Pixel Scroll 10/12/19 “Have Fifth, Will Godstalk,” Reads The File Of A Man, A Scroll Without Pixels In A Fannish Land

(1) NYRSF READINGS. The New York Review of Science Fiction Readings presents “An Evening of ‘Reckoning’” — creative writing on environmental justice – on October 14 with guest curator Michael J. DeLuca, featuring Emily Houk, Yukyan Lam, Krista Hoeppner Leahy, Marissa Lingen, Emery Robin, and Brian Francis Slattery. The event begins at 7:00 p.m. at The Brooklyn Commons Café, 388 Atlantic Avenue  (between Hoyt & Bond St.). Full info on Facebook.

Michael J. DeLuca‘s roots are mycorrhizal with sugar maple and Eastern white pine. He’s the publisher of Reckoning, an annual journal of creative writing on environmental justice. His fiction has appeared most recently in Beneath Ceaseless SkiesThree-Lobed Burning EyeStrangelet and Middle Planet

Emily Houk’s short fiction has appeared previously in Conjunctions, and she has just finished her first novel. She is coeditor of Ninepin Press, and she thrives in the shade of the library stacks of Western Massachusetts.

Yukyan Lam is based in New York, NY, and works for a non-profit on environmental health and social justice. Her scientific writing has appeared in various academic journals. She loves reading and writing creative non-fiction and short stories, and currently serves as a prose editor for Typehouse Literary Magazine. Follow her @yukyan_etc

Krista Hoeppner Leahy is a poet, writer, and actor. Her work has appeared in ClarkesworldFarrago’s WainscotLady Churchill’s Rosebud WristletRaritanShimmerTin HouseYear’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy and elsewhere. Born in Colorado, Krista currently resides in Brooklyn with her family.

Marissa Lingen is a freelance writer living in the suburbs of Minneapolis with two large men and one small dog. Mostly she writes speculative fiction. She has a large collection of foliage-themed jewelry.

Emery Robin is an Oakland-born and New York-based writer, previously published on Tor.com and in Spark: A Creative Anthology. When not busy reading, Emery is interested in propaganda, marginalia, and rock ‘n’ roll, and can be found on Twitter @ emwrobin .

Brian Francis Slattery is the arts editor and a reporter for the New Haven Independent. He has written four novels and is currently on the writing team of Bookburners, a serial fiction project. He’s also a musician and for a week out of every year, lives without electricity.

(2) JUNGLE CRUISE. Andrew Petersen, a student I met at Azusa Pacific University’s Yosemite Semester in 2001, achieved his goal of becoming a driver on the Jungle Cruise Ride. If only he hadn’t died last year – he would have gotten a kick out of this movie.  

Inspired by the famous Disneyland theme park ride, Disney’s JUNGLE CRUISE is an adventure-filled, Amazon-jungle expedition starring Dwayne Johnson as the charismatic riverboat captain and Emily Blunt as a determined explorer on a research mission. Also starring in the film are Edgar Ramirez, Jack Whitehall, with Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti. Jaume Collet-Serra is the director and John Davis, John Fox, Dwayne Johnson, Hiram Garcia, Dany Garcia and Beau Flynn are the producers, with Doug Merrifield serving as executive producer. Disney’s JUNGLE CRUISE opens in U.S. theaters on July 24, 2020.

(3) PRINCIPLES OF WARFARE. At The Angry Staff Officer, Matthew Ader exercises 20/20 hindsight in “Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory on Wakanda”.

Captain Roger’s performance at the Battle of Wakanda has been widely and rightly panned. But nothing has been said about the profound failures of his enemy, the Thanosians. Despite every possible advantage in manpower, materiel, and circumstance, they still failed. All students of the military art should examine how they so masterfully snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. 

Terrain Analysis 

The Thanosians had complete freedom in the approach to battle. Nevertheless, they committed two grievous and unforced errors. First, they failed to identify the large energy shield protecting Benin Zana and its immediate environs. This information would have been known with even the most cursory reconnaissance. The mistake cost them at least a battalion worth of troops, when their dropship smashed into it. It is generally agreed that losing a sixth of your force before battle commences is a bad thing. ..

(4) KRAMER PLEADS NOT GUILTY. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports “Judge, others charged in Gwinnett hacking case enter not guilty pleas”.

All four defendants charged in Gwinnett County’s convoluted courthouse hacking saga entered not guilty pleas Thursday afternoon.

Each of the defendants — including sitting Superior Court Judge Kathryn Schrader and DragonCon co-founder Ed Kramer — were present for a brief arraignment hearing, scattered across the courtroom gallery as attorneys spoke on their behalf. Their not guilty pleas mean the case against them will move forward. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 7….

(5) IMPERIAL SPONGEBOB. Holly M. Barker’s article for The Contemporary Pacific, “Unsettling SpongeBob and the Legacies of Violence on Bikini Bottom”, asserts the cartoon series normalizes an array or moral and ethical problems. Most of the piece is behind a paywall. Here is the abstract:

Billions of people around the globe are well-acquainted with SpongeBob Squarepants and the antics of the title character and his friends on Bikini Bottom. By the same token, there is an absence of public discourse about the whitewashing of violent American military activities through SpongeBob’s occupation and reclaiming of the bottom of Bikini Atoll’s lagoon. SpongeBob Squarepants and his friends play a role in normalizing the settler colonial takings of Indigenous lands while erasing the ancestral Bikinian people from their nonfictional homeland. This article exposes the complicity of popular culture in maintaining American military hegemonies in Oceania while amplifying the enduring indigeneity (Kauanui 2016) of the Marshallese people, who maintain deeply spiritual and historical connections to land—even land they cannot occupy due to residual radiation contamination from US nuclear weapons testing—through a range of cultural practices, including language, song, and weaving. This article also considers the gendered violence of nuclear colonialism and the resilience of Marshallese women.

Campus Reform’s post “Prof: SpongeBob perpetuates ‘violent, racist’ acts against indigenous people” elaborates on some of the issues, for example:  

… While Barker admits that the show’s creators likely did not have “U.S. colonialism” in mind while developing the cartoon, she calls it “disturbing” that they did not realize that “Bikini Bottom and Bikini Atoll were not theirs for the taking.” Consequently, Barker suggests that “millions of children” have “become acculturated to an ideology that includes the US character SpongeBob residing on another people’s homeland.” 

In this way, colonialism is supposedly “produced, reproduced, and normalized” through the cartoon

As if fictionally “occupying” nonfictional land was not enough, Barker also accuses the cartoon of being biased against women. 

The professor complains that “all of the main characters on the show are male,” except for Sandy Cheeks the squirrel, whom she suggests was only created in order to boost the gender diversity of the show. 

“The name ‘Bob’ represents the everyday man, a common American male, much like a ‘Joe,'” Barker observes, concluding that “our gaze into the world of Bikini Bottom, as well as the surface of Bikini, is thus filtered through the activities of men.”

Barker concludes her article by insisting that even though SpongeBob’s writers likely did not mean “to infuse a children’s show with racist, violent colonial practices,” the show is part of a larger issue, an “insidious practice of disappearing Indigenous communities.”

(6) DANIUS OBIT. Sara Danius has died due to breast cancer. She was the permanent secretary for the Swedish Academy during the MeToo era and who was forced out from it due to her determination to get rid of its toxic patriarchal working culture. She was 57 years old. (Swedish language news article here.)


  • October 12, 1987 Ultraman: The Adventure Begins. This Japanese animated film stars the English voice lead talents of Adrienne Barbeau and Stacy Keach.  Jr.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born October 12, 1875 Aleister Crowley. Genre writer? You decide. But I’ve no doubt that he had a great influence upon the genre as I’m betting many of you can note works in which he figures. One of the earliest such cases is Land of Mist, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which was published in 1926. (Died 1947.)
  • Born October 12, 1903 Josephine Hutchinson. She was Elsa von Frankenstein with Basil Rathbone and Boris Karloff in Son of Frankenstein. She was in “I Sing the Body Electric”, The Twilight Zone episode written by Bradbury that he turned into a short story. (Died 1998.)
  • Born October 12, 1904 Lester Dent. Pulp-fiction author who was best known as the creator and main author of the series of novels chronicling Doc Savage. Of the one hundred and eighty-one  Doc Savage novels published by Street and Smith, one hundred and seventy-nine were credited to Kenneth Robeson; and all but twenty were written by Dent. (Died 1959.)
  • Born October 12, 1916 Lock Martin. His claim to fame was that he was one of the tallest humans that ever lived.  At seven feet and seven inches (though this was dispute by some), he was also quite stocky.  He had the distinction of playing Gort in The Day The Earth Stood Still. He was also in The Incredible Shrinking Man as a giant, but his scenes were deleted. And he shows up in Invaders from Mars as the Mutant carrying David to the Intelligence though he goes uncredited in the film. (Died 1959.)
  • Born October 12, 1924 Randy Stuart. She’s best remembered as Louise Carey, the wife of Scott Carey, in The Incredible Shrinking Man. She was also Frances Hiller in “Anniversary of a Murder“ on One Step Beyond which conceived as a companion series to the Twilight Zone. (Died 1996.)
  • Born October 12, 1942 Daliah Lavi. She’s in Casino Royale as The Detainer, a secret agent. In the same year, she was in Jules Verne’s Rocket to the Moon as Madelaine. She was Purificata in The Demon, an Italian horror film.  If you’re into German popular music, you might recognize her as she was successful there in Seventies and Eighties. (Died 2017.)
  • Born October 12, 1943 Linda Shaye, 76. She’s been an actress for over forty years and has appeared in over ninety films, mostly horror. Among them is A Nightmare on Elm StreetCritters, Insidious, Dead End2001 Maniacs and its sequel 2001 Maniacs: Field of ScreamsJekyll and Hyde… Together AgainAmityville: A New GenerationOuija, and its prequel Ouija: Origin of Evil. She even appeared in The Running Man as a Propaganda Officer
  • Born October 12, 1965 Dan Abnett, 54. His earlier work was actually on Doctor Who Magazine,  but I’ll single out his co-writing Guardians of the Galaxy #1–6 with Andy Lanning, The Authority: Rule Britannia and his Border Princes novel he did in the Torchwood universe as great looks at him as a writer. 
  • Born October 12, 1968 Hugh Jackman, 51. Obviously Wolverine in the Marvel film franchise. He’s also been the lead character in Van Helsing as well as voicing him in the animated prequel Van Helsing: The London Assignment. One of his most charming roles was voicing The Easter Bunny in The Rise of The Guardians. And he played Robert Angier in The Prestige based off the novel written by the real Christopher Priest.


  • Rich Horton says about today’s Dilbert: “I don’t know if Scott Adams nicked this idea from Fred Pohl or Greg Egan or someone else, but I think of Daniel Galouye’s Simulacron-3 (filmed as The Thirteenth Floor).”

(10) THE ANSWER IS. Heather Rose Jones replies to the latest question on the Alpennia FAQ: “Are the Alpennia books historical?”

The setting deviates from real-world history in two major ways. Magic exists. And the country of Alpennia does not correspond to any real-world place or nation…. [More at the link.]

(11) WITH RESERVATIONS. CNET: “Addams Family fans can book ‘creepy, kooky’ night in replica mansion”. The “mansion” is in Brooklyn. Tagline: “Booking.com is offering a scary stay. Get a witch’s shawl on and a broomstick you can crawl on.”

…The exterior of Booking.com‘s Addams Family mansion doesn’t look spooky, but the inside makes up for it.

The [3700 square foot] mansion rents for just $101.10 per night, but not everyone interested will get in. [It will be available for only four one-night bookings starting the 29th of this month.] Mark your calendars now if you want to try to be one of the lucky ones. Bookings open on Oct. 28 at 9 a.m. PT, and they’ll probably disappear as fast as you can snap your fingers.

(12) KINGS AND MONSTERS. LitHub learns from Joe Hill, “When Stephen King is Your Father, the World is Full of Monsters”.

We had a new monster every night.

I had this book I loved, Bring on the Bad Guys. It was a big, chunky paperback collection of comic-book stories, and as you might guess from the title, it wasn’t much concerned with heroes. It was instead an anthology of tales about the worst of the worst, vile psychopaths with names like The Abomination and faces to match.

My dad had to read that book to me every night. He didn’t have a choice. It was one of these Scheherazade-type deals. If he didn’t read to me, I wouldn’t stay in bed. I’d slip out from under my Empire Strikes Back quilt and roam the house in my Spider-Man Underoos, soggy thumb in my mouth and my filthy comfort blanket tossed over one shoulder. I could roam all night if the mood took me. My father had to keep reading until my eyes were barely open, and even then, he could only escape by saying he was going to step out for a smoke and he’d be right back.

(13) THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW. Behind a paywall at The Wall Street Journal: “Streaming Is Killing Physical Media. Here’s Why You Won’t Miss It “. Tagline: “With Samsung’s decision to stop making Blu-ray players, now even discs are going extinct. One writer reminisces about all we’ll lose. Another looks forward to an all-digital future.”

(14) FUTURIUM. Aa “house of futures” museum opened in Berlin last month called the Futurium, and their website is futurium.de. The home site is in German, however, they also offer an English language version.

Futurium celebrated its opening on 05 September 2019. Since then, the interest in the house of futures has exceeded all expectations. In the first month, 100,000 visitors already came to Futurium and devoted themselves to the question: How do we want to live?

(15) NOSFERATU. [Item by Steve Vertlieb.] Every generation has its incarnation of the vampire mythos – Dark Shadows, Twilight, True Blood, and more. But it all cinematically began with F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent movie masterpiece Nosferatu. Ninety-four years after its inception, North Hollywood’s Crown City Theater Company unleashed an astonishing live stage presentation entitled Nosferatu: A Symphony in Terror. In Nosferatu”, film historian Steve Vertlieb takes us aboard a dark yet wonderful cinematic time machine, delving into the creation of Murnau’s seminal horror film, examining it’s influence on generations (from Lugosi and Lee, to Salem’s Lot, Harry Potter and more), then reviews the startling stage presentation from a few years ago.

 (16) ONE LESS BRICK IN THE WALL. CNN says “You can feel good about ditching your LEGO bricks thanks to this new program”.

…Gather the LEGO bricks, sets or elements that you want to part with; put them in a cardboard box; and print out a free shipping label from the LEGO Replay website. At the Give Back Box facility, they’ll be sorted, inspected and cleaned.

“We know people don’t throw away their LEGO bricks,” Tim Brooks, vice president of environmental responsibility at the LEGO Group, said in a Tuesday news release. “The vast majority hand them down to their children or grandchildren. But others have asked us for a safe way to dispose of or to donate their bricks. With Replay, they have an easy option that’s both sustainable and socially impactful.”

(17) MUSHROOM MANAGEMENT. Car ownership and use are dropping, so they’re “Turning Paris’s underground car parks into mushrooms farms” – the BBC has video.

What do you do with an old car park that no-one wants to park in? Why not use them to grow mushrooms – or even salad?

Paris built too many underground car parks in the 1960s and 70s. Falling car ownership means many are standing empty, or finding new and surprising uses.

(18) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Lauren Gunderson Is Taking On J.M. Barrie” on YouTube, Lauren Gunderson discusses her adaptation of Peter Pan, which will be produced by the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington in December.

[Thanks to Nancy Collins, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Karl-Johan Norén, Steve Vertlieb, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anne Sheller.]

65 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/12/19 “Have Fifth, Will Godstalk,” Reads The File Of A Man, A Scroll Without Pixels In A Fannish Land

  1. 8) Dan Abnett is also the author of dozens of excellent novels set in the Warhammer and Warhammer 40K universes. His best known serious is the Gaunt’s Ghosts novels, the tale of an Imperial Guard regiment rescued from their homeworld moments before it was destroyed. The 1st Tanith Regiment. First and Only, First and Last.

    As a veteran myself I really appreciate how he handles war not as something glorious but as a horrible slog, where friends die and innocents are the victims. His characters are deep, the setting is some of the most epic space opera I’ve ever read, and each book is engaging.

  2. (8) Lester Dent is a character in The Astounding, The Amazing and The Unknown, by the way.

  3. Douglas Berry @ 8: That’s the guy who wrote Embedded! That was really good. And so was that article. I did enjoy that movie a lot, but that battle scene made no sense even to me.. If you liked this article, it’s worth searching his site for more “Battle of Wakanda” analyses. And now I’m going back to finish them.

    The first begins: “The world is blessed that Steve Rogers never made it past captain.”

    Maybe he’ll take on SpongeBob next.

  4. I think Aleister Crowley’s Moonchild probably qualifies him as a genre writer. Though I never did actually manage to finish it.

    Scroll What Though Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Pixel.

  5. @2: “Pirates of the Caribbean” was at least an interesting ride; “Jungle Cruise” was always one of the tackiest. (I remember somebody saying it was no wonder Nixon’s press secretary once worked as a JC announcer.) I like Blunt, but I’m not expecting much of this movie.

  6. Chip Hitchcock: I mention my dead friend and you come back with Nixon’s press secretary. What a genius you are.

  7. 8)
    As an actress, Daliah Lavi appeared in quite a few genre movies. My favourite is “Im Stahlnetz des Dr. Mabuse” (The Return of Dr. Mabuse a.k.a. The Steel Web of Dr. Mabuse), which I reviewed for Galactic Journey. Daliah Lavi appears together with Goldfinger to be Gert Fröbe in one of his rare heroic roles and ex-Tarzan and Old Shatterhand to be Lex Barker. You can watch the movie on YouTube, alas, only in German. Daliah Lavi, then 19 years old, appears at the 13:24 minute mark as a young reporter who puts Gert Fröbe and his paternalistic sexism in his place and barely a minute later does the same to Lex Barker. Of course, she turns out to be more closely connected to the case than she lets on at first. Daliah Lavi also appeared in a couple of Italian horror movies, which I haven’t seen.

    Daliah Lavi was also a talented singer. Most of her songs – at least, the ones I know – were in German and notable because their lyrics were more thoughtful than the usual German pop music of the 1960s/70s. My favourite is probably “Willst du mit mir geh’n?” (Do you want to go with me?), a beautiful love song from 1971, which you can enjoy here.

  8. @Mike @Chip
    I normally don’t expect much of Disney movies based on themepark rides, but this trailer looks actually fun. It might have a chance of being closer to the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie than e.g. the Haunted Mansion movie.

  9. That’s gotta be the silliest looking remake of THE AFRICAN QUEEN I’ve ever seen.

    And where’s Charles Laughton, anyway?

  10. (6) A minor correction: the linked obituary is in English, though provided from a reputable Swedish news source.

    (10) Not surprising. In a way I’d be sad to see the CDs, DVDs, and Bluray formats go, because there is something special about physical artifacts, but on the other hand they don’t have the same visceral physicality as the paper book or the LP (for all how impractical that last format was).

  11. 10) I’d be sad to see physical media go not just because I have an entire wall full of DVDs and Blu-ray discs, but because so many things that came out on disc at one point will never be available for streaming. Even stuff that does get released for streaming has this distressing tendency to vanish from platforms due to licensing issues, etc.; but once I have a disc, it’s mine forever, at least as long as I have equipment to play it.

    I’m less concerned about CDs just because those can be easily & legally ripped and stored on my hard drive. I know it’s possible to do something similar with DVDs & Blu-rays, but it’s much more of a pain to do the ripping, requires much more hard drive space to store, and requires more hoop-jumping to play them back.

  12. Streaming is much better than physical media because it is trivial to remove material displeasing to oligarchs from from streaming sources.

  13. LPs are having a real boom again these days. I almost bought one at a gig just the other day since it’s the only way that Boris / The Novembers have chosen to release their collaboration, Unknown Flowers. I’m still pretty damn tempted to order a copy online and send it home, though.

  14. @Andrew: I really enjoyed that book, as well as The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, to which it is a sequel and in which H. P. Lovecraft has a cameo appearance.

  15. Harry Smith, whose contributions to genre are indirect but interesting, used to speculate with some reason that Aleister Crowley might have been his biological father, though later on he seems to have decided this was not likely.

  16. 10) BlueRays. They came and went without me ever having seen one, I think that’s a new frontier in tech development.

  17. @Joe H: it’s not legal to rip CDs in the UK. Originally this was due to outdated copyright law which everyone ignored, then the government tidied the law up to make it legal. However, the record companies sued claiming their rights had been abused and a very silly judge agreed with them; the government didn’t appeal as they couldn’t be bothered to waste more money on lawyers and people continued to rip as before. It’s a law that few people have heard of and, if told, most decide that there is no ethical requirement to obey the law.

    So I’m already habituated to illegally ripping CDs and this news is motivation to progress my currently stalled plan to illegally rip all my DVDs. These days hard drive space is so cheap that the amount of data is not a problem.

    @KasaObake: I always wonder whether people actually play the LPs they are buying. I recall them as a pretty unsatisfactory way of delivering music – I was forever trying to clean duct off the records and still had to remove dust bunnies from the needle, to say nothing of having to keep hopping up to turn them over.

  18. @Patrick Morris Miller: Someday I’ll have to find the earlier book – I only read the sequel.

  19. I want to be able to own at least some of my media (books, music, movies). A lot of it, I’m quite satisfied to rent for either short or indefinite (as with a streaming service) periods, but unless I have a way to have control over my copy of some things, I’m not going to pleased.

    I also think there should be a thriving second-hand market, which gets really hard if there’s nothing physical associated with the medium. The entertainment industry has been trying to find ways around the first-sale doctrine (right to resell an already-paid-for-once copy of something) since it was first formalized. But if you can’t (legally) resell it, you don’t actually own it!

    (And no, I’m not really thrilled by the idea of an Amazon-controlled brokerage for reselling pure-digital works either. Amazon already has way too much control over media distribution.)

  20. The business of DVDs and Blu-ray going away confounds me. Apparently, no one cares if the content looks like crap when they watch it, because that’s what you get an awful lot of the time with streaming. You certainly don’t get anything nearly as good as blu-ray. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised really. Music went down the same route now and at this point is so completely devalued as to be the next thing to worthless.

  21. The best part is trying to push everybody to streaming while the ISPs trying to raise rates and throttle bandwidth.

  22. As far as music is concerned, you can still buy DRM-free digital downloads almost all across the board (Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, etc.). Bandcamp provides many different formats (including FLAC). Also Bandcamp and Amazon provide streaming for your purchases via apps.

  23. @Mike

    this news is motivation to progress my currently stalled plan to illegally rip all my DVDs.

    I highly recommend the free software Handbrake; instructions for DVD ripping here. I live in Alabama (NTSC, DVD Region 1), and recently used this method to rip a UK DVD (PAL, DVD Region 2), which otherwise would have been unwatchable. Very handy.

    And the award formerly known as the Tiptree Award has been renamed as the Otherwise Award.

    (I don’t care for this name)

  24. Cora Buhlert: Wasn’t Dailah Lavi originally Israeli? How did she end up being a German-language singer instead of working in another language?

  25. @bill: I don’t know whether I care for it or not; it’s not the sort of thing that can be decided easily. OTOH, I had no ideas myself, and have never had the skills or willingness to express interest in being on the Motherboard, so I’m disinclined to jump on the name without taking at least as much to think about it as they did.

  26. @Karl-Johan Norén, @James Davis Nicoll: If I watched more movies at home, I would regret the loss of uninterrupted movies at reasonable prices (ISTM that the cheap replay channels all have commercials, which I loathe in the middle of a work not shaped to them) and possibly of extra material that is on many discs; we only cut the cable a few months ago, so I don’t know how hard it is to jump to a specific section of a movie (a sometime advantage of discs). But the Kindle-style removability of work grates; even more, the lack of discs means the work can be changed without recourse. Sometimes this is a positive — a net channel recently provided the first non-censored ‘cast viewing of Blazing Saddles I’ve ever seen — but I expect it will more often be abused. OTOH, I’m not sure how much easier removal will be; ISTM that data storage is so compact that the mere hint of a threat of removal will inspire people to make easily-hidden copies.

    As someone who built a Heathkit amplifier and later worked a few semesters at a college radio station, I have no nostalgia whatever for the experience of handling an LP. There are a few items in my collection with useful liner notes — sometimes in the form of the CD booklet, because I was mostly about cassettes until <10 years ago. (Not any high ethos, just a matter of what I had in the car plus some private recordings that won’t be converted unless I take over the mass of 10.5″ reel-to-reel tapes my chorus inherited from the late recorder.)

  27. @bill

    Thanks for the recommendation of Handbrake and for the link.

    I still have both a DVD and a Blue-Ray player linked to a couple of our TVs and these will play NTSC, DVD Region 1 discs as well as the local PAL, DVD Region 2 ones. I had kind of assumed that the USA would also be using multi-region players but maybe you can afford to be a bit more parochial?

    @Chip Hitchcock

    I do kind of miss the album covers and sometimes the liner notes but not the LPs that came inside them.

  28. @Mike: for myself: Yep, absolutely, especially when I was going through my “classic rock” phase and had fairly easy access to cheap old copies of all the albums I wanted (plus my dad still had a bunch of his old LPs as well). My dad also enjoys listening to vinyl again these days – it’s kind of come to be sort of a luxury to sit down and enjoy a vinyl rather than just have music or something on in the car or plugged directly into your ears via your phone while you’re out and about. Maybe that’s just me and my weird family though 🙂

    If I was more static I’d probably amass a collection again but probably concentrating on more obscure things (like Unknown Flowers and other split EPs/albums from bands I like working with other bands I may never have heard of.)

  29. @Mike

    I had kind of assumed that the USA would also be using multi-region players but maybe you can afford to be a bit more parochial?

    I don’t think it is so much parochialism as it is that content owners (major movie studios) had the standards-writers in their pockets when the Region system was devised, and sufficient influence on the sales of players to make it very difficult to buy non-Region 1 DVD players back when that was the dominant way of distributing movies — at least, officially. Hacks to open up regions on hardware supposedly limited to Region 1, and multi-region players have always been available to people who cared enough to look for them, and once DVD players became broadly available on computers, software work-arounds have also been easily available.

  30. @Martin Wooster

    Wasn’t Dailah Lavi originally Israeli? How did she end up being a German-language singer instead of working in another language?

    Daliah Lavi’s parents were German Jews who’d emigrated to what was then Palestine, so she likely spoke German before her music and film career.

    Also, for a music genre that is often considered backwards and provincial, German Schlager singers were a remarkably international bunch. There were Danes (Gitte Haenning, Dorthe) Swedes (Siw Malmkvist, Siw Inger), Norwegians (Wencke Myrhe), Americans (Bill Ramsay, Penny Marshall, Gus Backus), Greeks (Vicky Leandors, Nana Mouskouri, Costa Cordalis), Brits (Chris Howland), French people (Mireille Mathieu, Dalida), Dutch people (Heintje, Rudi Carrell, Vader Abraham), Czechs (Karel Gott), Croatians (Dunja Rajter), Serbs (Bata Illic), South Africans (Howard Carpendale), Cubans (Roberto Blanco), Italians (Caterina Valente, Nino de Angelo, Salvatore Adamo) and even a faux Russian (Ivan Rebroff, whose real name was Hans Rolf Rippert) all singing in more or less accented German, so an Israeli singer like Daliah Lavi fit right in.

    In fact, it’s highly remarkable that this most German of all music genres was performed by a lot of artists who weren’t German.

  31. I suspect that a big chunk of the superstitious audiophile market is listening to their LPs in the firm belief that analog is always better than digital. Never mind that vinyl doesn’t provide the range or precision of standard digital audio. It’s analog, so by the usual rules of magic, it must be better! And if you really cared about the sound, you’d have speaker wires with spider-silk insulation wound widdershins, to ward off the electric demons! 🙂

    (I do miss 12″ album covers and liner notes, though. But not much else about the format.)

  32. “…you’d have speaker wires with spider-silk insulation wound widdershins, to ward off the electric demons!”

    I thought the idea was to keep them in! o.O

  33. @Hampus Eckerman: “I thought the idea was to keep them in! o.O”

    Exactly! Once they’re forced through the wires out back out through the acoustic veil of the speaker cone, the magic analog dust flies through the air like glitter toward a ‘phobe.

  34. (8) Regarding Aleister Crowley, I recently read a xiv+608-page collection of 49 shorter pieces (about 17 previously unpublished) by him, The Drug and Other Stories, published 2010 by Wordsworth Editions in their ‘Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural’ series.

    On a rapid re-skim, I’d assess six as being definably Fantasy and two as SF, though others might disagree with my criteria – I excluded seeming supernatural elements that were interpretable as characters’ subjective delusions rather than objective reality. A larger number of the rest are Horror, and indeed some had previously been anthologised as such by horror editors Michael Parry and Peter Haining.

    The volume doesn’t contain Crowley’s 26(?) stories (published separately by Wordsworth Eds in 2012) about the occult detective Simon Iff (who also appears in The Moonchild), at least some of which I’d expect also to be definably Fantasy.

    Of Crowley’s voluminous “non-fiction” work, much might be definable as fantasy depending on one’s belief or otherwise in occult matters. Crowley’s own take on much of it would be interesting – I suspect that a good deal of his occult writing is deliberate misdirection, intended as a test of whether one can distinguish wheat from chaff.

  35. I thought the idea was to keep them in! o.O

    The inside of the wire is too small for actual demons. The insulation helps protect the electric sprites and pixies from being devoured by the electric demons.

    (Some people say that for Celtic Rock, you really should use electric pictsies, but the extra costs—mainly in “sheep liniment”—are too high for most folks. Plus, “makes your ears bleed” is supposed to be a metaphor!)

  36. Cora Buhlert: Thank you for your explanation. I know nothing about Schlager and what I know of Dailah Lavi’s work is in English-language films, so you provided good background.

  37. @Xtifr: sort of like people believing that tube amplifiers are better than solid-state? I suspect that both beliefs relate to growing up with particular kinds of distortion in reproduced sound, perhaps combined with not knowing what perfect reproduction is due to not being able to afford the small number of ideal seats in the concert hall (or having no idea what good sound is because rock performances are almost invariably grungier-sounding than studio work). OTOH, there are some things best not reproduced; I really doubt that more than the frontmost rows of a symphony hall would hear the clicking of bows on strings that came through in an early digitally-recorded performance of the Mars movement.

  38. @Xtifr

    I suspect that a big chunk of the superstitious audiophile market is listening to their LPs in the firm belief that analog is always better than digital.

    I own vinyl LPs pressed over 50 years ago that play wonderfully, and CDs pressed 30 years ago that don’t play at all. The vinyl format is more archival than commercial-grade CDs.

    By some measures, digital is better (I love how simple it is to burn a mix-CD for the car), and by others, analog wins.

  39. @Chip Hitchcock: Tube amps are superior for certain performances precisely because I want that specific distorted sound. it’s a feature, not a bug.

    Vinyl is clearly superior to CD as an archival medium. The jury is out on digital. We haven’t been through a true test of it and I hope we never are.

    I’m still bummed people don’t recognize the greatness of this Rebecca Campbell story: The High Lonesome Frontier. I’ve never read anything else which hits these notes. Maybe Lewis Shiner has something. I need to read more–i.e. all–of him.

  40. @bill: All I’m sayin’ is that analog doesn’t “magically” sound better. But now that you bring it up–for archival purposes, I prefer FLAC to vinyl or CD.

    Vinyl is durable, though, I admit. As long as you keep it away from anything that might damage the surface. Like…the needle of a record player! 🙂

    (And yes, as John A Arkansawyer hints, my music collection is probably vulnerable to a sufficiently large EMP or solar flare–but one powerful enough to take out my music is going to take out so many other things that a lack of music will be the very least of my concerns.)

  41. @Jonh – hey! Thanks for reading it and the kind words! Much appreciated! I intended the effect to be global, but you’re right to wonder – I submitted the story to Interzone, and they were patient enough to critique and ask for me to expand on the ending. I was, stupidly, too precious to agree to it.

    Re tube amps – their particular distortion characteristics are very different than those of semiconductors, so they’ve been important for guitar players – an extremely conservative lot – for decades. I recently switched to a digital box that does a very passable simulation of classic guitar amps, and it’s a great compromise. Cheaper and lighter too 🙂

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