Pixel Scroll 3/25/18 The Unscrollable Molly Pixel

(1) BOX OFFICE KING UNSEATED. Black Panther set records: “Box Office: ‘Black Panther’ Becomes Top-Grossing Superhero Film of All Time in U.S.”.

The Disney and Marvel release achieved the milestone on Saturday after passing fellow Marvel title The Avengers, which grossed $623.4 million in 2012. To boot, Black Panther is only one of seven films to ever earn $600 million or more domestically, finishing Sunday with $630.9 million to put it at No. 5 on the all-time list.

But it finally has been bumped from the top of the weekly pyramid: “Weekend Box Office: ‘Pacific Rim 2’ Beating ‘Black Panther’ With Muted $25M-Plus”

Legendary and Universal’s big-budget release Pacific Rim: Uprising may have the distinction of being the film to finally unseat blockbuster Black Panther atop the box office, but the big-budget tentpole may not open to much more than $26 million in its domestic debut, according to early Friday returns. The first Pacific Rim, released in summer 2013, opened to $37 million in Nrth America.

Stomping into 2,850 theaters, Pacific Rim 2 grossed $10.4 million on Friday, including $2.4 million in Thursday previews.

(2) GUARD THOSE FOOTPRINTS. The White House (the Office of Science and Technology Policy) has issued a document proposing standards for “Protecting & Preserving Apollo Program Lunar Landing Sites & Artifacts” – Popular Mechanics has the story: “The U.S. Doesn’t Want Anyone Messing With the Apollo Landing Sites”.

Nations, space companies, and even private citizens have big plans to colonize the Moon. But this reinvigorated focus on our nearest celestial neighbor have some worried that this mad dash could destroy historical lunar landmarks.

Yesterday, The White House issued a report calling for ways to protect Apollo-era landing sites, calling them “rich in scientific and historical significance.” Congress mandated the report in the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017. Damage from exhaust blasts of nearby spacecraft, biological contamination, and the obliteration of tracks in the regolith are all concerns.

“Three Apollo sites remain scientifically active and all the landing sites provide the opportunity to learn about the changes associated with long-term exposure of human-created systems in the harsh lunar environment,” the report says. “Currently, very little data exists that describe what effect temperature extremes, lunar dust, micrometeoroids, solar radiation, etc. have on such man-made material.”

(3) FOWLERS. LitHub presents “Shannon Leone Fowler on Traveling After Her Fiancé’s Death, In Conversation with her mother, Karen Joy Fowler”.

KJF: So you wrote Traveling with Ghosts while raising your kids. And you’re still interested in animals—the book has a lot of marine biology, and of course Sean’s death from a box jellyfish. This is a grief memoir, and you’ve gotten a lot of response to the grief part, but it’s also a travel memoir, and my impression is that there’s been less response to the travel part.

SLF: Yes, the vast majority of personal messages from readers as well as the media have been about Sean’s death, and I wasn’t entirely anticipating that. Because although the book is very much centered around Sean’s death, the bulk of the story is the journey after and the travel that I did following. I think the lessons I learned that were the most surprising and profound were the lessons I learned traveling. So I wasn’t entirely prepared for the focus on Sean’s death, although I guess I should have been because it’s so shocking. But it was difficult at the beginning because I was thinking I was going to have conversations about these amazing Israeli girls or the resilience of Bosnia, and instead I kept finding myself back on the beach in Thailand.

(4) 451. The Verge has the schedule: “HBO will air its film adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 on May 19th”.

HBO’s upcoming adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 finally has a release date: May 19th, 2018, according to Variety. The network announced the project last year, which stars Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan and The Shape of Water’s Michael Shannon. Ramin Bahrani (99 Houses) directed and co-wrote the film.

(5) NEW MEXICO TIME. Walter Jon Williams linked to video of him being interviewed by George R.R. Martin.

So here I am any the Jean Cocteau Theater in Santa Fe, being interviewed by George R.R. Martin.  Right at the start he says I’m an important guy, so I must be.


(6) SILVERBERG-INSPIRED OPERA. “To See The Invisible”, an opera based on a Robert Silverberg story, will be performed at the 2018 Aldeburgh Festival, UK, June 8-11.

The opening performance of To See The Invisible will be recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s “Hear and Now”.

Tickets from £5.00 to £25.00

…Condemned for a ‘crime of coldness’ by an authoritarian regime, The Invisible is cast adrift from society. All human interaction is outlawed. This life of isolation leads to strange, vicarious thrills and painful inner torment. Yet, as the lonely exile draws to a close, it is not coldness but perilous empathy with a fellow Invisible that risks the cycle of exclusion beginning all over again…

Emily Howard’s new opera, based on a short story by renowned American sci-fi writer Robert Silverberg, is a claustrophobic study of isolation; a dark satire on social conventions; and a stark reminder of our cruelty to outsiders. Howard’s music embraces extremes – the eerie beauty of The Invisible’s secluded psychological spaces set against the perpetual motion of the World of Warmth.


(7) FAITH AND FICTION. In “Publishers rejected her, Christians attacked her: The deep faith of ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ author Madeleine L’Engle”, the Washington Post’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey interviews Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter, Charlotte Jones Voiklis, L’Engle biographer Sarah Arthur and King’s College English professor Alissa Wilkinson about how Madeleine L’Engle’s deep Episcopalian faith was reflected in her fiction.

It took 26 publisher rejections before Madeleine L’Engle could get “A Wrinkle in Time” into print in 1962. The book was an instant hit, winning the Newbery Medal the following year, but despite its wild success, L’Engle still had fierce critics — including a good number of them who disliked her book for faith reasons.

(8) DIETRICH OBIT. Erwin C. Dietrich (1930-2018): Swiss film producer, aged 87. Specialised in sexploitation cinema, but genre releases include Jesus Franco’s Jack the Ripper (1976) and the horror-comedy Killer Condom (1996).


  • Born March 25, 1939 – D.C. Fontana


  • Mike Kennedy says either the world is doomed, or ready for a feast: Non Sequitur.

(11) AKIRA AND AKITA. The Washington Post’s Michael O’Sullivan interviews Wes Anderson, who says Isle of Dogs is a homage to Akira Kurosawa and that here are also references to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II: “Why ‘Isle of Dogs’ may be Wes Anderson’s most timely film yet”

But if this is Anderson’s most timely film, why use animated dogs, not actors, to make his point?

Anderson says there was something hard to explain about the germ of the idea — a society of outcast and abandoned dogs living on a trash-strewn island — that fired up his imagination. “When Roman and Jason and I were first discussing this story, they said, ‘What do you see here? What is it that you are so interested in?’ I don’t know why, but I just had this idea that there’s a movie in that world and about this group of dogs. What are they going through? Why are they there? And the next thing you ask is, ‘What happens?’ The story just came out of our subconsciousness as much as anything else.”

(12) I CAN’T IMAGINE. What novels would you expect to find in JDA’s “man-bundle”? Maybe Monty Python’s Short History of Men Named Bruce?

(13) HOPKINSON TO WRITE COMICS. ComicsBeat boosted the signal: “WonderCon 2018: DC Announced New Justice League Titles”

Last month, Vertigo shocked readers when they announced the return to the Dreaming in a Neil Gaiman-curated THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE imprint this August. Today, Vertigo and DC Black Label Executive Editor Mark Doyle, along with guest Nalo Hopkinson who will pen the HOUSE OF WHISPERS title, gave fans a first look at Bilquis Evely’s interiors for THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE #1. Hopkinson shared her excitement for the transition from novelist to comic book writer, and shared some first insights into the mysterious new house and its proprietor. THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE #1 is available August 8, 2018.

(14) TO THINE OWN SELF. Neither an ape nor an alien be…: “Origin of ‘six-inch mummy’ confirmed”.

In addition to its exceptionally small height, the skeleton had several unusual physical features, such as fewer than expected ribs and a cone-shaped head.

The remains were initially discovered in a pouch in the abandoned nitrate mining town of La Noria. From there, they found their way into a private collection in Spain.

Some wondered whether the remains, dubbed Ata after the Atacama region where they were discovered, could in fact be the remains of a non-human primate. A documentary, called Sirius, even suggested it could be evidence of alien visitations.

Genetic investigation

The new research puts those ideas to rest.

A scientific team analysed the individual’s genome – the genetic blueprint for a human, contained in the nucleus of cells.

They had already used this to confirm that the individual was human. Now, the team has presented evidence that Ata was a female newborn with multiple mutations in genes associated with dwarfism, scoliosis and abnormalities in the muscles and skeleton.

(15) BETTER MOUSETRAP. Predator introduced by colonists eliminated from World Heritage sites: “Global implications for NZ ‘Million Dollar Mouse’ success”.

Million Dollar Mouse, part-funded by a public crowd-funding campaign, aimed to continue the work of other eradication projects around New Zealand, and involved a team setting up camp on the islands, air drops of pesticides from three helicopters, culminating in a month-long search involving trained dogs for any remaining pests, Radio NZ says.

According to a Stuff.nz feature on the islands, the mice likely arrived on ships belonging to sealers, and drove at least two local species to extinction. If the project hadn’t tackled the rodents they “would have spelled doom for many of the species there,” the feature said.

“The project was done to benefit the whole ecosystem there,” Mr Horn told Stuff, “These islands are high value, they’re World Heritage sites”. Animal life on the Antipodes Islands include bird species not found anywhere else.

(16) BOUNCEHENGE REDUX. Nickpheas says:

If you’re going to discover the inflatable Stonehenge then you really need the response song by musical comedian and sometime science fiction writer Mitch Benn (Terra, Terra’s World).

When Mitch does a live show he asks the audience for typical suggestions and tries to write a song during the interval. Generally they’re forgotten. This one, which I was there to hear it’s first performance had more legs.


[Thanks to Steve Green, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge,  John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Nickpheas, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]

100 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/25/18 The Unscrollable Molly Pixel

  1. 2) Seriously? There is someone actually going to the moon for this to be a concern?

  2. (12) What a pathetic little twerp. He sounds more like his (to quote Mr Beale) “God-Emperor Trump” every day.

    I guess he doesn’t realize that until recently, much of the entire history of written SFF has been a gigantic “man-bundle.”

  3. @Bonnie McDaniel, not true. Dave Truesdale did an analysis of short fiction published in pro markets in the 90s and it was about 50/50 (we are now almost 30 years past that analysis) and now it’s skewed female. The rest of the publishing industry is skewed female even more. I wrote a very in depth post and ran the numbers on this. Our entire generation (Filers might be a lot older) has not grown up with any sort of lack of female representation, only male.

    But I’m here to help. Props to Mike Glyer for flinging my man-bundle in Filer’s faces.

  4. @bookworm1398: there are currently several competitors for a prize given to the first craft to land on the moon and go some distance (1km?) from the landing site; plans (per Discover IIRC) include one multistage lander that will launch the upper stage from the first landing. Just what we need — robot litterers.

    edit: 2nd fifth!

  5. @rochrist: Don’t know about the lawsuit, but the GoFundMe has stalled out at $1293.00, with the most recent donation having been more than two weeks ago.

  6. (12)

    he might want to rethink the term “man-bundle.”

    Now I can’t stop laughing. 🙂

    His career strategy seems to be working perfectly. He has energetically pursued making a name for himself as a troll who gets blocked on social media, a harasser about whom people file complaints, and a troublemaker who gets himself banned from con attendance. One glowing result of all this hard work is that a profitable business like StoryBundle is ignoring his overtures, apparently not interested in having anything to do with someone who, thanks to his own tireless efforts on this front, is primarily known as a nuisance. And now the crowning achievement, he gets to boast in public about them ignoring him!


  7. (12) I’ve acquired an 11 year old, and there’s something very familiar about the plaintive cries of “it’s not fair” whenever he’s told that he needs to leave the house or give the PlayStation a break.

  8. On a more (less?) serious note, we are in the week that ends with FollyCon, is there an interest in arranging a File770 meetup? If so, I’m happy to be defaulted as “the person that decides at a place and time”, but I am equally happy for someone else to step up and say “I will do it”.

  9. 6) I remember first encountering the Silverberg story in the 1980’s Reboot of the Twilight Zone.

    12) Man-Bundle. :sigh:

  10. (6) “To See the Invisible Man” is a good choice for an opera. Like Paul, I saw the 1980s TZ version of it, but I had already read it sometime before (somewhere: maybe in “Needle in a Timestack”? I certainly read “The Sixth Palace” pretty early).

    To Scroll the Invisible Pixel

  11. 12: Man-Bun: DLE. Kind of sounds like the title for some bizarre Law & Order, Anime mashup, where all the good-guy characters keep their special powers locked up in their man buns….(lots of hair whipping about during the title intro; imagine, oh, Sailor Moon’s intro done to the tune of Law & Order: SVU)

  12. 6) I was gong to ask if that was also the Twilight Zone episode, but it’s already been answered. That episode haunted me, it was touching and lovely and powerful.

  13. Mark: Can we demand a cat-bundle first?

    That’s a great idea! Suggested titles include:

    Cat Out of Hell, by Lynne Truss
    Catfantastic by Andre Norton and Martin H. Greenberg
    Catalyst, by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
    Time Cat, by Lloyd Alexander
    Tailchaser’s Song, by Tad Williams
    A Beautiful Friendship, by David Weber
    The Game of Rat and Dragon, by Cordwainer Smith
    Mort(e), by Robert Repino
    The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, by Robert Heinlein
    Tuf Voyaging, by George R.R. Martin
    To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis

    Maybe we can get Cat Rambo to put it together. 😉

  14. @JJ

    Yes, let’s not forget such famous feline authors as Cat Rambo, Cat Valente, and Timothy T Cat.

  15. “You know how to pixel, don’t you, Steve? You just put your files together and… scroll.”

    (with apologies to Bogart and Bacall).

  16. You will all be happy and relieved to know that JDA assures me that he is neither sad nor confused. Also that he does not need to rethink “man-bundle,” because he really is that funny, and that is why his followers like him, in addition to his more serious wordsmithing.

    I’m sure we all feel better now. And we are laughing *with* JDA, not at him. Right?


  17. NickPheas on March 25, 2018 at 11:54 pm said:

    (12) I’ve acquired an 11 year old, and there’s something very familiar about the plaintive cries of “it’s not fair” whenever he’s told that he needs to leave the house or give the PlayStation a break.

    Nick, back when my grandkids were in the mid-single-digit age range, and not responding to explicit adult advice, I tried resorting to writing subversize-subtext flash-length stories (my “Dern Grim Bedtime Tales, Few Of Which End Well, & Other Storiesl”), including “The Children Who Said ‘No Fair!'”, 350 words. My DBGT’s “are intended to be Morally Instructive To The Listener, and
    Therapeutically Cathartic For the Reader (and The Writer).”

    I’ve been doing readings of many of these at various cons (Arisia, Boskone, some WorldCons) (mostly in the DragonsLair/FastTrack/kids areas).

    Alas, none of these are yet available through the usual e- and dt (“dead tree”) routes, I’d be happy to let OGH, if amenable, scroll it. While I can’t guarantee it will help your particular situation, it may if nothing else make you feel better.

    (I also did a longer follow up, “The Other Children Who Said ‘No Fair!'” which is arguably not at all morally instructive but does have a disturbingly dense pun content.)

    Let me know…

  18. @JJ: if you’re going to allow juveniles (e.g. Alexander) in the bundle, you should make room for at least one of the Space Cat books. ISFDB dismisses them as chapbooks, but admits they came out in hardcover; the first was just deadtree-republished, but the others might be available.

  19. That’s a great idea! Suggested titles include:

    Cat Out of Hell, by Lynne Truss
    Catfantastic by Andre Norton and Martin H. Greenberg
    Catalyst, by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
    Time Cat, by Lloyd Alexander
    Tailchaser’s Song, by Tad Williams
    A Beautiful Friendship, by David Weber
    The Game of Rat and Dragon, by Cordwainer Smith
    Mort(e), by Robert Repino
    The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, by Robert Heinlein
    Tuf Voyaging, by George R.R. Martin
    To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis

    The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, Terry Pratchett
    Catwings, Ursula Le Guin
    Lost Race of Mars, Robert Silverberg (which I first read in Italian with the title On Mars Following the Cat).

  20. (12) I have to admit that a “man bundle” really does sound like it’s going to be a bunch of bondage stories. But Google disagrees.

    First, I notice that Amazon.com already offers a “Man Bundle” product. It appears to be a set of cosmetic products intended to help men clean parts of their anatomy that are not usually on public display.

    A couple of other grooming-related hits involve beards. In a wholesome way, that is.

    But most of the first-page Google hits for “man bundle” relate to the manual page for the Ruby “bundle” command. Search results suggest that that book has already been written.

    And, of course, it could be a set of very sweet stories about chaste homoerotic relationships between young guys. See bundling.

  21. Now I kind of want to see a “man bundle” that’s nothing but a couple hundred volumes of bad men’s adventure fiction — The Executioner, Mac Bolan (are those different things), all of those terrible postapocalyptic novel series from the 1980s whose names, thankfully, escape me, etc., etc.

  22. On an unrelated note, apparently there’s going to be an Alice Isn’t Dead novel?

    Cautiously optimistic — I did like the first Night Vale novel, haven’t read the second one yet, but I think Alice Isn’t Dead might lend itself better to the form.

  23. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan I was about to say Catwings! I read those in elementary school. (For some reason, the ‘human bean’ joke has lodged itself in my memory).

    Hey, I have a question for you guys. I finished up Resurrection Blues and am about 100 pages into Meddling Kids when it occurred to me that I’m not familiar with any female authors of the sf/f comedy genre. The genre has Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, of course, also Jasper Fforde, Christopher Moore, William Goldman, and even Kurt Vonnegut, but the closest female author I could think of was JKR of the Harry Potter series, but that’s more an adventure with comedic elements (especially the first few books) than a sf/f comedy. Any suggestions?

  24. @JJ–There’s actually five volumes of the Norton/Greenburg Catfantastic anthologies. I have them all (I have something of an 80’s DAW anthology collection). There doesn’t seem to be any Kindle editions.

    @Greg Hullender

    First, I notice that Amazon.com already offers a “Man Bundle” product. It appears to be a set of cosmetic products intended to help men clean parts of their anatomy that are not usually on public display.

    That’s hilarious. As usual, JDA flung his tweet against the wall to see if it’d stick without really thinking it through.

    @Joe H

    all of those terrible postapocalyptic novel series from the 1980s whose names, thankfully, escape me, etc., etc.

    The one I recall is Deathlands. (Is it still being published? It was over a hundred volumes the last I heard. *looks* Yeah, I guess it is. Last one on Amazon is from 2015.) I remember it mainly because the part-mutant heroine (well, not really, she was mainly the hero’s girlfriend) had long red hair she could grasp and move things with. I wanted that hair, dammit!

  25. Khitty Hawk, Diana Rowland’s “White Trash Zombie” books are funny. I thought that Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog was a stitch (it probably helped that I’d read Three Men in a Boat only a year or two previously). And Esther Friesner has written several hilarious novels.

  26. Nobody suggested “Cat pictures please” from Naomi
    Kritzer yet?
    And then there is the Warriors series Erin Hunter…

    Could be a big bundle. Insert A cat in the sack bundleJoke here.

    Im a scroll of constant filing

  27. @Joe H.
    Mack Bolan and The Executioner are one and the same person (don’t ask me how I know that, I just do). There’s also Remo Williams, The Destroyer (which actually got adapted into a film in the mid 1980s and won Joel Grey in yellowface make-up an Oscar nomination), Nick Carter, Killmaster, Phoenix Force and a bunch of others.

    @Steve Wright

    The idea of Marc Bolan “The Executioner” has always appealed to me, for some reason….

    That would be a lot more interesting than the real thing. Especially if the rest of his band were real T-Rexes.

  28. Do Kzin count as cats?

    Does C’Mell (from Cordwainer Smith’s “The Ballad of Lost…”) count?

    If also comics/graphic novels,
    – A Dream of a Thousand Cats (Gaiman, SANDMAN)
    – a story with Streaky (Supergirl’s cat). Perhaps also Captain Marvel’s pet Flerken (looked like a cat, but wasn’t)

  29. @Cora — Thanks! Back in the 80s I worked as a cashier in a small, independent book & tobacco store, and I remember we had at least one entire rack filled with various Executioner, Destroyer, Deathlands, etc., paperbacks.

    Plus an SFF section that was small but, dare I say, full of high-quality titles under my curation.

    I have semi-fond memories of that Remo Williams movie.

    And now I really want a film adaptation of Marc Bolan and his band of real T-Rexes fighting evil masterminds.

  30. 12) as a side note, Jon is apparently afraid of wandering in here anymore, so just lurks and posts screenshots. Nothing says “man bundle” like a guy arguing with screenshots he took.

    @khitty, Mary Gentle’s Grunts is one of my favorite humorous fantasy novels.

    Also, Delilah Dawson and Kevin Hearne have a epic fantasy called Kill the Farmboy coming out latter this year. I’m reading it now and it is very much in the Pratchett/Asprin wheelhouse. It’s like Xanth without the rampant misogyny. Slightly fewer puns.

  31. I once found a huge bunch of Nick Carter, Killmaster paperbacks at the library sale of the university library. No idea how a university library of all places came by 100s of Nick Carter, Killmaster paperbacks. Maybe they were left over from someone’s research project. I bought one out of curiosity and because of my interest in the many varieties of pulp fiction. It was rather forgettable.

  32. Alexvdl: I think JDL might be banned from commenting, in which case not saying anything here directly is not his fault*. The lurking and muttering darkly about comments here, however, is all on him.

    *ETA for values of not his fault that perhaps don’t sufficiently examine the root cause of said banning…

  33. For that matter, Laura Resnick’s “Esther Diamond” series is often quite funny.

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