Pixel Scroll 10/22 No Certain Elk

(1) Nick Skywalker’s touch of genius —

(2) Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow is teasing plans for a sequel. Cinema Blend says here’s what to expect:

It all has to do with what B.D. Wong’s Dr. Wu said in this summer’s blockbuster: “We’re not always going to be the only ones who can make a dinosaur.” In an interview with Wired U.K., Trevorrow said he found that to be an interesting idea:

What if this went open source? It’s almost like InGen is Mac, but what if PC gets their hands on it? What if there are 15 different entities around the world who can make a dinosaur?

Though Trevorrow admits this isn’t really covered in the original movie, it’s something in which he sees potential for growth. Looking back to the first Jurassic Park film, we saw Wayne Knight’s Dennis Nedrey attempt to steel the genetic material from dinosaurs and smuggle them off the island for a third party. While he didn’t succeed, this seems to be along the same lines that Trevorrow is talking about.

(3) Tom Galloway: “Seems Mark Zuckerberg’s project for this year was to read a lot of books (for values of “lot” that amounts to one every two weeks. Well, he is busy). There’s a Facebook page to serve as an online book club for them, and the latest choice is the Hugo-winning Three Body Problem.”

(4) David Gerrold has made his novelette “Entanglements,” published in the May/June issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, a free read via Dropbox. [PDF file]

(5) Aya de Leon’s article “Space Babe Fantasies: On Geoff Marcy and Sexism in Science and Sci-Fi” for The Toast begins with a headline example of harassment, and moves on to comment about the genre, including three paragraphs about Sad Puppies.

Last Thursday, my colleagues and I received an email from the Chancellor of UC Berkeley informing us that Marcy had resigned. A panel had found that he had sexually harassed female students for nearly a decade. According to Azeen Ghorayshi, the reporter who broke the story for BuzzFeed, Marcy’s great success was part of the reason why his pattern of harassment went unchallenged. As Ghorayshi explained, “Marcy’s is the rare ilk of scientific research that is capable of both reaching the peak of his field and capturing the public imagination.”

Ghorayshi lays out in painful detail how Marcy’s behavior was both widespread and well known; her article documents incidents of alleged misconduct with female colleagues dating back to the 1980s. BuzzFeed also noted that “UC Berkeley is currently under federal investigation for its handling of dozens of sexual violence complaints on campus.”

(6) Adam-Troy Castro offers an analogy in “Enough With the Fershlugginer Chocolate Cake, Already”.

Look, I’m going to explain this in terms you might be able to understand.

I like chocolate cake just fine.

I think chocolate cake is one of the things that makes life worth living.

As a fat guy, I not only return to chocolate cake more often than is healthy for me, but can actually wax rhapsodic about great slices of chocolate cake from my past.

I’m perfectly capable of sitting down with you and geeking out over chocolate cake.

But I can’t eat just chocolate cake.

(7) And apparently you can’t drink Pepsi Perfect either.

“Back to the Future” fans had hoped to be sipping a Pepsi Perfect by now, but most of them are making sad eyes at their computers after facing a fast sellout of a special release of the bottles.

Fans have been waiting for this day ever since the 1989 sequel, when Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrived in the future on October 21, 2015. In honor of the film, Pepsi decided to make 6,500 limited-edition bottles of Pepsi Perfect available.

Pepsi Perfect makes a cameo appearance at an ’80s-theme cafe in the future. Fans got extra-excited about the prospect of owning it because it feels both iconic and attainable (selling for $20.15, about £13, AU$28). The release date? October 21, 2015, naturally.

Now imagine the stress when Back to the Futurites discovered that some of the Pepsi Perfect bottles went on sale early and that other people had snapped them up. Actually, you don’t have to imagine it. Here’s a selection of what they said:

Amazon reviewer Pissed AF wrote: “I am SO upset!! This didn’t even pop up in the search! And you released it a whole hours early? Are you kidding me?????????” This is currently the top most-helpful review on the Pepsi Perfect Amazon page.

(8) Notes Adweek: “During his stay in the future, McFly often references a copy of USA Today, which was created specifically for the movie. To celebrate the occasion, USA Today wrapped its paper in a replica of the movie edition.”

(9) Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd rolled onto the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live in a classic DeLorean and got a standing ovation just for showing up.

(10) Today’s Birthday Boys

  • October 22, 1938 — Christopher Lloyd
  • October 22, 1952 — Jeff Goldblum

(11) Now for something completely different. Entertainment.ie names its “Top 10 Time Travel Movies That Aren’t Back To The Future”

(12) How It Should Have Ended – why Big Hero 6 should have been a lot shorter.

(13) James H. Burns praises the Mets’ broadcast crew:

Another reason for those who admire near Hall of Fame first baseman Keith Hernandez (famous for his stints with the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets), now a long time Mets broadcaster, to like him:  In the local post game after the Mes clinched the National League title, when talking about first baseman Luca Duda, “We’ve seen him go from the depths of Mordor, to the heights of the Swiss Alps…”

Frequently, during unusual moments in Mets seasons past, Hernandez and lead broadcaster Gary Cohen, and former Mets pitcher Ron Darling (also a broadcaster with TBS), will discuss ancient Saturday mornings, and cartoons; CHILLER THEATRE; Kurt Vonnegut, and puppet shows….

(14) An artist used Google Street View to visit all the places in Around the World in 80 Days and created postcards of those places.

(15) Mark Kelly in Part 4 of his “Rereading Isaac Asimov”  series comments —

“Nightfall” is still, I would guess, Asimov’s most popular story, though it was one of his earliest stories, and one which Asimov came to resent — he felt that he must have improved as a writer over the subsequent decades (the story was published in 1941, just two years after his first-published story) — and was perplexed by how fans kept gravitating to this early story.

(16) Gregory N. Hullender touts a new article, “The Locus Reading List and Hugo Awards” at Rocket Stack Rank.

This new article looks for selection bias in Locus Recommended Reading List short fiction over the past fifteen years. We found that although stories from the reading list regularly make up about 70% of Hugo-nominated stories, there doesn’t seem to be any actual bias, either in terms of which sources they come from or in terms of the authors.

So while we can’t speak for how good a job Locus does with novels, we don’t find any obvious problems with their recommendations for short fiction.

(17) Really funny compilation of comics bloopers from Mental Floss.

Here are some classic screw-ups, printing errors, and unfortunate coincidences that have graced the pages of comic books and newspaper strips over the years.

(18) We end with a serious fan edit of what Han Solo sees before his eyes when he tells Rey and Finn about the past in the new trailer for The Force Awakens.

[Thanks to Tom Galloway, Steven H Silver, James H. Burns, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jack Lint.]

243 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/22 No Certain Elk

  1. Greg Hullender: I think the implication was that these people had evolved to need light, and so the darkness drove them mad. The stars were simply the focus of their insanity. It also spoke of people who managed to survive it – people of very strong or coarse character, for example.

    My interpretation of the reason for the collapse of civilization every time in a few millenia when the darkness came in Nightfall was that the sudden visibility of all the stars brought the realization to the population that their “universe” was in fact, only a tiny fraction of the real universe, and that it was almost certain that other civilizations like theirs existed elsewhere — that they were not, in fact, as unique and special as they’d always believed.

    Consider the legends in human civilization which have arisen around the appearance of the galaxy of stars at night: that these are angels, or powerful beings, or the souls of those who have gone, etc. That there may very well be other intelligent beings and other civilizations elsewhere (Fermi’s Paradox notwithstanding). That there may be a very pressing reason to want to try to develop technology to go out there and see what those stars really are. Consider how much influence the visibility of the universe has had on our mythology and religions. Consider how human civilization would be very different now, if that influence had never existed.

    For a civilization which has never had to face the realization of how small they really are in the scheme of things, which has always believed themselves to be the totality of the universe, this would certainly be a mind-blowing revelation.

  2. Heather Rose Jones: I’m having a similar reaction to the various short stories that Aliette de Bodard has put out in her Shattered Wings world. (Not sure if it has a collective name yet.)

    That is de Bodard’s Xuya Universe. I previously posted a list of links to all the stories which can be read online for free here.

  3. @Jim Henley,

    My favourite M-less Banks is “Crow Road”. It’s hard to go past a novel with “It was the day my grandmother exploded” for an opening line.

  4. Live-Action TV Tournament/Brackets – Nomination Stage?

    The blessed Meredith has vetted a long-list of people’s suggestions in the prior thread. You can use it as a memory prompt, but may nominate eligible shows that aren’t on the list too. According to the nomination rules, which are…

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…
    1. Each person can formally nominate up to 5 shows for the tournament.
    2. Each vote is equally valuable: 1 point. You can nominate fewer than five works, but your nominations don’t get any extra weight thereby.
    3. If you insist on listing more than five works, I’ll count the first five and ignore the rest.
    4. If you list a work more than once on your ballot, it only counts once.
    5. That said, if you want to nominate God Stalk, that’s totally cool.

    Crazy, right?

    6. Voting will close so?metime Sunday morning, EST North America time. (I think the clocks turn back this weekend, so not EDT.)
    7. Tally will be a straight count. (No EPH.)
    8. The top 64 vote-getters will be seeded into the tournament, assuming at least 64 things get votes. (Fallback is 48 or 32.)
    9. Regional seedings and brackets will go up sometime Sunday PM. Then brackets. I have at least one low-cost prize in mind for the winner of a bracket contest. Then the tournament itself starts, probably Monday night.
    Let me stress one thing to forestall confusion since it’s different from some of the other brackets we’ve done. You have not nominated anything before this post got published. Everything up to now has been shooting the breeze, brainstorming or campaigning.

    SAMPLE BALLOT (Note: Not my actual ballot):
    My Mother the Car
    Space: Above and Beyond
    Falling Skies

    Eligibility Reminders
    1. SF & fantasy television series, broadly considered. Supernatural horror is in bounds; mimetic horror is not.
    2. Live-action only. No cartoons. No puppets.
    3. Continuing series only. It can be one-and-done, but it must have been programmed as a continuing series. SPECIAL RULING: The Prisoner has been ruled as eligible after discussion and research, for Various Reasons.
    4. Incept date no later than 2010. This cutoff leaves Game of Thrones outside the window.?
    5. Whole series will be the contestants.
    6. That said, for shows that had a reboot or a decade-plus hiatus, the revival is considered to be a separate show. That divides BSG and Doctor Who into two potential contestants each. Assuming anyone wants to nominate any of the four options there.

  5. I have a feeling this round is going to be more painful than any of the matches. Picking just five? *whimper*

    (Not a criticism. I just need a crate of Cally’s forehead cloths…)

  6. @Meredith: Hah! Yes. Would you believe I was thinking about limiting it to three per person at one point?

    I’m going to need forehead cloths for my own nominations. I’m actually curious what the nomination histogram is going to look like: power-law? bell-curve? flat line?

  7. I’ll go…

    Blakes 7
    Voyagers! (don’t you judge me, I could only watch Doctor Who during the summer when I could stay awake late enough.)
    Doctor Who, 1964 run.
    Xena: Warrior Princess

    If Farscape is disqualified for puppets then God Stalk.

  8. The worst is they changed the music. I hated it when they recycled lines like ‘Ill never join you’, but the score is what makes it star wars. Leave that exactly the same and focus on a new story.

    It’s a theme. A leitmotif. It’s meant to be adapted and used differently to evoke different emotional responses at different times.

    Speaking as somebody who saw Star Wars (I refuse to call it “Episode 4”) at age 7, in the theater, in 1977, the music immediately (like, one or two notes in) made my tear ducts star to well up.

    From my 7-year-old self, who was so deeply betrayed upon seeing “Episode 1” that I haven’t bothered (and won’t) to watch the other prequels, PLEASE MAKE THIS ONE NOT SUCK.

  9. Let’s see …

    Babylon 5
    Red Dwarf
    Land of the Lost. (I was young & needed the money)

  10. Middleman
    Robin of Sherwood
    Babylon 5
    Buffy the Vampire Slater
    Doctor Who (new)

    I’m half inclined to ask my husband to vote, because while his votes will not match mine (we likely have overlap of exactly 2) they will be mostly shows I really love and had to exclude here to my heartbreak.

    ETA:I spotted the typo after I posted … but I think I’ll leave it.

  11. JJ: The Xuya universe is a different series. I was talking about the “Paris with fallen angels” stories, revolving around the new novel The House of Shattered Wings.

  12. I need a forehead cloth for Battlestar Galactica (the reboot). I spent four years recap-blogging that show. It did go off the rails. But it laid rails where they’d never gone before. At its best it was Gene Wolfe: The TV Series. It raised the bar for acting in genre shows. But it did go off the rails. But it had great episodes even late in the series. But –

    It’s probably on my ballot. And not just because the title of one of the show’s greatest episodes gave Patrick and me a song chorus either. (Note: the song itself ended up being Einstein Intersection fanfic more than anything.) In the end, I think BSG’s performances justify it to posterity even before we reckon with its other successes and failures.

  13. Men Into Space
    The Outer Limits
    The Prisoner
    Star Trek: The Original Series
    Twilight Zone

  14. TV Nominations:

    (This is already hard. Just five? OK, this is a combination of “really really love” and probably double-faking myself out by going for the ones I think other people are less likely to nominate.)

    The Addams Family
    Blood Ties
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer [ok, so I could probably count on other people nominating it, but I never said I’d be consistent.]
    Night Gallery

  15. Only five? Arghh! I’m going to need a truckload of forehead cloths.

    Battlestar Galactica (New)
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    The X-Files

    (dithers back and forth for a good five minutes)

    Babylon 5

    (whimpers for Vincent and Catherine–maybe somebody else will sneak them in)

    (spots Lenora Rose’s typo—snort! choke!–and has a sudden vision of Mr. Beale pissing his pants when confronted by a calm, contemptuous Buffy)

  16. Oh frakkin hell. Five?

    Battlestar Galactica (New)
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    Stargate SG-1
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    I’m headspacing Atlantis and Angel onto the last 2.

  17. @Jim Henley
    re: my nominations

    The Outer Limits
    Star Trek – Original
    The Twilight Zone – Original

    [whinge] – Couldn’t you have let us have 10? Why couldn’t we have 10? Five is too hard! What’s wrong with 10? Or….15!!!! [/whinge]

  18. Ten would be so much easier. Siiiigh. *pokes longlist some more, despondently*

    (If it were ten I’d be complaining that I need fifteen, obviously.)

    (Two of my noms are really easy choices, actually. Its picking the other three that’s awful.)

  19. Blake’s 7
    Due South
    Pushing Daisies
    Star Trek Enterprise

    (Honourable mentions to: Round the Twist, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Red Dwarf, Xena: Warrior Princess, Eerie Indiana, The Avengers, The Mighty Boosh, Warehouse 13, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Birds of Prey, The Munsters, any Star Trek’s not mentioned above, and Battlestar Galactica Original Series. THIS WAS AWFUL. If you need ANY EXTRA TITLES to get to 64, Jim…)

    (Preferred bribe? No? Okay. ;))

  20. 1. Star Trek Deep Space Nine
    1. Star Trek The Next Generation
    3. UFO
    4. Blake’s Seven
    5. Battlestar Galactica New

    Now: UFO had its weaknesses but nothing else has shaped my imagination so much. As for BG – it betrayed me so completely and so despicably that there are times when I would have preferred not to have watched it at all. But I will just pretend that the last episode DOES NOT EXIST

  21. Anna Feruglio Dal Dan: UFO had its weaknesses but nothing else has shaped my imagination so much.

    Despite its flaws, I will always have a special love for that series. Growing up in a mundane family in a small town, I had very little exposure or access to SFFnal things. Star Trek and UFO, along with Heinlein, LeGuin, and L’Engle, were pretty much my first SFF influences — and they sparked a lifelong passion for the genre.

  22. @Rose Embolism

    Psst they have to have started before 2010. I think you get to reroll a couple of those. 🙂

  23. Banks books-
    the bridge, the wasp factory, walking on glass, the crow road
    Complicity I liked, but a bit too on the nose
    nothing after that I’d bother with
    the other earlier ones are worth a read

  24. Blake’s 7
    Sapphire and Steel
    The Prisoner

    – hmm. Can one just nominate “Quatermass” as a whole? En masse, as it were? If so, Quatermass. (The Quatermass Experiment, Quatermass II, Quatermass and the Pit, and, well, Quatermass.) If not, um, have The Outer Limits instead.

  25. @Steve Wright

    You know, The Outer Limits got a lot less nods in the brainstorming session than I expected.

    PS. There are two of them so you probably want to pick a date.

  26. Old Who, new BSG, B5, Buffy, Quantum Leap.

    (There’s quite a lot of standing-in-for going on there, but never mind.)

    My “shows with puppets are totally valid honest” vote would have been Captain Scarlet 😉

  27. @Mark

    I’m sure someone who hopefully isn’t me will run a limited-plus-story-arcs bracket and a puppets-and-animation bracket.

    But if its me The Clangers will totally be in there.

  28. The Prisoner
    Buffy The Vampire Slayer
    Mystery Science Theater 3000
    Star Trek: The Original Series

  29. The Addams Family
    Red Dwarf
    The Outer Limits (1963-65)
    Twilight Zone (1985-1989)
    Twilight Zone (1959-1964)

  30. “For a civilization which has never had to face the realization of how small they really are in the scheme of things, which has always believed themselves to be the totality of the universe, this would certainly be a mind-blowing revelation.”

    And now I’m thinking about Puppies again.

  31. Star Trek:Deep Space Nine
    Babylon 5
    Space:Above and Beyond
    Night Gallery
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Five. Only five. The pain, the pain!

    Send those lavender-scented forehead cloths right over here.

  32. My list of candidates for TV nominations is down to 25 items. Which would be fine if Rule 3 took into account the new concepts of fiveness based on the recent exciting developments in Bealean logic.

  33. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan:

    But I will just pretend that the last episode DOES NOT EXIST

    I have always maintained that BSG really ends when Starbuck pins her own photo to the Wall of the Dead.

  34. Banks non-M: I love Crow Road and Complicity though the latter is not for those of a nervous disposition. Transition I enjoyed but feel I need to read again to understand more, or confuse the issue one of the two. Banks did claim once that the non-M books subsidised his sci-fi writing habit, some are thin on plot but strong on character story.

    The recent BBC Stonemouth adaptation got good reviews as well and the Crow Road one was very well done.

    TV Noms: (five?! Frell!)
    Farscape (my favorite genre show until PoI)
    UFO (for its time very original and influential)
    Sapphire and Steel (creeped me out, much more so than Who)
    Blakes 7 (wobbly sets and all, the anti-Trek with limitless cynical moral greyness)
    Red Dwarf (Lister snogging a psiren, just thinking of it makes me smile)

    On the cusp: Babylon 5 (S5 was weak, though there were reasons); BSG (New) never got past Razor and reports of S4 put me off finishing; X-Files, compulsive viewing to begin with but then the Chris Carter Effect happened; Fringe, though the fringe science was dubious and the show wobbled to the end; Star Trek will get through anyway, DS9 was my favorite; Twilight Zone & Outer Limits, wish I could remember which ones I’ve seen; would love to be able to nominate all of Nigel Kneal’s work, Quatermass, Stone Tape, Year of the Sex Olympics but they are all mini-series. Future Bracket?

  35. Ok, it’s the only one I threw out there (I was late to the party), so I feel honorbound to nominate it even though it’ll go out in the first round:

    Beauty and the Beast.


    The Avengers
    The Prisoner

    Picking five is HARD. I’m picking ones that I haven’t seen picked yet, because some of my other choices have already been picked. (Gosh, if everyone does this, we’ll have All The Things on the ballot…..)

  36. Babylon 5
    The Adventures of Brisco County
    Red Dwarf
    Star Trek: The Next Generation

  37. @Peter J:

    My list of candidates for TV nominations is down to 25 items. Which would be fine if Rule 3 took into account the new concepts of fiveness based on the exciting developments in Bealean logic.

    LOLFRIRL, as we say now.

    @Aaron: Which Twilight Zone? Original?

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