Pixel Scroll 6/11/18 Today Is The First Pixel Of The Rest Of Your Scroll

(1) KEENE HEALTH UPDATE. Brian Keene’s fan newsletter carries the latest details.

Last Tuesday, June 5th, I was clearing flood debris from my ex-wife’s yard. The property is prone to flooding. If you’ve ever read SCRATCH, that novella was inspired by a previous flood we experienced on the property. Thw weekend prior, she’d experienced not one but two flash floods, and they’d left behind dumptruck loads of debris, as well as a good half foot of standing water across much of the yard. She and her boyfriend tried to clean up, but both of them were exhausted and have normal day jobs, and since I’d just finished writing the season finale to SILVERWOOD: THE DOOR, I had some time to help. So, I went over Tuesday at 8am and started clearing the debris — dumping logs and branches and cut up wood into the fire pit, Hauling away rolls of carpet, car parts, hypodermic needles, broken glass and all the other shit the flood had deposited. My son was determined to help, on what was his first day of summer vacation.

By the end of his first day of summer vacation, he’d watched his father get loaded into an amublance.

The brush pile was about 8ft tall. Earlier in the day, I’d used some gasoline as an accelerant to get it going, because most of the wood was wet. Around 2pm, I sent my son into the house to get us both a drink of water, while I stirred up the fire to get it going again. I poked the coals with a stick, and the flames swelled up. Then the wind shifted, suddenlyu blowing the fire toward me. I threw my arm up releflexively. I guess maybe I had some residue gas left on it, because suddenly my arm was on fire. I stared at it, and thought, “Fuck” and then realized my head was on fire, too.

… I’ve been told by several in the medical field that I can expect my bills to be north of $300,000. Probably more. I made $60,000 last year as a freelance writer.

The GoFundMe has raised a little over $50,000 as of this moment.

(2) SAVING THROW. Deadline got the inside story (well, as inside as execs ever let you see) — “Amazon Studios Boss On How ‘The Expanse’ Was Saved & Would Amazon Also Rescue ‘Lucifer’”.

The Expanse pickup announcement followed an elaborate fan campaign that included renting a plane to fly a #Save The Expanse banner over the Amazon headquarters. It was made in a dramatic fashion by Amazon’s chairman himself, Jeff Bezos, at National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles where he was an honoree an hour or so afterThe Expanse cast and showrunner had done a panel at the same event.

“There were airplanes circling us, I was having cakes delivered, there was a whole thing happening,” Salke said of The Expense campaign. “And then really smart people, whose opinions I really value creatively, started reaching out to me, saying, “have you seen this show, The Expanse, it’s actually great”. I hadn’t so I spent some time, I watched the show and I was like, this show is actually really well done, why is nobody watching it? At the same time, Jeff Bezos was getting emails from everyone from George R.R. Martin to every captain of industry, like the founder of Craigslist, and they were all writing, saying, there’s this show, it’s so great, you have to see it, you have to buy it or save it.

(3) SHARK ATTRACTANT. Lynn Maudlin recently stayed at The Headington Shark in Oxford. She successfully warded off shark attacks with a copy of Diana Glyer’s Inklings book, Bandersnatch. A word to the wise!

(4) DARLINGS PROTECTION SERVICE. Yesterday’s Scroll reference to Delilah S. Dawson’s Twitter thread about the traditional writing advice “kill your darlings” prompted an uproar in comments. And inspired a couple of Filers to list other writers’ threads with a range of reactions to that phrase.

Tasha Turner said —

A lot of great discussions on Twitter about “kill your darlings”. I’m lucky to follow a diverse group of authors from around the world. Below are a few different perspectives:

Standback noted additional offshoot threads:

And this morning Ann Leckie joined the discussion here, closing with these thoughts:

Which brings me to the idea that a writer ought not write to please themselves. I am so not on board with this idea I can’t even begin to express it. One of the ways you know your writing is working–to the extent you know that, which is its own issue–is that it’s working for you. Now, it’s possible to go off track into pleasing your id in a way that just looks unseemly and strange to anyone else, but once again, it’s a case-by-case thing. And there, it’s often not a question of cutting the thing, removing it, so much as turning it around and refining it so that all those other folks out there with similar grooves and folds in their ids can enjoy that feeling of it fitting into place. So, again, it’s a matter of asking why do I want this in the story so much? and not automatically cutting it because it’s self-indulgent. Hell, even long political screeds can please some readers. If that’s what does it for you, and you have readers who respond to it, well, go to. Indulge yourself!

And I’m about done with people telling me I don’t understand what kill your darlings means, thank you.

(5) TALKIN’ ABOUT MY REGENERATION. Could copies be in private hands? According to ScreenRant, “Archivist Says 97 Lost Doctor Who Episodes Could Be Recovered”.

Although many episodes have since been recovered, there are still 97 old episodes missing from the William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton era. Speaking to the Daily MirrorDoctor Who archivist Paul Vanezis has suggested they’re still out there. “There are missing Doctor Whos with private collectors,” he explained. “They may be interested in handing them over.

The quest for the missing Doctor Who episodes is a fascinating one, and a labor of love for the fans. Some lost episodes were found in Ethiopia back in 2013, and were released by the BBC in time for the show’s 50th anniversary. More recently, the BBC has begun using audio recordings, surviving photographs and brief film clips to create animated versions of some of the missing stories, such as 1966’s “The Power of the Daleks”. But the real hope is clearly that black-and-white video recordings could yet be recovered, and the BBC is sure to offer a premium price in order to purchase the copies.

The Holy Grail of Doctor Who is the episode “The Tenth Planet”, which includes the Doctor’s first onscreen regeneration. This saw William Hartnell’s First Doctor transform into Patrick Troughton’s Second, an unprecedented change of direction for the science-fiction TV series….

(6) VICK OBIT. Shelby Vick (1928-2018) died June 9. His daughter Cheryl told Facebook friends:

It is with a sad heart that I tell you that my dad passed away early Saturday morning. He said his goodbyes to us and even laughed earlier Friday. He passed away peacefully in his sleep.

He was married to Suzanne Vick, who predeceased him. His Fancyclopedia entry recalls he famously introduced Lee Hoffman to Bob Tucker at a time when she was known only through fanzines and everyone had assumed LeeH was a man. Vick also started the successful WAW with the Crew in ’52 fan fund to bring Walt Willis to the US in 1952.

Vick became the leading figure in the Fan Federation for Sound Productions, also known as Wirez, a national effort to make wire recordings and circulate them in the same way fans produced typescript round-robins.

He organized Corflu Sunsplash in Panama City, Fl in 1999, and was named Past President of fwa there. He was honored with the Southern Fandom Confederation’s Rebel Award in 2012.

(7) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • June 11, 1982 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial was released
  • June 11, 1993Jurassic Park premiered

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

  • Born June 11 – Peter Dinklage, 49. The obvious role, but also Eltri in Avengers: Infinity War, Dr. Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Trumpkin in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
  • Born June 11 – Shia LaBoeuf, 32. Mutt in the Indiana Jones film that Shall Not Be Named, Sam Witwicky in Transformers and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Farber in I, Robot. Somebody needs a better agent.

(9) COMICS SECTION.

(10) SFWA BULLETIN INDEX. New online is “The SFWA Bulletin Index, 1965-2018” compiled by Michael Capobianco, Erin M. Hartshorn, and Sean Wallace. It went live just before Nebula Weekend. Try it out, see how you like it —

Table of Contents

(11) UNBEEVABLE. Surely this has never happened before.

(12) FAREWELL PROJECT WONDERFUL. The internet advertising service Project Wonderful, which has funded a great many webcomics and online narrative projects, will shut down August 1.

For over a decade, we’ve been so happy to be your choice for getting the word out about your comic, music, or anything else you come up with. And we’ve been so proud to represent our publishers, who have been creating some of the most interesting, exciting, and worthwhile things online.

But all good things must come to an end. When we started working on Project Wonderful in early 2006, it was with the hope that online advertising could be something good, something that you’d want to see. We were always the odd company out: we didn’t track readers, we didn’t sell out our publishers, and we never had issues with popups, popunders, or other bad ads the plague the internet – because our technology simply wasn’t built to allow for that. We let you place an image and link on a website, and that was it. And we filtered the ads that could run on our network, so our publishers knew they could trust us.

(13) TOXIC FANDOM. Salon blames the internet. And everything that came before the internet… “After years of stewing, “Star Wars” fandom goes to the dark side”.

So how did a franchise of adventure movies for children create this noxious tribe of entitled haters? The short answer is that it was a long time coming.

The first hints of this seismic shift in the Star Wars fandom occurred when the prequel trilogy came out, in the late 1990s and early 2000s. There had been decades of novels and fanfiction speculating how little Anakin Skywalker became evil Darth Vader; the new addition to the canon didn’t sit well with some. Tin ear dialogue, Jar Jar Binks’ perceived minstrelsy, and mediocre acting led to fan furor. Feverous claims of director George Lucas “raping” childhoods were common in pop culture reflections on the prequel trilogy. Both of the actors who played Anakin Skywalker — Hayden Christensen and, at the time, 10-year-old Jake Lloyd who played young Anakin — were more or less harassed out of the spotlight. Lloyd retired from acting two years later after “The Phantom Menace” premiered, after winning Razzie Awards and being relentlessly bullied by classmates and fans alike. Lucas, after “Revenge of the Sith” premiered, swore off making Star Wars movies forever.

(14) MORE PETAFLOPS THAN EVER. From the BBC: “US debuts world’s fastest supercomputer”. More than doubles Chinese record, and powerful enough that pieces of it were working on real problems while the final computer was still being assembled.

Summit, the US’s new supercomputer, is more than twice as powerful as the current world leader.

The machine can process 200,000 trillion calculations per second – or 200 petaflops.

China’s Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer, until now the world’s most powerful machine, has a processing power of 93 petaflops.

Summit’s initial uses will include areas of astrophysics, cancer research and systems biology.

It is housed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, where it was developed in partnership with IBM and NVidia.

(15) LET SLIP THE DOGS OF VENUS. A NASA group at Langley Research Center is studying the High-Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) to float a manned airship high in the Venusian atmosphere as a way for astronauts to visit and study our sister planet.

NBC News reports “NASA has a plan to let humans soar above the clouds on Venus”.

Mars and the moon are already at the top of NASA’s prospect list for future human exploration and possibly colonies, but another planet has recently been getting some unexpected attention.

What a group of NASA scientists have proposed is a steampunk-like spacecraft that weighs nearly nothing and would float in the Venusian atmosphere. This High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) would allow astronauts to study the planet at an unprecedented level, in less time than it would take to complete a crewed mission to Mars.

…Some technological advancement needs to happen before we get to Venus. Among the tech aspects of this mission that still need to be figured out are how to keep the spacecraft and its solar panels from corroding in that atmospheric sulfuric acid, never mind successfully inserting and inflating the airship on arrival at Venus and performing aerocapture maneuvers on Venus and Earth.

“It opens up a strange, exciting, and even slightly terrifying way to live,” said [HAVOC team leader Chris] Jones. “It would be a challenging environment, but one that would bring opportunities we can’t even imagine.”

 

(16) A CAT’S BREAKFAST. Not entirely sure why I was sent a link to this “Review of Audrey Hepburn – Breakfast at Tiffany’s Deluxe Sixth Scale Action Figure” — except that one of the extras you can get is her cat, so there’s the SJW credential collectible aspect to be considered….

Very few companies – companies that actually play by the rules and get licenses, anyway – are willing to play with the lesser known properties. Star Wars? Marvel? DC? Sure, there are plenty of options, and the big boys like Hot Toys are all over them. Other second tier licenses like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones are getting covered by smaller companies, but you can’t really claim that those properties aren’t popular with a large number of collectors.

Star Ace is looking at some of the much smaller properties, particularly those that involve female characters. They haven’t been hitting on every release, however, and they need a win right now. Their next upcoming release is Audrey Hepburn from the classic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, where she portrayed Holly Golightly. This is a slightly early review – she should be shipping any day now.

She comes in two versions. There’s a regular release that runs around $220, and a deluxe version that sells for $237 or so, depending on the retailer. I’m looking at the deluxe tonight, but I’ll point out the difference in the Accessories section.

[Thanks to Tasha Turner, Standback, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Dann, Carl Slaughter, Danny Sichel, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]

Happy Birthday Professor Tolkien

 

Today is J. R. R. Tolkien’s 120th birthday, whose fans have much to look forward to in the new year 2012 provided the Earth doesn’t end before the first Hobbit movie arrives in theaters this December.

Well-timed for today’s celebration is the new review of Diana’s book about the Inklings, The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community posted by James Huston — author of action novels Falcon Seven and Marine One. (Last year Falcon Seven made the longlist for NPR’s “Killer Thrillers” poll.) Huston says —

Not only is it full of information I’d never heard before, but it gives the reader exceptional insight into the two writers who are the focus of the book, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, two of the most popular authors in the twentieth century. As an author, I was particularly interested in her insights into the creative process and the way that the community “supported” the writers efforts. I say supported in quotes, because reading their work to the others was often like getting their fur pulled off (to use a Lewis analogy from another context). They encouraged each other, no doubt, but they also said what they thought, regardless of whether that made the author feel good about his work or not. They were dedicated to producing the best work they could, and were willing to hear rough criticism to achieve it.

Two More Links to Diana’s Trip


Diana’s final stop on her Midwestern trip was the C.S. Lewis Literary Festival in Petsoskey, Michigan.  She delivered a talk, appeared on panels and spoke in a high school class – which she has blogged about in “Creative conversations at Petoskey High School”.

While Diana was still in Chicago Greg Wheatley interviewed her on the Moody Radio  program Inside Look. The program now is available online:

You have probably heard of the Inklings – a literary group of whom C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien are doubtless the best known. We talk with English professor Dr. Diana Glyer about this fascinating group of writers, and the influence they did – or did not – have on each other.

All Things Diana

It’s the easiest thing in the world to keep up with Dr. Diana Pavlac Glyer on her blog.

Please also enjoy the new video trailer (click here for YouTube) promoting her book The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community. It’s the work of my nephew Adam Bradley, who did a beautiful job.

The video features comments by Terry Glaspey, author of Not a Tame Lion: The Spiritual Legacy of C.S. Lewis, songwriter and singer Kemper Crabb, and author Lancia Smith, among others.

We hope the video will get more people to read her book and encourage libraries to acquire it.  It’s won a string of awards and was a 2008 Best Related Book Hugo nominee. Many reviewers have praised Diana’s account of the Inklings including the Times Literary Supplement.

Diana, the Arkenstone

Diana Glyer and Michael Ward (Planet Narnia) headlined the 13th annual conference of the C.S. Lewis and Inklings Society last weekend (April 9-11) in Oklahoma City.

Jason Fisher, who will co-chair Mythcon 41 in July, was there. Jason had high praise for Diana’s speech and reading:

Diana Glyer gave a terrific after-banquet keynote speech, in which she discussed the central hypothesis of her own book, The Company They Keep: whether, and to what extent, Lewis and Tolkien (and to a lesser degree, the other Inklings) influenced one another, and moreover, what “influence” itself really means. I say “hypothesis”, but the persuasive power of Diana’s argument is such that it is hardly that any longer. I regard it as established fact…

Finally, a real gem, the very Arkenstone of the entire weekend’s embarrassment of riches: Diana Glyer and Michael Ward performed a reading of selected letters from the unpublished (as yet) correspondence of Major Warren Lewis and Blanche Biggs, a missionary doctor stationed in Papua New Guinea. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, Warren Lewis? But trust me, their correspondence, of which we heard roughly a quarter of the extant material, was funny, affectionate, clever, and in the end, profoundly moving. It brought tears to my eyes.

Diana and I will be reading these letters again at Mythcon 41, but since I can’t promise to acquire a British accent by then Michael Ward’s performance is likely to remain unequalled.

Endlessly Fascinating J.R.R. Tolkien

Brian Gottesman’s guest post on Mental_floss, “10 Things You Should Know About J.R.R. Tolkien,” is a selection of anecdotes, insights and trivia sure to appeal to fans with an insatiable interest in one of the most admired authors in fantasy. That the items are written in an engaging style is more important than that they come as a surprise. However, this was news to me:

His poem “Bagm? Blom?” (“Flower of the Trees”) might be the first original work written in the Gothic language in over a millennium.

No kidding?

Down in the comments there is also a wonderful quarrel between two self-appointed copyeditors. You can tell what it’s about from the final nitpick:

No, chain mail isn’t redundant. There is also Scale mail armor. You can say “mail armor”, but that still leaves the question of Scale vs. Chain to be answered.

I also applaud a commenter who recommended Diana’s book about Tolkien, Lewis and the Inklings, The Company They Keep.

[Thanks to Steven H Silver for the link.]

The Dorms of Middle Earth

Someone who picks the right university can have a fantastic life in more than one sense of the word.

For example, after a student at UC Irvine meets with Professor Gregory Benford she may amble home to her dorm in Middle Earth:

Middle Earth houses approximately 1,690 students in 24 residence halls. The names of the halls and other facilities were selected from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The halls are divided into six clusters or theme areas of four halls and offer classes associated with their names.

Middle Earth was built in three phases:

  • Phase I opened in 1974 with seven (7) halls: Hobbiton, Isengard, Lorien, Mirkwood, Misty Mountain, Rivendell, and The Shire. Brandywine Commons, and Brandywine Student Center (BSC) are also in Middle Earth.
  • Phase II opened in 1989-90 and it includes 13 halls: Balin, Harrowdale, Whispering Wood, Woodhall, Calmindon, Grey Havens, Aldor, Rohan, Gondolin, Snowbourn, Elrond, Shadowfax, and Quenya. Phase II also includes Pippin Dining Commons, the housing office, and Bucklebury Library. 
  • Phase III opened in Fall 2000 and includes four (4) halls: Crickhollow, Evenstar, Oakenshield, and Valimar. Arkenstone, a 24-hour academic resource and study center, officially opened in fall of 2007.

And a student at Azusa Pacific University enrolled in one of Dr. Diana Glyer’s classes may leave a talk about the Inklings to return to his mod in the Shire. My own nephew Adam lived with his roommates in one of those modular apartments for a term.

While I find the naming convention quite entertaining, even names out of Tolkien’s legendarium once officially attached to university housing are prone to lose some of their magic. That’s why Azusa Pacific student Mychal Clements, Online Editor of The Clause, recently challenged people to make more playful use of the Shire’s connection with Tolkien.

In my three years at Azusa Pacific I have not heard one single joke about the Shire. I am astounded and shocked that this is the case, hey readers. It’s called the Shire. The Shire, where Hobbits come from.

Am I saying that there needs to be an overkill of references and jokes? No. But maybe the occasional comment, joke or event would make me happy. However you should not do it just to make me happy, but instead because the nomenclature of the Shire demands it.

I’m sure that if the ghost of Mr. Tolkien were to walk Azusa Pacific’s campus he would be disappointed and depressed at the lack of recognition for the Shire.

Shire residents, please make more references, or put up the occasional poster. Don’t do it for me, don’t do it for yourself, but rather do it for the possible ghost of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[Via Andrew Porter and Michael J. Lowery.]

Christmas Traditions

Toppers on the Hugos from Millennium Philcon, L.A.con II, Aussiecon 2 and L.A.con III.

Toppers on the Hugos from Millennium Philcon, L.A.con II, Aussiecon 2 and L.A.con III.

Every newly married couple has to reconcile the holiday traditions they grew up with. Probably the most difficult conflicts to negotiate are the mutually exclusive choices. 

For example: To top the Christmas tree with an ornament or not? Diana and I took years to find an answer that pleased both of us. 

I grew up in a family that always topped the Christmas tree with a star-shaped ornament. Diana, on the other hand, likes a Christmas tree without anything on the top branch. 

Eventually she thought of an alternative that works for us. Now we put the tree-topping ornaments on my Hugos, not on the tree.

The GLAWScon Inside Loscon

Loscon 36

Loscon 36

The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society in cooperation with Loscon 36 has organized a solid track of writer-oriented programming that will run all three days of the con, November 27-29.

Diana will be on two Sunday panels, “A Jury of Your Peers – When to join a Critique Group” (10 a.m., with Ace Hall, Kelly Green, Sheila Finch and Shannon Muir) and “My Laptop Has Fallen Over and It Can’t Get Up! (Dealing with Writer’s Block)” (11:30 a.m., with Rick Foss, Tim Powers, Tony N. Todaro and Russ Woody.)

I have included the flyer and complete list of writer panels available at the con.

Things will start Nov. 27 at the LAX Marriott. The entire weekend, plus access to dozens of other events and parties is $50 at the door.

writer_panels_schedule_4-11-22

GLAWS flyer for Loscon 36

GLAWS flyer for Loscon 36

Diana Glyer Speaking
at 2010 Inklings Conference

The C.S. Lewis and Inklings Society has invited Diana to be one of the keynote speakers at their 13th Annual Conference at Oklahoma City University on April 9-10, 2010, where the theme will be “C. S. Lewis and the Inklings: Discovering Hidden Truth.”

I noticed the Aslans Country blog turned her appearance into one of the “hidden truths” by devoting a ginormous headline to the name of the other speaker and only mentioning Diana in the fine print. 

So let the blogosphere’s accounts now stand in balance…!