Pixel Scroll 10/4/18 Scrolls Lift Us Up Where We Belong

(1) MOTHER’S DAY IN GOTHAM. ComicBook.com brings news that “Martha Wayne to Return in ‘Gotham’ Season 5”—the same actor who played her in the pilot will now reprise the part in the finale season.

In addition to moving toward Batman’s future in the upcoming final season of Gotham, it looks as though the FOX series will also be flashing back to Bruce Wayne’s past. Martha Wayne, Bruce’s mother who was murdered in the series premiere, will be returning in the second half of Season 5.

Actress Brette Taylor, who played Martha in the pilot, took to Twitter earlier this week to share a photo from the set. In the image, Taylor is sitting on a bench with Gotham stars Sean Pertwee (Alfred) and Cameron Monaghan (Jeremiah). Along with the photo, Taylor included the caption, “Takin a break with the gang,” and a hashtag for Martha Wayne, leading to speculation amongst fans that she would be appearing somehow.

While the photo simply indicates that she was on the set, ComicBook.com can now confirm that she is indeed filming Season 5, reprising her role as Martha Wayne.

(2) GETTING PAID. Another classic Scalzi / Sykes / Wendig exchange. Thread starts here.

(3) PENNSYLVANIA 221B. Rebecca Romney, in “The Art of the Painstaking Sherlock Recreation” on Crimereads.com, goes to the home of the Dobry family in Reading, Pennsylvania, where they have carefully reconstructed Sherlock Holmes’s flat.  We learn in the piece that there’s a guy in Los Angeles who makes his living creating Holmes-related stuff for collectors.

The man holds up a thin, sharp instrument. “Do you know which story this is from?” he asks. I hesitate. I’m not even sure what it is, except that its end forms a wickedly curved needle.

I browse through my mental catalog of murder weapons and other questionable objects. I’m trying not to get distracted by the phrenological bust in the corner of the room, or the initials “VR” dotted onto one section of the wall in shapes that resemble bullet holes.

Denny Dobry smiles, takes pity. “It’s a nineteenth-century cataract knife.” Of course it is. Now I know what it’s from: the Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of the Silver Blaze.”

I’m in 221B Baker Street, the residence of Sherlock Holmes. But I’m not in London. I’m in Reading, Pennsylvania.

(4) CBS ALL ACCESS DROPS SHORTS. The Star Trek: Short Treks were released today. The Hollywood Reporter’s spoiler-filled article “‘Star Trek: Short Treks’ Episode 1 Packs a Lot into 15 Minutes” tell what you’ll see.

In its new series Short Treks, Star Trek is going where no version of the show has gone before: online-only content. But the first of four monthly installments, which dropped Thursday on CBS All Access, made sure to bridge the gap between the familiar and the unfamiliar.

(5) SEPTEMBER’S STORIES. At the B&N Sci-FI & Fantasy Blog, Marla Haskins links to noteworthy stories from last month’s offerings: “Sci-Fi & Fantasy Short Fiction Roundup: September 2018”.

We Mete Out Justice With Beak and Talon“, by Jeremiah Tolbert in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
Tolbert’s high-flying sci-fi tale is set in a near-future American city where law enforcement uses humans who are mentally linked to birds of prey to patrol the skies, sending them swooping in whenever they spot criminal activity. It’s a vividly told story; Tolbert skillfully draws you in to the strangeness of the joined human/bird mind-space, giving the reader dizzying new perspectives on the future of technology, and the future of police work. Thought-provoking and compelling.

(6) THAT STUFF YOU FIND IN BOOKS. At Mr. Sci-Fi, former Star Trek Writer Marc Zicree talking about the history of science fiction in novels. From Frankenstein to HG Wells.

(7) SABRINA. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina premiere October 26 on Netflix.

Her name is Sabrina Spellman. Half witch. Half mortal. On her 16th birthday, Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) has to make a choice between the witch world of her family and the human world of her friends. With her aunties (Miranda Otto, Lucy Davis), her cat Salem, and her boyfriend Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch), Sabrina will face horrors and new adventures in the mysterious town of Greendale. From the executive producers of Riverdale comes a haunting new tale.



  • October 4, 2005 — Troma’s Rock’N’Roll Space Patrol Action Is Go premiered.


(10) TIS THE SEASON. Camestros Felapton shared this epic from the desk of Timothy the Talking Cat — “The Timarillion”.

…Without the trees, Heaven is in dire need of some lightbulbs but Feanor won’t let anybody else use his. It’s a moot point anyway because Mmmm had stolen them. Feanor vows bloody vengeance against Mmmm for stealing his lightbulbs and over-billing his therapy sessions.

Meanwhile, the gods invent the Moon and the Sun, which is a better plan than trees if you think about it….

(11) TAKE A WHIFF. Evolution detectives tell NPR “Lemurs Provide Clues About How Fruit Scents Evolved”.

In Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar, where there is incredible diversity of fruits of all shapes and sizes, there are certain plants that rely only on lemurs to spread their seeds. There are other plants that rely on birds and other animals.

The researchers gathered hundreds of ripe and unripe fruit samples from 30 species of plants. They separated them into two groups — the ones that rely on lemurs, and the ones that rely on the other animals — and tested the chemicals emitted to see whether the smells were different between the ripe and unripe samples.

(12) UNHAPPY LANDINGS. They can’t all win the Darwin Award, can they? The BBC says “259 people reported dead seeking the perfect selfie”.

They found that selfie-related deaths are most common in India, Russia, the United States and Pakistan and 72.5% of those reported are men.

Previous studies were compiled from Wikipedia pages and Twitter, which researchers say did not give accurate results.

The new study also showed that the number of deaths is on the rise.

There were only three reports of selfie-related deaths in 2011, but that number grew to 98 in 2016 and 93 in 2017.

However, the researchers claim that the actual number of selfie deaths could be much higher because they are never named as the cause of death.

(13) IN COUNTRY. Spacefaring Kitten reviews a favorite for Nerds of a Feather: “Microreview [Book]: Lovecraft Country, by Matt Ruff”.

“Stories are like people, Atticus. Loving them doesn’t make them perfect,” The Safe Negro Travel Guide publisher George Berry tells his nephew Atticus Turner in the beginning of Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country.

Berry is sort of an old wise man character in the novel, always there delivering helpful truths and constructive advice when needed. Here he is unraveling Atticus’s – and his own – conflicted feelings towards science fiction and fantasy literature. They are both in love with genre classics such as Edgar Rice Burroughs and H.P. Lovecraft but at the same time register that the authors and their works are deeply problematic, especially from the viewpoint of black readers which is what both men are.

(14) SEPTEMBER (SWAN) SONG. Charles Payseur wraps up last month with “Quick Sips – Terraform September 2018”.

I’m closing out my September reviews with a look at Motherboard’s Terraform, which brings four new looks at rather terrifying possible futures. As usual, the stories range from predictive to outlandish, but all of them lean toward warnings. Signs for people to read and pay attention to. Turn back now. Avoid this possible time when humanity has lost respect for our world and our selves. These are pieces look at the way things could be with an unblinking gaze and invite readers to look into that abyss. It’s a nice range of works, too, from far future space extinctions to much more grounded political sci fi, where corruption and injustice are only a step or two beyond what we have now. It makes for a strong month of stories, which I’ll get right to reviewing!

(15) THE BEES KNEES. The folks at Archie McPhee would love to sell you their “Car Full of Bees Auto Sunshade”.

This sunshade has so many bees on it, we had to buy new computers that could handle the design! When you plop this in your window, it creates the illusion that your car is full of bees! Can you go in the carpool lane if you have a swarm of bees riding shotgun? At 50″ x 27-1/2″, this sunshade is big enough for most cars. It protects, cools and blocks out UV rays. Includes two suction cups for easy installation.

(16) BLADE RUNNER 2049 COMIC. Titan Comics announced that Blade Runner 2049 screenwriter Michael Green (Logan) will partner with long-term collaborator and comic writer Mike Johnson (Star Trek) to pen an in-canon Blade Runner comic series for Titan Comics and Alcon Media Group.

In addition to co-writing the screenplay for Blade Runner 2049, the critically-acclaimed sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 celebrated classic Blade Runner, Michael Green’s recent writing credits include Alien: Covenant, Murder on the Orient Express, the hit Starz series American Gods, and Logan, which earned Green an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2018.

Mike Johnson, Green’s co-writer on comics including Supergirl and Superman/ Batman, will co-write the Blade Runner series. A veteran writer of the Star Trek franchise, Johnson’s other comic credits include Transformers and Fringe

(17) RECURSION. SYFY Wire says another new sff TV show is on the way: “Shonda Rhimes and Matt Reeves team up for new science fiction venture on Netflix”.

Shondaland is expanding. The prolific producer and showrunner Shonda Rhimes is teaming with Matt Reeves for a science fiction film and television series on Netflix. The pair will bring Blake Crouch’s upcoming novel Recursion to life on the streaming service.

The novel centers on a female scientist who creates technology that allows people to recactivate their most powerful memories and rewrite them.

Rhimes told Variety, “Projects like this are why I came to Netflix. The opportunity to explore a multi-genre universe in innovative ways is extremely exciting. Matt and Blake both have the tremendous ability to build compelling characters and imaginative landscapes and I am thrilled to work alongside them.”

Rhimes signed a multi-year deal with Netflix last year to create new content for the streaming service, while Reeves signed a first look deal earlier this year….

(18) DAREDEVIL TRAILER. Season 3 of Marvel’s Daredevil debuts on Netflix October 19.

Missing for months, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) reemerges a broken man, putting into question his future as both vigilante Daredevil and lawyer Matthew Murdock. But when his archenemy Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) is released from prison, Matt must choose between hiding from the world, or embracing his destiny as a hero.


[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, JJ Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Rob Thornton.]

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22 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/4/18 Scrolls Lift Us Up Where We Belong

  1. here’s an old Earth saying, Captain. A phrase of great power and wisdom and consolation to the soul in times of need: Godstalk!

  2. 3) Many years ago, I visited the 221B Baker Street replica in London, which actually is on Baker Street, though not at 221B, because what would have been 221B Baker Street is now an office block occupied by a building society. Supposedly, they have an employee whose only job it is to reply to all of the letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes.

  3. Scrollfiler Park is melting in the dark
    All the sweet, green pixels flowing down

    … I regret nothing …

  4. (12) May I take this moment to observe that some people are just really stupid?

    And that this is also very alarming because I’m in no doubt at all that yes, I’m sure the families go to some lengths to conceal the role that pursuit of the perfect selfie played in causing the death of their lives one.

    Whom they would not want to be a laughingstock in death.

  5. @15: At least they’re just joking; the BBC a couple of days ago had a story about someone who was pulled over because he’d stuffed his car completely full of cut-off bits of trees, such that he really couldn’t see out the windshield — or much out of the side windows, or the controls…. I suppose it’s a comment on defensive driving in the UK that everybody got out of his way until the police stopped him.

    @LIs: IIRC, Mencken said something about nobody going broke underestimating the taste of the (U.S.) public; I’m sure somebody has said something similar about intelligence worldwide.

    edit: Fifth!

  6. The trailer has me sold on giving the new Sabrina a try, but I was kind of sad to not see Penn and Teller on the witches council.

  7. Randomly and not in response to any specific scroll content: I think I’ve figured out the limit at which I give up on catching up with recent scrolls. Approximately one week. But it has been quite a week. I have survived the not-quite-as-much-of-a-surprise-as-they-intended layoff at work that was the last step in a summer of “right-sizing”. And they managed to break previous records in “how quickly can we completely overhaul a departmental reorganization after everyone poured heart and soul into planning for the new status quo. (Answer: two months before the planned re-org was actually officially implemented.) Now the only remaining practical question is: where will my new workspace be since they need to raze my current building to begin construction of the newly approved project (which, alas, has a timeline two years off to have prevented the need for the “right-sizing”). I love my job, but some times…

  8. Heather Rose Jones: When the end of the year approaches I think I should do some kind of highlight reel — and after I’ve looked at four or five Scrolls (out of the hundreds) I’m done…. I don’t doubt catching up more than a week would lead to a glazed expression.

    Glad to know you made it through the week at work — what a stressful event.

  9. (4) Actually, I take that back–I looked with another browser and found it. A nice little character study for Cadet Tilly.

  10. I was born under a scrollin' star
    I was born under a scrollin' star
    Box is made for tickin'
    Pixel's very droll
    Never seen SF news that didn't look better in the scroll.

    I was born under a scrollin' star
    A scrollin' scrollin' star.

  11. I was at WorldCon, glancing over the racks with zine & con flyers, when I spotted a copy of The Last Unicorn with a “FREE” post-it on it. I snagged it, because I’m not sure where our copy is right now.

    I hadn’t re-read The Last Unicorn for … decades? … and then when we got home & talked about what we brought back from WorldCon, we discovered that Sprog had NEVER READ IT. So we did a family read-aloud (almost all ended up being done by Mr Dr Science). Sprog was in tears at the end, but in the best way. And of course she wants to read (or possibly write) the Further Adventures of Molly Grue.

    It turns out I can still quote LOTS of this book, the words sank deep into my mind years ago. They don’t make them like this any more, of course: the number of songs is more like Tolkien than anything else, while the metaphor density is unlike anything else ever.

    We never saw the movie–we refused, knowing it would never come close to the language of the book. And for me, at least, no possible depiction could live up to the images in my mind.

  12. @ Doctor Science: You might be surprised. The movie adaptation of The Last Unicorn is the most faithful one to the book that I’ve ever encountered. Nothing is added, only one minor sub-plot is removed, and huge chunks of the dialogue are taken directly from the book.

    Not trying to change your mind, merely providing a perspective by someone who has seen the movie and was mightily impressed thereby.

  13. Lee says You might be surprised. The movie adaptation of The Last Unicorn is the most faithful one to the book that I’ve ever encountered. Nothing is added, only one minor sub-plot is removed, and huge chunks of the dialogue are taken directly from the book.

    Not trying to change your mind, merely providing a perspective by someone who has seen the movie and was mightily impressed thereby.

    Peter has said very often that he actually approves of this adaptation of TLU.

  14. We’ll probably pick the movie up from the public library, then! Not right away — we still haven’t even seen Infinity War Part 1.

    And I’ve heard that there’s an audio version narrated by Peter, which therefor *has all the tunes for the songs* — but it doesn’t seem to be available anywhere at the moment.

  15. Seconding that the film version of The Last Unicorn is very good.

    7) This looks actually pretty good, considering I’m not the target audience for a teen witch show at all. I’m also happy that Kiernan Shipka continues to have a career after Mad Men, even though she does seem to be stuck in retro settings.

  16. Doctor Science: Sprog was in tears at the end, but in the best way. And of course she wants to read (or possibly write) the Further Adventures of Molly Grue.

    It’s not nearly enough to satisfy that craving, but here’s the sequel “Two Hearts“, which won the Hugo and Nebula for Best Novelette in 2006.

  17. I saw the movie of The Last Unicorn when it came out, and again recently. The dialog is spoken a little slowly by adult standards (and I remember it had matinee (i.e., non-adult) showings near Boston after evening showings stopped), but I don’t think it weakened the dark parts of the book. And the voices! Christopher Lee as Haggard, Angela Lansbury (fresh off playing Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd) as Mommy Fortuna, and particularly Alan Arkin as Schmendrick, even bit parts like the cat and the skull were all wonderful. I expect some people will find that it doesn’t match what’s in their heads — but I recommend it to anyone who likes the book.

    @Heather Rose Jones: I had an assortment of screwups and bad-faith behavior in my decades at work, but nothing that bad. Here’s hoping things settle down.

  18. The Last Unicorn is an outstanding and amazingly faithful adaptation. At the same time, I found it a little disappointing, because it didn’t live up to the images in my mind. That may not be fair to the filmmakers, who, after all, are not telepathic, but somehow I couldn’t help it.

    What I’d really like to see is a live-action adaptation. I realize the budget for such a thing would be outrageous, if they were to try to do it right, even today (and would have been basically impossible back then). But the heart wants what the heart wants.

    I still highly recommend the animated version, though. 🙂

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