Pixel Scroll 10/31 Standlee’s Instant Summons

(1) The title of Jeb Kinnison’s review encapsulates his opinion — “’Tomorrowland’: Tragic Misfire”.

Having seen mixed reviews, I waited until Tomorrowland came out on cheaper streaming services. Directed and mostly written by Brad Bird, auteur of brilliant work like Iron Giant and The Incredibles, the previews looked promising — a story about the shiny visions of the technological future we had as kids in the 1960s, and a world where they actually happened.

(2) An old b&w photo of a scientist controlling waldos to diaper a baby doll is one of the relics in the Vault of the Atomic Space Age.

(3) William Shatner tells how his face was used for the mask that Halloween film franchise killer Michael Myers wore.

(4) “Jim Burns’ Halloween Reverie: Then and Now” from last year, at the local New York CBS station’s website.

Twenty-five years ago, youngsters at my door could see through the screen to a life-sized Superman and Batman that were just past me, in the living room.

On another night, every window of my home was adorned with special Halloween themed balloons, the merry Mylar reaching high into the October sky.

For another year, a wide assortment of latex masks of classic  Hollywood monsters (a wolfman, a mummy, Planet of the Apes’ Dr. Zaius and  creatures from The Outer Limits)–an amazing collection I had somehow acquired–peered out from those portals, gazing upon a lawn filled with a virtual galaxy of giant pumpkin lawn bags!

(5) How big did you say those pumpkin bags were, Jim? A giant inflatable pumpkin got away the other day in Arizona….

Diego Ramirez captured video of the 25-foot-tall jack o’lantern blowing around in traffic after it broke free of its straps at the Peoria Sports Complex.

“I was so shocked to see that it was like bouncing like a basketball all the way down the road,” Patrick Sparkes of Big AZ Promotions, the company that owns the decoration, told KPNX-TV.

The company said the 350-pound pumpkin broke free from its straps with the help of strong winds.

“We showed up and it wasn’t there and we spent the last 40 minutes driving around looking for it,” Sparkes said.

There were no injuries from the pumpkin’s dash for freedom, but there was some damage done to streetlamps.

(6) The Addams Family: The Broadway Musical evidently has been around for years, but it’s news to me!

THE ADDAMS FAMILY features an original story, and it’s every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. A man her parents have never met. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, she confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.


(7) The SJW viewpoint strikes again! A. J. Jacobs told NPR host Scott Simon some famous monsters aren’t as horrible as you think. I think I hear “Officer Krupke” in the background…

SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Misunderstood, misunderstood.

JACOBS: Misunderstood – that’s what I’m here to do is trying to salvage the reputation of some of these Halloween monsters. So yes, Frankenstein I think gets a really raw deal in the reputation department. We all think of Frankenstein’s monster as this monosyllabic idiot from the movies. But actually, in Mary Shelley’s original novel from 1818, Frankenstein’s monster was more of a sensitive intellectual type. He read Plutarch and Goethe. He was more Brooklyn hipster and less unfrozen caveman.

(8) A mysterious castle, a deserted village and things that go bump in the night are all in a day’s work for a TODAY team on the hunt for Dracula — “Take a Trip ‘Behind the Screams’ in Transylvania”

(9) Today In History

  • October 31, 1926Harry Houdini dies. Harry Houdini, the most celebrated magician and escape artist of the 20th century, dies of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital. Twelve days before, Houdini had been talking to a group of students after a lecture in Montreal when he commented on the strength of his stomach muscles and their ability to withstand hard blows. Suddenly, one of the students punched Houdini twice in the stomach. The magician hadn’t had time to prepare, and the blows ruptured his appendix. He fell ill on the train to Detroit, and, after performing one last time, was hospitalized. Doctors operated on him, but to no avail. The burst appendix poisoned his system, and on October 31 he died.
  • October 31, 2001 — Lovecraft adaptation Dagon makes its theatrical premiere in Spain.

(10) Today’s Birthday Boy

  • October 31, 1961 — Peter Jackson is born on Halloween in Wellington, New Zealand.

(11) The photo comes from “Susan Beatrice Recycles Old Watch Parts Into Intricately Detailed Steampunk Scultptures” on EarthPorm, but here full gallery is here. Amazing stuff.


Beatrice’s creations bring boring old gears and machinery to life. She has the ability to turn ratchets and other tiny technical parts into a lively mouse, seahorse or fairy. The more you look at her varied artwork the more you wonder what this woman can’t do… as it appears she can make everything out of anything.

(12) How badly do you want to be one of the first people to see the new Star Wars movie? Air France can help you out.

Lines will form at the crack of dawn on December 18 as die-hard fans set out to snag the best seats to see Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in theaters.

But some very lucky trans-Atlantic plane passengers will get the jump on them.

In what seems like a ploy to rope super-fans into buying very expensive plane tickets, Air France will be letting passengers watch the much-anticipated flick two days before its official release, on December 16.

The French airline is teaming up with EuropaCorp CINEMAS to offer the advance screenings for passengers on four Paris-bound flights, AF083 from San Francisco to Paris, AF065 from Los Angeles, AF011 from New York and AF009 from New York.

[Thanks to James H. Burns, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day, Soon Lee.]

A Halloween Visit with Ray Bradbury

Ray 2015 Halloween COMP

(1) John King Tarpinian paid his annual Halloween visit to the grave of Ray Bradbury. “The pumpkin was left by one of Ray’s actors, Robert Kerr. The figurine is from me — H.G. Wells and the Invisible Man.”

(2) Many celebrities are Ray’s “neighbors.” One of the most interesting markers is this one for Don Knotts.

Don Knotts grave marker COMP

(3) Phil Nichols at BradburyMedia says in Ray Bradbury’s fiction Halloween is the biggest holiday of them all. He has posted some pictures appropriate to the day —

As I was browsing through some files on my laptop, I came across a couple of images from The Halloween Tree which I don’t think I have used before on Bradburymedia. They are background paintings, used as establishing shots in the 1993 Hanna-Barbara film based on Bradbury’s novel. Ray wrote the script for the film, and won an Emmy Award for his efforts.

(4) A video tribute — “Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree at Disneyland.”

(5) Mary Bradbury was tried as a witch…an ancestor of Ray. (See “A Salem Witch in Bradbury’s Family Tree”.)

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush recently hosted an All Together conversation “The Witches: What Really Happened In Salem In 1692” with author Stacy Schiff.

Over nine months in the year 1692, 14 women and five men were executed in the colony of Massachusetts for the crime of witchcraft. The Salem Witch trials, as the event has become known, is an important part of the narrative of the founding of America and highlights the misguided religious fervor, power dynamics and desperate lives of the Puritans in New England.

This week’s All Together features a conversation with Stacy Schiff, the author of the new book: The Witches: Salem, 1692. In this riveting volume,  Schiff brings the main figures of the tale to life in a meticulous historical narrative and tells a cautionary tale. Far from the kitsch and myth that surround Salem today, Schiff brings back the real spirit of fear and faith and drove the witch trials and illuminates lessons we can learn for faith in our time.

(6) Andy Browers explains “Why Autumn Belongs To Ray Bradbury” at Book Riot.

The prism of Bradbury’s writing catches all the shades in October’s spectrum—the splendor and the spookiness. A huge part of the fun of this season is the creep factor of the dark nights, harvest moons, and the eerie complaints of floorboards in your house as it settles against the cold and the ghosts. All the conditions are right to crawl under your blanket, turn on a flashlight, and get into the spirit of things with an old, battered copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes. Its title is lifted straight from the mouths of the witches in the opening speeches of Macbeth, so you pretty much know what you’re getting into. The story follows Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade (I never said Ray didn’t lay it on thick, okay?), thirteen year-olds (see what I mean?) who get into all manner of trouble when they tangle with Cooger and Dark’s twisted carnival. It’s epic and sentimental and shadowy and ultimately life affirming, like much of its author’s catalog. If you missed the window of reading this when you were young, don’t worry—the childhood thrill of the midway never really leaves us, and this quick read, with its themes of youth and age, holds up just fine.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the stories and his photos.]


Pixel Scroll 10/30 The Stainless Steel Hedgehog Has A Harsh Mistress, Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That

(1) Larry Smith is out of the hospital reports Marcia Kelly Illingworth on Facebook.

Please forgive the lack of recent updates. As they say, no news is good news. Larry is back out of the hospital, and appears to be doing well. He was finally able to attend a convention last weekend, and held up remarkably well. At this point, he is hoping to make all of his November commitments. Clearly, he is not exactly on top of his game, and has had to make some adjustments to his activity level and routine, but he is improving.

Larry and Sally asked me to try to convey the enormous gratitude they feel to everyone who has come to their aid through this very trying time. I say *try* to convey, because there just are not enough words to adequately express how thankful and humbled they feel. And let me just add my thanks as well. These are some very special people, and my heart swells when I see this wonderful family that we call fandom come together to help them like you have.

They are currently still trying to find a replacement van. The one they had was a 15 passenger model, with a long wheelbase and extra suspension to handle the weight of the books. They have found a couple of possibilities (of course, none local), so they hope to find one soon. Give yourselves a much – deserved pat on the back for making this possible for them. Please share this update on any list or social media that you have available to you

(2) David Langford proudly displayed his “Sausage Maker To Fandom” badge ribbon in the new issue of Ansible.  It was given to him at LonCon 3.

(3) Thursday night’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert had Seth MacFarlane and Neil DeGrasse Tyson as guests. Stephen is convinced that star KIC 8462852 is evidence of the alien life predicted in one of his favorite books. In the final interview segment, Colbert goes off on a seriously detailed Ringworld rant, including crediting Larry Niven.

“Just because you don’t understand what you’re lookin’ at doesn’t mean it’s alien,” countered Tyson…

In this YouTube clip, the Ringworld bit starts just after the 1:50 mark.

(4) CNN reports “Orbiting bacteria: Space Station may need some tidying up”.

The next time NASA picks an astronaut to live in the International Space Station, it might want to send Mr. Clean. That’s because scientists using a kind of high-tech white glove test found something in the space dust there.

The astronauts are not alone, it turns out. They share tight quarters with some previously undetected, opportunistic bacterial pathogens.

Nothing unusual here. The Sasquan guest of honor left his hotel room in the same condition as every other fan at this year’s Worldcon. A generous tip ordinarily covers these things. In this case, two or three million dollars should do it…

(5) Grantland, ESPN’s pop culture site founded by Bill Simmons, is shutting down. I’ll miss genre-themed coverage like Brian Phillips’ ”50 Scenes That Do Not Appear in the Fox ‘X-Files’ Revival”.

  1. It does not, at any point, transpire that Assistant FBI Director Walter Skinner joins Kickstarter to seek funding for his “elegantly bound novelization” of Infocom’s Leather Goddesses of Phobos.
  2. The word “copyleft” — that doesn’t get thrown around a lot.
  3. Jonathan, who is not making churros, does not tell Scully that “it’s about the cinnamon” and then gasp, “I’ve said too much,” and then get shot in the head by a sniper from Venus.

(6) Charle Jane Anders acknowledges “The Difference Between a Great Story and a Shitty Story Is Often Really Tiny” at io9.

To some extent this is a “Devil in the details” thing: It’s the little details that will trip you up. Small inconsistencies can make your world feel flimsy. But, too, tiny character moments and little bits of emotional resonance, in between the big incidents, can do a ton to make people buy stock in your world and its people.

The difference between a shitty story and a great story is often just one of clarity, also. A great story sets up its premises early on, then builds on them and deepens them, until finally you reach some kind of crisis. Going back to the topic of movies, I’ve been amazed by how many movies I’ve seen lately where the first 20 or 30 minutes are compelling and fascinating (the “first act”) and then what follows is a dull morass. It’s like the “building and deepening” part of the recipe just got thrown out.

(7) That lunar rover that went to the junkyard?

“Although Mr. Clueless opted to dispose of the moonlander for scrap, not so the junkyard owner!” reports David Doering.

Motherboard has an interview with the anonymous buyer.

Tuesday, we told the sad story of a prototype NASA lunar rover that was sold by an Alabaman to a scrap yard. That is true, but there’s a twist: A heroic scrap dealer has saved the buggy, which appears to be in good condition.

The scrap dealer spoke to Motherboard on the condition of anonymity because he says he wants to speak to his lawyer about his next steps, but he did send me the recent photo of the buggy above to confirm it’s in his possession. The rover matches a historical NASA image we believed to be the rover in question. It also matches the description given by NASA in its investigatory documents.

“The man who originally bought it, from my understanding, he bought it at an auction. He was a road conditioner [in Alabama],” the junkyard owner told me. “I can’t confirm this is true, but he bought it at a NASA auction many years ago. NASA just discarded a lot of that stuff back then. When it was brought to my scrap facility, I set it aside because I knew what it was. The unit does exist today. It is not scrapped. I have that unit in storage.”

“I’ve done quite a lot of research on the unit and it’s an artifact that needs to be saved,” he added.

David Doering says, “Sure looks like an easy cut-and-dried Kickstarter campaign to buy the rover!”

(8) Speaking of space exploring antiques, NASA needs a programmer fluent in 60-year-old computer programming languages to keep the Voyager 1 and 2 crafts going. The new hire has to know FORTRAN and assembly languages.

(9) Although written before the revised WFC 2015 harassment policy came out, Alasdsair Stuart’s post on the issue remains revelant for making points like these:

In the last two years I’ve been part of a team asked to deal with a single incident. I saw my colleagues treat the individual who had been harassed with compassion, patience and respect. I saw them be given the space they needed to collect themselves and make decisions rather than be pressured into a choice they might later regret. I have rarely been prouder of the teams of volunteers I’ve worked with over the last few years than I was on that day.

And that’s why the mealy mouthed legal tapdance WFC’15 was throwing up wasn’t just bullshit, it was and still is actively harmful. This event, that proudly lays claim to being the definitive convention for industry professionals, was not bothering to do something that events with a tenth its status and a hundredth its reach have baked into their procedures. The obvious defense here is of course the tiny size of the community and ‘we’ choosing to deal with it ‘in house’.

That’s not even in the same time zone as ‘good enough’.

No one on Earth WANTS to have a harassment policy. Even in building one you’re forced to imagine the absolute worst of the people around you, and in doing so, work out how to minimize the damage they may cause. These people have to, by definition, include your friends and colleagues. It’s an inherently cautious, inherently cynical piece of work that codifies the worst potential human behaviour and how to deal with it. No one wants that, least of all members of a community that likes to pay lip service to inclusion and diversity. But we all need it precisely because of that inclusion and diversity.

(10) John Holyoke reviews Stephen King’s new short story collection Bazaar of Bad Dreams in the Bangor Daily News.

bazaar of bad dreams cover COMP

For loyal King fans who devour anything the author produces, these collections are tiny desserts: sweet morsels that can be consumed rapidly, without guilt. Like some? Fine. Love ’em all? Better. Hate a few? Oh, well — move on. Take a bite out of another.

For those who are new to King and unsure whether they’ll like what they find, “The Bazaar of Bad Dreams” provides a tasty sampler that, like his other short story collections, showcases the master’s array of talents.

King said a year ago that he was confident he could still “write stories that are sleep-with-the-lights-on scary.” And he can. (Try his novel “Revival” on for size, if you’re in doubt.)

But “The Bazaar of Bad Dreams” is a collection of a different flavor and seems to reflect the maturing — and aging — of a writer who likely has left far more tales in his rear view mirror then he has remaining in front of his headlights. Recurring themes this time around include aging, dealing with aging and death itself.

And while that isn’t surprising in itself — there’s often a hefty helping of dying going on in a King book or story — the tone is different, almost melancholy at times, as characters face their mortality and battle with questions like the age-old unanswerable: What’s next?

(11) Lisa Morton, Horror Writers Association president, tells the true, highly commercial origins of today’s Halloween holiday.

The next time somebody tries to tell you that Halloween is a ghoulish tradition that goes back to Druid priests practicing pagan rituals, tell them that companies like Hershey, Coors and Dennison had a lot more to do with the modern Halloween we revere than the Celts from 2,000 years ago.

And that’s a good thing, because these companies have largely created the holiday we now love.

While it is likely that Halloween owes much of its macabre character to the Irish Celtic harvest celebration, Samhain (pronounced “sow-in”), there’s no proof whatsoever to suggest that the Celts dressed in costumes, begged candy from neighbors or staged elaborate haunted scares (although they probably did hold major feasts complete with alcohol).

(12) The Horror Writers Association website has a fine array of posts about the holiday by its members. Today’s entry is “Halloween Haunts: Souled” by Tonya Hurley.

We almost drove past it until I noticed the line snaking around the side of the nondescript-looking Dutch Colonial house on the canal. It hardly looked like the scene of any crime let alone that crime — The Amityville Horror. “112 Ocean Avenue.  That’s it!” I shouted with half excitement and equal parts guilt. The latest family to own the house was moving out and this was hyped as a yard sale guaranteed to top them all.  Shoppers and rubberneckers from miles around gathered to land a piece of horror history, joking with each other, retelling tall tales, mixing myths with fact about the house and the crime like a demonic game of telephone as they waited. A quick walk through the home yielded little contents owned by the DeFeo family, the original owners, who were famously murdered there…

(13) Amy Wallace has updated her Wired article “Sci-Fi’s Hugo Awards and the Battle for Pop Culture’s Soul”.

It is August 2015, and things are looking up for Team Humanity. Or are they? A record 11,700-plus people have bought memberships to the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, Washington, where the Hugo winners are soon to be announced. A record number have also forked over dues of at least $40 in time to be allowed to vote, and almost 6,000 cast ballots, 65 percent more than ever before.

But are the new voters Puppies? Or are they, in the words of Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin, “gathering to defend the integrity of the Hugos”? Just before 8 pm on August 22, in a vast auditorium packed with “trufans” dressed in wizard garb, corsets, chain mail, and the like, one question is on most attendee’s minds: Will the Puppies prevail?

The evening begins with an appearance by a fan cosplaying as the Grim Reaper, and that turns out to be an omen for the Puppies. By evening’s end, not a single Puppy-endorsed candidate takes home a rocket. In the five categories that had only Puppy-provided nominees on the ballot—Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Related Work, and Best Editors for Short and Long Form—voters choose “No Award.”

Earlier, Beale explained to me that his plan was a “Xanatos gambit”—“that’s where you set it up so that no matter what your enemy does, he loses and you win.” No surprise then, that in an email he sends after the awards ceremony, Beale is crowing. “The scorched-earth strategy being pursued by the SJWs in science fiction is evidence that we hold the initiative and we are winning,” he writes. The number of major categories in which no awards are given “demon­strates the extent to which science fiction has been politi­cized and degraded by their far left politics.”

Quotes from pro writers only – Kloos, Bellet, Correia, Torgersen, Vox Day, George R.R. Martin, N.K. Jemisin.

Zero quotes from fans, who merely run and vote for the awards. Yet Brad R. Torgersen is outraged that still another pro, Sarah A. Hoyt, wasn’t interviewed.

[Thanks to Michael J. Walsh,Tom Galloway, David K.M. Klaus, Martin Morse Wooster, David Doering, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

First Annual Canopus Award Winners Announced

Canopus Award Logo100 Year Starship (100YSS) has announced the winners of the inaugural 2015 Canopus Award honoring excellence in interstellar writing.

Previously Published Long-Form Fiction 

  • InterstellarNet: Enigma, Edward M. Lerner (Published by FoxAcre)

Previously Published Short-Form Fiction 

  • “The Waves,” Ken Liu (Originally published in Asimov’s December 2012)

Original Fiction

  • “Everett’s Awakening,” Robert Buckalew writing as Ry Yelcho

Original Non-Fiction

  • “Finding Earth 2.0 from the Focus of the Solar Gravitational Lens,” Louis D. Friedman & Slava G. Turyshev

The winners were announced during Science Fiction Stories Night at 100YSS’s fourth annual public symposium in Santa Clara, CA.

Award judges included writer and 100YSS Creative and Editorial director Jason Batt; author and former Wall Street Journal reporter August Cole; Founder of International Speechwriting Associates Kathleen Colgan; teacher at the University of Edinburgh in the School of Education and Leadership, Janet DeVigne; editor Jaym Gates; 100YSS Principal and former astronaut Mae Jemison, M.D.; Chapman University creative writing student Alec Medén; Rutgers University Professor Ronke Olabisi, Ph.D.; faculty and advisor to the Singularity University David Orban; Georgia high school freshman Bailey Stanley; writer and anthropologist Juliette Wade, Ph.D.; Aeronautical and Astronautical engineer Paul Webber; journalist Sofia Webber;astrobiologist and creator of Yuri’s Night Loretta Whitesides; and,Major General Ken Wisian.

The full press release follows the jump.

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South Pasadena Screening of Ray Bradbury’s Halloween Tree

ScreenBy John King Tarpinian: The South Pasadena Library was one of many libraries that loved Ray, and Ray felt the same way.  Their meeting room is an original Carnegie Library, with the new library built onto it, unlike most that have been torn down.  This room can comfortably seat 125 people.  The room was full.

Two author/artists were in attendance. Gris Grimly, who did the newly illustrated edition of Halloween Tree, talked about how Ray inspired him.  Gris brought along the book’s original artwork for people to see.  He also brought a case of books, all of which were gone by the end of the evening.

The other was T.E. Grau who also spoke.  Ted heard about Ray’s home being demolished because of File770.  He immediately went over to the house and with a minor bribe secured a few pieces of the house.


There were three members of Ray Bradbury’s Pandemonium Theatre Company, as was a friend of Ray’s to whom he dedicated one of his books.  One of the beneficiaries of Forrest J Ackerman’s estate was also in attendance. A one-man-show is being planned for next year where an actor will be playing Ray and talking about his career, ala Mark Twain.

Luckily, a number of families brought their children to see this Emmy winning one-hour and nine minute film.  They must have loved it since all you heard coming from the little ones were giggles. I’d say a good number of adults in attendance had not seen the film, in which the main character was voiced by Leonard Nimoy.

That pretty much wraps things up.  A lovely evening populated with people who were unaware of this sweet film and those of us who pay tribute to Ray Bradbury whenever we can.


Peter S. Beagle eBooks from Conlan Press

Conlan Press logoThe big news is – Peter S. Beagle’s ouerve is finally available in digital form.

The Last Unicorn — the only fantasy classic that has never been commercially available in eBook format – has been released in two electronic editions. Along with it the company is releasing seven previously-published Peter S. Beagle titles and four new ones. This set is a heavily-promoted worldwide Amazon exclusive (non-Kindle ebook editions will be released next year) and all titles are DRM-free. Preorder pages are live now, with an official release date of November 1.

THE LAST UNICORN: CLASSIC EDITION. Cover by Rebekah Naomi Cox. Direct sales link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016SBMNO0


THE LAST UNICORN: DELUXE EDITION. Contains the text of Peter’s classic novel, its Hugo and Nebula award-winning sequel “Two Hearts,” and an extensive interview with Peter. Cover by Rebekah Naomi Cox. Direct sales link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016SBMNM2

TLU-Deluxe_456x730FOUR YEARS, FIVE SEASONS (new story collection). Five fantasy stories set during Peter’s teenage years in the Bronx, featuring himself and his friends from ages 11 through 15. Cover by Connor Cochran. Direct sales link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016P6K3O0

LILA THE WEREWOLF AND OTHER TALES (new story collection). 6 classic Beagle stories and 10 new ones collected here for the first time. Introduction by Catherynne M. Valente. Cover by Sarah Allegra and Connor Cochran. Direct sales link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016P6K3SG

Lila_456x730SMÉAGOL, DÉAGOL, AND BEAGLE: ESSAYS FROM THE HEADWATERS OF MY VOICE (new nonfiction collection). Peter explores the roots of his own creative inspiration in 10 revealing essays about the artists, writers, musicians, teachers, and family members who have most profoundly shaped his own work and style. Includes a detailed behind-the-scenes look at Peter’s “Adventure with Crazy Ralphie” (i.e., his scripting of Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 animated version of THE LORD OF THE RINGS). Cover by Sarah Allegra and Connor Cochran. Direct sales link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016PO4ODI



THESE ARE THEY (new nonfiction collection). In the ’60s Peter wrote several major magazine pieces about his front-line experiences during the ’60s Civil Rights movement, but the commissioning magazines were afraid to print them, and it wasn’t until the mid-’90s that a radically shortened and watered-down version of just one of them was finally made available. This edition presents Peter’s unfiltered, unbowdlerized original drafts for the first time — and given race relations in the United States in 2015 they are more relevant than ever. A must-read. Cover design by Connor Cochran. Direct sales link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016P6K0O8

TheseAreThey_456x730I SEE BY MY OUTFIT: CROSS-COUNTRY BY SCOOTER, AN ADVENTURE (nonfiction travel memoir). Brilliant and evocative tale of Peter’s 1963 scooter journey from New York to California, in the company of his childhood friend, artist Phil Sigunick. For the first time ever Peter’s text is accompanied by 15 pieces of Phil’s beautiful full-color artwork. Cover layout and design by Connor Cochran, featuring a page from the actual AAA Triptik used by Peter and Phil on their trip. Direct sales link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016PY2NCM

Outfit_456x730A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE (Peter’s acclaimed debut novel). Cover by Ann Monn and Connor Cochran. The photo was taken in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, the place that inspired Peter S. Beagle to write this book when he was only 19 years old. Direct sales link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016QPVDGC

AFPP2_456x730THE LINE BETWEEN (2006 story collection). 11 stories, including “Two Hearts” (the sequel to THE LAST UNICORN) and “Mr. Sigerson,” Peter’s take on Sherlock Holmes. Cover by Sarah Allegra and Connor Cochran. Direct sales link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016SBMNP4



THE MAGICIAN OF KARAKOSK: TALES FROM THE INNKEEPER’S WORLD. 6 stories set in the same world as Peter’s award-winning novel THE INNKEEPER’S SONG. Previously published in 1997 under the title GIANT BONES. Cover design by Ann Monn and Connor Cochran. Direct sales link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016P5VMMS

MOK_456x730MIRROR KINGDOMS: THE BEST OF PETER S. BEAGLE, selected by Jonathan Strahan. Ebook edition of the 2010 Subterranean Press collection. 18 stories. Cover by Sarah Allegra and Connor Cochran. Direct sales link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016SBMNLS

MirrorKingdoms_456x730SLEIGHT OF HAND (2011 story collection). 13 stories, including “The Best Worst Monster” and “The Woman Who Married the Man in the Moon,” a Schmendrick tale set before THE LAST UNICORN. Cover by Sarah Allegra and Connor Cochran. Direct sales link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016RL10GI

SleightOfHand_456x730WE NEVER TALK ABOUT MY BROTHER (2009 story collection). Nine stories, and one poem cycle inspired by the Unicorn Tapestries. Cover by Sarah Allegra and Connor Cochran. Direct sales link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016PY2NGI Brother2_456x730

SXSW Starts Fresh Controversy with Announcement of Online Harassment Summit

SXSW has announced the addition of a day-long Online Harassment Summit to SXSW 2016. The event was created to allay the outrage over their decision early this week to cancel a pair of gaming panels — one essentially about Gamergate, the other about anti-harassment efforts in gaming. However, some of the announced speakers are saying they may not participate, and others are criticizing the implied plan to include GamerGate allies Mercedes Carrera and Nick Robalik.

SXSW’s announcement of the Online Harassment Summit began with an apology:

Earlier this week we made a mistake. By cancelling two sessions we sent an unintended message that SXSW not only tolerates online harassment but condones it, and for that we are truly sorry.

The resulting feedback from the individuals involved and the community-at-large resonated loud and clear. While we made the decision in the interest of safety for all of our attendees, cancelling sessions was not an appropriate response. We have been working with the authorities and security experts to determine the best way to proceed.

It is clear that online harassment is a problem that requires more than two panel discussions to address.

To that end, we’ve added a day-long summit to examine this topic. Scheduled on Saturday, March 12, the Online Harassment Summit will take place at SXSW 2016, and we plan to live-stream the content free for the public throughout the day.

Key SXSW supporter BuzzFeed had publicly demanded both programs be restored, and that was a component of the announcement —

The summit will include Randi Harper, Katherine Cross and Caroline Sinders from “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games,” as well as Perry Jones, Mercedes Carrera, and Lynn Walsh from “SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community.” We are working with both groups to develop the most productive focus for their appearances.

Or at least it was expected to be. A post at Re/code now says SXSW bungled the announcement and panelists are pulling out.

“Level Up” panel organizer Caroline Sinders said —

In light of the current SXSW announcement, we were not told that Save Point would join the Anti-Harassment Summit. This feels like another misstep from SXSW. Having an entire summit on Anti-Harassment could have been a really great endeavor.

We recommended speakers, and worked with SXSW to really help curate and create what could have been a really fantastic, invigorating, and educational panel. We support Save Point being int he Gaming tract of SXSW but having their panel [sic] participant in the anti harassment creates multiple security concerns for new speakers as well as attendees. This just seems like further proof that SXSW does not understand harassment or how to produce a safe, inclusive and tolerant space for speakers and attendees.

Antiharassment speaker Randi Harper is also critical of plans to include Gamergate panelists in the summit.

Katherine Cross, “Level Up” panelist and sociologist, wrote —

Other summit participants may follow the lead of the “Level Up” panelists if they decline to be involved.

Sarah Jeong, Contributing Editor at Vice’s Motherboard, warned, “If the original Level Up panel backs out, I will be backing out as well.”

Brianna Wu says, “I think SXSW needs to pick up the phone, ask [Randi Harper] what she needs to feel safe at this event and make it happen.”

Confirmed speakers originally announced by SXSW included —

  • Monika Bickert (Head of Product Policy, Facebook)
  • Soraya Chemaly (Writer/Director, WMC Speech Project)
  • Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-Massachusetts)
  • Wendy Davis (Women’s Rights Advocate; former TX State Senator)
  • Mark DeLoura (VP Technology, formerly with Sony, Nintendo, Google, and White House OSTP)
  • Mary Anne Franks (Law Professor, University of Miami School of Law and Legislative & Tech Policy Director, Cyber Civil Rights Initiative)
  • Jonathan Greenblatt (CEO and National Director, Anti-Defamation League)
  • Umair Haque (umairhaque.com)
  • Sarah Jeong (Contributing Editor, Vice Motherboard)
  • Emma J. Llansó (Director, Free Expression Project, Center for Democracy & Technology)
  • Emily May (Co-founder and Executive Director, Hollaback!)
  • Kelly McBride (Vice President of Academic Programs, The Poynter Institute)
  • Shireen Mitchell (Founder, Digital Sisters and Stop Online Violence Against Women)
  • Nika Nour (Director, Communications and Creative Strategies, Internet Association)
  • Meredith L. Patterson (Security Researcher)
  • Joseph Reagle (Northeastern University and Author, “Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web”)
  • Jeffrey Rosen (President & CEO, National Constitution Center)
  • Lee Rowland (Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project)
  • Ari Ezra Waldman (Associate Professor of Law, New York Law School)
  • Brianna Wu (Head of Development, Giant Spacekat)