Pixel Scroll 10/20/21 Roll Over Harkonnen And Tell Shai-Tchovsky The News

(1) KRESS Q&A. DisCon III has posted an “Interview with Author Guest of Honor Nancy Kress” conducted by staff member Dr. Karen Purcell.

(2) FALLEN LEAVES AND HEROES. Brian Murphy shares ten spooky sword and sorcery stories for October:  “Ten Sword-and-Sorcery Tales For the Haunting Season” at Goodman Games.

…Here in New England, I find that as the leaves begin to turn and October shadows lengthen, so too do my thoughts drift from my natural sword-and-sorcery bent toward the nether regions of horror. Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King, classic Hammer movies and bad slasher films, bring it on, all of it.

But I’m also reminded that I need not necessarily choose between the two. Sword-and-sorcery after all is bedfellows with horror. Though he loathed the term, Karl Edward Wagner described S&S as “a fascinating synthesis of horror, adventure, and imagination … the common motif is a universe in which magic works and an individual may kill according to his personal code.”…

(3) FIRST REFLECTIONS. Tom Shapira analyzes how the Holocaust was reflected in 1950s horror comics: “The Dead Come Back: Mid-Century Horror Comics & The Holocaust”.

We’ve come a long way since Art Spiegelman’s Maus. When the first collected edition published in 1986, it appeared to be a singular and wholly unimagined thing: a comic-book — garishly colored, childishly-plotted things that were mostly concerned with muscled men in tights — about the Holocaust. German philosopher Theodore Adorno once claimed that “To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric”…so how can one justify the writing and drawing of comic-books?!

Flash-forward to 2021 and it’s clear that Maus has long stopped being a singular event. There are many more comics about the Holocaust including two graphic adaptations of The Diary of Anne Frank (one of which recently got a movie treatment), A Family SecretYosselThe BoxerHidden, and even the superhero genre feeling confident enough to take on the subject with the likes of Magneto: Testament….

(4) HE-MAN AND SHE-RA. The Rogues in the House podcast has dedicated an entire episode to “Masters of the Universe”.

(5) START AT THE TOP. And work your way down. Mark Lawrence has finally received a satisfactory result from his recent battles with Kindle Direct Publishing.  The updated saga is here. “My attempts to get sense from KDP”.

… At this point, having aired the first version of this blog post, I get advice from self-publishing experts. Email Jeff Bezos they say. So I do.

I find his email address and email him, explaining that I understand the email will land with one of his team of assistants but that I would appreciate any help in the issue (which I then lay out).

Additionally, I remember that: hey, I’m actually published by Amazon – my Impossible Times trilogy is published by 47North (there’s a story or two in there to be told one day!), one of Amazon’s own publishing imprints. So, I also email one of the people involved in the production of those books, and she very kindly agrees to reach out to someone she knows at KDP.

A day later I get an email from the Executive KDP team! This was on October 7th. A phone call from America follows and I get to speak to a human. A charming and helpful American human called Jeremy. He tells me that both my email to Jeff Bezos and to 47North reached his desk and either one would have prompted the call. So, at least you don’t have to be published by Amazon and sell 100,000+ books for them before they’ll listen.

However – we still had another 13 exciting days to go!…

(6) SKEPTICAL RESPONSE. Following a Last Dangerous Visions progress report, J. Michael  Straczysnki fielded criticisms that the writer list (as so far revealed) lacks diverse representation. His explanations prompted further discussion in a thread Karen Osborne kicked off here.

(7) SET DECORATION. Gaiman’s co-author, the late Terry Pratchett, will be acknowledged again in the sequel: “Good Omens season 2: Neil Gaiman’s tribute to Terry Pratchett on set”Metro News has the story.

…Terry’s scarf and hat also appeared in the first season of the show.

Several Good Omens fans shared how much they loved the dedication to Terry on set, with one writing: ‘It warms my heart to see Terry Pratchett still represented. I miss the wit and wisdom of his books.’

(8) GET YOUR KICKS. Publishers Weekly interviews the master of a comics industry financial model: “Crowdfunding a Publishing House: PW Talks with Spike Trotman”.

…Lots of prose and comics publishers have used crowdfunding to bring out new work, but few have been doing it as long or as well as C. Spike Trotman, publisher/CEO of Chicago-based independent comics publisher Iron Circus Comics. Trotman recently wrapped up her 30th Kickstarter campaign, The Woman in the Woods and Other North American Storiesa new volume of comics stories by indigenous creators which raised more than $330,000 (the goal was $20,000) in September, marking more than $2 million raised by Trotman through the platform since 2009. But beyond the quantitative success, Trotman has led the way in using crowdfunding as part of a scalable publishing business model that brings unique projects from diverse creators into the mainstream comics and trade book distribution system.

… “I have one foot in international distribution through old-fashioned methods and one foot in the world of Kickstarter,” she said. “I’m distributed by Consortium Book Sales and Distribution, a division of Ingram that specializes in the quirky small press lines.”

She explained that it is not a prevalent strategy for crowdfunders because book distributors generally expect presses to put out at least 10 books per year. “A lot of crowdfunders can’t manage 10 books for trade bookstores, and I understand because it’s really hard. What got me through the door, in addition to volume, was that I had made the step between exclusively self-distributing through conventions or a website, and a larger company like Ingram. I was already reaching out to comic stores and independent bookstores, emailing them PDFs of my books and my catalog, and giving them special discount codes if they ordered from me direct.”

By the time she approached Ingram, Trotman already had more than 40 retailers placing orders. “We couldn’t fulfill the wholesale orders of 40 or 45 stores and run the business, so it’s good they were able to work with us.”…

(9) END OF THE CYCLE. Hollywood Insider examines  “The Rise and Fall of Young Adult Dystopian Adaptation Franchises”.

The year is 2014, the Oscars release a selfie of the world’s biggest movie stars, Justin Bieber’s mugshot surfaces, Emma Watson speaks at the United Nations for gender equality, ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ popularizes the infinity sign; just about everything seems right in the world. As someone who lived and breathed the culture of 2014, everything in the world of pop-culture just seemed easy.

There is a bitter-sweet existence in knowing that decades have passed since the beginning of ‘Harry Potter’ with eight films from 2001-2011 earning 7.7 billion USD from the box office. Or the next successful franchise, ‘Twilight’ with five films from 2008-2012 earning 3.3 billion USD from the box office. Both YA franchises were the kick-start to a rapid incline of young adult dystopian films centered around political impact, connections, love, and loss. Ultimately the success of pop culture, income, and fan-bases from the ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Twilight’ franchises became the reason as to why studios reached out to the most popular young adult novels in order to try and gain that same impact for more films. So much so that the number of franchises that were successful compared to the ones that failed before their sequel is rather devastating. At the same time, some films give off the apparent reason as to why they failed with lousy acting, even poorer attention to storyline adaptation, timing, and in cases simply didn’t work for audiences.

… With the success of the previous films mentioned, studios began to create anything they thought would be comparable or better than the previous successors. But, with the heavy amount of failures as opposed to the successes, the amount of YA dystopian fiction adaptations diminished into almost nothing. Nowadays, studios are choosing to create YA films targeting important meanings or values such as gay relationships, movements such as Black Lives Matter, or the realism of cyberbullying….


1967 – Fifty-four years ago on this evening, NBC first aired Star Trek’s “Doomsday Machine” which was scripted by Norman Spinrad. It was the sixth episode of the second season. The principal guest star was William Windom as Commodore Matt Decker. The episode is considered one of the finest of the series with the TV Guide ranking it the fourth best, and SciFiNow recently ranked it the tenth best episode of the original series. The special effects and much of the episode were digitally remastered fifteen years ago. And yes, it was nominated for a Hugo at Baycon, one of five Trek episodes so nominated that Con with the Harlan Ellison scripted  “The City on the Edge of Forever” being the winner. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born October 20, 1882 Bela Lugosi. He’s best remembered for portraying Count Dracula in the 1931 film franchise Drácula. He came to hate that he played that character feeling he’d been typecast which he certainly had. Now tell me what’s your favorite film character that he played? (Died 1956)
  • Born October 20, 1905 Frederic Dannay. One half with Manfred Bennington Lee of the writing team who created Ellery Queen. ISFDB lists two Ellery Queen novels as being genre, And on the Eight Day and The Scrolls of Lysis, plus a single short story, “ A Study in Terror”. (Died 1982.)
  • Born October 20, 1916 Anton Diffring, A long career with many genre roles which I’ll note but a few of here. He was Fabian in Fahrenheit 451 who the sixty-eighth anniversary of the novel we noted yesterday, Graf Udo Von Felseck of Purbridge Manor in The Masks of Deaths (a rather well-crafted Holmes film) and he played De Flores, a neo-Nazi in “Silver Nemesis”, a most excellent Seventh Doctor story. (Died 1989.)
  • Born October 20, 1923 Erle Korshak. He’s a reminder of how old fandom is. He discovered SF in 1934 with the August Astounding magazine and became a very serious collector in 1937 according to several sources. By 1939 he was a well-known fan and one of the leaders of the Moonstruck Press publishing house which was created to created a bibliography of all fantasy books.  He was part of the leadership triumvirate of Chicon 1, the 1940 Worldcon. He later founded a publishing house whose first major work was Everett F. Bleiler’s The Checklist of Fantastic Literature in the late Forties, a pioneering work of SF bibliography. This was followed by major works by Heinlein, Bester, Fredric Brown and other SF suthors. He was absent from fandom from the late 50s for thirty years, then rejoined fandom and was attending cons with his children.  He was inducted into the First Fandom Hall of Fame in 1996, and won the Barry R. Levin Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature Lifetime Collectors Award in 2001. (Died 2021.)
  • Born October 20, 1934 Michael Dunn. He’s best remembered  for his recurring role on the Wild Wild West as Dr. Miguelito Loveless attempting to defeat our heroes over and over, but he has had other appearances in genre television. He would be Alexander, a court jester, in the Trek “Plato’s Stepchildren” episode and a killer clown in the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea’s “The Wax Men” episode. He was even in the Get Smart! pilot as Mr. Big. (Died 1973.)
  • Born October 20, 1937 Emma Tennant. To the manor born and a lifelong supporter of Labour, ISFDB lists nine of her novels as being as SFF. As the Literary Encyclopedia  says “ Her work is feminist, magical and wicked, and uses the fantastic and the Gothic to interpret and explore everyday women’s roles.“ I’ve not read her, so do tell me about her please if you’ve read her! (Died 2017.)
  • Born October 20, 1958 Lynn Flewelling, 63. The lead characters of her Nightrunner series are both bisexual, and she has stated this is so was because of “the near-absence of LGBT characters in the genre and marginalization of existing ones.” (As quoted in Strange Horizon, September 2001) The Tamír Triad series is her companion series to this affair. 
  • Born October 20, 1966 Diana Rowland, 55. New Orleans writer with a fascinating job history that includes cop, a crime scene investigator, and a morgue assistant. She’s best known for her Kara Gillian series and White Trash Zombie series. Her only award is a Phoenix Award, a lifetime achievement award for a science fiction professional who has done a great deal for Southern Fandom, given by DeepSouthCon. 


(13) BLACK PANTHER #200. Marvel’s Black Panther comics will reach its milestone 200th issue in January. To celebrate, Black Panther #3 will be an oversized issue with bonus stories celebrating the past and foreshadowing the future of the Black Panther and the world of Wakanda. (Click on gallery for larger images.)

Writer John Ridley will introduce a new hero who rises up to protect the people of Wakanda while T’Challa finds his life and role as Black Panther thrown into turmoil! Fans will be able to witness the beginning of this new hero’s journey before seeing him become a key player of Ridley’s run in future issues.

In addition, the main story in the 200th issue of BLACK PANTHER will see T’Challa face off against the X-Men! With assassins closing in and Wakanda’s faith in him shaken, T’Challa goes to visit Storm on the newly terraformed Mars. But this will not be a happy reunion as T’Challa has ulterior motives for his visit. And back home, Shuri discovers who is behind the attacks on Wakanda’s secret agents — a revelation that will change everything.

(14) SCHWAB Q&A. “V.E. Schwab’s New Graphic Novel Returns to her Villains Series”, and Publishers Weekly did an interview with her.

Publishers Weekly: The power you gave Charlotte is a truly horrifying one: When she looks at someone’s reflection, she can vividly foresee the moment of their death. How did you come up with that?

V.E. Schwab: It’s the very first power I ever created for the Villains universe. In the first iteration of Vicious, I had as my main character a man who arrives in this city and two warring groups of people try to recruit him, the Heroes and the Villains. They’re essentially gangs. This character had this ability to see deaths in reflective surfaces, and I loved that ability. The story didn’t work. I ended up just stopping for a minute to write the backstories for the gang leaders, and that’s where I got the Victor and Eli story which would go on to be the series. But I always was looking for someone to give this power to. The way that the powers work in this world is that they’re tied to near-death experiences. You can’t just give the power to anyone; you almost have to retroactively figure out the person from the power. So I had to figure out what circumstance puts Charlotte into the situation where she has a near-death experience that leads to this ability. 

(15) AT THE SCREENING. At Black Gate, Matthew David Surridge reviews an interesting-looking animated fantasy film called The Spine of Night:  “Fantasia 2021, Part XXXII: The Spine Of Night”

 …The feature film it was bundled with was the movie I’d been most eagerly looking forward to at Fantasia, and it did not disappoint. The Spine of Night, written and directed by the team of Morgan Galen King and Philip Gelatt, is billed as a feature-length animated sword-and-sorcery film for adults in the vein of the Heavy Metal movie. And it very much is that. It’s more serious than Heavy Metal in many ways, but the violence and cosmic scope is if anything even greater….

(16) SPACE CUISINE CHALLENGE. This is not your father’s space ice cream — or — chow, chow, chow — or — “NASA Announces Winners of Deep Space Food Challenge”. (The chosen teams are listed at the link.)

Variety, nutrition, and taste are some considerations when developing food for astronauts. For NASA’s Deep Space Food Challenge, students, chefs, small businesses, and others whipped up novel food technology designs to bring new solutions to the table.

NASA has selected 18 U.S. teams to receive a total of $450,000 for ideas that could feed astronauts on future missions. Each team will receive $25,000. Additionally, NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) jointly recognized 10 international submissions.

NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website will air a show on the Deep Space Food Challenge at 11 a.m. EST Nov. 9 with details about the competition, winning solutions, and what could be next for the teams.

Special guests during the show will include celebrity chef Martha Stewart and retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who will announce the winners of two awards honoring international teams that demonstrated exceptional innovation. Other participants will include retired CSA astronaut Chris Hadfield and celebrity chef Lynn Crawford…

(17) LIKE THAT WHALE IN OREGON? “The often untold story of cleaning up dead kaiju finally coming to theaters next year” promises SoraNews24. I knew I’ll be holding my breath.

…And coming 4 February, 2022, a truly bold experiment in the genre is set to take place. Daikaiju No Atoshimatsu (lit. “The Great Monster’s Remains“, tentative English title: Kaiju Cleanup) marks the first time veteran film studios Shochiku and Toei have teamed up on a single feature. Perhaps the reason two companies were needed is that this movie boasts the largest monster in Japanese movie history.

However, it’s dead for pretty much the whole film….

That’s because Daikaiju No Atoshimatsu picks up where most tokusatsu films leave off. The evil kaiju collapses in defeat, the hero walks off into the sunset, and credits roll, but also those poor extras who have already been through so much, now have a gigantic rotting corpse to dispose of….

(18) VINTAGE VINELAND. A study published in Nature finds “In tree rings and radioactive carbon, signs of the Vikings in North America” reports NBC News.

… Previous studies have established there was such a cosmic ray event in the year 993 that for a few months caused greater than usual levels of radioactive carbon-14 in the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere.

Trees “breathe” carbon dioxide as they grow, and so the researchers used that radioactive carbon signature to determine which of the annual growth rings seen in cross-sections of the wood was from 993, Kuitems said.

They then used a microscope to count the later growth rings until the bark of the wood, which gave them the exact year the tree had stopped growing — in other words, when it had been felled by the Norse.

To their surprise, each of the three pieces of wood they tested was from a tree cut down in 1021, although they were from three different trees — two firs and probably one juniper….

(19) LOST AND FOUND. Cowboy Bebop’s “The Lost Session” teaser debuts online. The live-action remake arrives at Netflix November 19.

(20) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Squid Game Pitch Meeting” on Screen Rant, Ryan George, in a spoiler-packed episode, confuses the producer, who thinks the game is in the Shark Tales universe.  But why are the bad guys pretending to be PlayStation buttons?

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

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61 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/20/21 Roll Over Harkonnen And Tell Shai-Tchovsky The News

  1. First!

    I picked the “ Doomsday Machine” episode tonight because these many years on I still vividly remember that episode including the look on Commodore Matt Decker’s face as he describes the machine and what it did to his crew after he left them on a planet.

  2. @Cat: Doomsday Machine is top-tier Star Trek in my opinion, due in large part to Windom’s performance

    (7) This makes me happy

    (17) Who among us first heard about that whale from Julian May’s “The Many-Colored Land”? Just me? Fine.

  3. 11) Bela Lugosi was surely the most underutilized actor of the 1930s and 1940s. Only occasionally do we get a glimpse of what he could do with a decent role and a good script; far too much of his career was devoted to almost single-handedly making Poverty Row productions seem better than they really were (See PRC’s The Devil Bat (1940) for a prime example). But one of his very best performances is as Ygor in Son of Frankenstein (1939); there’s a sly with and perfect timing here which all but steals the show; as Rowland V. Lee, the director (who made sure that Lugosi was given way more screen time than Universal had intended), commented, “Karloff’s monster was weak by comparison.” Lugosi deserved at least a Best Supporting Oscar nomination for this one.

    A few more key roles and films: Murder Legendre in White Zombie (1932); the Sayer of the Law in Island of Lost Souls (1933); Dr. Vollin in The Raven (1935); Dracula in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). There are very few Lugosi roles worthy of his talents, but even fewer where he did not give 100% to making the role work as well as possible. I published two articles on him in my sercon fanzine Far Journeys for October of 2020. [Hmm– Spellcheck doesn’t recognize the term sercon, even on a website devoted to SF].

  4. P J Evans says Who can forget that machine?

    Not me. The machine reminds of what Sabehagen’s Beserkers might have become if they had decided to to simply eliminate all life including Goodlife.

  5. Correction: Rowland’s Phoenix was awarded by that year’s DeepSouthCon, not the Southern Fandom Confederation. They are separate, but closely related organizations.

  6. Bela Lugosi:
    I have a couple of favorite performances of his: 1932 “White Zombi” as Murder Legendre. 1939 “Son of Frankenstein” as Ygor the Hunchback.
    Not to mention 1931 “The Black Camel” as Tarneverrro the Fortune Teller (This is a Charlie Chan Movie) and 1920 “The Deerslayer and Chingachgook” as Chingachgook the last of the Mohicians.

  7. Jennifer Liang says Correction: Rowland’s Phoenix was awarded by that year’sj DeepSouthCon, not the Southern Fandom Confederation. They are separate, but closely related organizations.

    Good to know, but ISFDB which I use for these Birthdays doesn’t have that level of detail unfortunately.

  8. Anyone catch Jeopardy today? A clue used “precog” (as far as I know, a PKD-ism; maybe it has antecedents) colloquially, which I think was pretty neat:
    Category: Drafts ($1000 clue)
    Lost on an island before “Lost”, Simon is a bit of a precog in this 1954 novel, foreseeing his own death in an early draft
    [correct response: Lord of the Flies; no one buzzed in]

  9. gottacook says Anyone catch Jeopardy today? A clue used “precog” (as far as I know, a PKD-ism; maybe it has antecedents) colloquially, which I think was pretty neat:

    PKD coined the term precognitive in “The Minority Report” novella.

  10. Cat Eldridge: PKD coined the term precognition in The Minority Report.

    The etymology of the word “precognition” goes back to Middle French in the 14th to the 16th century, meaning “to know beforehand”.

    PKD coined the usage of the abbreviated term “precog” as “someone who has knowledge of the future”.

  11. J&J says PKD coined the usage of the abbreviated term “precog” as “someone who has knowledge of the future”.

    My bad, I was going from memory. And my memory is imperfect at best.

    I got my artwork up today today including the Charles Vess print that he did of Charles de Lint’s A Circle of Cats.

    Now listening to Ringworld.

  12. Ellery Queen’s A Study in Terror is not a short story, it’s a novel — a short one, possibly at what is now considered novella length, though it was first published by Lancer as a novel. Most of it was a movie novelization, with Ellery Queen the character commenting on it as he read it. The novelization, of a Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper movie, was by Paul Fairman; the Ellery parts may have been by Dannay and Lee, or they may have just supervised Fairman, I don’t know.

    And On the Eighth Day, by Avram Davidson under the Queen cousins’ direction, is eerie but at best genre-adjacent. I like that one.

    The Scrolls of Lysis has nothing to do with Ellery Queen. It’s a historical novel by Don Tracy under the pseudonym Barnaby Ross, which was a pseudonym the Queen cousins had used for four books thirty years earlier.

  13. Jeff Smith says Ellery Queen’s A Study in Terror is not a short story, it’s a novel — a short one, possibly at what is now considered novella length, though it was first published by Lancer as a novel. Most of it was a movie novelization, with Ellery Queen the character commenting on it as he read it. The novelization, of a Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper movie, was by Paul Fairman; the Ellery parts may have been by Dannay and Lee, or they may have just supervised Fairman, I don’t know.

    I’m only quoting whatever source I’d used for that bit of information. That said, I seem to remember at least one Hugo nominee that actually got nominated as a short story, novelette and novella at various points, so I’m not at all sure a definitive statement of what something is will be possible, or really matters.

  14. “Precog” (in the two-syllable form) first shows up in Dick’s story “A World of Talent”, Galaxy, Oct. 1954. “Minority Report” is later, 1956.

  15. I see that “Waterspider” (where I first saw “precog”) was published as late as 1964.

  16. Cat said:

    I’m only quoting whatever source I’d used for that bit of information.

    I know. And you ask us to contribute extra information when we have it. So I did.

  17. Despite the big/bad being a windsock dipped in concrete, “The Doomsday Machine” holds together so well because of the original music score and cues. Sol Kaplan’s work is probably ear-worming through your brain right now, so enjoy this examination of his work:

    (Kirk’s cliffhanging line works too…)

  18. JeffWarner says Despite the big/bad being a windsock dipped in concrete, “The Doomsday Machine” holds together so well because of the original music score and cues. Sol Kaplan’s work is probably ear-worming through your brain right now, so enjoy this examination of his work:

    I’m not, at least on the iPad, seeing the video.

  19. Jeff Smith, thank you for that information on A Study in Terror and the other works.

    A general note: a lot of material not written by Dannay and Lee got published as by “Ellery Queen” (a bunch of 1960s-70s paperback crime novels by various hands, including some by Jack Vance) or “Barnaby Ross” (The Scrolls of Lysis and other 1960s historical novels by Don Tracy). As a result, there are bibliographies that attribute many works to the two cousins that they did not create. To make the confusion worse, nowadays Kindle publishes a lot of “Queen” books with matching covers – mixing together the actual Queens and the ones by Vance and the rest indiscriminately.

  20. 11) Jeff Smith has already said most of what I thought about the Frederic Dannay entry. I’ll just add a bit more to the tangled web that is Ellery Queen.

    Dannay was born Daniel Nathan and his cousin Manfred Lee was born Emnuel Lepofsky. Under their new names, they collaborated as Ellery Queen on a multitude of novels, most, but not all of which featured a main character also named Ellery Queen, although none of the queen stories are in first person. They also wrote books featuring Barnaby Ross featuring the character Barnaby Ross, although it was apparently always an open secret that the author Barnaby Ross was “really” Ellery Queen.

    In the later half of their long career, the two farmed out a lot of the work to ghost writers which they seemed to have supervised to various degrees, These included Avram Davidson, Theodore Sturgeon, and Jack Vance, among many others.

  21. 17) Didn’t someone (maybe Philip Jose Farmer?) write a story about the clean-up after the unfortunate King Kong incident?

  22. @Steve Leavell — PJF wrote “After King Kong Fell”, but the clean-up is only part of the story.

  23. Steve Leavell, one correction: the main character in the four “Barnaby Ross” novels was named Drury Lane.

  24. JeffWarner: “The Doomsday Machine” holds together so well because of the original music score and cues. Sol Kaplan’s work is probably ear-worming through your brain right now, so enjoy this examination of his work

    That was extremely interesting, thank you for linking to it. I’m not knowledgeable enough about music to do that sort of analysis myself, but the notes by Shem von Schroeck (who himself is obviously extremely talented) made it fairly easy to recognize and understand what Kaplan had done. And you’re right, it was really a masterwork of scoring (especially for TV, and for that time).

    Interestingly, IMDb cites this item of trivia:
    According to William Windom, he did not enjoy working on the show. He said that William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were not getting along at the time which made the set’s atmosphere tense. He also said that he felt that the episode was silly so he purposely overacted. It was not until many years later that he realized that his character was a reference to Captain Ahab from Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”.

    Windom’s OTT “overacting” was exactly what the episode required. Spinrad had wanted Robert Ryan for the role. But I think Windom delivered exactly the obsession and desperation needed for a space-age Ahab.

  25. Rusty–Thanks for the correction; you’re right, of course, and ,even though I’ve never read any of the Ross novels, at least part of my brain knew that the amateur detective hero was an appropriately named hearing impaired actor–just not the part that was typing.

    The whole Ellery Queen character/pen name/ ghost writer business fascinates me. Another near-genre example, almost as tangled is S.A. Lambino, an early ’50’s science fiction writer who wrote a huge amount of varied work under a large number of names, including mysteries as Ed McBain, more literary work as Evan Hunter, and (allegedly) porn as Dean Hudson. In 2000, he published a novel marketed as a collaboration between Hunter and McBain.

  26. I don’t know what I would think of it now, but many years ago The Black Cat, with Lugosi and Karloff going at each other, made a deep impression on me.

  27. (10) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.-Star Trek’s “Doomsday Machine”
    It’s odd that William Windom made those IMDB-quoted remarks about “DM”, seeing as how he appeared in the “Star Trek: New Voyages” fan production sequel to it – “In Harm’s Way”, in which we found out that Commodore Decker escaped disintegration, and was space-time warped back to 20th century Earth. The scene where Barbara Luna opens her backyard garage’s door to reveal Decker’s Enterprise shuttlecraft parked in it is a real hoot.

  28. I’m listening to Ringworld now.

    (I ended getting it for free on Audible as of a result of billing information misunderstandings. Updating such things is a pain in the ass.)

    The story itself is fine but the blatant sexism really, really shows twenty years after I last experienced it both in the Tesla Brown character and in just how woman in general are referred to in the narrative. It begs to be updated to modern sensibilities, it really does. And I don’t say that often about novels.

  29. @Cat Eldridge: yes, Teela’s position in the expedition is basically “sex toy for Louis Wu”. In the ’70s that was considered liberated thinking.

  30. Jim Janney correctly notes that yes, Teela’s position in the expedition is basically “sex toy for Louis Wu”. In the ’70s that was considered liberated thinking.

    Well on a modern how cringing is it scale on one or ten, it is, well, the scale got broken. Wu also doesn’t actually come off all that intelligent either.

  31. In many ways, Teela is shown to be more intelligent than Louis (which makes the ways she’s treated worse, of course) – when the ship is struck by the defense mechanism, Louis wonders how long they’ve been in stasis – but Teela instantly figures it out, and she’s the first to identify the purpose of the radiator fins.

  32. I am here.

    Or, strictly speaking, between here and there, on the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry, returning from Long Island to Connecticut.

    With the wonderful Cider beside me in her crate.

    Roughly a two-hour drive from Bridgeport to home, once we’re off the ferry.

  33. (1) Thanks for sharing the interview with one of my favorite writers, Nancy Kress. Much Appreciated!

  34. @Cat Eldridge

    That said, I seem to remember at least one Hugo nominee that actually got nominated as a short story, novelette and novella at various points,

    Well, “Flowers for Algernon” won a Hugo as a short story, was nominated for a Hugo and won a Nebula as a novel, and the film adaptation “Charly” won an Academy Award for Cliff Robertson as Best Actor. Maybe that’s what you are thinking of?

  35. I thought the human females in Known Space were generally fine, but the non sentient alien females really bothered me. Why would someone even think to put that in? There is no attempt to explain how it’s possible genetically – it isn’t any more implausible than the protecter virus, but it’s still very unusual.

  36. @ bookworm1398: it was a plot point that got developed in later stories. Long, long ago Kzin females were at least as intelligent as the males, but the latter executed some sort of genetic engineering ‘coup’ to make future females non-sentient. Later Known Space stories portray that era, and perhaps also the reversal of the ‘coup’ with non-Kzin aid (I’m not so familiar with the KS (not K/S!) material not written by Niven).

    I always assumed that all this spoke to the nature of the (male) Kzinti, not to the male human writers’ attitudes towards human females, but being a Brit, without my finger on the pulse of US society, I might have been mistaken.

  37. Re (18) The CBS piece repeats the mediaeval interpretation that Vinland (or the Old norse original) meant “Wine-land” because of wild grapes growing there. I believe the current (!) etymological position is that the Vin is a mostly obsolete germanic word meaning marsh, meadow or gorse, which still survives in e.g. English as “whin” or “winn”, and forms part of several English place names. The Old Scandinavian form (according to my Dictionary of English Place Names) was the unattested but etymologically reconstructed *hvin.

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