Pixel Scroll 12/13 Twenty Thousand Links Under the Sea

(1) MOVIE MEME. Mari Ness’ contribution brought the #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly meme to my attention…

Some others –





(2) THINGS TO DO. Mary Robinette Kowal, who uses Habitica as a productivity tool, invites others get the benefit by participating in her guild, “Ink Slingers”

For science-fiction and fantasy writers and editors who are actively working in the field and trying to improve craft. But who also need peer pressure to be productive.

We have some challenges with habits and dailies that you might find helpful.

The way Habitica works is that you break the things you ought to be doing into three types of things.

  1. Habits: which are things you ought to do, but not necessarily on a regular basis. Like “3 minute stretch break.”
  2. Dailies: which you do regularly. Like “Write three sentences.”
  3. To-Dos: which are one time things. Like “Complete revisions for episode 2.”

To use it, you need to create a Habitica account first, then join Ink Slingers.

(3) WENDIG. Locus Online has an excerpt of its interview with Chuck Wendig.

“We’re either moving toward evolution or the ruination of humanity. There’s an angel and a devil. Both of those are manifest in every single technical jump we make. Which one of these do we bet on? Are we going to destroy ourselves with technology, with a nuclear bomb? Or are we going to get nuclear energy? Even a knife can be used to feed my family, or to kill you and take your food. Even the simplest, tiniest technology has a massive polarizing effect on humanity.”

(4) MAXAM PASSES AWAY. SF Site News reports Bay Area fan Felice Maxam died December 1. Maxam, then Felice Rolfe, participated in the Society for Creative Anachronism from the beginning. She was present at its first Tournament in 1966. She also belonged to the Peninsula SF Association in those days. Co-editor of Niekas with Ed Meskys, she was nominated for two Hugo Awards, and won the Best Fanzine Hugo in 1967.

(5) FUTURE OF EASTERCON. Caroline Mullan is publicizing the Future of Eastercon questionnaire one more time. By Novacon, 207 responses had come in. Another 40 have been submitted since. “We’re mailing round to see if there is anyone else out there who would still like to fill it in before we have another go over the responses,” she says.

The Eastercon Options website has been busy over the last month — here are some of the most interesting posts.

Questionnaire Press Release

A questionnaire was open on the website during October 2015. We had 207 responses, about half from people who do not usually attend Eastercon bidding sessions…. https://eastercon.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/novacon-presentation.pdf

What are the issues?

At the Novacon presentation, someone in the audience asked for a general restatement of what problems we’re trying to solve here. We have a number of problems, some more significant than others, some are not problems at the moment but may well become so. It’s fairly obvious from the results of the questionnaire, that we also have a whole bunch of problems that we didn’t really consider to be problems at all, until we started asking questions….


Fans are often bad about communication. We tend to be rubbish about talking to other people, and even worse about understanding them when they talk back. That’s a bit strange for a subculture that is largely based around forms of communication, from letters to fanzines to films to blogs to conversations and panels at conventions. Historically though, the record of fans communicating, misunderstanding each other, followed by “all Fandom plunged into war” is pretty consistent. So it’s no surprise that here we are in 2015 and the results from our questionnaire show that we’re still doing a lousy job. I’d like to understand why, though the folly of doing this through the act of communicating via yet another written medium has not escaped me….

(6) Today’s Birthday Boy

  • Born December 13, 1925 – Dick Van Dyke

Fans help Dick Van Dyke kick-off his birthday weekend celebration with a flash mob at The Grove in Los Angeles on December 12, 2015.

(7) SITH STATUARY. The BBC profile “The Man Who Turned Lenin Into Darth Vader” tells about Ukranian sculptor Alexander Milov, who got the Odessa city council to allow him to turn a Lenin statue they were threatening to melt down into a Darth Vader statue. It even has free Wi-Fi!

To create his new sculpture, Milov strengthened the original structure and added a helmet and cape made out of titanium alloy – he also inserted a Wi-Fi router in Vader’s head. Despite the statue’s apparent glibness, it serves as a reminder that we can’t control which memories last and which don’t. “I wanted to make a symbol of American pop culture which appears to be more durable than the Soviet ideal.”

(8) COOKING FOR WHO. Chris-Rachael Oseland, author of Dining with the Doctor (recipes inspired by Doctor Who), is interviewed by Salon in “Geek food for the geek soul: ‘As society gets increasingly secular, we need to fill the social void’”.

Oseland will bring out a second edition of her Dr. Who book next year, as well as “Geek Breads,” which includes the “Dune” recipe. If you’ve seen the image of a “Dune” sandworm made of bread that went viral last week, that’s her work….

So it came out of your interest in history, more than fiction or something?

Yes – and I think that’s reflected in most of my cookbooks. “An Unexpected Cookbook,” my hobbit one, is a straight-up history cookbook: It’s all recipes from Tolkien’s childhood in the 1890s.

I’m doing the same thing with my Dr. Who cookbook – anytime where they go back in history, it’s an excuse for me to tuck in a few historical facts… I feel this obligation to make sure I’m historically accurate with these things.

(9) SENSE OF HISTORY. Adam-Troy Castro read Castalia House’s first two blog posts about pedophilia in sf and he challenges the relevance of its entry about David Asimov.

(10) SOUND FOOTING. Star Wars socks from Stance.


(11) OUT OF THE BOX. This Saturday Night Live faux commercial spoofs toy collecting nerds.

(12) RUCKER RECOMMENDS. Rudy Rucker’s book picks for 2015 ends with four books from this year (the others date earlier). His enthusiasm is contagious, so brace your TBR pile for incoming….!

(10) Paul Di Filippo, A Palazzo in Space. 2015. Paul Di Filippo writes SF stories, a lot of them, and he’s had a zillion collections come out. I collaborate with him on stories sometimes, so I’m very sensitive to the pleasures of his style. He has this jovial voice and an extreme love of words, with a real knack for SF neologisms. Like one of his stories communication devices is said to be “uebertoothed.” And there’s a gang of reality hackers called Los Braceros Ultimos. In one of his stories, “Pocketful of Faces,” he gets into an insane riff about people switching their faces, storylet after storylet, topping himself over and over—its’ like watching some mad juggler. And in the denouement, someone is wearing a fake face on top of a fake face on top of their real face, and who even knows why, but it just has to happen. And the doubly buried faces is like a pale grubworm inside a rotten log. Great stuff. Write on, celestial scribe!

(11) ONE LORD A-LEAPING. Legend of Tarzan official teaser trailer.

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

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207 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/13 Twenty Thousand Links Under the Sea


    1. STARMEN
    Starman (1984) – 13 votes
    Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014) – 19 votes

    Captain America wins this round and Jeff Bridges continues on to vivisection. No rejuvenation this time.

    WINNER: Captain America: Winter Soldier

    Stalker (1979) – 10 votes
    Solaris (2002) – 14 votes

    Weird movies doing weird things, but this Solaris goes on to the win.

    WINNER: Solaris

    Cocoon (1985) – 21 votes
    The Hidden (1987) – 6 votes

    No love for Heavy Metal, what is this? But Cocoon was a beautiful move and Brian Dennehy can make almost any movie good by appearing in it.

    WINNER: Cocoon

    4. ON THE RUN
    ET (1982) – 26 votes
    The Running Man (1987) – 14 votes

    Schwarzenegger runs out of oneliners and is forced to stop running. Winner is ET and wannabe-terrorist Elliot.


    Cowboy Bebop (1998) – 6 votes
    Return of the Jedi (1983) – 35 votes

    It is not the TV-series for Cowboy Bebop, it is the movie, otherwise it might have gotten more votes. Return of the Jedi is not the easiest to beat. Spike is ewok food.

    WINNER: Return of the Jedi

    Iron Man (2008) – 26 votes
    Total Recall (1990) – 18 votes

    Douglas Quaid wakes up from his imaginary vacation and goes home to his wife. Iron Man continues to soar the sky to infinity and beyond.

    WINNER: Iron Man

    Serenity (2005) – 24 votes
    The Abyss (1983) – 16 votes

    Bud runs out of oxygen with no alien ship in sight. Serenity is repaired in preparation for next round.

    WINNER: Serenity

    Forbidden Planet (1956) – 33 votes
    Barbarella (1968) – 9 votes

    Not even Duran Duran could save Barbarella against fan favourite Forbidden Planet. Say hello to Robby the Robot.

    WINNER: Forbidden Planet

    Avatar (2009) – 17 votes
    Logan’s Run (1976) – 29 votes

    Sorry, Na’vi, your civilization is too old and the sandmen are coming for you.

    WINNER: Logan’s Run

    Fantastic Planet (1973) – 6 votes
    Young Frankenstein (1974) – 35 votes

    Terr is captured again and there will never be peace between the Draags and the Oms. Meanwhile, everyone is fascinated by the wonderful step dancing of the monster and he becomes a overnight hit.

    WINNER: Young Frankenstein

    Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure (1989) – 30 votes
    Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) – 12 votes

    In one of the countless billions of galaxies in the universe, lies a medium-sized star, and one of its satellites, a green and insignificant planet, is now dead. And thus ends the planet of the apes. Bill and Ted, meanwhile, are learning to play the most excellent music. Party on, dudes!

    WINNER: Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure

    A Scanner Darkly (2006) – 16 votes
    Shaun of the Dead (2004) – 13 votes

    Shaun finds out that the elevator doesn’t really work. He looks at End and Ed say’s: “I’m sorry”. The End.

    WINNER: A Scanner Darkly

    Repo Man (1984) – 10 votes
    Godzilla (1954) – 27 votes

    When the shit hits the fan, you shouldn’t have opened that trunk. Otto Maddox is smoking boots and Godzilla continues towards Tokyo.

    WINNER: Godzilla

    Strange Days (1995) – 15 votes
    Star Trek: First Contact (1996) – 19 votes

    This is Star Trek. What are we even talking about.

    WINNER: Star Trek: First Contact

    Them! (1954) – 20 votes
    Independence Day (1996) – 20 votes

    So close, so close and at the end… so close! It is a tie and humanity is attecked from two sides. How can they survive this double onslaught?


    Robocop (1987) – 32 votes
    The Fly (1958) – 8 votes

    The Fly has no chance against the S.W.A.T-unit. Robocop wins this round.

    WINNER: Robocop

  2. SO disappointed. Starman remains one of my favorite movies and Jeff Bridges did such a fantastic job. He was up against stiff competition, though. *sigh*

  3. catrinket: SO disappointed. Starman remains one of my favorite movies and Jeff Bridges did such a fantastic job.

    Me as well; I remember the first time I saw it, and the sensawunda I got from it.

    Likewise with Beneath the Planet of the Apes; I was very young when I first saw it and I still remember the shock of seeing that apocalypse. This was long before films such as The Day After and Miracle Mile became common.

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