Pixel Scroll 1/12/17 Midnight at the Well of Pixels

(1) THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS TYRION. ScienceFiction.com says “Peter Dinklage Is Rumored To Be In Talks To Join ‘Avengers: Infinity War’” and makes a very entertaining post from its inconclusive guesses about what Marvel character he might play.

…The next two ‘Avengers’ movies are expected to shoot back-to-back and whatever role Dinklage is in negotiations for, he will appear in both.

Very little is known about ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ other than it will feature every surviving Marvel Cinematic hero, including all of the Avengers, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy.  And it will feature the clash with warlord Thanos, something that has been teased since the first ‘Avengers’ in 2012.  It will be directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, who previously helmed ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and ‘Captain America: Civil War’. …

(2) HELP CHANGE THE LAW. Opponents of the new California autograph law say they have lined up a State Assembly member to introduce legislation to constructively amend AB 1570. It is anticipated the bill will be drafted and ready to introduce by mid-February. In the meantime, they continue to ask people show their support by signing their petition at Change.org.

(3) BUY LINGUAL. Rachel Cordasco’s “Roundtable on Speculative Fiction in Translation: Past, Present, Future” at Tor.com brings together Neil Clarke, Sarah Dodd, Cristina Jurado, Cheryl Morgan, and Marian Womack:

Q: How do you work to increase the visibility of sf in translation? Is it mainly through marketing and social media, or other avenues as well? What can people like myself (reviewers, bloggers) do to promote sf in translation in effective ways?

Neil Clarke: Unfortunately, translated works still carry a bit of stigma with readers. It’s like your mom trying to get you to eat a vegetable she knows you’ll like if you just give it a try. One approach is to be low key about it. Treat it like any other piece of food on the plate and surround it with their more traditional selections. Publishers have been doing this for years…leveraging one success to create opportunities to take risks on others. The big difference is that translations can be significantly more expensive.

The best thing I can do for translations, aside from publishing great stories, is to be actively involved in making connections in the international science fiction community and keep them aware that translation is an option that is available to them.

The best thing readers and reviewers can do is support the books and stories they enjoy. All authors enjoy their books being favorably reviewed, but many of the foreign authors I’ve worked with have mentioned that recognition from the English-language market is extra special. Many of the biggest names in SF are published in English. It carries some prestige most of us don’t even think about.

Sarah Dodd: A really important thing that reviewers and bloggers can do is name the translator. (Yes, it seems basic, but it’s amazing how often reviews of translated fiction omit the translator’s name entirely!) The wonderful @TranslatedWorld began the #namethetranslator campaign in 2013, and they’ve been really promoting the work of translators to give them greater visibility. One of the things we’ve realized, working on other translation projects, is just how much the translator does, going beyond the translation itself—a lot of translators also do a huge amount of work pitching the books and stories they love, and then helping drum up interest and publicize them when they come out. So it would be really great to see more of a focus on the translators themselves (something we’re planning to do in Samovar, through our author and translator spotlights)….

(4) THEY SAID IT COULDN’T BE DONE. Walter Jon Williams, before getting around to the TV adaptation, decided to first reread Philip K. Dick’s novel — “Revisiting the Classics: The Man in the High Castle”.

I hadn’t got very far into the re-reading before I came to the conclusion that there was no damn fucking way this could ever be made into a TV series.  The narration is too internal, there is very little dramatizable action, and you can’t make the manipulation of 49 yarrow stalks followed by the reading of an opaque text dramatically interesting.  What HBO has done, I’m sure, is create a situation more or less parallel to that of the novel, and some characters with the same names and some of the same problems, and then done what TV people do to make that interesting.  The series might well be successful on its own terms, it just won’t be The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick.  (Those of you who have seen the [Amazon] series can tell me if I’m right.  I’m particularly interested to learn whether they made successful drama out of I Ching readings.)

And that’s only his first argument why it couldn’t be made for TV.

(5) CRAVING DYSTOPIAS. Boston Review fiction editor Junot Diaz has put out a call for material on the theme of global dystopias, maximum length 5,000 words.

Over the last decades dystopian narratives have proliferated to the point where they seem to have become our default mode for conceptualizing the future. But dystopias are not merely fantasies of a minatory future; they offer critically important reflection upon our present. If (as Tom Moylan has argued) traditional dystopias crafted cognitive maps of the terrors of the twentieth century, what cognitive maps does our current dystopian turn provide us of our turbulent global present?

Throughout 2017 BostonReview.net will feature stories, essays, and interviews on the theme of global dystopias. The project will culminate in a special print issue in the fall of 2017.

We are seeking essays, interviews, and fiction from writers around the globe that engage the theme of dystopia. Nonfiction, personal essay, genre fiction (SF, fantasy, horror, Afrofuturist, slipstream), and work that resides across/between genres are welcome.

Submissions might explore, but are not limited to:

  • Inequality / precarity
  • The Global South
  • Climate change
  • Global democracy
  • Civic media and civic imaginaries
  • Afrofuturism
  • The War on Terror
  • International politics and speculative futures
  • Post-humanisms
  • The future of females
  • Gendered violence
  • Radical futurities

The submissions period is open for fiction and nonfiction via Submittable until May 1, 2017.

(7) DEALER’S CHOICE. The third video in a series about the origins of George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards universe.is now on YouTube:


  • Activated January 12 — HAL 9000. According to the movie, he was activated in Urbana, Illinois, on January 12, 1992. For reasons that even Clarke didn’t remember, years later, in the book the date shifted to 1997.


  • Born January 12, 1628 — Charles Perrault, author of the Mother Goose stories.
  • Born January 12, 1965 – Rob Zombie

(10) PRATCHETT LIFE COMING TO TV. A Terry Pratchett bio program is in the works at the BBC. From Radio Times “BBC reveal plans for ‘poignant’ new Terry Pratchett documentary”.

The BBC is making a documentary about the late writer Terry Pratchett in which his words will be read in character by actor Paul Kaye.

Terry Pratchett: Back In Black is told in Pratchett’s own words, with contributions from authors Neil Gaiman and Val McDermid, and his long-serving assistant Rob Wilkins. Kaye’s impression of Pratchett is said to be “uncanny” according to the BBC.

The programme, which airs on BBC2 later this year, will follow his life from his troubled schooldays, to being dismissed by literary critics, to the remarkable creation of the Discworld series of fantasy novels, which have since sold over 85 million copies worldwide.

It will also chronicle Pratchett’s battle with Alzheimer’s and his death in 2015.

(11) COMICS ON THE HORIZON. In 2017, at least three SF/F novels will be adapted into comic books. Titan Comics will be adapting Forever War by Joe Haldeman, with Haldeman writing the comic and Mavarno doing the art, as well as Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula, with Newman writing and art by Paul McCaffrey. Finally, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods will become a Dark Horse comic book with P. Craig Russell writing and art by Scott Hamilton.

Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War was a groundbreaking science-fiction novel when originally published in 1974, merging high-concept science fiction with gripping social commentary. Next year, Titan Comics are reprinting and serializing the 1988 adaptation written by Haldeman himself, with art by the legendary Mavarno.
Titan’s reprint of the series serializes the original volumes and come packed with bonus materials, including design elements from the series and multiple, brand-new covers for each issue.

And now, it’s finally making it to comics. Titan has announced an Anno Dracula adaptation set for March of 2017, written by Newman with art by Paul McCaffrey.

Originally published in 1992, the first Anno Dracula novel takes place in 1888, focusing on the early years of a society where vampires have just gone public, and a mystery — for the characters, if not the readers — surrounding the Whitechapel murders of Jack the Ripper.

Gaiman said in a statement: “I’ve been watching P. Craig Russell breaking down the book into comic form, watching Scott Hampton painting the pages, watching Glenn Fabry create the covers, and grinning to myself with delight, because the American Gods comic is going to be an astonishing, faithful, and beautiful adaptation.”

(12) DRAFT NOTICE.  Narragansett Brewing Co. wants you to know “The Unnamable Is Coming…”

Unnamable beer

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Mark-kitteh, Rob Thornton JJ, Andrew Porter, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Michael J. Walsh.]

72 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/12/17 Midnight at the Well of Pixels

  1. Hampus, did you get my reply email yesterday? I need your help deciding how to use the item you sent.

  2. “Hampus, did you get my reply email yesterday? I need your help deciding how to use the item you sent.”

    I will check now. Sorry, that is my old mail address I only use when not on a work computer.

    EDIT: I got one yesterday, but I answered it?

  3. Off-topic question, and I apologize if it’s been answered elsewhere: does the December 2016 limited release of “Hidden Figures” make it eligible for nomination this year or do I need to wait until 2018?

  4. You may have gotten one from me but not both. I just resent my question to both addresses I have for you.

  5. Rob Thornton: Let the appertainment begin! I carefully worked over that section and did everything except put in the right content….

  6. @Hampus

    I see that Worldcon 75 also will have the possibility to sponsor benches. Or more intriguing, to sponsor a craft spot.

    My Mom will be happy to hear this. She has problems walking for longer times and needs to sit down at regular intervals, so benches are important to her.

  7. 3)
    Speaking as a translator myself (albeit only rarely for fiction), yes, please name the translator when discussing a translated novel/story. The magazines that publish translated fiction and non-fiction actually do pretty well in this regard and always name the translator, but it would be great if reviews, links, etc… would do so as well.

  8. Off-topic question, and I apologize if it’s been answered elsewhere: does the December 2016 limited release of “Hidden Figures” make it eligible for nomination this year or do I need to wait until 2018?

    The film Predestination also had limited distribution, but the Worldcon Business Meeting gave it extended eligibility. See http://sasquan.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2015-WSFS-Minutes-Complete.pdf

    And it was a fine film version of Heinlein’s All You Zombies.

  9. Jonathan Edelstein, in other words, go ahead and nominate Hidden Figures this year, and if it doesn’t make the final ballot, consider sponsoring a Resolution for this year’s WSFS Business Meeting to extend its eligibility until next year.

  10. Off-topic question, and I apologize if it’s been answered elsewhere: does the December 2016 limited release of “Hidden Figures” make it eligible for nomination this year or do I need to wait until 2018?

    It’s only eligible THIS year unless, as Michael said, someone asks this year’s Business Meeting to give it extended eligibility for next year, too.

    It did as well or better than Rogue One at the box office. I don’t know that that would constitute a limited release. But the Business Meeting is the final arbiter.

    Deadline for adding things to the Business Meeting Agenda will probably be sometime around late July or early August. By then we’ll know if it made the final six on the ballot.

    ETA: Ninjad by JJ

  11. (11) In the part about The Forever War, the blockquoted text is right but Mike’s summary is misleading. To be clear, a new adaptation is not being done; this is a reprint. (I read the comic years ago and vaguely remember it being… competent, but disappointing.)

  12. @Hampus
    Dinklage IS Trask but that’s in the X-men continuity, not the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

  13. Concerning this scroll’s title…

    Coming up on 12th year anniversary of Jack Chalker’s passing. A good guy who is missed.

  14. Just dropping by to mention that Craig R, who has been known to comment here, is missing Arisia this year due to a kidney stone. The stone has been destroyed through being shot by a laser (technically lithotripsy), but he is not really at his happiest just now. If he’s already been by here to mention the kidney stone, please ignore this message.
    Also, FYI, there is a doctor in the Memorial Hospital emergency department in Worcester who has been overheard telling a man with a kidney stone “Three millimeters? That’s not so bad!” when the man in question has sweated through his jacket from the pain and looked bad enough that the triage nurse assigned him a pain score of ten out of ten on sight. One wonders what this doctor says when presented with amputations.

  15. Leslie C … regarding kidney stones. As a friend comment to me after my 3mm adventure during the Reno Worldcon: “I’ve done kidney stone and I’ve done childbirth, and I’d rather do childbirth again.”

    The doc has not idea, just no idea.

  16. I’ve had kidney stones. Had one just last year. I don’t really think the size matters. I think the biggest one I had hurt less than one of the others. They are, shall we say, sufficient.

    I’ve heard the comparison to childbirth. For a while, I went around believing I’d experienced more pain than a birth giver, but now I tend to doubt it. For one thing, the kidney stone pain is only around for maybe a couple of hours from the time I wake up at five in the morning to the time Cathy has gotten me to the ER and arranged for that shot in the thigh that makes everything go white. A mother giving birth has to sort of stick around, and it goes on and on.

    Also, at the end of childbirth, they give you a kid. Most times I had a kidney stone, I didn’t even get to keep it. They just took it away and ground it up so they could tell me, “Yup. It’s like all the others. Just cut out all dairy products, meat, green vegetables, and nuts, and drink two gallons of water a day, and you’ll get an extra year between stones.”

    Well, that’s another boring story for another boring day. I did, however, save one of my stones, and every now and then I find it and look at it under magnification, where it is intricate and kind of beautiful. I made that—no hands!

  17. I told Craig that, should we be in that situation again, accidentally kicking the doctor in the crotch would be entirely understandable.

  18. The deadline for submitting new business to the 2017 WSFS Business Meeting is July 27, 2017, 14 days before the Preliminary Business Meeting. Details on mechanics of submitting business will be published closer to the convention. Any two members (attending or supporting) of Worldcon 75 may submit proposals, although you have to be present at the meeting to debate and vote on them.

  19. @Josh Jasper Dinklage would be a good fit for Pip The Troll
    Dunno. He didn’t take well to being an elf

    Re: Hidden Figures eligibility. In week 1 and 2 of release, it was only in 25 theaters. Week 3, the first full week of January, it was in 2471 theaters. I’d imagine it was establishing Oscar eligibility in late 2016 before going into wide release this year, and hopes to ride a wave of good reception into an Academy Award or two.

  20. I once knew a woman who wore one of her own gallstones, polished, on a ring. It looked sort of like an opal, but dark.

    The Well of Souls series brings back formative science fiction memories, *nostaligicsigh.

  21. Cora on January 12, 2017 at 6:16 pm said:
    Speaking as a translator myself (albeit only rarely for fiction), yes, please name the translator when discussing a translated novel/story.

    Dlique or Zeiat?

  22. (1) THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS TYRION. I like Dinklage, so I’m intrigued.

    (11) COMICS ON THE HORIZON. Yummy. Russell’s one of my favorite comic artists, but IIRC Hampton’s excellent as well.

    @Leslie C: Ugh, sorry to hear that about @Craig R! I’ve had a couple of kidney stones, and they were horrifically painful. Lasers, eh? Better than what I got (almost nothing, by the time I went to the hospital; too late to really do much).

    @Michael J. Walsh: I’ve also heard it’s more painful than childbirth. I wouldn’t know, but lordy, I wanted to jump out a high window.

    @Kip W: Wow, I never heard all those instructions, but I have drunk more water for years now, and I’ve only had one, probably, since my first couple (before I really took water more seriously). *whew*

  23. I get the impression that the MCU rather likes casting against type, as with the Ancient One being a young white woman rather than a wizened Tibetan. So I’d be not the least bit surprised by PD playing a part one wouldn’t normally associate with a short person.

  24. !

    The new Series of Unfortunate Events show is out!

    I’m a biiiiig fan of the books.
    An episode and a half in, I am really enjoying. It’s not the same as the books, but it’s GOOD.

  25. @Standback: Thanks, I let my other half (the fan of the books) know. 😀 We have Netflix, whew.

  26. not the least bit surprised by PD playing a part one wouldn’t normally associate with a short person

    “Hulk Drink! Hulk know things! That what Hulk do!”

  27. Dinklage could do Pip The Troll in his sleep, so I hope Marvel offers him something else.

  28. Charon D
    I have fantasized about having that tiny stone put into a drop of glass and set on a ring. I did sketches of it with the intent of making a lithographic print, but ended up changing the subject.

    I exaggerated. They only want me to drink something like eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily or something like that, and cut down precipitously on all those other things, which are all associated with stones. The urologists back in Virginia told me my stones were composite: part calcium, part oxalic acid, and that the calcium part was due to dairy products and the oxalic part was green leafy vegetables. The prospect of life without either was absurd (I have my skeletal system to consider, for one thing), so I was resigned to a life of periodic stones.

    Then my sister said she’d read (in the evangelistic but not entirely reliable Adelle Davis) that taking magnesium daily would enable my body to metabolize the calcium as I went along instead of having it precipitate (or maybe I have those backwards—this was around 1990) as stones. I started taking it then, and didn’t have another stone (I’d had three by then) until last year. Though that stone measured 3mm x 7mm, and they went up and in to kill it and take it out, I still think that going without a stone for a quarter century was pretty good. I never even got to see that one. The worst part was when they went back in to take out the stent a couple of weeks after the initial emergency. I wept and worse.

    I don’t remember what my exact water intake quota is now. I converted their instructions to “When you remember the existence of water, drink some.” Excuse me.

  29. Thanks to everyone who gave advice – I put Hidden Figures in for the Hugo and Bradbury and we’ll see what happens.

  30. @Kip W: “When you remember the existence of water, drink some.” – That’s not a bad approach. 🙂 Congrats on the quarter century stone-free, but yowza, that one last year sounds like it was pretty bad. Here’s hoping for more decades without stones!

  31. (11) Did a previous scroll cover the graphic novel version of Kindred? I can’t remember where I heard that was coming out. If not, hey, Octavia Butler’s novel Kindred was released as a graphic novel earlier this week, so at least 4 SFF titles are getting that treatment this year.

  32. @DMS: I seem recall the graphic novel of Kindred being covered previously. 4 (or more?) SFF titles getting comic treatment is kinda cool. 🙂

  33. (4) Well, he is right – somehow. A TV production Never is like the book – in fact the bad ones try to be too literal. A TV is a different medium and needs adjustments in the story.

    (1) Nothing is known. Well see… Perhaps even a new Netflix-series (So he will have something to do Post-GOT)…

    Who scrolled the Pixel from the pixeljar?

  34. Ebook sale a.k.a. Meredith Moment (U.S. edition):

    One Night in Sixes by Arianne ‘Tex’ Thompson is on sale for 99 cents from Solaris (uses DRM) at the usual places. This is book one of “The Children of the Drought,” a “weird West” fantasy – not my usual, but it sounded interesting to me when I put it on my list. Now to read the sample!

    Anyone read this book/series?

  35. Kendall on January 13, 2017 at 8:50 am said:
    @Peer Sylvester: “Who scrolled the Pixel from the pixeljar?” Wasn’t me! ?

    Then who?

  36. Kendall on January 13, 2017 at 8:50 am said:
    @Peer Sylvester: “Who scrolled the Pixel from the pixeljar?” Wasn’t me! ?

    Then who?


  37. @Doctor Science

    Has someone already mentioned the video of landing on Titan? Using actual footage!

    I was reading about that today, but I hadn’t seen the footage. That’s awesome! Thanks!

  38. Michael J. Walsh on January 12, 2017 at 7:25 pm said:

    Leslie C … regarding kidney stones. As a friend comment to me after my 3mm adventure during the Reno Worldcon: “I’ve done kidney stone and I’ve done childbirth, and I’d rather do childbirth again.”

    The doc has not idea, just no idea.

    Maybe the doctor is British.

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