Pixel Scroll 3/23/21 I Want To Scroll What The Pixel On The Table Number 5 Is Scrolling!

(1) LIGHTS ON. Today, Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination published Cities of Light, a collection of science fiction, art, and essays about “how the transition to solar energy will transform our cities and catalyze revolutions in politics, governance, and culture.” The book is a collaboration between Arizona State University and the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It explores solar futures in four U.S. cities: Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and San Antonio, Texas.

Cities of Light features fiction by Paolo Bacigalupi, S.B. Divya, Deji Bryce Olukotun, and Andrew Dana Hudson, and essays by experts in fields ranging from electrical engineering and data science to sociology, public policy, and architecture. The book is free in a variety of digital formats. You also can order print-on-demand copies.

(2) WELLS UPDATE. Martha Wells tweeted this morning that she was in a car accident. She’s okay.


(3) WONDERCON VIA TUBE. WonderCon@Home 2021 – the online substitute for the annual Anaheim event – will run March 26-27. The Complete Programming schedule is now available.

WonderCon is returning to your living room for panels, exhibits, contests, and more! Check out www.comic-con.org and subscribe to our YouTube channel to join us @Home March 26-27! Featuring panels by: Netflix, Penguin Random House, IDW, DC Entertainment, Dark Horse, Adult Swim, Warner Bros. TV, Amazon Studios, CBS, Hulu, and more!

(4) TITLE REVEAL. Is there anybody who doesn’t already know the title John Scalzi’s forthcoming book, announced today in this Whatever post? “And Now, the Title of the Novel I Just Completed, Plus a Very Little Amount of Detail About the Book”. Hands, please. One. Two… Bueller? Bueller? Everyone already knows? Well, I’m reporting this anyway: The Kaiju Preservation Society. Because Scalzi’s post was entertaining.

What is it about?

It’s about a society that preserves kaiju! Look, it’s all right there in the title.

Why do kaiju need preserving?

Because otherwise they might spoil.

Is that a serious answer?


(5) THE UNKINDEST CUT OF ALL. The Late Show With Stephen Colbert presented “Justice League: The Colbert Cut” – a takeoff on the post-credits scene from the non-Snyder version of Justice League.

Stephen Colbert is proud to present this sneak peek at his four hour, three minute cut of “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” which expands on the pivotal post-credits conversation between Lex Luthor and Deathstroke.

(6) AERIAL ACROBATICS. Cora Buhlert reviews the latest highly-advertised offering from the Marvel Cinematic Universe: “Marvel’s ‘New World Order’ – Some Thoughts on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”. BEWARE SPOILERS!

…Like WandaVisionThe Falcon and the Winter Soldier is set after half of population of the Earth (and the Universe) were snapped back into existence and deals with the aftermath of what has apparently been termed “the Blip” in the Marvel Universe. Our heroes, Sam Wilson a.k.a. the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and James “Bucky” Barnes a.k.a. the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), were among those who were first snapped out of and then back into existence.

…However, Sam is back in action now (quite literally) after five years of non-existence. And indeed, the first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier starts off with a thrilling action set piece…. 

(7) THE THING THAT ATE YOU. The Horror Writers Association blog features a Q&A with a poet: “Under The Blade An Interview With Mary Turzillo”. Includes numerous examples of Turzillo’s work including “The Thing That Ate You.”

(8) FOOD FROM THE MCU. And speaking of eating, Marvel Comics: Cooking with Deadpool is a real cookbook! So is that like MCUisine?

Deadpool brings his inimitable style, foul-mouthed humor, and notorious skill with a blade to the kitchen in this hilarious take on a traditional cookbook, featuring classic recipes with a Deadpool spin and a whole lotta chimichangas.

No super hero takes food quite as seriously as Deadpool. In this gorgeously designed cookbook that paid reviewers have described as “glorious” and “the best cookbook I’ve ever read,” Deadpool offers his take on a curated collection of epicurean classics. Narrated by the wisecracking super hero (and sexy master chef) himself, this book also incudes recipes inspired by some of his closest friends/enemies (Here’s lookin’ at you, Spidey) and his favorite meals, including chimichangas, tacos, pancakes, and hamburgers with no pickles.

(9) IRREPRODUCIBLE RESULTS. Ursula Vernon tells about an important turning point in her career in a thread that ends —

(10) WORLDCON RUNNER REMEMEBRED. Steven H Silver reminds fans, “Six years ago [on March 22] we lost Peggy Rae Sapienza. You can help honor her memory with a donation to the Peggy Rae Sapienza Endowment at the Northern Illinois University Library to support the growth, maintenance, and promotion of the science fiction and fantasy collections in Rare Books and Special Collections, including documenting SF/F Fandom.” More information here: Memorial and Endowment Funds – Friends of the NIU Libraries.


March 23, 2007 The Last Mimzy premiered. The film was based off the winner of the 2019 Dublin Retro Hugo for Best Novelette “Mimsy Were the Borogoves” by Lewis Padgett (a pseudonym of the writing team of Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore), originally published in the February 1943 issue of Astounding Science Fiction Magazine. It was directed by Robert Shaye and produced by Michael Phillips from the screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin, Toby Emmerich, James V. Hart and Carol Skilken. It has a middling rating among the audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes of fifty-five percent. The story’s in The Best of C.L. Moore which is available currently from the usual suspects for $2.99.  


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born March 23, 1882 Charles Montague Shaw. His most remembered role came in 1936 as Professor Norton in the quite popular Undersea Kingdom serial. It was done in response to the Flash Gordon serial then being played. Ironically, he would appear several years later in The Flash Gordon’s Trip To Mars serial as the Clay King. (Died 1968.) (CE)
  • Born March 23, 1904 H. Beam Piper. I am reasonably sure that the first thing I read and enjoyed by him was Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen followed by Little Fuzzy and related works which are damn fun reading. Has anyone here read Scalzi’s Fuzzy novel? (Died 1964.) (CE) 
  • Born March 23, 1921 – Ethel Lindsay.  A Scot who lived in Surrey 1955-1978, serving a term as President of the London Circle, co-founding the SF Club of London and serving as its Chairman (the suffix -man is not masculine) and hosting it, winning the Skyrack poll for Best Fanwriter – the name of this newsletter deriving from shire oak and thus skyr ack (rhymes with beer lack), not sky rack – and being voted TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund) delegate, see her report here.  Fan Guest of Honour at Eastercon 22.  Fanzines, Scottishe and Haverings.  Doc Weir Award (service).  Went north again, was brought to Conspiracy ’87 the 45th Worldcon by a Send a Scot South Fund.  More here.  (Died 1996) [JH]
  • Born March 23, 1934 Neil Barron. Certainly best known for Anatomy of Wonder: A Critical Guide to Science Fiction which actually is still a damn fine read which is unusual for this sort of material which leans towards being rather dry. If memory thirty years on serves me right, his Fantasy Literature and Horror Literature guides were quite good too. (Died 2010.) (CE) 
  • Born March 23, 1950 – Keith Kato, Ph.D., age 71.  Dissertation student of Greg Benford, thus pursuing, as GB has, interests in and out of fandom.  Served a term as President of the Heinlein Society.  Known for cooking up vats of chili at SF cons, both hot (impressing Robert Silverberg) and mild (edible even by me), therewith hosting parties sometimes open (anyone may walk in), sometimes closed (invitation-only).  [JH]
  • Born March 23, 1952 Kim Stanley Robinson, 69. If the Mars trilogy was the only work that he’d written, he’d rank among the best genre writers ever. But then he went and wrote the outstanding Three Californias Trilogy. I won’t say everything he writes I consider top-flight, the Science in the Capital series just didn’t appeal to me. His best one-off novels I think are without argument (ha!) The Years of Rice and Salt and New York 2140.  I should note he has won myriad awards including the Hugo Award for Best Novel, BSFA Award for Best Novel, the Nebula Award for Best Novel and the World Fantasy Award. And the Heinlein Society gave him their Robert A. Heinlein Award for his entire body of work!  (CE)
  • Born March 23, 1958 John Whitbourn, 63. Writer of a number novels and short stories focusing on an alternative history set in a Catholic universe. It reminds me a bit of Keith Robert’s Pavane but much more detailed. A Dangerous Energy in which Elizabeth I never ascends the throne leads off his series. If that’s not to your taste, Frankenstein’s Legion’s is a sheer delight of Steampunk riffing off Mary Shelley‘s tale. He’s available at the usual digital suspects. (CE)
  • Born March 23, 1959 – Maureen Kincaid Speller, age 62.  Reviews, essays, in fanzines e.g. Banana WingsThe GateMatrixVector, prozines e.g. AmazingAnalogF & SFTomorrow, semiprozines e.g. InterzoneStrange Horizons.  Contributor to apas e.g. AcnestisTurboAPA (more fully Turbo-Charged Party Animal APA).  Served a term as judge of the Rotsler Award.  Guest of Honour at Eastercon 47 (with husband Paul Kincaid).  TAFF delegate.  Nova Award as Best Fanwriter.  [JH]
  • Born March 23, 1960 – Kimberlee Marks Brown, age 61.  Chaired Loscon 25, SMOFcon 32 (Secret Masters Of Fandom, as Bruce Pelz said a joke-nonjoke-joke; con devoted to studying the past of, trying to improve the future of, SF cons and like that).  Fan Guest of Honor at Loscon 37 (with husband Jordan Brown).  [JH]
  • Born March 23, 1969 – David Anthony Durham, age 52.  Four novels, eight shorter stories, some with Wild Cards; Campbell Award (as it then was) for Best New Writer.  Also historical fiction; two NY Times Notable Books, Legacy Award for Début Fiction, Hurston/Wright Award.  The Shadow Prince to appear September 2021.  Outward Bound instructor, whitewater raft guide.  Teaches at Univ. Nevada (Reno), Univ. Southern Maine.  [JH]
  • Born March 23, 1977 Joanna Page, 44. It’s not the longest of genre resumes but it’s an interesting one. First she’s Ann Crook in From Hell from the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. Next up is appearing in yet another version of The Lost World. (I think that there’s a legal contract requiring one be made every so often.) And finally she’s Queen Elizabeth I in The Day of The Doctor. (CE)
  • Born March 23, 1983 – Sir Mohamed Farah, age 38.  Three novels (with Kes Gray).  Two Olympic Gold Medals in 5,000 and 10,000 m running; ten global titles; holds four European records, two world records; three-time European Athlete of the Year.  Most decorated in British athletics history.  Memoir Twin Ambitions (twin brother Hassan still lives in Somalia).  More here.  Website here.  [JH]


  • The Far Side has told the story that couldn’t be written at the time. The true story. 

(14) BLACK WRITER NOT RENEWED AT SUPERMAN & LOIS. “Nadria Tucker Interview on Being Let Go From ‘Superman & Lois’”The Root has a Q&A.

Nadria Tucker writes for TV. She also wants to make sure her own personal story and truth are told, as well.

In November 2020, Tucker took to Twitter to announce that her contract as a producer on The CW’s show Superman & Lois had not been extended.

“Some personal news: Wednesday I got word that my contract on Superman & Lois won’t be extended, my services no longer needed, my outline and draft subpar (obviously I disagree with that last bit lol),” Tucker tweeted. “This, after months of me flagging #metoo jokes in dialogue; of me defending the Bechdel test; of me FIGHTING to ensure the only Black faces onscreen aren’t villains; of me pitching stories for female characters (there’s one in the title of the series!) that went ignored. If I sound bitter, it’s because this one stings.”

“I’ve been assured by colleagues that I was great in the room, so I know I’m not nuts. I debated whether to post this but my own mental wellbeing demands that I do. The only way shit changes is to expose it,” she continued.

…“After months of pitching ideas, fighting for diversity and representation and good feedback on my actual writing—I don’t want to leave that part out [about getting good feedback]—I [was] fired seemingly out of nowhere. It made me angry,” Tucker explained to The Root during a phone call earlier this month…

Short pay is also an issue:

… Sources close to the matter told The Root that Tucker was compensated for the first 13 episodes she was contracted to work on and that she did not receive compensation for episodes 14 and 15 because her contract was not extended for those episodes….


(15) ECHO. “’Hawkeye’ Spinoff Series About Deaf Marvel Superhero In Works” reports Deadline.

Deadline has confirmed that a Hawkeye spinoff series centering around that series’ character Echo is in early development with Etan Cohen and Emily Cohen set to write and executive produce. Echo (aka Maya Lopez) is a deaf Native American superhero who has the talent to imitate any opponent’s fighting style. She has also been in the circles of Daredevil, Moon Knight and the Avengers.

Hawkeye is set to debut later this year with Jeremy Renner reprising his Avengers archer.  Hailee Steinfeld stars as Hawkeye’s protege Kate Bishop. Vera Farmiga is her mom Eleanor, Florence Pugh reprises her Black Widow role of assassin Yelena Belova, Fra Fee plays villain clown Kazi, Tony Dalton is Hawkeye’s mentor Jack Duqesne and Zahn McClarnon is William Lopez, Echo’s dad.

(16) THE HOLE TRUTH. I can’t resist Alexandra Petri’s intro to this CBS News story:

CBS reports “Krispy Kreme will give you a free doughnut every day this year”.

Starting Monday, any customer with a valid COVID-19 vaccination card will receive a free Original Glazed doughnut at participating locations nationwide. The iconic doughnut shop specifies that any guests who have received at least one of the two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine qualify for the promotion. 

All you need to show is your vaccination card to redeem your doughnut — a vaccine sticker is not valid.

(17) PERPETUAL EMOTION DEVICE. Entertainment Weekly, in “William Shatner celebrates 90th birthday by creating an AI version of himself for future generations”, says Shat is working with Storyfile to create a Shat bot that you can interact with and ask questions.

…Storyfile is set to launch in June 2021. The technology used to to deliver interactive storytelling includes the patented “Artificially Intelligent Interactive Memories System” on Conversa, which uses natural language processing and other innovative technologies….

(18) NINETY YEARS OF SHAT. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] The birthday retrospective continues. In “William Shatner For Promise Margarine 1974 TV Commercial” on YouTube, Shat wants people in New Jersey to eat lots of margarine to reduce their “serum cholesterol.”  His claim is based on science because he has a chart!

(19) TALKIN’ ABOUT MY REGENERATION. In “Super Cafe:  Snyder Cut” on YouTube, How It Should Have Ended spots Batman and Superman chilling out with a coffee discussing all the exciting things that happened to them in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and Batman worries what will happen to him when he morphs into The Batman for the Robert Patterson movie.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, N., Daniel Dern, rcade, Mike Kennedy, Joey Eschrich, Martin Morse Wooster, Andrew Porter, JJ, John Hertz, Michael Toman, Lise Andreasen, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer. (It’s not Peer’s complete line, which was great, but this is its own wonderful thing.)]

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70 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/23/21 I Want To Scroll What The Pixel On The Table Number 5 Is Scrolling!

  1. A blog is just one publication that gets updated over and over again. Every bit of content in a blog is or was available at just one URL, therefore a blog is the equivalent of just one issue.

    I don’t agree with that reasoning. A periodical can still be periodical if its latest content starts on th site’s homepage. Every blog post has its own URL from the first time it’s posted, even if it is also presented on the homepage.

    I do recall a growing amount of frustration at the long string of Locus wins.

    I’m surprised that happened. I would think enough voters would get tired of seeing the same winner that it would work against them.

  2. “It would basically be a second apocalypse.”

    I’ve always felt that this argument relies on assuming that Bruce Banner Is Really Dumb, so that with the ability to make a wish just said, “Bring everyone who got dusted back, K?” without adding a, “Safely, and in such a way as to not cause further harm!” clause. I mean, frankly, if we assume he’s nerdy enough to have ever played 1st ed AD&D with an adversarial GM, which doesn’t seem unreasonable, that would have been included as a matter of course.

  3. How would that “safely” clause work in practice, though? You blip out of existence and your house falls into ruin and is burned by hooligans. Your bank accounts are all closed, the money distributed and your job gone. All the infrastructure that made your life possible is severely depleted. Now you’re back with billions of others.

    The de-blip needed an implicit gazillion-dollar social safety net and stimulus plan on a global level.

  4. @Kyra: And even Thanos, as demented as he was, seemed to want only a net loss of half the universe’s lives, and could have (may have) instructed his Gauntlet to avoid removing drivers, pilots, surgeons, etc, who were in the middle of activities at the time of the Snap.

    @rcade: I’d guess only a short term “safety” was involved – no returning mid-air or inside a solid object. Agreed that this is a world-wide trauma and economic disaster, and we see some signs of that in the post-Endgame material.

  5. @Andrew (not Werdna):

    @Kyra: And even Thanos, as demented as he was, seemed to want only a net loss of half the universe’s lives, and could have (may have) instructed his Gauntlet to avoid removing drivers, pilots, surgeons, etc, who were in the middle of activities at the time of the Snap.

    Well, we know that didn’t happen, because we saw helicopters crashing into skyscrapers in New York right before Nick Fury disintegrated out of existence

  6. Andrew (not Werdna) said:
    @Kyra: And even Thanos, as demented as he was, seemed to want only a net loss of half the universe’s lives, and could have (may have) instructed his Gauntlet to avoid removing drivers, pilots, surgeons, etc, who were in the middle of activities at the time of the Snap.

    When the focus shifted to Nick Fury at the time of the Snap, he was in the midst of several car crashes. And in the background a plane was falling out of the sky.

    So, did the people who had been in the plane reappear in midair? The drivers in slightly empty streets?

  7. Rich Lynch: The amendment of the wording for Best Fanzine that was passed in 2011 and came into force after the 2012 WSFS business meeting would be sufficient, actually, to restrict the award to discrete publications like those you can find at efanzines.com.

    I know that was your interpretation of your rules change, and what’s more that you made it clear to the business meeting that’s what the change was intended to accomplish. What I’m saying is that other people present and voting didn’t consider the wording to require that outcome, which is why it passed. People who wanted blogs to be eligible would have voted against the change if they expected your result to pertain.

  8. I forgot the helicopter crash – thanks. I figured the car crashes were due to drivers being distracted by the disappearance of passengers, etc. (second-order effects). But I stand corrected.

  9. @bookworm1398 @Iphinome: I’m another fan of Aurora— it’s certainly among my favorite half-dozen by Robinson. I’m sure there were people who didn’t like it for multiple reasons but the only one I consistently saw complaints about was “He’s wrong to say this could never work”… which to me was kind of an odd thing to focus on in a story whose point was to explore what “not working” might really look like, and what it would feel like to have to deal with that. To borrow a phrase from John Sladek, I liked the idea of looking at the “sociology of losing”. I liked the writing a lot as well, and the characterization of the computer, and the odd side details like how there’s a subculture that deliberately hides the nature of the ship from their kids until a certain age so that they can have the same “OMG we’re on a generation ship!” epiphany that’s traditional in generation-ship fiction.

  10. Rich Lynch: The amendment of the wording for Best Fanzine that was passed in 2011 and came into force after the 2012 WSFS business meeting would be sufficient, actually, to restrict the award to discrete publications like those you can find at efanzines.com… Maybe it’s time to split the Best Fanzine category, giving that over to true fanzines and creating a new category for blogs. They are not the same thing, after all.

    No, it’s not, and yes, they are very much the same thing; they are just published in different mediums. And if you want to get technical about “issues”, here are the monthly issues of Cora Buhlert’s fanzine:
    etc. etc.

    I know it’s disappointing to you to see the rise in popularity of fanzines which are more widely available and publicized to SFF fandom via the internet, and the drop in popularity of the traditional printed versions you grew up on. But these disingenuous arguments intended to shut out internet fanzines from Hugo recognition do you no credit, and the Hugo Awards certainly do not need a second Fanzine category any more than they need a second Fancast category for Booktuber fancasts.

  11. @Eli: I enjoyed parts of Aurora, but felt that it could have made a stronger argument about generation ships by having more competent people still failing. I didn’t believe in the sub-population hiding the nature of the ship from its children – because the entire population of the ship was so small that it was hard to imagine a couple of families managing to keep such a secret (smaller populations tend to be more uniform culturally than large ones – and there are only about 100 people in each section of the ship). Robinson also had a number of grating scientific errors (Coriolis effects inside living cells, characters not anticipating solar tides, etc.) and I would have expected a competent generation ship population to have begun a program of intensive remote study of their destination well in advance of arrival. If the point is to show to difficulty of generation ship travel (a point to which I have no objection), the more competent the people who try and eventually fail, the better the point is made.

    See also James Nicoll’s review of Aurora https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/there-was-one-yurt-community

  12. Is it just me, or is there something inherently paradoxical about science fiction fans who long for the “good old days”? 😀

  13. Xtifr: It’s a fair question, however, popular culture in general goes for comfort and the familiar.

  14. @Xtifr:

    Is it just me, or is there something inherently paradoxical about science fiction fans who long for the “good old days”?

    Since the old days weren’t actually all that good, this counts as Alternate History, which is definitely SF. QED

  15. Xtifr: SF audiences would seem to be not very different from audiences for any branch of art: we want the same only different. Which is to say, something surprising or novel tethered to something familiar. Variations on themes, with the themes being the familiar takeoff points or foundations. Jazz depends on this tension, and so does genre fiction. (I never tire of invoking William Tenn/Phil Klass, who introduced me to the SF-as-jazz metaphor. I re-steal it every chance I get.)

  16. My intro to KSR was the Mars trilogy. I loved it. I don’t know how it’d hold up now – it was ’95 and I’d just graduated college and moved to California. I’d forgotten how to read for fun and was just starting to find out what had been going on in the genre fiction I’d stopped paying attention in college. I loved the anti-corporate/anti-authoritarian vibes and the global, even intra-solar system reach of the plot. I also enjoyed the moments of semi-supernatural folk history being created or ret-conned by the Martians. Based on my understanding of science as an English Lit. major with a minor in weed, it felt very authentic. I dug the Three Californias when I found them a few years later. I noped out of “New York 2140,” but that was during one of the years I was voting in the Hugos and I was doing a lot of reading – it was kind of like being back in school with the amount of effort I was putting in to absorb each year’s “canon” – and I was quick to judge and toss aside anything that took too long to interest me. Interestingly (to me), the same guy who recommended the Mars trilogy to me recommended “The Book of the Long Sun.” He kinda gave me a shove back into figuring out what I wanted to read.

  17. Xtifr: Not just you. It’s something that drives me bananas, but I’ll admit I’m novelty driven in my choice of books. I gave up trying to police what other people enjoy as bad wrong fun a while back so I generally keep my mouth shut.

  18. One of my favorite KSR stories is The Blind Geometer, which I read in a Tor Double reprint, backed (literally) with UKLG’s The New Atlantis.

    @BravoLimaPoppa: my sentiments exactly.

  19. @Ray Radlein: Heh, good one!

    @Mike Glyer and @Russell Letson: I’m not saying it’s not understandable, or even that there’s anything really wrong with it. Just that it seems a bit paradoxical. But that’s hardly an unusual thing when dealing with humans. :wry grin:

    I want to pixel scroll all night, and file every day.

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