Pixel Scroll 10/10 A Filer on the Deep

(1) The Art of The Lord of the Rings by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull was released in the UK on October 8. The American edition, from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, will be out on October 13.


Wayne and Christina say “The final product still has 240 pages, as we reported earlier, with 192 numbered figures (including 10 details), around 100 of which were not previously published. In the last stages of production, we located further small instances of art in the Lord of the Rings papers at Marquette and had to revise how the pictures were presented.”

Ethan Gilsdorf has an early review of the book on Wired.com — “See the Sketches J.R.R. Tolkien Used To Build Middle-Earth”.

The many maps and sketches he made while drafting The Lord of the Rings informed his storytelling, allowing him to test narrative ideas and illustrate scenes he needed to capture in words. For Tolkien, the art of writing and the art of drawing were inextricably intertwined.

In the book The Art of The Lord of the Rings, we see how, and why….

Tolkien didn’t seem to care what he drew or painted on. His sketch of “Helm’s Deep and the Hornburg,” the fortress enclave of the Rohirrim people, is executed on a half-used page of an Oxford examination booklet. Drawn in perspective, the tableau nicely captures Tolkien’s final description of the castle from The Two Towers: “At Helm’s Gate, before the mouth of the Deep, there was a heel of rock thrust outward by the northern cliff. There upon its spur stood high walls of ancient stone, and within them was a lofty tower. … A wall, too, the men of old had made from the Hornburg to the southern cliff, barring the entrance to the gorge…” One can imagine Tolkien pausing in the middle of grading a student’s paper, pondering how the castle wall and mountain valley might have appeared from a distance, both in his mind’s eye and the eyes of his characters.

(2) Cinemablend has a piece about “How Star Trek’s Walter Koenig Found Out He Got the Job” based on an interview he gave to the Whine at 9 podcast. Said Koenig —

They told me it was a very serious character and that I needed to bring a lot of intensity to the role. All the while they had me dressed up in any number of different colored wigs… The most important thing was, after I finished reading this with all this great intensity, they asked me to make it funny and I had to totally reverse on the character, which in no way was part of what was written. It worked, they all laughed and as a consequence I became immediately one of the two people in the running for the role… Finally, the costumer came by, didn’t introduce himself, just asked me to follow him. I went to wardrobe and he dropped to his knees in front of me, put his hand on my crotch. I said, ‘What are you doing, please?’ He said, ‘Well, I have to measure you for a costume, don’t I?’ And that’s how I found out that I became a member of Star Trek.


Walter Koenig

Walter Koenig

(3) Walter Koenig’s own website features all kinds of funny confessions in his Tales From The Lunch Counter.

I phoned Mario at “Two Guys From Italy”.and ordered a turkey sausage pizza. Mario called me “Mr. Star Trek” . My order wasn’t ready when I arrived. In fact, they couldn’t find my name. Then they told me that they didn’t carry turkey sausage. I was getting upset. I asked to speak to Mario. “Mario died ten months ago” I was told. There was a movie called “Gaslight” where the husband tried to drive his wife insane. “God Damn it,” I said, let me talk to Mario!” “God, damn it”, came the reply “Mario is dead and we don’t have turkey sausage!” “Do you know who I am?!”, I shouted. “Some whacko short guy!” came the rejoiner. I grabbed the menu determined to find the turkey sausage. Before I could thumb the pages I saw the name of the restaurant on the cover “Little Tony’s” it said in bold script. I had phoned in my order at one place and had gone to another to pick it up. What an idiot! A waiter came by. “Hey, aren’t you the guy from that Star Trek show?” Not me”, I said lunging for the door.

(4) It’s not explicitly said, but I think Rachel Swirsky may have in mind Ruth A. Johnston’s comments on Superversive SF:

(5) All of the videos Kjell Lindgren recorded for Sasquan are now on the Worldcon website — http://sasquan.org/2015/10/kjell-lindgren-videos/

Unfortunately, when I tried one, it buffered so slowly I abandoned the attempt.

(6) I hope John Scalzi shares a bit more about the con that led to these acrobatics —

John Scalzi makes a dramatic entrance at #nerdconstories2015 @scalzi @nerdconstories #johnscalzi

A video posted by Amber Sweeney (@memyshelfandi) on

(7) I was unable to figure out what anyone is supposed to learn by looking at Christophe Cariou’s Hugo statistics graphs.

(8) Today’s Birthday Boy

October 10, 1924 — Director Ed Wood, Jr. is born in Poughkeepsie, NY.

(9) FUD or a real concern. YOU decide!

There are claims that Gravatar is a privacy risk.

Your email generates a unique Gravatar hash, and allegedly you can be identified by the email you registered with across multiple websites that have Gravatar enabled, even though only the hash, not the email, is displayed.

Thus, people allegedly can learn the hash ID of someone’s email and find out what the person has been saying anonymously on the internet when they register with that address on Gravatar enabled sites.

Plus there is a handy site where you can “check if someone used the email you think they did in a blog comment.” — http://lea.verou.me/demos/gravatar.php

Gravatar says there is provision made for profile privacy.

(10) “You Can Now Download Stephen Hawking’s Voice Software for Free”

The software that Stephen Hawking uses to speak via a synthesized voice on his computer has been released freely on the internet. Its creators, Intel, hope that it can now be used in research to create interfaces that similar sufferers of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can use.

The Assistive Context-Aware Toolkit (ACAT) system has been released on Github, complete with a user guide. It allows researchers to develop communication systems where minimal input is needed. Hawking’s system, for example, relies solely on him moving a muscle in his cheek to type and use his computer. Hawking’s latest system was installed last year, which doubled his typing rate and improved his use of other computer functions by ten times.

(11) The Maryland Historical Society will revive the tradition of the “Poe Toaster”.

The Toaster appeared by Poe’s gravesite every year until 2009. Some speculate that in more recent years the original Toaster’s son took over; others think there have been several Toasters.

Since the last sighting, there had been hope that the Toaster would return, but the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum finally declared that the tradition was no more in 2011.

“We’ve been without one of our interesting characters for four years now, so we thought it would be fun to put a new twist on it and reinvent the tradition,” Caljean said.

The Maryland Historical Society is encouraging artists to submit proposals via email to describe how they would perform the toast. Submissions are due by Oct. 23, and a handful of finalists will be announced on Halloween.

(12) Elsewhere in Maryland today….

(13) Number one on Jalopnik’s list of “The Ten Strangest Space Weapons Ever Developed” is the USAF’s 1956 proposal for a home-grown UFO:

The Lenticular Reentry Vehicle was another U.S. government “black budget” item that never had its time to shine. It was a flying saucer-like spacecraft with the power to start a nuclear World War III. Supposedly, the LRV would be carried atop an Apollo rocket 300 miles into space, then deployed on a six-week voyage of hell-raising doom, armed with four nuclear missiles.

After completing its mission, the LRV would rocket back down to Earth, deploy a multi-stage parachute and touch down on a strategically determined lakebed.

(14) Cartoon Brew has posted a six-minute short, “Giant Robots From Outer Space”–a 2014 graduation film made at Supinfocom Valenciennes by Elsa Lamy, François Guéry, Aurélien Fernandez, Valentin Watrigant, and Louis Ventre.

“In the 1950s, earth is invaded by a mechanical menace. Love emerges between a man, a woman, and a giant robot from outer space. A tribute to classic science fiction and ’50s cinema.”

James H. Burns warns, “There seems to be an odd misogynistic tone, and some other strange stuff, perhaps, but otherwise (!), there is some spectacular stuff here!”

[Thanks to James H. Burns, Will R., Mark, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.]

121 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/10 A Filer on the Deep

  1. Anna Feruglio Dal Dan:

    Apparently there was a con running con too, where one of the panels was entitled “I am not shitting you I was actually there”. I wanted to be there.

    I was there, though more for the fall relaxacon in Minneapolis part than the conrunner part. I did get shanghaied onto a panel on E Pluribus Hugo, though. At 10am on Sunday, no less. Not that I let it stop me from staying up until 4am the night before. I hope I was reasonably coherent. We had a puppy sympathizer on the panel (I thought him reasonably nice though misguided), who quite properly indicated up front that he had bounced off the descriptions and thus didn’t really understand the way EPH worked. He did seem much less worried about unintended side-effects after we explained just how it worked.
    The “No Shit ,There We Were” panel was a hoot. (How do you tell the difference between a fairy tale and a war story? One begins “Once Upon a Time…” and the other begins “No shit, there I was….”) It included the obvious (as in, known to me) tales such as “DripClave” and “The Ooblek In the Bathtub” as well as lesser known (to me) tales such as “The Hentai Incident” and “This is the police calling. We can see your strippers from the highway.”
    A lot of fun.
    Those were the only two panels I attended; like I said, mostly I was there for my typical Minnesota fall relaxacon experience where I talk with old friends and new ones for hours and hours and play far too many tabletop games until way too late in the night. Or morning.

  2. Hampus Eckerman: The only thing I remember Butcher for in the kerpupple is that he told people to leave Irene Gallo alone and accept her apology. Otherwise he was quiet the whole time. He wanted to keep out of everything.

    Um, not exactly. Pretty early on, he expressed what seemed pretty clearly support for the Puppy agenda.

    Lexica: Some people are clearly better able to separate the storyteller from the story than I am… the idea that one might prefer to read (and buy) books written by people who seem congenial, and who aren’t repeatedly ranting against beliefs, qualities, and characteristics that one or one’s loved ones have… seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    Given that Skin Game took me days to read (I normally read a novel in an evening) and I had to force myself to keep picking it up and reading it, because it didn’t stand well on its own, I don’t need any other motivation not to read more of his books.

    But I would agree with you. I don’t “boycott” authors who behave badly; I don’t need to. With Mount File770 being so large that I will die before I ever get close to finishing it (in the past 6 months, I’ve added 2 or 3 books for every 1 I’ve taken off it), I’ve got plenty of well-behaved authors I can read without throwing any of my time or money (or requesting my library to spend money) on assholes.

  3. Cally: It included the obvious tales such as DripClave and The Oobleck In the Bathtub as well as lesser known tales such as “The Hentai Incident” and “This is the police calling. We can see your strippers from the highway.”

    I want you to post these stories, or at least links to them. 😉

  4. JJ:

    I wasn’t there, but boy did I hear about it. And hear about it. And hear about it. It is worthwhile mentioning that the people who caused the problem were not members of the convention, though they were loosely associated with others who were. And that hotel room sprinkler heads are not structurally designed to serve as bondage suspension points. Really.
    The No Shit There We Were story went into a lot more detail than the wiki above, but it covers the essence of it. Though not the waterfalls in the elevator shafts.

    The Ooblek in the Bathtub:

    (Truly, the song really is entirely true except for the last verse. I may or may not be able to aver, from personal experience, that 4 or 5 in the morning on Easter Monday may just possibly be the best of all possible times to Very Very Casually carry full pickle buckets past the front desk of a hotel and out into the far corners of the hotel parking lot without being noticed. And that the presence of dirty white parking lot snow pile remainders can camoflage a multitude of (really quite astoundingly white) sins slime. While the guy in coveralls is fictional, I have heard (not verified for myself) that in a state EPA list of possible toxic waste dump sites for that year there was mention of a white substance (determined nontoxic) found in a hotel parking lot.

  5. Oh yes, and there was a Dramatic Reading of some un-named commenter over on VD’s blog excoriating Jofcon, a convention designed for conrunners to talk to each other about how to make their various conventions better and learn from each other’s good (and bad!) ideas, as being some sort of Terrible Thing because Entryism (and we all said huh? What’s that?) and Social Justice Warriors. Or something. It sounded pretty incoherent as read.
    Though it did prompt a round of “I’m a Social Justice Bard”. “I’m a Social Justice Barbarian”. And my personal favorite, “I’m a Social Justice Gazebo”. (If you don’t know why that’s funny, look here: http://web.archive.org/web/20080804140516/http://www.dreadgazebo.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=8 )

  6. Cally: some un-named commenter over on VD’s blog excoriating Jofcon, a convention designed for conrunners to talk to each other about how to make their various conventions better and learn from each other’s good (and bad!) ideas, as being some sort of Terrible Thing because Entryism

    Oh, FFS. Puppies just have to shit on anything if it isn’t theirs to begin with, don’t they?

    I did find an explanation for The Hentai Incident. No luck with the strippers visible from the highway one, though.

  7. “Sunday morning, a guest in a fourth floor room, in the course of activities of dubious decency — the convention had allowed a bondage group to share its space — broke the ceiling fire sprinkler. It seems it had not occurred to them that a sprinkler head did not make a good place to attach restraints to. “

    I mean… the stupidity of this! These people should keep away from bondage in all ways. I hope I will never see this kind of people in my local dungeon (where there are pipes running around the ceiling everywhere).

  8. Hampus Eckerman: The tweet you link to does exactly the opposite.

    No, it doesn’t. He’s saying that SJWs have made SFF all politicized about race and gender and liberal politics, so why are they surprised that the Puppies are getting politicized about the Hugos in return?

  9. JJ:

    “He’s saying that SJWs have made SFF all politicized about race and gender and liberal politics, so why are they surprised that the Puppies are getting politicized about the Hugos in return?”

    He is not saying anything about SJW:s. There is nothing about gender and liberal politics in his tweet. At all.

  10. Hampus Eckerman: He is not saying anything about SJW:s. There is nothing about gender and liberal politics in his tweet. At all.

    That is what he is saying. I think you are relying on a literal translation of the words, rather than the cultural subtext they contain.

    Would some other people here be willing to weigh in with their reading of this tweet?

  11. JJ:

    I’m just not into inventing a subtext and hope it is true. For me it is simple. He gets asked for a comment and answers with the problems of taking stances on everything. That seems like an argument for not taking a public stance.

    Which btw is exactly what he said to the staff at the SF-bookstore here in Stockholm. That he wanted to keep out of this.

  12. Hampus Eckerman: He gets asked for a comment and answers with the problems of taking stances on everything.

    No, his answer is “If you politicize things, you shouldn’t be surprised when they get politicized back at you.” I am not “inventing” this. That is what he is saying.

  13. JJ:

    I’m sure you find those to be incompatible to be included in the same tweet, but I don’t.

  14. Hampus Eckerman: I’m sure you find those to be incompatible to be included in the same tweet, but I don’t.

    Hampus, he is not “staying out of it” with that tweet. He is pointing a finger at the people who are upset with the Puppies.

    If you choose not to take my word for that, then that’s fine.

  15. @Hampus —

    Take a look at the response to that tweet, from people presumably following his Twitter feed. It really is quite clearly expressing sympathy/support for the Puppies, and placing blame for politicizing things on their opponents, and that’s how his Twitter followers read it.

  16. Lis Carey:

    I read it as random people – perhaps followers, perhaps not – being pissed of at the kerpupple and trying to demand him taking a stance.

  17. I accidentally ate breakfast with Butcher a few years ago at a convention; the hotel restaurant tables were cheek-by-jowl, so our table and his table (2 inches away) ended up in conversation. Maybe 20 minutes into the conversation, we realized we were chatting with the guest of honor…

    He seems to be a nice guy. For whatever that’s worth. He’s definitely an old-school fan who enjoys SF conventions.

  18. Regarding DripClave:
    I’ve got Dave Weingart’s song Idiot! What Were You Thinking!” about that event on one of my filk CDs (Screams of the Vegetables, recorded at the 1998 Worldcon). It was prefaced by Dave telling the audience that the events of the song were, sadly, true.

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