Pixel Scroll 2/11/17 When A Scroll Meets A File Like A Big Pizza Pie, That’s A Story!

(1) TRACKING DOWN THE GOH. Craig Miller, who was just in Mumbai speaking at an animation event, is now en route to a Star Wars convention in Norway. As he explained to his Facebook readers:

[It’s] actually more of a “The Empire Strikes Back” convention — in Finse, Norway next weekend. Finse is where we shot the exteriors for the Hoth ice planet scenes. And I’ve been asked to be a Guest of Honor. (The other guest is Bjorn Jacobsen, who was head of Fox Norway and was Production Manager for Norway on ESB.)

I’m really looking forward to the trip. (Not the least for the planned “trip to the glacier via dogsled”.) Among the amazing parts of it is that Andreas Frølich, the event organizer, has gotten NSB, the Norwegian railway, involved as a sponsor. We’ll be traveling from Oslo to Finse on Friday via a special train car, fully decorated in “Star Wars” regalia. Bjorn and I will be the ‘guests of honor’ of the train trip as well, answering questions and such. NSB even has a page on their official website about it.

The Norwegian readers among us will get the most benefit from the railroad’s webpage about the event, NSB tar deg til Hoth. (There’s also the con’s own webpage.)

Den 17. februar kl 12.00 kan du være med på en galaktisk opplevelse på toget fra Oslo til Bergen. Da kan du reise i en egen vogn som er satt av til foredrag med Hollywoods Craig Miller, sentral i arbeid med PR rundt de tidlige Star Wars®-filmene. I tillegg blir det Starwars®-meny om bord for de som ønsker det og møter med kjente skikkelser fra Star Wars®-universet. Alt dette frem til Finse, eller Hoth® som det heter i den verdenskjente filmen spilt inn på nettopp Finse i 1979, med skuespillere som Harrison Ford og Carrie Fisher.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

(2) PRATCHETT FANS PAY TRIBUTE. The Guardian reviews the Pratchett docudrama Back in Black:

A couple of minutes into Back in Black, there’s a shot of Terry Pratchett’s head, outlined in twinkling lights hovering over his own memorial service at the Barbican Centre in London. It looks like a satellite photograph of some new country. As Auden said of Edward Lear: “He became a land.” And here are its people.

One of the charms of this docudrama is that it largely eschews the usual talking heads in favour of Discworld fans. Even the famous faces that do appear – Neil Gaiman, Pratchett’s consigliere Rob Wilkins, the illustrator Paul Kidby – first entered Pratchett’s orbit as fans. Whether it was the life-changing offer he made to collaborate with the young Gaiman on Good Omens, or the blessing to Stephen Briggs’s attempts to map Ankh-Morpork, or simply Tipp-Exing over an old dedication in a secondhand copy of one of his books so he could “unsign” it for its new owner, Pratchett showered his fans with favours like a Highland clan chief. It’s a clan with its own code of honour: to “be a bit more Terry” is to be kinder, more tolerant.

(3) I’LL DIE WITH THIS HAMMER IN MY HAND. Carl Slaughter spotted another cool video: “So you thought only Thor could lift his hammer.  OK, so only the blonde haired, horn headed Norse god can tote it around on a permanent basis.  But at least 10 other comic book characters have wielded that legendary weapon.  OK, so it was always under special, temporary circumstances, and sometimes through loopholes.  But lift that mighty hammer they did.”

(4) AWESOME TASK. The creators tell NPR about “The Joy (And Fear) Of Making ‘Kindred’ Into A Graphic Novel”.

Not surprisingly, artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings felt especially daunted by the chance to adapt renowned speculative-fiction writer Octavia Butler’s beloved Kindred for a new graphic novel edition.

“It was like, this is awesome, we got this project, it’s, like, our dream project! Yayyy!,” Duffy said. But excitement quickly turned to panic. “I have to do what now?” he also said to himself.

“Octavia Butler is … one of the greatest American writers to live, period,” Jennings said. “She was literally a genius. The way that she would use metaphor and allegory and how she tackled some of the most horrific things about human existence through science fiction and fantasy? She was a master storyteller.” Butler, who died in 2006 at the age of 58, was the first science-fiction writer to receive a MacArthur “Genius” grant and the recipient of several Hugo and Nebula awards.

(5) IMPORTANT STORIES. Tony C. Smith, a Hugo winner for the Starship Sofa podcast, has opened a Kickstarter appeal to fund an anthology, Everyone: Worlds Without Walls. So far, contributors have pledged $2,197 of the $3,746 goal.

The District of Wonders is a world where we know that diversity makes us richer. It’s a world where there are no walls, no barriers, no guns, no hatred. The District of Wonders is a world that values equality, and seeks to recognize and welcome people of all backgrounds, religions, races, cultures, and expressions of humanity. It’s a world that values truth. Everyone has a story in the District of Wonders – and every story is important. Everyone is important.So what I’m asking now is that you join me in standing against injustice and discrimination in the way that the District of Wonders does best – by sharing stories.

If successful, this Kickstarter will fund an e-book anthology of stories that offer a greater representation of ALL the people of this beautiful rich world

The District of Wonders will draw upon its incredible network of authors and actively seek new voices to bring you a scintillating showcase of what it means to value everyone. With talent and tales from diverse nations, cultures, races, and experiences, this anthology will explore and celebrate how we are greater together – and, conversely, the need to tear down walls of ignorance, prejudice, and injustice.


February 11, 2009 – “This was the first time Ray saw the plaster cast of what became the 8-foot-tall bronze Father Electrico,” recalls John King Tarpinian, who was there. “To the right is his caregiver, Santiago.  The guy with the camera is John Sasser, who is still working on the documentary.  You can barely see the artist, Christopher Slatoff.  Chris is best known for his life-size religious statues.”

(7) LAST WEEK IN HISTORY A missed anniversary:

The Beatles didn’t appear live to sing “Hey Jude” and “Revolution.” They’d gotten disinterested in touring by 1968, so they made these new things called videos, and gave them to only one TV program in the United States. Not to The Ed Sullivan Show, which had helped launch Beatlemania and the British invasion four years before — but to the Smothers Brothers.

That same year, George Harrison of the Beatles showed up unannounced — not to sing, but to support Tom and Dick in their fight against the CBS censors. By then, the fights had become almost legendary. Tom confessed to Harrison that on American television, they didn’t always get the chance to say what they wanted to say, and Harrison advised, “Whether you can say it or not, keep trying to say it.”

(8) GOT THAT RIGHT. A picture worth a thousand words, from Goodreads.

(9) ILLINOIS FIGHTS BRAIN DRAIN. Not all legislators share your opinion that they have more pressing issues to work on — “Illinois lawmakers designate October ‘Zombie Preparedness Month’”.

Illinois lawmakers are encouraging the state to be undead-ready by passing a resolution declaring October to be “Zombie Preparedness Month.”

The state House voted Thursday to approve House Resolution 0030, which calls for October to be declared “Zombie Preparedness Month” as a bid to encourage the state’s residents to be prepared for more realistic natural disasters.

“If the citizens of Illinois are prepared for zombies, than they are prepared for any natural disaster; while a Zombie Apocalypse may never happen, the preparation for such an event is the same as for any natural disaster,” the resolution reads.

(10) OVERWROUGHT. The art is prime, but not nearly as purple as the prose.



OneAngryGamer declares “SJWs Are Furious E3 2017 Is Open To Real Gamers”.

…Typically, some SJWs were not pleased that real gamers would be able to finally bypass the uninformed, fascists gatekeepers known as game journalists, and see and experience the games and technology for themselves. No longer would gamers have to rely on misinformation, sociopolitical commentary and identity politics pervading the coverage of E3….

Other SJWs found it to be a mistake, a blasphemous call for the hydra of consumerism to emerge from the far corners of the interwebs; a stake to the heart of game journalism’s oligarchy; a raping of the gated clique that once controlled the foyer of information that lactated from the bulbous PR udders dangling from the publishers’ visceral bloat that drips begrudgingly through the sphincter of the media and out through the curdled lips of their blogs….

[Thanks to Carl Slaughter, John King Tarpinian, JJ, and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ken Richards.]

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59 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/11/17 When A Scroll Meets A File Like A Big Pizza Pie, That’s A Story!

  1. I actually pretty much refuse to pre-order (video) games because I’m sick of all the ridiculous promotional DLC or store-exclusive crap that doesn’t affect gameplay one iota – and if it does affect gameplay or add significant content then I won’t buy it (or I’ll buy it a year later second-hand for under half the original RRP). If a game has a significant amount of DLC (especially if it’s paid DLC) on or near launch I also conclude that what they’ve actually done is ship an incomplete game in order to make more money from the downloads straight away. Sometimes they’ll even wait a few months and then release the same game again but with a title like “Ultimate [whatever]” that includes all or most of the content that should’ve been in the original damn game to begin with.

    So, yeah, there are things wrong with the video game community. Journalists aren’t it, though.

  2. “@Hampus – is the preordering thing a function of the type of game? Most wargames cannot be preordered. What generic types of games do you preorder?”

    RPG-games and the like. Fallout 4, Dragon Age, Dishonored, Batman… Right now I have the new South Park-game on pre-order.

  3. I can have a go at translating that railroad’s norsk to engelsk, but it’s rather bland PR-speak. It’s a puff piece for a promotional train trip to Finse (the shooting site for ‘Hoth’) a nice little mountain village in Hordaland, southwestern Norway at 1,222 meters elevation. Starting from the top of the page:

    Are you a Star Wars enthusiast, or just curious? And did you know that NSB [Norges Statsbaner = Norwegian State Railrways] is the only railway company in the world that transports you to Finse, and thus to Hoth?

    On Feb. 17 at noon, you can be on a galactic adventure, on the train from Oslo to Bergen. Then, you can travel in a separate carriage set aside for talks with Hollywood’s Craig Miller, who had a key role in working with PR for the early Star Wars movies. In addition, there will be a Star Wars menu on board, for those who want it, and an opportunity to meet with with famous characters from the Star Wars universe. All this until the arrival at Finse, or Hoth as it is called in the world-renowned film shot at Finse in 1979, with actors including Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. […]

    Trust to those Norwegians and their mania for friluftsliv (open air living) to want to gallivant around in the mountains in mid-February. I’d say don’t even consider it without getting local help in being prepared for terrible weather. These are the folks who make a national motto out of ‘There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.’ (Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær.)

  4. Rob Thornton on February 12, 2017 at 1:04 pm said:
    Since Walter Jon Williams was mentioned, I want to give some love to his novel Aristoi, which is one of my favorite far-future space operas. The book includes more ideas per square inch than most SF books while carrying a suspenceful plot and giving a shoutout to Alban Berg in the process. ?

    Yeah, this is on my list for a re-read.

  5. @Greg Hullender: what do you do about detailed illustrations in e-books? I’m not a huge fan of epic fantasy, but sometimes (e.g. a recent Hurley) the story is worthwhile but hard to follow with the map shrunk to hand size. I also have the impression there are still interesting books not available in e-form, although I haven’t tried to survey.

    @Jack Lint: +1 on due-back slips; they’re usually printed on ultra-thin thermal paper, obviating @David Goldfarb’s complaint.

    @Rob Thornton: I remember liking Aristoi, and most WJW’s earlier work; it’s a pity he’s doing space opera (IMO, with no wee thinky bits in) these days.

    @Rick Moen: thanks for the translation. I too bridle at the idea of Finse in February; I took the railroad through there (for Bergen, post-ConFiction) and remember the dead cars connecting the upper stories of some of the buildings and the snow sheds over much of the tracks.

  6. @Chip:

    I can’t speak for Greg, but for myself: I’ve never really regarded a map in a novel as much more than a mildly interesting bonus, so the presence/absence/size of one in an ebook doesn’t affect me much. I think there’ve been a couple of cases where I took a two-page map and joined/rotated the halves into a vertical image, but that’s about it.

    IMO, a solid writer shouldn’t need to rely on such a prop for the story to work, but sometimes it’s kind of neat to look at it once in a while and jog my memory of where these places are in relation to each other.

  7. Rev. Bob on February 13, 2017 at 7:52 am said:


    I can’t speak for Greg, but for myself: I’ve never really regarded a map in a novel as much more than a mildly interesting bonus, so the presence/absence/size of one in an ebook doesn’t affect me much.

    Ditto. I prefer not to look at the maps even because I like to be able to visualize it in my head. I only like the maps when it feels like the writer either doesn’t give enough detail for me to do so or there’s something that feels conflicting and I want to check what it’s supposed to look like.

  8. From the writer’s perspective, I do think the challenge is to convey the information that is on the map within the story, even if using the map (Or more likely a personal hand scribbled copy of same) to make sure it’s consistent. Anytime the map is *necessary*, rather than merely useful, one has failed. (Exceptions for reader failure, such as reading a book over the course of months, or years, that make details like geography blur.) This also goes for glossaries.

  9. You know, I can’t hear that song anymore without remembering the version we did for FASS back in the late 1980s. I expect James remembers this one:

    When Sean Penn hits a guy
    And he blackens his eye
    That’s a story.

    When a fed’ral M.P.
    Gets a junket for free
    That’s a story.

    When a gent
    In the government
    Proves incompetent
    And he must repent
    His dishonour…

    When a dude
    Publishes some lewd
    Monthlies that include
    Photos in the nude
    Of Madonna…
    (He’s a goner!)

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