Pixel Scroll 11/25/16 Pixel, Pixel Every Where, Nor Any Scroll To Tick

(1) PRO TIP. Jason Sanford, upon reading editor Sean Wallace’s Facebook comments about getting negative replies to fast submission responses, says “Authors shouldn’t whine about fast rejection times”.

The Dark is a online magazine of horror and dark fantasy which, in the last three years, has received a number of accolades and reprints in “year’s best” anthologies. Edited by Sean Wallace and Silvia Moreno-Garcia, the magazine is open to more experimental stories and new authors, which results in issues of The Dark often pushing the boundaries of both the genre and literary fiction.

The Dark is also known for fast response times on most submissions, often within 24 hours. Sean and assistant editor Jack Fisher divide up the slush pile and give each story a first read.

You’d think authors would be happy with fast response times because it means they can submit their stories somewhere else. But it turns out some authors hate a quick no. They’d rather the band-aid be pulled off bit by bit over months and years instead of a quick yank…..

(2) OH, THOSE SLUSH CRUSHERS. Gardner Dozois, commenting on Sean Wallace’s public Facebook post, told how he dealt with the flood of unsolicited manuscripts in his days at Asimov’s.

In fact, one of the greatest challenges in training a slush reader–and I’ve trained several–is to teach them not to spend time reading all or even more of a manuscript that is obviously hopeless, and train them out of reading all of it to “give it a chance.” We used to get a thousand manuscripts a month at ASIMOV’S; no time for that.

I had a few [slush readers] at the beginning of my tenure at ASIMOV’S, but after a year or so I decided that nobody could do the job as good or as fast as I did myself, so from that point on I read all the slush at ASIMOV’S myself. Part of the challenge of reading slush, and mostly why I took it over myself, is that your job is not only to plow through the bad stories and get rid of them as fast as possible, but ALSO to spot the good or potentially good stories that are also going to show up in the slush. I found I could get people who could plow through the bad stuff, but nobody who was as good as I was myself in spotting the good and potentially good stuff. Used right, a slush pile can be a valuable resource for a magazine, and several writers who later became reliable regulars started there.

(3) ART THAT GRABS YOUR ATTENTION. Dangerous Minds takes a tour of “The Fabulously Surreal Sci-Fi Book Covers of Davis Meltzer”

That delightful ’60s/‘70s intersection of pop-psychedelic surrealism and space-age futurism produced some of the most awesome book covers the world has ever seen, with illustrations that often far exceeded in greatness the pulpy sci-fi genre novels they’d adorned. While some of those artists achieved renown, too often, those covers were the works of obscure toilers about whom little is known.

Davis Meltzer, alas, fits deep into the latter category. My best search-fu yielded so little biographical data that I’m not even able to determine if he’s currently alive.


(4) OPEN THE POD BAY DOOR. At Reverse Shot, Damon Smith has a deep analysis of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he says is “the first modern sci-fi movie:  mature, intelligent, technically precise, and ambiguously metaphysical.”

Science, art, and the spiritual have been linked for centuries across pictorial traditions, but they achieve a unique synthesis in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, an audaciously cerebral epic that, whenever seen or contemplated in its original 70mm format, never feels like anything less than a miracle of human imagination. The relevance of 2001 has kept pace with the times, too, as it coolly examines our relationship with technology and the grand mystery of cosmic reality, which grows richer and stranger the more we learn about the physics of massive phenomena we cannot directly observe (dark matter, black holes) and the even spookier action of quantum-scale particles. Grappling seriously with our place in the universe as individuals and as a species, 2001 was the first modern sci-fi movie; mature, intelligent, technically precise, and ambiguously metaphysical, the film mostly dispenses with conventional narrative in order to represent, for much of its 160-minute duration, the physical and psychological experience of “being in space.” More importantly, by coding his unusually realistic visual journey with mythic totems and baffling set pieces, Kubrick heightens the subjective experience of viewers, leaving the logic of the whole intentionally fuzzy and open to innumerable readings. Forty-seven years after its debut, 2001: A Space Odyssey continues to fascinate audiences, influencing filmmakers as artistically dissimilar as George Lucas, Alfonso Cuarón, and Christopher Nolan, and casting a long, monolithic shadow over any filmic depiction of interstellar space, all without losing its seemingly timeless mystique.

(5) EXPANSE PERK. Orbit Books UK has a message for Expanse fans

For a limited time, we’re giving away free signed bookplates with proof of pre-order of Babylon’s Ashes. Visit the website to submit…

(6) FANTASTIC CHOW. Tired of turkey yet? Scott Edelman invites you to listen to another round of barbecue in the latest Eating the Fantastic podcast — “Grab Kansas City BBQ with the incredibly prolific Robert Reed in Episode 23 of Eating the Fantastic”.


My final Eating the Fantastic episode recorded during the Kansas City Worldcon was also my final taste of Kansas City BBQ. I chose Q39 for my brisket farewell, as Bonjwing Lee, a foodie I trust, had written that the place offered “some of the most tender and well-smoked meat” he’d eaten recently according to his Eater survey on Kansas City burnt ends.

My guest this episode is the incredible prolific Robert Reed, who’s been writing award-winning science fiction for decades—and I do mean decades—starting in 1986, when he was the first Writers of the Future Grand Prize Winner for his story “Mudpuppies,” all the way to 2007, when he won the Best Novella Hugo Award for “A Billion Eves” (which I was honored to accept on his behalf at the 2007 Worldcon in Yokohama).

(7) RE-READING. Juliet E. McKenna adds another book to her life raft: “Desert Island Books – Larry Niven – Tales of Known Space”.

Why this particular collection, of all Niven’s books? It has some of my favourite stories in it, such as Eye of an Octopus for a start. It’s also an interesting collection for a writer since it charts the evolution of his Known Space writing and includes a timeline as well as some author’s notes reflecting on the haphazard creation of a milieu through a varied body of work, written over many years. Unsurprisingly, this is of particular interest to me, as I continue exploring the River Kingdom world which I’m developing. I also want to take a new and closer look at Niven’s skills and techniques, in the peace and quiet that I hope to find on this notional Desert Island. The advent of ebooks is seeing a resurgence in shorter form fiction and I reckon we can all learn a lot from looking back to the previous heyday of SF as published in weekly and monthly magazines.

What? I’m calling for a return to the past? Advocating a reactionary, old-fashioned view of SF? Not at all. Don’t be daft. I’m talking about craft, not content here. Mind you, if you want to argue with the content, you’ll need to come prepared. Niven is an eloquent and persuasive advocate for his particular world view. Do I always agree with him? No. But that’s something else I’ve always valued about reading science fiction: getting insights into attitudes that might challenge me to justify my own. All the more so in our current world, now that it’s fatally easy to end up in our own personal echo chambers, thanks to Twitter and Facebook. Reading stories from people who in operate in different spheres can definitely broaden our perspective.

(8) AND IT WASN’T A SNICKERS. Business Insider reports “Astronomers just discovered one of the most massive objects in the universe hiding behind the Milky Way”.

To peer through it, Kraan-Korteweg and her colleagues combined the observations of several telescopes: the newly refurbished South African Large Telescope near Cape Town, the Anglo-Australian Telescope near Sydney, and X-ray surveys of the galactic plane.

Using that data, they calculated how fast each galaxy they saw above and below the galactic plane was moving away from Earth. Their number-crunching soon revealed that they all seemed to be moving together — indicating a lot of galaxies couldn’t be seen.

“It became obvious we were uncovering a massive network of galaxies, extending much further than we had ever expected,” Michelle Cluver, an astrophysicist at the University of the Western Cape, said in a release.

The researchers estimate that Vela supercluster is about the same mass of the Shapley supercluster of roughly 8,600 galaxies, which is located about 650 million light-years away. Given that the typical galaxy has about 100 billion stars, researchers estimate that Vela could contain somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000 trillion stars.

(9) GODZILLA EFFECTS. “Shirogumi X Stealthworks Shin Godzilla Destruction Reel” gives some examples of the FX used in Shin Godzilla, while carefully NOT explaining why the filmmakers decided to make 90 percent of the film a foreign policy seminar about Japan’s role in world affairs


  • November 25, 1915: Albert Einstein formulated his general theory of relativity.
  • November 23, 1951 DC Comics has its first feature film with Superman and the Mole Men.


  • Born November 25, 1920 — Noel Neill
  • Born November 25, 1920 — Ricardo Montalban

Lois Lane and Khan….

(12) @MIDNIGHT PROFILES TINGLE. Chris Hardwick enlists Willam Belli, Justin Martindale and Bridget Everett to help him uncover the identity of mysterious erotic novelist Chuck Tingle.

(13) IT’S ABOUT TIME. This New York Times op-ed writer doesn’t just want to get rid of the changes between daylight savings and standard time, but wants to dump time zones too.

Most people would be happy to dispense with this oddity of timekeeping, first imposed in Germany 100 years ago. But we can do better. We need to deep-six not just daylight saving time, but the whole jerry-rigged scheme of time zones that has ruled the world’s clocks for the last century and a half.

The time-zone map is a hodgepodge — a jigsaw puzzle by Dalí. Logically you might assume there are 24, one per hour. You would be wrong. There are 39, crossing and overlapping, defying the sun, some offset by 30 minutes or even 45, and fluctuating on the whims of local satraps.

Let us all — wherever and whenever — live on what the world’s timekeepers call Coordinated Universal Time, or U.T.C. (though “earth time” might be less presumptuous). When it’s noon in Greenwich, Britain, let it be 12 everywhere. No more resetting the clocks. No more wondering what time it is in Peoria or Petropavlovsk. Our biological clocks can stay with the sun, as they have from the dawn of history. Only the numerals will change, and they have always been arbitrary.

Some mental adjustment will be necessary at first. Every place will learn a new relationship with the hours. New York (with its longitudinal companions) will be the place where people breakfast at noon, where the sun reaches its zenith around 4 p.m., and where people start dinner close to midnight. (“Midnight” will come to seem a quaint word for the zero hour, where the sun still shines.) In Sydney, the sun will set around 7 a.m., but the Australians can handle it; after all, their winter comes in June.

(14) ONE PICTURE, JJ recommends this Tom Gauld cartoon on adapting books for film and TV.

After Zadie Smith’s 300-page novel NW was made into a film by the BBC, Tom Gauld thinks up a hypothetical conversation between an author and a producer

(15) FOR THE EPICUREAN. Who ‘n’ Ales (@who_n_ales) is a Twitter account “dedicated to finding you the perfect pairing between real ale and classic Dr Who.”

A couple of example tweets —

(16) BONUS: DEEP TURKEY PSYCHOLOGY: The Gallery of Dangerous Women has something to say about wild turkeys.

Why are kayaks Incredibly Rude to swans? I’m asking because we have a lot of wild turkeys on my college campus and they HATE cars. They will block you from opening car doors, circle you in your car like a shark, jump on top of cars and snap at tires.

…2/2 so I was wondering if large birds just hate human transportation or something haha. Thanks for your post, very interesting.            

(In reference to a comment I made about kayaks being incredibly rude in Swan Culture)…

I’ve been looking at my inbox like “I am not some kind of ECCENTRIC BIRD WHISPERER,” but I actually know the answer to this one, and it’s hilarious.

Large birds don’t have a particular hateboner for human transportation, but wild turkeys have two unique properties that make them behave ridiculously when they collide with human populations….

The First Unique Turkey Property: Now, wild turkeys are a little bit like betta fish, in that they perceive any shiny/reflective surface that shows them a reflection as actually containing Another Turkey, and they react accordingly. When they react to the Other Turkey – usually by posturing aggressively and flaring their fins feathers majestically – the Other Turkey ESCALATES THE SITUATION by posturing as well. At some point the real turkey loses its temper and attacks, pecking and scratching and trying to take the fucker apart, only to find that the Other Turkey has protected itself with some kind of force field.

So to a wild turkey that has encountered enough autumnal car-related psychic battles, the completely logical conclusion to take away from them is that cars contain demonic spirits that must be subdued. Other examples of things that wild turkeys are compelled to vanquish include… well, other reflective things.

To address this, cover reflective things (you can rub soap on your car to make it less reflective) and frighten off the turkey if it’s keeping you from leaving your car….

[Thanks to Todd Dashoff, JJ, Mark-kitteh, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Stoic Cynic.]

78 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/25/16 Pixel, Pixel Every Where, Nor Any Scroll To Tick


    I encourage reading the whole article; The Second Unique Turkey Property is absolutely hilarious.

  2. 13) Sorry, dude, but it was an American, Benjamin Franklin, who came up with the idea for daylight saving time, and Canadians who first implemented it. Yes, Germany did use it during WWI and WWII to conserve energy (as did many other countries), but you can’t blame this one on us. And BTW, a majority of Germans would love to get rid of daylight saving time, since it’s annoying and doesn’t actually conserve energy at all.

    The whole “abolish timezones” thing is just completely silly. I suggest the guy should spent some time in a country where any official time table only shows the time in the capital instead of the local time and see how confusing that can be. For example, in the Soviet Union, every train schedule, etc… was only given in Moscow time, whether you were in the Baltics or Vladivostok. I found that confusing as hell during my one visit there shortly before the whole thing collapsed.

    Also, it won’t solve the “What’s the time in X?” problem at all, since you’d still have to calculate the time difference before making a transatlatic or transpacific business call, only now you don’t even have time zones to help you.

  3. (1) and (2):

    Personally, I love markets that respond quickly. I’m quite fond of Neil Clarke and CC Finlay, both of whom seem capable of quick turnaround (less than 48 hours in a lot of cases) while still providing good, non-boilerplate rejection messages for some submissions.

    Ironically, it doesn’t look to me as if Asimov’s has done anything with their slushpile since June. Not at all sure what’s going on there, but the Submission Grinder shows almost no response on anything they’ve received since then. Which includes the last story I have out making the circuit, before I decided to focus on writing short novels for self-publication instead.

  4. Wait a second–Sean Wallace delivers rejections in 24 hours and writers are COMPLAINING about it?

    I think Sean Wallace deserves kudos for his professionalism.

  5. I spent a year living in the far west of China, which as a country runs entirely on Beijing time even though it geographically crosses at least 4 different zones. Dawn at 10am was not too hard to adjust to but that unpleasant sense of “its past midday and I haven’t done anything useful” stayed stubbornly put at 12, which makes weekends a lot less relaxing. A lot of residents ignore Beijing (on this matter as others with a range of political and practical motivations) and use the “proper” GMT +6 time for unofficial things, regardless of the additional confusion that causes.

    Related, I imagine that having a single time that means different things depending on geography would be hell for jetlag. You’d have to readjust your cues about what different times mean in the place you’re in every time you go somewhere new, rather than having your conscious mind already know that sleep happens between certain numbers and letting your internal rhythms work themselves out accordingly.

    And when communicating abroad I’d still have to know how many hours back or forward the people I am talking to are, because it will still be the middle of the night for Europe when it’s morning for Asia no matter what number the clocks in both places show. (Edit: Cora got there before me on this one!)

    So yeah I literally do not see how this makes anything less confusing for anyone. Some things are just difficult on a round planet, yo.

  6. In 1982 at a Hexacon I saw a woman whose name I remember as Ricki Kleiman (I probably have the last name wrong, but her first name was definitely Ricki) sit at a table with a big pile of manuscripts. Kleiman was a minor Futurian who had read slush for women’s fiction magazines in the 1950s and had become the fiction editor of MS.

    She picked up the pile and looked at the first page of each story. “No,” she kept saying. “No, no, no, no, no, no.” She had rejected the entire pile in about five minutes.

    “It was all crap then and it’s all crap now,” she said. “It’s just a different kind of crap.”

  7. In book rec news, all the love to Cold Forged Flame by Marie Brennan which is probably the best novella I’ve read this year – intriguing, well paced fantasy with a great main character and world building that I can’t wait to read more of. Between my love for this and Lady Trent, I really should treat myself to the rest of Brennan’s back catalogue one of these days.

  8. Post Turkey Day Ebook Sales a.k.a. Meredith Moments (TM)! $1.99 Ebook Sales in the U.S. include House of War and Witness by Mike Carey, Linda Carey, & Louise Carey (historical supernatural); The Relic Guild by Edward Cox (fantasy); and Something Coming Through by Paul McAuley (science fiction). (All three have DRM.) I have my sample reading cut out for me tonight. 😉

  9. SF Reading: I finished After Atlas last night and it was very, very good! I don’t usually get to books so soon after they come out, but I love Planetfall so much, this one jumped the line. 😉 Much of the book is a high-tech murder investigation, offering an interesting look at the world and people left behind by the Atlas mission from Planetfall. The protagonist is an emotionally damaged investigator working for the government – well, more like a serf or slave, really. An emotional read in some spots, and I couldn’t put it down. The world is a little dystopian in some respects.

    The final chapter almost could’ve been labelled an epilogue, in contrast to many epilogues I read that feel like they are just the last chapter of a book. In this case, it summarized too much, after the rest of the book took events one step at a time, and breezily glossed over events that were ridiculously unlikely to happen easily (it could’ve been a tension-filled few more chapters!). But that’s a very, very minor criticism, and it it did slow down to normal speed at the very end, packing a wallop. Anyway, highly recommended.

  10. @Cora: he’s also incorrect (at least) about zone time. There was no paradise before it was imposed; instead, towns in the USA had individual settings, which was chaotic. (That’s why it was called “railroad time”; railroads were the first thing moving fast enough to need to know when objects from two different towns wanted to occupy a given space.) He sounds a bit like a stodgy academic trying to be funny, and a bit like a “mad” scientist proposing something so logical everybody should be forced into it (cf Our Man Flint et al); I don’t know which he thinks he is.

  11. (1) PRO TIP. I’m amazed at how people shoot themselves in the foot – the people who e-mailed the incredibly foolish replies to Wallace when they were rejected promptly. Gah.

    (3) ART THAT GRABS YOUR ATTENTION. I like some surreal art, though the 60s/70s stuff like those book covers, not always so much. But I like the cover Mike included above, and a couple of others, like the one for Plague Ship. The ones with skulls – meh.

    (12) @MIDNIGHT PROFILES TINGLE. LOL, I doubt Chuck Tingle takes requests, but he did present a very Tingle-esque trio at the end with his two dino-pals.

    (14) ONE PICTURE. Hahaha, nice. Gauld is great.

  12. he’s also incorrect (at least) about zone time. There was no paradise before it was imposed; instead, towns in the USA had individual settings, which was chaotic. (That’s why it was called “railroad time”; railroads were the first thing moving fast enough to need to know when objects from two different towns wanted to occupy a given space.) He sounds a bit like a stodgy academic trying to be funny, and a bit like a “mad” scientist proposing something so logical everybody should be forced into it (cf Our Man Flint et al); I don’t know which he thinks he is.

    The situation was similar in Europe, too. Every town had its own individual time, until the advent of railroads forced to harmonise them.

  13. Time zones became a rational necessity once trains existed. They have not become less necessary now that we have planes, cars, and, to a limited extent, spaceships.

  14. Every town had its own individual time, until the advent of railroads forced to harmonise them.

    I’ve heard about what it was like when every town was running on sun time. That was why standard time was developed: so that you could tell what time it was in the next town, or the next county or state.

  15. Please note: while I know on a factual level that June is winter here and that currently summer is looming, I am incapable of thinking of June as winter or December as summer despite the yearly evidence of my senses. The association of northern hemisphere seasons to months is too ingrained. I’d feel happier if Australia had its own timezone for months.

  16. What we really need is for our phones to tell us what time it is for the person we’re about to call, because while my mom has finally figured out that I’m normally 2 hours earlier than her, that knowledge breaks down when she goes to another time zone. If we only had one time zone she would never get it right – “but it’s 6AM there for you too!” Yes, but a 6 that’s 3 hours different from yours!

  17. (4) I’m more inclined to give credence to opinions about 2001: A Space Odyssey when writers get basic facts right. Anyone who talks about “its original 70mm format” must be unaware that its original release was in three-projector Cinerama format (which I was lucky enough to see myself, in spring 1968 in Philadelphia). Also, it’s an exaggeration to say that 2001 has a “160-minute duration”; very few showings were at that length. After the U.S. premiere in early April 1968, Kubrick cut 19 minutes out, reducing the film from 161 to 142 minutes (not counting an “overture” consisting of 2 minutes of Ligeti’s Atmospheres, or the intermission that follows the lip-reading sequence; the AFI theatre in Silver Spring, MD, includes both the overture and the intermission when it shows 2001).

  18. Camestros Felapton: I’d feel happier if Australia had its own timezone for months.
    The Australians can’t even agree among themselves about summer time and when/if it applies, so good luck with that!
    And there is decent logic to both Australia’s and NZ’s non-on-the-hour timezones, so there!

  19. (16) Currently our garden is the site of a war between two non-human intelligent species: in the black-and-white corner, a flock of magpies, and in the green, a mob of feral parakeets. They’re vying for control of next-door’s feeder, and it’s a fascinating slow war. Both are smart, both work as teams, with spotters and actors, cries echoing across the London sky as they exchange orders and messages.

    The last week or so the main set of skirmishes have been in the big tree at the end of our garden. It’s the high ground, and the top branches are where the parrots climb beak over claw to herd the magpies out the tree. Silver, boy, girl, joy, sorrow: one by one they’re pushed to lower branches as the parrots surround the magpies and force them into the air.

    Yesterday there were triumphant screeches, and an almost empty tree. On the biggest branch sat two parrots, fluffed up comically against the cold, looking down at the feeder. But below them, looking up, was a fox.

    You win some, you lose some, I thought.

  20. Errol Cavit on November 26, 2016 at 12:27 am said:
    Camestros Felapton: I’d feel happier if Australia had its own timezone for months.
    The Australians can’t even agree among themselves about summer time and when/if it applies, so good luck with that!
    And there is decent logic to both Australia’s and NZ’s non-on-the-hour timezones, so there!

    Speaking of which, a bar in Melbourne airport served me a pint of beer today – much to my relief because I’d forgotten what the sstandard beer glass size was in Victoria. [The answer is a ‘pot’ whereas in Sydney it is a ‘schooner’ neither of which make sense]


    Wow. That opening PKD cover is great – there’s something really clever about the use of the man in profile combined with the robot turning to stare right at you.


    “Prolific” is the right word – I make it 7 pieces published this year already.


    Ummm, what did I just watch?



    I call for the mandatory decimalisation of the calendar. I appreciate this might run into a lot of opposition, but once I reveal my plan for the repeal of Mondays then I’m confident of some support.


    Finished Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers (thank you those who recced it) and certainly enjoyed it. If I was going to criticise I’d say I found the need for a big cast to support the mystery/conspiracy element rather interfered with the fast-paced nature of the story. Overall good fun, and I rather think the author might be Campbell eligible?

    I moved onto United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas and I’m currently midway through and unconvinced. It seems to be an unsubtle version of Man in the High Castle, and although its competent enough, the characters are coming over a bit annoying and stilted. Anyone want to encourage me to finish it?

    Also recently finished Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us from Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt which tells the story of various women at JPL from its pre-WW2 beginnings up to the present day. It’s told in an uncritical and simple style, really a set of parallel biographies, with all the scholarship hidden away at the back. It’s an interesting approach, perhaps not my favourite one – I prefer more footnotes in my history! – but it’s very effective for the story she’s trying to tell, and by the end has built up a really telling portrait of social change. (Plus great stories about the space race!)

  22. I once worked on Newfoundland, an otherwise delightful place that I heartily recommend, which had two annoying features: a 3.5 hour time zone and a midnight flight back to the UK that only took 4.5 hours…

  23. 16) Anyone looking for wild turkeys, I’ve got ya covered; hardly a day goes by that I don’t pass a flock eating its way down a road. The flocks sometimes have over 20 members between females, chicks, a handful of immature toms and a tom (usually off somewhere prowling the flanks).

    @gottacook – we must have been sitting in the same audience!

  24. (13) In one sense, moving to one world-spanning time zone is a natural next step in moving away from sun time. The railroad meant that it was impractical to keep time individually in each town, and time zones where set up so people rarely had to deal with places on a different time than their own. Current internet communication means we often “cross” time zone boundaries and it would be nice if we didn’t have to deal with that.

    But since the proposal also involves moving away from the connection between time and part of day, it is also a movement in the opposite direction – to a situation where the meaning of a given time is unclear. Sure, it’s 13:00 now both for me and the person I’m communicating with – but is it morning or evening for them?

    What I wish for instead is that it becomes more common to add time zone information, and/or to give time both in local time and UTC. As I write this the last comment was posted at “November 26, 2016 at 4:45 am.” My own clock says it’s 14:15. Since this is the current scroll I can guess that it’s only been 30 minutes – but without knowing the server’s time zone I have no way of knowing if it’s actually 1.5 hours or 2.5 hours. And even when I know the server time it can require some thinking to translate between time zones, in particular when crossing midnight.

    (16) “Why are kayaks Incredibly Rude to swans?”
    I’ve done a lot of kayaking in the vicinity of swans, and I’ve never had any troubles with them. I must be doing something wrong. Or right, depending on the perspective.

    On the other hand, related to The First “Unique” Turkey Property: I once saw a white wagtail attack and/or attempt to inseminate a car mirror. Repeatedly, for half an hour. It was quite a sight, and left the mirror flecked with, ahem, bodily fluids.

  25. @Mark

    You sure there’s two separate beings in that PKD cover? It looks to me like a robot wearing a human outer shell that’s cracked open for some reason, and the robot is peering out the crack. There’s even holes in the rim and little prongs where the shell snaps back on.

  26. @Bonnie McDaniel

    Oh, sorry, I didn’t describe that very well. I see the same as you, it’s just the use of the gun as a divider lets you look at the right of the picture as a classic profile with the man holding up the gun in a “heroic” pose, and then when you look at the whole it transforms into the robot looking slyly towards you with the human face hinging off. (Dunno if that describes it any better!)

  27. I find it impossible to understand what those rejected writers think they’re accomplishing. If an editor rejects your story, it doesn’t matter whether it took three hours or three years, it’s still not going in their magazine. Their magazine, their criteria. And given that, it’s *far* better to know earlier rather than later.

    @gottacook: I discovered when I watched 2001 in Cinerama last year (at one of the three cinemas in the world that can still do that) that it’s *so much* a Cinerama film that I’d argue anyone who *hasn’t* watched it in that format has not really seen the film: https://andrewhickey.info/2015/11/03/2001-a-cinerama-odyssey/
    However, talking about “its original 70mm format” is also correct. While 2001 was shown in Cinerama, it wasn’t made in true three-strip Cinerama (it was originally intended to be, and some of the shots still seem set up that way, but it wasn’t). Rather it was shot in Super Panavision 70: a 70mm format that can be projected on Cinerama screens. See http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/brown1.html

  28. Yay, contributing editor! 🙂

    Crossing the threads: Kubrick is absolutely a genius but also may be a bit ethically challenged. If you believe Kirk Douglas, Kubrick was a bit too eager to take writing credit for Spartacus when they debated whether to break the blacklist and credit actual author Dalton Trumbo.

  29. @Simon mentioned Newfoundland (whose half hour offset from the Eastern time zone makes setting up conference calls fun), but we’ve gotten this far and no one’s mentioned Indiana? Currently most counties in the state use the Eastern time zone, but a cluster of counties near both Chicago and Louisville use the Central time zone. Prior to 2006, some of both sets of counties (IIRC, which I may not) followed daylight savings and some did not.

  30. I’ve been listening to a podcast called No Such Thing As A Fish lately, where they basically research four facts each week and talk about them. Anyway one week (some time in the first 50 episodes or so) one of the facts was that at one point there was a 35 mile bus route that went through 7 timezones in the US. It was shortly after daylight savings time was introduced and states/counties mostly decided if they were going to use it or not. Wish I could remember the episode it was in so I could easily go back and get more details.

  31. On an emotional level, I understand the reaction to quick rejection turn-around. You want at least the illusion that the editor agonized over the choice for a while before–with utmost reluctance–they realized they had to decline the opportunity to publish it. No one wants to believe their work can be evaluated instantly on the basis of the first page.

  32. Yeah 30 minute differences are a bit of a mare to convert – but spare a thought also for anyone trying to schedule a call to or from Nepal, which is hanging out at UTC +5:45…

    I also feel Australia deserves special mention for the combination of both 30 minute timezones and a state by state policy on whether or not to have daylight savings – meaning there are parts of the country which are in the same time zone for half the year and one hour different the other half, and south Australia ends up half an hour ahead of Queensland in summer even though the latter is almost entirely east of the former. Also that summer includes Christmas. Mind blowing.

  33. Aren’t time zones part of the same authoritarian tendency that forces drivers to all drive on the right (or all on the left)? I say let every person determine their own time! Let a joyous anarchy rule on the roads and sidewalks and living rooms of foolishly situated homes!

  34. I recall one switch to British Summer Time, a few years back, when I set everything forward one hour as per usual… and when I got to work, well, the only person who knew how to change the time on the phone system was away, so that was still an hour behind… and someone had set the time on the computers forward an hour, and then someone else had helpfully come along and done the same thing….

    So, working from left to right, I had a phone on my desk (one hour slow), I had my wristwatch (correct time) and I had the time on my PC (one hour fast). I had three separate time zones across my desk.

  35. We choose to file this scroll during this decade not because it is easy, but because iti s full of pixels!

  36. @Oneiros: I find a 35 mile bus route that went through 7 timezones in the US a bit hard to believe, since IIRC the dates for going into and out of DST have been set nationally. Perhaps they meant crossing between different timezones 7 times (just as I once managed to fly through the same front 6 times in less than 2 hours)? I’d be interested to see the show’s evidence, because many counties were defined around population centers (so a road crossing many county borders wouldn’t be as heavily trafficked as one making a single crossing), but the US is full of fascinating oddities.

  37. @Mark (Kitteh): Good question re. Wagers being Campbell eligible; I hadn’t even though about that.

  38. @Arifel: “a state by state policy on whether or not to have daylight savings”

    The US has this too, to a lesser degree: Arizona and Hawaii don’t do it.

    I had a job in California where one team member had moved out to Arizona several years earlier and continued to work with them over the Internet. Every year, he professed to be unaware of what this foolish time change thing was about and unwilling to accommodate the crazy Californians, as if this was a new-fangled socialist invention that he had happily avoided ever being subject to, although of course he was not native to Arizona nor Hawaii. And he was the sort of “you all are doing things WRONG and ILLOGICALLY” engineer who could easily have written that UTC article.

  39. @Chip Hitchcock: if I can find the episode again I’ll see if I can get more info! 🙂 Yeah, I also think the way I phrased it is a little wrong and agree your explanation is probably more on the money (I listened to the episode quite a while ago)

    Edit: one thing I recall is that the government gave it to the states on whether to follow DST, and certain states allowed counties to decide, which led to a lot of strangeness. I really must try to find the episode again to refresh my memory on this.

  40. And even when I know the server time it can require some thinking to translate between time zones, in particular when crossing midnight.
    Try being in UTC+12, and dealing with people in North America who aren’t even polite enough to state their UTC offset. From memory, West Coast is 4 hours ahead, but yesterday.
    but spare a thought also for anyone trying to schedule a call to or from Nepal, which is hanging out at UTC +5:45…
    Or the Chatham Islands, at UTC +12:45

  41. (1) Im quite happy if a publisher rejects my games withina week as opposed to, you know, a year or five (record is 8 years).
    Of course Id pretty much prefer if the game is signed, but its not that the publisher would change his mind after a week…

  42. Even with Brexit the BBC still recently managed to find someone to moan about not putting the clocks back and going to GMT+2 in the summer. In this case they stuck with just well worn “think of the children” argument, rather than unifying with most of the EU on CET which was normally used by Tory backbenchers for the good of business which could be seen as a bit hypocritical right now.

    Given this would put Edinburgh in darkness until nearly 10am midwinter and still be dark before 5pm, Scotland has always been opposed.

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