Pixel Scroll 11/13/16 ROFLMPO – Rolling On File, Laughing My Pixels Off

(1) LITIGATION. File 770 reported in September about the Kickstarter appeal raising funds for Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go!, featuring the writing of David Gerrold, the art of Ty Templeton, and the editorial skills of ComicMix’s Glenn Hauman.

The holders of the Dr. Seuss rights have objected and sued for damages reports TMZ.com in “Oh, The Lawsuits You’ll See”.

Dr. Seuss‘ stories should NOT be rehashed with Vulcans or Klingons in the mix — at least not without permission … according to a new lawsuit.

The Doc’s camp just filed suit against ComicMix, which thought it’d be neat to make a ‘Star Trek‘ version of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” In the docs, obtained by TMZ, the Seuss’ co. says ComicMix fused elements of the classic book with their own story, and even jacked actual prose from the original … all without asking.

They say ComicMix knew damn well it was doing the Doc dirty because its Kickstarter page for the project mentioned they might have to go to court to prove their work was parody and not a violation of copyright. They acknowledged, “we may even lose.”

Team Seuss is suing for damages. A lawyer for ComicMix tells us they love Dr. Seuss and hope to resolve the suit amicably.

(2) NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MARS SERIES. Don’t wait until the November 14 premiere. Stream the Mars premiere now.

The year is 2033, and humanity’s first crewed mission to Mars is about to become a reality. As a clock counts down the final 90 seconds to landing, an expert crew of astronauts endures the final harrowing moments before touching down on the red planet. Even with the best training and resources available, the maiden crew of the Daedalus spacecraft must push itself to the brink of human capability in order to successfully establish the first sustainable colony on Mars. Set both in the future and in the present day, the global miniseries event MARS blends feature film-caliber scripted elements set in the future with documentary vérité interviews with today’s best and brightest minds in modern science and innovation, illuminating how research and development is creating the space technology that will enable our first attempt at a mission to Mars.

(3) TAOS TOOLBOX. Walter Jon Williams announced today the “Most Famous Author in the World” George R.R. Martin will be joining the Taos Toolbox faculty as a special guest. The Taos Toolbox Writers Workshop takes place June 18-July 1, 2017.

George was our guest for the very first Taos Toolbox, and now he’s consented to return for our tenth anniversary. We’re pleased and flattered to have him, even if it’s only once per decade.

The other faculty are Walter Jon Williams, Nancy Kress, with special lecturers Steven Gold and E.M. Tippets.

(4) DINO DUTY. Tastes great? Less filling?  “Jurassic World 2 Will Be Both a Jurassic World Sequel and Jurassic Park 5, Says J. A. Bayona” at CinemaBlend.

Earlier today, I had the great pleasure of sitting down one-on-one with J.A. Bayona in promotion of his upcoming movie A Monster Calls, and it was towards the end of our chat that we talked a bit about his next project. I posed the aforementioned question to the filmmaker, and he not only enjoyed the challenge of the query, but explained why his installment in the dinosaur franchise will be both Jurassic World 2 and Jurassic Park 5.

(5) TOVAR OBIT. Lupita Tovar, the Mexican actress who starred in the 1931 Spanish-language version of Dracula that was shot at the same time on the same sets as the Bela Lugosi picture has died at the age of 108 according to The Hollywood Reporter.

… Lupita returned to Mexico to great acclaim to star in Santa (1932), her country’s first talking film, and later appeared in The Invader (1936) opposite Buster Keaton, Blockade (1938) with Henry Fonda, South of the Border (1939) with Gene Autry and The Westerner (1940) with Gary Cooper….

Lupita Tovar’s daughter is Susan Kohner, who earned an Oscar nomination for portraying the young woman who rejects her black mother (Juanita Moore) and tries to pass herself off as white in the 1959 Douglas Sirk melodrama Imitation of Life.

Other survivors include her grandchildren Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz, Kohner’s sons, who shared an Oscar screenplay nomination for About a Boy (2002).

Tovar was married to Czech-born producer and Hollywood agent Paul Kohner, who represented the likes of Greta Garbo, John Huston, Lana Turner, Ingmar Bergman, Yul Brynner, David Niven, Billy Wilder and Charles Bronson, from 1932 until his death in 1988.

(6) DRACULA EN ESPAÑOL. For those unfamiliar with the movie, here’s some background: “Night Shift: 6 Reasons to Watch Universal’s Spanish-language Dracula (1931)”.

They worked like children of the night, shooting from sundown to sunrise. Directed by a man who didn’t know a word of their language, the Spanish-speaking actors filmed an obscure alternative version of what would become one of the most famous movies of all time.

“Above all,” explains Lupita Tovar, the film’s heroine, “we wanted our version to be the best.” And, in many ways, it is.

For those of us who’ve watched and rewatched the Lugosi version, the simultaneously shot Drácula opens up a mind-boggling parallel universe—one with much improved camerawork and often more convincing acting.

This is a lavish, artful film in its own right, so much more than the “bonus feature” it’s listed as on home releases. If I haven’t hooked you already, here’s why any movie buff or horror fan needs to see Drácula.


  • November 13, 1933 The Invisible Man premieres. Did you know: in order to achieve the effect that Claude Rains wasn’t there when his character took off the bandages, James Whale had him dress completely in black velvet and filmed him in front of a black velvet background.
  • November 13, 1940 — Walt Disney’s Fantasia premiered at the Broadway Theater in New York; first film to attempt to use stereophonic sound.


  • Born November 13, 1955 — Whoopi Goldberg


  • Born November 13, 1947 – Joe Mantegna, who appeared in both the stage production and the Disney movie of Ray Bradbury’s Wonderful Ice Cream Suit.

(10) NORTHBOUND SEASON 2. Production has begun on GeekNation sci-fi series Northbound Season 2. Watch the Season 2 Teaser.

Northbound is a post-apocalyptic webseries set in a North American wilderness soon after a mysterious, cataclysmic event killed millions in a single day. Season 1 of the series is available to view for free exclusively through the entertainment website, GeekNation. The filmmakers are comprised of a Michigan and Los Angeles-based team that is dedicated to shooting in Michigan, and contributing to the long-term growth of the Upper Peninsula region.

Season 1, and the upcoming Season 2 of Northbound are designed as a prelude series to a feature film titled Northstar. Taken as a whole, The Northstar Saga will tell the story of a father as he works to discover why his daughter was one of the rare survivors to be rendered comatose after The Cataclysm. His journey will put him into contact (and inevitable conflict) with others that are struggling to rebuild lives, communities and an overall sense of purpose in a hazardous new world.


(11) PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH. Ethan Mills reviews the movie Arrival (beware copious spoilers) at Examined Worlds.

Director Denis Villeneuve has created a beautiful adaptation, from the striking cinematography to Jóhann Jóhannsson’s unnervingly sublime score. Amy Adams portrays the quiet strength and struggle of the main character, Dr. Louise Banks. I think I speak for most of my fellow college professors when I say it’s great to see a college professor depicted in a movie as a full human being rather than a pompous jerk, an emotionless egghead, or the absent-minded comic relief.

(12) STYLING ALIENS. In the Washington Post, Stephanie Merry takes the aliens in Arrival as a cue to look at how Hollywood has looked at aliens in sf films of the past 40 years, including Close Encounters, Mars Attacks! and Edge of Tomorrow. Beware mild spoilers in “The aliens in ‘Arrival’ are stunning. How do they compare to other film creatures?”

The aliens in “Arrival” are spectacular, and that’s no small feat. In most “first contact” movies, the otherworldly creatures almost always let us down. Either they’re predictable — you know, little green men speaking an echoey, indecipherable language or stereotypical “Greys” with the big eyes and the egghead — or they look fake.

Carlos Huante tested many iterations with director Denis Villeneuve before they settled on the final design for “Arrival,” which came out this week and follows a linguist (Amy Adams) who’s trying to understand what these visitors want. The creature artist first considered a very conventional look but also tried out beings that were more like stone creatures; ones composed of stacks of paper; and egg-shaped critters ambling around on spider legs.

(13) ROLL ‘EM. Victoria Silverwolf at Galactic Journey finds fiction sometimes parallels Hollywood in “[November 13, 1961] (Un)moving Pictures (December 1961 Fantastic)”.

Back to the movies.  Point, by John T. Phillifent (perhaps better known under his pen name John Rackham), deals with a group of filmmakers who travel to Venus to make their latest blockbuster.  The proposed feature involves beautiful female Venusians, and seems intended to provide a bit of satire of silly science fiction movies such as Queen of Outer Space.  Although the author’s description of Venus is a bit more realistic than that, it’s still not terribly plausible.  The Planet of Love is a very dangerous place, inhabited by all kinds of deadly creatures, but its atmosphere is breathable, and humans can walk around on its hot, steamy surface without spacesuits.  The plot deals with a pilot who agrees to take the film crew into the Venusian wilderness.  As you might expect, things quickly go very wrong, and the story turns into a violent account of survival in a hostile environment.  All in all it’s a fairly typical adventure yarn, competent but hardly noteworthy.  Two stars.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day John Winkelman.]

52 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/13/16 ROFLMPO – Rolling On File, Laughing My Pixels Off

  1. (1) LITIGATION. It seemed like a parody to me. Will they sue TMZ.com for their headline, now? 😛

    (2) NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MARS SERIES. Wait, what? Huh, thanks; I didn’t know National Geographic did science fiction shows (that’s what this is, right?)! ::off to watch::

  2. I’m writing this just to see who else is trying to be fifth.

    Later: I watched the Spanish Dracula recently and really liked it.

  3. I am getting the following at the top of every page:
    Warning: filemtime(): stat failed for /home/dh_8ctd8v/file770.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/css/jetpack.css in /home/dh_8ctd8v/file770.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/class.jetpack.php on line 5669

  4. Lee: A couple people weren’t getting notifications so I let Jetpack install the new update, It broke the front page. Tech support says they will do something for me in a day or two.

  5. 1- I’m not a lawyer (I believe you have to be bit by one first) but from what I understand of IP law satire and transformative works are okay, and this seems like it would fit.

    4- They should do a faux expose documentary about the ongoing lawsuits and how the owners changed company names, locations, and gave their executives golden parachute retirements before going on to open more theme parks through shell companies in areas that didn’t both to inspect their papperwork, construction or insurance. That and how pterodactyls have landed in other countries and are destroying the existing natural order.

    I love Jurassic Park, even 2 and 3. World was bad and doesn’t give me high hopes for a sequel unless it stars Margarita Man, the true hero of Jurassic World.


    That sounds interesting. Or possibly incredibly cheesy. Worth a look!

    Current reading: been working on the Tiptree collection Her Smoke Rose Up Forever again. “A Momentary Taste of Being” reminded me somewhat of Planetfall by Emma Newman. Both deal with humans landing on an alien world, and secrets being kept about what happened next.


    Hmmph, the actual episode doesn’t work for me, although the trailer and interviews do. I suspect it’s region locked which is a pity because it does look rather interesting.

    Another docu-drama just popped up on Netflix: ‘Roman Empire: Reign of Blood’ which is a click-bait title if ever I saw one. It’s narrated by Sean Bean, so I’m tempted to watch it just to find out how he gets killed.


    I’m avoiding Arrival reviews because I’m hoping to get out to see it asap, based on the very positive filer reports.

    (4) DINO DUTY

    Doesn’t really say much at this stage, other than “we’d like to keep all possible fans on board please.”


    They can for me, too, but there’s a bit of a dearth of them. You’d have thought the Jurassic Park series would have inspired a legion of imitators, but I think it just scared them off. There was Terranova on TV, but I found the plot far too fluffy to keep watching.


    Today’s Meredith Moment:

    I’ve been waiting for months now, for Open Road to put Algis Budrys’ Rouge Moon (not a typo, Google it) on sale, and I FINALLY scored it for $1.99 (marked down from $7.99).

    It could go off sale at any second, so if you want it, grab it ASAP.

  9. Arrival is very good.
    The global tension plot, though reasonably well done, can feel tacked on. But it doesn’t interfere with the central story.

  10. I really liked ARRIVAL. Need to organize my thoughts into something coherent and readable. Its also dovetailing with some aspects of WALL OF STORMS (my current read) in terms of language and communication.

  11. @Dawn Incognito

    With regard to your PoI fridge logic on Dead Reckoning, doesn’t fully negate but may reduce it a bit.

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    Gung zrnaf gung Fabj rkvgvat gur ohvyqvat ba gur jnl gb gur PVN fnsr ubhfr nf ur cynaarq pbhyq jryy unir fcbggrq ure znxvat ure pnyy gb Puvan, cbffvoyl rira znxvat ure pne va gur cebprff. Gur gvzvat vf fgvyy n ovg gbb yhpxl gb or ernyvfgvp ohg znqr sbe na njrfbzr rkvg yvar. Ab znggre ubj ovt n wrex Fabj jnf.

    Jung naablrq zr ba gur erjngpu jnf ubj vg tbrf sebz shyy qnlyvtug gb shyy qnex orgjrra Errfr naq Fabj neevivat ng gur ohvyqvat naq gurve rkvg. V thrff gung’f whfg qbja gb ybpngvba svyzvat va n ovt pvgl gubhtu.

  12. @Red Wombat – Wanted to let you know how much my roommate and I are enjoying Summer in Orcus. We have a tiny kitchen so only one person can cook, so we are reading it aloud to each other.

    All, I just finished I am Providence by Nick Mamatas and greatly enjoyed it. I haven’t had much time to even lurk here lately but it seems that Nick isn’t dropping by anymore.

    It was nice to see Meredith pop up again recently.

  13. I did a bit of looking around on social media & politicsweb yesterday, and as a result had a TERRIBLE night’s sleep. I’m now reading Summer in Orcus to compensate.

    Sprog was away for a week, so Mr Dr & I got ahead of her on the Babylon 5 re-watch. When asked if she wanted to catch up, she said “Not yet: political tension and oncoming apocalypse are not enough like escapism right now.”

  14. @IanP:

    Wacky timing there, as I just watched “Relevance” last night and it was a hand-clappingly fun time. How did you know? Is one of my cats a double agent? 😉

  15. Cats will sell anyone out for a can of tuna.

    Took a while to respond due to not being able to stop.at just one episode. Some recent scrolls have been a little tetchy too due to real life.

    Relevance is brilliant, I really like the next one, Proteus, as well. Relevance starts a PoI trend where if the opening credits go wonky it’s going to be a great episode, if there’s no opening credits at all,, seek emotional support.

  16. Camestros Felapton: File 770 The Movie: Jetpack TimeMachine Glitch Frenzy

    Outstanding! File 770 The Movie…. What a concept. We need to cast this. Is John Rhys-Davies still alive? We don’t look much alike, but wouldn’t it be cool if he hosted this blog?

  17. Loved, loved, loved Arrival. Thought it was the movie Instellar thought it tried to be.

    Currently reading oldest book on my Kindle (in regards to time separating purchase and reading). That would be Legacies, by F. Paul Wilson. I do love me some Repairman Jack.

  18. I sense a disturbance in the Scroll.

    Tried to load this page & got a not available due to maintenance error, and that I should try again in a minute.

    And when I did, got this string at the top of the page:

    Warning: filemtime(): stat failed for /home/dh_8ctd8v/file770.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/css/jetpack.css in /home/dh_8ctd8v/file770.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/class.jetpack.php on line 5669

    Going to see “Arrival” this weekend and having re-read the Ted Chiang story recently, I’m very curious to see how they manage to adapt the story to the big screen.

  19. Soon Lee: A couple people weren’t getting notifications so I let Jetpack install the new update, It broke the front page. Tech support says they will do something for me in a day or two.

  20. I dont know. When I read things like: ” A lawyer for ComicMix tells us they love Dr. Seuss and hope to resolve the suit amicably.” I ask myself – You love it so much – but you dont respect the work enough to ask for permission first?

    Considering this is “just” the estate and it is meant as a parody (or more like a hommage?) I might be overreacting though…

  21. Peer Sylvester: I ask myself – You love it so much – but you dont respect the work enough to ask for permission first? Considering this is “just” the estate and it is meant as a parody (or more like a hommage?) I might be overreacting though…

    The U.S. has a long tradition of allowing people to parody and satirize other peoples’ material. The courts have drawn lines (which may vary based on the situation) as to where things cease to become parody and satire and start to become plagiarism and intellectual property infringement — but it is considered an important part of freedom of speech here for people to be able to engage in fair use of someone else’s words or work in order to make a commentary.

  22. Confession time: although I had loved Story Of Your Life, I hadn’t completely understood it. So Arrival not only was great in itself, it allowed me to appreciate one of the best SF stories of all time again.

  23. @ Doctor Science: I am making sure to allow about an hour of reading time between engaging in political online stuff and going to bed. And what I read during that time is things that I know will make me feel good (which doesn’t always mean happy things, but it does mean no grimdark) because that breaks the loop.

  24. @Dawn – I’m also reading the Tiptree at the moment.

    It’s not looking good for humanity – wiped out twice and recovering from a nuclear war in the first four stories. Brilliantly written though, but dated in parts (letters, etc).

  25. The Jetpack tech support have come up with an update that got rid of the error message.

    Please let me know if you have any problems with notifications — I hope that the problem was fixed without causing any others.

  26. @JJ: Thanks for that.

    We did a similar internal review when we were deciding whether or not to publish A DOCTOR FOR THE ENTERPRISE (scripted by Gerrold).

    We came to two conclusions: 1 – it qualified for parody. 2 – a lawsuit would spur sales and provide untold thousands in free PR.

    Since there was no lawsuit, we still have a few copies left if anyone is looking.

    I’ve been on all four sides of the IP/rights issues: working to prevent someone from thieving; engaging in legal activities that others considered thieving, working on IP to “surround” someone else’s “property” and working to prevent someone else from surrounding my client’s property (like the IP trolls who obtain a mark and then threaten all and sundry who are using it for goods/services not covered by that mark).

    in the end, I have learned two hard and fast rules: courts are a crapshoot and, if you don’t have the warchest to defend and prosecute, unless what you have is so obscure (or new, or can’t earn anything), you may as well not have bothered.

  27. @Chris S.:

    Humanity doesn’t fare very well in many of the later stories, either. I’ve started thinking of the collection as James Tiptree, Jr.: Sex and Death. Incredible writing, but darkity dark dark dark. I basically knew this from the Sheldon bio and one or two stories I had read, but wasn’t expecting to have to take a break partway through the collection. (“Your Faces, O My Sisters! Your Faces Full of Light!”, “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?” and “With Delicate Mad Hands” all in a row was too much.)

  28. Error message gone here too.

    (1) The estate is being super non-whimsical. There are LOTS of parodies of Seuss, and parody is (at least for now) still protected by the First Amendment. When I heard there was a lawsuit, I thought it would be the notoriously grumpy Paramount/CBS.

    Sprog of Science speaks truly. I am reading fluffy stuff at bedtime, or if not fluffy, then at least not political. “Summer in Orcus” helps too.

  29. (11)
    Thanks for posting my review of Arrival! I didn’t think of my review as containing “copious spoilers” although there are a few big ones in a comment that somebody left there. I usually make it clear when there are what I consider to be major spoilers in my reviews. I apologize to any especially spoiler-phobic readers!

  30. My mother and I have very little overlap in our fiction tastes: she finds SF & F fundamentally baffling, I find most literary fiction somniferous. She just asked me if I’d heard of Elena Ferrante’s novels, and I said of course, but they’re not the sort of thing I read.

    She tried to read “My Brilliant Friend” and gave up partway through, because it was too much like a fairy tale. To quote wikipedia:

    The bigger surprise is Lila though, who despite being a very troublesome girl is an unprecedented learner. Seemingly without even trying to she learns to read better than anyone else in a much shorter time. … Lila occupies herself with her father’s shoe shop. Much to his irritation she dreams of designing new types of shoes to make them rich. In parallel, she grows very beautiful, attracting most of the neighborhood’s young men …

    My mom explains that Lila’s shoe designs are the most beautiful ever seen, the pinnacle of Italian shoe-ness, and her wedding is also the most beautiful ever seen. Also, she is 15 years old.

    Now as Mom says, this is basically a fairy tale. Is it Rumpelstilskin? Cinderella? Something characteristically Sicilian? I said I knew a lot of people who read (and write!) modern versions of fairy tales, but they generally are playing off them in some way, changing or critiquing the old stories in a way that’s fresh and/or ironic. Mom says, “No-one is talking about Ferrante that way, and I’m not going to read 3 volumes to find out whether it’s ironic or not.” So she gave the book away “to one of my silly friends who likes that sort of thing.”

    Have any of you guys read Ferrante? Do you think it’s *intended* to be a fairy-tale re-write?

  31. @Mike Glyer: “wouldn’t it be cool if he hosted this blog?” – Wait, you’re not him?!

    @Various: If I’ve asked this before, apologies. Should I read “Story of Your Life” before seeing “Arrival”? I’m hoping it’ll work either way, but I can probably squeeze in the audio version, if not the text version, before I see the movie. (Er, I hope it doesn’t disappear from theaters suddenly.)

  32. I’ve started thinking of the collection as James Tiptree, Jr.: Sex and Death.

    Not as Love is the Plan the Plan is Death?

  33. Should I read “Story of Your Life” before seeing “Arrival”? I’m hoping it’ll work either way

    Once you’ve seen/read one version, you’ll understand my temptation to drop spoilery hints in response to this….

  34. @James I concur completely. Its so easy to speak in spoilery ways about novella vis a vis movie.

  35. @Kendall I read “The Story of Your Life” for the first time a week before seeing Arrival and I feel like it made the film more enjoyable for me, but I think the film would also be perfectly enjoyable without reading the novella first, too. It might depend on whether you’re the type of person who likes to read the book before seeing the movie or vice versa. However you feel about that in general will probably be the case here, too.

  36. @ Kendall: I asked a few of my friends who have done both about this, and the consensus was that you don’t need to have read the story first, but afterwards you’ll probably want to go back and pick it up.

    One of them also mentioned that there’s an excellent scene near the beginning where the general tries to bully the scientist, and she Isn’t Having Any — but her response is so subtle that he never notices having been put in his place, and you may not either without being clued about it.

  37. I had to read the proofs for the Tiptree Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, so read the whole book through in two or three days, and it was brutal.

    Her regular collections, which had minor stories mixed in as leavening, were easier to handle. But this “Best Of” collection was all intense, all the time.

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