Pixel Scroll 6/3/16 Second Pixelscroll To The Right

(1) LATEST MOWATT RHINO RUN CUT SHORT BY INJURY. Jim Mowatt tried to follow his London Marathon triumph by running the Edinburgh Marathon but midway through his knee gave out.

At around 15 miles Steve asked me for his Lucozade bottle. I dig around in his back pack and hand it to him. My leg is hurting so I cadged some ibuprofen gel from him. His tendons were hurting and he asked me to rub some gel on his knee also.

Steve ran on, I stepped out to try and catch up and found the knee pain had increased dramatically. I gritted my teeth and tried to carry on and then suddenly discovered that I could no longer put any weight on my left leg without it buckling from the pain. I staggered over to the side of the road and found a tree to prop myself upon with one leg held in the air. A marshall came to help, asked if I needed medical assistance and I said yes.

While we were waiting I heard various exchanges on his radio. Not everyone was as willing to stop and receive assistance. Someone else apparently was weaving all over the road in considerable distress, bumping into other runners. Marshalls had asked him to stop but he didn’t seem to hear them and carried on. Someone was shouting over the radio, “stand in front of him, it’s the only way to stop them when they are like this.” I had no such problems stopping myself running. Putting any weight on that leg at all sent huge rolling waves of agony flashing out sharply from my knee. I wasn’t keen on the notion of letting that foot touch the ground anytime soon.

….Carrie pointed me at the train station and we began our long slow walk up the hill. A very tall man appeared from nowhere and asked if we wanted a lift up to the train station. “Yes, absolutely!” yells I, “that would be brilliant”. He vanishes for several minutes and then reappears in a car and drives us to the train station. I think he must have seen us from his living room window and made the decision to help. Just a downright wonderful thing to do. Thank you tall man from Longniddry. You are a damn fine chap.

(2) TIE UP YOUR BOAT TO IDAHO. Steve Fahnestalk recalls his “Moscon Memories” at Amazing Stories.

As I mentioned we asked Robert A. Heinlein to be our GOH, but he demurred at first, saying his health would not allow him to commit to any convention (Figure 5); he later said he would commit to coming as long as his health would allow. Later, closer to the con, he suggested Verna Smith Trestrail as a GOH instead, because her father, E. E. “Doc” Smith, had attended the University of Idaho in Moscow. None of us, of course, had known this. (And if you don’t know who Doc Smith was, your reading is sadly behind the times. Check out the Wikipedia article.) I corresponded with Verna, and she gave us an enthusiastic “yes!” Figure 6, the Kelly Freas convention badge, is a portrait of Verna leaning out of the back of a train—don’t ask me why; I’ve forgotten—and holding out her arms to Worsel of Velantia, one of Doc’s non-human Lensmen. Verna and Al, her husband, trekked out to Moscow from the wilds of Leesburg, Indiana, and we were all hooked. Verna on us, and we on Verna. (Al wasn’t into all this stuff, being more of a Western kind o’ guy, but he bore up really well.) Verna bustled around MosCon, buttonholing anyone who stood still for five minutes, and gave them the lowdown on Doc; she also gave a talk on Doc at the con. Because Heinlein couldn’t attend, he wrote a short article about Doc, which I put in the program book; being a thrifty sort, Heinlein recycled it and reprinted it in Expanded Universe; we PESFANs, of course, are proud of printing it first.

(3) BUSBY RITES. The Memorial Service for James M. Busby will be held on Tuesday, June 14 at The Church of Latter Day Saints 2000 Artesia Blvd., Torrance. Service begins at 11a.m.

The family requests no flowers instead please make a donation in Jim’s memory to continue his life’s passion to educate and preserve space to the Aerospace Legacy Foundation.

(4) THE WINNER. Black Gate’s John O’Neill’s choice as “The Most Successful Anthology of 2015 [is] Meeting Infinity, edited by Jonathan Strahan”. Why?

It’s beginning to look as if Jonathan Strahan’s Meeting Infinity is the most successful SF anthology of 2015… at least if you use story reprints as your yardstick (which I kinda do).

Nine of the anthology’s stories were picked for year’s best collections by Horton, Clarke and Dozois.

(5) ROOMMATE NEEDED. A female reader has just had their MidAmeriCon roommate withdraw, and if there’s a female reader who’d be interested in sharing, e-mail a message to mikeglyer (at) cs (dot) com and I will forward it. (Or if you prefer to work it this way, communicate to me and I will have the person write a message to be forwarded via email to you.)

(6) SPEAR OF LIGHT AUTHOR. SFFWorld interviews Brenda Cooper.

Are strong female characters important for you?

Thanks for the lovely leading question! Of course they are. And even more important, strong female characters that are complete with brilliance and challenges.  I’m not impressed when “strong female characters” translates to “women who act like men.”  I also like balance – I have strong men and strong women, and sometimes weak men and weak women.  Not so much in this book as Lym and the Glittering are placed that reward strength rather deeply. But still, characters should be complex, interesting, and they should grow. Women should be at least as strong as men, and just like in our current world, sometimes they need to be a little stronger.

(7) FIRST PITCH. Patrick Redford asks “What the Hell, Japan?” at Deadspin.

All sorts of people throw out first pitches before baseball games. Old guys, dinosaurs, washed rappers—you name it, they’ve done it. But this week, Nippon Professional Baseball—ever the innovators—went and put every quirky MLB first pitch into the toilet with this bizarre, unsettling play-within-a-play first pitch faceoff between Sadako from The Ring and Kayako from The Grudge.

The post has lots of GIFs of the action.

(8) PORTALS. Jonathan Thornton reviews Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire at Fantasy-Faction.

The story is set in Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. It is set up by Eleanor West after she returned from her own magical world to help other children who’ve been through the same thing as her adapt. The novella follows Nancy, a girl who’s just returned from the Halls of the Dead, where she has spent decades pretending to be a statue and is promised to the Lord of the Dead, as she joins the school and begins to adapt to her new life. Nancy’s parents are thrilled to have her back and just want to give her their love and help her, but they are unable to understand her experience, or what she’s going through now. This has obvious parallels with the experiences of those who suffer from mental health problems or victims of trauma – indeed, Eleanor tells the parents of the afflicted children that her school is a sanitarium.

The children’s experiences also have parallels with those whose sexual orientation or gender identity comes between them and their family. Nancy is asexual, and her parents are having difficulty understanding this aspect of her life. Kade is a trans man who is living as an intelligent and productive young man at the school while his parents still want their little girl back. More generally still the children’s condition could also be read as a metaphor for the transition from childhood to being a young adult, the point when you grow away from being your parents’ child into your own identity as an individual member of society. McGuire explores all these themes and ideas in the novella, and throughout it all treats her characters with respect and sensitivity, whatever aspect of their pain or personal history she is exploring.

(9) FOOTAGE FROM THE CULTURE WARS. Jason Ahlquist’s About Tomorrow is a feature-length documentary in progress “about the intersection of science fiction and politics told through the 2015 Hugo Award balloting controversy.” He plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign in July.

Also known as “Puppygate,” the controversy revolved around the efforts of two right-wing groups and their use of coordinated voting blocs to influence the outcomes of one of science fiction’s most prestigious awards…..

“I want this film to be a vehicle for exploration of the larger depths of sci-fi’s role,” said Ahlquist, “not only in how we see our future, but how we’ll act on our hopes and fears.” Ahlquist went on to say that production on the film is nearly complete, and that, “production will wrap at the 74th World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City before we move into post-production.”

 

(10) X-MEN. “Meet the Underappreciated Woman Who Invented X-Men’s Apocalypse” – a profile at Vulture.

Her name is Louise Simonson, and she co-created Apocalypse (his look came courtesy of artist Jackson Guice) in the pages of Marvel Comics’ X-Factor, in 1986. Simonson — “Weezie” to her friends — is one of the better superhero-comics writers of the past 40 years, a person who crafted beloved stories about the X-Men and DC Comics’ Superman, just to name a pair of the more famous properties she has worked on. The 69-year-old was also a pioneer: She did much of her most famous work when women writers were a rarity in the comics industry. Despite all that, she’s never gotten her due in mainstream media outlets. But within the comics world, her name reverberates.

(11) NEWS, WEATHER AND SUPERMAN’S DEATH ON THE TEN. From Gamespot I learn “Superman Is Dead Again – What That Now Means”.

Back in 1993, Superman died while fighting Doomsday. In the comics, the world mourned the death of the Man of Steel, and soon saw other Supermen rise to take his place. The real Superman eventually returned to life, and his adventures continued. That was in the previous comic continuity. In the current continuity, which started in 2011, Superman is dying again. This time, his death and return is something different.

Yeah, sure it is. Excuse me while I don’t give a damn. Superman’s life status has become as routine as the weather report.

(12) APPERTAINING YOUR OWN CON. Alexandra Erin explains in considerable detail that just because a Helsinki Worldcon co-chair hopes Erin will be at next year’s con it doesn’t mean they’re paying her way. Apparently not everyone immediately understands that.

This is probably the last time I’ll bother qualifying something neat like “a WorldCon head personally told me she’d be jazzed if I were there” by explaining the real world to dedicated denizens of a carefully constructed artificial reality, for the simple reason that I know it doesn’t work. It’s more my fascination with the disconnect between actual reality on the ground and the stories that swirl based on a few glimmers of that reality and much speculation that prompts this post.

What a different world we live in than the one that is ascribed to us.

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Rob Thornton.]

58 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/3/16 Second Pixelscroll To The Right

  1. (7) FIRST PITCH.
    That’s, ummm, something.

    (10) X-MEN
    I read many of her comics in the 80s. She deserved better: no invite to see the movie, and not credited in the movie either? Not cool.

  2. (10) X-MEN. The Simonsons are icons in the comic world, IMHO.

    And wow, I just wasted a lot of time reading Wikipedia articles about the Legion of Super-Heroes – I know, why? Because my brain confused the Simonsons with the Bierbaums, and then I just kept on reading Wikipedia (which is a poor source for this info, in some ways…not really mentioning the Legion flight rings in the main Legion article?). Then I read a little refresher about L.E.G.I.O.N. I need to go find these comics upstairs and re-read the 5-years-later stuff. Ah, good times, when I was reading that stuff regularly. 🙂

    Also: Almost double-first-fifth?

  3. Nth, in a totally meta(l) way.

    Or, if you prefer, I’m the X-Man. (Does that mean a discount on my Cable bill?)

  4. Today’s Read — Career of Evil, by Robert Galbraith (not SFF)

    The third book in the Cormoran Strike mystery series (I found the first one excellent and thought the second one had a silly conclusion.) There was a decent serial-killer mystery here, but frankly it isn’t why I enjoyed the book. Even more so than the first two, the mystery takes a back seat to characterization, particularly of deuteragonist Robin Ellacott, who pretty much carries the book on the strength of being a good, solidly written character. Fortunately, she is exactly that, making the book worth reading. If character-driven mystery scratches a particular itch for you, as it does for me, this one definitely does so.

  5. Fifth can be as bad as one, its the (4th) loneliest number since the number one, oh

    But on the other hand: the ink is black, the page is white.

    Just to throw some additional fuel on Alexandra’s fire (12): I’ve been invited to conventions and had my way paid to events as far away as Thailand. In Thailand, I was commissioned to write the welcoming speech for the Major General of the army (2nd in leadership in the country at the time), upon conclusion of which his elite guard set off several pounds of C4 (that same elite guard passed me through customs in both directions). And I have my custom Air America jacket to prove it. (We won’t mention the large wooden crates that accompanied me….)

    Of course, those were paintball “conventions” (tournaments), not SF cons.

    Despite that experience (25+ years worth), I STILL don’t expect SF cons to pay my way, even when they invite me to appear on panels. AND I always buy a supporting membership for Worldcon when I can’t be there. (Sometimes I even donate money so others can attend.)

    In all seriousness, this is the kind of thing that makes Fandom Fannish. You shouldn’t expect your family to pay your way to the family get-together – the presumption is that both you and they want you there. You’re family.

  6. It seems that every time a new editor-in-chief takes over the DC line, they have to blow up continuity for a few years as some sort of ego boost for the sake of their own posterity.

  7. Re 4) I’ve been really enjoying Strahan’s Infinity series. So it seems Meeting Infinity is one of the most successful one to day, by that yardstick. Coolness.

    Just Re-read Elizabeth Bear’s “Sonny Liston Takes the Fall” story. Powerful.

  8. Not on point to anything:

    https://youtu.be/7qaREWyzwTM

    Chasseur. Mild horror short. A Cajun devil hunter meets the devil’s attorney (sounds potentially funny but played straight and not a parody). It was advertised on the same site Hampus linked for the Fired On Mars video over on the 2016 reading list thread (that one was both funny and fun. Thanks, Hampus!).

    Since this one is at least a year old and not in 2016 eligibility putting it here.

  9. steve davidson: In all seriousness, this is the kind of thing that makes Fandom Fannish. You shouldn’t expect your family to pay your way to the family get-together – the presumption is that both you and they want you there. You’re family.

    It’s not clear from your reply whether you’re aware that the reason Alexandra Erin mentions that she’s being invited to pay her own way is that asshole griefers got her Worldcon GoFundMe shut down for a period of time by sending a claim to GoFundMe management that her campaign was fraudulent because she’d supposedly already been granted a “full scholarship” to MAC II that included a free membership, transportation, lodging, and even a prepaid debit card for “incidentals”.

    She’s not expecting to have her way to Helsinki paid by the con. She’s trying to head the assholes off at the pass.

  10. In Thailand, I was commissioned to write the welcoming speech for the Major General of the army (2nd in leadership in the country at the time), upon conclusion of which his elite guard set off several pounds of C4 (that same elite guard passed me through customs in both directions).

    Protip: if asked to speak in Thailand, avoid mentioning the king’s dog.

  11. It’s not clear from your reply whether you’re aware that the reason Alexandra Erin mentions that she’s being invited to pay her own way is that asshole griefers got her Worldcon GoFundMe shut down for a period of time by sending a claim to GoFundMe management that her campaign was fraudulent because she’d supposedly already been granted a “full scholarship” to MAC II that included a free membership, transportation, lodging, and even a prepaid debit card for “incidentals”.

    What? No pony? Greifers have no imagination these day.

  12. [4] In total agreement about Strahan and the Infinity anthology

    He should have been at the top of the nomination lists for Best Editor

  13. According to my calculations, in terms of number of stories in Best Of collections vs number of stories in the original anthology, the Microsoft Future Visions collection was more successful….

  14. [ticky]

    @clif–Thanks for the mention of “Meeting Infinity” being on sale. I just snagged it.

    And dear Ghu, I’m still slogging through Seveneves…now that I’ve reached the third section, it has become a slog. Handwavium abounds.

  15. @Kyra: I’m another of the Lucky 10,000 re. “deuteragonist,” so thanks!

    @Filers: In other news, Happy (I hope) Saturday! 🙂 Have an ebook sale:

    The Memory Painter (“A Novel of Love and Reincarnation”) by Gwendolyn Womack is on sale for $2.99 from Picador (uses DRM), at least in some U.S. ebookstores. I forget where I heard about this book. It’s a thriller-time-travel(?)-romance type of thing starring an artist and a scientist. It sounds weird and interesting. It was a finalist for the RWA Prism contests for best first novel and best time travel/steampunk novel (RWA has far too many very specific categories).

  16. The pixels on the scroll go round and round
    Round and round
    Round and round

    Imagine in Ralph Wiggum’s voice from “The Simpsons” (I saw a quick snippet last night of him singing something like this last night).

  17. It seems that every time a new editor-in-chief takes over the DC line, they have to blow up continuity for a few years as some sort of ego boost for the sake of their own posterity.

    Speaking as an employee in the financial services industry, this is hardly unique to DC comics. Standard practice does appear to be too cancel the old guys per project and last off a hundred staff just to make people realise it’s your first day.

  18. Has anyone else read Bombshells Volume 1? I’m sitting here squeeing over the lesbian relationships and the Batwoman as a woman’s baseball league star and…Anyway. It’s going on my short list for 2016 moms.

  19. Add me to the list who somehow avoided awareness of the term”deutroagonist.” (Sounds like a fancy word for “a painful number 2.”)

  20. JJ thanks for the headsup on that; I must have donated before that happened.

    And to state the obvious – what a bunch of a-holes

    Unfortunately, it also somewhat confirms my belief that “griefers” are not going to stop, ever and will not be confining their baby tantrums to awards programs.

    Further: I really am struck by how much of our political discourse these past few years, both fannish and mundane, have descended into one distinct side literally using the tactics of five year olds: Congress not allowing anything to go to a vote if it’s left associated; shutting the government down. Exactly the same as “I’m gonna hold my breath until I die”. They didn’t get picked first for dodgeball, so now they’re trying to destroy the playground so no one can use it.

    Unfortunately, they are not minors and having adult patience while things run their course is not really an option.

    Are there any child psychiatrists in the house?

  21. “Has anyone else read Bombshells Volume 1? I’m sitting here squeeing over the lesbian relationships and the Batwoman as a woman’s baseball league star and…Anyway. It’s going on my short list for 2016 moms.”

    I did squee over the uniforms. ^^

  22. Just as a point of clarity: it’s entirely possible you donated while it was frozen. They never suspended the page or the ability to donate to it, but only froze the payments out of the campaign to me.

    In retrospect, I suppose this is meant to be helpful, in that when a complaint like this is cleared up, it results in no actual interruption to the fundraiser. At the time, when the only avenue forward that was offered to me was to offer proofs that I could not provide without first having access to the money, it kind of made the whole thing more frightening, as if it hadn’t been cleared up, there could be people who’d contributed without ever knowing their money hadn’t reached me, which would have made it harder to raise funds elsewhere.

    If I could have known in advance how quickly and easily it would have been cleared up, I very likely would not have mentioned anything until afterwards.

  23. I’d assumed deutroagonist was an exotic isotope collector, shows what I know.

  24. Re several comments on the new boss changing things around (comics, financial industry): ditto academia (which is a real pain when, like my university which is a small regional one that is a “starter” school for Deans, gets new admins every year or two–I don’t even bother to listen to them anymore until they’ve been here at least four years). I cannot count the reorgs (including the ones that reorgged units that were unorgged a couple of administrators ago). It’s churn: they make a lot of noise, then use that to climb the greasy pole up to the next academic job (which they can only do by leaving). It’s one of the horrors of the corporate academic world in which there’s now a professional managerial track.

  25. robinareid:

    Reminds me of the recent-ish scandal of a university president attempting to improve the school’s enrollment score by encouraging struggling students to drop out before a reporting deadline, saying the professors should put a (hopefully metaphorical) Glock to their heads, and fire and ban from campus professors who complained.

  26. (4) I had him on my ballot, but…

    (7) “What the hell, Japan?” and the shorter version “WTF, Japan?” are basically proverbial questions by now. I liked how even the players were WTF.

    (11) “Again?” was also my thought.

    (12) She’s right — you can’t explain reality to people who refuse to believe in it. Nobody but the GoHs gets all expenses paid to Worldcon. But considering Puppies, Teddy Boys (TM Mark-kitteh), and gators still don’t know the difference between SFWA and WSFS, who’s surprised?

  27. 9> Sounds like an interesting film about last years Hugo experience. There is youtube out about this year’s Hugo Experience as told by Chuck Tingle. I looked around and didn’t see it mentioned but it might be in an older thread.

  28. Hugo reading update:
    I’m starting to suspect Butcher’s entry is a trap for SJWs – multiple strong female characters, there are awesome cats, and I increasingly feel like he’s making Pratchett references.

  29. @Mike Glyer
    I think your having a bad name day. I’m Tasha Turner not robinareid. Mikki Kendall isn’t K Tempest Bradford. I don’t believe Tempest Bradford is mentioned in Mikki Kendall’s blog post. Or am I missing that K Tempest Bradford = Mikki Kendall?

    Tempest Bradford has now been mentioned on File 770. Sorry.

  30. Tasha Turner: robinareid made a comment with a link to a Bradford post. I apologized to Reid for putting it in the deep freeze, which I did because of the tweet. What’s confusing about that?

    You’re welcome to mention Tempest Bradford. It’s only been three weeks since the last time I did it myself.

    ETA: And maybe three’s a charm and I won’t have to copyedit this comment again.

  31. @Kathodus,

    I liked the strong women lead; I like the cats. I just didn’t think this is Butcher’s best work and I just didn’t care for the plot. Steampunk doesn’t do it for me.

    For his Dresden stuff, I like Butcher a lot.

  32. @Robin
    I feel your academic pain! My department at my current university has been restructured, unified, split up, rejoined, and Oxford commaed over the past fifteen or twenty years. I have gone on vacation for a week and come back to find that a dean had added a new program to my department (which I chaired) and hired two new faculty members. As you note, admins on the admin ladder think that they need to be gone in 3-4 years or the rungs will disappear. Since they need to make changes ASAP to put on the resume, they don’t take the year-plus just TALKING to people and finding out what/who works and what/who doesn’t and why things are the way they are (which doesn’t mean that said things MUST be that way, but you should at least know the campus culture). For example, the Math Prof in My House was working at a community college in another city where one dean had horrible relations with the faculty. Said dean left after three years (faculty cheered) and took the Dean of Instruction job at the community college near MY university. He immediately met with some of our admins and launched an initiative involving cooperation between their faculty and ours. Unfortunately, the reason said cooperation did not exist already was animosity between the faculty in certain departments at the two schools. So we had a big joint meeting to announce this where those faculty glared daggers at each other and mouthed, “Oh, no, we’re not!” across the room. That was the last meeting on that initiative . . . and Mr. Dean was gone in two years instead of three, somehow managing to get another university to hire him a half–rung up the ladder. *sigh*

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