Pixel Scroll 3/19/19 The Society For Putting Broken Pixel Scrolls In Ponds

(1) A FAMILY AT WAR. Kameron Hurley backgrounds her new novel The Light Brigade in “The Big Idea” at Whatever.

…I have stories like these and so many others to share. I’ve used first-person accounts from soldiers – my friends, my family, and those I’ve collected through my research –to create the intimate, beautiful and horrifying world of The Light Brigade. In truth this book is less about predicting the future because so many aspects of this future are already here. Instead, it challenges us to rethink our present, and everything that comes after it.

(2) FROM CGI TO OMG. Camestros Felapton has finished watching the rest of the episodes and provides “Love, Death + Robots: A viewing guide” for prospective viewers.

I can’t recommend this series as a whole, there are just too many episodes that manage to be dull, ugly and offensive in one go. However, there are some gems and there are some episodes that are diverting if not great. Also, everybody’s taste in this stuff is very variable, so while I expect nobody is going to universally love every episode, the particular bad v good will be different per person.

The following is a list of my impressions and some aspects that you might want to know in advance if you want to just watch some episodes rather than the whole bunch….

(3) MARCH OF TIME. Through the catacombs and sewers — “A Three-Day Expedition To Walk Across Paris Entirely Underground”. Fascinating article.

The first person to photograph the underground of Paris was a gallant and theatrical man with a blaze of red hair, known as Nadar. Once described by Charles Baudelaire as “the most amazing example of vitality,” Nadar was among the most visible and electric personalities in mid-nineteenth-century Paris. He was a showman, a dandy, a ringleader of the bohemian art world, but he was known especially as the city’s preeminent photographer. Working out of a palatial studio in the center of the city, Nadar was a pioneer of the medium, as well as a great innovator. In 1861, Nadar invented a battery-operated light, one of the first artificial lights in the history of photography. To show off the power of his “magic lantern,” as he called it, he set out to take photographs in the darkest and most obscure spaces he could find: the sewers and catacombs beneath the city….

A century and a half after Nadar, I arrived in Paris, along with Steve Duncan and a small crew of urban explorers, with an aim to investigate the city’s relationship to its underground in a way no one had before. We planned a traverse — a walk from one edge of the city to the other, traveling exclusively by subterranean infrastructure. It was a trip Steve had dreamed up back in New York: we’d spent months planning, studying old maps of the city, consulting Parisian explorers, and tracing potential routes. The expedition, in theory, was tidy. We would descend into the catacombs just outside the southern frontier of the city, near Porte d’Orléans; if all went according to plan, we’d emerge from the sewers near Place de Clichy, beyond the northern border. As the crow flies, the route was about six miles, a stroll you could make between breakfast and lunch. But the subterranean route — as the worm inches, let’s say — would be winding and messy and roundabout, with lots of zigzagging and backtracking. We had prepared for a two- or three-day trek, with nights camping underground….

(4) MUSIC TO THEIR EARS. The Hollywood Reporter hears the cash register ringing: “Box Office: Charting ‘Captain Marvel’s’ Meteoric Rise Among Superhero Pics”.

The Marvel Studios and Disney tentpole finished Sunday — its 12th day in release — with $760.2 million in global ticket sales, besting the entire lifetime runs of numerous comic book adaptations, including Man of Steel, as well as passing up Wonder Woman overseas.

And its already become one of the most successful female-fronted properties in history at the worldwide box office, eclipsing all of the Twilight films and three of the four installments in The Hunger Games series.

(5) KEEP THOSE CONSPIRACY THEORIES COMING. The Wrap is only asking a question, y’know? “Is Danai Gurira on the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Poster Because Okoye Is the New Black Panther?”

Her inclusion on the poster is particularly interesting because she is the only character on it who hasn’t been seen at some point in one of the two trailers or the Super Bowl commercial. So why in the world would she be on the poster if she isn’t a key character in the film? The answer, we can’t help but think, is that she actually is a key character….

(6) DIGITIZING TOLKIEN FANZINES. Gary Hunnewell’s collection of Tolkein fanzines, now housed at Marquette University, is being scanned and transcribed. In January, William Fliss explained the legal policy guiding the digital publication of these fanzines: “The FellowsHub Journey Continues: An Adventure in Copyright”.

Navigating copyright for such a large and diverse print collection as the Tolkien fanzines is an adventure. The Hunnewell Collection at Marquette includes over 250 fanzine titles from 27 countries, ranging in time from the late 1950s to the turn of the century. The FellowsHub team consulted Marquette’s Office of the General Counsel (OGC) in developing a copyright strategy. Copyright law will prevent FellowsHub from publishing every fanzine in the collection. Deciding if FellowsHub can digitally publish a specific fanzine depends upon the publication’s age, country of origin, and the presence of a copyright notice somewhere on the document. To simplify matters, the team decided to begin by focusing only on fanzines published in the United States. Careful analysis with OGC of the complicated rules governing U.S. copyright led to the following plan of action:

· FellowsHub will proceed with publishing any fanzines from 1959–1989 that lack a copyright notice.

· Fanzines from 1959–1963 that bear a copyright notice will be researched to determine if the copyright was ever renewed. FellowsHub will publish any fanzines where copyright was never renewed. For those fanzines where copyright was renewed, the team will attempt to contact the copyright holders and seek permission to publish.

· For fanzines from 1964–1989 that bear a copyright notice, the team will attempt to contact the copyright holders and seek permission to publish.

· For any fanzines published after 1989, the team will attempt to contact the copyright holders and seek permission to publish.

Got all that? If not, the accompanying flow chart helps the FellowsHub team determine how it will handle a specific fanzine issue….

Zach B. tells about doing the handwork for the project in “Digitizing Fanzines on J.R.R. Tolkien”.

The last semester, I’ve worked side by side with the library staff to not only help to understand these fan-made products, but to preserve such so that they are not lost to the tides of time. Using Adobe Acrobat, their PDF reader and scanner, I have the ability to convert a whole page of one of these fanzines using the “Recognize Text” function and export it into a text file, allowing the page to be looked into further with clarity. Seeing as how these pages are 30–40 years old or older, many of them are either faded or handwritten, meaning Acrobat is unable to OCR everything, but since it automatically opens whatever it scans into a word document, I’m able to change any errors in translation and scanning.

(7) POINTY THINGS. Speaking of helpful flowcharts – Camestros Felapton is the first to explain Britain’s political crisis in terms I can follow: “Today’s Infographic: Brexit – next steps”.

With only days to go before the UK topples out of the EU onto the hard pavement outside the pub and wallows in its own vomit drunk on the heady liquor of confused nationalism, here is a helpful flowchart to show how the next events may progress….

(8) THE MOTION IS TABLED. The Guardian says it exists, however, it doesn’t sound like we’ll be reading it anytime soon: “Francis Spufford pens unauthorised Narnia novel”

“It’s not exactly my Narnia,” he said, “though there are bits of me in it. It’s my best guess as [to] what a conjectural CS Lewis might have written, if he had written another Narnia novel.”

The Stone Table follows Polly Plummer and Digory Kirke, who watch Aslan sing Narnia into being in The Magician’s Nephew, as they return to Narnia. Spufford said he was cautious in giving clues as to what happens in the adventure, but the novel “explains why there are four empty thrones in the castle of Cair Paravel, and where the Stone Table came from”.

Spufford said he was acutely conscious of his responsibilities towards Lewis’s creation.

“If you’re going to play with someone else’s toys, then you need to be very clear that they are someone else’s toys. You need to be clear that you’re not profiting by it, that it’s a homage that doesn’t tread on the toes of the real books.”

(9) MORE ON ELLEN VARTANOFF. Scott Edelman says the memorial is scheduled:


  • March 19, 1999 Farscape premiered on Syfy


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 19, 1926 Joe L. Hensley. Long-time fan and writer who was a First Fandom “Dinosaur” (which meant he had been active in fandom prior to July 4, 1939), and received the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award in 2006. Very impressive! His first genre fiction sale was the short story “And Not Quite Human,” published in the September 1953 issue of Beyond Fantasy Fiction. His co-authors included Alexei Panshin and Harlan Ellison. Though he wrote nearly fifty pieces of short fiction, and much of that is not genre, he wrote just one genre novel, The Black Roads. (Died 2007.)
  • Born March 19, 1928 Patrick  McGoohan. Creator along with George Markstein of The Prisoner series in which he played the main role of Number Six. I’ve watched it at least several times down the years. It never gets any clearer but it’s always interesting and always weird.  Other genre credits do not include Danger Man but comprise a short list of The Phantom where he played The Phantom’s father, Treasure Planet where he voiced Billy Bones and Journey into Darkness where he was The Host of. (Died 2009.)
  • Born March 19, 1936 Ursula Andress, 83. I’msure I’ve seen all of the original Bond films though I’ll be damned I remember where or when I saw them. Which is my way of leading up to saying thot I don’t remember her in her roles as either as Honey Ryder in the very first Bond film, Dr. No, or as as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale. Bond girls aren’t that memorable to me it seems. Hmmm… let’s see if she’s done any other genre work… well her first was The Tenth Victim based on Sheckley’s 1953 short story “Seventh Victim”. She also appeared in L’Infermiera, oops wrong genre, The Mountain of the Cannibal GodThe Fifth MusketeerClash of the Titans where she played of course Aphrodite, on the Manimal series, The Love Boat series and the two Fantaghirò films. 
  • Born March 19, 1945 Jim Turner. Turner was editor for Arkham House after the death of August Derleth, founder of that press. After leaving Arkham House for reasons that are not clear, he founded Golden Gryphon Press. (Died 1999.)
  • Born March 19, 1947 Glenn Close, 72. I had not a clue that she’d done genre-friendly acting. Indeed she has, with two of the most recent being Nova Prime in Guardians of The Galaxy, Topsy in Mary Poppins Returns and voicing Felicity Fox in the animated film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. Before those roles, she was Aunt Josephine in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Blue Mecha in A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Madeline Ashton in Death Becomes Her
  • Born March 19, 1955 Bruce Willis, 64. So do any of the Die Hard franchise count as genre? Even setting them aside, he has a very long  genre list, to wit Death Becomes Her (bit of macabre fun), 12 Monkeys (weird shit), The Fifth Element (damn great), Armageddon, (eight tentacles down), The Sixth Sense (not at all bad), Sin City morning (typical Miller overkill) and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (yet more Miller overkill). 
  • Born March 19, 1963 Neil LaBute, 56. He’s the writer/director of the Wicker Man remake and the creator of just renewed for a fourth season on Syfy Van Helsing series. He’s one of the Executive Producers of The I-Land series starting soon on Netflix.
  • Born March 19, 1964 Marjorie Monaghan, 55. JoJo on all six episodes of Space Rangers. My brain keeps insisting it lasted longer. She also was on Babylon 5 as the Mars Resistance leader during the Earth Alliance Civil War, where she was known as Number One. She’s also appeared on Quantum Leap, in the cyberpunk Nemesis film, in The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy film, on Andromeda series and on The Great War of Magellan film. 
  • Born March 19, 1976 Nicholas Stoller, 43. He is known for co-writing (with Jason Segel) The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted (with James Bobin). 

(12) RIVETING ADVENTURE. “HBO challenges Game of Thrones fans to find 6 iron thrones hidden across the globe”, SYFY Wire reports on the contest but doesn’t seem to know what you get when you find one.

For the Throne! As the epic series Game of Thrones nears its conclusion, HBO is offering fans the chance to play. And the good news is, you don’t die if you don’t win. 

As part of its #ForTheThrone campaign, HBO has launched a treasure hunt whereby fans seek out six iron thrones that have been hidden across the globe, and its up to astute and observant fans to figure out where they were based on carefully-hidden clues. HBO posted a picture of an Iron Throne replica on its Instagram page along with a message suggesting fans “Seek the Weirwood in this Kingdom on Earth.” 

(13) INNER SPACE. A Phys.org article reveals “Dormant viruses activate during spaceflight”.

Herpes viruses reactivate in more than half of crew aboard Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions, according to NASA research published in Frontiers in Microbiology. While only a small proportion develop symptoms, virus reactivation rates increase with spaceflight duration and could present a significant health risk on missions to Mars and beyond.

NASA’s rapid viral detection systems and ongoing treatment research are beginning to safeguard astronauts—and immunocompromised patients on Earth, too.

“NASA astronauts endure weeks or even months exposed to microgravity and cosmic radiation—not to mention the extreme G forces of take-off and re-entry,” says senior author Dr. Satish K. Mehta of KBR Wyle at the Johnson Space Center. “This physical challenge is compounded by more familiar stressors like social separation, confinement and an altered sleep-wake cycle.”

(14) DONTINVITEMS. Australia told Milo Yiannopolous to stay home after provocative comments on Facebook: “Milo Yiannopoulos banned from entering Australia for tour after massacre comments”.

Conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos will no longer be allowed to travel to Australia for a tour later this year following comments he made on the mass shooting in New Zealand. Australia’s minister for immigration, citizenship and multicultural affairs has banned him from entering the country for the tour. 

“Yiannopoulos’ comments on social media regarding the Christchurch terror attack are appalling and foment hatred and division,” David Coleman said in a statement Saturday. 

“The terrorist attack in Christchurch was carried out on Muslims peacefully practicing their religion,” Coleman said. “It was an act of pure evil. Australia stands with New Zealand and with Muslim communities the world over in condemning this inhuman act.”

Coleman didn’t specifically state which of Yiannopoulos’ comments he was referring to. But the former Breitbart journalist posted on Facebook Friday that attacks like the one in Christchurch happen “because the establishment panders to and mollycoddles extremist leftism and barbaric alien religious cultures.” 

Yiannopoulos defended his comments. “I explicitly denounced violence,” he later said in another post. “And I criticized the establishment for pandering to Islamic fundamentalism. So Australia banned me again.” 

(15) SERIES GETS HIGH MARX. Martin Morse Wooster, our Designated Financial Times Reader, reports from behind the paywall –

In the March 15 Financial Times, Tom Hancock discusses “The Leader,” an animated series about Karl Marx currently airing in China.

“For the past month, a cartoon spectre has been haunting me.  With brown flowing hair, impossibly large eyes and a heroic V-shaped chin, the hero of “The Leader” would fit into any animated series.  But rather than romance or adventure, this hero pursues another goal: the liberation of the proletariat. The hero’s name:  Karl Marx.

The series (episodes, which have been viewed 5M times online) is part of a state-backed initiative to promote Marx to young people in China…

…”The Leader,” however, does put the class struggle front and centre, portraying the young Marx clashing with government censors over newspaper articles about labour rights, praising a workers’ uprising in Silesia, and calling for the abolition of private property. The ironies have not been lost on viewers, who can write comments to scroll over the cartoon as it plays. When Marx’s university threatens him over his activism in one episode, a user comment scrolls by — ‘Peking University Marxism Society’–referring to the group at the centre of the recent real-life crackdown.”

(16) GOODER VIBRATIONS. “Massive U.S. Machines That Hunt For Ripples In Space-Time Just Got An Upgrade”NPR has the story.

Scientists are about to restart the two giant facilities in the United States that register gravitational waves, the ripples in the very fabric of the universe that were predicted by Albert Einstein more than a century ago.

Einstein realized that when massive objects such as black holes collide, the impact sends shock waves through space-time that are like the ripples in water created by tossing a pebble in a pond.

In 2015, researchers made history by detecting gravitational waves from colliding black holes for the first time — and this was such a milestone that three U.S. physicists almost immediately won the Nobel Prize for their work on the project.

Since then, physicists have detected gravitational waves from other exotic smashups. The grand total is 10 pairs of black holes colliding and a pair of neutron stars crashing together.

Now they’re getting ready to discover more of these cosmic events. On April 1, the twin facilities in Louisiana and Washington state that make up the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory will start doing science again after being shut down for more than a year so that workers could install hardware upgrades.

(17) KEYBOARD WARRIOR. This one really is — “Hated and hunted: The perilous life of the computer virus cracker making powerful enemies online”.

Fabian is world renowned for destroying ransomware – the viruses sent out by criminal gangs to extort money.

Because of this, he lives a reclusive existence, always having to be one step ahead of the cyber criminals.

He has moved to an unknown location since this interview was carried out.

…All of the victims mentioned above were hit with some form of ransomware. But the Hong Kong businessman didn’t lose his job and the photographer and head teacher were able to recover their work.

None had to pay any money, and once they’d got their lives back in order, all sent emails of thanks to the same person.

He’s a man who has devoted himself, at huge personal cost, to helping victims of ransomware around the world. A man who guards his privacy dearly to protect himself, because for every message of gratitude he receives, almost as many messages of abuse come at him from the cyber criminals who hate him.

In fact, they hate him so much that they leave him angry threats buried deep inside the code of their own viruses.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Scott Edelman, Mlex, Chip Hitchcock, StephenfromOttawa, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, JJ, Brian Z., and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day, that fan of papier mache ULTRAGOTHA.]

54 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/19/19 The Society For Putting Broken Pixel Scrolls In Ponds

  1. (11) Bruce Willis discovers he’s an indestructible superhero in M Night Shyamalan’s movie Unbreakable (2000), a character he reprised in Split (2016) and Glass (2019).

  2. (11) Patrick McGoohan has a key role in Scanners (1981), as the scientist whose research creates a group of telepaths (and a franchise). One of his Columbo tv movie appearances, Identity Crisis (1978), includes heavy nods to The Prisoner, including his character (a former CIA agent) telling the detective “Be seeing you.”

  3. 3) More than twenty years ago, I had the chance to visit the Paris catacombs on a guided tour. It was a memorable experience, though the friend I persuaded to go with me didn’t particularly care for the skeletons and skulls.

  4. (11) Ursula Andress also played a major role in the La Strega episode of the Boris Karloff-hosted Thriller from 1960.
    Minor correction: that was Meryl Streep as the voice of Felicity Fox, not Glenn Close.

  5. (12) when I read “6 Iron Thrones”, I momentarily thought they were forged from golf clubs.

  6. though the friend I persuaded to go with me didn’t particularly care for the skeletons and skulls.

    Well, why did they bring along one of each, then?

  7. She only disliked them, when they were out of the body and belonged to other people like long dead Parisians.

    As for Ursula Andress, she was also in the Italian film The Tenth Victim, an adaptation of a Robert Sheckley human hunting story. I don’t remember much of it except that The Million Game was much better.

  8. 3) One of the really good museums of Paris is the Sewer Museum, which also has free entrance. It gives a good idea of all changes that had to be done as the population kept growing. Highly recommended, but I do think it is closed for renovation this year. And of course I loved the catacombs.

  9. #8 — The Mary Sue had a good commentary on how when a man writes fanfiction, it gets all the oohs and ahs and oh how wonderfully creative his homage is. When women write fanfiction, it’s sneered at.

    This guy wrote fanfiction of Narnia. Call a fanfic a fanfic.

    Much of the stuff on the fanfiction archive sites are better written, have better plots and characterizations than ‘real’ fiction. I’m looking at Twilight, frex.

  10. Normally, I recognize where the scroll title derives from. This one has me flummoxed. Anyone care to fill me in?

  11. Broken Pixel Scrolls In Ponds is no basis for a system of government!

    3) I am suddenly reminded of Undermountain…

    11) The Prisoner never gets clearer but is always weird. Indeed.

  12. There is sun.

    And I have plans to see Captain Marvel today.

    (8) I hope we get to read The Stone Table someday. And yes, it’s fanfic. Call it that.

    (14) Poor baby Milo, unable to understand why blaming the victims of the violence for the violence would make people not like him and not want him around.

    (17) A hero for our times. Seriously.

  13. Cassy B. on March 20, 2019 at 5:32 am said:

    Normally, I recognize where the scroll title derives from. This one has me flummoxed. Anyone care to fill me in?

    If you are not familiar with the works of Flanders and Swann, you have quite a treat in store!

    Papier mache, eh? There are worse, if not more obscure, things have as a claim to fame.

    ETA: Paul, that’s a great mash-up! I think Flanders and Swann might have appreciated quite a bit of Python humor.

  14. @13: oh, great — and this right after the article in the December Discover (yes, even my periodicals have their Mt. Tsundoku) saying that cockroaches (especially after being force-evolved by pesticides) are so resilient it’s a wonder we haven’t found them on the ISS.

    @15: “barbaric alien religious cultures” — wait, is Islam supposed to be a gift from the Ancient Astronauts? Apparently he’s not a classicist despite his belief in the Good Old Days; otherwise he’d remember Terence’s Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum (“I am human, I consider nothing human alien to me.”) And as for “barbaric”: which religion’s participants are supposed to consume the flesh and blood of their incarnate god?

    @Steve Green: I was surprised at seeing McGoohan in Scanners, because the two roles I identified with him (Drake and Number Six) were both at odds with authority — but according to the credits for his stage appearance in Pack of Lies, most of his roles were pro-establishment; his playing Edward I in the debatable Braveheart is of a piece with this.

  15. #8

    This guy wrote fanfiction of Narnia. Call a fanfic a fanfic.

    He also wrote a pretty good skiffy-scented novel about Soviet-era economic planning:

    Red Plenty (Seminar)

    Given Spufford’s professed Christianity (he wrote another book about that, Unapologetic) I’m betting he did a decent job taking up where C.S. Lewis left off with Narnia.

  16. (6): You left out the good part, where Zach shows he has no knowledge of fandom or fanzines: “they used to have monthly magazines, called fanzines or zines for short, developed by multiple publishers up until the late 1990’s…”

    A student, he didn’t bother to explore the subject or try to understand what he was digitizing.

    This reminds me of when the University of Iowa started digitizing Rusty Hevelin’s fanzine collection and thought that comics from Marvel, DC, etc., were fanzines, because they were in the piles of stuff they got. Oops, wrong!

    I notice, BTW, the collection includes Bruce Pelz’s FAPAzine I Palantir, which probably didn’t have very much Tolkien content.

  17. (11) Additions for Mr Willis, part two: the science fiction half of Grindhouse, also released separately as Planet Terror (2007); the android thriller Surrogates (2009); the time travel yarn Looper (2012) and the charmless Westworld rip-off Vice (2015). And how can we forget his starring role in the Twilight Zone adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s “Shatterday”, which kicked off the 1985 relaunch? For completism, G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013) reveals his character was the original “Joe”.

    @Chip: You should check McGoohan out in All Night Long, an updating of Othello set in 1962 London’s jazz scene with PM as Iago.

  18. (11) The first Ursula Andress role that always comes to mind for me is the title role in She. Based on the novel by Rider Haggard, it is definitely genre and also stars Peter Cushing and Cristopher Lee.

  19. Ursula Andress also had the title role in the 1965 film adaptation of Rider Haggard’s She. (Ayesha is immortal, with magical powers – I think that’s genre enough, I honestly do.)

  20. Cora says As for Ursula Andress, she was also in the Italian film The Tenth Victim, an adaptation of a Robert Sheckley human hunting story. I don’t remember much of it except that The Million Game was much better.

    Yep I noted that one.

  21. The logical extension of today’s title is:

    So watch the wall, my darling, while the pixel men scroll by

    Or did that come up when this was originally suggested?

  22. Jack Lint on March 20, 2019 at 9:36 am said:

    Or did that come up when this was originally suggested?

    Actually, this came from a Twitter post by the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) asking for boring pics of English countryside. To which someone posted a photo of a dead mattress, and then I posted part of the lyrics of that song.

    I then figured it would be a cool Pixel Scroll title and posted it here.

    You should all give yourselves a gift and check out MERL’s twitter feed. It’s a joy.

  23. I just came back after watching Aniaraand… it was a very unique experience. The bleakness and despair on a spaceship filled with thousands of people, knowing there isn’t really any hope and that they are trapped in a giant coffin. It is more a slice of life of one of the passengers than anything else.

    Parts of the poem the movie is based on shows up here and there, but is orked into the story (apart from one short passage where the dadaism of part of the poem mashes horribly with a classroom situation).

    I like the interior design of the space ship which more than anything else looks like one of the passenger ferries riding between Stockholm and Finland. It gives the movie a different feel.

    If there are any complaints, it is that there are very few people you get to know and most of them on surface level.

  24. @Cat Eldrige
    Sorry, I must have missed that. I’m sick at the moment and sometimes miss things.

    Thanks for the heads up regarding Aniara. I like the idea that the interior of the spaceship is a little reminscent of a Baltic Sea ferry, which is not an aesthetic you’d see in a Hollywood movie, but one that’s instantly recognisable to Swedes, other Scandinavians and everybody who’s familiar with Baltic Sea (or North Sea, for that matter) ferries.

  25. Cassy B: The title is inspired by Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Paul’s variation above is closer to the actual movie line.

  26. 4) As far as Marvel conspiracy theories go, the current one geckoes by the ComicsGate/MRA/Alt Right crowd is that Disney was spending millions to buy tickets, to artificially inflate the sales figures if Captain Marvel.

    They’re also trying to set up Battle Angel Alita as a rival film to see instead, or rather the “proper female led movie” . Which would seem really weird, until one realizes that pretty much all of Alita’s actions in the film are centered around men…

  27. Techgrrl1972: #8 — The Mary Sue had a good commentary on how when a man writes fanfiction, it gets all the oohs and ahs and oh how wonderfully creative his homage is. When women write fanfiction, it’s sneered at.

    Just like cooking and male chefs?

  28. Techgrrl1972 says The Mary Sue had a good commentary on how when a man writes fanfiction, it gets all the oohs and ahs and oh how wonderfully creative his homage is. When women write fanfiction, it’s sneered at.

    And then those there’s those of us who don’t give a rats ass who writes fanfic as we don’t read it, period. Most of the Man-Kzin professionally written fiction comes off as badly written fanfic and that tell me as much as need to know about fanfic in general.

    I think your supposition at best is weak, at worse is fatally flawed by a lack of evidence. Show me proof that males writing fanfic are treated better both financially and in terms of the reviews they get, both from readers and from the press.

    Meanwhile I’m getting my latest round of antibiotics via my IV port that was put in yesterday. I get, I think, five rounds a day. The port feeds the drugs into a vein right near my heart.

  29. (11) I was going to say you’ve credited Glenn Close with a role that was actually played by Meryl Streep: Topsy in Mary Poppins Returns. Then I saw the above correction about Felicity Fox. As a matter of fact, only the Guardians role was actually Close, and every other role you list was Streep!

  30. @Mike Glyer

    Or sewing and fashion designers. There are a lot of examples of women’s hobbies being treated with respect and financially rewarded primarily when men do them.

    @Cat Eldridge

    Most of the Man-Kzin professionally written fiction comes off as badly written fanfic and that tell me as much as need to know about fanfic in general.

    No, it doesn’t tell you anything, not least because that’s badly written. Some fanfic is bad, because some of all writing is bad. But if you like anything by Naomi Novik, or Seanan McGuire, or Foz Meadows, or any of a number of other excellent professional writers around currently — congratulations, you’re reading the results of years of honing their craft writing fanfiction. Some of them still do in their spare time. If anything, Novik continues to produce more individual fannish works than she does pro works. Fanfiction isn’t for everyone, it has its own distinctive tropes and foibles and is essentially a genre in and of itself, but it is not, in any way shape or form, universally badly written. You don’t have to read it or appreciate it, but it deserves just as much respect as any other form of fannish work, creativity, and community.

    I hope your treatment is going well.

  31. Some fan fiction is of very high quality: “March” (a Little Woman fan fiction) won the Pulitzer, “Catherine, Her Book” (Wuthering Heights) is by a noted scholar and professor, and of course “A Study in Emerald” (Holmes) won a Hugo. It’s been quite a while since I’ve read Man-Kzin Wars stories, but a recall enjoying a few of them quite a bit (though some of course were dire).

  32. I thought Spufford’s Christianity book, Unapologetic, was very strong in places. I have a copy and will likely reread it. His rather intellectual memoir of childhood reading, The Child That Books Built, makes it clear that the Narnia books were very important to him: “… from the moment I first encountered The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to when I was eleven or twelve, the seven Chronicles of Narnia represented essence-of-book to me. They were the Platonic Book of which other books were more or less imperfect shadows. For four or five years, I essentially read other books because I could not always be re-reading the Narnia books.”

  33. @Cat Eldridge
    I understand that my port will come out next year, if all goes well – the chemo people like to leave it in for a year after the last scheduled infusion, just in case. It definitely beats needles in the arm. (Mine, the little tube goes around and over the collarbone and into a vein, the vena cava, I think. They were using ultrasound to locate the vein when they installed it, and I couldn’t see the picture, just hear them talking.)

  34. There’s some impressive fan fiction out there, and I can add more names to authors who started as fans: Susan R Matthews, and Doyle & Macdonald (the Mage Wars novels started as fan fiction).
    Try this one: https://archiveofourown.org/works/16924068 – “where the light is”, by gracieminabox. It’s part 16 of a series, most of which is shorter works, and there are some side stories also worth reading – try “and we run”.

  35. Sarah Rees Brennan, Lois McMaster Bujold, (loathe as I am to use her as an example, she was a fic writer:) Cassandra Clare, Rob (Robyn) Thurman, Vivian Shaw, Genevieve Cogman, N.K. Jemisin, Rainbow Rowell, Martha Wells, Karen Healey… Lots of pro authors out there who started out writing fanfic, many of them excellent.

    PS. I can’t edit the other post now, but “women’s hobbies” probably ought to have been “female-dominated hobbies” or something like that. Something that acknowledges the gender diversity.

  36. Meredith, I’m amused by the idea that female-dominated activities are lesser, somehow, than the same things done by men – women use the same tools, most of which are either sharp-edged or sharp-pointed, and do the same things (and frequently do them better).

  37. P J Evans says I understand that my port will come out next year, if all goes well – the chemo people like to leave it in for a year after the last scheduled infusion, just in case. It definitely beats needles in the arm. (Mine, the little tube goes around and over the collarbone and into a vein, the vena cava, I think. They were using ultrasound to locate the vein when they installed it, and I couldn’t see the picture, just hear them talking.)

    Mine only has to stay in through Summer has the antibiotics should be done by that time. It’s a stubborn infection but not, mercifully, on the scale of what you had. Right now I’m awake as I find it somewhat difficult to sleep in a hospital despite having a private room and damn fine nursing care.

  38. I was only needing it one week in three, so it wasn’t all that bad. The biggest problem in the next year (as far as we can tell now) is having to get it flushed out every couple of months, so it doesn’t clog. Call it maintenance….

  39. Kind of like how a humble computer keyboard is a symbol of pink collar drudgery in the hands of secretaries and clerical workers yet magically turns into a testosterone-laden weapon of war (which only men know how to use properly) once you install a few video games.

  40. Nick Perumov wrote a continuation of Lord of The Rings that became an enormous hit in Russia and has been translated to several languages. So writing fan fiction can be highly successful.

  41. @Jack Lint: I’m not sure how serious 19th-century-poem-about-real-~medieval pairs with satirical 20th-movie-about-mythical-5th, but it’s a cute title.

    @Cat Eldridge: the fact that Man-Kzin stories get pro publication suggests that the truth is at least not as far to one side as you suggest. I don’t read fanfic as a habit, but I’ve picked up a few recommended pieces and found at least two of them worthwhile: a story of elderly Susan Pevensey, and a novel showing By’s PoV during Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance.

    @Meredith: the fact that writers started by writing fanfic doesn’t mean the fanfic was good. There used to be a saying that anyone who wanted to be published first had to get a million words of bad writing out of their system; Niven once dedicated a book to the ancestor (the Doheny was involved in Teapot Dome, IIRC) who left him enough money that he could do this in a short time, writing full-time, instead of over several years.

    @Cliff: haven’t you noticed that the alt-right is what some of us call a reality-deficient community? My guess is that if you pressed them they’d say Disney is trying to impose a wimpy vision on the world (all those heroic ~princesses of recent decades!) and is desperate to make it look natural. I don’t know whether they’d go full-Bircher on you and say (in response to “Why is Disney imposing this vision?”) that Disney is secretly run by foreigners who want to sap US moral fiber, or come up with some even stranger notion.

  42. Re fanfic: Hell, even Ursula K. Le Guin wrote what I consider an affectionate Star Trek fanfic satire in her story “Intraship.”

    Also IIRC Thackeray wrote an “Ivanhoe” fanfic called “Rebecca and Rowena.” I got ahold of it and it was clear he was a total Rebecca fanboy who thought she and Ivanhoe were OTP Ment2Be and wrote it that way (sadly engaging in a bit of small-time anti-Semitism against Rebecca’s dad along the way.)

  43. Chip Hitchcock:

    the fact that writers started by writing fanfic doesn’t mean the fanfic was good.

    No, and there is plenty of fanfic dreck out there, too… and a lot of people who don’t hesitate to admit they’re writing wank-fic. But a lot of it really is up to professional level work, and nitpicking Meredith’s point the way you did seems only intended to prove fanfic is inferior, rather than being based on any actual knowledge you have about the actual fanfic work of the authors cited. (I know that Naomi Novik and Rachel Manija Brown’s fanfic is eminently readable, though the former sometimes involves specific tropes or themes that will not be to the tastes of all readers).

    The question of whether men get more prestige for writing fanfic is… muddied, and I am unconvinced. We don’t know the numbers on the gender split for “literary” rewrites (Wide Sargasso Sea and The Wind Done Gone, I believe are both female-penned.)

    And we don’t know how many people who did media tie-ins tried their hand at breaking into that field either because they had ideas that, if not endorsed by the company, would end up fanfic (or unwritten) versus how many were just known to be workhorse writers you could point at a project and say “Produce something readable” and they COULD. We don’t know how they were recruited, or presented themselves.

    Personally, I don’t especially think this particular instance is mock worthy because of anything regarding the author’s gender, but because the people who thought it made an interesting article seemed fully unaware of fanfic as an actual living genre, or of the many other writers who straddle the fanfic/professional lines.

  44. @ Chip – indeed, but sometimes it’s fun to read their ‘reasoning’ for why they think a particular thing. Seems to me pretty obvious that Disney is very concerned with turning a profit, so buying up tickets to its own shows seems counter to that. Unless it really is all a front for a conspiracy to sap moral fibre. (Not just US, though – they seem to have global ambitions.)

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