Pixel Scroll 3/26/21 Good Pixels Make For Good Scrolls

(1) SHOULD GEORGIA BILL HAVE IMPLICATIONS FOR DRAGON CON? Georgia has passed a controversial voting bill reports CNN. Some think Dragon Con should take a stance, a few say they won’t attend while the law is in effect.

The new law imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local elections boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to approach voters in line to give them food and water.

“It’s like the Christmas tree of goodies for voter suppression,” Democratic state Sen. Jen Jordan said on the Senate floor as lawmakers prepared to vote on the nearly 100-page bill Thursday.

Republicans cast the measure, dubbed The Election Integrity Act of 2021, as necessary to boost confidence in elections after the 2020 election saw Trump make repeated, unsubstantiated claims of fraud.

By Thursday evening, a lawsuit challenging the new law had already been filed by a trio of voting rights groups: the New Georgia Project, the Black Voters Matter Fund and Rise Inc.

Editor Walt Boyes raised some possible implications for Dragon Con, held annually in Atlanta, in the following statement sent for publication. (Boyes adds: “I am speaking for myself, not for Ring of Fire Press, and I haven’t talked to anybody at Dragon Con.”)

In the last 24 hours, the Republicans of the state of Georgia passed a draconian set of voter restrictions, the like of which has not been seen since the Jim Crow laws. It is clear why they have restricted voting, even to the point of making giving water to people on line to vote illegal. They know that the Republican Party cannot win in a standup fair contest and they are trying one more thing to stack the deck against black and brown voters and progressives of all stripes.

If Dragon Con has any respect for democracy, I would hope they would use their huge footprint and buying power to suggest that the State Legislature rethink their voter restrictions, and if the Legislature doesn’t, Dragon Con should leave Georgia. This is a major, essential moral choice.

Several people have tweeted comparable thoughts:

It would be interesting to learn whether Dragon Con leadership has influence beyond the purely economic that could be brought to bear on the situation. As to their economic leverage, looking at the communications Dragon Con has been putting out, they’re still in suspense whether they can do an in-person con in 2021. If social media pressures the committee to pre-emptively threaten not told hold an event that’s already in jeopardy, then what happens next?

(2) ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. N.K. Jemisin shared a joyful milestone with Twitter followers:

(3) CORY DOCTOROW ON AUDIO RIGHTS. [Item by Daniel Dern.] From the current issue of Locus, the premier trade journal/news magazine/site for the sf, fantasy & horror etc. book-etc. industry, this interesting article on why Cory eschewed Amazon for his audiobooking: “Cory Doctorow: Free Markets”. He “buries the news lede” ~12 paragraphs down:

…2020 was a hard year, but for me, it had a bright spot: In September, I launched and executed the most successful audiobook crowdfunding cam­paign in history. I made $267,613. In the space of a month, I went from worried about my family’s finances to completely secure about our ability to pay our mortgage and taxes and add a good chunk to our retirement ac­counts. It was an extraordinary month.

But I wish I hadn’t had to do it….

(4) ECCLESTON, THAT’S WHO. Nerdist sets the frame for the “New Trailer for Christopher Eccleston’s Return to DOCTOR WHO” – audio adventures from Big Finish.

Even though 16 years have come and gone since Eccleston regenerated into David Tennant, he doesn’t sound like he’s aged a day. Good for a Time Lord, to be honest. There’s still the excitement, the swagger, the kind of dopey optimism hiding deep trauma that was present in 2005. We only had an all-too brief 13 episodes with the Ninth Doctor, but with Big Finish’s Ninth Doctor Adventures line, he’s basically going to double that….

(5) GOLDEN AGAIN. [Item by rcade.] In “Cyborg Ghosts, Space Dragon Boats, and the Deep Roots of Chinese Sci-Fi” at Sixth Tone, the translator and writer Xueting Christine Ni argues that Chinese science fiction has entered another golden age:

During China’s first two sci-fi booms, in the 1950s and 1970s, respectively, writers tended to focus on technological utopias and issues such as international politics, scientific ethics, and extraterrestrial encounters. Currently, however, we can see a general movement in the arts, whether conscious or not, to reestablish a link with China’s cultural heritage. …

 After decades of looking primarily to Western writers for inspiration, whether Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, or William Gibson, Chinese authors’ fascination with the interaction between old customs and new technology reflects a society-wide revival of interest in Chinese traditional culture and cultural pride.

… But when kehuan authors connect their work to these traditions, they’re not simply reveling in the past — China’s bookshelves are already groaning under the weight of all the works dedicated to that particular pastime. Rather they’re acknowledging that China and its people are still intrinsically linked to its traditions and its history, and that collective experience and belief will remain important in the future. Whether this heritage is a net positive or negative depends on how it is used: Some writers see in it the potential for exploitation, while others choose to portray the past as the key to saving our shared humanity.

(6) BREAKTHROUGH IN HUNGARIAN WEIRD. [Item by Bence Pintér.] Horror small press Valancourt Books is going to publish a short story collection by the best Hungarian horror/weird author and screenwriter Attila Veres. Veres first published his dark, grotesque, and darkly humorous short stories at Lovecraftian fanzine The Black Aether. After this he debuted at professional publisher Agave Books in 2017 with the weird apocalyptic novel Odakint sötétebb, which became an overnight sensation. In 2018 he followed this up a short story collection, Éjféli iskolák, which is widely read outside usual genre circles also. His short story ‘The Time Remaining’ was included in The Valancourt Book of World Horror Stories anthology in 2020. 

Horror and weird is a novelty in Hungary, especially books which are dealing with Hungarian realities. Veres started the trend with his deeply imaginative, frightening and personal stories, in which political questions are often there in the background. In these short stories Hungary is reflected in a distorted, often shattered mirror, portrayed with a touch of black humor. 

(You can read more about his books in English here: “Discover The Old Continent: Ninety Remarkable European Speculative Books From The Last Decade”.)

The collection will be published by Valancourt in 2022, and it will include ten stories: seven will be translated from Éjféli iskolák, and there will be three new ones from his next collection. This is also huge news for Hungarian speculative fiction generally, since this will be the first Hungarian speculative book (I know about) to be published in translation in the US since…ever? (I say this with a nod to Hugo winner Bogi Takács – who writes mostly in English.) I hope this will start a trend! 

The original announcement is here on Facebook.

(7) RETURN OF HARLEY QUINN. Warner Bros. Pictures dropped a restricted trailer for The Suicide Squad. View it on YouTube.

(8) THE RELEVANCE OF DOOMSDAY BOOK. The NoCo Optimist profiles a local literary lion: “Renowned science fiction author and Greeley resident, Connie Willis, sees ‘Doomsday Book’ come to life amid pandemic”.

… The funny thing is, she loves history, even more than science fiction. As a result, she’s read shelves of books. That’s why, in “Doomsday Book,” you have an assistant in modern times who worries about the college running out of orange juice as people come down with a mysterious and deadly infection, and an old woman in the 1300s who believes the plague is a punishment from God, and a group of bell ringers from America who are more worried about their rights to perform being taken away under a quarantine than keeping others safe. 

Does all this sound familiar? 

People, in other words, worry about dumb things as the world collapses around them, Willis said. There are many examples of that in “Doomsday Book,” even though she wrote the book in 1992, when people would think “pandemic” was the name of yet another grunge band inspired by Nirvana….

(9) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman invites listeners to “Bite into BBQ with Zig Zag Claybourne” in Episode 141 of his Eating the Fantastic podcast.

My guest this time around is Zig Zag Claybourne, the author of The Brothers Jetstream: Leviathan and its sequel Afro Puffs Are the Antennae of the Universe. His other works include By All Our Violent GuidesNeon LightsIn the Quiet Spaces, and the short story collection Historical Inaccuracies. His fiction and essays have appeared in  in ApexGalaxy’s EdgeGigaNotosaurusStrange Horizons, and other venues.

We discussed how creators can self-define their success to avoid jealousy and despair, why he’s always preferred Marvel to DC, how he’d annoy his family with his love of the original Star Trek, the two professors who showed him he could be a writer, why the title is the soul of a story, the most important pointer he received after reaching out to romance writer Beverley Jenkins for advice, why he does some of his best writing in the bathtub, how dialogue reveals character, whether his wild duology will ever become a trilogy, how to survive toxic fandoms, and much more.

(10) BEVERLY CLEARY OBIT. The great children’s book author Beverly Cleary died March 25 at the age of 104 reports HarperCollins.

… By the third grade she had conquered reading and spent much of her childhood with books from the public library. A teacher suggested that she should write for boys and girls when she grew up, and the idea appealed to her. But after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley (where a dormitory is named in her honor) she specialized in librarianship at the University of Washington, Seattle (which today honors her contribution to Northwest literature with the Beverly Cleary Endowed Chair for Children and Youth Services).

Her early dream of writing for children was rekindled when “a little boy faced me rather ferociously across the circulation desk and said: ‘Where are the books about kids like us?’” Henry Huggins, his dog, Ribsy, and the gang on Klickitat Street, including Beezus and her younger sister, Ramona, were an instant success with young readers. The awards came later, beginning with a Newbery Honor in 1978 for Ramona and Her Father and one in 1982 for Ramona Quimby, Age 8. She received the 1984 John Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw, which was inspired by letters she’d received from children.

Mrs. Cleary has also been honored with the American Library Association’s 1975 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Catholic Library Association’s 1980 Regina Medal, and the University of Southern Mississippi’s 1982 Silver Medallion, all presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children’s literature. In addition, Mrs. Cleary was the 1984 United States author nominee for the prestigious international Hans Christian Andersen Award.

In 2000, to honor her invaluable contributions to children’s literature, Beverly Cleary was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress; in addition, she was awarded the 2003 National Medal of Art from the National Endowment for the Arts….


  • March 26, 1989 — On this day in 1989, Quantum Leap premiered. Created by  Donald P. Bellisario (Tales of The Golden MonkeyAirWolf), it starred Scott Bakula as the  time-travelling Sam Beckett and Dean Stockwell as his holographic contact from the future, Admiral Al Calavicci. The series would air on NBC for five seasons gaining a large following after a mediocre start. It has a stellar 97% rating by the audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born March 26, 1850 Edward Bellamy. Looking Backward: 2000–1887 is really the only work that he’s remembered for today. It’s interesting if more than a bit stilted in its language style. He wrote two other largely forgotten works, Dr. Heidenhoff’s Process and Miss Ludington’s Sister: A Romance of Immortality. (Died 1898.) (CE) 
  • Born March 26, 1907 – Betty MacDonald.  So well known for The Egg and I that e.g. Los Angeles had an omelette-restaurant-and-art-gallery called “The Egg and the Eye”.  For us, two dozen stories about a magical Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle; as a boy I thought them jolly fun, re-reading later I saw they were about bad children who through magic got their comeuppance.  (Died 1958) [JH]
  • Born March 26, 1928 – G. Harry Stine.  Two dozen novels, a score of shorter stories; two dozen “Science Fact” columns in Analog, ten dozen of “The Alternate View”; essays, letters, reviews there and in DestiniesFar FrontiersOmni.  Nonfiction e.g. Rocket Power and Space FlightHandbook of Model RocketryThe Third Industrial RevolutionHalfway to Anywhere.  Founded Nat’l Ass’n of Rocketry.  Chaired Nat’l Fire Protection Ass’n Technical Committee on Pyrotechnics.  (Died 1997)
  • Born March 26, 1929 – David Lake.  Ten novels, eight shorter stories.  Ditmar Award.  Guest of Honour at Quasarcon.  Introduction to Oxford Univ. Press ed’n of Wells’ First Men in the Moon.  Often seen in FoundationSF Commentary.  (Died 2016) [JH]
  • Born March 26, 1931 Leonard Nimoy. I really don’t need to say who he played on Trek, do I? Did you know his first role was as a zombie in Zombies of the Stratosphere? Or that he did a a lot of Westerns ranging from Broken Arrow in which he played various Indians to The Tall Man in which at least his character had a name, Deputy Sheriff Johnny Swift. His other great genre role was on Mission: Impossible as The Great Paris, a character whose real name was never revealed, who was a retired magician. It was his first post-Trek series. He of course showed up on the usual other genre outings such as The Twilight ZoneThe Man from U.N.C.L.E.The Outer LimitsNight Gallery and Get Smart. And then there’s the matter of “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” which due to a copyright claim I can’t show you him performing. (Died 2015.) (CE) 
  • Born March 26, 1945 – Rachel Holmen, age 76.  Editor at Locus; at Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine.  “Quilter, knitter, folk musician/singer … bad gardener … girl geek … used to be part of TeamB.”  [JH]
  • Born March 26, 1950 K. W. Jeter, 71. Farewell Horizontal may or may not be punk of any manner but it’s a great read. Though I generally loathe such things, Morlock Night, his sequel to The Time Machine , is well-worth reading. I’ve heard good things about his Blade Runner sequels but haven’t read them. Opinions please. (CE) 
  • Born March 26, 1952 – Gary Mattingly, age 69.  Co-founded Kansas City SF Society.  First President of Metro Detroit SF Society, Inc., sponsor of AutoClave; co-chaired AutoClave 1.  Co-chaired Ditto 2 (Ditto, a brand of spirit duplicator).  Special Guest at Corflu 4 (corflu = mimeograph correction fluid).  AutoClave, so far as I know, the first fanziners’ con; Ditto, Corflu followed.  [JH]
  • Born March 26, 1953 Christopher Fowler, 68. I started reading him when I encountered his Bryant & May series which though explicitly not genre does feature a couple of protagonists who are suspiciously old. Possibly a century or more now. The mysteries may or may not have genre aspects (some such as Seventy Seven Clocks are definitely genre) but all are wonderfully weird. Other novels by him which I’d recommend are Roofworld and Rune which really are genre, and Hell Train which is quite delicious horror. (CE) 
  • Born March 26, 1979 – A. Igoni Barrett, age 42.  One novel for us.  Outside our field, two collections of shorter stories.  Won BBC World Service short-story competition.  Charles Dickens Award.  “My best ideas come from south of my head.  So whatever a reader asserts I was doing in my stories is probably right.  Or possibly wrong.  Each day I keep discovering myself in others’ reading of my work….  The only thing I set out to do was to show my head that I could write from my gut.”  [JH]
  • Born March 26, 1985 Keira Knightley, 36. To my surprise and this definitely shows I’m not Star Wars geek, she was Sabé, The Decoy Queen., in The Phantom Menace.  Next up for her is Princess of Thieves, a loose adaptation of the Robin Hood legend. Now I didn’t see that but I did see her in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl as Elizabeth Swann. I saw her as Guinevere, an odd Guinevere indeed, in King Arthur. Her last role I must note was as The Nutcracker and the Four Realms in which she was the Sugar Plum Fairy!  (CE) 

(13) ADLER. File 770 will be the penultimate stop on Titan Comics’ Adler blog tour next week. Adler is written by Lavie Tidhar.

(14) DOORS OF PERCEPTION. Michael Dirda tells Washington Post readers: “Muriel Jaeger, a trailblazing science fiction author, deserves a new look”.

Somewhat surprisingly, London’s venerable British Library has emerged as a major player in the reissuing of early-20th-century popular fiction. After immense success with a line of Golden Age mysteries, it recently added imprints devoted to classic weird tales, women’s novels from before World War II and early science fiction. The BL’s trade paperbacks are uniformly handsome, well printed, augmented with illuminating introductions and priced around $12.50. Some titles are issued in the United States by Poisoned Pen Press, while the others can be ordered online or through your favorite bookstore. Nearly all are worth seeking out.

Consider, for example, “The Question Mark” and “The Man With Six Senses,” both by Muriel Jaeger. Originally published in 1926 and 1927 by Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s Hogarth Press, the two novels are H.G. Wellsian works of technological, political and social extrapolation. The first depicts a socialist utopia of the 22nd century, and the second tracks the life of a flawed “superman” and the effect of his powers on himself and those closest to him. In both, action is subordinated to argument, as the characters converse about society, class, sex and marriage, religious belief and human evolution….

(15) BRUTAL HUMOR. From The Onion: “Woman Relieved She No Longer Has To Support Closed Bookstore”. (Too short to excerpt.)

(16) IT BUGS HIM. Leonard Maltin covers a nonfiction film with fannish appeal: “Curiosity Is The Key”.

Attack of the Murder Hornets sounds like the title of a cheesy 1950s science-fiction film. It is, instead, a droll documentary about a very real threat to the Pacific Northwest that could have spelled disaster for the already depleted bee population of North America. Michael Paul Stephenson, whose resume includes Girlfriend’s Day and Best Worst Movie keeps a straight face, so to speak, as he documents the discovery of these winged invaders by a working-class beekeeper and his family, who count on the revenue they derive from home-made honey to supplement their monthly budget. They join a motley band of government scientists, researchers, and do-gooders to form a posse that is determined to locate and eradicate these murderous insects from Japan. All the participants are earnest, some a bit quirky, but Stephenson allows us to judge them for ourselves as this amusing, low-key suspense yarn unfolds….

(17) JENNINGS WINS KAYMAR AWARD. The National Fantasy Fan Federation announced that Bob Jennings was unanimously voted as winner of the Kaymar Award.

Three cheers for Bob! The Kaymar Award is traditionally given in April every year, supposedly because the N3F was organized in the month of April. We’re a bit early for once. The selection is made by a committee, consisting of previous winners who are still in the club, from nominations submitted by members. The award, unlike other awards in fandom, can be awarded only once. It is not given for talent or for popularity, but for work — work for the benefit of the club and its members. The award is a memorial to K. Martin Carlson [1904-1986], who originated, maintained, and financed it for 25 years. Carlson was a long-time N3F member who held many positions in the club, including club historian. He went by the fan name of Kaymar. 

(18) BE THE GAME. The Verge’s Sam Byford shares the experience of visiting Universal Studios Japan’s new park-within-a-park: “Super Nintendo World review: sensory overload”.

… The experience of stepping through the pipe and into Super Nintendo World is honestly amazing. The architecture is so complete, and your view of it so well-directed, that it really does feel like you stepped into another world. I love that the designers went for a blocky, 2D-esque style for much of the environment — it would have been easy to go with something more conventional given that there are now a lot of 3D Mario games, but this approach is much more evocative. Rather than attempt to replicate a particular Mario game, the mashed-up style just screams “Nintendo.”

… The Mario Kart ride is the most ambitious attraction I’ve ever seen at a theme park. It’s essentially an AR action game set on a go-kart track, where you’re drifting through the virtual course and firing virtual shells at virtual opponents — as the kart moves through the track in real life.

The ride is located inside a re-creation of Bowser’s castle, with lots of well-crafted Mario Kart paraphernalia to look at as you line up. (The queue was fast-moving on my visit and took about half an hour in total, though I imagine wait times will be a lot longer when the park is at full capacity.) Inside you’re given a plastic Mario hat that fits onto your head with an adjustable disc, a little like a PlayStation VR headset….

(19) DRAGON A TRAILER. In “Honest Trailers:  Raya & The Last Dragon” on YouTube, the Screen Junkies say the film has nothing to do with the 1985 kung-fu cheesefest The Last Dragon, and that the film has an evil baby “who feels like an exchange student from the Boss Baby franchise” and a waterfall that seems so real “it looks like a water deepfake.  If I were real water, I’d be worried!”

(20) VIDEO OF THE DAY. A 2016 post from Petapixel about a video on Vimeo: “This Animation Was Created Using Old Photos from the Early 1900s”. I may have run this remarkable short at the time, but it’s making the rounds again and will be new to some of you.

Here’s an amazing short film titled “The Old New World” by photographer and animator Alexey Zakharov of Moscow, Russia. Zakharov found old photos of US cities from the early 1900s and brought them to life.

The photos show New York, Boston, Detroit, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore between 1900 and 1940, and were obtained from the website Shorpy.

It’s a “photo-based animation project” that offers a “travel back in time with a little steampunk time machine,” Zakharov says. “The main part of this video was made with camera projection based on photos.”

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, John Hertz, JJ, rcade, Bence Pintér, Walt Boyes, Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge, Rob Thornton, Michael Toman, Martin Morse Wooster, PJ Evans, Daniel Dern, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Paul Weimer.]

59 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/26/21 Good Pixels Make For Good Scrolls

  1. Two, and Scroll Credit!

    7) I was frustrated as heck with the first Suicide Squad movie. I don’t see why I am going to go watch this until it’s streaming for otherwise free to me on Prime or Netflix and I am extremely bored.

  2. (11) I liked QL quite a bit.

    (12) Bellamy wrote a direct sequel to Looking Backwards called Equality

  3. (12) The only Keira Knightley movie I’ve seen is another genre film: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World co-starring Steve Carell. Not bad, especially for a movie on a hotel TV.

  4. @ Paul Weimer

    If you’re a DC Conics nerd, you really ought to see the trailer first before you make any decisions. Hint: There is a surprise guest at the end of the trailer.

  5. I thought THE OLD NEW WORLD was very imaginative and I’m glad to learn about it.

  6. @Rob I’m much more Marvel than DC and always have been, but I’m not a monoculture when it comes to Comics and adaptations (I love Legends of Tomorrow, for instance)

  7. 3) All very true, but I do think it probably is too late.

    4) EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! This will be the thing that induces me to purchase Dr. Who radio dramas, because I love Nine and there was not nearly enough with him.

  8. (12) Knightley also has a major role in an interesting SF film with Adrien Brody, The Jacket, from 2005.

  9. 7) If it was Suicide Squid, I would be interested.

    12 Ooh, I know what Nimoy’s role in Trek was – he did the voice of the elevator in The Search for Spock!

    @Rob Thornton: is it Dogwelder? Please tell me it’s Dogwelder.

  10. 12) Keira Knightly was also in a 2010 SF dystopian film called Never Let Me Go with Carey Mulligan (from lots, but Doctor Who’s Blink especially) and Andrew Garfield (of the lesser Spider-Man). I thought it was a pretty good film but I haven’t seen it in a while.

  11. I loved the 2005 adaptation of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, which starred Keira Knightley. Great adaptation, good acting all around, and the costuming, sets, scenery and cinematography is beautiful. Even if you don’t like Austen, you could watch this movie with the sound off and still enjoy it.

  12. @ Patrick Morris Miller:

    I thought he played K9, the golden Protocol Droid that is the constant companion to Captain Kirk?

  13. (12) KW Jeter’s Blade Runner books are… different. They’re an attempt to reconcile Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep with the movie Blade Runner, to make a fully phildickian Blade Runner experience. By the third book, things are so meta that someone’s making a movie about Deckard’s life, a simplified, dramatized version of some of what he went through hunting a group of Nexus 6 replicants back in 2019. There’s so much work being done hammering pieces of different stories — for that matter, different continuities and worlds — together that the books can seem shortchanged as stories in their own right.

    Which is not to say that they don’t have their moments. But someone who likes Blade Runner without having read any PKD would probably be lost very quickly.

  14. Probably no recourse against GA election law. I applaud the concern, but voters there will have to eat it, I think. At least until someone honest is in charge. It’s frustrating, like the –purely hypothetical– situation of having a horrible, horrible,. horrible Senator whose unearned power is enabled by the voters of another state…no matter how much you want rid of this purely made-up person, you can never vote against them, let alone assist in removing their hands from the wheels of hate–i mean, state. You’re just stuck.

    I began deciphering English as a toddler, but seldom read any books until my teenage years…but I read every Ramona book. Getting my little ADHD self to sit and read a whole book? That’s good writing. Thanks Beverly Clearly. Pest or simply brave, Ramona is the bees knees.

  15. Pulling back the curtain on the joke: Nimoy did voice the elevator, credited in the end crawl as “Frank Force”.

  16. Ingvar says I thought he played K9, the golden Protocol Droid that is the constant companion to Captain Kirk?

    Huh? K9 who was decidedly not golden and not droid was the canine like robot companion to the fourth Doctor Who.

  17. Meredith moment: Again, Dangerous Visions for which Harland Ellision won a Hugo at L.A. Con I for Excellence in Anthologizing is available from the usual suspects for a buck ninety nine. (Was this the only time this Award was given out?)

  18. @ Patrick Morris Miller:

    Never heard of Dogwalker but no it isn’t them. Here’s a hint: This villainous character has been on at least one animated DC show.

  19. @ Cat Eldridge:

    It was an attempt to do something along the lines of the T-shirt with a picture of a Dalek, with the text “I know, that’s R2-D2 from Star Trek!” (besides, Spock is too cool to be a Protocol Droid).

  20. I read somewhere today that the container cargo ship lodged in the Suez canal is visible from space. Maybe people write stuff like that because noone wants to consider the truth which is that, with the satellite spy technology in orbit these days, anything not underground is visible from space.

  21. @Brown Robin
    It is 400m long. (That’s a quarter mile in American.)

    Latest is that they’ve gotten the stern to move 17m (about 50 feet), and the rudder works.

  22. Kit Harding says EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! This will be the thing that induces me to purchase Dr. Who radio dramas, because I love Nine and there was not nearly enough with him.

    Indeed. Big Finish does a splendid job with these stories and these should be great. I’ll be purchasing them when they come out. He’s not the last of the modern Doctors not to do a Big Finish production as Jodi Whittaker still hasn’t committed to do so.

  23. “Listen, Billy Pixel’s come unScrolled in File” – or have we done that one

  24. re:12) Today’s Birthdays: David Lake
    I’m impressed that you remembered him. A sadly forgotten and neglected writer; his The Man Who Loved Morlocks: A sequel to The Time Machine as narrated by the Time Traveller is a lost classic. A very original and thoughtful take on the Morlocks, weird and wonderful illustrations to go with it. Out of print and sadly almost impossible to buy. If you live in Michigan, you can get it through MELCAT.

    p.s. – Boycott Georgia Dragoncon!!!

  25. @Bruce Arthurs–People who don’t like Jane Austen? How is that possible? Is it allowed? I’m pretty sure it’s not allowed.

  26. 15) Too accurate to be funny, types the guy sitting in a bookstore where the hourly gross is sometimes not enough to cover his minimum wage.

  27. 1) Read the bill. Don’t trust the leftist MSM narrative. Always good advice.

    With regards to the water issue, that is an extrapolation of the rule that campaigns should not give anything of value to voters in exchange for votes. The law explicitly allows poll workers to provide water via an unattended station to voters waiting in line. (1824-1829)

    M. de Lamartine wrote me one day: “Your doctrine is only the half of my program; you have stopped at liberty; I go on to fraternity.” I answered him: “The second half of your program will destroy the first half.” And, in fact, it is quite impossible for me to separate the word “fraternity” from the word “voluntary.” It is quite impossible for me to conceive of fraternity as legally enforced, without liberty being legally destroyed, and justice being legally trampled underfoot.” – Frederic Bastiat

  28. Dann, if you think that volunteers are trying to change votes on these long lines in exchange for water, I have a bridge to sell you.

    Or, let me try this another way: Why are the voting lines so long that needing food and drink is a thing? Why isn’t THAT being addressed by this bill?

  29. Dann665 on March 29, 2021 at 6:11 am said:

    1) Read the bill. Don’t trust the leftist MSM narrative. Always good advice.

    With regards to the water issue, that is an extrapolation of the rule that campaigns should not give anything of value to voters in exchange for votes. The law explicitly allows poll workers to provide water via an unattended station to voters waiting in line. (1824-1829)

    The bill explicitly prohibits people from giving food or drink to people waiting in line ASIDE from that exception you noted
    “nor shall any person give, offer to give, [1814] or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and [1815] drink.”

    That line is just right above the line you rerefnced about poll workers and an “unattended station”. If you’d READ the bill you couldn’t possibly have missed it.

  30. Paul Weimer on March 29, 2021 at 9:47 am said:

    Dann, if you think that volunteers are trying to change votes on these long lines in exchange for water, I have a bridge to sell you.

    Or, let me try this another way: Why are the voting lines so long that needing food and drink is a thing? Why isn’t THAT being addressed by this bill?

    Yeah, you’d think that would be the issue somebody would try to solve i.e. the problem most industrialised countries manage to solve with little effort.

  31. @Paul Weimer

    I believe that one of the more commonly accepted concepts about elections is that voters should not be unduly influenced during the act of voting. No one should be looking over a voter’s shoulder to make sure they vote the “right” way.

    One way of unduly influencing elections is to have campaigns in the same space as the voters while they are voting. Thus we have restrictions on how close campaign activities can be to a polling location.

    Another method of influencing elections is if campaigns are giving free stuff to voters. (To add some genre back into things, it is alleged that Edgar Allen Poe’s alcoholism might have caused his death. Supposedly, he got some bad booze from a campaign that was “cooping” during an election.)

    As far as the need for people to give out water, Georgia is in a hotter part of the country. We had a long line at my polling place last fall. We were there for something short of 3 hours. But we are far enough north that dehydration isn’t a huge issue. Lines happen.

    The law might address that issue of why there are such long lines in the first place. I didn’t read the whole thing. Take a look and see if the state of Georgia is addressing that issue. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for the MSM to give an honest assessment of the situation.

    I did read enough to see that two media narratives were flat wrong. The other issue was voters showing up to the wrong polling place. (reasonably accommodated/addressed in the law, IMO)

    * <- After the Hair Club for Tribbles . <- Before hair club

  32. @Camestros

    Yes. I saw that section. As noted to Paul, I think restrictions against campaigns giving things away in exchange for votes are defensible.

    I also hope they deal with the problem of excessively long lines that cause hydration concerns.

    Insert tag filled with wit, wisdom, and humour here…

  33. @Dann665–No one is voting while standing in line for three, or five, or in some cases, eight hours.

    ETA: Just realized I probably do have to say, explicitly, they only get to vote after they are able to get inside, check in, and receive their ballots. Where no one has campaign materials.

    No one is voting in those long lines. Only if they can stay in line long enough to get into the polling site.

    Forbid campaign logos and gear. That’s sensible. Banning giving food and water at all, isn’t.. No, allowing unattended tables of water to be set up by poll workers doesn’t substitute for people handing out water–not least because it assumes the poll workers have the time and resources, and because it’s so easy for something to, y’know, “just happen” to those unattended tables.

    Lines happen–but they happen more in places where far fewer voting sites per 1,000s of population are provided, as has been done in Georgia. It’s been quite intentionally set up to make it harder for urban and minority voters, and people who can’t take half a day or a whole day off for voting, to vote.

    Going to the wrong polling station happens, too, but again, it happens more often when polling locations are changed, moved merged. Again, not happening randomly. Not happening in the parts of Georgia that reliably vote Republican, not the way it’s been happening in the parts that vote Democratic.

    They’re not going to do anything, if by “they” you mean the people who created this mess, to solve the problem of the lines and dehydration, because this is intentional. And if it’s not intentional, they’ve got their heads so far up their asses they’ll never see light again.

  34. @Dann665,

    Dann665 on March 29, 2021 at 6:11 am said:
    1) Read the bill. Don’t trust the leftist MSM narrative. Always good advice.

    Dann665 on March 29, 2021 at 11:14 am said:
    [ … ] The law might address that issue of why there are such long lines in the first place. I didn’t read the whole thing.

    So you’re advising everyone to read the bill. but you can’t be bothered to do so yourself? And you’re defending the law by talking about what it might do?

    Also, of course, no law exists in a vacuum. I would suggest you read the complaint to get some of the context that explains some of what you appear to be … missing.

  35. I read JUST LAST YEAR about people waiting in lines to vote. For hours. In the rain, some of them. Not all in Georgia, either – but Georgia has the most offensive laws, at this time.
    Funny thing: most of those voters are NOT WHITE. It’s pretty obvious what’s going on. Unless you’re very Republican and can tell yourself that it’s only people who aren’t citizens, or aren’t really residents, or some other lie that makes you feel good about voter suppression.

  36. @Christian Brunschen

    So you’re advising everyone to read the bill. but you can’t be bothered to do so yourself?

    I read what was needed to know that the water claims being made were inaccurate and just happened to read enough to know that the MSM narrative about showing up at the wrong polling place was also inaccurate. That was enough to cover my questions. It’s a 93-page bill. If you have additional questions, then please read the whole thing.

    @Lis Carey

    I suspect that we could eventually arrive at a mutually satisfying agreement. Or near enough keep our mutual grumbles to a minimum.

    I agree that excessive lines are a problem. Ironically, the new law attempts to address that issue by expanding pre-voting opportunities. Could more be done? Possibly. But the legislature did take steps to improve the situation.

    On the water issue, they could have permitted non-partisan non-profit organizations to give out water as well. Local VFW and American Legion Posts should be onboard for that. Mine would. We helped with line management during the last election. I suppose some enterprising individuals might set up food trucks as well. My preference is that lines should be short enough that food trucks and free water weren’t an issue.

    They say marriages are made in Heaven. But so is thunder and lightning. – Clint Eastwood

  37. @Dann665,

    So you’ve decided to uncritically accept whatever the bill claims? Again, read the lawsuit to get some much-needed perspective.

    Laws, especially ones that try to achieve nefarious ends, are usually written to make things look as good and pretty and harmless as possible.

    But everything happens in a context.

    Here, the context includes a long ongoing and well-documented history in Georgia of disenfranchising Black voters; a recent election that was one of the best run elections ever, which Republicans lost; where Republicans kept trying to discredit the election and its results; and which includes loudly complaining about imagined and proven-wrong allegations about fraud or problems with that election.

    And after this highly successful and problem-free election that Republicans lost … Republicans who still control the state legislature very quickly rush make a law that changes how the election is run, in ways that will disproportionally affect voters who vote against Republicans, and with the feeble excuse of ‘improving confidence in elections’, when in fact the only ones who claim to lack confidence are those who were unhappy with the results.

    None of that context is going to be in the bill; the bill as written will be glossing over any and all of that.

    Please, don’t just read the right-wing talking points. Don’t reject the media’s reporting that fills in the blanks that the Republicans don’t want you to see. Read the lawsuit(s). Read this press release from the ACLU. And take them on board, especially where that differs from what the bill claims to do – because that is precisely where Republicans in Georgia are trying to pull the wool over your and everyone else’s eyes.

  38. Dann665 on March 29, 2021 at 11:17 am said:


    Yes. I saw that section. As noted to Paul, I think restrictions against campaigns giving things away in exchange for votes are defensible.

    Sure but that’s not what the law makes illegal because there are already laws aginst buying votes. Hey but if you’re cool with government overreach and criminalising people to solve non-problems then…well…I guess I’m not surprised?

  39. @Christian Brunschen

    a recent election that was one of the best run elections ever,


    And after this highly successful and problem-free election

    I believe the proper response is that you owe me a keyboard and a monitor.

    FTR, the deficiencies and problems that arose in the election were not sufficient to question Mr. Biden’s ultimate victory, IMHO.

    A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. – Thomas Jefferson

  40. @Lis Carey

    Banning giving food and water at all, isn’t [sensible].

    Some people need cash much more than they need water. Are you okay with someone in an NRA vest and a MAGA hat walking down the line handing out ten dollar bills?

  41. bill: Dumbing down the discussion with phony examples is unwelcome — at least by me.

  42. @bill–We are talking about a situation where people need the food and water only because they are standing in line to vote made artificially long with the intent to discourage them from voting at all.

  43. @Lis Carey

    Let’s make it more realistic. What if people wearing MAGA hats were giving out the water? They need not say anything more than “let me know if you need another….have a nice day….etc.” You don’t think that such a thing wouldn’t sway a few votes?

    Parenthetically, the GOP are idiots for not pursuing precisely that strategy any time there are unexpectedly long lines. Voter outreach should be a pathetically easy task. Part of getting voters to like you enough to vote for you is getting them to like you in the first place.

    Think about the people that had friends at Jonestown. Want to reconsider that “koolaid” comment?

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