Pixel Scroll 11/6 Remember, Remember, the Second Fifth of November

(1) April Carvelli investigates a cancelled media convention for Pop Cult HQ “IFCon Victoria: Scam or a Simple Mans Dream Gone Wrong?”

This convention was scheduled to occur over the Halloween weekend in Victoria, BC Canada. They didn’t have A-List bookings, but they had some well-known names and a lot of artists. They had booked Richard Hatch from the original Battle Star Galactica, Gil Gerard of Buck Rogers, William B. Davis best known as the Smoking Man on The X-Files and Claudia Christian from Babylon 5. They even had several of the Power Rangers…..

Then suddenly, four days before the con, it was canceled. It was reported that the organizer Bill Code had to be rushed to the hospital after collapsing the weekend before the event. Fans were told that he would be undergoing surgery and there was no way he could continue to run the con.

According to the initial posting, Code had been organizing the con for the last year and a half and had invested more than $84,000 but was no longer able to “handle and direct any part of the convention.”

Many of the exhibitors learned of the cancellation of the con through the Facebook page and most, if not all feel that they have been conned. The exhibitors aren’t alone. Artists, Fans, and even celebrity guests are screaming about how this con was handled and the treatment they received from Ken Twyman, the one who appears to have taken the reigns once cancellation of the con was imminent.

(2) Big Bang Theory producer Chuck Lorre writes a “vanity card” that flashes at the end of every episode. The latest one is a paean to science fiction.

I grew up devouring science fiction books. I was like a little Pac-Man, gobbling up everything I could get my hands on: short stories, novels, and, of course, comic books. Looking back, I realize that sci-fi and, to some degree, fantasy novels, were my first attempt at escaping reality (later attempts would prove to be a bit more problematic). Regardless, I now see that immersing myself in this kind of literature informs my current view of the world. The path of history is, for me, forever seen through the eyes and imagination of Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Roger Zelazny, Frank Herbert, Larry Niven, Philip K. Dick, H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, and many, many more. Which is why I consider all efforts to control human behavior through force as ultimately doomed to fail. Sure, they might work for a while. That’s where the cool story is – the resistance and overcoming of authoritarian rule. But at the end of the day, the macro, sci-fi view is always toward greater freedom, regardless of what form it takes. The real evil, the much more insidious method of control, is actually what we do to ourselves. The abuse of drugs and alcohol, plus relentless consumerism and over-exposure to mind-numbing entertainment, are the real chains on the human spirit. Of course this means that I, having produced close to a thousand half-hours of television, am part of the problem. Sorry. I never meant to be a Minor Overlord for the Terrestrial Shadow Masters.

(3) Norman Hollyn has been one of the people helping develop the innovative future film school announced on Friday — “$20 Million to Establish Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts”

Those who want an education at the vanguard of new forms of filmmaking and emerging media — including virtual production, interactive and mobile media, film special effects, augmented and virtual reality, game design and more — will one day get the chance to study at the new Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The university on Friday announced a $20 million gift from the Johnny Carson Foundation…

(4) Joseph T. Major has a theory about a wowser in today’s news.

If you ever played Sid Meier’s Civilization (the original game), you would note that building the Pyramids gave you a Granary in every city in your civilization. Obviously Ben Carson has not upgraded.

(5) Yes, a scientific measure of the science in science fiction! “Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness” at TV Tropes. (via Lela E. Buis).

Example: a character is shown a machine for traveling into the past and asks, “How does it work?”

  • In soft SF: “You sit in this seat, set the date you want, and pull that lever.”
  • In medium SF: “You sit in this seat, set the date you want, and drive to 88 mph.”
  • In hard SF: “A good question with an interesting answer. Please have a seat while I bring you up to speed on the latest ideas in quantum theory, after which I will spend a chapter detailing an elaborate, yet plausible-sounding connection between quantum states, the unified field theory, and the means by which the brain stores memory, all tied into theories from both Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.”
  • In really hard SF: “It doesn’t. Time travel to the past is impossible.”

(6) A. C. Thompson shares “Lessons Learned Editing an Anthology” at Magical Words.

  1. I am your editor, not your mama!! Therefore, it is not my job to teach you to write or completely re-write your first draft. I actually overheard an author tell someone, “It doesn’t matter if I can write. That’s what the editor is for.” WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!! It is your job as the writer to write a great story, polish it up (DO NOT SEND YOUR FIRST DRAFT), and edit– not write a ten page dissertation on why the editor is wrong and you’re right. The editor is an unbiased third party whose only interest is in making your story the best it can be. Don’t fight them every step of the way. If you disagree with something, discuss it. Don’t stomp your feet like a toddler and refuse to change it. Or make up some silly excuse as to WHY you can’t edit. It is worth noting that I did NOT have this problem on the Sherlock anthology. Every single author I have is the picture of professionalism and talent. I may be slightly biased, but seriously… those guys and gals rock!

(7) A modest proposal:

Ro Nagey claims once on a live radio show he answered that question, “By taking a little green pill.”

(8) Ralph Bakshi interview at Salon.

I gotta to ask this—when we meet Fritz in his self-titled film in 1972, he’s in the park and he’s checking out the pedestrians, the people and the scene, and he’s just calling bullshit on everyone, basically. How strong was your personal bullshit detector at the time? Like, could you tell [at that point] when someone was jiving you?

That’s a good question; let me think. Yeah, at that point I had finally gotten very angry and very wise. At that point I suddenly woke up. Everything that I grew up thinking was cool — fighting for your country and all of that — was starting to fall apart. I couldn’t believe that black people [were being restricted from the] vote. My life was changing. I was bored to years with Terrytoons animation. So I was using my life to try to expand my art form. I started to comment and I started to read. I read Ginsberg, I read Howl. I read Kerouac — I didn’t think he was good, but I still read him. I read Henry Miller. I started to read other people that were also happening [and] big at that time. It was just breaking all that stuff.

Did you find that creatively liberating as an artist?

Totally. Incredibly liberating.

Okay, so you go from Terrytoons to making your own films, beginning with the X-rated hit “Fritz the Cat.” And by the end you can do anything you want with animation from a technical standpoint and you have this new attitude.

I learned my craft at Terrytoons. I spent 15 years there, writing, directing, designing — every part of an animated cartoon—

(9) Julia Alexander at Polygon breaks out the new information revealed in the international trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens – click to see her video analysis.

Walt Disney Studios Japan posted the new trailer on their YouTube page Friday morning, and although some of the scenes can definitely be found in the English version that aired a couple of weeks ago, there’s some wild new footage.

(10) Here’s the trailer itself:

(11) Is there really going be an Ice Age 5? *croggle*

[Thanks to David K.M. Klaus, J. Neil Schulman, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Will R. and Meredith.]

NASFiC Kelly 2017?

“You did a blog post about a NASFiC for 2017 in the path of the eclipse,” remembers Joseph T. Major. [Want a Real Lights Out NASFiC?, June 2010.]

“Well, guess what! Hopkinsville, Kentucky has a big bash planned for that weekend. Little Green Men Day, commemorating the time the aliens visited Kentucky and well, er, never mind…”

No need to be shy, Joe. The Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter is reportedly a favorite study of UFO enthusiasts:

The seven people present in the farmhouse claimed that they were terrorized by an unknown number of creatures similar to gremlins, which have since often been referred to as the “Hopkinsville Goblins” in popular culture. The residents of the farmhouse described them as around three feet tall, with upright pointed ears, thin limbs (their legs were said to be almost in a state of atrophy), long arms and claw-like hands or talons. The creatures were either silvery in color, or wearing something metallic.

Joe also promises, “For fantasy fans, there is Edgar Cayce’s grave in Riverside Cemetery. Of course, the facilities might be a little sparse, and filled up with eclipse watchers.”