Pixel Scroll 7/8/21 Dear Pixels, Please Don’t Scroll In The Attic, Thank You

(1) SPECULATIVE LITERATURE FOUNDATION. In the Mohanraj and Rosenbaum Are Humans podcast, episode 15, “An Interview with Farah Mendelsohn”, Mary Anne Mohanraj’s icebreaker question opens the way for an exchange with Farah Mendlesohn about the challenges of coming to a country from somewhere else, and some immediate worries for Mendlesohn about the consequence of Brexit. There follows discussion about international science fiction and Mendlesohn’s book The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Heinlein.

(2) HARRYHAUSEN AWARDS CREATED. The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation have announced a new film awards program — The Ray Harryhausen Awards —  “established in honor of the legendary master of stop-motion animation.’ Beginning January 1, 2022 they will be accepting entries under the following categories:

  • Best Feature Film Animation
  • Best Short Film Animation
  • Best Student Film Animation
  • Best Commercial Film Animation
  • Best Online Film Animation
  • Best Television Animation
  • Harryhausen Hall of Fame Award

(3) FREE DOWNLOAD FROM TAFF. Rob Hansen collects the rare and esoteric convention reportage of … Rob Hansen! – in American Trips, the latest addition to the selection of free ebook downloads at David Langford’s unofficial Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund site, where they hope you’ll make a little donation to the fund if you please.

Following the 1984 TAFF trip described at length in On the TAFF Trail, Rob Hansen attended a number of other US conventions and wrote further reports collected in this ebook – covering multiple Corflus (1986, 1989, 1990, 2013), two Disclaves (1992, 1995) and the 1997 Boskone/Fanhistoricon at which Rob, as Britain’s leading fan historian, was a special guest.

The cover art is by Rob Hansen. 41,000 words.

Here is a brief extract:

The conversation turned to convention reports and I outlined my conreport writing philosophy for them.

“D. West says they should be ‘the truth, the whole truth, and a few lies to make it interesting’. My reports are the truth,” I explained, “but enhanced. I give the truth a little nip and tuck, and maybe a nose job, but I never go as far as breast implants.”

(4) LGBT PUBLISHING CONTROVERSY IN HUNGARY. AP News that Hungarian authorities have issued a fine over a book featuring ‘rainbow families’. The book in question is by Lawrence Schimel, who started out in the sff genre. His work has received the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Associaton’s Rhysling and Dwarf Stars awards, the Gaylactic Spectrum Award, and also has twice received the Lambda Literary Award for non-genre work.

Hungarian authorities have fined the distributor of a children’s book that features families headed by same-sex parents, relying on a law prohibiting unfair commercial practices and fueling a debate over recent government steps seen as limiting the rights of LGBT people.

The fine comes as Hungary’s government is already under widespread scrutiny over legislation it passed last month that prohibits the depiction of homosexuality or gender reassignment to minors. The law, which is set to take effect on Thursday, was described by rights groups as an attack on the LGBT community, and rebuked by high-ranking European officials as a violation of the European Union’s values.

Speaking to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called the law “a disgrace” and warned Hungary that the EU’s executive arm would use all its powers to uphold European law.

It was amid this escalation over Hungary’s policies that a local government fined the distributor of “What a Family” – a combined Hungarian translation of American author Lawrence Schimel’s books “Early One Morning” and “Bedtime, Not Playtime!”— $830. Each of Schimel’s books depicts the daily routines of a child, one with two mothers and one with two fathers.

The fine was imposed by the Pest County Government Office — the local authority responsible for the county surrounding Hungary’s capital, Budapest….

A Pest County official told commercial television station HirTV Tuesday that the book’s Hungarian distributor, the Foundation for Rainbow Families, had violated rules on unfair commercial practices by failing to clearly indicate that “What a Family!” contained “content which deviates from the norm.”

“The book was there among other fairytale books and thus committed a violation,” Pest County Commissioner Richard Tarnai said. “There is no way of knowing that this book is about a family that is different than a normal family.”…

(5) MEMORY LANE.

2009 – Twelve years ago this week the Warehouse 13 series premiered on Syfy. It was produced by Jacks Kenny, David Simkibs and Drew Greenberg. It was created by Jane Espenson, writer and producer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Brent Mote who had little genre writing experience at all. The original cast was Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly and Saul Rubinek.  It would run for five seasons and sixty four episodes. Almost all critics really liked it although one who didn’t called it, and I quote, “An unholy cross between The X-FilesBones, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.” WTF?!? Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes currently really like it, giving it a rating of eighty eight percent. You can watch it on the Peacock streaming service where I plan on watching it. (CE)

(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 8, 1906 — Walter Sande. He’s best remembered for being on Red Planet MarsThe War of the Worlds and Invaders from Mars, but he also showed up playing a heavy in such serials as The Green Hornets Strikes Again! and Sky Raiders, the latter being at least genre adjacent. He’s had a recurring role as Col. Crockett on The Wild Wild West, and one-offs on Voyage to the Bottom of The SeaThe Man from U.N.C.L.E.Lost in Space and Bewitched. (Died 1971.)
  • Born July 8, 1944 — Jeffrey Tambor, 77. I first encountered him on Max Headroom as Murray, Edison’s editor.  Later on, he’s Mayor Augustus Maywho in How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Finally I’ll note he was in both of the only true Hellboy films that there was playing Tom Manning, director of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. 
  • Born July 8, 1953 Mark Blackman, 68. Mark frequently writes about the Fantastic Fiction at KGB and New York Review of Science Fiction readings series for File 770. He was a member of Lunarians and chaired Lunacon 38 in 1995. He was a member of the New York in 1989 Worldcon bid. (OGH)
  • Born July 8, 1955 — Susan Price, 66. English author of children’s and YA novels. She has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Prize for British children’s books. The Pagan Mars trilogy is her best known work, and The Sterkarm Handshake and its sequel A Sterkarm Kiss, will please Outlander fans.
  • Born July 8, 1970 — Ekaterina Sedia, 51. Her Heart of Iron novel which was nominated for a Sidewise Award for Alternate History is simply awesome. I’d also recommend The Secret History of Moscow as well. It’s worth noting that both the usual suspects list several collections by her, Willful Impropriety: 13 Tales of Society, Scandal, and Romance and Wilful Impropriety. They’re quite superb it turns out as is Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy anthology she edited which won a World Fantasy Award. I note that’s she not published anything for a half decade now. 
  • Born July 8, 1978 — George Mann, 43. Writer and editor. He’s edited a number of anthologies including the first three volumes of Solaris Book of New Science Fiction. Among my favorite books by him are his Newbury & Hobbes series, plus his excellent Doctor Who work. The Affinity Bridge, the first in the Newbury & Hobbes series, was nominated for a Sidewise Award. 
  • Born July 8, 1988 — Shazad Latif, 33. If you watched Spooks, you’ll remember him as Tariq Masood. (Spooks did become genre.) He was Chief of Security Ash Tyler in Discovery,andDr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Penny Dreadful. He voiced Kyla in The Dark Crystal: Voice of Resistance. And he was in the Black Mirror episode “The National Anthem” as Mehdi Raboud. 

(7) COMIC-CON SCHEDULE. Comic-Con@Home 2021 will run for three days from July 23-25. The online event is free to attend. The Program Schedule dropped today. All panels will be available to stream on the Comic-Con International YouTube page. Most will be pre-recorded.

(8) SWAMP THINGIE. Could Loki made a nice handbag? I don’t mean could he sew it – could he be it? “’Loki’: The Glorious Debut of Alligator Loki” at Marvel. BEWARE SPOILERS. Or so I assume.

…Jokingly calling the stuffed alligator a “real diva” on set, Herron explains that the series’ first AD “actually stuck googly eyes on it. It was like a Muppet character on set.” But Alligator Loki wasn’t all just fun and games, as he was useful for the actors who had to interact with him, especially Jack Veal (Kid Loki), who frequently carries Alligator Loki from location to location.

“You put [the stuffed alligator] in there, and the actors can interact with it and get a sense of how heavy or how large the alligator would be,” notes Herron. “[It was filmed] in the world of imagination with our cast because sometimes they were acting to a blade of grass.”

Like all characters, Alligator Loki also went through a few different looks before settling on the version viewers see on-screen.

“We had some early versions when we were doing visual effects that probably were a bit too cute, in the sense of it was a bit more like a cartoony kind of alligator,” Herron explains. “But it just became funnier and funnier the more it looked like a real alligator that just happened to be wearing the horns. That was the sweet spot. Once we landed in that spot where it felt like a real alligator, but with a kind of slightly jaunty horns on, that’s where we were like, ‘Oh, there he is.’”

However, this doesn’t answer the most pressing question: Is Alligator Loki really a Loki?

(9) WHAT IF? Disney Plus dropped a trailer for “Marvel Studios’ What If…?”, an alternate universe animated anthology.

Enter the multiverse of unlimited possibilities. Watch the exciting trailer for Marvel Studios’ first animated series, What If…? “What If… ?” features fan-favorite characters, including Peggy Carter, T’Challa, Doctor Strange, Killmonger, Thor and more. The new series, directed by Bryan Andrews with AC Bradley as head writer, features signature MCU action with a curious twist. What If…? starts streaming August 11, 2021, with new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.

(10) HIGH DEFINITION. Dwayne Johnson posted on Instagram a photo of how makeup artists are making his muscles “more terrifying” in Black Adam. See the image in this Collider article: “Black Adam: Dwayne Johnson Reveals Training Image”.

“Big week for #BlackAdam shooting my ‘champion’ scenes with my shirt off and showing my body” reads the caption. “Been working extremely hard dieting, training and conditioning unlike any other role of my entire career.” Johnson goes on to explain his training strategy, from manipulating his electrolytes and incorporating more intense cardio to push-and-pull resistance training in order to get the “dense, dry, detailed muscle” definition that he wanted for his role. The new photo comes weeks after Johnson gave fans the tiniest hint of his Black Adam costume in a similar social media post.

(11) PLAY BALL. By invitation, from SYFY Wire: “FX’s American Horror Stories: watch Danny Trejo’s baseball bat wielding Santa”. The new anthology series premieres July 15 on FX on Hulu.

…But as the trailer (below) proves, this version of the beloved holiday figure is anything but jolly, and the only gift he’ll be bringing this year is the baseball bat he seems to be wielding. (No word yet if it makes a difference whether you’re naughty or nice.) 

(12) TRAILERS AND CLIPS. Recently unveiled, a featurette about King’s Man:  Legacy, coming in December, and a trailer for The Addams Family 2, in theaters October 1

As a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions, one man must race against time to stop them. Discover the origins of the very first independent intelligence agency in The King’s Man.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, Meredith, Michael J. Walsh, Daniel Dern, David Langford, JJ, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Peer.]

35 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/8/21 Dear Pixels, Please Don’t Scroll In The Attic, Thank You

  1. Andrew (not Werdna) says Warehouse is missing its 13

    It’s back. I’m looking to watching the entire series as I’ve never actually watched it that way though I’ve seen much of it sporadically over the years. And I forgot to mention that it exists in the same universe as Eureka does.

    Now reading the Rocketeer graphic novel which is most excellent.

  2. An unholy cross between The X-Files, Bones, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
    Like that’s a bad thing?

  3. One result of Syfy producing so much programming which has…issues, well say,.is that someone like me misses the good stuff they manage to put out. I’d never heard of Warehouse 13, or perhaps I had and dismissed it because it’s a Syfy program.

    I really enjoy Saul Rubinek. I’ll have to give it a try.

    On a topical note, Have any of you read J D Bernal’s The Scroll, the File and the Pixel?

  4. PhilRM says of An unholy cross between The X-Files, Bones, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Like that’s a bad thing?

    Not a bad thing, but not terribly close on. None of gheir case really got close to being X-Files In nature as they never got that serious, and forensics like Bones? No. It’d would’ve made a great series no doubt, just not that one the critic was reviewing.

  5. (5) Agree that Warehouse 13 is very entertaining. And it’s also available via Amazon Prime, albeit with some inserted commercials.

  6. Brown Robin says I really enjoy Saul Rubinek. I’ll have to give it a try.

    He played Lon Cohen on the Nero Wolfe Mysteries, showing up in half of the twenty episodes done.

  7. Rich Lynch says Agree that Warehouse 13 is very entertaining. And it’s also available via Amazon Prime, albeit with some inserted commercials.

    I’m only doing streaming services where I don’t suffer through commercials. That usually means I pay ten bucks a month which I think is a fair price for what I get.

  8. Warehouse 13 was enjoyable if you had a sense of humor about it.
    And CCH Pounder was wonderful as Mrs. Fredric.

  9. The first thing that I remember seeing Jeffrey Tambor in was Saturday the 14th, where he played Dracula. My roommate and I still quote lines from this movie which we haven’t seen since it came out.

    Agree with the praise for Warehouse 13. That was a fun show.

  10. Quite why anyone doubts Alligator Loki being a Loki escapes me. He is green after all.

  11. Might see The King’s Man: strong cast and it doesn’t look as sexist as the first film, during whose denouement I had my hands up to block the screen while saying, “That’s not funny” quite a lot. Last time I saw Ralph Fiennes was as Antony in Antony and Cleopatra. But of course movies pay better than the theatre.

  12. @Cat: Thank you for restoring the 13. I enjoyed Warehouse 13. As I recall there are some signs that Warehouse 13/Eureka are in the same universe as the (tonally quite different) Alphas

  13. NickPheas says Quite why anyone doubts Alligator Loki being a Loki escapes me. He is green after all.

    Ok, I’m not really not that deep in All Thing Loki of the Marvel persuasion. What’s being green have to do with being Loki? That said I’m looking forward to the Loki Cat persona.

  14. Andrew (not Werdna) says to me Thank you for restoring the 13. I enjoyed Warehouse 13. As I recall there are some signs that Warehouse 13/Eureka are in the same universe as the (tonally quite different) Alphas

    Thanks OGH as he did it, not me.

    I’ve never seen Alphas. So how did it tie-in?

  15. steve davidson says Why so incredulous at that critic’s description? Other than invoking Bones as opposed to Get Smart, it’s a spot on encapsulation.

    You change a third of the description and you question me objecting to the critic’s description? That’s rich.

  16. I do recall W13 and Eureka were in the same verse. I preferred Warehouse 13, though.

  17. Paul Weimer says I do recall W13 and Eureka were in the same verse. I preferred Warehouse 13, though.

    I experienced Eureka all the way through which I’ve not done yet for Warehouse 13 so I’ll tell you which I like better after I watch the latter all the way through soon. Streaming is truly one of the great innovations of recent history!

    Still listening to Deep State

  18. Warehouse 13 and Eureka had more than one crossover episode, so yeah, same universe.

  19. rochrist says Warehouse 13 and Eureka had more than one crossover episode, so yeah, same universe.

    That I knew having seen at least one of those cross-overs. So how did it tie-in to the short-lived Alphas series?

  20. Ralph “Rafe” Fiennes plays a character named Orlando Oxford???

    Gosh wow!

  21. Meredith moment: Algis Budrys’ Hard Landing is available from the usual suspects for a buck ninety nine. It was nominated for a Hugo at ConAdian but withdrawn from consideration as it was actually published in the previous year. It was also nominated for a Nebula.

  22. Ok, I still want to know what green has to do with being a Loki. Would someone pretty please explain the connection. I mean there was a Thor that was a frog, and oh, do I want I want that one as a sculpture to place with my other Marvel figures!

  23. Cat Eldridge: Ok, I still want to know what green has to do with being a Loki.

    Well, for one thing, it’s not easy being green — otherwise everybody would be doing it.

  24. Cat Eldridge mused:

    I’m looking forward to the Loki Cat persona.

    Too Late! All house cats are Loki incarnate.
    (especially mine, who for some reason decided to drag the bathtub stopper downstairs to the living room. wtf?)

  25. JeffWarner: All house cats are Loki incarnate. (especially mine, who for some reason decided to drag the bathtub stopper downstairs to the living room. wtf?)

    As I frequently tell Penwiper, who is 5 years old now and used to be a total moron: There is nothing like the arrival of a new kitten to transform the Village Idiot into a Rocket Scientist (to which Penwiper just nods wisely).

    Ancillary Cat has taught me how to play fetch. Sitting on the living room couch, I throw the stuffed mouse up on top of the cat condo by the window. She climbs up, pounces on it, grabs it in her mouth, jumps down, and gallops triumphantly into the kitchen. Sometimes she brings the mouse back. Sometimes it ends up in the water dish. Once I found it in the litter box. Sometimes it disappears for hours, or even a day or two – and then she will show up with it and demand to play fetch again. She has half a dozen identical mice – but she will only play with this one particular mouse. I’ve given up trying to figure out what, if anything, is going on in her very tiny brain.

  26. @JJ – that’s super cute. Crowley went through a phase of playing fetch too, although she hasn’t done it for a while (maybe I just wasn’t playing it properly). I remember being blown away when she started doing it.

  27. An unholy cross between The X-Files, Bones, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Like that’s a bad thing?

    Chalk me up as someone else who thinks that’s a pretty apt comparison. Well, maybe strike “unholy.” Maybe.

    (Anyone who disagrees is free to disagree! I’m not going to fight about it. But I’m going to state serious disagreement with the notion that “nothing serious” happens in W13, and leave it at that.)

    I don’t recall whether it was chronologically odd of me to do so, but I saw Leverage only after I’d been watching Warehouse 13, so Saul Rubinek’s character in Leverage S1 Ep1 broke my brain a little.

  28. Saul Rubenik first came to my attention in Star Trek TNG (and I also noticed him in Frasier where he had a memorable role in several episodes).

  29. JJ observed:

    Sometimes she brings the mouse back. Sometimes it ends up in the water dish.

    Yup. No “Fetch” among mine, but toys do end up in: the water dishes, the bathtub, the litterbox, the kitchen cabinets, my bed, the flower pots, my shoes, the food bowls – you get the point.
    One day in the future when i move, i’ll find hundreds of toys in all the hidden places only cats know.

    I’ve given up trying to figure out what, if anything, is going on in her very tiny brain.

    Indeed, but it is a reliable source of WTF/amusement.

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