Pixel Scroll 3/27/21 Listen, Do You Want To Know A Pixel, Do You Promise Not To Scroll?

(1) VENTURING BEYOND. In “Let’s talk about wonderful Indian science-fiction and fantasy novels”, Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Lavie Tidhar introduce Washington Post readers to an array of South Asian works.

Amitav Ghosh made history in 1997 as the first Indian author to win the Arthur C. Clarke Award, for “The Calcutta Chromosome.” But Ghosh is just one of many writers of must-read Indian science-fiction and fantasy novels. Thankfully, many of these books are becoming more available to American readers — let’s hope this trend continues.There are many traditions of science fiction in South Asia, in several languages. “Runaway Cyclone,” by the brilliant polymath Jagadish Chandra Bose, first published in 1896 and anticipating the concept of the “butterfly effect,” is one of the earliest examples of Indian science fiction. A fantastic introduction to the Tamil pulps is “The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction,” edited by Rakesh Khanna and translated by Pritham K. Chakravarthy. It really is a blast. A more recent anthology is “The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction,” edited by Tarun K. Saint, which includes several new translations….

(2) SIDE BY SIDE. [Item by Danny Sichel.] Music producer Andrew Huang has put up a video called “4 Composers Score The Same Show ft. Virtual Riot, Christian Henson, Tori Letzler, Mark Hadley”, which is exactly what the title implies: four different composers produce theme music for the intro sequence to a show about space exploration. As far as I can tell, “Spacetime” doesn’t actually exist. Not yet, anyway,

(3) ONCE AROUND THE BLOCK. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the March 24 Financial Times, gaming columnist Tom Faber discusses “pervasive gaming” or games that take place in the real world.

In 2004 a group of students at New York University developed Pac-Manhattan, a physical simulation of the 1980s arcade game which took the grid of streets around Washington Square park as it stage.  Five people dressed as Pac-Man and his neon ghost nemeses chased each other through the neighborhood, each communicating via walkie-talkie with a ‘player’ in a control room who gave advice on direction and speed.  Excited passers-by couldn’t resist joining in, tipping off the ghosts that they had just seen Pac-Man slip away down a side-road.

One player found Pac-Manhattan such a tough workout that he felt sick. It didn’t take long for developers to realise that video games could be beneficial in getting people to exercise in real life, perhaps best articulated in the ‘exer-game’ Zombies, Run!  This app turns your weekly jog into a gripping story of zombie outbreak as you listen to audio narratives that urge you to run faster to outpace the brain-hungry horde, pick up supplies for base camp, and unravel mysteries which include a cameo from writer Margaret Atwood.

(4) SHOULD DRAGON CON TAKE A STANCE? The discussion continues.

(5) A VERY BIG DEAL. After reading this Hollywood Reporter scoop, “George R.R. Martin Signs Massive Five-Year Overall Deal with HBO”, you might expect to see the streaming service renamed GRRM Max.

George R.R. Martin is founding a new content kingdom at HBO.

The Game of Thrones author just signed a massive overall deal to develop more programming for the network and its streaming service, HBO Max.

Sources say Martin’s contract spans five years and is worth mid-eight figures.

The news comes on the heels of a surge of Game of Thrones prequels being put into development. All told, the network has five projects based on Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy world in the development stage and one (House of the Dragon) that’s been greenlit to series.

The four-time Emmy winner is also developing for HBO the series Who Fears Death (an adaptation of Nnedi Okorafor’s award-winning 2011 postapocalyptic novel) and Roadmarks (an adaptation of Roger Zelazny’s 1979 fantasy novel), both of which he will executive produce.

(6) WHERE GOMER AND GOOBER TROD. So, it only took me 50+ years to notice this: “40 Acres” at Memory Alpha. (Hat tip to John King Tarpinian and Steven Paul Leiva.)

…The last time Star Trek utilized the backlot was for the filming of “The City on the Edge of Forever” on Friday 3 February 1967, where the “Mayberry” sets represented 1930 New York City. Several buildings and signs from The Andy Griffith Show can be seen in the episode, including Floyd’s Barber Shop.

(7) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • March 27, 1968 — On this day in 1968, Planet Of The Apes had it a full U.S. wide release after several smaller city wide openings. It was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. It starred Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly and Linda Harrison. The screenplay was by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling, and was somewhat based on Pierre Boulle‘s La Planète des Singes. It was not on the final Hugo ballot in either 1968 or 1969 for Best Dramatic Presentation, though it was met with critical acclaim and is widely regarded as a classic film and one of the best films of 1968. Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give it an 87% rating with over 117,000 having expressing an opinion! 

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born March 27, 1901 – Carl Barks.  If invention + execution + comedy isn’t the whole of greatness in comics – notice I presuppose there can be greatness in comics – it’s much, and that was Barks.  Will Eisner called him the Hans Christian Andersen of comic books, which CB’s work with Donald Duck would be enough to sustain: invented Duckburg, Scrooge McDuck, the Junior Woodchucks, the Beagle Boys, Gyro Gearloose, and the duck adventure stories.  Shazam, Inkpot, Disney Legends Awards.  Academy of Comic Book Arts, Eisner, and Hearst Cartoon Halls of Fame.  (Died 2000) [JH]
  • Born March 27, 1917 – Stanley Meltzoff.  A score of covers for us; outside our field, The AtlanticLifeNational GeographicThe Saturday Evening PostScientific American; became known for studies of marine life, particularly saltwater game fish.  Here is The Demolished Man.  Here is the May 55 Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.  Here is Revolt in 2100.  Here is The War Against the Rull.  Posthumous artbook Stanley Meltzoff.  (Died 2006) [JH]
  • Born March 27, 1935 – Race Mathews, age 86.  Founding member of the Melbourne SF Club, with Membership No. 1.  Went into politics, held Government office during Aussiecon 2 the 43rd Worldcon; read his speech here and here.  Later reflections on SF in Victoria, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 3.  [JH]
  • Born March 27, 1942 Michael York, 79. 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 on his genre list that really impresses you? (CE) 
  • Born March 27, 1952 Dana Stabenow, 69. 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. (CE)
  • Born March 27, 1953 Patricia Wrede, 68. She is a founding member of The Scribblies, along with Pamela Dean, Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Steven Brust and Nate Bucklin. Not to be confused with the Pre-Joycean Fellowship which overlaps in membership. Outside of her work for the the Liavek shared-world anthology created and edited by Emma Bull and Will Shetterly, there are several series she has running including Lyra (Shadow Magic)Enchanted Forest Chronicles and Cecelia and Kate (co-written with Caroline Stevermer). She’s also written the novelizations of several Star Wars films including Star Wars, Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Star Wars, Episode II – Attack of the Clones in what are listed as ‘Jr. Novelizations. (CE) 
  • Born March 27, 1962 – Kevin J. Anderson, age 59.  A hundred thirty novels, some with co-authors including wife Rebecca Moesta, a hundred eighty shorter stories; anthologies; essays, letters, prefaces, reviews; interviewed in ClarkesworldGalaxy’s EdgeLightspeedSF ChronicleVector.  Geffen, Golden Duck Awards.  Guest of Honor at Baycon 1999, Philcon 2004, Ad Astra 27, MidSouthCon 28, Rustycon XXX, Archon 34 (all with Moesta), OryCon 27, LepreCon 31, LibertyCon 26 – to name a few.  [JH]
  • Born March 27, 1969 Pauley Perrette, 52. Though she’s best known for playing Abby Sciuto on NCIS, she does have some genre roles. She was Ramona in The Singularity Is Near, a film based off Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Next up is the most excellent Superman vs. The Elite in which she voices Lois Lane. Let’s see… she had a recurring role on Special Unit 2 as Alice Cramer but I never watched that series so I’ve no I idea what it was. (CE) 
  • Born March 27, 1970 – Gina Ochsner, age 51.  A novel, two shorter stores for us.  Outside our field, stories in Glimmer TrainThe Kenyon ReviewThe New YorkerPloughsharesTin House.  Grub Street Book Prize, Shirley Jackson and Flannery O’Connor Awards, Kurt Vonnegut Prize.  [JH]
  • Born March 27, 1971 Nathan Fillion, 50. 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 I think. 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. (CE) 
  • Born March 27, 1981 – Liliana Colanzi, Ph.D., age 40.  Four short stories, one collection available in English.  Premio Internacional de Literatura Aura Estrada.  Co-editor of Latin American Speculative Fiction.  Teaches at Cornell.  [JH]

(9) COMICS SECTION.

  • Lio finds that “real” robots scoff at sitcom robots.

(10) FALCON 9 BLAZES BACK INTO ATMOSPHERE. [Item by rcade.] Video shot in Cannon Beach, Oregon, Thursday night shows the spectacular breakup of an object coming back to Earth as a girl asks, “Mom, are we OK?”

Ars Technica senior space editor Eric Berger reports that it was the second stage of the SpaceX Falcon rocket breaking up three weeks after the launch put 60 Starlink satellites in low-Earth orbit. “A Falcon 9 rocket making an uncontrolled re-entry looked like an alien armada”.

The entire mission was nominal, except for a problem with the rocket’s second stage. Typically, within an orbit or two of launching, the Falcon 9 rocket’s Merlin vacuum engine will relight and nudge the second stage downward so that it harmlessly re-enters Earth’s atmosphere into the Pacific Ocean. …

However, there was not enough propellant after this launch to ignite the Merlin engine and complete the burn. So the propellant was vented into space, and the second stage was set to make a more uncontrolled re-entry into the atmosphere.

(11) WRITING CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. John Scalzi is auditioning a sentence for his new book.

(12) LEFTOVER CANDY. [Item by Dann.] Mark “Minty” Bishop has a “10 things” video about the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  He managed to have most of his list be things that I had not already heard about this classic movie. “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

(13) PAN, TEXT AND MOVIE COMPARED. [Item by Dann.] The Disney Story Origins podcast has released a two-episode review of Peter Pan.  Author and podcaster Paul J. Hale compares the classic movie with the book and the play written by JM Barrie.  He, perhaps unwittingly but probably not, also provides some illumination on the Disney movie Hook.  As always, Paul provides an extensive bibliography for those that want to read a bit more.

(14) JUPITER’S LEGACY. SYFY Wire has revelations about a new series in “Mark Millar teases Jupiter’s Legacy at WonderCon 2021”.

Earlier this week, we reported on some quotes from Mark Millar about Netflix‘s upcoming television adaptation of his seminal comic book: Jupiter’s Legacy. Millar, who created the IP with artist Frank Quitely, teased the sheer scope of the show, stating: “The story starts in 1929 and runs until the end of time. It runs through all time and space and explains the mystery of human existence.” He also described the project as “the greatest superhero epic of all time.”

The show’s ensemble cast doubled down on that bold sentiment during a virtual WonderCon panel released Friday.

“I feel like this is the ultimate [superhero story] because it’s so detailed and you get to stay with these characters — with all their flaws — for over a hundred years,” said Mike Wade, who plays the role of Fitz Small/The Flare, the heart and soul of the world’s greatest team of heroes known as The Union. “It’s like an evolution of the genre. I don’t think there’s any going back after Jupiter’s Legacy.”…

Ben Daniels (Walter Sampson/Brain-Wave, older brother of Josh Duhamel’s Sheldon Sampson/The Utopian) added that there’s some real “gravitas” to the story. “It’s first and foremost a drama,” he said, “and then suddenly, we are superheroes as well. But it’s the drama of it all that is really strong … these characters are all shades of gray and it’s really exciting to see how that becomes a metaphor for America. But then it’s much more universal well … It feels really fresh and current. It feels like it could be written now with the state of the world.”

(15) A LITTLE MISTAKE. CrimeReads’ Olivia Rutigliano reminds everyone about “That Time Scientists Discovered a Creature in Loch Ness and Then Realized It Was a Sunken Prop from The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes”.

I just wanted to remind you all of the time, in 2016, when a Norwegian organization called Kongsberg Maritime sent a high-tech robot down into Loch Ness to scan the depths, and it sent back sonar scans of a creature that looked exactly like the Loch Ness monster. Sadly, very sadly, this turned out to be a model of the Loch Ness Monster built for Billy Wilder’s film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, which had accidentally sunk into the Loch during filming in 1969….

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “The Snyder Cut and The Power of Fandom” on YouTube, the Royal Ocean Film Society notes the Snyder Cut is the latest episode of fans demanding director’s cuts or continuing series (remember the campaign for Jericho?) but that the Snyder Cut fracas shows “there are more fans now and they’re louder than ever before.”

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Danny Sichel, Andrew Porter, rcade, Dann, Rob Thornton, John Hertz, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

62 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/27/21 Listen, Do You Want To Know A Pixel, Do You Promise Not To Scroll?

  1. @Cat Eldridge–

    I’ve never had to present an ID anywhere I’ve voted. But then I’ve always lived in states that were controlled by Democrats who believe in people actually voting.

    It is just the first time in new location; after that, you don’t need ID. And the ID required can be your license, or a utility bill, anything that provides evidence you actually live at that address–not the looney tunes nonsense the GOP is pulling to try to make it impossible for anyone who isn’t at least lower middle class to vote without jumping through hoops they can’t afford to jump through.

    I remember my mother, before she died in 2015, talking about some new voter ID law in one of the red states, that effectively meant a married woman would have to produce her marriage certificate to “resolve the discrepancy” between her birth certificate and her driver’s license. She said that if she had to do that, it would be a problem. She had a copy of her birth certificate, but would have to find out where to get a copy of her marriage certificate, because she hadn’t needed it in forty years. No, at least forty years.

    That’s the thing; the Republicans don’t want to prove identity, that you’re a legal voter. They want to exclude legal voters who wouldn’t vote for them.

  2. Georgia voter here. The ‘no food or drink’ item has gotten the most attention, so it’s kind of refreshing to see people citing some of the deeply insidious parts of this law. One of my least favorite is that it is now illegal for anyone – including the local elections board! – to send an unsolicited application for an absentee ballot. The voter must request the application, and the window for doing so is narrower. I’m also deeply worried about the vote counting requirements. All ballots must be counted by the day after the election. Oh, and once started, ballot counting may not be paused or suspended. This appears to be a route for throwing out uncounted ballots in the large, mostly Democratic counties around Atlanta. It’s scary.

  3. I do think it’s okay to ask voters to present an ID to go sure they are who they say they are. And it is not a big deal in Germany, because every citizen is required to have either a passport or an ID card anyway.

    However, when requesting an ID in countries like the US, which don’t have an ID card requirement, then any photo ID, whether driver’s licence, student ID or even a bus pass, should suffice. This whole nonsense about requiring birth and marriage certificates is just making people jump through hoops to keep them from voting. Also, not everybody has these documents at hand, because documents get lost in moves, fires, etc… My Dad doesn’t have a birth certificate, because his was lost in WWII shortly after he was born. My birth certificate is in my parents’ family book, a curious German custom to put a couple’s marriage certificate and the birth certificates of their children in a book. This regularly causes problems, when the children are grown and need their birth certificates for something.

  4. Cora Buhlert say I do think it’s okay to ask voters to present an ID to go sure they are who they say they are. And it is not a big deal in Germany, because every citizen is required to have either a passport or an ID card anyway.

    However, when requesting an ID in countries like the US, which don’t have an ID card requirement, then any photo ID, whether driver’s licence, student ID or even a bus pass, should suffice. This whole nonsense about requiring birth and marriage certificates is just making people jump through hoops to keep them from voting. Also, not everybody has these documents at hand, because documents get lost in moves, fires, etc… My Dad doesn’t have a birth certificate, because his was lost in WWII shortly after he was born. My birth certificate is in my parents’ family book, a curious German custom to put a couple’s marriage certificate and the birth certificates of their children in a book. This regularly causes problems, when the children are grown and need their birth certificates for something.

    The problem is that we have a radically decentralised system of deciding how the States run their elections. Which is how you get a situation like Georgia with their recent draconian laws versus my state which is quite liberal and is likely to become even more liberal with the Democrats currently controlling all three branches of the government. And likely to do so from here out given demographic changes here.

    The Biden administration is pushing a voting reform act that’ll effectively preempt states like Georgia from doing Bad Things. Let’s hope the Courts agree with it.

  5. Cora Buhlert: However, when requesting an ID in countries like the US, which don’t have an ID card requirement, then any photo ID, whether driver’s licence, student ID or even a bus pass, should suffice.

    The problem is that in the U.S., government-issued ID cards are expensive and difficult to obtain unless you have reliable transportation to the correct office, the ability to prove who you are, and the disposable income to pay for them. This is a huge problem for poor and homeless people.

    To get a government-issued ID in the U.S., you have to first have to have an official ID (usually a birth certificate). Certified birth certificates can be obtained from county registrars (if you know where you were born), but they cost money, and you either have to have the ability to order and pay for them online (credit or debit card) and a mail drop where they can be delivered, or the ability to get to the county office in person and pay for them. (And a lot of people in the U.S. don’t live anywhere near the county where they were born — and that’s assuming they even know where they were born.)

    Once you have a birth certificate, then you have to have proof of residence — a utility bill, bank statement, apartment lease, real estate deed, or other official document which shows a residential (not P.O. box) address, in order to get a government-issued ID.

    So you can see why poor and transient people, who may not have a permanent address, a bank account, a car or access to reliable and affordable mass transit, would struggle to have proof of residence. Even someone who has a residence which they sublet or rent for cash without a lease, or who lives with their parents or other relative, will not have a lease agreement or utility bill in their own name.

    Non-profit organizations like SpreadTheVote do exist to help poor, disabled, and homeless people get the ID they need to vote by assisting with request forrms, paying for the fees, and providing transportation or a mail drop for those who cannot provide their own. But it’s an uphill battle, especially with the Republican con artists who are now doing everything they can to deprive Americans of their right to vote.

  6. My voting place is about 4 from my front door–the mailbox on our porch. (Though I often drop it in the ballot box at our local library, about 6/10th of a mile a way.)

    That’s because Oregon is all vote-by-mail and has been for twenty years, or so.

    Before that, back when we voted in polling places–I don’t remember ever having to show any ID when I voted, and next year will be fifty years since I first cast a ballot. Oregon is controlled by the Democrats now, but it used to be a Republican strongehold. (But the Republicans then would not fit in the party currently using that name.)

  7. John Lorentz says Before that, back when we voted in polling places–I don’t remember ever having to show any ID when I voted, and next year will be fifty years since I first cast a ballot. Oregon is controlled by the Democrats now, but it used to be a Republican strongehold. (But the Republicans then would not fit in the party currently using that name.)

    I’ve only been voting for forty five years but the State was Republican controlled when I started voting and they didn’t require an ID either. It’s just never been part of the political culture here. Well not until the rise of the present Republican Party. And they’ve not been able to convince anyone to require IDs to vote.

    Back then I occasionally voted for a Republican candidate as there was decent candidates on the ballot such as Bill Cohen whose parents thirty five years back ran the Bangor Jewish Rye Baking Company — amazing bulky rolls.

  8. One thing I would just toss out, is that a number of the people involved in campaigning against the new voting laws have specifically asked that people not boycott Georgia, rather the companies that support the politicians responsible for drafting and passing these laws, so I’d suggest, as with unions, following the guidance of the people on the ground locally.

  9. @Jack Lint: I’ve seen a tweet from Scott Lynch where he does the opening of The Haunting of Hill House:

    No ship can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even rafts and canoes are supposed, by some, to dream. Ever Given, not sane, stood by itself upon the canal, holding darkness within; it had stood for eighty hours and might stand for eighty more.

    No doubt there are other genre works being done by now.

  10. In my state you need to produce a government-issued ID to get a birth certificate. (It used to be easier, but after 9/11 they really tightened up who could get an official birth certificate.) So if you need a birth certificate so you can get an ID, it’s a bit difficult. Even if you have a birth certificate, the state requires you produce a second form of ID to get a state-issued ID.

    My theory is that the current ID system is based on the presumption that people will get their driver’s license, which is the default form of state ID, when they’re 16 and living at home with parents who can produce the necessary documents. I suppose non-driving teens just get state ID cards now, but it’s something we never thought about doing when I was in high school. Of course at the time, we didn’t need a Real ID card just to board an airplane.

    There was only one file and that was File-22 which someone had misread

  11. @JJ – yes, that was the cover! Thanks!

    I loved that book. I read it out of sequence, before Interview, which must have changed my perception of Lestat some.

  12. Thank you for title credit!

    (I’ve been away for work, to the Hawkes Bay region for some fieldwork, collecting soil samples from vineyards. Let’s just say that when the soils are stony, the soil cores are much harder to get! Now I’m back & trying to catch up on reading Pixel Scrolls. Mike is indefatigable!)

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