Pixel Scroll 1/23/22 Pixel Yourself On A Scroll On A River, With Tangerine Fanzines And Ray Bradbury Skies

(1) SUSAN COOPER Q&A. Two-time Newbery Honor recipient Susan Cooper is interviewed in The School Library Journal: “Susan Cooper: Writing Fantasy Is a ‘Voyage Fed by My Unconscious’”.

You’ve written that fantasy involves images “bubbling up” from the writer’s unconscious mind. As you’ve thought about the “Dark Is Rising” novels and spoken about them, have you come to understand that unconscious bubbling in new ways?

I was a child of World War ll England, and if people are dropping bombs on you from the age of four to 10, you grow up with a powerful sense of threat, enmity, Them versus Us, the Dark and the Light. This is also, of course, the stuff of myth and legend, which I read thirstily when young. Ideas come from the imagination, but this unconscious mass is the soil in which it grows.

(2) HARDWARE WARS. Ryan George is “The First Guy To Ever Win An Award”. Doesn’t everyone want a Shiny Thing?

(3) ADEYEMI PROJECT MOVES TO PARAMOUNT. Lucasfilm is going to stick to what it knows, while another studio gives the author what they want: “’Star Wars’: Lucasfilm Rethinks Projects, ‘Children of Blood and Bone’ Goes to Paramount” in The Hollywood Reporter.

…Things began to sour just months after the 2020 Disney Investor Day presentation. [Tomi] Adeyemi, according to sources, grew disenchanted with the pace of the project and began pushing for a stronger voice at the table for the adaptation of her book. The author made the case that she should be the one writing the script, a request Lucasfilm was unwilling to accommodate, sources say.

The sides remained at loggerheads until the project was quietly put into turnaround in the fall of 2021. The bidding and winning of Blood and Bone took a couple of months, and when it landed at Paramount in early January with its original producers, Adeyemi now had what she had asked for: creative influence and the right to pen the screenplay.

In the meantime, Lucasfilm, according to sources, has decidedly shifted away from developing projects that are new and is leaning even more toward those already under its umbrella. Those include a series based on the 1988 fantasy WillowIndiana Jones 5 and, yes, many, many Star Wars movies and shows….

(4) ERIC FLINT MEDICAL UPDATE. Eric Flint told Facebook readers yesterday he has been hospitalized with a staph infection.  

Well, I have some bad news, I’m afraid. I’ve been in the hospital for two with a staff infection. Staphylococcus aureus, to be precise. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to be MRSA or any other especially virulent form of the disease.

That said, staph is nothing to fool with. If it’s a blood infection, as it is in my case, it travels to every part of the body. Little problems become big problems and you’re soon in a world of hurt. So far things are looking good. Once they got me on antibiotics everything started improving. StIll, this take time. The doctors tell me a full treatment takes about two weeks and you can’t stint on it. Unfortunately, that’s going to bring us very close to Superstars Writing Seminar, which I may have to miss. We won’t know for awhile yet, I will keep you informed.

(5) HARRY POTTER FIRED. “Broadway’s ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ actor fired”Yahoo! has the story.

The actor playing Harry Potter has been fired from the Broadway production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” following a complaint by a co-star about his conduct.

Producers said Sunday night that, after an independent investigation of the incident, they decided to terminate the contract of James Snyder. The exact nature of his conduct was not specified. Snyder did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Producers said in a statement that they received a complaint against Snyder from a female co-star in November and immediately suspended Snyder. The female co-star has decided to take a leave of action from the Broadway show.

The play, which picks up 19 years from where J.K. Rowling’s last novel left off, portrays Potter and his friends as grown-ups. It won the Tony Award for best new play in 2018….

(6) WHEDON CONSIDERED. Keith R.A. DeCandido, who has written a lot of Whedonverse tie-ins, comments “on the fall from grace of Joss Whedon” at KRAD’s Inaccurate Guide to Life.

An article dropped on Vulture yesterday by Lila Shapiro which details the fall from grace of Joss Whedon following first an open letter his ex-wife wrote on her way out the door of their life together, and then the Justice League debacle, which led to a lot of allegations coming to light going all the way back to Whedon’s Buffy days.

I’ve been connected to Whedon’s worlds both as a fan and as a pro since the late 1990s. I was a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly, and I wrote four Buffy books (a novelization, two novels, and I worked on one of the official reference books) and novelized Serenity and wrote a Firefly role-playing game adventure. As a result, I was always heavily plugged into the intense fandom that grew up around his creations.

And I found myself concerned about the near-deification that went on surrounding him. The “Joss Whedon is My Master Now” T-shirts and the “trust in Joss” mantras — and just generally, referring to him as “Joss” as if he was their friend.

…The interview is the first time Whedon has spoken publicly since he was all but hung in effigy by the entire universe, and he didn’t waste any time inserting his foot once he opened his mouth. At no point does he take responsibility, and he spends lots of time making excuses. He unconvincingly denies many of the allegations, or tries to downplay them….

(7) THE SAGAS NEVER TOLD. At Galactic Journey, Cora Buhlert reviews the first Lancer Conan edition and reminds us what the genre lost: “[January 22, 1967] The Return of the Cimmerian: Conan the Adventurer by Robert E. Howard”.

The untimely death of Robert E. Howard thirty years ago is one of the great tragedies of our genre. The lifelong Texan Howard had his first story, the prehistoric adventure “Spear and Fang” published in Weird Tales in 1925, when he was only nineteen years old. In the following eleven years, Howard published dozens of stories in Weird Tales as well as in long forgotten pulp magazines such as Oriental StoriesFight StoriesAction StoriesMagic Carpet Magazine or Spicy Mystery. In the introduction to Conan the Adventurer, editor L. Sprague de Camp calls Howard “a natural story-teller, whose tales are unsurpassed for vivid, colorful, headlong, gripping action.”

In 1936, tragedy struck, when Howard’s beloved mother was about to succumb to tuberculosis. Overcome with grief, Howard took his own life. He was only thirty years old….

(8) GOULART REMEMBERED. Frances Goulart, widow of Ron, sent a kind note about File 770’s Ron Goulart obituary.

Thank you so much for the tribute to my husband. He would be so pleased with all the attention and love he’s getting. Hope he can read it all wherever he is. We are planning a memorial in June. Please stay in touch for details.

(9) JEAN-CLAUDE MÉZIÈRE (1938-2022). Creator of Valerian and Laureline, Jean-Claude Mézière died last night. Here is a good obituary in Flemish from a Belgian comics news site: “Jean-Claude Mézières (83) overleden” (which you could read with the help of a Google translation), and a less-detailed appreciation in English: “Comics author Jean-Claude Mézières has died”.

Jean-Claude Mézières, cult comic book author, especially SF, died at the age of 83, on the night of January 22 to 23.

Born in 1938 in Paris, Jean-Claude Mézières is considered a figure of Franco-Belgian comics. He is mainly known for the adventures of Valerian and Laureline, two space-time agents. He worked on these characters alongside screenwriter Pierre Christin, his childhood friend.

(10) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1947 [Item by Cat Eldridge.] Seventy-five years ago today in New York City, the Lady in The Lake film opened. Based on the Raymond Chandler novel of the same name. It was the directing debut of Robert Montgomery who also played Phillip Marlowe. The rest of the cast is Audrey Totter, Lloyd Nolan, Tom Tully, Leon Ames and Jayne Meadows. 

Steve Fisher, a pulp writer, who published in far too many pulps too list here but I’ll note that wrote some of The Shadow stories, wrote the screenplay. His most significant stories, however, would be published in Black Mask.

Montgomery’s desire was to recreate the first-person narrative style of the Marlowe novels. As the film is up legitimately on YouTube as part of their film series, you can judge yourself if he succeeded in that. 

So how was the reception? Well critics didn’t like it. Really they didn’t it at all. As BBC critic George Perry much later put it: “This is the only mainstream feature ever to have been shot in its entirety with the subjective camera. Which means that you, the viewer, sees everything just as the hero Philip Marlowe does. Every so often the camera pauses by a mirror and looking at you in the reflection is Robert Montgomery, who also directed, for it is he who is playing Marlowe.” And I think that’s reflected in the audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes who give an ambivalent rating of fifty percent. 

He would play Marlowe once more in Robert Montgomery Presents The Big Sleep, a hour long version of that novel that aired on September 25th, 1950.  Robert Montgomery Presents for eight seasons.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 23, 1923 Walter M. Miller Jr. He’s best remembered for A Canticle for Leibowitz, the only novel he published in his lifetime. Terry Bisson would finish off the completed draft that he left of Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, a sequel of sorts to the first novel. He did a fair amount of short fiction as well. He’s poorly represented both from the usual suspects and in the dead tree sense as well beyond A Canticle for Leibowitz. (Died 1996.)
  • Born January 23, 1932 Bart LaRue. He was the voice of The Guardian of  Forever in the “City on the Edge of Forever” episode of Trek as well as doing voice roles in “Bread and Circuses” (on-screen too) “The Gamesters of Triskelion” as Provider 1 (uncredited) “Patterns of Force” as an Ekosian newscaster (Both voice and on-screen) and “The Savage Curtain” as Yarnek. He did similar work for Time TunnelMission ImpossibleVoyage to The Bottom of The SeaThe Andromeda StrainWild Wild WestLand of Giants and Lost in Space. (Died 1990.)
  • Born January 23, 1933 Emily Banks, 89. She played Yeoman Tonia Barrows in the absolutely splendid “Shore Leave”.  Though her acting career was brief, ending twenty years later, she shows up on Mr. Terrific, a series I’ve never heard of, Fantasy IslandThe Wild Wild WestBewitched, the original Knight Rider, Highway to Heaven and Air Wolf.
  • Born January 23, 1939 – Greg Hildebrandt, 83, and Tim Hildebrandt (died 2006). I’d say best remembered for their very popular and ubiquitous Lord of the Rings calendar illustrations, also for illustrating comics for Marvel Comics and DC Comics. They also did a lot of genre covers so I went to ISFDB and checked to see if I recognized any. I certainly did. There was Zelazny’s cover of My Name is Legion, Tolkien’s Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham and Poul Anderson’s A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows. V’nice.
  • Born January 23, 1943 Gil Gerard, 79. Captain William “Buck” Rogers in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century which I fondly remember as a really a truly great SF series even if it really wasn’t that great. He also shows up in the very short lived E.A.R.T.H. Force as Dr. John Harding, and he’s General Morgenstern in Reptisaurus, a movie title that proves someone had a serious lack of imagination regarding titles that day. In Bone Eater, a monster film that Bruce Boxleitner also shows up in as Sheriff Steve Evans, he plays Big Jim Burns, the Big Bad. Lastly, I’d like to note that he got to play Admiral Sheehan in the “Kitumba” episode of fan-created Star Trek: New Voyage
  • Born January 23, 1944 Rutger Hauer. Roy Batty in Blade Runner, of course, but did you know he was Lothos In Buffy the Vampire Slayer film? That I’d forgotten. He’s also William Earle in Batman Begins, Count Dracula himself in Dracula III: Legacy, Captain Etienne Navarre in Ladyhawke, the very evil John Ryder in The Hitcher, Abraham Van Helsing in Dracula 3D, King Zakour in, and no I didn’t know they’d done this film, The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power and finally let’s note his involvement in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets as President of the World State Federation. (Died 2019.)
  • Born January 23, 1950 Richard Dean Anderson, 72. Unless you count MacGyver as genre like I do, his main and rather enduring genre role was as Jack O’Neill in the many Stargate Universe series. Well, Stargate SG-1 really as he only briefly showed up on Stargate Universe and Stargate Atlantis whereas he did one hundred seventy-three episodes of SG-1. Wow. Now his only other SF role lasted, err, twelve episodes in which he played Enerst Pratt alias Nicodemus Legend in the most excellent Legend which co-starred John de Lancie. Yeah, I really liked it. And damn it should’ve caught on. 
  • Born January 23, 1964 Mariska Hargitay, 58. Did you know she’s the daughter of Jayne Mansfield? I certainly didn’t. Her first film appearance was as Donna in Ghoulies which is a seriously fun film. Later genre creds are limited but include playing Marsha Wildmon in the Freddy’s Nightmares – A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series. She also plays Myra Okubo in the Lake Placid film and voices Tenar in Tales from Earthsea.  She is by the way in her twenty-third season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit of portraying Captain Olivia Benson which is now over five hundred episodes in length. 

(12) COMICS SECTION.

(13) A COMICS HISTORY MISFIRE. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In today’s NFL playoff game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Rams, NBC broadcaster Al Michaels referred to an electronic gizmo around Buccaneers Coach Bruce Arians’s neck as “a Rube Goldberg machine.”

“I’m sorry,” said  Michaels’s colleague, Cris Collinsworth, “Rube Goldberg?”

“It was a long, long, long time ago,” said Michaels.

Al Michaels was born in 1944 and Cris Collinsworth was born in 1959.

(For an explanation of the reference, see Wikipedia’s entry on Rube Goldberg machine.)

(14) THE ICARUS SHORTAGE. “‘It’s a glorified backpack of tubes and turbines’: Dave Eggers on jetpacks and the enigma of solo flight” in the Guardian.

We have jetpacks and we do not care. An Australian named David Mayman has invented a functioning jetpack and has flown it all over the world – once in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty – yet few people know his name. His jetpacks can be bought but no one is clamouring for one. For decades, humans have said they want jetpacks, and for thousands of years we have said we want to fly, but do we really? Look up. The sky is empty.

Airlines are dealing with pilot shortages, and this promises to get far worse. A recent study found that, by 2025, we can expect a worldwide shortfall of 34,000 commercial pilots. With smaller aircraft, the trends are similar. Hang-gliding has all but disappeared. Ultralight aircraft makers are barely staying afloat. (One manufacturer, Air Création, sold only one vehicle in the US last year.) With every successive year, we have more passengers and fewer pilots. Meanwhile, one of the most dreamed of forms of flight – jetpacks – exists, but Mayman can’t get anyone’s attention.

“I did a flight around Sydney harbour a few years ago,” he tells me. “I still remember flying around close enough to see the joggers and the people walking around the botanical area, and some of them did not look up. The jetpack is loud, so I promise you they heard me. But there I was, flying by on a jetpack, and they did not look up.”

(15) GAME GETS TV SERIES. This retro cartoon show is coming to Netflix.

Based on the award-winning video game, THE CUPHEAD SHOW! follows the unique misadventures of loveable, impulsive scamp Cuphead and his cautious but easily swayed brother Mugman.

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Isaac Arthur says there’s another way the whole shooting match could come to an end: “Civilizations at the End of Time: The Big Rip”.

Current science and cosmology tell us the Universe will slowly die and ebb away countless trillions of trillions of years from now, but another model – the Big Rip – says that end may come far sooner, ripped apart by dark energy. Could civilizations survive the Universe itself being torn apart at the atomic scale?

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Bruce D. Arthurs, Chris Barkley, Jen Hawthorne, Cora Buhlert, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Camestros Felapton.]

31 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/23/22 Pixel Yourself On A Scroll On A River, With Tangerine Fanzines And Ray Bradbury Skies

  1. First? First!

    ” Captain William “Buck” Rogers in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century which I fondly remember as a really a truly great SF series even if it really wasn’t that great. ”

    I have a soft spot for the series…but high art it was not.

  2. (1) I adored The Dark is Rising series (except waiting for the fifth book to come out – I didn’t adore the waiting).

  3. (4) Thinking good wishes for Eric Flint.

    (7) I know someone (maybe a pulp fan I met) who thinks REH would have gone on to become a renowned writer of Westerns if he had lived. I’m sure the Western pulps paid more than Weird Tales.

    (11) What, no love for Urshurak? (I know people don’t like the actual book, but from what I’ve seen, the art is gorgeous.

  4. Number four) I’m really surprised he was told that “a full treatment takes about two weeks”.

    I’ve had severe staphylococcus infections and both of them required fifty day in-hospital stays in a private room. And I had to take antibiotics for a full four months afterwards to complete the course of treatment.

    The bill that picked up by MaineCare for each stay ran over three hundred thousand dollars.

  5. (7) I know someone (maybe a pulp fan I met) who thinks REH would have gone on to become a renowned writer of Westerns if he had lived. I’m sure the Western pulps paid more than Weird Tales.

    Howard was making decent money with his Breckinridge Elkins humorous westerns towards the end of the his life. He was also fed up with Weird Tales and their chronically late payments, so it’s quite possible Howard would have moved into westerns altogether, if he had lived.

    Of course, it’s also possible that Dorothy McIllwraith, who actually paid on time, would have lured Howard back, once she took over Weird Tales. Or Howard might have defected to Campbell’s higher paying Unknown, provided he could tolerate Campbell.

    It’s also possible that Cele Goldsmith, editor of Fantastic from 1958 to 1965, would have lured Howard back into sword and sorcery and Conan like she lured Fritz Leiber back into writing more Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories.

  6. 11) I liked Hauer’s appearance in the first season of Lexx. And while it’s not genre, he played the title role in Hobo with a Shotgun – whose villain was played by Brian Downey, who played lead Stanley Tweedle in Lexx.

  7. 14) “Hang-gliding has all but disappeared.

    Back in my letter-carrier days, during the 1980s, I had a residential delivery route that was across a major street from Shaw Butte in Phoenix. (The Phoenix area has a number of rocky uprisings dotting the landscape here; Camelback Mountain’s the best known, but there’s also North Mountain, South Mountain, Moon Mountain, Piestewa Peak, and others, along with Shaw Butte.)

    The top of Shaw Butte, about 600 feet higher than the surrounding area, is the site of a buttload of radio antennas and other electronic transmission equipment, and was even forty years ago. Which meant there’s a service road to the top for installation and maintenance reason.

    But that service road meant the top could be accessed by regular folk as well. And there was a broad flat area along the west side of the top where a group of people and their vehicles could gather.

    Like, oh, hang-gliding enthusiasts.

    The thing about hang-gliding, though, is that eventually you have to land somewhere.

    But hang-gliders were in luck, because right across 19th Avenue from Shaw Butte was a big vacant lot, about the size of four football fields, but kept fairly weed and shrub free. Perfect for a hang-glider landing spot.

    The vacant lot was bordered on one side by Sunnyside Avenue, which was part of my delivery route. So I frequently got to see not only sometimes as many as a dozen hang-gliders darting about in the air around Shaw Butte, but also a fair number of their landings. I enjoyed the sights. (Although once or twice it meant seeing an embarassing nose-plant instead of a smooth landing.)

    Alas, around 1990, the vacant lot was purchased and developed into a large set of assisted-living apartments and a nursing home for senior citizens. Without a suitable landing area, hang-gliding off of Shaw Butte came to an end.

    There are still some official hang-gliding sites in Arizona, but tbmk they’re nowhere near any big urban areas. Shaw Butte may have been one of the few that operated in the midst of a well-developed area.

    (Added at last minute: Googled to see if anyone had written their own history of Shaw Butte hang-gliding…and discovered it’s still legal, but with tighter restrictions and regulation. Launches are now off the other side of the Butte, flights are mostly over the North Mountain Preserve area that Shaw Butte’s at a far corner of, pilots need at least a Level 3 USHPA rating, and the new landing areas are a retention basin and a park several miles away from launch rather than across the street like the old vacant lot was. I think there may have been a stretch of years when it wasn’t allowed at all, but nice to know it’s an option again.)

  8. (13) I was born in 1956 and I certainly know who Goldberg was, so that cuts the point of inflection down to three years.

  9. Lovely title, but if you say it aloud it scans better as “Pixel Yourself On A Scroll On A River, With Tangerine ‘Zines And Bradbury Skies.”

  10. 11) Rutger Hauer should also have the 1985 film The Blood of Heroes mentioned, in which he plays a lead relatively early in his career in an SF film featuring a post-apocalyptic future and a very interesting sport

  11. @Todd Dashoff: 1958 for me, so shave another two years off.

    I think anyone who grew up playing the Milton Bradley Mouse Trap game knew what a Rube Goldberg machine (contraption) was, and there seems to be an active community creating videos for Youtube.

  12. @Todd Dashoff @13, I was born in 1964 and I know who Rube Goldberg was as well. But my parents were born in the 1920s so I had an older generational influence on me as a child. Or maybe it’s just because I’m an SFF fan and we like gizmos…

  13. Ah, Mr. Terrific. After the initial success of the Batman series in 1966, two other networks decided to get in on campy super hero shows. CBS entered the fray in Jan 1967 with Mr. Terrific, staring Stephen Strimpell as Stanley Beamish, weakling garage mechanic (who worked with Get Smart’s Dick Gautier). He also worked for a secret government agency, where he would swallow a large pill and become Mr. Terrific. His coat turned inside out to become a silver jacket with wing membranes between the arms and coat side. He’d wear goggles and flap his arms up and down while flying. No, really, I’m not making this up.

    Following Mr. Terrific, premiering on the same night but on NBC, was Captain Nice. William Daniels (yes, that William Daniels) was police scientist Carter Nash. He invents a bad tasting formula that causes him to turn into Captain Nice (he made up the name when on his first outing someone asked about the CN on his belt buckle. He ad libbed Captain Nice and it stuck). In a jumpsuit costume with garish cape designed by his mother, he flew on wires and fought grime. No, I’m not making this up either. It was a strange experience having a childhood in the 60’s.

  14. Great title. I hadn’t known that Bradbury was sticky marmalade. But he said so himself.

  15. 6.) Clicked through the Whedon links and came away with nausea. Of particular note was the Vulture article depicting Whedon seeing himself in Richard III but (seemingly) without real remorse (like Dicky 3). Methinks this sounds a bit like Writers Who See Themselves As Characters Disease. What makes a great character mechanically =/= what makes a good person IRL.

  16. @Cassy B: Hey, we’re age-mates (with parents of the same generation, too). I don’t remember when I first heard of Rube Goldberg, but when I was applying to colleges, I got a lot of brochures from an engineering school which were decorated with Rube Goldberg machines.

  17. @Andrew (not Werdna)

    Rose-Hulman was still using the Rube Goldberg recruiting brochures when I, born in 1966 and graduating in 1984, was getting that kind of mail. They were not by the time my oldest son graduated in 2011. I realize that’s a rather large range to try to bother to narrow it down.

  18. Meredith moment: Ron Goulart‘s Calling Dr. Patchwork: An Odd Job Inc. novel is available from the usual suspects for a buck ninety nine. This is the first of this series.

  19. I learned of Goldnerg through reading SF. I don’t think that Goldberg was well known over here, apart from media originating in the US. Heath Robinson is the British equivalent.

  20. “If you’ll be my Astronaut, I can be your A.I. pal
    I can call you Bowman, and Bowman when you call me, you can call me HAL,
    Call me HAL…”

  21. @Steve Davidson regarding Blood of Heroes: At one time Society for Creative Anachronism fighters in my area would play a version of the game from that movie. It was generally called ‘Dogball,’ but detractors and sometimes exhausted participants referred to it as Sweat of Morons.

  22. I was born in 1968 and understand the Rube Goldberg reference. Looking for a picture of the couch’s contraption, I saw someone mention that Al Michaels also called the game “don’t touch that dial” tv. I wouldn’t think twice about that expression, but it probably seems pretty odd to younger people.

  23. @Laura: For me, the phrase “don’t touch that dial” is strongly associated with the words “Same Bat-time! Same Bat-channel!” – which in itself needs a lot of unpacking, since I heard that during syndication, when of course, I’d catch Batman the same time next afternoon. But the phrase was originally spoken during Batman’s initial run (when I was too little to watch it) – because Batman was originally broadcast two nights a week, on successive nights

  24. I definitely remember growing up being the remote control for our tv with a dial. My parents were probably familiar with the phrase from radio shows.

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