. Hugo nominations got announced last weekend, and All Fandom Is At War.

One of the better attempts at bridge-building is being conducted by Mary Robinette Kowal, in a post here.  In the comments, Elizabeth Bear (*the* Elizabeth Bear, omg *flails*) responded to a comment I left.

Because I am lousy at saying things succinctly, I am expanding on my reply to Ms Bear here.

I appreciate Ms Bear's candid declaration concerning visible voting slates and her intent to reject all those works, writers, and artists as unworthy of an award.  That's her choice, and I respect her decision to do so.  (I also won’t hold it against her if in the future she changes her mind.) I do however disagree with the logic and utility of doing so, but wait on that until the end.

To me, the slate voting process *could* be discussed in and of itself – but that’s not what’s happening here.  As I have said to other members of fandom, though – I find it curious that rather than focusing on publicity efforts or the existence of slates, the focus keeps slipping to *who* is on the slates, and *who* might be recommending those works.

Bear said: Theo Beale first came after me for no good reason except that I was a woman writing SF in like, 2004–and I have no truck with the man (I’ve also spoken out publicly against Requires Hate’s bullying campaign, for what it’s worth.)

I remember a bit of that, and I remember being a bit surprised at the “going after a woman who wrote SF” bit, because dude – Cherryh? Bujold? Willis? Moon? Aren't you annoyed at them, too?  I don’t remember the details of that squabble, frankly.  (I imagine the incident is a bit more etched in Ms Bear's memory.)

But that does bring to mind 2004, and the ultra-awesomeness that it was to be conservative in on-line fandom during the US election season.  The allusions to Hitler (*see note at the end*), the hysterical accusations that concentration camps were being set up for Muslims and gays, the sneering, the wild exaggerations, the ranting, the accusations of intended genocide against minorities, of disenfranchisement of women – and that was before the Republicans won. Good times, good times.

Which have only gotten worse, of course.  The exaggerations and false accusations are present in the comments of multiple other fans in the comments to MRK’s post – despite it being the best attempt so far to build bridges between SP and trufans.

I expect everyone carries a bit of baggage from back then.  My way of dealing with it, and with the on-going hatchet jobs that have surfaced this week in mainstream media, is this:

Firstly, I pick my fannish interactions with care, I don’t go into liberal areas except in rare occasions, and I hang with fans who – even if they might like somewhat different things than I do – don’t openly disparage other people, and particularly not for their politics or religion.

Secondly, in terms of reading and judging works, I don’t care who people are, what their politics are, or what they approve of. I had me and my works judged on the basis of my politics and of lies and exaggerations about what I said.  I don’t do it to other people, to the best extent I can.  And to that end, I absolutely endorse what Ms Bear said at the end:

(I note that last year’s slate included Requires Hate *and* Vox Day. That’s so politically diverse it starts to come full circle.)

Because the Hugos should be able to do that. We must NOT make it so that the Hugos CANNOT do that.

I appreciate Ms Bear's efforts to reach across the lines with assurances that she rejects RH and all her works. But I don’t care. I’m not even going to ask if that speaking out came while Requires Hate was still just targeting Caucasian guys or after she started going after POCs.  Because I don’t care.

I don’t care if people reject RH.  I don’t care if they reject VD.  What I
reject are renunciations, litmus tests, and assurances of purity in thought or deed.

I strongly oppose all attempts to set up a pattern of public rejections, of dis-avowing, of assertion of rightthink, of the sort of quasi-Inquisitionesque  are you now or have you ever been a nasty person who said nasty things to other people, as a part, of any sort, in the process of assessing the quality of a particular work.

We should not be giving anyone the impression that people are reading, enjoying, and buying their works of art on the basis that the writer/artist “is a good person.”  Or that only “good people” can contribute meaningfully to society.  Or that a meaningful contribution makes that person (scientist, artist, bricklayer) a “good person.”

Being a crap writer does not make one a crap person any more than being a crap welder makes one a crap person.  And having a beautiful singing voice does not an angel make.

If Fandom remains a single tent, we will have people inside it who are frightful to each other.  We will have – as we have had before, and doubtlessly do now – people who are rapists and child abusers.  We will have thieves, bigots, scoundrels, rabble rousers, trolls, malcontents and liars.  We will have our Mark Twains. We had Arthur C Clark and Isaac Asimov, and we had Harlan Ellison, Vox Day, and Samuel Delaney.  We had MZB, and we have Requires Hate, Kameron Hurley, and K Tempest Bradford.  And twenty more I could name, and forty more you could name, and a thousand people we don’t even know about yet.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if we storm Castalia House and drag Vox Day to the gallows to be hung, drawn, and quartered, or just shoot him in the street.  It doesn’t matter if we exile Requires Hate to the far Antilles or place her in the stocks and hurl rotten produce at her until she breaks down into a catatonic quivering sobbing mess.

Even if we were right in doing so, the blood and tears would scarcely have dried before the shout went up to do the same to John C Wright and NK Jemisin.

Fandom will not be cleansed by these actions.  We will always have despicable people amongst us. And unpleasant people. And people that others say are despicable, or not pleasant, or Communist, or evangelicals, or who chew with their mouths open.

Criminals should be arrested and charged with crimes. Rude people should be told that they are being rude, and not invited to tea by people who don’t like their rudeness.

Works should be read, or seen, or heard, and not judged based on their creators.

SP came about because a huge chunk of fandom is reacting to another huge chunk of fandom applying extraneous litmus tests of politics and lifestyle – approving of some, disapproving of others – to both authors and works in the course of assessing the quality of work. (And generally shutting out the authors and works now represented by SP.)  SP1 & SP2 demonstrated that this was happening.

SP3 is happening because we – we-as-fandom-we – failed to call for stopping the application of those litmus tests.

Voting No Award for anything other than the quality of the work on the slate is continuing the application of those tests.  And voting No Award is not going to stop SP4, because what we – we-as-SP, as far as I can speak for SP, which is not very far -  want is to be able to push for recognition of the work we like – just like everyone else, with everyone else – to get the awards we think it deserves.

And here’s why I reject the idea that No Award voting slate-sponsored works is in the best interest of Fandom.  Firstly, because even if a majority of fandom agreed with that, all it does is cement the use of extraneous litmus tests in the assessment of works.  I reject the utility of assessing works on the race or gender of the author, or on the skin color of the protagonist, or on the faith system (or lack thereof) in the work.  And I reject assessments based on who recommended it to me, or on what webpage I first saw it.

Secondly, because No Awarding works based on visible, known-to-you slates will only return us to the quasi-sub rosa conditions of 2012.  Slates will go underground, passed from hand to hand and not discussed openly – until someone wants to expose someone else for ‘slating’.  Or commit slander against someone else.  Or start a whisper campaign against someone else.

I’ve been there, done that.  I don’t want that sort of thing affecting “the most prestigious award in SFF.”

Let’s do what should have been done a decade ago, and reject the application of extraneous litmus tests to the Hugo process, and all other award processes.

Two notes:
1) I am not “equating” any authors mentioned by name in this post.  They each are singular persons who have enraged different parts of Fandom.  (There are many horrible people in Fandom.  Such is the crooked timber of humanity.) I think there is some value in publicly addressing assertions of the harm we do to each other.  We are not required to like or approve or tolerate all of each other, nor all that each other does.

I also think that when we have stooped to the point where we take seriously the assertions by grown writers and artists that “someone wrote a mean poem about me!!!!” we have gone well past the point where “harm” has any legitimate definition, and a serious look at what we are considering “intolerable” is in order.

2) I rejoice in the evolution of popular culture, fandom, and internet discourse that now references to Nazis are not only considered unserious, but required in any discussion of sufficient length.  Take that, you genocidal monsters – you’re now the punchline for every mockery of hysterical over-reaction, ever.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Old Women of SF

This is a place holder for longer thoughts later - right now I don't want to lose the link.

Athena Andreadis has a an article in Skiffy and Fanty titled "Where are the wise crones in science fiction?"

I think it has some excellent points about the youth-worship of SF and fantasy.  (When I was a teen, I adored all manner of spunky-girl-against-the-world stories.  Now, not so much.) She goes on some directions I think are sideways to the main point, but it's still an interesting read.

However, I find two things far more interesting - first, that as a blow against the lack of older women in SF, she posts a fantasy story (which has always had more old women, although generally cast as the dangerous villain) and secondly, that (unless I completely missed it) she avoids all mention of Gordon R Dickson, The Spirit of Dorsia, and Amanda Morgan.  Which is...puzzling.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

That time of year again

(jimminy christmas, it really has been that long)

Hugo nominations are out again.  (I didn't nominate this year. I should have, but I am so woefully behind in reading...and in everything else...)

Looking forward to reading through the nominations.  I particularly would like to know if Ancillary Sword matches the quality of the first in the series, and if this volume deals with the ramifications of "erasing" all but one gender of humans.  (If there are any links to analysis of AJ which discussed the option of more than two genders of humans, I would like to see those.)(*)

As I said, I am behind in reading anything, and so the only comment I can make on the slate as a whole is that I am very disappointed that Snowpiercer, which would have easily been my choice as Long Form, didn't even make the final ballot.

(Yeah, yeah, violation of the laws of physics, overly anvilous class warfare allegory, blah blah blah. I don't care. I loved that movie.  Saw it four times. And you voted for CATWS (**) so don't talk to me about Ah canna change th' laws of physics.)

(*)  Gender's a spectrum. So is biological sex.  That this is completely irrelevant for most working-day interactions doesn't make it inaccurate.  And I would expect - no, I would demand that "inter-sectional" scholars note AJ's erasure of more than just 'maleness.'

(**) Which, for the record, I also loved.  I would be bitter about The Lego Movie making it onto the Hugo ballot, except I gave that up for Lent.  Monday, maybe.