Pixel Scroll 12/20/21 The RingWorld Must Roll, Please Turn On Your Scrith-Magnetic Footware

(1) HUGO AWARDS ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES. There’s been a demand for copies of some of the speeches by Hugo winners at the DisCon III ceremony. Here are links to three now online:

Martha Wells, who won twice, posted the text of her Best Series acceptance speech at “Hugo Awards”. (Only one speech — as she says, “I didn’t expect to win twice.”)

… I’ve been in this field since my first novel was published in 1993, and it has not always been good to me. At first I was too young and later I was too old. I was from the wrong place, I had the wrong accent, I wasn’t friends with the right people. And I know the amount of shit I’ve experienced is a small fraction compared to what writers of color, and other marginalized writers, have experienced and continue to experience in this field.

There are people who don’t want you to write. They especially don’t want you to write and be published. They want all stories to be told by people who are just like them. They have many different ways of letting you know that, and they all add up, and sometimes the weight of it is crushing….

Diana M. Pho, who won Best Editor: Long Form, has both text and video here: “My 2021 Hugo Award Speech”.

It was so unspeakably painful to live the last 18 months knowing — sharply — your breath, the very words out of your mouth, can kill.

Strangers. Loved ones. The vulnerable.

It makes you so afraid to speak. It makes you second-guess your choices. It makes even now being vaxxed, tested, boostered, all that, is not enough. Perhaps I am not enough. But I have done… I have now nothing except my words by which to make this known. It is so hard to feel the pressure and the honor to have the Hugo Award tonight….

Joe Sherry, part of the team that creates Best Fanzine winner Nerds of a Feather, has posted his speech here, with added remarks by the other editors Adri, The G and Vance.

… I’d like to thank and acknowledge the various writers at Nerds of a Feather, both past and present. Our names are on the trophy, but it is your writing day in and day out that makes this possible. You’ve been the best team of writers we could have ever asked to have and you’ve carried us along. You earned this. Thank you…

(2) WELLS-KNOWN. The Guardian’s David Barnett reports on the streak: “Martha Wells continues run of female Hugo award winners”.

… This is the sixth year that a woman has taken the best novel award, with Wells following Arkady Martine last year, Mary Robinette Kowal in 2019, and – for the previous three years – NK Jemisin….

(3) REFLECTIONS. L.D. Lewis, art director for Best Semiprozine Hugo finalist FIYAH Literary Magazine, described incidents of racism she experienced at DisCon III, her first Worldcon. Thread includes five tweets with examples. Starts here.

Lewis is also publisher at Fireside Fiction, founding Director of FIYAHCON, chair of the 2021 Nebula Conference, and Awards Manager for the Lambda Literary Foundation.

(4) MORE REFLECTIONS. It was also the first Worldcon for Clint Schnekloth, pastor of a Lutheran church in Arkansas, and founder of a refugee resettlement agency, who wrote up his experiences at DisCon III in “Pastoral Reflections On The World Science Fiction Convention (#WorldCon2021)” at Patheos, a wide-spectrum site about religions.

…One of the more remarkable aspects of the Con is the way the attendees steward the story of the conventions as a form of in-group identity. Quite often they say, “I found my people.” Or, “Let me tell you the history of what the many Cons were like and where they took place.” This typically comes up in any conversation long before any personal introductions like “where are you from” or “what do you do.”

As we talked, Wesley Chu walked up and joined our conversation. He was both interested in lunch tips, and because I had just attended his kaffeeklatsch he now quasi-knew me (Chu is a New York Times bestselling author with multiple books now optioned for television). This is another part of these Cons. Authors are still also just fans and people. There’s no special treatment.

Chu was heading off soon to go see the new Spiderman film, but in the meantime Juliette Wade walked up and introduced herself. This was a novelist new to me who now intrigues me, as I think she writes at the intersection of disability justice and sci-fi. Joining her was Kate JohnsTon, who among other things is a sensitivity editor. Turns out Kate is also new friends with a neighbor of GSLC here in Fayetteville, who just set up a coffee with me next week. So that’s weird small world.

This morning I got up and the first thing I did was playtest a new RPG with a novelist who is turning his stories into a game. We took about 30 minutes to create characters, then immediately set our characters out on a rescue/capture adventure on another planet. Leaning in to a bit of gaming with the hum of the convention in the background was just about perfect.

Now this afternoon I went to a session on Queering Necromancy. This panel discussion was packed to the gills. It’s hard to summarize everything said by the panel, but one thing stood out. A panelist said, “In a way, coming out is necromancy.” It’s both a kind of coming back to life after death, a raising of oneself, but it also means in some instances dying to others in order to live….

(5) LAKE WOE-IS-ME. The series’ holiday entry is coming this week. Meanwhile, use this newly-created page to catch up with all the installments of Melanie Stormm’s humorous series about the misdirected emails she gets from Writer X: “Emails From Lake Woe-Is-Me: Links To Every Installment”.

(6) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1970 [Item by Cat Eldridge.] Fifty-one years ago on this evening, “The Great Santa Claus Switch” aired on CBS  as part of The Ed Sullivan Show. It was directed by John Moffitt (who has one genre cred, directing The Werewolf of Woodstock film) as written by Jerry Juhl. The puppets here were designed by Don Sahlin who done some of the puppets on Kukla, Fran and Ollie. (Yes, I remember that show fondly.) The human here was Art Carney with the Muppet players this time being Jim Henson, Fran Brill, Richard Hunt, John Lovelady, Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz and Danny Seagren.

The special, narrated by Ed Sullivan narrated in a chair surrounded by children on the floor by a fireplace, begins at the North Pole with Santa Claus and his Christmas Elves getting ready for another Christmas. However, Cosmo Scam played by Art Carney has hatched a plan to kidnap Santa and take his place. As part of the plan, Cosmo plans to abduct Santa’s Christmas Elves one by one and replace them with his evil henchmen.  It’s the Muppets first television special being done after four years of guest spots on the show. 

It hasn’t been released on DVD as the rights are held by the assignees of the Ed Sullivan Show, but you can watch it here.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born December 20, 1838 Edwin Abbott Abbott. Author of the Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, an 1884 novella that has come to be adopted as SF even though it’s really mathematical fiction. Go ahead, argue with me. (Died 1926.)
  • Born December 20, 1943 Jacqueline Pearce. She’s best known as the villain Servalan on Blake’s 7. She appeared in “The Two Doctors”, a Second and Sixth Doctor story  as Chessene, and she’d voice Admiral Mettna in “Death Comes to Time”, a Seventh Doctor story. I’d be remiss not to note her one-offs in Danger ManThe AvengersThe Chronicles of Young Indiana Jones and The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. (Died 2018.)
  • Born December 20, 1952 Jenny Agutter, 69. Her first SF role was Jessica 6, the female lead in Logan’s Run. Later genre roles include Nurse Alex Price In An American Werewolf in London (fantastic film), Carolyn Page in Dark Tower which is not a Stephen King based film, an uncredited cameo as a burn doctor in one of my all time fave films which is Darkman and finally she was Councilwoman Hawley in The Avengers and The Winter Soldier
  • Born December 20, 1952 Kate Atkinson, 69. A strong case can be made that her Jackson Brodie detective novels are at least genre adjacent with their level of Universe assisting metanarrative. (Her Jason Isaacs fronted series is also superb.) The Life After Life douology is definitely SF and pretty good reading too. She’s well stocked on all of the usual suspects. 
  • Born December 20, 1960 Nalo Hopkinson, 61. First novel I ever read by her was Brown Girl in The Ring, a truly amazing novel. Like most of her work, it draws on Afro-Caribbean history and language, and its intertwined traditions of oral and written storytelling. I’d also single out Mojo: Conjure Stories and Falling in Love With Hominids collections as they are both wonderful and challenging reading. Worth seeking out is her edited Whispers from the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction. Midnight Robber earned her only Hugo nomination at The Millennium Philcon. 
  • Born December 20,1970 Nicole de Boer, 51. Best remembered for playing the trill Ezri Dax on the final season of Deep Space Nine, and as Sarah Bannerman on The Dead Zone. She’s done a number of genre films including Deepwater Black, Cube, Iron Invader, and Metal Tornado, and has one-offs in Beyond RealityForever KnightTekWarOuter LimitsPoltergeist: The LegacyPsi Factor and Stargate Atlantis. Did I mention she’s Canadian?
  • Born December 20, 1984 Ilean Almaguer, 37. Here for her role as Illa on the most excellent Counterpart series. If you’ve not seen it, I highly recommend it. 

(8) DIVE IN. Miyuki Jane Pinckard helps promote the Mermaids Monthly Kickstarter campaign in a guest post at Sarah Gailey’s Stone Soup: “Thalassophobia”. The Kickstarter has nine days to run.

The thing is, I’m afraid of the ocean.

…I can’t quite pinpoint exactly when my feelings about the ocean and mermaids shifted. What I do know for a fact is that back in December 2019, amid a bleak world (with no idea how much bleaker it was going to get in just a couple of months), I backed a Kickstarter that promised mermaid fiction, poems, art, and comics, once a month. I didn’t especially care for mermaids then, but I really admired the work that Julia Rios and Meg Frank had done elsewhere, and I like to support independent publishing.

Every month, the issues landed in my inbox. They were, first of all, incredibly beautiful to look at, from their stunning covers to the layouts, the font choices, the interior art. And the stories! They featured a wildly diverse range of mer-creatures from righteously vengeful sea witches to joyful selkies to sirenas to human girls longing to become mermaids to climate activist rebelsMischievous rusalki and wild trapped mermaids. Stories that engaged with disability and toxic relationships and the meaning of home.

I began to realize that, actually, mermaids did mean a lot to me. And so did oceans….

(9) IT HAPPENED ONE VERY STARRY NIGHT. Polygon’s headline “George Lucas threatened Spaceballs’ Mel Brooks over Star Wars parody merch” doesn’t seem a fair representation of what’s said in the body of the article. However, there’s much more about Spaceballs than the issue with Lucas.

…Why? As Brooks explains in All About Me!, even a parody of sci-fi starts with finding the right story. Rather than looking to Star Wars, Alien2001 or any of the other famous science fiction plot, Brooks writes that Spaceballs was “inspired by Frank Capra’s 1934 classic It Happened One Night.”

It is the story of a runaway heiress (Claudette Colbert) who escapes her marriage by fleeing on her wedding day from a very, very rich but very, very dull groom and then she subsequently falls in love with an attractive wise-guy commoner (Clark Gable). We took that same basic plot and shoved it into space!”…

(10) NO KIDDING? Atlas Obscura assures us “In Sweden, There Is No Christmas Without Donald Duck”. “In Sweden, the Christmas star has a yellow bill, a furious temper, and no pants.”

EVERY COUNTRY HAS ITS OWN festive holiday traditions. Austrian children fear Krampus, the half-goat, half-demon who beats naughty children with sticks. Catalonian nativity scenes feature a small defecating man. And in Sweden, about 40 percent of the country gathers round the squawk box on Christmas Eve—to watch Donald Duck.

Every year since 1959, at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the 1958 special Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul (Donald Duck and His Friends Wish You a Merry Christmas, in English) is screened on Sweden’s main public television channel, TV1. Known in English as From All of Us to All of You, this hour of Disney mayhem is hosted by Jiminy Cricket, who leads viewers through about a dozen “Christmas cards” that open to reveal shorts, film clips and other cartoons dating from the 1930s through the 1960s. For decades Sweden only had two channels, and this was the only time of year when people could watch Disney animation or American cartoons on television. And the tradition stuck. Swedes are so compelled by the cartoon that last year during the program, cell data usage fell 28 percent and calls to emergency services dropped 16 percent, reports the Local.

(11) ROAD HOG. “Sonic the Hedgehog will become playable via Tesla” reports Eurogamer. Legislators are already dealing with the first question that came to my mind.

Sega’s original Sonic the Hedgehog game will soon become playable via Tesla in-car screens.

Its the latest game to join the Tesla in-car games service, which is compatible with USB controllers. The move comes after a new partnership between the Elon Musk car company and Sega.

Of course, the comparisons between Tesla and Sonic make for an easy brand hookup. One can be wild, out of control, and controlled via computer – and the other… well, you get my drift.

Over the years, numerous games have become available to play via Tesla – including Cuphead, and The Witcher 3. With Cuphead, at least, you could only play while parked or charging – which is common sense.

Last month, the UK government finally announced plans to make playing games while driving illegal – at least while using a mobile phone.

(12) PLAY AGAIN? IGN points to the Homeworld 3 official trailer.

The legendary real-time strategy series is finally getting a new sequel. Check out the trailer for Homeworld 3, revealed at The Game Awards 2021

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Steven French, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

31 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/20/21 The RingWorld Must Roll, Please Turn On Your Scrith-Magnetic Footware

  1. One of the joys of the con for me was running into David Levine and telling him how much I loved his “Titanium Mike Saves the Day” – a story about how same good deeds grow into myths that pervade a culture (in SPACE!)

  2. Another title, woo-hoo! Looks like I’ve got that new title generator algorithm tuned about right!

  3. Something almost weird enough to be sfnal is happening on Christmas Day: Cider and I will be having Christmas dinner at my sister’s house. I haven’t had a holiday dinner with my sister in well over a decade, close to two decades, when she and my mother decided they were going to Fix Me, and I left.

    If you hear news of a major explosion in the Merrimack Valley in Massachusetts, you’ll know why!

    Currently reading Ten Little Fen. Listening to Whiskers in the Dark, by Rita Mae Brown. A cozy mystery rather than sfnal, but the animals (cats, dogs, various wildlife) do talk among themselves. No horses have spoken up in this book, but they have in other entries in the series.

  4. 10) Hmmm. The drop in calls to emergency used to be larger than that. Times are a-changing. Text is not entirely true though:

    “…this was the only time of year when people could watch Disney animation or American cartoons on television.”

    Nope. You also got around 5-10 minutes American cartoons every Saturday morning, if you were patient enough to watch the morning program for two hours. You did get around 10-15 minutes every morning during winter and summer holidays. And I think you got a few minutes during some kind of sports program for children, once a week.

    But you did not get Disney. You only got Disney on Christmas, apart from cinema.

  5. “How much file would a pixel scroll, if pixles scrolled files?”

    @ Hampus Eckerman & 10)

    There were also some US animation (again, not Disney), under the program name “Tecknade Pärlor för Vuxna” (approximately “Animated Pearls for Adults”), with mostly Tex Avery cartoons.

    But, yeah, if you wanted (animated) Disney, it was either wait for Christmas Eve or go to the cinema.

    Equally weird is that the face of Dosney in Sweden is not The Mouse, but The Duck. The weekly Disney magazine is “Kalle Anka & Co” (Donald Duck & Co”), the whatever-frequency paperbacks are “Kalle Anka Pocket” (“Donald Duck Paperback”) and the major Disney fan club call themselves Ankister (“Duckists”).

  6. (3) The dark ages never seem to end.

    And it’s interesting that the usual suspects writing comments here have not done so in this instance.

  7. To add to Ingvar’s comment, the Donald Duck comic here is written mostly by local authors and is not sold outside Scandinavia AFAIK.

  8. 7
    Agutter was also in Roeg’s Walkabout, which seems genre-adjacent to me.

    9
    Yep, that checks out. Also, Joe H’s addition of Smokey &the Bandit, which I also consider the first movie to feature the internet as a main character/maguffin.

    10
    Thanks for this link! I had no idea Donald Duck was beloved by anyone. I love Scrooge McDuck, and the boys, but Donald always seemed a pale counterfeit Daffy to me.

    Now I have the 80s Duck Tales theme song stuck in my head. Oo woo ooh!

  9. 3) I first came across affinity spaces at Wiscon – they’re obviously a good idea and I think they should be part of the standard practice for cons. They’d be a good place to start with reporting and tracking microagressions too.

  10. @ Hampus Eckerman:

    My understanding is that there is a lively exchange between Sweden and (probably among others) Italy. One of the more heroic aspects of The Duck is Italian in origin, he’s Stål-Kalle in Sweden, Paperinik in the original Italian and either Duck Avenger (US) or Superduck (UK) in the Anglosphere.

    Also not the only “originally US” comic to end up with a Swedish domestic production pipeline, a similar thing happened to The Phantom (who’s pretty much a household name in Sweden, but to my understanding pretty unknown elsewhere).

  11. Re: Donald Duck, he is the beloved Disney character in the Netherlands as well, with his own weekly magazine written and drawn (mostly) by local authors and artists.
    As a kid we had a subscription to Donald Duck weekly, but I was barely aware of Mickey Mouse (best known to me as the Wizard’s apprentice in that movie I wasn’t entirely sure was real).

  12. @ Hampus Eckerman

    “Local authors” is not really the case, but Donald, $crooge et al was bigger here in Scandinavia than in the US where they apparently mostly thought that the mouse was the thing. Bruce Hamilton left the US to work for Egmont in Copenhagen (he started Another Rainbow Publishing in the 80s Stateside, to publish quality editions of Carl Barks’s work), but a lot of comics been produced in Italy, with great artists like Marco Rota from Milan. And don’t forget all the Disneyfications of great literature that the Italians did, Focault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco as one of the most offbeat ones. And still in the US you’ve got the great Don Rosa, the real inheritor of the Duck universe Carl Barks more or less created once upon a time…

  13. @Hypnotosov

    Yup, you Dutch published even more Donald Duck comics than we’ve done here in Sweden, quite often written and drawn by BeNeLux artists. Good for you!

  14. Hypnosotov: Stupid question time, what can I use to read spoilers on File770?

    http://rot13.com

    A quick rot13 function for browsers can be created by saving a shortcut (any shortcut, just bookmark any random page) in your browser’s Bookmarks / Favorites bar, and then replacing the shortcut link with the text string found here.

    You can then highlight / select the rot13’ed text and click the shortcut, which will change the highlighted text in your browser display back to its unencrypted form.

  15. (9) “headline . . . doesn’t seem a fair representation of what’s said in the body of the article.”
    is a fair representation of the internet.

  16. @Joe H.

    9) That’s also essentially the plot of Smokey & the Bandit.

    I’d love to see a scene with Big Enos, Little Enos, and Dark Helmet.

  17. (10) Of course, Sweden also has Arne Anka – whose author (Charlie Christensen) Disney threatened to sue due to similarities with Donald Duck (‘Kalle Anka’).

    This hilariously became excellent PR for Arne Anka; the author wrote comic where Arne Anka fakes his death, had plastic surgery to change the appearance of his beak, and then acquired a prosthetic beak that made him look … much the same as before!) … and the lawsuit never quite materialised.

  18. Re: Donald Duck – I lived in Finland for a time and every single private residence I visited had at least one DD graphic novel (I’m the kind of guy who always checks out what books people have on their bookcases). Usually DD doing the Kalevala but lots of other stuff too. Weird that he’s so popular in much of Europe when I’ve never seen even one DD graphic novel or comic book in someone’s house here at home.

  19. 10 Sadly, the swedish Donald Duck Christmas-tradition is vaning. The YouTube-generation of Kids cares little for the programme. The day is even approaching when you might make a reference joke to the dialogue of Mowgli or Robin Hood and some young people might not get it.

  20. (3) REFLECTIONS. UGH horrible people. . . .

    Hmm, her novella intrigues me. ::opening page to check later::

    (7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS. Happy Birthday to Nicole de Boer. “Mission Genesis” (“Deepwater Black”)!!! 🙂 I liked that show, despite the cheap effects (IIRC). It took a long time to track down the original books (especially for a non-ridiculous price); I still haven’t gotten around to reading them, blush.

    (8) DIVE IN. I love that there’s a magazine devoted to mermaids! It may not be for me, but it’s awesome that it’s out there. 😀

    . . . . .

    @jayn: LOL. Not me!

  21. @ Christian Brunschen:

    Yep, the visible remainder of the prosthetic beak was that a knot was visible towards the back of Arne’s head.

    But, on the balance, one should probably refrain from using some of the more colourful aphorisms from that comic in polite company.

  22. (10) Denmark does something similar. In my household we watch first the Swedish version, then the Danish.

  23. (4) The “I found my people” observation made by the pastor who attended DisCon III really struck a chord with me. Many fen grew up as the odd kid who was a nerdish, unathletic egghead who didn’t fit in with either family or peer group, and then when they found fandom, it was a revelation. (Yes, I was one of those folks.) As someone who is not religious, I have often thought that the fannish fanily serves much the same purpose as a church and its congregants.

    When Chip and I were young and poor and our claptrap of a car broke down on a snowy winter day in a strange town on the way to a con, who did we call? A fan that we knew in that town. He arranged lodging with us with another fan we did not know (who was not pleased about the arrangement, but was generous enough to help out), where we spent three days waiting for our car to be repaired. My thinking is that for religious folk, calling the local pastor or priest of their church might be where they’d start to look for help. This routine helping of people you do not necessarily know because you’re all part of a larger community is a hallmark of both fandom and of (some denominations of) organized religion.

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