Pixel Scroll 2/14/20 Requires Much More Work Before It Can Be Submitted

(1) VOTE ON BOOK SUPER LIST. A bit of genre seasons the stew: “British Book Awards 2020: Nibbies unveils #30from30 super list” at The Bookseller. [Via Locus Online.]

Books by J K Rowling, E L James, Peter Kay, Stephenie Meyer, Philip Pullman and Zadie Smith will battle it out to be crowned the overall book of the past 30 years at this year’s British Book Awards (a.k.a. the Nibbies), as part of a unique celebration of the three decades of publishing championed at the annual awards, which were founded in 1990.

The longlist of titles—from Brick Lane to Longitude to Dreams From My Father—is made up of past winners at the British Book Awards, the book and trade awards founded in 1990 by Publishing News, and run since 2017 by The Bookseller. The longlist makes for a compelling history of the book trade and 30 years of successful publishing, with books such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by Rowling, The Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Northern Lights by Pullman, and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown going on to become huge backlist bestsellers, and spawning many imitators.

See the full list and ballot here.  The winner will be announced May 18, 2020.

The Bookseller now invites readers and the trade to share their memories of these books, make the case for titles to make it through to the next round, and suggest wildcard entries. A shortlist of ten will be announced in March. The winning author will be invited to the British Book Awards on 18th May to pick up their prize.

Which 10 books would make up your shortlist?

Vote below, tweet using #30from30 or email 30from30@thebookseller.com and share your memories of the longlist.      

(2) IT JUST GOT STRANGER. Netflix has dropped a trailer for Season 4 of Stranger Things.

(3) WHEN GREEN KNIGHTHOOD WAS IN FLOWER. [Item by Dann.] Corey Olsen is an English professor with at PH.D. in medieval literature. His classes cover a broad range of medieval mythologies; including Arthurian legends and faerie stories. His course offerings include the obvious children of those mythos; J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. He has adopted the sobriquet of The Tolkien Professor.

In addition to his work in academia, Professor Olsen has also participated in many cons and symposiums (symposia?) focused on LOTR and medieval literature. He currently serves as the president of Signum University; an online university.

Back in 2011, Professor Olsen recorded a series of classes at Washington University on the original Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It may be useful to listen to some of his earlier classes on faerie in medieval literature to acquire a broader context of faeries within that period.

There are one, two, three, four episodes covering the Green Knight story.

(4) SLF TAKING GRANT APPLICATIONS. The Speculative Literature Foundation is accepting applications for the 2020 Older Writers Grant and A.C. Bose Grant for South Asian Speculative Literature through March 31st, 2020.

The $1,000 Older Writers Grant is awarded annually to a writer who is fifty years of age or older at the time of grant application, and is intended to assist such writers who are just starting to work at a professional level. Grant funds can be used as each writer determines will best assist his or her work. For more information about the Older Writers Grant, or how to apply, click here.

The $1,000 A.C. Bose Grant for South Asian Speculative Literature, co-sponsored by the SLF and DesiLit, is awarded to a South Asian or South Asian diaspora writer developing speculative fiction. The grant is named in memory of Ashim Chandra Bose, a lover of books, especially science fiction and fantasy, and was founded by his children, Rupa Bose and Gautam Bose. For more information about the A.C. Bose Grant, or to how to apply, click here.

The SLF is also currently accepting applications for the 2019 Working Class Grant until February 29, 2020.  For more information, or how to apply, click here

(5) SLF HONORS ART. Sofiia Melnyk’s “Sir Spacediver 3020” is the Speculative Literature Foundation’s 2020 Illustration of the Year.

The Speculative Literature Foundation has chosen its 2020 Illustration of the Year, for a piece of artwork that combines elements of science fiction and fantasy as well as incorporating the SLF’s literary focus. The 2020 Illustration of the Year, entitled “Sir Spacediver 3020, is by artist and animator Sofiia Melnyk. Melnyk has a degree in animation from the Animationsinstitut of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Melnyk’s winning piece is now featured n the Speculative Literature Foundation’s website and will be on its social media and marketing material throughout 2020. 

(6) FANDOM IN THE SHADE. The Rite Gud podcast has posted Part 2 of their discussion — “The Dark Side of Fandom Part 2: Friendship Simulator”. It’s all about parasocial relationships.

Why do people love the Disney corporation? Why do people watch other people play video games? Can fans influence creatives’ work for the worse? Does the mainstreaming of geek culture represent a triumph for social outcasts, or is it all just a capitalist plot?

In part two of our discussion on the dark side of fandom, RS Benedict talks to Tim Heiderich about parasocial relationships, Twitch streamers, Nazis, Pink Floyd’s The Wall and fans who want to watch their idols burn.

(7) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • February 14, 1963 The Day Mars Invaded Earth premiered. Directed by produced and directed by Maury Dexter, it stars Kent Taylor, Marie Windsor, and William Mims. Dexter named the film in hopes it’d remind film goers of The Day The Earth Stood Still. The storyline is merging of the story lines in The War of the Worlds and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Strangely enough, it was the bottom half of a double feature with the Elvis Presley‘s Kissin’ Cousins. The NYT critic at the time  called it a “pallid, pint-sized exercise” and the audience score at Rotten Tomatoes is a rather poor 18%.  You can see the film here.
  • February 14, 1986 Terrorvision premiered. It was directed by Ted Nicolaou, produced and written by Albert and Charles Band. It starred  Diane Franklin, Gerrit Graham, Mary Woronov, Chad Allen and Jonathan Gries. Wiki notes that “several songs (including the movie’s theme) were contributed by Los Angeles art rock band The Fibonaccis. TerrorVision was hoped to bring more attention to the group, but the movie (and ultimately the soundtrack) failed.” Pop Matters called TerrorVision “a truly wretched movie.”  It holds a decent 43% audience rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Of course you can judge the film by seeing it here.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 14, 1919 David A. Kyle. He chaired the 1956 Worldcon, was a leader in First Fandom, and wrote innumerable fanhistorical articles for Mimosa. Along with Martin Greenberg, he founded Gnome Press in the late Forties. He also penned two illustrated SF histories, A Pictorial History of Science Fiction and The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Ideas and Dreams. He wrote three novels set in the Lensman universe: The Dragon Lensman, Lensman from Rigel and Z-Lensman. So has anybody read these? (Died 2016.)
  • Born February 14, 1925 J. T. McIntosh. Scottish writer at his best according to Clute in his early work such as World Out of Mind and One in Three Hundred. He’s deeply stocked at the usual digital sources at very reasonable rates. (Died 2008.)
  • Born February 14, 1942 Andrew Robinson, 78. Elim Garak on Deep Space Nine. He wrote a novel based on his character, A Stitch in Time, and a novella, “The Calling,” which can be found in Prophecy and Change, a DS9 anthology edited by Marco Palmieri. Other genre credits include Larry Cotton in Hellraiser, appearing in The Puppet Masters as Hawthorne and playing John F. Kennedy on the The New Twilight Zone.
  • Born February 14, 1951 John Vornholt, 69. I was musing on the difference between fanfic and profic (if such a word exists) when I ran across this writer. He’s written in a number of media properties with the most extensive being the Trek ‘verse where he’s written several dozen works, but he’s penned works also in the Babylon 5, Buffyverse, Dinotopia, Earth 2, Marvel metaverse… Well you get the idea. All authorized, but really no different than fanfic on the end, are they? Other than they pay a lot better. 
  • Born February 14, 1952 Gwyneth Jones, 68. Interesting person the she is, let’s start with her thoughts on chestnuts. Just because I can. Now regarding her fiction, I’d strongly recommend her Bold As Love series of a Britain that went to pieces as it now certainly is, and her twenty year-old Deconstructing the Starships: Science, Fiction and Reality polemic is still worth reading.
  • Born February 14, 1963 Enrico Colantoni, 57. Any excuse to mention Galaxy Quest is one I’ll gladly take. He played a delightful Mathesar on that film and that was his first genre role, lucky bastard. Up next for him was A.I. Artificial Intelligence as The Murderer followed by appearing in the most excellent animated Justice League Dark as the voice of Felix Faust where his fate was very, very bad. He had an amazing role on Person of Interest as Charlie Burton / Carl Elias. Not genre, but his acting as Sgt. Gregory Parker on Flashpointa Canadian police drama television series is worth noting.
  • Born February 14, 1970 Simon Pegg, 50. Best known for playing Montgomery Scott in the new Star Trek franchiseHis first foray into the genre was Shaun of the Dead which he co-wrote and had an acting role in. Late genre roles include Land of the Dead where he’s a Photo Booth Zombie, Diary of the Dead where he has a cameo as a Newsreader, and he portrays Benji Dunn in the ongoing Mission: Impossible franchise.
  • Born February 14, 1975 M. Darusha Wehm, 45. New Zealand resident writer who was nominated for the Nebula Award and won the New Zealand Sir Julius Vogel Award for The Martian Job novel. She says it’s interactive fiction. You can read the standalone prequel novella, Retaking Elysium, on her website which can be found here.

(9) DEMONSTRATING APPLIANCES. That doesn’t mean what it used to. “Why ‘Star Trek’ Star Jeri Ryan Had a Tough Time Returning for ‘Picard'”The Hollywood Reporter found out. BEWARE SPOILERS, dammit.

“The scale of the show. The scale of these sets, the costumes, it’s crazy. It’s like you’re doing a feature film every week.” Ryan says with a big smile. What impressed her most was the advances in set design and tech from her days on Voyager

“In one of my scenes, where I had to go in and work a console, we go in for the first rehearsal and I had to touch buttons and the screen actually does something! And I totally flipped out, like: ‘Oh my god, actually having buttons that work!” 

There was another change from working on Voyager that surprised her.

“What’s funny is that they actually added time to my ready time. They made [Seven’s] prosthetics more complicated to put on. So now I actually do have prosthetic makeup to add, outside of the full Borg suit and makeup, that I didn’t have on the old show.” (And yes, fans, she still has Seven’s original facial appliances somewhere in her house. “Though it’s pretty crunchy at this point,” she says. She also got to keep her first new set of appliances from Picard.)

(10) UNMAKING BOOK. Publishers Weekly reports “In 2021 Budget Proposal, Trump Once Again Seeks to End Federal Library Funding”.

For a fourth straight year, the Trump administration has once again proposed the permanent elimination of the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and with it virtually all federal funding for libraries.

…In a statement, IMLS officials confirmed the Trump Administration will once again propose the elimination of the agency, with $23 million reportedly proposed in the 2021 budget proposal to wind the agency down.

The good news for library supporters: for the last three years, the library community has not only successfully countered the administration’s proposal to axe the IMLS—the agency through which most federal library funding is distributed in the form of grants to states— but IMLS has actually seen increases in each of the last three years. The FY2020 budget, which Trump signed in January, included a $10 million increase to the IMLS budget, including $6.2 million for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), the largest increase in LSTA funding in over a decade.

(11) FAKIN’ BACON. FastCompany tells how they’re doing it: “This bacon looks like the real thing as it sizzles—but it’s made from fungus”.

Most fake meat products get protein from a small group of plants. In the case of the Beyond Burger or Nestle’s Awesome Burger, the main ingredient is pea protein; the Impossible Burger gets protein from soy and potatoes. Kellogg’s “Incogmeato” line is made with soy. But one new Bay Area startup relies on fungus instead—specifically, koji, the fungus used to make sake.

The startup, called Prime Roots, launched limited sales of its first product—a fungi-based bacon—online today. Bacon “is a very underserved meat alternative,” says Prime Roots cofounder Kimberly Le. “There’s a lot of ground beef out there. But there isn’t as much in the way of whole-muscle meat or a more formed product like bacon or chicken breast, which is something that koji does really well at replicating.”

(12) ALONG CAME JONES. Harrison Ford is making the rounds to promote the next Indy film. The Hollywood Reporter got an article out of his appearance on Ellen: “‘Indiana Jones 5’ Will Begin Filming This Summer, Harrison Ford Says”.

The 77-year-old actor told host DeGeneres that filming would begin late this summer. 

“it’s going to be fun,” Ford said. “They are great fun to make.” 

The upcoming film’s title has yet to be revealed. 

Ford has a TV interview about the production that will air on Sunday – here’s a teaser.

In this preview of a conversation with correspondent Lee Cowan to be broadcast on “CBS Sunday Morning” on February 16, Harrison Ford, the actor who has played iconic characters in the “Star Wars” and Indiana Jones franchises, talks about returning to familiar roles.

(13) I’VE BEEN THINKING. Maltin on Movies visited with Craig Ferguson.

Craig Ferguson is one of the funniest men on the planet, as he proves yet again in his multi-episode web series Hobo Fabulous, a hybrid of stand-up comedy and documentary on the Comedy Dynamics network. It’s no surprise that the former late-night host is a master of conversation, leaving Leonard and Jessie to marvel at his rapid-fire mind. He has significant film credits, as well, not the least being his voice-over work in the How to Train Your Dragon animated features. Be sure to listen if you’re in need of cathartic laughter.

(14) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Hair Love–Oscar Winning Short Film” on YouTube is the animated feature by Matthew A. Cherry that won this year’s Oscar for best short animated film.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, JJ Chip Hitchcock, Andrew Porter, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to PJ Evans with an assist from Anna Nimmhaus.]

60 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/14/20 Requires Much More Work Before It Can Be Submitted

  1. [8] Dave Kyle’s Lens novels are lovingly done by a fan and friend of Doc Smith (written with Doc’s permission, given during his lifetime), and did their best to explore the psychology of the non-human Second-Stage Lensmen, each as much the pinnacle of their race as Kimball Kinnison is of humanity. Inevitably, the novels are derivative and lack the shininess of the original books. Think of them as very very good fan fiction; certainly better than the typical published Sherlock Holmes fan fic coming out from respectable publishers every month.

  2. The Risk of Repeating Scroll Titles is Real.

    The Risk of Repeating Scroll Titles is Real.

    The Risk of Repeating Scroll Titles is Real.

  3. @8: I liked both of those books when I was in high school; recent recollections suggest they haven’t aged well, e.g. World out of Mind was built around the idea that testing for ~intelligence (let alone ethicality) was plausible.

    @12: so they’re fun to make — will this one be any less unfun to watch than the one whose existence some of us deny?

    @soon Lee: “There is more to the theater than repetition”(x3) … “But not much!” (early FKB joke)

  4. 8) As far as I know, Simon Pegg is also the only person to have appeared in Star Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who. There are plenty of people who were in two of those, but no one else who was in all three.

  5. 2) Also colour me sceptical that Soviet gulags in 1986, which was well into the glasnost and perestroika era, still looked like something from a 1950s POW drama like As Far As the Feet Will Carry.

    Which doesn’t mean that Soviet prisons were nice places, just that they likely no longer looked like that.

  6. 8) Robinson also played the serial killer Scorpio in Dirty Harry, which is set in C.J. Cherryh’s Alliance/Union ‘verse. (A millennium or so in the future, Harry Callahan is reborn for his sins on the lost Union colony world of Merovin, as Caelus Alpha “Black Cal” Halloran. Leslie Fish told me so herself.)

    8bis) Colantoni also had a recurring role in the late time travel series Travelers, which I whole-heartedly recommend.

  7. Before Shaun of the Dead, Pegg was in a show called Spaced. Despite the name, it wasn’t exactly genre, but it had elements that have made some call it genre-adjacent.

    Pegg was also the model for the character “Wee” Hughie in Garth Ennis’s comic, The Boys. It could be argued that this was Pegg’s first genre role. (In the TV adaptation of The Boys, which I haven’t seen, the role of Simon Pegg was played by Jack Quaid. It was disappointing, though not entirely surprising, that Pegg didn’t get the role.)

  8. //Cora Buhlert on February 14, 2020 at 9:09 pm said:

    8) As far as I know, Simon Pegg is also the only person to have appeared in Star Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who. There are plenty of people who were in two of those, but no one else who was in all three.//

    David Warner comes close, as he was a voice in a Star Wars video game but somehow, despite being in everything genre-related for decades, was never in a Star Wars film. I feel that he and Alan Dale should be cast in a Star Wars film just for completeness.

    //Xtifr on February 15, 2020 at 12:24 am said:
    Pegg was also the model for the character “Wee” Hughie in Garth Ennis’s comic, The Boys. It could be argued that this was Pegg’s first genre role. (In the TV adaptation of The Boys, which I haven’t seen, the role of Simon Pegg was played by Jack Quaid. It was disappointing, though not entirely surprising, that Pegg didn’t get the role.)//

    Pegg plays Hughie’s dad in the TV adaptation

  9. Cora Buhlert on February 14, 2020 at 9:09 pm said:

    8) As far as I know, Simon Pegg is also the only person to have appeared in Star Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who. There are plenty of people who were in two of those, but no one else who was in all three.

    After a search on IMDB there is one other. Deep Roy who played Simon Pegg/Scotty’s sidekick in the Trek reboot also had roles on Doctor Who and had an uncredited role in Return of the Jedi.

  10. Simon Pegg also stars in Paul where him and Nick Frost on a road trip across the USA encounter an alien on the run. IMDb shows ” Language: English | Klingon ” in the film data…

  11. 8) Enrico Colantoni was also Keith Mars, Veronica Mars’ father, which yes, it’s not actually genre in any sense, but still.

  12. 12) Working on the theory that every other Indiana Jones movie is a good one, I am probably unreasonably optimistic.

  13. 14) — So cute!

    (11) FAKIN’ BACON. FastCompany tells how they’re doing it: “This bacon looks like the real thing as it sizzles—but it’s made from fungus”.

    As a long-term non-meat-eater, I can attest that bacon is one of the few things I really miss. OTOH, there are already some not-terrible substitutes. For instance, I like Morningstar Farms fake bacon every once in a while. I’m also kind of addicted to Primal Strips veggie jerkies, which makes one of its varieties out of mushrooms.

    I’ll certainly try this new stuff when it comes out!

  14. 9) With a title like that I was expecting The Brave Little Toaster Goes to a Protest March.

  15. Ronald Payne says Working on the theory that every other Indiana Jones movie is a good one, I am probably unreasonably optimistic.

    I’ll admit that I’m curious how a seventy six year old Ford handles the character. And yes it could be a good movie.

  16. At this point my one hope for Indy V is that Karen Allen comes back and Marian is still part of his life.

  17. @Camestros
    I know that Deep Roy was in Doctor Who several times, but I didn’t know he’d also been in Star Trek and Star Wars.

    Now if they’d only cast Julian Glover in Star Trek, then he would be the king of genre media, because he has been not only in Doctor Who and Star Wars, but also was a Bond villain and appeared in Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and The Avengers (Peel and Steed, not Tony, Steve, Bruce, Clint, Natasha and friends). Now all he needs is Star Trek and a Marvel movie.

  18. Cora Buhlert on February 15, 2020 at 12:44 pm said:

    @Camestros
    I know that Deep Roy was in Doctor Who several times, but I didn’t know he’d also been in Star Trek and Star Wars.

    Now if they’d only cast Julian Glover in Star Trek, then he would be the king of genre media, because he has been not only in Doctor Who and Star Wars, but also was a Bond villain and appeared in Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and The Avengers (Peel and Steed, not Tony, Steve, Bruce, Clint, Natasha and friends). Now all he needs is Star Trek and a Marvel movie.

    OK a petition for Julian Cover to be in season 3 of Discovery 🙂

  19. So if we count the MCU*, Doctor Who**, Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter and the LotR+Hobbit movies as the big genre franchise actor-employment schemes: who gets the most points (1 point per franchise) and is it still Simon Pegg?

    [*I’ll count X-Men as well **I’ll count Torchwood etc as well ]

  20. Let’s not forget that Julian Glover was also in Blake’s Seven and Space: 1999… basically, if he gets a Trek role, he wins.

    (Deep Roy was also in Blake’s Seven, multiple times… I don’t think he was in Space: 1999, though.)

  21. P J Evans says For sheer number of genre roles, the winner is probably Karl Urban.

    I think Glover still wins if I look over at IMDB. And he started out by being Snug in A Midsummer’s Night Dream that also Roy Dotrice and Ian Holm in it. That gets major points in my book.

  22. I figure Christopher Lee has a good shot, given that his genre franchise appearances include large roles in Star Wars and LOTR, as well as appearances in the James Bond films (The Man with the Golden Gun), Marvel (Captain America II: Death Too Soon), The Howling (Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf), Gremlins (Gremlins 2: The New Batch), Discworld (Welcome to the Discworld, Soul Music, Wyrd Sisters, The Colour of Magic), HIs Dark Materials (The Golden Compass), and Alice in Wonderland (Alice in Wonderland), and he’s also played Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula (many times), The Mummy, and Sherlock Holmes (and Mycroft Holmes, and Sir Henry Baskerville), and been in movies based on Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, She, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Last Unicorn, plus TV series work on Space: 1999, The Tomorrow People, Gormenghast …

  23. In honor of OMFG I caught up on File 770, especially Pixel Scrolls:

    “Hello Pixel
    Hello Filer
    Here I am at Camp 770
    SF’s very entertaining
    And Mike says we’ll have some Scrolls if it stops raining. . . .”

    With apologies to Allan Sherman and Lou Busch. Surely some variation on this has been done before?!

  24. John Hertz responds by carrier pigeon:

    Birthdays – Dave Kyle. With help from OGH you should find a link to Dave’s Mimosa articles here.

  25. “The Risk of Repeating Scroll Titles is Real.”

    I scroll. The pixels take the same shape as a previous title. All scroll. O the embarrassment.

    from A !Pixeled Scroll

  26. Scrollo, scrollas, scrollat. Scrollamus, scrollatis, scrollant. may possibly be the most classic scroll title of all times.

  27. Kyra on February 15, 2020 at 5:34 pm said:

    I figure Christopher Lee has a good shot

    True, true but for sheer that-guy-in-a-generic-role it is hard to beat Alan Dale
    Star Trek: Nemesis – a Romulan seantor
    Lost: Some evil corporate guy
    Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – some general
    Torchwood: Some evil corporate guy
    X-Files: Some sinister guy
    Captain America: Winter Soldier – Some SHIELD guy

  28. When it comes to TV genre actors, Mark Sheppard doesn’t have a Star Wars role but he’s not missing much else.

  29. The one thing I remember about Kyle’s Lensmen novels is that Kinnison encounters female Lensmen, and, by Klono’s brazen balls is he ever pissed off at Mentor.

    Mentor’s response: “I never said Clarrissa would be the only female Lensman. Only that she’d be the first.”

    I suppose that’s one way to retcon …

  30. @Kendall

    With apologies to Allan Sherman and Lou Busch. Surely some variation on this has been done before?!

    Yes (he said, immodestly)

  31. @bill: Thanks! That’s most excellent indeed! 😀 No doubt my subconscious was remembering that. . . .

    (Tough to search sometimes since we alter lyrics.)

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