Pixel Scroll 11/5/18 Pixeltopia By James Scrolley

(1) VISIONS OF WFC 44. Ellen Datlow’s photos from World Fantasy Con 2018 are up on Flickr.

(2) DESIGNING WAKANDA. Black Panther designer Hannah Beachler spoke to the CityLab Detroit conference about what went into designing the capital city of Wakanda for the blockbuster movie. Social responsibility and connection to culture were critical in her designs of everything from street plans to public transit — “The Social Responsibility of Wakanda’s Golden City” at CityLab.

… It took ten months and 500 pages to design Golden City, the thriving Afrofuturist capital of Wakanda. The result is a stunning, complex metropolis that has delighted urbanist nerds and city-dwellers alike. Behind it all is Beachler, a production designer whose job is to act as “cinematic architect” and to create the “landscape of a story.”

…“You know what’s keeping us together: the connectivity of people, not the connectivity of users. We’re not users; we’re people, but we’ve convinced ourselves that we’re users,” she said. “So I took all of that, and I just chucked it out of Wakanda, because the people were the most important thing about it, and we’re forgetting it. And I think that’s why people responded to Wakanda on this massive level: people.”

(3) BOOK BUCKET BRIGADE. “A Store Had to Move Thousands of Books. So a Human Chain Was Formed” – the New York Times has the story:

The plea went out a few weeks ago from the bookstore in a port city in southern England: “Care to lend a hand?”

Volunteers were needed for “heavy manual work” in shifts. It was “essential” that they be able to lift and carry boxes and office supplies. Among the supplies: thousands upon thousands of books.

The appeal from October Books, a nonprofit that began 40 years ago as a “radical” bookshop, came after a rent increase forced it from its old home in Southampton, Jess Haynes, a member of the collective and one of the few paid employees, said on Wednesday.

The shop was looking to move lock, stock and barrel about 150 meters (just under 500 feet) to a three-story building that used to house a bank. Would anybody respond to the call for help?

This past Sunday, the bookstore got more than a helping hand — it got hundreds. A human chain began forming from the old October Books stockroom, snaking past 54 doors to the new building. The shop stopped counting after about 250 people showed up…

(4) GLASS UNIVERSE. Dava Sobel, the author of Longitude and Galileo’s Daughter, will be talking about her latest book The Glass Universe in the Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory (in Laurel, Maryland) on Friday, November 9 at 2 p.m. This talk is open to the public held at the Parsons auditorium (directions here). A summary of the talk is below (taken from this link):

Edward Pickering, who took over as director of the Harvard College Observatory in 1877, was a physicist, not an astronomer. Pickering quickly moved to expand activities beyond determining the positions of stars and the orbits of asteroids, moons, and comets. He invented new instruments for studying stellar brightness to help quantify the changes in variable stars. He introduced photography as a boon to celestial mapping and a key to characterizing the spectra of stars. The images that Pickering began amassing on glass plates in the late 19th century came to number in the hundreds of thousands and are currently being digitized to preserve their enduring value. Their abundance of pictures necessitated a special building to house them and a large team of assistants – nearly all women – to analyze them.

Pickering’s glass universe gave these women the means to make discoveries that still resonate today. Williamina Fleming, Antonia Maury, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Annie Jump Cannon, and Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin, the most famous members of the group, all played a part in the early development of astrophysics.

(5) BABY. Heath Miller and Cat Valente share their parental discoveries:

(6) OPIE’S SPACE PROGRAM. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] At the Beeb (no, not this one), Science Editor Paul Rincon talked to Ron Howard, who was wearing his Executive Producer hat for the National Geographic series, Mars (Ron Howard: Creating vision of a future Mars colony). Season 2 begins 11 November.

“When I first began the series a couple of years ago, I thought it was a great idea to do an adventure about going to Mars and we should make it as real as we possibly could,” Mr Howard says.

“But I wasn’t sure I believed in the idea of going to Mars. I knew I believed in the idea of space exploration… and any show that advocated that was making a statement that was healthy and positive for human beings – to inspire their imaginations to look outward.

“But as I have gone through the process of working on the show and interviewing some of the big thinkers, I now really do believe in it strategically – I don’t mean that from a military standpoint, I mean it from the point of the ongoing evolution of the human species… I not only believe it’s viable, I’m a big supporter.”

Season one of Mars followed the crew of the spacecraft Daedalus, as the astronauts attempted to create a pioneer settlement on the Red Planet in 2033. Season two is set nine years later and follows the fortunes of the first fully-fledged colony. The script tackles the everyday challenges of the settlers, including the first births on the Red Planet, outbreaks of disease and mechanical breakdowns.

(7) ARMSTRONG AUCTION RESULTS. NBC News totes up the results: “Neil Armstrong memorabilia fetches $7.5 million at auction”.

Dallas-based Heritage Auctions says the item that sold for the highest price, $468,500, at Saturday’s auction was Armstrong’s spacecraft ID plate from Apollo 11’s lunar module Eagle. Also sold were a fragment from the propeller and a section of the wing from the Wright brothers’ Flyer, the first heavier-than-air self-powered aircraft, which each sold for $275,000.

The flight suit Armstrong wore aboard Gemini 8, the 1966 mission that performed the first docking of two spacecraft in flight, brought the astronaut’s family $109,375.

(a) In a separate auction, a gold-colored Navy aviator’s helmet once owned by John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, sold for $46,250.

(b) It appears there were some flown artifacts in the Armstrong auction (but not the Glenn auction)

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and JJ.]

  • Born November 5, 1903 – H. Warner Munn, Writer and Poet known in genre for his early stories in Weird Tales in the 20s and 30s, his Atlantean/Arthurian fantasy saga, and his later stories about The Werewolf Clan. After making two mistakes in his first published genre story, he compensated by becoming a meticulous researcher and intricate plotter. His work became popular again in the 70s after Donald Wollheim and Lin Carter sought him out to write sequels to the first novel in his Merlin’s Godson series, which had been serialized in Weird Tales in 1939, and they published those novels as part of their Ballantine and Del Rey adult fantasy lines. The third novel in the series received World Fantasy and Mythopoeic Award nominations, he himself was nominated three times for the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, and he was Guest of Honor at the 1978 World Fantasy Convention. He won the Balrog Award for Poet twice in the 80s, and received the Clark Ashton Smith Award for Poetry.
  • Born November 5, 1938 – James Steranko, 80, Artist, Illustrator, Writer, Publisher, and Magician who is noted for his work in the comic book and graphic novel industry. His breakthough was the Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. feature in Marvel Comics’ Strange Tales, and the subsequent series, in the 60s. His design sensibility would become widespread within and without the comics industry, affecting even Raiders of the Lost Ark and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, for which he created conceptual art and character designs. He also produced several dozen covers and illustrations for genre novels and anthologies in the 60s and 70s. His two-volume history of the birth and early years of comic books established him as a historian of the field. He received and Inkpot Award and Dragon Con’s Julie Award, and was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006.
  • Born November 5, 1940 – Butch Honeck, 78, Sculptor and Fan who learned mechanics, welding, machining, and metal finishing as a teenager, then went on to build a foundry and teach himself to cast bronze so he could create shapes that were too complex for welding. His bronze fantasy sculptures, which depict dragons, mythical creatures, wizards, and other fantasy-oriented themes, use the lost wax method with ceramic shell molds and are characterized by intricate details, mechanical components, humor, and surprise. He has been Artist Guest of Honor at several conventions, was named to Archon’s Hall of Fame, and won a Chesley Award for Best Three-Dimensional Art.
  • Born November 5, 1942 – Frank Gasperik, Writer, Filker, and Fan who was a close friend to Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. He was Tuckerized as a character in several novels, including in Lucifer’s Hammer as Mark Czescu, in Footfall as Harry Reddington (aka Hairy Red), and in Fallen Angels. His own genre writing in collaboration with filker Leslie Fish resulted in a novella in Pournelle’s Co-Dominium universe, and an unfinished work which Fish completed for him after his death, at John F. Carr’s request. He was a well-known filker in that community; here he is doing “The Green Hills of Earth”. He died in 2007.
  • Born November 5, 1944 – Carole Nelson Douglas, 74, Writer and Editor who has produced a fantasy series and several genre series which are mysteries with a supernatural twist, including one which showcases Arthur Conan Doyle’s minor Sherlockian character Irene Adler as a brilliant investigator. But I’m here to pitch to you her SJW credential series instead (and dissenters can now go elsewhere) in the form of her Midnight Louie series, which was inspired by a classified ad seeking an adoptive home for a big black cat. Each novel is told in part from the point of view of Midnight Louie; the cat himself speaks in a style which some say is like that of a Damon Runyon character. Great dearies, lovely premise.
  • Born November 5, 1958 – Robert Patrick, 60, Actor and Producer best known in genre as FBI Special Agent John Doggett in The X-Files series, as the T-1000, the main adversary of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and a main role in the alien abduction movie Fire in the Sky  –  all of which netted him Saturn nominations. He has had a main role in the TV series Scorpion, and recurring roles in True Blood and From Dusk till Dawn. He has also appeared in a lengthy list of genre movies, including The Last Action Hero, Asylum, Future Hunters, Warlords from Hell, Alien Trespass, and Double Dragon, and episodes of Stargate: Atlantis, Lost, Tales from the Crypt, and The (new) Outer Limits.
  • Born November 5, 1960 – Tilda Swinton, 58, Oscar-winning Actor who is well-known to genre fans as the evil White Witch in the Chronicles of Narnia films, for which she received a Saturn nomination; roles in the films The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Doctor Strange won her Saturn trophies. She played the long-lived main character in Orlando, computing pioneer Ada Lovelace in the film Conceiving Ada, and had parts in Constantine, Snowpiercer, The Zero Theorem, and the upcoming zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die.
  • Born November 5, 1964 – Famke Janssen, 54, Actor who started out as a fashion model, and then had an acting career breakthrough as an unknown in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. This was followed quickly by appearances in genre films Lord of Illusions, Deep Rising, and House on Haunted Hill, then her 15-year genre role as Jean Grey / Phoenix in the numerous X-Men films, for which she won a Saturn Award. Since then, she has had main roles in the horror series Hemlock Grove and the supernatural social media film Status Update.
  • Born November 5, 1968 – Sam Rockwell, 50, Oscar-winning Actor who is probably best known as !Spoiler alert! (just kidding) Guy Fleegman, a redshirt in the Star Trek homage Galaxy Quest, whose character initially simply exists for comic relief but transcends that casting by the end of the Hugo-winning film. He also played Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, had parts in The Green Mile, Iron Man 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Cowboys & Aliens, and voice a lead role as a guinea pig in the animated Disney film G-Force.

(9) COMICS SECTION.

  • Off the Mark cleverly juxtaposes James Bond and Poe to trigger this punchline.

(10) MALIBU TREK. Deadline found a home on the market with some celebrity history in its own right: “‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ Home For Sale In Malibu, Part Of ‘The Survivors’ Episode”.

(a) House is listed for $5.695 million

(b) This appears to be the listing — https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/ca/malibu/27553-pacific-coast-hwy/pid_27011186/

(c) A photo from that listing is:

(11) LOOKING FOR THE GOLDEN AGE. David M. Barnett (@davidmbarnett) of the UK-based Independent newspaper uses Alec Nevala-Lee’s Astounding as a jumping-off point to explore the ongoing diversification of science fiction authorship and audiences. In “Out of this world: The rise and fall of Planet Sci-fi’s ‘competent man’” he offers a perspective on John W. Campbell’s legacy, both negative and positive, and puts recent events in science fiction fandom in context for a popular audience. Registration required.

Campbell was what he was, and he did what he did. He didn’t create science fiction, nor did he own it. It was an important period in history, but one that has passed. Science fiction today is new and wondrous and inclusive, and perhaps, in years to come, historians will be referring to this, not the Campbell era, as the true Golden Age.

(12) APOCALYPSE TUESDAY. The Rumpus says this is “What to Read When the World Is Ending”. A few sff works made the list.

…The above cataloguing of recent atrocities isn’t exhaustive. If the world isn’t truly ending, it’s certainly in the midst of several significant crisis. And in moments of crises, we at The Rumpus find solace in, and draw strength from, literature. Below is a list of books our editors think are especially appropriate to read right now, in this fraught political moment….

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okrafor
In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways; yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert, hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different—special—she names her Onyesonwu, which means “Who fears death?” in an ancient language. Even as a child, Onye manifests the beginnings of a remarkable and unique magic. As she grows, so do her abilities, and during an inadvertent visit to the spirit realm, she learns something terrifying: someone powerful is trying to kill her.

(13) ARE YOU TRACKING WITH ME? There will be a Traincon to the 2019 NASFiC / Westercon / 1632 Minicon happening in Layton, UT next July. Well, two Traincons might be more accurate, since organizers want to have one running to the con from Chicago and another from the San Francisco Bay Area (and return). More information at the link.

Join your fellow fans on Amtrak for the trip to Spikecon and then back home. We’ll have fun on the train, getting together periodically to discuss SF, the con, or anything that comes to mind. Games and filk, too, if anyone is so inclined – all with old friends and new. While you’re at it, don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful scenery. The train from the Bay Area (Traincon West) crosses the Sierra Nevada, the one from Chicago (Traincon East) crosses the spectacular Rockies, both in full daylight.

There will be no group reservation for this Traincon; members will need to make their own individual Amtrak reservations; early reservations are recommended for the best prices…..

The organizers are Bill Thomasson and Nancy Alegria.

(14) HOTEL WATCHING IN NZ. The Comfort Hotel in Wellington (venue for some recent NZ NatCon’s and about a km from WorldCon venues) will be renamed and refurbished.

Renovations for the 115-room Comfort Hotel will begin after March 2019 with expected completion at the end of that year, for rebranding as Naumi Heritage Wellington.

The Quality Hotel renovations will also be completed about the same time, and be rebranded as Naumi Suites Wellington with 62 rooms.

…The theme of the hotel refurbishments in Wellington will be “romantic Edwardian age meets literary bohemian”, according to a Naumi media statement – “a space that embraces diversity and steadfastly refuses to be boring”.

(15) LOVE OFF THE CLOCK. SYFY Wire’s “FanGrrls” columnist Alyssa Fiske extols “The appeal of the time-travel romance”:

While some may accuse the genre of being formulaic (fools), romance does indeed have some of the greatest tropes of any kind of story. Enemies to lovers, fake dating becoming real, the good old “oh no there’s only one bed in this hotel room I guess we have to share,” all of these tropes are at once familiar and thrilling. The building blocks may be the same, but each swoony outcome has its own sense of magic.

In particular, time travel and other time-related complications pop up again and again. Whether they’re communicating via time bending mailbox (The Lake House), kept apart by centuries as a plastic centurion (Doctor Who), or powered by genetic anomalies both charming (About Time) and devastating (The Time Traveler’s Wife), this obstacle has long been a popular stalwart in the romantic canon.

(16) GHOST MOONS. NBC News goes for the clicks with its headline “‘Ghost moons’ discovered in orbit around Earth”. These are patches of “dust” at the Earth-Moon L4 & L5 (Lagrange) points

Astronomers in Hungary say they’ve detected a pair of what some call “ghost moons” orbiting our planet not far from the moon we all know.

The hazy clouds of dust — tens of thousands of miles across but too faint to be seen with the naked eye — were first detected almost 60 years ago by a Polish astronomer, Kazimierz Kordylewski. But the patches of light he found were too indistinct to convince some scientists that the clouds were really there, and the existence of the “Kordylewski clouds” has long been a matter of controversy.

Now the astronomers, Gabor Horvath and Judit Sliz-Balogh of Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, have obtained clear evidence of the clouds using a specially equipped telescope in a private observatory in western Hungary.

(17) MORE IMPORTANT — IRON OUTSIDE OR IRON INSIDE? [Item by Mike Kennedy.] At the A.V. Club, Tom Breihan is considering “the most important superhero movie of every year” in a series entitled “Age of Heroes.” Breihan is up to 2008 and asks, “Does the most important year for superhero movies belong to The Dark Knight or Iron Man?

Midway through Christopher Nolan’s 2008 movie The Dark Knight, the Joker gets himself arrested so that he can then break out of his holding cell and continue his grand experiment in human darkness. While he’s locked up, he’s placed in the custody of the Major Crimes Unit, the police force that’s supposedly been devoted to locking up Batman. In the movie, people keep referring to the Major Crimes Unit as the MCU. As in: “There’s a problem at the MCU!” Watching it today, you might hurt your neck doing double-takes at those initials every time. The Dark Knight, as it happens, came out at the last moment that “MCU” could possibly refer to anything related to Batman.

Today, of course, we know the MCU as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the steamrolling blockbuster-generating engine that has become the dominant commercial force in all of moviemaking. It was never a given that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would work. By the time the people at Marvel got around to establishing their own movie studio, they’d already sold off the rights to many of their most-famous characters: Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four. Only the relative dregs were left over, and nobody knew whether a relatively minor character like Iron Man could anchor a whole movie, let alone a franchise. It was a gamble.

It was a gamble, too, to cast Robert Downey Jr., a faded star who’d spent years battling his personal demons. […]

Breihan lavishes much praise on Iron Man and notes how well it set up much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that followed, but in the end he picks The Dark Knight as the more important movie. His reasoning may surprise you and you may or may not agree with it. In part, he say:

[…] The Dark Knight made money, too; it was the highest-grossing movie of 2008. But it didn’t just make money. It was, in its moment, widely hailed as something resembling a masterpiece. When, for instance, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences failed to nominate The Dark Knight for a Best Picture Oscar, there was such a wide public outcry that the Academy changed its roles to allow for more nominees. That is an impact.

It should probably be noted that Breihan doesn’t believe The Dark Knight actually was a masterpiece, but that doesn’t diminish the impact such a perception may have had in the moment. Some of Breihan’s highest praise goes to Heath Ledger’s performance (sadly, his last) as the Joker.

[…] Ledger is legitimately disgusting: dirty and scarred-up, with yellow teeth and a tongue that’s constantly darting in and out of his mouth, like a lizard’s. But he’s magnetic, too. He tells different stories about his scars, just so we’ll know that he’s always lying. He confounds criminals as badly as he does police. He dances his way through a hospital explosion and intimidates a roomful of mob bosses. His voice—the best description I can manage is a tweaked-out Richard Nixon impression—is chilling and alien. And he seems to be in love with Batman in ways that make even Batman uncomfortable: “Don’t talk like you’re one of them. You’re not.”

Besides Iron Man and The Dark Knight, Breihan devotes a fat paragraph to a handful of other superhero movies from 2008, plus a sentence or two to several others. Finally, he promises a look at 2009’s Watchmen in the next Age of Heroes installment.

(18) GAIMAN’S SANDMAN. NPR’s Etelka Lehoczky on a new printing of Neil Gaiman’s Preludes and Nocturnes: “Enter ‘Sandman’: Anniversary Edition Celebrates 30 Years Of Dream-Spinning”.

When Neil Gaiman first envisioned the Sandman, the supernatural dream lord he created 30 years ago, he thought about prison. “Before I even knew who he was,” Gaiman writes in the afterword to The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes, he had the image of “a man, young, pale and naked, imprisoned in a tiny cell, waiting until his captors passed away, willing to wait until the room he was in crumbled to dust.”

Dreams and imprisonment? It’s not a connection most would make. True, dreams are just about the only thing a prisoner has of his own, but it seems odd to imagine the bringer of dreams himself trapped in a cell. As so often happens with Gaiman, though, meditating upon one of his intuitions leads you to a whole new way of thinking

(19) TUNING UP DEADPOOL. Daniel Dern recommends “Deadpool The Musical 2 – Ultimate Disney Parody!”. “The songs aren’t the best… but, among other things, it’s arguably one of the best representations of the X-Men (about halfway in), and many of the Avengers. And the last minute or two is great.”

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Olav Rokne, Errolwi, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, Michael J. Walsh, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

37 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/5/18 Pixeltopia By James Scrolley

  1. (8) Birthdays: A couple of comments, a couple of additions
    Steranko — also a BFD in the field of sleight of hand/magic/conjuring. His book “Steranko on Cards” (written when he was only 21) was revolutionary, introducing new sleights, methods, plots and effects. His two one-man issues of Genii Magazine (on card magic, and on escapes) are collectors items today because of their groundbreaking content. (and at the Atlanta Comics and Fantasy Fair ca. 1977, I saw him hit on Jeanette Kahn, the new publisher of DC Comics, who was a good 4-5 inches taller than him.)
    Robert Patrick — who played the same character in three separate movies: Terminator 2, Last Action Hero, and Wayne’s World.
    1892 — J. B. S. Haldane. British biologist who wrote, “The Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”
    1906 — Fred Whipple. He came up with the “dirty snowball” theory of comets.
    1930 — Clifford Irving. He wrote a bit of fantasy — Howard Hughes’s autobiography.

  2. Offtopic. It is election day in the US. All you USAians better vote or else no more pictures of my kitten.*

    *Kitten is getting a big sister at the end of the month, her previous person passed on and I agreed to go get her after Thanksgiving.

  3. For Tilda Swinton, I have to mention my favorite movie of hers (also my favorite Jim Jarmusch movie), Only Lovers Left Alive. She and Tom Hiddleston play vampires and lovers, trying to find reasons to continue after hundreds of years of existence. If you can take in the sloooow pace, it is literally wonder-full.

    After years of saying “l don’t generally care for Jim Jarmusch, but I liked Ghost Dog,” “but I liked Dead Man,” “but I really liked Mystery Train,” I finally realized that I must be a Jarmusch fan, peculiar as his films are.

  4. For Sam Rockwell, we should mention Duncan Jones’ wonderful little film “Moon”, as well as Rockwell’s spot-on portrayal of Chuck Barris in George Clooney’s “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”.

    Fifth-Stalk!

  5. @Iphinome:

    I voted in the first hour of early voting in my state. The polls open in just under two hours and close in just shy of fourteen.

    I wish I could say I was confident that my candidates will win, but I live in one of the reddest states there is. My House candidate would be a godsend – a doctor running on healthcare – but the seat is usually solid red by about 2:1. On the Senate side, though, we’ve got one of the nationally-watched races where the polls show either a slim GOP lead or a statistical tie, which in itself is a huge achievement given how red the state is.

    I’m choosing to focus on the positives. The state’s early vote total jumped from about 285K in 2014 to almost 1.3M this year, and the 18-29 participation rate is up by over 700%. I hope those combine to make a blue surge that the polls don’t see coming.

  6. “Yes of course it scrolls when young buds pixel
    Why else would spring hesitate?”

    Freely after Karin Boye (genre creds probably mostly Kallocain

  7. I voted last week. The early voting location was near a library branch that I hadn’t been to before, so I popped in to take a look and came away with Sam Sykes’ A City Stained Red. Even though his work looks like Generic Epic Fantasy, he is so damn charming on Twitter that I gave in.

    Also, on my way home this week, I dropped by my home branch and gleefully came away with Hollywood Dead, the latest Sandman Slim book. I thought it was a definite step up from the last few (which were merely good) and enjoyed it much.

  8. 8) Thanks for mentioning Midnight Louie. FWIW, Louie has genre credentials, at least three ML short stories are genre-one is a Lovecraft pastiche, another has ML investigating the murder of a a film character in a world where characters can be brought to “life” and licensed to businesses like casinos (“Bogieman”) and there’s a vampire story (“Butterfly Kiss”). The last two are included with the ML Poe-fragment inspired story Douglas did for Poe’s Lighthouse in Once Upon Midnight Noir. Delilah Street, from another Douglas series, teams up with ML.

    I voted early. My CD is an open seat and could change parties. So is the Senate seat and it could flip as well.

    I wish I could tell you how the election turns out, but I’m currently in 1536 and I won’t know for another 482 years.

  9. (5) Moving 15,000 miles is taking the long way around. The Earth’s circumference is roughly 25,000 miles. Obviously there’s a travel story there.

  10. Voted. First time I remember seeing a line to vote for midterms…

    @8, Butch Honeck is 78? I have a few of his pieces, including a shoulder-dragon named Ignatius… (Because he likes to ignite things, you see.)

  11. It’s not Windycon, but I’ll be in Tucson for Tuscon (say that five times fast) this weekend.

  12. @8: I remember most-of-fandom’s introduction to Butch Honeck, at the 1985 NASFIC; the imagination in his bronzes (including his effective use of cypress knees) blew everyone away.

    @17: niggle/contention: The Dark Knight was the last film in which Ledger finished his part, but The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus was filmed and released later (with various sleights more competent than those in Plan Nine to finish the film after Ledger died), so it could be considered his last.

    The nearest site for advance voting was over a mile away while my regular polling place is just around the corner, so I’ll be off after checking some info one more time. Not that there are likely to be any close races in my area (northwest Boston), but every vote in favor of transgender rights (on the ballad statewide) will be one more brick dropped on the people who’ve been lying about the recent law, and there’s a much-quieter referendum to push for an amendment for spending limits

  13. Voted early last week. Polling place was the local library branch, so I voted and returned books. Unfortunately, early voting does not stop the robocalls. The at-large council seats in DC are hotly contested this year.

  14. I’ll be at OryCon. (It’s OryCon 40, and I’m one of 15 people who have been at all 40 of them.)

    I voted about 10 days ago. Oregon was the first entirely-vote-by-mail state–although, in my case, I dropped the ballot off at our local library and saved the cost of a stamp. Got the email a couple of days later telling me that my ballot had been accepted.

  15. @Patrick Morris Miller:

    I’d forgotten Tuscon was coming up! It’s a good time of year to be coming here. I haven’t been in years. Enjoy the con and the Old Pueblo.

    Here in 2462, flying cars have been banned since the “Great Skateboard Incident of 2437”.

  16. I voted Friday so I would have today free for activism. What I wound up doing was three hours of making get-out-the-vote calls for Yes on 3 (to keep Massachusetts’ law protecting transgender rights). I canvassed yesterday, and my hips weren’t up for another day of that much walking. (More people answer the phone than the doorbell around lunchtime on weekdays, anyhow.)

    Yes, I could have voted and then gone to make calls, but I wanted the flexibility.

  17. I voted this afternoon. It took only a few minutes as I knew who I was voting for and which referendums I was supporting (only one technical one got my no vote) and I just beat the pouring rains. Books-A-Million was it turned out offering up a small free coffee if you voted but somehow I ended up with with a freshly brewed dark grande with a extra shot for fifty cents which I later discovered was the employee price…

    May or may not watch the Thirteen Doctor premiere tonight. Depends on if my headache stays reasonably decent which I doubt given the weather. If it doesn’t, I’ll do an episode or two of Batman: The Animated Series instead.

  18. I voted this morning – I got there at about 8:15 and actually had to wait a couple of minutes to sign in. There were four or five people voting when I got there, and about 10 – with a short line! – when I left, maybe 10 minutes later. I was #52, going by the ballot stub. A lot of times, that’s a mid-afternoon number. Turnout is good, even for 7008.

  19. Conveniently, my polling place is just a couple blocks away, and right on the route of my standard morning walk. I got there at about 7:15 a.m., stood in line for a few minutes, and was voter #48 when I left.

  20. 8) When it comes to Carole Nelson Douglas, I prefer her very-genre Delilah Street series.

    The polls closed here half an hour ago. I’m watching this week’s new episode of “The Gifted,” because I figure that’ll allow a decent percentage of the vote to come in before I start watching the results.

  21. I just bought The Queen’s Pardon. I think it’s time to take my bottle of wine and my kindle and a blanket and a kitten and read.

  22. I voted by mail last week, which is a good thing because I came down sick (sore throat) today and have spent the day doing my best imitation of hibernation. It’s funny how I have to give myself permission to be sick. I posted on fb last night that I was feeling like I might be coming down with something, and then projecting exactly how things usually went. (Don’t feel entirely awful in the morning, go to work anyway, sort of think I can push through it, be slammed harder the next day…) So when I woke up at 4am this morning clearly feeling the sore throat, I popped off an e-mail to my boss and turned the alarm off. Having laid out all the pattern of denial and toughing it out in public, I knew just how silly it sounded.

    I have an interesting SJW credential story to share. Nearly two years ago, I broke my cat-drought by re-homing two 4-year-old cats (probably siblings) from a deceased owner. They were both somewhat traumatized by events, but one became friendly after about 4-5 months. The other has been functionally an indoor feral for the last two years. (She’s the one that escaped into the garage for a bit and I couldn’t tell because I never saw her under ordinary circumstances.)

    Well, in the last six months there have been a few times when she has decided to approach me and try a tentative nose-bump. This happens only in the smallest room of the house. Evidently she senses that I’m not in a position to jump up and devour her in that circumstance. This past weekend, that tentative nose-bump turned into an all-out petting session. Which was repeated the next day. (Also repeated today, since I was home.) She still won’t let me touch her when I’m up and walking around, and we’re a long way from being able to take her in for a vet check-up. But at least it’s progress.

  23. Good to hear about all the American Filers voting. May you make a difference!

    5) Awww, what a cutie!

    15) I’m surprised that she chooses to focus only on filmic time travel romance and mostly fairly recent ones, since she’s missing Time After Time and Kate and Leopold and the many version of The Time Machine (no happy ending, but definitely a time travel romance). Because the vast majority of time travel romances are actually novels, though usually marketed as romance rather than SF.

    17) Iron Man all the way for me, because I enjoyed the Iron Man movies a whole lot, even though I was originally reluctant to go see the first one, and really, really don’t like The Dark Knight.

    In many ways, they’re very representative of their respective franchises, because Iron Man already contains a lot of what the MCU would do right, while The Dark Knight, though well made on a technical level, encapsulates many of the problems with the DC movies.

    @Jeff Smith

    For Tilda Swinton, I have to mention my favorite movie of hers (also my favorite Jim Jarmusch movie), Only Lovers Left Alive. She and Tom Hiddleston play vampires and lovers, trying to find reasons to continue after hundreds of years of existence. If you can take in the sloooow pace, it is literally wonder-full.

    I enjoyed Only Lovers Left Alive a whole lot and put it on my Hugo ballot the year it came out. Unfortunately, the rest of the electorate hadn’t seen it because of a patchy release schedule.

  24. JeffWarner: For Sam Rockwell, we should mention Duncan Jones’ wonderful little film “Moon”

    Gah! I loved that Hugo-winning film, and it was listed in a version of his bio which accidentally did not get transferred to the final draft, so thanks for pointing it out.

  25. I won’t be on board TrainCon (even though the Bay-Area-to-SLC version will go right past my house roughly 30 minutes after they depart Reno), because we’re driving in order to tote all of the Match Game SF gear.

  26. @Doc Science:

    I enjoyed the first season of Mars and am looking forward to the imminent second season. My records show that it starts Monday, in the Legends of Tomorrow time slot, so I’ll catch it via On Demand.

    @Cora:

    It was a decent night for the country as a whole, but it sucked for my region. I voted a straight Democratic ticket and lost every race. As I write this, the Georgia governorship has yet to be called, but it doesn’t look great for Abrams.

  27. @Heather Rose Jones: (Don’t feel entirely awful in the morning, go to work anyway, sort of think I can push through it, be slammed harder the next day…) There were times in my mid-20’s when I’d carry on similarly for 3-4 days, thinking I was OK to work in the morning and tossing-and-drowsing for 12 hours or more the instant I got home; sometimes we learn to take more care of ourselves as we age. I’m not surprised at your feral’s progress; cats do respond, although very slowly, to a knowably safe environment. Our last (off-season feral found at ~6 weeks) was always demanding of our attention, and always up the stairs the instant the doorbell rang — but he gradually learned the voices of my partner’s sewing circle and finally was willing to be petted.

  28. I’ve had cats who changed from half feral to sweeties so gradually I barely noticed that it had happened.

  29. (13) Very, very interested. Never been to NASfic before, but definitely a train aficionada. If I do it, I’d be boarding in Denver. (Might have to choose between that and being a rollerbull in San Fermín in Nueva Orleans, though. That would be sad.)

    Happy birthday Tilda Swinton: Non-genre, but anyone else see her starring in the art film I Am Love? Very slow pace, but very lovely.

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