Pixel Scroll 1/12/22 Asking Only Filer’s Pixels, I Come Looking For A Scroll

(1) BIPOC WRITERS INVITED. Editor Jonathan Strahan is reserving up to three spots in his upcoming anthology The Book of Witches for new BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other People of Colour) writers. “Open submission period for BIPOC* writers for The Book of Witches”. He will be taking submissions from March 14-18. Complete guidelines at the link.

Following on from the award-winning success of The Book of Dragons, Harper Voyager will publish an exciting new anthology, The Book of Witches, edited by Jonathan Strahan in the fall of 2023. Like The Book of DragonsThe Book of Witches will be a big, inclusive, illustrated anthology of fiction and poetry, this time looking at “witches”, more specifically your witch and what it means to you.

So far writers who have agreed to contribute to the book include Linda Addison, S.A. Chakraborty, Zen Cho, P. Djèlí Clark, Indrapramit Das, Amal El Mohtar, Andrea Hairston, Millie Ho, Nalo Hopkinson, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Cassandra Khaw, Fonda Lee, Darcie Little Badger, Ken Liu, Karen Lord, Usman T. Malik, Tochi Onyebuchi, C.L. Polk, Rebecca Roanhorse, Kelly Robson, Angela Slatter, Rivers Solomon, Andrea Stewart, Sheree Renée Thomas, and Tade Thompson, and we are reserving up to three spots in the final book for new BIPOC writers.

If you are a BIPOC writer – regardless of whether you’re widely published or just starting out – and would like to see your work appear in a major anthology like The Book of Witches, we’d love to hear from you. Just check out the submissions guidelines below and send us your story. 

(2) KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES. The American Museum of Natural History will livestream Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Year in Review” on February 26. Purchase tickets at the link.

Find out what’s new in the cosmos as Tyson, the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, reviews top stories from 2021, including notable commercial space launches, missions to Mars, visits to asteroids, and sky phenomena. 

This program will be presented online. Viewing information will be provided with your purchase confirmation. Only one ticket is needed per household.

(3) APPLY FOR SLF’S BOSE GRANT. The Speculative Literature Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2022 A.C. Bose Grant for South Asian Speculative Literature. Applications will be open through January 31. Complete guidelines are here.

The $1,000 A.C. Bose Grant for South Asian Speculative Literature, co-sponsored by the SLF and DesiLit, is awarded to a South Asian or South Asian diaspora writer developing speculative fiction.

The grant is named in memory of Ashim Chandra Bose, a lover of books, especially science fiction and fantasy, and was founded by his children, Rupa Bose and Gautam Bose.

(4) RELOADING THE CANON. Lois McMaster Bujold has updated her recommended reading order for her various series: “The Vorkosigan Saga Reading Order Debate: The Chef Recommends – Bujold reading-order guide 2022 update (chapter 2)” at Goodreads.

(5) NASA’S WEBB TELESCOPE LEADER PROFILED. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the Washington Post, Courtland Milloy profiles James Webb Space Telescope program administrator Gregory Robinson, who is Black. His parents were tobacco sharecroppers and he began his student days in a segregated school, but after graduating from Virginia Union University and then from Howard University joined NASA in 1989 and worked his way up to his current position. Gregory Robinson, Webb telescope director, has had his own journey – The Washington Post

…“I often reflect on how dedicated, smart, encouraging and supportive they were during that time,” Robinson said of his teachers. “They’d tell us that we could do anything we wanted if we had an education. That appealed to me because I wanted to get out of Danville and have a better life.”

“I wanted to go to college but didn’t know if I could afford it,” he recalled. Fortunately, along with his knack for math, he’d been a pretty good high school quarterback. He earned himself a football scholarship to Virginia Union University in Richmond, packed two bags, and caught a Greyhound bus to the university.

At Virginia Union, he earned a bachelor’s degree in math. Then he transferred to Howard University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He later earned an MBA from Averett College in Danville and attended Harvard University’s Senior Executive Fellows Program at the Kennedy School of Government.

While attending Howard, he met students who had done internships with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. He was intrigued by what he heard. “They were doing really interesting things, unlocking many secrets, mysteries and unknowns about our solar system, our Earth systems,” he said….

(6) FROM AN OLD FAMILIAR SCORE. CBR calls these the “10 Most Overdone Sci-Fi Clichés”.

…However, the overabundance of certain clichés can be a tad tiresome, especially for fans of sci-fi. This is because the genre insists on recycling the same old symbols and allegories, over and over until all meaning is drained out of the story, leaving behind nothing more than a stale skeleton of something that used to be original at one point….

One of the offenders on their list:

7 Hacking Into Computers Is Easy Enough For Anyone

The process of hacking, particularly methods that rely on brute force, is long, slow, and painfully dull. Most people wouldn’t have the attention span to work out the countless algorithmic permutations required to break into secure computing systems, but sci-fi would have audiences believe that anyone can become a hacking professional.

Even scientist characters aren’t immune to this trope: in Independence Day (1995), they somehow write a virus and inject it into the alien’s computer, despite having no formal knowledge of extraterrestrial tech. Similarly, R2-D2 from Star Wars is capable of hacking practically any computing device with ease, even though his build is relatively ancient.

(7) MEMORY LANE.

1937 [Item by Cat Eldridge.] Eighty-five years ago, the German adaptation of The Hound of Baskervilles, Der Hund von Baskerville, as directed by Carl Lamac premiered in Bavaria from the screenplay by Carla von Stackelberg. 

Two individuals are credited as playing Holmes, Bruno Güttner doing the physical work and Siegfried Schürenberg doing the voice. The latter dubbed most of Clark Gable’s films into German including Gone with the Wind. Fritz Odemar was Dr. Watson it was the ninth German film adaptation of this story with the first being in 1914. (There’s only been three such adaptations since then.) 

This was one of two films that was found in Adolf Hitler’s bunker by the Allies in 1945. The other film was Der Mann, der Sherlock Holmes war (The Man who was Sherlock Holmes), another Thirties film. 

If you’re interested, you can see it here with English subtitles.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 12, 1913 Marc Davis. He was one of Disney’s Nine Old Men who created some of Disney’s most-remembered animated cartoons from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Rescuers in the Seventies. He worked on Snow White and the Seven DwarfsBambi, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty and A Hundred and One Dalmantians. (Died 2000.)
  • Born January 12, 1916 House Peters Jr. Though he’s best remembered as Mr. Clean in the Procter & Gamble commercials of the Fifties and Sixties, he did appear in a fair amount of SFF including Flash Gordon, Batman and RobinKing of the Rocket MenThe Day The Earth Stood StillRed Planet MarsTarget Earth and The Twilight Zone. Here’s one of the pre-animated Mr. Clean commercials. (Died 2008.)
  • Born January 12, 1937 Shirley Eaton, 85. Bond Girl Jill Masterson in Goldfinger, and yes, she got painted gold in it. She was not nude as is generally thought but was wearing a monokini. She also shows up as the title character in The Million Eyes of Sumuru, the Sax Rohmer based film we discussed last year. Her other significant role would be as Dr. Margaret E. ‘Maggie’ Hanford in Around the World Under the Sea. She retired from acting in the late Sixties. 
  • Born January 12, 1948 Tim Underwood, 74. Bibliographer with such works as Fantasy and Science Fiction by Jack Vance (done with Jack Miller), Shameless Art: Paintings of Dames, Dolls, Pin-ups, and Bad Girls (genre adjacent at the very least) and Stephen King Spills the Beans: Career-Spanning Interviews with America’s Bestselling Author.  
  • Born January 12, 1951 Kirstie Alley, 71. She’s here for being Saavik on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, her very first film. It was, errr, interesting reading the various rumors why this was her only Trek film. Her SFF experience otherwise was brief limited to being the villain’s ex-girlfriend in Runaway, an uncredited handmaiden on Quark, and being in the Village of the Damned as Dr. Susan Verner.
  • Born January 12, 1952 Walter Mosley, 70. I have read his most excellent Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins series but hadn’t  been aware that he wrote SF of which he has four novels to date, Blue LightFutureland: Nine Stories of an Imminent FutureThe Wave, and 47. There’s a Jack Kirby art book called Maximum Fantastic Four that was conceived of and orchestrated by him.  Interestingly enough, he’s got a writing credit for episode of Masters of Science Fiction called “Little Brother” where Stephen Hawking was the Host according to IMdB.
  • Born January 12, 1952 Rockne S. O’Bannon, 70. He’s the genius behind the rejuvenated Twilight ZoneAmazing Stories, the absolutely frelling fascinating Farscape, the could-have-been-great SeaQuest 2032, the Alien Nation series and Defiance.
  • Born January 12, 1980 Kameron Hurley, 42. Winner of a Best Related Work Hugo at London 3 for We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative. Fiction wise, her most excellent God’s War won a BFA and a Kitschie, whereas her The Geek Feminist Revolution won her a BFA for non-fiction. Very impressive indeed. Oh, and she won a Hugo for Best Fan Writer at London 3 as well. Nice. 

(9) COMICS SECTION.

 (10) THINK AGAIN. In the Washington Post, David Betancourt says Andrew Garfield’s good work in Spider-Man: No Way Home should lead to a reassessment of his two Spider-Man movies, which Betancourt believes are underrated. “Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man deserves redemption”.

…That is not to say Garfield’s Spider-Man never had believers. There are plenty of younger fans who were children when he was sticking to walls on the screen between 2012 and 2014 and who identify him as their Spider-Man. For many, however, Garfield’s Peter Parker was the Spider-Man that couldn’t. A Spider-Man who couldn’t beat the worldwide box office of his predecessor, Tobey Maguire. A Spider-Man who couldn’t make it to trilogy status. And worst of all, a Sony Spider-Man that couldn’t swing on his webs alongside the Avengers over at Marvel Studios because of legalities.

But our spidey-senses failed us. Now we know we were wrong about Garfield….

(11) A PREVIOUS PIXEL. Pat Cadigan is always supplying her Facebook readers with essential facts.

Robert Heinlein told me that one winter day, he and his wife were watching one of their cats go from door to door in their house. The cat would look at each door curiously, meow, and then move on to another door.

Heinlein said to his wife, “I wonder what he’s looking for.”

Virginia Heinlein replied, “He’s looking for the door into summer.”

Heinlein said, “Don’t say another word!”

He ran to his typewriter and finished a first draft of the novel within ten days.

Just because I know you couldn’t go a moment longer without knowing this. You’re welcome.

(12) LOOKALIKE COLLECTIBLE. Space Command showrunner Marc Scott Zicree tells “How I Saved Myself $300,000!” Before Marc gets to the main event he talks about some other Star Trek items.

…Then this could easily be an illustration from that but, no, this is an officially licensed product — the Star Trek Coloring Book. Spock has the wrong color uniforms so he’s a red shirt, so he should probably  get killed in this coloring book…

(13) SOLAR BUBBLE. Been having a “lonely, empty feeling” lately? “The Solar System Exists Inside a Giant, Mysterious Void, And We Finally Know Why”ScienceAlert has the story.

The Solar System floats in the middle of a peculiarly empty region of space.

This region of low-density, high-temperature plasma, about 1,000 light-years across, is surrounded by a shell of cooler, denser neutral gas and dust. It’s called the Local Bubble, and precisely how and why it came to exist, with the Solar System floating in the middle, has been a challenge to explain.

A team of astronomers led by the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) has now mapped the Local Bubble with the highest precision yet – and found that the Local Bubble was likely carved out of the interstellar medium by a series of supernova explosions millions of years ago.

(14) DEATH WILL NOT RELEASE YOU. Netflix previews a Korean series about zombies taking over a high school. “All of Us Are Dead”.  Gore warning.

[Thanks to Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Chris Barkley, Daniel Dern, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jack Lint.]

38 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/12/22 Asking Only Filer’s Pixels, I Come Looking For A Scroll

  1. First!

    (4) RELOADING THE CANON I’ll admit that I’ve not read this series in any meaningful sense, so I’m very grateful for her for releasing this guide to reading it. It’ll make me more willing to jump back into it.

  2. 11) I, too, have encountered this tale–I don’t know where or when. Funny always, touching always.

  3. 7) To Germans, Siegfried Schürenberg is best remembered as the delightfully dim-witted Sir John, head of Scotland Yard, in the Edgar Wallace movies of the 1960s, though he also did a lot of dubbing work.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen this version of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Though The Man Who Was Sherlock Holmes, the other German Sherlock Holmes film from 1937, is delightful and available on YouTube. Hans Albers and Heinz Rühmann still are one of my favourite Holmes/Watson combos, though they’re not really Holmes and Watson, but only pretend to be. Plus, you get Albers and Rühmann singing.

  4. The Door Into Summer is seriously problematic. It’s also a book I really love. Possibly one of the things that makes it enjoyable anyway is the fact that it was so clearly written by someone who lived with cats.

    My heat has been restored. Landlord flew back home from his California vacation to fix it.

    Cider visited her new friends, Willow, Penny, and Rocky (listed in order of decreasing size). She took me along with her, so I could visit with their mom, Paula.

  5. 11) For whatever reason, Door into Summer is one of the Heinlein books I’m least familiar with — Dad didn’t have a copy (and at a fairly early age I just kind of assimilated all of his Heinlein books onto my own shelves) and I don’t think it was at the public library either. I’ll have to reacquaint myself with it sooner or later.

  6. Many of us have some work in their past that they were underpaid for (after which the company folded) but which was still a pretty cool thing to have gotten involved in. For me it was as Meisha Merlin’s outside copyediting contractor for the six Virginia Edition volumes it produced in 2005-07. (Seven really, but that’s another story.) The Door into Summer was volume 5, and the Kindle edition currently online is my edit of the text (one clue: the introduction/restoration of the scene break just before “My old man named me Daniel Boone Davis…”).

    The introduction by W. H. Patterson Jr. (not in Kindle) begins with the exact same tale as that related here. I think the book retains much of its freshness even today, and even in the face of modern attitudes, precisely because it was written so quickly and is so concise.

  7. I keep looking at the Virginia Edition but I can’t quite justify it, either in terms of dollars or of shelf space. I’d love it if the entire thing was available in eBook form.

  8. Joe H. says I keep looking at the Virginia Edition but I can’t quite justify it, either in terms of dollars or of shelf space. I’d love it if the entire thing was available in eBook form.

    Yeah I too wish these had been released in digital form as I would’ve purchased them many of them that way.

  9. I’ve been trying to find a riff on “A Wizard’s Staff has a Knob on the End” but the best I can think of is “A Filer’s Scroll has a Book Recommendation on the End”, which doesn’t even scan…

  10. 8) A miniseries adaptation of Mosley’s The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey is coming to Apple TV+ in a few months.

  11. 8) Mosley was really gratified when I asked him to autograph one of his SF novels rather than one of his Rawlins books; I got the impression he seldom gets recognized as an SF writer.

  12. “Fili, scrolli, pixeli – I liked, scrolled and pixeled — Fiulius Pixar”

    @ Soon Lee: “A Filer’s Scroll has a Book Rec for End”?

    Still have not managed t get a photo of a credential on SF, but I have one of a credential behind SF (fluff the elder ambled onto a book shelf the other night). Can’t actually tell what’s on the shelf, so awaiting an opportunity to get a better shot.

  13. 8) Either Mosley’s birth year is wrong or his age is. If he was born in 1952, he’s 70.

  14. I remember reading the Heinlein anecdote in Reader’s Digest while visiting my grandmother in the 1970s (the actual issue could have been from much earlier — she kept them for years.)

    (I think that Cadigan may have the timing wrong — both Patterson’s biography and wikipedia (quoting Heinlein from an interview he did with Alfred Bester) say 13 days instead of ten.)

  15. The Door Into Summer was a family favourite. The one Heinlein book that all of us liked. Still the one I have the fondest memories of, so I haven’t dared to read it again.

  16. 6) “…the AI decides to turn “evil” for no reason…”.
    If the authors of that piece think that AI turns evil for “no reason”, it’s pretty clear to me that they’ve had little to no exposure to humans and therefore can’t really address the presence or absence of tropes.

  17. Thinking of some recent (Ex Machina, the Westworld TV series) and not-so-recent (Blade Runner) examples, sometimes the AI is entirely justified in deciding to kill all humans.

  18. (10) it’s very much a minority opinion, but I’ve always considered the first Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movie to be by far the best Spider-Man movie ever. Greatly superior to the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies. Andrew Garfield’s acting beats Tobey Maguire’s all hollow, Martin Sheen is a better Uncle Ben, the writing is funnier and sharper, better fight scenes, Lizard is a better villain with a more believable story arc and a better motivation – that’s enough for now. I will admit that the second Garfield Spider-Man movie had some serious plot issues.

  19. “Der Man, der Sherlock Holmes war” (The Man who was Sherlock Holmes) is a delight. Albers would go on to star in “Munchhausen” in 1943 and had appeared in a German SF movie “FP1 Antwortet Nichts” (FP1 Doesn’t Answer) in 1932.

    Albers had a longtime jewish girlfriend, Hansi Burg and they made plans to leave Nazi Germany, she left for London, but Albers delayed leaving to try to persuade her father, Eugen Burg, to leave with them, he considered her father a mentor and father figure himself. Her father would not consider leaving Germany, he was very much of the train of thought that the Nazi’s didn’t really mean all that anti-semetic stuff they were loudly spouting.

    As a result Albers and her father were stuck in Germany after the War began. Soon her father was rounded up and sent to the camps, but Albers used his own fame as an actor to get him transferred to Theresienstadt where he later died.

    Albers remained in contact with his GF throughout the war and slipped her intelligence that he overheard from loose lipped high ranking Nazi officials at movie premiers and functions. His GF by that time was working for British Intelligence and alot of what Albers passed on turned out to be valuable. After the War ended, British Intelligence sent an officer to the American Internment Camp where Albers was being held to free him. The Officer was Hansi Burg.

  20. @Jon: “All Files in jest, still a Fan reads what he wants to read, and Disemvowels the rest”

  21. 6.) Yeah, the easy computer hack never made sense to me–I always thought it was a movie/TV thing.

    That said, the PITA worm that screws up files and later turns out to be an attack from a digital clone/or takes a long time to fix is a major part of the later volumes of my latest series, the Martiniere Legacy. I’ve been around too many computer people in real life to think that you can repair/find a deliberate screwup quickly.

  22. About Tim Underwood: With business partner Chuck Miller, he was also a publisher–the imprint was Underwood-Miller–responsible for nifty limited editions of Jack Vance’s work. And the significant Vance bibliography, produced with Daniel Levack, is Fantasms. (The Fantasy and Science Fiction by Jack Vance item looks like a promotional pamphlet.)

  23. I consider the best Spider-Man film to be the one that won the Hugo at Dublin 2019 — Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It does a better job of showing the entire spider-verse warts and all than any of the other films do.

    I watched it over snd over when I was in-hospital for fifty days being treated for a staphylococcus infection. It’s that good.

  24. Jon Meltzer:
    “… just a come-on from the scrolls on Pixel Avenue?”

    We’re gonna Scroll down to Pixel Avenue, then we’ll take it Filer.

  25. @Thomas the Red
    Yes, Albers was a good guy even during evil times. His relationship with Hansi Burg continued until his death in 1960, though they never married. As for why Albers didn’t leave Germany with Hansi Burg, he didn’t speak English or any other foreign languages and therefore wouldn’t have had much of a chance of continuing his career abroad.

    I still think Münchhausen should have won the 1944 Retro Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation over the sappy Heaven Can Wait.

    Another great Hans Albers film from the same period is Große Freiheit Nr. 7 (Great Freedom No. 7) from 1943, which stars Albers as a washed up sailor in Hamburg’s St. Pauli red light district who falls for a young ingenue, who in turn falls for a shipyard worker. It’s a great movie and gives a look at St. Pauli and Hamburg as it was, before it was bombed to smithereens. You even get glimpses of people of colour – in Nazi Germany in 1943! The Nazis promptly banned the movie, washed up sailors who realise that young women who could be their daughters are better off with men their own age not being heroic enough for their tastes. The movie was only release after the end of WWII and promptly became a huge hit that begat its own subgenre, the St. Pauli melodrama.

    Here is Hans Albers singing “Auf der Reeperbahn nachts um halb eins” (On Reeperbahn at half past one in the night) from Große Freiheit Nr. 7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rENvoSKlJYo

    And as a bonus, here are Hans Albers and Heinz Rühmann singing “Jawoll, meine Herren” (Yes, Gentlemen) from The Man Who Was Sherlock Holmes, while naked and in the bath: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lzJXbiIXuc

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