Pixel Scroll 11/27/17 And All I Ask Is A Tall Scroll And A Pixel To Godstalk Her By

(1) MORE GIFT POSSIBILITIES. C.F. Payne, who has produced covers for Time and Reader’s Digest among others, has been doing portraits of various creatives (writers, artists, musicians, et al) as demos for his art students and selling them on his Etsy page. These three examples are Lucas, Méliès, and Bradbury.

(2) OFF THE GROUND. George R.R. Martin’s 10-episode Season 1 of Nightflyers has been greenlit by SyFy.

NIGHTFLYERS will be shot in the Republic of Ireland, I’m told, on sound stages in Limerick… which will give them access to the same great pool of Irish and British actors that GAME OF THRONES has tapped in Belfast (and considering how many characters we’ve killed, a lot of them should be available). … If all goes according to schedule, the series should debut this summer, in late July. It will be broadcast on SyFy in the USA, and on Netflix around the world.

(3) ROOM DISRUPTION. Arisia 2018 takes place January 12-15 in Boston, but they just learned they’ll have to get by with almost 200 fewer rooms in their main hotel.

Q: What happened?

A: In early November the Westin informed us that its parent company has scheduled guest-room renovations. These renovations will be happening all winter and overlap the convention. During Arisia, three floors of guest rooms will be unavailable.

“Innkeeper” Holly Nelson is appealing to members to volunteer to move their reservations to a secondary hotel:

…One month into my role, Arisia received the news from the Westin about the renovations scheduled this winter. We were told 196 rooms would be unavailable and those reservations would need to transfer to the Aloft across the street. I was shocked and worried about how we would address the situation. Arisia staff members worked with the Westin to negotiate a better deal for those who would be required to move, as well as increasing how much of the Westin is reserved for our attendees to use.

If we don’t get enough volunteers, we’ll need to make involuntary transfers. If that happens we will be considering what is best for everyone who is concerned about moving. We’re working to meet the needs of as many people as possible – with the help of Arisia staff, including our Con Chair – in the most fair, impartial way we can. I would love to avoid this unpleasant duty, but that’s only possible if you volunteer by Thursday….

There are incentives for volunteering – see the FAQ.

(4) ABOUT HUGO AWARDS SITE LINKS TO THIRD PARTIES. The official Hugo Awards website’s response to criticism of Rocket Stack Rank, one of the “Third Party Recommendation Sites” linked there, has been to add a disclaimer:

I asked Kevin Standlee, who is part of the committee that runs the website, to address the broader question of why the Hugo Awards site links to other sites and how they are chosen:

The sites we’ve added have been as they came to our attention or when people asked us to add them. But a key thing is that they had to have a fixed address. People who set up a list for one year, then a new address for another year, then another new address, and so forth, we won’t add, because it’s too difficult to maintain. That has been apparently too high a bar for most people, who want to do things like set up Google Sheets for 2017, 2018, 2019, etc, with a new one every year. I’ve turned down the people whose request amounted to, “Add my site, and constantly monitor it so that when I change it to a different address, you’ll also change yours.” I have enough trouble keeping up with routine maintenance as it is.

Renay of Lady Business, this year’s Best Fanzine Hugo winner, will recognize Kevin’s example.

(5) BLOCKED. In “Star Trek Fight:  Shatner Blasts Isaacs on Twitter”, James Hibbard of Entertainment Weekly notes that William Shatner has blocked Jason Isaacs on Twitter, because he says that Isaacs is preventing him from a guest role on Star Trek: Discovery.  Isaacs responds that since Star Trek:Discovery takes place just before Star Trek TOS, James T. Kirk would be about 16 on the show which leaves no room for Shatner.

William Shatner has set his Twitter shields to maximum.

The actor who played the most iconic Star Trek captain has blocked the newest actor to play a Star Trek captain —  Jason Isaacs on Star Trek: Discovery — on the social network following the latter’s comments in an interview.

Shatner hasn’t publicly stated a reason for the blocking. But it follows a UK tabloid story posted a couple of weeks ago headlined, “Jason Isaacs hopes William Shatner won’t appear in Star Trek: Discovery.” Which admittedly does sound pretty bad. But Isaacs didn’t say that — or at least didn’t seem to mean that — but rather was making a point about how it wouldn’t make sense to have Shatner in the series since his character would only be about 16 years old during the Discovery time period.

(6) THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT. John Hertz could tell from the way I spelled the lyric “A-WEEMA-WEH” that I was missing cultural nuances – beginning with the correct spelling – readily available from the Wikipedia’s entry about “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.

Apparently I’m first in directing your attention to the Zulu mbube (“lion”) and uyimbube (“you’re a lion”), the spelling “Wimoweh” by Pete Seeger, and a cross-language cross-cultural trail of creativity and intellectual property (some Filers would add “appropriation”) worthy of B. Pelz’ coinage Berlitzkrieg.

The Wikipedia says this about the song’s origin:

“Mbube” (Zulu for “lion”) was written in the 1920s, by Solomon Linda, a South African singer of Zulu origin, who later worked for the Gallo Record Company in Johannesburg as a cleaner and record packer. He spent his weekends performing with the Evening Birds, a musical ensemble, and it was at Gallo Records, under the direction of producer Griffiths Motsieloa, that Linda and his fellow musicians recorded several songs including “Mbube,” which incorporated a call-response pattern common among many Sub-Saharan African ethnic groups, including the Zulu.

(7) 2017’S TOP HORROR. The B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog brings us the editors’ picks for “The Best Horror Books of 2017”. The list begins with –

Chalk, by Paul Cornell
Chalk tells the story of Andrew Waggoner, who suffers a horrifying act of violence at the hands of his school’s bullies. In his grief and anger, the boy makes contact with an old and ancient presence, which offers to help make him whole and exact terrible revenge—if he allows it. The occult horror masks a genuine exploration of how trauma can affect a person, cutting them out of the world, instilling violent fantasies of revenge, and leaving psychological wounds that linger long after the physical trauma had healed. It’s heartfelt, surreally terrifying, and utterly wrenching in ways I can only struggle to describe, and worth all the attention you can give it. Read our review.

(8) MYTHS FOR OUR TIME. Let The Guardian tell you why this is a good idea: “Mythos review – the Greek myths get the Stephen Fry treatment”.

Ever since William Godwin persuaded Charles Lamb to retell The Odyssey as a novel for younger readers in The Adventures of Ulysses (1808), the myths of ancient Greece have been retold in contemporary prose by every generation. Most of these retellings were originally poetry – the epics of Hesiod, Homer and the philhellene Latin poet Ovid, the Athenian tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides – in Mythos, Stephen Fry has narrated a selection of them in engaging and fluent prose. But do we need another version of the Greek myths in an already crowded market? Such treasured collections as Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tanglewood Tales (1853), Edith Hamilton’s Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes (1942) and Robert Graves’s The Greek Myths (1955) are still in print. Countless family car journeys are enlivened by Simon Russell Beale’s audiobook of Atticus the Storyteller’s 100 Greek Myths. So should a reader looking for an initiation into the thrilling world of the ancient Greek imagination choose Fry’s book?

…Yet Fry’s ear is finely tuned to the quaint tonality of some of his ancient sources. This is best revealed in his retelling of two Homeric Hymns, to Demeter and Hermes. They deal respectively with the abduction of teenage Persephone and the theft by the newborn Hermes of his big brother Apollo’s cattle. Fry’s distinctive voice undoubtedly adds something lively, humorous and intimate to myth’s psychological dimension. People who enjoy his media personality and particular style of post?Wodehouse English drollery are in for a treat. He tells us that he imagines Hera, queen of the gods, “hurling china ornaments at feckless minions”. Ares, god of war, “was unintelligent of course, monumentally dense”. Baby Hermes tells Maia: “Get on with your spinning or knitting or whatever it is, there’s a good mother.” Epaphus, child of Zeus and Io, “was always so maddeningly blasé about his pedigree”.

(9) MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE TO END — WELL, NOT REALLY. “Secrets of the Marvel Universe” by Joanna Robinson in Vanity Fair is a lengthy interview with MCU supremo Kevin Feige, including the revelation that the MCU will officially end with the release of Avengers 4 in 2019, although there will still be plenty of Marvel superhero movies after the MCU ends.

On a sweltering October weekend, the largest-ever group of Marvel superheroes and friends gathered just outside of Atlanta for a top-secret assignment. Eighty-three of the famous faces who have brought Marvel’s comic-book characters to life over the past decade mixed and mingled—Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk, bonded with Vin Diesel, the voice of Groot, the monosyllabic sapling from Guardians of the Galaxy. Angela Bassett, mother to Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, flew through hurricane-like conditions to report for duty alongside Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brie Larson, Paul Rudd, Jeremy Renner, Laurence Fishburne, and Stan Lee, the celebrated comic-book writer and co-creator of Iron Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men.

Their mission: to strike a heroic pose to commemorate 10 years of unprecedented moviemaking success. Marvel Studios, which kicked things off with Iron Man in 2008, has released 17 films that collectively have grossed more than $13 billion at the global box office; 5 more movies are due out in the next two years. The sprawling franchise has resuscitated careers (Downey), has minted new stars (Tom Hiddleston), and increasingly attracts an impressive range of A-list talent, from art-house favorites (Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange) to Hollywood icons (Anthony Hopkins and Robert Redford) to at least three handsome guys named Chris (Hemsworth, Evans, and Pratt). The wattage at the photo shoot was so high that Ant-Man star Michael Douglas—Michael Douglas!—was collecting autographs.

(10) BIZARRE HOLLYWOOD. Life and times: Escapes is a Winningly Off-Kilter Doc About the Screenwriter of Sci-Fi Classic Blade Runner” at The Stranger.

If the name Hampton Fancher rings a bell, you probably have strong opinions on the best version of Blade Runner. The screenwriter of that sci-fi classic, Fancher sports one of the damndest backstories in Hollywood, including acting appearances on Bonanza, literal ditch digging, and occasional bouts of flamenco dancing. The documentary Escapes tells the thoroughly odd, strangely endearing saga of a genial bullshitter who somehow keeps stumbling, if not always upwards, at least sideways through show business. Think Robert Evans with a smidge of self-consciousness, and prepare for a wild ride.

Beginning with a long, shaggy story involving Teri Garr, director Michael Almereyda (Experimenter) gives his subject ample room to spin his yarn, wittily utilizing a slew of media clips as Fancher wanders hither and yon between topics such as his relationship with Lolita’s Sue Lyon, Philip K. Dick’s hilariously unsmooth attempt to hit on Fancher’s then-girlfriend, and the sexual exploits of the (human) star of Flipper. As for Blade Runner, that seemingly career-defining experience receives the same breezy pass-through as the rest of his stories, further painting the picture of a man who’s proud of his achievements, but doesn’t always seem entirely certain of how all the dots came to connect….

(11) LONELINESS OF THE LONG-DISTANCE BURRITO. Perhaps you’ve already seen this culinary steampunk extravaganza — it’s dated 2007: “The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel” at Idle Words.

Who can imagine New York City without the Mission burrito? Like the Yankees, the Brooklyn Bridge or the bagel, the oversize burritos have become a New York institution. And yet it wasn’t long ago that it was impossible to find a good burrito of any kind in the city. As the 30th anniversary of the Alameda-Weehawken burrito tunnel approaches, it’s worth taking a look at the remarkable sequence of events that takes place between the time we click “deliver” on the burrito.nyc.us.gov website and the moment that our hot El Farolito burrito arrives in the lunchroom with its satisfying pneumatic hiss.

The story begins in any of the three dozen taquerias supplying the Bay Area Feeder Network, an expansive spiderweb of tubes running through San Francisco’s Mission district as far south as the “Burrito Bordeaux” region of Palo Alto and Mountain View. Electronic displays in each taqueria light up in real time with orders placed on the East Coast, and within minutes a fresh burrito has been assembled, rolled in foil, marked and dropped down one of the small vertical tubes that rise like organ pipes in restaurant kitchens throughout the city.

Once in the tubes, it’s a quick dash for the burritos across San Francisco Bay. Propelled by powerful bursts of compressed air, the burritos speed along the same tunnel as the BART commuter train, whose passengers remain oblivious to the hundreds of delicious cylinders whizzing along overhead. Within twelve minutes, even the remotest burrito has arrived at its final destination, the Alameda Transfer Station, where it will be prepared for its transcontinental journey….

(12) SIX BOOKS. From Nerds of a Feather comes “6 Books with Mira Grant”:

  1. How about a book you’ve changed your mind about over time–either positively or negatively?

The Dead Zone, by Stephen King. I originally read it when I was way too young, and thought it was incredibly boring. Revisiting it as an adult was a revelation.

(13) VINTAGE DARKNESS. It used to be all you had to do was look up. Night is getting harder to find: “Idaho Dims The Lights For One Of The Best Night Skies Anywhere”.

In a high mountain valley in central Idaho over 6,000 feet in elevation, the last hint of a glow from sun fades in the western sky. The conditions are perfect as Steve Botti, an astronomy enthusiast and city councilman for the tiny town of Stanley, holds his sky quality meter to the heavens. There are no clouds, and the moon has dipped behind the craggy Sawtooth Mountains as he assesses the darkness of the sky with the little device that looks like a pager.

His arm extended and his head snugly wrapped in a beanie, Botti says, “A reading of 21.75 or higher is considered by the dark sky association to be exceptionally dark.”

On a clear night here you can see the purple cloud of the Milky Way stretched across the sky. The rare sight is possible because people are making an effort to keep the night sky dark. Dark enough, they hope, to earn a seal of approval from the International Dark-Sky Association…

(14) CARTLOADS OF CARATS. An asteroid’s leavings: “The German town encrusted with diamonds”.

During construction of the town, which was first mentioned in records in the 9th Century AD, the settlers didn’t realise the stone they were using was embedded with millions of tiny diamonds, in a concentration seen nowhere else in the world.

As I looked down on the sleepy Bavarian town from the top of the tower, it was hard to picture the area as being anything other than tranquil. It was, in fact, a violent and otherworldly event – an asteroid strike that hit 15 million years ago – that led to the strange reality of Nördlingen becoming Germany’s diamond-clad town.

… Not long after Shoemaker and Chao first visited Nördlingen, it was estimated by local geologists that the town walls and buildings contained approximately 72,000 tons of diamonds. Although suevite can be found in other parts of the world from similar impacts, nowhere is the gemstone concentration as high as it is in Nördlingen.

(15) NEW VOICE. Editor Elizabeth Fitzgerald has joined the Skiffy and Fanty Show.

I’ll be working as their YA reviewer and my first post will go up in December. In the meantime, you can hear my first outing as co-host of one of their podcasts. Paul Weimer and I chatted with C.B. Lee, Cat Rambo and Nicky Drayden about participating in National Novel Writing Month.

Last year Fitzgerald was a co-winner of the Ditmar Award for Best Fan Publication with the team of interviewers who created the Australian Speculative Fiction Snapshot.

(16) 70 MM. How long will people be able to see 2001 in its original format? “Dying arts can be saved — but is it worth it?” (From the Boston Globe: may be paywalled in the near future, but isn’t yet.)

When cinema buffs celebrate the 50th anniversary of “2001: A Space Odyssey” next year, an uncomfortable question will loom larger than a malicious monolith. Does the epic sci-fi movie — the one that to its most ardent fans delivers a near-religious experience — have any future?

To true believers, the 1968 Stanley Kubrick cult classic must be viewed in its original wide-screen 70-millimeter format, an immersive visual experience augmented by the classical music score. Lauded for its crisper colors, deeper blacks, and higher-resolution images, fans see 70-millimeter as the highest expression of Hollywood artistry. The format was popularized in the 1950s to showcase movies’ technical superiority over television, and reserved for major productions like “Ben-Hur” and “Lawrence of Arabia.” But today, with Hollywood’s near-total shift to digital projection, the format faces an uncertain future — and is only held together, as a labor of love, by the efforts of a passionate community of movie fans.

…The worst case scenario is that, in a generation or two, the movie theaters may still exist, but the practical skills to build, fix, and use the specialized projectors will have vanished.

(17) GRATITUDE. Joe Stech of Compelling SF found plenty to be thankful for in his Thanksgiving post “10 issues of Compelling Science Fiction: a retrospective”.

I get asked every couple months why I spend so much time on this magazine. Most of the time I give a brief canned answer, something along the lines of “everyone needs a hobby, this is one of mine.” While that’s true, it’s a bit of a non-answer. Let me try and give a real answer here, in a few parts:

  1. Science fiction is fascinating. Like many art forms, good science fiction requires a base layer of technical skill. That’s the starting line. However, there’s a secondary layer of subject matter expertise, and a third layer that involves actually saying something meaningful about the universe we live in.
  2. Evaluating that third layer is deeply subjective, which means that no two readers will necessarily see eye to eye when reading a story. This also means that every publisher has its own set of biases when selecting stories to publish, which means that many stories that I’d enjoy never get out into the world. I want to help change that.
  3. There are extremely talented people out there producing wonderful content who never get paid for their work — I want to help support them, which is why I’ve always paid professional rates, even at the beginning when nobody was supporting the magazine. I’ve always been a proponent of putting my money where my mouth is, and I’m extremely grateful to have found magazine supporters who feel the same way.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Arnie Fenner, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, Martin Morse Wooster, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

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46 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/27/17 And All I Ask Is A Tall Scroll And A Pixel To Godstalk Her By

  1. Can Renay and Lady Business not just … create a page where the URL doesn’t change, and put a link to their spreadsheet there? I’m not a web person. Is that a hard thing to do?

  2. ULTRAGOTHA: Can Renay and Lady Business not just … create a page where the URL doesn’t change, and put a link to their spreadsheet there?

    They did that already (it’s the Feb 2016 link in Renay’s first tweet). I’m wondering what Standlee’s objection to that is.

    Honestly, those links all just need to be removed. Anyone could have — should have — seen this shitstorm coming from a continent away.

  3. @16: for those who get blocked by a paywall and are in reach of Boston, a stimulus for this story was the purchase by the Somerville Theater (site of the SF film festival) of a new 70mm copy of 2001. Possible bait for this year’s festival?

    @12: Interesting; I hadn’t thought of it, but I can see that The Dead Zone is the sort of horror kids would have been less likely to get decades ago. Now, with Trump, it seems a little more obvious how easy the pickings are for a demagogue.

  4. 7) Paul Cornell’s Chalk is thoroughly unpleasant, and I couldn’t put it down. Ann walked into the room just exactly as I finished it, and said, “Why is your face all scrunched up like that?”

  5. William Shatner has blocked Jason Isaacs on Twitter, because he says that Isaacs is preventing him from a guest role on Star Trek: Discovery.

    Funny, I blocked William Shatner on Twitter because he was being an asshole.

  6. JJ:

    They did that already (it’s the Feb 2016 link in Renay’s first tweet). I’m wondering what Standlee’s objection to that is.

    Standlee says he’ve “turned down the people whose request amounted to, “Add my site, and constantly monitor it so that when I change it to a different address, you’ll also change yours.””
    I wonder if that’s a misunderstanding of people (like Renay) saying something like “we’ll keep this landing page updated with links to the actual spreadsheets, so if you link to the landing page readers can click through.” I can sort of see how that sort of misunderstanding could occur – but it’s a fairly major communications failure.

    (There’s also a particular group of, ahem, loudmouthed people, who have run a “recommendation” site with a new domain name pr. year. I can imagine Standlee being somewhat out of patience with people requesting/demanding links to their site.)

    (16) I don’t quite understand how digital projection is presented as a problem here. It seems actual 70mm projectors will become scarce no matter what. I would have thought it’s easier to recreate the experience of 70mm film with digital projection than with 35 mm film? Given that, digital seems more like a solution than a cause.

  7. 6) Hunh!
    9) Well, if I figure it right, by the end of Avengers 4, we’ll have one movie with a lead POC superhero (Black Panther) and one movie with a lead woman superhero (Captain Marvel).
    I hope, post Avengers 4, the studio can do better.

    15) Yup. I met Elizabeth on my DUFF trip this year (as readers of the report learned), and that helped get the ball rolling to her joining our little family.

  8. Wow, Kevin, massively disappointed to see you be so dismissive of someone who has invested years into brining new fans into Worldcon. She has done the thing you claimed to want and you’ve not just continued to ignore her request, but are shit talking her and the community that participates in that recommendation process?

    Do better.

  9. 5: well yes, but No. ST:D is playing around with alternate this and timeline that, which means there’s really no reason why a Kirk – any Kirk of any age, gender, affiliation, personality, etc., can’t appear on the show.

  10. 4: I agree, the default ought to be NO third party sites. If nothing else, individual sites can change, re-orient, disappear.

    What WSFS needs, if it wants to vet resources (and any third parties it links to ought to be vetted), then it needs to set up a committee and a process and a separate website.

  11. Meredith Moment: If you are unfortunate enough to have not read Infomocracy yet, it is available for $2.99 in the US today.
    Also, a bundle of the first six Dresden Files is for 7.99 and Octavia Butler’s Lilith’s Brood series is for 1.99.

  12. 13) I’ve been wishing for decades we were a bit less obsessed with illuminating all locations at all hours. Indeed, when night light IS necessary for safety, there are some fairly simple and cheap-if-done-on-installation (and often more expensive to retrofit) ways to make sure more light is reflected downward where it’s useful and less leaks skyward. (Lights under eaves. Lights with hoods around them.) Never mind the lights that serve no safety purpose, such as lights inside closed businesses (Not counting when/where the janitor is working). Illuminated billboards or business signs never turned off.

    Early on in my stays at the Folk fest, the paths into the campground were unlit. I learned that even after leaving the fully lit actual bathroom, if you stood still staring into the dark for a few minutes, your eyes adapted enough to see the pale sand path between the trees. And the fireflies.

    At least until someone beamed their flashlight into your eyes. (Flashlights run along the ground were not an issue for losing night vision.)

    I understand why, in a campground with a population in the thousands, that’s just not feasible for safety (at least not now they can use LEDs and not cost too much in power). But I do kinda miss it.

  13. 4) If Kevin/WSFS is not willing to monitor the third party content linked to on the Hugo website (under the title “recommendations”!), then that is another extremely big and obvious reason why they shouldn’t be there at all. Also, he should try being less rude and dismissive about the projects of other fans – it’s an especially bad look when the project is from a site that literally just won the Hugo, indicating that many of us find it very useful despite the “constantly” (a word I don’t usually see as a synonym for “annually”) changing URL.

  14. Re: Pixel Scroll 11/27/17 And All I Ask Is A Tall Scroll And A Pixel To Godstalk Her By
    Mike Glyer said:

    Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

    Mike, are you sure? I don’t recall thinking of, much less submitting, this one. Like Johnny Rico, I don’t need to be credited for something I didn’t win… (but feel free to make it up to me by using that title suggestion “beer” that I’ve suggested multiple times…).

  15. Hm, I just realised that at SpaceX, TANSAAFL may also mean “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Launch”.

  16. (14) The Nördlingen impact, of course, is a significant plot element of Julian May’s Saga of Pliocene Exile.

    I have discovered a truly marvelous pixel, which the margin of this scroll is too narrow to contain.

  17. @Johan P: I have not done a side-by-side comparison, but I have read various reviewers arguing that digital is commonly inferior even to 35mm (e.g., overall darker, less contrast); if this is true, digital (at current resolution) is even less capable of replacing 70mm than 35mm is. Also, it’s unclear that loss of 70mm is inevitable; supporting it is orders of magnitude more difficult than supporting sound recordings on vinyl (which are becoming much more popular — see the recent pixel) but ISTM is not impossible.

    Unfortunately, the move to digital was pushed substantially as a studio economy (each film copy costs $$$), in at least one local case to the severe detriment of theaters (that weren’t given support for the expensive changeover, or reduced studio percentages of ticket sales for digital films). It would be nice to think that there’s a better format coming up, but my guess is that it wouldn’t be supported. All this is based on scraps I’ve read; people with references on any side should post them.

  18. Patrick Morris Miller on November 28, 2017 at 9:29 am said:

    I have discovered a truly marvelous pixel, which the margin of this scroll is too narrow to contain.

    Oh, very nice.

  19. Lady Business was not deliberately excluded, despite an apparent assumption of malice where none exists, based on the comments. While the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee (which is that committee that some of you think should be set up to “vet” things) considers whether we should continue to include any links at all, I’ve added the Lady Business recommendations landing page to the list.

    I have no memory of discussing this subject with Renay, although I may well have done so. I’m not dismissing the claim; I just do not remember the discussion.

  20. (15) I’m a bit late to the party, but thank you for the welcome! And to Paul for roping me in

    (4) That attitude is extremely disappointing. It’s clear that section of the website hasn’t been thought through and needs to be taken down.

  21. Chip Hitchcock on November 28, 2017 at 10:31 am said:

    @Johan P: I have not done a side-by-side comparison, but I have read various reviewers arguing that digital is commonly inferior even to 35mm

    That’s…tricky. It’s hard to compare them head-to-head, because film grain isn’t directly comparable to digital resolution. And there are other factors that are equally hard to quantify.

    One common complaint about digital is (ironically) that it’s too crisp and clear. Fast film has larger grain, so cinematographers have to choose between visible grain and motion blur–it’s always a trade-off. Early (analog) video recorders didn’t have this problem, so crisp-and-clear quickly became associated with cheap TV shows, rather than expensive film.

    Now, with digital, you can add grain or motion blur in post. And it turns out that if you do so, even though the quality has indisputably been reduced, a lot of people insist it looks better! Often without being sure why….

  22. (7) Chalk is the only one of these that I’ve read, but it was fantastic. Universal Harvester is also in my stack, though. Maybe I’ll get to it when I’m done with Satin Island (also extremely good so far; got a great J.G. Ballard feel to it).

  23. @August: I liked Universal Harvester a great deal; it isn’t quite as Blair Witch-y as the B&N blog makes it sound, but it is a powerful meditation on loss, grief, and memory.

    I thought Satin Island was absolutely brilliant, probably the best novel I read in 2015.

  24. I want a Pixelscrollopus for Christmas…

    Dammit, now that song’s in my head.

    Time to unleash the Xmas music files and listen to something else.

    Maybe “Next Year’s Santa Baby” by Miss Eartha

  25. 11
    I don’t think this one will grow old any time soon.
    (Can tacos be shipped this way, or must we wait for a taco truck on every block?)

  26. @Kurt Busiek: I’m not surprised that adding blur made people feel the film looked better. This is not a new phenomenon; I recall reading at the time that the effects manager of Dragonslayer (1981) deliberately moved something (camera? model??) during each exposure of something like stop-motion animation of the dragon, because the results looked better. ISTM reasonable that persistence of vision is not a digital phenomenon, such that we expect some blurring when an object moves in our sight and have a sense of something wrong when succcessive frames of a film have precisely-edged moving images. (I’m guessing here; my exposure to psychology was limited to a survey course 44 years ago — and that was a very dry course, as if to recover from the mess caused when it was taught by Herrnstein the previous year.) The complaints I quoted are the only ones I’ve seen, but I have not gone looking for what I didn’t stumble over.

  27. @Kurt Busiek: I’m not surprised that adding blur made people feel the film looked better.

    I en’t say noffink about blurs.

    Someone else, maybe?

  28. @Kevin I didn’t say your intentions were malicious, I said your actions (statement and failure to answer Renay’s emails – although to be fair I don’t know if that’s your responsibility or not) were rude – an opinion I continue to hold regardless of whether your vague quote in the scroll was intended to reference the LB spreadsheet.

    Intent vs action is turning into a bit of a theme this week, isn’t it?

  29. Early (analog) video recorders didn’t have this problem, so crisp-and-clear quickly became associated with cheap TV shows, rather than expensive film.

    An alternative theory I toy with is that if you succeed too well at making film/TV look like it’s happening right in front of someone, you’re giving it an air of mundanity more stylized footage lacks.

  30. No. There’s something a bit eerie and unreal about something where every edge is precise – because human vision doesn’t do that. We have an extremely narrow focus area, and while things JUST outside the obvious focus are still in sharp – in fact, slightly more light sensitive (eg: looking just beside a star in the night sky tends to make it more visible) things on the periphery are generally slightly fuzzed impressions.

    This slightly unreal effect can work without looking cheap – I felt that way about Person of Interest watched in High Definition – but it needs to be noted and accounted for.

  31. Arifel on November 28, 2017 at 11:27 pm said:

    @Kevin I didn’t say your intentions were malicious, I said your actions (statement and failure to answer Renay’s emails – although to be fair I don’t know if that’s your responsibility or not) were rude – an opinion I continue to hold regardless of whether your vague quote in the scroll was intended to reference the LB spreadsheet.

    I apologize for giving offense. I should not have said what I said, and I’m sorry that I said it.

    I am in fact one of the people who should be seeing anything submitted through the contact us page, either by e-mailing or commenting there. I’m not the only one; there are multiple people on that alias. The fact that none of us have any recollection of receiving the messages people say they’ve been sending us is troubling. Based on the amount of spam we get, it’s not as through nobody can get through! Perhaps you might want to send us a message through there, either by e-mail or by leaving a comment.

    We can’t answer e-mails that we don’t receive. We’re not deliberately ignoring messages from Renay. I do not know what e-mail addresses Renay (or PNH, for that matter) have been using to try and contact us, but I know I’ve not received anything on this matter.

  32. @Kurt Busiek: sorry, late-night (where I am) befuddlement — I was responding to a comment that I see came from Xtifr.

  33. Yeah, I’m not talking about an absence of motion blur–digital photography doesn’t magically eliminate that. Digital sensors take time to collect light, just like film does. Nor does digital make the whole image come into focus–digital photography relies on normal lenses, which work the way you expect lenses to work.

    (Perfect focus and the absence of motion blur are issues with animation and digital effects, not digital photography.)

    The big thing is film grain. Which is a visual flaw, but one many people seem to find aesthetically superior. The reason motion blur comes into it is because with high-speed action, you can get too much blur. So you use faster film, which requires less exposure time per frame–thus reducing the blur. But faster film has larger grain, so people are used to associating clearer action scenes with more grain.

    Video/TV cameras (and digital cameras) don’t have this issue, so action scenes remain reasonably clear–they still have motion blur, but they lack graininess. And TV is perceived as lower class/quality than movies, so…

    (There are other issues–digital photography has genuine negatives. I’m just highlighting this one, which I consider a bizarre misperception.)

  34. @Kevin Thanks for the response, I appreciate it, though I’m not in a position to accept an apology as I’m not directly affected.

    E-mail issues sound super frustrating – it does sound like there is some kind of unwanted filtering going on which is preventing you from receiving some of the genuine stuff being sent to you (but not the spam). I don’t have any direct experience with e-mail forwarding like this, but maybe there’s someone out there with useful thoughts on what the problem could be?

  35. Belated tickboxing (after return from a business trip). Thanks for the title credit (and thanks to Daniel Dern for a correction that was already corrected before I even saw this post).

    Patrick Morris Miller

    (14) The Nördlingen impact, of course, is a significant plot element of Julian May’s Saga of Pliocene Exile.

    Indeed – watch out for golden torcs or other artifacts found nearby.

    I have discovered a truly marvelous pixel, which the margin of this scroll is too narrow to contain.

    Very nice.

  36. @Patrick Morris Miller:

    (14) The Nördlingen impact, of course, is a significant plot element of Julian May’s Saga of Pliocene Exile.

    I had completely missed that when I sent in the link; for some reason I’d remembered the Tanu ship impact as making Lake Constance instead. Fascinating closure!

  37. Pingback: Speaking of Seeger | File 770

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