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 —


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


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


  • 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. Filemind, perhaps you can come to my aid:

    I do some beta-reading in my spare (ahahaha) time. I like to do it on my Kindle (Paperwhite), as that’s awesome for reading. And I comment as I read, and that’s great.

    But then I need to pull out the comments I’ve made, and copy them one by one to the Word document or Google Doc I’m actually returning to the author. And that’s a huge pain in the neck.

    Is there any way at all to go from “Personal Document on my Kindle (with lots of notes)” over to “Word file/Google Doc with notes and highlights in the same places”? That’d be a godsend.

  2. I have to admit to some pretty severe reservations about a Culture adaptation myself. Though unless it turns out to be truly horrible, and not just a horribly flawed adaptation, I’m sure I’ll end up watching it.

    As for a Lost in Space reboot….gaah! Why!? Just because everyone knows the phrase “Danger, Will Robinson!”, that doesn’t mean there was anything else in the show worth preserving or re-perpetrating. 🙂

  3. When you have a sinus infection, something that makes you laugh out loud hurts your throat and makes you sound like Muttley.

    I definitely recommend looking at 20), the game box art article. When I scrolled to #2, Roads and Boats, all I had was the upper portion of the box. I spent a lot of time contemplating the awfulness of the logo. Then I put the entire box on my screen. Full on Muttley!

    The animals on drugs! The sled dogs! So much awfulness.

    ETA: Fifth!

  4. @Standback – I don’t know the paperwhite, but Kindle for iPhones has an option called ‘My notebook’ that lets you see any passages you’ve highlighted or commented on and export them to email. There’s likely to be something similar. On mine, it’s the little icon that looks like a page with writing on it.

    ETA – Second Fifth!

  5. The Culture on TV. Wow. I’m not sure about that. TV can probably deal with the pets (humans) but how are they going to handle the Minds??

  6. @Maximillian: I can extract the comment file itself (there’s a text file titled “My Clippings” you can yoink out), but then I don’t have any way to re-associate comments with text in my word processor :-/

  7. I have difficulty imagining a Culture adaptation to tv working.

    Lost in Space works only as a memory from the 1960s. Attemptingbto force it to make sense in a modern remake will fail.

    Wish me sleep.

  8. I am quite enthusiastic about Culture novels being televised, but Consider Phlebas does have one of the most horrific sequences that I have ever read, even worse than Wasp Factory, and I have no wish to see that on the screen.

    Slight spoiler, but cannibalism is involved.

  9. Consider Phlebas is eminently filmable, because the Culture and especially the Minds are mostly off-screen. Post GoT, I think a straight adaptation could be a hit.

    The Player of Games Likewise, the Minds loom over the story but don’t really have speaking parts. Sarcastic drones are easy.

    Use of Weapons structure and big reveal would be difficult to follow on TV, I think.

    Excession, nope, I don’t see how you can film a bunch of colossal intelligent spaceships arguing.

  10. (13) somehow Christopher Eccleston has forgotten that twenty years ago he was playing Hamlet in a subtle run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds.
    First time I saw him I think.

  11. (6) DIAL M.

    Damian Walter is actually pretty optimistic in that article.

    (17) BOXING DAY.

    Now imagine Rocky shouting “Hadrian!”

    (Joke stolen from about a million people on twitter)


    I won’t swear to it being impossible, but I did look for something similar a while ago and get nowhere. The issue is that any program that could do that would also be extracting book text from your kindle, which is within striking distance of something Amazon Would Not Like.

  12. A lot of Banks’s cleverness is literary cleverness, and might not translate so easily to the screen… even something that’s (at first glance) a slam-bang actioner, like Consider Phlebas, has its problems – how do they handle Horza’s changing appearance, for instance?

  13. 5-6)
    Yeah, someone on twitter said that they thought Amazon’s the Culture was going to be their answer to Game of Thrones. I replied that I thought it was going to be their answer to Altered Carbon. But its not going to be easy to adapt as noted above by people like Steve.

  14. @Mark:

    The issue is that any program that could do that would also be extracting book text from your kindle, which is within striking distance of something Amazon Would Not Like.

    Ehhh. Maybe?

    Kindles support sideloading, by design. I’m only looking for this for text that are DRM free.

    A utility that takes an input .mobi or .epub file (non-DRM’d) and a MyClippings.txt file, and outputs a Word document… doesn’t sound hard, nor infringing on Amazon in any way. Might be overly niche, though 😛

  15. Calibre has been RTF friendly for years and I think modern versions will handle DOC or DOCX, but I don’t know how easy it is to get the comments file off the device and into the PC environment where Calibre could work on it.

  16. I’m recalling that some source (now lost in my mind) in detailing THE EARTHSEA adaptations, was that the producers wanted the story “to be more like Harry Potter…” instead of relying on the book’s integrity. So, when I read, “this show will be the answer to “Game of Thrones…” I’m only going to accept that it is to be rubbish.

  17. (2) Sadly, I bounced right off “Mother of Invention” when I got to the bit about a “genetic hybrid” of two monocots and two dicot species in completely different orders. If you have the Clarke’s Third Law ability to make a hybrid of species that diverged sometime in the late Jurassic or early Cretaceous, surely it would be child’s play to make it cleistogamous, so that it doesn’t make life miserable with “pollen tsunamis.”

    “In the Hard SF family, biology is the child who shows up at school with mysterious bruises and the occasional broken bone.” James Nicoll, right?

  18. 3) I always thought these kind of happenings were only done in movies, or the “Our Gang” shorts.

    14) The film version of TANK GIRL has been considered a dud. It didn’t do well at the box office In the USA because it wasn’t a film you could predict what was going on. I like it.

  19. Not noted yet is that in the new LiS The Doctor Smith is being regenerated as a woman. (Parker Posey.)

    The Culture: they might represent the minds through human-looking holograms, like was done in Altered Carbon.

  20. Robert Whitaker Sirignano on February 22, 2018 at 5:40 am said:

    3) I always thought these kind of happenings were only done in movies, or the “Our Gang” shorts


    This kinda sounds like you’ve never watched Bojack Horseman. In which case, watch Bojack Horseman.

  21. (20) “The uncanny peasants of Guildhall still say
    The piglet’s nose grew four whole sizes that day.”

    So I smile and say,
    When a pixel beguiles,
    Scrolls get in your files.

  22. My point was, one of the recurring characters was (possibly) 3 kids in a trenchcoat and a hat–and that it is a very good show. I noticed that one consisted of drawings and one didn’t.

  23. Okay, I’m really, really, really failing to see your point here, I didn’t realize that you had such a huge chip on your shoulder over mentions of animation. At no point in your original post did you say anything about the trope showing up in live-action vs. animated. So fuck me for making a recommendation of what I think is an excellent TV series.

  24. (17) ahem….Sextus Gellius Iustus

    (19) After a great series and a pretty good movie, it will be interesting to see what Netflix can dream up. They have a pretty good batting average, IMO.


    I have my Goodreads account coupled to my Kindle account. My comments made via Kindle (iOS version) show up at Goodreads when I’m writing reviews.

    @Lis Carey

    Sleep…..sleep…..sleep….I am Sextus, the Hypnotist! Hope you smile and then you sleep.


    But mostly a c4c because Barbara Hambly has a Meredith inspiring moment over on the Goodreads Deals page. There are a couple others that might be interesting as well. She has never disappointed me when I’ve picked up one of her books.

    Sextus Gellius Iustus
    Insert tag filled with wit, wisdom, and humour here…

  25. Just got back from watching Black Panther. Seeing a fabulous, long overdue Afrofuturist aesthetic onscreen was great. I also found much to enjoy as a movie which solidly balances its fighty bits, talky bits, funny bits and angsty bits, as well as providing escapist fantasy (Wakanda!) without shying away from showing what has been sacrificed in service of that fantasy, and questioning whether those sacrifices were really necessary.

    There were a few “hmm, really?” moments in the details of the worldbuilding (like, why does the main population centre need to look like a solarpunk version of any old high density city when they have the potential for really fast public transport and presumably don’t have to all live on top of each other to get the benefits of connectivity? Do they have some really regressive land rights policies or something?) but nothing that got in the way of the experience as a whole.

    Oh and minus points for the cinema STARTING THE FILM EARLY so we missed the first minute of the intro… I’m fairly certain the staff weren’t keen on staying up past 9 and wanted to get our inconvenient 7pm screening out the door as soon as possible…

  26. @Mark —

    The issue is that any program that could do that would also be extracting book text from your kindle, which is within striking distance of something Amazon Would Not Like.

    I don’t understand this statement. It has been possible (and very simple) to extract book text from Amazon through Kindle for Mac (or Kindle for PC) and Calibre for years. Why would extracting comment text be any more offensive than that?

  27. Use of Weapons structure and big reveal would be difficult to follow on TV, I think.

    Westworld kind of did it, though I’m not sure it added much in their case.

  28. Title: Is this an Airplane! Quote I see before my eyes?
    20) That was a fun read. I have to say I have some worse ones though. (Just check Eine Frage der Ähre on Boardgamegeek.com and tell me that wouldn’t be top ten material. Or Mushroom Eaters)

    I was scrolled by a pixel and struck by lightning at the same time.

  29. Robert Whitaker Sirignano on February 22, 2018 at 9:44 am said:

    I do not understand where the anger is coming from.
    I’ve been watching animation since 1954. I’ve been a fan of much animation.
    I’ll just leave it that


    See, my position is that all the anger has been coming from you.

    Let’s recap: You mention that you are mostly familiar with the “stacked people in a trench-coat” meme from Our Gang and from movies. I mention that it sounds like you might not have seen Bojack Horseman, and suggest that you watch it. Then you pointed out that Our Gang was live action and that Bojack wasn’t–which was both something that I already knew and a total non-sequitur given that at no point in your original post did you make any sort of statement about the relevance of animation vs. non-animation that would have made that distinction in any way relevant. When I replied to that, you gave another non-sequiter about people not surviving anvils.

    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.

  30. @Contrarius

    I was typing without benefit of caffeine. I think I had a point in there, but frankly it’s not worth the effort to retrieve.

  31. @Mark —

    Now just put yourself in my shoes. Caffeine free for more than 20 years, and struggling through every second of it! 😉

  32. Just noticed that Alastair Reynolds latest Elysium Fire has dropped.

    A belated sequel to The Prefect which is one of my favourite in the Revelation Space milieu. Apparently Prefect is now to be re-published as Aurora Rising for some reason.

    Looking forward to that one, now do I hit that first or Persepolis Rising

    Scrolls are for Pixels and Contemplation.

  33. Over on Twitter someone has created the Institute of Gremlins 2 Studies, a sort of postmodern consideration of the best movie of 1990. For instance:

    The Gremlins put their amusement before all else, but they also lack an individualistic notion of the self. When the Gremlin guzzles down Spider DNA, are they being loyal to some fixed notion of self? No. In spontaneity they overcome the anxiety that paralyzes the modern subject.

  34. There was a GREMLINS 2? My brain has spared me from retaining that knowledge. The first one, with all the fakey-looking puppets that yanked me out of any suspension of disbelief, was as if someone had said, “What was the best thing about CADDYSHACK? The gopher, groundhog thing! Let’s just make a movie about a bunch of those! How could it miss?”

  35. @John – That (literal) fake news is terrifying.

    @Anybody – Is Use of Weapons the one where the big reveal involves… furniture? If so, I’m *still* a bit scarred by it. Can’t picture how they’d handle that on TV.

    Sadly, Excession is the one I liked the most, but *only* if they leave out the entire side-plot about the ship’s pets.

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