Pixel Scroll 10/14/16 The Pixels, My Friend, Are Scrollin’ In The Wind

(1) BEYOND ELDRITCH. Jason Sanford revisits a controversial writer, distinguishing between Lovecraft’s his ideas and personal beliefs: “Disturbed by Lovecraft, whose racism and hate weren’t merely a product of his times”.

Some Lovecraft fans complain about such re-examinations of Lovecraft’s racism, believing it is an attempt to remove Lovecraft from his place in the genre he helped build. But this view is nonsense. Lovecraft’s influence on dark fantasy and horror isn’t going to disappear merely because people are aware of the troubling aspects of his life and writing.

No, Lovecraft’s legacy is secure because of all the authors and creators who took his ideas and ran with them. Most people are able to appreciate Lovecraft’s influence on horror and dark fantasy while also acknowledging the negative aspects of his life and work.

(2) EATING THE FANTASTIC. All aboard for another of Scott Edelman’s Eating the Fantastic podcasts — “Adam-Troy Castro is NOT faster than a speeding locomotive”.

When it came time for dinner at Fiorella’s Jack Stack, we were given the choice of a table either in the main dining room or out on the patio, and because I was afraid the loud music combined with the conversation of other customers would create an ambient noise you’d find distracting, I decided we should eat al fresco … not realizing there were railroad tracks nearby, which meant an occasional locomotive would pass. But don’t worry—I think you’ll find the result more amusing than annoying, especially when (as you’ll hear) one overly loud engine caused my guest and me to break into song.

My guest this episode is Hugo, Nebula, and Stoker Award nominated writer Adam-Troy Castro. Adam has published more than 100 short stories, some of which I was privileged to buy back when I edited Science Fiction Age magazine, plus a story someone else had the honor of purchasing—my all-time favorite zombie story.

We talked about the epiphany caused by his first viewing of Night of the Living Dead, how he handled a heckler during his early days doing stand-up comedy, the history behind the novel he almost wrote spinning off from the classic TV show The Prisoner, and much more. We even, for reasons you will learn, had cause to sing a few bars of the Johnny Cash classic “Folsom Prison Blues.”


(3) OUR NEXT NOBEL LAUREATE? Gabrielle Bellot tells “Why Calvin and Hobbes Is Great Literature”.

Calvin and Hobbes feels so inventive because it is: the strips take us to new planets, to parodies of film noir, to the Cretaceous period, to encounters with aliens in American suburbs and bicycles coming to life and reality itself being revised into Cubist art. Calvin and Hobbes ponder whether or not life and art have any meaning—often while careening off the edge of a cliff on a wagon or sled. At times, the strip simply abandons panels or dialogue altogether, using black and white space and wordless narrative in fascinating ways. Like Alice, Calvin shrinks in one sequence, becoming tiny enough to transport himself on a passing house fly; in another, he grows larger than the planet itself. In “Nauseous Nocturne,” a poem in The Essential Calvin and Hobbes that reads faintly like a parody of Poe, Watterson treats us to lovely art and to absurd yet brilliant lines like “Oh, blood-red eyes and tentacles! / Throbbing, pulsing ventricles! Mucus-oozing pores and frightful claws! / Worse, in terms of outright scariness, / Are the suckers multifarious / That grab and force you in its mighty jaws”; the “disgusting aberration” “demonstrates defenestration” at the sight of Hobbes. In one gloriously profane strip, Calvin even becomes an ancient, vengeful god who attempts to sacrifice humanity. Nothing, except perhaps the beauty of imagination, is sacred here. Watterson dissolves the boundaries of highbrow and lowbrow art. The comic’s freedom is confined—it’s not totally random—yet the depths it can go to feel fathomless all the same. Few other strips allow themselves such vastness.


  • October 14, 1926 — A.A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh” was published.
  • October 14, 1947 — Chuck Yeager flew the friendly skies at Mach 1. He landed, and on the way home got some AC-Delco auto parts for a weekend project on Glennis’s chevy

(5) POTUS PICKS SCI-FI. WIRED Magazine published President Obama’s list of essential sci-fi TV and films.

Beyond telling a story, science fiction should make you think deeply. To that end, WIRED guest editor President Obama offers this list of essential films and TV shows that will expand your mind. His selections include groundbreaking classics and contemporary hits, each taking you to the farthest reaches of the galaxy and the depths of the human psyche.

(6) AN UNGRATEFUL MEDIA REACTS. io9 wasted no time in declaring the list lame:

People may disagree on Barack Obama’s accomplishments or the legacy he will leave when he exits the Oval Office, but there’s one way he has truly earned the nickname “Obummer”—and that’s in his list of what he considers essential scifi viewing.

It’s not that Obama’s list of seven scifi films and TV series—which he revealed as part of that special Wired issue he guest-edited—is wrong. Far from it! It’s just so… boring.

(7) SCARY CLOWN NEWS. The Hollywood Reporter has a story called “Man Dressed as Batman is Chasing Off Frightening Clowns in North England”, which is about some British guys telling kids not to be terrified of random clowns walking in the neighbo(u)rhood.

There is an issue with people dressing up and frightening people in England, but they pissed off the wrong person: Batman.

Someone in Cumbria, in North West England, has been chasing off those dressed as clowns in the hopes of making children feel safe, The Telegraph reported.

A photo of Batman in action and a video surfaced of the British Caped Crusader telling kids it’s safe.

A group calling itself Cumbria Superheroes is behind the effort. According to The Telegraph, the group didn’t form to act as vigilantes so much as to reassure children there is nothing to be scared of concerning the clowns.

“As for you clowns, if you want to scare someone, why don’t you try and scare me,” the man dressed as Batman says in a video posted to Facebook.

(8) GENERIC WIZARD. What John King Tarpinian likes to call the “Barry Spotter Costume” coincidentally looks a little like a copyrighted character, but presumably costs a lot less.


(9) PROOF OF LOVECRAFT’S CONTINUING INFLUENCE. I don’t know if this is enough to satisfy S. T. Joshi that Lovecraft’s ideas still permeate the culture, but you can’t beat the price. The Inflatable Cthulhu Arm is only $8.99 from Archie McPhee.

  • One vinyl inflatable tentacle
  • Tentacle is 3′ long & 7″ diameter when inflated
  • Better than a normal arm
  • Makes your arm unspeakably horrible

(10) BIG BANG THEORY LEGO. From Lego Idea to product in a year – the Big Bang Theory Lego set costs $59.99.

Indulge your inner genius and build this LEGO® version of Leonard and Sheldon’s living room as seen in the hit American sitcom The Big Bang Theory! This set was created by two LEGO fan designers—Ellen Kooijman from Sweden and Glen Bricker from the USA—and selected by LEGO Ideas members. Featuring loads of authentic details to satisfy all The Big Bang Theory devotees and including minifigures of all seven main characters from the show, it’s ideal for display or role-play fun. Includes 7 minifigures with assorted accessory elements: Leonard, Sheldon, Penny, Howard, Raj, Amy and Bernadette.


(11) SAILOR MOON REANIMATED. Crunchyroll tells how the “Sailor Moon” Fan Project Returns to Remake Full Episode with Over 300 Animators.

It’s been a little over two years since the first Moon Animate Make-Up Sailor Moon fan project debuted, but now a sequel is here with even more fan participation. The second crowd-sourced group animation project has over 300 animators coming together to re-animate season 2, episode 68 of the classic Sailor Moon anime, “Protect Chibi-Usa: Clash of the Ten Warriors!”

Contributors cracked away at their respective shots from October 2015 to July 2016, and you can see the wide variety of styles on display in the finished episode below.


[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Steven H Silver, JJ, Bill, John King Tarpinian, Dawn Incognito, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Rob.]

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70 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/14/16 The Pixels, My Friend, Are Scrollin’ In The Wind

  1. Joshua K: Yet another advantage for “Hidden Figures” — the year “Apollo 13” was nominated (1996) the Best Dramatic category had yet to be divided. TV episodes were also nominated (and Babylon 5 won). Now five movies (or other “long” works) have a category to themselves.

  2. @KR: Thanks for your comments! I read a few more reviews and I’m going to let it percolate overnight; it sounds like I’ll probably like it once I get more into it.

    @All: Hey, another ebook sale! Fellside by M.R. Carey (Orbit; DRM) is $1.99 in the U.S. at the usual places. I loved The Girl With All the Gifts, so it’s time for me to read this sample ASAP. 🙂

    ETA: Weird, I know I had Fellside on my list somewhere, but I don’t see it now. ::downloads sample anyway::

  3. Peter J: It seems that Ken Liu’s Dandelion Dynasty novels are coming to the big screen, according to this piece in Variety.

    There has been a huge rash of optioning of SFF novels and series in the wake of the explosive popularity of A Game of Thrones. It will be interesting to see how many of them actually get made (and how well).

  4. Scroll along the pixel tower
    Filers kept the view
    While all the SMOFs came and went
    Techno-peasants, too
    Outside, in the distance
    An angry troll did growl
    Two puppies were approaching
    The wind began to howl

  5. If “An Adventure in Space and Time” and “Apollo 13” could be nominated and the actual moon landing could win in Best Dramatic Presentation, I don’t see why “Hidden Figures” should be ineligible. Besides, the trailers look good.

  6. @Mike Glyer: technically true, but once Star Trek went under there was very little on the tube worth nominating and not nearly as many plausible nominees altogether. Even if the Puppies don’t try to swamp Hidden Figures with blow-em-up movies, it will have stiff competition.

    @Cora: the 1970 Hugo Award went to the TV coverage, not the moon landing itself. I would certainly call showing it in real time dramatic — especially when they had to find the one signal that compensated for the upside-down external camera on the LEM.

  7. Chip Hitchcock: Well, before anybody worries about what the puppies will nominate, they should probably wait and see if “Hidden Figures” is actually Hugo-worthy.

  8. @David Langford: I greatly enjoyed ‘Thog’s Masterclass’ there. A particularly good? selection this issue.

    Moving “Hidden Figures” up for limited Oscar-worthy release is a sign that someone thinks it’s good. Does limited release qualify it as a 2016 movie? It’s usually a week in NYC and LA, which means very few Hugo voters are going to see it before 2017.

  9. lurkertype: Good point. A couple years ago we discussed a similar issue about Predestination, which was later voted an extension of eligibility by the business meeting.

  10. 1972. Dylan. Gold.
    (Actually, Chris Guest for National Lampoon’s Radio Dinner LP, and some recent fan attached video to it.)
    Anyway, here’s the record deal of the 20th century: GOLDEN PROTEST:

  11. lurkertype on October 15, 2016 at 9:28 pm said (re Ansible 351): @David Langford: I greatly enjoyed ‘Thog’s Masterclass’ there. A particularly good? selection this issue.

    Thanks! Thog is always hungry for material, and submissions are welcome from anyone who finds these perfect little coprolites in their genre reading.

  12. There seem to be at least two cases in which WSFS has legalised something after it happened, the other being Best Related Work, which was changed from simple Best Non-Fiction Book to the more complex ‘if fictional, noteworthy…’ criterion after Diana Wynne Jones’ Tough Guide to Fantasyland was a finalist.

  13. Ive unlocked the Archievement of naming (sortof) a scroll, and I nearly missed it (Boardgamecon in Essen)! Happy now 🙂

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