Pixel Scroll 1/12/19 I Wept Because I Had No Scrolls, Until I Met A Man With No Pixels

(1) UK COMICS FANDOM HISTORY RESOURCES. Rob Hansen has added a section to his UK fanhistory website about how SF fandom provided a breeding ground there for comics fandom. “There are photos and, of course, a multitude of links — both in the body of the article and at the end —  that may be of interest, as well as a piece by Ron Bennett on sourcing old comics in Singapore back in the day that I don’t think many in our fandom would’ve seen before” — “Comics Fandom: First Stirrings”.

There used to be a saying in science fiction fandom that “it’s a proud and lonely thing to be a fan”, and for those who imagined themselves the only fan in their location it could be lonely indeed. The birth of the first SF fan groups in the 1930s gradually changed that, but what of comics fans? There’s enough of an overlap in interest between the two that SF fandom offered them a home, but it still wasn’t comics fandom.

When the 23 year old Brian Lewis went along to the inaugural meeting of his local group, the Medway Science Fiction Fan Club, on Thursday 28th August 1952 he soon became a valued member, contributing artwork to its clubzine THE MEDWAY JOURNAL. Before the end of the decade he would begin working as a professional comic artist, so had there been a comics fandom in 1952 it’s possible Lewis might have sought that out instead. But it was to be another decade before comics fandom in these islands began slowly stirring to life.

(2) WEIRD CITY TRAILER. A glimpse of a newly available YouTube Original —

From the mind of Jordan Peele and Charlie Sanders comes WEIRD CITY, a satirical anthology set in the not-too-distant future metropolis of Weird. In this dystopian setting of our show, the middle class has completely vanished dividing Weird City into two sections: Above the Line (The Haves), and Below the Line (The Have Nots). Presiding over the denizens of the city is the strange and mysterious Dr. Negari, who weaves all of our stories together. Each episode is a topic that pertains to present day life in America and the world: social media addiction, online dating, fitness obsession, etc.. WEIRD CITY captures the unease of modern urban living, in a bizarre and peculiar lens.

(3) MCGUIRE CLASS. Cat Rambo tweeted highlights from the online writing class taught by Seanan McGuire: “Crossing Over: Moving from Fanfic to Writing In Your Own Worlds”.

(4) NOT A MASTERPIECE. Galactic Journey’s John Boston finds the new (in 1964) novel by John Brunner isn’t up to snuff: “[January 12, 1964] SINKING OUT OF SIGHT (the February 1964 Amazing)”.

The blurb for the lead story in the February 1964 Amazing says: “Once every few years a science fiction story comes along which poses—and probes—philosophical questions: for instance: What is life that Man must live it?  In a novel rich in incident, fascinating of character, John Brunner questions the essential meaning of life and death and purpose.”

That’s the pitch for Brunner’s 74-page “complete novel” The Bridge to Azrael.  The last time we saw such an editorial panegyric, the mountain labored and brought forth—well, not a mouse.  A capybara, maybe.  Anyway, a modestly capable pulp-inflected novella, Daniel F. Galouye’s Recovery Area, not exactly the promised philosophical masterpiece for the ages.  Sort of the same here, but worse: the mountain has labored and brought forth a mess.

(5) WHERE’S THE BEEF? On Facebook, Steven Barnes made an insightful comment about the working of history:

I suspect that at some point, we’ll have a meat substitute that has all the values of the real thing. About a generation after that, people will be claiming cows were pets. and a generation after that, there will be debates about what kind of utter monsters meat eaters could possibly have been.

(6) KENYON UPDATE. Sherrilyn Kenyon’s newsletter tells readers some of her books have been rescheduled at the same time her 28-year marriage is ending:

…Due to a number of events that are out of my hands and with the heaviest heart, I have to announce that Tor has decided to move several books this year, including At Death’s Door which will come out in the usual Dark-Hunter slot in September. Delaying the final Deadman’s Cross novel and moving the next Dark-Hunter title to 2020 was not something I wanted or had control over, and I know many fans will be greatly disappointed. Believe me, no one is more disappointed about this than I am, and since honesty, integrity, and transparency run thick in my DNA, I wanted to let all of you know what’s going on since there have been so many false rumors running loose lately. As many of you know, the last several years have been a very challenging and daunting time for me – both emotionally and physically.

There were so many great things that happened last year. We launched two wonderful books – Death Doesn’t Bargain and Stygian – to such great fan reception, making lists and news, and I spent a lot of 2018 on the road visiting with readers at major events and conventions across the U.S. Something I intend to do this year as well, and to go abroad to England, Australia and Portugal.

But it hasn’t all been sunshine and roses as I’m coping with the dissolution of my twenty-eight year marriage to a man I made the mistake of putting through law school by working three jobs so that he wouldn’t have to work any while he studied. A man who is now turning the skills I paid for against me as he ruthlessly lies about me and fights me for *MY* copyrights to characters, series and worlds that I had long before I ever met him (something he has admitted to on record time and again) and to books he knows he never helped to write or plot because he forbid me to even talk about my writing in front of him….

(7) SPACE ART CHALLENGE. ArtStation introduces Adobe’s space-themed art contest: “Adobe Dimension From the Moon to Mars—Apollo 50th Anniversary Challenge!”

For six decades, NASA has led the peaceful exploration of space, making discoveries about our planet, our solar system, and our universe. From October 2018 through December 2022, NASA will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Program that landed a dozen astronauts on the Moon between July 1969 and December 1972 and NASA’s first crewed mission – Apollo 8 – that circumnavigated the Moon in December 1968.

Adobe is challenging you to imagine the history and future of human exploration in space to celebrate this momentous anniversary and the release of Adobe Dimension 2.1. We’re calling on you to tell the stories of past and future space missions using free 3D assets from the Adobe 3D Stock “NASA: 60th Anniversary 3D Celebration” gallery and Adobe Dimension to compose and render a space-based scene following the challenge theme: From the Moon to Mars—Apollo 50th Anniversary.

Special guest judge former NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, a veteran of four missions to the International Space Station and the astronaut who painted the first watercolor in space, will judge the submissions with the Adobe Dimension team. 

Challenge Requirements

Your challenge is to create a visually compelling scene using at least one 3D asset inspired by NASA and optimized for Dimension that celebrates NASA’s ongoing mission to pioneer the future of space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research. Whether it’s the Apollo moon landings, or future initiatives to the moon and beyond, we want to feel the wonder and pioneering spirit of the astronauts and the vehicles that take them there. You’ll also be required to composite and render your submission using Adobe Dimension 2.1, but any other software (Pixologic ZBrush, Substance Painter, Adobe Photoshop, etc.) can be used to create elements for your scene.

IMPORTANT: The final work must be submitted as a digital image. You can use any 2D, 3D techniques as long as you 1) include 1 asset from the Adobe 3D Stock “NASA: 60th Anniversary 3D Celebration gallery and 2) render the final scene in Adobe Dimension.

(8) CHOOSE YOUR OWN LAWSUIT. NBC News reports “Netflix sued by ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book publisher over ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’“.

The publisher of the classic “Choose Your Own Adventure” books is suing Netflix, claiming the streaming service infringed on its trademarked format for the new film “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.”

Chooseco, which was formed in 2004 to re-release several classic titles of “Choose Your Own Adventure” books originally published in the 1980s and 1990s, announced the suit on Friday.

“We have received an unprecedented amount of outreach from people who believed we were associated with the creation of this film, including parents who were concerned that we had aligned the CYOA brand they knew and loved with content that surprised and offended them,” Shannon Gilligan, co-founder and publisher of Chooseco, said in a statement.

(9) GENERAL LEE. io9/Gizmodo alerts viewers — “PSA: Stan Lee’s Last Animated Appearance Will Be Airing This Sunday”.

The late comics legend’s final animated cameo will be on Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest, airing this Sunday. 

When Lee passed in November, we knew that he had some cameos already recorded, and now his final one in the world of animation is preparing to air. According to Marvel.com, he’ll be playing an important but brief role in an episode of the Disney XD Black Panther series. In the episode, titled “T’Chanda”, T’Challa will learn secrets about his grandfather. During that learning experience, Lee will appear in a flashback scene set in the 1940s, where Lee plays an Army General.

(10) ROBERTS OBIT. Worldcon Business Meeting veterans can share a moment of silence after reading this obituary circulated by the American Institute of Parliamentarians.

AIP has learned that Henry Martyn Robert III, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Maryland. He was 98 years old. 

Henry was the grandson of General Henry M. Robert and the senior member of the authorship team for Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR). He began his association with RONR when he assisted his mother, Sarah Corbin Robert, in writing the 1970 edition, the most extensive general revision of Robert’s Rules. He has been actively involved in every edition since that time. His contributions to the parliamentary world are significant, and he will be missed.

(11) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • January 12, 1940The Invisible Man premiered theatrically.
  • January 12, 1966 — The Batman television series made its debut.

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 12, 1628 Charles Perrault. He was a French author and member of the Académie Française. He laid the foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, with his works derived from the much earlier folk tales. The best known of his tales include Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), Le Chat Botté (Puss in Boots),  Cendrillon (Cinderella), La Belle au bois Dormant (The Sleeping Beauty) and Barbe Bleue (Bluebeard). As such, his stories form many of the roots of fantasy as we do it. (Died 1723.)
  • Born January 12, 1952 Walter Mosley, 67. An odd one as I  have read his Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins series but hadn’t  been aware that he wrote SF of which he has four novels to date, Blue Light, Futureland: Nine Stories of an Imminent Future, The Wave, and 47. There’s a Jack Kirby art book called Maximum Fantastic Four was conceived of and orchestrated by him.  Interestingly enough, he’s got a writing credit for episode of Masters of Science Fiction called “Little Brother” where Stephen Hawking is the Host according to IMdB.
  • Born January 12, 1955 Rockne O’Bannon, 64. Creator of five genre series in Alien NationCultDefianceFarscape and seaQuest. He also help write the Warehouse 13 pilot. He has also written and produced for Constantine, Revolution and V, among many other projects. (I loved Farscape and seaQuest but thought Defiance went bad fast.) 
  • Born January 12, 1957 John Lasseter, 62. Animator fired from Disney for promoting computer animation who joined Lucasfilm which eventually became Pixar under Steve Jobs. And where he directed Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story, Cars and Cars 2. He also Executive Produced Toy Story 3 as well as Zootopia, Finding Dory and Incredibles 2.
  • Born January 12, 1960 Oliver Platt, 59. My favorite role by him is Porthos in The Three Musketeers but his first genre role was as Randy Steckle in Flatlineers and he later played Rupert Burns in the Bicentennial Man film on Asimov’s The Positronic Man. He voices Hades in Wonder Woman, not surprising given his deep voice. 
  • Born January 12, 1970 Kaja Foglio, 49. Writer, artist, and publisher. Foglio co-won the first Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story in 2009 for the absolutely stunning Girl Genius, Volume 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones, and co-won two more Hugo Awards the following years. Having won three three years running, they removed themselves from further competition.  If you haven’t read them, you’re in for treat as they’re quite amazing. Her husband Phil Foglio and colorist Cheyenne Wright do stunning work.

(13) COMICS SECTION.

(14) CUTE REFERENCE. The Atlantic’s article “The Fellowship of the Ring Finders” tells about “A website connects people who have misplaced their rings with metal detectorists who know where to look.”

Usually, stories of this variety almost always end in tears. Yet these three people found their lost rings, frantically Googling some iteration of I lost my wedding ring and stumbling upon a network of metal detectorists who help people locate their misplaced jewelry. They had found their way to the Ring Finders, a service that pairs these people with one of 430 sleuths stationed around the world.

According to the British insurance company Protect Your Bubble, 11 percent of people have lost their wedding rings in the past five years. Since wedding rings can cost upwards of $6,000, losing them can be especially painful for couples, and yet it also gives detectives adept in the art of finding lost rings a chance to intervene and be the hero.

Probably a good thing this service wasn’t available to Sauron during the Third Age of Middle-Earth!

(15) CUTBACK. News that “SpaceX To Lay Off 10 Percent Of Its Workforce” comes surprisingly soon after they’d just finished replacing the Iridium telephone satellites.

SpaceX, the pioneering space technology company led by Elon Musk, will lay off about 10 percent of its more than 6,000 employees.

The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

In a statement, a company spokesman confirmed the layoff without specifying how many employees will be released.

(16) DOCTOR RUNS UP AGAINST BREXIT. Fansided asks: “Doctor Who: UNIT’s suspension – a move too far?”

One of the most controversial moments in New Year’s Day special Resolution was the suspension of UNIT. Was the removal of a major part of Doctor Who a step too far for Chris Chibnall?

Perhaps the most significant scene in Resolution was when the Doctor tried to call her friends at UNIT. Instead of reaching Kate Stewart and an organization that she’s fought alongside with for decades, she was instead forwarded to Polly at the “UK Security Helpline”.  This was when the Doctor (and the fans) were given a bit of a shock when Polly informed her:

UNIT operations have been suspended pending review.

That’s right. For the moment, at least, UNIT isn’t around to help the Doctor save the day. The reason? Well, officially, it’s because funding was withdrawn from international partners. The implied reason? Brexit. Brexit killed UNIT, or at the very least, put it into deep sleep. At least, according to Chris Chibnall.

(17) WHO SCRIPTS. Io9’s Julie Muncy learned how you can “Pass the Weekend with the BBC’s Backlog of Doctor Who Screenplays”

…it turns out the BBC Writer’s Room website features an extensive backlog of screenplays for BBC shows. Their latest post is the first episode of this past season of Doctor Who, featuring the debut of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor.

(18) A HOLE IN SPACE. National Geographic thinks “Astronomers may have finally seen a star become a black hole”.

As dinosaurs stomped across ancient Earth more than 200 million years ago, a massive star was entering its death throes. The resulting cosmic explosion was so unusual, it left astronomers scratching their heads when its glow at last reached our planet last June.

Now, the mysterious flash may have an origin story. Based on the latest observations of the strange supernova, nicknamed the Cow, a team of 45 astronomers argues that it may represent the first time humans have captured the exact moment a dying star gave birth to a black hole.

(19) GLEANING THE STARFIELDS. NBC News tells how “Citizen scientists discover strange new world that pro astronomers missed”.

With help from a dead spacecraft [2015 Kepler data], citizen scientists just discovered an alien world that professional astronomers had overlooked.

The newfound exoplanet orbits a small red star 226 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Taurus. Roughly twice as big as Earth, K2-288Bb circles its host star in the so-called habitable zone, where liquid water and possibly life could exist.

[…] Scientists are excited about K2-288Bb not only because of the possibility that it could support life, but also because it’s unlike anything in our solar system: a solitary, midsize planet circling a star that has a nearby stellar companion.

(20) STAR TREK LINKAGE. IGN analyzes the implied promise: “Star Trek: Explaining the Picard Show’s Timeline and How It Connects to the J.J. Abrams Movies”.

Many Star Trek fans are psyched that Patrick Stewart is returning to the role of Captain Picard for an all-new TV series on CBS All Access. And while story details on the show have been scarce, we do know that it will be about the legendary character exploring the next chapter of his life some 20 years after we last saw him in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis.

But a recent interview with Star Trek executive producer Alex Kurtzman has revealed some interesting hints about the Picard show, even while it’s gotten some folks confused about which timeline it takes place in. Let’s nerdsplain this thing!

[…there follows much exposition, concluding with…]

So while the Picard show will take place in the traditional Prime Timeline, the producers have found a clever way to connect it to the events of the modern movies. The series is expected to debut in late 2019.

(21) LITTLEFINGER, DEAD OR ALIVE? Carl Slaughter says, “Intriguing theory.  Lots of clues.”

[Thanks to JJ, Chip Hitchcock, James Davis Nicoll, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, Steven H Silver, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip Williams.]

54 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/12/19 I Wept Because I Had No Scrolls, Until I Met A Man With No Pixels

  1. (5) Oh, please. We already have people blathering on about what monsters meat eaters are! Give us something genuinely futuristic!

    (6) It sounds like she’s going to be able to document the facts, which means that this will just be–a really unpleasant and expensive legal fight, which she will, eventually, win. Unless she decides its cheaper in dollars and emotional resources to pay him to go away. 🙁

  2. (12) Speaking of Perrault, I have this swell 19th-century book of his stories, with illustrations by Gustave Doré. His images are downright archetypal—I’ve seen them reprinted many times, without credit of course, and copied in various techniques and degrees of ability.

    I never got the rest of the book scanned, but I managed to get most of the ones I really like, with the bulging eyes of the knife-wielding giant looking at the sleeping children a particular standout. His depiction of light is wondrous. I also like the picture up front of Granny relating these charming tales to the kiddies. They liked the gore, I’m guessing.

  3. Re: Perrault — The culture of 17th century French fairy-tale authors is absolutely fascinating. Mari Ness’s fairy tale columns at Tor.com get into some of the decidedly peculiar details.

    On a separate topic…seeing as this is a place where people who like to read hang out…

    I’m in the middle of sending my current novel out to beta readers and, since I’m trying to position this book as an “independent on-ramp” to the series, I’d dearly love to have a couple of beta readers who haven’t actually read any of the Alpennia books yet but think they might like that sort of thing. To–you know–test the premise that the book works for people who haven’t read anything else in the series. (Which is getting harder and harder to manage in my beta reader pool.) If it matters, unlike the previous books, this one is aiming to be YA-ish.

    If you meet the criteria, are interested, and would have the time to provide feedback by mid-February, drop me a note at my website’s contact page.

  4. (12) Born January 12, 1955 – Rockne O’Bannon, 64.

    Apparently, this is the second day in a row he was born. Which is pretty danged genre in and of itself.

    Born January 12, 1957 – John Lasseter, 62. Animator fired from Disney for promoting computer animation
    Well, yeah, that was why he was fired the first time.

  5. bill says

    Born January 12, 1955 – Rockne O’Bannon, 64.

    Apparently, this is the second day in a row he was born. Which is pretty danged genre in and of itself.

    Mike, delete him if we’ve used twice. Such things will happen.

    Born January 12, 1957 – John Lasseter, 62. Animator fired from Disney for promoting computer animation

    Well, yeah, that was why he was fired the first time.

    Eh? Do explain.

  6. Cat Eldridge — Since we did run it yesterday I looked it up — O’Bannon is January 12.

  7. RE John Lasseter’s second Disney firing, see, for instance, this Variety article which reads in part:

    Lasseter was ousted from his job running Pixar and overseeing Disney’s animation empire after he was accused of touching staffers inappropriately and kissing employees without their consent.

  8. 6) And this is why I’m not a fan of the institution of marriage. Coincidentally, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s experiences also show why you should have a pre-nup, if you really have to marry, particularly where intellectual property is involved.

    14) This is a lesser reason why I’m not a fan of the institution of marriage. Honestly, 6000 USD for an engagement ring is insane. There are better uses for that money and your partner will be just as happy with a cheaper ring or other token of affection. And if they insist on an overprices ring, they’re maybe the wrong person.

  9. Mike Kennedy says Lasseter was ousted from his job running Pixar and overseeing Disney’s animation empire after he was accused of touching staffers inappropriately and kissing employees without their consent.

    Damn. Mike, remove him from the Birthday list please.

  10. @Cora. He could still have claimed to have helped her write the books without marriage. See for example, the fight over Steig Larson’s copyrights.

  11. If there was an actual screenshot of a CYOA book in the movie or something along those lines, I might buy this. But the idea gets mentioned as a generic term, not referencing the property at all.

    And the idea that the movie is too dark by comparison? Oh boy, I read a lot of these books when I was young and strong. Amongst the many endings…

    …I got cursed by a witch to continually pick up pieces of a broken object for all eternity.
    …turned into a mouse (same witch) in body and mind
    …had the final choice be “get killed by vengful Native American and Western Settler ghosts or die in a house fire
    …get run down by Cavaliers after being transported to the English Civil War

    So, yeah

  12. (12) For a moment, I was confused between Edward Platt and Oliver Platt, but I thought before I posted… (sorry about that Chief!).

    Would you believe Two Pixels in Scrollboat?

  13. Mike Glyer says to me: Since we did run it yesterday I looked it up — O’Bannon is January 12.

    It’ll happen. Thanks for figuring out the right Birthday!

  14. 16) DOCTOR RUNS UP AGAINST BREXIT.

    Is it worth noting that if UNIT is funded by European security concerns, it suggests that this happens after Britain leaves the European Market and therefore this episode takes place in the future. After all Britain is still a member and will be until sometime in 2020.

  15. Cat Eldridge said:
    Mike Kennedy says

    Lasseter was ousted from his job running Pixar and overseeing Disney’s animation empire after he was accused of touching staffers inappropriately and kissing employees without their consent.

    Damn. Mike, remove him from the Birthday list please.

    All the reasons that justified putting him on the list to begin with still apply — after all, he is a BFD in digital aninmation and in storytelling. Leave him on the list.

    Or is it preferable for the list to be “a list of birthdays of genre-important people who also are sufficiently woke.” Cause if that’s the case, I’d bet there are reasons to cull a number of previous entries from past lists.

  16. @bill–

    Or is it preferable for the list to be “a list of birthdays of genre-important people who also are sufficiently woke.” Cause if that’s the case, I’d bet there are reasons to cull a number of previous entries from past lists.

    How about not giving flattering attention to people who have engaged in abuse and harassment, when we know about it? Is that too extreme for you?

  17. @6, wrt @5: someday these stories will also be part of mis-recalled history….

    @12: So Disney fired someone for promoting the tech they ultimately paid serious money for? <sardonic>Kewl!</sardonic> — a sort of large-scale version of my last employer buying the company their founder ~left because he had a better idea about MCAD.

    @12 ctd: I’m ambivalent about Mosley; the Easy Rawlins series may be an excellent recreation (I don’t have nearly enough information to say), but I found the one SF novel I read to be only slightly better than other mundanes’ incursions (YMMV), and his latest mystery featured someone who was not just flawed but IMO stupid. Possibly that’s considered realism.

    @15: it belatedly occurred to me that this is almost the standard business model these days — a company dumps the team that just did something big either because it thinks it can rehire them (or their equivalents) if it gets another big contract, or because it figures the next big contract will need slightly different skills and thinks it can find better fits rather than building on the existing team. No, I’m not bitter about this, even though my parents’ only grandchild is an aerospace engineer….

    @16: suspension over Brexit sounds logical to me; unfortunately there’s no explanation of why the writer has a problem … with the way it was written out. He admits that the show has been political before; is there a followon link I’m not seeing, or is he just being a twit?

    @18: this is fascinating, but I’d love to know how much local damage might have been done by an explosion visible so far away; are our telescopes that sensitive, or is random wipage-by-supernova a larger-area answer to the Fermi paradox?

    @Lis: Optimist — never assume a legal decision will be either fair or sensible, no matter how good the evidence.

    @bill: there’s a lot of difference between being “woke” and merely not being badly behaved; the latter is what Lasseter failed at. That being said, I’m inclined not to forget someone who has had so much positive effect.

  18. I just found this, first at Project Gutenberg, then (thanks to a link at PG) at Archive.

    Frank Reade, Jr., And His New Steam Man. Cowboys and robots! Well, at least one robot. I haven’t read it yet.*

    It refers to another story, about Frank Reade, Jr., and his Cyborg, but I can’t find it, or his old steam man, for that matter. Looks like the two of them have more adventures after this one, but I’m going to presume that this pointer is sufficient for now. (PG credits a named author, Luis Senarens, for the Reade stories, so there’s no worry about “Noname” being no-awarded, should the retro-Hugos reach 1892. The Wikipedia entry on Senarens is interesting. He was a prolific dime novelist, with a decided tilt toward modern invention and some 300 titles to his likely credit. He died in 1939, just in time to mostly miss the dawn of convention fandom, but I’ll fans wrote to his magazine. Remember him, ye annals of Speculative Fiction!)

    *I browsed a little. Trigger warning for those who don’t dig 19th century-type humorous ethnic dialect.

  19. I think the John Lasseters of the world should be included, with some mention of the major controversy that now at least partly defines him. In his case, the fact that he was fired for groping and harassing women and creating a creepy culture at Pixar AND that he has landed on his feet and got a new job, anyway, makes for an interesting discussion. Here’s a good article about his new job at Skydance and why people should be talking about it. If I screwed up the link, it was published Friday at the LA Times and was written by Mary McNamara.

  20. @Lis Carey
    How about not giving flattering attention to people who have engaged in abuse and harassment, when we know about it? Is that too extreme for you?

    Lasseter belongs in a category that likely should include Isaac Asimov, Forrest Ackerman, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, all of whom had their birthdays noted (for good reason, based on their accomplishments). Are you advocating that OGH should go back and flush those entries down the memory hole? (and if you did say that those people should have been omitted from the list when their birthdays rolled by, which I don’t recall one way or the other, then I commend you for consistency in your principles.)

    @Chip @bill: there’s a lot of difference between being “woke” and merely not being badly behaved; the latter is what Lasseter failed at
    You are correct. I did a poor job of expressing the idea that one can recognize achievement separately from failure, and that neither wipes out the other.

  21. @Matthew — That was fun to see, as that song has been rattling around in my brain for the past couple weeks.

  22. @Paul Weimer: “If there was an actual screenshot of a CYOA book in the movie or something along those lines, I might buy this. But the idea gets mentioned as a generic term, not referencing the property at all.”

    Well, sure. I’ve seen people say “Well, he literally said the words ‘It’s a Choose Your Own Adventure book’ so they meant it literally”… but that’s obviously not true, given that they went to the trouble of designing something that looks like a 1000-page adult horror paperback with no resemblance to the very recognizable design and branding of CYOA books, and they gave us a good look at it several times.

    The problem, if I understand correctly, is that trademark lawsuits often do involve that kind of generic usage. If it can be proven that a trademark is already very widely used in that way, like “kleenex”, then it’s much harder to enforce that trademark in any context ever again. Therefore companies are generally advised to stop it from getting to that point, by nipping all such usage in the bud through aggressive legal action. The argument in those cases is basically “We know you meant it generically, but if you encourage people to do that, you’re destroying our trademark and/or confusing people about whether it is a trademark.” So intent doesn’t really enter into it.

    I think that is basically Chooseco’s argument here. If you look at their filing, they’re careful not to say anything like “the movie literally wants you to think that that book is one of ours”; it’s all stuff like “they’re using our name in connection with other things” and “people will be confused about what our name means.” Whether they really got letters from people who were confused, I don’t know—it seems unlikely to me but then again people can be weird, and I guess they probably wouldn’t make such a claim in court if they couldn’t show at least one example.

  23. bill says Or is it preferable for the list to be “a list of birthdays of genre-important people who also are sufficiently woke.” Cause if that’s the case, I’d bet there are reasons to cull a number of previous entries from past lists.

    You’re right, he should stay. So how how you rewrite the Birthday entry to note his less savoury past?

  24. @bill–

    Are you advocating that OGH should go back and flush those entries down the memory hole? (and if you did say that those people should have been omitted from the list when their birthdays rolled by, which I don’t recall one way or the other, then I commend you for consistency in your principles.)

    I’m not saying we should go back and retroactively scrub the list. That’s something you came up with as an intentional reductio ad absurdum. I’m saying that when we know when the list is being made that someone who would otherwise plausibly be included, they are abusers, we should maybe not include them.

    Asimov has been gone for more than a quarter century, and is an actual giant of the field. If he were alive now, or recently, I’d feel a lot more strongly he should be excluded. I think Ackerman and Tyson should be excluded in the future, though I feel sad about Tyson, can easily imagine others feeling sad about Ackerman. Also, of course, Ackerman is dead, of course, though rather more recently than Asimov.

    Basically, I’m a lot less concerned about historic figures than about currently active figures who may feel they are getting a pass for their behavior if they continue to be treated as Prominent Figures in the Field, rather than as people whose behavior should be shunned.

    Also? Not buying the idea that Lasseter is a figure equal to Asimov or Tyson. Possibly Ackerman.

  25. Ok lets note that i only knew ofbhis reason for existing Disney because his Wiki page mentioned it. Generally I don’t give a rats ass about the personal life of a give Birthday person, just what they’ve ve done.

    Given the reaction to my note here, I’m more likely not to add such notes unless there’s good reason to so and when I do it’ll be a slightly longer note. It is after all a matter of the books, tv series and films that were interested

  26. Off-topic.

    @Cora,
    Re: Pokemon GO
    Our next interaction will trigger getting to Best Friend status. I’ll send a gift for you to open. Make sure you put a lucky egg on before opening (double xp!). You need the extra 100k experience points more than I do.

  27. @Cat Eldridge
    You’re right, he should stay. So how how you rewrite the Birthday entry to note his less savoury past?
    I’d probably ignore it completely, for exactly the reasons you state in your successive post. It’s a list of birthdays of genre figures; not character studies. Name, birthday, why they are on the list. That is sufficient unto the day.

    But I recognize that some who are regulars here would find that to be an omission that requires rectification; in light of that, I’d consider adding something like “His importance and reputation in the field of animated storytelling has been recently marred by revelations that he is a handsy lech, and was he was fired by Disney . . . ” with a link to some article that describes the situation better than a paragraph here could.

    Here’s the thing (well, maybe not the thing, but a thing). Accomplishments are simple, and can be described in a phrase/line/sentence. Bad behavior is complicated, and to do any reasonable job at all of describing it requires context and much more description. Not really consistent with the birthday list as it has been.

    @Lis Carey I’m not saying we should go back and retroactively scrub the list. That’s something you came up with as an intentional reductio ad absurdum. You sure seemed to be supportive of the idea that Lasseter should not be recognized; the only way for that to happen is to take him off the list. So I don’t think it was an unfair question: What should the standards be, and why do they apply to Lasseter but not others whose behavior is just as egregious. You’ve answered the second WRT to Asimov and Ackerman (they are dead; they get a pass), but not regarding Tyson.

    Not buying the idea that Lasseter is a figure equal to Asimov or Tyson. Possibly Ackerman. The we disagree. After Spielberg and Lucas, Lasseter is the most commercially important filmmaker in the era of the blockbuster (post-Jaws, 1975). Easily as important as Asimov. Certainly his work has been seen and appreciated by more people than anything Asimov ever wrote.

    And, to Cat — please don’t take any of this as criticism of how you do the list. It’s become an important part of Scrolls. I always look forward to it and usually learn something. I’ve added enough names here in the comments to know that it is not simple to select and winnow the names and write an interesting note about each. I hope you keep doing it for a while.

  28. Soon Lee, speaking of Pokemon Go, your New Zealand eggs are incredibly popular with my in-person friends. I hatch ’em and trade ’em and everyone gets thousands of kilometers in trade-distance.

    Except for the one you gave me that hatched a Mr. Mime. That one, I’m keeping…

  29. @bill–

    You sure seemed to be supportive of the idea that Lasseter should not be recognized; the only way for that to happen is to take him off the list. So I don’t think it was an unfair question: What should the standards be, and why do they apply to Lasseter but not others whose behavior is just as egregious. You’ve answered the second WRT to Asimov and Ackerman (they are dead; they get a pass), but not regarding Tyson.

    I said:

    I’m not saying we should go back and retroactively scrub the list. That’s something you came up with as an intentional reductio ad absurdum.

    See? It’s right there. I’m not in favor of retroactively scrubbing the lists. I’m talking about what I’d be in favor of going forward. Of course, you may have a different opinion. You apparently do want to make extra work for others, making the birthday day lists since their inception conform to your standards.

    I haven’t suggested anything like that. I’m talking about making what I think are better choices for the future.

    You made this claim:

    You’ve answered the second WRT to Asimov and Ackerman (they are dead; they get a pass), but not regarding Tyson.

    When in fact I said:

    I think Ackerman and Tyson should be excluded in the future, though I feel sad about Tyson, can easily imagine others feeling sad about Ackerman. Also, of course, Ackerman is dead, of course, though rather more recently than Asimov.

    I would exclude Tyson, once we knew. I think I was clear about that. I’m not applying a different standard to Tyson than to Lasseter. Again, something that came out of your head, in direct contradiction of what I actually said.

    I’m not in favor of retroactively scrubbing the list. I think it would accomplish nothing useful, while generating an enormous amount of work for someone else. I assume that’s why you came up with the idea: to pretend I’m demanding a huge amount of pointless work to be done by other people.

    In fact, I’m just suggesting a somewhat modified standard for the future. Even that will happen only if my reasoning persuades Cat and/or OGH. Which I’m totally okay with, because I don’t feel a need to have everyone agree with me, or to get my way all the time.

  30. Like Lis, I feel it is more important to include the unflattering parts about people that are alive. And I do think there is a good idea to exclude them if their impact hasn’t been among the more influential.

    An extra sentence or two naming the misdemeano, as bill proposed, is not a bad idea. And of course I understand that it is impossible to know of the background of every person included in the birthday posts. It is already an heroical effort writing those. I really appreciate the work.

  31. @ bookworm1398:

    IIRC, the Larsson case is extra-complicated by a “lack of will”, Swedish inheritance laws (fwiw, it’s “Stieg”, not “Steig”), and one of the subtle differences between “!we’re a couple” and “we’re married”. Specifically, with a lack of will, the inheritance goes to blood-relatives, not relationship-relatives (primarily children, secondarily siblings, in both cases the right-to-inheritance is inherited once). And a difference in treatment between tangibles and intangibles. And a whole slew of complicated legal arguments I would actually have to go and look up.

    But, yes, it’s complicated, but might’ve been less complicated if an actual marriage (or will) had been in place.

  32. @Lis — I was going to respond a whole lot to your post, but after reflection think it is best to say simply that I don’t think I was saying what you said I did. I’m happy to say that if I were a better writer, that misunderstanding would have been less likely to occur.

    You apparently do want to make extra work for others, making the birthday day lists since their inception conform to your standards.
    This is the only part I’ll respond directly to — I can’t find anywhere I’ve suggested that anyone should do any extra work. In fact, in the only direct comment I’ve made that seems relevant, I said that the entry on Lasseter should remain as it is — not adding any work for anyone — no editing, no adding, etc. WRT to “my standards”, I think I’ve said more than once that I do like the birthday lists as they are. On the occasions that I’ve added names in the comments, it was (as I have also said) only to provide more information and not because I thought the original was in any way lacking.

  33. @bill–

    This is the only part I’ll respond directly to — I can’t find anywhere I’ve suggested that anyone should do any extra work.

    No, you just insisted that I must want all the past lists revised to what I prefer for future lists. Even though, of course, I had said exactly nothing to suggest that. You were trying to paint me as the kind of twisted SJW PC fanatic the Puppies love to hate.

    It seemed perfectly reasonable to conclude that that is what you would demand, if you thought there should be changes.

    Oh, and so it will be handy for you and anyone else, here it is. On January 13, at 11:21am, you said:

    Are you advocating that OGH should go back and flush those entries down the memory hole?

    And then you kept defending it, in less direct words, pretending that other things were apparently the thing I had never said and explicitly denied intending.

    The only “misunderstanding” here has been intentionally created by you.

  34. I’m coping with the dissolution of my twenty-eight year marriage to a man I made the mistake of putting through law school by working three jobs so that he wouldn’t have to work any while he studied. A man who is now turning the skills I paid for against me as he ruthlessly lies about me and fights me for *MY* copyrights to characters, series and worlds that I had long before I ever met him (something he has admitted to on record time and again) and to books he knows he never helped to write or plot because he forbid me to even talk about my writing in front of him.

    Sherrilyn Kenyon states that she was married to her husband for 28 years, so that goes back to at least 1991 or perhaps earlier. She wrote her first novel in 1994 and most of her books came out from 2000 onward. That puts them all in the period where the couple was married.

    How is she claiming that all of her creative work happened before they were married and he has no right to a share in any of it?

    I would think the royalties and IP from an author’s career would be treated as a marital asset in a divorce absent a pre-nuptial agreement or some other agreement.

  35. @rcade It gets a lot more complicated when you read the full post. Granted that this is her side of a very fraught-sounding situation, it sounds like there were elements of perceive control going way back in the marriage and for a long time the husband not only didn’t help but actively tried to prevent her writing career.

    And it sound like, going into the marriage, the one most likely to think in terms of pre nup would be him, looking forward to a presumably lucrative career in law—if she was working the kinds of jobs that you need three of to make ends meet while putting him through school, the assumption would not have been that she would ultimately be the one creating most of the marital assets. Which is a shame but understandable.

    Also, according to the post, Apparently her chronic and severe illness of the past two years was caused by her food being “tainted” in some kind of way by people who are now gone from her household.

    One of the people now gone from the household, if I’m reading between the lines correctly, was a tutor for their kids that the husband moved into the house, against Kenyon’s wishes, while she was most severely ill. This same person has been carrying on a campaign to defame Kenyon including orchestrating complaint letters to publishers that were supposed to look like spontaneous outcry from unconnected readers, that has in part led to the delay in the books that had been scheduled for this year. And it is very strongly implied that this person was having some kind of relationship with the husband in the midst of all of this.

    All true? Dunno, but if even half of it is, she’s been going through hell for quite a while, and I hope she makes it through all of this okay. And I’m even more in awe of the career she has built and her prolificness (if that’s even a word) in the midst of all that mess.

  36. 6) continued….

    Wow, this article in the Tennesseean has details of the lawsuit and it’s pretty nuts:

    https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/williamson/2019/01/14/dark-hunter-series-sherrilyn-kenyon-husband-poison-lawsuit/2566390002/

    It also seems like the lawsuit against Cassandra Clare that brought Kenyon a lot of backlash was largely the husband’s doing and the timing of 2016-17 coincides with the period when Kenyon was severely ill.

    The lawsuit says that when she was finally tested for toxins she had high levels of various substances — tin, platinum. Barium, thorium. Yikes.

  37. Cmm: The lawsuit says that when she was finally tested for toxins she had high levels of various substances — tin, platinum. Barium, thorium. Yikes.

    That is some serious Agatha Christie-level shit. He took out a million-dollar life insurance policy on her without her knowledge, and it seems apparent that she was being poisoned gradually in the hope that no one would think to do toxicology testing. She’s very lucky that she’s still alive. I’m very glad that she’s getting better, and I hope her lawyer is able to get back the money stolen from her and her children.

    A prosecution for attempted murder would also be good to see.

  38. I saw the Tennessean article about Kenyon yesterday. I’d had no idea she was in TN. For anyone who’s curious, Williamson County is just south of Nashville — it’s the area Nashvillians often go to when they are rich enough to escape Nashville proper. And those accusations certainly do sound like something an imaginative writer would come up with, which reaaaaaally makes me want to wait until all the evidence comes out before jumping to any conclusions in one direction or the other.

  39. I’ve had the same thought but also on the other side, thought about the tendency to disbelieve women when they say bad things are happening to them. Especially when it sounds like a batshit crazy scenario. Im definitely going to be watching to see how all this plays out.

  40. @rcade: some stories for which I
    I have finished drafts that post-date my marriage have recognizable roots in the dreck I wrote in Junior High. She could well have drafts and details that prove she had ideas before her husband was on the scene. And I (who have a lovely husband I adore whom have no intention of divorcing and who is not having me poisoned and who wants to support my writing) can say with certainty that he has read maaaybe a couple hundred pages of any of it ever, and has ZERO right to any of it in the case we divorce. Can you come up with anything that would justify adding IP to divorce proceedings if all the contracts are in her name alone?

  41. Leaving general marriage property issues out of it, intellectual property, copyrights, etc… are a very different class of property than e.g. real estate, financial assets, etc… And except with husband/wife writing teams like Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore, Ilona and Andrew Gordon (Ilona Andrews) or Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, the copyright and intellectual property belongs to the person who wrote it, not the person who happened to be married to them at the time.

    In general the case of Sherrilyn Kenyon should remind everybody that if you must marry, you need a pre-nup. Eve if you think it’s unromantic or think “We’re both poor anyway”, you still need a pre-nup. And the case of Stieg Larsson should remind everybody that if you’re not married, but living with a partner, you need a will. Coincidentally, you also need a will if you’re married.

  42. Lenora Rose: Can you come up with anything that would justify adding IP to divorce proceedings if all the contracts are in her name alone?

    If he had worked three jobs to support her (or even one) so that she could concentrate on writing, his lawyer might be able to argue for it.

    But as it is, her lawyer can argue that she has rights to a percentage of his future income as an attorney, given that she’s the one who made it possible for him to have that income potential.

    My personal preference is that his potential future income be truncated by a lengthy stay in prison for what appears to be attempted murder. 😐

  43. JJ:

    My personal preference is that his potential future income be truncated by a lengthy stay in prison for what appears to be attempted murder.

    Oh, yes.

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