Pixel Scroll 3/21/19 I’ll File You, My Pixel, And Your Little Scroll Too!

(1) MCINTYRE. Followers of CaringBridge learned today that Vonda N. McIntyre has finished work on her book. Jane Hawkins announced:

Vonda has finished Curve of the World!  Be ready for a great read in a while! (No clue about publication date or anything like that.)

(2) PEAK OF THEIR CAREERS. Congratulations to Jason Heller (interviewed about his shortlisted book by File 770 in February), Alex Acks, and others whose work of genre interest made the finals of the 2019 Colorado Book Awards. Winners will be announced May 18. (Via Locus Online.)

Science Fiction/Fantasy

  • Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures, Alex Acks (Queen of Swords)
  • While Gods Sleep, L.D. Colter (Tam Lin)
  • Denver Moon: The Minds of Mars, Warren Hammond & Joshua Viola (Hex)

General Nonfiction

  • Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded, Jason Heller (Melville House)

Juvenile Literature

  • The Lighthouse Between the Worlds, Melanie Crowder (Atheneum BFYR)
  • Del Toro Moon, Darby Karchut (Owl Hollow)
  • Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue, Jeff Seymour (Putnam)

(3) MARGINALIZED VOICES IN YA. Neither the headline on Katy Waldman’s New Yorker article, “In Y.A., Where Is the Line Between Criticism and Cancel Culture?”, nor the subhead, “When it comes to young-adult novels, what, precisely, is the difference between the marketplace of ideas and a Twitter mob?”, genuinely reflects her approach to the topic she discusses, however, they’re enough to help you decide whether you’d like to dive into the information she’s assembled.

…[A] disparaging Goodreads review, which took issue with Jackson’s treatment of the war and his portrayal of Muslims, had a snowball effect, particularly on Twitter. Eventually, Jackson tweeted a letter of apology to “the Book Community,” stating, “I failed to fully understand the people and the conflict that I set around my characters. I have done a disservice to the history and to the people who suffered.”

The Jackson fracas came just weeks after another début Y.A. author, Amélie Wen Zhao, pulled her novel before it was published, also due to excoriating criticisms of it on Twitter and Goodreads….

(4) DREAMING ABOUT THE DISNEY/FOX MERGER. Firefly fan and artist Luisa Salazar has created new Disney Princess images for Zoe Washburne, Inara Serra, Kaylee Frye, and River Tam.

(5) TWO RUSCH BOOKS IN NEW BUNDLE. “The 2019 Truly Epic Fantasy Bundle”, curated by Kevin J. Anderson, is available for a short time from StoryBundle.

Epic Fantasy is a genre that stretches the boundaries of the quest. Whether a triumph of good vs. evil, or a search for meaning or truth, these stories take readers to a new place.

For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you’re feeling generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of five books in any ebook format—WORLDWIDE.

  • Thought Gazer by Raymond Bolton
  • MythWorld by James A. Owen
  • Rider’s Revenge Trilogy Book 1: Rider’s Revenge by Alessandra Clarke
  • The Fey Book 1: The Sacrifice by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Set in Stone by Frank Morin

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all five of the regular books, plus TEN more!

  • Shadow Blade by Chris Barili
  • The Taste of Different Dimensions by Alan Dean Foster
  • The Whisper Prince Book 1: Fairmist by Todd Fahnestock
  • The Fey Book 2: The Changeling by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • The First DragonRider by Kevin McLaughlin
  • Accidental Thief by C.J. Davis and Jamie Davis
  • Viridian Gate Online: Side Quests by James A. Hunter, D.J. Bodden, N.H. Paxton & More
  • Half-Bloods Rising by J.T. Williams
  • Nova Dragon – Book One of the Goblin Star by Gama Ray Martinez
  • The Dragon’s Call Book 1: Dragon Sword by Angelique Anderson and Craig A. Price, Jr.

(6) AT THE CORE. The current Nature reports on “X-ray chimneys in the Galactic Centre”. Fermi gets mentioned, no sign of Santa, though.

X-ray observations of the Galactic Centre have uncovered chimney-like structures filled with hot plasma. The discovery might reveal how energy is transported from this central region to far-off locations….

The centre of our Galaxy hosts a supermassive black hole that currently emits electromagnetic radiation extremely weakly, but could have been much more active in the past. Observations of ?-rays have revealed two huge structures known as Fermi bubbles located above and below the Galactic plane1 . These bubbles are filled with highly energetic particles moving at close to the speed of light, which were released from the Galactic Centre a few million years ago. 

(7) TIE-INS. International Association of Media Tie-In Writers President Jonathan Maberry interviews “Pirate King” Chris A. Jackson.

What are you writing now? 

Actually, my latest tie-in gig came right through IAMTW! Thanks, guys! One of our members is not only a tie-in writer himself, but is an editor for Mongoose Publishing, a British game publisher. They’re doing a reboot of the great old SF RPG, Traveller, and the editor, Matthew Sprange, asked the group for anyone familiar with the game who was interested in writing a short story tie-in. I played Traveller a lot back in my college days, and jumped at the chance. I’ve since written four stories for Mongoose and I’m delighted with the experience!

What’s your fan experience been like?

Mixed, but primarily positive. We all get those one-star reviews, right? A few stand out, however, and they are curiously all of the same theme: men who don’t like romance in their fiction. Mostly, I just eye-roll these and let them go. You don’t like romantic elements in your fiction, don’t read mine, but don’t tell me I’m doing it wrong. For the most part, the fan response has been great, and the feedback from my publishers has been wonderful. You know you’re doing your job right when people come up to you at conventions begging for your next novel, and publishers actually solicit you for work without prompting. That, above all else, speaks for itself.

(8) HANRAHAN OBIT. The International Costumers Guild reports Jamie Hanrahan died March 20. He was an early member of S.T.A.R. San Diego, and his other fanac included a term as co-editor of PyroTechnics, “The Now and Then Newsletter of General Technics.” His son Chuck wrote, “There was some kind of cardiac event and despite all heroic attempts, they were unable to restore a cardiac rhythm.”


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 21, 1902 Gustav Fröhlich. Not widely known before landing the role of Freder Fredersen in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Though my German be rusty, I see no indication that anything else he did was genre in nature. (Died 1987.)
  • Born March 21, 1936 Margaret Mahy. New Zealand author of over a hundred children’s and YA books, some with a strong supernatural bent. She won the Carnegie Medal twice for two of her fantasy novels, The Haunting and for The Changeover, something only seven authors have done in total. (Died 2012,)
  • Born March 21, 1946 Timothy Dalton, 73. He is best known for portraying James Bond in The Living Daylights and License to Kill but is currently in The Doom Patrol as Niles Caulder, The Chief. As I’ve said before, go watch it now!  He also was Damian Drake in Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Sir Malcolm on the Penny Dreadful series and Lord President of the Time Lords (Rassilon) during the Time of Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. He went to theatre to play Lord Asriel in the stage version of His Dark Materials.
  • Born March 21, 1956 Teresa Nielsen Hayden, 63. She is a consulting editor for Tor and is best known for Making Light, ablog she shares with her husband Patrick. You can blame them for the Puppy target John Scalzi. And she is also one of the regular instructors for the writing workshop Viable Paradise.
  • Born March 21, 1958 Gary Oldman, 61. First genre film role was as Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. Next up is the lead role in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. And, of course, he was Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg In Fifth Element followed by being Lost in Space‘s Dr. Zachary Smith which in turn led to Harry Potter’s Sirius Black and that begat James Gordon in the Batman films. Although some reviewers give him accolades for us as role as Dr. Dennett Norton in the insipid Robocop remake, I will not. Having not seen Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, I can’t say how he is as Dreyfus in it.
  • Born March 21, 1962 Matthew Broderick, 57. Very long, so let’s get started… He started off in WarGames but appeared over the years in LadyhawkeProject XThe Lion King franchise (surely talking lions are genre, aren’t they?), Infinity (anything about Richard Feynman is genre), GodzillaInspector Gadget, the remake of The Stepford WivesThe Tale of Despereaux and Adventure Time.
  • Born March 21, 1966 Michael Carroll, 53. He also writes Judge Dreddfor 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine. He has other genre work such as the New Heroes series (known in the States as the Quantum Prophecy series) and the Pelicos Trilogy which is part noir mystery and part end of all things human as well.
  • Born March 21, 1985 Sonequa Martin-Green, 34. She currently plays Michael Burnham on Discovery. She had a brief recurring role as Tamara in Once Upon a Time and a much longer recurring role on The Walking Dead as Sasha Williams but I’ve never seen her there as zombies hold no interest to me. Well Solomon Grundy does…  and she was in the Shockwave, Darkside film.
  • Born March 21, 1986 Scott Eastwood, 33. Deputy Carl Hartman in Texas Chainsaw 3D (truly horrid idea that) Lieutenant GQ Edwards in Suicide Squad and Nathan Lambert in Pacific Rim: Uprising.

(10) NAME THAT MOON. Gently thieved from John Scalzi’s Twitter feed (like so many good things are), Phil Plait’s tweet leads us to his post on SYFY Wire “Contest: Pick names for Jupiter’s new moons!”

We already have wonderful names for some of Jupiter’s moons, like Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto (the four Galilean moons), Amalthea, Metis, Adrastea, Themisto, Carpo (also the little-known sixth Marx brother), Himalia, Leda… well, you get the picture. There are dozens more.

Now that these newly discovered moons have been confirmed it’s time to name them. In general, the discoverer can suggest names to the International Astronomical Union (or IAU), the keeper of rules and lists of names. They’ll mull things over and decide if the names are up to snuff.

Faced with this, Sheppard and his team have decided to do something fun: Hold a contest where you, Earthling, can suggest names for these tiny worlds*!

All you have to do is submit your suggestions to the team by simply tweeting them to the handle @JupiterLunacy (ha!) on Twitter, either as a text tweet or as a short video, and adding the hashtag #NameJupitersMoons. Cool!

(11) GIVING WRITER’S BLOCK A NEW MEANING. Also tweeted by Scalzi — he’s discovered a use for the toxic waste social media miscreants aim at GRRM:

(12) YMMV. David Doering has a point: “Saw the announcement of a Funko Stan Lee doll on Amazon to be released in April. What made me curious is the delivery options: I do not think the word ‘Expedited’ means what you think it does…”

(13) BARRIE AWARD. Philip Pullman has won the J.M. Barrie lifetime achievement award. The Guardian has the story —

Author of His Dark Materials acclaimed as ‘a magical spinner of yarns’ who appeals to all ages – especially children

(14) SLEUTH. BookRiot has a neat quiz called “Which kickass literary investigator are you?”

(15) TOUGH NEIGHBORHOODS. At Crimereads, Adam Abramowitz discusses how gentrification threatens crime and noir fiction set in big cities, because the dodgy neighborhoods where those stories are set are rapidly vanishing: “Noir in the Era of Gentrification”.

On the New York end, the bus route would take us through the Bronx, the borough announcing itself unfailingly with the calling card of a vehicle sitting squarely on its rims, hard by the side of the highway, engulfed in flames—welcome to the Bronx! Similarly, the arrival at the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 41st Street and 8th Avenue brought its own thrills. After all, it was a place described in a 1970 New York Times where “two types of people could be found inside, some are waiting for buses. Others are waiting for death.” Though they left out the pimps waiting for those starry-eyed ingénues from Middle America, those corn-fed easy marks, sad scripts in waiting.

 (16) EUROPE REBUILT. Cora Buhlert’s latest article Galactic Journey is about postwar architecture: “[March 21, 1964] Building the City of the Future upon Ruins: A Look at Postwar Architecture in Germany, Europe and the World”.

…One of my favourite new buildings in my hometown Bremen is the Stadthalle, a multi-purpose arena for exhibitions, sports events and concerts. Designed by Roland Rainer and completed only this year, the Stadthalle is notable by the six concrete struts which jut out of the front of the building and hold both the stands as well as the roof in a design reminiscent of tents and sailing ships.

For the Kongresshalle conference centre in Berlin, built for the Interbau exhibition of 1957, American architect Hugh Stubbins designed a spectacular hyperbolic paraboloid saddle roof, inspired by the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. The people of Berlin quickly nicknamed the organic structure the “pregnant oyster”.

(17) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “How to Write Descriptively” on YouTube, Nalo Hopkinson, in a TedEd talk from 2015, uses the work of Kelly Link, Cornelia Funke, and Tobias Buckell to provide samples of how to write imaginatively.

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert, JJ, Frank Catalano, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Rob Thornton.]

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76 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/21/19 I’ll File You, My Pixel, And Your Little Scroll Too!

  1. @Cliff — I was honestly a bit surprised myself. But they’ve had a long, mostly good run, and they’ll have a full season to build to a proper ending, at least.

  2. In other news, that moron Richard Paolinelli has been harassing Camestros on Twitter for a week now, trying to get Cam to dox himself. That guy is a case study in Dunning-Kruger. 🙄

  3. In preparation for going out to Endgame and probably Captain Marvel, which I expect to be at least a little heavy, I rented Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse for my day off. I can’t imagine a better comic book movie; I’m hoping its makers can.

  4. @Joe H: NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
    It is impressive that they have managed to maintain the show’s quality over so many seasons.

  5. Camestros likes the attention, so it’s not really a problem. (Because it wouldn’t have taken but a moment for him to mute or block the fellow.)

  6. @Cora
    Thanks for a thoughtful explanation and background info on Karl May. BTW I read “Ardistan and Djinnistan” by Karl May and enjoyed it. He certainly was a character. I though for sure that May dressing up and actiling like Kara Ben Nemsi would be considered as performing as someone from another ethnicity… This was something I remembered from a pamphlet I picked up at an exhibit in Berlin in 2008. Anyway, see a few scans here: https://www.yunchtime.net/HUMAN-BEINGS/self-invented-mythos-of-karl-may/

  7. JJ: If there’s a good reason not to answer these questions please disregard them.

    Why do you think the account harassing Camestros is Paolinelli when it’s not his main account?

    Do you know the name of the person the account is creepily claiming is Camestros?

  8. I’ve read the tweets. Cam is having with “SAmson Loader”. SAmson keeps insisting Cam lives in the States and wants a picture of Cam in Australia to “prove” that he is wrong.

    This all ties into that idiotic idea that Camestros is really Foz’s husband. Occam’s razor says it’s Paolinelli…or at best, someone inspired by him, since it’s the same weird conviction.. And half of SL’s twenty total tweets are to Cam with this obsession.

  9. rcade: Why do you think the account harassing Camestros is Paolinelli when it’s not his main account?

    1) Because that account appears to be a sockpuppet for which the only purpose thus far has been to tweet harassment at Cam.
    2) That account originally had a tweet supporting Paolinelli’s real Twitter account in one of his bullshit attacks on someone else, but that tweet has now been deleted.
    3) The tweets have the same “voice” as Paolinelli’s earlier harassment under his own name against Cam.

    rcade: Do you know the name of the person the account is creepily claiming is Camestros?

    Yes, this is a continuation of the Fieldsy idiocy, and the harassment campaign by the Puppies against Cam and the Meadows.

    Paolinelli is still so incredibly angry at Cam for pointing out the existence of the SFFCguild site and mocking it before he was ready to announce it, and he desperately wants to be able to know who Cam really is, so that he can be punished by Paolinelli. The supposed link to Meadows is the only link that he’s got, and he’s unwilling to let it go without first having a real-name replacement target for his ire.

  10. Oh, so now he’s creating sockpuppets to harrass the people he has blocked on his (very boring) main account. That’s really special.

  11. @Cora Buhlert
    What stuns me about the Kosoko Jackson case is that absolutely no one seemed to realise a romance about two Americans that uses the Kosovo War, an actual bloody conflict that took place only 20 years ago and is still an open wound for those affected by it, might be a tad problematic.

    Yeah. And how about the cheek of Murray Burnett and Joan Alison, two New York Jews, writing about an American man and his girlfriend, set against the backdrop of Nazi-occupied Morocco while it was still occupied. I think they tried to make a movie out of the story; I can’t imagine anything came of such a problematic premise.

  12. @Bill

    You’re talking about Casablanca, yes?

    You do realize that movie was released 76 years ago? And the play it was based on is five years older than that? Needless to say, ideas about appropriation and sensitivity have changed along the way.

    This is not to say that film’s not a classic. It is. But the conversation has broadened just a bit since then.

  13. bill: I can’t imagine anything came of such a problematic premise.

    I don’t know why conservatives are always so heavy-handed when they attempt reductio-ad-absurdum. There’s a reason why Hollywood filmmakers weren’t looking for pro-German #ownvoices after 1941.

  14. Yes, I’m talking about Casablanca.

    And my point is that great art can be made from a premise that some consider “problematic”. The ostensible subject matter doesn’t matter.
    Roger Ebert used to say that “It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it.”
    If you want to criticize Jackson because he did a poor job of telling the story (that is to say, he is not a good artist), then that’s certainly legitimate criticism. But to say that the story should not be told at all, or that it is off-limit to certain classes of writers, misunderstands what art is at a very fundamental level.

  15. @Mike Glyer
    I don’t know why conservatives are always so heavy-handed when they attempt reductio-ad-absurdum.
    Because being heavy-handed is part of what makes it absurd.

  16. @bill

    The trouble is, if you go too far the best response you’ll get is an eyeroll because people will think you’ve missed the point. It has to be close enough that the point is still relevant.

  17. In the 1940s, Hollywood appropriated happily away. Or do you think every western or jungle adventure movie from the era was a documentary? Also, due to the high number of European emigres working on Casablanca (which is massively overrated IMO), it was probably more #ownvoices than many other Hollywood films of the era. Furthermore, I have no idea what actual Moroccans think about Casablanca.

    However, times have changed and just as “kill all the natives” westerns and “two-fisted adventurer meets white queen of the jungle” movies are no longer made in the same way, it is now expected that stories using actual historical events as background, especially events still within living memory, do their damn research.

    The main problem here seems to be that the very same people who freak out when Jim Butcher calls a Chicago neighbourhood seedy and rundown in a Harry Dresden novel, when the actual neighbourhood isn’t seedy and rundown (anymore) or who throw a fit when someone gets a street name in Brooklyn wrong (and for the record, both issues could have been easily fixed by research), don’t give a flying fart about using a bloody war that killed 13000 people as background for a YA romance, because the Kosovo war is something that happened far away in a country that most of the folks concerned about Brooklyn street names couldn’t even find on a map.

    Also, I don’t think the book should have been cancelled, because even bad books have a right to exist. But I’m stunned that no one even realised that this might be a problem, because every European person who’s seen the book description came away with a headshake and a “This is very likely going to be totally offensive” reaction.

  18. @bill: But to say that the story should not be told at all, or that it is off-limit to certain classes of writers, misunderstands what art is at a very fundamental level. So who died and made you Humpty Dumpty, Arbiter of Art? Art can be purely abstract — but when it chews up real people, it doesn’t get to say But I’m Art! as an excuse. Whether the work in question qualifies as Art-with-a-capital-A is of little relevance; it’s still walking on people to get where it’s going, and for many of us that severely diminishes its art. To take examples from sort of the opposite side, consider the ~shock-art performances (etc.) that have been the subject of a number of scrolls; do you think those were so Artful that they’re excusable?

  19. I’m not sure it makes sense to describe Rick exclusively as a U.S. citizen within Casablanca. Like a lot of the characters in the film, he’s an exile. We don’t exactly know why he’s an exile but we know that he ran guns to the republican government in Spain, which is why he had to escape from Paris, if I remember correctly. To rewrite a line from Captain Louis Renault, I’d like to think it was because of his radical political commitments. It’s the romantic in me. If anything, the film centers itself on the exile experience, which places the character in the center of the narrative even if his exile doesn’t look exactly like the other characters’ exile. The same applies to Ilsa, who is exiled due to the political activities of her husband. Incidentally, the depiction of the experience of exile isn’t that different than the experience of exile as depicted by the radical German writer Anna Seghers in her novel, Transit. Some of Seghers’ material was translated into film around the same time that Casablanca was made into a film.

  20. Major Strasser: What is your nationality?
    Rick: I’m a drunkard.
    Capt. Renault: That makes Rick a citizen of the world.

  21. Not that it conflicts with anything the rest of you have said, but I like this quote from Julius Epstein, who co-wrote the Casablanca script.

    There wasn’t one moment of reality in ‘Casablanca.’ We weren’t making art. We were making a living. Movies in those days were prevented from reality. Every leading man had to be a great sexual athlete. Every boy and girl had to ‘meet cute,’ and the girl had to dislike the hero when they met. If a woman committed adultery, she had to die. Now the woman who commits adultery is your heroine.

    Although I can’t claim to have met him, he did have professional dealings with someone in the cubicle next to mine one afternoon.

  22. Cora Buhlert:

    “But I’m stunned that no one even realised that this might be a problem, because every European person who’s seen the book description came away with a headshake and a “This is very likely going to be totally offensive” reaction.”

    I didn’t really think that much when I read the book description. It didn’t say much. But. When reading that the main villain in a story about the Kosovo war would be a muslim? And his treatment of serbian soldiers would show much of a bad guy he was? No. Nope. No-no-no. This was bound to create a massive reaction

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