Pixel Scroll 10/9/16 I’ve Come To Chew Pixels And Kick Scrolls. And I’m All Out of Pixels.

Ursula Le Guin. Photo by Eileen Gunn.

Ursula Le Guin. Photo by Eileen Gunn.

(1) AT THE BORDER. Zoë Carpenter argues “Ursula Le Guin Has Stopped Writing Fiction – But We Need Her More Than Ever” in a profile of the author for The Nation.

…Always a writer from “the margins,” Le Guin is now writing from life’s edge. “It’s very hard to write about being old. We don’t have the vocabulary. It’s the way a lot of women felt when they realized they had to write about being women and didn’t have the vocabulary,” she told me. We were in her living room, with its comfortable chairs and the window looking north past an old redwood tree to Mount St. Helens. Pard, her green-eyed cat, stretched on a scarlet carpet nearby. Le Guin feels a duty “to try to report from the frontier,” but it’s very difficult, and mysterious. “You are definitely approaching the borderland. Borderlands are weird places.”

Poetry fits this particular edge best, and so, at the end of her career, Le Guin is returning to the form that began it: “bones words / pot-shards / all go back,” she writes in “Earthenware,” from her collection Late in the Day, released in December 2015. She lingers on spoons, a pestle, and other homely objects; returns to the landscapes that have “soaked into me,” as she described it; and examines her own precarious position. If there are stories she hasn’t had time to tell, she keeps them to herself. From “The Games”: “I’m not sorry, now all’s said and done / to lie here by myself with nowhere to run, / in quiet, in this immense dark place.” While we were talking, a clock began to strike. The timepiece, a gift from Charles, is beautiful and old. Le Guin listened, counting the chimes. It rang out precisely. “Bless her old heart,” she said, and blew the clock a kiss.

(2) GENRE MAP. 60 Black Women in Horror Fiction by Sumiko Paulson. It consists of an alphabetical listing of the women with biographies, photos, and web addresses, as well as interviews with nine of these women. The material in this book was originally published on www.SumikoSaulson.com.

(3) FAN HISTORY. Carl Slaughter says — look for it in 2017.

“An Informal History of the Hugos, 1953-2000”

by Jo Walton

Tor

The Hugo Awards, named after pioneer science-fiction publisher Hugo Gernsback, and voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Society, have been given out since 1953. They are widely considered the most prestigious award in science fiction.

Between 2010 and 2013, Jo Walton wrote a series of posts for Tor.com, surveying the Hugo finalists and winners from the award’s inception up to the year 2000. Her contention was that each year’s full set of finalists generally tells a meaningful story about the state of science fiction at that time.

Walton’s cheerfully opinionated and vastly well-informed posts provoked valuable conversation among the field’s historians. Now these posts, lightly revised, have been gathered into this book, along with a small selection of the comments posted by SF luminaries such as Rich Horton, Gardner Dozois, and the late David G. Hartwell.

Engaged, passionate, and consistently entertaining, this is a book for the many who enjoyed Walton’s previous collection of writing from Tor.com, the Locus Award-winning What Makes This Book So Great.

(4) NYCC COSTUME PHOTOS. The Gothamist has more than a hundred photos of people in costume at the New York Comic Con on Saturday.

(5) IMAGINATION PLEASE. Dr. Mauser decided it’s his turn to voice these worn canards, in ”Papers Please”.

The Publishing elite and the other SJW’s in the writing and fandom industries are insisting that the ethnicity of a writer is important. That white writers are writing too many white characters, and should include more diversity in the characters in their stories, while at the same time accusing them of cultural appropriation if they do, as well as somehow stealing opportunities for non-white authors in the process. They are unable to see the contradiction between these two demands, as they only have the attention span to focus on one at a time – the memory of one is forgotten by the time they switch to the other – whichever one they need to employ against the target-du-jour.

They seem to think that minority readers can’t possibly enjoy a story unless it has a main character who “looks like them,” and they blame this for declining readership in a demographic that has never had a particularly high reading rate historically (instead of blaming, say, inferior schools and cultural influences against reading).

Clearly this MUST be true, because lord knows, not being a female, tawny-furred, Hani completely prevented me from enjoying all of the Chanur books I could get my hands on….

(6) FROM THE SCREEN TO THE STAGE. Steve Vertlieb considers Crown City Theater’s production of a venerable horror classic in “Nosferatu: A New Chord For ‘A Symphony of Horror’”.

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. Now, ninety-four years after its inception, North Hollywood’s Crown City Theater Company has unleashed an astonishing live stage presentation entitled NOSFERATU: A SYMPHONY IN TERROR. 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 new stage presentation. Happy Halloween!

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born October 9, 1964 – Guillermo Del Toro.

(8) HELL NO. ScreenRant received the bad news in person: “Ron Perlman Says Hellboy 3 Is Shelves Indefinitely”

Screen Rant sat down with Perlman at a roundtable interview for his latest collaboration with Del Toro, Trollhunters, which will hit Netflix in December. We took the opportunity to ask the genre icon if his recent reunion with the esteemed auteur meant the adored duo were any closer to making Hellboy 3 a reality. But unfortunately, instead of an update, Perlman admitted, “We don’t talk about that anymore.”

Pressed for why, Perlman said, “Because he’s busy, and I’m busy. Maybe one day he’s going to call and say, ‘Hey, let’s do it.’ But for right now? We’re happy discovering new worlds to conquer.”

(9) DC REVISITS 60s VERSIONS OF CHARACTERS. From CinemaBlend. Fifty years was not too long to wait, was it?

DC Comics has officially announced that Adam West‘s Batman and Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman will meet one another in an upcoming issue of Batman ’66. Although the above tweet does not provide any real insight into the narrative ramifications of the interaction between the two characters, the artworks shows Wonder Woman deflecting gunshots with her Bracelets of Submission while Batman takes cover behind a shield. It’s camp at its finest, but these two characters are clearly going to get into some serious trouble. Readers will just have to find out for themselves when the issue hits shelves in January.

(10) IS THIS LEAP YEAR OR JUMP YEAR? Don’t tell him I agreed with him…

(11) TAKE A DEEP BREATH. GeoScienceWorld has a line on “Sulfur-oxidizing bacteria prior to the Great Oxidation Event from the 2.52 Ga Gamohaan Formation of South Africa”.

Morphologically these fossils are similar to Proterozoic and Phanerozoic acritarchs and to certain Archean fossils interpreted as possible cyanobacteria. However, their exceptionally large size, simple cell wall microstructure, and paleoecological setting, as well as multiple sulfur isotope systematics of pyrite within the unit, suggest that the Gamohaan Formation fossils were sulfur-oxidizing bacteria similar to those of the modern genus Thiomargarita, organisms that live in anoxic and sulfidic deepwater settings. These are the oldest reported fossil sulfur bacteria and reveal a diversity of life and ecosystems, previously only interpreted from geochemical proxies, just prior to the Great Oxidation Event, a time of major atmospheric evolution.

(12) PONY UP. There are 8 days left in the Strange Horizons 2016 Fund Drive. Help keep them going for another year. Maybe 2017 will be the year they include James Davis Nicoll in their report on diversity in reviewing!

Our annual fund drive is underway! We’re aiming to raise $15,000 to fund Strange Horizons in 2017, and a bit more than that for some special projects. You can make a one-time donation via PayPal or NetworkForGood, or support on an ongoing basis via Patreon—all donors are entered into our prize draw, and various other rewards are also available (and in the US your donations are tax-deductible). As an additional thank-you to donors, as we raise money we’re publishing extra material from our fund drive special issue. We’ve just published new poems by Margaret Wack and Karin Lowachee, and when we reach $9,000, we’ll publish a round-table on Manjula Padmanabhan’s SF novels!

Special Patreon goal! In addition to the main fund drive special, if our Patreon reaches 300 supporters, as a preview of Samovar, we will publish Lawrence Schimel’s translation of “Terpsichore”, a story by Argentinian writer Teresa P. Mira de Echeverría. Read a bit more about it here.

(13) SHE HAS A LITTLE LIST. Ann Leckie does for Twitter what Standback did for the FIle 770 comment section earlier today.

(14) A DIFFERENT TURING TEST. The BBC has the first verified music played by a computer.

The earliest known recording of music produced by a computer – a machine operated by Alan Turing, no less – has finally been made to sound exactly as it did 65 years ago.

It’s hardly chart-topping material. The performance is halting and the tone reedy.

It starts with a few bars of the national anthem, then a burst of Baa Baa Black Sheep, followed by a truncated rendition of Glenn Miller’s swing hit In The Mood. (“The machine’s obviously not in the mood,” an engineer can be heard remarking when it stops mid-way.)

Chip Hitchcock comments, “As a musician, the first question I had on hearing this was whether the clear attack (sounding a bit like a glottal stop) at the start of each note was deliberate or an artifact of the equipment; I’m used to unprocessed electronic music not having even that bit of flavor.”

(15) THE DRAMATURGES OF MARS. Did you know Orson Welles met H.G. Wells? This is a recording of their appearance together.

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Andrew Porter, Cat Eldridge, David K.M. Klaus, Carl Slaughter, and John King Tarpininian for some of these stories Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Nigel.]

78 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/9/16 I’ve Come To Chew Pixels And Kick Scrolls. And I’m All Out of Pixels.

  1. @Hampus intentional or not, now I have a last song syndrome of “Beds are burning” by Midnight Oil…

  2. @junego: I (he, not she, but no worries) downloaded the ebook into the Kindle app on my desktop Mac (there’s a Windows one, too). The Kindle (.azw) files are in /Users/yourname/Library/Application Support/Kindle/My Kindle Content on a Mac, but I’m not sure where the Windows equivalent is. It’s possible Calibre “knows” where to find them; I know little about Calibre, so maybe I took some manual steps I didn’t have to.

    Anyway, once I found the file, I used Calibre to convert it to EPUB. You should be able to e-mail it to yourself on your idevice, then tap/hold the attachment in your e-mail and use the option to open in (or copy to?) iBooks. I say “should” because I did it another way (using another app I have, which I mostly use to organize ebooks that don’t come from Apple), but the “e-mail to yourself” way is simpler.

    The Windows Kindle app is here; I believe the Mac version is there and/or in the Mac App Store. Calibre is here, to convert Kindle to EPUB.

    That’s probably clear as mud, sorry! Lemme know if I can help, if you’re interested in doing this (versus just mildly curious what I did 😉 ).

    ::humming “Beds Are Burning” thanks to @Hampus Eckerman::

  3. I started and finished The Obelisk Gate this weekend. I won’t say too much about it other than I loved it. While the first book is probably the better book (in the worldbuilding, the characters, the twists, the mysteries, etc), I enjoyed this one even more. I cannot, cannot wait for the third.

    Started Bradbury’s The October Country yesterday, in honor of Halloween. I read the first two stories (The Dwarf and The Next In Line). Makes me wonder why I only read Bradbury seldomly (and usually only at this time of year)…

  4. So who’s watching the new U.S. genre shows (I don’t know if any of these are in other countries, too)?

    “Timeless”: I just finished the first episode (minutes ago). It was good and I’ll be watching the next one, too. Keeping in mind it’s TV and it’s time travel, so there are opportunities for eye-rolling. 😉 But it worked for me, I’m intrigued by the mysteries, and I really liked how it ended! ROT-13 for not-very-specific spoilers: Abar bs guvf “jr punatrq gur cnfg ohg vg nyy jbexrq bhg” pehq. V’yy or n yvggyr qvfnccbvagrq vs gurl pna 100% “svk” gur gvzryvar bapr vg’f gbgnyyl ubfrq, ohg fvapr vg’f GI, gung znl or jurer gurl’er urnqrq.

    “Van Helsing”: I stopped after the first two episodes, which may not have been fair. It had some interesting stuff in the premise, but I’m not really into horror/gore, so the story and mysteries weren’t enough to keep me watching. But if you like gore….

  5. Ebook sale of an old favorite mine (U.S. stores): Lord Valentine’s Castle by Robert K. Silverberg is on sale for $1.99 (published by Roc; DRM).

    BTW the audiobook version, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, is very good.

  6. We have Scrolled the Pixel, and it is us.

    You know how to Pixel, don’t you? You just put your lips together and Scroll.

  7. @Kendall

    Ebook sale of an old favorite mine (U.S. stores): Lord Valentine’s Castle by Robert K. Silverberg is on sale for $1.99 (published by Roc; DRM).

    Thanks! Snagged!

    @Bill – Hah!

  8. Kendall: ::humming “Beds Are Burning” thanks to @Hampus Eckerman::

    Yeah, I might as well go watch it on YouTube now, it’ll be running in my head for hours anyway. 😉

  9. @Kip W:
    \m/ (-_-) \m/

    ETA just saw the most metal of symphonies – Rite of Spring – in Berkeley, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Saturday night. It was incredible.

  10. @JJ
    re: Fluency by Wells.

    I’ll definitely give a shout once I’ve finished the book – probably a few days. Are you waiting to opine on Remanence or did I miss your post?

  11. @Kendall

    …U.S. genre shows

    Am waiting for much of the season to be over before dipping my feet in either Timeless or Van Helsing. After my varied disappointments with last years crop – Limitless not getting renewed, Lucifer and Wynona Earp being meh (based on the first 4 episodes of both) – am giving them a bit longer to find their feet.

    Westworld is, unsurprisingly, fantastic. I don’t think they’ll be able to keep up the standard set from the first 2 epps, but I’m pretty invested already.

  12. junego: Are you waiting to opine on Remanence or did I miss your post?

    I’m pretty sure that I did, a few months ago when I read it — but several targeted searches failed to bring it up.

    So I will say that I liked the way that Wells further developed the worldbuilding, especially with regard to the alien history and cultures, and I think that the author’s writing skills have gone up a level as well. I’m looking forward to the next one.

  13. ETA: A note to anyone in general: I think that readers who enjoyed Fluency will also enjoy Remanence. However, if Fluency didn’t “do it” for you, you may want to pass on the second book.

  14. @snowcrash: I haven’t seen “Westworld” (no HBO), but I’m not surprised it’s good, though the premise (what little I read about it) didn’t grab me.

    @JJ & @junego: I noticed a Random House imprint published a German version of Fluency called Die Frequenz: Roman (The Frequency: … does “Roman” mean a novel or something? Google Translate doesn’t translate that word).

  15. Kendall: does “Roman” mean a novel or something? Google Translate doesn’t translate that word

    Yes, it does, in French and German (the Italian word is romanzo) — plus in a whole lot of other languanges, according to Google Translate:
    https://translate.google.com/#auto/en/novel

    Interestingly, Wells published an “All Ages Edition” of Fluency — which I think was a smart move on the part of a self-published author who was trying to get their work into as many hands as possible.

    She’s done very well — Fluency has more than 2,600 reviews on Amazon US.

  16. @JJ: Thanks, I thought that was it. Weird that when I put in the full title, it didn’t translate the word Roman. (User error? 😉 )

    I noticed that “All Ages” edition as well. That’s a new one on me, but an interesting concept. I remember one scene I bet was, if not removed, heavily toned down.

    Have you – has anyone – seen other ebooks with regular and “all ages”-style editions? I read very little self-published fiction; is this “a thing” or is this as unusual as it seems to me?

  17. Dawn Incognito –
    The third arc of Utena just ratchets up the weirdness and goes to some disturbing places…they are true places though, if that makes sense? But it is amazing. Watch until the very, very end.
    And Ghostbird is right, the movie is gorgeous, incomprehensible on it’s own, and is indeed, the ending one needs.

  18. Regarding Utena: my own description of Utena is, “It’s a fairy tale about abusive relationships.”

    And regarding Nosferatu: I saw Nash the Slash perform his own music to it live once, before the rights to the movie changed hands and he got forbidden from doing that again. It was impressive to watch him go at it for the entire length of the movie.

  19. @lurkertype: Oh cool, I didn’t know that (romance coming in hot & mild versions). Thanks!

  20. @Kendall: Only indie ones. Big pub, you don’t get a choice. Some writers who’ve gotten their older books reverted have either spiced ’em up or down, depending, in an attempt to get a wider audience, putting both versions up on Amazon.

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