Pixel Scroll 1/25/18 Side Effects Of Pixel Can Include Enlarged Mt. TBRs

(1) CELEBRATING A HALF CENTURY OF BRITISH COMICS FANDOM. Rob Hansen also sent a link to Blimey! The Blog of British Comics where you can get a free download of Fanscene, “a monster (300+ page) one-off fanzine done to celebrate 50 years of comics fandom in the UK.”

It’s only available in .pdf form and download links can be found here: “Celebrate the 50th anniversary of UK fandom with FANSCENE!”

Rob Hansen’s piece starts on p.133 in part 2 of the download links.

(2) CAST A GIANT SHADOW. The members of the actual 2018 Arthur C. Clarke Award jury are:

Dave Hutchinson, Gaie Sebold, Paul March-Russell, Kari Maund, Charles Christian; and Andrew M. Butler (chair)

(3) BADLY MISUNDERSTOOD. Cara Michelle Smith explains “Just Because Voldemort Assembled an Army of Warlocks to Destroy All Muggles, It Doesn’t Mean He’s ‘Anti-Muggle’” at McSweeney’s.

Look, I know how things might seem. When it comes to being sensitive to Muggles, Lord Voldemort doesn’t have the best track record, and now he’s gone and mobilized an army of 3,000 warlocks, witches, and wizards and instructed them to destroy any and all Muggles they can find. I also acknowledge that he’s drummed up a fair amount of anti-Muggle sentiment throughout the wizarding world, with the way he’s referred to them as “filthy vermin” and “shitheads from shithole lands.” But did it ever occur to you that despite the Dark Lord having vowed that the streets will soon run red with Muggle blood, Voldemort might as well be, like, the least anti-Muggle guy you’ve ever met?

Let me tell you a little something about the Dark Lord: He loves Muggles. Seriously, the guy’s obsessed with them. They’re all he talks about. He can’t get enough of the funny way Muggles are always babbling about things that are completely foreign to wizards like him — things like student debt, and being able to afford healthcare, and not being systematically murdered by people more powerful than them.

(4) STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE. And McSweeney’s contribute Drake Duffer offers a list of “Things That Begin a Sentence That Indicate You May Need to Refrain From Finishing That Sentence”.

I won’t steal any of his thunder, but you’re going recognize all his examples.

(5) JUNIOR STAR TREK. This video has been on YouTube since 2008, however, it’s news to me!

Back in 1969 ten-year-old Peter (“Stoney”) Emshwiller created his own version of a Star Trek episode using his dad’s 16mm camera. The, um, fabulous special effects were created by scratching on the film with a knife and coloring each frame with magic markers. The movie won WNET’s “Young People’s Filmmaking Contest,” was shown on national television, and, all these years later, still is a favorite at Star Trek Conventions.


(6) GOING DOWN TO STONY END. The “Oldest Modern Human Fossil Ever Discovered Outside Africa Rewrites Timeline of Early Migration” reports Newsweek.

An international research team working in Israel has discovered the oldest-known modern human bones ever found outside the African continent: an upper jawbone, including teeth, dated to between 175,000 and 200,000 years old. It shows humans left Africa at least 50,000 years earlier than we had thought.

The scientists unearthed the fossil at Misliya Cave, one in a series of prehistoric caves on Israel’s Mount Carmel, according to a Binghamton University press release. This region of the Middle East was a major migration route when humans spread out from African during the Pleistocene. A paper describing the findings was published in the journal Science.

“Misliya is an exciting discovery,” co-author Rolf Quam, an anthropology professor at Binghamton University, said in the press release. “It provides the clearest evidence yet that our ancestors first migrated out of Africa much earlier than we previously believed. It also means that modern humans were potentially meeting and interacting during a longer period of time with other archaic human groups, providing more opportunity for cultural and biological exchanges.”

(7) CORRECTION. Rob Hansen sent a correction about the date of Ron Ellik’s death: “I’ve subsequently been informed I got the date of his death wrong and that he died not on the 25th but on the 27th. sigh

Andrew Porter also sent a link to Fanac.org’s scan of his 1968 newzine SF Weekly #215 with complete coverage. Ellik was killed in an auto accident in Wisconsin while moving to St. Paul, MN. He had been planning to be married shortly after the move.

(8) HARRIS OBIT. Mark Evanier paid tribute to the late comics editor in “Bill Harris R.I.P.” at News From ME.

Comic book writer-editor Bill Harris died January 8 at the age of 84.

…One of his innovations when he was in comics was that he was one of the first editors to recognize that there was a promotional value in comic book fanzines. Many of the early zines of the sixties featured letters from Bill, telling fandom what would be forthcoming in the comics he edited. Few others in comics at the time saw any value in that but Harris predicted correctly the growing impact that fanzines and comic conventions would have on the field.


  • Chip Hitchcock found a medical examiner working in a fairy tale in today’s Bizarro.
  • Chip also spotted a hero who’s made a career change in Bliss.
  • Mike Kennedy saw a kind of Fountain of Youth in Baldo.

(10) WORD. Vox.com has a post “Remembering Ursula Le Guin, Queen of Sass”:

And in 2016, More Letters of Note, Shaun Usher’s most recent collection of important letters written by important people, unearthed another classic Le Guin smackdown. In 1971 she was asked to blurb Synergy: New Science Fiction, Volume 1, the first of a four-volume anthology series that aimed to publish “the most innovative, thought-provoking, speculative fiction ever.” Le Guin was less than amused by the request:

Dear Mr Radziewicz,

I can imagine myself blurbing a book in which Brian Aldiss, predictably, sneers at my work, because then I could preen myself on my magnanimity. But I cannot imagine myself blurbing a book, the first of a new series and hence presumably exemplary of the series, which not only contains no writing by women, but the tone of which is so self-contentedly, exclusively male, like a club, or a locker room. That would not be magnanimity, but foolishness. Gentlemen, I just don’t belong here.

Yours truly,

Ursula K. Le Guin

(11) DENIAL. JDA cannot allow himself to believe that his behavior rather than his politics provokes the criticism directed his way, and so, after Jennifer Brozek spoke out about him (some quoted in yesterday’s Scroll) he blamed others for pressuring her to express those opinions: “How Terrible Gossip Destroys Friendships – My Story With Jennifer Brozek” [link to copy at the Internet Archive.]

(12) APING APES. Scientists in China successfully cloned monkeys, which is the first time primates have been cloned — “Scientists successfully clone monkeys; are humans up next?” Remember Mark Twain’s story about why God created the monkey – “He found out where he went wrong with Man.”

The Associated Press also did a video report:

For the first time, researchers have used the cloning method that produced Dolly the sheep to create two healthy monkeys, bringing science an important step closer to being able to do the same with humans.

From New Scientist — “Scientists have cloned monkeys and it could help treat cancer”.

The female long-tailed macaques represent a technical milestone. It should make it possible to create customisable and genetically uniform populations of monkeys, which could speed up treatments for diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer. But the breakthrough will inevitably raise fears that human cloning is closer than ever.

The monkeys hold such huge potential because they all inherit exactly the same genetic material, says the Chinese team that cloned them.

This would enable scientists to tweak genes the monkeys have that are linked to human disease, and then monitor how this alters the animals’ biology, comparing it against animals that are genetically identical except for the alterations. It could accelerate the hunt for genes and processes that go wrong in these diseases, and ways to correct them, the team says

Kendall sent these links with a comment: “Reading elsewhere about how some fruits and veggies have been quasi-ruined by doing this, I got a little nervous reading the New Scientist say, ‘It should make it possible to create customisable and genetically uniform populations of monkeys, which could speed up treatments for diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer.’ Even though they’re not talking about replacing the world’s monkeys with one strain of monkey. Still, this got a little dystopian-animal-cloning idea whirring around in my head.”

(13) HARDER THEY FALL. Here is the I Kill Giants trailer.

From the acclaimed graphic novel comes an epic adventure about a world beyond imagination. Teen Barbara Thorson (Madison Wolfe, The Conjuring 2) is the only thing that stands between terrible giants and the destruction of her small town. But as she boldly confronts her fears in increasingly dangerous ways, her new school counselor (Zoe Saldana, Guardians of the Galaxy) leads her to question everything she’s always believed to be true. I Kill Giants is an intense, touching story about trust, courage and love from the producers that brought you Harry Potter.


[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Kendall, Rob Hansen, Carl Slaughter, JJ, Will R., and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

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124 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/25/18 Side Effects Of Pixel Can Include Enlarged Mt. TBRs

  1. @JJ: Thanks for linking to Shawn King’s site. I recognize his artwork for Alan Baxter’s “Alex Caine” books; I don’t own them, but I admired the covers a while back and I have Bound on my “look into this one” list. King’s a talented guy!

    “. . . systematically burning industry bridges . . .” – It’s like he’s purposely building them in order to burn them, which is extra twisted.

    @rcade: “The book’s publisher, Evil Girlfriend Media, just announced that it is closing.” – That’s a shame.

    @Christian Brunschen: ROFL at that BBC article on book covers! Thanks! 😀

    @Charon D.: I mean, @David Gerrold: Happy birthday, David Gerrol! 😉

  2. @Various: Thanks to the folks who wrote a lot of stuff in response to @Dann I was going to write, but saying it tons better than me, especially @Kurt Busiek and @Lis Carey. I’d like to add:

    @Dann: No, I wouldn’t have gone to p*ss all over someone else’s Facebook wall, even if I used Facebook and Clinton had won. And no, I and many people I know don’t like bombast; don’t let TV programming confuse you. Also, even Clinton said her line was a gross generalization in that very quote. Google it before you step in it, next time.

    But you know what? Yes, racists, homophobes, and the rest are deplorable. It’s sad that this is not something everyone, regardless of political leanings, agrees on. Pathetic.

    BTW @Dann, for someone who said JDA wasn’t worth defending, you’re oddly defending him. (shrug) Just FYI. You seem invested in thinking up bizarre conspiracy theories why he may be right about something, anything, anything at all. That’s weird as hell, particularly since his track record (which you agree isn’t good!) doesn’t merit your attempts.

    And for the record, pre-con programming is a lot of work. Anyone who believes someone would have the time or energy, let alone the inclination, to figure out JDA’s politics so they could add him to the rotate-out-for-one-lousy-little-year list that a bunch of people are on anyway . . . really needs to work on a con. Sheesh. Do you know how cons work?! They probably either drew names from a hat, or they generally count attendance at panels and used that info, or they looked at positive feedback they’d had in the past and focused on those people/panels first, or something like that. But as someone(s) upthread mentioned, he wouldn’t have been promised an invite for the next year if someone were really trying to do him wrong. Gah, why am I even.

    Dann, I look forward to reading your book comments in a future thread (even if politically tinged!), but if I had strong AI at my disposal, I’d instruct it to filter out your bizarre posts like the ones above. 😛

    Apologies if this is too rant-y. Let’s not talk about how much time I’ve wasted writing it.

  3. Book Reading!

    Having finished Wells’s The Druid Gene a.k.a. Inheritance (my rambling comments are over at the 2017 rec thread), I’m now back to another Bujold Vorkosigan Saga audiobook! Heh, I was going to try to do another new book instead, but I just couldn’t help starting Memory, and I’m hooked again. 😉 At some point, I’ll run out of these novels, or at least take a break when I finish the Miles & closely related [e.g., Ivan] ones

    But probably McGuire’s Beneath the Sugar Sky will be my next (or one of my next two) audiobook. I’m really happy to hear at least a couple of people commented upthread that it knocked their socks off!

  4. Gah. GAH! Too busy blathering to . . . /Godstalk!

    ::blushing & carefully checking the box before posting this::

    ETA: @Will R & @Mike Glyer, I love the Pixel Scroll title. 🙂

  5. I’m currently finishing up REPUBLIC OF THIEVES, by Scott Lynch, which is just as entertainingly over the top and cliffhanger-studded as the previous two in the series.

    After that, I’ve got a mess of books piled up — a side-effect of being under the weather and rereading all of Robert Crais’s crime novels in one big binge — but since Lawrence Watt-Evans’s new Ethshar novel, STONE UNTURNED, just came out and I’ve been waiting for it for years, I’m pretty sure that’s next up.

  6. @kathodus
    I think you meant Torgersen’s abominable treatment of Juliette Wade, though he didn’t really treat Annie Bellet or indeed any of the Sad Puppy hostages well either.

  7. Political scientists tell us that United States voters and non-voters as groups have roughly the same proportion of beliefs among them. Thus half of Candidate X’s voters is a much smaller number than half of Candidate X’s supporters, many of whom don’t vote. A politician with about half the voting population has about half the population.

  8. @Kurt Busiek,

    Thank you for reminding me of the Ethshar series. I read the first two books (“With a Single Spell” and “The Misenchanted Sword”) when they first came out and loved them – but lost touch with the series. So now I have … some catching up to do! 🙂

    (I might re-buy even the books that I have in dead-tree form as recycled electrons, to make them easier to carry with me …)

  9. @Dann: Yes, I would have been thrilled if Clinton had been elected. It would have been evidence that it was possible for a woman to be elected president in the U.S. That would have been nice. Barack Obama wasn’t my perfect president either, but it’s, again, good to see that a job is actually in real life open to people other than straight white men, not just theoretically. For a lot of us, that old saw that “anyone can grow up to be president” was always met with a mental “yeah, sure”. And, of course, there wouldn’t have been this pervasive feeling of impending doom. That would have been nice, too. Would there have been some inappropriate gloating? Probably, within the confines of my home, my car, and among those who would have generally agreed with me, because I try not to be a complete jerk.

  10. Iphinome, well, Sutherland has my dollars for the next three books, so the loss-leader was well worth it! (Currently in the middle of Book 3)

  11. @Cora

    I think you meant Torgersen’s abominable treatment of Juliette Wade, though he didn’t really treat Annie Bellet or indeed any of the Sad Puppy hostages well either.

    Oh, right. Sheesh. Thanks for clearing that up.

    @John A Arkansawyer

    Political scientists tell us that United States voters and non-voters as groups have roughly the same proportion of beliefs among them.

    I wonder if this holds up for the 2016 elections, though. There was a lot of feeling of disenfranchisement (both feelings of and voters being intentionally disenfranchised by the GOP in some states), and many people didn’t vote because of that. It’s hard for me to imagine anyone voting for a candidate as obviously unqualified, greedy, and mendacious as Trump, though I understand it, sort of, coming from people who really, really hated HRC and have pure faith in the Church of the Markets.

  12. John A Arkansawyer on January 27, 2018 at 3:11 am said:

    Political scientists tell us that United States voters and non-voters as groups have roughly the same proportion of beliefs among them.

    I suspect that’s normally true, but when an extremist comes along, I’ll bet that people who sympathize with the extreme views are disproportionately represented in that particular election, since there’s extra motivation. If a Buddhist were running for office, I’d expect a higher-than-average number of Buddhists to turn out for the polls.

    But in any case, Clinton was talking about his supporters. And, to put the whole thing in context, it was while there were controversies about groups like the Klan and Stormfront endorsing Trump. They may not have made up half the people who voted for him, but they were becoming a significant and very visible percentage of the people who showed up at his rallies to cheer for him. They and the people who marched alongside them without complaint can, IMO, reasonably be called “deplorables”. But the people who show up at rallies don’t necessarily have the same proportions as the people who vote.

  13. @RedWombat: I admire your persistence; I read the first Southern Reach book and found it utterly pointless, so much so that I had no interest in seeing whether something more happened in the other two. And now it’s allegedly being turned into a movie; the action-packed trailer I’ve seen seems nothing like the book, and I’m wondering whether this book-to-film conversion is going to involve even more distance than On Stranger Tides.

    @Elisa: have you read Liza Mundy’s Code Girls? Story of our WWII codebreaking; mostly about mobilization (and how the women frequently stunned their male superiors), and I’ve forgotten whether (Smith?) Friedman is mentioned (I suspect she was a background figure, as there’s a wide spread of leads up to the all-out effort. My notes say it was gossipy and (often justifiably) ax-grinding, but it was interesting enough that I was annoyed not to be able to ask my mother (who fit one of the profiles) whether she could finally talk more than scattered hints about what she did.

    Xtifr: have you read all of the InCryptids? The latest published (#6, Magic for Nothing, featuring kid sister Antimony out to disprove the frivolity her siblings ascribed to her in the other books) is still periodically flippant but more substantial.

  14. @Chip Hitchcock: yes, I’ve read all the InCryptid novels and most of the short stories. It is getting more serious as things heat up, but it’s still fundamentally pretty silly. Not that that’s a bad thing; I like silly if it’s well done, and Seanan definitely has the chops to do it well.

    I mean, the series has always had plenty of drama: murders and monsters and whatnot. But it’s all leavened with silliness: flying feathered frogs and screaming migratory yams. And, of course, the eternally wonderful Aislin Mice. “ALL HAIL THE PRIESTESS OF UNEXPECTED VIOLENCE!” 😀

  15. 11: At this point, JDA has become a half-arsed parody of himself in his try-hard attempt to become the stereotyped image of an obnoxious Americana dudebro. I’ve never seen someone gaslight themselves so quickly. If he was the antagonist in a story that I got in slush, I’d reject it for his dialogue being too unbelievable and his motivations being too bizarre and wanky to be taken seriously.

    Being the cynic that I am, I still think he’s doing this purely for attention and and recognition for his “work” and not believing half the nonsense he’s spewing out. But I’ve been wrong before.

  16. Jeremy Szal: Being the cynic that I am, I still think he’s doing this purely for attention and and recognition for his “work” and not believing half the nonsense he’s spewing out.

    You are right. Several of the things he’s said and done have made it clear that what he’s doing is deliberate and calculated — albeit not the same sort of “deliberate and calculated” that you would see from someone who is highly intelligent, it’s the schoolyard bully version. The over-the-top mustache-twirling is intentional and gleeful.

  17. @Chip Hitchcock – I will have to look that one up. It would be nice to have a broader perspective of the American codebreakers. Thanks

  18. JJ: The over-the-top mustache-twirling is intentional and gleeful.

    Certainly. He takes delight in being the comic book villain in his own wanky narrative. He relishes being the center of attention for the lulz, pissing off the entire community. And, ultimately, so he can get more attention and sell more copies of his books. Being a dick for money, basically. So very Christian of him, amirite?

    Actually, if Jesus were around today, no doubt he’d have thrown Mr. Arroz out with his fellow money changers.

  19. JDA is a cartoon version of VD, who is a cartoon(ier) version of Snidely Whiplash, who is a cartoon version of a stock villain in a silent film.

    Or JDA is an AI fed entirely on Trump’s tweets. I could see it either way.

  20. Yes, I’m late to the thread. Been doing a lot of heavy lifting on version control over about the past week, and my eyes have only now de-crossed. (At least I learned some new techniques, though!)

    @kathodus: “It’s hard for me to imagine anyone voting for a candidate as obviously unqualified, greedy, and mendacious as Trump”

    By the same token, it’s hard for me to understand people calling themselves “deplorable” as a badge of honor and point of pride… and yet, that’s where we are.

    Had Clinton won, I wouldn’t have been celebrating – I would’ve been relieved. Given the choice between standing still (or walking in the right direction at a modest pace) and running flat-out in the wrong direction, I’ll take the former every single time. Sure, I’d prefer faster progress in my preferred direction – more rapid social acceptance of marginalized people, for instance – but I’ll take “losing no ground” over “active rollbacks” every time.

    Changing hearts and minds for the better takes a long time; it’s not something one can reasonably expect to happen overnight. The US has been sliding rightward for roughly as long as I’ve been alive, with a few modest exceptions. Moving it to the left in a significant way requires first slowing down the existing slide (sped up in the wake of the 2016 election), and that’s no small task. Doesn’t mean I’m taking triumphant victory laps when someone less awful gets into office, but small wins are still wins, and sometimes avoiding a major loss is as close as we get to a win.

  21. Sorry folks. I did not mean to ghost on this discussion. But life got busy….as it does.

    More later as time allows.


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