Pixel Scroll 8/6/21 Mrs. Scroll, We’re Pixeled

(1) BRIANNA WU’S REVELATION. The Brianna Wu tweet below led the Washington Post to interview her about the significance of the apologies, and what forgiveness does and doesn’t entail.

Read the Washington Post article here: “GamerGaters inundated Brianna Wu with death threats. Now some are apologizing — and she forgives them”.

…In the years since GamerGate, Wu said she has received more than 100 apologies from the trolls and harassers who fixated on her. And though the apologies are outpaced 10-to-1 by insults and continued harassment, she says she nearly always forgives those who apologize.

She wants to be clear: Many people involved in GamerGate have not learned and don’t deserve forgiveness. But some, she says, truly did and do. And when she hears their stories, she generally can’t help but tell them she accepts their apologies.

Wu said she gets a message about once a week along these lines: Hey, you don’t know me, but I wanted reach out to you and apologize. I was part of the people sending you death threats and things during GamerGate. I was egged on by my friends, I was dealing with depression, I was in the closet, my parents were getting divorced, something like that. And I look back at that and I feel a deep sense of shame, and I’m very sorry.

She said her conviction to forgive GamerGaters began after the first time she met one in 2015. She had just given a talk at a college, and he approached her afterward to explain why he had supported the movement.

“I’m not talking to a monster, I’m talking to someone that is under-socialized and lonely and is looking for respect, which I think is something all of us as humans understand,” she said. “It was such a lightbulb moment, that these aren’t people I should be angry with as much as people I should try to have empathy for.”..

The reaction to the Washington Post article shows there remain many unrepentant abusers.

(2) VALUE OF TRIGGER WARNINGS. Queer Sci Fi’s J. Scott Coatsworth announced in “FOR READERS: Trigger Warnings” a public Facebook group discussion: “Trigger warnings – we’ve all seen them. When are they useful to you? When are they not?” There are several dozen responses.

(3) PROPOSED HEART TEST. Kharma Kelley reacted to the controversy over one of the RWA’s Vivian Award winners (see a roundup here) by proposing a screening test. Thread starts here.

(4) FRAZETTA, THE NEXT GENERATION. The Rogues in the House podcast hears from Sara Frazetta, granddaughter of Frank: “Sara Frazetta Interview”.

The Rogues are thrilled to host Sara Frazetta from Frazetta Girls. Tune in as we discuss her grandfather’s legacy, her business approach to bringing that legacy to a new audience of sword and sorcery fans, and her own journey of discovery in the S&S genre.

(5) GET UPSIDE DOWN AGAIN. “Stranger Things 4 confirms 2022 release with teaser footage”SYFY Wire analyzes the video for clues.

… Among the never-before-seen snippets, you can see Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) being detained by what looks like shady government agents, Hopper (David Harbour) entering a room with an active flamethrower (à la Kurt Russell in The Thing), a high school cheerleading squad, and a group of core characters (Steve, Dustin, Nancy, Max, Lucas, and Robin) exploring a creepy old house. Even with these small flashes, you can tell that our young heroes are maturing along with the overall scope….

(6) THERE WILL BE WARHAMMER. The Scroll linked to Cory Doctorow’s post “Games Workshop declares war on its customers (again)” two days ago. Now, in “Warhammer 40k Fans in Revolt Over ‘Zero Tolerance’ Fan Animation Policy”, Vice reports from the rebellion’s front line.

In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war between fan communities and the corporations that own the intellectual property they love. The Warhammer 40k community is furious at Games Workshop, the tabletop game’s creator, because of new “zero tolerance” policies about fan-made animation videos. 

….At issue is an update to Games Workshop’s intellectual property guidelines. The new policies explicitly laid out the dos and don’ts of how the company wants fans to handle Warhammer 40K and its other universes. At the bottom, it detailed a list of infringements it has a “zero tolerance” policy towards. It includes pirating books, using a 3D printer to make copies of their models, and a ban on fan animations.

“Individuals must not create fan films or animations based on our settings and characters,” the guidelines said. “These are only to be created under licence from Games Workshop.”

… GW is a notoriously litigious company so it’s no shock that Alfabusa and others are packing it in ahead of possible litigation. It has repeatedly attempted to enforce a trademark on the words “Space Marines” with mixed results and gone to legal war with a company that was manufacturing miniatures of characters it had never made.

On August 25, GW will launch Warhammer Plus—a subscription service for Warhammer fans that includes access to several planned animated series, which may in the community say must be the impetus for the new policy. One of those series is Astartes, which began life as an unlicensed fan-made YouTube show by creator Syama Pedersen. It caught caught GWs attention and it offered Pedersen a job. This is the exact kind of thing GW’s new policy seeks to eliminate….

(7) RIDING THE EARWORMS. “Arrakis Rippers: A Guide to ‘Dune’-Inspired Metal” at Bandcamp Daily. List five bands, with introductions and sample tracks.

…It goes without saying that Scottish progressive post-metal quintet DVNE have been heavily influenced by Frank Herbert’s work. Starting out as an instrumental three piece, the band were trying to figure out what message they wanted to get across through their music, while coming up with their name. “It felt like we were trying to tell a story, and the best kind of story with us would be something out-of-this-world,” explains singer Victor Vicart, recounting the band’s beginnings….

…. Big fans of the Dune saga, Seattle-based doom rockers Sandrider ended up naming themselves after the Fremen wormriders of Arrakis, whom they felt embodied the heavy direction of their music. “Thematically, a little desert warrior surfing a massive sand worm fits the sound of the band pretty well,” says singer Jon Weisnewski….

(8) THE POINT. “With billions in federal funding at stake, library leaders must see this moment for what it is: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to truly transform the future of libraries,” says Sari Feldman in “An Inflection Point for Libraries” at Publishers Weekly. (The title prompted Michael Toman “to wonder if anyone has ever written a “Jonbar Point for Libraries” (featuring Benjamin Franklin?) story?”

… The last 18 months with Covid-19 has been a historically difficult period. But with the rollout of safe and incredibly effective vaccines, we can now see the way forward. And if there is a silver lining as we prepare to hopefully come out of this pandemic, it is that the important work of libraries has once again gained the attention of Congress.

In 2020, lawmakers appropriated an additional $50 million in relief funding to be distributed to libraries via the IMLS through the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act). And in March of 2021, IMLS received another $200 million boost to distribute via the American Rescue Plan Act the largest single investment in the agency’s 25-year history.

Building on that support, Congress last month approved significant increases in annual federal library funding in the FY2022 budget, including a $25 million increase for the IMLS that includes a $9 million increase for the LSTA (the Library Services and Technology Act); a $3 million increase in IAL funding (Innovative Approaches to Literacy); an additional $37 million for the Library of Congress, and new funding for Native American libraries, as well as other institutions that serve diverse populations, including historically black colleges and universities….

(9) ASTEROID BELT AND SUSPENDERS. Bill Capossere reviews a compelling book titled “Asteroids: How Love, Fear, And Greed Will Determine Our Future in Space” at Fantasy Literature.

Asteroids: How Love, Fear, And Greed Will Determine Our Future in Space (2021), by Martin Elvis, is a thorough and wonderfully detailed exploration not of asteroids as objects (which he does do to some extent), but of the possibility of our interacting with them in order to a) prevent them from killing us off as one did (maybe) to the dinosaurs, b) exploit them for resources, and c) use them as a stepping stone for further exploitation of space. If you thought the idea of asteroid mining belongs only in the realm of science fiction, Elvis will (probably) convince you otherwise….

(10) ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION. At Nerds of a Feather Arturo Serrano has an interesting take on Masters of the Universe: Revelation, unfortunately with a spoiler in the title, thus we’ll just say the link is here.

When your character is defined plainly as “the most powerful man in the universe,” there’s no such thing as narrative stakes. In any episode of the classic He-Man show, which ran from 1983 to 1985, there’s never any question that the hero will win. He’s beyond Superman syndrome, beyond Dragon Ball syndrome: he simply can’t be beaten. Whereas Superman syndrome was addressed early in his stories with the addition of kryptonite, and Dragon Ball syndrome can be temporarily patched with yet another escalation, He-Man syndrome has no solution… 

(11) ANIMANIACS SEASON 2. Come join the Warner Brothers and the Warner Sister Dot as they announce that Season 2 of Animaniacs with 13 new episodes will premiere on November 5 on Hulu. Narf!

(12) MEMORY LANE.

  • 2000 – Twenty-one years ago at Chicon 2000 where Harry Turtledove was the Toastmaster, Galaxy Quest would win the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo. It would also win the Nebula Award for Best Script.  It was directed by Dean Parisot with the screenplay by David Howard and Robert Gordon; the story was written by David Howard. The other Hugo finalists were The Matrix (which was just three votes behind it in the final count), The Sixth SenseBeing John Malkovich and The Iron Giant

(13) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born August 6, 1911 Lucille Ball. She became the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu Productions, which is where Star Trek was produced. Her support of the series kept it from being terminated by the financial backers even after it went way over budget in the first pilot. (Died 1989.)
  • Born August 6, 1926 Janet Asimov. Author of some half dozen novels and a fair amount of short fiction on her own, mostly as J.O. Jeppson; co-author with her husband, Isaac, of the Norby Chronicles. Her memoir, Notes for a Memoir: On Isaac Asimov, Life, and Writing, came out thirteen years ago. (Died 2019.)
  • Born August 6, 1956 Ian R. MacLeod,  65. Another author I need to read more of. I’ve read the first two in what’s called the Aether Universe series, The Light Ages and The House of Storms, but there are other novels I’m intrigued by, including Song of Time and The Great Wheel. He’s won some impressive Awards including three Sidewise Awards for The Summer Isles (short and long forms) and for Wake Up and Dream novel. He also won a World Fantasy Award for “The Chop Shop” short story. 
  • Born August 6, 1960 Leland Orser, 61. If you look closely, you’ll spot him in Escape from L.A. as Test Tube and in Independence Day in the dual roles of the Day Tech and a Medical Assistant.  He’s in Daredevil as Wesley Owen Welch, Kingpin’s right hand man. And someone at Trek casting liked him as he was on Deep Space NineVoyager and Enterprise. All different roles. 
  • Born August 6, 1962 Michelle Yeoh, 59. Her first meaningful genre roles was as Wai Lin in Tomorrow Never Dies and Yu Shu Lien in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I actually remember her as Zi Yuan in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, the first film of a since cancelled franchise. And then there’s her dual roles in the Trek universe where she’s Captain Philippa Georgiou and Emperor Philippa Georgiou. She’s attached to the Section 31 Star Trek series announced in 2019 as being in development. 
  • Born August 6, 1972 Paolo Bacigalupi, 49. I remember the book group I was part of some years ago having a spirited debate over The Windup Girl (which won a Hugo at Aussiecon 4 and a Nebula as well) over the believability of the central character. I think he did a better job with characters in his next novels, Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities, but he’s really not about characters anyways. 

(14) COMICS SECTION.

(15) DISCOVER MANHWA. Publishers Weekly tells why “Korean Comics Gain Popularity in North America”.

There’s more to Korean comics than webtoons. While vertical-scroll digital comics have surged in popularity among English speakers since the Netcomics, Webtoon, and Tapas Media platforms started publishing Korean comics in English, the growth in popularity of print manhwa (the Korean term for comics) in North America has been more of a slow burn.

While manhwa overall remains a small category in the print comics world, the category is growing in the North American marketplace. Drawn and Quarterly has published several manhwa a year since 2017, and their 2019 manhwa, Grass by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, a powerful story of sexual slavery during WWII, won the Cartoonist Studio Prize for Best Print Comic of the Year and was nominated for two Eisner awards. Chugong’s Solo Leveling, an action fantasy manhwa that started out as an online webtoon, has been a bestseller in print for Yen Press. Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook and Ryan Estrada with art by Hyung-Ju Ko, a memoir of Sook’s college years under a repressive Korean government, was published by Iron Circus Comics and nominated for an Eisner Award this year. And in August, Ablaze Comics will publish the first volume of the action manhwa The Breakers, by Jeon Guk-jin and Kamaro, as a 400-page omnibus….

(16) EXPLAINING THE WORLD. James Davis Nicoll looks far south to find “Five Fantasy Stories Inspired by Mesoamerican History and Folklore”.

… The world is a very large and old place, however, and there is no compelling reason for authors to reject alternative inspirations. These five authors, for example, turned to Mesoamerican history and folklore to produce five very different works….

Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard (2010)

Death is natural, an unavoidable part of the world. Accordingly, God of death Mictlantecuhtli commands cautious respect as one who rules a fundamental aspect of existence. Acatl, Mictlantecuhtli’s priest, has many duties that demand daily attention. Being drawn into the role of amateur detective should not be one of them.

Priestess Eleuia has vanished. Perhaps she absconded under her own power but the fact her room is painted with blood suggests otherwise. The signs suggest she has carried off by some occult means. Whodunnit? Acatl is tasked to find out.

The list of people who wanted Eleuia dead is short. Near the top of the list is Acatl’s warrior brother, Neutemoc. With authorities more concerned with finding someone to blame than with finding the correct person to blame, either Acatl clears his brother or Neutemoc is doomed. And there is no guarantee Neutemoc is innocent.

(17) OLD TIME RELIGION. The initial tweet inspired some artists to respond with drawings of characters based on the discovery.  Thread starts here.

(18) TEETHING. Nothing is certain but death and taxonomy. This spoiler-filled featurette explains the human-animal hybrids in Sweet Tooth.

(19) CLAYMATION BULLET TIME. io9 has three more 15-second videos to close out the series: “Sci-Fi Claymation: 2001, The Matrix, Alien for Dust”.

Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed an uptick in io9 posts featuring short claymation scenes recreating iconic moments from famous sci-fi movies. We shared Star Trek II and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and now we’ve reached the grand finale. Not one, not two, but three all-time sci-fi classics2001: A Space Odyssey, The Matrix, and Alien.

These little slices of clay-recreated heaven come from artist Joseph Brett, who did them to commemorate the fifth anniversary of online sci-fi platform Dust….

(20) BUG HUNT WARNING. YouTuber Kyle Kallgren has posted the third part in his series on Heinlein and Vanderhoven’s Starship Troopers. It comes with bonus mentions of a wide variety of other SFF-nal names and topics, mixed in with a lot of discussion of fascism.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Rob Thornton, Jennifer Hawthorne, Michael J. Walsh, Cora Buhlert, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Jon Meltzer.]

24 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/6/21 Mrs. Scroll, We’re Pixeled

  1. First!

    12) MEMORY LANE: Galaxy Quest is my go to film when I’m in need of cheering up. It’s my favorite SF film of all time, bar none. I think next year that I’ll do a full post on it as it deserves certainly it.

  2. (12) My choice for the best Science fiction/fantasy of 1999 was not one of the finalists. The Mummy was really entertaining!

  3. 17) I saw that and made a joke about a Priestess Lich. I have no artistry skills beyond photography…

  4. Rich Lynch says My choice for the best Science fiction/fantasy of 1999 was not one of the finalists. The Mummy was really entertaining!

    The Mummy certainly is also on my list of really great genre films that I watch frequently as is its sequel. The third film in that franchise is most decidedly not on that list.

  5. My trip to meet the potential new dog is now tomorrow, not Sunday.

    I now have possession of two images of my brain. Perhaps of minor interest, it’s in excellent condition, with nothing about it that supports any the bad possible explanations for my systems. They might just be a product of grief and stress. (Gee, what could possibly have caused that?)

    Anyone interested in either of these things should perhaps remind me on Sunday.

  6. 3) If Kharma Kelley’s not joking, she would feel right at home in Orwell’s 1984 world, since what she proposes is nothing but censorship. For instance: “Characters with a disability are not solely defined around their disability and should be fully realized to live a happy and fulfilling life in the story.” Right… we all do that, every day of the year…
    But, then again, a) who cares about what’s written on Twitter and b) romance has really nothing to do with our beloved genre…

  7. 13) Michelle Yeoh also did a number of roles that were genre or genre-adjacent when she was still working primarily in the Hong Kong film industry, including Butterfly & Sword (another period martial arts pieces) and Heroic Trio & The Executioners (two films about essentially a trio of female superheroes).

  8. b) romance has really nothing to do with our beloved genre

    Um (looks in the direction of a local wombat)

  9. Kharma’s thread is just a list of suggestions, some of which I very much like, but I admit the bit about “all disabled characters must have fulfilled and happy lives” made me raise my eyebrows pretty high. What I want for disabled characters is what I want for abled characters — to be able to embody the full range of human experience, including lack of fulfillment, and unhappy lives, whether or not those elements are connected to their disability. To suggest that portraying disabled characters as unhappy or unfulfilled is somehow wrong strips disabled characters of much of their humanity.

    Also, the fact is that disability can definitely contribute to a lack of fulfillment and lack of happiness in life, and suggesting that it must never be shown to do so seems to me to be an erasure of disability itself, which is the last thing I want from disabled characters. In a particular fantasy franchise I enjoy greatly there is a character who lost her sight but has been managing that disability using magic to nearly fully compensate for her so-called “blindness”, in exchange for some vague “cost” to be paid later in life. Essentially she is “blind in name only”, which a number of fans of the franchise have found rather shallow and annoying in terms of the writing of her character.

    The same was true of the original Psylocke in the X-Men comic books — she was “blinded”, and yet, she wasn’t, because she’s a telepath who can see through other people’s eyes. And then of course there’s Daredevil with his radar. Isn’t that just insulting to people with real visual challenges? One of the few SFF characters I can think of where her blindness is even a little bit acknowledged as a limitation is Toph Bei Fong of Avatar:The Last Airbender; although her earth magic allows her to get around easily enough (that “radar” thing again, like Matt Murdock), the show at least acknowledged that being actually blind means she can’t read scrolls or look at pictures, a fact she has to remind her fellow protagonists of more than once. (Daredevil, in contrast, can read print materials using his super-sensitive fingers, because of course he can.)

    I realize Kharma is just spitballing ideas here, not finalizing rules of any kind, but this is one part of her suggested screening process that needs some serious rethinking, in my humble opinion.

  10. Maytree: the bit about “all disabled characters must have fulfilled and happy lives” made me raise my eyebrows pretty high. What I want for disabled characters is what I want for abled characters — to be able to embody the full range of human experience, including lack of fulfillment, and unhappy lives, whether or not those elements are connected to their disability. To suggest that portraying disabled characters as unhappy or unfulfilled is somehow wrong strips disabled characters of much of their humanity.

    I am not at all a romance reader. But it’s my impression that Kelley’s guidelines are in the context of romance novels and the RWA’s awards, where the definition of such books is that they include a Happily Ever After, which is why she calls it the HEART test – not in the context of novels in general.

  11. (11) ANIMANIACS SEASON 2. So did anyone here watch and like the first season of the revived show? I will readily confess that I got through three or so episodes before deciding that something was just wrong with it. I admit I didn’t like the new animation but something about the whole undertaking felt tainted.

  12. I am not at all a romance reader. But it’s my impression that Kelley’s guidelines are in the context of romance novels and the RWA’s awards, where the definition of such books is that they include a Happily Ever After, which is why she calls it the HEART test – not in the context of novels in general.

    If “Happily Ever After” is already in the definition, why is it necessary to specifically say “this applies to disabled characters too”? Is the idea that either (a) disabled characters typically don’t get Happily Ever After in romance even if they’re a part of the central relationship because their disability is shown as causing them permanent un-relievable misery or (b) disabled characters have to “get better” in order to have a Happily Ever After — that is, be no longer disabled?

    Basically I’m asking what’s the current problem she’s trying to address in the RWA awards with this suggestion?

  13. Meredith moment: T. Kingfisher’s most excellent and deeply creepy The Hollow Places is $1.99 at the usual suspects.

  14. Jim Janney says Meredith moment: T. Kingfisher’s most excellent and deeply creepy The Hollow Places is $1.99 at the usual suspects.

    A lot of Kingfisher’s novels are priced at four dollars and ninety nine cents or below at the usual suspects, far too many to list here. Just check your favorite usual suspect.

  15. Basically I’m asking what’s the current problem she’s trying to address in the RWA awards with this suggestion?

    At a guess, stories about disability by able-bodied writers: life with a disability imagined only in terms of misery, difficulty, and lack; able-bodied carers as “rescuers”; miracle cures… probably lots more but those are the obvious ones that come to my mind.

    (For myself, if I was going to quibble about something it would be the “no terrorists” suggestion. Who gets called a terrorist and who doesn’t is incredibly situational and politically charged.)

  16. I doubt she’s actually advocating for disabled people to be always happy and fulfilled from the start of the book to the end – no romance novel starts with everyone happy and fulfilled. But the DEFINITION of a romance novel implies it’s about people who should be heading towards a happy and fulfilled looking life — happy ever after isn’t just about two people finding love, it’s often about achieving or discovering the things which make the life outside just the romance more fulfilling. Usually including for the side characters where possible, though some have to get to their own book in the series to achieve it. Still, you literally don’t read romance novels to hear about a character who starts feeling listless, unfulfilled and struggling with finances, and ends the story still feeling all of the above. It’s supposed to be wish fulfillment.

    And disabled people, as main characters especially but also as side characters, are attached to a huge heap of ugly tropes she’d have needed more than one tweet to counter; being special because of their disability, romance with caregivers (without actually tackling the power dynamics of the real world concept), curebie plots where the person is fulfilled by not being disabled anymore, or “inspiring” stories that are all about how they learned how to do a skill that, while cool, is treated as weirdly miraculous if they do it. (A fiddler in a wheelchair or a woodcarver with autism is never treated as a musician or a craftsperson).

  17. Ok, I’m looking fior a favorite whisky review or two for a September edition of Green Man. A small recompense in some form will be provided. Email me here if you’re interested in this assignment.

  18. (11) I wonder if Season 2 will include characters other than the Warners and Pinky & The Brain. Because that’s where Season 1 fell down for me – the lack of variety. It all just became very same/same very quickly.
    It meant I could watch the show, but definitely couldn’t marathon it the way I can “classic” Animaniacs.

  19. @StephenfromOttawa: “Mrs Scroll, You’ve Got a Lovely Pixel”

    😀

    “No Scroll Today” (clearly a sad song, from the title)

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