Pixel Scroll 1/4/17 Four Scrolls And Seven Pixels Ago

(1) GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. SF Crowsnest reviewer Eamonn Murphy isn’t a big fan of Uncanny Magazine. His review of issue #13, which is still online, passes such judgements as —

The non-fiction in ‘Uncanny Magazine’ usually consists of essays complaining about the lack of one-legged Mexican lesbian heroes in films because of the white Anglo-Saxon phallocentric conspiracy that controls the media or about how difficult it is to be a ‘Star Wars’ fan if you have a big nose.

At this hour, however, Murphy’s more recent review of Uncanny Magazine #14 is a 404-sized hole in the internet. It was yanked in response to the outraged reaction provoked by Murphy’s sarcastic comments about the transgender and gay characters in Sam J. Miller’s story “Bodies Stacked Like Firewood.”

Murphy’s review is still available as screenshots in Sarah Gailey’s Twitter feed.


Uncanny Magazine’s editors declared: “A review website published a hateful, heavily transphobic review of Uncanny Magazine 14. They will no longer be receiving review copies.” and “We normally don’t comment on reviews, but we will when there is hate speech in the review directed at the content & the creators.”

Jim C. Hines answered with what I’d call a fisk of Murphy’s review (although Hines doesn’t).

Not only does Mr. Murphy start frothing at the mouth when a story includes a queer or trans character or talks about tolerance, he keeps frothing even when he thinks the story isn’t about those things. We’re talking about a man set to permanent froth, a cross between malfunctioning espresso machine and a dog who ate too much toothpaste and shat all over your carpet.

(2) UP ABOVE THE WORLD SO HIGH. The Nature Conservancy’s Photo of the Month for January pictures the Milky Way over Mount Rainier, positioned so it looks like Rainier is erupting stars. The photographer explains:

This shot was a year in the making. That’s the Milky Way galaxy appearing as if it’s erupting out of the Mount Rainier volcano, with the headlamps of climbers on their way to the summit.

…Once I acquired a good camera from a friend I began tracking the phases of the moon and waiting for that once-a-month new moon when the skies would be darkest. I tracked satellite images of where light pollution was located, tracked weather patterns, and waited for a clear enough sky to perfectly align with the new moon.

I also scouted locations for the exact time and placement in the sky of the core of the Milky Way relative to where I would be hiking. I experienced a lot of trial and error, but finally the ideal location, weather and moon phase all lined up perfectly for a galactic eruption.

(3) FLAME ON. Launched this month — Fiyah Magazine of black speculative fiction.

P. Djeli Clark tells the history behind the magazine and the significance of its title in “The FIYAH This Time”.

Excerpts from the stories in the first issue are available online.

  • Long Time Lurker, First Time Bomber // Malon Edwards
  • Police Magic // Brent Lambert
  • Revival // Wendi Dunlap
  • The Shade Caller // DaVaun Sanders
  • Sisi Je Kuisha (We Have Ended) // V.H. Galloway
  • Chesirah // L.D. Lewis


(4) SFWA ELECTIONS. Cat Rambo answered my questions about when the process officially begins:

The official call for candidates goes out January 15, administered by our able Elections Commissioner, Fran Wilde and that’s when we open up the section of our discussion boards where people can post their platforms and answer the inevitably lively “Ask the Candidates” thread. This year the election will be for President, Secretary, and a couple of Director positions.

File770 readers who are SFWA members who’ve never been on the board might want to think about running for Director at Large. The team is super, the organization is moving towards doing some cool stuff, and it’s a great way to pay things forward.

(5) IN BOOKS TO COME. Making sure your TBR stack remains as high as Everest, the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog has posted “96 Books Sci-Fi & Fantasy Editors Can’t Wait for You to Read in 2017”. Lots of new authors – but at least one of them is far from unknown:

Talon of God, by Wesley Snipes and Ray Norman (July 25) It’s one thing to hear that Wesley Snipes (yes, that Wesley Snipes!) has written a novel. It’s another thing to find out that it’s one of the best new urban fantasies you’ve read in a long time. Beyond its star appeal and great angels versus demons mythos, the thing that Wesley and Ray Norman do that really drew me in was give us some powerful black heroes at a time when the call for diversity has never been higher—or more necessary.

(6) SHORT FICTION ROUNDUP. The Tangent Online 2016 Recommended Reading List” contains 379 stories — 296 short stories, 65 novelettes, and 18 novellas.

Jason Sanford created a scoreboard showing how many stories various SFF publishers placed on the list.

Sanford personally landed four on the list “including three stars for my Beneath Ceaseless Skies novelette ‘Blood Grains Speak Through Memories.’ This made my day!”

(7) AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE BUT CALIFORNIA. From the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America discussion board:

By now virtually everyone in ABAA knows about how Easton Press is no longer shipping autographed books to California. To see this for yourself, just go to the Easton Press website and click on a specific autographed item for sale.

You will see this message:

Sorry, this product cannot ship to California.

No explanation for this is given on the website. Scott Brown reports that Easton Press won’t confirm it has anything to do with the new California law. But what else could it be?

So many well-known authors are represented by Easton Press that this could be the break we have needed to get legislators to understand what is at stake because of their new law:

No one in California can buy an autographed book from Easton Press any more!  

Easton Press is currently offering 127 signed items.


  • Born January 4, 1785 — German folklore and fairy tale collector Jacob Grimm.

(10) LE GUIN FELLOWSHIP. Theodora Goss announced she is one of two recipients of a Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship. The fellowship will pay for her to travel to Le Guin’s archives at the University of Oregon so she can research the Le Guin book she’s writing for University of Illinois Press.

I contacted the University of Oregon to ask who is the second recipient and have not had a reply.

(11) DOCUMENTING FANAC. Joe Siclari shared with readers of his Fanac.org newsletter —

We’re starting to get some notice.  Cory Doctorow picked up on our posting of the mid-80s fannish mystery “FAANS” to the FANAC Youtube channel, and wrote about it for BoingBoing.net.  The MAC Video Archeology Project contributed some choice pieces of 1976 video, including a truly entertaining interview with Alfred Bester. The interview has had more than 700 views and FAANs is up over 400.


FANAC.ORG website: Our Newszine History Project is still going strong. Since our last update, we have added 200 new issues. We still have 100s more to do and could certainly use some help with  missing issues. We’re not ignoring the rest of the fan publishing world though – we’re adding some choice fanzine titles, like Greg Benford and Ted White’s 1950s VOID and Dave Kyle’s 1930s Fantasy World (credited with being one of the first comics fanzines).

(12) TENSION APPREHENSION. James Gleick’s review of Arrival and Ted Chiang’s new story collection for the New York Review of Books is behind a paywall. It begins —

What tense is this?

I remember a conversation we’ll have when you’re in your junior year of high school. It’ll be Sunday morning, and I’ll be scrambling some eggs….

I remember once when we’ll be driving to the mall to buy some new clothes for you. You’ll be thirteen.

The narrator is Louise Banks in “Story of Your Life,” a 1998 novella by Ted Chiang. She is addressing her daughter, Hannah, who, we soon learn, has died at a young age. Louise is addressing Hannah in memory, evidently. But something peculiar is happening in this story. Time is not operating as expected. As the Queen said to Alice, “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.”

(13) SMALL BUT LOUD. Astronomers have pinpointed the location of an enigmatic celestial object that spits out brief, but powerful, blasts of radio waves. Nature says the mysterious cosmic radio blasts have been traced to a surprising source.

The latest work, published on 4 January in Nature, is the sharpest look yet at the home of a fast radio burst known as FRB 121102. Located in the constellation Auriga, the intermittent signal was first detected on 2 November 2012. Since then, it has flared up several times, making it the only fast radio burst known to repeat.

A team led by Shami Chatterjee, an astronomer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, began with the 305-metre-wide Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico. Its sensitivity allowed the scientists to detect multiple bursts from FRB 121102. The team then used two sets of radio telescopes — the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico, and the European VLBI Network across Europe — to narrow down the location of FRB 121102 even further.

The bursts originate from a dwarf galaxy that emits faint radiation in both radio and visual wavelengths. Follow-up observations with the Gemini North telescope, on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, showed that it is less than one-tenth the size and has less than one-thousandth the mass of the Milky Way.

”The host galaxy is puny,” says team member Shriharsh Tendulkar, an astronomer at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. “That’s weird.” With fewer stars than many galaxies, dwarf galaxies would seem to have less of a chance of hosting whatever creates fast radio bursts. That would include neutron stars, one of the leading candidates for the source of fast radio bursts.

But much more work is needed to pin down the physical mechanism of what causes these mysterious bursts, says Chatterjee. For now, FRB 121102 is just one example.

That need could be filled later this year when a new radio telescope comes online in British Columbia, Canada, dedicated to hunting fast radio bursts.

(14) FORD PERFECT. Movie Pilot introduces a clever fan-made Star Wars video

What would you do for your best friend? The 13-minute video follows Solo, yet again being confronted for one of his smuggling antics — but at least this time he’s got a very precise mission in mind. Chewbacca has been captured, and he needs a valuable item to make the trade.

JJ calls it, “A spot-on imitation of Ford’s mannerisms by this actor, and just a fun little film.”

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Hampus Eckerman, Dawn Incognito, JJ, Mark-kitteh, and Bruce D. Arthurs for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson, who may justly complain that I trimmed half his joke.]

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110 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/4/17 Four Scrolls And Seven Pixels Ago

  1. Hot Pixel on Pixel action!

    Been trying to actually make a dent in the TBR pile today, though put off slightly by it actually being sunny if a little cold outside. Well cold for here anyway, never been above 0 °C (stop sniggering Hampus)

    Currently enjoying Caliban’s War

  2. …yes, well, I heard that THE SFWA once tried to steal Gutenberg’s type tray, using a time machine they’ll commission the design for sometime in 3000 AD….

  3. wonder if this was less an implied vendetta by Scalzi against the series than a complaint about the publisher for the relaunch

    I’d say it’s about the publisher. SFWA prefers that authors get the money that their contracts say they’re owed.

  4. So, you know how a band has their five minutes of fame, then the mouthy vocalist walks out for a solo career, and the drummer starts a side project, and then after a bit of a fallow period their agent drags them all into a room and persuades them to all get back on the same stage as each other again…

    This is why Forbidden Thoughts was created. We wanted to write stories that go so far against the grain, that it wakes people to the censorship that is taking hold in the publishing world. We wanted to write stories that challenge the ideals of today. Why? Because we can. And because it’s needed.

    So if you are also weary of the same tripe being forced in your entertainment, if you want good stories and challenging outlooks, if you miss what science fiction used to be about, go check out a copy of this anthology. Available on Kindle for the price of a cup of coffee, and coming soon in paperback form. Plus, on January 20th, we will be having a release party live chat over at the SuperversiveSF blog.

    Featuring a forward by Milo Yiannopoulos, and stories by:

    Vox Day,

    John C. Wright,

    L. Jagi Lamplighter,

    Brian Niemeier,

    Sarah A. Hoyt,

    Nick Cole,

    And many more, including yours truly.

    WARNING: Not recommended for special snowflakes, for there are no safe spaces here!

    …it’s the Puppy Comeback Tour Anthology, with the original 2014 lineup plus guest stars, playing their timeless hits of “Censorship” and “Nutty Nuggets”, complete with the sort of quality editing that spells “foreword” as “forward”.

    (Today’s outbreak of snark brought to you by a long day at work….)

  5. James Moar: I think he’s got enough published for another collection now.

    JJ: Nah, there are 8 pieces in Stories of Your Life and Others, and only 7 others have been published, near as I can tell — and one of those is from a VanderMeer shared world anthology, so I don’t know whether and how well it stands alone.

    Agree with JJ that “Dacey’s Patent Automatic Nanny” wouldn’t really stand alone out side “The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities”.

    But… “The Lifecycle of Software Objects” being a novella is over 30k words long, so if that’s part of a new collection, you wouldn’t need too much more wordage to make it work. Perhaps, make it even more attractive with the inclusion of a new Ted Chiang story?

    (Not that I’d need any inducement to buy it, just show me where to send my money already.)

  6. Between (1) and the awesome anthology @Mark just brought our attention to (including nonfiction by Tank Marmot, presumably on the subject of threatening people who disagree with you on the internet), my hopes that the Puppies would stop barking and peeing everywhere in 2017 are thoroughly dashed.

    (2) Holy wow! That’s spectacular.

    (8) is not all that impressive, honestly.

    (14) Nice! That’s a very passable Solo.

    I did a TW re-read a few years ago – hunted down all the anthologies and several of the novels. The suck fairy had smashed down hard on some of my old favorites, but some of my teenage least favorites turned out to be the most exciting stories. In particular, it started me seeking out CJ Cherryh’s other writing. I can’t fairly judge the series, though, because of the number of times I read it as a yout’. I almost hunted down the Myth-inc anthologies afterword[sic], but worried they’d probably been completely razed by the suck fairy.

  7. @ Mark: I was masochistic enough to go to Amazon and use the “Look Inside” feature. The writing is exactly as bad as you’d think, the messages are even more heavy-handed than you’d anticipate, and they still aren’t over their Rachel Swirsky obsession.

  8. Mark: Don’t tell anyone, I bought a copy last night and started reading it this morning. Stay tuned.

  9. Also, in one of the stories available for public inspection, the incompetent female African-American pilot who only got ahead through affirmative action is named “Jemison.” Yes, they really are that petty.

  10. Forbidden Thoughts: I guess Again, Dumbass Visions was already taken?

    Currently enjoying Caliban’s War

    For a second there I thought you said Callahan’s War, and thought there was a new Spider Robinsion. 🙁

  11. @Mark I’ll get it and read it later, but I note it’s a 2017 book, and so none of the stories should be Hugo-eligible this year. That is, although it says copyright 2016, the book was actually published January 2, 2017.

  12. @Mike

    Where do I direct the condolence card for your eyeballs?

    @Jonathan Edelstein

    So, it’s a Greatest Hits Whines compilation then?

  13. @Mike
    I respect your fortitude. But man…I would only read that anthology if I was doing a Rachael Acks style fundraiser to do that.

  14. My understanding — which may or may not be correct, there is a great deal of SFWA history on which mileage varies — is at the time SFWA was brought in by involved authors who did not like what was happening and wanted control over what happened with their portion of the writing.

  15. @Mike Glyer
    Mark: Don’t tell anyone, I bought a copy last night and started reading it this morning. Stay tuned.

    You’re a better slan than I am, Gungan Fen!

  16. Paul Weimer: But man…I would only read that anthology if I was doing a Rachael Acks style fundraiser to do that.

    Let’s just consider it me using my new computer to do the kind of things everybody chipped in for!

  17. I’m speed-reading the “Look inside” section of the anthology now. It’s basically the Puppy version of “There Will Be Walrus.”

    And it isn’t just the pilot Jemison in Cole’s *ahem* story – the dude who puts her in charge is “John” (generic name, but c’mon…), she’s sitting next to seasoned vet “Haldeman,” who refuses to save the ship because he’s so disgusted by her incompetence, and “Martin” and “Wendig” are “the first gay couple in space.” Ham-handed is the tip of the iceberg in this “satire.”

    This is “There Will Be Walrus” but it costs money.

  18. Do you know how confused and tangled my day has been? I have in the last half hour received an email that reads, in full, “You have a key to the house on your keychain.

    Think about that for a minute.


  19. I was going to say it couldn’t possibly be an either-puppy anthology without Brad and Larry, but Amazon lists both of them as contributors.

    Any of the obvious puppinati not make this particular alt-right gravy train?

  20. Here’s the ToC:

    Foreword by Milo Yiannopoulos
    The Razor Blade of Approval by Ben Zwycky
    Safe Space Suit by Nick Cole
    Auto America by E.J. Shumak
    A Place for Everyone by Ray Blank
    The Code by Matthew Ward
    The Secret History of the World Gone By by Joshua M. Young
    The Social Construct by David Hallquist
    At the Edge of Detachment by A.M. Freeman
    A History of Sad Puppies by Larry Correia and Brad R. Torgersen
    If You Were a Hamburger, My Love by Ray Blank Imagine by Pierce Oka
    Graduation Day by Chrome Oxide
    Hymns of the Mothers by Brad R. Torgersen
    By His Cockle Hat and Staff by John C. Wright
    The Rules of Racism by Tom Kratman
    World Ablaze by Jane Lebak
    Amazon Gambit by Vox Day
    Elegy for the Locust by Brian Niemeier
    Test of the Prophet by L. Jagi Lamplighter
    Flight To Egypt by Sarah A. Hoyt

    That’s a star-studded Dragon-Award-winning lineup right there, although there’s only Hoyt flying the flag for the MGC contingent. In fact I think the highest profile absentee is Timothy’s favourite Declan Finn!

  21. Mark on January 5, 2017 at 3:23 pm said:
    In fact I think the highest profile absentee is Timothy’s favourite Declan Finn!

    Well in that case, I refuse to read it! 🙂

  22. Camestros Felapton: That’s right! It’s hard to take this book seriously without the imprimatur of Declan Finn. And there’s only one Mad Genius Club columnist in the ToC — were the others invited?

    ETA: Well, Torgersen writes for MGC sometimes, so two maybe. Still missing everyone else.

  23. €4.76 is the price of a cup of coffee? Does it come with two pieces of pie?


  24. “Forbidden Thoughts”? Oh no. No no no no no.

    Also I look forward to Scalzi’s refutation (if he bothers) to Drake’s story about Thieves’ World relaunch. Could be epic.

    (And I think David Drake is one of the best MILSF writers around.)

    (And my college roommate, best man at my wedding, loved TW.)

  25. Lis Carey on January 5, 2017 at 2:57 pm said:
    It sounds like either a line from a text adventure or something out of a fortune-cookie program. (I got one once that said “You are standing on my foot.”)

  26. @P J Evans–

    No, sadly, it was a perfectly sane, rational, and even helpful response to my email, which didn’t say anything as sensible as “do you know where my key is?”

  27. Regarding that “Puppies’ greatest hits” anthology, I’m always stunned when Milo Yiannopoulos starts ranting about free speech and censorship, considering that the first time his name came to my attention was back in 2013 when his site The Kernel launched an attack against self-published erotica, since it apparently shocked his delicate sensibilities.

  28. Mark-kitteh: The original TW collections and two novels (Dagger and one by Lynn) will be going on line shortly from Conlan Press

    Well, it seems to me that is a sure way to torpedo the Thieves’ World relaunch before it starts. There are a lot of people still awaiting the Peter S. Beagle books for which they paid a lot of money to Conlan Press, and a lot more of us who wouldn’t touch anything promised for sale by CP with a 10-foot pole — and that’s assuming that the books would actually be produced… which is, I think, a long shot.

    And I don’t suppose that poor Peter S. Beagle ever got the money he is owed, either. 😐

  29. Mark-kitteh: it’s the Puppy Comeback Tour Anthology, with the original 2014 lineup plus guest stars, playing their timeless hits of “Censorship” and “Nutty Nuggets”, complete with the sort of quality editing that spells “foreword” as “forward”

    You’d have thought they’d have tried to produce some legitimate SFF fiction instead of just more lameass rants with stabs at SJWs, but I guess that’s beyond their capabilities.

    I am, however, quite excited about the promise of receiving a massage from author A.M. Freeman.

  30. Paul Weimer: But man… I would only read that anthology if I was doing a Rachael Acks style fundraiser to do that.

    Mike Glyer: Let’s just consider it me using my new computer to do the kind of things everybody chipped in for!

    I want my money back. 😉

  31. @Lis & Arifel: I honestly don’t know how I didn’t know the term – I’ve filled in UK census info and job applications etc so it’ll have definitely been in my field of vision at various points…

    Still, I like it as a term. The award looks to have thrown together an interesting longlist too; couple of things there that I’m thinking of picking up or at least adding to my ereaderiq watchlists for now.

    @Errol Cavit: Interesting! I had no idea that “islander” had negative connotations. Not that I expect it to come up in everyday conversation but I’ll file away that info as I may be heading NZ-wards later in the year.

  32. You’d have thought they’d have tried to produce some legitimate SFF fiction instead of just more lameass rants with stabs at SJWs, but I guess that’s beyond their capabilities.

    They want the awards first. Then they’ll think about it.

  33. Yowch – one of the people publishing in that anthology is a Facebook friend of a friend with whom I have sparred with in more-or-less cordial terms (about politics, naturally – intensely religious, still taken aback by Trump as she seems a basically nice person). She’s now celebrating her story being published on Facebook – I gather she hasn’t published a lot, and I understand her elation, but the temptation is so very great to say something about her current pagefellows, which will likely not end well.

  34. Jayn: the temptation is so very great to say something about her current pagefellows, which will likely not end well

    She will learn a hard lesson: that as a writer, you need to research publishing venues before agreeing to anything. But there’s not really anything you can do to spare her that at this point. 😐

  35. @Mark: I would love to hear Drake explain how Cherryh has a lot to gain from a TW reboot via Conlan; she’s still selling new work through at least one major publisher, so I don’t see how a minor press reprinting well under 1% of her work can help.

  36. Mark –

    From the text you quoted I found it amusing that the same paragraph had:
    ‘that it wakes people to the censorship that is taking hold in the publishing world. We wanted to write stories that challenge the ideals of today. Why? Because we can.’

    I really can see how badly those stories are being censored!

  37. @Chip Hitchcock: “Clean teen” – when I saw that, I immediately heard Divine in “Hairspray” saying, “My daughter’s a cleeeaaan teeeen.”

    @Cat Rambo: That’s pretty much what I figured, ‘cuz, you know, why would SFWA (or Scalzi on his own?!) go around trying to kill anyone’s projects at random – to say nothing of how these mysterious powers work. Thanks for commenting.

    @kathodus: LOL once I figured out your #8 comment.

    @Lis Carey: My first thought was it was the answer to the “riddle” in the Hobbit – what have you got in your pocket?! 😉

  38. @Matt Y – my SJW credentials are pretty certain (they get their information from sources very close to the O-ba-ma administration) that the contributors, and especially the editors and publisher, to the Forbidden Thoughts anthology are mere hours away from having their doors kicked in and being shipped out to the FEMA death camps Clinton set up back in the late 90s for just this kind of thing.

    Well, either that, or the credentials really, really wanted a second dinner this evening. Sometimes their meows are difficult to parse.

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