Pixel Scroll 11/1/16 We Have Scrolled The Pixel, And It Is Us

Mowatt Rhino run on Christmas

Mowatt ran to Save the Rhino on Christmas

(1) ANOTHER WAY TO HELP. Jim Mowatt’s rhino-saving run is now a book: From Parkrun To London Marathon: Running The London Marathon For Save The Rhino.

Some time ago I thought it would be a jolly good idea to run the London Marathon.I was fantastically excited about it and eager to consume every blog, book and youtube video I could find that contained any tiny morsel of information about the marathon. I consumed everything I could find and wanted more. Ideally I wanted a book that would relate how someone prepared for the marathon and give me a description of what it felt like to actually run the steps it would take to get around the streets of London. I couldn’t find what I wanted so I have now written the book that I wanted to read. It is now available on Amazon for anyone who might want an insight into how it feels to train for and run a marathon. I also describe the shorter runs that I did in the rhino costume.

The book is called, From Parkrun To London Marathon. Every penny I receive after Amazon have taken their cut will be sent to Save The Rhino International.

(2) READY TO WRIMO. Kameron Hurley says she’s finally gotten past an “epic brain freeze” – just in time for “NaNoNoNoNo”.

Finally, I was able to sit at the keyboard, in the dark, with a beer and a skull candle, and just completely inhabit another world. In my mind’s eye I was surfacing back in Nasheen again, running around a contaminated desert, dodging bursts and bombs, and trying not to care about my companions too much because the world had already ended and living was so very glorious. That’s the sort of writing experience I crave, when you feel like you’re not making things up so much as dictating a story as you’re living it in your head.

(3) MINNEAPOLIS WORLDCON BID. Emily Stewart announced there will be a Minneapolis in 2023 Open Discussion about a possible Worldcon bid on November 19.

If somebody could satisfy my curiosity about who in addition to Stewart is starting up the discussion, I’d appreciation knowing.

(4) CURSED CUBS IN SFF. With the Cubs staying alive for a couple more days, an article about the Cubs and Science Fiction… The Verge has an article about sf and fantasy stories that reference the Cubs’ World Series drought, including those by Jim Butcher. Andy Weir and John Scalzi.

(5) BASEBALL SEASON. Meantime, Steven H Silver invites you to gaze in amazement at his very long bibliography of baseball-referencing science fiction.

(6) CLARKE CENTER PODCAST. Launching today, Into the Impossible is a podcast of stories, ideas, and speculations from the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination.

Early episodes will take listeners through exciting, ranging conversations with and between scientists, artists, writers, and thinkers of different stripes, on the nature of imagination and how, through speculative culture, we create our future. The first episode includes Freeman Dyson (physicist and writer), David Kaiser (physicist, MIT), Rae Armantrout (Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, UCSD professor emeritus), and Brian Keating (astrophysicist, UCSD).

(7) JUST $79,000 SHORT. Jason Davis is asking Kickstarter donors for $100,000 to fund The Harlan Ellison Books Preservation Project, “To create definitive versions of all Harlan Ellison’s writings, fiction and non-fiction, to preserve in print for posterity.”

A digital library of Harlan’s entire literary oeuvre created from thousands of papers filed in his home office.

Harlan’s preference for working on manual typewriters from the instrument’s heyday through to his latest work has resulted in an astonishing volume of paper, much of it crammed into overstuffed drawers that often require the industry of two people to extract or—even more difficult—reinsert files.

While oft-reprinted stories like “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman” and “Jeffty Is Five” exist as formal, preferred-text documents from which all reprints are set, many of Harlan’s more obscure pieces exist only as faded carbon copies on decaying yellow pages.

Some of the never-before-reprinted stories collected in HONORABLE WHOREDOM AT A PENNY A WORD and its sequel only exist on 60-year-old carbon copies of the original typescripts and, due to fading of the carbon impressions and yellowing of the paper, are almost illegible. Though one can usually reference the published version of a faded tale in Harlan’s copy of the original pulp magazine, itself exceedingly brittle, it’s preferable to work from the original, which might contain passages excised by the original editor upon initial, and often only, publication.

Jason Davis says the fruits of the project also would include —

At least five all-new Ellison collections.

In addition to reissuing the back catalog titles, there are several more HarlanEllisonBooks.com titles in various stages of completion.

Originally, I was hired as a freelance editor for the first four HarlanEllisonBooks.com releases, but the original publisher moved on and I arranged to continue the project. Since the 2012 release of ROUGH BEASTS and NONE OF THE ABOVE, the endeavor has been a deficit-financed operation wherein I, as editor and publishing associate, used all my free time (outside of my editorial day job) to collect, edit, layout, design, typeset, publish, and market new Ellison books (12 so far), with all expenses out of pocket. Only after the books are released do I receive payment via a commission (not unlike an agent’s) paid to me by Harlan, who is paid directly by our distributor two months after each individual book sells.

(8) NEW HECKEL BOOK. The Dark Lord Jack Heckel, an author covered here by Carl Slaughter, is on sale today from Harper Voyager Impulse.

After spending years as an undercover, evil wizard in the enchanted world of Trelari, Avery hangs up the cloak he wore as the Dark Lord and returns to his studies at Mysterium University. On the day of his homecoming, Avery drunkenly confides in a beautiful stranger, telling her everything about his travels. When Avery awakens, hungover and confused, he discovers that his worst nightmare has come true: the mysterious girl has gone to Trelari to rule as a Dark Queen. Avery must travel back to the bewitched land and liberate the magical creatures . . . but in order to do so, he has to join forces with the very people who fought him as the Dark Lord.

(9) TODAY’S BELATED BIRTHDAY LAB

Eighty years ago, when interplanetary travel was still a fiction and that fiction looked like Flash Gordon, seven young men drove out to a dry canyon wash in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and helped jump-start the Space Age.

They were out there on Halloween 1936 to try what few people at the time had tried: lighting a liquid rocket engine. It took them four attempts to get a rocket to fire for a glorious three seconds — though an oxygen hose also broke loose and sent them scampering for safety as it thrashed around.

The result was encouraging enough for this group — made up of five grad students studying at Caltech and two amateur rocket enthusiasts — to keep going, to build more rockets that would lead to an institution where they could do this kind of work every day.

(10)  THE CRITIC. James Davis Nicoll reprinted his list of rejected ideas for review series which includes categories like —

  • Least Believable Teenaged Girl Protagonist Written by a Man
  • Beloved Classics That Make Modern Readers Say “What the Helling Hell, Old Time SF Fans?”
  • SF Books She Wrote and He Took the Credit For
  • Hard SF Ain’t Nothing But Nonsense Misspelled

(11) FOUND IN TRANSLATION. When Newsweek invites you to “Meet the Man Bringing Chinese Science Fiction to the West”, it’s Ken Liu they’re talking about.

As Xia Jia, an award-winning sci-fi writer and lecturer in Chinese literature, puts it in the essay that closes Invisible Planets, Chinese sci-fi since the 1990s “can be read as a national allegory in the age of globalization.” But Liu argues that the everyday problems encoded by speculative stories in China apply just as much in the West. “People’s lives tend to be dominated by the same considerations…petty bureaucracy, how to make a living, how to give your children a good education…how to adjust to a radically changing society.”

(12) DRAGON AWARDS TAKING NOMINATIONS.  Thanks to Camestros Felapton, we know the Dragon Awards site has been updated its to accept nominations for the 2017 awards. Eligible works are those first released between 7/1/2016 and 6/30/2017.

Welcome to the second annual Dragon Awards! A way to recognize excellence in all things Science Fiction and Fantasy. These awards will be by the fans, for the fans, and are your chance to reward those who have made real contributions to SF, books, games, comics, and shows. There is no qualification for submitting nominations or voting – no convention fees or other memberships are needed. The only requirement is that you register, confirm your email address for tracking nominations and voting purposes, and agree to the rules. This ensures that all votes count equally.

Once you have submitted a nomination for a category you cannot change it. If you are not sure about a category, then leave it blank. You can come back at a later date and add nominations for any category you leave blank using this same form. Make sure your name (First and Last), and the email address match your original submission. No need to fill in your original nominations, the form will append the new nominations to your prior list.

Nomination Deadline: July 24, 2017. We encourage you to get your nominations in early.

(13) LATE ADOPTER. Is TV narration for blind people really a thing?

(14) AIRBRUSHED COSTUME. This is what it looks like when it’s Halloween and your dad is Dan Dos Santos.

I introduced Uno to ‘Akira’ a few weeks ago, and we both immediately thought he’d make a great Tetsuo. He doesn’t care that none of his friends will know who he is.

uno-by-dan-dos-santos

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Tom Galloway, JJ, Steven H Silver, and Michael J. Walsh for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Bill.]

182 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/1/16 We Have Scrolled The Pixel, And It Is Us

  1. Chip Hitchcock: I suspect BPD covers more ground than you know. Someone I was close to was diagnosed with BPD and was completely unlike your description.

    Hampus Eckerman: I do know a few people with BPD and of those, only one fits partly into the description you have given. At least one is the total opposite, constantly worrying about not treating others well while always doing it.

    Hmmm, the behavior of the main character in Borderline tracks so closely with my own personal experiences that I figured it was pretty much the norm for that disorder: the habitual lying and truth-twisting, the frequent sudden, irrational rages, the absolute refusal to accept personal responsibility for one’s actions with lots of “You / other person made me do [horrible thing]!” justifications, the paranoid conviction that other people are “out to get” the person with BPD and are saying and/or doing things to cut them down / sabotage them, the relating to people only in terms of how they are accessories to the person with BPD and not people in their own right.

    One of the things in Borderline that really struck a chord with me was how the main character considered the possible death of someone they knew as awful — not because it would be terrible for that person to lose their life, but because their death would mean the loss of a personal validator for the main character.

     
    Nancy Lebovitz: it seems to me that people with BPD can get substantially better with a lot of work.

    Everything I’ve read says it is possible but it seldom happens, because two of the hallmarks of the disorder are 1) lack of self-awareness, and 2) belief that all the person’s problems are the fault of others and not of the person themselves.

  2. …if anyone follows Darren Garrison’s link on comparison between antisocial and borderline personality disorder, ‘ware the comments. I learned that “Borderlines are the modern plague.” and “Borderlines are evil.” Yay. Well I’m taking my evil plague-vector self off to the grocery store. 😛

  3. *sigh* more words from me.

    @JJ:

    it eventually became clear to me that each of them thinks of other humans not as real people with their own lives and agency, but only in terms of how those other people benefit or affect themselves.

    I touched on this in my post last night but must have edited it out. I’ma try again.

    Seeing other people as real people is hard. I periodically try it on public transit and it’s literally painful. I think about all the people living within a 1k radius of me and get very anxious. If I’m not careful, I will only think of other people as they affect me. Usually that they saw me do or say something stupid and think badly of me. I reduce others to their opinion/judgment of me.

    Ouch. That hurts to say so bluntly.

    I thought the hallmark of BPD was extreme emotional reactivity. Huge feelings and a slow return to baseline. And usually terrible coping mechanisms to deal with them. Lots of comorbidity with addiction, for example. And self-injury.

  4. Dawn Incognito: Seeing other people as real people is hard. I periodically try it on public transit and it’s literally painful. I think about all the people living within a 1k radius of me and get very anxious. If I’m not careful, I will only think of other people as they affect me. Usually that they saw me do or say something stupid and think badly of me. I reduce others to their opinion/judgment of me. Ouch. That hurts to say so bluntly.

    But you are aware of this, and you try to be mindful of it. It seems to me that you are doing your damn best to conquer it (or at least tamp it down).

    I suspect that if, as in the science fiction story, we had the chance to live in someone else’s mind for a while, we would all be shocked at how differently things are perceived by different people who are not us. Sometimes I think it would make us better people, and the world a better place, if we had the ability to do this.

  5. Dawn: If I’m not careful, I will only think of other people as they affect me.

    Pretty much the human condition. You just have it dialed up to 11 or 12. But at least you’re trying.

    JJ: habitual lying and truth-twisting, the frequent sudden, irrational rages, the absolute refusal to accept personal responsibility for one’s actions with lots of “You / other person made me do [horrible thing]!” justifications, the paranoid conviction that other people are “out to get” the person with BPD and are saying and/or doing things to cut them down / sabotage them, the relating to people only in terms of how they are accessories to the person with BPD

    Reminds me of someone(s) but I just can’t think who…

  6. @Lis Carey:

    I smile benignly on all the soccer played in America, at the school level, at the university level, etc., and even US Major League Soccer, which I think is largely a joke and will never really be a major sports league in the US.

    I think you’re right about football losing ground over the next couple of decades, and I think soccer is its likeliest replacement.

  7. Sarah’s been playing field hockey for the last three years, though she still played some soccer last year. She and some other girls (one was in sixth grade) were recruited to fill gaps in Mendon High’s JV Field Hockey team, and she has taken to the sport so much that it’s her primary game now. The last two seasons, they’ve been undefeated. Last year, one team scored a single goal on them. This year, two of the games were ties, but nobody scored on them at all, and Sarah (who usually assists) saw a chance and sunk one in their last game.

    There’s an emphasis on sportsmanship in field hockey, even in some of the ref’s calls. One ref I talked to said she enjoys it, especially since most of the parents don’t know much about the calls, so they don’t question her the way parents in other sports often do. I’ve gone online to download cheat sheets to refer to, but still don’t understand about half of what a ref signals in any given game. I am reasonably sure, though, that they aren’t just making it all up as they go along.

  8. @John A. Arkansawyer–

    Yes, I agree, despite my dismissal of soccer as a real major league sport in what you quoted, I think it will be if American football disappears as I think it has to. It’s there, it’s organized, it’s widely played by a couple of generations now of younger sports-oriented people.

  9. JJ, I’m not sure what the normal/healthy/ethical range is for thinking of other people as people is. My guess is that thinking of people who are actually in your life as people is important.

    Thinking about people you can’t affect much as people is optional. I’m assuming you mean having active emotional sympathy with their problems– I could be wrong. Abstract willingness to help and unwillingness to harm is good enough.

    Also, if thinking about people as people is that wearing, it may be that you’re only thinking about their suffering, I wonder what it does to think about them also having good things in their lives, as I expect almost all of them do.

    *****

    I’ve wondered whether football could be rescued with changes in the rules to make head injuries much less likely. Considering that there are a lot of people who know much more about football than I do haven’t been able to come up with anything satisfactory, this may not be possible.

  10. I’ve wondered whether football could be rescued with changes in the rules to make head injuries much less likely.

    Given that football is not “a contact sport, but a collision sport”, it doesn’t seem likely. If you change it enough so it will be safe, it won’t be football any longer.

  11. Years ago, I read a piece in The Nation arguing that boxing gloves made boxing more dangerous to the brain by making it easier to it harder with damage to the hands. I wonder if the armoring-up of football players has a similar effect and, if so, what could be done?

  12. I wonder if the armoring-up of football players has a similar effect and, if so, what could be done?

    I think they should just throw up their hands in defeat and go back to a real American sport. It isn’t like athletes are an endangered species or anything.

  13. Football without pads is pretty close to rugby. That would be a fine replacement sport for football if that is what eventually happens.

  14. But how many people in America play rugby? Soccer already has a substantial potential fanbase. Even those of us who don’t really care for it have at least a basic familiarity I think it.

  15. @Lis Carey

    I doubt that will ever happen at full adult level. It may happen at kid’s level.
    Most players only head the ball a handful of times during the game – and not all headers are those which involve head impacts with high degrees of force. I am sure that training methods will change though.

    Historically the balls used to be leather and soaked up water (on wet days) and became much heavier during play.

  16. Rugby is far from a safe sport, just ask former Prime Minister Gordon Brown who was left blind in one eye after being kicked (accidentally) in the head playing. And with reduced vision in the other IIRC.

    Scrums are a notorious source of neck injuries also.

    I have noticed more use of rugby style tackles in NFL games this year, with leading with your helmet banned actually bringing someone down is now becoming more important.

    The USA team did alright in the rugby World Cup this year too. If you want a good watch, rugby sevens. Full sized pitch, seven a side. Fast and fun.

  17. My step-nephew broke his leg in three places playing rugby. Which I suppose it better than a traumatic brain injury, but still…

  18. In other news, the Irish rugby team beat the New Zealand rugby team (the “All Blacks”) for the first time ever. Their first game against each other was 111 years ago. The venue for this game? Soldier Field, Chicago.

    This has been a week for breaking longstanding droughts. In Chicago.

    As an All Black fan, this stings a little, but the Irish played a superb game and deserved to win. They next meet in a fortnight, in Dublin. It should, as they say, be a cracker.

  19. Dealing with too many knee injuries instead of the current dawning realization we have an epidemic of traumatic brain injury sounds like a real win.

  20. I’ve come to enjoy soccer and field hockey. By a coincidence, my daughter has played (and still plays) both. Used to be that the only sport I confessed enjoyment of was Dog Frisbee. Those dogs are so good, and they’re having so much fun. If there was such a thing as Figure Hockey, I’d be all over that, too. (Points are important, but grace is paramount.)

  21. Everyone in America under, I dunno, 60, knows how to play soccer. We all learned it as kids in school. On our own time, we played football, baseball/softball/kickball, and basketball. The more recent generations play it on weekends as kids, though I don’t know if they continue into adulthood. It’s basically regarded as a children’s sport. Possibly women’s too.

    Kids’ soccer generally bans heading here. But the lack of scoring makes it incredibly boring for Americans, and the refs randomly adding however much extra time also seems unfair. Also, the flopping is ridiculous. I think people are more likely to follow basketball than soccer, as the rules stand now.

  22. lurkertype: Everyone in America under, I dunno, 60, knows how to play soccer.

    I don’t know where you grew up, but in the small school district where I grew up, they’ve only gotten soccer in the last 20 years or so. I would not say that everyone in America under the age of 60 knows how to play soccer… maybe everyone under the age of 30 does.

  23. Everyone in America under, I dunno, 60, knows how to play soccer.

    Not only do I not remember ever having soccer in school, but I’ve forgotten the rules to the sports that we did have in school (football, baseball, basketball) other than in the broadest sense. Sports things just do not stick in my head. When I was watching the Bill Murray skit on SNL last weekend, I was trying to remember if the Cubs were the team that won the recent games and hadn’t won in over 100 years. (Not kidding.)

    BTW, someone mentioned televised Kabaddi (which I had never heard of) in the UK recently. I was surprised this weekend to see the sport show up as a plot element in the hit-or-miss but usually pretty funny manga
    Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro.

  24. Darren Garrison, yes, the Cubs are the team that had the longest non-championship streak in baseball history; they last won the World Series in 1908. And last got a pennant (that would be “reached the finals” but came in second) in 1945. So the Cubs winning the Series was a Really Big Deal for Chicagoans…. and because the Cubs were, before cable TV, one of the few nationally-broadcast teams, they have quite a few non-Chicago fans, too. Their nickname for generations has been “the lovable losers”.

    No one knew how the Cubs fans would react to actually winning. It was really nice to see no vandalism, no fires, no over-turned cars or rioting… just hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people in the streets after the game singing Stevie Goodman’s song, “Go Cubs Go”. (There were certainly five million people who took the day off on Friday to see the Cubs’ victory parade.)

    Hope this helps non-baseball people understand. (I get that there are plenty here that won’t; I don’t understand the cricket thing with the ashes myself….)

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