Pixel Scroll 2/21/18 I Picked The Wrong Week To Quit Scrollin’ Pixels

(1) THE SOURCE. Paste Magazine tells readers “If You Love Black Panther, You Have to Read Nnedi Okorafor’s Books”.

…Okorafor, who’s about to wrap up a run on Marvel’s Black Panther: Long Live the King comic series, boasts an enthralling catalogue of novels steeped in afrofuturism. So if you’re looking for more stories featuring kickass women and inventive tech on the African continent, Okorafor has you covered.

Here are Paste’s top five picks to get you started:

Black Panther: Long Live the King

The obvious first title on this list is Marvel’s six-issue Long Live the King series, in which Okorafor wrote issues one, two and five. With art by André Lima Araújo and colors by Chris O’Halloran, Okorafor’s vision for Wakanda delivers a captivating narrative that breathes new life into the Black Panther canon.

Okorafor also wrote issue six, a one-shot story about Ngozi illustrated by Tana Ford, due out on February 28th. You might recognize Ngozi—an original Okorafor creation—from her first appearance in Venomverse: War Stories. And if the character is new to you, you’ll love the Nigerian woman who bonded with the Venom symbiote and became a hero….

(2) OKORAFOR FREE READ. Slate agrees that the work of Nnedi Okorafor is the place to start, and has timely released “Mother of Invention”, “a new short story by the author of Marvel’s Black Panther: Long Live The King.”

(3) DOUBLE UP. Yes, one reason Black Panther had a record weekend is because patrons failed to get away with stunts like this! “Two kids dressed as a tall man to get into “Black Panther” were caught on video”. Rare has the story:

Two kids decided they wanted to go to the new Marvel superhero film “Black Panther,” but they didn’t want to pay for two movie tickets, so they tried to dupe the movie theater’s manager.

The duo went to the theater disguised as one “tall man” under a trench coat, but unsurprisingly, their plan didn’t work. However, despite their unsuccessful attempt to save on movie tickets, they have gone viral on Twitter thanks to their hilarious antics.

 

(4) ANTIHARASSMENT DONOR. The Independent reports “Emma Watson donates £1m to help fund for sexual harassment victims”.

The donation from the Harry Potter star to the UK Justice and Equality Fund comes as nearly 200 female British and Irish stars signed an open letter calling for an end to sexual harassment in the workplace.

Watson is one of the first donors to the fund, which was set up by the 190 women who signed the open letter, along with a group of 160 academics, activists and charity workers.

Emma Thompson, Carey Mulligan, Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Chan, Keira Knightley and Watson are among the actors to sign the letter, which was published in The Observer.

(5) THE CULTURE MEETS THE VAST WASTELAND. Engadget reports “Amazon’s answer to ‘Altered Carbon’ is Iain M. Banks’ space opera”.

…Amazon Studios will adapt the first novel, Consider Phlebas, for television.

Dennis Kelly will adapt the sci-fi drama for Plan B Entertainment (World War Z). The Iain Banks’s estate will serve as an executive producer for the series. “Iain Banks has long been a hero of mine, and his innate warmth, humor and humanism shines through these novels,” said Kelly, who previously adapted Matilda for the stage. “Far from being the dystopian nightmares that we are used to, Banks creates a kind of flawed paradise, a society truly worth fighting for — rather than a warning from the future, his books are a beckoning.”

(6) DIAL M. Upon hearing the news about Banks’ novel, Damien G. Walter immediately warned all in hearing that the sky is falling — “5 things that can go HORRIBLY wrong adapting The Culture”.

I don’t consider myself a true fan of many things, but I am an unapologetic Iain (M) Banks fanboy.

Which is an easy thing to be. Banks is a brilliant, brilliant writer. A storyteller in the class of Neil Gaiman, with the muscular prose abilities of J G Ballard, and the conceptual imagination of an Asimov or Le Guin. I read his Culture books in my teens, his literary novels in my twenties, and re-read nearly all of them in my thirties. Just this year I’ve been working my way through Peter Kenny’s spot on audio adaptations.

So, like all true fans, I’m a little worried by news of a tv adaptation. Banks was fairly outspoken about his decision not to allow movie or tv adaptations of the Culture novels. I totally respect any decision his estate makes on this, and nobody doubts Amazon have the cash to make it happen? But do they have the skill, creativity and imagination?

How many ways could a Culture tv adaptation go wrong? Let us count the ways….

(7) WHAT ADA PALMER AND JOHN HERTZ HAVE IN COMMON. Patrick McGuire writes: “I just received my Winter issue of the alumni University of Chicago Magazine. Bundled with it was The Core, a semiannual supplement magazine devoted to the College. (U.C. is primarily a graduate institution, so the undergraduate school is decidedly the tail, not the dog.) The Winter 2018 Core has a profile of sf writer and history professor Ada Palmer. It is fairly insightful and informative, even if it does refer to Sassafras as a ‘folk band.’ The current issue of The Core is, at least as I write, not at the URL where it is supposed to be per the print issue, but after considerable poking around I found the Palmer article here — ‘Renaissance-woman’. The profile does discuss her sf novels and it has photographs of Ada and others in costume. She also gets the magazine cover.”

“Curiously, the mother-ship University of Chicago Magazine for Winter itself has a letter from prominent fan John Hertz. John primarily discusses non-sfnal topics, but does include a plug for Benford’s The Berlin Project.

(8) BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS. New York bookstore The Strand would be delighted to sell you a copy of every single one: “Best Selling Author of Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer, Shares His Top 50 Books”.

(9) BEST EDITOR HUGO RECOMMENDATIONS. Lee Harris doesn’t want British sff editors overlooked, and assembled a get-acquainted thread. Jump aboard here —

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • February 21, 1966  — Raquel Welch in a Stone Age bikini starred in One Million Years B.C. which premiered theatrically on this date.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY DROID

  • Born February 21, 1946 — Anthony Daniels, who plays C3PO.

(12) COMICS SECTION.

  • John King Tarpinian found a Yoda joke that really works in Half Full.
  • On the other hand, John is right to call this stfnal pun a real groaner – The Argyle Sweater.

(13) WHAT’S THAT HE SAID? At age 54, a Doctor Who reviver finally gets to play Macbeth: “Christopher Eccleston: Northern accent ‘held me back'”.

The actor star says there is a perception in the industry that “people like me can’t be classical”.

Eccleston was born into a working class family on a council estate in Salford in Lancashire in 1964.

He will appear as Macbeth in a new production at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford Upon Avon, but he had to ask for the role.

Unfortunately, Billie Piper is not playing Lady Macbeth.

(14) SECOND BREAKFAST. Did you ever do a movie marathon drinking game? Well, this is an eating game for the LotR trilogy – whatever food is eaten on screen, they cook and eat too!

(15) TANK GIRL TO RETURN. Titan Comics will bring the Tank Girl franchise back to life in 2018.

It’s been 30 years since the dynamic partnership of Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett (Gorillaz) unleashed Tank Girl upon the world! To celebrate Tank Girl’s 30th Anniversary, Titan Comics is launching the ‘Year of Tank Girl’ in 2018 – a year-long celebration with new comics, graphic novels and special events, including a global Tank Girl Day event on Saturday, October 20.

Originally published in 1988 as a black and white comic strip in UK magazine Deadline, Tank Girl has gone on to become a cult icon in the 30 years since her first appearance, with numerous comics and graphic novels, and even her own feature film in 1995, which boasted an all-star cast including Lori Petty, Naomi Watts, Malcolm McDowell, Ice-T, and Iggy Pop, and directed by Doctor Who’s Rachel Talalay.

As Tank Girl prepares to celebrate 30 riotous years in 2018, Titan Comics is proud to announce its ‘Year of Tank Girl’ campaign.

Celebrations kick off in April 2018 with Tank Girl: Full Color Classics 1988-1989 – the first of six prestige editions presenting those original seminal strips from Deadline in glorious color, just as Hewlett and Martin envisaged them three decades ago. Colored by Tracy Bailey (Fighting American) and Sofie Dodgson (Tank Girl: Bad Wind Rising), this is a new take on the classic strips. Plus, it includes rare and unseen artwork, as well as photos from the early days of the Martin and Hewlett partnership.

(16) #!&@! MY DAD SAYS. Bradford Betz, in a Fox News story “William Shatner Shames Texas Dem From Using His Photo in Campaign Newsletter”, says that Shat told Brandy Chambers, running for the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat, to stop using a photo she took at a Comic-Con with him because it seemed like he endorsed her, which he hasn’t.

The image circulated until it reached Shatner on Saturday. The 86-year-old actor tweeted at Chambers that her use of the convention photo misleadingly suggests an “endorsement” on his part. He then told her to “remove my photo” and “destroy all copies of whatever this is immediately.”

(17) BOXING DAY. According to ULTRAGOTHA, “Spurius Ennius Nasica is Rocky Balboa put through a Roman name generator.” The connection between Rocky and Rome is this discovery — “Rare Roman boxing gloves uncovered near Hadrian’s Wall in ‘astonishing’ find”.

Roman boxing gloves believed to be the only surviving example from the period have gone on display after being discovered near Hadrian’s Wall.

The gloves were found last summer during an excavation at Vindolanda, near Hexham in Northumberland.

Other items were unearthed in the dig, including swords, horse gear and writing tablets.

The gloves – which date from around 120 AD – are made of leather and have the appearance of a protective guard. They are designed to fit snugly over the knuckles, protecting them from impact.

(18) QUANTUM LEAP LEFTOVERS. Io9 investigates the tantalizing question “Did a Fan Just Find Proof of Quantum Leap’s Secret Lost Ending?” 

…The series finale of Quantum Leap was bleak (to put it mildly), with the final title card confirming that Scott Bakula’s character, Sam Beckett, remained lost in time. However, one video claims a long-rumored alternate ending was actually real, one which would’ve made it possible for Sam to make that final leap home.

YouTuber Allison Pregler has released a video sharing what she says are negatives for an alternate ending to the fifth season of Quantum Leap. How did she get her hands on such a historical item? Pregler bought a bunch of Quantum Leap negatives on eBay.

“When I was looking at the film strips to try and guess what episodes or scenes they were, it took me a second to really grasp what I had. I thought it really looked like that alternate ending I’d read before, but no one knew it was filmed so I couldn’t believe it,” Pregler told io9. “I’m still having trouble believing it.”…

(19) LOST AGAIN. Netflix reboot of Lost in Space premieres April 13.

The Robinson family, part of a highly trained mission to establish a new colony in space, is unexpectedly pulled off course forcing them to crash land on a lost planet.

 

(20) REPEL BUYERS! Tabletop Tribe is not kidding — “The Worst Board Game Box Art Ever”. Man, are these awful! Just look at #19 —

  1. Guildhall (2012?—?Alderac Entertainment Group)

“Meet the wife. I luv ‘er more than any pig, and that’s sayin’ summat.”

Indeed sir. For a pig farmer you appear to be punching way above your weight.

It’s not that the characters are badly rendered (although it does appear that it’s simply photo overpainting at work here), or the inconsistent lighting and flat boring background. It’s just a bizarre motley collection and a piglet with a nose four sizes too big.

[Thanks to Joel Zakem, JJ, Mix Mat, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, John King Tarpinian, ULTRAGOTHA, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Mark Hepworth, Patrick McGuire, Hampus Eckerman, Michael J. Walsh, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Bruce Diamond.]

80 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/21/18 I Picked The Wrong Week To Quit Scrollin’ Pixels

  1. @Maximilliion

    Use of Weapons is the one with carpentry yes.

    I could see it being doable. I’d consider interleaving two of the alternating chapters in each instalment to break things up a bit but also maintain a bit of the circular structure. Careful casting could help keep the other reveal disguised until the end, or you could play the unreliable narrator card instead.

  2. @5: I’m not optimistic about putting the Culture on the boob tube. (I wonder especially about starting with Consider Phlebas; creating sympathy for a wrong-headed character is non-trivial.) But I am unlikely to care, as I rarely make time for TV.

    @19 and I’m certainly not going to watch that — I didn’t think much of the original even before Star Trek came out. Yes, I watched it; I wasn’t being much challenged in school, so I got to see a fair amount of TV (much of which I’m embarrassed to admit to), but I’m not nostalgic about most of it. These days I have more time, but more things to do with it, especially since my reading speed seems to be slowing — not a good omen for the ~40 shelf-feet of unread books. (Yes, they’re shelved instead of piled; my partner also values books, but might start tossing them if they were piled.)

    @Mark: my partner’s reaction to your passing on of a reaction to @17: “Just because you saw it doesn’t mean we have to see it.” (tl;dr version: AAUUGGHH!)

  3. @NickP re @2: re suppressing the pollen tsunami, you’re assuming whoever made the hybrid was thinking (as in “The Nail and the Oracle”), not just solving a technical problem. One could also be forgiving and suggest that Okorafor used “hybrid” when “gene-splicing” would be more accurate. OTOH, it’s a fair complaint that the author chose to be specifically improbable about biology rather than being inspecific enough not to provide an opening. That’s a cute Nicoll quote; a late friend (PhD biologist) would have been amused, given his complaints about biology/anthropology in Niven’s Known Space.

  4. If nothing else, the Lost in Space series should be better than the movie.

    I remember (in 1st grade?) running home after school every day to watch Lost in Space on TV. When, some years later, I encountered it as an adult for the first time, I decided that the opening credits still held up pretty well, but that was about it.

  5. Darren Garrison: While you may have read this exchange as me being “angry”, I read it as you being a dick to me for no explicable reason whatsoever.

    So is banging two people’s heads together a Three Stooges thing or a Bowery Boys thing?

  6. I was not at all a fan of the Lost in Space reruns I saw; it was so hokey and camp compared to the Star Trek reruns I was watching, and I didn’t bother watching more than a few. When the Lost in Space movie came out, I really, really liked it (but thought that the casting of Matt LeBlanc was a misstep). They went dark instead of campy, and Gary Oldman was brilliant in the role of a diabolical, non-ridiculous Dr. Smith. I also really liked the plot of that movie, and I think it is one of the most undervalued SFF movies ever made.

    I hope that the series will be done in that vein as well, but I’m not terribly optimistic.

  7. About Ada Palmer: I saw her at Balticon give a very entertaining talk where she had books that were old (pre 1800) and not rare and talked about them. I got the sense from that panel that she’s a really good teacher.

    Last year I heard her group Sassafras play and they came across to me as somewhere between filk and classical but very imaginative. I enjoyed listening to her and her colleagues.

  8. Mostly the “Lost in Space” movie didn’t make a lot of sense, IMHO, though I seem to recall it made more sense when I saw a big chunk of it a second time (I don’t believe I saw the whole thing, second time – just caught it on TV).

    [ETA: I haven’t seen it in so long, maybe I’m misremembering it not making tons of sense?!]

    I never really saw the original, super-campy TV show, except occasional snippets here and there in reruns (rarely a whole episode). I’d like something medium or dark, but not super-campy, for a new series.

  9. @Martin Wooster: A nitpick – it’s “Sassafrass” with two S’s on the end. (Yes, she knows that’s an incorrect spelling.)

  10. @Peer: “Title: Is this an Airplane! Quote I see before my eyes?”

    Blame me; I started it with the “white zone” title on the 18th.

  11. THE LOST IN SPACE film was lazy, cribbing the script from the first three-four shows of the original series.

    Mike: Since only two people were involved, I’d think more of Abbott slapping Costello in order to get the correct answer he wants to hear.

  12. @Robert Whitaker Sirignano–

    THE LOST IN SPACE film was lazy, cribbing the script from the first three-four shows of the original series.

    Yes, but the first 3-4 shows of the original series were not campy nonsense, but pretty decent, with Dr. Smith as a genuinely dangerous guy, not a ridiculous wannabe villain.

  13. Lis Carey: the initial season was good viewing for SF fans, but Irwin Allen began to request budget cutbacks. Since Johnathan Harris was a “guest star” and knew he could be bumped off, he shifted his mannerisms and began to insinuated himself into the show’s scripts. The show became something almost akin to Gilligan’s Island in Space.

  14. You want a serious take on Lost in Space, there’s always Bill Mumy’s song The Ballad of William Robinson, about a 42 year old Will Robinson still searching for a way home; mostly having given up, but still looking because it’s all he has left to live for.

  15. jayn said:

    How does an actor insinuate himself into a show’s scripts?

    He pulls an Erkel—a part that was intended for support (likely temporary) becomes popular through force of personality, so that the rest of the cast become supporting actors for his glory. An irresistible force. See also: Fonzie.

  16. Or a producer whose only real input into the writing is ‘ooh, that’s popular, let’s have more of that’ while holding the money. Writer collaboration can be coerced.

  17. Robert Whitaker Sirignano on February 23, 2018 at 5:50 am said:

    THE LOST IN SPACE film was lazy, cribbing the script from the first three-four shows of the original series.

    I’m…a little bit scared that you know that…

    But isn’t that more-or-less what a remake or reboot is supposed to do? I mean, if you want to make an original work, just make an original work.

    Anyway, lazy or not, it was a whole lot better than the worthless tripe it was based on. It’s not a great movie, but it’s something I could at least bear watching again if I had to. (Of course, it helps that Gary Oldman is on my “I’m not gay, except for…” list.) 🙂

  18. @Xtifr:

    I’m aware of (but haven’t watched any episodes of) the original series, so I knew the movie was a retread when I watched it. Still liked it just fine, and I thought casting Mumy as older-Will was a nice touch. Agreed that Oldman makes a good Smith, but that’s in isolation and not a comparison to the original.

  19. Yeah, I guess I’m not so surprised at that part–after all, I know it now too. (Though I’m not sure I’d mention the fact in public, since it suggests more familiarity with the show than I’d like to have or have people think I have.)

    It’s calling it a flaw that really confuses me. It’s extremely common, and so often works very well. (Especially once you factor in Sturgeon’s Law.)

  20. @Xtifr —

    Anyway, lazy or not, it was a whole lot better than the worthless tripe it was based on.

    Hey, I loved that worthless tripe back in the day!

    I probably watched most of the series in first-run, and I must have been the perfect age for it. Sure it was cheesy and silly, but it was a lot of fun. It did end up kinda losing its mind with boosting Smith and Will over everyone else, but still.

    My family **still** quotes lines from that show occasionally. 😉

  21. @Contrarius–

    Hey, I loved that worthless tripe back in the day!

    I probably watched most of the series in first-run, and I must have been the perfect age for it. Sure it was cheesy and silly, but it was a lot of fun. It did end up kinda losing its mind with boosting Smith and Will over everyone else, but still.

    Yes!

    It’s one thing to recognize, now, how bad it got all too quickly. But at the time? When my age was measured in single digits and not even Star Trek existed to show what sf on tv could be? And did I mention single digit age?

    I loved it.

    Then.

    And here in 370 C.E., the bad science is way harder to recognize.

  22. I admit I watched occasionally when it was on, and I was single-digit age. But even then, I wasn’t exactly impressed–I was starting to read “juvenile” SF by then, and the contrast in quality was dramatic.

    The fact that my parents were actively encouraging me to read “real” SF and openly scorned the show probably didn’t help my opinion of it. But by the time I’d reached my second digit, I had definitely managed to form my own low opinion of it. (Of course, by then Trek was out, which we all, gr’ups and kids, loved.)

  23. My dad was, at that point, a merchant marine navigator. He was away for months at a time. My mother found sf uninteresting, but my dad and I were welcome to enjoy it–but with my dad away, I had limited access to either his books or his opinions of books or tv shows for most of any given year.

    ETA: Just a few years later, along with enjoying better sf together, we were gleefully analysing all the weaknesses of the monster movies and Ed Wood-level at on Creature Feature on Saturday mornings. We were thrilled, and my mother appalled, when it became Creature Double Feature.

  24. I loved “Lost in Space”–the early episodes anyway. And I’d always bought the “Space Family Robinson” comics that obviously gave them the idea. And their ship was way cooler.
    But we weren’t allowed to watch it at first because the first episodes scared my little sisters. If only they’d stayed with that edgy quality.
    I loved all those shows–Time Tunnel; U.F.O.;Land of the Giants

  25. The owners of SPACE FAMILY ROBINSON sued, didn’t exactly win.

    And Billy Mumy was not in the LOST IN SPACE film.

    I just recalled the first three shows when I saw the film, but really had not seen them in decades.

  26. @RWS: “And Billy Mumy was not in the LOST IN SPACE film.”

    (checks IMDB)

    Huh. Somehow I thought he’d played Jared Harris’s role.

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