Pixel Scroll 3/15/18 Yon Pixel Has A Lean And Hungry Look

(1) LUCAS MUSEUM. NBC Los Angeles was there for Wednesday’s ceremony: “George Lucas’ $1 Billion Museum Breaks Ground in Exposition Park”.

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts in Exposition Park is beginning to take shape in Los Angeles’ Exposition Park area.

Filmmaker George Lucas and wife Mellody Hobson were at a groundbreaking Wednesday for the $1 billion museum. The museum will house works by painters such as Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer and Pierre-Auguste Renoir; illustrations, comic art and photography by artists such as Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and N.C. Wyeth; as well as storyboards, props and other items from popular films. It will be a “barrier-free museum” where “artificial divisions between `high’ art and `popular’ art are absent,” according to the museum’s website.

“It will be beautiful. It will be 11 acres of new parkland here,” Hobson said. “Everyone always wonders why we are doing so much to make this building stand out. George said, ‘I want an iconic building. I want a child to look at this building and say I want to see what is inside of that building.’ The building itself is a piece of art that will be in this park that we’re creating for this entire community and the world.”

The museum plans to feature a five-story building with 300,000 square feet of floor area for a cafe and restaurant, theaters, office space, lecture halls, a library, classrooms, exhibition space and landscaped open space.

Lucas told a CBS News interviewer:

Movies, including the “Star Wars” series, will be featured in exhibits showing what it takes to make a film, from set designs to character and costume sketches. There will be film storyboards and comic art. But the museum will also display paintings by Renoir, N.C. Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Maxfield Parrish and Norman Rockwell – all from Lucas’ private collection.

“I think more people will come in for Rockwell than will come in for ‘Star Wars,'” Lucas said.

“Norman Rockwell can tell a whole story in one picture,” Lucas said.

“When were you captivated by Rockwell?” Blackstone asked.

“When I was 8 years old… I wanted to be an illustrator. I wanted to be able to do that,” Lucas said. “I wanted to be able to do pictures that have a message that appeals to a lot of people.”

Art that tells a story inspired him to tell stories. That narrative art is what Lucas will share in his museum.

(2) ANNIHILATION. Camestros Felapton has eyeballed the evidence and delivered his verdict: “Review: Annihilation (movie 2018 – Netflix)”.

The film (which had a very limited cinema release in the US and then a Netflix release internationally) is a different creature than the book. Events have been changed, plot elements removed, characters adjusted and the structure of the story altered. All of which seems to have been a good idea. The film carries the same sense of paranoia and wonder as the book and the same theme of people trying to cope when confronted with the incomprehensible. However, it has been remade into its own thing – a story with its own structure and characters that shares DNA with the book but which follows its own course.

(3) HELP WANTED. Journey Planet wants contributors for a Star Wars theme issue —

Regular Editors Chris Garcia and James Bacon, joined by Will Frank, have set out to create an issue of Journey Planet dedicated to the legendary Star Wars Universe. The issue, set for a May 4th release, will look at the films, the universe, the fans, the books, the comics, the toys, the Irish Connection and the meaning of the greatest of all science fiction franchises!

We want to hear from you if you are interested in contributing. We have an instant fanzine and are soliciting pieces, from short pieces on the first time you saw the films, about your massive collection of Star Wars figures (Mint-on-Card, of course)

We already have a beautiful cover by Sarah Wilkinson.

Please contact — journeyplanet@gmail.com

Tell us what you’d like to write about. Then content submission Deadline is April 17th

And may the Force be with you!

 

(4) HAL/ALEXA. So how is this invention supposed to parallel the workings of HAL-9000 – by preventing people from getting back into their homes? The Verge tells us “This replica of HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey comes with Amazon’s Alexa built in”.

HAL-9000, the malevolent supercomputer at the heart of Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, is an icon of science fiction cinema. So much so, that if you ask any one of the virtual assistants to “Open the pod bay doors,” they’ll dutifully parrot HAL’s lines from the movie back at you. Now, Master Replicas Group wants to take that step a bit further, turning HAL into a virtual assistant that can control your home.

The company name might be familiar to prop and costume fans: the original Master Replicas produced a range of high-quality props from franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek before going out of business a decade ago. If you’ve seen someone swinging around a lightsaber, there’s a good chance it’s one of Master Replicas’ props, or based off of their models. The new company is made up of several former employees, who are getting back into the prop replica business with a new range of products, including an interactive replica of HAL.

This isn’t the first time that someone’s thought about putting HAL into your home’s smart devices: a couple of years ago, fan prop-maker GoldenArmor made its own version that allows someone to mount it over their Nest thermostat. MRG’s prop goes a bit beyond that. It recently obtained the license from Warner Bros. to create an exact replica of the iconic computer, and while most prop replicas are static recreations of a movie or film prop, this version is designed to be interactive, using Amazon’s smart assistant, Alexa.

A humorous video simulating “If HAL9000 was Amazon.com’s Alexa” has already gone viral —

(5) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • March 15, 1956 Forbidden Planet premiered.
  • March 15, 1967 Frankenstein Created Woman stitched together a story for the theaters.
  • March 15, 1972 Slaughterhouse Five was first released theatrically.

(6) IS IT VINTAGE? Mark Kelly considers the sequel to Dandelion Wine in “Ray Bradbury: FAREWELL SUMMER”.

RB provides an afterword to this book, also, in which he explains where this book came from. In the mid 1950s (several years after the successes of THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES and THE ILLUSTRATED MAN)  he submitted a manuscript to his publisher, Doubleday, for the book that became DW. But that original manuscript was too long and his editor suggested cutting it. RB quotes his reply (p210 in FS): “ ‘Why don’t we published the first 90,000 words as a novel and keep the second part for some future year when you feel it is ready to be published.’ At the time, I called the full, primitive version The Blue Remembered Hills. The original title for what would become Dandelion Wine was Summer, Morning, Summer Night. Even all those years ago, I had a title ready for this unborn book: Farewell Summer.”

With DANDELION WINE such an entrenched classic, it’s difficult to imagine how the content of FAREWELL SUMMER could have been incorporated into it. That would have been a completely different book. As it came to be, DW has a perfect story arc, across one summer in the life of a 12-year-old. Yet even as a leftover, on its own, FS is a quite different, a rather oddly amazing and moving, book.

(7) WHEATON MEETS SHATNER. In this video, Wil Wheaton acts out meeting William Bleeping Shatner when ST:TNG was in its second season.

The filming of Star Trek 5 happened only a few doors away from Star Trek The Next Generation, Giving Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) the chance to meet his idol William Shatner, it didn’t go as well as he had hoped…

 

(8) LAST-MINUTE CAMPAIGNING. We’re annually snowed under by award eligibility posts, but it’s strange to see them still arriving with less than 24 hours left to nominate, when voters no longer have time to read/listen to the person’s recommended body of work.

Lawrence Schoen urges consideration of his Eating Authors blog:

Every Monday morning*, since June of 2011, I’ve put out a blog post featuring authors and their most memorable meals. That’s more than 350 stories of incredible food, amazing dinning companions, astonishing circumstances, and remarkable settings.

And Crystal Huff points to a year’s worth of tweets:

(9) POOP HAPPENS. From Pitchfork we learn: “Neil Young Writing a Sci-Fi Novel Called Canary”.

Neil Young recently sat down with Rolling Stone’s Patrick Doyle to discuss his role in the upcoming film Paradox. In the midst of the interview, he opened up about the sci-fi novel he’s been writing. It’s called Canary, and Young said it focused on a power company employee who gets caught exposing the corruption at his workplace. “He discovers the solar company he works for is a hoax,” he explained. “And they’re not really using solar. They’re using this shit—the guy who’s doing this has come up with a way to make bad fuel, the bad energy, this really ugly terrible stuff, and he’s figured out a way to genetically create these animals that shit that gives the energy to make the [fuel]. So he’s created this new species. But the species escapes. So it’s a fuckin’ mess. It’s a long story.”

Young said he already has a New York agent on board with the project, but didn’t share a possible publication date. He also got candid when it came to the topic of retirement tours. “When I retire, people will know, because I’ll be dead,” he said. “I’m not gonna say, ‘I’m not coming back.’ What kind of bullshit is that? I could go out and play if I felt like it, but I don’t feel like it.”

(10) SHETTERLY. Are Will Shetterly’s and Jon Del Arroz’ situations alike? JDA evidently thinks so.

(11) YO HO NO. Fraser Sherman is teed off: “Books are too expensive, so it’s okay to pirate them. Oh, really?”

I have no sympathy for this crap. In the many years I did the struggling-writer shtick, I saw lots of books I couldn’t afford. I didn’t steal copies. I wouldn’t do it if I were still struggling. If it was a paper copy, would they shoplift it from Barnes & Noble if they thought it was overpriced? Or how about a restaurant — if the service takes too long (the “they don’t release it fast enough” argument), does that mean they’re entitled to steal food from the salad bar? Soft drinks cost a fraction of what they sell for, does that make it okay to steal them? Or movie tickets — lord knows those are outrageously priced, but does that justify sneaking in without paying?

(12) THE JEOPARDY BEAT. Rich Lynch says tonight’s episode of Jeopardy! included this answer:

A contestant got it right.

(13) GOT OBSIDIAN? “Changing environment influenced human evolution”: a site in Kenya is “the earliest known example of such long distance [25-95km] transport, and possibly of trade.”

Early humans were in the area for about 700,000 years, making large hand axes from nearby stone, explained Dr Potts.

“[Technologically], things changed very slowly, if at all, over hundreds of thousands of years,” he said.

Then, roughly 500,000 years ago, something did change.

A period of tectonic upheaval and erratic climate conditions swept across the region, and there is a 180,000 year interruption in the geological record due to erosion.

It was not only the landscape that altered, but also the plant and animal life in the region – transforming the resources available to our early ancestors….

(14) STORAGE WARS. That stuff sure looked familiar…. “Police: Marvel fan spotted his $1.4M collection for sale online”.

Police in California said two men were arrested on burglary charges after a man discovered his $1.4 million collection of Marvel super hero memorabilia for sale online.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office said the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department responded Feb. 22 to a storage facility where a man discovered his collection of Marvel collectibles had been stolen after he was made aware that some of his items were listed for sale online.

(15) LATE NIGHT NERDS. Joel Zakem spotted this TV highlight: “Steven Colbert talks to Paul Giamatti about Science Fiction and used book stores during the first 5 minutes of this interview from yesterday’s Late Show. It’s probably the only time you will hear Henry Kuttner and Avram Davidson mentioned on late night TV.” — “Paul Giamatti And Stephen Are Science Fiction Nerds”

‘Billions’ star Paul Giamatti gets some gifts or reading assignments from Stephen, depending on how you look at them.

 

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Joel Zakem, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, Cat Eldridge, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Owlmirror.]

95 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/15/18 Yon Pixel Has A Lean And Hungry Look

  1. JJ: Almost nothing in that tweet stream is actually eligible for Fan Writing.

    Suitable, perhaps, but the rule for Fan Writer is so incredibly vague (‘any person whose writing has appeared… in generally available electronic media’) that it’s hard to declare anything ineligible.

  2. @lauowolf: AFAIK, so long as the powers-that-be can identify exactly what you’re nominating, that’ll be fine. If you say (purely as an example) “Provenance by Ann Leckie”, that should be good enough; even “Providence by Anne Lickie” might let them figure out what you mean; “that cool thing with spaceships and stuff”, though, will probably defeat them.

    (There’s always things like ISFDB and Wikipedia where you can find the details, if you want to – I use them, except when they tell me something I like is technically ineligible, the big meanies.)

  3. lauowolf, as others have said, just put what you have and don’t stress out about it. The additional info is to let the Hugo Administrators disambiguate if you have typoes in your entry, or find an obscure work/author/artist if necessary. For the most part, author/title is sufficient. For big Hollywood releases, “Wonder Woman” or “Logan” (for a couple of obvious examples) is sufficient without any additional data at all.

  4. @steve Wright:

    That cool thing with spaceships and stuff

    You nominated that too? Cool. It was my second choice just after “that SF book I liked so much”

  5. @Ghostbird The thing about copyright though, is that it’s law, not ethics.

    Is there a generally accepted ethical principle that says authors deserve to get paid every time someone reads their books, rather than every time someone makes a new copy of their books? I’ve never heard of it.

    It may satisfy your personal sense of ethics to operate that way. That’s your business. My sense of ethics doesn’t require that. (And Hampus’s doesn’t require poor people to observe e-piracy laws, and Lis’s doesn’t require observing the DCMA. My own sense of ethics doesn’t jibe exactly with copyright law, either.) But that also shows why “ethics” is not as practical a code of conduct for society as “law” — your ethical code may be different than mine, which may be different than the author’s, which may be different than the publisher’s. But the law is the law, and applies to each of us, whether we agree with it or not.

  6. I think it’s great that Henry Kuttner and Avram Davidson got discussed on national television by two people who understood their significance!

  7. Thanks, all.
    Two eye procedures in and I am really much better, and will improve.
    I can read, though I tire.
    But fine print, and putting fussy things accurately into boxes that don’t have straight lines is just not fun right now.

  8. @Peer,

    Hah, I read your post and immediately thought of Polar Bear’s Cafe but then second-guessed because Panda doesn’t actually work at the restaurant. (He is a part-time panda at the zoo.) So I decided to wait and see if there was another, similar, anime to add to my queue.

    Overthinking it FTW 😉

  9. My fifth nomination was that one with the red cover. You know, the one with the AI….

    Cassy <grin>

  10. I have to admit, I havent watched it for a long time and remembered the details wrong. It only came back to me, after following stoic cynics link…

  11. The whole WS thing makes me kind of sad; I remember enjoying his fiction back in the Bordertown days.

  12. Wrong memories all around 🙂 I’m pretty sure now it was Dawn Incognito’s posts I was remembering…

  13. So those of you who are nominating Ursula Vernon’s Hugo Acceptance speech, “An Unexpected Honor” aka “Whalefall” — what category are you putting it in? I currently have it in Best Related Work, but I could see a case to be made for “Dramatic Presentation Short Form”.

    Thoughts?

  14. Has anybody invited Colbert or Giamatti to SF Conventions?
    Sounds like they’d have a blast.

  15. Cassy B: There’s precedent for nominating an acceptance speech for DPSF (The Drink Tank), though it was somewhat controversial at the time. (And before that there was Gollum’s speech at MTV awards, which actually won – though that was obviously created as a dramatic presentation.)

  16. You know, I have room in both; should I nominate it in both places? Or is that wrong?

  17. Cassy B,
    I’d say it depends on if you’re nominating it for the text itself or the delivery of the speech.

  18. @Stoic Cynic: I have never seen or heard of “Polar Bear Cafe,” but it sounds amusing. 😉 As you say, probably @Dawn Incognito’s recs.

  19. Libraries are a hallmark of a civilized society. A society without libraries is barely a step above pure barbarism. For over 30 years, during the peak of my professional career, I didn’t visit a library once–but I regularly donated to my local libraries anyway. Libraries are just that important, in my opinion.

    And if you accept libraries, it’s hard to formulate a rational argument against used book sales. As several people have pointed out, the authors do get paid–in both cases. Once per copy.

    (Contrariwise, if your only goal is to maximize author income, why stop at payment for every reader? Why not pay for every read? <sarcasm>Anyone who re-reads a book without sending more money to the author is stealing, right?</sarcasm>) 😀

  20. Meredith Moment (sans dragons, sadly):

    Darkwalker (Nicholas Lenoir #1 of 2) by E.L. Tettensor is 99 cents in the U.S. from Ace (uses DRM). It sounds like a dark-fantasy mystery. The main criticism I see is that the protagonist is very unlikable. Anyone tried it?

    Happy Hugo Nomination Closing Night! 😉

  21. I read Darkwalker. I finished it but didn’t feel any desire to read the second book. I can’t remember much about it but I think the mystery was interesting, while the character and voice didn’t work for me.

  22. Re:libraries

    New Zealand also has a PLR. Though I haven’t used my local library in years, when I was younger & poorer, they helped to support my reading habit. Now, I just buy the books I want to read.

    I think that’s the crux of it, that libraries sustain readers & in the long term end up supporting the publishing industry because when library patrons are more well-off and want to own their own copies of books, they’ll buy them. And if they don’t, well the author already got paid for the library purchasing that lending copy & in countries that participate, some monies are generated from the PLR programme.

  23. I don’t think I have heard of many authors, at least those traditionally published, who have much bad to say about libraries and used book stores.

    Some of the issue with e piracy can also be scale. At least one author has done an experiment that explicitly demonstrated how many sales she’s lost to e piracy (linked in a prior scroll), and the number was big. I don’t think any author, even the few cranky ones who do dislike libraries, has ever successfully demonstrated the same thing of them. (Indeed I know they lead to sales, as someone who memorably hadn’t yet returned a book to the library when, on finishing it, I bought my own copy — in the days when my only source of cash was my allowance.)

  24. I wish to clarify what I said about DMCA.

    Parts of it are about actually protecting rightsholders in a digital age where copyright violation is all too easy.

    Parts of it presume to eliminate Fair Use in digital works without even saying that directly.

    In my capacity as an individual reader, I decline to recognize DMCA’s attempts to abrogate my Fair Use rights to read my books when, where, and how I choose.

    In my capacity as a librarian, I have always scrupulously observed every provision of it, and advise users of the DMCA restrictions if they appear to be contemplating doing something that violates it.

    It’s my belief that if you are, as a private individual, doing only things protected under Fair Use if the work were print rather than digital, your risk is as close to zero as anything that involves possible dispute between people. For organizations, though, even aside from the fact that the risk is proportionately greater, you’re not risking only yourself and your own assets. Don’t do it. That’s wrong.

  25. @Lenora —

    Some of the issue with e piracy can also be scale.

    What Lenora said.

    Regardless of the technicalities of copyright law, the main issue ethically with “e-piracy” is scale. You can easily spread a single purchased file to thousands of non-paying readers through e-piracy sharing, but you’re unlikely to reach as many as a hundred by sharing a purchased dead-tree book around. In “ye olden dayes” when copyright law was originally formulated, we didn’t have to deal with this huge discrepancy between reader number and physical copy number — but now we do.

    The best parallel between dead-tree and e-book sharing would be if you put one purchased e-book on a Kindle and then shared the KINDLE around. You wouldn’t have actually copied the file — you would be sharing the physical repository of the words just as if you were sharing a physical used book. But, of course, very few people actually do that.

    Personally, I feel free to use Calibre to copy and reformat my purchased ebooks (and other software for audiobooks) however I like, and to put them on whatever devices I like — laptop, Kindle, phone, mp3 player, whatever. Technically, that is breaking copyright law — I’m making multiple copies. But I don’t share my ebooks or audiobooks around except for within family. Which gets back to the issue of scale — how many people are you sharing those files with?

    We just haven’t quite caught up to all the implications of new tech in our ethical or legal thinking yet.

  26. The DMCA is a big, complex law, and as a result, it’s no real surprise that there are good parts and truly horrible parts.

    One of the worst parts is the way it tries to legislate that bad encryption is effective. So if I try to warn an author that their idiot publisher is using rot13 for DRM, I can be arrested. As far as the law is concerned, rot13 must be treated as if it were just as effective as the latest elliptic curve encryption. And I’m the criminal for pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes.

    That’s not the only thing wrong with the law, but it’s definitely one of the worst.

    Contrarius on March 17, 2018 at 9:07 am said:

    Personally, I feel free to use Calibre to copy and reformat my purchased ebooks (and other software for audiobooks) however I like […]. Technically, that is breaking copyright law — I’m making multiple copies.

    In the US, at least, the copying involved in time shifting and format shifting for personal convenience is fair use as long as you maintain control of all copies. (And as long as no decryption is involved, which would trigger the bad parts of the DMCA.) This was established originally by Sony v. Universal back in 1979, and has been upheld for newer technology a few times. The precedent is pretty clear.

    Things are much more unclear in the rest of the world, I admit.

  27. Xtifr, In the US, at least, the copying involved in time shifting and format shifting for personal convenience is fair use as long as you maintain control of all copies. (And as long as no decryption is involved, which would trigger the bad parts of the DMCA.) This was established originally by Sony v. Universal back in 1979, and has been upheld for newer technology a few times. The precedent is pretty clear.

    The difficulties is that if I want to read a book that I bought from Amazon on my Kobo, I *have* to decrypt it. Or if someone wants to read a book from Barnes and Nobel on their Kindle. Or If someone simply wants to maintain their book library in a readable format. (Anyone remember “lit” format? Someone elseweb recently put out a frantic call asking how to decrypt their .lit books because Microsoft stopped supporting it years ago and the only computer they could read them on was about to die….)

  28. @Xtifr —

    (And as long as no decryption is involved, which would trigger the bad parts of the DMCA.)

    And, of course, decryption very often is involved.

    Calibre is my friend.

  29. Yes, DMCA purports to make Fair Use a crime in the digital environment. My judgment is, for genuine Fair Use in one’s private holdings, fuck that.

    “Sharing” a digital file, though, really does create serious piracy risk, so think a dozen times before doing it.

  30. Yes. Personally, I prefer to get DRM-free e-books because I can format-shift without breaking stupid US-specific laws. But when that’s not an option, those of us in the US are indeed somewhat screwed, and I certainly have no criticisms of those who break the letter of the law (and decrypt) while sticking to its spirit (not making copies except to shift for personal use.)

  31. “Online piracy” can also be used as an excuse by a writer for why they aren’t making more money when it is entirely possible that they never would have been making money in the first place. In an ebook forum I used to frequent, there was a guy who had decided that he was going to write books to make money to supplement his retirement savings. But nobody was buying his self-published books, and he blamed it on piracy (there was a 1,000-ish book torrent that contained a plain text copy of one of his books) and constantly ranted about piracy stealing money from him. He wanted piracy protections to be as draconian as possible, advocating for every ebook sold to be fingerprint locked to the single individual who bought it (this was before fingerprint readers showed up on smartphones.) He could not accept the fact that one of the reasons his self-published books didn’t sell was because he was a needle in a needlestack of self-published writers and the other reason his self-published books didn’t sell was because he was a lousy writer.

  32. @Darren: the first rule of Dunning-Kruger club is that nobody knows they’re in Dunning-Kruger club….

  33. @Chip Hitchcock: Heh, I am going to steal that. (Or pirate it, if you prefer.)

    Consider yourself officially warned. 😀

  34. Xtifr: it’s not mine originally (and I doubt it was original to the person I heard it from). Feel free to spread it.

  35. @ Ghostbird

    I basically agree, but I think I’m more skeptical than you about the ethics involved here. Most money from book sales goes to the publishers, distributors, and retailers, but we generally frame piracy as harm to the authors.

    From my view, framing the issue in terms of whether the piracy harms publishers/distributors or authors more is simply part of the process of adjusting our ethics to justify our actions. Why should a publisher’s right to be compensated for their labor be less important than an author’s? (Even aside from the fact that if the publishers and distributors are unable to stay in business due to piracy, that directly hurts the authors who rely on them.)

  36. I buy a whole lot of books, but I have no respect for groups that lobbied for the DMCA. It’s a terrible, sometimes horrific, law and should never have been enacted. I respect Tor and Baen for refusing to treat their customers like thieves.

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