Pixel Scroll 12/17/16 Side Effects Include Pixels, Pixellation, Scrolls, Curled Edges And, In Extreme Cases, Death. Ask Your Medical Provider.

(1) WHEATON COSPLAYS HIMSELF. Wil Wheaton was about to leave the house for Rogue One when an idea occurred to him — “ICYMI: A tiny bit of trolling”.

It was raining and what passes for cold, here in Los Angeles, so I went to my closet to grab a scarf, and I realized that I could do a tiny bit of silly trolling, inspired by the Big Bang Theory version of myself:


One guy walked up to me and said, “that’s the wrong franchise, buddy,” to which I replied, “Oh … is it?”

(2) YAKKETY CAT. Something in the air has caused Camestros Felapton to bring us “The Cat Equations”.

Camestros was not alone.

There was nothing to indicate the fact but the small alert tab in the corner of his customised Tiffany iPad. The drawing room was empty but for himself; there was no sound other than the murmur of the drives — but the alert tab was flashing. It had been showing nothing but a reminder of the upcoming village fete when the little drawing room had been launched from the surface of the planet; now, an hour later, it was modestly attempting to get his attention. There was something in the broom closet across the room, it was saying, some kind of a body that radiated heat.

It could be but one kind of a body — a living, talking, cat body….

(3) LEAVING CALIFORNIA ROLL BEHIND. Learn from the best: “A sushi master alights in Redondo Beach” is Richard Foss’ latest culinary profile.

In 1996 Kuri-san was looking for new challenges just as a genius was looking for staff. Nobu Matsuhisa emigrated from Japan to Peru in the early 1970s and when he couldn’t find Japanese ingredients he substituted what was available. Over time he created a new style of sushi that became hugely popular and was widely imitated. He opened his restaurant Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills in 1977 and it became a celebrity hangout. Matsuhisa was one of the hottest places in LA in the ‘90s, and a friend of Kuri-san’s let him know that a coveted position was just about to become available because one of Nobu’s chefs was leaving to start his own restaurant. Kuri-san applied, was accepted, and found himself in a different world.

“He was using all these things I had never seen on sushi before, jalapeno, cilantro, wow. There was something different every day,” he remembered. “At first I didn’t like some things, the flavor of cilantro, but it was very interesting and certainly I was learning. Japanese people and Americans both came in and I had to explain things to them. Americans didn’t want to try sea urchin and things Japanese people think is normal, Japanese didn’t want to try jalapenos.”

American customers see Kuri-san cutting fish and think that’s the most important part of his skill. It is at least as important that he procure the best quality seafood, and much of his day is spent doing exactly that. Some species he buys through specialty seafood companies that he has developed a relationship with, but others require a trip to the downtown LA fish market. He needs to see the large fish like tuna, to look at the eye to see how clear it is, a certain sign of freshness. At other times he deals with fish brokers face-to-face and interrogates them about exactly when and where their products were caught. There are many liars in the seafood industry who try to pass of inferior fish as wild, but Kuri-san is one of the few who knows the look and scent of the authentic fish and can detect the fakers. 

(4) NOT QUITE THE END OF THE WORLD…YET. Michael Stipe and Stephen Colbert recapped 2016’s most depressing moments with a parody of R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”

Colbert sang a hilarious spoof of year’s biggest, worst headlines, like: “Oh, great, it starts with an outbreak, Zika, and Harambe,” mimicking Stipe’s trademark rapid fire delivery.


(5) HUGH CASEY FUNDRAISER. Philadelphia fans will hold HughCon on January 29 to raise money and will help cancer patient Hugh Casey defray his expenses.


Hugh Casey has given a lot to the Philly fan community over the years, and now it’s time to give something back, now that he needs it the most as he recoveres from cancer surgery. Thus came the idea for “HughCon”. The Rotunda has donated their space, Star Trek-themed band The Roddenberries have donated their time and talent, a number of makers and vendors have donated items for our silent auction, and a lots of people have donated their time and effort in order to bring to you a celebration of fandom and geekiness. Any revenue raised will be donated directly to Hugh to help him with his expenses. So come support Hugh, as he’s supported us for all these years! $15 online, $20 at door.

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT http://hughcon.brownpapertickets.com/

This is an all-ages show, but minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian. This also means no alcohol on the premises, but there are plenty of restaurants and bars in the area that you can go to

(6) HOLIDAY GOODIES. Puns are a necessary ingredient for the Orbit Books Bake-off.

(7) HINES BENEFIT AUCTION #19. The nineteenth of Jim C. Hines’ 24 Transgender Michigan Fundraiser auctions is for an autographed set of the three Necromancer Chronicles books by Amanda Downum, along with either a print or audio book of DREAMS OF SHREDS & TATTERS.

About THE DROWNING CITY (Book one of the Necromancer Chronicles):

Symir — the Drowning City. home to exiles and expatriates, pirates and smugglers. And violent revolutionaries who will stop at nothing to overthrow the corrupt Imperial government.

For Isyllt Iskaldur, necromancer and spy, the brewing revolution is a chance to prove herself to her crown. All she has to do is find and finance the revolutionaries, and help topple the palaces of Symir. But she is torn between her new friends and her duties, and the longer she stays in this monsoon-drenched city, the more intrigue she uncovers — even the dead are plotting.

As the waters rise and the dams crack, Isyllt must choose between her mission and the city she came to save.

(8) THE EXPANSE, SEASON 2. Here’s trailer #3.

Earth. Mars. The Asteroid Belt. It’s time to pick a side. The Expanse returns February 1st on Syfy. More about ‘The Expanse’: This hour-long, ten episode series is based on the popular New York Times bestselling book series collectively known as The Expanse, written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (under the pen name James S. A. Corey). Abraham and Franck will be show producers. The multi-installment, best-selling book series is published in 17 countries, including China, France, Japan, Australia, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. One in the series, Leviathan Wakes, was nominated for a Hugo Award as well as a Locus Award, while “Caliban’s War” was nominated for a Locus Award.



  • December 17, 1843 – Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is published.
  • December 17, 1969 — A program dedicated to the investigation of UFOs (called Project Blue Book) was terminated. For more than 20 years, the U.S. Air Force had examined 12,618 sightings. Most of these were found to be caused by man-made objects such as balloons, satellites, and aircraft; natural or astronomical phenomena; weather; and hoaxes. Today, 701 remain unexplained


  • Born December 17, 1975 — Milla Jovovich

(11) TOUGH TRIVIA. Playbuzz presents “The Ultimate 2016 SFF Quiz from Orbit Books”. Note: this is mostly a TV, film, and video game quiz.

I scored 17 out of 40 – and three of the ones I got right were random guesses. Surely you can do better!

(12) A BIDDER IN MOTION TENDS TO REMAIN IN MOTION. The Smithsonian says at auction this book wildly exceeded its predicted sale price — “Most Expensive Science Book Sells for $3.7 Million”.

There are plenty of awesome, new science books to keep geeks happy this Christmas. But one anonymous science-lover recently received the ultimate stocking stuffer—Laura Geggel at LiveScience reports that the most expensive printed science book was recently sold at Christie’s in New York. An anonymous buyer purchased a rare first edition of Sir Isaac Newton’s Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica for $3.7 million.

According to Jasper Jackson at The Guardian, the auction house believed the book would sell for $1 to $1.5 million. The most recent sale surpasses an English-language edition of the Principia which was presented to King James II which sold in 2013 for $2.5 million.

If there’s any science book that deserves to set a sales record, it’s the Principia. Published in 1687, the book sets out for the first time Newton’s three laws of motion, which shaped the course of modern physics. Geggel reports that Einstein called the book “perhaps the greatest intellectual stride that it has ever been granted to any man to make.”

(13) REMEMBER THE VIRTUAL GOLDFISH? This seems like a logical (if potentially creepy) extrapolation of the Siri concept — Azuma Hikari, the “Virtual Home Robot”, your waifu in a bottle.

Right now, only a Japanese-speaking version is available:

Q : Will Azuma Hikari be able to speak English? Or will she be able to speak English in the future?

A : Azuma Hikari can only speak Japanese. For other languages, we are still studying it based on the status of the current limited pre-order.

(14) A DEEPNESS IN THE SKY. Space.com hosts a gallery of “26 Cosmic Photos from the Hubble Space Telescope’s Ultra Deep Field”.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope holds the world record for peering farther into deep space than any other telescope of its time. It has imaged some of the most distant galaxies ever observed, allowing the telescope to look back in time to when the universe was in its infancy. This image, called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, offers a core sample of the deep universe with diverse galaxies of various ages, sizes, shapes and colors.

(15) MAGIC BOOKS. Adrian Liang interviews Brandon Sanderson for Omnivoracious, the Amazon Book Review.

Amazon Book Review: Tell me about your latest book.

Brandon Sanderson: My latest book is Arcanum UnboundedArcanum Unbounded is a collection of my short fiction from the shared universe that all my fantasy books take place in. About half of the stories are expansions on the books. I’ll often take a character and do a side story with them that just didn’t fit in the book, but I knew what happened with them and I write that out. About half of the stories are standalone stories on new worlds with new magics, exploring what it’s like to live in the Cosmere. One of the stories won a Hugo. They’ve all been, individually, bestsellers on their own, and this is the opportunity to get them all together, with a new Stormlight Archive story that is a big chunk of the book. We’ve tried to make it super nice. For people who already have the stories, we’ve tried to make this hardcover be the book you have on your shelf and that you loan to your friends. The hardcover has illustrations too for each story; one is a map of the solar system—it’s an old Da Vinci-style drawing of someone imagining what the solar system is like. Each story also has an in-world foreword by a character who is studying each of the planets, and an afterword by me—not in-world—about how I wrote it and why.

(16) AD ASTRA. New York’s Hayden Planetarium will present the Frontiers Lecture: Can We Reach The Stars? on January 23.

Professor of physics Greg Matloff discusses recent developments that have advanced the possibility of interstellar travel for robots and humans, from the discovery of a potentially habitable planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the star closest to the Sun, to the announcement of an interstellar probe called Project Starshot. Learn how advances in photon sailing, nano-spacecrafts, and high-powered lasers may bring the stars within reach.

(17) DON GLUT’S MONSTER MUSEUM.  Don Glut guides you on a video tour of his Monster Museum – just watch out when he offers to shake hands.

Karlos Borloff pays a visit to Donald F Glut’s home Monster museum in Burbank, Ca. for a guided tour of his vintage & rare artifacts & creations !! As seen on TV !!


(18) WHO IS NUMBER ONE? Here is Rolling Stone’s selection of the “40 Best Science Fiction TV Shows of All Time”. Babylon 5 is only #20. The Twilight Zone is #2. Who is #1? (Not The Prisoner – he’s #5…)

It’s odd to think that, once upon a time, a TV show set in space — one that declared, in its opening narration, as the cosmos being the “final frontier” — was considered the pop-cultural equivalent of an unwanted party-crasher. Yes, a concept like Star Trek was both of its time and clearly ahead of it; history has more than vindicated Gene Rodenberry’s notion of boldly going where no man had gone before. But given the number of top-notch shows set in the far reaches of the galaxy and that used genre for pulpy and profound purposes over the last 30 or so years, it seems crazy to think that one of the most groundbreaking SF series was a network pariah and a ratings dud. Today, there’s an entire cable network devoted to this kind of programming. You can’t turn on your TV/Roku/cut-cord viewing device without bumping into spaceships, alien invasion and wonky sci-fi food-for-thought.

Science fiction has been around in one form or another since the early-ish days of television, both here and abroad, and its legacy now looms larger than ever. So what better time to count down the 40 best sci-fi TV shows of all time? From anime classics to outer-space soap operas, spooky British anthology shows to worst-case-scenario postapocalyptic dramas, primetime pop hits to obscure but beloved cult classics, here are our choices for the best the television genre has to offer — submitted, for your approval.

(19) FRITZ LANG REBOOT. According to The Verge, “The creator of Mr. Robot is adapting sci-fi masterpiece Metropolis as a miniseries”.

Sam Esmail, the celebrated auteur behind the cybersecurity drama Mr. Robot, is working to adapt the 1927 Fritz Lang film Metropolis as a miniseries, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter. The project is in the very early stages of development, the report says, and it’s unclear what role Esmail will play in the finished project. It’s not expected to hit screens for another two or three years, which likely means Esmail will first finish out his four- to five-season roadmap for Mr. Robot before turning his focus on the adaptation. Season three of Mr. Robot is set to debut some time in 2017

(20) SWEET EMOTION. Hum stars a robot and a hummingbird and a sink full of dirty dishes.

A solitary dish washing robot living out his life in the back room of a restaurant is enlightened to the world that exists beyond his four walls, with the help of a small friend he breaks free of confinement to pursue his dream of exploration.

Hum was the film we created for our junior year advanced production class in 2015 while attending Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. The film was created over one semester (February 2015 – May 2015) with a budget of $2000. We hope you enjoy the film and are compelled to share it with your friends and family, you are what motivates to continue telling stories.


[Thanks to Mark-kitteh, Andrew Porter, Dawn Incognito, JJ, Camestros Felapton, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]

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30 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/17/16 Side Effects Include Pixels, Pixellation, Scrolls, Curled Edges And, In Extreme Cases, Death. Ask Your Medical Provider.

  1. (20) There are some scary and disturbing elements to that film in the form of the guy who owns the robot – so be warned. However, I thought it was fantastically well done – particularly in the use of light.

    (2) Thanks Mike 🙂 No cats were actually harmed in the making of that story despite my best efforts.


    Using “creepy” to describe that is the Understatement Of The Year. They need to build in a feature which will help the user to connect with other real people. 😯

  3. (8) Can’t wait for this. Season 4 of The 100 starts in February also. And Season 2 of The Man in the High Castle just dropped on Amazon.

    We live in an embarrassment of SF riches, don’t we?

    (11) Heh. I got 20 out of 40 on the quiz, and Kevin Beckman [“Ghostbusters”]. The extended dance sequence as the credits rolled was in some ways the best part of the movie. (Along with Holtzmann.)

  4. Mike: Thanks for posting the interview with Don Glut. I loved the dinosaurs from the 1933 Century of Progress exhibit!

  5. The news item about Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica brings to mind James Morrow’s novel The Last Witchfinder which has as a narrator the book Principia Mathematica, yes the book narrates the book.

    “Newton’s Principia Mathematica speaks intermittently, its jaunty historical and critical commentary knitted cleverly into the narrative. This tour-de-force of early America bears a buoyant humor to lighten its macabre load. ” — Publishers Weekly

  6. It’s the end of the Scroll as we know it (and I read Files).

    Any sufficiently advanced Pixel is indistinguishable from a Scroll.

  7. (6) HOLIDAY GOODIES. Heh, I got a kick out of this when their e-mail hit my inbox.

    (11) TOUGH TRIVIA. Tough, indeed! I gave up partway through when I realized all my answers were guesses. BTW it’s ever-so-slightly odd that a book publisher wouldn’t have a quiz more focused on, uh, books. Or maybe I’m just frustrated ‘cuz I like to think I’d’ve done better? 😛

    (14) A DEEPNESS IN THE SKY. Cool photos! I’m not sure why space.com wanted to send me push notifications via my browser, though.

    (18) WHO IS NUMBER ONE? #35 amazed me (for real)! I thought I was the only one who watched “Now and Again” (well, it didn’t last long, so maybe I was).

  8. 18) “Science fiction has been around in one form or another since the early-ish days of television…”

    How about “from the beginning”? Gernaback initiated the first tv broadcast from NYC and – Captain Video was one of the first regularly broadcast shows, period.

    Yes, Prisoner should have been #6, or #2


    Mmmmm, looks like the next season is hotting up nicely.


    21.Tough quiz!


    That rating is clearly wrong. No, not that one, the other one that I disagree with.


    I’m a little….dubious about whether this is a wise choice. Unless they make it a silent version.

  10. JJ, re (13) virtual goldfish:

    Using “creepy” to describe that is the Understatement Of The Year. They need to build in a feature which will help the user to connect with other real people. ?

    Speaking as someone who is technically in the target demographic (single, male): Having a virtual assistant that texts me during the day and begs me to come home early so I can spend more time alone with it seems incredibly weird. The guy’s lines towards the end, about how good it is to have someone at home thinking about him, seems more like a warning to not become like that guy than an attractive feature of the hologram assistant.

    I think it would require only small alterations to that video – mainly swapping out the soundtrack to something less upbeat – to change it from a commercial to a sad SF short film about human isolation in the age of tech.

    (And on a more practical note: If I had an alarm clock that woke me up with that kind of high-pitched voice, it would hit the wall within a week.)

  11. (18) WHO IS NUMBER ONE

    That rating is clearly wrong. No, not that one, the other one that I disagree with.

    I was going to seriously make a comment like that (Babylon 5 is the best, dammit), but it would have been really silly. Apparently there are a lot of good sci-fi shows I need to watch.

  12. Here’s the SFF that the spouse and I are getting each other for the holidays!

    The Power by Naomi Alderman (which comes highly recommended)
    The Great Ordeal by R. Scott Bakker (which has been getting mixed reviews, but I read the first five books …)
    A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (so excited!)
    The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst (rapidly becoming a favorite author)
    Mother of Souls by Heather Rose Jones (YAY!!!!!)
    False Hearts by Laura Lam (love the Micah Gray series, interested to see what this series brings)
    City of Devils by Justin Robinson (great premise)
    Updraft by Fran Wilde (got mixed reviews on this site, but seems generally loved everywhere else – we’ll see!)

    Non-SFF stuff includes Her Name In The Sky by Kelly Quindlen, Texts From Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg, Women’s Barracks by Tereska Torres, The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, an A3 cutting mat, and a nice big bag of carrageenan.

  13. @Johan P:

    Having a virtual assistant that texts me during the day and begs me to come home early so I can spend more time alone with it seems incredibly weird.

    Thanks, you just helped me out my finger on what I found so sad about this. Normally, if somebody texts me, I smile because I know that they were going about their day and thought of me. This young salaryman seems pleased that he received a text from something that is programmed to text him periodically.

    This is a dystopia, no matter what the music says.

  14. Peer Sylvester
    Ha! I smiled at that.

    Dawn Incognito
    This is getting very close to a micro-SFF I wrote this year or maybe last year. Can’t recall how I phrased it for Twitter, but it was more or less:

    The last human being on earth sat alone in a room. The phone rang. “Stand by,” said a tinny voice, “For an amazing offer on aluminum siding.” It was the fourth siding call of the day.

  15. Thanks, you just helped me out my finger on what I found so sad about this. Normally, if somebody texts me, I smile because I know that they were going about their day and thought of me. This young salaryman seems pleased that he received a text from something that is programmed to text him periodically.

    This is what evolves when you keep a Tamagotchi running for 20 years.

    (This actually reminds me of a manga series I read recently where you are (apparently?) supposed to root for the protagonist in the situation instead of think that it is just sad and creepy.)

  16. Aaah, we are seeing what we are buying ourselves for yule?

    Ok, this is my ordered stuff:

    * Tai Chi Zero
    * Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (I gave away my copy)
    * The Power of Fear
    * Parker Lewis Can’t Lose: Season One
    * Jim Henson’s The Storyteller – The Complete Collection
    * Krampus
    * Frostbite
    * Society
    * The Monkey King
    * Scott Pilgrim vs. The World [Blu-ray]

    The Apothecary’s Curse, Barbara Barnett
    Sunshine, McKinley, Robin
    The Novice: Book 1 (Summoner), Matharu, Taran
    NOS4R2, Hill, Joe
    The Fireman, Hill, Joe
    The Library at Mount Char, Hawkins, Scott
    HEX, Heuvelt, Thomas Olde
    Tigerman, Harkaway, Nick
    Nobody Likes a Goblin, Hatke, Ben

    Moon Knight Vol. 1: Lunatic (Mockingbird), Jeff Lemire
    Nameless, Grant Morrison
    Huck, Millar, Mark
    The Shame Trilogy, Lovern Kindzierski
    Geis: A Matter of Life and Death, Alexis Deacon
    WE3 TP, Morrison, Grant
    Cry Havoc Volume 1: Mything in Action, Spurrier, Si

  17. Well, for other people I bought Elizabeth Bear’s Eternal Sky trilogy (love those covers!) and the first three Giant Days volumes. For myself, aside from all of the free Open Road Media stuff, the last eBook I bought was probably C.J. Cherryh’s Dreaming Tree omnibus.

    And I got two soundtrack CDs from the Twelve Kingdoms anime, and am waiting for my Blu-Ray of Harryhausen’s Three Worlds of Gulliver.

  18. Well, since this seems to be a thing, here’s mine:

    Books bought as gifts for other people (all SFF, coincidentally):
    – German edition of Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
    – German edition of A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
    – German edition of The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey
    – German edition of Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts

    Books I got other people to buy for me (again all SFF):
    After Atlas by Emma Newman
    Jerusalem Fire by R.M. Meluch
    The Praxis by Walter Jon Williams (thanks to JJ’s post)
    The Bloodsworn by Erin Lindsey
    Star Nomad by Lindsay Buroker
    Shades of Treason by Sandy Williams
    For the Wildings by Kyra Halland
    I’ve also got After the Crown by K.B. Wager on my list, but it probably won’t make it here in time for Christmas.

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