Pixel Scroll 9/19/20 Dudley Pixel And His No-Fans Club

(1) VIRTUAL BENEFITS. An A.V. Club roundtable agrees, “For disabled and other marginalized fans, online events aren’t a compromise—they’re a lifeline”.

[Shannon Miller] …It made me think of all my fellow disabled NCTzens who experience similar barriers with live performances. How many got to see their first NCT 127 concert (or live-ish K-pop performance, in general) because of this? How many fans with hearing loss were relieved to see the lyrics flash in time to the music, as brief as it may have been? To be clear, this performance was hardly the gold standard of accessibility—things like proper, consistent closed captioning still proved to be a challenge. But I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a potential watershed moment for the music and touring industries. With some fine-tuning and proper consultation with disabled advocates, maybe there’s a shot for more acts to adopt this method of performance on a wider scale. Would I have liked for this pivotal industry change to come at the hands of literally anything other than a pandemic? Absolutely, and I certainly don’t want to see the end of live performances. But as we prepare for a long-gestating (if not permanent, for some) change in how we navigate the world, I think it’s interesting to consider.

(2) HAP AND LEONARD, EVOLVED. In “The Evolution Of Joe Lansdale’s Hapand Leonard” on CrimeReads, Scott Montgomery profiles Joe R. Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard  crime fiction series partnering “East Teas liberal redneck” Hap Collins with “gay, black, republican, and lethal” Leonard Pine.

Montgomery: Do you think when you look at a subject in a genre novel it allows you to do it differently?

Lansdale: With genre you have that hard driving engine of a story to move those ideas forward. Literary fiction often tackles those subjects and genre rarely does it, but that is mainly because the idea of what genre fiction is. In the eighties, I was in a group of writers that mixed the two. A large percentage of what I write is driven by social issues.

Montgomery: What makes Hap and Leonard a good vehicle to go through these issues?

Lansdale: The characters seem simple, but they’re not. Both Michael K. Williams and James Purefoy find more layers when they’re playing them. They’re not always absolutely consistent. They’re these everyday working class guys, like I was and I still think of myself as a blue collar writer at least from a class perspective. They prove that all southerners don’t fit the stereotype and are contradictory in a lot of ways. One is black and one’s white, one is black and gay. Hap, I don’t know if he was really a hippie, works against those ideals to gets justice. I don’t think they really completely succeed. They keep trying to do the right thing and it often leads to Hap questioning his morals. And both of them have killed people and so it’s a very interesting contrast. You read about some horrible person and you think that’s someone for the devil, then you read about their circumstances then you think maybe they’re not for the devil. So they’re dealing with all that and trying to pay the bills.

(3) OUT OF THE BOTTLE. In the Yahoo! Entertainment story “‘I Dream of Jeannie’ at 55: How the popular sitcom captured ‘women’s increasing restlessness'”, Rachel Shewfelt interviews University of Michigan communications professor Susan J. Douglas, who says that I Dream of Jeannie, first broadcast in September 1965, navigated “between these pre-feminist rumblings and still very much wanting to represent women in traditional roles.”

Jeannie hit American screens not long after publication of Betty Friedan’s groundbreaking book The Feminine Mystique, which noted the many ways that women — as critics have since acknowledged, a very specific type of white, middle-class women — were shut out of the world. They were, for example, unable to obtain a credit card without a man as a co-signer and many jobs were off limits to them. They were encouraged and expected to abandon their own hopes and dreams in exchange for a life dedicated solely to taking care of their families. And they were supposed to wear heels, lipstick and a big smile while doing it. The nonfiction page-turner became a bestseller and helped spark the feminist movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

I Dream of Jeannie also came along on the heels of Bewitched, a sitcom about a witch who marries an ordinary man and, much to his dismay, has the ability to make magic with the twitch of her nose. That show had been a big hit with audiences, which was no surprise considering what was happening at the time.

(4) KENT FAMLY REUNION. “Smallville cast set to reunite for virtual New York Comic-Con” promises Yahoo! News.

Smallville may have ended in 2011, but thanks to its huge popularity and The CW’s Arrowverse – Supergirl, in particular – the DC-inspired outing has never really left fans’ hearts. So it’s pretty exciting that some of the cast will be reuniting for a panel at New York Comic Con later this year.

To commemorate the fact that it’s been almost 20 years since the Superman series premiered, NYFF is set to host Davis Bloome actor Sam Witwer, Erica Durance (who played Lois Lane), Laura Vandervoort (who starred as Clark Kent’s Kryptonian cousin Kara), Lex Luthor’s Michael Rosenbaum and the Man of Steel himself Tom Welling, as they look back on their time on the show.


  • September 1995 – Twenty-five years ago, Minneapolis based Boiled in Lead band released their sixth album, Songs from the Gypsy. It was based upon The Gypsy novel Steve Brust and Megan Lindholm wrote. This 1992 urban fantasy novel was adapted into a song cycle based on a Hungarian folk tale for this recording. The songs were written largely by Stemple, vocalist here, and his fellow Cats Laughing member Steven Brust, the latter being steeped in Hungarian myth and legend.  It would have a multimedia format including both the music and the full text of the novel, as well as eighty short sound clips of songs referenced in the novel’s text. Neither the novel nor the music is currently available in a digital format. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born September 19, 1922 – Damon Knight.  Sarcasm is in anger, satire is with love; was he a satirist?  He was so brilliant we never ask.  His “Unite or Fie!” in Fanfare sparked the N3F (Nat’l Fantasy Fan Fed’n), which he scorned; he joined the Futurians, but said he always wanted to be a pro.  A dozen novels, a hundred shorter stories; one Hugo for reviewing, a Retro-Hugo for a story so sour it’s superb; never a Nebula, though he founded SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) their administrator – later saying SFWA too was a mistake.  Pilgrim Award, Pro Guest of Honor (with wife Kate Wilhelm) at Noreascon Two the 38th Worldcon, SFWA Grand Master.  (Died 2002) [JH]
  • Born September 19, 1928 Adam West. Best known as Batman on that classic Sixties series, he also a short role in 1964’s Robinson Crusoe on Mars as Colonel Dan McReady. He last played the role of of Batman by voicing him in two animated films, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders and Batman vs. Two-Face. He also played The Gray Ghost in an episode of the Kevin Conroy voiced B:TAS, “Beware the Gray Ghost”. (Died 2017.) (CE)
  • Born September 19, 1933 David McCallum, 87. His longest running, though not genre, role is pathologist  Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on NCIS where he appeared in every episode of the first fifteen seasons. Genre wise, he was Illya Nickovitch Kuryakin on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and the British series Sapphire & Steel where he was Steel and Joanna Lumley was Sapphire.  He play the lead he played in a short-lived U.S. version of The Invisible Man. He was Dr. Vance Hendricks on Babylon 5’s “Infection” episode.  (CE) 
  • Born September 19, 1935 – Sheena Porter, 85.  Carnegie Medal for Nordy Bank, her novel for us; here is Annette Macarthur-Onslaw’s cover.  Eight other novels; all addressed to children, a great question in fantasy.  Librarian; landscapist; lives in Ludlow.  [JH]
  • Born September 19, 1947 – Robert LoGrippo, 73.  A dozen covers, a few interiors, for us; also The New York Times Sunday Magazine and Celestial Seasonings Tea.  Here is The Three Impostors.  Here is The Singer Enigma.  I’m in awe of The Night Land; his cover is a wonder, but I think it must illustrate something else, you’ll have to find it without me.  [JH]
  • Born September 19, 1947 Tanith Lee. I hadn’t realized that she wrote more than ninety novels and three hundred short stories in her career. She even wrote two of the Blake’s 7 episodes as well. I am more fond of her work for children such as The Dragon Hoard and The Unicorn Series than I was of her adult work. (Died 2015.) (CE)
  • Born September 19, 1948 – George “Lan” Laskowski.  He came to cons in a coonskin cap; his fanzine being Lan’s Lantern, he wore T-shirts with DC Comics’ Green Lantern logograph.  The Lantern won two Hugos; it was famed for special issues appreciating particular pros.  James Gunn praised Lan’s vigor; Mike Resnick, who was both pro and fan, praised Lan’s decency.  Fan Guest of Honor at Marcon XVIII, MileHiCon 26, Minicon 24; Listener Guest of Honor at 11th Ohio Valley Filk Fest.  (Died 1999) [JH]
  • Born September 19, 1952 – Guy Consolmagno, Ph.D., S.J., 68.  After his doctorate, served in the Peace Corps; entered the Society of Jesus, took vows; active friend of the SF community; Director of the Vatican Observatory.  Frequent Guest of Honor at our conventions, e.g. Boskone 44, Minicon 52, the 12th NASFiC (N. America SF Con, since 1975 held when the Worldcon is overseas).  Eight books.  Carl Sagan Medal.  It would be unlike him to say whether he thinks science needs religion, but he has often said religion needs science.  [JH]
  • Born September 19, 1952 Laurie R. King, 68. She’s on the Birthday Honors list for the Mary Russell series of historical mysteries, featuring Sherlock Holmes as her mentor and later partner. Hey it’s at least genre adjacent.  She’s also written at least one genre novel, Califia’s Daughters. (CE) 
  • Born September 19, 1960 – Randy Byers.  Hugo (with Geri Sullivan, Lee Hoffman) for Science Fiction Five-Yearly, LeeH’s fanzine published on time, with various co-editors, for sixty years.  Eight FAAn (Fan Activity Achievement) Awards.  TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund) delegate, his report Alternative Pants.  Chaired Corflu 26 (fanziners’ con; corflu = mimeograph correction fluid, long indispensable), Guest of Honor at C34.  Co-editor (with Andy Hooper, carl juarez) of Chunga.  Tribute zine after his death, Thy Life’s a Miracle.  Our Gracious Host’s appreciation here, mine here.  (Died 2017) [JH]
  • Born September 19, 1972 N. K. Jemisin, 48. Her most excellent Broken Earth series has made her the only author to have won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in three consecutive years. Her “Non-Zero Probabilities” was a finalist for the Hugo Best Short Story Award losing out to Will McIntosh‘s “Bridesicle.” “Emergency Skin,” I’m pleased to note, won the Best Novelette Hugo at CoNZealand this year. Yeah, I voted for it. (CE) 
  • Born September 19, 1987 Danielle Panabaker, 33. She’s best known as Caitlin Snow aka Killer Frost in the Arrowverse where she’s been on FlashSupergirl and Legends of Tomorrow. Her first genre role was as Layla Williams in Sky High, and she’s in Friday the 13thTime Lapse and both the Medium and Grimm series. (CE) 


(8) OOPS. H&I points out “10 Minor Goofs You Never Noticed In ‘Star Trek'”.

Spock had the ultimate analytical mind. But even a Vulcan can overlook some minor details. Or, to be fair, the Vulcan’s creators can….

Still, some errors inevitably made it onto the screen. There was no hiding the stunt doubles with computer technology, and the shadow of the boom microphone appears in too many shots to list here. Here are 10 of our favorite minor mistakes. In a way, they somehow make the entire series more impressive, once you realize the materials they were working with.

For example —


“Amok Time” 

In the middle of this classic season two opener, Spock enters a meditative state called plak tow. We see close up shots of him deep in the trance, with his hands clutched before his face as his eyes practically roll back into his skull. However, after T’Pring chooses Kirk as her champion, there is a cut to a wide shot. In the background, you can see Leonard Nimoy waiting around with his hands behind his back.

(9) KEEP THE LID ON. Wonder which sci-fi movie/program this will show-up in first? “This $199 acrylic helmet with HEPA filters powered by fans designed to wear instead of a mask is being compared to sci-fi movies” says Yahoo! News.

…MicroClimate seems to be marketing itself to young, tech-savvy professionals, with copy reading “from Uber to airline, AIR by MicroClimate™ will keep you comfortable the whole trip,” and promotional photos of wearers in suits.

(10) TODAY’S 10,000. I don’t remember running across this highly scientific organization before: Australian Research & Space Exploration. All kinds of merchandise bearing their logo ready to order. And here’s a page devoted to telling you about Australia’s unique position.

[Thanks to John Hertz, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Lise Andreasen, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Michael Toman, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]

75 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/19/20 Dudley Pixel And His No-Fans Club

  1. second 5th!

    I appreciate good captioning – it can be hard to hear dialogue over background noise/music.

  2. My first was either Heinlein’s Red Planet or John Christopher’s Tripods trilogy. (It was a long time ago and my recollections are … fuzzy.)

  3. My first was Gullivers Travels.
    But the first I purchased, after already reading it in the library, was a Discworld book. Don’t remember which one.

  4. 6) Guy Consolmagno was in Hopkinsville for the 2017 eclipse. The town was so packed I couldn’t get to the church where he was.

  5. (10) That’s kind of an…unfortunate acronym, isn’t it?

    As far as firsts, I remember devouring all kinds of horse stories before really getting into SFF, so maybe Walter Farley’s “The Island Stallion Races”?

  6. (6) It’s Paul Williams’ birthday. Growing up, I just thought of him as a character actor. Only later did I find out that he wrote a lot of famous songs including the Oscar-nominated Rainbow Connection. Also wrote the songs and played Swan in The Phantom of the Paradise. He was the voice of the Penguin in Batman: The Animated Series and has done and still does a bunch of voice work. Played Taq in “Acts of Sacrifice” on Babylon 5.

    Also Rex Smith who played Daredevil/Matt Murdock in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk which makes him the first (?) to play a live action version of the character. Also on one season of Street Hawk which was Knight Rider/Blue Thunder/Air Wolf with a motorcycle.

    With cat-filled files/Upon pixels we scroll

  7. At the risk of re-opening old wounds: If you’re going to say that Lisa Tuttle won the Astounding Award, then, for consistency, you should probably say that Damon Knight won the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award, since that’s the current name of that award. But I can see why one might lean towards the older name in this specific case. 🙂

    (I suppose you could say: SFWA‘s Grand Master award, since the award belongs to SFWA. But the name “SWFA Grand Master Award” is technically obsolete.)

  8. I don’t even know what my first SF/F book was. I distinctly remember reading about the gom jabbar in fifth grade, but that is as far back as I can remember. it is possible that I still have that exact same paperback!

    5) Back in USENET days, I ran into Brust there and told him that Gypsy inspired me to take up the tamborine (which is true). He asked me about my teacher and what style I was learning, and I told him that I was experimenting because I knew no teachers—I have a musical background but I did not say that. It didn’t sound like he was impressed, but it was a nice conversation.

    FWIW, I have successfully played tamborine for belly dancers at cons. Also, I tell you three times that Brust seems to be a lovely sort on Twitter, so there’s that as well.

  9. First SF book? Either Islands in the Sky by Clarke or Farmer in the Sky by Heinlein. Are there other ‘in the sky’ candidates?
    Before cocoa memory though, my mother read be The Hobbit when I was about 2 because she considered reading it too be one of the justifications for having children

  10. I can’t say what my first SF/F book was. Joy Chant’s Red Moon and Black Mountain was an early one. I read a lot of Andre Norton, possibly starting with Judgement on Janus, or maybe Plague Ship.

    Alan E. Nourse’s The Mercy Men was an early venture into adult SF (I had the use of my mother’s library card).

  11. First sf book I remember: Encounter Near Venus, by Leonard Wibberly. Definitely wasn’t my actual first, though. I picked it up off the library shelf because it was sf. The real first was very likely something I borrowed from my dad’s shelves. Could have been an Asimov?

  12. …thinking about it more, by the mid-to-late ‘60s SF/F aimed at children was quite ubiquitous. We had Doctor Who and Gerry Anderson on TV, we had comics (including comics based on the TV properties) – Dan Dare was earlier but I certainly saw parts of the Trigan Empire story, and others like Robot Archie. And in books there were novelisations of TV properties, too. And a lot more.

    The US certainly had Irwin Allan shows onTV and both DC and Marvel regularly used SF/F elements, so things seem to have been similar.

    And then there’s the classification of the Arthurian tales, Greek myth, the Arabian Nights and the like, which I certainly encountered early. Do we count those as SF/F? Perhaps not for the purposes of this discussion, but they certainly relate to it in ways that might be interesting.

  13. First SF book…. might have been Hugh Walters and Spaceship to Saturn.

    Or it could have been an Andre Norton, possibly Star Rangers.

    Or maybe one of the Danny Dunn books.

    … It’s been a while.

  14. My first SFF books were The Martian Chronicles, and I, Robot. Fantasy came a couple of years later with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

  15. I suspect my first genre book was something in the vague overlapping space inhabited by children’s books, sff, and fairy tales. Possibly Thurber’s The Wonderful O, which I know my parents owned and I read multiple times. (That’s unsubtle allegory, but it’s also fantasy–if nothing else, the way the monsters appear at the end makes it genre as well as a pirate story, so probably echoing Peter Pan, which I absorbed either from the cartoon or by general cultural osmosis.

    The books I remember owning relatively early are Le Guin’s Earthsea trilogy, which I asked for to take on a family vacation, and a bunch of James Blish’s Star Trek novelizations.

  16. Thanks for the title credit. I’d forgotten suggesting that one.

    My first was probably Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

  17. 10) I like the way that these jokers use very similar wording to the actual text from our PMs press release announcing Australia’s actual ‘Space Force’ or agency or whatever!

  18. I can’t remember for sure, but I think it must have been A Wrinkle in Time. I would have been maybe 6 or 7. I remember the concept of a tesseract blowing my mind.

  19. My first SF/F book should have been The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe because the girls in my second grade class in 1976 all read it at the same time and were raving about it. But it took me three more years and a WaldenBooks boxed set to discover C.S. Lewis.

    My first was likely one of the books by Matt Christopher like The Kid Who Only Hit Homers. I devoured those sports books and some had fantastical elements, like one in which a kid played with an old rod hockey toy and everything that happened was replicated in actual hockey games (Ice Magic).

    Otherwise, it could have been A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin.

  20. Another horse girl here whose first sf book was The Island Stallion Races.

    Oh, come on. Don’t roll your eyes like that. Aliens and an improbable chestnut Arabian stallion from an isolated Caribbean island? Engaged in a major horse race in which the Only Person Who Can Handle The Savage Beast rides? Can we name all the horse-girl story tropes bashed into SF (even though the Special Person is male)?

    Maybe it’s time for an adult version.

  21. One the earliest for me was some SF books by Captain WE Johns, more famous – at least in the UK – for his Biggles stories. Also Andre Norton and the Tripod novels from my local library. I remember buying the Star Wars novelization from my school book club when I was around 11.

  22. I remember the concept of a tesseract blowing my mind.

    Same here. Such a weird concept for a young adult novel. That book had a cover by Ellen Raskin, my favorite author as a child because of The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel).

  23. My first SF book was Arthur C. Clarke’s YA novel Islands in the Sky. True sense of wonder experience, it was.

  24. Not counting mythology-for-kids in fourth grade (Edith Hamilton and Nathaniel Hawthorne and a version of the Arthurian material–possibly The Sword in the Stone), first encounters with the literary fantastic would have been Rocket Ship Galileo, Macbeth, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, all in sixth grade. The last was the first paperback book I recall buying with my allowance money.

  25. My mom had (and still has) a bunch of Star Trek tie-in novels. One of those was probably my first SFF book, though I don’t remember which one.

  26. I don’t remember my first…but I also don’t remember learning to read. (My first book, though, is “Pedro the Angel of Olvera Street” – given to me for Christmas when I was three.)

  27. Earliest SF that I remember was Bleep and Booster, the annual, either just before I started school or the first Christmas after (1964 or 5). Following that there was Enid Blyton’s Tales of Brave Adventure (Robin Hood and Arthurian retellings), lots of Jules Verne (while recovering from childhood illnesses at around ages 8 or 9), the Hobbit (read to us at school) and Heinlein’s Time For the Stars during a summer holiday. I think I also read some of Patrick Moore’s juveniles and probably some others, including the early Doctor Who novelisations, but don’t have a definite memory of them now.

  28. John Hertz responds by carrier pigeon:

    @Joyce Reynolds-Ward

    At Loscon XLII the Fan Guest of Honor was Bobbi Armbruster.

    We did Classics of SF discussions and included a Bobbi Armbruster Special; see http://loscon.org/42a/?page_id=251


    My mother said I made her read Through the Looking-Glass aloud over and over again until I was reading it with her.

    I don’t remember, but I do remember having to stand up in Kindergarten and read to the class.

    After that, Son of the Stars (R.F. Jones).

  29. JJ: Were you really worried that people think ARSE is the acronym for Australia’s space agency?

    It didn’t seem to me necessary to explain the joke.

  30. The first SF/F book I can remember was A Wrinkle In Time, read to our elementary school class by our teacher, sometime in the early 60’s. But the first SF book I remember reading myself was The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet. I still read the series every couple of years or so, just for fun.

  31. I think the first SF book I read must have been Moonflight, which Google suggests was written by Sheila K. McCullagh. It was one of the set texts at infant school for children learning to read.

  32. As I think of it, a school teacher read us, “The Finches’ Fabulous Furnace” by Roger Wolcott Drury which might count as genre. Possibly that was before I read “Charlie.”

    Count me as another fan of Island Stallion Races – I loved the aliens who are obsessed with horse-racing

  33. First read independently, I suppose? Because first first would likely be a picture book, and that could be anything. But the first prose book I read by myself beginning to end was the not-quite-fantasy Treasure Island, and that was followed very shortly after by the very fantasy The Weirdstone of Brisengamen by Alan Garner. Not sure about science fiction. After those two had convinced me that reading was worth the discomfort of sitting still I started getting through books at a pretty rapid clip, hard to pick out what order they were in.

  34. I don’t remember my first book as I learned to read at an early age, but I do remember that this is the book that I read out loud to the class in fourth grade (might have been third grade, the past, it all blurs together):
    Benvenuto, by Seymour Reit

  35. Dune, followed by Tolkien. Late 10 to early 11. I proceded to reread the Lord of the Rings several times, sometimes just starting at a random page. Always got bogged down somewhere around the Dead Marshes. Still don’t like that part. Never liked the Aragorn and Éowyn stuff either. Hmpff.

  36. I remember a series of books I read when I was in first or second grade (that would be the mid-70s) about a kid whose best friend was a martian and he’d occasionally come over and they’d go on adventures together. In one of the books his flying saucer was disguised as an ice cream cart and when they got into the saucer to fly off a passer-by commented that since it was such a hot day sitting in an ice cream cart would be very refreshing.

    Does this ring any bells? I can’t find anything easily online.

    First classic SFF I remember reading was the Tripods series, probably around third grade, and then Narnia soon afterwards.

  37. My mother was reading her collection of the Oz books to my younger sister and me every night and I got impatient because she was going too slowly (or younger sister kept falling asleep). So I’d say the Oz books were my first. And not just the illustrations, as gorgeous as they were.

  38. Louis Slobodkin’s The Space Ship Under the Apple Tree may have been the first sf book I ever read. Whether it’s precisely the one I’m remembering is uncertain. From what Google shows me it looks familiar. The book I recall had a spaceship, and an alien who may have called himself Tex-Star — at least, that was somebody’s name in the story.

  39. Correction. The Keeper of the Isis Light by Monica Hughes was the first SF book I read (unless you count the hedgehog on the moon picture book).

    I did read a lot of fantasy as a kid, e.g. The Neverending Story, Momo, Jim Knopf and Lukas the Train Engine Driver by Michael Ende (as well as Mirror in the Mirror, which was way too adult for me), The Little Ghost and The Little Witch by Otfried Preussler (and later Krabat), Astrid Lindgren’s various fantasy works, The Wonderful Travels and Adventures of Little Dott by Tamara Ramsay, Pumuckl by Ellis Kaut, in short the usual canon of pre-1985 German language children’s fantasy. I read a lot of fairytales and mythology, too – and even earlier had them read and told to me.

    I read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, too, when I was reading any mythology I could get my hands on and before I officially identified as an SFF fan.

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