Pixel Scroll 10/5 Manic Pixel Dream Scroll

spacesuite-exlarge-169(1) “Should Zurich ever hold a Worldcon, I think we’ve got the GOH’s hotel room,” says Tom Galloway. It’s the Grand Kameha’s Space Suite.

Always dreamed of going to space but never felt cut out for grueling astronaut training?

Soon it’ll be possible to (almost) indulge this fantasy without leaving Earth.

A hotel in Zurich, Switzerland, has just unveiled a new suite kitted out to look like the inside of a space station.

Grand Kameha’s Space Suite comes equipped with a “zero gravity” bed — built to look like it’s floating above the ground — and steam bath designed to simulate a view into the universe.

(2) Tor Books is celebrating 35 years with a new logo.

new tor logoAin’t no mountain high enough?

(3) Author Tom Purdom has been in the hospital since August 5 reports the Broad Street Review

You may know Tom as the author of five acclaimed science fiction novels as well as novelettes that appear in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. More likely you know him as the peripatetic and prolific chronicler of Philadelphia’s diverse classical music groups, whose scene he has covered for this and other publications since 1988. Tom’s relentless curiosity has also blessed BSR readers with thoughtful explorations of countless other topics, from arms control to religion to professional soccer to the growing appeal of older women in his senior years. As the paragraph above suggests, even at 79, Tom retains a youthful appetite for the cultural rewards of urban life and an eagerness to go public with his enthusiasms.

Hit from behind

At least that was the case until last month. Tom’s byline hasn’t appeared in BSR or anywhere else since August 11. Nor is he now living a life that anyone would describe as satisfying. Instead, Tom has spent the past seven weeks in a hospital bed, most of that time with his head held aloft by a neck brace, his arms and body connected to tubes, his lungs fed oxygen from a tank….

On August 5, Tom was enjoying his daily three-mile stroll along Philadelphia’s new Schuylkill River Trail. Behind him on bicycles, unknown to Tom, were a grown woman, a schoolteacher, and her elderly father. The woman, noticing one of her students walking the trail, waved happily and called to her father to share her discovery. The father turned his head and, in his distraction, crashed into Tom from behind.

In an instant, the active life Tom had savored for decades was shut down, at least temporarily. The blow to his back caused spinal injuries; his fall to the pavement caused a concussion, an enormous bump on his forehead, and two black eyes. His diaphragm was paralyzed.

(4) “Pluto’s Big Moon Charon Reveals a Colorful and Violent History” – read about it on the NASA site.

At half the diameter of Pluto, Charon is the largest satellite relative to its planet in the solar system. Many New Horizons scientists expected Charon to be a monotonous, crater-battered world; instead, they’re finding a landscape covered with mountains, canyons, landslides, surface-color variations and more.

“We thought the probability of seeing such interesting features on this satellite of a world at the far edge of our solar system was low,” said Ross Beyer, an affiliate of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging (GGI) team from the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, “but I couldn’t be more delighted with what we see.”

(5) Genevieve Valentine reviews Ancillary Mercy for NPR.

Breq has spent two books trying to bring down the head of the Radch, a galaxy-spanning empire. It’s complicated work (for one thing, the imperial civil war is between cloned iterations of the Empress herself), so it’s just as well for the series that Breq accidentally keeps falling into broken things that need fixing on a more local level: Her devoted lieutenant Seivarden, captaincy of a ship whose human crew has no idea of their leader’s past, a planetary assignment with the expected imperial prejudice, and a space station awash in all the cultural minutiae the Radchaai empire can offer. And luckily for readers, that’s quite a bit.

(6) George R.R. Martin previews his big investment in Santa Fe’s arts scene in “Meow Wolf Roars”.

The House of Eternal Return, long adrift is time and space, is spinning back towards earth and its eventual landing on the south side of Santa Fe… courtesy of the madmen and madwomen of Meow Wolf, the City Different’s wildest artist’s collective.

Remember Silva Lanes? That derelict bowling alley I bought last winter? If not, go back to January and February on this very Not A Blog and read the old posts. Or just Google “Silva Lanes” and my name, and you’ll find plenty of press coverage.

Anyway… work has been proceeding down on the south side ever since. My own construction crew has gutted the remains of the old structure, torn up the parking lot, and has been working day and night to bring everything up to code. Meanwhile, Meow Wolf’s artists have been across the street, making magic… and now they’ve moved in and started the installations. The two construction crews are working side by side.

Meow Roar house

(7) The local papers have also featured the development.

Santa Fe New Mexican – “Meow Wolf banks on returns with ambitious new exhibit”.

Take a kernel from the Children’s Museum, a wrinkle from an Explora science exhibit and a seam from Burning Man, and one has the inceptions of what Meow Wolf is hoping to create in Santa Fe.

But the exhibit that is being developed, designed, programmed, manufactured, cut and cobble together by the arts group in a 35,000 square foot former bowling alley is perhaps unlike what has ever come before.

The House of Eternal Return, an electronics- and sensory-heavy exhibit, will feature a Victorian house with passageways, forests, caves, treehouses, bridges, a light cloud, a sideways bus, an arcade and workship spaces.

As planned, visitors will be primed with lasers, smoke, touch sensors, color, story and fantasy.

Albuquerque Journal – “Meow Wolf’s latest futuristic project bends time and space”.

George R.R. Martin, who bought the old Silva Lanes bowling alley for $750,000 on agreement to lease it to Meow Wolf, is now financing a $1 million to $2 million renovation of the building.

“Meow Wolf’s project is going to be exciting and strange,” Martin said in an email. “It’s something the city has never seen before.

Once open, the fantasy house will allow visitors to touch hundreds of digital connections imbedded in everything from walls and doors to furniture and personal items. Sensors will trigger a range of visiual and audio experiences, providing in many cases elaborate, visual transport to wild places.

(8) I doubt this has changed for all values of “we”….

(9) Everybody needs a hobby. Emily Stoneking’s is making “Cruelty-Free Knit Anatomy Specimens”.

Will R. adds, “The alien autopsy is pretty good.”

Uh, yeah….

(10) Larry Correia responded to a comment on his “Fisking the New York Times’ Modern Man” post —

Well, since I get far more traffic than File 770, somebody must care.

Really? Let’s see what Alexa has to say about that.


  • Global Rank – 140,439


  • Global Rank – 175,887

But in the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you who is way out in front of this race —


  • Global Rank – 78,211

(11) Adam-Troy Castro’s review of Upside Down concludes —

A pretty dumb story partially redeemed by some downright amazing visuals, it’s actually the second best movie where Kirsten Dunst kisses a guy upside down…

(12) Dave Freer starts the week by sharing his opinions about “Cultural appropriation and Political Correctness in writing” at Mad Genius Club.

Enter the newest shibboleth of Arts world (along with 23 sexes) intended to divide and exclude.

Cultural appropriation.

I’m a wicked man because I talked about Yogurt (Turkic) and Matryoshka dolls (Russian) and shibboleth (Hebrew). These words, and a meaning of them have all become quite normal in English, understood, accepted… and maybe not quite what they meant (or still mean) in their root-culture.

But the culture of the permanently offended (the one I adopt nothing from, because yes, I consider it inferior, and overdue for the scrapheap of history.) has discovered it as a new and valuable thing to… you guessed it!… Be offended by. Demand reparations for the terrible damage done. Exclusivity even. Heaven help you if you’re not gay, and write about something that could be considered gay culture, or Aboriginal, or Inuit or quite possibly of sex number 23 (is that the one where you identify as coffee table?). Contrariwise, you are to be utterly condemned, pilloried, attacked, decried as a sexist, racist, homophobic misogynist if you don’t include all the possible groups (including number 23) in your books, in the prescribed stereotype roles.

(13) Do not be confused by the last post – the following movie is not a documentary. “’No Men Beyond This Point’ Sci-Fi Comedy Lands At Samuel Goldwyn”.

Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired worldwide rights (excluding Canada) to writer-director Mark Sawers’ sci-fi comedy satire No Men Beyond This Point, which just had its North American premiere in the Vanguard section at the Toronto Film Festival. The pic is set in a world where women no longer need men in order to reproduce and are no longer giving birth to male babies, leaving the male population on the verge of extinction. A 2016 release is in the works.

(14) Today’s Birthday Boy –

1952 – Clive Barker

(15) Apex Magazine publisher Jason Sizemore has announced a significant change to the magazine’s publication model. Subscribers will continue to get the new eBook edition delivered via email or to their Kindle account on the first Tuesday of each month. While Apex Magazine’s content will still be available as a free read, instead of posting the entire issue’s contents on that first Tuesday, they will be released over the course of the month.

Example: On the first Tuesday of the month, the entire issue becomes available to our subscribers (and to those who pay $2.99 for our nicely formatted eBook edition through Apex or our other vendors). That day, we will only post one of that issue’s short stories. One Wednesday, we will publish one poem, and on Thursday we will publish a nonfiction piece. A week later on the following Tuesday, we will repeat the cycle.

We at Apex Magazine feel like this is an ideal situation for our readers and our administrators. It rewards subscribers further with early access to content. It also allows us to focus on each contributing author singularly each week on the website. Readers win, authors win, subscribers win, and Apex Magazine wins!

(16) Councilmember Mike Bonin represents the 11th District in the city of Los Angeles. And the councilman says he has “the best collection of Justice Society of America action figures in all of Los Angeles.”

[Thanks to Steven H Silver, Will R., James H. Burns, JJ, Tom Galloway, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

284 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/5 Manic Pixel Dream Scroll

  1. A Distant Soil, Colleen Doran
    Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
    Hark! A Vagrant, Kate Beaton
    Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh
    Narbonic, Shaenon Garrity
    Smile, Raina Telgemeir
    The Spirit, Will Eisner and various (But I agree that A Contract With God is better)

  2. Hark, A Vagrant!
    Hyperbole and a Half
    Bloom County (original and 2015 — has SFnal content!)
    Captain Marvel (McConnick)
    Ms. Marvel (Wilson)
    The Spirit
    Did I mention Bloom County?

  3. Captain Marvel, Kelly Sue DeConnick and various
    Hark! A Vagrant, Kate Beaton
    Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson and various
    Oglaf, Trudy Cooper and Doug Bayne

  4. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage (it got +1’d, it counts!)
    Hyperbole and a Half
    Hark, A Vagrant
    (Also comments about Gail Simone still stand)

    (I could probably have just… Copy and pasted my other comment instead, huh.)

  5. All the Things! Wait, no.

    Empowered, Adam Warren
    Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
    Hark! A Vagrant, Kate Beaton
    Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh
    Narbonic, Shaenon Garrity
    Relish, Lucy Knisley
    Smile, Raina Telgemeir
    The Spirit, Will Eisner and various

    *MOST* of the things. Sigh. The perils of being widely read and liking a lot of things. And going back and striking Oglaf off the list, although the (SFW) take on The Boy Who Cried Wolf will probably stick with me forever.

    Did I Err?

  6. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
    Hark! A Vagrant, Kate Beaton
    Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh
    Narbonic, Shaenon Garrity

  7. One of the best things about Oglaf is how much variety there is in character design despite a fairly simple art style (plus, super diverse). So, so NSFW (I tried to recommend it to a friend once and it was blocked in his country – had to wait until term time started again and he was in the UK) and the quality can be a little uneven, but one of my favourites nonetheless. I only dream of mainstream superhero comics having characters as easy to tell apart when not in costume. I’ve pencilled it in for my Hugo noms and I doubt it will get shifted off unless comics have a very good year indeed.

    The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage has the Hugo noms top spot reserved in ink, of course. 😉

  8. > “(Also comments about Gail Simone still stand)”

    (Come to think of it, didn’t three or four people suggest Gail Simone stuff for this before the voting started? Is she not on the list because some of that was “anything by Gail Simone” rather than something specific?)

  9. @Ultragotha: Keep those in mind, absolutely. Nominations will work a bit differently for the TV brackets than they have for previous brackets, and won’t open until after the comics tournament is done, but I certainly encourage people to remind each other of TV shows they loved. Things slip one’s mind!

  10. TV shows we’ve loved: do ghost stories count as close-enough? If so, I want to recommend Slings and Arrows. (Wow, that trailer does an excellent job of hiding how delightful the show is. If you’ve ever been closely involved with theatre, it’ll be either dangerously funny or too painfully close to the bone.)

  11. If anybody mentioned anything specific by Gail Simone, I missed it when I was going back through the thread. I am NOT going to look at her entire bibliography and choose. (Similarly, someone else mentioned “something by [name of someone I’ve never heard of]”, and likewise, pick something.)

    Apologies for being peevish, it’s late and I got so involved with my Alchemists game at board game night that I neglected to eat dinner.

  12. Okay, the voters have spoken fairly clearly.

    Captain Marvel, Kelly Sue DeConnick and various 7
    A Distant Soil, Colleen Doran 7
    Empowered, Adam Warren 2
    Fun Home, Alison Bechdel 13
    Hark! A Vagrant, Kate Beaton 14
    Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh 13
    Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson and various 16
    Narbonic, Shaenon Garrity 6
    Oglaf, Trudy Cooper and Doug Bayne 9
    Relish, Lucy Knisley 1
    Smile, Raina Telgemeir 2
    The Spirit, Will Eisner and various 11
    Tamara Drewe, Posy Simmonds 3
    Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage 4

    (Technically all of those numbers should be 1 higher than they are; I didn’t bother to count Kurt’s everything vote.)

    So the winners are Fun Home, Hark! A Vagrant, Hyperbole and a Half, and Ms. Marvel.

    Sorry, tyg.

    The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage was handicapped by being a write-in and not on the original list, but based on these results I doubt it would have beaten the winners even if it had been. (Obviously we’ll never know for sure.)

    I’m going to take the suggestion of having round 2 be 18 categories instead of 16, rather than doing 4 3-ways; so round 3 will be 9 categories, and round 4 will be 3 categories plus one 3-way.

  13. I will heartily second the recommendation of SLINGS & ARROWS. Great show.

    And since he didn’t count my votes, I think I now have to curse David’s soap dish as well.

  14. Eisner left out of the brackets. One of the great masters and most accomplished artists in the history of comics. This is a dark, dark day. 🙁

    He should have been the winner instead for his “A Contract with God”.

  15. @Kurt: Ha! I don’t own a soap dish!

    I have new bracket pairings, but coming up with category names is going to take some time. Maybe inspiration will come to me in my sleep. With luck, next round starts tomorrow afternoon.

    Spoiler alert: there’s going to be moaning and wailing. Remember that having your picks go up against Calvin and Hobbes and Sandman is what you all were just fighting for.

    (…and I predict that some of you are going to doubt that the pairings were random. I promise you that they were.)

  16. Ah well. My real aim is Getting Lovelace and Babbage On Everyone’s Hugo Nom Longlist, and I still have time for that! *cunning plan pose*

  17. Simone’s Secret Six was mentioned a couple of times, but ah well. I understand how easy it is to miss things like that on these threads. And I seriously doubt it would have had the support that the winners did anyway — I don’t think it’s as widely known as DeConnick’s Captain Marvel or Oglaf or some of the other works that didn’t win — so most likely no difference there.

    Thanks for being open to making additions to the bracket.

  18. I think I’m missing something about Ms Marvel. I thought it was cute and fun, and I’m happy to have the hard copies on my shelf, but it doesn’t really wow me.

  19. Ms Marvel is a big surprise for me. Basically, it is a clone of Steve Ditkos Speedball – a comic that was forgotten almost at once. It has acceptable, but irritating artwork. A story that has been done a hundred times before. Stupid villains that again are mostly irritating. It was a giant “Meh”.

    Don’t think it would even reach a top 2000 for me. I voted it below No Award in the Hugos.

  20. David Goldfarb on October 8, 2015 at 11:08 pm said:
    … I’m going to take the suggestion of having round 2 be 18 categories instead of 16, rather than doing 4 3-ways; so round 3 will be 9 categories, and round 4 will be 3 categories plus one 3-way.

    I was told there would be no math.

  21. @Hampus and Meredith: I feel similarly about Ms. Marvel, which is why it wasn’t on the bracket originally. But clearly there are people to whom it speaks strongly.

  22. >> Ha! I don’t own a soap dish! >>

    Or at least, have no memory of owning one any longer, leaving it free to mutate and grow deadly in privacy.

    The cure is clever. The curse is versatile.

  23. Round two is now posted here.

    Looking back over the thread, btw, I should say that I’m a lot closer to Meredith than to Hampus, in re Ms. Marvel – I like it, but it doesn’t blow me away.

  24. Something I’m curious about relative to Ms. Marvel, which I’m hoping the more-knowledgeable folks here may be able to shed light on. I’m not all that familiar with comics and graphic novels and I think this may be a graphic novel convention or trope that I’m not recognizing.

    There’s a thing I noticed where, when a scene is zoomed out far enough (the one I’m remembering is showing the front of the comic shop (? I am Sieve-Brain Girl in some respects)) and the art does this thing where figures are drawn fairly reasonably but faces get reduced down to essentially a smiley face. Somehow that hits a button for me that’s along the lines of “nope” or “not for me”. (Honestly not trying to sound snarky or dismissive, and I apologize if it comes off that way.)

    Is that a stylistic convention that I just don’t recognize, or is it just that artist’s style? If there’s some background to it, I’d love to know about it.

  25. @Lexica

    It isn’t something I specifically recall noticing, but now that you mention it an awful lot of the zoomed out people shots that I can remember show people from behind… Details often get sketchier the further away they are (although some artists are more fond of detail than others, and I suspect the nature of the deadline is often what dictates that), so perhaps some artists embrace the sketch face and others find ways not to draw it?

    (With Ms Marvel specifically, I think the sketch face was semi-anime-influenced, but I might be wrong! My copies are in the same room as a sleeping partner at the moment so I can’t double-check.)

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