Pixel Scroll 10/11/21 The Pixel Went Down To Georgia, He Was Looking For A Scroll To Steal, He Was Way Behind, He Was Fifth

(1) INDIGENOUS HERITAGE IN HORROR. The Horror Writers Association blog features Owl Goingback, a three-time Bram Stoker Award Winner, receiving the award for Lifetime Achievement, Novel, and First Novel. “Interview with Owl Goingback”.

Do you make a conscious effort to include indigenous characters and themes in your writing and if so, what do you want to portray?

Yes. I’ve used indigenous characters in most of my books and stories, because I wanted to share a culture rich in history, folklore, and ceremony, and often very misunderstood. I also wanted to show that native people of this country have a different way of looking at things than people whose ancestors came from other parts of the world. Like the traditional oral storytellers of my people, I wanted to create stories that were enjoyable while weaving a bit of teaching into the narrative. That way I’m educating in addition to entertaining.

I guess I’ve done a good job of weaving teaching elements into my stories, because my books are being used in an eight-week educational program for youthful offenders at the Orange County Corrections Facility in Orlando, Florida. The young inmates get to read a novel featuring monsters and mayhem, and scenes of bloody carnage, while subconsciously being reminded to listen to their elders and respect Mother Earth.

(2) BECKY CHAMBERS Q&A. Vox’s Emily VanDerWerff hears from “Becky Chambers on why the best aliens are just a little bit human”.

You’re really good at designing non-human species. They’re just recognizable enough for us to be like, “Oh, I understand the emotions and the intellect going on here,” but also just alien enough for us to be like, “That’s really different.”

One of my favorite things to do on any project is invent aliens. I always start with the caveat of: We have to have a point of entry. We have to be able to relate to them on some human level. Do the aliens in Wayfarers resemble anything like what I think actual extraterrestrial life is like? No, of course not. But you have to be able to emotionally connect with them. And I don’t know that we could [immediately do that] with other species out there in the universe that exists.But from there, we’re gonna get weird. I start with biology first. I look at the physicality. I look at how they are different from us. I always start with a particular trait. For example, the Aeluons, one of the big alien species in Wayfarers, communicate through the chromatophore patches on their cheeks. That starts with a real-world inspiration — squid and octopus.

I take that and blow it up to a civilization level. If color is your primary mode of communication, how does that affect your art? How does that affect your architecture, the way you dress, the sorts of technology you have? And how do you relate to other species, especially if they have different ideas about what color means or just use it as a decoration? There’s a million questions you can ask with just that one element. Everything else comes from there….

(3) F&SF COVER. The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction’s Nov/Dec 2021 cover art by Maurizio Manzieri illustrates “Broad Dutty Water” by Nalo Hopkinson. Publisher Gordon Van Gelder says, “The issue has just been printed and will be distributed soon.”

(4) ORDER IN THE COURT. Every so often someone sends me a link to a stfnal t-shirt, and if I like it well enough I run it in the Scroll. Which is always promptly greeted by fan-lawyering comments to the effect “I hope they have the rights to that art” or “I looked that up and its copyright hasn’t expired OMG!” Well, there’s no stopping that, however, after yesterday’s response to Out of Print’s Foundation unisex book t-shirt I contacted the company to inquire if they had the rights. Here’s their reply:

Thank you for your interest in Out of Print. We work with the Estate of Isaac Asimov (Asimov Holding LLC) and the Estate of both respective artists for each book cover. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions. 

So please step it back down to Defcon 770.

(5) T-PARTY. Boskone 59 will be returning to an in-person convention with a hybrid option. The Boston con will run from February 18-20, 2022. This weekend they announced their current Covid-related attendance requirements.

The following policies were just approved at today’s Boskone and NESFA meetings:

  1. [Boskone] Attendees must be vaccinated and show proof of vaccination or have tested negative with a PCR test taken February 15, 12:01 am or later and before the convention. There are no exceptions.
  2. All humans 2 years old or older [attending Boskone] must wear a mask in convention spaces (including open parties) at all times, except when eating or drinking in designated food and drink spaces. There are no exceptions.

(6) MORRISON Q&A. At Altered Instinct, Stephen Hunt invites fans to “Meet Diane Morrison, author of A Few Good Elves”.

Without spoilers, what was one of your favourite moments of the story to write? What was it that made you enjoy that section so much? 

The Aces High obstacle course, hands-down, was the most fun in this book! The protagonist must successfully navigate an obstacle course in an asteroid field like a slalom race to qualify for entry into an advanced Star-Pilot’s school. It’s full of raw action, but unlike many action scenes in the story, there’s no violence involved. It’s a chance for the reader to see starfaring through a Pilot’s eyes, with excitement and joy. Describing the different challenges, and how Shaundar deals with them, not only let me really buckle down into how the universe works, but it let me show you a lot of important things about Shaundar as a character. It was a glorious moment.

(7) BRIANNA WU ENGAGED IN DEVELOPING TV SERIES. Deadline reports, “Fictional Gamergate Series In The Works From Mind Riot Entertainment & Video Games Developer Brianna Wu”.

Mind Riot Entertainment will work with journalist, game developer and computer programmer Brianna Wu for Gamergate, a series about her experience as a critic and target of the notorious 2014 online harassment campaign, for which the studio has optioned life rights.

The 2014 Gamergate online campaign ignited a firestorm for its targeting of women in the gaming industry which laid the foundation for current issues of disinformation and hate. Before QAnon, Covid-19 conspiracists and the January 6th insurrection, there was Gamergate. Wu was among the targeted women, which also included Zoë Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian.

… The series will explore the origins of the widespread intimidation campaign from the perspective of multiple, fictional people in the game industry – from executives to journalists and indie developers.

Gamergate is co-created and co-written by Wu and J. Brad Wilke (Camel Spiders), and will be produced by Mind Riot Entertainment’s Jonathan Keasey (Parallel) and Jeremy J. Dodd (One Nation Under Earl).

… [Wu said:] “We’re not going to retread the same story told in thousands of news stories from outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post, plus multiple documentaries like GTFO. Our series will focus on new, fictional people within the industry reacting to a horrific situation. By explaining how they were unable to stop the video game industry from being hijacked by the lunatic fringe – we can show how the tactics of Gamergate were the same ones that led to tragedies like Christchurch and January 6th”…

Keasey added: “Working with Brianna is a huge score for us. Based in Seattle, one of the country’s meccas for gaming, we’ve been wanting to shed light on this subject matter for a while and are honored that Brianna will be co-writing the series alongside Brad.”

(8) 007 PLUS 007 EQUALS THREE HOURS. Leonard Maltin finds that in Daniel Craig’s last outing as 007, there’s “Plenty Of Time To Die: The New James Bond Movie”.

The caretakers of the Intellectual Property known as James Bond, knowing that their newest effort would be the last one to star Daniel Craig, decided to spare no expense—or footage—to make this an “epic” entry in the long-running series. The result is a lavish piece of entertainment that ought to please any 007 fan. My only complaint is that there’s just too much of it. Any film that asks its audience to sit still and pay attention for nearly 3 hours had better have a damn good reason. This one doesn’t….

(9) NO PLACE LIKE HOME. Discovery’s lead actress gets profiled by her home state news site: “Alabama’s Sonequa Martin-Green rules Season 4 trailer for ‘Star Trek: Discovery’” at AL.com.

…In the trailer for Season 4, Martin-Green’s character and her crew are faced with a mysterious and deadly space anomaly.

“Today, we seek to understand a threat like none our galaxy has faced before,” Martin-Green says in the trailer. “With so much at stake, countless lives, futures … Once we enter the anomaly, we are going where no one has gone before.”

That’s a direct pull, of course, from the voice-over introduction to the original “Star Trek” series, an iconic TV program that first aired in the 1960s and spawned an entire universe of sci-fi content. As Burnham, Martin-Green is the first Black woman to have the lead role in a “Star Trek” series….

(10) MEMORY LANE.

  • 1999 – Twenty-two years this Autumn, the Baen Free Library, which was founded by writer Eric Flint and Baen Books publisher Jim Baen. opened for business. (Accounts differ on the actual date. And really it doesn’t matter that much, does it?) Jim Baen considered it an experiment in the field of intellectual property and copyright whereby the giving away of free books would increase the sale of other books sold by that publisher. Currently Baen Ebooks, as it’s now called, sells individual e-books, a subscription-based e-book program and access to galleys of forthcoming publications. 

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born October 11, 1940 Caroline John. Liz Shaw, companion to the Third Doctor. Shaw was a brilliant scientist, unusual for a companion. She returned for The Five Doctors. And she would reprise her character in the Big Finish audio works. Later she played the role of Laura Lyons in the BBC adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, opposite Tom Baker as Holmes. (Died 2012.)
  • Born October 11, 1944 Patrick Parrinder, 77. I’ve a soft spot for academics who plow our fields. This one settled upon H. G. Wells starting with H. G. Wells and H. G. Wells: The Critical Heritage nearly forty years ago all the way to H. G. Wells’s Perennial Time Machine that he recently wrote with Danièle Chatelain and George E. Slusser. 
  • Born October 11, 1960 Nicola Bryant, 61. Well known for her role as Perpugilliam “Peri” Brown, a companion to both the Fifth and Sixth Doctors. She also worked in “The Two Doctors” story so she appeared with the Second Doctor as well. Of course she’s done Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas. Like so many, many genre performers, she shows up in the video Trek fan fiction playing Lana in Star Trek Continues.
  • Born October 11, 1964 Michael J. Nelson, 57. Best known for his work on Mystery Science Theater. He was the head writer of the series for most of the show’s original eleven-year run, and spent half of that time as the on-air host. Bad genre films were a favorite target of his and his companions. 
  • Born October 11, 1965 Sean Patrick Flanery, 56. I really do think that his best work was on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and the films that followed. It certainly wasn’t as Bobby Dagen in Saw: The Final Chapter, a film best forgotten. (It gets a forty-one percent rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes, much better than I expected.) He appeared as Jake Greyman in Demon Hunter, another low budget horror film, and as John in The Evil Within. I see a pattern…
  • Born October 11, 1972 Claudia Black, 49. Best remembered for being Aeryn Sun in Farscape, Vala Mal Doran in Stargate SG-1 and Sharon “Shazza” Montgomery in Pitch Black. She also had a recurring role as Dahlia in The Originals and starred as Dr. Sabine Lommers in the Containment series. 
  • Born October 11, 1972 Nir Yaniv, 49. Author, editor, musician, and filmmaker.  He founded a webzine for the Israeli Society for Science Fiction & Fantasy.  Currently, he’s the chief editor of Chalomot Be’aspamia, Israel’s only professionally printed genre magazine. His short fiction has appeared in Weird TalesApex Magazine and The Best of World SF. He co-wrote The Tel Aviv Dossier with Lavie Tidhar. 
  • Born October 11, 1976 Emily Deschanel, 45. Temperance “Bones” Brennan in Bones which crossed over with Sleepy Hollow twice (she visited the latter once) and she had a bit part on Spider-Man 2. More notably she was Pam Asbury in Stephen King’s Rose Red series. Actually the forensic science on Bones is genre, isn’t it? 

(12) COMICS SECTION.

  • Close to Home shows why astronauts should have been alerted by the fiddle playing cat.
  • Dork Tower, in “Foundation’s Edgy,” is skeptical that fans really want to watch an absolutely faithful adaptation of Asimov’s trilogy. (“I do not agree with the views expressed in this comic,” says Lise Andreasen.)

(13) PHOTOS FROM NY COMIC CON. Gizmodo has a slide show of the “Best Cosplay NYCC 2021”. Daniel Dern says his favorite is “Bicycleb Loki Variant”.

(14) AUTOGRAPHED FANZINE RARITY. Bidding ends October 14 on The Gary Munson Collection of Horror and Fantasy Rare Books Auction at Heritage Auctions. One fascinating item is Ray Palmer’s personal, bound copy of Cosmos – The Serial Novel, produced in the early Thirties with seventeen chapters by seventeen different authors. Installments ran in the fanzine Science Fiction Digest between July, 1933 and January, 1935. It was a round-robin novel with each chapter by a different author (one a Palmer pseudonym). Palmer got sixteen “Masters of Science Fiction” to write successive chapters of the story, “using each other’s unique characters, worlds, and conflicts to build an adventure that spans galaxies.” Each author has autographed a page in the volume.

  • Chapter 1 – Faster Than Light by Ralph Milne Farley – July, 1933
  • Chapter 2 – The Emigrants by David H. Keller, M.D. – August, 1933
  • Chapter 3 – Callisto’s Children by Arthur J. Burks – September, 1933
  • Chapter 4 – The Murderer From Mars by Bob Olsen – September, 1933
  • Chapter 5 – Tyrants of Saturn by Francis Flagg – October, 1933
  • Chapter 6 – Interference on Luna by John W. Campbell – November, 1933
  • Chapter 7 – Son of the Trident by Rae Winters [Pseudonym of Raymond A. Palmer] – December, 1933
  • Chapter 8 – Volunteers From Venus by Otis Adelbert Kline and E. Hoffman Price – January, 1934
  • Chapter 9 – Menace of the Automaton by Abner J. Gelula – February, 1934
  • Chapter 10 – Conference at Copernicus by Raymond A. Palmer – March, 1934
  • Chapter 11 – The Last Poet and the Robots by A. Merritt – April, 1934
  • Chapter 12 – At the Crater’s Core by J. Harvey Haggard – May-June 1934
  • Chapter 13 – What a Course! by Edward E. Smith, Ph.D. – July, 1934
  • Chapter 14 – The Fate of the Neptunians by P. Schuyler Miller – August, 1934
  • Chapter 15 – The Horde of Elo Hava by L. A. Eshbach – September, 1934
  • Chapter 16 – Lost in Alien Dimensions by Eando Binder – October-November, 1934
  • Chapter 17 – Armageddon in Space by Edmond Hamilton – December, 1934-January, 1935

(15) ASK THE PANEL. QI is a BBC comedy panel show with Sandi Toksvig and Alan Davies, where panelists get points for being interesting. Here’s a recently posted excerpt from a show a couple years old, BUT, there’s an equation! “When Is The Best Time For Interstellar Travel?”

(16) SWORN-IN. Paul Weimer discusses his latest read: “Microreview: When the Goddess Wakes by Howard Andrew Jones” at Nerds of a Feather.

Howard Andrew Jones Ring-Sworn Trilogy has been a recent highlight and hallmark of positivist heroic epic fantasy. In strong contrast to grimdark, morally grey epic fantasy that has long been a dominant note, the Ring-Sworn Trilogy has opted for the path of less ambiguous protagonists and antagonists, and highlighting and emphasizing the importance, and effectiveness of positive action and standing up for one’s beliefs, family, and country.  All of this takes place in a richly created multiverse….

(17) VICIOUS CYCLE. [Item by Ben Bird Person.] Artist Martha Womersley did this piece based on a vinyl toy for the 1963 movie Matango or Attack of the Mushroom People

(18) ALLEY OOPS. Once again I came across an ad for the Wizard AlleyWorld Bookshelf Insert Box, which I think is a clever little thing (although the ad’s choice to put it on a shelf full of thriller novels seems tone-deaf.)

(19) AMBITIOUS HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS. Laughing Squid draws our attention to this “Halloween Light Show Featuring the Final Scene of ‘The Matrix’ and Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Wake Up’” in Tracy, CA that runs a couple hours a night during October. The schedule is available on Facebook. Or if that’s too far to drive, here’s a video of the display:

VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] The Death and Return of Superman/Long Live Superman on YouTube is a 2019 documentary, written by Scott McCulloch and directed by Alexander Gray, which is connected with the publication of the thousandth issue of Action Comics.  As DC publisher Dan DiDio notes, if “Batman comes into a bar, everyone wants to run and hide.  If Superman comes into a bar, you want to buy him a drink.”

This documentary is worth seeing if you want to see great comics creators such as Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, and Louise Simonson talk about what Superman means to them.  This works for me, but it might not work for you.  The existence of Zack Snyder’s evil Superman is thankfully ignored.

Best bit of trivia: superheroes in 1940 were known as “long johns characters.”

[Thanks to Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Ben Bird Person, Gordon Van Gelder, Daniel Dern, Lise Andreasen, Brown Robin, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter  for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Miles Carter.]

31 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/11/21 The Pixel Went Down To Georgia, He Was Looking For A Scroll To Steal, He Was Way Behind, He Was Fifth

  1. First!

    (10) MEMORY LANE. Baen Books should be praised for launching their online book service. It was innovative for its time. No what has happened since to the company, it was a great thing at the time.

  2. (15 ) ASK THE PANEL – Doesn’t this assume a constant or at least progressing rate of change in technology? But history has plenty of periods where there’s been a collapse of society and a resulting halt of progress, and possibly even a loss of technological know-how. Does the equation account for that?

  3. 8) Oh REALLY, Leonard Maltin? I’ve got a few questions for him; was Citizen Kane “too long”? Was The Good, The Bad and The Ugly “too long”? Was 2001, A Space Odyssey “too long” ? Was Gone With The FREAKING Wind “”too long”? (Uh, er, actually, I’ll concede that one!)

    My point is that No Time To Die was EXACTLY as long as it needed to be and I don’t have a problem with it and I’m tired of the seemingly endless parade of pundits, critics and reviewers harping endlessly about it.

    As far as I’m concerned, they can send their list of edits to Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson and wait by their phone…

  4. (4) I guess people who aren’t familiar with the company Out of Print might worry that the Foundation T-shirt is not licensed. But they aren’t exactly one of those fly-by-night companies you see hawking copied IP on social media. You can find their products in bookstores.

    (10) The Baen Free Library. That brings back memories. It happened so long ago that the anti-piracy rant that inspired Eric Flint was posted on Usenet. And I was reading Baen ebooks on my PalmPilot. I like to think the Baen Free Library inspired some other publishers to try to innovate. But some have forgotten the lessons. (Ebook prices are a mystery!)

  5. We’ve been watching all the Q.I. episodes available on BritBox, and saw this one just recently. I was irritated with the opening crawl, where we’re going to another galaxy to be the first to reach another star. I think we’re going to reach another star in our own galaxy first.

    Yes, it’s a comedy quiz show, but they really do their research. They missed this one.

    On another episode about the same time, at one point they gave the panelists jelly babies. A little bit later they gave them shuttlecocks. Host Sandi Toksvig was asking the next question when she noticed that two of the panelists were ignoring her and playing with their toys, each voicing one. The shuttlecock was going “Ex-ter-mi-nate!” and the jelly babies were going “Aaaaahhh!”

  6. Drifting. A bit too warm. AC out of the window. 🙁 (It’s October, and I’m complaining about no AC. With reason! Grrr)

    But after months of the building washer and dryer not working, a long wait for them to be fixed, which resulted in them making loud, screeching noises that could get you ganged up on if you did laundry when the building wasn’t empty, they’ve been replaced with spiffy new machines that work with only the normal amount of sound.

    And the cost of doing a load of laundry, wash and dry, has been reduced by $1.50.

  7. 10) Baen’s current model of providing almost a third of the book as free preview is also good. It gets me far enough into the story that i want to know what happens next and end up buying the book even if it’s just okay.
    Contrast to Amazon sample which often only gets you a couple of pages of text after all the introduction pages.

  8. 1

    The young inmates get to read a novel featuring monsters and mayhem, and scenes of bloody carnage, while subconsciously being reminded to listen to their elders and respect Mother Earth.

    I see what you did there. I’ve decided my next horror novel will be a Goingback. I don’t read many, so they have to count.

    11
    I enjoyed Caroline John in Who, but Liz Shaw was doomed as a companion. Nicola Bryant’s Peri was doomed for a different reason.

    15
    The comparison of interstellar travel to the British rail system makes me think of Peter Hamilton.

    Jeff Smith wrote: “she noticed that two of the panelists were ignoring her and playing with their toys, each voicing one”

    You know there’s going to be shenanigans with Alan Davies involved, even if you can’t guess what shenanigans will occur.

  9. The website for 18 looks sketchy as hell, and $36 for something that was kickstarted at $184 last year and is currently on Amazon for $219 seems a bit… buyer beware.

  10. I looked up a Kickstarter for this product — it has different measurements than the one linked here. The Kickstarter didn’t name a sale price, just an average pledge over $200. There are a bunch of Etsy vendors selling this kind of thing for under $70. Cheaper knockoffs of a popular idea.

  11. 19) Fantastic! But I do hope they have permission to use that music and those visuals…..

  12. Cliff: Your turn to write to them and ask if they have the rights. Don’t jerk my chain. You make this not fun to do.

  13. Mike Glyer: Your turn to write to them and ask if they have the rights. Don’t jerk my chain.

    I thought it was funny and snorted. He’s taken the piss out of those of us who have questioned the provenance of the t-shirts and other items in past scrolls.

    Thank you for checking, and thanks to Out of Print for their integrity.

  14. Yes, I guess tone is hard to convey in text. Perhaps I should have used a smiley? It was intended as a joke.

    Although, that tune sounds awfully like Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir…. I wonder if they…. I’ll get my coat.

  15. Cliff: that tune sounds awfully like Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir…. I wonder if they…. I’ll get my coat.

    ∗snort∗

  16. Cassy B. says the Baen Free Library got me to buy a LOT of books from Baen, back in the day.

    Same here though I readily admit that it’s been a very long time since I’ve purchased anything from it or the new version of it. Other than digital galleys from publishers or publications like Locus which I subscribe to directly, I get everything through Apple Books these days.

    Now listening to Charles de Lint’s Jack the Giant Killer, a perfect Autumnal tale.

  17. There’s a new edition of John Scalzi’s Red Shirts out with an introduction by Mary Robinette Kowal. I’ve not yet experienced it. Is it worth listening to?

  18. It’s fun. And while the obvious direction the story starts in would be entertaining, he didn’t settle for that, so I liked it much better.

  19. Mike Glyer says It’s fun. And while the obvious direction the story starts in would be entertaining, he didn’t settle for that, so I liked it much better.

    Excellent, that’s what I needed to know. I’ll download it off Audible and give it a listen soon. Thanks much!

  20. @10, the Baen Free Library got me to buy a LOT of books from Baen, back in the day.

    You’re not alone.

  21. Just finished Robot Artists & Black Swans by Bruce Sterling, his new collection of “Italian Fantascienza” stories. A category which also apparently includes his separately published novella, Pirate Utopia (which I also enjoyed).

    Overall, this was a more diverse selection of stories than I expected. Those who were expecting the “Godfather of Cyberpunk” to serve up straight cyberpunk may be mildly disappointed. The stories run the range from whimsical fantasy to…ok, yes, there’s some cyberpunk. And while I know that Sterling has range, I somehow expected these stories to be more related to each other than they are. The only thing they seem to have in common is that they’re all set, in whole or in part, in Turin.

    So, basically, just a collection of stories. But I liked it.

  22. For any as might be interested, Roger Zelazny’s Bridge of Ashes is now out on Kindle, and currently priced at $1.99.

  23. Cat Eldridge: There’s a new edition of John Scalzi’s Red Shirts out with an introduction by Mary Robinette Kowal. I’ve not yet experienced it. Is it worth listening to?

    For those who’ve already got the book, but would like to read MRK’s intro, you can click “Read Excerpt” here to read it.

    And Mike is right. I thought it would just be a fun riff off of Star Trek – and it is that – but Scalzi goes deeper, and has some profound things to say about The Little People whose lives are often considered and treated, in stories and film, as secondary, peripheral, unimportant, and disposable.

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