Pixel Scroll 10/30/16 Now When Them Pixel Scrolls Get Rotten, You Can’t Tick Very Much Cotton

(1) A GAME THAT WILL MAKE YOU TINGLE. Jamoche brings to everyone’s attention Zoe Quinn’s crowdfunding appeal, Kickstarted in the Butt: A Chuck Tingle Digital Adventure:

Zoe Quinn is making a game inspired by Chuck Tingle: Project Tingler [True Name Concealed Until Release to Protect From Dark Magics] is a brilliant blend of classic adventure games, dating sims, and the world of Amazon Kindle Sensation and Hugo Award Nominee Dr. Chuck Tingle (Space Raptor Butt Invasion; Slammed in the Butthole by My Concept of Linear Time; Pounded in the Butt by My Hugo Award Loss) from game developer Zoë Quinn (Depression Quest; Framed; Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow’s Walk), to be released on computrons of the PC/Mac variety in early 2017.

In case you wondered, they say the game’s visuals will be restrained —

GET TINGLED BY OUR CUSTOM SMUT! The very nature of the Tingleverse is The Rawest of Graphic Sensualities, but players who aren’t down with visual depictions of sexual content needn’t fear. While we’re working with video and real actors (the cast will most certainly SURPRISE and AMAZE you), there won’t be explicit footage of people taking a trip to bonetown. Our salacious scenes are literary in nature and read aloud by talented performers, intended to pound the most sexual of your organs…Your imagination.

To date she has raised $36,958 of the $69,420 goal, with 16 days to go.

(2) FRENCH WORLCON BID. Here’s a video of the Worldcon in France presentation at Utopiales yesterday. Hint: It’s not in English.

(3) FILLION. At Digital Trends, “Nathan Fillion on ‘Firefly,’ mastering selfies, and living the Con life”.

How big a fan boy were you growing up?

There were things that I really enjoyed. I lived half an hour from school. I got out at 3:30 and my favorite show, Gilligan’s Island, started at 4:00. Because in the winter time that little tropical island was the only reprieve I had from the snow. But you had to haul ass to make that trip in a half an hour. You had to move. You couldn’t walk or you’d miss half the show. So it was a half hour run to get home to see Gilligan’s Island at 4:00. That was a big deal to me. We didn’t have access back then the way people have access now. People can get online and see when someone’s going to be in their city. The convention circuit is huge now. But it wasn’t a big deal back then. People weren’t connected the way they are now. And on top of all that you can just get online and say, “Hey, what’s Bob Denver thinking about today?” If Bob Denver had a Twitter, I’d know what he was doing.

(4) SFWA AND INDIE. Cat Rambo’s hometown paper published an interview with a great photo of her: “Science fiction author Cat Rambo helps expand genre”.

With changes in who writers are and where they’re from, there’s also changes in how people are reading science fiction. Traditional publishers are nervous when it comes to e-books, but that is where quite a bit of the market is going, Rambo says. A year and a half ago, SFWA voted to allow in independent publishers that meet certain criteria. The organization can help increase awareness for lesser-known authors.

“I think self-publishing will become more and more accessible,” she says. “The biggest issue those authors have is discoverability. Once you have more gatekeepers saying what’s good, it gets easier.”

She reads an extremely high number of books each month — somewhere between 50 and 100 — and about 80 percent of those are e-books. That doesn’t mean print books don’t have a future, though. Print books can continue to push the boundary of the definition of a book, Rambo says. The can blend books and games, for instance, or expand what a book looks like through changing fonts, how words appear or what’s included in a text.

(5) HALLOWEEN READING. Cat Rambo has posted a free story suitable for the holiday, “The Silent Familiar”.

The Wizard Niccolo was not happy. At the age of 183 — youthful for a wizard, but improbable for an ordinary human — he had thought certain things well out of his life. Sudden changes in his daily routine were one. And romance was another – even if it was his familiar’s romance, and not his own.

(6) FERTILITY. And, says Cat, put in a link to Will Kaufman’s “October’s Son” in Lightspeed Magazine, perfectly timed for Halloween and also free to read.

No excerpt, which would give away the story, so let me quote from Arley Sorg’s interview with Kaufman in the same issue:

This piece is full of surprises and frank, unsettling images, which is part of what makes it so effective. To me, it never goes too far or becomes gratuitous. What, for you, are the benefits and the hazards, or perhaps the challenges, of surprise and shock?

In a short story, visceral imagery can be a great tool. Short stories don’t give the writer a lot of time to work a wedge into the reader’s brain so you can split it open and fiddle around inside. A solid visceral image is a very fast, effective way to do that. Reading is often portrayed as an intellectual activity, but it can also be very bodily. Nothing reminds people of that, or grounds them in their bodies and short-wires the defenses that separate mind from body, quite like a little body horror.


(7) BEFORE THEY WROTE FOR TZ: MeTV says there are “8 books any fan of The Twilight Zone should read”, such as —

Richard Matheson – ‘Nightmare At 20,000 Feet: Horror Stories By Richard Matheson’

In his introduction, Stephen King describes Matheson’s influence on the horror genre in the 1950s as “a bolt of pure ozone lightning.” The master also confesses that without Matheson, he “wouldn’t be around.” This modern collection largely draws from the 1950s, with some 1960s shorts thrown in as well, keeping it contemporary with Twilight Zone. Matheson was the mind behind other classic episodes like “Third from the Sun,” “Nick of Time,” “The Invaders,” “Night Call” and more.

(8) CREATING THE CREATOR. What happened to Rod Serling before TZ also has a lot to do with why he created the series: “The psychological trauma that Rod Serling suffered after WW2 inspired him to creat ‘The Twilight Zone’”.

In his senior year of high school, he was interested in joining the military, enlisting after graduation. He served as a U.S. army paratrooper and demolition specialist with the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 11th Airborne Division.

His military service was a turning point in his life and influenced much of his writing, experiencing combat for the first time in November 1944 on the Philippine island of Leyte. When he was discharged in 1946, Serling had earned the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Philippine Liberation Medal.

Nightmares and flashbacks of his wartime experiences haunted Serling constantly once he returned. One particular event while serving in World War II would dramatically change his life and writings….


  • October 30, 1938 — Orson Welles triggered a national panic with a realistic radio dramatization of a Martian invasion, based on H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds.” The wire service news story about the event began —

NEW YORK, Oct. 30, 1938 (UP) — Residents of New Jersey fled their homes tonight, squad cars and ambulances roared through Newark and newspaper and press association offices throughout the country were besieged with telephone calls demanding to know about “a meteor which fell in New Jersey.”

The uproar resulted from a radio dramatization of H.G. Wells’ novel, “The War of the Worlds,” in which the arrival of men from Mars upon earth at first is believed to be a meteor shower.


(10) NOVELLA DISCUSSION ON REDDIT. Reddit user jddennis has created a subreddit for people to discuss SFF novellas: https://www.reddit.com/r/Spec_Fic_Novella_Club/

The first two being discussed are:

The Warren by Brian Evenson <https://www.reddit.com/r/Spec_Fic_Novella_Club/comments/5a1ciw/discussion_the_warren_by_brian_evenson/> and

Folding Beijing by Jingfang Hao <https://www.reddit.com/r/Spec_Fic_Novella_Club/comments/5a1c5b/discussion_folding_beijing_by_jingfang_hao/>.

(11) ROCKS. Brad R. Torgersen has an excellent column on the importance of persistence to a writer —  “It takes a lot of rocks to get to the candy” — at Mad Genius Club.

My wife and I coordinated our Halloween costumes this year, to correspond with It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! She’s Lucy, complete with red witch hat and green witch mask; both custom-made — my wife is just talented as hell like that. My outfit, on the other hand, is far simpler: Charlie Brown — to include the white sheet with way too many eye holes. A family friend commented to me (tonight, at the local ward party) that all I needed to complete my portion, was a football, and a paper sack filled with rocks.

I’ve use the sack-full-of-rocks analogy before, to describe what it’s like being an aspiring author….

Yeah, I get it. No sane person gets a sack full of rocks every single year, and doesn’t experience moments of severe doubt. I was getting ready to throw in the towel by 2005 — after over a dozen years of rejection — when my wife said to me, “If you let this dream go, you have to replace it with an equal or better dream.” I ultimately couldn’t do that, because I couldn’t turn off the story-generator in my head. Even if my storytelling chops weren’t yet good enough to take what was happening in my head, and smoothly translate it to words. So I redoubled my effort. And I switched up my style. Moving from third-person to first-person — especially for short stories — was a huge win for me. Uncomfortable as hell, at first. But it was the necessary move that helped me bump my short work into entry-level professional territory. So that by 2010 I had stuff under contract, with more on the way, and a bona fide career was launched.

And because I still had all those sacks filled with rocks, I could look at them and relish the (then, new) candy suddenly being thrown my way….

(12) AWARD FANAC. Jugger Grimrod continues “The Hugo Conversation (Hugo Awards 2016)” at silence is a weapon.

Once I started thinking about Fandom in these terms, it occurred to me that voting on awards is just as much a Fan activity as any of those others. Voting, in this case, doesn’t just mean checking boxes and clicking submit on a form, it means the whole process: researching potential candidates, nominating, reviewing and ranking nominees, presenting the awards, celebrating the winners, and examining all of the voting statistics afterwards. Different voters may emphasize different parts of the process, but they all put time and effort into it, just like Fans of other activities.

So when we talk about a Fan-voted award, we aren’t talking about a random sampling of Fans from across Fandom. We aren’t talking about a group that was selected on some basis, they aren’t necessarily more knowledgeable than anyone else and they don’t have an agenda to push. The core Voter Fan group is unified only by the fact that they enjoy participating in awards. They don’t make up the whole voter population, there will also be occasional participants who are either trying it to see if they enjoy it, or they joined the group for some other reason and they’re voting just because they can, or because they do have a particular story, author or agenda to push (obviously this has been an issue recently). So Voter Fandom doesn’t automatically control the outcome of any particular vote, but they’re usually going to be an influential voice in the proceedings.

This explains why a relatively small group of Fans determines the outcome of some major awards. It’s just not an activity that attracts a big crowd….

(13) THESE ARE THE JOKES, FOLKS. The New York Post reveals “Mel Brooks’ hilarious secrets behind the making of ‘Young Frankenstein’”.

Mel’s mother was funnier than he is.

Mel was 5 years old in 1931 when he saw Boris Karloff in “Frankenstein.” He was so terrified he asked his mother, Kate, if he could sleep with the window by the fire escape closed in their Brooklyn apartment. It was 90 degrees outside, but Mel thought the monster would come through the window and eat him.

His mother thought for a moment and said, “The monster lives in Romania . . . Romania is not near the ocean. He’s going to have to go a long way to get to a boat. Then he has to have money to pay for his passage. He may not have any money if he is just a monster. He may not have pockets. Let’s say he gets a boat to America. The boat may go to Miami. But if it goes to New York and he gets off, he doesn’t know the subway system. Let’s say he gets to Brooklyn. He doesn’t know our street. Let’s say he does find our street. The people on the first floor have their window open. If he’s hungry, he is going to eat who’s ever on the first floor.”

(14) PEN PAL. Camestros Felapton becomes a story doctor in “Tmothy and the publishing delay”.

“Never mind all that – I need you to think of an ending for my book.” grumbled the cat, who now sat on his haunches in front of the specially cat-adapted keyboard.

“Your book?” I asked. Timothy’s book? I had announced Timothy’s book some weeks ago and it was originally going to be a domestic drama called the “Confusing Walrus” based on unsubtle plagiarism of a John Scalzi space-opera, which had led to some excitement among Timothy’s inexplicable following. The capricious cat had then forced me to retract that announcement because the supposedly “finished” book was now going to be a cook-book called the “Collapsing Souffle”.

[Thanks to JJ, Gregory N. Hullender, John King Tarpinian, Cat Rambo, and Jamoche for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day RedWombat.]

54 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/30/16 Now When Them Pixel Scrolls Get Rotten, You Can’t Tick Very Much Cotton

  1. One more ticky….

    Pixel rain, pixel rain
    I only wanted to see you
    Scrolling in the pixel rain

  2. (7) The list left off the book that Ray Bradbury gave to Rod Serling as a way of suggesting the types of story telling styles that TZ should have, “Fancies and Goodnights” by John Collier. Ray loved this book so much that he wrote the introduction for a reissue.

  3. (12) Hells to the yeah.

    It’s a lot of freaking work to read stories/books/graphic novels, watch TV/Netflix/movies, keep track of the ones you think are award worthy, recommend/not recommend, and take note of other people’s recommendations. Not everybody wants to do that. So, of necessity, the Hugos (and I suppose the Locus Awards and now, maybe to a lesser degree, the Dragon Awards) are self-selected to the subset of fandom that is willing to do this. (I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it, but let’s not pretend it’s easy.)

    Which is one of the reasons why we’re so pissed when Mr Beale comes steamrolling in with his slate and wipes out all our months of honest, hard work.

  4. That’s why I zero in on the Short Form Editor and the short story categories, with maybe a nod to novels if I had time.

    I’m glad *my* category was relatively ignored this year by the puppies

  5. (12) AWARD FANAC. Jugger Grimrod: Supporters say that [the Hugo Awards] represents all fans

    Who says that? Citations, please.

    However, most of the rest of what they say is spot-on, especially this:

    “Voter Fandom” works as a label, but I think what this group is really doing is having a conversation about stories. The various voting processes serve to impose some structure on the conversation: at first everything is fair game, then when nominees are announced the focus shifts to the merits of those particular stories, and when the final vote is called it signals time to move on to next year’s batch of stories. This is part of what sets the Hugo awards apart, in particular. Certainly their history and prestige are part of the attraction, but for Voter Fans, the Hugo process stimulates the conversation more than any award I’m aware of…

    The conversation explains why Voter Fans don’t like slates and similar manipulations. Even well-intentioned slates disrupt the flow of the conversation, and malicious slates purposely derail it. They try to shoehorn their stories into the conversation instead of letting it happen organically.

    Beautifully said.

    I’m not sure where they got the bizarre idea that the Hugo Awards might get cancelled, though. They’ve probably been reading Puppy wish-fulfilment screeds.


    “To date she has raised $36,958 of the $69,420 goal, with 16 days to go.”

    If everyone who was secretly Chuck Tingle at MAC2 puts in 10 dollars, this should be an easy goal to fulfill.

  7. (14) “Tmothy and the publishing delay”
    Yeah, I’ve been wondering about that … with Camestros keeping track of changes to Vainopedia, and Timothy keeping track of non-changes at the Dragon Award website, does anyone in Felapton Towers have time left to work on the second fifth volume of “There Will Be Walrus”?

    Oh god. Just as I posted this I noticed a new announcement:

  8. 9) Welles
    A fun bit for me is the fact that the setting of the story itself is a science fiction piece.

    The broadcast was on 10/30/1938, but the opening words say “In the 39th year of the twentieth century came the great disillusionment. Near the End of October. Business was better. The war scare was over…”

    So the actual setting of the story of the Martian invasion is a year in the future of the date of the broadcast. And, as it would turn out, a world where WWII didn’t start on 9/1/1939, and the Depression was easing.

  9. Off topic and reaching back about a month and a half: I’m trying to find the link to the poem that was a response to the debate about trying to pick up women wearing headphones — specifically a response to the complaint about men being told they just couldn’t talk to women anymore. Fabulous, funny poem.

  10. The thought of Bob Denver on Twitter is quite charming.

    And somewhere out there (on the past internet that wasn’t) there would be Maynard G. Krebs/Gilligan slash fiction.

    Oh, who am I kidding. There probably is now.

  11. 1) Wait, what? Zoë Quinn did “Betrayal at House on the Hill”?? I love that game… (For some reason I’d thought that Quinn was a video-game designer. That’ll teach me about making assumptions.) I had a lot of respect for her just on her sheer ability to stand up against the trolls… but this adds a whole addition layer of professional respect. I, erm, might have to help fund the kickstarter now….

  12. @Cassy B.

    Zoe Quinn didn’t do “Betrayal at House on the Hill” – it came out in 2004 when she was just 17. However there is a recent expansion which has a haunt written by Quinn (and another one by Anita Sarkeesian). I will leave the resulting furore among certain parts of the internet to your imagination.

  13. Hey gang! Life has been intense and I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to browse the filings.

    BUT in honour of Ann Leckie’s recent-ish foray into Burmese tea leaf salad, here is a photo of what I think is Ancillary Justice’s first Myanmar sales location, in the new Yangon airport terminal bookstore, alongside a not unreasonable (though rather male-skewed) selection of other sci fi hits. Also a picture of the teamix aisle because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Elsewhere in unsolicited news, I’m reading the Dark Forest by Liu Cixin and I pretty much hate it and all its weird infantilising misogyny. So maybe I won’t be reading it much longer. Closed and Common Orbit seems like a good alternative.

  14. andyl, hey, if she wrote a haunt for the expansion, that’s still a win! (Haven’t seen the expansion yet; hope to be playing it very soon. If nothing else; surely someone will have it at Windycon in a couple of weeks..)

  15. Here’s a comic for a quick read on Halloween.

    I’ve been going through my unread manga backlog looking for something appropriate for the holiday. Currently reading Voynich Hotel, When I finish that, I’ll probably jump into Franken Fran.

    Other Halloween recommendations:

    One my absolute favorite manga series is The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. You can read the first 29 chapters here. (Which only takes you into volume 6–up to volume 14 has been printed in English. It is up to volume 21 in Japan.)

    Of course, almost anyone familiar with horror and manga is already going to know Junji Ito, but just in case, here’s a brief taste.

    (My usual go-to place for reading manga, mangapark.me with it’s full chapter per page, is down for the moment (hopefully not forever) so you’ll have to use your own resources for links. I might make a few more reccs later, after I browse my archives some more.)

  16. @7: that’s a very … eclectic … list. I certainly wouldn’t recommend Logan’s Run to anyone who isn’t looking for every bit of prose that every TZ writer ever wrote; I thought it was bunk when it came out and haven’t seen a plausible argument that it was worth rereading. But it’s interesting that a mundane writer managed some good touches of strange — a bit like Western writer Oliver Lafarge coming up with “Spud and Cochise”

    @Paul Weimer: the Depression had been easing for several years — not nearly enough for the people ground up by it, but certainly enough that any overview from the mid-30’s onward would say “business is better”. How much better it would have continued to be in the U.S. without the massive jump caused by entering World War II is something we’ll never know.

  17. I have been a bit dense but after actually paying attention rather than writing jokey blog posts, I did finally notice what had changed on the Dragon Awards website.

    They changed the eligibility period post from April (which is still dated to then) with the NEW eligibility period for next years awards.
    “Works released between 7/1/2016 and 6/30/2017 are eligible for this year’s awards.”

    OK it says “this year’s awards” but I’m assuming they mean NEXT years awards, which are totally happening although you may have to hire a private detective to find out how to nominate.

  18. So I’ve done some browsing of my collections, and I see mangapark is back in action, so a few more Halloween reads. Not a lot of details since they can speak for themselves and I’m being lazy.

    Hyakki Yakoushou by Ima Ichiko.
    Homunculus by Yamamoto Hideo.
    Portus by Abe Jun.
    The Chronicles of the Clueless Age by various.
    Hell Baby by Hino Hideshi. (Also by Hino, Lullabies From Hell, but no Mangapark link.)

    There’s no shortage of vampire-themed manga, but my favorite is Blood Alone by Takano Masayuki.

    Most of the (excellent) works of Kei Toume have a dark or supernatural tone to them. For a short serial with a somewhat lighter supernatural tone, try Acony.

    (She has a great long-running non-supernatural series called Yesterday o Utatte/Sing Yesterday For Me, which has finished serialization but the last few chapters haven’t been translated. Thanks to compiling this list I see that a new chapter has finally been posted 4 days ago after literally more than a year!)

    Also take a look at anything by Kago Shintaro, but especially Dream Toy Factory (Yume no Omocha Koujo.) This is part horror and part “What the hell did I just read? Seriously, what the hell did I just read? No, seriously, dude, what the fuck?”

    Finally, to bring this around to a SF theme, I’ll add two “space aliens invade and result in kids way too young doing various unsavory things” series, Alien 9 and Narutaru.

  19. @Kip W wrote:

    Tickin’ up the pixels
    Bits and pixels

    Scrolling bibliographies
    Print and e-technology
    Magic in the scroll

    Not how teacher said to read
    Politics and epic deeds
    Nuts and nuggets and–
    Nuts and nuggets–

    Ain’t it keen?
    Its fascinating,
    So much to read!
    So much to read–

    On my shelf and on my screen
    Why won’t people read my ‘zine
    pay attention

  20. Camestros Felapton: I have been a bit dense but after actually paying attention rather than writing jokey blog posts, I did finally notice what had changed on the Dragon Awards website. They changed the eligibility period post from April (which is still dated to then) with the NEW eligibility period for next years awards.

    That’s so bizarre. I’ve never seen a website alter their Press Releases after-the-fact — normally they just issue a new Press Release with the updated information.

    I really have to wonder just how much DragonCon doesn’t have their ducks in a row. Clearly whoever’s maintaining their website has no clue what they’re doing.

  21. Chip Hitchcock: Yeah, I read the Logan’s Run trilogy (or maybe just the first two books) several years ago. As bad as the movie is—aside from a sigh to Jenny Agutter—the books were worse.

  22. JJ on October 31, 2016 at 2:25 pm said:

    I really have to wonder just how much DragonCon doesn’t have their ducks in a row. Clearly whoever’s maintaining their website has no clue what they’re doing.

    And, just before October draws to an end…

    Nominations are OPEN http://application.dragoncon.org/dc_fan_awards_nominations.php

    Clearly, Timothy repeatedly scratching at the door making whining noises worked.

    [Cue unscrupulous plug] Obviously, having a POSITIVE MENTAL WALRUS MINDSET MIND *makes* things happen. If you just will it hard enough, mountains will move and Dragon Award nominations open.

  23. I rather liked Logan’s Run; the disjointed style might look a bit dated now, but it’s got a lot of energy to it, moving the story from set-piece to set-piece pretty effectively. It’s also a self-consciously alienating thing, I think, constantly reminding the reader that this is a new and very different world. Yeah, it’s screamingly Sixties, but the Sixties weren’t all bad…. I wouldn’t rate the book as perfect, or as a neglected classic or something, but I enjoyed reading it and I think it’s got its good points.

    (The sequels, and the film, and the TV series, can eff right off, though.)

  24. @cora That’s a fantastic idea! Chocolate always tastes a bit disappointing first thing in the morning anyway. (sure you can eat it later but my self control hasn’t really progressed much since the age of 7 so…)

  25. @Cassy B: “Betrayal” is one of my favorite games! We played with the expansion for the first time this past weekend; the scenario was a take on “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which was amusing for the three of us four who were familiar with it.

    @Cora: A tea Advent calendar seem like a wonderful thing to me! 😀

  26. At at least one Convergence I’ve been to, there’s a been a panel on big cons in the Twin Cities, and it’s not clear where a Worldcon could be held. The Radishtree barely holds Convergence, about 6K attendees, and because of the i494 / Hwy 100 cloverleaf, all of the overflow hotels are not within walking distance except for the Sheraton, and they probably don’t have a large enough space for the Hugo Awards ceremony. Downtown might work, but then every hotel is at least a block away from the convention center, and it has all of the usual disadvantages of where to host consuite and party rooms because of the usual convention center rules. I think St. Paul has even more limitations with their hotels. Some wag suggested we crowdfund our own hotel.

    I’ll have to add it to my calendar so I can see what Emily and group are thinking.

  27. @Bill

    While that’s true about the 00 vs 01, Professor Pierson near the end of the episode talks about seeing 1939 cars in the showrooms in New York as he is exploring the city. And the whole “the war scare was over” was definitely NOT in evidence in October 1938 at the time of the broadcast, since tensions were running real high (part of the reason why a fake newscast about Martians had an outsized effect). So I still think it was meant to be set in October 1939.

  28. @Paul: Professor Pierson near the end of the episode talks about seeing 1939 cars in the showrooms in New York. We now see year N cars as early as August of N-1; when did the automobile model year start slipping?

  29. @Paul, Chip — I just found a 27 Oct 1938 newspaper article (Bridgewater NJ Courier-News) that said an Oldsmobile dealer had just received the new 1939 model year cars. It’s behind a paywall, so I can’t link.

    Seeing the 1939 model year cars in Oct 1938 is noteworthy, and thus appropriate to comment about; it doesn’t really make sense to do so in Oct 1939.

    As far as “war scare is over”, the Munich Agreement had been signed on 30 Sept 1938, and many hoped it would lessen the possibilities of war. This may have been the source of the comment.

    I don’t know enough about Welles’s politics to say whether he would have seen the appeasement of Hitler as a good thing, or not (but he certainly was involved in some leftist theater).

  30. Granted, given the Model year slipping, there is an argument to be made for October 1938 on that score…but I think that Pierson was just happy to see cars of any sort.

    And even given that, the whole “the war scare was over” in the beginning monologue is certainly not contemporary to what people were feeling in 1938, given what happened to Czechoslovakia just in that last month. Thus, I still think its meant to be October 1939.

  31. If we had closely read the link, we’d have known when it was set. Orson Welles says

    It started off with music and then I made a speech, supposedly in 1939, saying that as I looked back I never dreamed that such things existed as had actually come before my sight. Then there was a jazz band playing and it was interrupted by bulletins announcing the arrival of the Martians-huge creatures that crawled around shooting death rays, and so forth.

    And from a AP wire service article from Nov 1, following up on the reaction to the broadcast,

    [Welles] said there were four reasons why he believe listeners should have been aware the whole thing was a fantasy.

    “First,” he said, “the date of the fanciful invasion of this planet by Martians was clearly given as 1939 and was so announced at the very outset of the broadcast.”

    So Paul is correct.

    Here is a transcript of the show.

  32. Interesting to know; I hadn’t read that particular response. (Welles was not above changing the past, but usually not so immediately.)

    Aside from the ambiguities we’ve picked on, Houseman’s autobiography suggests why Welles’s they-should-have-known isn’t true. The Mercury Theater of the Air was relatively new and didn’t have any major names (Welles was beginning to be respected in NYC theater but not much known elsewhere); it had enough listeners to be continued after a trial — but the continuation was opposite Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, which had a 34.7% share vs 3.6 for Mercury just before this broadcast. However, more would have tuned in late due to dial-spinning when Bergen handed off to much less-popular performer; the immediacy of the narration, and the skill of the actors (one of whom listened to recordings of the Hindenberg reportage to get the right reaction for when the Martians start killing) convinced many listeners — although I’ve also read that the reports of mass panic were exaggerated.

  33. @Chip I learned a lot about the broadcast, and some of the invented mythology around it, from a Radiolab episode on it (which was taped live here in Minneapolis, I am sorry I wasn’t in attendance!).

    For those who like such things, the HP Lovecraft Society DART episode “Dagon: War of Worlds” is inspired not only by a couple of Lovecraft stories, but also the Welles broadcast. There are a few bits of phraseology lifted directly out of WOTW, and it even has Raymond Racquello and his Orchestra doing a number…

  34. That issue of Broadcasting Magazine also has the reason actress Gale Storm used that name — it was selected in advance to be given to the winner of an American Idol-style contest, no matter which girl won! (pg. 34) Her future husband was the male winner and got his name assigned too. Also, the FCC told a complainer that they didn’t have the power to prevent stations from broadcasting Bach music in swing style (p.49). And near the end, the lament of how all this violent programming was bad for our children… or is it?

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