Pixel Scroll 6/8/18 Near A File By A Pixel There’s A Scroll In The Ground

(1) WORLDCON 75 BONUS. 2017 Worldcon Vice-chair Colette H. Fozard sent an update about the printed souvenir books people are looking forward to receiving.

We have the list of people to send the printed souvenir book to, and we’re sorry for the delay but it is due to a bonus!  We’re doing a limited-run reprint of our short story anthology, Giants at the End of the World – A Showcase of Finnish Weird, and that book will be included with the mailed souvenir books. We ran out at con, so we’re printing more to include with this mailing. We expect the printing and mailing to be done by the end of June.  Thanks so much for your patience!

(2) ANIMATED SPIDER-MAN TRAILER. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is coming from Sony Pictures Entertainment this Christmas.

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.

 

(3) VOTING. WIRED’s Adam Rogers, in “Elections Don’t Work at All. You Can Blame the Math”, examines voting systems, and in particular Instant Runoff Voting as it applies to electing a new mayor for San Francisco. This is comparable to the system used for Hugo voting prior to EPH, except that SF voters are only allowed to rank 3 candidates while Worldcon voters can rank all available candidates (including No Award). Among other things, it’s apparently slowing the determination of the outcome as paper ballots could be postmarked as late as election day.

…See, the San Francisco mayoral election isn’t just another whoever-gets-the-most-votes-wins sort of deal. No, this race was another example of the kind of cultural innovation that California occasionally looses upon an unsuspecting America, like smartphones and fancy toast. Surprise, you guys! We don’t even vote like y’all out here.

The way it worked is called ranked choice voting, also known as an instant runoff. Voters rank three choices in order of preference. The counting process drops the person with the fewest first-choice votes, reallocates that candidate’s votes to all his or her voters’ second choices, and then repeats. Does this sound insane? Actually, it’s genius. It is also insane.

(4) MANITOBA BOOK AWARDS. Craig Russell writes, “I’m pleased to say that Fragment is on the shortlist for The Michael Van Rooy Award!” (See all the award categories on the Manitoba Book Award shortlist.)

The Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction

  • The Bootlegger’s Confession by Allan Levine, published by Ravenstone Press, an imprint of Turnstone Press
  • Fragment by Craig Russell, published by Thistledown Press
  • The Mermaid’s Tale by D.G. Valdron, published by Five River Publishing
  • Strangers – Book 1 of The Reckoner Series by David A. Robertson, published by HighWater Press, an imprint of Portage & Main Press

The Manitoba Writers’ Guild ceremony for the upcoming Manitoba Book Awards will be held on Friday, June 15.

(5) BOURDAIN OBIT. Culinary explorer and TV personality Anthony Bourdain died of suicide on June 8. The Huffington Post explores his genre connection in “Anthony Bourdain’s Boyhood Dream Was To Make Comics. Few People Know He Did.”.

Bourdain once told CNN that he was a serious comic book collector as a kid. “At the end of the day, I’m a super nerdy fanboy,” he said. He admitted to Jimmy Fallon that, unfortunately, he sold his collection for drugs back in the 1980s.

In 2012, Bourdain co-wrote his first comic with author Joel Rose. It was called “Get Jiro!” The setting is the not-so-distant “Bourdainian” future.
Foodies have taken over and celebrity chefs not unlike mob bosses run the world. The mysterious Jiro-San is the new hotshot sushi chef in town. The city’s warring culinary factions have each given him an ultimatum: Join our
side or die.

(6) BERTIN OBIT. Horror writer Eddy C. Bertin died May 22 reports his publisher David Sutton.

Very sadly I have to report that veteran horror and Cthulhu Mythos writer, Eddy C. Bertin, died on 22nd May while on holiday on the island of Crete. My association with Eddy goes back to my fanzine Shadow, in 1968, for which he wrote many articles on a variety of horror topics, including on the Cthulhu Mythos and European horror writers. His distinctive short stories were picked up by The Pan Book of Horror,The Year’s Best Horror Stories and many more anthologies and magazines over the years. He was born in Germany, but later moved to Ghent and wrote in Dutch, Flemish, German and English.I am proud to have published a collection of his stories in 2013, The Whispering Horror.

(7) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • June 9, 19491984 was first printed, in London.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

  • Born June 8, 1910 — John W. Campbell, Jr.
  • Born June 8, 1928 – Kate Wilhelm
  • Born June 8, 1943 – Colin Baker

(9) MAGICAL MYSTERY THEATER TOUR. Coast-to-coast, north to south, “MST3K Live 30th Anniversary Tour” could be coming to a venue near you. Or not. Check it out at the link.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 announces the MST3K Live 30th Anniversary Tour featuring, for the first time in 25 years, original host and MST3K creator Joel Hodgson back in the red jumpsuit as Joel Robinson. Alongside new MST3K host Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray), Joel, Jonah and the Bots will bring new movies and all new riffs and sketches live to the stage across U.S. cities this fall. The MST3K Live 30th Anniversary Tour kicks off October 9 in Portland, ME and hits 29 cities to perform 42 shows across the U.S. Tickets for all dates go on sale Friday, June 8 via AXS.com and local venue box offices.

Of the upcoming tour, Hodgson says, “The craziest and most exciting thing for me is that I am putting on my old jumpsuit and will be riffing live, shoulder to shoulder with Jonah, Crow, and Tom Servo for two incredibly strange feature films. I’m going to have to go into training to get caught up to the skill level of Jonah and this new cast. If you saw last year’s tour you have some idea just how talented these young movie riffers are.”

 

(10) LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION FIGURE. You have truly made it when you have your own action figure. Entertainment Weekly has the story: Shape of Water director Guillermo del Toro has an action figure — here’s your first look”.

NECA’s Guillermo del Toro action figures

(11) ROCKET STACK RANK. Eric Wong sent a link to RSR’s “Outstanding LGBT Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2017” article. He notes —

June is Pride Month, and here are 45 outstanding stories with LGBT characters from 2017 that were either finalists for major SF/F awards, included in “year’s best” SF/F anthologies, or recommended by prolific reviewers in short fiction (see Q&A).

This list could be useful for making nominations for the 2018 Gaylactic Spectrum Awards for Best Short Fiction (published in 2010-2017). Anyone can nominate through June 30, 2018. Stories from 2017 are below. See Outstanding LGBT Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2015-2016 for earlier stories.

Observations

  • 31 of the 45 stories are free online.
  • 16 of the stories earned 33 of the 82 available finalist slots for the Eugie(1/5), Hugo (9/18), Locus (11/30), Nebula (8/18), and Sturgeon (4/11) awards. That’s 40% of the award finalist slots even though LGBT stories were only 10% of all stories reviewed by RSR in 2017 (81 out of 810) and 35% of award finalist stories (16 out of 45).
  • Authors with the most stories here are JY Yang (3), Sam J. Miller (2) and Sarah Pinsker (2).
  • Four of the stories were written by Campbell Award-eligible writers.
  • Prolific reviewers with the most recommendations here are RSR (18), RHorton (17) and GDozois (15).
  • Each of the 11 magazines covered by RSR had at least one recommended LGBT story, with Clarkesworld having the most with 7 stories among the 45.

(12) GALLOWAY SETTLEMENT. The January 15 Pixel Scroll linked to an op-ed by Margaret Atwood (“Am I a bad feminist?”) regarding University of British Columbia professor Steven Galloway, who had an affair with a student and was accused of sexual misconduct.

Galloway has received a settlement from the university — the CBC has the story: “Author Steven Galloway awarded $167K in damages following UBC firing”.

Author Steven Galloway, fired by the University of British Columbia in 2016, has been awarded $167,000 in damages following arbitration.

Galloway admitted to having an affair with a student but was also critical of the university’s handling of the case, which sparked a divisive debate on campus and in the country’s literary community.

On Friday, an arbitrator on the case said that some communications by the school contravened Galloway’s privacy rights and caused harm to his reputation.

In his four-page decision, John B. Hall writes mostly about the process of the arbitration with little detail about what specific communications were damaging….

(13) CAP LAUNCHES AGAIN. Marvel has created a trailer for Captain America #1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates & Leinil Yu.

(14) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Danse Exquise on Vimeo is an absurd animation from Miyu Productions, set to the music of Claude Debussy, that includes a dancing crab and a political rooster.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge, Eric Wong, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, Bill, Craig Russell, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs  to File 770 contributing editor of the day Christian Brunschen.]

118 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/8/18 Near A File By A Pixel There’s A Scroll In The Ground

  1. @Iphonome: Be careful what you ask for. I don’t think this should violate any site standards, unless it’s for length…

    -=-=-

    I was due to ship out the next day, which struck me as a fine reason to get smashed that night. Rumor had it that the tavern by the spaceport carried real alcohol under the bar, so that’s where I went.

    The “all-weather” uniform was no match for the local winter, and I huddled under the awning to brush the snow from my shoulders before stepping inside. I opened the thick wooden door to an avalanche of noise, body odors, and the oppressive heat of too many sentients in too little cubic. Every table was occupied, and then some, but a pair of fellow humans in the corner waved for me to join them. The men were in their fifties, maybe, with enough of a paunch to mark them as career veterans. Although I’d never met them, one of them looked familiar somehow. The other adjusted something at my collar, and the noise dropped away.

    “Here, lad, sit down and warm yourself.” The burr in his voice was thicker than I expected, and he splashed something green into a spare glass. If that’s synthehol, I’m a Vulcan monk. The first sip burned all the way down, and his companion laughed at my shudder.

    “Scotty, for God’s sake, warn the ensign before you give him that stuff!” Scotty. Could it be…? The other man wore captain’s pips, and I’d heard that warm Midwestern accent in countless excerpts across the curriculum. I was in the presence of legends.

    “Ca-captain Kirk?” The second sip went down easier, and the engineer pulled my glass away before I could take another. “Easy there, ensign. Take it slow, or you’ll miss your flight.”

    “And you’re Montgomery Scott.” My brain was screaming for me to shut up, but my mouth didn’t get the message. I blamed the green stuff. “I studied your notes on the Constitution-class refits last year.” He nodded, somehow looking proud and sheepish all at once. “What did you…?” My mouth closed just at the wrong time, and I waved at my collar.

    “Old universal translator trick. Tighten the proximity filter, an’ ye don’t have ta bellow ta be heard. Remember that one, lad.”

    The captain’s eyes twinkled. “Your translator’s probably your most vital piece of equipment, Ensign. Pays to learn what it can do.”

    “Aye, just never forget what it can’t. Gotta keep an eye on that, right, cap’n?”

    I’d heard a lot of stories about Captain Kirk that hadn’t made it into any classes, but none of them had ever given me the impression that anything could make him blush. “You’re never going to let me forget that, are you?”

    “What kind of engineer would I be if I forgot such a valuable lesson as Zeblak III, cap’n?” I hadn’t heard of the planet. No great surprise; with thousands of inhabited worlds, the Academy focused on the major species and coached us on the importance of studying the rest while en route to a mission. It sounded like an opening, though, so I took it.

    “What happened on Zeblak III?” The great Scotsman roared with laughter, and Kirk’s face grew even redder. A silent conversation passed between them, which I translated as If you don’t tell the story, I will. and Fine, but I’ll need another shot first. when Mr. Scott refilled the captain’s glass. Four fingers of green became one with a grimace and a gasp, and for the only time in my career, Captain Kirk stared me straight in the eye.

    “Ensign, this story doesn’t leave this table, is that clear? If you’re ever sent to Zeblak, you can tell your crew, but even then, this is just a story you heard from a friend of a friend who knew a guy, and you scrub the names. All the logs prove I was never there anyway. Agreed?”

    My glass was back in my hand, and another swig emptied it. “Yes, sir.”

    “Right. Good man. How we got there and what we were doing doesn’t matter. Suffice it to say that I had to negotiate a deal with their matriarch, and the talks had broken down. I don’t know if your classes covered any of this, but there’s more to diplomatic talks than agendas and polite discourse. Sometimes a more… personal touch… is required.” The engineer snorted the laugh I couldn’t permit myself. Captain Kirk’s romantic exploits were as legendary as his missions.

    “Lallia – that was the envoy’s name, Lallia – she asked if we could speak in private, without our people. Spock and the rest of the team beamed back to the ship, Lallia’s party went who knows where, and I found myself alone. In that moment, I was no longer the Federation’s covert ambassador, but an all-too-human man in close quarters with a tall, beautiful woman. Seems like they were all beautiful back then, doesn’t it?”

    “That it does, captain,” the engineer said, refilling our glasses. “That it surely does.”

    “She moved closer, and I moved closer, and I found myself following her back to her chambers. When the door closed behind us, she was in my arms. Her lips tasted of the nectar we’d shared during negotiations, and her body yielded just as her diplomatic position hadn’t. A sweet smell, something like flowers, filled the air, and the next thing I knew, I was on her bed and my uniform was on the floor.”

    The captain cleared his throat and took another drink. I couldn’t believe my luck. Less than a day after graduation, and I was hearing one of James Kirk’s stories from the man himself! I did wonder, though…

    “Right about now, you’re asking yourself what this has to do with translators, aren’t you? Like most of the species in our quadrant, the Zeblakians and their culture are amazingly Earthlike in many ways. Why, turn her hair white and give her a pair of fake antennas, and Lallia could almost pass for a tall Andorian. Change her skin color and give her the right clothes, and she’d look human. It’s almost like God got bored when He made us, changing just a couple of details as he went from star to star.

    “So it didn’t surprise me that seduction was as much a part of her toolkit as it was mine. Her skin was hot to the touch, as if she had a mild fever, but only because their body temperature is higher than ours. I didn’t get a good chance to look at her before she joined me on the bed, and she took the initiative. I wasn’t surprised by that; like I said, it’s a matriarchy. The only men we’d seen were servants and workers.”

    “Yer stallin’, cap’n,” the other man said with a smile. What am I not seeing? I asked myself.

    “Yes, well… Seduction wasn’t new to her, but the idea of intercourse without impregnation was. I should’ve realized something was different when I had to explain the idea of using a barrier, but as it turned out, I didn’t have time. She’d been stroking my body while I spoke, and when her hand reached… and closed around… the strangest look of bafflement crossed her face.

    “‘What is this,’ she asked me, ‘and where’s your gestational pouch?'” the captain said, and both of them shifted in their seats. I don’t think they knew they’d done it. “I reached down to pry her fingers loose, when something else touched my hand. I knew exactly where both of her hands were, and it couldn’t have been a leg, so I looked down…”

    Mr. Scott took over from the flustered captain, whose face had gone so red I began to wonder if he needed medical attention. “An’ there I was in the transporter room, when me comm went off. ‘Mr. Scott!’ he was yelling, ‘Emergency beamout! I repeat, one to beam up!’ I had a lock, standard procedure, and I energized. There he was on the pad, naked as a jaybird, communicator in one hand and his uniform in the other. Yeoman Rand had to bring him a new pair of boots, once he was presentable. Not for the first time, either, if ye catch me drift. Swore us both to secrecy, also not for the first time.”

    “I don’t get it,” I told them. “What happened?”

    The captain patted my hand. “What happened is that I learned something I’d been taking for granted until then, but never did again. You see, the UT does an amazing job, but sometimes there are… blind spots… in its database. Seduction, procreation, impregnation… both of our languages had all of those concepts. The translator did the best it could, but on that day, it wasn’t enough. That’s how we learned to cross-reference the medical databases with the linguistic ones for critical missions.”

    “Okay,” I said, still not understanding but playing along, “so what happened with the negotiations?”

    “Oh, that? We, erm… came to an… accommodation. Of sorts,” Kirk said, clearly a signal that I should drop the subject. After another hour of stories I could tell my fellow graduates about, I thanked them for their company and got up to leave. The engineer walked with me to the door.

    “When ye get back, look up the Zeblakians in the medical database.” He chuckled, and as he readjusted my translator, I barely heard his parting words. “Jim didn’t sit right for the rest of the week. ‘Accommodation,’ he says…”

    The Zeblakians are one of the few known humanoid species in which reproduction takes place through the female’s use of a prehensile ovipositor to implant an egg into a “gestational pouch” in the male’s body…

  2. “What is this, and where’s your gestational pouch?”

    *gets up to find towel to wipe off monitor*

    I almost wish we had such a thing, so more men would appreciate the importance of women’s reproductive rights.

    Going back to your previous comment:

    I want my spec-fic to be more than “1970s cultural norms

    I think…don’t you actually mean the 1950’s here? You know, that magical decade right after World War II, the Last Good War? That decade where white men got all their jobs back, and women had to return home where they belonged, and Jim Crow still existed, and everyone who wasn’t a straight white male knew their place? That decade that modern-day conservatives are trying to return to, because it’s [to quote Rush Limbaugh] The Way Things Ought To Be, no matter how bad it was for everyone except them?

    (And taxes on the rich were also the highest they’ve ever been, and CEOs only earned 30 times what their workers earned instead of 350+ times, and unions were strong, and the Interstate Highway System was built, and the Republican Party had a platform I could kinda sorta get behind…but I digress.)

  3. @Bonnie:

    I wavered between 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. I settled on 1970s because in the faction I criticize, there at least seems to be a grudging acceptance of women and racial minorities in substantial support (but not quite leading) roles. 1970 seemed about right for that.

    As to my bit o’ fanfic, I hope everyone will keep in mind that it was a hasty job, rather than something I worked on for a decent period of time, and that I was going completely without reference while writing Scotty’s dialect. I also hope people will appreciate the lampshading of certain tropes and the inclusion of a snow-covered tavern in a work of SF. 😉

  4. @Lis:

    I figured it was completely in character for Kirk to erase the records of that trip, officially secret or not. I also imagined Rand being irked but not one bit surprised by the call for yet another set of boots. (I figured that would be the hardest thing for him to grab in a hurry.)

    Did the implication that the floral scent was Zeblakian pheromones come across as I intended?

    @Vicki:

    I’m not normally in the practice of writing fanfic, so I don’t have an account at any of the usual sites. That said, if OGH wanted to move/copy it into a separate post here, I wouldn’t object…

  5. @Iphinome: “That was lovely.”

    How does that compare to the requested “delectable,” and where does it fall on the Kissy-Face-O-Meter? 😉

  6. I should note that you did male/female kissy-face. If it were say Kirk/Spock instead I think the kissy-face would go more like this except without an arm in the way.

  7. @OGH and @Lenora Rose,

    (Belated) Many thanks for the title credit! 🙂

    I had actually included a link to that very video in my post so I didn’t think to spell the source out more clearly; apologies for causing confusion.

    As to the meaning of the lyrics, well, here’s what the lyricist explains …

    … well, it makes at least as much sense as most other songs!

  8. The first US statewide election to test IRV is coming tomorrow. Maine has a special motivation: a 5-way split in the gubernatorial election gave them the mini-Trump, Paul LePage (who had also won a multi-way primary with about a third of the vote). He’s termed out, so the stakes aren’t as high, but it will be interesting to see how voters react in real time and how long the count takes.

  9. Especially telling lines from the above:

    Maine Republicans view ranked-choice voting as an existential threat and have filed several court challenges, including one that attempted to block Maine election officials from implementing the system in June.

    and

    State Sen. Garrett Mason, who is also running for governor, has said repeatedly that the system is designed to prevent true conservatives from ever winning a statewide race.

    Apparently “true conservative” is a code word for “someone who will never be a majority choice.”

  10. @Chip Hitchcock

    Apparently “true conservative” is a code word for “someone who will never be a majority choice.”

    Well, as I have read many times, conservatives will usually not win on the strength of their terrible ideas, so they have to cheat.

    (Also, the comment box now states when you’re leaving a reply to a specific person? That’s an interesting development.)

  11. Chip Hitchcock: (Also, the comment box now states when you’re leaving a reply to a specific person? That’s an interesting development.)

    Yes, that’s a change, although it has always displayed that way from my side of the dashboard.

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