SFF Collectibles on the Market

The gift-giving season is upon us and John King Tarpinian has spotted all kinds of things you can buy for your sff-loving friends — provided your bank balance has enough zeroes in it. (Well, and also starts with a number that isn’t a zero….)

Very rare Superman ”muscle tunic” worn by Christopher Reeve during filming of ”Superman: The Movie”, the very first film of the beloved Christopher Reeve franchise, released in 1978. Tunic used in the flight scenes features two stitched holes on the sides, used to attach the flying harness. Four snaps at top are for attaching the cape. Signature blue tunic is made complete with Superman’s large emblematic gold and red ”S” sewn onto the front. The original ”Bermans & Nathans / 40 Camden St. / London N.W. 1” tag is still intact on the tunic’s inner back collar, next to the zipper, with the label reading in type: ”CHRISTOPHER REEVE / 12312 WITH MUSCLES / SUPERMAN”. Made of special nylon fabric, used for its stretch and ability to retain its original shape. Without being stretched, tunic measures 18” across the chest and 29” long. A few small holes, otherwise in near fine condition. With Prop Store COA.

Price $100,000

Presentation Stainless Steel Pocket Watch Given by Actress Zoe Saldana to Select Members of the Cast And Crew On the Film Production Team of the James Cameron Film Avatar. 1 1/4” x 1 1/2”, Presentation stainless steel quartz pocket watch given as a thank you gift by actress Zoe Saldana to select members of the cast and crew on the production team of the James Cameron film Avatar. With “NA’VI NATION” engraved on the interior of the hinged case covering, signifying the tribal unity of the Na’vi, the native people living on Pandora, the distant world where Avatar is set….

Price: $315

Original autograph poem signed by Lewis Carroll, dedicated to the sister of an ”Alice” who died in infancy. Carroll composes the tender poem inside a presentation copy of ”Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (London: MacMillan and Co., 1874), inscribed on the half-title page in Carroll’s signature purple ink, ”Presented to Jessie Howard Clark, in remembrance of her sister Alice, by the Author / July 15, 1875”. Young Jessie lived in Australia which served as the basis for the poem, alongside the themes of death and the connected experience of childhood across the world. The poem is additionally constructed so that the letters of the first words of each line form the recipient’s name, ”Jessie Howard Clark”. Written on the page opposite the table of contents, poem reads in full…

Price: $50,000

Neil Armstrong signed photo, showing fellow Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin descending onto the lunar surface. This less common NASA photo is signed “Neil Armstrong” without an inscription, in blue ink on the white moon. Matte photo measures 10″ x 8″. Near fine condition. With Steve Zarelli Space Authentication COA.

Price: $15,000

An Array of Scroll Title Ideas

By Steve Davidson: When asked to define what Pixel Scroll was all about, famed SF author Damon Knight said:

“Pixel Scroll means what we point to when we say ‘Pixel Scroll’.”

Brian Aldiss, no slouch in the quote department, had this to say:

“Pixel Scroll is the search for a definition of man and his status in the universe”

Dr. Asimov, from his rapidly crumbling throne, echoes Aldiss:

“Pixel Scroll is concerned with the impact of scientific advance upon human beings.”

Ray Bradbury, not to be outdone said:

“Pixel Scroll is really sociological studies of the future”

John Brunner, decidedly jaded opines that –

“Pixel Scroll is par excellence the literature of the open mind.”

Lester Del Rey:

“Pixel Scroll is the myth-making principle of human nature today.”

Frank Herbert:

“Pixel Scroll represents the modern heresy”

Hamilton Sci-Fi Music Parodies

By Daniel P. Dern: In addition to this one listed in a recent Scroll —

  • Luke the Son of Anakin (Star Wars + Hamilton Parody)

— there’s no shortage of other Hamilton-ized f&sf musical numbers, like

  • “(I Am Not Throwing Away) My Spock”

(Which has a surprising amount of plot detailing from a 2009 Star Trek movie.)

  • “THE DOCTOR” Hamilton Style Song Parody (Doctor Who: A Gallifreyan
    Musical)

(And while we’re momentarily on a Doctor Who tangent, there’s also this Dr Who/Rocky Horror “Let’s Do The Time Warp Again.” Lots of great cosplay and dancing!)

  • Harry Potter/Hamilton Parodies: 10 Dual Commandments

(Which is a number from the Fairly Potter Musical.)

SYFY Wire introduces the next one in its post “Thanos won’t throw away his snap in new Hamilton parody mash-up”.

Check out Thanos singing his own version of “My Shot,” which was originally sung from the point of view of Hamilton. In this version, Thanos is once again trying to justify his plan to eliminate half the population.

Not only do we finally see Thanos rapping (which you know you wanted), but we also get to hear the inner monologue he had throughout the events of Infinity War. Who knew he actually had Hamilton stuck in his head just like the rest of us?

  • “Thanilton” (animated) “Not Throwing Away My Snap”

There are other Avenger/Hamiltons, like —

  • (Weird Al’s) The Hamilton Polka – The Avengers (Al’s song, Avengers video footage)

And —

Plus this one which I believe was previously in a scroll:

And lastly, a somewhat disappointing “Green Eggs & Hamilton”

A Sesame Street-style SFF Alphabet Song

[[Editor’s Note: I wanted more people to see Peer’s song, left in comments, and got his permission to run it as a front-page post.]]

Peer: If there is Sesame Street, there should be an alphabet song:

A is for Atreides, the house that rules in Dune
B is for books, because, well, obviously
C is for The City and also for the City
D is for Death Star, a well named piece of prop
E is for Endor, a planet known for pelts
F is for Frodo, the one who drops the ring
G is for GlaDos, a computer that went mad
H is for Hal, which is another one
I is for If you were a dinosaur my love, just to annoy the Pups
J is for Jemisin who scored the biggest hattrick
K is for Klaatu, who’s not a pokemon
L is for Lensmen, although maybe not
M is for Montag, a fireman burns books
N is for Neuromancer, where the internet has no trolls
O is for Oceania, who was always at war with Eastasia
P is for Pern, because Dragons can be SF too
Q is for Q, because why the hell not?
R is for Riverworld an underused concept
S is for Slartibartfast, the inventor of fjords
T is for Thursday, the women who died a lot
U is fot Uthacalthing, the TImbrimi ambassador
V is for Vimes, who cherishes his boots
W is for the Warden, because the moon IS a harsh mistress
X is for the variable you try to add to Venus
Y is for Yulsman, just so I can mention Elander Morning
Z is for Zanzibar, where you would try to stand on

Hallmark’s 2018 Sci-Fi Ornaments

One of the (pardon my use of the word) hallmarks of advancing age is remembering when Christmas merchandise wasn’t rolled out for sale until after some ever-shifting holiday (Thanksgiving? Halloween? Labor Day?) Well, forget that! In 2018, they ran the sneak peek of 2018 Keepsake Ornaments two days before the Fourth of July!

And what have they got in mind for sci-fi fans this year?

Star Wars™ The Force Is Strong Tree Skirt With Light  as photographed reminds me of a wading pool. And priced at $99.99, it really should do year-round duty.

An owner of that tree skirt will need this on the other end of their tree — Star Wars™ Death Star Tree Topper. (Six inches in diameter!)

And they’ll want to replace Frosty the Snowman with Star Wars: Return of the Jedi™ A Rebellious Rescue Ornament With Light and Sound.

The thing I like about BB-8 is that, unlike most Keepsakes, it’s the right shape for an ornament – Star Wars TM BB-8 Personalized Ornament.

But I’m a little uncomfortable about the bodiless C3PO…. Star Wars™ C-3PO™ Ornament With Light and Sound.

Marvel has its own ideas about celebrating trees — Marvel Avengers: Infinity War Groot and Rocket Ornament.

I have other friends for whom Halloween is the biggest holiday of the year. They’ll be needing this set of ornaments to make a proper Halloween tree — Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas The Many Faces of Jack Skellington 25th Anniversary Porcelain Ornaments, Set of 9.

And for a little variety: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Jack vs. the One-Armed Bandit Metal Ornament.

For those who think Ares is the reason for the season, there’s the “Wonder Woman™ Ornament”.

From Themyscira to your tree, Wonder Woman is ready to defend justice and promote peace in the name of all that is good. Proudly display this Christmas tree ornament that features the timeless heroine with her shield at the ready, a pose that recalls her advance into “No Man’s Land” on the frontlines of World War I and an epic battle against Ares, the God of War.

Then, depending on how badly you want to be reminded of the Justice League movie, there’s a line of merchandise that includes the Mini Justice League™ The Flash™ Ornament.

I had not previously associated “The Naked Time” episode of Star Trek with the holidays, but I guess I will from now on: Star Trek™ “The Naked Time” Ornament With Sound. No, the line in the sound track is not, “Duck, you sucker!”

I actually like the look of 2001: A Space Odyssey™ HAL 9000 50th Anniversary Ornament With Light and Sound. Unfortunately, HAL 9000’s idea of a Christmas carol is “Daisy,” sung at the clock-winding-down pace which accompanied the computer’s demise in the movie.

The latest result in machine intelligence, the HAL 9000—thought to be the most reliable computer ever made and incapable of error—served as the brain and central nervous system for the Discovery One ship’s ill-fated mission to Jupiter. Fans of “2001: A Space Odyssey” will want to bring home this special Christmas ornament that celebrates 50 years of the science-fiction masterpiece. Press the button to see the ornament light up as HAL says several memorable phrases.

With so many Harry Potter movies released toward the end of the year, there is a kind of resonance with the holiday. Harry Potter™ First Impressions Ornament With Sound. makes sure the association is not too pleasant. The sound track is Snape quizzing Harry about a bunch of things he doesn’t know and belittling his fame.

Don’t get the impression that Hallmark’s line of movie-themed ornaments is uniformly hostile to traditional ways of celebrating Christmas – far from true! Press the button on National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation™ A Fun, Old-Fashioned Family Christmas Ornament With Sound and Light – and (right after the electric sizzle) comes a choir belting out Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”!

Nothing is going to get in the way of Clark Griswold’s fun, old-fashioned family Christmas! Fans of the hilarious holiday movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” can press the button on this Christmas tree ornament to relive the moment Clark’s big exterior decorating display finally comes to life. The ornament captures the image featured on the original movie poster with “Sparky” wrapped in a string of lights teetering on the roof of his house. Lights on the roofline illuminate when the button is pressed.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

A Peep for You

By John Hertz:  Possibly because I’m recovering from Westercon LXXI, I’ll take a leaf from Lloyd Penney’s book and show you a letter I wrote to someone else.

– o O o –

Dear Mr. Quachri,

Thank you for Dr. Gregory Benford’s “Physics Tomorrow” in the March-April Analog.

It’s a tour de force.

Having it in your magazine is a particular achievement.  Perhaps no one could have produced it as well as he.  It may also be a distillate or essence of your spirit – I mean the spirit of Analog.  Those last four words, I realize, could be thought an unfortunate metaphor.  In their defense I had better not offer any notions of my own, but I might be allowed to quote Dr. Clarke, who said “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”

Dr. Benford knows, as many of us your readers may, that Physics Today has been, since 1948 – a little younger than Analog – a magazine of the American Institute of Physics, indeed its flagship publication.  His piece is in every other way I can see – manner and detail, illustrations, timely allusion to the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics (pertaining to which I recommend Dr. Michael Smith’s 2017 memoir To Catch a Black Hole, focussing, if I may venture that, on his own part), worthiness to follow The Berlin Project (pertaining to which I recommend Norman Spinrad’s review in the May-June issue of your companion magazine Asimov’s) – so perfect as to be not only good science fiction, but good comedy.  Jack Benny, had he worked in our field, could hardly have reached higher.

– o O o –

I wonder if I’ll ever learn whether my addressee recognizes this isn’t the first time I’ve brought in Mr. Benny.

“Starry-eyed” Inspired Me

By John Hertz: (reprinted from Vanamonde 1300)

Take my hand, I’m a ranger in SF-land;
All lost in a wonderland, a ranger in SF-land.
If I float starry-eyed, that’s a danger in SF-land
For any who come aboard minds of pros and fans too.

I saw its face and I ascended
Out of the commonplace into the rare.
Somewhere in space I hang suspended
While I set aside Is it true for We dare.

Won’t you fly with me?  We’ll meet strangers in SF-land.
We’ll pass beyond can’t and can through imagining’s door.
With open hearts we’ll join all the rangers in SF-land
Who while dreaming dreams need be mundane no more.

                                            

R. Wright & G. Forrest, “Stranger in Paradise” (1953); A. Borodin, “The Gliding Dance of the Maidens”, Prince Igor (1890)

How To Get Your Pixel Scroll Title Published

…Plus A Comprehensive Bibliography of Steve Davidson’s Pixel Scroll Titles

Steve Davidson, Famous Pixel Scroll Title Thinker-Upper

By Steve Davidson: I think that we will all agree that one of the things that makes File 770 so much fun (and so popular) is the interactive nature of the enterprise.  Comments, of course, but also crowd-pleasers like reader-submitted pictures of their cats laying about on all manner of genre material, (honorary SJW credentialed dogs too), regular contributions from other fans and, of course, the famously infamous Pixel Scroll title.

I’ve submitted quite a few titles over the past few years (wow.  Years.  Yes, years), collecting a good handful of rejections along the way (not to mention a few copied by someone else who managed to get to the patent office before me….)

In fact, it wasn’t until I twigged to Mike Glyer’s apparent fondness for mashed up 60s, 70s and 80s song lyrics that I became a successful Pixel Scroll Title Submitter.

I remember the day my first title was accepted for publication fondly.  Mike doesn’t send out formal acceptance notices (daily fan news being too immediate of a thing to allow for such), so it wasn’t until I sat down with my coffee to begin my daily reads that I discovered that I had become famous.

It had been a cold day that February 12th of 2016.  A Friday if the calendar is anything to go by.  I’d been reading the Pixel Scroll® for a number of months and had been despairing over ever getting anything published, the absence of rejection slips exacerbating my ennui.

Despite my self-loathing, I managed, somehow, to force myself to try yet one more time.  I’d noticed that many of the successful Scroll titles had some connection to popular songs.  The spark of an idea formed somewhere in my snow-bound brain.  I feverishly researched past Scrolls and determined that “Yes!” no one had yet offered a mashup based on a song from one of my favorite bands.

“Surely”, I thought, “Mike, being a baby-boomer contemporaneous with myself in time, HAD to not only be familiar with the band, but likely as fond of them as I was.”

I managed to locate a discography for the band in question.  I selected several likely candidate songs, found and studied their lyrics and then spent a fair amount of time constructing a substitution algorithm that would insert the words “scroll” and “pixel” where other nouns had been. (Future refinement of the algorithm would eventually see it expand to include pronouns, a limited number of verbs and even some adjectives.)

Studying the results, I became convinced that THIS time I would be successful.

And so I was.

February 13, 2016’s Pixel Scroll title was mine.  It had to be.  I’d written it just the evening before and the title on the screen before me greatly resembled the words I was pretty sure I’d remembered from the night before.

A quick scroll down to the credits confirmed it: “Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.”

Wow.  I was FAMOUS!

But then the seasonal affect disorder kicked in. Perhaps there was another Steve Davidson out there submitting scroll titles.  There are quite a few of us.  With there being so many, it’s not outside the realm of probably that there is another fan reader of File 770 who has taken it upon themselves to submit scroll titles in a cruel bid to rob me of my fame and success.

With some trepidation, I emailed Mike and queried him.  Was today’s scroll title submitted by me, Steve Davidson or by a Steve Davidson who was some other, ersatz Steve Davidson?

“No ersatz” came the reply.

I chose to take this to mean that I was in fact the Steve Davidson of the title credit.

Joy, joy, oh happy joy!

Of course, like any successful author who had just discovered an editor who liked his work, I quickly inundated Mike with numerous additional submissions, many of which, the vast majority of which, have been accepted for publication.

Which is how I can now claim to be able to help you, would be author struggling in rejection slipless hell, to achieve Pixel Scroll Title success.

The algorithm will only cost you fifty bucks.

On the other hand, by studying the following list of my successfully published Pixel Scroll Titles you can probably develop your own algorithm. It may just take you a little longer to achieve the same kind of success I’ve enjoyed for the past couple of years now, but you will save fifty bucks.  Good luck!

Steve Davidson’s Pixel Scroll Title Annotated Bibliography:

  • 5/6/18 If Pixels Were Zombies, They’d Want To Eat Your Scrolls
    (inspired by zombies eating brains all the time)
  • 3/25/18 The Unscrollable Molly Pixel
    (inspired by the film The Incredible Molly Brown)
  • 1/28/18 I Say We Take Off And Pixel The Entire Scroll From Orbit – It’s The Only Way To Be Sure
    (Inspired by the movie “Aliens”)
  • 1/24/18 You Can Get Anything You Want At Filer’s Pixel Rant
    (Inspired by Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant song and film)
  • 1/21/18 Right Here In File City, Trouble With A Capital T, That Rhymes With P, And Stands For Pixel
    (Inspired by the film The Music Man)
  • 11/28/17 Peering Into The Scrolloscope, I Perceived The Pixels of Mars
    (Inspired by H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds and Edison’s Conquest of Mars by Garrett P Serviss)
  • 10/25/17 Blue, Blue Pixels Behind The Stars, Yellow Scroll On The Rise
    (Inspired by Neil Young’s “Helpless”)
  • 9/27/17 How Do You Get Down Off A Pixel? You Don’t, You Get Down Off A Scroll
    (Inspired by an old joke)
  • 9/4/17 Little Miss Muffet Sat On A Pixel. Along  Came A Scroll.
    (Inspired by Andrew Dice Clay’s fractured nursery rhymes)
  • 8/15/17 She Said She’d Always Been A Filer, She Worked At Fifteen Blogs A Day
    (Inspired by the Beatles “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window”)
  • 6/12/17 Avoid The Green Pixels, They’re Not Ripe Yet
    (Inspired by the film A Fish Called Wanda)
  • 3/6/17 Holy Pixels, Scrollman!
    (Inspired by the 60’s television show Batman)
  • 2/5/17 It Is Dangerous To Be Pixeled In Matters On Which The Established Scrolls Are Wrong
    (Inspired by my favorite quote from Voltaire)
  • 1/4/17 Four Scrolls And Seven Pixels Ago
    (Inspired by Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address)
  • 12/17/16 Side Effects Include Pixels, Pixellation, Scrolls, Curled Edges And, In Extreme Cases, Death. Ask Your Medical Provider.
    (Inspired by every freaking subscription commercial on TV)
  • 10/24/16 I’m Free. I’m Free, And Waiting For Scroll To Pixel Me
    (Don’t remember where this one came from.  Must have been a slow day at the File)
  • 10/18/16 Talkin ‘Bout My Pixelation
    (Inspired by The Who’s “My Generation”)
  • 7/9/16 Snort, Harlequin, Said the Ear, Nose, Throat Man
    (Inspired by the Harlan Ellison story of the same title)
  • 6/5/16 Scroll Sung Blue, Everybody Knows One
    (Inspired by Neil Diamon’s “Song Sung Blue”)
  • 5/23/16 Ralph 124C41Pixel
    (Inspired by Hugo Gernsback’s terrible SF novel Ralph 124C41+)
  • 4/23/16 A Scrolling Class Hero Is Something To Be
    (Inspired by Marianne Faithful’s cover of the John Lennon song “Working Class Hero”)
  • 4/6/2016 I Saw A Scroll Drinking A Pina Colada At Trader Vic’s, His Pixel Was Perfect
    (Inspired by Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London”)
  • 3/30/16 I Was Thinkin ‘Bout A Pixel That Might Have Scrolled Me, And I Never Knew
    (Inspired by The Eagles’ “Take it to the Limit”)
  • 3/15/16 At The Age of 37, She Realized She’d Never Scroll Through Paris With The Warm Pixels In Her Hair
    (Inspired by Marianne Faithful’s “The Ballad of Lucy Jordon”)
  • 3/8/16 I Want To Tell You About Texas Pixel And The Big Scroll
    (Inspired by The Doors’ “The Wasp”)
  • 2/28/16 Little Old Lady Got Mutilated Late Last Night, Pixels Of London, Again
    (Inspired by Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” – my first sequel!)
  • 2/24/16 Happy Jack Wasn’t Tall But He Was A Scroll
    (Inspired by The Who’s “Happy Jack”)
  • 2/15/16 Cause Pixels Like Us, Baby We Were Born To Scroll
    (Inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run”)
  • 2/14/16 Imagine All The Pixels, Living In A World That’s Scrolled
    (Inspired by John Lennon’s “Imagine”)
  • 2/13/16 He Feels The Pixels Scraping, Scrolls Breaking On His Brow
    (Inspired by Jethro Tulls’ “Locomotive Breath”)