Pixel Scroll 9/15/17 Old Pixel’s Scroll Of Practical SJW Credentials

(1) SUPERSJW? The forthcoming issue of Action Comics is in the news — “Superman Protects Undocumented Workers From Armed White Supremacist in Latest Comic”. The Hollywood Reporter has the story.

The moment in the book released Wednesday comes a week after President Trump ended DACA.

Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but perhaps not.

In the recent issue of Action Comics #987, “The Oz Effect,” released Wednesday, Superman arrives in the nick of time to protect a group of undocumented immigrants from a white man sporting an American flag bandanna, wielding a machine gun, who is going to shoot them for taking his job.

Breitbart, picking up the story from The Hollywood Reporter, gave it a predictable spin:

…In an act of Super socialism, once police arrive, our Social Justice Supes orders them to protect the illegal aliens to make sure they are “safe and cared for.”

This latest episode should not surprise anyone.

DC Comics long ago declared that Superman is no longer American. Where once the hero touted the ideals of “truth, justice, and the American way,” like a good leftist, Superman is now a “citizen of the world.”

(2) DISCOVERY NOVEL SERIES BEGINS. I was interested to see the first Star Trek: Discovery tie-in novel is already out, though the timing couldn’t be better — Star Trek: Discovery: Desperate Hours by David Mack.

An all-original novel based upon the explosive new series on CBS All Access Aboard the Starship Shenzhou, Lieutenant Michael Burnham, a human woman raised and educated among Vulcans, is promoted to acting first officer. But if she wants to keep the job, she must prove to Captain Philippa Georgiou that she deserves to have it. She gets her chance when the Shenzhou must protect a Federation colony that is under attack by an ancient alien vessel that has surfaced from the deepest fathoms of the planet’s dark, uncharted sea. As the menace from this mysterious vessel grows stronger, Starfleet declares the colony expendable in the name of halting the threat. To save thousands of innocent lives, Burnham must infiltrate the alien ship. But to do so, she needs to face the truth of her troubled past, and seek the aid of a man she has tried to avoid her entire life—until now.

(3) OUT OF HIS SHELL. Scott Edelman invites fans to join John Kessel for a seafood feast in Episode 47 of the Eating the Fantastic podcast.

John Kessel

Kessel’s latest novel, The Moon and The Other, was released in April from Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. He’s a two-time Nebula Award winner, first in 1982 for his novella “Another Orphan,” then in 2008 for the novelette “Pride and Prometheus.” He set a new record with that second award, in that the 26 years between the two was (at the time) the longest gap for a winner in Nebula history. His short story “Buffalo”—one of my all-time favorites in or out of genre, and one which I reread often—won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award in 1992.

We discussed why he suddenly has two novels coming out within a year two decades after his last one, how attending the 1969 St. Louis Worldcon changed his life, the ways in which his objections to “The Cold Equations” and Ender’s Game are at their heart the same, his early days attempting to emulate Thomas M. Disch, the time-travel short story he couldn’t whip into shape for Damon Knight, which author broke his 26-year Nebula Awards record for the longest gap between wins, the secret behind the success of his many collaborations with James Patrick Kelly, and more.

(4) WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS. Hampus Eckerman is living the sci-fi life while visiting France.

Most hotels have got the bible to read, but my hotel in Paris has got The Island of Dr. Moreau! On the other hand, my TV-set scares me.

(5) MORE SHORT FICTION REVIEWS, In “A New SFF Review Site Looks Interesting”, Camestros Felapton aims our attention at the inaugural work of SFF Reviews, Sara L. Uckelman’s review of “The Salt Debt” by J. B. Rockwell. In Uckelman’s explanatory post about the site she says:

Our aim is provide short reviews of short SFF stories that reflect a diversity of voices and opinions from both the authors and the reviewers. Other than a few formatting requirements to ensure the reviews are presented and tagged in a uniform fashion, and one content requirement — don’t be mean! — reviewers are free to write their reviews as they please. Some people will focus on the story; some on the narration; some on the language. Some of the reviews will be more slanted to the factual and the objective; some will be the reviewer’s own personal response to a piece. Some reviews will be longer than others, but don’t be surprised if most come in around 200 words — after all, one doesn’t want a review to be longer to read than the story itself!

(6) OKORAFOR VISION. On Twitter she winces at the “Afrocentric” and wishes they had at least said Afrofuturist – the A.V. Club’s news item, “HBO orders new sci-fi series from author Nnedi Okorafor and producer George R.R. Martin”.

HBO has officially closed a deal to grab a new TV show from George R.R. Martin, with Deadline reporting that the network has finalized plans to develop a Martin-produced adaptation of Nnedi Okorafor’s 2010 novel Who Fears Death. Set in a post-apocalyptic Africa, the book tells the story of a young girl who seeks to discover the meaning behind her own magical powers, as well as the nature of the powerful forces trying to end her life.

(7) POURNELLE OBIT IN NYT. It’s rather remarkable that in “Jerry Pournelle, Science Fiction Novelist and Computer Guide, Dies at 84” the New York Times obituary writer makes only the most minimal reference to Pournelle’s voluminous political writings, which have been deeply controversial within the sf community.

Dr. Pournelle was also known to many through lively columns for Byte magazine in which, beginning early in the home-computing age, he talked about personal computers and the software for them. Much of any given column was about his own experiences at “Chaos Manor” — his name for his home, and for the column — trying out new software products and wrestling with bugs, glitches and viruses.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • September 15, 1965 — Beach-horror hybrid The Beach Girls and the Monster opens in theaters.
  • September 15, 1965 — Mario Bava’s Planet of the Vampires premieres in its native Italy.
  • September 15, 2015 Rocket Stack Rank went live.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

  • Born September 15, 1940 – Norman Spinrad
  • Born September 15, 1942 – Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

(10) PLANS FOR X-MEN. Marvel will be producing a six-issue arc revisiting the complete history of the X-Men universe.

Marvel Comics and Eisner Award-winning indie cartoonist indie Ed Piskor are teaming up for an unexpected, unprecedented, and uncanny undertaking. Best known for documenting the history of hip hop with the award winning HIP HOP FAMILY TREE graphic novels, Ed Piskor will sample and distill more than 8,000 pages of superheroic storytelling to create a definitive remix of the first 280 original issues of X-Men comic books and 30 years of complicated continuity into one seamless masterpiece of superheroic storytelling. Piskor will write, draw, ink, color and letter all six 40 page issues of X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN, which Marvel will publish over three years as three separate but interconnected mini-series X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN, X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN-SECOND GENESIS and  X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN-X-TINCTION.

“X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN is a tribute to everything comic book fans love about the X-Men from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s original run and Chris Claremont’s, epic 16-year stint as the series’ writer,” said Piskor. “It’s a compelling and complete story with a beginning, middle and an end, featuring everything from Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, Cerebro and the Danger Room to the Mutant Massacre, the Reavers, Gambit, and Genosha.”

(11) ACTRESS TO REPRISE HALLOWEEN ROLE. Horror Freak news reports “Jamie Lee Curtis Returning as Laurie Strode in “HALLOWEEN” 2018!”

If fans of John Carpenter’s seminal horror classic Halloween (released in 1978) weren’t happy about the planned reboot in the works at Blumhouse, they will be now. The indie powerhouse just announced that iconic Scream Queen and original Final Girl Jamie Lee Curtis has joined the cast and will be reprising the role of Laurie Strode, Michael Myers’ sister. The news came down via Twitter.

(12) TARANTINO TREK. Dirk Lilley, in “What Kind of Star Trek Movie Quentin Tarantino Would Like to Make”  on CinemaBlend, summarizes some intelligent comments Tarantino made to the Nerdist Podcast. including why he would like to remake “City On the Edge of Forever.”

The director specifically mentions “City on the Edge of Forever” as an episode that would make a great movie. It’s one of the great Trek classics, but as Quentin Tarantino pointed out, the episode really only focuses on our main three of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, and the rest of the crew would be virtually non-existent. That wouldn’t really work for a modern film adaptation. You’ve got to find something for Zoe Saldana and John Cho to do.

(13) FORNAX 20. Charles Rector has just posted the 20th issue of his fanzine Fornax to eFanzines.

Included in its contents are Bill Burns’s comments on the sad state of the Hugo Awards for Best Fanzines with blogs increasingly being counted as fanzines and winning the awards. Also, an essay about what in Rector’s view is the increasing problem of such pro authors such Sarah A. Hoyt, Larry Correia, Vox Day, and others’ trashing both fans and fandom. Fornax the 20th also has articles about road rage, how to do TV advertisements relating to hiring handicapped people as well as articles and stories by Robin Bright and Gerd Maximovic.

(14) SPLIT PERSONALITIES. The Verge’s Angela Chen explains how “These robots mind meld when they need to work together”.

Shapeshifting robots already exist; they either have a centralized “nervous system” that controls where each unit is, or each of the units works by itself and they sometimes link up. But centralized systems are weak and can’t scale, while self-organizing robots are hard to control and clumsy. Researchers created a new robot that has the strengths of both: the individual units can control themselves — but they can also connect to each other and become a single, precise robot. The study was published today in the journal Nature Communications.

In the new system, the robot is made of different units controlled by one “brain,” sort of like the nervous system in our bodies. This brain is the leader of the pack and, using Wi-Fi, gathers data from the other robots and controls them if they come into contact. “The robots in our multi-robot system are autonomous individual robots that, when they attach to each other, become a new single robot with a single control system,” study co-author Marco Dorigo, wrote in an email to The Verge. Then, if they detach, they go back to being autonomous system with their own control systems. Dorigo calls this new method “mergeable nervous system,” and says it is a more precise way to control all the units.

(15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Launching Flowers Into Outer Space” is a piece from Great Big Story about a Japanese artist who launches high-altitude balloons from Nevada with flower displays to see what happens to the flowers in space.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Moshe Feder, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, Lis Carey, Gregory Hullender, and Alan Baumler for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

50 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/15/17 Old Pixel’s Scroll Of Practical SJW Credentials

  1. About 1:
    Superman is saving people, isn’t this what the character is about? Hell, I think nearly every superhero would react the same way. Someone is shouting at people, protect the people stop the shouter, ask questions later. Since when is this controversal? Bonuspoints Superman is an illegal alien himself.

    About 10:
    Only 6 isues? Sounds like a difficult project.

  2. 6) I had not heard the word Afrofuturist until a few years ago. if that’s the term Okorafor wants to use, that’s what I will use.

    1)Superman is an undocumented immigrant. Or worse, was illegally adopted and so the Kents are criminals.

  3. A contributor credit! Yay!

    @Paul– I’ve already gotten Afrofuturist materials to review, and I’m hardly the most likely target for them. There’s some interesting and challenging stuff out there.

  4. 6) Afrofuturism is interesting. Basically, it begins with visionary jazz bandleader and keyboardist Sun Ra (aka Herman Blount), who declared in the mid-1950s that he was from Saturn and was here to change humanity through his group the Arkestra. However, Wikipedia says that the actual term is more recent and made its debut in 1993:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afrofuturism

  5. @ Hampus
    Great room. Give Mrs Dalloway a shot if you haven’t already read it. And enjoy your trip!

  6. (3) Picture is James Patrick Kelly from previous edition of Eating the Fantastic. As I don’t really know what John Kessel looks like unless I google him, you see what an impression File770 made on me of what JPK looks like (I’ll appertain myself a nice drink, I do prefer iced water here in South East Asia-right now, Singapore to be exact). PS long time lurker de-lurking; hello-Arifel and Oneiros who are somewhere else in the region, I believe. PPS I am not an expat, exactly but an ethnic Malaysian Chinese.

  7. 12) @ P J Evans: I think so. He’s suggesting ninety-minute and up versions of the original episodes. That’s like twice the running length, so more room, and presumably a much bigger budget if it’s an a) Tarantino b) movie. I’d like to see what the original “City On the Edge of Forever” script would look like. Not that he suggests that, but it seems obvious.

  8. 1) Wait, what? Breitbart thinks that Superman should stand by and let someone commit mass murder, so long as the killer is white and male, and his targets are undocumented? (Someone should tell Breitbart that it’s not a capital offense to be without papers in the US. In North Korea, perhaps…)

    You know, I was going for outrage there, but I can’t honestly say I even feel surprised….

  9. 1- It’s already been mentioned Kal El is an illegal immigrant, and that it’s kind of messed up to suggest he stand by for people to get murdered just in general. Same comic also features Supes defending a rich guy from an arsonist whose motives were income disparity.

    Saving the world I suppose is globalist, looking forward to the (((Justice League))) movie.

  10. (3) That’s a photo of James Patrick Kelly, not John Kessel. (Which also explains why he’s holding what looks like a slice of carrot cake, which is not seafood unless something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.)

  11. PhilRM: Right you are. I’ve now performed a head transplant so the photo shows John Kessel…. Appertain yourself your favorite breakfast beverage….

  12. 3) The descriptions of Scott Edelman’s podcast always make me wish I could listen to podcasts.

    4) Good luck, Citizen Hampus. At least there are books.

    12) That scream you heard wasn’t Jamie Lee Curtis. I fail to understand the affection for Tarantino or any of his works except Kill Bill and persist in thinking there’s nothing he can’t ruin.

    13) That was fun. It’s not everywhere you can find New Jack City called Oscar worthy and Mike Cernovich lauded, plus learn something about kamikazes (I didn’t know they also used submarines).

    15) Oh, my, that was wonderful. I love the idea of putting technology in service to utterly pointless beauty.

  13. @ StefanB

    Actually at least some versions of Superman are natural born American citizens. Starting with Man of Steel by John Byrne in the eighties Superman was sent to Earth in an artificial womb so he was “born” by taking him out of it. That lasted in one form or another for quite a while . I can not remember if it has been show for the newest version or not but I think I saw an image of him showing up in the blanket which would make him illegal but his history is in flux at the moment so who can tell.

  14. Magewolf:
    Okay, I am more familar with the born on Krypton, sent to earth as a baby version, probably because the show Supergirl is in my mind.
    So what I wrote is only true for some versions of Superman.
    But I am sure even the most conservative of superheroes (Hawkman, Wally West or Hawk were very conservative) would not standby in the situation. I would go so far, that any “Hero” who wouldn’t try to stop the shooter, should be called a villain now.

  15. Ah, Sun Ra. I saw him play a couple of times during the years he was teaching at UC Berkeley. One seriously crazy dude, but very entertaining. I think he may well have been the first to write music about spaceships and aliens. And while he never achieved much fame, he was a big influence on a lot of other people–perhaps most significantly and most noticeably, George Clinton & Funkadelic.

    The OED agrees that the term Afrofuturism only dates back to the nineties, but I’m comfortable classifying Sun Ra as an early proto-example. (Clinton may deserve a nod as well.)

  16. Sara L. Uckelman: Apologies for misspelling your name. Fixed now, and is our custom, please appertain yourself your favorite beverage!

  17. Mike Glyer: Thanks for the quick fix of the misspelling! Not sure which beer husband is bringing in next, but we’re clearing out last year’s stash to make room for the new stash coming in next weekend, so I’m sure it’ll be good.

    Oooh, it’s a blueberry Berliner Weisse from a Swedish brewery!

  18. George Clinton had an elaborate afrofuturistic vision as expressed in albums like Mothership Connection … he did at least one tour with a spaceship prop on the stage. I have rapidly deteriorating memories of that time but I think I recall a Rolling Stone interview from the 70s where he spoke about it … no idea whether the word “afrofuturism” came up.

  19. Ugh! That Star Trek cover. Tough but sexy female pose — holding weapon while looking over shoulder so you can see her bum. So you don’t miss it, the author’s name is plastered across it.

  20. William Keith Marshall (usually known as Keith), a Baltimore area fan, just died after a history of heart problems. I didn’t know him well, but he was a good friend to a number of people.

    Is there any place that collects death announcements and eulogies for fans? I realize people post them here, but this isn’t a convenient place for finding out about people whose names don’t come to mind immediately.

  21. Laura on September 16, 2017 at 4:45 pm said:
    The description of this new version as “explosive” is … ambiguous, at best. (Also, IMO, a bit premature.)

  22. Superman is not an illegal immigrant.

    Superman is a foundling.

    Under foundling law, he’s an American citizen.

    In some versions of the origin, the Kents lied about his birth and in some they forged adoption papers, which is on them. But Superman himself is a foundling.

  23. @14 sounds like an interesting technical achievement; what would it actually make possible that can’t already be done? It sounds like there’s no greater usable “brain” power, since decisions are ceded to a central unit, and if the units are identical it’s not clear that they could (e.g.) stack up to reach something beyond the reach of a single machine.

  24. Just for the sake of pedantry: not having read this book, but going by the description, it seems to me that a speculative tale set entirely in Africa would be both Afrocentric and Afrofuturist. The former describes a geographic and/or ethnic focus and can apply to all kinds of works; the latter is more specific in that it applies to SFF, but more flexible in other ways as it’s more of an aesthetic tendency. Am I way off? (I mean, I’m all for the book being described the way the author prefers– just curious about the semantics.)

  25. @Mix Mat, welcome! New posts are moderated for a bit, so not everyone will have seen yours, but the next should show up faster as long as the name and email are the same. (I periodically discover this by carelessly altering the order of my name.)

    @Laura, agreed on the cover – that was my first thought, too. Grrr.

    @Nancy Lebovitz, many of Worldcon 75’s In Memoriam names were picked up from reports here or in Ansible, so I think this is a fine place to report them. Worldcon 76 probably does have someone keeping a list – most likely either the souvenir book editor or the Hugo ceremony area head.

    @Mike Glyer, is it better to comment here with such reports, or email you? (Ì am a color-within-the-lines person and appreciate rules.)

  26. Lenore Jones: Feel free to report deaths in the sf community either way — here in comments, or via email to mikeglyer (at) cs (dot) com

  27. 12) I really don’t want to hear Tarantino’s dialogue for Kirk.

    14) I was reading about it at Science News. Apparently they can self-organize into different configurations, but it’s still pretty experimental.

    You mean like this?

  28. “Oooh, it’s a blueberry Berliner Weisse from a Swedish brewery!”

    That one was horrible!

  29. John A Arkansawyer on September 16, 2017 at 7:36 am said:
    12)
    > He’s suggesting ninety-minute and up versions of the original episodes. That’s like twice the running length, so more room, and presumably a much bigger budget if it’s an a) Tarantino b) movie.
    Considering Tarantino’s oeuvre, i suspect that he’s thinking not of Roddenberry’s* script as shot, but Ellison’s original submission, which contained illegal drug dealing by a crewmember, a death sentence/execution, more violence and less preaching, all of which Gene was less than comfortable with. There are *substantial* differences between what Harlan wrote and what made it on the air, and the backstory of the script development and production of “The City on the Edge of Forever” is the stuff of ST legend. See the Wikipedia article for the full story, including the point that *many many people were involved with the final story as aired.

    > I’d like to see what the original “City On the Edge of Forever” script would look like. Not that he suggests that, but it seems obvious.
    Harlan Ellison’s script can be found in: https://www.amazon.com/Science-Fiction-Plays-Pocket-Sci-Fi/dp/0671487663
    This is the earliest version i’ve read, there are later versions put out be HE himself. Tarantino’s version couldn’t be called Star Trek but it would be interesting. (Has he done any out-and-out SF?)

    Rocket[Stalk]Rank
    Putting out the Welcome Matt

  30. @Mix Mat: welcome! And yep. I’m currently in Bali, but I’m probably moving either to Thailand or over to Taiwan next, for climbing and getting properly back into shape.

  31. Arifel, Meredith, Lenore Jones(Jones Nori), Oneiros, Anne Sheller-thanks all for the welcomes. As I’m a lurker, I don’t follow comments by e-mail so replying here now after reading latest File770 Pixel Scroll.

    Nancy Lebovitz: Ansible’s (by David Langford) has a monthly update of SFF (fan and pro) related deaths which might be what you’re looking for, and I believe Sfsite.com, when it was being updated did too, not sure as latest updates were a long time back. I read a lot of fan & SFF news (USian/Western to me) from there which fascinated me/gave me insight into SFF fandom/pro which just reading books here never did. Thanks Mike for continuing to provide that insight into SFF fandom to me through all your Pixel Scrolls. TLDR- not sure any sites any more have what you (Nancy Lebovitz) are looking for, or ever did.

  32. @JeffWarner: I have that script in what I’m told is the one good Roger Elwood anthology. (It is really good–six plays and screenplays, all enjoyable and some fantastic.) It’s hard to imagine someone less Roddenberry-like than Tarantino, so those aspects of the original script might well end up in a new version.

    I don’t care for Tarantino’s work. He mainly seems interested in turning people into meat. But I’d watch that, unless I heard really bad things about it first, and even then, I might.

  33. (5) new review site

    Hey, Filers, I’d like you to meet my good friend Sara L. Uckelman who is one of the coolest people on the planet! When she isn’t starting up a new short-fiction review site, she’s starting up a massive onomastics research project, the Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, and in her spare time she’s an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Durham University, specializing in medieval logic. (She was one of the people on my to-visit list after Worldcon since, to the best of our ability to recall, the last time we’d met in the flesh was back when she was in high school.)

  34. John A Arkansawyer on September 17, 2017 at 6:01 pm said:
    > Oh, wait! That’s the book you linked to! I didn’t see the word “six” in the title and assumed it was something else. Sorry for Johnniesplaining!
    That’s ok, i edited out a lot of Jeffsplaining myself.

    Two thoughts occurred to me:
    1) what would Harlan think of Tarantino directing “Alt-CityotEoF”?
    2) The only way “Alt-City…” could be considered Star Trek is to transpose it to a Klingon ship (much the way “Forbidden Planet” is a version of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”), and have a less-than-honorable ‘petaQ’ muck up the Klingon homeworld’s timelines.

    That i’d pay good money to see!

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