Pixel Scroll 5/19/17 And He Beheld White Scrolls And Beyond Them A Far Green Pixel Under A Swift Sunrise

(1) BUSINESS MEETING. Worldcon 75 has posted the Business Meeting Agenda [PDF file] on the WSFS Business Meeting page. It’s 18 pages — and it may not be done growing yet.

(2) DELANY. The New Republic devotes an article to “Samuel R. Delany’s Life of Contradictions”.

The first volume, In Search of Silence, begins in 1957, when the author was just fifteen, a student at the academically exclusive (and very white) Bronx High School of Science. It ends in 1969, when he was already a successful novelist, about to leave for San Francisco to spend arduous years crafting the novel Dhalgren, his masterpiece. Traversing Delany’s youth, we see a precocious mind grappling with his own talent. Remarkably absent are extended reflections on the difficult circumstances of his outer life: At the time, Delany was navigating through the racism and homophobia of his era, and struggling with poverty, an early marriage, and his own disability. In light of this, the diaries’ portrayal of his serenely intellectual inner life is startling.

(3) COMING TO GRIPS. “On convention hugging” by Sigrid Ellis is a rational model for solving a social dilemma.

It’s SF/F convention season again, and once more we are all presented with the conundrum —

Do I hug this person hello and goodbye, or not?

Social hugging! It’s a thing! Yet, it is MOST DEFINITELY NOT A THING for a lot of people.

Here is how I, personally, navigate these situations. While this may not work perfectly for you, feel free to modify it for your own use….

(3) EMERGING INDIGENOUS VOICES. Silvia Moreno-Garcia says:

We are in touch with the Indigenous Studies Association (ILSA) and it seems this [award] will become a reality. Therefore you can find an IndieGoGo to funnel money via: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/emerging-indigenous-voices#/. My name doesn’t appear on that page, it says Robin Parker, but I am in touch with Robin so don’t worry.

Through today, $70,485 has been pledged. Moreno-Garcia’s latest update has further information:

The Indigenous organization in question will reveal details about how the money will be handled once some logistics are determined, but they are a trustworthy group so don’t be afraid, the money will reach a good place.

There are many other place you could support: Indian and Cowboy, Red Rising Magazine. There’s the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, and last but not least Full Circle, which supports the development of Indigenous playwrights.

There are other ways to support Indigenous creators. Read, share and discuss their books. This should not be a one-time occurrence, guilt should not be the vector that guides your actions, virtue-signaling should not be your driver.

(4) APPERTAINMENT AT THE NEBULA CONFERENCE. They couldn’t slip a blatant typo like this past the pros:

(5) KAREN DAVIDSON OBIT. Karen Lynn Davidson, wife of Amazing Stories’ Steve Davidson, passed away today after a long battle with cancer. Steve said on Facebook, “Goodbye baby doll. I hope you got where you wanted to go.”

He also wanted everyone to know how much credit Karen deserved for the existence of Amazing Stories.

It is very important for me to be sure that everyone knows the following:

Behind the scenes, Karen made Amazing Stories happen.

Before we were married, Karen became well acquainted with my love for science fiction. She was not as interested (preferring Stephen King), but she happily indulged my passion…including all of my books.

When I discovered that the Amazing Stories trademarks had lapsed, Karen was the one who double checked me and confirmed that unbelievable fact.

When it came time to register new trademarks for the name, Karen was the one who agreed to spend some of our (very limited) cash reserves to fund the project.

When our investors dried up, Karen agreed to go back to work and allow me to try to bootstrap the magazine.

Whenever I was unsure what direction to take, Karen always provided valuable insight.

Whatever you may think of Amazing Stories, please know that without Karen, none of it would have happened.

This makes me wonder how many other non-fan supporters are owed a big debt by fandom and the genre for that support.

I’m taking the time now to thank Karen for this very special thing she did for me. If you know someone like her, it might be a good idea for you to do the same.


  • May 19, 1928 — First Jumping Frog Jubilee in Calaveras County, California.
  • May 19, 2011 — HP Lovecraft’s The Whisperer in Darkness opens in Los Angeles.


(8) NATAL YEAR FLIX. Thrillist invites you to check out “The Biggest Movie From the Year You Were Born”. It’s no surprise that I was considered old enough to see the “biggest” picture long before the “Best Picture” winner.

If you were born in 1953…

The BIGGEST movie was The Robe , which grossed $17.5 million in the United States.

The Best Picture winner was From Here to Eternity, which also won Oscars for Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Best Supporting Actress (Donna Reed), Best Writing, Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Frank Sinatra), Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, Best Film Editing, Best Sound

But the best movie was Tokyo Story. A delicate, heart-crushing view into the lives of two grandparents reaching out to their narcissistic children for support and finding none — marked by director Ozu Yasujiro’s pristine attention to detail and framing.

(9) A HUNK OF BURNING LOVE. Add this to the list of things I’ve never heard about before: “China claims breakthrough in mining ‘flammable ice'”.

The catchy phrase describes a frozen mixture of water and gas.

“It looks like ice crystals but if you zoom in to a molecular level, you see that the methane molecules are caged in by the water molecules,” Associate Professor Praveen Linga from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the National University of Singapore told the BBC.

Officially known as methane clathrates or hydrates, they are formed at very low temperatures and under high pressure. They can be found in sediments under the ocean floor as well as underneath permafrost on land.

Despite the low temperature, these hydrates are flammable. If you hold a lighter to them, the gas encapsulated in the ice will catch fire. Hence, they are also known as “fire ice” or “flammable ice”.

Chip Hitchcock suggests, “Filers may remember a sudden release of hydrated methane starting off a John Barnes(?) novel.”

(10) ICE HOUSE. Meanwhile, in the land of the midnight blog, Jon Del Arroz trolls the Worldcon.

(11) MEMORY VERSE. Carl Slaughter thought I should know this:

“I do not aim with my hand,
I aim with my eyes.


I do not shoot with my hand,
I shoot with my mind.


I do not kill with my gun,
I kill with my heart.” – The Gunslinger


The Dark Tower
Stephen King

(12) TRAGIC TROPE. Steven Harper Piziks tells “Why I Won’t See Alien: Covenant” — and he hopes everyone else will give it a miss, too. BEWARE SPOILERS.

I will not see this movie. I will not rent the DVD. I will not support this movie. And here’s why.

SPOILERS (you are warned)

According to various on-line sources, the sins of the same-sex relationship portrayal are the standard ones we’ve come to expect. First, although there were several initial shots to the contrary, there is little or no indication of a marriage–or any kind of relationship–between the two men throughout the film. They don’t touch. They don’t exchange endearments. There was apparently a brief moment of hugging between them in a preview, but that scene has been cut from the film, and that preview has been removed from the Internet. In other words, gay people are still invisible. No LGBT characters are actually in the spotlight. No LGBT protagonists. Just a couple of background guys who may or may not be in a relationship.

But the worst sin comes early in the second act. Hallett, one of the (so far probably) gay men, becomes infected with the alien infection, and a baby alien bursts out of his face. (Not his chest, like in the other movies, but out of his freakin’ face. He’s probably gay, so we have to up the nastiness.) While the ship’s captain leans in to murmur quiet apologies, Lope, the other probably gay guy, whispers, “I love you” and then is forced to walk away.

One more time, we have the gay tragedy….

(13) CRACKED CORNERSTONE. Critics gave the movie that launched the franchise a cool reception (for different reasons) — “‘Alien’: Why Critics in 1979 Hated It”. (I liked it a lot, myself.)

“Don’t race to [Alien] expecting the wit of Star Wars or the metaphysical pretentions of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” wrote Vincent Canby of The New York Times. A better comparison, he wrote, would be Howard Hawks‘ 1951 monster movie The Thing from Another World, all suspense and jump scares. Canby wasn’t the only critic to associate Alien with the kinds of horror flicks that played at 1950s drive-ins. Variety compared the film to It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958), and The Guardian’s Derek Malcolm to The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). To these critics, Scott’s film was a throwback to a less sophisticated era of filmmaking. That’s why The Chicago Sun-Times’ Roger Ebert dismissed Alien as “basically just an intergalactic haunted-house thriller,” while Chicago Reader‘s Dave Kehr described the film’s conceit as “a rubber monster running amok in a spaceship.”

(14) PRIZE-WINNING ADS. Adweek reports “Graham, the Human Redesigned to Survive Car Crashes, Wins Best of Show at New York Festivals”. “Field Trip to Mars” and “Gravity Cat” also received awards.

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne has won Best of Show at New York Festivals for “Meet Graham,” the PSA campaign for Australia’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC) that involved the model creation of a human designed to withstand car-crash forces.

Automobiles have evolved much faster than humans. Graham was created by artist Patricia Piccinini, with help from a trauma surgeon and an accident research engineer, after she was commissioned to study the effects of road trauma on the human body. As the only “human” developed to withstand trauma on our roads, Graham is meant to make people stop and think about their own vulnerability, Clemenger says.

Two other campaigns received two Grand Prize Awards each: Lockheed Martin’s “The Field Trip to Mars” by McCann New York, in Activation & Engagement and Outdoor/Out of Home Marketing; and Sony Interactive Entertainment/Gravity Daze 2’s “Gravity Cat” by Hakuhodo Tokyo, in Branded Entertainment and Film–Cinema/Online/TV.

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Mark-kitteh, Cat Eldridge. Steve Davidson, Carl Slaughter, John King Tarpinian, and Michael J. Walsh for some of these stories. A little bit short today because I’m fighting a terrible cold. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Niall McAuley.]

152 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/19/17 And He Beheld White Scrolls And Beyond Them A Far Green Pixel Under A Swift Sunrise

  1. Yeah, I’d scroll that like a nine dollar bear.

    (9) (heh)
    Was thinking the other day it would be easy enough to do a cartoon of the scientists looking out over a sea of keisters (portrayed by simple lines echoing the tops of many outline heart shapes), and one is saying, “You FOOL! That was no ordinary ass! THAT WAS ASS-9!!”

    [exclamation points do not denote factorials here]

    (13) Hugely disappointed by ALIEN. Was expecting some sort of science fiction movie. The sequel was much better. Don’t much care what else they do.

    I’m going to tick the box, but don’t expect anything to come of it, alas.

  2. (5)

    Steve, I’m so sorry for your loss. She sounds as though she was an absolutely awesome person. I’m sorry you didn’t get more years with her. I hope that your good memories can bring you some comfort. <3

  3. (10) ICE HOUSE.

    It sounds as though Mr. Dunning-Kruger thinks that Worldcons pay publishers to exhibit at the con, rather than the other way around.

    He needs to be talking to VD, but given the utter lack of publisher support of the Puppie finalists he provided at the last 2 Worldcons — other than paying someone’s way so that he could be No-Awarded in person — I don’t think that VD is likely to be doing his authors any favors at this one, either.

  4. 10) @JJ Yes, agreed. I am not going to spend the effort trying to explain it to him, though.

  5. Aw, Steve, I’m so sorry. Your love and appreciation for her shined through, always. And she got the coveted 5th spot here in the Scroll, one of the highest honors File 770 can bestow.

    (1) I read stuff, but why is it some of the Hugo rules can be suspended one year to make them not applicable to the next con? In case some of our newer rules look to being going bad?

    (3.1) It’s too sensible — it’ll never catch on.

    (3.2) Excellent news.

    (4) Appbeartainment?

    (8) The “best” movie is a judgement call, unlike the biggest and Oscar. I mean, “Pink Flamingos” is NOT better than “The Godfather”, nor is “Evil Dead” better than “Raiders”.

    (10) Still unable to understand the first rule of holes — or many other things.

  6. (9) Chip Hitchcock suggests, “Filers may remember a sudden release of hydrated methane starting off a John Barnes(?) novel.”

    Yes, John Barnes: Mother of Storms, 1994.

  7. The year was 1953, and the day was May 19. In honor of the anniversary of my birth, I appertained some Extreme Moose Tracks ice cream.

    It’s my pixel and I’ll scroll if I want to.

  8. Steve, my condolences for your loss – wishing you and your family lots of strength during this time.

  9. 4: So you are saying that people will complain over their bear about the backwards “e” in “crafted?”

  10. Very sorry to hear of your loss, Steve.

    One of the most terrible things about getting older is having to watch as family and friends pass away and leave your life.

  11. My condolences for your loss, Steve. That was a moving tribute, and I hope Amazing Stories has a long run in honor of the work you did with her to make the revival happen.

  12. Another Meredith Moment:

    Strange Devices of the Sun and Moon by Lisa Goldstein is on sale through the usual suspects (US) for $1.99.

    I love this novel and have the HC first, but had to buy it in ebook so I can now re-read it whenever I like!

  13. Condolences to Steve and the rest of his family in this difficult and trying time.


  14. I have it on high authority that many members of the Castalia House author community (both of the Hugo nominated blog and publishing house) are very excited to attend worldcon. We’re actually trying to make an event at Worldcon 76, since I live so close. They’re unfortunately not responding which may have something to do with the fact that the partner of the chair of the convention swore in all caps at me nastily over my support of President Trump. Hopefully they can get over the political nonsense and we can have a beautiful Worldcon San Jose together and talk about the sci-fi we love!

  15. 5- My condolences for your loss Steve.

    12- That Alien: Covenant trailer hasn’t been removed from the net, Fox still has it up on their Youtube page but it isn’t a trailer, it’s one of a couple video prologues to the movie. It isn’t in the movie because it’s a direct prologue to the movie, and features the couple arm wrestling and then hugging/kissing and calling out a crew member that was seemed uncomfortable with it.

    However in contrast the trailers themselves do talk about how everyone on the ship is a couple but only show three of the couples and not the men above. It doesn’t show all the couples on the ship either however I can see why the omission from prologue to trailer would make people unhappy, and if they go from the prologue showing them as a happy couple with no problem with PDA but then in the movie they never touch then that would also bring some WTF vibes to it.

    Haven’t seen the movie but the reviews of the movie mentions that the couple shares a quick on screen blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kiss so maybe the person telling him missed it? I’m not sure there’s been a happy ending for any couple in any Alien movie either. There’s some interesting conversations about the Fassbender on Fassbender love going on as well.

  16. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss Steve.

    12, One of the issues I had with Covenant was there were enough characters that we get very little time to get to know any of them before it all goes wrong.

    ETA: @Matt Y, I always considered the total lack of any romantic element one of the strengths of Alien.

  17. De Arroz doesnt know that you can rent a booth and is surprised that if you do, you actually get one? Did he think you can only be a seller if you are nominated?
    This is telling something about his “inside knowledge” about how publishing works. No wonder he believes in secret cabals!

  18. Jon Del Arroz: Oh, if I was organizing programming I would definitely put a few of you on panels because that would attract interest. The idea of a Castalia House program event is just nuts, though — you may have overlooked that the fellow who runs Castalia House has been trying to destroy the Worldcon’s Hugo Awards.

  19. Jon Del Arroz on May 20, 2017 at 9:51 am said
    Maybe you shouldn’t have brought it up, in a letter about Worldcon. It’s not a political event, no matter what you’re being told by Castalia’s owner.

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