Pixel Scroll 1/15/17 We Have Always Been At Scroll With Arisia

Happy birthday CROP

(1) HAPPY NINTH BIRTHDAY FILE 770! January 15, 2008 is when I wrote my first post for File 770. That’s the day it all began, although you can find posts here with earlier dates imported from an old Blogspot site I never did much with, or are copies of posts written for Victor Gonzalez’s Trufen.net.

(2) INSTANT WINNER. Iphinome has scripted a line for the must-have confrontation scene in Star Wars IX:

Hello. My Name is Leia Organa. You killed my husband. Prepare to die.

(3) NAME ABOVE THE TITLE. Cameron gets first billing over sf in this series — “’James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction’ will debut on the cable network in 2018”.

AMC has ordered a new documentary series from James Cameron that will explore the evolution of sc-fi.

Tentatively titled James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, the six-episode series will delve into sci-fi’s origins as a small genre with a cult following to the blockbuster pop-culture phenonmenon it is today. The show is slated to debut in 2018.

In each hourlong episode, the Avatar director will introduce one of the “big questions” that humankind has contemplated throughout the ages, and reach back into sci-fi’s past to better understand how our favorite films, TV shows, books, and video games were born, and where the genre — and our species — might be going in the future. Cameron and his contemporaries, who have helped to fuel sci-fi’s spectacular growth over the last several decades, also debate the merit, meaning and impact of the films and novels that influenced them.

(4) THE SEQUEL. Unless Hugh Jackman consents to a Deadpool/Wolverine team-up, here’s what’s on the drawing board — “’Deadpool 2’ Writers Talk Return of Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Colossus, Dopinder, and Arrival of Cable”

First, scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick chatted with Collider, confirming that when Reynolds’ anti-hero returns, Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, the two X-Men who joined him on his mission of revenge in last year’s $783 million-grossing hit, will be on screen again as well. The extent of their participation remains unknown (“They’ll make at least an appearance,” says Wernick), but clearly, the makers of the upcoming sequel — including new director David Leitch (John Wick) — are interested in maintaining some continuity between their new effort and its predecessor.

For further proof, Wernick then went on to tell Nerdist that Deadpool will also once again pal around with Karan Soni’s Dopinder, the cab driver who bonded with — and heeded the advice of — the Marvel assassin in the original film. As the writer said, “I would say that the relationship between Dopinder and Deadpool was the most fun for me. I love that relationship and I love that character. And he’ll be in the sequel.”

(5) LUPIEN OBIT. SF Site News reports that Montreal fan Leslie Lupien (1921-2016) died on October 25.


  • January 15, 1831 — Victor Hugo finishes writing Notre Dame de Paris, also known as The Hunchback of Notre Dame.


  • Born January 15, 1935 — Robert Silverberg

(8) DIVERGENT AUTHOR. There is a profile of Veronica Roth by M.B. Roberts in the January 15 Parade Magazine, as part of a regular feature on how celebrities spend their Sundays.  We learn that Roth wears pajamas most days unless she is going out to exercise, how her favorite breakfast is Kashi Oat Flakes and Blueberry Clusters,and even her favorite wine (Petilant-naturel).  The profile is tied to the publication of the first book of Roth’s new series, Carve the Mark, and is unusual because it’s the first profile of a novelist in this feature, which usually interviews actors or musicians.

(9) INSIDE BASEBALL. I wrote to the person who sent me yesterday’s item about Jonathan McCalmont refusing award nominations —

I’ll use this, though it will violate the unspoken I’ll-ignore-you-if-you-ignore-me truce I have enjoyed since we moved past the whole platforming fascists thing.

McCalmont making this kind of announcement is news, after all.

McCalmont may or may not have been responding in this tweet.

There are, after all, hundreds of sf blogs in America. However, our mutual friend Mondyboy is sure he could only be talking about mine —

— because peace would be too long….

(10) READING ASSISTANCE. Greg Hullender says Rocket Stack Rank’s information for the three short fiction Hugo categories is up, as is the info for the Campbell Award.

The professional artist page will be available on January 16.

The best editor (short form) page will be available on January 23.

Hullender adds, “We decided not to try to do Best Fan Artist this year because the field is just too vast to have any hope of doing it right.”

Help Making Short-Fiction Nominations

If you’re still looking for things to read

You can find information on this page for:

The stories in each of these lists are grouped by a “recommendation score” from six prolific short-fiction reviewers, and each entry includes links to reviews.

(11) TINGLE TIME. This weekend at Arisia Pablo Vazquez and Mark Oshiro were part of a panel about Chuck Tingle. Vazquez invited the good doctor to send a statement for them to read.

The text is posted on Pablo M.A. Vazquez’s blog: Dr. Chuck Tingle’s 2017 State of the Buck Address.

The following is Dr. Chuck Tingle’s (World’s Greatest Author) State of the Buck Address, delivered by yours truly on his behalf at Arisia 2017. Enjoy the wisdom and thanks to the eternal Dr. Chuck Tingle, constantly helping us find ourselves as bucks. It is unedited, presented in its original true buckaroo purity.

here is important statement: hello this is DR CHUCK TINGLE writing to you from billings thanks to online bud name of pablo and online bud name of mark! tonight is a good way son jon and clowy are watching a BIG TIME MOVE in the living room name of MATTS DAMON TAKES LAS VEGAS it is very loud and handsome matt just punched a scoundrel. i have had three chocolate milks jon thinks i have had 1. so that is my night how is yours buckaroos? …

(12) FIRST TRUMP. I’m guessing this isn’t going to be a hagiography: “Roger Corman Revs Up ‘Death Race 2050’; ‘We Have the First Picture to Portray Donald Trump as the President of the United States”.

Prior to Death Race 2050, the Death Race franchise was revived as a 2008 feature by Paul W.S. Anderson followed by a series of direct-to-DVD spin-offs. What were your contributions to those versions?

My work as a producer on those was almost zero. They gave me the script to the first one, and the others, and asked for my notes on the first one, but other than that I had no actual function. But I know Paul Anderson and I know what he was doing [with Death Race]. He was going for a straight action picture, which was what the first draft of Death Race 2000 was as well. When I read it, I thought there was something missing, and that’s when I came up with the idea of the drivers’ killing of the pedestrians, as a way to integrate the public with the violent sport that they love. But you couldn’t take that too seriously, so that’s when I introduced the element of comedy. When I called Universal about [their plans for] Death Race, I told them that [satire] was really essential to the original idea. So they asked me if I would like to make one. I went back to the original idea and here we are.

(13) EARLY ARRIVAL. Fandango shows some alternatives to the aliens who made the screen — “’Arrival’ Concept Art Reveals Much Creepier Aliens”.

The final movie features contact with an alien species (partially pictured above) that is awe inspiring and yet comforting, albeit in a strange, unsettling kind of way. They’re enormous, but they’re gentle. They’re clearly capable of great things, but they constantly act with restraint. Their very presence is a perfect balance between shock and curiosity. Had the aliens looked a little different, however, that balance may have been thrown off quite a bit. And now thanks to some early, unused concept art from Peter Konig, we can imagine what could have been, and appreciate what ended up happening all the more.

Perhaps the most impactful difference between Konig’s proposed designs and the final version is the presence of eyes. Director Denis Villenueve wisely opted to go for a design that didn’t have eyes as a focal point, which helps defuse a lot of potential baggage by blocking up those pesky windows to the soul.

(14) STILL SPEAKING OF ARRIVAL. In “Emergency Dialect” in Real Life Magazine, Paco Salas Perez explains why Arrival is based on a surprisingly deep understanding of linguistics.

Linguists and computer scientists use a rubric known as the Chomsky hierarchy, first put forward by Noam Chomsky in 1956, which seeks to describe the major classes of formal grammars — the rules that define the possible sentences of a language. There are four types, ranked by computational power, with Type 3 being the simplest and smallest family of grammars, and Type 0 the most powerful. Any programmer is aware that some higher-level languages are more powerful than lower-level ones, but that lower-level languages are often easier to use for certain dedicated tasks that require verbose solutions in more powerful languages. The same is true for communication systems produced by evolution. Gestural systems like those found among primates are simple and highly effective: they’re based on individual signals, each associated with broad meanings like “food” or “danger,” but with no regular relations between signs, which are instead produced in an unordered and unstructured, “stream of consciousness” manner, even by primates who have been taught to sign by humans. Human language, and only human language, exhibits properties from Types 1, 2, and 3.

Heptapod B doesn’t play by the rules we’re used to….

(15) THE B TEAM. Carl Slaughter confesses, “Spoof, parody, satire, I can never remember the difference.  Anyway, if you want to watch a spoof-parody-satire series of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, try Interns of Field’ from Screen Junkies.  If Shield is the B team to Avengers, Field is the B team to S.H.I.E.L.D. – ‘Interns, assemble!’” This video was first posted a year ago —

[Thanks to Carl Slaughter, Martin Morse Wooster, Harold Osler, Gregory N. Hullender, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day IanP.]

58 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/15/17 We Have Always Been At Scroll With Arisia

  1. “Paul Anderson”? That must be a… oh. It’s really his name. Well, too late. I already appertained.

    For God’s sake, let us sit upon the file. And scroll sad pixels of the heat death of kings…

  2. Happy Birthday, Mike & File 770!

    Re: those Arrival designs, I’m glad they didn’t use No. 3. It had more than a bit of Alien head about it.

  3. If Leslie Lupien died on Oct 25, then shouldn’t the lifespan be (1921-2016)?

    (fünfte, cinquième, quinto, vijfde, FIFTH)

  4. Bill: If Leslie Lupien died on Oct 25, then shouldn’t the lifespan be (1921-2016)?

    It’s that pesky shoggoth at work in the File770 time machine again.

  5. Lis Carey: Is File 770 lying about its age? Why?

    If I told them File 770 was 39, they’d still think I was lying…

  6. Lis Carey: Is File 770 lying about its age? Why?

    Mike Glyer: If I told them File 770 was 39, they’d still think I was lying…

    Just an observation that the purple finger years seem to be omitted. Sheesh!

  7. If I told them File 770 was 39, they’d still think I was lying…

    Well, true. It is a highly suspicious age.

    But it can be 39 for as long as it wants. (see, frex, Jack Benny.)

  8. Happy Birthday File770!

    The Inconceivable Iphinome!

    Is there anything Jonathan McCalmont isn’t grumpy about?

    Those are beautiful, for grotesque values of the word.

  9. Soon Lee: Is there anything Jonathan McCalmont isn’t grumpy about?

    2017 Hugo Award Winners for Grumpiest Tweeters:
    Jonathan McCalmont and Ian Sales (tie)

  10. Soon Lee on January 15, 2017 at 9:58 pm said:

    The Inconceivable Iphinome!

    Easy to conceive of, impossible to put into full production. Only one prototype was ever made.

  11. Happy birthday, File 770!

    9) I just checked McCalmon’t “Don’t vote for me” posts and there are still five comments, all by people who sort of agree with him. And his posts didn’t get a whole lot of discussion here, when it was linked. So where exactly is this tidal surge of stupid?

  12. @Coral,
    Something something email?

    McCalmont has a regular column in Interzone and it seems to me that he likes to stir. His columns are mostly negative and I tend to disagree with them. Consequently I don’t take his opinions seriously.

  13. I had a run-in with him ten years ago on a now defunct site and haven’t been taking him seriously ever since. Apparently, he’s still grumbly about something I said to him back then, since he has me blocked on Twitter. Either that or he is grumbly because I linked to one of his posts in my three fractions of speculative fiction blog post.

    Plus, McCalmont complaining about people harrassing him via e-mail would be pretty ironic.


    Appertainment all round, I think!


    That’d be why when I saw that post (and tweet) I just rolled my eyes and didn’t send it to Mike.


    The second pic (that looks like HR Giger designed an ice cream cone) is definitely creepy.

    (12) FIRST TRUMP

    I quite liked the Death Race revival movies, in a silly but fun sort of way.

  15. Happy Birthday File 770!

    RE: McCalmont. Yeah, I saw his post, too, and I (think) I tweeted about it, but specifically did not tag Jonathan in that tweet. Because, yeah. I get along with Ian just fine, but Jonathan’s brand of grumpiness does not mesh with me at all…

  16. Congratulations to File 770! Many happy scrollings! You look like a pixel and you smell like one too!

    Hampus Eckerman on January 16, 2017 at 12:33 am said:

    I see what you did there. Then again, I still have an extensive collection of Boynton, so there’s that.

    (Not Fifth. Not even Thirty-Ninth. What is the world coming to? I can’t even.)

  17. “I see what you did there. Then again, I still have an extensive collection of Boynton, so there’s that.”


  18. Happy web inception day, File770!

    A File’s only as old as the Pixel it Scrolls.

    (According to DuckDuckGo – Groucho Marx, though I would have sworn it was George Burns. Go figure.

    Say good night, Stoic.

    Good Night, Stoic.)

  19. 3: well, if they call me for rights clearances, they aren’t getting any…the guy can’t even invent aliens, he has to go to deep sea creatures, and can’t seem to come up with a plot that isn’t drawn – almost whole cloth – from someone else’s work (or, in the latter career stages – as I am sure his attorney’s have advised him – from multiple works so as to confound the potential lawsuits….

  20. Hampus Eckerman: Drat. Curses, foiled again! (Now I remember why I associate it with Sandra Boynton: I used to write that quote into her cards.)

  21. (1) HAPPY NINTH BIRTHDAY FILE 770! January 15, 2007 is when I wrote my first post for File 770.

    Uh, shouldn’t that be 2008?

  22. There’s a fascinating quote at the end of the Corman interview:

    When I started, every film that was decently made got full theatrical distribution. Today, they’ve frozen the lower budgeted films out. Death Race 2050 is a big budget film for me, but for Universal it’s low budget. With a few exceptions, all of these lower-budgeted films are released on DVD or Netflix now. It’s unfortunate, because I like to primarily see films in theaters, but that’s the way the industry is — it’s an art and a business.

    I was struck by this because there are a lot more near-downtown screens in Boston than there used to be — I can think of 40 ex-screens that were around some time in my 45 years here, where now there are ~70 — but those screens are in 4 plexes, all of which will run a popular film on multiple screens, rather than scattered among classy, not-so-classy, and hole-in-the-wall theaters. What I don’t know is how many smaller suburban theaters (all of which now run major films when the bigger theaters are ~done with them) used to run B movies exclusively, versus how many B movies used to be on multiple bills, versus B movies getting some in-town screen time; any thoughts — or better, statistics? How many more movies are being made now versus then?
    Another question: what’s the optical quality of the direct-to-video movies? I remember John Dykstra being very unhappy that the opening show of the original Battlestar Galactica was later released in theaters because he’d economized, doing the effects well enough for video but not for film. Can this still be done given the prevalence of hi-res home TV?

  23. @Ian Mond

    Apart from making an accurate guess I don’t believe you did anything. Feel free to join in the appertainment!

  24. The NY Times has an interview with President Obama on his reading. (There’s a transcript available there.) This caught my attention:

    Even books initially picked up as escape reading like the Hugo Award-winning apocalyptic sci-fi epic “The Three-Body Problem” by the Chinese writer Liu Cixin, he said, could unexpectedly put things in perspective: “The scope of it was immense. So that was fun to read, partly because my day-to-day problems with Congress seem fairly petty — not something to worry about. Aliens are about to invade!”

  25. Happy Birthday, 770! In keeping with the title:

    Under the spreading chestnut tree
    I scrolled you and you scrolled me
    There file they, and here file we
    Under the spreading chestnut tree

  26. (9) He didnt say if the tidal wave will come to or from the SF fandom…

    Happy Anniversary, File, May you boxes always be ticked, your pixels always scrolled and your files always served cold.
    And no cake – Thats a lie!

  27. (5) LUPIEN OBIT. SF Site News reports that Montreal fan Leslie Lupien (1921-2016) died on October 25.

    Les hadn’t been attending our MonSFFA meetings for the past little while, no surprise given his age! But he was still keeping up with club news through our mailing list and web site. He wrote at least two short stories for WARP, too, a few years back.

    I remember him being part of a panel discussion on SF for young readers, mainly very young readers as the general idea was getting kids to read SF. To prepare for the discussion, Les visited the kids section of Chapters. He reported back that there was no SF for kids–it was all fantasy. Sad to say, it is mostly still true–there is very little SF written for children.

    He leaves behind his wife, Denise, who was also a MonSFFan for a few years.

  28. Ginger: I see what you did there. Then again, I still have an extensive collection of Boynton, so there’s that.

    It’s a Winnie-the-Pooh reference.

    I don’t quite see Leia saying this to her own son.

    I think it is more character-appropriate for Ben Solo to stare desperately into a mirror and say

    Hello. My Name is Kylo Ren. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

    and then proceed to smash the mirror to bits.

  30. Mark: @Ian Mond
    Apart from making an accurate guess I don’t believe you did anything. Feel free to join in the appertainment!

    McCalmont has mastered the art of the two-fer — when his post gets the attention he seeks, then he multiplies it by complaining about the attention he gets. And yet again, by complaining I’m bullying him. As though his eyesight is too sensitive for the spotlight he demands.

  31. People are strange
    When you are a filer
    Twitter seems wicked
    When youre unwanted
    Places are uneven
    When you are scrolled

    Is all i can say to that weird outbreak….

  32. @Mike,

    Yes, that is a particularly silly claim. Also the original trap of complaining he was about to be afflicted by stupid people because of you, therefore delegitimising anyone who bothered to talk to him. A closed mind isn’t worth debating.

  33. JMC: I’m going to publicly review SFF, but I expect to be able to pick-and-choose what sort of attention I get for what I write. And if I don’t like the attention I get, then they’re bullying me.

    What a tosser.

  34. Back in September, I asked Filers for help in getting completion for a DonorsChoose project to provide a class set of Fahrenheit 451, in graphic novel form, for a class of 6th-graders in a rural school in a high-poverty area.

    It took about 2 seconds for Filers to get the project over the top.

    Well, the class has got the books now, and the teacher has shared photos.

    Thank you so much to all of you who helped achieve this.

  35. And continuing 2016’s tradition of “dead famous people,” 2017 brings us Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan.

  36. Darren Garrison, to be fair, the (remaining) Apollo astronauts are all in their 80’s, so it’s not terribly surprising. Very sad, to be sure, but not really a “damn you, 2017” moment.

  37. Between his sparring matches with Mike, I pretty much forget who McCalmont is. When I do remember, it’s because I associate his Twitter handle with the idiot that thinks Mike is boosting Ted’s reputation somehow.

  38. @Oneiros – Ooooooh, he’s _that_ guy. His incoherence invariably erases him from my brain shortly after I read his… insights.

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