Pixel Scroll 10/9/21 I Met A Filer From An Antique Scroll

(1) TRICK OR WHO. The official Doctor Who site says the new series of Doctor Who will premiere on Sunday October 31.

Get ready for Doctor Who: Flux, beginning this Halloween.

There’s also some kind of flash advertising campaign under way, with a number to call:

(2) SCA SETS COVID POLICY. The Society for Creative Anachronism announced a “Board Resolution – COVIDSafe Proof of Fully Vaccinated Status or Negative COVID Test Policy” to govern who is eligible to participate in its events. (A complete copy of the policy is here.)

The SCA Board of Directors aims to balance getting Society participants back to doing the things we love with measures that support Kingdoms in protecting all that people have worked so hard for. Our COVIDSafe Resolutions provide a flexible, risk based framework that allows Kingdoms in the United States and Canada to put in place a core set of requirements that event organisers and individuals must adhere to, based on their current environment and public health directions and advice….

In addition to the existing policy allowing Kingdoms to establish a mask policy, Kingdom Seneschals in consultation with the Crown shall have the discretion to implement the following policy requiring proof of COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of an event start time from all event attendees…

(3) DURING THE SPACE RACE. “Moon Station (1967)” at Dreams of Space displays all the frames of a Soviet school filmstrip produced in 1967 showing the artist’s conception of how a moon colony would be built. Entertaining as well as informative. We’re still waiting for anybody to build a base on the Moon, of course.

(4) WINDY CITY REPORT. Walker Martin’s report on the Windy City Pulp & Paperback show is on page 11 of the Plymouth Review. Photos from the show appear throughout the issue.

(5) BEAR MEDICAL NEWS. Elizabeth Bear gave readers a “Cancer stuff update” at her Throwanotherbearinthecanoe Newsletter.

So, this is gonna get long, but I saw my surgeon on Wednesday and my shiny new medical oncologist on Friday, and the filet (you see what I did there) is that the incisions are healing well, and my tumor samples are being sent for oncotesting (basically genetic analysis of Barry to see what kind of a little bastard he is)….

(6) GILLER PRIZE. One work of genre interest has survived to make the Scotiabank Giller Prize 2021 Shortlist.

The complete five-book shortlist is here.

(7) SPOCK IS NOT LOGICAL: SHOCK, HORROR, DRAMA, PROBE! [Item by SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie.] BBC Radio 4 has a statistics program. (Yes, disturbing for some as it may be, stats are fun for tru-geeks.) It is called More or Less and it has had its 20th anniversary edition that was book-ended by Star Trek. More or Less: “Behind the Stats, Reason, numbers and Mr Spock”.

It began with a parody of the original Star Trek series opening credits and ended with a defense of a previous edition’s assertion that Star Trek’s Spock was not at all logical: many fan listeners wrote in to complain!  In between there were statistics stories from the recent news calling out official figures and some number claims; enough to satisfy your inner nerd.

You can download the mp3 for a few weeks here. You can also enjoy this infographic about The Original Series. Click for a larger image.


2002 – Nineteen years ago this evening on The WB, the Birds of Prey series began its brief, thirteen episode run. Set in a post-Batman Gotham, it was loosely based on the DC Comics series of the same name. It starred Ashley Scott as Helena Kyle / Huntress, Dina Meyer as Barbara Gordon / Batgirl / Oracle and Rachel Skarsten as Dinah Redmond (née Lance). It also had Shemar Moore as Detective Jesse Reese and Ian Abercrombie as a rather perfect Alfred Pennyworth. The Arrowverse Crisis on Infinite Earths eventretroactively establishes the world of Birds of Prey as Earth-203 before the Anti-Monitor destroys it. Ooops. There were two different pilots, with Sherilyn Fenn portraying Harley Quinn in the original unaired pilot. Mia Sara plays her in the series. Ratings started out strong but declined rapidly and The WB didn’t pick up the series after the initial thirteen episode run. Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes currently give it a neither good nor bad forty-one percent rating. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born October 9, 1936 Brian Blessed, 85. Lots of genre appearances including Space 1999Blake’s 7Hamlet (as the ghost of Hamlet’s father), MacGyver: Lost Treasure of Atlantis, Johnny and the Dead and in The Phantom Menace. He even managed to show up on Doctor Who in a Sixth Doctor story, “Mindwarp” as King Yrcanos. 
  • Born October 9, 1948 Ciaran Carson. Northern Ireland-born poet and novelist who is here, genre wise at least, for his translation of the early Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge, which he called simply The Táin. I’m also going to single him out for penning the finest book ever written on Irish traditional music,  Last Night’s Fun: About Time, Food and Music. It’s every bit as interesting as Iain Banks’ Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram is. (Died 2018.)
  • Born October 9, 1949 Jim Starlin, 72. Comics artist and illustrator. If you’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy, you’ve seen the characters Thanos and Drax the Destroyer which he created. He would also work for DC and other companies over the years. Starlin and Bernie Wrightson produced Heroes for Hope, a 1985 one-shot designed to raise money for African famine relief and recovery. Genre writers such as  Stephen King, George R. R. Martin, Harlan Ellison, and Edward Bryant would contribute to this undertaking. He’s written a number of genre novels co-written with his wife Daina Graziunas. 
  • Born October 9, 1953 Barbara March. She was Lursa, one of the Klingon Duras sisters. She appeared on Next Generation (“Redemption” and “Firstborn”), Deep Space Nine (“Past Prologue”), and Star Trek Generations. Though she did no other genre acting, she played Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the stage and renown for being Lady Macbeth. She wrote a horror novel, The Copper People. (Died 2019.)
  • Born October 9, 1954 Scott Bakula, 67. Lead in two great SF series, Sam Beckett on Quantum Leap and Captain Jonathan Archer on Enterprise. He also starred as Nolan Wood who discovers the alien conspiracy in the remake of The Invaders. Though definitely not genre or even genre adjacent, he was Dwayne Pride on the recently cancelled NCIS: New Orleans.
  • Born October 9, 1956 Robert Reed, 65. Extremely prolific short story writer with at least two hundred tales so far. And a number of novels as well such as the superb Marrow series. I see he won a Hugo at Nippon 2007 for his “A Billion Eves” novella. And he was nominated for the Astounding Award for Best New Writer as well. His latest novel, Poubelle, was just published.
  • Born October 9, 1958 Michael Paré, 63. I’ll start off with being in Streets of Fire which I’m claiming as genre but he’s also been in The Philadelphia ExperimentLunarcop, both BloodRayne films and Moon 44.
  • Born October 9, 1961 Matt Wagner, 60. The Grendel Tales and Batman / Grendel are very good as is Grendel vs. The Shadow stories he did a few years back. His run on Madame Xanadu was amazing too. Oh, and I’d suggest both issues of House of Mystery Halloween Annual thathe did for some appropriate Halloween reading. And let’s not forget his long run on the Sandman Mystery Theatre
  • Born October 9, 1964 Guillermo del Toro, 57. Best films? HellboyHellboy II and Pan’s Labyrinth which won the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form at Nippon 2007. Hellboy II is watchable over and over just for the Goblin’s Market sequence.  His latest project is Pinocchio which will be on Netflix, it’s described as a “stop-motion animated musical fantasy”. Huh. 


(11) HOLY SHEET! Bleeding Cool alerts fans “There Is Not Enough Paper In America For Comic Books Right Now”. Fortunately, there are plenty of pixels.

Comic books, more than many printed media, are vulnerable to issues with printing. Paper stock, and image reproduction are more of an issue for a graphic novel than a novel. Bleeding Cool has been reporting major delays and stock issues hitting the comics industry, including information from Bad Idea, DC Comics and from Marvel Comics, while there is still a “manga drought” from East Asia. This week we have been informed by a major printer in the field that “we continue to experience pricing and supply chain challenges in many sectors of our business – primarily in the graphic paper (commercial papers, SBS board, and corrugate), ocean, and road freight and branded merchandise markets.  All continue to experience extreme volatility, including price increases, extended lead times, product shortages, reduced capacity, and longer transit times.” Here is information that is being shared by printers with their customers, about the issues arising and what publishers need to start doing, including that “there is simply not enough paper making capacity to support the current domestic demand.”

(12) NOT TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE. James Davis Nicoll points Tor.com readers at “Five SF Novels Featuring Ancient Alien Artifacts” even though he finds the idea highly unscientific:

I tend to prefer plausible settings for fiction, as my readers may have noticed. One matter that catches my attention: the implications of geological time scales for the existence of alien relics left behind by visiting extra-solar litterbugs. Many SF stories assume that such visitors will have arrived during the Phanerozoic era. Very often visitors are said to have visited towards the tail end of the Phanerozoic, the Cenozoic….

His first example:

Scarlet Dream by C. L. Moore (1934)

Northwest Smith’s solar system is ancient. The space-tanned Earthman’s civilization is only the latest to call the System home. Artifacts of unknown origin and potentially ominous purpose are scattered over the System like raisins in scones. A prudent man would think twice about acquiring alien artifacts without doing some serious homework re: the device’s past and powers.

Northwest is many things, but prudent is not one of them. He sees only an alluring scarlet scarf. The dream realm in which he is subsequently trapped offers only empty, dissatisfying pleasure. Death appears to be the only escape. Although, as Northwest discovers, it need not be his death…

(13) SPACE COWBOY ROUNDUP. Space Cowboy Books in Joshua Tree, CA has some items for your calendar.

Online Flash Science Fiction Night
Tuesday October 12th 6pm PST
Featuring short science fiction stories by Geoff Habiger, Rodrigo Assis Mesquita, & Tom Purdom
Register for free here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/169769889309

Online Reading and Interview with Gideon Marcus
Tuesday October 19th 6pm PST
Celebrate the release of Gideon’s latest book Sirena
Register for free here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/169201501245

(14) BANNED BOOKS SMELL THIS WAY. North Ave. Candles is offering “Smoked Pine + Parchment / Inspired by Fahrenheit 451”.

No Banned Books Collection would be compete without Bradbury.

Smoked Pine + Parchment is the scents of pine, balsam, bergamot, and smokey birch blended with base notes of antique sandalwood.

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” -Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

The other 15 candles in their Banned Books Collection include these genre titles:

  • White Tea + Rose, inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Clove + Orange, inspired by A Clockwork Orange
  • Ginger + Peach, inspired by James and the Giant Peach
  • Sugared Citrus + Island Greens, inspired by Where the Wild Things Are
  • Pomegranate + Red Tulip, inspired by The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Coffee + Chestnut, Inspired by 1984

(5) TREEHOUSE OF HORROR. The Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror XXXII” airs Oct. 10 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on Fox. Mashable pointed to a segment inspired by American pen-and-ink illustrator Edward Gorey.

Gorey’s segment will join the annual lineup for the Treehouse of Horror episode, which is reportedly set to parody Parasite, Bambi, The Ring and more.

Rolling Stone added these details:

The annual Halloween episode has often turned horror classics — complete with faux-Vincent Price narration — into fodder for its chapters, and in this clip, Price reads Maggie Simpson a bedtime story called “The Telltale Bart”; however, despite its title, the chapter has little in common with Edgar Allen Poe’s version.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, James Davis Nicoll, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Bill.]

37 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/9/21 I Met A Filer From An Antique Scroll

  1. 11) The giant stateless conglomerates which control the paper industry have been shutting down production in the traditional homes for it, like Wisconsin. And now, mysteriously, there’s not enough paper making capacity. Hmmmmm……..

  2. Paul Weimer says Brian Blessed’s ALIVE!?

    Don’t do that. You know that makes me double check to make sure I didn’t overlook yet another Death. (Double checks.) No, he is still alive. He’s even in the forthcoming Banking on Mr. Toad, a drama about Kenneth Grahame.

  3. (6) It took me less than half a minute to satisfy myself that “Mind Melds: 4” in the infographic is way off:

    Simon van Gelder (“We are Simon van Gelder.”)
    The silicon mother-creature (“The altar of tomorrow…”)
    Nomad (“We are Nomad.”)
    McCoy (“I feel what you feel. I know what you know.”) [this was the mirror-Spock]
    Kirk (“I am Kir…” “Miramanee!”)
    Kirk, McCoy, and Scott (“They will not pass through your body.”)
    Kollos the Medusan ambassador (“Are you surprised that I’ve read Milton, doctor?”)

    Did I miss any? In any case, I see no reason to trust most of their other sums…

  4. Paul Weimer says …I think that was probably an ill advised reference/joke. Fair

    Yeah not really. It’s just sometimes I lose track of the rather recently passed on. And some Filers aren’t terribly understanding about that.

  5. (5) I can tell Bear, from my own experience, that getting a chemo port is minor surgery. They use local anesthesia and mild sedation. As for chemo – it hits differently for everyone. (Mine wasn’t really rough until the third month, and about a month after that.) Radiation is kind of a pain, as far as being every weekday for a month or more, but otherwise it isn’t as bad as it sounds.

  6. Ports are fine. I had a PICC implant twice now for treatment of staphylococcus infections. The first one went in fine taking only an hour, the second took over four hours as it was after I’d repeatedly broken both shoulders and that really, really complicated the process.

  7. 9) Not precisely genre, but Brian Blessed was also outstanding in the BBC’s I, Claudius miniseries, despite the fact that he was beardless and I don’t think he ever was BRIAN BLESSED! in the role. But he was amazingly menacing when he was at his most low-key and genial.

    And Scott Bakula had a very amusing cameo on the most recent episode of What We Do in the Shadows.

  8. 10) Comics: The folks at Apple TV will be quite surprised to hear that Foundation is airing on HBO.

  9. Michael J. Lowrey on October 9, 2021 at 7:35 pm said:

    11) The giant stateless conglomerates which control the paper industry have been shutting down production in the traditional homes for it, like Wisconsin. And now, mysteriously, there’s not enough paper making capacity.

    I thought very much the same thing. I grew up in Maine, once the lumber (and possibly paper) capital of the United States, and most of that stuff is gone now. We are so wedded to “corporations must be allowed to hoard massive profits” that we can’t think strategically about our manufacturing sector and which products we should ensure are being produced here, by force of law if necessary. I’d argue PPE should be onshored again, but right behind that… paper! But I’m a writer and reader, so of course I’d say that. 🙂

  10. (9) : I am wondering if there’s a letter missing, in the description of Brian Blessed’s role in “[..] Hamlet (as the host of Hamlet’s father)” ?

  11. (10) That “Dork Tower” comic actually made me snerk.

    Yes, indeed, BRIAN BLESSED deserves “Flash Gordon” mentioned up front in his genre credits. And @Patrick Morris Miller is right about the one time he was BRIAN BLESSED in “I, Claudius”.

  12. I’ve not seen this mentioned, but I think it would be of interest to many of you. Gresham College do free lectures, a lot of which are available online. They cover a variety of academic subjects. One of the current series is by Jim Endersby and is entitled “How Not To Be Human: Exploring Humanity Through Science Fiction”.


    The first lecture in the series can be found on the Gresham site or on Youtube:

    The next is planned for 29th November.

  13. @Gottacook: There’s also Spock editing Kirk’s memory at the close of ‘Requiem for Methuselah’ (“Forget…”), which has always struck me as a betrayal of both their friendship and his duty to his captain.

  14. Gave blood. It’s being one of the occasions it wipes me out for a few days.

    They asked where Dora was.

    I could be picking my dog up either sooner than planned, or a bit later. I’m in favor of sooner.

    Spock’s failures to be as logical as he wished are noteworthy, and I suspect not as great a departure from the Vulcan norm as he thought.

  15. @Steve G.: I suppose I didn’t think of the end of “Requiem” because Kirk was asleep and thus it wasn’t a mind meld as such, merely a previously unsuspected Vulcan power, like Spock’s ability to influence the unnamed Yang girl to open the communicator* during Kirk and Tracy’s fight in “The Omega Glory.” Possibly “Forget” is defensible because Spock is getting Kirk to forget about a machine and not a person. (Also, although they didn’t plan for it, it serves as precedent for the “Remember” scene with the newly unconscious McCoy at the end of TWoK, which becomes central to the plot of the next movie.)

    *This was evidently considered unadaptable to View-Master presentation of that episode, so (unbelievably) it’s attributed to “woman’s intuition” there.

  16. Steve Green: There’s also Spock editing Kirk’s memory at the close of ‘Requiem for Methuselah’ (“Forget…”), which has always struck me as a betrayal of both their friendship and his duty to his captain.

    I always regarded that as a kindness and very much a part of his friendship and duty to help his captain in his future ability to successfully meet the requirements of his role. I’m sure that the ethics of consent could be argued there. But I would have wanted Spock to do the same for me.

  17. Regarding Brian Blessed, I agree that his performance in “I, Claudius” is superb. I watched a documentary on the producation of “I, Claudius” and they pointed out Augustus’ death as some of Blessed’s finest work. If you remember in the series, Augustus had finally figured out what his wife Livia was doing and was determined to thwart her. She found out that he would only eat and drink food from a common bowl after others had eaten some from it or food that he had picked himself. So she smeared poison on the figs on the tree in the garden outside his room because she knew he had been picking fresh figs and eating them. As Augustus lay taking his last breaths she calmly sat beside him and talked about what she had done and why she felt she had to do it as the camera gradually moves in closer and closer to Blessed’s face and with almost no movement at all you can see the life drain from him. It’s like you can see the light go out in his eyes.

    Afterward she left the room and informed her son, Tiberius that Augustus was dead. He asked if he could see him one last time and Livia replied, “Of course….oh by the way, Don’t Eat the Figs.”

  18. (7) More or Less is also permanently available in podcast format, though I don’t know if that version is geographically restricted.

  19. Fwiw the More or Less episode should be available for quite a bit more than a week weeks. There are BBC shoes that they keep available for a month and those that they keep indefinitely (mainly factual programs like More or Less, Infinite Monkey Cage – which had had Brian Blessed as a guest on several occasions, or The Life Scientific).


    Not a scriptwriter’s or Graves’ creation, but documented historically.

    @JJ: I always thought it was a kindness too. Kirk had said he wished he could forget. And I’m sure no matter how strong Spock was, ain’t nobody gets Jim Kirk to stop thinking about something — particularly a woman — if he doesn’t want to.

    Also, yay more Wombat!

  21. @lurkertype:

    And I’m sure no matter how strong Spock was, ain’t nobody gets Jim Kirk to stop thinking about something — particularly a woman — if he doesn’t want to.

    Yeah. Actually, it occurs to me that Spock has the capability to be sure whether and how much Kirk wants to forgot; even if we don’t see it, the mind-meld may give Spock the opportunity to obtain consent.

    (I rather suspect that Kirk doesn’t forget the facts, since he may need them later – he just forgets the intensity of the emotions he felt. There’s a novel that features Kirk meeting Flint again (I think Flint is called in as an advisor to aid Miri’s people (makes sense, really)) – I wonder how that handled the issue of Kirk’s memories of Rayna.

  22. REPRINT NEWS: It looks like the Feminist Press of CUNY is reprinting Suzette Haden Elgin’s Native Tongue trilogy. I saw the first volume at my Barnes & Noble and the the entire trilogy is available in ebook from Amazon.

  23. Ref the title of today’s entry, with apologies to P.B. Shelley:

    I met a traveler–’twas an antique fan–
    Who said, “Two vast and drumless mimeos
    Stand in the slanshack. Near them, on the stand
    Half torn, a tattered fanzine lies, whose brown
    And wrinkled pages full of old fanac,
    Tell that its faned well those passions knew
    Which yet survive, stamped in that lifeless zine,
    The hand that crankèd and the paper fed;
    And on its colophon these words appear:
    ‘My name is Ozyfandias, Faaan of Faans!
    Look on my ish, ye Neos, and despair!’

    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal shack, boundless and bare,
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

  24. (9) Paul Weimer’s joke was much better than the line I was considering. Well done.

    And while Street’s of Fire has a mere wisp of genre-ness (IMO) it is a fun movie with a great soundtrack. Worth a mention and a (re)watch!

    Tronatology 101 – Never let the smoke out.

  25. Guillermo del Toro’s other latest project is Nightmare Alley, which is anticipated with bated breath in this house.

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