Pixel Scroll 9/16/19 Fifth Scroll And 770 Pixels Ago

(1) MILO BANNED FROM FURRY CON. Midwest Furfest denied Milo Yiannopoulos from attending their event this December. “Hate is not welcome at Midwest FurFest. We are dedicated to providing a safe, harassment-free convention experience for all, regardless of age, race, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, or personal beliefs,” organizers wrote.

Daily Beast’s story tells how he publicized his plans to attend:

Yiannopoulos announced he was attending the convention on his Telegram messaging channel—one of the only social platforms that still welcomes him after he was banned for life from Twitter. The right-wing persona non grata wrote that he has adopted a snow leopard “fursona,” and shared a picture of his ticket purchase to the convention to be held in December outside Chicago.

Splinter notes, in its post “Milo Yiannopoulos Tries to Break Into the World of Furries, Is Brutally Rejected”

The fur community is not a monolith, however. A group called “Furry Raiders,” whose leader dresses up as a fox with a red paw-print armband, spoke out in support of Milo, posting a picture with what appears to be his “fursona.”

More history about the Furry Raiders is available on Wikifur.

(2) NEW GAME AWARD. The inaugural American Tabletop Awards winners were announced on September 9. Each of the four award categories has one Winner, two Recommended games, and two Nominated games which have been voted on by a committee of 10 YouTubers, reviewers and other gamers.

In the Early Gamers category, Snail Sprint and The Mind were both Nominated, and Drop It and Megaland were both Recommended. Catch the Moon, designed by Fabien Riffaud and Juan Rodriguez, was named the 2019 American Tabletop Award Winner. 

For Casual Games, Shadows: Amsterdam and Space Base were Nominated, and Just One and Gizmos were Recommended. The 2019 American Tabletop Award Winner for this category is The Quacks of Quedlinburg, designed by Wolfgang Warsch. 

The Strategy Games category saw Architects of the West Kingdom and Heroes of Land, Air, and Sea earn Nominated, and Coimbra and Cryptid were Recommended by the Committee. The 2019 American Tabletop Award Winner for Strategy Games is Chronicles of Crime, designed by David Cicurel. 

In Complex Games, Betrayal Legacy and Brass: Birmingham were both Nominated and Teotihuacan: City of Gods and Gùg?ng were both recommended. The 2019 American Tabletop Award Winner for Complex Games is Root, designed by Cole Wehrle.

(3) SIGNIFICANCE OF TROLLING. Stuart Parker argues for “The Pressing Relevance of JRR Tolkien in Our Times: Part 1: Age of the Counterfeit”. It’s labeled part 1, which suggests there’s more to come. 

…A counterfeit, in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, was something else altogether: it was an obvious distortion mocking the original; in a Christian cosmology, a counterfeit was Lucifer’s mockery of God’s creation. The closest concept to it that we have today are the inhabitants of DC Comics’ “bizarro” universe. Not only was a counterfeit a mockery; it was understood to be an uncanny, grotesque mockery. Some conquistadors who arrived in the New World believed that they had found a counterfeit hemisphere, where the largest city’s centre was not a basilica but a step pyramid where priests performed a human sacrifice every forty minutes. The armadillo was a strong piece of evidence for this theory: it was obviously a counterfeit turtle.

Because they are uncanny, grotesque and jarring, there is much power in the counterfeit. The orcs, Tolkien’s counterfeit elves, trolls, Tolkien’s counterfeit ents—they strike fear into their opponents’ hearts simply by being, by mocking and denigrating creation itself. They constitute an ontological attack on the cosmic order simply by having existed. That they might triumph over real elves and real ents is not just a bad tactical situation; it is a sign that the cosmic order, itself, is in retreat.

The global death cult we are fighting understands that. And, consequently, it is not just trolling us at the level of conversation but at the level of existence….

(4) BUSTING LOOSE. “Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo responds to PM’s Brexit superhero comment” – BBC has the story.

Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo has reacted to Boris Johnson’s comments in which he compared the UK leaving the EU to the green superhero.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, the prime minister said Hulk “always escaped, no matter how tightly bound in he seemed to be”.

…In a tweet, US actor Mark – who played the Hulk for 12 years – reminded the prime minister that the character “works best when he is in unison with a team”.

(5) RECASTING STARBUCKS.Yahoo! Lifestyle covers Ursula Doughty’s clever adaptations: “Artist Draws Famous Disney Characters as the Starbucks Logo”. See them all at Doughty’s Instagram site.

In many of the posts, she suggests a drink that the logo could adorn, from a Caramel Carl Frappuccino for the old man from Up to a Blue Genie Mocha Frappuccino (that one you should be able to figure out). She also includes multiple characters in most posts, so make sure you swipe through and don’t miss any of them.

(6) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • September 16, 1963 The Outer Limits first aired. The first episode was “The Galaxy Being” which was written by Leslie Stevens and starred Lee Philips, Jacqueline Scott and Cliff Robertson. 
  • September 16, 1977 Logan’s Run as the program began its first and only season. The series starred Gregory Harrison as Logan 5, and Heather Menzies as Jessica 6.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 16, 1898 Hans Augusto Rey. German-born American illustrator and author best remembered for the beloved Curious George children’s book series that he and his wife Margret Rey created from 1939 to 1966. And his interest in astronomy led to him drawing star maps which are still use in such publications as Donald H. Menzel’s A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets. A simpler version for children called Find the Constellations, is still in print as well. (Died 1977.)
  • Born September 16, 1930 Anne Francis. You’ll remember her best as Altaira “Alta” Morbius on Forbidden Planet. She also appeared twice in The Twilight Zone (“The After Hours” and “Jess-Belle”). She was in multiple episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. She’d even appear twice in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and played several roles on Fantasy Island as well. (Died 2011.)
  • Born September 16, 1932 Karen Anderson. Wife and sometimes co-author of Poul Anderson, and mother-in-law of writer Greg Bear. She wrote fiction herself, and also with her husband and others. The King of Ys series is co-authoured with Poul. Lee Gold holds that she’s the first person to use the term filk music in print. (Died 2018.)
  • Born September 16, 1927 Peter Falk. His best-remembered genre role is in The Princess Bride as the Grandfather who narrates the Story. He also plays Ramos Clemente in “The Mirror”, an episode of The Twilight Zone. And he’s Reverend Theo Kerr in the 2001 version of The Lost World. (Died 2011.)
  • Born September 16, 1952 Lisa Tuttle, 67. Tuttle won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, received a Nebula Award for Best Short Story for “The Bone Flute”, which she refused, and a BSFA Award for Short Fiction for “In Translation”. My favorite works by her include Catwitch, The Silver Bough and her Ghosts and Other Lovers collection.
  • Born September 16, 1954 Ralph Eugene Vaughan, 65. Author of the Sherlock Holmes in the Cthulhu Mythos Adventures. Really, I’m not kidding. He started off with Sherlock Holmes in the Adventure of the Ancient Gods before writing (at least to date) four more. And then he wrote two Holmesian
    steampunk novels in a series called The Steampunk Adventures of Folkestone & Hand as well, the first being Shadows Against the Empire: An Interplanetary Steampunk.
  • Born September 16, 1960 Kurt Busiek, 59. Writer whose work includes the Marvels limited series, his own outstanding Astro City series, and a very long run on The Avengers. He also worked at Dark Horse where he did Conan #1–28 and Young Indiana Jones Chronicles #1–8. 
  • Born September 16, 1960 Mike Mignola, 59. The Hellboy stories of course are definitely worth reading. His Batman: Gotham by Gaslight is an amazing What If story, and the B.P.R.D. stories are quite too. 

(8) COMICS SECTION.

  • Monstrously funny wordplay in today’s Bizarro.

(9) FUTURE SUPE. A.V. Club describes another evolution of Superman “The Legion Of Superheroes arrives in this Superman #15 exclusive”.

DC Comics’ revival of the Legion of Superheroes kicked off last month with the first appearance of the new Legion in Superman #14, sending the future heroes back in time to witness the creation of the United Planets at the core of their 31st Century superhero team. That idea comes courtesy of Jonathan “Superboy” Kent, and the Legion arrives with a proposition for Superman’s teenage son. Following the conclusion of the Rogol Zaar storyline, Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis embark on the next phase of their Superman title, continuing to lean into the cosmic aspect of the character by bringing in the Legion. Joined by inkers Oclair Albert and Joe Prado, colorist Alex Sinclair, and letterer Dave Sharpe, Bendis and Reis give the new Legion an enthusiastic welcome while reinforcing the intergalactic prominence of Superman and his family, which only increases over the next millennium.

(10) THAT’S WHO. “Christopher Eccleston: ‘I’m a lifelong body-hater'”.

Christopher Eccleston has revealed he’s battled with anorexia for decades and at one point considered suicide.

Writing in his new book, I Love the Bones of You, the actor described himself as a “lifelong body-hater”, saying he was “very ill” with the condition while filming Doctor Who.

The 55-year-old played the ninth Doctor during the show’s revival in 2005.

He said he’s never revealed his struggle before because it’s not what working class northern males do.

“Many times I’ve wanted to reveal that I’m a lifelong anorexic and dysmorphic,” he wrote

“I never have. I always thought of it as a filthy secret, because I’m northern, because I’m male and because I’m working class.”

From the age of six he was concerned he had a “pot belly” and “knobbly knees”.

(11) USEFUL. Thx, bye. “App that cancels subscriptions launches in UK”.

A service which automatically cancels subscriptions at the end of the free trial period has launched in the UK.

It was developed by Josh Browder, who as a teenager developed an algorithm called Do Not Pay, which continues to successfully fight parking fines.

His new app, Free Trial Surfing, is not linked to a customer’s bank account or credit card, but Mr Browder says it is in partnership with a major bank.

However, he declined to say which bank was supporting the venture.

“The idea for this product came when I realised I was being charged for a $21.99 (£18) gym membership from over a year ago that I was never using,” he said.

“In fact, I had completely forgotten that I had signed up for a free trial in the first place. Constantly trying to keep track of when a ‘free trial’ period ends is annoying and time-consuming.”

He said 10,000 people had signed up to try Free Trial Surfing since its launch six weeks ago in the US, where Mr Browder, who is from the UK, now lives.

The two most common subscriptions the service has been used for are porn platforms followed by Netflix, he said.

(12) AFTERMATH. Following the notorious swatting case, “Teenage US gamer Casey Viner jailed over deadly 911 hoax”.

A US teenager has been jailed for 15 months for involvement in a prank call leading to an innocent man’s death.

Casey Viner, 19, from Ohio, conspired with fellow gamer Tyler Barriss to make a so-called “swatting” call to police.

In the 911 call, Barriss claimed he was holding his family hostage but when police visited the address provided, they shot father-of-two Andrew Finch.

The two men admitted to making the call after a row with another gamer, Shane Gaskill, while playing Call of Duty.

(13) CRETACEOUS PERAMBULATOR. “There’s a Lost Continent 1,000 Miles Under Europe”Vice digs into the story.

Scientists have reconstructed the tumultuous history of a lost continent hidden underneath Southern Europe, which has been formally named “Greater Adria” in a new study.

This ancient landmass broke free from the supercontinent Gondwana more than 200 million years ago and roamed for another 100 million years before it gradually plunged underneath the Northern Mediterranean basin.

… Greater Adria was about the size of Greenland when it slammed into Europe during the mid-Cretaceous period. At that time, most of the continent was covered by a shallow sea that supported a thriving ecosystem built around tropical reefs.

(14) SCOOBY STARS. This is great. “The 11 Weirdest ‘Scooby-Doo’ Guest Stars” at Geek.com. I was most amused by Bobby Flay, but the most science fictional name on the list is —

Harlan Ellison

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated really got weird with guest stars and cameos, but one of their most perplexing gets was notoriously idiosyncratic sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison in the first-season episode “The Shrieking Madness.” The whole thing is a Lovecraft riff, and Ellison voices himself. The animators de-aged him to his 1970s appearance and made him an instructor at fictional Darrow University. When one of his students poses as mythical Elder God from beyond space and time Char Gar Gothakon, the gang leans on Ellison’s vast experience to expose the fraudulent tentacled beast.

(15) RESCUED FROM IRON MAN’S SCRAPHEAP. Via a tweet at MCU Direct, Marvel released a never-before shown alternate ending to Iron Man where Nick Fury talks about “radioactive bug bites” and “mutants” years before Spider-Man and the X-Men rejoined the Marvel Creative Universe.

[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Lenore Jean Jones, Mike Kennedy, Mark Hepworth, Karl-Johan Norén, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Nancy Sauer, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Daniel Dern, Jim Reynolds, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

72 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/16/19 Fifth Scroll And 770 Pixels Ago

  1. PS I read all the Mushroom books as a kid, and my wife and I read them to our little lad 15 years ago.

  2. Wow, I’m surprised that I’d never even heard of those books before! It sounds like they held the same place for a lot of people that the Magic School Bus books did for me.

  3. @Cassy B – Root is popular with the board games group at work. I’ve not yet had a chance to try it myself, being new to the group and not being able to make the last session where it was played, so I can’t speak to the gameplay personally.

  4. @Nina: Well they are 65 years old. I read them in the early 1970s, before Seanan McGuire was born. They may have dropped pretty thoroughly into the forgotten classic category (which happens to almost everything no matter how good). But I dearly loved them.

  5. I was reading this story about a fancy Kansas mansion with scuba-diving tunnels underneath, and got stopped by the set of shelves on the right in the sixth picture: shelves with, clearly visible, Arthur C Clarke and Frank Herbert.

  6. @P J Evans: Someone should straighten up those Dune books. Leaning like that is bad for the spines!

  7. Heh, I just noticed that there is what seems to be a permalink on the front page of File 770 to a review of the first Mushroom Planet book. So…yeah, not entirely forgotten. 🙂

  8. I loved the Mushroom Planet books! Well, such of them as I could find in the school library, at least. I’ve always regretted never being able to make a homemade spaceship (whose hull is flattened steel soup cans).

    I also remember Miss Pickerell — there was a series of those, right?

  9. @Andrew/P J Evans — I think the leaning Dune books are Brian/Kevin ones, so I wouldn’t lose much sleep over the spines myself.

    And I think the shelf just below them is a set of Hubbard’s Mission: Earth novels.

  10. Re: Mushroom Planet —
    Ahhh, sweet nostalgia 😀
    I think we still have my childhood copy somewhere. Which I must have read circa 1990, so it definitely held up a couple of generations at least!
    I remember it very fondly, although I don’t think I got my hands on any of the sequels.
    Thing #1 is 9 now; wonder if I can brush the dust off and see how she likes it…

  11. @Cassy and @Xtifr

    I have played Quacks and it is a light push-your-luck game. Involving pulling tokens out of your bag to move on a track. Then depending on how far you have moved you can buy extra tokens to put in your bag.

    In the complax games Brass:Birmingham is a top tier game IMO. Mechanically it isn’t too complex, it just has quite deep decision making but you still have to be responsive to other players’s moves. Teotihuacan: City of Gods is good but the rulebook probably needs an edit. Root is a asymmetric game with lots of direct conflict and cute animals. it is also a very good game.

  12. I also loved the first two Mushroom Planet books (all I found in the local library) when I read them almost 60 years ago — when they were new enough that the setting didn’t seem too alien. I found one in a used-book store maybe ten years ago, and for me it hadn’t aged well — not a Suck Fairy attack as I’ve seen the term used, but what I call Norton’s Defect: wonderful ideas that no longer hid clumsy writing. (Possibly they were written down for comprehension — but ISTM other writers, such as Diana Wynne Jones, avoided the defect while still being understandable by younger readers.) @Standback: Thing One might or might not find the books interesting, depending on how much ear for prose they have; I’d suggest also trying John Bellairs, which IMR has some of the same 1950’s* feel (despite having been written decades later) but better writing. (Also depends on preferences — Cameron was science-fiction-as-we-understood-it-then, while Bellairs was always fantasy.) Just don’t start with The Face in the Frost unless the kid has nerves of steel; I know adults who were unnerved by it. (OTOH, this could be another Coraline — I’ve never asked contemporary young readers what they thought of it.)
    *In setting, not in social attitudes.

  13. @Chip Hitchcock:

    John Bellairs’ The House With A Clock In Its Walls was also pretty unnerving for the middle schoolers it was written for.

  14. @Peace: Yes. When I was reading the Laundry books which have numerous references to “Hands of Glory” I remember thinking “Ah. Hands of Glory – severed hands holding candles. I remember learning about those in “House with a Clock in its Walls” – when I was 12. Wow – glad my parents didn’t know about that element of the story”.

  15. @Contrarius: It didn’t feel YA to me and it was marketed as adult, not YA. FWIW I’m generally not into YA. My hubby also says “not YA” (he likes some YA, BTW). He pointed out that the four series lead towards crossovers later, and the others have solidly adult protagonists.

    Granted, Veranix is young and in university, so he thinks he’s invincible (not literally) and his temper – with good reason – leads him to do foolish things on occasion. 😉 But not IMHO in a YAish kinda way.

    It has things like drug-use [not his], violence [including his], passing mentions of sex, the mixture of grittiness and humor, etc. . . . but so can YA, I suppose. Still, not in this case IOHO (In Our Humble Opinion).

    @Joe H. & @Contrarius: I’m interested in Gideon the Ninth, too! Great summary, Joe; would that I could summarize like that.

  16. Happy belated birthday wishes, Kurt!

    Andrew on September 18, 2019 at 8:42 am said:

    @Peace: Yes. When I was reading the Laundry books which have numerous references to “Hands of Glory” I remember thinking “Ah. Hands of Glory – severed hands holding candles. I remember learning about those in “House with a Clock in its Walls” – when I was 12. Wow – glad my parents didn’t know about that element of the story”.

    Same, re: Bellairs preparing me for the Laundry. And in Bellairs’s version that severed hand had to come from someone who was hanged, right? A detail which the adult magicians kept from the child protagonist, along with its implications for why a certain side character was never seen again–but which implication the child reader was absolutely supposed to pick up on.

  17. @Kendall —

    @Contrarius: It didn’t feel YA to me and it was marketed as adult, not YA.

    Thanks!

  18. @Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little: I had forgotten that aspect (the side character who disappeared)! A reread is due…

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