Pixel Scroll 2/17/18 Scrolls of Mystery and Imagination

By JJ:

(1) THE RIGHT STUFF, WITH A NEW WRINKLE.

Most of you may remember that at just 9 years old I raised funds via GoFundMe to attend my first Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama and that one day I will be an astronaut, scientist and an engineer. Since then outlets like GoFundMe not only help my STEM dreams come true but others as well. Just this year through GoFundMe I raised over $20,000 to send over a 1000 girls to see the movie Hidden Figures because it was important to me that girls know that with drive, determination, and hard work you be anything, a scientist, a mathematician, an engineer, an astronaut or maybe the President of the United States even when the odds are against you!

I am 14 now and using my voice to not only bring girls of color to STEM/STEAM but all kids all over the U.S. and abroad.

I’m so excited about the upcoming movie A Wrinkle in Time, which is scheduled to come out spring 2018.

My goal is to send a 1000 girls to see this movie.

Why? I have a lot of reasons but the main ones are:

  1. It shows young, black girls deserving a chance to be a part of the scifi cultural canon.
  2. It has a female protagonist in a science fiction film. A brown girl front and center who looks like me in the role of Meg, a girl traveling to different planets and encountering beings and situations that I’d never seen a girl of color in.
  3. Most impressive and importantly, it’s a fantasy film that is not about some white boys fighting evil, but about a black girl overcoming it.

Thanks to donors, including a $10,000 gift from JJ Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath, the goal has been exceeded. Richardson says that any funds raised above what is needed for the movie event will go to projects, events, and scholarships to bring diversity and gender equality to the STEM field.

(2) ELIMINATING CONFUSION. The opening weekend of Marvel’s Black Panther film has unsurprisingly been marked by attacks and trolling. No sooner had the screenings started, says Lauren Rearick at Teen Vogue, than posts began appearing on social media claiming that white people who attended showings of the movie were being attacked by black people.

The social media posts in question have used images from previous acts of violence that have absolutely nothing to do with the film. Among the photos being used include a woman who was attacked at a bar in Sweden last month, and Colbie Holderness, ex-wife of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter who recently opened up about alleged domestic abuse.

People on social media are fighting back against the false claims by sharing links to Teen Vogue and other articles documenting the fake photos.

Trolls have also been targeting theatres showing the film, determined to set them straight about the fictional nature of the film:

Variety reported that Black Panther’s box office take after Thursday and Friday reached almost $76 million, marking the eighth-highest opening day ever, and third largest for Marvel, according to comScore.

(3) GIVE THE SHOGGOTH A TIME HUG. Dr. Janelle Shane, whose work with neural networks turned loose on generating Harry Potter fiction, Dungeons & Dragons game scripts, and Christmas Carols has previously featured on File 770, last week set her twisted brainchild to composing Candy Heart messages, using messages taken from real candy as input. The neural network not only uses words it is fed, but it creates what it thinks are similar words to use in its results as well. Some of the stranger romantic messages it generated:

ALL HOVER

OOG LOVE
TIME HUG
SWOOL MAT
BEAR WIG
TWEET UP BAT
LOVE 2000 HOGSYEA
YOU ARE BOA
SWEAT PEAR

Dr. Shane adds:

There was yet another category of message, a category you might be able to predict given the prevalence of four-letter words in the original dataset. The neural network thought of some nice new four-letter words to use. Unfortunately, some of those words already had other meanings. Let’s just say that the overall effect was surprisingly suggestive. Fill out the form here and I’ll send them to you.

(4) ORIGIN STORY. Oor Wombat has revealed the possible inspiration for her Hugo Whalefall speech:

(5) DELIBERATELY SCUTTLED. Barnes and Noble appears to be scaling back operations, as a prelude to a complete shutdown. But the ship didn’t sink on its own, says blogger audreyii_fic in “The entirely unnecessary demise of Barnes & Noble”:

On Monday morning, every single Barnes & Noble location – that’s 781 stores – told their full-time employees to pack up and leave. The eliminated positions were as follows: the head cashiers (those are the people responsible for handling the money), the receiving managers (the people responsible for bringing in product and making sure it goes where it should), the digital leads (the people responsible for solving Nook problems), the newsstand leads (the people responsible for distributing the magazines), and the bargain leads (the people responsible for keeping up the massive discount sections)…

We’re not talking post-holiday culling of seasonal workers. This was the Red Wedding. Every person laid off was a full-time employee. These were people for whom Barnes & Noble was a career. Most of them had given 5, 10, 20 years to the company. In most cases it was their sole source of income.

There was no warning.

But it gets worse…

The Barnes & Noble executives do not intend to rebuild.

How do I know this? Because every decision from the upper levels is being made solely to increase cash on hand.

(6) HOPES DASHED. Benjamin C. Kinney, whose essays on neuroscience have been featured on File 770 in the past, relates a tale of woe in “The Story that Never Was”:

I hit a writer milestone yesterday, though a sad one it is. You see, about a month ago, I had another short story accepted at a professional SFF magazine! I was just waiting on the contract to make it official, and then tell you all about my delightful Fairy Gentrification story. The eldritch diner with the portal between worlds was torn down for condos years ago – but there’s one last fairy chevalier stranded in this world, seeking out the owners’ son.

But, alas, it is not to be. Because the magazine has died, with my story in its casket.

The publication in question, PerVisions, has been defending a trademark suit against their original name, Persistent Visions, by an animation production company of the same name, and according to Publisher Christophe Pettus in a story on Locus Online:

The core reason for us having to stop accepting work is that our budget for acquisitions was largely consumed by a long and unpleasant dispute over the name of the publication. Although the other party was not in the publishing industry and we had no intention of causing any confusion with their services, ultimately, it became clear that no compromise except changing the name of the journal was possible.

Sadly, working through that legal issue was very expensive, and consumed our available capital. I would not ask to publish material that I could not pay a decent rate for, and keeping authors in suspense while the future of the journal is decided is not fair to them.

The website will remain live, so that stories they previously published will be preserved.

(7) BELIEVE IT OR NOT. Deadline reports that the 80s TV series The Greatest American Hero is getting a reboot:

With New Girl coming to an end, series’ co-star Hannah Simone has been tapped for the title role in ABC’s single-camera comedy pilot The Greatest American Hero, from the Fresh Off the Boat duo of Rachna Fruchbom and Nahnatchka Khan. In the reimagining with a gender switch of Steven J. Cannell’s 1981 cult classic, the unlikely (super)hero at the center, played by William Katt in the original, is being reconceived as an Indian-American woman.

 

(8) STANDLEE STILL, STAY SILENT. Kevin Standlee has announced that he will not be adding any Hugo recommendations to the Bay Area Science Fiction Association’s list this year:

I’m not making any Hugo Award recommendations this year. As one of the members of this year’s Hugo Awards Administration Subcommittee, I don’t want my own personal preferences being seen as trying to influence anything. But BASFA continues with its practice of meeting to discuss works/people they think are Award-worthy… if you go to BASFA’s web site, you should see a link to this year’s recommendations. Or you can just download the 2018 BASFA Hugo recommendations PDF directly.

(9) NO ROOM AT THE INN. GenCon attendees with accessibility needs report that this year’s hotel room reservation system is unable to allocate ADA accessible rooms online, and that fans have to wait up to 2 weeks to hear if they have an ADA room. Meanwhile, the hotel room blocks continue to be sold online to other members, and hotels which run out of regular rooms are apparently assigning their ADA rooms to online registrants instead of holding them back for accessibility applicants.

Maria Turner: IMPORTANT PSA:

Housing will no longer be allowed to be traded to avoid cancellation fees.

AND people requesting ADA rooms may not get confirmation they actually got an ADA room for TWO WEEKS!!! This is totally unacceptable. Totally. I am awaiting a response from Gen Con on this matter.

Todd Bunt: I am sad today. My friend a disabled veteran cannot get a room this year since there were no ADA room reserved. He has a hard time walking but the only room he can get is 10 miles away. Last years he got an ADA room in one of the hotels attached to the convention center. (t made it easy for him to go to the room to rest during the day. He was looking forward to going to GenCon this year but that was taken from him. Maybe next year they can hold some ADA rooms for those that need the help.

Daniel Lagos: Has anyone who needed an ADA room at any hotel in the Gencon block, who called and got the answering machine for the call center, actually gotten a call back yet?

I had an 8:44pm time for getting a room, and I left my information in my message. So far, I haven’t gotten a call yet. (more comments follow)

Doug Triplett: Arrrgh. I tried to call the ada line and they shut it off. Said it wasn’t working this weekend. Anyone else had an issue with that today. And in the portal the closest hotel is at least 10 miles away. This sucks!

Miriam Breslauer: NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

Gencon set my housing request time to 10:28 pm. Because I need an ADA room I had to call them. There was no one there, because it was outside business hours! WTF! I am beyond pissed. Hopefully, they just call me back tomorrow and there are magically still some rooms left.

Not cool Gencon. Not cool at all.

Maria Turner: Does anyone know where one submits an ADA complaint re the hotel reservation process icw a major convention?…

What is wrong with the process is the way the search criteria is processed.

1) ADA requirement is not a component of the housing acquisition query screen

2) Hotels with all available rooms are returned as available

3) it is not until a person goes to a hotel returned from the initial query that one requests an ADA room with no idea if there is even one available at that hotel or not

4) No one will confirm for me if hotels are selling ADA rooms to non-ADA attendees as current law provides if there is demand that exceeds their supply of non-ADA rooms

5) ADA attendees wait up to two weeks to receive confirmation that their reservation for the room and/or hotel they requested is accepted

6) non-ADA attendees receive confirmation immediately their reservation was accepted.

7) ADA attendees may be moved to other hotels

I’ve been back and forth with Mike Boozer regarding the process, and he’s unresponsive citing supply and demand when that’s not the issue.

All the people I know who have obtained ADA rooms have had to do so out of block. I’m not paying $770/night at the JW, so we’ll likely be commuting if we don’t get a room via Authors/Artists housing block this weekend.

ADA Room checkbox needs to sit on that initial screen, the available hotels list returned should be only hotels with ADA room availability.

Thus far, there do not appear to be any posts on Gencon’s Facebook page which address the situation.

(10) ECLECTIC LADY. Janelle Monáe, who starred in the Hugo-nominated Hidden Figures as well as releasing Afrofuturist music albums The ArchAndroid, Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase), and The Electric Lady (which was nominated for a Tiptree Award in 2014) has announced a new SFFnal album Dirty Computer:

Janelle Monáe has confirmed early details of her follow up to 2013 album The Electric Lady. Titled Dirty Computer, the album currently has no release date but a trailer starring Monáe alongside actress Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok and the upcoming Annihilation) can be seen below.

(11) BIRTHDAYS.

  • Born February 17, 1912 – Andre Norton, Author (Beastmaster, Witch World)
  • Born February 17, 1925 – Hal Holbrook, Actor (Capricorn One, Creepshow)
  • Born February 17, 1954 – Rene Russo, Actor (The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Thor)
  • Born February 17, 1981 – Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Actor (Inception, Looper)
  • Born February 17, 1991 – Bonnie Wright, Actor (Harry Potter)

(12) WALKAWAY GONE WALKABOUT. Cory Doctorow, author of 2017’s Walkaway, will be doing a Down Under book tour for the novel starting next week, with stops in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide in Australia, and Wellington in New Zealand. Perhaps he’ll wave to Camestros as he passes through Aberdeen.

(13) MOUNT TSUNDOKU, IN 12 PARTS. Grant Snider’s Incidental Comics features a story which may sound familiar to many Filers: My Bookshelf

(14) A NOVEL WAY TO DEAL WITH MARKETING SPAM.

(15) RE-VISITING A… ER, CLASSIC? According to SyFy, a feature film version of the TV series “V” is in the works:

Desilu Studios has announced it’s going to bring V The Movie, based on the classic 1983 miniseries, to theaters in a big-budget film version that will be written and directed by Kenneth Johnson, creator of the original show.

The two-part miniseries aired on NBC in 1983 and chronicled an invasion of Earth by vicious reptilian aliens who disguised themselves as friendly humanoids, triggering a human resistance movement. A metaphor for revolution against a fascist government, V was hugely popular with audiences, spawning a 1984 sequel, V: The Final Battle, a short-lived 1985 show called V: The Series, and a 2009 reboot that lasted for two seasons on ABC.

Casting, production details, and a release date for V The Movie are all yet to be determined.

(16) MORE YOUNG PEOPLE READ OLD SFF. This time out, James Davis Nicoll has them reading Tanith Lee’s horror story “The Gorgon”, and the reactions cross the whole spectrum, from “intriguing and mysterious” to “annoying and racist”, with some bonus commentary on imprudent alcohol consumption.

(17) THE NO AWARD AWARD. In the February 2, 2018, issue of the Times Literary Supplement, J.C. says:

In early December, we stumbled on a blog at the Paris Review Daily site, written by Ursula K. Le Guin, on the subject of one of our most coveted awards, the Jean-Paul Sartre Prize for Prize Refusal. It is open to any writer who has refused a literary prize.

“I first learned about the Sartre Prize from NB”, Ms Le Guin wrote, “the last page of London’s Times Literary Supplement, signed by J.C. The fame of the award, named for the writer who refused the Nobel in 1964, is or anyhow should be growing fast.” Ms Le Guin flattered us further by quoting from a past NB: “So great is the status of the Jean-Paul Sartre Prize for Prize Refusal that writers all over Europe and America are turning down awards in the hope of being nominated for a Sartre”. As we noted at the time, and Ms Le Guin repeated it, “The Sartre Prize itself has never been refused”…

Ursula Le Guin died on January 22, aged eighty-eight. She left us with an idea, however: “I do hope you will recommend me to the Basement Labyrinth so that I can refuse to be even nominated, thus earning the Pre-Refusal of Awards Award, which has yet to be named”. It has a name now: The Ursula K. Le Guin Prize, for writers who refuse shortlisting, longlisting and any other form of nomination for literary prizes. The essay, “A Much Needed Literary Award”, is included in her final book, No Time To Spare: Thinking About What Matters, published in December last year.

(18) MARKET REPORT. David Steffen has compiled the “SFWA Market Report for February” for the SFWA Blog, listing those publications which are opening or closing for submissions.

(19) STROSS SHOUTS AT CLOUDS. Not every SF work needs to conform to strict worldbuilding standards, writes Cora Buhlert “In Defence of Wallpaper Science Fiction”:

A few days ago, Paul Weimer pointed me on Twitter to this post by Charles Stross in which Stross laments the current state of the science fiction genre, because a lot of SF writers these days focus more on plot, action, characters and their relationships than on worldbuilding, particularly on economics, which is the aspect of worldbuilding that is closest to Stross’ heart.

Whenever Stross posts a variation of this “other people are doing science fiction wrong” rant, it inevitably gets my hackles up…

That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a kernel of truth in Stross’ post. Because all too often, things show up in science fiction, just because “that’s the way things are”, whether in genre or life, regardless if this makes sense in this particular setting. The prevalence of Galactic Empires vaguely modeled on the Roman or British Empire in science fiction is a result of tropes being imported from other genre works unexamined, as is the fact that every future military ever is either modelled on the US Marine Corps of the 20th/21st centuries or the British Royal Navy of the 18th and 19th centuries and that every starship is modelled on a modern aircraft carrier…

So if all that Stross’ post did was implore science fiction writers to interrogate their worldbuilding choices and ask themselves “Why did I choose this?” and “Does this even make sense for the world that I built and if not, how can I make it fit?”, I would probably have heartily applauded. However, that’s not all he does.

(20) THE PUNCH LINE. So an SFF writer, a zombie, and a cat walk into a bar…

(21) THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS.  A Kickstarter has gone live for Tiny Wastelands, a post-apocalyptic RPG, and it’s already blown way past its goal in the first few days, racking up $22,906 in pledges against its original goal of $6,000.

Tiny Wastelands is post-apocalyptic roleplaying in a minimalist package! Using the rules in this book, you’ll be able to play survivors of lost and destroyed civilizations, mutants rampaging the wastelands and so, so much more.

Stretch goals include additional micro-settings for the game written by various authors, including this one already achieved:

$14,000: Paul Weimer takes us to High Plains Drift!

“The High Plains of the Dakotas are wide, flat, and deadly. Between the mutant prairie dogs, what lurks in the minuteman silos, and the farmers turned bandits who have adapted farm tractors to war vehicles, survival on the plains is nasty, brutish and short.

What makes it unique? Farm Tractor war vehicles, mutant wildlife and endless horizons in a hardscrabble world.”

(22) WHICH CAME FIRST? Hampus Eckerman believes that Filers will enjoy this SFF film short from 2016:

[Thanks to Camestros Felapton, Cora Buhlert, Hampus Eckerman, lauowolf, PJ Evans, RedWombat, Standback for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 Contributing Editor of the Day JJ.]

94 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/17/18 Scrolls of Mystery and Imagination

  1. (9) I’m not even a little bit surprised at this. GenCon housing has always been a complete disaster. The convention is (realistically) too large for Indianapolis, which is a problem. They’re contracted in Indy through 2020, but I’d wager they’ll be moving as soon as their contract allows.

  2. @19, I’m inclined to side with Stross on this one. I just read “River of Teeth” and am partway through “Taste of Marrow” by Sarah Gailey. The concept is terrific; the character interaction is terrific, and the worldbuilding is… terrible. Spoilers follow:

    It’s terrible geologically; fur qnzf gur Zvffvffvccv va gur zvqqyr bs Ybhvfvnan… naq gur erfhygvat ynxr sbezf QBJAFGERNZ, orgjrra gur qnz naq gur tengvat gung yrgf gur jngre eha bhg vagb gur Thys.

    It’s terrible biologically; ure uvccbf ner nccebcevngryl greevslvat… ohg gurl’er vanccebcevngryl bzavibebhf be rira pneavibebhf. Npghny uvccbf eneryl rng zrng be vafrpgf, naq gura trarenyyl orpnhfr gurve cersreerq qvrg bs (ynaq) tenff naq jrrqf vfa’g ninvynoyr. (Ure uvccbf nyfb rng jngre jrrqf, juvpu, vs V pna oryvrir Jvxvcrqvn, vf nyfb vapbeerpg.)

    And it’s terrible sociologically: Gur fgbel vf frg va nobhg gur 1870f be 1880f va Qrrc Fbhgu Nzrevpn, jvgu crbcyr bs pbybe nf znwbe punenpgref, ng yrnfg bar yrfovna, bar ovfrkhny naq bar vagrefrkrq be traqre-nzovthbhf znwbe punenpgre.. .naq fb sne V’ir abg frra bar fvatyr enpvny fyhe, frkhny fyhe, be fbpvny pbafrdhrapr rknpgrq ntnvafg nal bs gurfr punenpgref sbe guvf. Tenagrq, gurer’f ab zragvba bs gur Pvivy Jne be fynirel, ohg gurer’f ab ernfba tvira va gur grkg gb fhccbfr gung rvgure gur Pvivy Jne be fynirel qvq ABG unccra, rvgure. Ure punenpgref zbir guebhtu n jbeyq gung vf sne zber fbpvnyyl npprcgvat guna gjragl-svefg praghel Nzrevpn rira va gur zber-yvoreny Abegu vf abj.

    All that being said, I’m still going to finish them. But the phrase “I’m willing to suspend my disbelief, but not hang it by the neck until dead” comes to mind.

    I’ll read more by Gailey, she tells a gripping tale. But I hope in future she pays more attention to worldbuilding than she did in these novellas.

    (Edit to add: I’d be inclined to give it more slack, except for the introduction where she explicitly says this is alternate history. Fb ab trargvpnyyl nygrerq uvccbf, naq gur Zvffvffvccv fgvyy ehaf fbhgu, naq gur Pvivy Jne nyzbfg pregnvayl unccrarq sbe gur ernfbaf vg unccrarq.)

  3. Paul Weimer on February 18, 2018 at 5:20 am said:

    7) @Bob. I don’t remember that reunion movie at all. I remember the original series quite well. Hunh.

    It wasn’t actually a “reunion movie”, it was the last of five unaired episodes at the end of season 3. They may have pasted it together with another episode and aired it in 1986, but you’ll see that the episode itself is only standard length (for the time.)

  4. @Darren:

    My GAH S1 box set is inconvenient to access, so I went by memory on the original post. That packaging describes it as “the unaired pilot for the proposed spinoff series,” but the timing and content very much fit the standard “reunion movie” mold. Robert Culp is visibly older (or at least stopped using the Grecian Formula), the suit was redesigned, and – if you look at the end credits on your YouTube copy – the copyright date is 1986.

    I’ll cop to misremembering the length, but this simply isn’t “an unaired season three episode.” The last aired season three episodes were shown in early 1983, and the unaired episodes would have been made in late 1982 or early 1983. This isn’t one of those. It’s a new pilot that was made three years after the original series got canceled.

    Wikipedia is wrong and/or overvague sometimes. This is one of those times.

  5. Cassy B: I just read “River of Teeth” and am partway through “Taste of Marrow” by Sarah Gailey. The concept is terrific; the character interaction is terrific, and the worldbuilding is… terrible.

    I just treated them as if they were set in a fantasy alternate-universe USA, and enjoyed them for what they are. No, they’re not great literature, and I won’t be nominating them for awards, but they’re a campy modern-day version of every bad tropey Western ever written — which can be fun if you’re in a whimsical mood and not wanting to think too hard. If they’d been novels, I probably wouldn’t have stuck with them, but they’re short and fast reads.

    Thus far, I’ve been far more impressed with Gailey’s non-fiction writings — some of them are really good. I’m hopeful that her fiction writing will eventually reach a higher level, too.

  6. Brian Aldiss’ Galaxies Like Grains of Sand also had robot bees, which took over the pollination duties of biological bees, causing their eventual extinction.

  7. Kage Baker’s The Empress of Mars had robot bees (called “biis”) for pollination on Mars (in habitats where biological bees didn’t prosper).

  8. Lenore Jones, no, the Beast built the clockwork bees. (There’s one on the cover of the book, if you look closely….)

  9. Re: Barnes and Noble:

    Anyone remember when Circuit City laid off all its experienced employees?

    Anyone remember Circuit City?

  10. They’re relaunching on February 15th!

    Or maybe not…

    As they said last time…

    Under new ownership, Circuit City will once again become a household name by reconnecting to its roots utilizing modern technology to create an omni-channel shopping experience to offer customers the best way to shop, both online and in person. With so many products available today, Circuit City offers a full-line assortment of consumer electronics products with personalized service to connect people with technology to improve their lives.

    It sounds to me as though they plan to spam market really, really hard

  11. Oh, wait, I’m being slow on the uptake again —

    With regards to (5), will it be worth converting my Perk points to one more $50 B&N card? And how quickly should I be using my existing ones up? Anyone care to guess? Rev. Bob, maybe?

  12. @Nicole:

    I haven’t bought ebooks from B&N in ages… since they (IMO) started actively discouraging the practice. I’m EPUB all the way, but I convert my points to Amazon cards and convert from Kindle. It’s a bit of a hassle, but it’s still easier for me to go that route than to acquire directly from B&N.

  13. Lenore Jones, <best Sarah Bernhardt impression, back of hand tragically to forehead> Oh, my dear, how very dreadful for you….

    (Which reminds me, I really need to re-read them myself…)

  14. I believe the mechanical bees in Castle Hangnail are clockwork. I’d forgotten there were mechanical bees in Bryony and Roses.

  15. From Castle Hangnail:

    She loved the dungeons with their appealingly nasty instruments and the windy battlements that looked over the hills and the dim, ratcheting hive of the Clockwork Bees.

    “Invented by Ungo the Mad,” said Majordomo wistfully. They stood together in the dark cellar. The hive was a huge, misshapen thing, wax hardening on three walls of the cellar. “I take the wax off whenever we make candles, but they make more.” The Bees themselves were oil-rubbed bronze, as big as Molly’s thumb. They flew in and out of an enormous brass pipe that snaked back and forth across the ceiling. “They go into the pipe every night to wind their little keys. It’s all done with steam from the boiler.”

  16. If I didn’t have other Wombat-lit on my TBR, I’d re-read Bryony and Roses (just read Castle Hangnail, though).

  17. @Ingvar:

    Uh, yeah. I know this. I have it on DVD, there’s a YouTube link in another comment, and I analyzed its end credits in some detail to demonstrate that it was not “an unaired season three episode” (which would’ve been made in 1982-83, not 1986) as Wikipedia implies.

    Basically, all I got wrong was that I called it a reunion “movie” when it was only an hour long – and I’ve already admitted that grave error.

  18. How about confusion all around? From Wikipedia:

    During 1986, the original principal cast reunited for a pilot movie for a new NBC series to be named The Greatest American Heroine, which did not result in a new series, and the pilot was never broadcast by NBC. Ultimately, the pilot was re-edited as an episode of the original series (complete with original opening credits and theme), and added to syndication sets of the original series, for which it is the final episode.

  19. Darren Garrison: the original principal cast reunited for a pilot movie for a new NBC series to be named The Greatest American Heroine, which did not result in a new series, and the pilot was never broadcast by NBC.

    I can see why. I watched the youtube video, and OMG the new character was so unbelievably annoying, that I had to force myself to get through the whole thing.

  20. Other than that you seemed to imply that the made-for-TV reunion movie ever aired, which it didn’t. Instead, it was chopped down to single-episiode lenght and aired as the final episode in syndication. So no, I’m not saying that you were right in every detail–I’m saying that we both got details muddled.

  21. @Meredith: It’s not about the show. It’s about gaslighting, honesty, and integrity… and yes, those certainly are worth it.

    @Darren: Why is it so important for you to find some way in which I was wrong on this subject?

    Look, I’m sorry the original information I gave didn’t meet your standards for being utterly complete, precise, and encyclopedic in every particular. That wasn’t my goal; I wasn’t writing a Wikipedia page. I posted my original comment to show that putting a woman in the super-suit wasn’t a brand-new innovation, but something that the makers of the original show had done more than thirty years ago. Even that isn’t new knowledge; the DVD set featuring The Greatest American Heroine came out in 2005, more than a decade ago. Someone – like me – who was enough of a fan of the show to buy it on disc has had this info available for a long time. It’s not a secret.

    And yet, you felt the need to nitpick, to “correct” me on imagined mistakes, and eventually your research brought you back to where I started. The decent thing to do would have been to acknowledge that, as I did when I immediately owned up to posting my original comment from memory and being mistaken about its final length as distributed. Instead, you tried to say there was confusion “all around,” when there was not. I was right, from the start, and all of the confusion was your doing.

    I don’t appreciate being gaslighted. I don’t know of anyone who does. And yet, that’s what you tried to do. You’re in the wrong on this, and frankly an apology is in order.

  22. Speaking of the Greatest American Hero, the major annoyance I have with the DVD set is that fan-favorite episode “Operation Spoilsport” which prominently featured “Eve of Destruction” in the original broadcast, a song that is explicitly referred to in the dialogue, had to be replaced in the DVD with some generic song (due to copyright issues), which significantly degrades the quality of that episode.

  23. @Andrew:

    Yeah, music replacement sucks. Another particularly galling example is the removal of the theme song for Married… With Children, which similarly got replaced with annoyingly generic music.

    I have to give Shout Factory a special (ahem) shout-out for doing its level best to procure original song rights whenever possible; for instance, they did a bang-up job on WKRP in Cincinnati. They couldn’t clear everything, but they got most of it, and the substitutions were done skillfully enough that, as an interested casual fan, I didn’t notice any of the changes.

  24. @Andrew & @Rev. Bob: I seem to recall reading that when “Felicity”* (oh, hush, I discovered & watched a lot of it in re-runs, don’t judge me 😉 ) went to DVD, they replaced a ton of music, some of which didn’t work great.

    But Rev. Bob, replacing/having to replace the freaking theme song for a show?! Ouch!

    * “Felicity” has a whole sequence of episodes towards the end that were genre (time travel; okay some silly debate about it but I watched and took it as time travel, even if parts of it made zero sense). And a “Twilight Zone” parody episode. So, this is a genre reference! 😛

    /ramble (I should probably get some sleep)

  25. @Kendall:

    Remember that MWC’s theme song was Sinatra singing “Love and Marriage.” I’m disappointed, but not shocked, that getting the rights proved too expensive for DVD.

  26. Sesame Street Old School’s third boxed set has THAT theme (and the entire opening credits) disappear. I’m not sure why it survived the first two Old School releases but it’s severely jarring.

  27. Rev Bob: Ok, losing the theme to the show is amazingly bad.

    Kendall: I think the only episode of Felicity I was the Twilight Zone episode – which was a lot of fun.

  28. Here is a list of the songs on WKRP, color-coded as to whether Shout Factory’s dvds were able to resolve the license (pink is on the DVD, gray is not).

    They fixed “Tiny Dancer” in “The Americanization of Ivan”, which is a good thing.

  29. They were able to get “Into The Mystic” but not “Wavelength”? That seems odd to me.

    In local news, area man discovered his copies of Star Wars issue #1 today. Not mint but not bad, with further issues of that and loads of seventies Kirby all around them.

    I’ll never have the collection I did have, but there are spares of enough stuff that I might be able to get a few things that I’d really like from when I very first started reading. I suspect I’ve missed my shot at inexpensive 5X issues of Fantastic Four–that and 2X X-Men were my entry point–if my old ones aren’t in one of these boxes. Bad timing.

  30. @Rev. Bob: Can you believe it – I didn’t know (or possibly forgot long ago) that “Love and Marriage” was a Sinatra piece. Still, they got it for the broadcast and syndication (I’m sure I’ve heard it in re-runs when I’ve stumbled across the show); it’s a shame they didn’t get it for the DVD. It was an iconic song for this show!

    @Lenora Rose: Okay, that’s just weird. I mean i can see if it went with the credits and they dropped them for some reason, you wouldn’t get the theme. But what the heck, why are the credits just dropped?! Which came (er, went) first, the chicken (credits) or the egg (theme)? I.e., how did it get to that credit-less/theme-less situation, I wonder.

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