Pixel Scroll 12/20 Grandma Got Run Over By a Filer

(1) HARRY POTTER ON STAGE. The lead roles in Harry Potter and The Cursed Child have been cast: Jamie Parker as Harry Potter, Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger, and Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley.

(2) BABY FACE. Mark Zuckerberg seems just as excited about the launch of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” this week as everybody else — judging by the two new pictures he posted on his personal Facebook page.

First of all, he dressed up his daughter Max as a jedi, surrounded by Star Wars related plushy toys, on December 17 with just a one line caption — “The force is strong with this one”

On December 18, Zuckerberg then posted a picture of his Puli, a type of Hungarian sheepdog, Beast dressed as a Sith (basically a baddie). The picture was accompanied by just one line too — “Meanwhile, Beast turned to the dark side”

(3) NO ANIME CONJI 2016. The “Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation” has canceled Anime Conji 2016, which had been scheduled for March 25-27 in Anaheim, CA.

We have collectively decided to focus on expanding and improving each of our events, bringing a level of quality seen in our larger shows to our smaller events. Unfortunately to meet this goal, Anime Conji will have to take a small break.

Refund information at the web page.

(4) EXPANDED COVERAGE. Frequent File 770 contributor James H. Burns set up the Sunday New York Times article “Incredible Bulk at a Comic Book Warehouse in Brooklyn” about Joe Koch’s comics and science fiction book warehouse — a big injection of publicity for the once-“Secret” Bookstore he wrote about here last month.

“There’s two neat things to know,” says Jim. “One is that Corey Kilgannon is a terrific writer; we first met when he did a story about WFAN, New York’s sports -talk radio station — the only time I made a cover-story in a New York paper, either as a writer, or in this case, a participant/interviewee!  The second is that after File 770 ran the story about Joe’s place, just after Thanksgiving, several of the File 770 faithful made their way to Brooklyn!” The Times story begins:

It’s beginning to look a little like Christmas in Joseph Koch’s Comic Book Warehouse.

In classic Koch style, a Christmas tree was suspended from the ceiling, with a bloody, severed ghoul’s head hanging (by the eyelids, of course) from the side.

This passes as mistletoe for customers entering Mr. Koch’s world: a cavernous second-floor space that he has run for the past 30 years, in an industrial section of Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

It houses one of the largest collections of comic books in the country. Also on offer are memorabilia, action figures, books, records, posters and the like.

It is a back issue browsing paradise, with comics filling long white cardboard boxes, placed on shelves extending high overhead.

Mr. Koch, 66, refers to the place as his “Warehouse of Wonders,” with a vast inventory that he calls “The Avalanche.” It consists of “the largest assemblage of sci-fi, comics and fantasy genre-related ephemera on the planet,” according to Mr. Koch, whose trove nevertheless remains relatively obscure outside the world of hard-core comics lovers.

(5) MAGIC NUMBER. “Paul Weimer’s Top 5 Reads Of 2015” at Helen Lowe…on anything really.

2015 has been a bumper crop of books for me to devour. I’ve enjoyed the end of series of old favorites, the start of new series by beloved authors, and eagerly tried some debut authors too. Limiting myself to five was difficult, but here are my favorite five books of the year….

(6) MANATEE SEASON. Larry Correia renews a Christmas tradition with “Christmas Noun 8: Too Noun Much Adjective” at Monster Hunter Nation.

“’Sup, nerds,” John Ringo said as he came back into the room. He adjusted his kilt and sat down. “Sorry my fine Cuban cigar lit by hundred dollar bills break took so long, but I got spun up and wrote another bestselling novel during it. What did I miss? Hey, who ate all the Cheetos?”

“Meehwhoooooooo.”

“Cthulhu showed up because Correia pissed off the DM again.”

“I have an eighteen in charisma. I try to seduce Cthulhu!” Brad exclaimed, because every game night has that guy.

And that’s just the scene about him trying to think up an idea for the post. The actual story has 12 parts and an epilog.

(7) SUPPORTING (DIE) CAST. Brad R. Torgersen was so pleased to have lines he wrote his own “A Christmas Noun: The Unauthorized Spinoff – teaser trailer”, though it’s his comment at Monster Hunter Nation that deserves a blue ribbon.

I . . . I have been given a significant speaking role in this year’s CHRISTMAS NOUN episode. And it’s an accurate speaking role! They say only Audie Murphy could play Audie Murphy, but all I have to say is, Audie Murphy, eat your heart out, son. Meanwhile, do I roll ten-sided dice for skill performance? Or is that a 20-sider, minus half a dozen penalties for cursed afflictions assigned via the six-sider cursed afflictions table? What? Wait, I don’t get it. That was the previous universe?? Yeah, shut up, I know I missed two Writer Nerd Games Nights in a row! For hell’s sake, what game are we playing now? Dude, I didn’t even bring the right character sheets. Screw it, I will just act like I know what’s going on, and go with whatever Steve Diamond says. Steve always has pity for me…

(8) RED NOSED DRONE. In “The Christmas Edit” video by Ascending Technologies, a modified AscTec Falcon UAS drone creates Christmas-themed light paintings in the sky.

(9) WHERE REAL WRITERS WORK. An Allen Steele profile published in October, “When the books take over; Walls of shelves dominate sci-fi writer Allen Steele’s Whately workspace”.

Hanging from the railing of the upstairs loft is an enormous yellow banner with black and red lettering spelling out “Robert A. Heinlein Centennial” and bearing the date 2007 beside a black-and-white photo of Heinlein. It’s from a science fiction convention, but it’s a declaration of sorts. There are lots of branches of science fiction these days, with subgenres that include things like steampunk, urban fantasy, soft science fiction, space opera and many more. But Heinlein represents old-school science fiction, often called “hard SF,” the kind that filled Astounding and Galaxy and other seminal magazines and was focused on future events that were mostly plausible and based on real science.

Steele’s work manages a deft trick: It reads, in many ways, like that brand of old-school SF, but it feels quite current, too. The interstellar voyage he portrays in one of his best-known works, “Coyote,” seems as if, given sufficient financial backing, it could well happen in a few decades.

(10) CHEAP SHOT. Writer Beware blogger Victoria Strauss reports she received a nasty bit of payback in “Almond Press Redux: Revenge-Rating A Critic”.

Case in point: Almond Press, whose short story competition I featured here last July. Essentially, the competition was a way for Almond to gather free material for an anthology–the competition winner received a cash prize but none of the other entrants received any payment other than “exposure.”…

Well, Almond Press was not happy with that assessment, which is understandable. But did they change the competition rules? Did they decide to compensate all their authors? Did they contact me to discuss my post or even to threaten me with legal action? No. Nothing that mature. Last week I was checking my books on Goodreads, which I do sometimes to see if there’ve been any new reviews (yes, yes. I know). I noticed a brand-new one-star rating on one of them, from…could it be? Almond Press! …

(11) DEAR MAC. Kate Paulk sent an “Email to MidAmericon II Programming” with a modest suggestion:

In view of the extraordinary levels of hostility and controversy surrounding the Sad Puppies campaigns and the 2015 Hugo Awards, I would like to offer to host one or more panels on the history and goals of the Sad Puppies campaigns.

As one of the organizers of Sad Puppies 4 and an attendee at MidAmericon II, I can offer a factual perspective that has been lacking in a number of circles, leading to a number of people making statements so ill-informed they bordered on actionable libel and slander….

(12) TRAILER PARK. Sychronicity, which its makers compare to Blade Runner, Gattaca and Memento, is coming to theaters January 22

Daring physicist Jim Beale has invented a machine that can fold space-time and ruthless corporate tycoon Klaus Meisner will stop at nothing to get it. When Jim uses the machine to tear open the fabric of the universe, a rare Dahlia appears from the future. But in order to keep the rights to his invention he must prove that it works by finding the flower’s identical match in the present. Jim soon discovers that the Dahlia lies in the hands of the mysterious Abby, who seduces him into revealing his secrets. Convinced that she is in league with Klaus to take ownership of his life’s work, Jim travels back in time to stop the conspiracy before it can happen. But once in the past, Jim uncovers a surprising truth about Abby, the machine, and his own uncertain future.

 

(13) CRIMINAL HAS HIS PRINTS TAKEN BY FBI.“When ‘Return of the Jedi’ Was Stolen at Gunpoint”  at Mental_Floss.

Larry Dewayne Riddick, Jr. had no way of knowing there would someday be an easier way of doing this. In just a few years, pirating feature films for profit—or just for the sake of undermining huge corporations—would be as effortless as clicking a mouse.

But this was 1983. And if Riddick wanted his own personal print of Return of the Jedi to peddle on the black market, he’d have to resort to more crude methods. He’d have to take it by force.

Riddick, 18, stood in the parking lot of the Glenwood Theaters in Overland Park, Kans. and watched as John J. Smith exited the building. Smith was the projectionist; Jedi was finishing its sixth week as the most popular film attraction in the country. It was after midnight. As Smith walked to his car, Riddick came up beside him and flashed a gun. He had come for the movie….

(14) ANNUAL REVIEW. 2015 was a great year for Ann Leckie.

Other things that happened this year: Ancillary Sword won the BSFA! That was super exciting, actually. I figured most voters, no matter how much they liked Sword, would figure I got more than enough recognition last year. And to be entirely honest, that’s a completely valid position to hold. I was super chuffed at the nomination. And that wasn’t all–Sword was nominated for the Nebula and the Hugo as well! And the Hugo nom–well, that was in circumstances that made it clear that a flattering number of readers had a very high opinion of it. So I got to enjoy the Nebs and the Hugos in a very low-stress way–I was pretty sure my book wasn’t going to win–and to happily applaud the results of both.

(15) CAR WARS. On the other hand, it’s been a tough year for law enforcement. The Fulshear, Texas police pulled over this odd crew and got their police car stolen.

[Thanks to Will R., John King Tarpinian, Michael J. Walsh, Eylat Poliner, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day redheadedfemme.]

247 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/20 Grandma Got Run Over By a Filer

  1. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Star Wars (1977)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    2001 (1968)

  2. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    2001 (1968)

  3. 1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    Star Wars (1977)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    2001 (1968)

  4. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    2. 2001 (1968)

  5. 1. Star Wars

    For the novelty value if nothing else.

    2. 2001

    Like Yes lyrics, it seemed deep once. So it wins the nostalgia-vote nod.

    Ghu, what a depressingly meh pair of choices.

  6. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    2001 (1968)

  7. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

    Happy Holidays to all!

  8. Seriously?!

    SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Star Wars (1977)

    Aw, man! Well, first Star Wars is best Star Wars. I think. I may regret this on a re-watch. 😉

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

    Easy peasy.

  9. Forehead Cloths! Getcher penultimate Bracket Forehead Cloths! If you leave them in the box they’re a collector’s item!

  10. 1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    Star Wars (1977)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    2001 (1968)

    Because both were groundbreaking in their own ways.

  11. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

  12. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

    @Hampus – will the next round also include 3rd place playoffs?

  13. Oh good. I was hoping this wouldn’t be an all Star Wars final.

    SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Star Wars (1977)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    2001 (1968)
    Gah. I know 2001 is the more groundbreaking film–but I just didn’t care for it.

  14. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    Star Wars (1977)
    This was a major movie experience for me

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    2001 (1968)

  15. 1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Star Wars (1977)

    The first one was always the defining experience.

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    2001 (1968)

    2001 was just a better-crafted film.

  16. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

  17. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    Star Wars (1977)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    2001 (1968)

  18. 1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

    Merry/Happy/Joyous Day of the Season to one and all!

  19. 1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Star Wars (1977)

    Gah. Star Wars was a complete story, but, actually, Empire was a better movie.

    At least they’re head-to head; I’d rather eliminate one in the semis than have them go up against each other in the finals.

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    2001 (1968)

    Khhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaannn!

  20. 1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    Star Wars (1977)

    Er, Empire might be a stronger movie, but I will never lose that initial sense of wonder from Star Wars.

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

    I cannot believe I’m voting for Wrath of Khan (I think that the television series, even the less than wonderful episodes, was way better than any of the movies), but it doesn’t seem to matter how many times I watch 2001 (or who I watch it with), I’m still bored by everything except HAL.

  21. Snowcrash:

    “@Hampus – will the next round also include 3rd place playoffs?”

    I haven’t decided. Thinking of doing something a little bit different this time. More like a a Hugo voting and see what happens.

  22. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS
    1. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    2. 2001 (1968)

  23. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS
    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Star Wars (1977)

    Star Wars was the breakthrough, but Empire built on it and was better.

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    2001 (1968)

    2001: still a trip.

  24. The dice make Baby Jesus cry. And lo, He didst ask for fewer swaddling cloths and more forehead cloths.

    1. Star Wars. The original, without which many of the movies on this list wouldn’t have existed. And it has an ending, not a TBC. Sensawonda!
    2. meditates. considers. Khaaaannn. That last act of 2001, yikes. Drags the previous good stuff down. Whereas Trek is all of a piece.

  25. I remember seeing Dr. Kelsey’s obit this past summer — another case of “didn’t know they were still alive till they died”. What an incredible person she must have been, to put up with all that just to do the right thing. I’ve only met one person who had that birth defect, and it was b/c his father was stationed in Europe so mom got to take the wonder pill. Whoops. He was generally okay with it, but his mom was racked with guilt the rest of her life.

    Bids: I’m all about San Jose in 2018. Great, experienced concom and better weather. One hotel is conjoined to the convention center through what can only be described as an airlock; the other hotels are no more than a block away. It’s nice and flat for the mobility-impaired. Plenty of food in different budget ranges, lotsa nightlife outside the con, light rail. And THE TECH MUSEUM, a place all geeks should make a pilgrimage to is also in walking distance.

    Puppies: That’s really nice of GRRM (for someone who’s so mean to characters, he’s such a generous guy IRL). But, Puppies gonna Pup. A list of 10 ranked nominees is still a slate. And it doesn’t matter if Impala et al. come to their senses, b/c Teddy’s still gonna go rabid.

    Business Meeting: I wish I could be there. I’d stagger out after parties the night before and watch Kevin do parliamentary procedure (seriously, we need to clone him so cons can have him forever). I am all about EPH. Please, please, any Filers who are attending: get up and sit in the meetings all day. Spare the rest of us from further kerpupple.

    Greetings of the season to all; at least it’s a day off work!

  26. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    2001 (1968)

  27. I just get distracted by Life for a few days, and I come back to this.
    Sigh.
    It will all end in tears.

    SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Star Wars (1977)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    2001 (1968)

  28. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Star Wars (1977)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    2001 (1968)

    I’ve never cared for 2001.

  29. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Star Wars (1977)

    Kyra-tie, please.

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    2001 (1968)

    Brazil

  30. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    2001 (1968)
    Much more SFnal, and more of a ground-breaking movie. Although they both had gas giants in them; 2001 had Jupiter and Kahn had William Shatner.

  31. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    2001 (1968)

  32. 1. Star Wars
    2. 2001

    Pleased to see 2001 surviving this long. Looks like many share my view that it’s the best ever.

  33. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    Star Wars (1977)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

  34. 1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    Star Wars (1977)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    2001 (1968)

    Still beautiful…

  35. RESULTS: SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – 25 votes
    Star Wars (1977) – 22 votes

    “I’m your father”, says Star Wars. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”, screams The Empire Strikes Back and falls through an airshaft. As Empire Strikes Back escapes in a hijacked space ship, Star Wars tries to follow, but the odds of it successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1. Sadly for Star Wars, their odds-inverter is broken. Bye, bye, Star Wars.

    WINNER: The Empire Strikes Back

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) – 18 votes
    2001 (1968) – 25 votes

    Khan, Master of Mullets, is having problem with his screaming eels. They are clashing with the babel fishs and suddenly, no one can talk to the controlled crew men of Discovery One. Not that it matters as HAL turns of the oxygen to kill both Khan and his own crew.

    WINNER: 2001

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