Pixel Scroll 3/27/20 The Software Responsible For The Captions Has Been Sacked

(1) GRANTS AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FOR CREATIVES. Jason Sanford’s updated “COVID-19 resources, info, and assistance for the science fiction, fantasy, & horror communities” includes a number of emergency funds open to writers and artists, along with info on genre conventions, freelancing and more.

(2) RESEARCHERS WANT MORE INTERVIEWS WITH TOLKIEN FANS. Robin Reid is asking for help to spread the word:

The link below leads to my Digital Tolkien class discussion about the Marquette Tolkien Oral History Project created and curated by Bill Fliss. This project is incredible effort to create an online accessible archive of interviews with Tolkien fans that consists of podcasts and transcriptions of the interviews for fan and academic meta. You can read all about the process at the link, but I’m asking for your help circulating the project information in fan spaces to generate more interviews. My sense is that Tumblr would be a great space to advertise it, along with some others, but I’m not in the least literate or comfortable in Tumblr (I tried it. I failed it). But if you all were willing to spread the information, it would be great!

(3) BEFORE THE TUCKER HOTEL. Now on the First Fandom Experience blog: “A Visit To Science Fiction House” (1939-40), from the papers of Donald A. Wollheim.

…The notion of a “Science Fiction House” emerged in New York fandom in the late 1930s and became real with the establishment of a residence in Brooklyn known as Futurian House. The story of that fabled abode is told in detail in the October 1939 and January 1940 issues of the Jim Avery’s M.S.A. Bulletin, the club organ of the Maine Scientifiction Association.

But Wollheim had already formed a vision of an idyllic communal living space for fans. This fictional history, sadly incomplete, is dated December 3 1937.  The post contains scans of his original three-page document.  Enjoy!

(4) ON THE ROAD AGAIN. [Item by Olav Rokne.] NME reports that Anna Taylor-Joy has auditioned (via skype due to Coronavirus) for a role in the Mad Max spin off Furiosa. The movie, which is set to film in 2021 is one of the productions that seems to have recently escaped development hell, as studios are gearing up for accelerated production schedules post-Coronavirus. “‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ spin-off ‘Furiosa’ reportedly in production”.  

Director George Miller is ready to return to the iconic post-apocalyptic world after the green light was given for shooting to take place in Australia this autumn, according to Geeks WorldWide.

(5) HALEGUA OBIT. Veteran pulp collector Mark Halegua died March 18 at the age 66. Murania Press’ Ed Hulse has an obituary for Mark on his blog: “Mark Halegua (1953-2020), R.I.P.” One of the highlights —

At the 1997 Pulpcon in Bowling Green, Ohio, I recognized Mark from the comic-book conventions and introduced myself. During our first brief conversation I learned he was a fan and collector of the “Thrilling Group” pulps edited by Leo Margulies and published by Ned Pines. He was compiling complete sets of The Phantom DetectiveBlack Book Detective (with his favorite character, the Black Bat), and Captain Future, among others. He liked hero pulps in general and also had a fondness for science fiction.

(6) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • March 27, 1957 X Minus One’s  “A Pail of Air”  aired. . A family are together in their nest. Everything is calm for the moment, but at any moment the mother could wake and start to ramble on about things that don’t exist anymore. Things such as the sun and grass. Or are things as they believe they are? Written by Fritz Leiber for Galaxy in December 1952, the radio script was by Pamela Fitzmaurice, with the cast being Ronald Liss and Eleanor Phelps. Daniel Sutter was the director. You can download it here.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 27, 1892 Thorne Smith. A writer of humorous supernatural fantasy. He is best remembered for the two Topper novels — a comic fantasy fiction mix of plentiful drink, many ghosts and sex. Not necessarily in that order.  The original editions of the Topper novels complete with their erotic illustrations are available from the usual digital sources. (Died 1934.)
  • Born March 27, 1901 Carl Barks. Cartoonist, writer, and illustrator. He is best known for his work in Disney comic books, as the writer and artist of the first Donald Duck stories and as the creator of Scrooge McDuck. He wrote The Fine Art of Walt Disney’s Donald Duck and Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge McDuck. He was one of the three inaugural inductees of the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. (Died 2000.)
  • Born March 27, 1942 Michael York, 78. I remember him in the Babylon 5  “A Late Delivery from Avalon” episode as a man who believed himself to be King Arthur returned. Very chilling. I also enjoyed him as D’Artagnan in the Musketeers films and remember him as Logan 5 in Logan’s Run. So what is on his genre list that really impresses you?
  • Born March 27, 1949 John Hertz, 71. Winner of the Big Heart Award at the 2003 Torcon. He’s quite active in the fanzine world publishing the Vanamonde fanzine. Four collections of his fanwriting have been published, West of the MoonDancing and Joking, On My Sleeve, and Neither Complete nor Conclusive. He‘s been  nominated for the Hugo for Best Fan Writer three times.
  • Born March 27, 1952 Dana Stabenow, 68. Though better known for her superb Kate Shugak detective series, she does have genre work to her credit in the excellent Star Svensdotter space series. The latter is available at the usual digital suspects. 
  • Born March 27, 1962 Kevin J. Anderson, 58. Ok, I’ll admit that I love first two Dune books and have only read the first four of them, so I’m puzzled what the market is for eighteen novels and counting that he and his co-writer have written that have expanded that universe. I mean he’s really, really prolific — he even co-wrote Clockwork Angels with Neil Peart, a novelization of Rush’s 20th studio album of the same name! 
  • Born March 27, 1971 Nathan Fillion, 49. Certainly best known for being Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds in Firefly verse. An interesting case of just how much of a character comes from the actor. In his case, I’d say most of it. He voiced Green Lantern/Hal Jordan in Justice League: DoomJustice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and Justice League: Throne of AtlantisThe Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen. Oh, and he appeared in a recurring role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Caleb.

(8) COMICS SECTION.

  • Lio begins Tolkien-inspired gardening.

(9) NOTORIOUS F.I.L.E.

(10) A HIGHER TECH PRACTICAL JOKE. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Be sure to follow the link to the Facebook post. It will take you to the page where the Chain Chomp is being sold. Anchor one to the floor just inside the bathroom door after everyone else has gone to bed…

(11) CLARION’S ONLINE OFFERINGS. Clarion West is offering a series of free online workshops.

Our amazing community of alumni, instructors, and friends has come together to create a robust and diverse offering. We have everything from one-hour presentations on specific areas of craft to week-long interactive workshops. There are also writing sprints to help you get words down on paper.

The workshop class list is here, and it can be found under Workshops -> Online Workshops.

We’re particularly excited to offer several teen workshops with the help of the Bureau of Fearless Ideas.

Registration opens at 12pm PST Friday, March 27th. It is first-come, first-served and most workshops are capped at 20 participants.

(12) YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE. Vox kicks off its list of “The 10 best movies you can now watch at home” with Bacurau, a film which some fans are seeking an eligibility extension for the 2021 Hugos:

Virtual theater listings for Bacurau are available on the Kino Lorber website. (You’ll receive a rental link, and the profits will help support the independent theater you select on the page.)

And here’s the Kino Lorber link — Bacurauwith description of the film.

(13) EATING THE FANTASTIC TIME CAPSULE. Scott Edelman invites listeners to time travel to 1995 as Geoffrey A. Landis and Yoji Kondo ponder the age of the universe in a flashback episode of the Eating the Fantastic podcast.

When I launched Science Fiction Age in 1992, one of the things I decided to do to deliver a different experience than other science fiction publications of the time was to have our science column be — not an essay by a single author — but a Science Forum. There was an occasional exception, but for the most part, from the very beginning, until the magazine shut down in 2000, I’d take science fiction writers who were also scientists out for a meal, we’d eat, we’d chat, and I’d record the results for publication.

A couple of years back, I realized that since I’d been eating in restaurants talking about the fantastic with science fiction writers, it made sense to repurpose what conversations survived for this podcast. And now, with the coronavirus making meals in restaurants either risky or impossible depending on your location, I thought it would be fun to share yet another time travel episode.

At the time of this conversation 25 years ago, Geoffrey A. Landis worked for Sverdrup Technology at the NASA Lewis Research Center and was named by Ad Astra magazine as a “cutting edge” theorist in the special issue on the “stars” of space. As an SF writer, Geoffrey Landis had won the Hugo Award for “A Walk in the Sun” and a Nebula Award for “Ripples in the Dirac Sea.” In the quarter century since, he’s won 2003 Hugo Award for best short story “Falling Onto Mars,” the 2011 Theodore Sturgeon Award for best short science fiction for “The Sultan of the Clouds,” and the 2014 Robert A. Heinlein Award.

A quarter of a century ago, Yoji Kondo, an astrophysicist, was the director of the geosynchronous satellite observatory IUE. The previous year, he co-organized and co-chaired the International Astronomical Union Symposium on “Examining the Big Bang” in The Hague. Under the pseudonym Eric Kotani, he had written five SF books, four with John Maddox Roberts and one with Roger MacBride Allen. Since that time, he published an additional novel with Roberts, as well as the Star Trek Voyager novel Death of A Neutron Star. In 2003, the Lunarians awarded him its Isaac Asimov Memorial Award. Sadly, Kondo passed away October 9, 2017.

We discussed how the idea of the universe even having a beginning is a relatively new concept, the way we choose between the many competing theories of its age, how the phrase “Big Bang” was a joke which stuck, the paradox of some stars appearing to be older than the universe itself, how a science fiction writer’s imagination might solve unanswered questions, whether knowing when the universe was born will help us calculate when it will end, and more.

(14) US SPACE FORCE. “US Space Force launches satellite after short delay”.

The US military’s newest branch has launched its first satellite, despite a short delay in the countdown.

A rocket carrying a US Space Force communications satellite lifted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Thursday.

An inaccurate reading on hydraulic equipment stopped the clock for 80 minutes before the issue was resolved.

US President Donald Trump established the Space Force, which is focused on warfare in space, in December 2019.

Lieutenant General John F Thompson, Commander of the Space and Missiles Systems Centre in California, explained why the launch was proceeding despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is a really, really important launch,” he said. “It’s the very first launch for the US Space Force.

“There are critical things, or mission essential things, that the US Department of Defence does every day. Even in the face of a global pandemic we must continue to perform mission essential tasks.

“[The satellite] supports the president and other world leaders with critical communications around the planet. This launch extends that communication into a timeframe beyond 2030.”

“US Space Force launches first national security mission”  [video].

The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The launch was delayed by an hour due to a ground hydraulics issue.

The public viewing area was closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.

(15) DIRECT ACTION. “Tesla donates hundreds of ventilators to New York”.

Elon Musk has promised to provide New York with hundreds of ventilators to help meet demand from the growing coronavirus outbreak.

The Tesla chief executive said the first batch of donated machines would be delivered later on Friday.

The ventilators were purchased from US government-approved manufacturers in China.

The mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio thanked Mr Musk on Twitter writing “We’re deeply grateful.”

“We need every ventilator we can get our hands on these next few weeks to save lives,” he tweeted.

The ventilators will be donated to hospitals in New York City and across New York state.

(16) FEAR ITSELF. Following up on a mention of him the other day, “Max Brooks Has Been Called The ‘Zombie Laureate’” is a clip of his appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2017.

‘Minecraft: The Island’ author Max Brooks explains the paranoid upbringing that led him to write about the undead.

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Michael Toman, N., Olav Rokne, Darrah Chavey, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Patrick Morris Miller.]

24 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/27/20 The Software Responsible For The Captions Has Been Sacked

  1. (7) York was the voice of Count Vertigo in a trippy Batman: The Animated Series episode. The Island of Dr. Moreau can safely be avoided. IMDB says he had an uncredited role as Ape #1 in Spaceballs. He’s played both Merlin (A Young Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court) and King Arthur (The Wonderful World of Disney – A Knight in Camelot). I liked him in the 1974 version of Great Expectations, but nothing genre there.

    Was curious about a listing of York in a straight to video movie called The Haunting of Hell House from 1999. Not related to either The Haunting or the Legend of Hell House. Actually a loose adaptation of Henry James The Ghostly Rental. Also stars Claudia Christian. Wikipedia says it was filmed on Roger Corman’s studio in Galway

    Great Pixellations

  2. (7) Dana Stabenow — I assume that should be “Kate Shugak detective series,” not “deceive series.” I know I read at least one of these, the one that was set on the same ship I took my Alaska cruise on, the Spirit of ‘98.

  3. I was a finicky comix reader when I was a kid, but one of the books I loved was Scrooge McDuck.

    I also loved Duck Tales the tv show (1980s incarnation).

    I don’t know how much Carl Banks had to do with the material but I’m happy he gave us Scrooge to have adventures with Huey, Dewey and Louie. It’s my Tintin, I guess.

  4. Carl Barks is one of my all-time favorites; even when I was young (and reading Disney comics published without any creator credits) I knew his stories were the highlights when they appeared.

  5. With reference to the previous scroll title: That chloroquine paper looks not merely slapdash but fraudulent, and is from an author with a history of similar behavior. This article quotes him as saying he doesn’t see the point in randomized controlled trials for infections disease treatment; he certainly doesn’t seem to have carried one out in this case.

    There are some drugs that look like they might help, and are being tested. But you can’t get your doctor to prescribe them, yet.

  6. (7) The last thing I saw Michael York in was the movie version of Cabaret (on Blue-ray, actually). But the only connection of that to genre is that one of the songs was reworked into a song in *Jophan!.

  7. Not genre (at least, not SF-genre), but we can see a young(er) Michael York this afternoon when TMC runs The Four Musketeers. A good way to spend a Saturday afternoon hunker-down.

  8. I really liked the Richard Lester-directed Musketeers movies. Have watched them many a time.

    Also have tried to come up with an explanation why I’m always more interested in what Oliver Reed is doing on the screen of any movie he is in than anyone else in the scene. Is it just me? Does he have some sort of nonverbal knack for stealing scenes?

  9. Mike Glyer on March 28, 2020 at 9:54 am said:
    Also have tried to come up with an explanation why I’m always more interested in what Oliver Reed is doing on the screen of any movie he is in than anyone else in the scene. Is it just me? Does he have some sort of nonverbal knack for stealing scenes?

    I think the same.

  10. I like the Lester Musketeer movies because they’re the right mixture of funny and serious. It’s a fine balance. We’ve discussed whether Help! is genre or not. Mouse on the Moon probably qualifies. Superman II is good. Superman III not so much. The complexity of the bombs in Juggernaut border on scifi, but it’s really just a thriller. I remember Robin and Marian was good, but it’s been about 40 years…

    No, for the Comte de la Scroll it is too little; for Pixel, too much.

  11. Nathan Fillion also played Captain Hammer in Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog., which won the 2009 Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.

    My wife, Suzanne Tompkins, works for Clarion West, so I hear from her that the online workshops are getting a heavy response, and from John D. Berry that Eileen Gunn’s workshop is already sold out. Probably many others are as well.

  12. @Andrew

    The only thing we have to Vir is Vir Cotto himself!

    As we say in Germany: 4 is the mindkiller

  13. Richard Lester was a wonderful director–I’m always willing to re-watch one of his movies. It doesn’t hurt that the Musketeers films had George MacDonald Fraser scripts. (Riddley Scott is another director I’ll follow just about anywhere. I’d happily spend an evening with The Duellists.)

    (I write “was” because while he’s still with us, he hasn’t directed anything other than Get Back since Roy Kinnear died on the set of The Four Musketeers.)

  14. “Also have tried to come up with an explanation why I’m always more interested in what Oliver Reed is doing on the screen of any movie he is in than anyone else in the scene. Is it just me? Does he have some sort of nonverbal knack for stealing scenes?”

    True! Apart from in Treasure Island where Charlton Heston steals all the scenes as Long John Silver.

  15. (I write “was” because while he’s still with us, he hasn’t directed anything other than Get Back since Roy Kinnear died on the set of The Four Musketeers.)

    Actually that was The Return of the Musketeers (based on Twenty Years After), filmed 15 years later than the first two films.

    It really was a tragedy–both for the loss of Kinnear, and the retirement of Lester.

  16. In re: Oliver Reed —

    The first person to scientifically analyze charisma will make a bazillion bucks, at least until the market catches up with them.

  17. @Vicki Rosenzweig: maybe most doctors won’t prescribe chloroquine — but I was reading over a week ago of shortages, or possibly overdraws which people worried would lead to shortages; this was/wouldbe a real problem for the people depending on it as an antimalarial. I don’t know whether that was just a blip or has spread.

  18. Chip Hitchcock says maybe most doctors won’t prescribe chloroquine — but I was reading over a week ago of shortages, or possibly overdraws which people worried would lead to shortages; this was/wouldbe a real problem for the people depending on it as an antimalarial. I don’t know whether that was just a blip or has spread.

    I don’t remember if it was one of the meds I was given while in Asia for the State Department in the Eighties as an anti-malarial aid but it may well have been as the time it’s given to be eliminated from the system is almost exactly when I got malaria after being back stateside. And I was told there was a good chance that I could develop malaria, so it wasn’t a complete surprise.

    Not the worst thing I’ve ever had — that’d be Cat scratch fever, but definitely not something I’d ever want to repeat. Certainly much worse than pneumonia which is just unpleasant.

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