Pixel Scroll 1/22/17 How Do We Tell If A Scroll is Made of Pixels?

By JJ:

(1) MOVING FORWARD. ScreenRant broke the news that Wonder Woman 2 will be the first film to adopt the Anti-Sexual Harassment Guidelines announced on Friday by the Producers Guild of America, prior to their annual awards gala.

As reported by Variety, the PGA’s board of directors voted unanimously to ratify the new guidelines, which were then issued to the organization’s 8,200 members. PGA presidents Gary Lucchesi and Lori McCreary said of the guidelines:

Sexual harassment can no longer be tolerated in our industry or within the ranks of the Producers Guild membership. We provide key leadership in creating and sustaining work environments built on mutual respect, so it is our obligation to change our culture and eradicate this abuse. While the PGA is a voluntary membership organization, the PGA’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Guidelines are sanctioned as best practices for our members.

The Wonder Woman sequel being the first film to officially adopt these guidelines certainly makes sense considering the character’s position as a role model for girls and women everywhere (though that might not necessarily be why it will be the first to adopt the guidelines). Additionally, Jenkins’ Wonder Woman broke records for movies directed by women, solidifying it as a major step forward for gender representation in terms of Hollywood directors. Further, it was reported last year while Jenkins and Gadot were negotiating their deals for the sequel that the actress refused to sign on for Wonder Woman 2 unless Warner Bros. cut ties with Brett Ratner’s production company RatPac for the film. (Ratner was accused of sexual misconduct by a number of women, including X-Men: The Last Stand’s Ellen Page.)

(2) THE WRITING BOAT IS OPEN FOR BOARDING: Dan Wells from the Writing Excuses podcast announced that applications are open for their 2018 Writing Excuses Retreat Scholarship:

The sixth annual Writing Excuses Workshop and Retreat makes a triumphant return to the Caribbean Sea! We begin in Houston, TX, on September 22; we’ll visit Roatan, Belize City, and Cozumel; and then we’ll end up back in Houston again on September 30. You can find all the other info, including our incredible guest list, here.

We are also delighted to report that we are offering more scholarships in 2018 than ever before: five! One of these is sponsored by the hosts of Writing Excuses, one by our amazing patrons on Patreon, and three (3) by our incredibly awesome alumni. They’ve been on the retreat (sometimes more than once), they love it, and they want to share it with as many people as possible.

As always, our scholarships come in two categories: three Out of Excuses Scholarships, awarded to those in financial need, and two Carl Brandon Society Scholarships, awarded to writers of color. Both categories have introduced us to some incredible writers in the past, and we can’t wait to see who we get to meet this year. Share this post with everyone you know, read the rules carefully, and apply!

Workshop presenters announced thus far include Amal El-Mohtar, Piper Drake, Maurice Broaddus, Kathy Chung, K Tempest Bradford, Valynne E Maetani, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler.


(4) FURY STILL TO BE UNLEASHED. On an update to the Kickstarter for the Hath No Fury anthology of fantasy, science fiction, and urban fantasy tales featuring lead characters inspired by women from literature, history, and film, editor Melanie R. Meadors announced that Outland Entertainment has committed to complete the anthology after the original publisher, Ragnarok Publications, shut down:

The good news is that Outland Entertainment has absorbed all the rights to Ragnarok’s anthologies. The books will continue to be in print, and Hath No Fury will be published as well. The files for the books are currently being processed so that they have the copyright and logo info updated, and Hath No Fury is being sent to the printer. There has been a super long delay with that, and Outland wants you to know they are really sorry about that. The money Ragnarok received for this Kickstarter had been used for other business expenses by Ragnarok, and so Outland had to figure things out in order to get backer rewards paid for out of their own pocket. The money to pay for all printing expenses and shipping, etc for the Kickstarter backers is now earmarked and ready to go, however, and the only delay right now is with printing – in order for printing to be done as efficiently as possible, Outland is doing a batch printing order with another project, and they just had to wait for that to finish up in order to submit the job.

I know you folks have been itching to get your hands on the books, and communications have been sparse. I apologize for that. Outland wanted to be sure to try to get accurate information out there instead of giving a lot of false starts and dates based on hopes. I don’t have an exact date yet (the head of the other project’s mother just passed away, so as soon as he’s back to work, I can get more details on that), but it WILL be this spring, and the money for the printing and processing IS earmarked and will not be going anywhere. I’m really grateful to Outland for helping to make all this happen, especially for absorbing such a huge cost to them for fulfilling the Kickstarter. More details are forthcoming as far as what is shipping when, and when folks can expect to get surveys. Again, I apologize for the delays and the gaps in communication, but going forward we should see some real progress.

The Kickstarter had more than doubled its $14,500 goal, receiving $32,047 in pledges.

(5) KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY MAUSOLEUM. Tina Romero, daughter of the grand master of zombie horror George A. Romero, will be directing zombie movie Queens Of The Dead, according to ScienceFiction.com:

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as it now looks like Tina Romero is going to be directing a new feature film titled Queens of the Dead. With George A. Romero creating the modern zombie and his son Cameron busy at work with Rise of the Living Dead, it seems like the undead are becoming a family affair. Tina had previously announced that she was working on a new horror web-series with Tom Savini but now that partnership will also have a new movie as well.

There is no news if this movie will be part of the Night of the Living Dead universe or set in her own world and will just be paying tribute to her father’s work with the title.

As to what the movie will be about and what inspired her to do it?

“Queens of the Dead is a fusion of two huge parts of my world: zombies and Gay nightlife. It’s a tribute to my father as well as my entrée into the genre he grandfathered. I can’t say too much yet, but what I can tell you is that this film will have all the hallmarks of a George A. Romero classic: farce, politics, heroes, assholes, and most importantly, herds of silly and slow-moving walkers that you can’t help but love. But I’m doing it Tina-style, and bringing the glitter, choreography, queers & queens.”

Basically, it boils down to showing us “the zombie apocalypse, seen through the eyes of the patrons at a drag nightclub.” Now, that is an idea which hasn’t been done before and could prove to be full of humor and heart.

(6) DARKNESS FALLS. All 1,225 Episodes of vintage TV series Dark Shadows have been released on Amazon Prime Streaming, says Bloody Disgusting:

Depicting the lives, loves, trials and tribulations of the wealthy Collins family of Collinsport, Maine, where a number of supernatural occurrences take place, the American gothic television series “Dark Shadows” aired from June 27, 1966, to April 2, 1971 on ABC. The show ran for five years, delivering a staggering 1,225 episodes.

As of this week, you can stream EVERY episode through Amazon Prime US & UK!

The Wikipedia entry for the cult series offers this description:

The series became hugely popular when vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) appeared ten months into its run. Dark Shadows also featured ghosts, werewolves, zombies, man-made monsters, witches, warlocks, time travel, and a parallel universe. A small company of actors each played many roles; as actors came and went, some characters were played by more than one actor.

Dark Shadows was distinguished by its vividly melodramatic performances, atmospheric interiors, memorable storylines, numerous dramatic plot twists, adventurous music score, broad cosmos of characters and heroic adventures.

(7) SETTING PRIORITIES. The NASA History Office came up with this gem right before they turned out the lights:

(8) GOODNIGHT EARTH. In a lengthy piece, “What Happens to Astronauts During a Government Shutdown?“, The Atlantic verifies that the astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) won’t be completely abandoned:

As the wheels of the U.S. government ground to a halt Friday at midnight, thousands of federal employees prepared to face days or weeks without work or pay until their offices reopened.

Some employees will continue working through the government shutdown, however, including the three with the longest commute: NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Joseph Acaba, and Scott Tingle. Despite the political tussle that closed most of the government on Saturday, the American part of the International Space Station remains open for business. Mission-control staff, considered “essential” personnel, will keep working, too, to support the astronauts.

Phew. And, well, obviously! After all, NASA can’t exactly press pause on the work of keeping humans alive in microgravity 200 miles above Earth, even if Congress missed the deadline for the government running out of money.

“To protect the life of the crew as well as the assets themselves, we would continue to support planned operations of the ISS during any funding hiatus,” states a NASA plan, published in November, that outlines protocols for a potential government shutdown.

(9) HOUSTON, CAN YOU READ ME? Former ISS Commander Chris Hadfield reminisces about the last time the lights went out:


(11) SAY, ARE YOU RELATED TO…? Author and Filer Laura Resnick posted a diary of an unnamed convention where she was a guest, exposing the sordid truth concealed behind the glamorous myths about a midlist writer’s life. Here’s a spine-tingling excerpt:

At dinner, am required to sit at assigned table and be available to interested attendees.

Overhear attendees say, “All the good seats are taken, I guess we’ll have to sit here,” a moment before they sit down at my table.

Table gradually fills up with disappointed attendees who had hoped to sit with someone better than me at this meal.

No one at table sits next to me. The chairs are empty on either side of me. I suggest someone might like to sit closer to me. No response.

Nearest person on left asks me, “Are you any relation to Mike Resnick, the science fiction writer?”

I respond, “Yes, he’s my dad.”

Ten minutes later, nearest person on right asks me, “Are you any relation to Mike Resnick?”

(Old man will enjoy this. Must make sure he never finds out.)

Otherwise, not much said to me throughout meal.

(12) A FUTURE INFORMED BY BLACKNESS. Mic, a digital news media site, discusses revolutionary Afrofuturistic elements in “Black Panther isn’t just another Marvel movie – it’s a vision of a future led by blackness.”

Wakanda is more than just a fun spectacle; it represents something much more magnificent and powerful – a version of Africa unaffected by the external world, one that was allowed to pursue its own march toward spectacular progress.

When the most recent trailer for the movie was released in October, people weren’t just excited, they were jubilant. Now, it’s an event pretty much every time there’s a new Marvel movie but – no disrespect to Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, etc. – those blockbusters don’t normally have an entire culture of people impatiently awaiting their release. So what makes Black Panther especially noteworthy?

The secret sauce of Marvel’s Black Panther is Afrofuturism – an arts form that combines science fiction with black culture to create a future informed by blackness. On its face, Black Panther masquerades as Marvel’s latest superhero flick. Dig deeper and you’ll find the movie’s true identity: an Africa-set, Afrofuturist film – made for black people, by black people – powered by a Disney budget.

(13) CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. New York native Frederick Joseph’s GoFundMe campaign to set up screening of Black Panther for children has gone viral, says ABC News.

Joseph knew he wanted to give back to his community in some way and with the highly-anticipated Black Panther hitting theaters next month, he decided to try and raise funds to send a few hundred kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem for free.

But what has happened over the last few days since his GoFundMe page launched is something straight out of the pages of Marvel Comics.

Joseph’s original goal of $10,000 has been well surpassed and now stands at around $25,000 and climbing. More than 500 people have donated. The campaign also boasts support from Chelsea Clinton, J.J. Abrams and ESPN’s Jamele Hill.

After seeing his goals exceeded so quickly and enthusiastically, Josephs issued the #BlackPantherChallenge:

… start a @gofundme to buy tickets for kids in your city to see Black Panther. If you’re a teacher, buy tickets for your entire classroom. If you’re a coach, take your team. If you’re a community leader, do some organizing and get the kids and parents in your community to the theater. 10 campaigns that answer the #BlackPantherChallenge will receive a $100 donation from GoFundMe.

Comicbook.com reports that rapper Snoop Dogg has announced that he will fund one of the NYC screenings and a screening for kids in Los Angeles, as well as donating funds to Joseph’s GoFundMe campaign.

Joseph’s GoFundMe now stands at $42,642 of $10,000 goal.


(15) FINALLY NAMING NAMES. Compulsive list-maker and Filer James Davis Nicoll has made the first in a new series of posts over at Tor.com, Fighting Erasure: Women SF Writers of the 1970s, A Through F.

You may have been annoyed by recurrent comments from a certain surprisingly flammable Waterloo-region reviewer. He complains about the erasure from SF memory of women writing SF back in the 1970s – but has that reviewer ever bother to name names? Suggest books? I think not. It is time to confront the erasure directly. Forward! Excelsior!

In an attempt to keep this list to a manageable length, I will focus on women authors who first published in the 1970s. That means skipping some significant authors who were already active at the time. I also reserve the right to cheat a bit by including a few works published after the 1970s. I am also going to break this list into several installments, beginning with A through F. Which should tell you just how many women have been erased. Whole binders full of women.

(16) SO THAT’S WHAT’S UNDER THERE. In a comment on File770, RedWombat (aka Ursula Vernon) says:

I went through what I called an “objectified Scotsman” phase about two months ago. A very specific, very silly genre, mostly tied to kilts, existence thereof, and what may or may not be worn underneath them.

You have to be absolutely in it for the romance, there is no comedy of manners, and they run INTENSELY formulaic (and I say this as one who respects romance enormously as a genre, couldn’t write it, and believe it deserves an immense amount of respect) but they are hella fun for comfort reads.

Structure goes as follows:

Act One: Arranged Marriage
HIM: I hate the English.
HER: Goddamn.

Act Two: Love
HIM: I still hate the English, but this one’s mine.
HER: Hot damn!

Act Three: The Clans Go To War
HIM: Let’s kill those other English!
HER: Oh, damn.


(18) NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT. Angered by what he apparently perceived to be too many “girl cooties” ruining his childhood in The Last Jedi, a Mens’ Rights Activist released last week a version of the 152-minute movie called “The Last Jedi De-Feminized Fanedit”, with the female characters almost completely excised. The resulting movie is (wait for it…) 46 minutes long. Dorkly’s Tristan Cooper takes one for the team and reports on the result.

I know. Part of you kind of wants to see this tragic, insecure shitshow. Don’t worry, you don’t have to scrub through the sketchier side of the internet just to satisfy your morbid curiosity – I’ve already done that for you. I watched the De-Feminized Fanedit of The Last Jedi, and I can tell you with authority that it’s even worse than you think…

In response, Twitter user Logan James released his own gender-edited films:



(19) MOTOR CITY COMIC MADNESS. SFF Author Saladin Ahmed has a new comic book, Abbott, debuting on January 24, set in 1972 Detroit. The Detroit Free Press gives us the lowdown:

Whether she’s arriving at a crime scene, standing up to her boss or just listening at home to John Coltrane albums, Elena Abbott is cool.

So cool that the fictional newspaper reporter is the title character of a new comic book series set in 1972’s “two Detroits: one white, one black” – a place where “the former would rather leave the city than truly share it with the latter.”

(20) BUT WAIT UNTIL AFTER THEIR BEDTIME. I’m Going to Outer Space by Timothy Young is a picture book for your little SF lover – and for the adults who will delight in spotting the Enterprise, a Space:1999 Eagle, and the Jupiter-Two among the spacecraft in the illustrations, and Bender, Robby, “the Robot”, Daleks, Maria, and many other old friends among the robots in the illustrations. An Amazon reviewer describes it as “the Where’s Waldo? for science fiction fans”.


(22) FOLLOWING IN HIS FATHER’S STARSTEPS. Director Duncan Jones, whose film Moon won a Hugo Award in 2010, has produced another science-fiction movie Mute, which will debut on Netflix on February 23. Jones is better known in some quarters as the son of The Man Who Fell to Earth, David Bowie.

 [Thanks to Andrew, Bonnie McDaniel, Chris M., Cora Buhlert, Hampus Eckerman, James Davis Nicoll, lauowolf, Laura Resnick, Lee Billings, Mark-kitteh, Paul Weimer, RedWombat, Robin A. Reid, and ULTRAGOTHA for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 Contributing Editor of the Day JJ.]

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72 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/22/17 How Do We Tell If A Scroll is Made of Pixels?

  1. @JJ & @Filers: Thanks for the scroll! ::sending continued good thoughts @Mike Glyer’s way::

    (1) MOVING FORWARD. Yay for guidelines and yay for a “Wonder Woman 2” movie!


    (11) SAY, ARE YOU RELATED TO…? OMG, I read the whole thing and Filer, I LOL’d!

    @Heather Rose Jones: Ouch! That’s the sort of thing that would happen to me. I have a love/hate relationship with banquet type things at cons, bleah.

    (15) FINALLY NAMING NAMES. A list, you say? ::off to read it in a bit::

    ETA: Started scrolling through it and am thrilled to see Diane Duane’s The Door Into Fire listed. One of my favorites!

    (17) THE TOR BOYCOTT HAS SUCCEEDED. ::snort:: at the title, @JJ. 😉

    (22) FOLLOWING IN HIS FATHER’S STARSTEPS. Going for movies with four letters and starting with “M” is he?


    This must really grind VD’s gears.

    I have my doubts about mainstream publishing’s pricing strategies but it seems to be working for Scalzi. If you’re an established author, being available in physical, ebook and audio formats at varying price points probably brings in the cash.

  3. @microtherion: That appears to also be the guy who gave my collection a bad review on the grounds that the stories (including the fantasy ones) were not science fictional enough. Apparently my error was to not include enough sexbots.

    Aside from all that, the premise of that tweet seems weak to me: those who seek submissiveness in a mate would get it most efficiently from sexbots, so their advent would remove those people from the dating pool and as a result provide a competitive advantage to those who are most unlike sexbots.

  4. I would also like to point out that the existence of male sexbots is equally possible, making submissive, sweet men willing to draw your bubble bath and bring you a cup of tea rise to the top of their gender. “As you wish” and all that.

  5. A Meredith Moment:

    Barbara Hambly’s “The Darwath Series” #1-3 (the main trilogy, though there’s at least one more after this that I haven’t read) is on sale for $2.99 in the U.S. This includes The Time of the Dark, The Walls of Air, and The Armies of Daylight. Grim fantasy (dunno about “grimdark”) in a secondary world with two people transposed to our world and relentless monsters coming out of the ground to try to wipe out everyone. A very good series!

  6. What we need are dominant werewolfbots. There are too few of them in the dating pool today!

  7. @Kendall , would you happen to have a link? I checked Amazon (US and UK) and can’t seem to find it at the price you mention.

  8. @Kendall: I think you mean “two people transposed from our world”? I haven’t reread those in decades, but I remember being very impressed when I read them shortly after they came out.

  9. @Christian Brunschen: Sorry, I forgot to say that it’s an omnibus of all three in one e-book. The e-book is literally called “The Darwath Series” and it’s all three books in one omnibus for $2.99 total (so, basically a buck a book!).

    Here’s an Amazon link and a Kobo link. If you prefer iBooks or other places, search for “The Darwath Series” instead of the individual book names and you should find it. Again, sorry I didn’t make this clearer.

    And I forgot my usual information of publisher/DRM status, whoops! This is through Open Road Media (uses DRM).

    @Chip Hitchcock: D’oh, I missed that even on editing-after-posting to fix something else and tweak a third thing. Yes, transposed from our world to the secondary world. (blush) I’m batting 1.000 today.

  10. @Kendall,

    Thank you for the links – alas, Amazon comes up with prices of $14.39 / £10.29, whereas Kobo tells me £14.75. Ah well.

  11. Two questions related to Barbara Hambly’s “Darwath” post-trilogy sequels:

    #1 There are two books published 15+ years after the original trilogy: Mother of Winter (1996) and Icefalcon’s Quest (1998). I haven’t read either one; anyone who has read them – are they good and (super-important) do they stand alone (or together-alone)?

    I read the original trilogy many years ago and wouldn’t have time to re-read them now, and I don’t care for the audio sample I just listened to, either. But it turns out I own Mother of Winter, so I’m wondering how lost I’d be, as long as it’s been since I read the original books.

    #2 Hey, there are also two 2015 novelettes in this universe: “Pretty Polly” and “Whisper.” I had no idea. They’re self-published via Smashwords, so they’re DRM-free (at least at Kobo, which usually means iBooks and maybe Amazon.com are DRM-free, too). Has anyone read them and are they good? As before – do they stand alone, i.e., could I read them and not get lost, despite not having read the original trilogy in many, many years?

    Thanks in advance!

  12. @Christian Brunschen: Bummer! I did say “in the U.S.,” but sometimes these sales are cross-region. Sorry that didn’t pan out! 🙁

    ETA: I’m a little surprised places like Open Road Media don’t make the sales cross-region, since they’re publishing it all over. It may be worth checking out later this week, in case they’re just slow/inconsistent about updating pricing in other regions.

  13. @rob_matic: “This must really grind VD’s gears.”

    Oh, not at all! I mean Scalzi sold, what, 15 copies of each previous book, right? So, selling a lot more of this book just means like 30 copies, probably, so he’s totally sliding into poverty and Tor is totally going under as a business. Totally! /s

    At least in Beale’s alternate universe. 😉

  14. I’m curious about the Darwath post-trilogy sequels, as well. The Darwath trilogy was one of my favorites in high school. I hunted them down in physical form a few years ago and re-read them. I didn’t think the suck fairy had hit them, though they were not quite as bad-ass as I’d remembered.

  15. I read Mother of Winter something like 10-12 years after I’d last read the original Darwath trilogy and found it worked just fine. It was fascinating, wandering across genre lines in a way that felt really satisfying.

  16. Barbara Hambly! I haven’t read those in years. Is that the series where… widowed ladies of somewhere kidnap Our He… Our Protagonist? And end up Bringing Magic Back?

    Does anyone know the status of her series about Jenny the witch? First book was just brilliant, but about 2-3 in there was a book where she had apparently decided that she hated both the characters and the readers. You’ll know he one I mean if you’ve read it. I was afraid to get back into the series after that.

  17. I would have thought that the theoretical sexbot future would work entirely differently. I mean, the two primary reasons for continuing to have exclusive, monogamous relationships are romantic pairbonding and children, right? For the former, you want someone who you like, enjoy spending time with and can cohabitate with peacefully, and for the latter you want someone with whom you share moderately similar parenting philosophies. I can’t quite see why either of those things would lead women to prioritise getting into relationships with men who want them to be, essentially, flesh and blood sexbots. I suspect it would make those men no fun to spend time with, frustrating at best to cohabitate with, and I have deep misgivings about their ability to parent well (especially but not exclusively if there are daughters).

  18. @Kendall et al: it has been a long time since I read the Darwath follow-ons, but I don’t remember needing to reread the original trilogy or being unhappy with the ending (unlike Jenny — I wonder whether that was supposed to have a sequel that was dropped due to poor sales?)

    @Maximillian: that’s The Ladies of Mandrigyn (dedicated “To my fellow members of the West Coast Karate Association BROAD SQUAD”), followed by a few less-directly-feminist works in which the new wizard works out combining his two careers. IIRC, it’s not so much bringing back magic as breaking the monopoly.

    @Meredith: ISTM that women in the US were taught to seek and support such men at least up to the half-generation before mine; I suspect that some of both genders still find that such narrow roles suit them, but I agree that it seems unlikely as a general future.

  19. @kathodus: Good to hear the “Darwath” books survived the Suck Fairy. 🙂 This bodes well for me reading Mother of Winter and/or the novelettes.

    @Bruce Baugh & @Chip Hitchcock: Excellent! I’ll scare up my copy for a rainy day.

  20. Darn, I guess it’s too late to fill out the survey in the back of Hambly’s Mother of Winter (and, gasp, tear out the page to send to Del Rey!) in order to get a free copy of Icefalcon’s Quest (which the back cover copy refers to as “Ice Falcon Profile,” despite the survey having the correct name). 😉

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