Pixel Scroll 3/28/22 Rob S. Pixel (The S Stands For Scroll)

(1) 2023 HELIOSPHERE GOHS. Congratulations to Sharon Lee and Steve Miller! Next year’s Heliosphere guests.

(2) TOUR OF THE RINGS. “Simu Liu will not sign ‘offensive’ Shang-Chi comic books at upcoming event” reports Yahoo!

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” star Simu Liu is set to attend The ACE Experience at comic convention Awesome Con alongside his co-stars Meng’er Zhang and Florian Munteanu, but fans must take note of some rules put in place for the signing event.

According to an ACE announcement, Liu, Zhang and Munteanu will be available for celebrity photo ops and in-person autographs on June 4 at Awesome Con at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The announcement also noted, however, that the actors would not be signing any comic books deemed offensive, particularly Marvel Comics’ original “Shang-Chi” run from 1974-83.

“Simu Liu will not sign any Master of Kung Fu comics or other comics deemed offensive,” the note read. “All autographs from Simu will be signed in English only.”…

(3) RACING WITH THE HEADLINES. In “The Big Idea: Gareth L. Powell” at Whatever, author Powell spotlights the risks of writing five-minutes-into-the-future stories.

…Near-future fiction is a tightrope act, a game played with the audience. It’s a way of looking at the world, reflecting it through a prism to make the everyday extraordinary and the future relevant to the reader. But it’s a risky undertaking. If you assume it takes 18 months to write and publish a novel, world events may have rendered the entire premise of the book obsolete before it hits the shelves. No other literature has such a potentially short shelf life….

(4) WORLD ENOUGH AND TIME. Do you have to master the rules before you can break them? Or if it’s your own rule, can you decide a story you want to tell is worth setting a preference aside? Whichever. Whatever! John Scalzi discusses a choice he made in writing his new novel: “Kaiju, Here and Now” at Stone Soup.

…The first thing is that, generally speaking, I don’t write in present time. I write most of my science fiction taking place hundreds, or even a thousand or more years in the future, and that has some advantages. For example, you can develop an entire civilization under different conditions than the one that currently exists; you can hand wave over hundreds or possibly thousands of years of technological evolution and just posit that certain things and certain technology exist…. 

(5) BISHOP TO KING FOUR. [Item by SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie.] On B Beeb Ceeb Radio 4 yesterday was the Bishop Interviews in which the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, interviews notable people.  (One of the benefits of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has been the proliferation of Zoom use which, of course, has been picked up by the media including Auntie.)

This week the Bishop interviewed horror and fantastical horror writer Stephen King. Both the Bishop and King had had alcohol abuse in their lives and both dealt with the question of what is evil. A fascinating interview: The Archbishop Interviews: Stephen King.

King’s written more than 60 novels, hundreds of short stories, and has sold hundreds of millions of books worldwide. Described as the “King of Horror”, he became a household name with novels such as Carrie, The Shining, and Misery. Those and countless others have been adapted for the big screen, including The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, providing some of the most captivating moments in cinema history.

(6) ESSAY – TERRI WINDLING. [By Cat Eldridge.] Let’s talk about Terri Windling. The most epic of her undertakings was the Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror which started life as Year’s Best Fantasy. She edited the fantasy side and Ellen Datlow did the horror side. The very first edition won a World Fantasy Award, one of four such Awards that the series would get out of the fifteen editions she was responsible for with Datlow. One of the volumes, the thirteenth, picked her up a Stoker as well. 

Her first World Fantasy Award though was for Elsewhere, the initial volume in an anthology series she edited with Mark Arnold. 

The ever so excellent Wood Wife earned a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. There was supposed to a sequel but it never happened.

And although none won any Awards, I’d be remiss to not note a number of other works by her starting with The Old Oak Wood Series illustrated by Wendy Froud. For a taste of this series, read this charming essay, she wrote for Green Man a generation back. “Excerpt from The Old Oak Chronicles: Interviews with Famous Personages by Professor Arnel Rootmuster (Royal Library Press; Old Oak Wood, 2008)”

She also created and edited most of the amazing Borderland series and the Snow White, Blood Red series, with Ellen Datlow which is stellar reading indeed .

She’s also an editor with more titles to her name than I can fit here. She edited the Fairy Tale series with writer such as Steven Brust, Pamela Dean, Charles de Lint, Tanith Lee, Patricia C. Wrede, Jane Yolen, and others. 

All in all, an amazing individual.

Terri Windling

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 28, 1918 Robert J. Serling. Brother of that Serling. Author of several associational works including Something’s Alive on the Titanic and Air Force One Is Haunted. He wrote “Ghost Writer” published in Twilight Zone: 19 Original Stories on the 50th Anniversary.  (Died 2010.)
  • Born March 28, 1922 A. Bertram Chandler. Did you ever hear of popcorn literature? Well the Australian-tinged space opera that was the universe that of John Grimes was such. A very good starter place is the Baen Books omnibus of To The Galactic Rim which contains three novels and seven stories. If there’s a counter-part to him, it’d be I think Dominic Flandry who appeared in Anderson’s Technic History series. (My opinion.) Oh, and I’ve revisited both to see if the Suck Fairy had dropped by. She hadn’t. (Died 1984.)
  • Born March 28, 1932 Ron Soble. He played Wyatt Earp in the Trek episode, “ Spectre of The Gun”.  During his career, he showed up on a huge number of genre series that included Mission: ImpossibleThe Six Million Dollar ManShazamPlanet of The ApesFantasy IslandSalvage 1 and Knight Rider. His last genre role, weirdly enough, was playing Pablo Picasso in Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills. (Died 2002.)
  • Born March 28, 1942 Mike Newell, 80. Director whose genre work Includes The Awakening, Photographing Fairies (amazing story, stellar film), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (popcorn film — less filling, mostly tasty), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and two episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, to wit “Masks of Evil” and “The Perils of Cupid”.
  • Born March 28, 1946 Julia Jarman, 76. Author of a  children’s book series I like a lot, of which I’ll single out Time-Travelling Cat And The Egyptian GoddessThe Time-Travelling Cat and the Tudor Treasure and The Time-Travelling cat and the Viking Terror as the ones I like the best. There’s more to that series but those are my favorites. I see no indication that the cats are available from the usual suspects alas. 
  • Born March 28, 1960 Chris Barrie, 62. He’s Lara Croft’s butler Hillary in the most excellent original Tomb Raider franchise film. He also shows up on Red Dwarf for twelve series as Arnold Rimmer, a series I’ve never quite grokked. He’s also one of the principal voice actors on Splitting Image which is not quite genre adjacent but oh-so-fun.
  • Born March 28, 1972 Nick Frost, 50. Yes, he really is named Nick Frost as he was born Nicholas John Frost. Befitting that, he was cast as Santa Claus in two Twelfth Doctor stories, “Death in Heaven” and “Last Christmas”. He’s done far more genre acting that I can retell here starting with the Spaced series and Shaun of The Dead (he’s close friends with Simon Pegg) to the superb Snow White and The Huntsman. He’s currently Gus in the Truth Seekers, a sort of low-budget comic ghost hunter series 

(8) COMICS SECTION.

  • Hi and Lois isn’t sff, however, I can’t pass up the opportunity to include Daniel Dern’s annotations. Read the strip, then come back.

Mort Walker created both Hi and Lois and Beetle Bailey; according to the Wikipedia. Lois was Beetle’s sister. He also created, among others, Sam’s Strip, which is about characters who know they’re in a comic strip (IIRC, mostly taking place “backstage”). There was a nice reprint collection of this ~10 years ago. Walker also did the interesting and informative book, The Lexicon of Comicana.

(9) RACKHAM REMEMBERED. “Wonder, Hungry Wolves, and the Whimsy of Resilience: Arthur Rackham’s Haunting 1920 Illustrations for Irish Fairy Tales”The Marginalian’s Maria Popova offers “a lyrical reminder that our terror and our tenderness spring from the same source.”

… In 1920, in the middle of Ireland’s guerrilla war for independence, weeks before Bloody Sunday, a book both very new and very old appeared and swiftly disappeared into eager hands — a lyrical, lighthearted, yet poignant retelling of ancient Irish myths by the Irish poet and novelist James Stephens.

The ten stories in his Irish Fairy Tales (public library | public domain) transported readers away from the world of bloodshed and heartache, into another, where the worst and the best of the human spirit entwine in something else, transcending the human plane….

(10) USE YOUR VOICE, LUKE. Variety explains “How Ukrainian Company Respeecher De-Aged Mark Hamill’s Voice for ‘Boba Fett’ and ‘The Mandalorian’”.

…And how exactly did they pull it off?

Alex Serdiuk, the company’s co-founder and co-CEO spoke with Variety from Kyiv, just days before Russian bombs fell on the city, about how Respeecher was used on both “The Book of Boba Fett” and “The Mandalorian.” Explains Serdiuk, “We heard recordings from 30 to 40 years ago, and those recordings were not good.”

The main challenge for the team was to be able to squeeze imperfect data, something that sounded very rigid and have it mixed to make it sound like something had been recorded recently.

The solution lay in the archives. Serdiuk and his team pulled recordings of Hamill from old ADR sessions, video games and old audiobook recordings from the period. With the cleaner audio fed into the ReSpeecher app, Hamill’s younger voice was then artificially created….

(11) MOTHERLESS CHARACTERS. “Why Mother’s Day was no cause to celebrate for creator of Thunderbirds” – the Guardian tells why.

… He had found worldwide success, delighting generations of fans with 18 series and four feature films, which included Space: 1999 and Captain Scarlet. But Anderson had never got over the death of Lionel, his older brother, a handsome and heroic pilot who had died during the second world war; he also never recovered from the shock of hearing their mother, Debbie, say: “Why was it Lionel? It should have been you.”…

(12) HALF AND HALF. The New Yorker has a concise review of Richard Linklater’s movie “Apollo 10 ½”.

…Linklater tells the tall tale with a hallucinatory near-realism that emerges from rotoscoped images, animated atop live-action video, and from the meticulous catalogue of family life and sixties pop culture that Stan offers as a background—which nearly takes over the film….

(13) PRO TIP. Cat Rambo lights the way.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, Michael Toman, Daniel Dern, Steven French, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jake.]

23 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/28/22 Rob S. Pixel (The S Stands For Scroll)

  1. 7) A. Bertram Chandler: I’m a longtime fan of his, going back to when my father gave me a brand-new Ace Double featuring Chandler’s “Rendezvous on a Lost World,” which I greatly enjoyed, and still do (the other half was Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “The Door Through Space,” which confused me).

    I agree about the Suck Fairy’s lack of influence over most of Chandler’s work. I occasionally reread his Rim Worlds stories. Interestingly, Dominic Flandry appears in one of them, “The Dark Dimensions”, as a walk-on in a paratemporal situation. In an acknowledgement, Chandler thanks Poul Anderson for the loan of Flandry. I believe it was either in this novel or “Into the Alternate Universe” that A. Bertram Chandler appears briefly when John Grimes finds himself aboard a tramp freighter (Chandler commanding) off Australia.

    Chandler was a guest in Gail’s home for a few days during his 1976 US tour, and he sent us a congratulatory telegram from Australia when we got married.

    I wrote this on receiving the news of his death:

    ELEGY FOR A. BERTRAM CHANDLER

    A terrifying, sodden end,
    Drowning in the sea,
    For Death who takes our best, and leaves
    Mediocrity.
    He might have taken Elwood,
    Script-writers for his toll,
    But nothing satisfied the brute
    But Bertram Chandler’s soul.
    None other knew the sea so well,
    Or knew bushranging Ned.
    What shall we do for sailing tales
    Now our old salt is dead?

    How swift to start a story
    Like an old pulp-hack,
    His characters would love and fight
    And leave strange worlds in their track,
    John Grimes and Derek Calver
    And pirate Drongo Kane.
    Though space is dark and deep, it seems
    Blue as the bounding main.
    A sailor-man, he sprinkled salt
    On everything he said.
    What shall we do for sailing tales
    Now our old salt is dead?

    There is a place, the seamen say,
    Their shades sometimes go–
    Sin is free, no crimps allowed,
    Beer and whisky flow.
    No “Growl we may, but go we must”
    When comes that harbor town,
    But “Leave her, Johnny, leave her” as
    He lays his seabag down.
    And we are left with memories
    And paperbacks we’ve read.
    What shall we do for sailing tales
    Now our old salt is dead?

  2. 7: not unsurprisingly, Sir Dominic Flandry appeared in a John Grimes novel – The Dark Dimensions – with Anderson’s permission, of course.

    Chandler played with alternate universes, multiple time streams and some of genre fictions greatest characters, including Sherlock Holmes.

    @Jeanne Jackson: Lol. Rendezvous (also titled as “When the Dream Dies” in UK editions) was my first Chandler as well. (Talk about space pirates!)

    No, that wasn’t Dark Dimensions, he and the author appeared together at least once and the most memorable, when Grimes asks Chandler to keep him alive as a character, is Hall of Fame, aka The Kinsolving’s Planet Irregulars.
    There’s one other where character confronts author but the title escapes me at the moment…it was an older (60s) tale.

  3. “A Click might be grand, but it won’t File the rental on your Hobbit Hole, or help you buy an Auto-Gyro”

  4. 2) At first I thought this was the news that Saturn’s rings have been aged to being less than 100 million years old.

    @Steve I should see to reading Dark Dimensions sometime for that reason.

    4) the near term is hard and events mean that your plots and setup get pulled out from under your feet fast (c.f. Stross’ Laundryverse)

  5. (2) Who the Devil would want his autograph or photo op given the cost: “Prices for autographs and photo ops with Liu at Awesome Con are set at $150” $150?!? I know that Bidenflation is out of control but still! A fool and his money indeed.

  6. Miles Carter says Who the Devil would want his autograph or photo op given the cost: “Prices for autographs and photo ops with Liu at Awesome Con are set at $150” $150?!? I know that Bidenflation is out of control but still! A fool and his money indeed.

    First inflation globally is running out of control largely due to oil record high costs. So take your right wing politics and stuff them.

    Second you’re an idiot if you think the charges at Cons have anything at all to with reality as they don’t. Like Disney and what appears to be their outrageous charges, there is a market for these signatures in sufficient numbers that these Cons can indeed do this.

    Specialised markets are not to be judged by our standards as they don’t exist by thoee standards. I wouldn’t pay three hundred dollars for a custom designed six inch Batman figure but Mezco produces them and sells out and of fifteen hundred of them in hours.

    I’ve paid two hundred dollars for a copy of Neverwhere. Signed it was, but was that too costly? Some would say so. It’s always whatever the market will bear.

  7. @Cat $200 for a copy of Neverwhere? Thank you, I confess that I didn’t expect so immediate a re-affirmation of that old aphorism about a fool and their money.

  8. Miles Carter says $200 for a copy of Neverwhere? Thank you, I confess that I didn’t expect so immediate a re-affirmation of that old aphorism about a fool and their money.

    I really don’t feel like a fool as it’s a quite lovely edition of Neverwhere, one of at least four different editions that I’ve purchased over the years. It’s not my favorite edition, that goes to a much cheaper edition, the Chris Riddell illustrated edition, but I am glad that I purchased it.

    So I very much resent being called a fool.

  9. Nina says Those Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies are really great.

    They are. Fantastic reading all the way through.

    The packager told me that he tried to bring them over into digital form but the rights were too tangled to make even doing one that way possible.

  10. I would hope that newer anthologies include digital rights more or less automatically, but the older ones do seem pretty hopeless. When I prune my bookshelves I make a point of keeping the anthologies. On the plus side, one more reason to visit used book stores.

  11. Jim Janney says I would hope that newer anthologies include digital rights more or less automatically, but the older ones do seem pretty hopeless. When I prune my bookshelves I make a point of keeping the anthologies. On the plus side, one more reason to visit used book stores.

    You will notice that some of the older anthologies such as the Datlow and Windling Fairy Tale series are available from the usual suspects. The problem with the Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror was the sheer volume of stories in any given edition combined with the eclectic sources that the stories were drawn from.

    The packager told me that he just couldn’t get most of the sources to agree to allow digital publication at any price and he said that most of the stories aren’t available anywhere in that form. So it just was not going to happen.

  12. Honestly, I’d be perfectly happy with eBook versions of the various Windling/Datlow Year’s Bests that just reprinted the ancillary matter — the introductions and the overviews of the year in fantasy and the year in horror they used to write — maybe with a list of the original contents.

  13. Joe H. says Honestly, I’d be perfectly happy with eBook versions of the various Windling/Datlow Year’s Bests that just reprinted the ancillary matter — the introductions and the overviews of the year in fantasy and the year in horror they used to write — maybe with a list of the original contents.

    Those actually belong to those who wrote the various kibbles and bits, not the anthology packagers. Charles de Lint has put some of his up on his website as he did here for the nineteenth edition snd the twenty-first edition thisaway. It’s worth noting that de Lint added album art here that wasn’t in the original column, a nice feature that’s doable online that can’t be done in-print.

  14. @cat Well, I didn’t like being called an idiot, at least by implication. Or being told to stuff my beliefs. Let’s call it even, shall we?

  15. @Mile Carter, I believe a core tenet of capitalism is that the markets will decide what the correct price of a good or service is, based on supply and demand.

    Apparently the market has decided that $150 is a fair price for celebrity autographs and photo-ops. <shrug> Not something I’d pay, but then, I’m not the market. And, apparently, neither are you.

    Are you advocating for some kind of command-economy price-fixing? That seems to be an odd position for you to take, based on your posts here in this forum, but it’s the only way I can see to guarantee a lower price for autographs and photo-ops…

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