Pixel Scroll 8/22/17 One Pixel Makes You Larger, And One Pixel Makes You Scroll

(1) CHILDHOOD’S BEGINNING. When people finally stop sending letters, here’s the kind of thing we’ll be missing: “UK toys celebrated on Royal Mail stamps”.

The UK’s favourite toys from the past 100 years are being celebrated in a new set of stamps from the Royal Mail.

Characters in the set include the Sindy doll and Action Man, as well as brands like Spirograph, Stickle Bricks and Fuzzy Felt.

Meccano, the Merrythought bear, W Britain toy figures, Space Hopper and Hornby Dublo trains also feature.

The series of 10 stamps will be released on Tuesday at 7,000 post offices and to buy online.

Royal Mail spokesman Philip Parker said: “British toymakers enjoyed a reputation for quality and innovation.

“These nostalgic stamps celebrate 10 wonderful toys that have endured through the decades.”


(2) PARDON MY SHADOW. If someone had not added “photobomb” to the language, this would not be nearly so clickworthy: “The International Space Station just pulled off the photobomb of a lifetime” at Quartz.

Captured by NASA photographer Joel Kowsky while looking up from Banner, Wyoming, perfectly timed images show a tiny ISS passing in front of the sun.

(3) WABBIT TWACKS. Ricky L. Brown tells Amazing Stories readers about a bizarre crossover project in “Comic Review: Batman/Elmer Fudd Special #1”.

Batman/Elmer Fudd Special #1 was written by Tom King (The Vision, The Sheriff of Babylon) with cover and interior art by Lee Weeks (Daredevil) while color was provided by Lovern Kindzierski (Marvel) and lettering by Deron Bennett (DC, Vault).

This unique crossover is part of a six issue DC Universe / Looney Tunes One-Shot collection. In addition to the Batman Fudd combo, the list of other comics includes: Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny Special #1 written by Sam Humphries with art by Tom Grummett and Scott Hanna (June 14, 2017); Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Special #1 written by Steve Orlando and Frank Barberi with art by Aaron Lopresti (June 14, 2017); Lobo/Road Runner Special #1 written by Bill Morrison with art by Kelley Jones (June 21, 2017); Wonder Woman/Tazmanian Devil Special #1 written by Tony Bedard with art by Barry Kitson (June 21, 2017); Jonah Hex/Yosemite Sam Special #1 written by Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Mark Texeira (June 28, 2017). Though these are billed as “one-shot” issues which are typical stand-alone stories, we can only hope/assume that DC Comics has left the window open for many more installments down the line seeing that they chose to include ”#1” in the title designations on their website. Just sayin’.

(4) POD PEOPLE. Fandompodden interviewed current and future Worldcon organizers for its first podcast in English. (They’re usually in Swedish.)

This is our very first English speaking podcast aiming new and old international fandom friends. We have three amazing interviews from the recent Worldcon 75 in Helsinki. Jukka Halme, supreme overlord of the finnish Worldcon. Dave Clark of the San Jose organisation and finaly Steve Cooper and Emmy England of Dublin 2019. Your host for the show is Håkan Wester and Patrick Edlund. Enjoy

(5) CATALANO REJOINS GEEKWIRE. You can now listen to the first episode of GeekWire’s new podcast interview/article series which Frank Catalano is hosting/reporting. It’s about pop culture, science fiction and the arts, and how one of those three topics intersects with tech. The first guest is Greg Bear, on the state of science fiction: “Science fiction has won the war: Best-selling author Greg Bear on the genre’s new ‘golden age’”.

“Nowadays, there’s so many private ventures that when I wrote the War Dogs series, I made the private ventures face forward, and called the Martian colonists Muskies, as a tribute to Elon’s dreams, if not to what the reality is going to be,” he said.

Seattle is a hotbed of science fiction thinking in all these corporations.

As a “hard” science fiction writer who does extensive research, Bear has dived into everything from nanotechnology (his 1983 novel Blood Music is credited by some as being its first use in science fiction) to planetary science. A current fascination, in part because it’s a key setting in the War Dogs trilogy, is Titan. “It’s got a hazy orange layer,” he explained. “It’s full of plastics, and waxes, and organic chemistry. Then, it turns out, it’s actually got a water ocean underneath.”

Access the podcast directly here. (parts of it will also air on KIRO-FM Seattle, as well as be available for streaming).

Some of the top films, TV shows and books today are what was once called “genre fiction,” like sci-fi and fantasy. So is it a golden age for the geeky arts? Or is this mainstream-ization of geek culture more ominous? We explore that question with renowned sci-fi author Gret Bear in the first episode of our special pop-culture podcast series, hosted by Frank Catalano.

Catalano says, “Upcoming episodes will include interviewing SFWA President Cat Rambo about the relevance of awards in science fiction and fantasy and the role of diversity, and curators at Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) about the challenges in preserving science fiction and fantasy artifacts from film and TV that were never designed to last. More episodes to come after that, probably at the rate of one or two a month (as my day job allows).”

(6) FUNNY BOOK SALES FALL. Rod Lamberti reports “Comic Store In Your Future: The Secret Empire Sales Drop”.

It didn’t surprise me to read that July 2017 saw the first drop in overall comics sales of the year. A drop in sales did happen. This summer was weaker than last summer sales wise for us. Rebirth last year was a big seller. Our orders were lower than last year reflecting less demand for comics.

(7) MORE ON ALDISS. Christopher Priest writes a remembrance of Brian Aldiss on his blog that’s much more personal than the literary obit he wrote for The Guardian: “Here it began, here it ends”.

In fact, I was too hard up and too shy to go the SF convention, and did not meet Brian Aldiss in person until about 1965. Then, when he found out my name, he said, ‘I remember you — you wrote me that intelligent letter! Come and have a drink!’ It was the first moment of a friendship that was to last, with the usual ups and downs of any friendship between two difficult men, for more than half a century.

This is a photograph taken in June 1970, by Margaret, Brian Aldiss’s second wife. Brian had generously invited me down to their house in Oxfordshire to celebrate the publication of my first novel Indoctrinaire. Also there was Charles Monteith, who was not only my editor at the publishers Faber & Faber, he was Brian’s too. He had been responsible for buying and publishing all the early Aldiss books, including those short stories I had admired so much, and the fabulous bravura of Non-Stop.

(8) HENDRIX AND ALDISS. John Picacio posted this photo of Jimi Hendrix reading a Penguin sf collection edited by Brian Aldiss. Hendrix reading sf was actually a regular thing, as this 2010 Galley Cat article reminds: “Jimi Hendrix and His Science Fiction Bookshelf”.

Photograph by Petra Niemeier of Jimi Hendrix in 1967 reading Penguin Science Fiction

Most people don’t remember anymore, but rock legend Jimi Hendrix was a science fiction book junkie. We caught up with one the guitarist’s biographers to find out more about his science fiction bookshelf.

In the new book, Becoming Jimi Hendrix: From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London, the Untold Story of a Musical Genius, authors Steven Roby and Brad Schreiber take a deeper look at the guitarist…


Ray Bradbury’s 88th birthday cake

  • Born August 22, 1920 – Ray Bradbury
  • Born August 22, 1978 – Late-night talk show host James Cordon, who also was in some episodes of Doctor Who.

(10) BIRTHDAY GIFT APPEAL. Money is being raised to preserve books and other items donated to IUPUI by Ray Bradbury.

His collection of books, literary works, artifacts, correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, and so much more is housed at IUPUI in the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies. The Center is led by Professor Jon Eller, a personal friend of Bradbury’s for over 23 years and noted scholar of the author’s works.

Without Bradbury, the world wouldn’t be the same. Preserving these assets will help ensure that generations of fans, scholars, authors, filmmakers, and historians are able to pay tribute to the October Man.

Help us preserve the books of the man who knew what society would be without them.

Your generous gift to this campaign will provide general support to the Center and assist in the preservation of the vast collection. DONATE NOW  and help us reach our $5000 goal.

(11) FAMILY TREE. And Bradbury’s family tree includes a Salem woman convicted as a witch. There’s some kind of lesson to be learned about the genetics of sf writers here – if I only knew what it was.

(12) SURVEY. Jess Nevins is conducting a survey about sexual harassment in the sf community.

(13) WHEDON REVEALED. The Wrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven, in “Joss Whedon’s Fan Site Shuts Down After Ex-Wife’s Explosive Essay”, says that Whedonesque.com is shutting down after Joss Whedon’s ex-wife, Kai Cole, posted an essay in The Wrap accusing Whedon of serial infdielity during 15 years of marriage.

(14) PLUS AND MINUS. At Fantasy Literature, Bill Capossere struggles with his final verdict on “The Hike: A surreal and often humorous journey”.

As noted, The Hike is a fast-moving work, despite coming in at just under 400 pages. I read it in a single sitting of just a few hours. Magary keeps things moving apace, save for a few sections that carry on perhaps a little too long. His fluid prose carries the reader along smoothly and easily even if they won’t find themselves lingering over it for its lyricism or startling nature. The humor is another reason it goes down so easily, most of it coming from that crab, who is, well, kinda crabby. The crab is given a run for its comic money, though, by Fermona the giant, who runs a kind of Thunder Dome Buffet for herself. The book isn’t all lightness and humor, however. Magary’s portrait of Ben’s suburban family life is a bit thin, but does strike some emotional chords in scenes where Ben is with or thinking of his children.

(15) VAMPIRE HUNTER. Next year the Stephen Haffner press will bring out The Vampire Stories of Robert Bloch. Right now, Stephen is crowdsourcing help in tracking down the original artwork for his cover.

Robert Bloch (1917-1994) is one of the most fondly remembered and collected authors of crime, horror, fantasy, and science fiction of the 20th Century. Noted by many as the author of Psycho, Bloch wrote hundreds of short stories and over 30 novels. He was a member of the Lovecraft Circle and began his career by emulating H.P. Lovecraft’s brand of “cosmic horror.” He later specialized in crime and horror stories dealing with a more psychological approach.

While we have secured permission from the rights-handlers for Gahan Wilson‘s artwork for the cover image, we have been unable to locate the original “Parkbench Vampire” painting.

The image originally appeared on the cover of the humor digest, FOR LAUGHING OUT LOUD #33 (Dell Magazines, October, 1964) promising a “Hilarious Monster Issue!”.

As shown above and to the right, someone—somewhere—had access to the original artwork and placed a low-res image on the internet.

We have sent queries to several Gahan Wilson-collectors as well as many collectors of SF-art-in-general asking for the whereabouts of the original artwork, but nothing has surfaced yet.

So, if you, or someone you know, has a lead on where the original artwork resides, or can assist in supplying a high-resolution scan of the painting, please contact us ASAP at info@haffnerpress.com.

(16) BEWARE SPOILERS. Fantasy-Faction’s Zachary A. Matzo reviews The Silent Shield by Jeff Wheeler.

The Silent Shield, the fifth main book in Jeff Wheeler’s Kingfountain series, is proof positive that creative consistency makes for a good read. I feel like a bit of a broken record at this point, but Wheeler has once again crafted a short, engaging novel that manages to not only advance the overall narrative but succeeds in expanding the thematic scope of the series. The Silent Shield marks a new high point in a story that has been consistently excellent, and proves once again that one can craft a mature, emotionally resonant and accessible tale without relying upon the grim, the dark or the explicit.

(17) THE FIRST NUKE. Matt Mitrovich’s verdict is that the book is worth a read, in “Book Review: The Berlin Project by Gregory Benford” at Amazing Stories.

Do you ever feel like we are living in a timeline where people are actively trying to roll back the clock? For example, renewable energy technology is being ignored for coal, despite experts saying it is on its way out. We even have the president attacking Amazon as if online shopping is inferior to retail stores. Now people are apparently nostalgic for the constant threat of nuclear war, which makes The Berlin Project by Gregory Benford unfortunately relevant in this day and age.

The Berlin Project tells the story of Karl Cohen, an actual scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project and father-in-law to the author. In our timeline, he devised a way of using centrifuges to make weapons grade uranium for a nuclear bomb. Now in our timeline, this method was rejected in favor of a gaseous diffusion method which cost billions and delayed the project significantly while the engineering problems were worked out. Benford proposes, however, that Karl is more assertive and has a little luck early on by getting private investors on board who hope to use nuclear power for civilians in the future. Thus a nuclear bomb is built a year earlier in time for the Normandy invasion. As the title suggests, the target for America’s first nuclear strike is Berlin, but the city’s destruction doesn’t necessarily give the Allies the outcome they were hoping for….

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Kevin J. Maroney, Frank Catalano, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, and Michael J. Walsh for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Xtifr.]

60 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/22/17 One Pixel Makes You Larger, And One Pixel Makes You Scroll

  1. Mike, I think the title should be: “One Pixel Makes YOU Larger?”–unless you’re referring to a body part you omitted.

  2. Bonnie McDaniel: Yes…. For my next typo: “One Pixel Makes You Lager”…. Let the appertainment begin!

  3. 10) That’s not how “birthday” is spelled.

    I’ll leave it to experts to determine how Ray Bradbury changed the world. I only know that his work was critical to my development and it’s probably time to read The Martian Chronicles for the first time in decades. I’m pretty sure it will hold up.

  4. 15) I will buy this book. I remember that there was one story by Bloch in The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories, a great collection, but it was about some kind of psychic vampire and not the traditional kind.

    Still a great story.

  5. (9) James may possibly be cordoned, but his surname is apparently Corden.

    @Mike Glyer:

    “One pixel makes you lager, one makes you ale and one poor, sad pixel makes you cry”?

    That small dot is a TIE-fighter. Which means the large round shadow is not a moon, it’s a space station.

    (We need an Obelisk Gate to push the moon/space station away.)

  7. 11) My family tree includes Charles Dickens but not a direct descent.

    10) Bradbury, being some of the earliest SF I’ve read, is partly responsible, thereby, for this comment.

  8. 8) ANNOUNCER: Please Mr. Caruso, can you give us your regarded opinion on this nonsense about space scrolls, and even SPACE PIXELS?!

    CARUSO: Well, you can’t believe everything you see and hear, can you? Excuse me, I must be on my way….

  9. (1) Stickle Bricks were really annoying, as it was impossible to make anything that wasn’t wonky or lopsided, and the little plastic nubbles were really easy to break.

    Now, Meccano, on the other hand, was a fascinating toy and one that still inspires. I recently saw a working Babbage Difference Engine made out of one, as well as a partial Analytical Engine, complete with card programming.

    [reporting in from 8405, where a problem with scale means we’re under attack by a 300ft tardigrade]

  10. @Simon Bisson

    Counterpoint: Stickle Bricks were brightly coloured and easy to fit together into shapes and patterns while creative play with Meccano was essentially impossible unless you were an engineering student. (Lego was better than either though, obviously.)

  11. 12) He designed the survey himself, there is no reference to ethical review, he says he’s “collecting it for an article on sexual harassment in sff. I just want some rough numbers as background for the article.”
    Follow-up tweet “Preliminary result of the survey: all men at cons should be filmed 24/7. No exceptions. That, or cons should be all-women.”

    I must be a feminist because I don’t find this funny.

  12. It’s been entirely too long since I read Ray Bradbury.

    My first encounter with Robert Bloch (although I didn’t know it at the time): Having the pants scared off of me by “Just Call Me Jack” in some Alfred Hitchcock Presents Stories You Shouldn’t Be Reading At Your Age anthology that was inexplicably shelved in the children’s section at the public library.

    And Haffner Press creates lovely, lovely books; I already preordered my copy.

  13. 6) So many problems with comics right now. I stopped buying because I got series reboot/crossover fatigue. I’ve gone back to trades only.

    9) That cake is fantastic. I still remember reading The Martian Chronicles for the first time. Not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t that. (It was a good surprise.)

    17) “We even have the president attacking Amazon as if online shopping is inferior to retail stores.”

    Oh God, this is horrible. My reasons are different, but I can’t believe I actually have a point of commonality with the giant orange baby. It’s making me cringe just thinking about it. (For clarity, the point of commonality is that I loathe Amazon.)

    11) I think I had a family member on my father’s side who was bishop of Paris in the 14th century, and my stepfather had family on the Mayflower, but that’s about it. Boring tradespeople on my father’s side as far back as I can tell, and essentially undocumented Dutch Romany on my mother’s side.

  14. It’s very hard to do statistics properly, and the initial data collection is more important than the math. Because if you get the math wrong, someone else can always fix it later, but if the original data collection is messed up, you can’t ever get better than a partial fix, if you can even do that much.

    In this case, obviously if you post a survey asking whether people were harassed or not, very few people will take the survey just to report that they weren’t harassed.

    A Con would have better luck with this if they did a broad survey that contained a just one or two questions about sexual harassment buried in the middle of questions like “On a scale of 1 to 5, how much did you like the opening ceremonies?” Particularly if they repeatedly urged people to do the survey “to let the organizers know how much you appreciated their work.”

  15. 6) Currently, I’m reading Doctor Strange and Infamous Iron Man on the Marvel side and The Hellblazer and Astro City (Vertigo) on the DC side.

    Astro City has been getting into the Broken Man story recently and that’s been quite tasty, and judging from the first issue, the DC Dark Nights event is actually looking pretty good (this coming from someone who shuns most multi-issue series like the plague). There’s supposed to be a new Moon Knight series on the way and I’m a fan, so we’ll see about that.

  16. @7: a very nice piece — and I see @OGH gets a pingback at the end.

    @8: Hendrix defied the stereotype of the rock star in other ways; according to a BBC story of a couple of years ago, he was fascinated with Handel, whose long-time residence was next to where Hendrix lived in London. I may dig up the book — by some alternate method, because the link in the original story doesn’t work on either of my browsers.

    @11: I wonder how many great-‘s Scalzi left out in that tweet? My (no-great-‘s) grandfather’s older brother died in the Civil War — but I’m about a generation older than Scalzi and both father and grandfather married very late. Interesting connection, in any case.

  17. To unpack my previous post a little.
    One – as Greg points out, any “data” he collects is going to be rubbish.
    Two – he shows a massive lack of respect in his follow-up tweet.

    Say I fill out that survey in good faith. First, I have to revisit a painful episode in my life in order to respond to the questions. My contribution benefits Nevins, who gets attention, and possibly $ for that article. And what does he do? He turns my experience into a cheap joke. Thus demonstrating one of the techniques for diminishment that signal that harassment is not worth taking seriously.

  18. 12) Looking at Jess Nevin’s Twitter timeline, I’m actually more interested in the revelation that Brian Aldiss was yet another predatory serial groper.

  19. @Chip Hitchcock: Probably at least one. I’m only ten years younger than Scalzi, and all the men in my family waited until their late 30s to have kids going back as far as I’m aware of, and my great-grandfather wasn’t born until 1867.

  20. re: (11)
    I’ve never done any genealogical research, but I’m guessing I come from a long, long line of serfs/peasants, since that’s been the lot of 99.9% of the human race since we first started wandering around Africa after coming down from the trees. I’m going with the odds, here. 😉

    Although 3 of my 4 grandparents were born in the US (the 4th got out of Europe one step ahead of the Kaiser’s press gangs), I’m sure the g-g-grandparents came here because it beat being a peasant/serf/cannon fodder and they managed to scrape together enough resources to buy passage.

    Of course, since I’m adopted, my genealogical background is completely unknown. In my birth year, they still went to great lengths to falsify documents to hide adoptions. Don’t know why. My parents let my sister and I know from the earliest we were ‘chosen babies’, no one in our extended family ever treated us like we had adoption cooties, and I never felt any great urge to ‘find my family’, since I already had one. I realize other adoptees have completely different experiences, so I am not generalizing to anyone other than myself.

  21. Re (11) and at Techgrrl1972

    I’m lso an adoptee, but I see it more as a question of “if people are going to set up huge legalistic roadblocks to my acquiring personal health info about myself for perverse reasons, I want it – post haste – as a matter of principle.” Yes they did go to great lengths to falsify, I spent thousands to bust my documents out of court seal.

    I did the search, years ago, and currently I’m on 23andMe, where I’ve found several relatives in the 3rd to 5th cousin range. One of them even inspired the cover art for my last book (probably because I named a character after her before I even met her, so presumably it’s one of her descendants).

    As far as celebrities and historical personages, I recently had an experience where a 5th cousin rounded up several hundred bio relatives from 23andMe and Ancestry and others. She was very attached to an app called We’re Related! and was continually posting pictures of distantly-related celebrities and politicians. I’m not really impressed by celebrity blood and I ended up cutting ties with her – she was trying to organize 5-star reviews for her own book and I wasn’t comfortable with her technique. But not before discovering my biological side is loaded with people with whom I share interests, such as authors, scientists, musicians and liberals – quite unlike my adopted side.

  22. I feel like I should have a snappy Laurel and Hardy comeback (or even something from Kukla, Fran, and Ollie), but I’ve given up caffeine this month and just no.

    11) My great-grandmother was born in Salt Lake City and had 24 brothers and sisters. Her mother was married at 16 and was the seventh of seven wives (her older sister was wife number six) and the one whose marriage continued after polygamy was outlawed.

    Every other ancestor came from a long line of farmers, or fishermen.

    23andMe has been interesting for my children, both of whom are adopted. They’ve always been in contact with their birthmothers, but their birth fathers have been something of a mystery. My blue eyed blond son has significant Asian ancestry, which apparently comes from the paternal line.

  23. As far as I know, I’m descended from a long line of intermittently employed Liverpudlian stevedores. If you go far enough back, though, I’m related to everyone. Just imagine me, squatting on some distant branch of your family tree…. Pleasant dreams, everyone!

  24. Most of my ancestors were merchants or farmers, but I do have one ancestor who signed up after Lexington and Concord, and fought in every major NY/NJ area battle of the Revolutionary War, including Trenton (the crossing of the Delaware), Monmouth and Yorktown. Started as a private, finished as a private. Went west and was at ground zero for the Whiskey Rebellion, although there’s no way to be absolutely sure he took part — but he signed the amnesty. My husband calls him the Forrest Gump of the Revolution… <grin>


  25. Bourgeoisie and minor nobility if I go back. One relative earned his money at Uppsala University for writing the thesis’s for his students, so they wouldn’t have to. I think one of the buildings in the university is built from that money. Otherwise a mayor of Stockholm as the high mark.

  26. Two of my four grandparents had family on this continent before the time of the Civil War — my mother’s grandfather was a teamster for the Union army (according to records of his pension). And her mother’s ancestors emigrated from Germany in the late 19th century. My patrilineal ancestors moved from Sweden to Minnesota while the Civil War was coming to an end. My father’s mother is ultimately of Scottish ancestry, via Canada — on her side of the family tree, a cousin is Judy Garland. And supposedly, much farther back, we have an ancestor in common with A.A. Milne.

  27. Here’s a rather sobering Meredith Moment: Six Brian Aldiss ebooks (The Dark Light Years, Earthworks, Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand, and the Helliconia Trilogy) are now available for $1.99 each from the usual suspects.

  28. Closest thing I know of to a famous personage in my ancestry was a gentleman by the name of Nathan Frink, who wasn’t really famous himself, though his boss definitely was. (As far as we can verify, Frink was Benedict Arnold’s aide-de-camp. And, understandably, moved to Canada after the American Revolution was over with.)

    I usually describe my ancestry as “I’m part English, part Irish, part Scottish, and part German. I argue with myself a lot.” Though strictly speaking the Germans were actually Palatines, who travelled to England after the French took over the Palatinate, then to New England, then further north after they fought on the English side of the Revolution….

  29. My great uncle, aged 17, served 7 days hard labour in the clink in 1905 for “ball throwing in the street”. They knew how to treat hardened criminals in those days.

  30. @ August
    Re (17): don’t worry. Trump doesn’t hate Amazon. He hates its owner, who also owns the Washington Post, which publishes things that make Trump look bad.

  31. Jenora Feuer, If I remember correctly, for a while that Revolutionary War ancestor of mine, Nathan Kimble, was in a unit under the command of Benedict Arnold.

  32. The Hendrix thing shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. It was an era when a lot of pop stars were SF fans. (Relative to most other eras, at least.) Some were blatant (Jefferson Whatever, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Yes, Hawkwind). Others were more subtle, but the Rolling Stones had a couple of SF themed songs (“2000 Man”, “2000 Lightyears from Home”), and the Grateful Dead and CSNY both had SF-themed songs. And, more broadly, Led Zeppelin were famously big Tolkien fans, and Donovan and Country Joe both had shout-outs to comic books in some of their songs.

  33. (11)
    My sis-in-law has one of the “witches” (and one of the witnesses against her) on her tree, which includes people in places ranging from Ireland to Russia.
    On of my great-grandfathers was a Civil War veteran – he turned 21 in mid-April 1865. (My grandmother was the older child from his second marriage.) A number of his letters home survived, along with most of his older brother’s journals and letters. They give an interesting picture of the campaigns in the south – they were in Grant’s and Sherman’s army, older brother having joined before Shiloh, and both were at Vicksburg and on the march to the sea.

    Jenora, you’re probably one of my distant cousins. I have a lot of people in Rhode Island. (Benedict was like a fifth cousin. Not all relatives are worth claiming….)

  34. 11) Having been doing genealogy for the last few years, I just assumed Mr. Scalzi left of a ‘great’ or two off that tweet and not bothered with the 3rdG-Grandfather or the GGGrand-whatever that is common when writing about ancestors.
    My only (so far) SF-ish link is that one of my Dad’s cousins was the long-term partner/companion/husband of George Nader of “Robot Monster” fame. And this annoys me no end because that side of the family just sort of wandered off, moving from Iowa to Los Angeles in the 30s and Dad lost contact with them while knowing things “in general” and never thought to mention it when I’d talk about whatever family research I was doing. Not to mention that the name I had for him was not his legal name.
    Funny how in family research the emphasis and interest is always on people way back. I think that’s because dealing with more recent stories can make you crazy. Time adds an excuse that whatever gaps happen can’t be helped.

    13) While I don’t really give a hoot about Joss Whedon and whether he’s a feminist or not, just looking at some of the website responses is enough to know that it’s going to be a shit-show.

  35. Thing about ancestors is that, given the powers-of-two math that governs such things, by the time one gets back to, say, the DAR singularity there’s quite a swarm of ’em. Not many of mine are well-documented, so about all I can say for certain is that each one lived long enough to produce offspring that in turn did the same. I suppose that’s a decent achievement, species-wise.

  36. @Russell Letson: you reminded me of that “Probability Zero” thing, “The Population Implosion” (looking it up, I see it’s by Theodore Cogswell.)

  37. I definitely wouldn’t trust that particular survey effort for anything with rigour. Certainly as noted, few people are likely to answer it to say they were not ever harassed, or even harassed mildly once around 20 years ago. So it’s more useful to use to find out what those who were harassed experienced, not to determine how many people harass.

    If you are really looking for randomized data regarding event goers, here’s what two events I know about do: find a place where they line up or pass by in controlled fashion. Ask every Xth adult person down the line to fill out the survey (if they refuse, ask the next unrelated person along then resume going by multiples.) If anyone else asks to fill it out, either give them a different colour of paper for the survey (otherwise unchanged) or direct them to a web site with the same questions, so the randomized results and the results with the people who sought out participation can be compared. Keep it as short as possible while still useful, and if you’re going to ask about a contentious topic keep it in one section in otherwise neutral stuff.

  38. Russell Letson on August 23, 2017 at 3:15 pm said:
    There’s also a phenomenon called “pedigree collapse”, which happens with cousin marriages, which are far more common than most people think. (Or why I have 14 great-great-grandparents.)

  39. @Xtifr: what SF did CSN[Y] do aside from “Wooden Ships”, which was by co-written by Paul Kantner (Jefferson *’s main writer)?

    @Russell Letson: as I pointed out a couple of threads back, the powers-of-two argument is fallacious — great^N grandparents tend to show up multiple times due to limited travel.]

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