Pixel Scroll 1/13/17 Pixelcrantz And Guildenscroll Are Dead

(1) WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILING. Graeme Cameron has a great installment of “The Clubhouse” about the legendary Walt Willis at Amazing Stories.

In 1952 Walt was the recipient of the first Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund (TAFF) which paid his way to attend the Chicon II Worldcon in Chicago that year. To give you an idea of his inventiveness, he immediately wrote WILLIS DISCOVERS AMERICA (OR WHY MAGELLAN SAILED COMPLETELY AROUND IT), a report on his TAFF trip, BEFORE he made the trip. He crammed into its pages his impressions of America derived from all the American fanzines and correspondence he’d read to date.

“A Roscoeite!” exclaims the Chief Immigration Officer in horror. “By Ghu, this is a purple-letter day for us. We’ll show you how we treat vile infidels here. Men! Seize Ellis and transport him to Willis Island. His confederate too.”

“The South shall rise!” shouts Shelby defiantly as the Ghuist hordes close in on him. “Yeast is Yeast and …”

…Next, Willis and Shelby concoct a fiendish plan. They overpower a guard and a nurse, intending to put on their uniforms and walk out the door….

Willis and Shelby prepare to escape, but the unexpected happens.

“Now,” says Willis, “All we have to do is walk quietly out.”

He unlocks the door with the guard’s keys and is opening it slowly and noiselessly when there is the sound of rushing feet in the corridor and several men in prison guard uniform burst into the cell. Before Vick and Willis can utter a word they are gagged and bound by six of the strangers while the rest carry out the unconscious guard and nurse. The leader pauses dramatically on the threshold. “If anyone asks you who rescued Willis and Vick,” he says proudly, “tell them it was Harlan Ellison and the Cleveland Science Fantasy League. That’ll show Ken Beale. It’s not every fan group who would have thought of overpowering some of the guards and taking their uniforms.”

But every fan group does. Six in all, in fact, in sequence. Each offering Willis an opportunity to poke fun at them. Needless to say, no one escapes.

(2) GETTING AN AGENT FOR TV WRITING. Joshua Sky taps into his experience when offering his “Advice on Landing a Genre TV Lit Agent” at the SFWA Blog.

The first thing a writer will need are two killer television scripts, in the same format and in their target genre. This may sound obvious, but is nevertheless true. The hardest part isn’t just writing your script, it’s getting someone to read it, which is why it has to be excellent because second chances with a script reader are rare. The reason the writer will need at least two samples is because the agent wants proof that the scribe can do it more than once.

The writer will need to be very specific about exactly what kind of scribe they are gunning to be. A Hollywood agent won’t want someone who is open to any genre. For example: someone who blithely says that they’ll write anything, or enjoys both comedy and drama. So be precise. For our intents and purposes, we are targeting the science fiction / genre market. The samples that got me my second TV agent were two science fiction pilots. I pitched myself as the kind of writer who understood high-concept genre fare and yearned to write one-hour dramas. Shows like Man in the High Castle, Westworld and The Expanse.

After you have the requisite samples, and only then, you can begin submitting and querying agents. But to be honest, referrals work best. In my ten years in the industry, I have never met any writers who have been able to obtain a reputable TV agent via email query. I’ve heard tales of that happening, but they are very rare, like people who sell scripts that don’t live in LA, it’s more the exception than the rule.

(3) TWO OCTAVIA BUTLER ARTICLES. Salon interviews Junot Diaz — “Remembering Octavia Butler: ‘This country views people like Butler and like Oscar as aliens and treats people like us like we’re from another planet”.

But the readers and writers who admire Butler and dig her work are everywhere. One of them is Junot Díaz, author of “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” and “This Is How You Lose Her” and a lifelong science-fiction fan. Díaz, who teaches at MIT and lives outside Boston, corresponded with Salon about Butler and her work.

Let’s start with her achievement as a writer. How “significant” substantial. original, inventive, etc. was Octavia Butler?

Butler is a foundational figure and in my option one of the most significant literary artist of the 20th century. One cannot exaggerate the impact she has had across canons — as creators, readers, critics, we’re still wrestling with her extraordinary work. I teach her every single year without fail. To me she is that important.

Sheila Liming tells about “My Neighbor Octavia” at Public Books.

For years, I knew Octavia E. Butler, the famed African American science fiction and fantasy writer, by her first name only. That was the way she introduced herself when I first met her back in the fall of 1999. Butler had just purchased the house across the street from my parents’ and joined the ranks of our rather conventional suburban community in Lake Forest Park, WA, located just north of Seattle. A spate of rumors had attended her arrival on the block: “Octavia” wrote novels (about aliens!); “Octavia” had one of those “genius” grants; “Octavia” lived alone and was a reclusive artist type.

Andrew Porter sent these links together with this never-before-published photo of Butler.

Octavia Butler. Photo by and © Andrew I. Porter; all rights reserved.

Octavia Butler. Photo by and © Andrew I. Porter; all rights reserved.

(4) BECOMING A WINNER. 2016 Tiptree fellowship winner likhain’s application statement has been posted online. (likhain appears to be the desired name, but they have also used M. Sereno, Mia S., or Mia Sereno, per this post by Rose Lemberg).

I want to share with you the personal statement I submitted as part of my application, answering the question of how I work with speculative narrative to expand or explore our understanding of gender. I wrote this at the eleventh hour before submissions for the Fellowship application closed; I was quite sure I wouldn’t get the fellowship anyway, but I felt I had to speak, to say why I was doing my work — even if it came out broken and incoherent and raw.

I’m glad the selection committee saw something in my words that resonated. I’m glad they felt my work deserved supporting — that there is something in it that bears developing, some form of brightness to be seen. I’m so honored to be a Tiptree Fellow.

How do I work with speculative narrative to expand or explore our understanding of gender?

Through my art, I explore the weight of my heritage as a queer Filipina, heir to a history of struggle and revolution, colonization and war; descendant of women who spoke and fought, built and taught, and were as unflinching in their pursuit of their goals as they were wholehearted in their love. My understanding of being a woman is different from the dominant narratives I see in the white West: from childhood, we were always the brave ones, the bright ones, the ones who gave the impossible because we were strong enough to shoulder unbearable cost, the ones who did what was needful when it was too difficult for men, the ones who stood as the last line of defense against annihilation and the dark.

(5) A NEW RECORD. Foz Meadows posted a screencap on Tumblr with this endorsement:

Dear internets, please enjoy the single most batshit ridiculous comment ever left on my blog.

It was left on her blog post “Westworld: (De)Humanising the Other”, but it was inspired by a slam against her and Steve Davidson by Vox Day.

(6) STAR WARRIOR. An actor who has had many memorable roles since becoming famous on Cheers adds his iconic mug to a new franchise — “Woody Harrelson officially joins young Han Solo film”.

Harrelson will join Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke, who also has an unspecified role, as well as Atlanta star Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian.

Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) has the lead part of the galactic smuggler, and he was recently photographed by a fan having lunch with Harrison Ford. We have yet to learn what words of wisdom the original Han Solo had for the new guy, although the bearded Ehrenreich appeared to have Ford beat in the “scruffy nerf-herder” department.

(7) BLATTY OBIT. William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist, has died at the age of 89. The New York Times obituary says —

“The Exorcist,” the story of a 12-year-old girl possessed by the Devil, was published in 1971 and sold more than 13 million copies. The 1973 movie version, starring Linda Blair and directed by William Friedkin, was a runaway hit, breaking box-office records at many theaters and becoming the Warner Bros. studio’s highest-grossing film to date. It earned Mr. Blatty, who wrote the screenplay, an Academy Award. (It was also the first horror movie nominated for the best-picture Oscar.)

“The Exorcist” marked a radical shift in Mr. Blatty’s career, which was already well established in another genre: He was one of Hollywood’s leading comedy writers.

Mr. Blatty collaborated with the director Blake Edwards on the screenplays for four films, beginning in 1964 with “A Shot in the Dark,” the second movie (after “The Pink Panther”) starring Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau and, in some critics’ view, the best. His other Edwards films were the comedy “What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?” (1966); the musical comedy-drama “Darling Lili” (1970); and “Gunn” (1967), based on the television detective series “Peter Gunn.” He also wrote the scripts for comedies starring Danny Kaye, Warren Beatty and Zero Mostel.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • January 13, 1930 — Mickey Mouse comic strip debuted in newspapers.
  • January 13, 1957 — The Wham-O Company developed the first Frisbee.
  • January 13, 1972 A Clockwork Orange has its first showing in the UK.

(9) A FORETASTE OF HORROR. American Horror Story will return for a seventh season and has been renewed for two more beyond that.

The first details about the seventh edition of American Horror Story are being revealed.

The next edition of the hit horror anthology is adding two very familiar names: Emmy-winning actress Sarah Paulson and her fellow AHS franchise veteran Evan Peters are both on board, executive producer Ryan Murphy told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Pasadena, California after a panel for the upcoming limited series Feud.

The next cycle will also be set in modern times, he said.

The revelations came after Murphy was asked if the upcoming season will keep its subject matter a mystery — like FX did with last year’s Roanoke.

(10) BIZARRE COLLECTABLES. Having a bunch of these around the house, sure, that will cheer you right up (rolls eyes) – Dangerous Minds tells about collectable Hieronymus Bosch figurines.

I’m not a big knickknack person. I like to keep my home sparse in the “tiny objects” departament. But I must admit I really do dig these Hieronymus Bosch figurines. They’re kinda cool-looking in their own obviously weird way. I especially like the ones from Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights.

They’re also not too expensive. The figurines start at around $45, depending on quality, size and detail. I’ve posted a range of different figurines and where to purchase below each image if you’re interested.

tree-man-hybrid-creature-statue-adaptation-by-hieronymus-bosch-5h-jb01-1_1024x1024_465_623_int

(11) RICHARD MATHESON FLASHBACK. From Time Magazine’s 2013 obituary:

Fear lives forever. If as kids we are scared witless by some moment in a story, movie or TV show, it goes into a bank of memories we can tap and withdraw, with a shudder or a smile, for the rest of our lives. In popular culture of the past 60 years, few writers deposited more images of dread in the cultural consciousness than Richard Matheson, who died Sunday June 23 at his Calabasas, Cal., home at the age of 87. Here are a few of the images he implanted:

A man notices he is losing wright — no, he’s getting smaller (The Incredible Shrinking Man). An airline passenger sees a gremlin cavorting maliciously on an airplane wing (“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” on The Twilight Zone). A driver on a lonesome highway is menaced by a killer truck (“Duel,” made into a 1971 TV movie by Steven Spielberg). A child disappears into the fourth dimension, her cries still audible to her father (“Little Girl Lost,” The Twilight Zone). A plague of vampires roams the Earth (the novel I Am Legend). A man discovers he has psychic powers that make him hear the thoughts of his neighbors, and of the restless dead (A Stir of Echoes). A young couple is visited by a stranger who tells them they’ll be rich if they just push a button that will instantly kill someone they don’t know (“Button, Button,” The Twilight Zone). A woman buys a Zuni fetish doll as a joke gift, then is attacked and assaulted when the doll comes to life (“Prey,” later a segment in the TV movie Trilogy of Terror).

(12) WATCH THE SYMPOSIUM. Tiptree Winner Eugene Fischer links to eight 2016 Tiptree Symposium videos.

In December I traveled to Eugene, Oregon to attend the 2016 Tiptree Symposium, a two-day academic conference on the work of Ursula K. Le Guin. I got to see some old friends, made some new ones, briefly met Le Guin herself, and heard many thoughtful panels and lectures. If that sounds like something you’re sad to have missed, you’re in luck: the University of Oregon has put videos of the presentations online.

I’m planning to rewatch several of these, starting with the incredible panel Alexis Lothian put together on “Speculative Gender and The Left Hand of Darkness,” featuring Aren Aizura, micha cárdenas, and Tuesday Smillie presenting three trans perspectives on the novel. I took five pages of notes on this panel alone, and came away feeling I hadn’t been able to jot down everything I wanted to think more about.

(13) HARD TRUTHS. Selections from Chuck Tingle’s visit to “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit.

  • well the timelines get HARDER as they go deeper and deeper into the tingleverse and techincally the hardest timeline is THE TINGULARITY i have never gone that far down as I am worried I would not make it back. the farthest i have visited is the timeline where all language is the word butt and there channing tatum makes up most of reality
  • well it is easy to see that love is real when you think about the way the sun shines or the way CHANNING TATUM looks handsome with his new haircut. so you can think on these things and consider that there are other timelines where channing tatum does not exhist or even one where he is a large frog. but it is also important to remember that IT IS OKAY TO BE SAD and IT IS OKAY TO BE WORRIED this is a normal part of being a buckaroo, then we consider this am move forward togeather as courageous bucks
  • when i sit down to write a tingler I think about the basic way of the story (this is through meditation on the deck) and then I think WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO MAKE THIS PROVE LOVE. sometimes a story is good and fun or maybe spooky but it does not prove love and this is the most important part. so i think the key as a true buckaroo is to think HOW CAN THIS MAKE ME PROVE LOVE? how can this make a reader feel hot-to-trot after like they want to prance and maybe kiss a handsome plane or a handsome meatball or even maybe a handsome concept of playoff odds

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jack Lint.]

46 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/13/17 Pixelcrantz And Guildenscroll Are Dead

  1. (3) TWO OCTAVIA BUTLER ARTICLES

    “Butler is a foundational figure and in my option one of the most significant literary artist of the 20th century. One cannot exaggerate the impact she has had across canons — as creators, readers, critics, we’re still wrestling with her extraordinary work. I teach her every single year without fail. To me she is that important.”

    I had never even heard of Butler before I started reading File 770. :/

    (10) BIZARRE COLLECTABLES.

    Yep, I’ve got one. Always wanted to have a carpet with Boschs depiction of hell.

  2. (7)
    My favorite thing from Blatty is a novel he wrote, Twinkle, Twinkle, “Killer” Kane, which is somewhat of a Catch-22 inspired story of a military mental institution, where the wacky goings-on gradually lead to something a bit deeper (further, deponent spoileth not). I was particularly taken with the inmate who claimed to be mounting an all-dog production of Julius Caesar, of which the only line quoted was, “Et Tu, White Fang?” If you squint, just so, it could be sort of sffnal.

    ERROR FOUND
    (11) “losing wright” should probably be “losing weight”

    The Matheson story that left me feeling utterly hollow was Lemmings (Warning: Link leads to story), written or published in the year of my birth. He wrote some other doozies, and this isn’t in everyone’s top ten list, but if nothing else, it shows how much he could just reach into a reader and freak him out. (Again, the reader is me.)

    CLOSE FILE BEFORE SCROLLING

  3. 3) Butler is one of the most unique authors I’ve read. I haven’t exactly liked any of her stories, I find them too disturbing, but I’m glad I read them. They really get under my skin.

  4. (1) WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILING. Graeme Cameron has a great installment of “The Clubhouse” about the legendary Walt Willis at Amazing Stories.

    A correction, one that Graeme should really have been knowledgeable about:

    The Willis visit to America in 1952 was not a TAFF trip. The Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund was established after that, in part to build on the success of Walt’s trip. The Willis trip was the result of a one-off “WAW with the Crew in `52” fan fund which had been organized by Shelby Vick to specifically bring Walt to the 1952 Worldcon in Chicago (and, as it turned out, many other places besides). TAFF delegates, in contrast, are elected by fans from both sides of the Atlantic — always have been, always will be. The first TAFF delegate (in 1954) was Vincent Clarke, who was unable to make the trip.

    But that’s another story…

  5. (3): The first work of Butler’s I read was The Morning and the Evening and the Night, in one of the first few of Dozois’ annual Best Sf anthologies (when it came out, so back in the 80s). I remember pretty much the entire story to this day; she was that kind of writer.
    @Kip W: I seem to recall he was also planning an all-dog production of Hamlet, and was agonizing over casting a Great Dane in the lead role.

  6. PhilRM
    That sounds right. I let my copy of the book go to a roommate decades ago, and have forgotten more than I remember.

  7. @Hampus

    I had never even heard of Butler before I started reading File 770. :/

    For some reason, Octavia Butler isn’t that well known in Europe and her books are not easy to find. Though I did snag my copy of Bloodchild at the university bookshop.

  8. For those who were intrigued by my review of 2016 science-fiction novella The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley, it’s on sale for a limited time for $4.99.

    It’s got a strong female protagonist and goes off in unexpected directions; I totally recommend it (also, it’s loanable on Kindle).

  9. „Big Scroll“? You are given this file and all you can come up with „Big Scroll”?

    Political:
    You may scroll some pixels all of the time or all pixel some of the time, but never all pixels all of the time

    Trivia:
    Roger Bannister was the first man to scroll a file in under 4 minutes.

    Music-reference:
    On a cold and grey Trisolan morning, a poor little baby scroll was filed”

    Polite:
    Can you please scroll this pixel further? Its blocking my driveway!

    Groaner:
    The very hungry Pixelpillar

    Spam-comment
    You can earn 20 pixels a day just by scrolling at home!

    Curious
    Tell,. me is this a pixel in your file or are you just happy to scroll me?

    Scientific
    If you scroll past fifth, will there be another five behind it? And behind that ad infinitum?

    Commercial:
    Scrolls in your mouth, not in your files

    Monty Python
    Scroll her, with the soft cushion!

    Im sure that were 20.

  10. Dammit, WordPress stripped out my link for some reason; let’s try that again.

    For those who were intrigued by my review of 2016 science-fiction novella The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley, it’s on sale for a limited time for $4.99.

    It’s got a strong female protagonist and goes off in unexpected directions; I totally recommend it (also, it’s loanable on Kindle).

  11. Little known fact, My Neighbor Octavia was the original working title for a Studio Ghibli movie.

    Oc-tavia, Octavia! Oc-tavia, Octavia!…

  12. My first encounter with Butler’s work was in Omni Magazine. Bloodchild freaked me out so much, it was years before I tried her again. I still have gaps in my Butler reading as a result.

  13. @Peer:

    I have it on unimpeachable authority that “Groaner” should read “The Very Hungry Caterpixel.” 🙂

    In other news, I just finished The Apocalypse Triptych. I’m pleased to report that it is almost completely zombie-free, yet has multiple asteroid/impact scenarios. I’m very tempted to put an omnibus version together for private use and employ links after each story to make read-by-author easier.

  14. Related to nothing in particular yesterday I purchased an Amazon Echo.

    We’re testing it here at home to see if this device will be able to help my mother who is having age-related cognitive and physical issues.

    My hope is that it will be sufficient to allow her to keep track of date and time and that she or an aide will be able to update a google calendar (or similar) service and that she can get into the habit of asking “what’s scheduled for today”.

    I plan on turning OFF automatic purchases.

    And beyond the test, I have other plans/hopes that I will be able to use it to help me enhance some features at Amazing Stories.

    But for that explanation, you’ll all have to wait.

  15. Steve Wright
    Wikipedia says it is. I may have known about this movie for ten or twelve minutes at one point. It was made around a half decade after I read it, and possibly about the time I gave my copy of the book away. Not sure how I missed it. I went to movies back then and everything, and at the time, Stacy Keach was a class act—he did the Chorus in Antigone in a production on, I think, PBS, but Wikipedia doesn’t mention it.

    Wikipedia says there are two versions of the book—I read the first one, which the author prefers—as well as the movie and a published screenplay.

  16. @Hampus: shouldn’t that be RaFael to complete the set? I suppose that depends on how one learned that name. Is the plural of male graduate alumNEE or alumNYE?

  17. Rev. Bob:

    I have it on unimpeachable authority that “Groaner” should read “The Very Hungry Caterpixel.” ?

    My first choice was “Pillarpixel”, because it sounded better. 🙂

    Oh, the places you scroll!

  18. @Steve Wright: @Kip W: was that the novel adapted for film as The Ninth Configuration?
    Yes – in fact, that was the title used on the paperback edition of the novel that I read.
    I read an interview with Blatty long ago in which he talked (with considerable amusement) about the wildly different marketing the novel received pre- and post-The Exorcist.

  19. PhilRM
    The novel you read may not have been the novel I read. He reworked it, and later said he preferred the first version with the “Twinkle, Twinkle” title. If I read the later one, I might not be able to tell what was changed without reading the earlier one again.

  20. @Peer Sylvester

    For Cixin Liu fans, you might change that to “On a cold and grey Trisolaran morning, a baby scroll was filed”

  21. “I have arrived at Arisia!”

    Hmm. I’m not getting this one at all. Maybe “I have scrolled at Pixelia!” would work better. *

  22. 11) A young couple is visited by a stranger who tells them they’ll be rich if they just push a button that will instantly kill someone they don’t know (“Button, Button,” The Twilight Zone).

    I would refuse that without a second thought. Want to tempt me? Let me choose who dies when I push the button. And you wouldn’t even need to offer me money in exchange.

    @ Paul: Have you ever heard Joey Shoji’s filk from Bloodchild? It was sufficiently popular for a few years as to inspire a protest-parody, “Bloodcurdled” (by Rennie Levine IIRC). The song is actually darker than the story, which ends on a semi-positive note.

    DO NOT LOOK INTO SCROLL WITH REMAINING PIXEL.

  23. For Cixin Liu fans, you might change that to “On a cold and grey Trisolaran morning, a baby scroll was filed”

    grmm… that was what I intended to write…

  24. I thought The Ninth Configuration was a darn good film (and Stacy Keach puts in a very good performance in it), but I haven’t read either version of the book, so I don’t really know how it compares.

    Idle thought: does anyone ever go to Arisia twice? If you do, does that make you a Second Stage fan or something?

  25. Leonardo, Pixelangelo, Scrollatello and Raphael.

    Tickinardo, Pixelangelo, Scrollatello and Rafi-el, surely.

  26. Gather ye pixels while ye may,
    Old Time is still a-scrolling

    I hadn’t realized that William Peter Blatty wrote John Goldfarb, Please Come Home. (First as a script, then as a book, and then back to a script.) One of those movies I used to always see after school on afternoon TV and haven’t seen in years. Good cast, but I’m guessing it might not stand up to the test of time.

  27. (5) I’m guessing that VD appropriating official comments aimed at Trump and applying them to Foz Meadows was his notion of wit. It’s hard to be sure, obviously, since even on his best days, VD is still less witty than a boiled rock.

    (7) The book was set at and the location-shoot of the film done at my university (a decade before I was there). In my junior year, I used to walk the “Exorcist steps” when going to/from an after-classes job at a Georgetown deli; it was very, VERY long and steep outdoor public staircase which had appeared memorably in the movie. I’m not a horror reader, but a few years ago, I decided to read The Exorcist, since it’s the iconic horror novel of my lifetime. Even decades after it was written, it was an engrossing novel–and scary enough that I slept with the light on for several nights after that. RIP, Mr. Blatty.

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