Pixel Scroll 3/10/20 We Are The Pixels, My Friend, And We’ll Keep On Scrollin’, To The End

(1) BULLISH ON JOCK. PropStore is holding an auction of alternate movie posters by Jock. In “Poster Boy”, “Mondo artist Jock talks us through five of his most impressive posters, all of which are part of the Prop Store Movie Poster Auction on March 26.”

Guardians of the Galaxy

This was an idea-led design choice. That technique of cutting out the bodies was more common in old ’50s and ’60s American magazine illustration. The goal with doing that was to elevate what would just be a drawing of the characters standing there into something that’s more design-led and more interesting.

There’s also a “Jock Q&A – In conversation with celebrated Mondo poster artist Jock”

How does your poster-design process start?
I think posters often work best if there’s an idea behind them, rather than just being an illustration of the characters in a cool position. For my most recent Star Wars posters, for example, I chose a scene from the films that we all know and love, but tried to present it from an angle that we haven’t seen before. The only thing about trying to come up with an idea is you can’t force it. You’ve just gotta kind of noodle and doodle until you maybe have an idea for something.

(2) A LITTLE NUDGE. The discussion here is an example of one of the social dynamics at work on the Hugo Awards. It begins with this tweet —  

(3) LIU ADAPTATION TO SMALL SCREEN. AMC has given a two-season pickup to Pantheon,  a sff drama from Craig Silverstein. The series is based on short stories by Ken Liu.

Written by Silverstein (Turn: Washington’s Spies, Nikita), Pantheon is set in a world where uploaded consciousness is a reality. The first season centers on Maddie, a bullied teen who receives mysterious help from someone online. The stranger is soon revealed to be her recently deceased father, David, whose consciousness has been uploaded to the Cloud following an experimental destructive brain scan. David is the first of a new kind of being: an “Uploaded Intelligence” or UI, but he will not be the last, as a global conspiracy unfolds that threatens to trigger a new kind of world war.

(4) SFF SHOW AXED. YouTube is moving away from scripted originals, and Impulse is a casualty.

…YouTube has canceled the sci-fi series Impulse after two seasons, making it the latest casualty in the video platform’s changing strategy for original programming. …

Impulse, developed by Jeffrey Lieber (Lost, NCIS: New Orleans) and with a pilot episode directed by executive producer Doug Liman, premiered in June 2018. It centers on 16-year-old Henrietta “Henry” Coles (Maddie Hasson), who has the ability to teleport but can’t control where she ends up. It’s based on a novel of the same title by Steven Gould.

(5) AND THESE TWO NEVER GOT ON THE AIR. Meanwhile, Disney has changed its mind about a planned Muppets revival, and scrapped a Tron adaptation before anyone even knew they were doing one. The Hollywood Reporter has the story in “Bob Iger’s Next Priority? Streamline Disney+ Development”.

In a sign of the challenges, Disney+ has developed then scrapped three original series in the past year: scripted comedy Muppets Live Another Day from Adam Horowitz, Eddy Kitsis and Josh Gad; Disney villains drama Book of Enchantment from Michael Seitzman; and, per sources, a never-announced Tron adaptation from John Ridley. Two other projects — TV series based on High Fidelity and Love, Simon — were moved to Hulu over their adult thematic content that executives weren’t comfortable showing on the family-friendly Disney+.

(6) YOU’RE FROM THE SIXTIES. One doesn’t have to travel too far back in time to run into certain problems: “Old episodes of Doctor Who streaming on BritBox stir up controversy” at Fansided.

Doctor Who is unique among current popular genre series in that it’s technically been around for nearly 60 years, officially kicking off on November 23, 1963….

And that can cause issues, because 1963 was a very different time, for television and the world in general. So was 1977, when Tom Baker was starring as the Fourth Doctor. That’s when the show aired the serial “The Talons of Weng-Chiang,” starring John Bennett acting in yellowface as villain Li H’sen Chang, a stage magician aided by Mr. Sin, a cyborg from the 51st century known as the Peking Homunculus.

Yeah, it’s bad. And did we mention that, in the serial, Chinese people are referred to as “inscrutable ch**ks”? It’s very bad.

“It is really hard to watch because yellowface is so unacceptable now,” said Emma Ko, a screenwriter and spokeswoman for British East Asians in Theatre and on Screen. “When you are somebody who was called a “ch**k” in your childhood, as I have been, it is so hard to hear that word and not feel immediately a trigger reaction of how wrong it is.”…

(7) DOING WHAT COMES SUPERNATURALLY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Michael Koryta and Alma Katsu on Horror, Craft, and Reinvention” at CrimeReads, horror novelists Koryta and Katsu interview each other on their new novels, Katsu’s The Deep and Koryta’s The Chill (written as by Scott Carson), as they ask each other about their backgrounds and how they ended up writing horror. Alma Katsu has lived in the Washington D.C. area and has been a guest at Capclave.

Alma Katsu: After establishing yourself in mystery and crime, I have to ask, what drew you to horror for The Chill? What was the appeal? Does everyone secretly—or openly—love horror? 

Michael Koryta: Love of the storytelling world where the past is encroaching on the present. A ghost story invites the past right in and treats it as if it never left. In my experience, that’s really how we live our lives—every move made in the present is shaped by memory, right? On individual and societal levels. The idea of kicking open a door that allows the past to wander in and be active is always appealing to me. For some reason, I’m particularly drawn to this when the natural world is involved in the story. The idea of turning on a faucet in Queens and receiving water that comes from a reservoir in the Catskills where once a town existed is both intriguing to me and fundamentally eerie. Drink up!

I don’t think everyone loves horror, which is a shame, because they should. A little paranoia is good for the soul. It seems so unimaginative to not be afraid of the dark.

What about you? Why are you writing for the warped minds like mine?

Katsu: I lived in a strangely Gothic world as a child. I grew up in a very spooky house in a spooky town in Massachusetts. The house was an old Victorian, long neglected, which meant it had all these period details that, being a Service brat, I’d never seen before. Pocket doors that disappeared into the walls, twisty stairs leading up to an attic filled with old trunks left by previous occupants. Overrun by mice, so the walls talked to you every night. Growing up in a house like that definitely cements the notion that the past is a frightening place.

(8) BLACK WIDOW FINAL TRAILER. Black Widow arrives in theaters May 1.

“At some point we all have to choose between what the world wants you to be and who you are.”

(9) POMERANTZ OBIT. Earl Pomerantz, a two-time Emmy winner who wrote and produced for such comedies as The Mary Tyler Moore ShowThe Cosby ShowTaxi and The Larry Sanders Show, has died. “Earl Pomerantz, Producer and Emmy-Winning Screenwriter, Dies at 75”. He wrote two episodes of Amazing Stories — “Fine Tuning” and “Mummy Daddy”.

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • March 10, 1978 Return from Witch Mountain premiered. The sequel to Escape to Witch Mountain, it was written by Malcolm Marmorstein and is based on were characters that created by Alexander Key who also wrote the novelization of the film. Ike Eisenmann, Kim Richards, and Denver Pyle reprise their roles from the first with Bette Davis and. Christopher Lee being the baddies here.  Neither critics (40% rating) or audience (50% rating) at Rotten Tomatoes were particularly fond of it. You can see it here.
  • March 10, 1995VR.5 premiered on Fox. It featured a cast of David McCallum, Anthony Head, Lori Singer and Louise Fletcher. It was created by Jeannine Renshaw. Executive producer Thania St. John stated that in press releases, “VR.5 will try to capture that same, creepy feeling of the X-Files” which was the lead-in to this series. It lasted a total of thirteen episodes with only ten shown in its first run. There is no audience rating at Rotten Tomatoes but the aggregate critic rating is very high 75%. You can see the pilot here.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 10, 1891 Sam Jaffe. His first role was in Lost Horizon  as the High Lama and much later in The Day the Earth Stood Still  playing Professor Jacob Barnhardt. Later on we find him in The Dunwich Horror as Old Whateley, voicing Bookman in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, playing The Old-Man in The Tell-Tale Heart, and in his last film, appearing in Battle Beyond the Stars as Dr. Hephaestus. John Sayles wrote the script oddly enough. (Died 1984.)
  • Born March 10, 1905 Richard Haydon. He’s here as he was in The Lost World, the 1960 film version, as Prof. Summerlee. He showed up in the same year in The Twilight Zone in “A Thing About Machines” as Bartlet Finchley. And he’d be Solicitor Herr Falkstein in Young Frankenstein. (Died 1985.)
  • Born March 10, 1918 Theodore Cogswell. He wrote almost forty science fiction stories, most of them humorous, and was the co-author of a Trek novel, Spock, Messiah!, with Joe Spano Jr. He’s perhaps best remembered as the editor of the Proceedings of the Institute for Twenty-First Century Studies in which writers and editors discussed their and each other’s works.  A full collection of which was published during 1993 except, as EoSF notes “for one issue dealing with a particularly ugly controversy involving Walter M. Miller”. (Died 1987.)
  • Born March 10, 1938 Marvin Kaye, 82. Currently the editor of Weird Tales, he has also edited magazines such as H. P. Lovecraft’s Magazine of Horror and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.  The Fair Folk anthology which is most excellent and which he edited won a World Fantasy Award.
  • Born March 10, 1958 Sharon Stone,  62. Damn, she’s the same age I am. She’s been in three genre films, her first being Total Recall where she played the ill-fated Lori Quaid. Her next was Sphere where she was cast as Dr. Elizabeth “Beth” Halperin, and last was in, errr, Catwoman where she was Laurel Hedare, an assassin. 
  • Born March 10, 1969 Paget Brewster, 51. She was Jenny Spy on The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, and most of her genre roles have been voice roles: Lana Lang on Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Lois Lane on Justice League: Gods and Monsters and Poison Ivy on Batman and Harley Quinn.
  • Born March 10, 1977 Bree Turner, 43. She’s best known for her role as Rosalee on Grimm. She also starred in the pilot episode (“Incident On and Off a Mountain Road”) of Masters of Horror. She was in Jekyll + Hyde as Martha Utterson. Confession time: I got through maybe three seasons of Grimm before giving up as it became increasingly silly.
  • Born March 10, 1979 Fonda Lee, 41. Her Jade City novel was a finalist for a Nebula Award for Best Novel and won a World Fantasy Award. Its sequel. Jade War, was published last year. And her Cross Fire novel was named Best YA Novel at the 2019 Aurora Awards for best Canadian speculative fiction. 

(12) COMICS SECTION.

  • Macanudo is making perfect sense interpreting a Philip Dick title!
  • Today’s Bizarro has everyone’s dream of heaven.

(13) LIVE LONGER, AND PROSPER. An AP newswire article about Congress trying to cope with the coronavirus situation included this interesting sidelight: “Lawmakers race to respond to outbreak; Trump comes to Hill”.

[…] Meanwhile, lawmakers were given new instructions on how to protect themselves at the Capitol, with the House’s attending physician asking them to stop shaking hands or touching people during greetings — he recommended the split-fingers Star Trek greeting instead.

(14) AMAZON’S LOTR ADAPTATION. Don’t let Yahoo! fool you – they don’t know when it’s going to air. They know some other facts, however — “The Lord of the Rings TV show release date, cast, trailer and everything we know so far about the Amazon Prime series”.

Slowly but surely, we’re starting to find out more about the Lord of the Rings TV show. Amazon’s series – the rights for which are rumoured to have cost the streaming service $250 million – may not yet have a release date, but there’s plenty of information out there: cast members, filming location, and news of a second season renewal have all been revealed.

Whether you’re a Tolkien diehard or someone who’s just eager to head back to Middle-Earth after watching the movies, we’ll break down what to expect from the Lord of the Rings TV show below. To Mordor!

(15) GET AN EARFUL. The GraphicAudio trailer makes Wasted Space, Vol. 1 sound pretty appealing.

Billy Bane is a prophet who got it all wrong, and the galaxy has been burning ever since. All he wants is to waste away in the darkest corner of space with his best pal Dust, a supercharged Fuq bot. But when a new prophet comes calling, Billy is summoned to save the galaxy he’s at least partially responsible for destroying.

Too bad he couldn’t care less.

Michael Moreci (Roche Limit, Wonder Woman, Black Star Renegades) and Hayden Sherman (The Few, Cold War, John Carter: The End) have thrown Philip K. Dick in a blender with Preacher. Take a sip and get wasted.

(16) AHMED’S LATEST. Coming from Marvel in June:

MARVELS SNAPSHOTS: CIVIL WAR #1

Written by SALADIN AHMED; Art by RYAN KELLY; Cover by ALEX ROSS

In the heart of the Civil War event, a human story unfolds. A S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, doing his best to do the job with honor—but is that even possible? A young, low-level Super Hero, trying to help his neighbors—but that’s not even legal any more. The two come together in a story that’ll test their commitment, ideals, hopes, and dreams.

Featuring Captain America, Giant-Man, Maria Hill, and more, Kurt Busiek recruits Hugo-Award-winning writer Saladin Ahmed and all-star Ryan Kelly to uniquely retell this iconic Marvel story.

(17) DON’T LOSE THAT NUMBER. [Item by Rob Thornton.] Evidently, speculative fiction is gaining traction within many music communities. William Gibson was asked by Wire Magazine, which is one of the leading underground music magazines (behind a paywall), to take part in the Invisible Jukebox and identify a series of recordings by ear alone.

Invisible Jukebox: William Gibson: Can the visionary science fiction author hack The Wire’s mystery record selection? Tested by Emily Bick…

Steely Dan

Kid Charlemagne

[(from The Royal Scam [ABC 1976]).  

“Kid Charlemagne. I have it on my iPhone.

You’re a real Steely Dan fan, right?

Yeah, I was a Steely Dan fan from the day the 45 “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” came out and continue to be this day. Lyrically, it was unlike anything I’ve ever heard, and it continues to be. Back in the later  80s I would be in the supermarket shopping. Sometimes I’d be the only male shopper, and “Hey Nineteen” would come on the Muzak. And so I’m listening to this, and looking around me are all these lovely young mothers, and I’m thinking holy shit, does nobody scan the stuff for what the lyrics mean, because this is the most deliberately sexually perverse and shocking material. Sometimes I hear younger people say, “Oh, Steely Dan. Everything’s been sanded off. It’s all smooth, it doesn’t sound like human beings are making it.” And then when you listen to the lyrics….

They got their name from a double-headed dildo, so you really can’t expect much else.

Yeah, that’s true. 

(19) DINO SAVINGS TIME. Gizmodo held a shell up to their ear, and guess what they heard?“Days on Earth Used to Be 30 Minutes Shorter, Ancient Shell Suggests”.

….That days were shorter tens of millions of years ago is hardly a revelation. The new study is important in that it improves the accuracy of pre-existing estimates, while providing a new way of studying the past.

“Previous estimates were based on counting daily laminae [growth layers] similar to the ones we did chemical analyses on,” de Winter told Gizmodo. “This [previous] counting yielded roughly the same number of days per year, but with different countings yielding differences up to 10 days due to human error and the difficulty in recognizing daily layers by eye.”

Key to the research was a single fossil shell belonging to Torreites sanchezi, a rudist clam. Now extinct, rudists were shaped like boxes, tubes, and rings, and they filled an ecological niche currently occupied by coral reefs. T. sanchezi grew very quickly as far as hinged, or bivalve, mollusks are concerned, exhibiting thin layers of daily growth rings.

(20) EVOLUTION IN ACTION. The satellite Pixel’d yesterday for its movie camera also does hot stills: “Anak Krakatau: Finnish radar satellite eyes tsunami volcano”.

Here’s a new view of Anak Krakatau, the collapsed Indonesian volcano that generated the 22 December tsunami that devastated local coastlines.

The picture was assembled from radar images acquired on Wednesday by the ICEYE-X2 satellite.

This is a small innovative spacecraft from Finland that will soon be part of a large orbiting network of sensors.

The volcano continues to evolve, following the cone’s catastrophic failure.

Its original height of 340m was reduced to just 110m in the disaster, but further eruptions have since begun to re-model the remnant structure.

“This image indicates the edifice is in a building phase, with the crater no longer connected to the sea as it was in images from a week or so ago,” observed Prof Andy Hooper from Leeds University, UK.

(21) ANOTHER STEP. “Second patient cured of HIV, say doctors”.

A man from London has become the second person in the world to be cured of HIV, doctors say.

Adam Castillejo is still free of the virus more than 30 months after stopping anti-retroviral therapy.

He was not cured by the HIV drugs, however, but by a stem-cell treatment he received for a cancer he also had, the Lancet HIV journal reports.

The donors of those stem cells have an uncommon gene that gives them, and now Mr Castillejo, protection against HIV.

(22) GENRE L.A. At CrimeReads, Katie Orphan goes to one of the last roadhouses in the L.A. area and visits the house where Mildred Pierce was filmed in“Searching for James M. Cain’s Los Angeles”, an excerpt from her book Read Me, L.A.: Exploring L.A.’s Book Culture.

… In The Postman Always Rings Twice, for example, the fictional Twin Oaks Tavern is at the center of much of the action. The story in Cain’s debut novel revolves around the tavern’s owner, Nick Papadakis (“the Greek”), his younger wife, Cora, and Frank Chambers, a drifter they hire to help out at the place; Cora and Frank get involved and conspire to kill the Greek. The Twin Oaks is a roadhouse in the mountains above L.A., with a gas station and motel joining a restaurant to make Papadakis’s little empire. Places like that were common in the 1930s and ’40s but aren’t today, so the few that are left are treasures. Newcomb’s Ranch is one of them.

Newcomb’s opened in what is now the Angeles National Forest in 1939, only a few years after Cain wrote Postman. It’s a cheery, ranch-style wooden building set among pines, on winding Angeles Crest Highway about an hour north of Glendale, where the Papadakises would travel to do their shopping.

Newcomb’s Ranch is a popular weekend destination for motorcyclists who stop for lunch after roaring up Angeles Crest Highway, and I enjoyed the drive up as much as they do. It’s a gorgeous journey into the San Gabriel Mountains; if you go in winter, you might be fortunate enough to encounter trees flocked with snow and low-hanging clouds settling around the peaks.

[Thanks to Rich Horton, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge, rcade, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, Daniel Dern, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Contrarius.]

32 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/10/20 We Are The Pixels, My Friend, And We’ll Keep On Scrollin’, To The End

  1. (11) I liked Marvin Kaye’s “The Incredible Umbrella” very much (I should read the sequel sometime)

    (13) I love this idea.

  2. 13) Sadly, my fingers never have been able to make the Live Long and Prosper gesture.

  3. (13) I was surprised to learn, when I was still young and relatively innocent, that not everyone can do the Live Long and Prosper gesture. One of a bunch of things that are genetically determined for no obvious reason.

    (21) And that rare gene was apparently selected for in an English village that closed itself off to outsiders when the Black Death arrived. The local lord arrange food deliveries near the village, which the villagers then collected after the people making the deliveries left. The quarantine lasted a year, and at the end of it, everyone who was still alive was either a survivor, or immune. That’s the gene that seems to be responsible for the tiny number of people who can’t get HIV.

  4. @Jeff Smith: According to (IIRC) one of Gerrold’s TOS books, the same was true of the actress who played T’Pau in “Amok Time” — she had to use her other hand (working below the camera frame) to push her fingers into place. Not long after TOS went off the air, I was told that a related movement (imagine making the symbol, then splaying index&pinkie while pressing ring&middle together — sort of a W — then reversing) was one of the measures for whether one could play the cello; I have never verified this.

    genre-related plague news: as of this morning, ACE Comic Con (20-22 March at the Boston moby exhibit center) was still on, but had published rules about contact with people signing autographs — and gotten the expectable whinging from fans expecting to give gifts, shake hands, hug for selfies, etc. (Story here , but may be paywalled.) This afternoon the governor declared an emergency — much too late, as the conference responsible for a serious outbreak broke up two weeks ago — so the convention may still get canceled outright.

    edit: Fifth!

  5. (17) Donald Fagen, the surviving member of Steely Dan and leader of the present-day touring group, writes that he was a Science Fiction Book Club member at age 12 (and accordingly received, as I did somewhat later, the two-volume Boucher-edited Treasury) and discusses Dick, Van Vogt, Campbell, Bester, et al. in the chapter “The Cortico-Thalamic Pause: Growing Up Sci-Fi” in his 2013 book Eminent Hipsters.

  6. 6) I understood that reference!

    @various: the version of the T’Pau story I heard/read/saw, provenance long vanished from memory, is that Celia Lovsky made as close a gesture as she could and they filmed from an angle that made not-together fingers appear together.

  7. 15) I generally despise GraphicAudio-type productions — give me the unabridged, unadulterated book, please! — but I can maybe see a place for them in rendering graphic novels.

  8. 11) Paget Brewster also plays Sadie Doyle in the “Beyond Belief” segment of the Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast series. If you haven’t experienced any of it yet, I highly encourage checking it out. The Doyles are a Nick-and-Nora Charles-like high society couple, but who are experts at dealing with the supernatural world (and drinking martinis). They’re amazingly funny.

    Here’s their Twitter feed

    And for a quick taste – here’s a short video explainer on You Tube.

  9. (11) Sam Jaffe also had appearances on Night Gallery and Buck Rogers. Plus an uncredited appearance on Batman. (I was thinking he did a window cameo on Batman, but a site that lists those 14 cameos says otherwise.) Also Quarantined which sadly may be topical now.

    It’s Jon Hamm’s birthday. He was in the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still which dovetails nicely with Jaffe. Also voice work in Minions and Shrek Forever After. Some appropriate TV work like Gabriel in Good Omens.

    It’s Chuck Norris’s birthday. I don’t think he’s done anything genre, but he’s almost become genre through the interwebs. My favorite Norris-ism was Chuck Norris is the only man who can slam a revolving door.

    (13) Like being able to roll your tongue or not. Maybe there’s a gene for that.

    (17) Made in Japan, too. It’s from William S. Burroughs Naked Lunch.

    There’s a mention of the expanding man in Deacon Blues and I wonder if that’s a reference to the Outer Limits Expanding Human episode (with James Doohan.)

    Rikki don’t lose that pixel. It’s the only one you scroll.

    They got a name for the losers in the world. I want a name when I troll. They call Alabama the Crimson Tide. Call me Pixel Scroll.

  10. 12) Always that PKD title. I guess there is less to work with with The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich, or with Ubik.

  11. @Jack Lint a logopaedist told me she can teach everyone to roll the tongue. She said its a myth that not everyone is able too. Not sure if true, but i still shared it 😉

  12. I’ve always loved the Theodore Cogswell story. “The Wall Around The World”. Also, and I did not know this until I looked at Wikipedia, he was an ambulance driver for the Abraham Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War.

  13. (6) It is worth noting that particular serial is set in Victorian London, where racial attitudes were even less acceptable to current-year analysis (shock! horror!) than those of 1977.

  14. @LisCarey: Despite the arthritis in my right hand, I’ve never had any problem forming the LL&P salute. However, I cannot form a fist, irritatingly preventing me from shaking one at the derivative and sub-par material passed off as Trek these days.

  15. (1) Jock wears many genre-related hats: he illustrated several SF comics series in 2000 AD, worked on some DC/Vertigo fantasy comics including Hellblazer and Swamp Thing (the latter is where I first heard of him— just a single issue, but I was like “holy shit who is that”), and has done a lot of movie concept art and design work including Dredd, Ex Machina, and Annihilation.

  16. 17) Since I didn’t want to take too much from behind the firewall, here are a few more facts from the Wire article featuring Gibson: Gibson and his wife had dinner with Steely Dan’s Walter Becker over the last 20 years and Gibson believes that the two Becker solo albums might as well “effectively be Steely Dan albums.”

  17. Budget result in the UK today, VAT is being dropped from (written) electronic publications from 1 December. Audiobooks will still be taxed at 20%.

  18. @David Shallcross

    “Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said” is excellent for charades, though.

  19. Just picked up, but have not yet started, Seanan McGuire’s Come Tumbling Down, the latest in the Wayward Children series. Will have more info and feedback in a few days. (This is my lengthy and, I hope, slightly more interesting way of saying “ticking the box.”) 🙂

  20. @Matthew Davis
    The one on the left is labeled “Torcon 3”, the other is labeled as “2006”

  21. Apropos of not much, I just got the Dubcon con program in the mail yesterday. I don’t remember getting previous con programs — did I?

  22. @Matthew —

    Those more familiar with the Hugos may be able to identify if they correspond to particular years’ designs.

    Per the auction’s photos, one is purported to be from Anaheim, California, 2006 for a novel called A Dog at the Gate, and the other is from “Torcon 3” for a vella called Wake Up.

    Oops, ninja’d!

  23. In re: Spock gestures:

    Heh.

    As an instrumentalist of many years, I may have an unfair advantage in terms of digital dexterity. Try this: do the Spoke gesture, then reverse it (middle two fingers together, first and last figures splayed outwards). Practice quickly moving from Spock to reverse back to Spock, over and over. Then practice doing that with both hands at the same time. It’s hard!

  24. @Matthew Davis ff: the trophy gallery from the official Hugo page confirms my reaction that both of those bases are way too plain to be recent Hugos. The “2006” looks like it might be 2004 with the rocket mounted directly on the base instead of connected by a tail of flames; “Torcon 3” looks a bit like a number of older ones (including a different LA trophy, for 1972), but the gallery pictures don’t seem to be enlargeable to tell whether there’s a match. The rockets look genuine (and from after 1983, when Peter Weston reworked the fabrication so they didn’t come out looking like they’d been through a meteor shower). Now I want to know where they came from (did somebody borrow a pair, or find some that shouldn’t have been loose, or make a convincing fake (seems too much effort), and why those years and bases were picked.

  25. @Contrarius: When I was a kid I taught myself to go that one better! I would do as you described…but with each hand in opposite parity. So if my right hand was LLAP, the left was the cello gesture. Then, simultaneously, I’d move the fingers of my left hand to LLAP while I moved the right to cello. Keep repeating. It was really hard to keep my hands from falling into doing the same gesture.

  26. Regarding “cinematic fakes:” The Hugo Awards Marketing Committee periodically gets requests from filmmakers for the use of the Hugo Award for reasons like this. I don’t remember this specific one, but it’s likely to be such a case. In general the HAMC authorizes it, although we also generally ask for an acknowledgement of the service mark in the credits. Such crediting is somewhat uneven. We also ask the people contacting us to tell us when the shows/films are being shown so we can promote it, but they rarely remember to do so.

    We also sometimes get requests to buy/borrow a trophy, and we end up having to tell them that no, we don’t have a storeroom full of trophy rockets sitting around for that purpose. I typically point them toward someone who I know has won a Hugo Award who is near where the recording it taking place so they can possibly look into borrowing the trophy, but there’s a hazard in doing so. John Clute told me that he loaned out his 1994 Hugo Award trophy but it never came back and he was never able to recover it, which is a pity.

  27. @David —

    @Contrarius: When I was a kid I taught myself to go that one better! I would do as you described…but with each hand in opposite parity.

    Yes! Been there, done that! 🙂

  28. Rob Thornton wrote: “the two Becker solo albums might as well ‘effectively be Steely Dan albums.'”

    Fagan’s Kamakiriad may not as well effectively be a Steely Dan album, but it sure do feel nice when I listen to it.

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