Pixel Scroll 9/2/21 Who Knows Where The Springers’ Space-Time Goes

(1) FUTURE-CON ONLINE, FREE. Starting tomorrow, Future-Con runs from September 3-5 online, free. On Discord and YouTube with speakers from many parts of the world such as Aliette de Bodard, Cristina Jurado, Francesco Verso, Fábio Fernandes, Rachel Cordasco, Emily Jin etc. (Language of communication: English)  Among the highlights, the first panel will focus on African SFF.

UNITED FUTURES OF AFRICA: A Whole Continent Rising to the Global Conversation. Themes and elements of contemporary Science Fiction from African countries. Panelists: Cheryl S. Ntumy (Ghana/ Botswana); Dilman Dila (Uganda); Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (Nigeria); Mame Bougouma Diene (US/Senegal/France); Tlotlo Tsamaase (Botswana); Fábio Fernandes (Brazil, host).

Latin American SFF, Arab SFF will be on special panels. Chinese SFF will be discussed in the 1st panel on Sunday (On Friday, Xia Jia will also be on board the second panel about languages; Saturday, Chen Qiufan will be in the 2nd panel and Gu Shi in the 3rd one. Recommended reading: A Summer beyond your reach Xia Jia anthology and Vector, spring 2021 magazine of BSFA about Chinese SF in addition to everything that was published since the 1989 anthology by Dingbo Wu and P.D. Murphy). 

More general themes such as translations, posthumanism, architecture, will also be discussed. Check the full program here

(2) OUT FOR A SPIN. The Wheel Of Time – Official Teaser Trailer dropped today. The show arrives on Prime Video November 19, 2021.

(3) RESISTANCE IS FUTILE, RECURRING IS LUCRATIVE. We’ll see the Borg Queen in the next season of Picard. “‘Star Trek: Picard’: Annie Wersching To Recur As Borg Queen For Season 2 Of Paramount+ Series”Deadline has the story.

Star Trek: Picard Season 2 follows its titular character (Stewart) into the next chapter of his life. Season 2 also touts the return of John de Lancie’s Q.

Wersching will recur as the Borg Queen. Alice Krige played the Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Contact and VOY: Endgame. Susanna Thompson also took on the character in Star Trek: Voyager.

(4) EMERGENCY HOLOGRAPHIC SWEDES. “ABBA Announce First Album in 40 Years, Share New Songs: Listen”Pitchfork offers a preview.

Swedish pop icons ABBA have shared two new songs, the previously teased “I Still Have Faith in You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down.” The tracks will be included on Voyage, the band’s first new album since 1981. The record is out November 5…. 

Since at least 2016, ABBA have been teasing a digitally-aided return. And, finally, on May 27, 2022, the quartet will perform the ABBA Voyage concert with a 10-piece band at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The original members—Benny Anderson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Fältskog, and Björn Kristian Ulvaeus—will be performing as digital versions of themselves, which are previewed in the “I Still Have Faith in You” visual. It took “weeks and months of motion-capture and performance techniques” to create the hologram artists, according to a press release.

YouTube has “I Still Have Faith In You” and a lyrics video of “Don’t Shut Me Down”.

(5) FIRST SIGHT OF STATEN ISLAND. The New York Times’ Alexis Soloski asks: “Does Harvey Guillén, of ‘What We Do in the Shadows,’ Look Familiar?”

“I’m not waiting for people’s permission to be comfortable in my body, in my queerness, in my brownness,” said Harvey Guillén, who was discouraged from acting early on….

On a blistering August afternoon, the actor Harvey Guillén bounced onto the grounds of Staten Island’s Snug Harbor.

For the past three years, Guillén has inhabited a fictional Staten Island as a star of “What We Do in the Shadows,” FX’s wackadoo vampire comedy. But “Shadows” shoots in Toronto. And Guillén had never before visited the actual New York borough, which he reached via ferry. (A movie musical devotee, he sneaked in a quick tribute to Barbra Streisand in “Funny Girl” on the way.) Snug Harbor, a former home for retired sailors and reputedly one of Staten Island’s most haunted places, seemed like a good place to start.

“It’s actually very pretty,” he said.

A local pointed out a nearby building where a grisly murder had purportedly taken place. “What kind of a murder?” Guillén asked, inflection rising like a party balloon.

An actor of effortless sweetness, he has infused shows like “Shadows,” “The Magicians” and “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” with kindness and deep humanity. (In many episodes of “Shadows,” he plays the only human.) What is he like offscreen? Let’s just say I had never met a man who seemed so immediately deserving of a lollipop…

(6) CAROLYN SHOEMAKER (1929-2021). If you remember comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, she’s one of the reasons for its name: “Carolyn Shoemaker, Hunter of Comets and Asteroids, Dies at 92”. The New York Times profiled the late skywatcher.  

Carolyn Shoemaker, who for more than a decade managed a telescopic camera with her husband from a high-altitude observatory in California and became widely regarded, without academic training, as the world’s foremost detector of comets and asteroids, died on Aug. 13 at a hospital in Flagstaff, Ariz. She was 92.

Her health had deteriorated after a fall a week earlier, her daughter Linda Salazar said.

Ms. Shoemaker’s career as a professional stargazer began when she was around 50, after Ms. Salazar, her youngest child, left for college. 

… One comet, known as Shoemaker-Levy 9 (named in part for their associate David Levy), had stood out from the rest. Rather than making a lonely journey through the cosmic vacuum, Shoemaker-Levy 9 was on a collision course with Jupiter. By detecting the comet shortly before impact, Ms. Shoemaker gave scientists an opportunity to examine whether or not comets slamming into planets represented major astronomical events — and to test the hypotheses of her husband’s work.

The result had all the drama the Shoemakers might have imagined: whirling fire balls, a plume of hot gas as tall as 360 Mount Everests and a series of huge wounds that appeared in Jupiter’s atmosphere. Amateur astronomers could witness much of it with store-bought telescopes….

(7) SAUNDERS REMEMBERED. A memorial was held for Charles R. Saunders on August 28. A replay of the livestream is available here. Cora Buhlert sent the link with a note, “Considering how vastly underrated Saunders was in life, I’m glad that he at least gets some recognition in death.” Charles Saunders (1946-2020), author of Imaro and Dossouye and creator of Sword and Soul, died in May 2020.

(8) MEMORY LANE.

  • 1955 – Sixty-six years ago at Clevention the Hugo Awards become a permanent part of the Worldcon. The first Hugo Awards had been held two years previously at the 11th Worldcon but the next Worldcon, SFCon, didn’t award them. The Toastmaster that year was Anthony Boucher with the Guests of Honor of being Isaac Asimov (Pro) and Sam Moskowitz (Special Mystery Guest). The identity of the latter was not revealed (even to the honoree) until the first night of the convention.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 2, 1899 — Martin Miller. He played Kublai Khan in the completed but erased by the BBC First Doctor story, “Marco Polo.” He’s in the first Pink Panther film as Pierre Luigi, a photographer, and has roles in Danger ManDepartment SThe Avengers and The Prisoner. In the latter, he was number fifty-four in “It’s Your Funeral.” The Gamma People in which he played Lochner is I think his only true genre film though I’m obviously open to being told I’m wrong. (Died 1969.)
  • Born September 2, 1909 — David Stern III. Creator of the Francis the Talking Mule character who became the star of seven popular Universal-International film comedies. Stern adapted his own script for the first entry, simply titled Francis. Talking mules are genre, aren’t they? (Died 2003.)
  • Born September 2, 1911 — Eileen Way. She shows up on Doctor Who twice, first as Old Mother in the First Doctor story,  “The Forest of Fear” and later in a major role as Karela in the Fourth Doctor story, “The Creature from the Pit”. She’d also shows up on the non-canon Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. as simply Old Woman at the age of fifty five. Other genre appearances I think are limited to an appearance on Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond. Well unless you count The Saint which is at best genre adjacent. (Died 1994.)
  • Born September 2, 1915 — Meinhardt Raabe. He was the last surviving Oz cast member with any dialogue in the film. He portrayed the coroner who certified the death of the Wicked Witch of the East. This film was his entire acting career. (Died 2010.)
  • Born September 2, 1936 — Gwyn Thomas. Welsh poet and academic who translated Tales from the Mabinogion with Kevin Crossley-Holland. “Chwedl Taliesin”, “The Tale of Taliesin”, was a short story by them as well. By the way my SJW credit is named Taliesin. And he tells a lot of tales.  (Died 2016.)
  • Born September 2, 1966 — Salma Hayek, 55. Her performance as Santanico Pandemoniumin From Dusk till Dawn is quite excellent. I can’t say the same for her performance as Rita Escobar in Wild Wild Wild West which got her nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress. (The film currently has a twenty-eight percent rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.)  I really like her as Francesca Giggles in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. She’s Ajak in the forthcoming Eternals film based on the Jack Kirby comics.
  • Born September 2, 1968 — Kristen Cloke, 53. Captain Shane Vansen in the unfortunately short-loved Space: Above and Beyond, a damn fine series. She has one-offs in Quantum LeapThe X-FilesMillennium and The  Others. She co-wrote with Shannon Hamblin an episode of The X-Files, “Rm9sbG93ZXJz” which is base64 code for “Followers”. 

(10) COMICS SECTION.

  • Bizarro show somebody who should have paid more attention to his mother.

(11) CAT SCRATCH FEVER. This Kentucky high school has a ban on hats and Budweiser shirts, but furry garb meets the dress code? “Teen Furries Reportedly Taking Over Kentucky High School” reports Jezebel.

It’s back-to-school time all across the country, and in Kentucky, one district has an unexpected challenge in one of its high schools. WLKY-TV reported that high school students in the Meade County school district are attending school dressed as and acting like … cats.

One grandmother is upset. “Apparently, from what I understand, they’re called ‘furries,'” she said. “They identify with animals. These people will hiss at you or scratch at you if they don’t like something you’re doing. The students are told they can’t wear hats or Budweiser shirts in school, but they can wear cat ears, cat tails, masks, leashes. It doesn’t make sense.”

…Last week, someone identifying themselves only as an “MCHS student” started [a] Change.org petition that has so far garnered almost 1,000 signatures, calling out Meade County School District for hypocrisy…

Here’s the text of the petition: “Allow Hat Or Remove Animal Behavior/Clothing”.

Meade County School District decided to 100% ban hats and headwear. But it had come to the attention of many that furries/People who wish to be animals can still wear these animals ears, tail, and in a lot of cases even have each other on leashes. And this supports their behavior of these “furries” taking the actions of growling, hissing, or even scratching and biting at other people yet staff members seem to think it is okay. Yet when someone of non-authorities tells them to not do that that said person gets in trouble for nothing when this “furry” was making animal noises and actions towards them.

(12) WITH SHARP, POINTY TEETH. “’God of Death’ Whale Was Scourge of Land and Sea 43 Million Years Ago” says Smithsonian Magazine. Would you expect to find whale bones in the Egyptian desert? Apparently you should.

A 43-million-year-old fossil of prehistoric whale with four legs and very sharp teeth has been found in the Egyptian desert. Named after Anubis the god of death, this previously unknown amphibious species was about ten feet long with an impressive jaw that indicates a raptor-like feeding style, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“We discovered how fierce and deadly its powerful jaws are capable of tearing a wide range of prey … this whale was a god of death to most of the animals that lived in its area,” lead author Abdullah Gohar, a Cetacean paleobiologist at Mansoura University in Egypt, tells Matthew Low of Insider

(13) WHAT THE EARLY BIRD GETS. An article in Astronomy & Astrophysics tells why gassy planets are bigger around more-massive stars: “Why do more massive stars host larger planets?”

Planets that form around more-massive stars can efficiently wrap themselves in a blanket of gas — making them larger than planets around less-massive stars.

More than 4,400 planets are confirmed to exist outside the Solar System. Among parent stars that have a mass lower than that of the Sun, comparably more-massive stars tend to host larger planets than do lower-mass stars. Astronomers have puzzled over why this might be.

Michael Lozovsky at the University of Zurich in Switzerland and his colleagues analyzed data from NASA’s database of exoplanets, and modeled what planets of different sizes and masses might be made of.

The authors’ calculations suggest that planets around relatively massive stars are more efficient at accreting hydrogen and helium gas from the swirling disks of gas and dust from which they form. These planets grow more quickly and so grow larger before the disk runs out of material and dissipates.

(14) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “James Bond: Quantum of Solace”  on Screen Rant, Ryan George says Bond is battling Quantum, which is “a completely different organization with the exact same concept” as Spectre because they haven’t been able to resolve the rights issue over “Spectre.”  Also the villain is “a short little guy from France” and the producer notes that “James Bond fighting a tiny Frenchman” isn’t the big fight scene fans have come to expect.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Liley Flor, David Doering, Jeffrey Smith, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Michael Toman, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

29 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/2/21 Who Knows Where The Springers’ Space-Time Goes

  1. (0) The FutureCon logo has replaced the standard File770 header – intentionally?

  2. It’s the wave of the Future! (But no. There’s a long, dumb WordPress story that explains how such things happen. I’ll have it fixed momentarily.)

  3. Meredith Moment: The ebook version of E.R. Eddison’s The Worm Ouroboros is available for FREE from the usual suspects. Not an easy read but I love the dense antique-sounding rhythm of his prose.

  4. (11) If the description of the furries’ behavior at the school is accurate, I have to agree with the objections. Even assuming there’s an utterly believable amount of hyperbole involved, I can see where people would be, um, startled by the idea that hats and Budweiser tshirts are banned, but not furry gear. On the other hand, high school students can’t legally consume Budweiser, so not allow tshirts encouraging its consumption makes sense.

    But, everything else aside, they need to lose the leashes. Seriously.

  5. Excellent scroll title. It’s a rare thing to simultaneously invoke Sandy Denny and Fritz Leiber.

  6. Seconding Rob Thornton’s recommendation for The Worm Ouroboros – the first chapter is an incongruous framing device and the second will probably be a bit of a slog, but once you’re attuned to the prose style it’s a great read.

  7. Misreading the comment thread, I try to imagine the TV adaptation of The Worm Ouroboros, and the controversy when the last episode seamlessly feeds into reruns.

  8. Meredith moment: George Alec Effinger’s The Budayeen Cycle is available from the usual suspects for just three dollars and ninety nine cents. None of the novels in the trilogy won a Hugo but all were nominated for one.

  9. I’m more of a Zimiamvian fan when it comes to E.R. Eddison, but then again, I am a former political activist, and enjoy a bit of political intrigue…and yep, I think a TV version could be pretty decent.

    Mmmm. Barganax. Fiorinda. Mezentius. The Vicar of Rerek. Not to speak of Anthea and Campaspe….

    (yes, I did read A Fish Dinner in Memison frequently at one point in my life….)

  10. @gottacook – Thanks. (And I’d lost track that Sandy Denny had written the song, I first heard it via Judy Collins, back in the day/decade/century/millenium.) The Filers’ Cut version of this title added another SFnal ref, by starting with “Doctor…”

  11. I get a lot of discounted-ebooks emails. I buy an occasional offering, mostly just skim the other synopses. But sometimes a synopsis is so over-the-top batshit insane I want to give it a five-star rating all by itself. Like this one from this morning’s emails:

    In this thrilling, epic five-star, non-stop, 532-page sophisticated adventure caper, V, a half-alien superheroine vampire, whose vow is to protect the human race, confronts a half-alien reptilian killer in Texas and Vermont, shares lunch in Paris with her clone, a mischievous half-alien super-star model and designer, and, later, on the world’s largest newest cruise liner, the Eden of the Seas, fends off the attentions of a besotted, clumsy lawyer, and, when a biological bomb turns 2000 lawyers into slobbering cannibalistic zombies, she tries to save the US president, Katherine du Bois Hughes, a charismatic Black TV hostess, and mogul, from a zombie fate, get the stroppy president, V’s sworn enemy, off the Eden. Then, with a fundamentalist coup d’etat seizing Washington, V begins the struggle to save the world from the Zombie Apocalypse and its evil orchestrator, the Puppet Master.

  12. Bruce Arthurs says I get a lot of discounted-ebooks emails. I buy an occasional offering, mostly just skim the other synopses. But sometimes a synopsis is so over-the-top batshit insane I want to give it a five-star rating all by itself. Like this one from this morning’s emails

    I’ll have you know that the series ranks very high in the Kindle free books, well within the top thousand for genre books there. Yes, I had to look it up given the the sheer weirdness of it and it was easy to do using the character of the US president, Katherine du Bois Hughes. And no, I’ve no interest in reading them.

  13. 2) I’d forgotten that was in development. What I think looks to be Shadar Logoth looks suitably creepy, could be good. There was a good core story in there amongst the padding.

    Not sure about Rosumund Pike as Moiraine, but only as one of those cases where you can’t quite see the actor vs what you pictured. Can’t say I recognise anyone else, even after some IMDB checking.

  14. IanP: Can’t say I recognise anyone else, even after some IMDB checking.

    Sophie Okonedo! Both she and Rosamund Pike are fantastic.

    Having said that, I will likely wait to hear the reviews from people whose opinions I respect before diving in. TV/streaming shows take a lot of time, and I’ve ended up being disappointed after investing in some of them (I’m looking at you, Lost).

  15. The maker of WoT have a certain advantage over the makers of Lost and also Game of Thrones. They know an ending (and a respekted ending), so it shouldn’t develop in to that level of chaos.
    I am locking forward to it, but I have read my first WoTnovel as a teenanger, so there is a preverence, not completly neutral. The main problem I see is the danger of the middle part were there are some unpopular parts of the story and the question how much of the books they can bring to the screen chancellation is a danger.

    The actor of Rands father is also quite well known from GoT, but perhaps better to forget that because the role is very different.

  16. @Bruce Arthurs:

    That reminds me of this one (which I learned of on Making Light) https://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/009957.html

    Once upon a time there was a book called Night Travels of the Elven Vampire, which was read and reviewed by Crevette:

    Alaric is a vampire. And he shapeshifts into a wolf. Alaric is also an Elf. It also turns out that Elves are aliens from the planet Telvron, where there are also sentient trees and unicorns. And he’s telepathic too, because he talks to his brother Marti’el that way. So that makes Alaric an alien vampire werewolf psychic writer. Got that? Good. That way you won’t get confuzzled when he becomes a pirate.

  17. Cat Eldridge: “And no, I’ve no interest in reading them.”

    Oh, me neither, But I enjoy (for a flexible value of “enjoy”) some of the… overwrought… synopses and blurbs writers try to promote their books with. There was one from a Goodreads giveaway that was just begging to be narrated in a furious shriek.

    (If a convention wants to ever do a “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” type program item, these kind of synopses could be used in place of news items for that feature where a contestant has to guess which of three outlandish reports is actually real.)

  18. Bruce Arthur’s says Oh, me neither, But I enjoy (for a flexible value of “enjoy”) some of the… overwrought… synopses and blurbs writers try to promote their books with. There was one from a Goodreads giveaway that was just begging to be narrated in a furious shriek.

    (If a convention wants to ever do a “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” type program item, these kind of synopses could be used in place of news items for that feature where a contestant has to guess which of three outlandish reports is actually real.)

    Well it is overwrought but so are descriptions that I get of books from traditional publishers. There the tendency is to try to convince me that this best damn horror novel ever bar none. And don’t get me started on romance novels — I think I could get diabetic shock from the prose of the press releases.

  19. In this File, it is thought wise to Scroll a Title from time to time to enPixel the others.

  20. @Lis Riba
    Some of the people on that thread have no sense of humor. That’s worse even than not getting it in the first place.

  21. (9) TODAY’s BIRTHDAYS. I like Salma Hayek and she was groovy in a movie I liked a ton: “Dogma”!

    (11) CAT SCRATCH FEVER. I wonder how many of them are furries and how many are really just trolling the school and its policies. 😉

    @Lis Riba: LOL, thanks for linking to that!

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