Pixel Scroll 10/23 Gilligan’s File

(1) A sweet new image for science fiction loving dogs!

Cool Corgi Dresses Up As All 13 Doctors From ‘Doctor Who’ —

(2) What brand of cigarettes did Godzilla smoke? I never wondered before. See behind-the-scenes photos from the Japanese movie productions, including the fellow who wore the monster suit taking a smoke break. At Dangerous Minds.

Actor Haruo Nakajima (pictured above) spent nearly 25 years inside the rubber Godzilla suit that he gleefully trampled over mini-Tokyo in for various Godzilla or monster-themed films from the early 50s through the 1970s.

(3) James Lileks’ satire for National Review, “The Twitterverse Strikes Back against the Phantom Menace of Anti-Star Wars Racists!”, begins –

According to my Twitter feed, gullible people are complaining –

I should just stop right there and wrap it up, right? After breaking news like that, where could I possibly go?

…Anyway. If Luke comes out in the new film wearing the Leia slave bikini; if Chewie marries Groot; if Han makes a big speech about how the end of the Empire means they can rebuild the galaxy along the lines of, say, Denmark; if the main villain is named Ben-Ghazi — then you might complain that you’re being Force-fed some political drivel. Even then it wouldn’t matter.

(4) A pretty fancy bookmark. A map of Middle-Earth annotated by J.R.R. Tolkien for illustrator Pauline Baynes is being sold by Blackwell’s for 60,000 reports the Guardian.

A recently discovered map of Middle-earth annotated by JRR Tolkien reveals The Lord of the Rings author’s observation that Hobbiton is on the same latitude as Oxford, and implies that the Italian city of Ravenna could be the inspiration behind the fictional city of Minas Tirith.

The map was found loose in a copy of the acclaimed illustrator Pauline Baynes’ copy of The Lord of the Rings. Baynes had removed the map from another edition of the novel as she began work on her own colour Map of Middle-earth for Tolkien, which would go on to be published by Allen & Unwin in 1970. Tolkien himself had then copiously annotated it in green ink and pencil, with Baynes adding her own notes to the document while she worked.

Blackwell’s, which is currently exhibiting the map in Oxford and selling it for £60,000, called it “an important document, and perhaps the finest piece of Tolkien ephemera to emerge in the last 20 years at least”.

It shows what Blackwell’s called “the exacting nature” of Tolkien’s creative vision: he corrects place names, provides extra ones, and gives Baynes a host of suggestions about the map’s various flora and fauna. Hobbiton, he notes, “ is assumed to be approx at latitude of Oxford”; Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University.

David Doering argues, “I feel that such artifacts need to be in public, not private, hands. This is a critical piece of our cultural history and is of immense value. It should not allowed to disappear into private hands.”

(Fifth 4) John C. Wright explains how “My Elves are Different; Or, Erlkoenig and Appendix N”.

When calculating how to portray the elves in my current writing project (tentatively titled Moths and Cobwebs) I was thinking about Erlkoenig and Appendix N, and (of course!) about GK Chesterton. There is a connected train of thought here, but it meanders through some ox-bows and digressions, so I hope the patient reader enjoys the scenic route of thought.

First, Erlkoenig. I had noticed for some time that there was many a younger reader whose mental picture of the elves (those inhabitants of the Perilous Realm, the Otherworld, whose ways are not our ways) was formed entirely by JRR Tolkien and his imitators. They are basically prelapsarian men: like us in stature and passions, but nobler, older, and not suffering our post-Edenic divorce from the natural world. This is not alien to the older themes and material on which Tolkien drew, but there is alongside this an older and darker version.

(5) Nancy Fulda outlines “What To Expect When You Start An Internet Kerfuffle” for the SFWA Blog.

And so you write a blog post.

It is the most difficult and most magnificent thing you’ve ever written, pure words of truth sucked directly out of your soul. You feel triumphant. Liberated. (Terrified, too, but that doesn’t matter now.) You have said the Thing That Must Be Said, and you have done so with courage and clarity. You click a button, and send your words winging toward humanity.

And then, of course, the internet does what the internet does best.

It starts kerfluffling….

Day 2: Negative feedback.

Your post has reached people with opposing viewpoints. Many of them. Blog posts pop up across the internet, criticizing and often misrepresenting your stance. Angry comments multiply like weeds. Email conversations ensue. You become embroiled in a number of difficult and confrontational exchanges, often with people who seem incapable of understanding what you’re trying to say.

You may get hate mail. Depending on what you’ve said and who you’ve said it to, the content of those emails may be very, very ugly indeed. Your hands are trembling by the time you click the delete button.

By the end of the day, you’re afraid to check your email. Comments are still rolling in, and somehow, even the positive messages only make you more aware of the bad ones. You wonder whether this was all a mistake. At the same time, you can’t stop refreshing your screen. The rest of your life has ground to a screeching halt; deadlines missed, meals skipped, loved ones neglected. Even when you’re not online, your thoughts are spiraling around what’s happened there.

And people are still retweeting your post.

(6) Today’s Birthday Boy

  • October 23, 1942 – Michael Crichton

(7) Last weekend the Iron Hill brewery chain in Pennsylvania offered Harry Potter-themed fare reports Philly.com.

The pub will serve Dumbledore’s Dubbel, a sweet Belgian ale; and Voldermort’s Wrath, a West-Coast style IPA with an intense bitter hop flavor. In addition to the limited brews, a Harry Potter-themed menu will be served for those hungry wizards. Items include:

  • Aunt Petunia’s Mulligatawny Soup
  • Slytherin Smoky Pumpkin Salad
  • Ron’s Corned Beef Toasts
  • Hogwart’s Express Pumpkin Pastry
  • Dumbledore’s Cauldron Beef Stew
  • Butterbeer-Braised Pork Loin
  • Pan-Seared Chinese Fireball (salmon)
  • Mrs. Weasley’s English Toffee Crumble

For the non-beer drinker: Butterbeer and autumn-themed mixed drinks will be available.

(9) Details about J.K. Rowling’s new Harry Potter play are online. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will pick up 19 years after the seventh book, and it will focus on Harry and his youngest son, Albus. Here’s a brief about the plot play’s website:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

(10) Here’s some artwork from the forthcoming production.

(11) The pilot and second episode of Amazon’s original series The Man In The High Castle can be viewed for no-charge here through  11:59 PM PST on Sunday, October 25 in the U.S. and UK.

The season launch of all episodes will be November 20.

(12) Andrew Liptak recalls the history of science fiction in Playboy magazine at Kirkus Reviews.

(13) Alastair Reynolds covers his trip to Russia on Approaching Pavonis Mons.

My wife and I are big on art, and we’d long wanted to visit the Hermitage. I can safely say that it was everything we’d hoped it would be, times about ten, and although we went back for a second day, you could cheerfully spend a month in the place and not see enough.

(14) Zombie George R.R. Martin will soon be on the air:

For all you Z NATION fans out there, and those who aren’t (yet) too, my long-anticipated guest starring role as a rotting corpse is scheduled for the October 30 episode, “The Collector.”

(15) At Teleread Chris Meadows pays tribute to prolific Amazon reviewer Harriet Klausner, who was an important part of the growth of online book sales via Amazon.

Harriet Klausner, at one time one of the most recognizable names on Amazon, passed away on October 15, at the age of 63. Klausner was a speed-reader who was one of the most prolific customer reviewers on Amazon, with over 31,000 reviews to her credit at the time of her death. According to a 2006 Time profile of her, she read an average of 4 to 6 books per day. Although the details of her death were not disclosed, it must have happened fairly quickly—the last review on her Amazon.com reviewer page is dated October 12.

(16) Jonathan R. Eller speaks about Fahrenheit 451 at Wisconsin Lutheran College on October 26.

Eller at wisc luth coll

(17) The wisdom of the Fred!

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Robotech Master, Phil Nichols, Steven H Silver, David Doering, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day the indefatigable Will R.]

423 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/23 Gilligan’s File

  1. Silly But True: Here’s a tool I discovered in searching for an answer to eligibility

    Thanks for pointing to that list. (But bear in mind that that list does not indicate category, and there are a number of novellas, collections, anthologies, and shorter works on there. Also, people appear to have been adding a lot of ineligible and non-SFF works to the list.)

  2. @David Shallcross:

    Though I wonder, if a production of a Shakespeare play won, who would get the rocket. I don’t think it would work to just leave it by his grave in Westminster Abbey.

    Well, he’s buried in Stratford, so Westminster Abbey wouldn’t help, one way or the other.

    I’m assuming the producers, the director and perhaps even someone from that theatre would accept the award if a theatrical production were to win, although I am well aware the chances of a stage play winning are less than slim. I would just like to throw a nomination to a dramatic presentation I really loved and maybe by mentioning it here, plant the idea in other people’s brains that science fiction and fantasy theater pieces do exist. LA has a science fiction festival in the spring with a bunch of short plays by the likes of Neil Gaiman, so… To use a theatrical expression, “Attention must be paid!” Or, you know, it would be lovely if attention were paid.

  3. Between consoling my mother over a death in the family and working to a tight deadline, it’s taking me a while to catch up with the comments. I was quite surprised – and flattered! – to find that I’d made Will R.’s filk!

  4. > “Alas, I think that Cuckoo Song was 2014.”

    It has a 2015 U.S. publication date, which makes it eligible under the rules even though it was published in the UK in 2014.

  5. @Daniel Dern – Those were funny, but this was my favorite:

    The Stainless Steel Hedgehog Has A Harsh Mistress, Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That.

    Thank you for your work!

    Regarding JCW – if he cut his post by 3/4, maybe he could have avoided scratching his Leckie itch for once and could proudly claim to have written a largely-sensible essay about elves in Fantasy, from an angle I don’t normally consider (Christian).

  6. Dumb question: Is it necessary to have a Google account to participate in the guessing game? (I have one, but it’s strictly for Android-related things.)

  7. JJ on October 25, 2015 at 8:17 pm said:

    Silly But True: Here’s a tool I discovered in searching for an answer to eligibility

    Thanks for pointing to that list. (But bear in mind that that list does not indicate category, and there are a number of novellas, collections, anthologies, and shorter works on there. Also, people appear to have been adding a lot of ineligible and non-SFF works to the list.)

    Ooh, yes. You want your list to be a well-curated list.

    Goodreads lists are notorious for people adding self-promo rubbish onto them. They may be an interesting starting point, but I find them not too useful for contemporary fiction.

  8. Downloading the blank spreadsheet worked fine for me; it’s the next step that I’m confused by. Can I translate “share with” as “e-mail to”, or is there some obvious menu option I’m overlooking?

  9. Peace Is My Middle Name: You want your list to be a well-curated list. Goodreads lists are notorious for people adding self-promo rubbish onto them.

    Yes, the self-pubbed authors appear to have found that list now, so I expect its usefulness to deteriorate in 3… 2… 1…

  10. @Petrea Mitchell: At the top right of Google Docs, there’s a blue SHARE button. Click that and put in my email address and you’re done!

  11. Let’s back up to my original question. I used the download option and my filled-out bracket is on a local hard drive, not in Google Docs. For purposes of this exercise, I do not have a Google account. Is it possible to submit the bracket of guesses without a Google account?

  12. @Petréa Mitchell

    Couldn’t you just send it as an attachment to the email address on the instructions if the share button isn’t working for whatever reason?

  13. @Petréa Mitchell

    That was a lot of edits. 🙂 I had a poke around on the spreadsheet but it definitely needs a google account to work on an iPad and I don’t keep my google password on here. Not sure if the same would apply to a desktop, iOS is a bit limited in some ways.

    I would have thought it would still be countable if you emailed it, but it depends on whether it would get forgotten in the intervening period if it was kept separate since there’s quite a time gap. If it could be imported into where the others are being stored, maybe?

  14. Oh well, it’s a moot point now– I won’t be able to get back to the computer between now and 9pm Eastern Time.

  15. @ Mike Glyer, JJ, lurkertype

    (blush) Thanks!

    I just got back from having a wonderful time at the con then spending most of today driving home, so I’m a trifle late to this thread, but your kind words mean a lot to me. Thank you.

  16. @Petrea Mitchell: Email it to me and I will count it.

    Meanwhile, in a couple hours I’ll post the first region! Everyone who expressed a preference on pacing asked for one region at a time. So for Round 1 we’ll do it that way: that’s 8 matches a day. (Modulo overtime games…) For Round 2, I’ll do two regions at once, which is still 8 matches a day. Etc.

    Eight per day seems like a graspable number.

    Now I have to think up clever titles, because I can’t fail our sacred traditions!

  17. As I said, I have not made it back a computer before the deadline. Maybe next time.

    I forgot my frantic attempts at wordsmithing would be e-mailed to everyone with notifications– there’s an idea in there for a covert communication channel…

  18. In my experience the clever titles was by far the hardest part. Of course, I made it harder on myself by creating a bracket with things that were just all over the place.

  19. Pingback: That Woefully Incomplete Sampling of Appendix N | Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

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