Pixel Scroll 1/6/17 It Scrolls! It Pixels! It Makes Julienne Files!

(1) GALAKTIKA UP TO ITS OLD TRICKS. Bence Pintér of Mandiner.sci-fi checked with the authors of translated short stories in the latest issue of Galaktika, the Hungarian prozine caught publishing overseas authors without payment. Pinter discovered —

They [Galaktika] went on with publishing short stories without the authors’ permission, in this case the victims were Indra Das and Colin P. Davies. Davies knew nothing about this translation; but they asked Das for permission, but never got back to him with contract or the royalty. He did not know his story was published. Here is my article in Hungarian.

(2) CINEMA DENIERS. New Statesman’s Amelia Tait, in “The Movie That Doesn’t Exist and the Redditors Who Think It Does”, reports there is an intense discussion on Reddit about people who say that they saw a movie called Shazaam in the mid-1990s with Sinbad as a genie, even though there is no evidence that this movie was ever made and Sinbad himself tweeted that “only people who were kids in the mid-90s” claim to have seen it.  Tait says these redditors are probably mis-remembering Kazaam, a movie with Shaquille O’Neal as a genie from the mid-1990s.

“I remember thinking Shaq’s Kazaam was a rip-off or a revamp of a failed first run, like how the 1991 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer bombed but the late Nineties TV reboot was a sensation,” says Meredith, who is one of many who claim to remember both Shazaam and Kazaam. Don remembers ordering two copies of the former and only one of the latter for the store, while Carl says: “I am one of several people who specifically never saw Kazaam because it looked ridiculous to rip off Shazaam just a few years after it had been released.” When Carl first realised there was no evidence of the Sinbad movie existing, he texted his sister to ask if she remembered the film.

“Her response [was] ‘Of course.’ I told her, ‘Try and look it up, it doesn’t exist’. She tried and texted back with only: ‘What was it called?’ – there was never a question of if it existed, only not remembering the title.”

(3) ALL HE’S CRACKED UP TO BE. Another work of art from “Hugo Nominated Author” Chuck Tingle.

(4) THE NEXT STEP. “Where do you get your ideas,” is an oft-mocked interview question, but how one writer develops his ideas is captured in Joshua Rothman’s profile “Ted Chiang’s soulful Science Fiction” in The New Yorker.

Chiang’s stories conjure a celestial feeling of atemporality. “Hell Is the Absence of God” is set in a version of the present in which Old Testament religion is tangible, rather than imaginary: Hell is visible through cracks in the ground, angels appear amid lightning storms, and the souls of the good are plainly visible as they ascend to Heaven. Neil, the protagonist, had a wife who was killed during an angelic visitation—a curtain of flame surrounding the angel Nathanael shattered a café window, showering her with glass. (Other, luckier bystanders were cured of cancer or inspired by God’s love.) Attending a support group for people who have lost loved ones in similar circumstances, he finds that, although they are all angry at God, some still yearn to love him so that they can join their dead spouses and children in Heaven. To write this retelling of the Book of Job, in which one might predict an angel’s movements using a kind of meteorology, Chiang immersed himself in the literature of angels and the problem of innocent suffering; he read C. S. Lewis and the evangelical author Joni Eareckson Tada. Since the story was published, in 2001, readers have argued about the meaning of Chiang’s vision of a world without faith, in which the certain and proven existence of God is troubling, rather than reassuring.

(5) BIG RAY GUN. The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded a ?30M contract to produce a prototype laser weapon.

The aim is to see whether “directed energy” technology could benefit the armed forces, and is to culminate in a demonstration of the system in 2019.

The contract was picked up by a consortium of European defence firms.

The prototype will be assessed on how it picks up and tracks targets at different distances and in varied weather conditions over land and water.

(6) CHOW DOWN. Episode 26 of Scott Edelman’s Eating the Fantastic podcast brings Edelman together with James Morrow at an Uzbek restaurant.

James Morrow

James Morrow

We discussed his first novel (written when he was only seven years old!), why he feels more connected to the fiction of Arthur C. Clarke than that of Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov, his many paths not taken, including that of filmmaker, the ethical conundrum which occurred after Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. autographed a book “for Jim Morrow, who writes just like me,” how Charles Darwin “confiscated our passports,” and much more.

Edelman has launched an Eating the Fantastic Patreon.

In order to make Eating the Fantastic even better, I’d like to pick up the pace, post episodes more often than biweekly, make day trips to capture writers whom I never get a chance to see on the con circuit, and maybe even upgrade to more advanced recording equipment.

(7) AUTOGRAPH THE PETITION. Brad Johnson of Covina, CA has started a Change.org petition calling for California lawmakers to repeal the troublesome new standards for dealers in autographed items.

Nearly everyone in California is impacted by AB 1570, California’s new autograph bill, because it affects everyone with a signed item in their possession, whether it’s a painting passed down through generations, an autographed baseball, or a treasured book obtained at an author’s book signing. Under the new law, when a California consumer sells an autographed item worth $5 or more, the consumer’s name and address must be included on a Certificate of Authenticity. This requirement applies to anyone reselling the item as authentic, be it a bookseller, auction house, comic book dealer, antiques dealer, autograph dealer, art dealer, an estate sales company, or even a charity.

AB 1570 is fatally flawed and must be repealed with immediate effect. It is rife with unintended consequences that harm both consumers and small businesses. It has been condemned by newspaper editorial boards and the American Civil Liberties Union.

“This bill never should have passed. The Legislature must fix or repeal it immediately when it resumes business.” – Los Angeles Times Editorial Board

(8) THERE IS A SILVER BULLET FOR THIS PROBLEM. Kate Beckinsale, star of Underworld: Blood Wars, joins Stephen Colbert to deliver an important werewolf-related public service announcement.

(9) A STRANGE DEVICE. Seattle’s Museum of Popular Culture hosts “The Art of Rube Goldberg” beginning February 11.

stamp_usps_rube_goldberg

From self-opening umbrellas to automated back scratchers, if you can dream it, Rube Goldberg invented it.

For more than 70 years, cartoonist Rube Goldberg drew unique worlds filled with inventive technology and political commentary. Equal parts clever satirist and zany designer, the Pulitzer Prizing-winning artist is best known for his invention drawings—complex chain-reaction machines designed to perform simple tasks.

From iconic board games like Mouse Trap to thrilling music videos such as OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass,” Goldberg has influenced some of the most indelible moments in pop culture. His name is so synonymous with his creations that it was added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as an adjective that describes the act of complicating a simple task. The tireless creator is thought to have drawn 50,000 cartoons over his long career.

Today, Goldberg’s ideas live on through the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. This annual international competition challenges teams of students to compete in building the most elaborate Rube Goldberg Machine.

The Art of Rube Goldberg is the first comprehensive retrospective of Goldberg’s 72-year career since 1970. With more than 90 objects on display ranging from original drawings and animations to 3D puzzles, these incredible artifacts are paired with MoPOP’s signature interactive style to bring Goldberg’s imagination to life.

(10) EIGHTIES VERTLIEB. Matt Suzaka at Chuck Norris Ate My Baby rediscovered an old video of Steve Vertlieb being interviewed on Philadelphia TV:

While wandering the crowded halls of YouTube recently, I came across this enjoyable Halloween special that aired sometime in the early 1980s (maybe ‘81 or ‘82). The show in question, People Are Talking, was hosted by Richard Bey, and this particular episode features a genuinely interesting interview with film journalist and historian Steve Vertlieb.

One thing that I enjoy about this special, specifically the interview with Vertlieb, is the fact that horror films aren’t being chastised, something of which was very common for this type of show during the time period. Instead, this interview and the special as a whole is more of a celebration of what makes horror enjoyable for people of all ages. There is some discussion about how horror evolves to reflect modern society as well as how horror films can be a positive escape for some people.

 

(11) SPECIAL SNOWFLAKES. Anthony Herrera Designs has many patterns for science fictional paper snowflakes. The link takes you to the 2016 Star Wars set, and on the same page are links to Guardians of the Galaxy, Frozen, and Harry Potter designs.

New characters! New vehicles! 50% more beards! It’s time for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. These characters look just awesome and they make great snowflakes too. Here is the Star Wars snowflake collection for 2016. Featuring Rogue One characters and a few additional ones I just needed to throw in there. Download, cut and decorate with these snowflakes and most of all REBEL! This is an rebellion isn’t it? Unless your office coworkers will be annoyed. In that case be cool. Don’t be that guy.  As always I recommend using scissors, a sharp x-acto knife and patience. Have fun!

death_trooper-displayed

(11) THE SHAPE OF SHADES TO COME. Several File 770 readers have said they will be chasing the eclipse next summer. Here’s the latest information on where it can be viewed — “NASA Moon Data Provides More Accurate 2017 Eclipse Path”.

On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, millions in the U.S. will have their eyes to the sky as they witness a total solar eclipse. The moon’s shadow will race across the United States, from Oregon to South Carolina. The path of this shadow, also known as the path of totality, is where observers will see the moon completely cover the sun. And thanks to elevation data of the moon from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, coupled with detailed NASA topography data of Earth, we have the most accurate maps of the path of totality for any eclipse to date.

 

(12) MOON PICTURE. Annalee Newitz at Ars Technica says Hidden Figures is the perfect space race movie. Does the review live up to the wordplay of the headline? You decide!

Hidden Figures is the perfect title for this film, based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s exhaustively researched book of the same name. It deals with an aspect of spaceflight that is generally ignored, namely all the calculations that allow us to shoot objects into orbit and bring them back again. But it’s also about the people who are typically offscreen in sweeping tales of the white men who ran the space race. What Hidden Figures reveals, for the first time in Hollywood history, is that John Glenn would never have made it to space without the brilliant mathematical insights of a black woman named Katherine Johnson (played with what can only be called regal geekiness by Taraji Henson from Empire and Person of Interest).

Johnson was part of a group of “colored computers” at Langley Research Center in Atlanta, black women mathematicians who were segregated into their own number-crunching group. They worked on NASA’s Project Mercury and Apollo 11, and Johnson was just one of several women in the group whose careers made history.

Though Johnson is the main character, we also follow the stories of her friends as Langley pushes its engineers to catch up to the Soviets in the space race. Mary Jackson (a terrific Janelle Monae) wants to become an engineer, and eventually gets a special court order so she can attend classes at an all-white school. Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) becomes the first African-American woman to lead a department at the space agency, by teaching herself FORTRAN and learning to program Langley’s new IBM mainframe. One of my favorite scenes is when Vaughan debugs the computer for a bunch of white guys who have no idea what’s going on. As they splutter in confusion, she pats the giant, humming mainframe and says, “Good girl.”

(13) OCTAVIA BUTLER’S KINDRED NOW GRAPHIC NOVEL. Via Tor.com’s Leah Schnelbach we learn:

If you’re in New York City on January 13th and 14th, illustrator and Visual Studies professor John Jennings will be debuting the graphic novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred at the 2017 Black Comic Fest at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture! Jennings collaborated with writer Damian Duffy on the project, and you can read a preview here.

(14) SHINING GEEKS. Also at Tor.com is Schnelbach’s post “Adam Savage Tours a Weta Workshop Sculptor’s Mini Labyrinth Maze!”

Is there anything more joyful than watching someone explain their passion to an appreciative audience? In the video below, Johnny Fraser-Allen walks Adam Savage through his gorgeously detailed model of the Labyrinth from, er, Labyrinth. Fraser-Allen began work at Weta Workshop straight out of high school, after being inspired to go into film by repeated viewing of Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. Now he’s been commissioned by River Horse Games to create figures and illustrations for their Labyrinth tabletop game, and he gleefully shares his work with fellow maze-enthusiast Adam Savage, whose model of The Shining‘s iconic hedge maze is currently touring the country with the Stanley Kubrick Exhibition.

See her post for the Youtube video about the Labyrinth maze.

Meantime, here’s another video about Savage’s own Overlook Hotel Maze. The video is cued to when it’s all complete for about an 8-minute run, but people who want all the details on how it was designed and built can watch from the very beginning (24:21 total).

(15) PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. Alex Acks tweets

(16) AWESOMENESS. Patrick Wynne, renowned mythopoeic artist, was thrilled with a gift he received from Carl F. Hostetter, one of his colleagues in the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship. It’s amazing what happens when your friends really know you.

I think I might just have gotten my favorite Procasmas present EVER—a huge fleece throw with the infamous friendship portrait of Amy Farrah Fowler and Penny from “The Big Bang Theory”! Thank you, Carl F. Hostetter, it’s wonderful!

wynne-friendship-potrait

(17) INTERPLANETARY LOVE. The Space Between Us trailer #3 is out.

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Mark-kitteh, Soon Lee, Michael J. Walsh, Steve Vertlieb, Andrew Porter. and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Dawn Incognito.]

128 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/6/17 It Scrolls! It Pixels! It Makes Julienne Files!

  1. One of the Disney comics in the 50s or 60s had a text page story called “Mickey’s Dilemna,” so I spelled it that way since childhood — learning the truth a couple years ago, with the result that now both spellings look incorrect to me.

    I never knew how to pronounce anything from just reading books. I had read The Odyssey several times before ever being taught it in school, so I was very fortunate not to ever pronounce Odysseus’ wife’s name as rhyming with antelope in class.

  2. @Bill: I know… I was under the impression that their revival of the character never really attracted much of an audience despite the attempt to stir up more interest with a TV show, but I may be wrong. He certainly wasn’t anything like the household word he had been 30 years earlier, when he was bigger than Superman.

  3. Are you thinking of Hot Wheels? Toth did the first five issues, and Adams did the final sixth issue.

    That’s probably it, since it was based on a cartoon that I’m betting Toth designed. Every now and then someone looks at the reprint rights to that series, discovers that the rights are all tangled up between the toy company, the animation company and DC, and gives up right there.

    Ric Estrada also had work in #2-6, and I’d say the winner issue of the series isn’t the Adams issue, but #5, in which Toth wrote, drew and inked a terrific story, “The Case of the Curious Classic,” that had very little to do with the regular tone and approach of the series.

  4. Kendall: Oh I’m sure that there was plenty of confusion over black actors being mistaken for each other involved too, sadly, but since Sinbad did this weird t.v. movie that involved an alien but in circumstances kind of similar to a genie set-up, I suspect it helped. Sinbad was on t.v. quite a bit in the 1990’s and some of the stuff he did there may have contributed too. He did roles in the Happily Every After: Fairy Tales for Every Child animated t.v. series and it’s entirely possible that one role he did there is what’s causing the memories as well, turning vocal into a visual. Also, someone else here found there was an actual additional genie comedy movie in 1991 in which the genie is played by a British black actor, and of course there is Disney’s animated Aladdin in 1992, in which Robin Williams might have used a Sinbad imitation among the hundreds of bits he did in that movie. But in general, I’m guessing it’s a combination of mixing up Sinbad and Shaq as two black actors, and Sinbad’s Aliens For Breakfast t.v. movie, which probably a lot of kids saw back then. It was out two years before Shaq’s genie movie, so that would tie in.

  5. @JJ

    You are aware that there really are two words, though, right? (This is a misspelling I see all the time, which drives me crazy, along with choose/chose, breath/breathe, and lead/led.)

    Yes, but I must have thought mislead was both forms of the word not pronounced my-zuld. I don’t see how my young brain made sense of its understanding of misled/mislead, but I do recall my embarrassment when I learned the truth.

  6. Bill
    It was Hot Wheels. I didn’t see your comment until just now. Probably was entering my own when yours showed up.

    Kurt
    I don’t know that I ever came across the Toth issues of the Hot Wheels DC comic, but now I want to read #5. I know I liked Toth even then. I remember my joy at finding the first two issues of Zorro at a used book shop for something like nineteen cents each.

  7. Mis-LED:

    The discovery you purchased daylight spectrum bulbs when you meant to procure Soft White.

  8. mislied – having spoken the truth by accident when you intended to lie but were wrong about the subject.

  9. mislederhosen: to accidentally jam both one’s lower limbs into only one leg of a pair of leather shorts.

  10. mislaid – injured yourself or your partner during intercourse
    misslaid – copulated with an unmarried woman
    mislard – to use the wrong amount of animal fat
    misluddite – to accidentally repair something, esp. technology, in an attempt to break it
    misslake – to fail to quench one’s thirst, illustrated here:

    https://youtu.be/w9t26oXrcy0

  11. Misslid: to have slud the wrong way into a base, such as head-first instead of feet-first.

  12. “Misslaad” – to mistake your opponent for a frog-like entity from another plane of existence.

  13. I don’t know that I ever came across the Toth issues of the Hot Wheels DC comic, but now I want to read #5. I know I liked Toth even then. I remember my joy at finding the first two issues of Zorro at a used book shop for something like nineteen cents each.

    You can read it here, with Toth’s annotations:

    http://www.tothfans.com/gallery.php?row=0&a=344

    Toth also redid the story — redrawing the licensed-character heads and reworking some backgrounds — and republished it in black-and-white in France; it’s so striking a piece that it can be utterly divorced from the license and stand on its own.

    It really should be collected along with BRAVO FOR ADVENTURE and his other creator-owned work, but alas, that’s as unlikely as a HOT WHEELS TPB.

  14. @arifel – I am way late to the party, but can I make a plea for Robert Chambers? Not that he didn’t write a fair number of short stories, but we remember him for the King in Yellow, which appeared in only two, so far as I know.

    But other than that–I’ll cheat a bit and say Lewis Carroll. Two novels, one poem. (I suppose I could argue for Barrie but I always hated Pan.)

  15. @redwombat ahhh another I need to track down. Did Caroll do short fantasy poetry too or am I confusing him with someone else?

    MissSlade: the time between January and November when your favourite Christmas song isn’t on the radio.

  16. Did Caroll do short fantasy poetry too or am I confusing him with someone else?

    Yes — “The Hunting of the Snark”, and several poems scattered through the Alice books, with “Jabberwocky” and “The Walrus and the Carpenter” probably being the two that most often get printed separately.

    Edward Lear’s close enough in time and style that you might be thinking of him as well.

  17. misLiad: to invoke the wrong House? (or leader, whose title I’m blanking on.)

  18. Greg Hullender on January 7, 2017 at 8:42 am said:

    Then I saw an item on Reddit today about a judgment in the Peter S. Beagle lawsuit. It essentially says that a con man stole (and is still stealing) much of the revenue from Beagle’s “Last Unicorn” and that the same con man is trying to steal the Thieves World books. If one believes the article (and, I have to say, it’s pretty one-sided) then it really does look pretty bad.

    I just got a mailing list email about Conlan Press going on with new Last Unicorn tours and more far-fer-ol about having a new guy to fill outstanding product orders – same song, different singer *sigh* And I recently found Peter S Beagle’s official Facebook page (as opposed to various Last Unicorn groups that have claimed the status in the past) and went to ask them a question about a past Last Unicorn theatre showing that I was at in Toronto, and they told me Peter has nothing to do with this most recent round of theatre showings which is pretty ballsy of Conlan Press while in the middle of legal issues!

    I’m lucky that back in 2014 I decided not to buy (excuse me, “pre-order”) any of the books that we were told were coming out at the Toronto showing, I just bought two new books that were there, one of which I got Peter to sign and that man is just the sweetest person I’ve ever met, he is a treasure. What I’ve been trying to get since then from Conlan Press or anyone is that they encouraged us to dress up so I did my best to come as the Red Bull, but in my rush to get there I forgot to take any pics of my costume. I have been hoping that somewhere along the line they would post pictures of everyone’s costumes (and some were so awesome, one guy came as the butterfly with huge wings!) on their facebook page or their website, I even tried to politely email them directly for a copy of the photos (they did also promise those of us who did dress up a free gift but I don’t really care about that, especially this long after) but I’ve had no sucess so far, which is a bummer.

    Of course not getting some photos is nothing compared to what Mr.Beagle has been dealing with, what a nightmare for him and his loved ones @_@

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