Pixel Scroll 2/25/23 What Good Is A Glass Pixel?

(1) NAACP IMAGE AWARDS. The 2023 NAACP Image Awards fiction winner was one of the non-genre nominees.


  • WINNER: Take My Hand – Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Penguin Random House)


  • Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction – Sheree Renée Thomas (Macmillan)
  • Light Skin Gone to Waste – Toni Ann Johnson (University of Georgia Press)
  • The Keeper – Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes (Abrams Books)
  • You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty – Akwaeke Emezi (Simon & Schuster)

(2) EKPEKI INTERVIEW. Media Death Cult’s Moid Moidelhoff conducted “An Interview with Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki”.

Ekpeki is a Nigerian speculative fiction author, editor and publisher, spotlighting the talents and awareness of African writers.

(3) STEP RIGHT UP. “What Is It That Makes Used Bookstores So Wonderful?” asks Keith Roysdon at CrimeReads.

…My favorite store of all the others besides Powell’s [in Portland, OR] was a used bookstore in my hometown of Muncie, Indiana, Al Maynard’s Used Book Headquarters. It was located on the second floor of a deteriorating downtown building and was the kind of inaccessible place that wouldn’t be allowed now, and rightly so. The bookstore was at the top of a long flight of stairs and Maynard, who was famed for being cantankerous, had posted a hand-lettered sign at the top of the stairs. It read something like, “There are 23 steps behind you. Shoplifters will miss most of them on the way down.”

Maynard had accumulated a wealth of books that, in my mind, was a midwestern version of the Library of Alexandria: the wooden shelves lining all the walls were filled with hardbacks, paperbacks, scholarly works, old magazines – probably every edition of National Geographic – and pulp magazines from the first half of the 20th century….

(4) WHICH VERSION WILL WIN? “Roald Dahl publisher announces unaltered 16-book ‘classics collection’” reports the Guardian. The market will decide.

A collection of Roald Dahl’s books with unaltered text is to be published after a row over changes made to novels including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Witches.

Dahl’s publisher Puffin, the children’s imprint of Penguin Random House, was criticised this week after the Telegraph reported that it had hired sensitivity readers to go over the beloved author’s books and language deemed to be offensive would be removed from new editions. In response, Puffin has decided to release Dahl’s works in their original versions with its new texts.

The Classic Collection will “sit alongside the newly released Puffin Roald Dahl books for young readers”, the publisher said in a statement, adding that the the latter series of books “are designed for children who may be navigating written content independently for the first time”….

(5) BE ON THE LOOKOUT. Should Puffin executives be alert for hungry amphibians headed their way? According to the Guardian, “Roald Dahl threatened publisher with ‘enormous crocodile’ if they changed his words”.

One of Roald Dahl’s best-known characters was the Enormous Crocodile, “a horrid greedy grumptious brute” who “wants to eat something juicy and delicious”.

Now a conversation the author had 40 years ago has come to light, revealing that he was so appalled by the idea that publishers might one day censor his work that he threatened to send the crocodile “to gobble them up”.

The conversation took place in 1982 at Dahl’s home in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, where he was talking to the artist Francis Bacon.

“I’ve warned my publishers that if they later on so much as change a single comma in one of my books, they will never see another word from me. Never! Ever!” he said.

With his typically evocative language, he added: “When I am gone, if that happens, then I’ll wish mighty Thor knocks very hard on their heads with his Mjolnir. Or I will send along the ‘enormous crocodile’ to gobble them up.”

(6) MEMORIES OF THE ZONE. Listverse hopes to surprise readers with “10 Things You Might Not Know about The Twilight Zone” – or at least maybe forgot they knew, like this one:

10 The Iconic Theme Song Was Not Introduced Until the Second Season

Even people who have not seen The Twilight Zone are familiar with the catchy “dee-dee-dee-dee” of the theme song. However, this song was not actually used during the airing of the first season of the show. The original theme was written by Bernard Herrmann, known for his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock on films such as Psycho (1960), and while it was fittingly creepy, it didn’t pack much of a punch.

CBS was on the search for a new theme, and Lud Gluskin, the show’s director of music, hired Marius Constant, who usually composed ballet scores, to give it a go. Constant came up with two pieces of music, “Milieu No. 2” and “Étrange No. 3,” which Gluskin then joined together to create the new title theme. The song became integral to the identity of the show. Although the theme has been revamped in the various iterations of The Twilight Zone, the memorable four-note guitar riff is always present

(7) DELIGHTFUL DOZEN. SlashFilm says these are “The 12 Coolest Spaceships In Sci-Fi Movie History” – although John King Tarpinian complains that “They left out the Winnebago.”

The Event Horizon

Sometimes, of course, a spacecraft can be overtly villainous, and none are as depraved as the Event Horizon. Early on in Paul W.S. Anderson’s 1997 sci-fi horror “Event Horizon,” the eponymous ship appears to be just that: a faster-than-light spaceship that disappeared, and then reappeared, under mysterious circumstances. Later, after everything starts to get a bit eye-gougey, it turns out that the Event Horizon gained sentience after briefly crossing over into another dimension, essentially becoming the science fiction equivalent of the Overlook Hotel….


1970[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

Our Beginning tonight is Ringworld which was published by Ballantine Books in 1970. 

Ok, there is definitely sexism lurking within Larry Niven’s Ringworld, and despite winning a Hugo at the first Noreascon is considered to have been visited by the Suck Fairy by many of you as discussed here when I essayed it earlier.

But this feature is about the Beginnings and oh my Ringworld has one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to read as it introduces us to our protagonist in a way that makes us like him.

Now our Beginning…

In the nighttime heart of Beirut, in one of a row of general-address transfer booths, Louis Wu flicked into reality. 

His foot-length queue was as white and shiny as artificial snow. His skin and depilated scalp were chrome yellow; the irises of his eyes were gold; his robe was royal blue with a golden steroptic dragon superimposed. In the instant he appeared, he was smiling widely, showing pearly, perfect, perfectly standard teeth. Smiling and waving. But the smile was already fading, and in a moment it was gone, and the sag of his face was like a rubber mask melting. Louis Wu showed his age. 

For a few moments, he watched Beirut stream past him: the people flickering into the booths from unknown places; the crowds flowing past him on foot, now that the slidewalks had been turned off for the night. Then the clocks began to strike twenty-three. Louis Wu straightened his shoulders and stepped out to join the world. In Resht, where his party was still going full blast, it was already the morning after his birthday. 

Here in Beirut it was an hour earlier. In a balmy outdoor restaurant Louis bought rounds of raki and encouraged the singing of songs in Arabic and Interworld. He left before midnight for Budapest. 

Had they realized yet that he had walked out on his own party? They would assume that a woman had gone with him, that he would be back in a couple of hours. But Louis Wu had gone alone, jumping ahead of the midnight line, hotly pursued by the new day. Twenty-four hours was not long enough for a man’s two hundredth birthday.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born February 25, 1906 Mary Chase. Journalist, playwright and children’s novelist. She’s best remembered for the Broadway playwright who penned Harvey which was later adapted for the film that starred James Stewart. Her only other genre work was the children’s story, “The Wicked, Wicked Ladies In the Haunted House”. The latter is available at the usual digital publishers but Harvey isn’t. You can get Harvey as an audiobook. (Died 1981.)
  • Born February 25, 1909 Edgar Pangborn. For the first twenty years of his career, he wrote myriad stories for the pulp magazines, but always under pseudonyms. It wasn’t until the Fifties that he published in his own name in Galaxy Science Fiction and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Ursula Le Guin has credited him with showing her it was possible to write humanly emotional stories in an SF setting. A Mirror for Observers is his best known work. (Died 1976.)
  • Born February 25, 1913 Gert Fröbe. Goldfinger in the Bond film of that name. He also the Baron Bomburst in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Professor Van Bulow in Jules Verne’s Rocket to the Moon and Colonel Manfred von Holstein in Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, a film that’s at least genre adjacent. (Died 1988.)
  • Born February 25, 1917 Anthony Burgess. I know I’ve seen and read A Clockwork Orange many, many years ago. I think I even took a University class on it as well. Scary book, weird film.  I’ll admit that I’m not familiar with the Enderby series having not encountered them before now. Opinions please. (Died 1993.)
  • Born February 25, 1922 Robert Bonfils. Illustrator, known for his covers for pulp paperback covers, many of an erotic nature. I’ve not heard of him but ISFDB lists quite a few genre works that are, errr, graced by his work. Sex is certainly his dominant theme as can be seen in the covers of Go-Go SADISTO, Orgy of the Dead and Roburta the Conqueress. (Died 2018.)
  • Born February 25, 1968 A. M. Dellamonica, 55. A Canadian writer who has published over forty rather brilliant short stories since the Eighties. Their first novel, Indigo Springs, came out just a decade ago but they now has five novels published with their latest being The Nature of a Pirate. Her story, “Cooking Creole” can be heard here at Podcastle 562. It was in Mojo: Conjure Stories, edited by Nalo Hopkinson.
  • Born February 25, 1973 Anson Mount, 50. He is now Captain Christopher Pike on Strange Worlds, a role he first played on Discovery. He was Black Bolt in Marvel’s Inhumans series. I see he was in Visions, a horror film, and has had appearances on LostDollhouse and Smallville.

(10) GRINCH REDUX. “Dr. Seuss’ ‘How the Grinch stole Christmas!’ gets a sequel”Yahoo! has details.

Dr. Seuss fans might find their hearts growing three sizes this coming holiday season with the release of a sequel to the 1957 classic children’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

The new book picks up one year after the original, and like the first, teaches a valuable lesson about the true spirit of the holiday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Random House Children’s Books announced Thursday.

The sequel entitled “How the Grinch Lost Christmas!” is not based on a newly discovered manuscript by Seuss — whose real name was Theodor Geisel — but was written and illustrated by an author and artist with previous experience in the Dr. Seuss universe.

“One of the most asked questions we receive from Seuss fans of all ages is ‘What do you think happened to the Grinch after he stole Christmas?” said Alice Jonaitis, executive editor at Random House Children’s Books, in a statement….

(11) SUPER SIGNATURE. You have until March 3 to bid on this “George Reeves Signed Photo as Superman” at Nate D. Sanders Auctions. Minimum bid $2,500.

George Reeves signed photo as the original Superman, with bold handwriting. Reeves inscribes the photo, ”From one Judo man to another / George Reeves” for the famed martial artist Bruce Tegner, who worked with Reeves on stunts for ”Adventures of Superman”. 

(12) THE PRINCESS SHORTCUT. “Disney Movies With Quicker Endings Are Pretty Funny”Pupperish has a gallery of “how it should have ended”-style scenes from Disney animations.

(13) MARKETING ADVICE. Video of a Flights of Foundry presentation, “Marketing, A Necessary Habit” with Sarah Faxon, was recently uploaded.

Are you struggling with marketing, or not sure where to start? In this talk, Sarah Faxon discusses organizational tools available to help keep marketing organized, how to find the target audience, and how to create a marketing habit.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, and SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]

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35 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/25/23 What Good Is A Glass Pixel?

  1. (8), ah, the revised version, where the world doesn’t rotate backwards. (I’ve always felt the original version reads better.)

    Hope everyone is dry and warm!

  2. There’s much to like in Ringworld, and also stuff not to like. (As I think I said, more or less, in my review.) But yes, excellent beginning.

  3. 4) Why am I getting a “New Coke” vibe off the Dahl dustup now? Threaten to change something, everyone gets in a lather, and runs out to stockpile the old thing. And Puffin’s going to make that so much easier now by re-releasing the old stuff. Things that make you go, “Hmmm…”

  4. P J Evans says ah, the revised version, where the world doesn’t rotate backwards. (I’ve always felt the original version reads better.)

    Ok other than fixing the rotation of the Earth is there any textual difference between this version and the original version which of course never made it to the digital realm? If so, what are they?

  5. @Cat Eldridge–I suspect P J Evans simply likes the fact that Niven, who certainly knew better, made the mistake of having the Earth rotate backwards. It’s funny!

  6. Lis Carey says –I suspect P J Evans simply likes the fact that Niven, who certainly knew better, made the mistake of having the Earth rotate backwards. It’s funny!

    Oh I know that.

    I just want to know if there’s any other differences between the first edition and later editions. I’m fairly certain that there aren’t.

  7. It’s something of a standing joke that there’s a major error in any Niven novel. The fun is finding them. His usual reaction is “oops”.

  8. P J Evans: Then you remember the story of how Flieg Hollander proved the Ringworld was unstable — which Niven picked up on for a sequel.

  9. (5) Crocodiles are some kind of reptile. But sending giant axolotls after the publisher might be fun.

  10. 7) The list is conspicuously missing the Cygnus from Disney’s The Black Hole, and hence is invalid.

  11. (3) There used to be (up to about 5 years ago) two really good Half-Price bookstores within walking distance (a mile or so) from my parents’ homes in my home town: one with input from both a university and a wealthy area and the other with input from a more diverse and funky area. The stock of both was amazing; I always found something surprising that I wanted to read. Unfortunately, in both cases the land got too valuable and both closed. The stock in the remaining suburban Half-Price is really “suburban”. I often wonder where all the great books stocking the two lost branches are going these days …

  12. (11) George Reeves was not the original Superman. Kirk Alyn played Superman in the movie serials a few years before the TV show.

  13. Dennis Howard: Was that “correction” necessary? And Bud Collyer was the original actor to play Superman.

  14. One of the joys of living in Portland has been access to Powell’s. That’s probably why my book collection is as large as it is, even after much winnowing. Alas, in the old days it was fairly easy to get a decent amount in trade by selling used books to them. Not so much these days.

    Meanwhile, the second home has a very lovely bookstore with a storied history. The Bookloft in Enterprise, Oregon, has been here for well over 40 years and is on its third set of owners. Besides an art gallery, small coffee and pastry shop with an equally storied history (personally, I remember sitting enthralled in the shop back in December 1981–or was it January 1982?–listening to one local’s story about going to the Rolling Stones concert in Seattle by hitching a ride on a pig truck), it has an eclectic and varied selection of new and used books. It’s one of the go-to places for settler and Native histories in this region.

    The new owners are SFF fans and there’s a nice selection of top-shelf SFF as well as mysteries, kids books, games, and more. The collection includes a good selection of contemporary American Western literature–the bookstore founder, Rich Wandschneider, was one of the founders of the Fishtrap literary organization, which focuses on clear thinking and good writing about the West. And, by the way, Ursula K. Le Guin was also a founding Board member of Fishtrap, and came to the summer conference many times. Summer Fishtrap, while literary in focus, also is friendly to SFF. Two of the headliners and supporters, Luis Alberto Urrea and Jamie Ford, hearken back strongly to their own SFF roots. Urrea was a protege of Le Guin’s, and Ford talks frequently about his love for SFF.

  15. Dang it, forgot to click to the comment subscription box. Nothing to see here, nothing to see here…oh yeah, Fishtrap is also featuring Molly Gloss in this year’s Fishtrap Reads.

  16. RE: 5: One of my fondest memories growing up was occasional trips a couple of hours south of where we lived. We’d go to a lesser known, but wonderful beach, and then head south to La Jolla, where we would always stop at John Cole’s Bookshop. It was a family run business, which had little hand-made trinkets, but the big draw was the bins of bargain books in the wysteria walkway at its entrance. Throughout the various rooms (for this was orginally a house and garage) there were so many wonderful books. Just inside the entrance, to the left, was a huge display of art coffee table art books, the sight of which was enough to set off my imagination. I had no allowance, but was sometimes allowed to pick out a small, inexpensive book for myself. I recall getting a a couple of craft book, including one on Origami, and I discovered in the converted garage, thousands of early National Geographic magazines. Tibet, India, England, France, and many of the places I would later visit, all in piles on various tables, benches, and crates. It was heaven. When the couple who owned it grew old, their kids didn’t want to continue it, so it was closed. The building was later converted to the La Jolla Historical Society. The long, wysteria covered walkway is still there, as is a plaque commemorating that most glorious bookstore!

    I also recall the gigantic B Dalton Pickwick in Hollywood (The same B Dalton Pickwick where Ray Bradbury met the girl he fell in love with and married), with its book-lined stairway and fantastic selection in virtually any category you could name. It, too, is gone. I remember it fondly. The ambiance was extraordinary.

  17. @Mike Glyer: Sorry if I’ve offended you somehow. But since you and I have each named actors who played Superman before George Reeves, I find the description in (11) of Reeves as the original Superman to be, um, incorrect.

  18. @Mike Glyer: My point was that (11) describes George Reeves as the original Superman, but I know that Kirk Alyn played Superman before Reeves. I didn’t say that Alyn was the original. I just said that Reeves was not. I don’t think I said anything that was not accurate.

  19. (9) About Burgess: I’ve only read eight of his books, and haven’t read the Enderby series. My favorite might be his second-to-last novel, A Dead Man in Deptford, about Christopher Marlowe. Earthly Powers, a big multi-decade tall-tale “protagonist goes everywhere and does everything in the 20th century” thing very loosely based on some aspects of Burgess’s life and his complicated feelings about Catholicism, is also IMO extremely good, although not particularly representative of his work— he wrote it as sort of a dare to himself to write a long historical drama relatively traditional in form, an exercise that he revisited in a less serious but enjoyable way in the “20th century was really all about Welsh nationalists trying to find Excalibur” novel Any Old Iron.

    Besides A Clockwork Orange, his one unambiguously SFF novel as far as I know is The Wanting Seed, an over-the-top dystopian satire with lengthy philosophical digressions that I could not get into at all. There are flirtations with fantasy elements in some of his other work; I remember Earthly Powers having a brief but pretty disturbing arguably-supernatural horror episode.

  20. I can stand behind the idea of intentionally making errors of fact in a hard sf story. You know, see if anyone’s paying attention. A kind of parlor game. Or, I guess, a laboratory game. Reader engagement, you know.

  21. If you’re ever in Jacksonville, Chamblin Bookmine off I-10 west of I-95 is a fantastic used bookstore. The place is a labyrinth and it is particularly great if you’re looking for obscure science fiction, fantasy or men’s adventure fiction (if that’s what the genre is called where the characters are called things like The Eradicator or The Destroyer or The Defenestrator).

  22. Regarding (5), the Roald Dahl ahem “updating,” the always-amusing Alexandra Petri at The Washington Post has some suggestions for similar updates of other literature :->

  23. rcade: “The Defenestrator” — “…His father was a glazer but he found his own way out….”

  24. “The Defenestrator faces his greatest challenge: The town where all of the buildings are one story tall.”

  25. Reminds me of an assassin in a Jasper Fforde novel, who because of a typo on her business cards ended up calling herself The Windowmaker.

  26. Ha! This is addictive.

    The Defenestrator: “When no one else gives a toss about justice, he will.”

    The Defenestrator: “When God closes a door, he opens a window.”

  27. @Joe H.
    I went to a junior college where the only places you could easily defenestrate someone (without it being onto the same level) were the chemistry lab and the cafeteria. And the cafeteria would have required throwing them through second-floor windows into the cafeteria.

  28. DC Comics has the Defenestrator, who throws bad guys through a window.

    Not ‘through windows’. Through a window, which he carries around with him.

  29. Pingback: AMAZING NEWS FROM FANDOM: February 26, 2023 - Amazing Stories

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