Pixel Scroll 11/20 Some people call me the Pixel Cowboy, some call me the Pompatus of Scrolls

(1) Richard Powers has been inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame reports Irene Gallo on Tor.com.

Science fiction artist Richard Powers is among the Society of Illustrators’ newest Hall of Fame inductees, along with Beatrix Potter, Peter de Seve, Marshall Arisman, Guy Billout, Rolf Armstrong, and William Glackens. Since 1958, the Society of Illustrators has elected to its Hall of Fame artists recognized for their “distinguished achievement in the art of illustration.”

Richard Powers was a hugely influential science fiction illustrator throughout the 1950s and ’60s…

Powers was dedicated to a fine art career alongside of his commercial work—the influences of modern art were clear throughout his illustration. While trends switched towards more literal and rendered illustration in the ’80s to ’90s, Powers is still beloved today. This year’s World Fantasy Convention mounted a special exhibit of nearly 90 Powers paintings and collages.


Paperback covers by Richard Powers.

Paperback covers by Richard Powers.

(2) There are many shots of the Richard Powers exhibit in John Davis’ photos from the 2015 World Fantasy Convention.

Andrew Porter, who sent the link, hopes you will also appreciate the five paintings and the other Powers material he contributed to the show.

(3) Gallo’s post “Twelve Tor.com Story Illustrations Make it Into Society of Illustrators Awards” features all 12 images.

We talk a lot of about writers and stories on Tor.com but we always strive to give equal attention to our visual presentation. We are indebted to the artists who work tirelessly to make us, and our stories, look good and connect to readers. With that in mind, I’m sure you can appreciate how delighted and honored I am that 12 illustrations for Tor.com Publishing have been selected for this year’s Society of Illustrators annual exhibition.

(4) Simon Spanton, associate publisher at Gollancz, left Orion on November 20. Orion said Spanton was leaving the publisher after 19 years “by mutual agreement.”

Spanton joined Orion in 1996, having started out as a bookseller in 1986 and after a spell at Macmillan UK.

He first worked on Orion’s Millennium imprint in a wide role encompassing fiction, sports books, military history and children’s fiction before it was bought by Cassell in 1999, after which he became co-editorial director for Gollancz with Jo Fletcher. Spanton was promoted to the position of associate publisher at the sci-fi and fantasy imprint in May 2013, tasked with responsibility for “innovative acquisitions and Gollancz’s social media and community engagement, as well as continuing to publish his award-winning list to its full potential”.

(5) N. K. Jemisin’s newest fan is a reader who had given up on fantasy – but is back now.

There does seem to be a theme running through a lot of the fanmail I get, along these lines: people who’d stopped reading fantasy for whatever reason have been reading my work and then feeling pulled back into the genre. And that’s awesome. I love that my audience contains so many “non-traditional” fantasy fans. But this is the kind of thing that shouldn’t be happening just because of my fiction. There’s plenty of fantasy out there with “no wizards or orcs or rangers or elves”… and while I think there isn’t nearly enough fantasy out there starring middle-aged mothers of color (or biracial polyamorous proto-goddesses, or blind black women, or Asian male ex-gods with daddy issues, or gay black male assassins, or shy black female healers, or…), there’s some other stories like that out there, too. So what’s happening here, that so many ex-fantasy readers — readers who really just need one non-formulaic book to bring them back into the fold — aren’t aware that there’s stuff here they might enjoy?

(6) Pam Uphoff rides to the rescue of NaNoWriMo participants who are out of gas, in her post at Mad Genius Club.

Welcome to the last third of NaNoWriMo, where we all despair! Let me throw out some ideas that might help you get going again.

Finished? Ha! Go back a make a searchable mark (I use ///) everyplace where you told us about something instead of showing us, instead of pulling us into the situation.

Then go back to the start and search those out. Rewrite them. Use lots of dialog. Don’t be stiff and terse. Have some fun. Have your hero call something pink. Have your heroine disagree. “Don’t be silly! It’s obviously a soft dusty salmon.” “It’s a fish?” Or flip the genders on it. He’s an artist, he sees these colors. Make the reader laugh. Or cry. Or get mad.

Then go to the next mark and rewrite that bit. Do them all.

(7) A local Spokane man was in court November 16, charged with attacking his neighbor with a Klingon bat’leth, a bladed weapon, reports  TV station KREM.

Carlo Morris Cerutti was in court Monday, accused of attacking his neighbor for putting trash in his trash can on Saturday. Court documents Cerutti, 50, is charged with Assault after swinging a Klingon sword at his neighbor.

Documents said Cerutti’s wife, Joyce, had accused their neighbor of putting trash in their trash can. The neighbor told police he had gotten into argument with the wife about the trash.

“Our next door neighbor was evicted and he was throwing his stuff in our garbage can so I took it put it in a bag, took it to him and said Jr. will you please not put your stuff in our garbage can,” said Joyce.

Joyce said the incident only escalated from there.

“I turned around and he chucked the bag at me and hit me in the back and then he started throwing garbage all over my yard,” said Joyce.

The neighbor said after the argument, Cerutti came rushing out of his house with a weapon that had multiple blades and started swinging. Court documents said the neighbor put his hands up and blocked the blade from striking him. The neighbor said he was able to pull the weapon away from Cerrutti and in the process, he fell backwards off the porch. The neighbor then called 911. Documents said when police arrived on scene Cerrutti was taken into custody for Assault and was later booked into the Spokane County Jail.

Joyce said that her husband never attacked the neighbor with a sword.  She said her husband did grab the Klingon sword off the wall and said he did swing it at the neighbor. She said he only did this after he barged into their home.

(8) Neal Stephenson will be at George R. R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau Theatre in Santa Fe to discuss Seveneves next Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson

(9) While I don’t think Brian Clegg’s “A Strange Relationship” for the SFWA Blog is heretical, surely somebody will.

Although definitions of science fiction are tricky, it surely specializes in “What if?” – placing humans (or aliens) in an imagined scenario that has an element of science or technology in its set-up and seeing how they react. This is why Jules Verne got it so wrong about H. G. Wells when comparing their fictional voyages to the Moon. Verne remarked “It occurs to me that his stories do not repose on a very scientific basis… I make use of physics.” Yet in reality, Wells did the better job. He took an admittedly fictional means of travel, but then followed it through logically in its impact on humans. Verne took an existing technology – the cannon – and used it in a totally illogical fashion, firing his astronauts into space with a g force that would have left them as soup.

It is far more important in science fiction for the follow-through of the “what if” to be realistic and logical than it is for the setup to make a clear prediction of scientific possibility.

(10) Cheezburger is letting people vote on whether “H.P. Lovecraft Looks Totally Like Woodrow Wilson”.

And you wonder why I don’t link more often to Cheezburger…

(11) Michael G. Gross, who designed the Ghostbusters logo and a famous/infamous magazine cover died November 16 at the age of 70.

Gross is perhaps best remembered at National Lampoon for the 1973 “Death” issue, whose cover featured the words “If You Don’t Buy This Magazine, We’ll Kill This Dog” emblazoned over an image of a dog with a gun to its head. “This very talented comedian named Ed Bluestone came to the office in 1972 with the line,” Beard told Splitsider in 2012. “The next day Michael found a dog who would turn its eyes away from a pistol with a little prodding. I saw this picture and simply couldn’t believe it. And it was like with a wave of his left hand. Magic.”

(12) Mike Hale finds many good things to say about Netflix’ new Jessica Jones in his review at the New York Times.

Jessica Jones,” the second of Netflix’s original series based on Marvel comic books (after “Daredevil”), is reluctantly superheroic. Created by Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter of five “Twilight” movies as well as a writer on TV shows including “Dexter,” and starring the acerbic Krysten Ritter of “Don’t Trust the B____ in Apartment 23,” it’s a clever 21st-century take on film noir, featuring a heroine who hides her superstrength because it’s at the root of her extreme emotional vulnerability and fear. There’s a tricky balancing act going on — crossing a moody detective show with both a comic action thriller and a woman-in-peril psychological drama — but Ms. Rosenberg proves to be mostly up to the task.

(13) M.I.T. researchers’ haste to open a time capsule addressed to the year 2957, found during construction, led the media to kid them about their deficient counting skills.

(14) Hunger Games‘ heroine Katniss Everdeen (played by comedian Whitney Avalon) and Harry Potter‘s Hermione Granger (played by actress Molly C. Quinn) are facing off in an epic edition of Princess Rap Battles.

[Thanks to Brian Z., John King Tarpinian, Steven H Silver, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day JJ .]

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141 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/20 Some people call me the Pixel Cowboy, some call me the Pompatus of Scrolls

  1. The interesting thing about that Confession scene was I took it as an example of Matt’s BS rather than anything intrinsic to Catholicism per se. But I can see how it would play into the stereotype.

  2. Alas, Mike, some mantis shrimp are over a foot long and can break your arm. Hard to step on.

    There’s footage of a guy petting one that’s…unsettling. He insists the shrimp is friendly, it seems to enjoy it, but when you know what they can do, it’s like watching someone pet a rattlesnake. I feel much tenser watching it than when I watch footage of people playing with pet tigers or good-natured wolverines or whatever–the fact that it’s such an alien creature makes my hindbrain go “It’s gonna turn on you any second, dude, and you’ll never know why!”

    Mammal chauvinism, probably.

  3. I think mantis shrimp would be great models for the coloration of the Burgess Shale Precambrian fauna.

  4. Probably just have different understandings of “grimdark”, but I associate grimdark with art that takes itself seriously because it has violence and other dark themes in it. However, it’s just there for the semblance of seriousness. It’s a superficial aesthetic. Jessica Jones seems committed to exploring its darkness, for really taking them seriously, in a way I don’t think grimdark does.

    The only thing that doesn’t quite work for me is Jones’ drinking. It seems to exist mostly just to show bad stuff has happened to her (though she drank too much before Kilgrave too) and sometimes to show other characters care for her. However, with one exception, so far it hasn’t affected the plot or anything else much.

  5. Oh, I wish there were equivalents of doesthedogdie.com for books and other non-movie media. Violence against animals is a thing for me, and too many authors seem to use it as a cheap & easy way to show “these bad guys are REALLY bad”. There was one book I stopped reading (actually threw across the room) after the second or third chapter when the protagonist came home to discover that the bad guys had sadistically killed his cat. (I’ve blanked the author’s name and the title, which I kind of regret as far as being able to avoid his work in the future. There was a fubjre fgnyy involved, in case anybody wants to clue me in on which author to stay away from.) Totally unnecessary, and not the sort of thing I’m willing to look beyond to give an author the benefit of the doubt.

    At this point, if an author’s go-to for showing “these are BAD bad guys” is rape, or violence against animals, or child abuse, I’m going to put the book down permanently and move on to something else in my TBR queue.

  6. Lexica – That could be Forests of the Night by S. Andrew Swann. Was the protagonist a tigerman PI? I almost didn’t get past it, and would skip that part if I reread the book.

  7. Lexica: I didn’t know about Does The Dog Die, but it is pretty much exactly in the spirit I wish for for coverage of other kinds of traumatic boundary. I’m really glad to have it called to my attention. (Called again, probably; this can’t be the first time it came up. But not everything sticks equally easily.)

  8. What lauowolf said. Gloat doesn’t have to have a specific person/group associated with it. Winners gloat, but even losers can feel schadenfreude. We didn’t have a single word or even a short phrase that means that, so we took it. As the saying goes, English hunts down other languages, mugs them, and rifles through their pockets for new words.

    Bruce, I think a trigger warning thing would be great. I too have no use for the “safe for children” or “safe for right-wingers” sites, but that would be useful. I’ve got me one of those 2nd edition Websters to defend you too.

  9. So, if I’m going to add trigger warnings when I recommend stories, what would it be useful to note? Sexual violence and harm to children and animals are obvious ones; also fires; what else?

  10. Anne Sheller — the main character was some kind of PI, yes. And poking into the first few search results for that author and title… yeah, I think that’s the one. Thank you for helping figure out who I want to avoid…

  11. Cora: those scenes… do play into a really nasty anti-Catholic stereotype (probably dating back to the Reformation) that still lingers in Protestant parts of Germany, namely that Catholics are hypocrites, because they can do whatever bad things they want and just have to go to confession and everything is forgiven. Now I understand that this particular negative sterotype about Catholics does not exist in the US

    Oh, yes, it does, in some regions / regional cultures of the U.S. Where I grew up, both Catholics and the Dutch Reformed were generally regarded (true or not) by other teenagers and adults as the worst-behaving teenagers and adults with regard to swearing, bullying, drinking, drugs, extramarital sex, and adultery, despite the fact that their religions were the most strict about these things — and this was attributed to the attitude that it was okay to do whatever they wanted, as long as they went to church each week and apologized for it.

    But yes, this seems to be something that has been adopted with great enthusiasm by Fundamentalist Christians.

  12. I’ve been learning to call them content notes instead of trigger warnings as people seem to have less emotional baggage with the terminology.

    I’m noticing more self-published authors are adding this big basic content notes to descriptions on books:
    Rape/possible non-consensual sex
    Graphic violence
    Graphic sex
    Spousal/child abuse
    Animal abuse (seen the least)
    Profanity (Chuck Wendig)

    Trad publishers are behind on this but I expect that to change as consumer reviews continue to have more and more impact and one way to cut down on negative book reviews is to make sure the right people are reading your book. Getting a ton of negative reviews which could be avoided by content notes/trigger warning makes adding them good business sense.

  13. Many thanks to the person who mentioned the Stylish option for Black Gate. It make the site much more comfortable to read.

  14. Glad to help. I have a number of triggers and have friends who’ve asked me to include notes when I review books. It makes some of my reviews look pretty funny 4 star, nice review, content notes mention 3-8 trigger things (occasionally with my comments on how leaving a number of those out would have made it a 5 star book done in a private GR group – too much grief to be that honest in public)

  15. True, “Schadenfreude” cannot be used to describe gloating at winning, while someone else is losing. In German, we usually use variants of “triumphieren” for that. See the Mozart aria “Ha, wie will ich triumphieren” for pretty much the epitome of triumphant gloating (Hint: Never sing that in public or you will spook the neighbours). Nonetheless, gloating works perfectly well as an English translation for “Schadenfreude”, even if it has a broader meaning. But then few words translate perfectly.

    Regarding trigger/content warnings, one problem is that there are so many different potential triggers that it’s difficult to cover them all, especially since triggers can be highly individual. For example, dead pets don’t affect me beyond an “That’s so blatantly manipulative” eye-roll. Whereas some of my personal triggers are things no one thinks to warn about.

    Nonetheless, I think it’s simple courtesy to warn of common triggers like sexual violence, self-harm, graphic physical violence, domestic violence, suicide, animal abuse, dead children, etc…

  16. @AYK Bob: (Mrs. Blandings)

    Surely I’m not the only one who derives extra humor from that clip by the fact that it’s in black and white.

    @Cora: (schadenfreude vs. gloat)

    I really don’t see that equivalence. I’ve always thought of schadenfreude as a specific pleasure/satisfaction that might lead me to gloat as a reaction to it, but only if I had some hand in causing it.

  17. @ Russell Letson
    re: clothes colors.

    You sound like my husband. When we’ve shopped at REI or similar (sporting goods store for non-USians) he migrates to all the brightly colored shirts and shorts every time and I have to gently take him out of the women’s section every time, too. 😀

  18. @Bruce Baugh

    (That’s right, you had to stop reading Ancillary Justice, I think?)

    Hmm. Transformative works fandom is where I’d expect to see stuff like that pop up, but I don’t think I’ve seen it on a collated, organised basis. Not outside of fanfiction, anyway.


    For me? Self-harm and/or anorexia (accurate depictions of the mindset for either of them – bad depictions are usually pretty much fine). Torture and massacres also seem like they’d be appropriate (but don’t hurt me personally).


    If there’s something (or several somethings) specific you’d like flagged up I could make note of it for the future?

    @Tasha Turner

    I like the idea of calling them content notes.

  19. It occurred to me that if there are concerns about spoilers, warnings/content notes could be rot13’d.

    ETA e.g.

    Content notes: Fbzrbar jrnevat gbb zhpu creshzr, fvpxravatyl phgr xvggraf, naq gvpxyr gbegher.

  20. FWIW I’ve always thought of gloating as active and external (unless modified in some way, like “I gloated to myself”)–so something you do, and schadenfreude as passive and internal, something you experience.

  21. “Gloat” – a word which is, among other things, a verb in its most common usage – is simply not the equivalent of Schadenfreude, a word which is a noun. Even the noun form of gloat describes an action rather than a feeling. We should put this mistaken equivalence to bed and move on.

  22. Pingback: Amazing Stories | AMAZING NEWS FROM FANDOM: 11/22/15 - Amazing Stories

  23. For films and TV shows, the Parents Guide feature of IMDb provides content warnings on some material that people might find objectionable. It’s a wiki contributed by users. The page for Daredevil mentions torture.

    When my sons were younger, I used it to narrowly avoid taking them to Year One. I wish I’d checked it before taking them to Serenity, because I did not expect the terrifying and fantastically evocative Reavers. My youngest was four and I took him to that! I felt like I was being hit by you’re-a-bad-parent laser beams from everyone else in the theater.

  24. For many, many years I read to my daughter every night.
    Pretty much a wonderful experience, with the occasional unexpected marathon – no, you can’t put the book down with Frodo bit by the spider and expect her to sleep, so you just keep reading til you reach a reasonable stopping point.
    So there were occasional evenings where it was like three hours, and we just slept in the next morning.
    Priorities, you know.
    And the time the kid’s book that had looked fine in the library, and that we were most of the way through, was going to have the – was it a cat? was it a dragon? – die.
    Seriously, wtf, kid’s book.
    I had to edit out and improvise on the fly to finish the damned book without severe tire damage.
    No Old Yeller, or The Yearling for us, of course, but this one had snuck in somehow.
    So yes, animal death warnings, please!

    Kid also, btw, informed me when she was about seven that there was a serious problem with children’s fantasy books, in that they often wanted to make the point that Life was Real and Earnest, and they did this by having the troubled or unhappy kid give up the fantasy pet or secret world as part of the Now It’s All Better ending, and she just hated that.
    I can’t quite figure out how one would warn for that one, but it’s one of the reasons we pretty much just went onto regular fantasy and skipped a lot of the youth stuff.
    The grown-ups want to keep their dragons.

  25. @Lauwolf:

    Everyone who reads aloud to a child endears themself to me forever.

    I have many fond memories of reading aloud, or hearing read, Tolkien, quite a lot of mythology and medieval epics, and most of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books.

    The “the REAL way to grow up is to give up magic things forever” books enraged and infuriated and distressed me horribly when I was a child.

  26. Yeah, my dad read Lord of the Rings to us when I was a kid too. He actually skipped over the part where Frodo was captured.

  27. Jim: “A little dismemberment” as the last, throwaway content note made me laugh. But since very few of us have experienced dismemberment, it probably is much less triggering than the other evildoings.

  28. @Jim Henley great review. The tone of the content notes was perfect.

    To me one of the important things with content notes is not to make them sound negative or judgmental but just another fact being provided. They help readers/watchers/listeners find works which will bring them joy and avoid ones which will cause temporary harm. This is to everyone’s benefit. No art/book/comic/movie/TV show is for everyone.

    Reviewers help connect the right work with the right audience. Leading to happy artist and fans.

  29. A few more reviews dropped after far too much grading and a bit of a trainwreck in one class that led to some revisions and preparation of “how to synthesize and oh yes how to do textual attribution please just because it’s being written for oral presentation doesn’t mean you don’t attribute” to (I hope) mitigate the trainwreck part.

    Four weeks left until the end of term!

    Reviews: Ammonite Nicola Griffith (2002)

    McCam, Allie. “Review: Ammonite by Nicola Griffith.” Tethyan Books. 23 August 2011. Web. 21 November 2015.

    Parker, Danielle. “Nicola Griffith, Ammonite.” Bewildering Stories. 2006. Web. 21 November 2015.

    “Review: Ammonite by Nicola Griffith.” Novels About Queer People. 2012. Web. 21 November 2015.

    Sherry, Joe. “Ammonite, by Nicola Griffith.” Adventures in Reading. 9 June 2009. Web. 21 November 2015.

    Thornton, Jonathan. “WoGF Review: Ammonite by Nicola Griffith. Worlds Without End. 27 March 2013. Web. 21 November 2015.

    Weber, Rob. “Ammonite – Nicola Griffith.” Val’s Random Comments. 13 April 2014. Web. 21 November 2015.

    Wisse, Martin. “Ammonite, Nicola Griffith.” SF Mistressworks. 4 June 2011. Web. 21 November 2015.

  30. More reviews!

    The Fifth Season N. K. Jemisin (2015)

    Alexander, Niall. “‘Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall; Death is the Fifth and Master of All’: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin.” Tor.com. 3 August 2015. Web. 22 November 2015.

    Grilo, Ana and Thea James. “Joint Review: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin.” The Book Smugglers. August 2015. Web. 22 November 2015.

    Heller, Jason. “‘Fifth Season’ Embraces The Scale and Complexity of Fantasy.” NPR Books. 4 August 2015. Web. 22 November 2015.

    McKinney, Bridget. “Book Review: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin.” SF Bluestocking. 4 September 2015. Web. 22 November 2015.

    Mogsy. “Book Review: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin.” The BiblioSanctum. 20 July 2015. Web. 22 November 2015.

    Nathan. “Fantasy Review: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin.” Fantasy Review Barn. 9 August 2015. Web. 22 November 2015.

    Novik, Naomi. “‘The Fifth Season’ by N. K. Jemisin.” The New York Times Sunday Book Review. 6 August 2015. Web. 22 Novembe 2015.

  31. Peace Is My Middle Name on November 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm said:

    Everyone who reads aloud to a child endears themself to me forever.

    I have many fond memories of reading aloud, or hearing read, Tolkien, quite a lot of mythology and medieval epics, and most of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books.

    The “the REAL way to grow up is to give up magic things forever” books enraged and infuriated and distressed me horribly when I was a child.

    She and her wife are currently reading Ancillary Mercy aloud to each other.
    My work is done.

  32. And the time the kid’s book that had looked fine in the library, and that we were most of the way through, was going to have the – was it a cat? was it a dragon? – die.
    Seriously, wtf, kid’s book.

    Which is why Gordon Korman wrote “No More Dead Dogs” 🙂

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