Pixel Scroll 2/11/19 Pixels With The Scroll Numbers Filed Off

(1) TOP 100 SF BOOKS. Reedsy Discovery is back with the counterpart to its fantasy list — “The 100 Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time”.  This one arranges the titles in chronological order and I found myself zooming through, checking off one after another, when suddenly it was like I dropped off a cliff. I ended with only 43/100 read. (So it was hardly worthwhile to cheat and add another two titles I started and never finished.)

Whether you read sci-fi for its ability to speculate how technology will change our lives, or if you enjoy how its authors use it to hold a mirror up to modern society, you’ll find some of your favorite books (and hopefully, a few titles you’ve never read before) in our chronological list of the 100 best sci-fi books of all time.

(2) ON THE TRAIL. There’s a high-concept title for you — The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot. And it stars Sam Elliott.

Since WWII, Calvin Barr has lived with the secret that he was responsible for the assassination of Adolf Hitler. Now, decades later, the US government has called on him again for a new top-secret mission. Bigfoot has been living deep in the Canadian wilderness and carrying a deadly plague that is now threatening to spread to the general population. Relying on the same skills that he honed during the war, Calvin must set out to save the free world yet again.

(3) SUPERNATURAL FLAVOR. “‘Hellboy’ to Get 6 Limited Edition Beers for 25th Anniversary”The Hollywood Reporter has the story. The official launch of the Hellboy beer will take place during an as-yet-undisclosed March 15 event as part of Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle.

Six flavors will be released in editions of 666 starting in March.

What better way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy than to enjoy a drink in his honor? The answer is clear: enjoying one of six exclusive Hellboy beers, brewed by Oregon’s Gigantic Brewing to mark the character’s birthday.

Each of the six beers will be released in a limited edition of 666, with release windows of approximately seven weeks beginning in March to coincide with “Hellboy Day,” Dark Horse Comics’ March 23 celebration of the character’s 25th anniversary. Each release will have a flavor profile based on a specific character from the mythology built around the long-running comic character, launching with March’s “Hellboy,” obviously; that beer is described as “maple syrup pancake beer” by Gigantic Brewing.

Subsequent releases will be Liz Sherman (Mole Chili Stout), Johann Kraus (Citrus Wit Beer), Abe Sapien (Indigo Blue Fruit Ale), Blood Queen (Cranberry Yuzu Sour) and Trevor Bruttenholm (British Barleywine). Each beer, with the exception of the Trevor Bruttenholm, is 6.66% ABV; Trevor is a stronger 9.99%.

(4) HERE’S WHAT’S IN THE LTUE BENEFIT ANTHOLOGY. Trace the Stars, a benefit anthology for Life, the Universe, & Everything, the annual science fiction and fantasy symposium in Provo, Utah, will be released Thursday by Hemelein Publications and LTUE Press. The editors are Joe Monson and Jaleta Clegg. Cover art by Kevin Wasden. All of the stories were donated by the authors in support of the symposium’s mission to educate and train new authors and artists.

Trace the Stars is a space opera and hard science fiction anthology created in memory of Marion K. “Doc” Smith, the founding faculty advisor to Life the Universe, & Everything. All proceeds from sales of the anthology will go to support LTUE in allowing students to attend for a greatly reduced price.


(5) THE NEIL CLARKE FOUR: Over at Featured Futures, Jason has updated the “Collated Contents of the Year’s Bests (2018 Stories, Links” so that it now has collation. Strahan and Clarke’s ToCs are combined and the available stories are linked.

Welcome to the third annual linked collation of annuals or “year’s bests.” As the contents of the Afsharirad, BASFF, Clarke, Datlow, Guran, Horton, Shearman/Kelly, and Strahan science fiction, fantasy, and horror annuals are announced, they will be combined into one master list with links to the stories which are available online. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy some of them and that will help you decide which annual or annuals, if any, to purchase.

(6) THE FIRST MONTH’S FIRST-CLASS STORIES: Jason also has compiled the latest list of fiction which fascinated him in “Month in Review: January 2019” at Featured Futures.

This is a slightly re-titled and graphically enhanced version of what used to be the “Monthly Summation” and marks the first month of the two-tiered review system in which eight magazines are fully reviewed and twelve are selectively reviewed. This installment looks back on 96 stories of 502K words which produced just four recommendations and seven honorable mentions. It also includes links to the thirteen relevant reviews and the seven other January articles.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 11, 1908 Tevis Clyde Smith. He’s a curious story indeed as he collaborated on three short stories with Robert E. Howard. Those stories are “Red Blades of Black Cathay”, “Diogenes of today” and “Eighttoes makes a play”. ISFDB suggests that he might have written other short stories and poetry. Anyone encounter these? (Died 1984.)
  • Born February 11, 1926 Leslie Nielsen. I know the comic, bumbling fool who delighted generations of film goers. But his first starring role was as Commander John J. Adams in one of the finest SF films of all time Forbidden Planet. I am most decidedly not a fan of his later films but I think he’s brilliant here. (Died 2010.)
  • Born February 11, 1939 Jane Yolen, 80. She loves dark chocolate. That I know as I just sent her some a few weeks ago. She wrote me into a novel as a character, an ethnomusicologist in One-Armed Queen to be precise in exchange for finding her a fairytale collection she wanted. Don’t remember now what it was other than it was very old and very rare. My favorite book by her is The Wild Hunt, and I love that she financed the production of Boiled in Lead’s Antler Dance which her son Adam Stemple was lead vocalist on. 
  • Born February 11, 1953 – Wayne Hammond, 66. He’s married to fellow Tolkien scholar Christina Scull. Together they’ve done some of the finest work on him that’s been done including J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist and IllustratorThe Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s CompanionThe Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book and The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion and Guide
  • Born February 11, 1982 Natalie Dormer, 37. Best known as being in Game of Thrones as Margaery Tyrell as I’m more in the fact that she was in Elementary over three seasons as both Jamie Moriarty and Irene Adler. Anyone here watch this series? I’ve not but this sounds fascinating! 


  • The colleagues of a suspicious-looking trooper wonder what he’s been up to at Brewster Rockit.

(9) TO INFINITY AND BEYOND. Where do you keep the Infinity Stones between Marvel movies? Apparently Cate Blanchett owns them—or at least knows who to borrow them from (BuzzFeed: “Cate Blanchett Basically Wore An Infinity Stones Necklace To The BAFTAs And People Made Jokes”).

(10) BOVINE DATING. BBC finds a “Tinder-style app for cows tries to help the meat market”.

So you think the dating scene is like a meat market? Well, wait till you hear about the latest matchmaking app.

Following the example of Tinder, UK farming start-up Hectare has launched its own equivalent for livestock and called it Tudder.

The app features data profiles of animals from 42,000 UK farms in an effort to help farmers find the perfect breeding partner for their cattle.

Farmers can view pictures of bulls or cows and swipe right to show interest.

Hectare Agritech, which also runs online grain marketplace Graindex, says its aim is “reinventing farm trading – and making farmers’ lives easier”.

(11) BUGS, MR RICO! But not as many as before: “Global insect decline may see ‘plague of pests'”.

A scientific review of insect numbers suggests that 40% of species are undergoing “dramatic rates of decline” around the world.

The study says that bees, ants and beetles are disappearing eight times faster than mammals, birds or reptiles.

But researchers say that some species, such as houseflies and cockroaches, are likely to boom.

The general insect decline is being caused by intensive agriculture, pesticides and climate change.

(12) ASK AGAIN, LATER. The new Spock spoke to SlashFilm (which they stylize as /Film): “Zachary Quinto Still Hopeful ‘Star Trek 4’ Will Happen Eventually”.

Here’s what Zachary Quinto had to say about the Star Trek 4 delay:

“I mean, it’s been a broad conversation that we’ve been having for a while in terms of what’s the future of the franchise. It’s in process so I don’t know exactly what to say other than there’s no plans for a movie happening at this moment.”

[…] “I would love to. I feel like it’s been an anchor of my creative life for the last over 10 years now so if I can go back to it, I’ll always be happy to. I love my Star Trek family so we’ll see how it goes.”

(13) WHAT’S OUT THERE. Looking for reviews to help make your reading decisions? Patricia Abbott’s blog has links to a week’s worth in the “Friday’s Forgotten Books, February 8, 2019” post.

  • Mark Baker. MURDER ON LENOX HILL, Victoria Thompson
  • Elgin Bleecker, CRIMES IN SOUTHERN INDIANA, Frank Bill 
  • Brian Busby, THE LISTENING WALLS, Margaret Millar
  • Kate Jackson/Cross/examining/crime, THE LETHAL SEX, John D. MacDonald 
  • Martin Edwards, THE PATON STREET CASE, John Bingham
  • Aubrey Nye Hamilton, BLACKSHIRT PASSES, Roderic Jeffries
  • Rich Horton, ANDROID AVENGER, by Ted White/THE ALTAR ON ASCONEL, by John Brunner
  • Jerry House, THE CITY by James Herbert; illustrated by Ian Miller; PRIDE OF BAGHDAD by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Niko Henrichon  
  • George Kelley, GO, LOVELY ROSE and THE EVIL WISH, Jean Potts 
  • Margot Kinberg, ARAB JAZZ, Karim Miske
  • Rob Kitchin, MOSKVA, Jack Grimwood
  • B.V. Lawson, MURDER AMONG FRIENDS, Elizabeth Ferrars
  • Evan Lewis, CONAN OF VENARIUM, Harry Turtledove 
  • Steve Lewis, “When We Went to See the End of the World”, Robert Silverberg
  • Todd Mason, more of Wilma Shore’s short fiction: in THE NEW YORKER, FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, STORY magazine, COSMOPOLITAN, GALAXY and others; Carol Emshwiller, Rest in Glory
  • J.F. Norris, DEATH ON THE OUTER SHOAL, Anne Fuller and Marcus Allen
  • Mike Lind/OnlyDetect, CLOUDS OF WITNESSES, Dorothy L Sayers
  • Matt Paust, ANATOMY OF A MURDER, Robert Traver
  • James Reasoner, LUST TYCOON, “J X Williams”
  • Richard Robinson, INTERSTELLAR PATROL, “Christopher Anvil” (Harry Crosby)
  • Gerard Saylor, CURSE OF THE BANE, Joseph Delany
  • Kevin Tipple, ZERO COOL, “John Lange” (Michael Crichton)
  • TomCat, SOMETHING WRONG AT CHILLERY, R. Francis Foster
  • TracyK, THE MIRROR CRACK’D, Agatha Christie

(14) WHO CAN REPLACE A ROBIN? Everybody’s a critic. BBC reports: “Disney fans mock Will Smith’s Genie in Aladdin”.

Disney granted everyone’s wish on Sunday when they finally gave a first look at Will Smith’s blue Genie in the new live action version of Aladdin.

Unfortunately many fans were not impressed with what they saw and were quick to say so on social media.

“It turns out that Will Smith’s Aladdin Genie will haunt my nightmares,” tweeted one user.

Another added: “I’ll never sleep again and it’s all Will Smith’s fault.”

Vice is even less kind: “Our Three Wishes Are All for Will Smith’s Genie in ‘Aladdin’ to Go Away”.

Disney dropped a new trailer for the live-action Aladdin movie on Sunday, finally giving us our first look at Will Smith’s Genie in action. For the love of all that is holy, please put him back in the lamp.

They saved the big Genie reveal for right at the very end of the minute-long clip like some cruel trick, presumably to lull us into a false sense of security with a few nice shots of Jafar and Jasmine and the Prince Ali parade or whatever. 

(15) IMAGINARY FOOD ON THE MENU. Digital brand Epicurious serves up a video of kids eating foods from famous children’s books… starting of course with a Seussian special (YouTube:Kids Try Famous Foods From Children’s Books”).

Watch as kids try and react to some of the most famous foods from children’s books, including Green Eggs and Ham, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Dragons Love Tacos, Winnie-the-Pooh, Curious George Goes to a Chocolate Factory, The Giant Jam Sandwich, The Gruffalo and The Monster Who Ate My Peas.

[Thanks to Joe Monson, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, Carl Slaughter, Jason, Todd Mason, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Tom Becker.]

106 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/11/19 Pixels With The Scroll Numbers Filed Off

  1. (12) Isn’t Quinto now the old new Spock? (Not that I consider STD’s hipster barista to be a genuine iteration of the son of Sarek.)

  2. (1) I ticked off 47.5 (I’m halfway through The Sparrow at the moment) with about 10-20 that fell in the category of “I might have read that, it’s not ringing a bell but I’ll bet if I were to pick it up and start paging through it I’d say, ‘oh yeah, I read this one before’ after 20-30 pages.”

    (15) Earlier today I was trying to figure out what food to serve at my book launch party. My characters tend to eat like good YA role models, with plenty of seafood and veggies and cruelty-free meat grown in vats. Their author, however, is not nearly as fastidious, and is veering toward a tribute to NYC hot dog carts, followed by some pineapple cake.

  3. 1) 36/100 but several more in the TBR pile.

    7) I watch Elementary. It’s a good series, and I prefer it to the Benedict Cumberbatch version. Johnny Lee Miller is brilliant as Holmes.

  4. Only 19/100 (should I have counted Frankenstein twice?) but did not finish a few more. I also read more of the earlier ones.

  5. (1) all or part of 29, plus half a dozen that are on Mt Tsundoku
    (13) That’s “Clouds of Witness” by Sayers, and I have that one. (I’ve read it – my mother had it. Sayers’s Wimsey novels have aged better than some of the other Big Names from that period.)

  6. (1) Just 33 for me. The breakdown:

    1-10 – 8
    11-20 – 8
    21-30 – 6
    31-40 – 5
    41-50 – 5
    51-100 – 1 (and I didn’t like it).

    To be fair to all of us, the back half of the list doesn’t look right at all and even the front half isn’t really right either. (This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface but: one Asimov, one Heinlein, zero Clarke? Zero Kuttner/Moore, Brackett/Hamilton? One PKD? No Anderson, Bova, Budrys, Leiber, Silverberg, Simak, Spinrad, Sturgeon, Williamson, Zelazny? No What Mad Universe? No Mission of Gravity? And this is “books,” not necessarily novels. Where’s Ellison and Emshwiller? And in the second half – if you don’t have Egan, Sterling, Vinge and if you have only one Cherryh then that’s just no “best” list to me.)

    (7) Natalie Dormer and Elementary. I love that show. The “mysteries” are unusually interesting and logical but the characters of Holmes and Ms. Watson and their interactions with each other are what push the show beyond “good” to “great.”

  7. 1) — 37/100, I believe; bonus points for any list that includes Downbelow Station (which book I just finished rereading for the nth time).

    7) — I believe Jane Yolen is 80, not 81. Speaking of Boiled in Lead, they still do a few shows per year (with Todd Menton back on lead vocals & guitar; they parted ways with Adam a while back) and I’m planning on seeing them at their next gig on 03/25.

  8. Jason: To be fair to all of us, the back half of the list doesn’t look right at all and even the front half isn’t really right either… one Asimov, one Heinlein, zero Clarke?

    Yeah. On a list of only 100 in a span covering 80 years, though, I think one Asimov and one Heinlein are sufficient. I can (reluctantly) let Ender’s Game pass, but Ender’s Shadow, too — surely they’re joking? Oryx and Crake? The Plot Against America? I could allow The Three-Body Problem if it’d been on there, but Death’s End? Really??? And I’m sure that the Red Dwarf novel was enjoyable for fans, but its inclusion is very obviously fan service for someone on the staff.

  9. (1) I have a hard time judging The Stand to be science fiction. And I would have expected the list to include more than one of the 17 Library of America selections of worthy novels from the 1950s and 1960s (and the one that did overlap, Flowers for Algernon, is even better in its earlier novelette form).

    (13) When at the tender age of 13 I picked up my first issue of Galaxy, it was to read the first installment of I Will Fear No Evil (I’d already read the last two juveniles and Three by Heinlein in my school library). But in that issue I also discovered Wilma Shore’s “Goodbye Amanda Jean” – surely the best example of a Dangerous Visions-type story that never made it into one of the DV volumes.

  10. 31/100 here–and some of them are really unremarkable. (For example, The Chronoliths, Dawin’s Radio, Juassic Park, Ender’s Shadow.)

  11. 43/100
    In agreement with earlier posters. A lot of these books are not even the best book by the author. Personally, I think Shards of Honor is the weakest book in the Vorkoverse. It’s clearly a book by a new author. Her writing really improves when you get to Mirror Dance and the books that come after.

    I recently have been re-reading the Mercyverse series and it makes me pose this question. What books have you avoided because you truly loathe the cover art? I didn’t pick up these books for years because the art repels me. I found them by listening to part of a audiobook on the lamented Book Radio on Sirius. Glad I did because I love the novels but I really hate the art.

  12. At least I read The Stand — will I be lucky enough to have read what you’d replace it with?

  13. (13)

    Evan Lewis, CONAN OF VENANIUM, Harry Turtledove

    The typo is from the original column, but it’s “CONAN OF VENARIUM.”

  14. For years, I didn’t read the Vorkosigan saga despite the enthusiastic recommendation of a good friend because of the cover art…

    Something book something something cover…

  15. “At least I read The Stand — will I be lucky enough to have read what you’d replace it with?”

    I like The Stand (apart from the endinh that was truly, truly bad), but I think the one most missing piece is Clarke’s Childhoods End. That is one I read after recommendation from filers. I thought it was a bit old-fashioned when I read it, but the ideas and the concept has stuck with me. It keeps on popping up in my thoughts from time to time. So that is the one I would have added first.

  16. 1) 45 / 100, mor ethan I would’ve expected. And some only courtesy of the small “Detective, Agent, Science Fiction, Thriller” (and fantasy, but IO gues shtta’s oincluded in one or more of the other categories) sleves at the librray when I was a little’un (that’s how I found Lem and the Strugatsky brothers, for example, they were books I hadn’t, yet, borrowed, and if you’re on a 3-5 books per week habit…)

  17. Hello, My name is Pixel Scroll
    And I’d like to share with you these most amazing books

    1)Of which I’ve read 57/100 or so. Interesting selections and interesting omissions.

    Just finished the most excellent ‘The Calculating Stars’, and have embarked with some trepidation on ‘Red Moon’. Better than expected a third of the way through.

  18. Joe H. says I believe Jane Yolen is 80, not 81. Speaking of Boiled in Lead, they still do a few shows per year (with Todd Menton back on lead vocals & guitar; they parted ways with Adam a while back) and I’m planning on seeing them at their next gig on 03/25.

    Yeah that I knew. Adam actually didn’t last that long as the lead vocalist for Bil and I think that he’s only on two albums, the other being Songs from The Gypsy based off off the Brust and Lindholm novel.

  19. 1) 46/100, plus a couple more I gave an honest chance but abandoned part of the way through.

  20. 1) I’ve read most of the list, deliberately decided not to read a few more. There are only a couple I’ve never heard of. Of all the lists I’ve seen here this one seems the most like it was made just for me.

  21. @Cat — Yes, just those two albums plus various live recordings; it looks like he fronted the band for about 12 years (1995-2007 or so), but they weren’t doing any studio recording for most of that.

    Now I’m reminded that I should listen to Songs from The Gypsy. And that I should reread The Gypsy.

  22. (1) 27 (possibly one more but so long ago and I would have been so young I don’t recall) and 42 in Mount Tsundoku that I immediately recognise, quite possibly there are at least a dozen more but I would need to check if that is the specific work (there are around 5000 volumes forming the mountain at present, it’s difficult to remember them all).

  23. 1) 36-ish? I’m in two minds about that list. On the one hand, it has a lot of odd and/or bad choices and the descriptions are uniformly terrible, and on the other hand it does much better in terms of women and PoC than I expected.

  24. 43/100, I think.

    Just after 5 this morning, my Mom called to tell my father has taken a turn for the worse. In 10 minute, I’m off to catch a plane for what may be a last visit. Any good wishes would be appreciated.

  25. Sophie Jane, yes, the descriptions are amazingly bad, but it’s a somewhat interesting list.

  26. 1) only 32/100, and that’s counting partials. Glad to see The Female Man & Downbelow Station.

    Sure it’s been mentioned elsewhere, but hurrah for Letitia Wright winning the Rising Star BAFTA!
    Best wishes, Andrew. You’re doing very important work on this journey.

  27. There mocking happens because there can be no replacing Robin Williams.

    I like THE STAND. On a cold night like I’ve been going through in the past week, it helps keep the fire going for a long long time.

    Lists are internet popcorn. Easy to do, require no research whatsoever. To add “100 Best” is to make them sound aurthoritative. Which we here challenge. Constantly.

  28. 9) Hela being back…I wouldn’t mind that. Hey, its a comic book verse. Bringing back a character shouldn’t be so shocking.

    Good thoughts and best wishes for you, Andrew

  29. 1) Only 21. I made it 3/4s of the way through Dhalgren…. Is Pandora’s Star really considered ‘one of the greatest triumphs of modern science fiction’? I read Hamilton’s The Reality Dysfunction and found it both silly and badly written.

    I’m now officially an SJW. My wife and I got a beautiful bold jet black kitten last night. Since we’re Supernatural fans (well, she is, anyway, which means I watch it too), we’ve named her Crowley.

  30. Meredith Moment:

    Nebula Awards Showcase 2018, edited by Jane Yolen, is on sale at Amazon US and possibly other locations for $1.99, as is Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, also $1.99.

    Nightflyers and Other Stories by George R.R. Martin is part of the KDD for $2.99.

    1) 51/100, with ten others waiting to be read. But I have a problem with any list purporting to be a “best” when 49 of the selections are from roughly the last 20 years (1999 on). You start in 1666 and have 51 books from 330 years (to 1996) but 49 from the last 20 years?

  31. 60/100, with 3-4 that I’m sure I’ve started, but not finished. Dhalgren is on my Mt. TBR! I actually just finished Babel-17 and enjoyed it! My first Delaney, I am sorry to say. I was actually a little surprised at how many of these books I have read through either school or book group.

    Andrew, best wishes to you.

  32. 51/100, but that is one odd list.
    Additionally, I think you have my home IP blocked. (Unfortunately, I don’t have the IP address handy, but it’s from the mchsi.com domain.)

  33. 1) 57/100. As usual with this sort of thing, there are many omissions, and many inexplicable inclusions…. I suppose it’s not a bad thing that it tends, slightly, to skew towards more recent work; there’s good new stuff coming out, and it deserves to get recognition.

  34. As far as non-list-based reading, I’m currently about half way through C.J. Cherryh’s 40,000 in Gehenna (included in the Alliance Space omnibus) and this really is a great book about establishing a colony and having pretty much everything go sideways. (Not wrong, necessarily, at least not in every case; but definitely not as anticipated by anyone.)

  35. Joe H. says Yes, just those two albums plus various live recordings; it looks like he fronted the band for about 12 years (1995-2007 or so), but they weren’t doing any studio recording for most of that.

    I hadn’t realised he listed that long with the band. I saw him play with them up in New Hampshire once on a hot summer afternoon but mostly I know them through their recordings.,

    Now I’m reminded that I should listen to Songs from The Gypsy. And that I should reread The Gypsy.

    That novel’s an odd creature indeed. In some ways I think that the song cycle actually does a better job of telling the story than the novel does.

  36. 7) Elementary is usually pretty good. The first season isn’t quite as enjoyable as Holmes and Watson (and the NYPD) get used to each other. It’s a good cast and they’ve had some good guest spots and recurring characters.

    It’s one of a few US shows that has been kept on the air because CBS can sell episodes to other markets. One more season to go. They’ve run the last couple of seasons as a replacement or summer series.

    There was the 2011 Royal National Theatre staging of Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein where Benedict Cumberbatch (Holmes on Sherlock) and Jonny Lee Miller (Holmes on Elementary) would alternate between being Dr. Frankenstein or his creation. Obvious joke about, “No tonight I’m not Frankenstein. I’m the creature.”

    Scot hunk, cyber punk, even if it’s old junk
    It’s still pixel scroll to me.

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