Pixel Scroll 2/5/17 It Is Dangerous To Be Pixeled In Matters On Which The Established Scrolls Are Wrong

Today’s title will be longer than this abbreviated Scroll – many more pixels tomorrow.

(1) WHO IS NUMBER ONE? JJ promises, “This particular ranking is going to be heavily disputed by Filers.” Last May, Boston.com ranked “The Top 50 science fiction shows”.

Number 50 is Earth – Final Conflict. Number 1 is Battlestar Galactica (New).

(2) STILL HAVEN’T FOUND WHAT SHE’S LOOKING FOR. Donna Bond, editor of the planned Best of British Science Fiction 2016, has extended the deadline in hopes of receiving more stories by women.

A little appeal from me. The official deadline for submissions for this antho has passed, but only 23% of stories submitted have been by women. Because multiple submissions were allowed, when you look at the number of individual contributors this percentage goes down to 21%.

I feel that although we spread the word in all the usual places, this ratio is slightly lower than I would have expected. As I have started reading, it’s clear some of the stories some of the men have sent are not really within genre. So, is this about awareness, the available pool in 2016, or the willingness to be cheeky and chance it with a story you know isn’t really what we’re looking for? I’d rather not assume…

We are only taking stories that have already been published, I only want SF, and I only want the best, but also I don’t want to risk missing the best SF because people have been unsure about sending it to me. I don’t care if it’s space opera, near future dystopia, or alternate history. Although we had a really long submissions window and left it open until end Jan to catch late 2016 stories, I am going to leave that window open just a couple of weeks more for women writers. It might not seem fair, but I can’t believe that 21% is where we’re at, so I could well have missed an opportunity somewhere. Still same criteria, still same standards… but shall we say 19th Feb?

Newcon Press will publish the collection.

Newcon Press are proud to announce a call for submissions for BEST OF BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION 2016.

We are seeking reprints only of short stories from 2016, which have been first published during the year of eligibility.

The original publication of the story may have first appeared in print, online or audio, but must be written in English. The author should be a writer (or writers) of British or Irish nationality, or who has (have) permanent residence in either territory.

(3) A JEDI’S GRIEVANCE, Mark Hamill complains about his bit part in The Force Awakens.


  • February 5, 1953 — Walt Disney’s Peter Pan premiered.


  • Born February 5, 2002 — Sierra Grace Glyer. <3 <3 <3

(6) INTERVIEW WITH A FICTIONAL PRESIDENT. At Den of Geek, “Malcolm McDowell Talks Science Fiction and Ruthless Facts”.

Roger Corman’s Death Race 2050 marks the latest lap across America in the Transcontinental Race that began in 1976. Death Race 2000, the campy original dystopian science fiction satire, predicted that people in the year 2000, the future for them, the past for us, would sit glued and brainwashed by some kind of competition TV show. Why, in a world like that, someone could become president after having a hit TV show. Well, that was before the actor Ronald Reagan became president and reality TV became the norm….

Do you think the well-adjusted malchick Alex from Burgess’s book A Clockwork Orange could have grown up to be the chairman of the United Corporations of America?

Well, it’s possible. Isn’t there a certain ruthless streak in all these guys who run these companies? There has to be. I asked Bill Gates, didn’t he tromp on a few people to get where he got? I’m sure he did. Of course, if you’re very successful there has to be a time in some point in your life where you have to make a decision about something which may affect somebody else in a different way. So, yes, most people who are really successful have to fight their way for it. I think that’s probably true.

(6) SOMEONE’S BEEN NAUGHTY. Kevin Standlee found it necessary to remind the world about the difference between “Hugo Award ‘Finalists’ and ‘Nominees’” at TheHugoAwards.org.

We have once again received word of persons who are describing themselves as “Hugo Award nominees.” The term “Hugo Award nominee” does not have any official meaning. The term for a person or work that receives sufficient nominations to appear on the final Hugo Award ballot is “Hugo Award Finalist.”

Historically, the works and people shortlisted for the Hugo Award were once called “nominees,” and you may still find people using the term in that way. However, in 2014, WSFS deprecated the term “nominee” except in the technical sense relating to the counting of ballots as defined in the WSFS Constitution. The only official terms are “finalist” and “winner.”

(7) NOMINATE THE PRINCESS? Here’s an interesting thought – since I haven’t read the book, that’s about all I can say.

(8) PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. Batten down the hatches – another sequel is on the way!

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

39 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/5/17 It Is Dangerous To Be Pixeled In Matters On Which The Established Scrolls Are Wrong

  1. One/fifth (or whatever fragment it becomes).

    #1 That’s an interesting TV show line-up; the “Logan’s Run” series – never saw it, but I’m surprised it’s so high on the list, from what I’ve heard! And hey, they listed “Earth: Final Conflict,” which I watched the first year or two. 🙂 I’d forgotten “Andromeda” existed (not sure I saw it much, if at all).

    Off to read/sleep….

    ETA: Happy Birthday to Sierra! 😀 Much more important than the launch date of “Peter Pana” (I’ll appertain myself some water on the way to reading/bed).


    Missing Cowboy Bebop, Gantz and Outlaw Star. Very anglocentric list.

  3. Today’s Meredith Moment:

    Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, the first volume in Bradley P. Beaulieu’s Song of Shattered Sands universe, is on sale for $2.99 right now. It’s an engrossing 600-page read, and I’m not the only Filer who has praised it.


    Tragically lacking in Farscape.

    As much as I enjoyed nuBSG it totally lost the plot towards the end, so I couldn’t possibly hand it a first place.

    ETA: Who was number fifth?

  5. Re 1) At least the #5 show is worthy of that rank on a couple of levels (spoiler, its Babylon 5). But otherwise, yeah, this list doesn’t work. What is V doing on this list anyway? Kick-arse Miniseries, not so good follow up miniseries, terrible series.

  6. (1) No ST: Deep Space Nine? Come now! Or Jessica Jones, or The 100, or The Man in the High Castle…

    That list must be a few years old. You could make a completely different list with just the SFF shows of the past decade.

  7. Why should an editor of a reprint anthology have to ask for submissions? If you are supposedly choosing the “best,” shouldn’t you have the expertise and knowledge to do just that? If the collection is solely from submitted stories, it can’t really be considered to be the best of the year.

  8. (1) Yeah, I seriously question some of their choices.

    And I hate (with the burning fury of a million suns) a “top 50” list that’s presented as a 50-frame slideshow.

  9. And I hate (with the burning fury of a million suns) a “top 50” list that’s presented as a 50-frame slideshow.

    Here’s the burning fury of the first sun, click next to see the burning fury of the second….

  10. @Bob Roehm

    As this month’s Locus has a similar call for submissions from Jonathan Strahan for his upcoming Years Best I’d say it’s standard practice. I imagine the point is to find works published in venues the editor wouldn’t usually read for themselves.

  11. Some filers scroll for the space cowboys
    Some scroll for rockets and love
    Some scroll for Boris (*)
    Cause we scroll for the Tingle and love!

    People scroll here, baby
    Some clicking it wrong, clicking it wrong
    Well, don’t you worry baby
    Don’t worry
    Cause were right here, right here, right here, right here at home

    Cause we´re a Brunner
    we´ re a Carter
    we are a LeGuin
    And were much smarter
    We read SciFi in the sun!

    (*) Strugatzki of course!

  12. A couple of years ago, I wrote a list of the top ten science fiction television shows, based solely on the criteria of what I thought were the best ten science fiction shows.

    Warning: I really don’t like the rebooted Battlestar Galactica and say some harsh things about it. On the other hand, the list isn’t presented as a slideshow.

    I don’t know if I would change the list, even though it has been six years since I wrote it. If Sense 8 has another good season or two it might knock something off the list, but most of the science fiction shows that have come up since 2011 haven’t yet had the staying power to get a spot.

  13. Malcolm McDowell was the evil head of Water and Power in Tank Girl and an evil head of a cult/religion in The Mentalist. Maybe young punks grow up to be evil heads of organizations.

    My favorite forgotten role of his is probably Reggie Wanker in Get Crazy.

    There was me, that is Pixel, and my three scrolls, that is Fifth, Godstalk, and Fifth

  14. (3) A Jedi’s Grievance –

    Hearing Hamill describe Luke as a “Jedi school dropout” almost makes me want to pound some filk into a song from Grease.

    Almost. 🙂

    (8) Pirates of the Caribbean –

    Am I the only person who saw the “woman on the beach” snippets, thought her blue pants were jeans, and wondered for a moment if this was going to be set Now instead of Back Then?

  15. The list IS old – check the comment on Lost, it was clearly written before the last season (which was proof that it eas all a Ponzi sheme of mysteries). The rest of the list was a random, jumbled selection of shows. Cant trust a list that rates Voyager or Andromeda higher than DS9…

    @Stoic: Thanks!

  16. Generally the “top 50” means only what one person, generally under the age of 35 can remember. And won’t have anything by the BBC. The “Jetsons” was rubbish, as was “My Favorite Martian”.. A number of the show are fantasy. A number of them qualify to be on “Ten worst TV show” lists.

    My alternative pixels will give you an alternative scroll. Spin that, spin doctors!

  17. Scrolled through the heart
    And you’re to blame
    Darling, you give Kzin a bad name…

    A Kindle’s sale is what you tell
    You promise me heaven, then put me through hell
    Piles of books got a hold on me
    Mount Tsundoku’s a prison, you can’t break free

    Oh, oh, you’re a pixeled gun (yeah)
    Oh, oh, there’s nowhere to run
    No one can file me
    The damage is done

    Scrolled through the heart
    And you’re to blame
    You give Kzin a bad name (bad name)
    I read my part
    And you play with your game
    You give Kzin a bad name (bad name)
    You give Kzin a bad name
    You give Kzin a bad name

  18. 1) From 1961 to 1969, British Intelligence agent John Steed (Patrick Macnee) and his lovely female partner, Mrs. Peel battled evil.
    Something appears to be missing from that caption.

    Tangential: I’d love to see them do a reboot of The Bionic Woman today. Not only do we have much better special effects, we have much better handling of female characters available. The main reason I didn’t care for the original show was that its premise was psychologically unbelievable. Here we had a woman who was demonstrably stronger, faster, and tougher than any man on earth (well, except Steve Austin), and what’s the first thing she did every single time she got into a tight spot? Look around for a Big, Strong Man to save her! That’s okay early on, because it takes time to re-orient your thinking after a life-changing event like this. But I would have expected her to move past that as her new abilities integrated into her self-image, and it never happened. Imagine Janelle Monae or Daisy Ridley playing that character…

    @ Joe H.: What I dislike about that is the paging-back after you’re done. But I can work around that by opening the article in a new tab, which I can then close once I’ve finished with it. Bonus: this also lets me refer back to the article while writing a comment.

    @ Peer: Bravo!

  19. @Lee

    There was an attempt at a Bionic Woman reboot in 2007 with Michelle Ryan as Jamie Sommers and Katie Sackhoff as her recurring nemesis but it fizzled due to so so ratings and the writers strike forced it off air not to return.

  20. I think it (the Bionic Woman reboot) also fizzled because it wasn’t really very good, at least from what I saw of it.

  21. There was a Bionic Woman reboot in 2007 starring Michelle Ryan, but it only lasted for eight episodes before the writers’ strike killed it.

    ETA: Ninjaed by Ian P and Joe H

  22. @ Hampus Eckerman: (1) WHO IS NUMBER ONE?

    Missing Cowboy Bebop, Gantz and Outlaw Star. Very anglocentric list.

    If we’re including anime, I’d go for Planetes and Rocket Girls instead, which in addition to being very well written, are very hard SF. In fact, they’re worth having on the list just for showing that diamond-hard SF doesn’t have to be dry and boring recitation of technical details.

  23. As far as anime, I’d also insist on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, which, amongst other things, had a killer soundtrack.

    (And I am very skeptical re: the forthcoming live-action movie.)

  24. Unrelated: Long-Lost Philip K Dick Manuscript Found?


    Hey, this is pretty cool. Someone over at Reddit is claiming to have found a lost manuscript from Philip K. “The Guy Who Wrote the Stories Behind ‘Blade Runner,’ ‘Total Recall,’ ‘A Scanner Darkly,’ and ‘Minority Report’” Dick. PKD’s influence on science fiction is tremendous. The fact that people know him for his work, rather than his notoriously-phallic name, is proof-positive of the evocative, prolific stories he told.

    And now they seem to have a lost manuscript of his. Authentication is in progress, but you can enjoy the story now. They’ve posted “Whatever You Do To The Rest Of You, Your Mind Belongs To Lasconte” to Dropbox in PDF, MOBI and EPUB formats. Stay tuned as we follow the story … for nerds, this is like discovering a long-lost Renoit or Mattisse painting. Instead of hording it and teasing us, this nerd is sharing the story with us immediately. GG, anonymous geek! It’s stuff like this that makes the sci-fi community what it is.

  25. I suppose I’m a print snob (despite having watched SF on TV since Captain Video, Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, and Space Patrol), but the shows that seem to me to get SF best have been comedies that make affectionate fun of the conventions and motifs, particularly Futurama and Third Rock, with Mork and Mindy getting honorable mention for letting Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters run amok. (I have fond memories of Max Headroom, too, but haven’t seen it since the original run.)

    I loved the original Twilight Zone (and once had the opportunity to ask Rod Serling why he didn’t do more spacey stuff*) but thought Star Trek quite unconvincing, if not comic-booky. (Not just a print snob but a word-privilege snob.) 2001 was the first visual SF that made the cut for me.

    * The answer: Budget. Effects shots could cost more than the rest of the show altogether. Serling was really generous and patient with a callow 17-year-old fan who inserted himself into his breakfast.

  26. Huge, HUGE crush on Lindsay Wagner as the Bionic Woman. Posters, magazines, the whole thing. Couldn’t even deal with the “reboot.” Much as I refused to watch the reboot of “Le Femme Nikita” much much later.

  27. Hmmm, if we’re adding anime to the series list, I beg to offer:

    Robotech / Macross
    (For many Americans, of a certain generation, our first taste of anime)

    Armored Trooper VOTOMS
    (Possibly the best of the Real Robot genre)

    Martian Successor Nadesico
    (The best deconstruction and satire of the Super Robot and Real Robot genres)

    Also very much in agreement with Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell.

  28. Re: 2) As Bob Roehm also suggests above, this isn’t the procedure I’d have expected. I was never a professional Commissioning Editor, but my strong impression from following our genre for the last 45 years is that the Editor of a ‘Best of . . .’ reprint anthology usually draws up a ‘wants’ list of the stories they’d like and then approaches the relevant authors/agents for permissions and contract agreements.

    Another iteration might be required depending on how many of their initial choices turn out not to be available for contractual reasons (competing anthologies, etc.), or a plethora of riches might lead to them negotiating a larger volume with their publisher (which would be irrelevant for an e-publication, and/or when Editor and Publisher are one and the same).

    Simply soliciting submissions and seeing who notices seems to me to be a flawed approach for any editor/publisher not at the pinnacle of the industry.

  29. I have the feeling that the mss. found was not really PKDick’s. There were a few missing novels–but this title doesn’t sound like it (I think one was called JONATHAN AND THE HIGGS. But I’d like to be surprised.

  30. (1) So the Boston Globe has Sliders at #10, but couldn’t include Firefly???!!?

    My forehead….it has these strange objects sticking out of it. And my keyboard….is missing a few letters for some odd reason.

    (3) Hamill picked up on Rey doing force stuff without any training. Indeed…..


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