Pixel Scroll 2/13/23 Pixelators Are A Set Of Interfering, Meddling People, Who Scroll Down To Some Perfectly Contented Fans And Sow The Seeds Of Discontent Amongst Them. That Is The Reason Why Pixelators Are So Absolutely Necessary

(1) VISIONS AND REVISIONS. At the Australian Book Designers Assn., W. H. Chong tells “How to Deconstruct a Science Fiction Cover” using some historic examples.

…Among the golden names I picked: Clarke, Asimov, Dick, Gibson, a pair of books stuck out – Ursula Le Guin’s brilliant double: The Left Hand of Darkness and her following novel, The Dispossessed:

Looking at these now they are my idea of perfect science fiction covers.…The Dispossessed is a story of rivalry between two planets, one of which claims to be run on socialist grounds but is actually quite authoritarian, the other is capitalist and more overtly totalitarian. [Note: not totalitarian, but patriarchal] The image is a very simple, iconic, memorable image. There is this very neat thing, where the hero, who looks very heroic, is looking at a world. But you can break it down. The figure is very much the same as the man in the famous 1818 painting by Caspar David Friederich, ‘Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog’….

All that rambling was to say how clearly the cover image captured the book for me, then as now. It’s a narrative illustration that faithfully serves and dramatises the story. (The typography is understated.) I think it’s a strength that the image is literal rather than subtly allusive. The crude, kitschy style and diagrammatic, trope-mongering composition ticks all the boxes for that period of SF, not only representing the story but also operating as a high impact signifier of SFness….

(2) F&SF. Thanks to Gordon Van Gelder, here is The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction’s March-April 2023 cover art by Jill Bauman.

(3) TAFF BALLOT CONCERN. North American TAFF Administrator Michael J. “Orange Mike” Lowrey drew attention to a mail delivery issue that affected one person he knows about – were there any others? 

I got an e-mail asking if we’d moved, because a TAFF ballot had been returned as “Moved/Left No Forwarding”!

I just talked to our post office branch. Our regular letter carrier is out on medical leave, and apparently whoever has been filling in for him thought that because the house we have lived in since 1979 is not as expensively maintained as some of the other homes in our gentrified neighborhood, we must have moved out. The PO branch says they will be addressing this.

The official ballot for the 2023 Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund race [PDF file] is at the link. Fans have until April 11, 2023 at 23:59 Pacific / -7 UTC to vote.

(4) USEFUL PLAGUES FOR WRITERS. Steven Popkes has a fasincating, detail-filled set of “Notes on the Plagues in SF Arisia Panel” at Book View Café.

Includes a bonus set of comments about the “10 scariest plagues from sci-fi and fantasy” ranked at Fansided.

(5) NYC FANDOM FIFTY YEARS AGO. Fanac.org has made available a video of yesterday’s fanhistorical Zoom discussion “New York Fandom in the 70s (Pt 1)- Moshe Feder, Jerry Kaufman, Andy Porter, and Steve Rosenstein”.

The story of New York fandom is fascinating, from its Worldcon in the 60s to fragmentation and multiple fannish groups in the 70s. In this 2023 Zoom recording, ably moderated by FANAC chair Joe Siclari, our panelists provide a fond and anecdotal recounting of their decades of experience in New York fandom. In this part 1 (of 2) you’ll hear how they came into fandom (including the value of having a big name pro last name), the true meaning of Kratophany, and what the Avocado Pit really was. There’s background on the many NY clubs of the era from Fanoclasts to Fistfa to Lunarians and SFFSAQC (this last founded by one of our speakers). There are personal anecdotes of Isaac Asimov, and the lengths that Jack Chalker went to in order to attend Lunarians while living in Baltimore. 

This video has plenty more – from the questionable respectability of the NYU club to why Moshe was cautioned not to sing along to “The Music Man” on Broadway to the first live fanzine, Spanish Inquisition and Stu Shiffman’s exquisite mastery of on-stencil art. These are stories that really convey what it was like to be a fan in the 70s.

(6) SUPER BOWL TRAILER RELEASES. These movie trailers were tailored for airing during yesterday’s Super Bowl broadcast.

The Flash: Opens in North America on June 16.

Worlds collide in “The Flash” when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no Super Heroes to turn to. That is, unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian… albeit not the one he’s looking for. Ultimately, to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry’s only hope is to race for his life. But will making the ultimate sacrifice be enough to reset the universe?

Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, written and directed by James Gunn, comes to theaters May 5.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves “Big Game Spot”

I know a thing or two about games that last many hours… Watch the #DnDMovie Big Game spot ahead of Sunday! Only in theatres March 31. A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves brings the rich world and playful spirit of the legendary roleplaying game to the big screen in a hilarious and action-packed adventure.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts x Porsche “Big Game Spot”

The name’s Mirage. A new Autobot makes his debut as a legendary Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8 in #Transformers: #RiseOfTheBeasts, in theatres June 9. Returning to the action and spectacle that have captured moviegoers around the world, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will take audiences on a ‘90s globetrotting adventure and introduce the Maximals, Predacons, and Terrorcons to the existing battle on earth between Autobots and Decepticons. Directed by Steven Caple Jr. and starring Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback, the film arrives in theatres June 9, 2023.


65 million years ago, BIG GAME meant something very different. 65 hours before kickoff, get an exclusive early look at the #65movie Big Game spot. Exclusively in movie theaters March 10.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

This Summer, a legend will face his destiny. Harrison Ford returns in #IndianaJones and the Dial of Destiny in theaters June 30.


1952[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

Clifford Simak’s City is by far my favorite work by him. It was published in 1952 by Gnome Press with the cover art with the cover art by Frank Kelly Freas.

It would win one of seven Awards given out by the groups that did the International Fantasy Award. 

Why this patch up novel? Because he centered it on canines given speech by human who departed to the stars so long that they became just history and then became legend and that turned myth. The uplifted dogs now tell stories of the humans who they’re not sure were actually real. 

See no spoilers really. If there’s a few souls here who’ve not read it, go forth and get a copy now. 

This novel started out as separate stories in Astounding Science Fiction, May 1944 issue, has much to recommend itself. I won’t say it is all sweetness as it’s not, Simak goes fairly dark at times as he’s interested in the nature of violence here 

And now our Beginning… 


These are the stories that the Dogs tell when the fires burn high and the wind is from the north. Then each family circle gathers at the hearthstone and the pups sit silently and listen and when the story’s done they ask many questions: 

“What is Man?” they’ll ask. 

Or perhaps: “What is a city?” 

Or: “What is a war?” 

There is no positive answer to any of these questions.

There are suppositions and there are theories and there are many educated guesses, but there are no answers. 

In a family circle, many a storyteller has been forced to fall back on the ancient explanation that it is nothing but a story, there is no such thing as a Man or city, that one does not search for truth in a simple tale, but takes it for its pleasure and lets it go at that. 

Explanations such as these, while they may do to answer pups, are no explanations. One does search for truth in such simple tales as these.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 13, 1908 Patrick Barr. He appeared in Doctor Who as Hobson in the Second Doctor story, “The Moonbase”, in the Seventies Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) “You Can Always Find a Fall Guy” episode, and appeared once in The Avengers as Stonehouse in the “Take me to Your Leader” episode. His last genre role was as the British Ambassador in Octopussy. (Died 1985.)
  • Born February 13, 1932 Susan Oliver. She shows up in the original Trek pilot, “The Cage” as Vina, the Orion slave girl. She had a number of one-offs in genre television including Wild Wild WestTwilight ZoneAlfred Hitchcock HourThe Man from U.N.C.L.E.TarzanThe InvadersNight Gallery and Freddy’s Nightmares. (Died 1990.)
  • Born February 13, 1933 Patrick Godfrey, 90. His very first acting was as Tor in a First Doctor story, “The Savages. He’d be in a Third Doctor story, “Mind of Evil”, as Major Cotsworth. His last two acting roles have both been genre — one being the voice of a Wolf Elder in Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle; the other Butler in His Dark Materials.
  • Born February 13, 1938 Oliver Reed. He first shows up in a genre film uncredited in The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll with his first credited role being Leon in The Curse of the Werewolf. He was King in The Damned, an SF despite its title, and Z.P.G. saw him cast as Russ McNeil. Next up was him as Athos in the very charming Three Musketeers, a role he reprised in Four Musketeers and Return of the Musketeers. Does Royal Flash count as genre? Kage Baker loved that rogue. Kage also loved The Adventures of Baron Munchausen in which he played Vulcan. Orpheus & Eurydice has him as Narrator, his final film role. (Died 1999.)
  • Born February 13, 1959 Maureen F. McHugh, 64. Her first novel, China Mountain Zhang was nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula Award, and won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. Her other novels are Half the Day Is NightMission Child and Nekropolis. She has an impressive array of short stories.  “The Lincoln Train” won a Hugo for Best Story at L.A. Con III.
  • Born February 13, 1960 Matt Salinger, 63. Captain America in the 1990 Yugoslavian film of that name which was directed by Albert Pyun as written by Stephen Tolkin and Lawrence J. Block, the well known mystery writer. It’s got a 16% rating among reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes which matches what critics thought of it. As near as I can tell this is only genre role.
  • Born February 13, 1961 Henry Rollins, 62. Musician and actor of interest to me for his repeated use in the DC Universe as a voice actor, first on Batman Beyond as Mad Stan the bomber, also as Benjamin Knox / Bonk in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, then on Teen Titans as Johnny Rancid and finally, or least to date, voicing Robot Man in the “The Last Patrol!” of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.  I’d be remiss not to note he’s Spider in Johnny Mnemonic, and in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights as the voice of Kilowog.

(9) A HALF CENTURY OF SPIDER-MAN. Marvel promises it will be “The Most Shocking Issue of Amazing Spider-Man In 50 Years”. Will part of the shock will come from it actually being two issues?

This May, Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr.’s run of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN reaches a startling unexpected climax and conclusion of its first year! Don’t miss two over-sized, monumental AMAZING SPIDER-MAN issues with #25 and the heartbreaking #26!

Number 25 releases on May 10, with number 26 following on May 31.

(10) HAVE MORE FAITH IN ALIENS. [Item by Chris Barkley.] Here’s the thing; an sf fan will tell you that aliens are too smart and too fast to be shot down. C’mon Man!!!!! “US general refuses to rule out aliens after third suspicious flying object is shot down by the military over its airspace” at MSN.com.

A top US Air Force general said that he was not ruling out the possibility that flying objects shot down over North America could have been aliens. 

General Glen VanHerck, the commander who oversees North American airspace, told reporters at a Pentagon briefing Sunday that he wasn’t ruling out extra terrestrials or any other explanation for the objects, and was deferring to US intelligence. …

At moments like this you wonder if there is any US intelligence.

(11) WHEN 2 IS A PRIME NUMBER. The Wrap signal boosts news that “’The Peripheral’ Scores Season 2 Renewal at Prime Video”.

“The Peripheral,” the sci-fi drama starring Chloë Grace Moretz, has been renewed for a second season at Prime Video.

Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by William Gibson, the series hails from “Westworld” creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan’s Kilter Films banner, which is under an overall deal at Amazon Studios….

(12) THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING PURPLE. “Barney franchise getting relaunched with film, animated series, and more” reports Yahoo! It’s fascinating that Yahoo! finds a way to draw a connecting line between Barney and Nope.

Get ready to have “I love you, you love me” stuck in your head all over again.

The iconic purple dinosaur Barney, who rose to prominence in the ’90s with the hit television show Barney & Friends — which famously encouraged kids to be kind and optimistic while simultaneously haunting their parents’ dreams — is officially getting relaunched later this year.

… Further details about the film plans weren’t immediately available, but in 2019 it was announced that Mattel had a live-action Barney movie in the works with Nope star Daniel Kaluuya set to produce. It remains to be seen how those plans might factor in with this relaunch…

[Thanks to Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day by Jayn.]

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25 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/13/23 Pixelators Are A Set Of Interfering, Meddling People, Who Scroll Down To Some Perfectly Contented Fans And Sow The Seeds Of Discontent Amongst Them. That Is The Reason Why Pixelators Are So Absolutely Necessary

  1. (8) Oliver Reed: I adore both of the very fun Three and Four Musketeers movies, though I haven’t seen Return of the Musketeers. There’s one scene between Reed and Faye Dunaway as Milady Dewinter that just gives me chills, it’s so good. I saw both movies on the same day with my cousin: we got tickets for Four, then when it was over we snuck into Three, which made everything we’d just seen in Four make MUCH more sense.

  2. Matt Salinger was also in What Dreams May Come, which is fantasy, and Wetware, which I hadn’t heard of before but is SF.

  3. (5) About making meetings, there were four? five? fen in the seventies who would hit PSFS on Friday night, BSFS (I think) Sat night, and another club meeting Sunday (IIRC – Lew Wolkoff might remember more). And, of course, PSFS never split, and we had a few big names….
    (10) Yes. Come on, they’ve got force fields, tractor beams… and some dinky jet on a planet that has trouble making it it’s moon is gonna shoot them down?
    (12) Barney. Taking off from the bums who beat me for most humorous at the ’83 Worldcon Masquerade, my son, when he was about 10, did Halloween as a Barney-hunting barbarian, with a Barney impaled on his spear. Parents were vastly amused….

  4. (3) It could be worse. My first wife once had mail to her returned to the sender by the post office marked “diseased”.

    (40+ years later, she’s still very much alive.)

  5. (8) Return of the Musketeers is a disappointment. It was based on Dumas’ followup novel, “Twenty Years Later.” Pierre Spengler, protege of the Salkinds (who produced the first two films) produced this one, with Richard Lester returning to direct. Most of the cast is back, including Christopher Lee who was seemingly killed at the end of 4M. Sadly, Richard Chamberlain is only in it a little at the beginning and end. And most tragically, Roy Kinnear, Planchet, was killed during filming. This resulted in many lawsuits which is why the movie never received a theatrical release in the US and was only shown on TV. It’s mainly watchable to see old friends again.

  6. I think one ought to remember Oliver Reed in “The Shuttered Room,” the first film that I ever saw that ‘felt’ like Lovecraft, even though it dispensed with the supernatural. That August Derleth was one of the writers on that film does show. And Reed was already able to cast a sense of menace, even that young

  7. John Lorentz says It could be worse. My first wife once had mail to her returned to the sender by the post office marked “diseased”.

    (40+ years later, she’s still very much alive.)

    I think you deceased, not diseased. Illnesses we get over usually, though The Pandemic proved that’s no longer true way, way too often.

  8. I think you deceased, not diseased. Illnesses we get over usually, though The Pandemic proved that’s no longer true way, way too often.

    Whoops! (My fingers occasionally refuse to type what I tell them to.)

    Yes, the post office thought she was “deceased”.

  9. John Lorentz replies to me Whoops! (My fingers occasionally refuse to type what I tell them to.)

    Yes, the post office thought she was “deceased”.

    Speaking of goofs, I hope you noticed I dropped the word “meant” from my reply.

  10. (8) Today is also the birthday of Peter Gabriel (b. 1950). Much of his music with Genesis and his early solo work is straight-up genre.

  11. (7) City and Clifford D. Simak. I just love it. A well deserved feature discussion.
    (8) Maureen F. McHugh – I am pretty sure you meant to reference her classic story, “The Lincoln Train”. That said, I would love to read “The Lincoln Tree” if she wrote it. My latest favorite of hers is the 2020 novelette, “Yellow and the Perception of Reality”, which is superb.

  12. 10). “C’mon man!” Is right! We live in a democracy, kind of. I think we should vote on what those things are and where they are from.
    I’m nominating the Mole Men.
    Why the Mole Men?
    Because Superman dealt with them once before and he can do it again!
    Truth, Justice and the American way, baby!

  13. And most tragically, Roy Kinnear, Planchet, was killed during filming. This resulted in many lawsuits which is why the movie never received a theatrical release in the US and was only shown on TV

    Whoa, I never heard of that story. I wondered how I had missed the movie when it came out (I’ve seen it as a bootleg copy of the TV release since) and now I know why!

  14. Thanks for the title credit, Mike!

    Thanks are also due to the original author of the title quote, Oscar Filed. (Sorry).

  15. 8) Oliver Reed was also in Ken Russell’s movie of the Who’s Tommy .

    No shade for overlooking him, what with the 10-foot-tall Pinball Wizard, the demented Acid Queen, and Ann-Margaret wallowing in a deluge of beans.

  16. Two items here : (i) re the late Roy Kinnear-he was of course, pre his death in that movie, in a no of eps of the superb 1960s UK TV series (and certainly genre) “The Avengers”.. These were both the earlier B+W ones (and IMO the better ones) and the later, colour ones (and they of course both also had the late Diana Rigg/Mrs Peel therein). He was also in the very last Avengers ep of all (in colour with Linda Thorson/Tara King); (2) re 2 being a prime no, I repeat that math “joke” I made at Worldcon in 2017/Helsinki. Pi (3.1415926 etc) and e (2.7182818 etc) married and it was a volatile one. So they went to the marriage councillor. The councillor asked Pi what was wrong with e: “she’s irrational!” came the reply. Then e yelled “But he goes on and on and on..!”

  17. 3) Yep, my idiot mailman once misdelivered a piece of my mail; whoever got it wrote “does not live here” on the envelope and dropped it back in the box. With no change of address card, or forwarding order on file, my mailman decided that meant I had moved. He stopped delivering the mail, and it took me a month to clean up the resulting mess of returned bills and magazines (and explaining to my mother that no, I had not moved).

    When you think of the billions of pieces of mail the USPS handles every day, it seems like a miracle that most of it gets delivered right.

  18. 3) As a former letter carrier, my reaction is “WTF?” Was the letter carrier an officer for an HOA? Over my career, I delivered to homes that really should have been condemned but still had residents, and to big upper-class homes in richer neighborhoods.

    (And one home I think qualified as an actual mansion. I was doing a relay –part of another carrier’s route, because they were out sick or whatever– in an older part of Phoenix. A lot of the relay’s area was a large lime orchard about 50 years old that had somehow avoided being ripped out and developed. Tucked away at one side of the orchard, almost out of sight, was a large, classically ornate home that looked like a slightly smaller version of the Clampett mansion on THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES. The surrounding residential area had some nice old homes, but nothing like that. I assume the mansion belonged to the orchard owners, which was still a functioning business at the time, though the orchard did get ripped out and developed some years later.)

  19. RE: Patrick Barr, he was King Richard in “The Story of Robin Hood,” for Disney Studios (in which Archie Duncan plays a bad guy who kills Robin’s father). In the 1950’s “The Adventures of Robin Hood” series with Richard Greene, Patrick Barr reprises his role of King Richard in two episodes, “Secret Mission,” and “King Richard the Lionheart.” Also in that same series, Archie Duncan appears as Little John. Small world!

    Re: Oliver Reed, he played one of his best villains as the notorious Bill Sikes in Richard Lester’s “Oliver!” and came back to work under Lester again in “The Three Musketeers,” split into two movies (“The Four Musketeers” for which the actors sued, as they were paid for one movie, but there was enough footage for two films). The actors won. Later, there was a the sequel, “The Return of the Musketeers.” Small world, and apparently bygones were bygone by then.

    Oliver Reed also appeared in a fun romp called “The Assassination Bureau,” which co-starred Diana Rigg.

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