Pixel Scroll 10/9/16 I’ve Come To Chew Pixels And Kick Scrolls. And I’m All Out of Pixels.

Ursula Le Guin. Photo by Eileen Gunn.

Ursula Le Guin. Photo by Eileen Gunn.

(1) AT THE BORDER. Zoë Carpenter argues “Ursula Le Guin Has Stopped Writing Fiction – But We Need Her More Than Ever” in a profile of the author for The Nation.

…Always a writer from “the margins,” Le Guin is now writing from life’s edge. “It’s very hard to write about being old. We don’t have the vocabulary. It’s the way a lot of women felt when they realized they had to write about being women and didn’t have the vocabulary,” she told me. We were in her living room, with its comfortable chairs and the window looking north past an old redwood tree to Mount St. Helens. Pard, her green-eyed cat, stretched on a scarlet carpet nearby. Le Guin feels a duty “to try to report from the frontier,” but it’s very difficult, and mysterious. “You are definitely approaching the borderland. Borderlands are weird places.”

Poetry fits this particular edge best, and so, at the end of her career, Le Guin is returning to the form that began it: “bones words / pot-shards / all go back,” she writes in “Earthenware,” from her collection Late in the Day, released in December 2015. She lingers on spoons, a pestle, and other homely objects; returns to the landscapes that have “soaked into me,” as she described it; and examines her own precarious position. If there are stories she hasn’t had time to tell, she keeps them to herself. From “The Games”: “I’m not sorry, now all’s said and done / to lie here by myself with nowhere to run, / in quiet, in this immense dark place.” While we were talking, a clock began to strike. The timepiece, a gift from Charles, is beautiful and old. Le Guin listened, counting the chimes. It rang out precisely. “Bless her old heart,” she said, and blew the clock a kiss.

(2) GENRE MAP. 60 Black Women in Horror Fiction by Sumiko Paulson. It consists of an alphabetical listing of the women with biographies, photos, and web addresses, as well as interviews with nine of these women. The material in this book was originally published on www.SumikoSaulson.com.

(3) FAN HISTORY. Carl Slaughter says — look for it in 2017.

“An Informal History of the Hugos, 1953-2000”

by Jo Walton

Tor

The Hugo Awards, named after pioneer science-fiction publisher Hugo Gernsback, and voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Society, have been given out since 1953. They are widely considered the most prestigious award in science fiction.

Between 2010 and 2013, Jo Walton wrote a series of posts for Tor.com, surveying the Hugo finalists and winners from the award’s inception up to the year 2000. Her contention was that each year’s full set of finalists generally tells a meaningful story about the state of science fiction at that time.

Walton’s cheerfully opinionated and vastly well-informed posts provoked valuable conversation among the field’s historians. Now these posts, lightly revised, have been gathered into this book, along with a small selection of the comments posted by SF luminaries such as Rich Horton, Gardner Dozois, and the late David G. Hartwell.

Engaged, passionate, and consistently entertaining, this is a book for the many who enjoyed Walton’s previous collection of writing from Tor.com, the Locus Award-winning What Makes This Book So Great.

(4) NYCC COSTUME PHOTOS. The Gothamist has more than a hundred photos of people in costume at the New York Comic Con on Saturday.

(5) IMAGINATION PLEASE. Dr. Mauser decided it’s his turn to voice these worn canards, in ”Papers Please”.

The Publishing elite and the other SJW’s in the writing and fandom industries are insisting that the ethnicity of a writer is important. That white writers are writing too many white characters, and should include more diversity in the characters in their stories, while at the same time accusing them of cultural appropriation if they do, as well as somehow stealing opportunities for non-white authors in the process. They are unable to see the contradiction between these two demands, as they only have the attention span to focus on one at a time – the memory of one is forgotten by the time they switch to the other – whichever one they need to employ against the target-du-jour.

They seem to think that minority readers can’t possibly enjoy a story unless it has a main character who “looks like them,” and they blame this for declining readership in a demographic that has never had a particularly high reading rate historically (instead of blaming, say, inferior schools and cultural influences against reading).

Clearly this MUST be true, because lord knows, not being a female, tawny-furred, Hani completely prevented me from enjoying all of the Chanur books I could get my hands on….

(6) FROM THE SCREEN TO THE STAGE. Steve Vertlieb considers Crown City Theater’s production of a venerable horror classic in “Nosferatu: A New Chord For ‘A Symphony of Horror’”.

Every generation has its incarnation of the vampire mythos – DARK SHADOWS, TWILIGHT, TRUE BLOOD and more. But it all cinematically began with F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent movie masterpiece NOSFERATU. Now, ninety-four years after its inception, North Hollywood’s Crown City Theater Company has unleashed an astonishing live stage presentation entitled NOSFERATU: A SYMPHONY IN TERROR. Film historian Steve Vertlieb takes us aboard a dark yet wonderful cinematic time machine, delving into the creation of Murnau’s seminal horror film, examining it’s influence on generations (from Lugosi and Lee, to SALEM’S LOT, HARRY POTTER and more), then reviews the startling new stage presentation. Happy Halloween!

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born October 9, 1964 – Guillermo Del Toro.

(8) HELL NO. ScreenRant received the bad news in person: “Ron Perlman Says Hellboy 3 Is Shelves Indefinitely”

Screen Rant sat down with Perlman at a roundtable interview for his latest collaboration with Del Toro, Trollhunters, which will hit Netflix in December. We took the opportunity to ask the genre icon if his recent reunion with the esteemed auteur meant the adored duo were any closer to making Hellboy 3 a reality. But unfortunately, instead of an update, Perlman admitted, “We don’t talk about that anymore.”

Pressed for why, Perlman said, “Because he’s busy, and I’m busy. Maybe one day he’s going to call and say, ‘Hey, let’s do it.’ But for right now? We’re happy discovering new worlds to conquer.”

(9) DC REVISITS 60s VERSIONS OF CHARACTERS. From CinemaBlend. Fifty years was not too long to wait, was it?

DC Comics has officially announced that Adam West‘s Batman and Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman will meet one another in an upcoming issue of Batman ’66. Although the above tweet does not provide any real insight into the narrative ramifications of the interaction between the two characters, the artworks shows Wonder Woman deflecting gunshots with her Bracelets of Submission while Batman takes cover behind a shield. It’s camp at its finest, but these two characters are clearly going to get into some serious trouble. Readers will just have to find out for themselves when the issue hits shelves in January.

(10) IS THIS LEAP YEAR OR JUMP YEAR? Don’t tell him I agreed with him…

(11) TAKE A DEEP BREATH. GeoScienceWorld has a line on “Sulfur-oxidizing bacteria prior to the Great Oxidation Event from the 2.52 Ga Gamohaan Formation of South Africa”.

Morphologically these fossils are similar to Proterozoic and Phanerozoic acritarchs and to certain Archean fossils interpreted as possible cyanobacteria. However, their exceptionally large size, simple cell wall microstructure, and paleoecological setting, as well as multiple sulfur isotope systematics of pyrite within the unit, suggest that the Gamohaan Formation fossils were sulfur-oxidizing bacteria similar to those of the modern genus Thiomargarita, organisms that live in anoxic and sulfidic deepwater settings. These are the oldest reported fossil sulfur bacteria and reveal a diversity of life and ecosystems, previously only interpreted from geochemical proxies, just prior to the Great Oxidation Event, a time of major atmospheric evolution.

(12) PONY UP. There are 8 days left in the Strange Horizons 2016 Fund Drive. Help keep them going for another year. Maybe 2017 will be the year they include James Davis Nicoll in their report on diversity in reviewing!

Our annual fund drive is underway! We’re aiming to raise $15,000 to fund Strange Horizons in 2017, and a bit more than that for some special projects. You can make a one-time donation via PayPal or NetworkForGood, or support on an ongoing basis via Patreon—all donors are entered into our prize draw, and various other rewards are also available (and in the US your donations are tax-deductible). As an additional thank-you to donors, as we raise money we’re publishing extra material from our fund drive special issue. We’ve just published new poems by Margaret Wack and Karin Lowachee, and when we reach $9,000, we’ll publish a round-table on Manjula Padmanabhan’s SF novels!

Special Patreon goal! In addition to the main fund drive special, if our Patreon reaches 300 supporters, as a preview of Samovar, we will publish Lawrence Schimel’s translation of “Terpsichore”, a story by Argentinian writer Teresa P. Mira de Echeverría. Read a bit more about it here.

(13) SHE HAS A LITTLE LIST. Ann Leckie does for Twitter what Standback did for the FIle 770 comment section earlier today.

(14) A DIFFERENT TURING TEST. The BBC has the first verified music played by a computer.

The earliest known recording of music produced by a computer – a machine operated by Alan Turing, no less – has finally been made to sound exactly as it did 65 years ago.

It’s hardly chart-topping material. The performance is halting and the tone reedy.

It starts with a few bars of the national anthem, then a burst of Baa Baa Black Sheep, followed by a truncated rendition of Glenn Miller’s swing hit In The Mood. (“The machine’s obviously not in the mood,” an engineer can be heard remarking when it stops mid-way.)

Chip Hitchcock comments, “As a musician, the first question I had on hearing this was whether the clear attack (sounding a bit like a glottal stop) at the start of each note was deliberate or an artifact of the equipment; I’m used to unprocessed electronic music not having even that bit of flavor.”

(15) THE DRAMATURGES OF MARS. Did you know Orson Welles met H.G. Wells? This is a recording of their appearance together.

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Andrew Porter, Cat Eldridge, David K.M. Klaus, Carl Slaughter, and John King Tarpininian for some of these stories Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Nigel.]

78 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/9/16 I’ve Come To Chew Pixels And Kick Scrolls. And I’m All Out of Pixels.

  1. (1) AT THE BORDER. Zoë Carpenter argues “Ursula Le Guin Has Stopped Writing Fiction – But We Need Her More Than Ever” in a profile of the author for The Nation.

    Though she’s quit writing, theres a splendid two volume, sixteen hundred page collection of short stories and novellas out later this month on Saga Press. It’s a really impressive collection.

  2. Sacrificial fourth.

    Reading? Kinda stalled. Watching Revolutionary Girl Utena. I believe I’ve just begun the third story arc and it’s…strange.

  3. @ Cat Eldridge:

    Those Saga Press books look extremely good. I’ll have to pick them up. Thanks!

  4. (3) FAN HISTORY.
    I learned much while being entertained by the tor.com posts* Jo Walton did on the Hugo nominees by year, so I’m glad they are getting collected into a book. In this instance, reading the comments added to the experience as various well-informed fans including big-name editors took part in the conversations.

    *The linked index page isn’t complete (only goes up to 1972), but if you have a look around the site, you’ll find the other posts up to 2000.

  5. (3) FAN HISTORY. – Not my typical sort of thing, but I really liked her series of posts on this on Tor.com, and the comments were interesting too (Gardner Dozois wandering in to share goss was particularly fun)

    (4) NYCC COSTUME PHOTOS. – “… people in costume…” Heh.

    (5) IMAGINATION PLEASE. – Ooh look, tired response to strawman arguments. ::yawn::

    (10) IS THIS LEAP YEAR OR JUMP YEAR? – I’m sure he already knows….

  6. (5) IMAGINATION PLEASE.

    Hahaha… not going to be stupid enough to click on yet another tired, pathetic strawdog argument.

    I’ve never figured out whether they think they’re fooling people with these irrational screeds, or if they really genuinely believe they’ve articulated some brilliant piece of logic, and don’t realize that they’re actually demonstrating the reasoning skills of a not-terribly-bright 3-year-old.

  7. I’m back from CapClave. It was great once again – I saw a lot of old friends and met a few new ones. If I missed you while I was there, I’m sorry, and I’ll try to catch you next year.

  8. (1) yay for Pard mention — but no note of his splendid tuxedo. Other than that, it’s a great article/interview.

    (5) Racist sexist says what? (I used equal quality logic and rhetoric, see?)

    (12) How much money would we have to give to get them to pay attention to JDN?

    (13) Very good.

    (14-15) Nifty keen.

  9. (15) I wish that had been a longer conversation — the two men seemed to be genuinely enjoying each others’ company. I never heard HG’s voice before; not at all what I expected.

  10. Jemisin’s latest New York Times column is out. She reviews 4 books:

    Behind The Throne by K.B. Wagers
    Pretty Deadly, Vol. 2 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos
    Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle
    The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp

  11. (3) Sounds very interesting. @Soon Lee – thanks for the helpful link!

    (5) Weirdly enough, the comments over there assume the SJWs (presumably, that includes 99% of Filers) can’t even comprehend the claims put forth in that post. From reading a lot of Dr. Mauser over the past few years, I’ve come to the conclusion he is sincere in his faith in the worldview with which he is comfortable, and completely unable to process any evidence that runs contrary to it.

  12. Been working my way through Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Phonogram over the last week or so; dense layered graphic art with an intriguing take on magic (somewhat akin to that used by Ferrett Steinmetz in his Flux books). Magic is obsession with music, with lyrics spells and fanzines grimoires.

    It’s a magic that’s also inconsequential to all but it’s practitioners, quickly lost in the morass of life in modern Britain, and drowned out by the noise of everyday life. You need to be peculiarly obsessed to be a phonomancer…

    Three collections: Rue Britannia (a phonomancer must save or kill the spirit of britpop), Singles Club (one night, one club, several phonomancer lives), and The Immaterial Girl (the death and birth of a coven in 80’s videos).

    Highly recommended, a take on modern magic that’s really rather unique.

  13. Read the first few entries in Walton’s series, and saw this one, for 1959, the first year there was a nominee list:

    SF OR FANTASY MOVIE

    no award
    The Fly (1958)
    Horror of Dracula
    The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad

    and later…

    NEW AUTHOR OF 1958

    no award
    Brian W. Aldiss (ran highest but lost to “no award”)
    Paul Ash
    Pauline Ashwell
    Rosel George Brown
    Louis Charbonneau
    Kit Reed

    THEY BURNED DOWN THE HUGOS! In 1959!

    ETA: I guess at least now we have a definitive date when the Hugos went all SJW. And it was nearly 60 years ago.

  14. I also note that with regards to Phonogram the third collection, The Immaterial Girl came out in March 2016, so will be eligible for the Hugos this nominating season…

  15. @Bartimaeus: Yay, Jemisin is reading what I’m reading – well, one book, anyway. It was a near thing, but she liked it, too! To continue this non-trend, she should next read what I just finished, of course. 😉 What is that? I’m happy to pretend you asked!

    I just finished Fluency by Jennifer Foehner Wells in the wee hours this morning, and it was great! I stayed up late a few nights reading it and finished it very quickly (for me, anyway) because I was hooked pretty early on! It starts as a “big dumb object” SF novel which may or may not be inhabited, then takes a few turns and messes with the protagonist’s mind (and thus, mine) here and there on the way. I didn’t expect action, but I got that, too.

    I started the sequel – read the sample on the plane home. Odd name: Remanence–uh. I just Google’d and it’s a real word, whatdya know. Anyway, I’m reading that now – rare for me to actually read the sequel directly after reading a book I liked a lot. I’m too easily distracted, but my desire for certain types of SF right now is upping my reading-to-not-reading ratio nicely.

    Many thanks to Wells for publishing without DRM. I had to buy the Kindle ebook (ugh; she only does that platform), but no DRM-stripping needed to convert it to EPUB so I could read it in iBooks.

    And many thanks to @JJ for eons and eons ago talking up this book. BTW @JJ if you weren’t aware, she’s also starting another series in the same universe.

  16. I’m not interested in this, but there are some of you who may be interested for yourselves or your offspring who are now parents:

    Win a Trip for 3 to New Mexico
    – 3-night Wellness Exploration package at Sunrise Springs Spa Resort
    – $1,200 for flights
    – 15 great reads for baby and mom

    T&C include residence in the U.S., and a willingness to be subscribed for *shudder* the mailing lists of Refinery29, Babylist, and Bookmom.

    *sorry Meredith, there appear to be no dragons involved, well, maybe baby dragons

  17. Kathodus:
    BEST NEW AUTHOR OF 1958

    No Award
    Brian W. Aldiss (ran highest but lost to “no award”)
    Paul Ash
    Pauline Ashwell (Paul Ash was one of her pseudonyms; she was also a Novelette finalist in this year, and she later scored a couple of Nebula nominations)
    Rosel George Brown
    Louis Charbonneau
    Kit Reed (recipient of numerous subsequent award nominations)

    The only author I’ve read on this list to date is Kit Reed — and wow, can she write. Just between her and Brian Aldiss, all I can say is that the voters should probably feel a bit embarrassed about this one.

  18. Simon Bisson on October 9, 2016 at 10:35 pm said:
    Been working my way through Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Phonogram over the last week or so; dense layered graphic art with an intriguing take on magic (somewhat akin to that used by Ferrett Steinmetz in his Flux books). Magic is obsession with music, with lyrics spells and fanzines grimoires.

    It’s a magic that’s also inconsequential to all but it’s practitioners, quickly lost in the morass of life in modern Britain, and drowned out by the noise of everyday life. You need to be peculiarly obsessed to be a phonomancer…

    Three collections: Rue Britannia (a phonomancer must save or kill the spirit of britpop), Singles Club (one night, one club, several phonomancer lives), and The Immaterial Girl (the death and birth of a coven in 80’s videos).

    Highly recommended, a take on modern magic that’s really rather unique.

    I’ve read Rue Britannia and Singles Club and thought that they were excellent. I’ll have to get round to Immaterial Girl shortly.

    With Phonomancer and The Wicked + The Divine, Gillen and McKelvie are right up there for me as some of the most interesting creators around.

  19. Regarding (11): In case it’s unclear, as it well might be, “2.52 Ga” in the article title is an abbreviation for “2.52 billion years ago” (with the G representing giga-). In the linked article abstract, “billion years” is abbreviated in a confusingly different style (“The first 2 b.y. of Earth’s history…”) I’m no geoscientist, just an editor.

  20. @Dawn Incognito: Watching Revolutionary Girl Utena. I believe I’ve just begun the third story arc and it’s…strange.

    Stranger and darker than the first two, which is saying something. I tend to read it all in terms of Gnosticism, but there’s no shortage of readings available.

    (The film is wonderful, by the way, if you didn’t already know that. Not at all coherent but the imagery is beautiful and it has the right ending.)

  21. 11) How about 46 years? DC’s been doing Batman ’66 for around four or so years now, and Wonder Woman ’77 for at least a year. The team-up’s new, but DC’s use of the versions isn’t. As a side note, the previous regular Batman ’66 book has pretty much been replaced by series of team-up mini-series. So far, we’ve seen the Dynamic Duo meet The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (60s version) and Steed & Mrs. Peel. They also had a special where Len Wein fleshed out Harlan Ellison’s done during the show’s original run treatment for a Batman episode with Two-Face.

    Also, today (Monday the 10th) is when there’ll be a one night movie theater run of Return of the Caped Crusaders, an animation with the voices of Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar, as well as William Shatner voicing Two-Face. Check your local listings or Fathom Events for whether its showing in a theater near you.

  22. @Simon Bisson It’s a magic that’s also inconsequential to all but it’s practitioners, quickly lost in the morass of life in modern Britain, and drowned out by the noise of everyday life. You need to be peculiarly obsessed to be a phonomancer…

    Which is to say, of course, that it’s a lot like fandom. I mention this because being indifferent to Britpop put me off Rue Britannia for quite a while, until I finally realised that was part of the point.

    (Rue Britannia is good but it has the flaws of an early work. My recommendation for new readers is to start with The Singles Club, which works very well as a standalone.)

  23. A Meredith moment, sorta.

    I just went to check Kendall’s rec for Fluency by Jennifer Foehner Wells on Amazon and found that if you’re a Prime member, you can read it for free right now and can add Audible for $1.99. Can only vouch for US. So I just downloaded to my Kindle app. I don’t know how Kendall got hers over to iBooks?!?

  24. junego: I just went to check Kendall’s rec for Fluency by Jennifer Foehner Wells

    I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts about it after you’ve read it. I’ve read the next one (Remanence) too.

  25. For those who like Jennifer Foehner Wells and her work, she has a new novel out called The Druid Gene. Might even still be on sale – at least it was two days ago.

  26. @kathodus

    (5) Weirdly enough, the comments over there assume the SJWs (presumably, that includes 99% of Filers) can’t even comprehend the claims put forth in that post. From reading a lot of Dr. Mauser over the past few years, I’ve come to the conclusion he is sincere in his faith in the worldview with which he is comfortable, and completely unable to process any evidence that runs contrary to it.

    The identity of one of the commenters over there is depressing, if not exactly surprising.

  27. @steve davidson

    You wouldn’t be wrong. It’s the argument of the week (originally from Paulk, IIRC) that Mauser is just regurgitating.

    (3) FAN HISTORY

    This was a fun blog series, so I’m looking forward to the book version. I’d’ve loved to see her add a few years to the end though.

    (15) THE DRAMATURGES OF MARS

    That was a fascinating little snippet. The youtube version doesn’t give a date, but I think this was 1940, which would fit the war references and Citizen Kane being named but not yet out.

  28. @jj:

    The only author I’ve read on this list to date is Kit Reed — and wow, can she write. Just between her and Brian Aldiss, all I can say is that the voters should probably feel a bit embarrassed about this one.

    As was pointed out here when Pournelle lost to No Award in Best Editor, Long Form this year: The Hugos are not a lifetime achievement award. They cover a narrow span of the nominees’ total contributions to the field.

    While Aldiss and Reed went on to great things, maybe their first year or so of output wasn’t that great. Good enough for nomination, but not good enough to win.

  29. Since this is an easy error: Le Guin hasn’t stopped writing. She has stopped writing fiction. She is still writing poetry (and, I gather, nonfiction).

    I am sorry there won’t be more Le Guin fiction, but she is also an excellent poet.

  30. I also note that with regards to Phonogram the third collection, The Immaterial Girl came out in March 2016, so will be eligible for the Hugos this nominating season…

    A nitpick: The publication date of the collection is irrelevant. The Immaterial Girl is eligible because the final issue of the mini-series came out in January 2016.

  31. 5) Im always buffled when people so confidently “disprove” things, they have absolutly not understood. Sort of like disproving Einsteins theories or claiming the sun is cold, because scientist use the wold “boiling” and only liquids can boil (yes, that is really a thing). Somewhat entertaining for a very short period of time, but of no value whatsoever.

  32. (5) I’m just confused as to why a movement of inclusion is deemed to be the same as a movement of exclusion and persecution. These are not even remotely the same kind of thing.

  33. @Cora – I hadn’t noticed the commenters’ identities the first time around. That is sad but not unexpected. I think it’s easy (tempting?) to believe the Puppy take on things if you come from a more conservative background.

    @Mike Glyer – Oh, I must have read that, but I didn’t remember it. I have a mind like a steel sieve.

    ETA @Simmon Bisson – the Phonomancy series sounds very interesting. I have the first volume in the Flux series queued up in my TBR, after a strong recommendation from a friend.

Comments are closed.