Pixel Scroll 3/30/20 The Master And Margaritas

(1) THE DC COMICS SALE TO END ALL. Comicbook.com says “Sotheby’s Selling Most Complete DC Comics Collection Ever Featuring Rare Batman and Superman Comics”.

Today Sotheby announced that is will auction DC Complete: The Ian Levine Collection, a comic book collection that includes every comic book published by DC Comics from 1935 through 2016, including complete runs of SupermanBatmanAction Comics, and Detective Comics. The collection includes more than 40,000 comics that also feature Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and the Justice League. The collection is available to view now on the Sotheby’s website. Sotheby’s chose today to start the private sale as it marks the 81st anniversary of the release of Detective Comics #27, which included the first appearance of Batman.

It’s a private sale, which means there is no public auction, just negotiations between Sotheby’s specialists and one or more private buyers.* Bids are being taken starting today – here’s the Sotheby’s link. Download the catalog here [PDF file]. A quote about how the collection was assembled, from the auction house’s article —

For a decade, Levine purchased a new copy of every DC issue he could find, while trying to fill in earlier issues. However, in pre-internet 1987, Levine despaired of finding many Golden Age comics he lacked, and decided to sell many of his best issues in order to fund his collection of Northern Soul records and Doctor Who film prints. However, reviewing his stacks of comic books with the purchaser reawakened his passion for this pop art form, and Levine bought his comics back from the dealer he had sold them to—at a 50% premium. Amassing about half of the comics DC had ever published, Levine determined to form a complete collection. Sacrificing his incomparable collection of Northern Soul records and Doctor Who prints, along with the assistance of the nascent internet and dealer, advisor, and author of The Comic Book Paul Sassienie, he achieved this ambition, which would essentially be impossible to replicate. In 2010, Levine’s paramount, unique collection was utilized to supply the illustrations for Taschen’s monumental publication 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking by Paul Levitz, the former president and publisher of DC.

(2) ASK THE EXPERTS. The Boston Globe asks futurists and SF writers to look ahead: “It actually may be the end of the world as we know it”. Beware paywall.

…ANNALEE NEWITZ, science-fiction and nonfiction author, podcaster

I have a couple of scenarios I’ve been batting around in my head, which both feel equally plausible at this point.

Scenario One: As more people hunker down at home, more of our most vital and personal activities will have to go online. Lots of people are learning how to have serious meetings remotely, and how to work as teams in group chat.

Then there’s the arguably more psychologically vital stuff: I’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons with my gamer group using videoconferencing, and watching TV with a housebound, high-risk loved one by hitting play at the same time on a TV episode and videochatting with him at the same time.

I’m not alone. A lot of us are cut off from our loved ones right now, and online connection is all we have. Suddenly “online” doesn’t feel like a fantasy realm. It’s our social fabric. The online world is going to become a fully robust public space, and we won’t want to see garbage and detritus everywhere. We will finally start to see social media companies taking responsibility for what’s on their platforms — information will need to be accurate, or people will die.

…Scenario Two: The pandemic rips through the population, aided in part by contradictory messages from state and federal governments, as well as misinformation online. As social groups and families are torn apart by disease and unemployment, people look increasingly to social media for radical solutions: violent uprisings, internment camps for immigrants and other “suspicious” groups, and off-the-grid cults that promise sanctuary from death.

(3) HAS THE JURY REACHED A VERDICT? James Davis Nicoll’s Young People Read Old SFF panel considers “Rediscovery: Of All Possible Worlds, Rosel George Brown”.

This is the second Brown featured in Rediscovery. As mentioned last month, Brown was a promising author whose career was cut short by her death in 1967. I don’t have much to add to that, except to wonder if my Young People will enjoy this story more than they did the previous one.

(4) WHO WAS THAT MASKED FAN? John King Tarpinian has already ordered “Classic Monster Aloha Safety Mask”. Get yours for a mere $9.95. More styles here. And they sell matching shirts for some of them — Daniel Dern says “I’ve got the first two in that were shown in this post.”

Introducing Aloha Safety Face masks!! Hawaiian Printed Masks that are fashionable , fun, and made in the USA!!

And just like that, my shirt factory has shifted production, retooled, and is making much needed face masks for hospitals and clinics. We are all proud to be part of the effort to in the corona-virus fight and provide protective gear to Doctors, Nurses, and hospital staff, who in my eyes are the front line soldiers in this global pandemic.Due to the unprecedented demand for masks, healthcare system completely lacks the needed supplies and we are on a mission to outfit them. 

While they are our priority so is  the safety of my friends, neighbors, and countrymen. Many people with elderly parents, respiratory illnesses, diabetes, are at high risk, or want to protect their families have reached out. I know it’s hard to find masks of any kind anywhere.

(5) NEW ZEALAND. This year’s Worldcon, CoNZealand, has already announced they’re going virtual. The need for the decision can only be reinforced by the Prime Minister’s statement today: “Coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern warns border restrictions will exist for some time”.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has warned New Zealanders should get used to border restrictions in New Zealand and overseas, saying they’re likely to be in place “for some time”.

She said border restrictions overseas would likely persist until a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, believed to be one year to eighteen months away at the earliest – some vaccines take a decade to develop. 

“We will be having to manage covid-19 for months, until of course there is a vaccine and that will be many months,” she said.

Ardern told RNZ: “I’m anticipating border restrictions for some time.”

(6) WRITING THEIR WAY OUT. Melinda Snodgrass, Robert Vardeman, and Walter Jon Williams answered the Albuquerque Journal’s questions in “Science fact & fiction: Three New Mexico authors see parallels between the genre they write and the current world situation”.

Life as it is now – with most of us confined to home, getting out only for a walk in the sunshine or a quick trip to pick up mail, prescriptions, another bottle of water, an extra loaf of bread – is something we might have read about in a science fiction novel, seen on TV or at the movies but never before experienced personally to the extent we are dealing with now.

“I feel like I’m in what (science fiction author) Brian Aldiss called a cozy catastrophe,” said Walter Jon Williams, a writer of science fiction and fantasy who lives in Belen. “We have clothing, shelter, enough food in the fridge to last a month, and everything works. But everyone is gone. We just don’t see people. I went for a walk to the park today and saw one person.”

(7) SWIPER, NO SWIPING. Publishers Weekly boosts the signal as “Authors Guild, AAP Outraged by IA’s ‘National Emergency Library'”.  

The outcry from publisher and author groups has been swift and furious after the Internet Archive announced last week the launch of it’s National Emergency Library, which has removed access restrictions for some 1.4 million scans of mostly 20th century books in the IA’s Open Library initiative, making the scans available for unlimited borrowing during the Covid-19 Outbreak.

“We are stunned by the Internet Archive’s aggressive, unlawful, and opportunistic attack on the rights of authors and publishers in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic,” reads a March 27 statement from Association of American Publishers president and CEO Maria Pallante, adding that publishers are already “working tirelessly to support the public with numerous, innovative, and socially-aware programs that address every side of the crisis: providing free global access to research and medical journals that pertain to the virus; complementary digital education materials to schools and parents; and expanding powerful storytelling platforms for readers of all ages.”

The Authors Guild said it too was “appalled” by the program. “[The Internet Archive] is using a global crisis to advance a copyright ideology that violates current federal law and hurts most authors,” reads a March 27 statement. “It has misrepresented the nature and legality of the project through a deceptive publicity campaign. Despite giving off the impression that it is expanding access to older and public domain books, a large proportion of the books on Open Library are in fact recent in-copyright books that publishers and authors rely on for critical revenue. Acting as a piracy site—of which there already are too many—the Internet Archive tramples on authors’ rights by giving away their books to the world.”

In a statement on March 24, Edward Hasbrouck, co-chair of the National Writers’ Union ‘s book division also accused the IA of “using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse” to redistribute copyrighted works without permission or payment.

“So much for authors’ incomes in a time of crisis. Do librarians and archivists really want to kick authors while our incomes are down?” Hasbrouck writes. “The argument is that students need e-books while they are staying home. But that’s an argument for spending public funds to purchase or license those resources for public use — not putting the burden of providing educational materials for free on writers, illustrators, and photographers. Authors also need to eat and pay rent during this crisis.”

The Internet Archive announced the National Emergency Library project on March 24, in response to the closures of libraries during the Covid-19 crisis, building upon the Internet Archive’s “Controlled Digital Lending” program. …

(8) MANDEL OBIT. Playwright and screenwriter Loring Mandel died March 24. His 1959 script ”Project Immortality” for Playhouse 90 got him his first Emmy nomination: “Key defense scientist Doner has cancer. Schramm is assigned to code Doner’s thinking into a computer. He gets to know him as a friend, a husband and father. The project is successful, but he now knows identity is not programmable.”

He was the screenwriter for Countdown, released in 1967, the year before the first Moon landing: “Desperate to reach the moon first, N.A.S.A. sends a man and shelter separately, one-way. He must find it to survive. He can’t return until Apollo is ready.” The movie starred James Caan and Robert Duvall.

However, as The Hollywood Reporter tribute notes, he was more famous for non-genre work: “Loring Mandel, Screenwriter and ‘Advise and Consent’ Playwright, Dies at 91”. “Mandel earned five Emmy nominations during his career, winning twice: in 1968 for his work on an installment of CBS Playhouse and in 2001 for penning the BBC-HBO telefilm Conspiracy.”


  • March 30, 2013 Orphan Black premiered on BBC America in the USA and Space in Canada. Starring Tatiana Maslany as the clones, it run for five seasons and fifty episodes. It would win a Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form Hugo at Sasquan for “By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried”.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 30, 1904 Herbert van Thal. Editor of the Pan Book of Horror Stories series that ran twenty-four volumes from 1959 to 1983. Back From the Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories is a look at the series and it contains Lest You Should Suffer Nightmares, the first biography of him written by Pan Book of Horror Stories expert Johnny Mains. (Died 1983.)
  • Born March 30, 1927 Greta Thyssen. Labeled Queen of the B-Movies she appeared in a number of genre films such as The Beast of Budapest,  Creature from Blood Island andJourney to the Seventh Planet. (Died 2018.)
  • Born March 30, 1928 Chad Oliver. Writer of both Westerns and SF, a not uncommon occupation at that time. He considered himself an anthropological science fiction writer whose training as an academic informed his fiction, an early Le Guin if you will. Not a terribly prolific writer with just nine novels and two collections to his name over a forty-year span. Mists of Dawn, his first novel, is a YA novel which I’d recommend as it reads a lot a similar Heinlein would. (Died 1993.)
  • Born March 30, 1933 Anna Ruud. Dr. ingrid Naarveg in the Three Stooges film Have Rocket — Will Travel. Hey, it is genre of a sorts. On a more serious note, she was Doctor Sigrid Bomark in 12 to the Moon. She had one-offs in Voyage to the Bottom of The SeaThe Girl from U.N.C.L.E. and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.  (Died 2018.)
  • Born March 30, 1943 Dennis Etchison. As editor, he received two World Fantasy Awards for Best Anthology, MetaHorror and The Museum of Horrors. As a writer, he’s best remembered as a short story writer of quite tasty horror. Talking in the Dark Is his personally selected collection of his stories. (Died 2019.)
  • Born March 30, 1948 Jeanne Robinson. She co-wrote the Stardance Saga with her husband Spider Robinson. To my knowledge, her only other piece of writing was ‘Serendipity: Do, Some Thoughts About Collaborative Writing ‘ which was published in the MagiCon Program. (Died 2010.)
  • Born March 30, 1958 Maurice LaMarche, 62. Voice actor primarily for such roles as Pinky and The Brain (both of which Stross makes use of) with Pinky modelled off Orson Welles, the entire cast as near as I can tell of Futurama, the villain Sylar on Heroes, the voice of Orson Welles in Ed Wood, a less serious Pepé Le Pew in Space Jam, and, though maybe not genre, he’s voiced  Kellogg’s Froot Loops spokesbird Toucan Sam and  the animated Willy Wonka character in Nestlé’s Willy Wonka Candy Company commercials. 
  • Born March 30, 1990 Cassie Scerbo, 30. Nova Clarke in the Sharknado film series alongside Ian Ziering and Tara Reid (2013–2018). And one site listed her as being a member of the cast of Star Trek: Progeny, yet another of those video Trek fanfics.


(12) FROM COMIC BOOKS TO HISTORY BOOKS. “Overlooked No More: Kate Worley, a Pioneer Writer of Erotic Comics”. The New York Times says “Worley, who wrote Omaha the Cat Dancer, about a feline stripper, ‘injected a woman’s point of view’ that helped the comic stand out from others in the 1980s.”

…At the heart of the series was the writer Kate Worley, who gave the comic its distinctive voice and helped cultivate its wide-ranging fan base.

The character Omaha, created by the writer and artist Reed Waller, made her debut in 1978 as part of a fanzine. She eventually found her way into her own comic book, beginning in 1984. But then Waller got writer’s block.

“He wasn’t sure he wanted to continue,” Worley wrote in an introduction to a 1989 collected edition of Omaha. So she offered some suggestions. “I chattered for some time about possible plot directions, new characters,” she said.

When she was finished, Waller asked, “Would you like a job?” Worley took over as the writer, while Waller continued to draw the comic.

(13) A CLASSIC AGES GRACEFULLY. Tor.com’s prolific James Davis Nicoll goes monster hunting: “Another One of Them New Worlds: Revisiting Forbidden Planet”.

…United Planets cruiser C-57D, under the command of Commander John J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen), was dispatched to Altair IV to find out what had happened to an expedition that had been sent out twenty years earlier. As soon as the starship arrives in orbit, C-57D receives a transmission from the surface. There is at least one survivor of the earlier mission. To Adams’ surprise, the survivor, scientist Dr. Edward Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) doesn’t want to be rescued. Indeed, he warns the craft to go away if it wants to save its crew.

(14) HAULING THE FREIGHT. SpaceX has been selected as a contractor to deliver supplies to NASA’s Lunar Gateway station. “NASA Awards Artemis Contract for Gateway Logistics Services”.

NASA has selected SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, as the first U.S. commercial provider under the Gateway Logistics Services contract to deliver cargo, experiments and other supplies to the agency’s Gateway in lunar orbit. The award is a significant step forward for NASA’s Artemis program that will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 and build a sustainable human lunar presence.

At the Moon, NASA and its partners will gain the experience necessary to mount a historic human mission to Mars.

SpaceX will deliver critical pressurized and unpressurized cargo, science experiments and supplies to the Gateway, such as sample collection materials and other items the crew may need on the Gateway and during their expeditions on the lunar surface. 

(15) HE AM IRON MAN. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Should the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever decide to reboot, we may have found our new Iron Man…

(16) BEWARE THOSE DARNED SPOILERS. The Guardian’s Stephen Kelly doesn’t sound like a fan of the show: “Star Trek: Picard is the dark reboot that boldly goes where nobody wanted it to”. And did I mention, this article HAS SPOILERS?

It is the year 2364, and Jean-Luc Picard – the revered captain of the USS Enterprise – has just come face to face with three humans who have been frozen in time since the late 20th century. By this point in the story – the 1988 finale of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation – he has met Klingons, Romulans, a pool of black goo, but nothing is as alien as these greedy, selfish relics.

This is Star Trek, after all: the pop-culture behemoth built on the idealistic future envisioned in the 60s by its creator Gene Roddenberry. “A lot has changed in the past 300 years,” Picard tells them. “People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. We’ve eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We’ve grown out of our infancy.”

Or have we? Revisiting the character 30 years later in Star Trek: Picard, Patrick Stewart’s grand return to the role at the age of 79, it seems the world has not progressed as much as we were led to believe. Set during a time in which the Federation – a union of planets with shared democratic values and interests – has turned isolationist in response to a terror attack, it has proved to be a divisively dark, gritty and morally bleak take on the Star Trek universe….

(17) TAKE IT IN STAGES. Harvard’s School of Public Health concludes that “On-again, off-again looks to be best social-distancing option”.

With global coronavirus cases heading toward half a million, Harvard infectious disease experts said recent modeling shows that — absent the development of a vaccine or other intervention — a staggered pattern of social distancing would save more lives than a one-and-done strategy and avoid overwhelming hospitals while allowing immunity to build in the population.

The work, conducted by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and led by Yonatan Grad, the Melvin J. and Geraldine L. Glimcher Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, and Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology, also shows that if strict social distancing such as that imposed in China — which cuts transmission by 60 percent — is relaxed, it results in epidemic peaks in the fall and winter similar in size and with similar impacts on the health care system as those in an uncontrolled epidemic.

“We looked at how it would affect the thing that matters most — overwhelming the critical-care unit,” Grad said.

The problem, the researchers said, is that while strict social distancing may appear to be the most effective strategy, little population-level immunity is developed to a virus that is very likely to come around again.

(18) PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS. A lot of genre figures are getting in on the act – we learned about these three from Comicbook.com:

[Thanks to Daniel Dern, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Chip Hitchcock, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Michael Toman, Michael J. Walsh, Cat Eldridge, Darrah Chavey, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. (* )Thanks to Bill Burns for the assist. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

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60 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/30/20 The Master And Margaritas

  1. (1) Not an auction; Sotheby’s lists it as a private sale, which means there is no public auction, just negotiations between Sotheby’s specialists and one or more private buyers.

  2. (16) Oh, dear. This is quite a lazy analysis. There’s a lot of rewriting of Starfleet being wonderful in the original series or TNG and then becoming morally compromised in newer series. Whereas, we had Federation turning a planet into a model of Nazi Germany (Patterns of Force) and a Starfleet captain taking over a planet hoping to exploit the inhabitants to gain an extended lifespan (Omega Glory). TNG had Data nearly stripped of all his legal rights by a dodgy JAG officer and the scientist Maddox and later the Starfleet planned to take away Data’s daughter.
    The original series and the Nex Generation were optimistic in the sense that the captains of the Enterprises were both particularly moral and competent Starfleet captains not that they were typical ones. I don’t see how that is different with Picard, particularly as the issues with Starfleet that arise are versions the ones that Picard had to deal with in the original series.

  3. Bill Burns: Thanks for helping me understand, I am going to add some of your language to the post.

  4. @Camestros
    Fanfiction in the 70s had the Federation being dodgy in various ways, too – mostly having to do with the assumptions of How Things Should Be Run (democracies only? really?)

    (2) SFGate had a story with pictures of the 110 freeway both north and south of downtown LA, on Friday afternoon, with no traffic to speak of. It’s very odd-looking.

  5. P J Evans says Fanfiction in the 70s had the Federation being dodgy in various ways, too – mostly having to do with the assumptions of How Things Should Be Run (democracies only? really?)

    I never got the feeling that even in the original series that the Federation was a democratically run society but then I don’t see many SF series involving intersteller cultures based on that premise either, I.e. the Wayfarer series by Becky Chambers certainly doesn’t hint it’s so, nor was Iain Banks’ The Culture.

  6. @Cam et al —

    I don’t see how that is different with Picard, particularly as the issues with Starfleet that arise are versions the ones that Picard had to deal with in the original series.

    And especially since he saves the day in a way entirely compatible with the earlier iterations.

    Except possibly for the part where rirelbar frrzf gb oyvguryl vtaber gur snpg gung gur Ebzhynaf yvgrenyyl xvyyrq GUBHFNAQF bs KOf jvgu ab ercrephffvbaf jungfbrire. Gubfr KOf qba’g frrz gb znggre ng nyy — jung, abg uhzna rabhtu gb pbhag naq nyfb abg negvsvpvny rabhtu gb pbhag? I was kinda incensed by that.

  7. (13) I had a poster of Robbie the Robot carrying Anne Francis in my office. My dean had me take it down when she was on a tour of her division looking for things that made us an unsafe work environment. My plea that it was from a G-rated 1950s movie went unheard.

  8. 17) What we are trying for in Sweden is an approach to avoid the on-off-scenario and instead trying to find a level of restrictions and recommendations that will keep the spread slow enough, but be able to keep sustained for months or longer, perhaps with smaller tweaks over time. Our experts guess is that it will be hard to impose new lockdowns again and again as the publics will to follow them will deteriorate.

    I have no idea. Everyone is just trying to find out what works best for their country while keeping an eye on everyone else to see what is working for them. Haven’t been out of the house for two weeks, so can’t say how people act. But today I’m strong enough to dare the elements and go out and throw my garbage away.

  9. (17) Yes, every country is trying strategies that fit their own situation & at the same time looking at how other countries’ strategies are working. We’re running multiple trials to answer the question: what is the best way to deal with COVID19?

    It feels like a wicked problem. Every option comes with its considerable costs.

  10. 7) Property, as always, is theft. But authors do need to live – I’d suggest extending the existing schemes that support workers laid off during the pandemic to cover them.

  11. I’d suggest extending the existing schemes that support workers laid off during the pandemic to cover them.

    Nanosocialism from the GURPS Transhuman Space setting?

    It’s very odd. Lots of people seem to rate the Internet Archive, and the wayback machine is certainly useful for when people try to redact their stupidity, but they’ve always had a very dodgy attitude to Copyright. It doesn’t help that American copyright rules are so damned complex – some things if published before 1923 (or whenever it is now), some things 28 years unless renewed, some presumably creator’s death + 70 years like the rest of the world.

  12. @nickpheas–This isn’t about the complexities of older US works. These are current works by living authors currently being sold, for the income stream that they rely on. It’s taking money directly from the pockets of people who aren’t remotely the wealthy and privileged, but rather ordinary working people of modest means, on the grounds that they should be happy just to have the products of their hard work read.

    @Sophie Jane–No, property isn’t theft. Theft is when you take other people’s stuff without permission, payment, or better justification than silliness like “property is theft.” Especially when it’s directly the product of their own hard work.

    This isn’t rent-seeking behavior by the authors. It’s just wanting to get paid for their work.

  13. Sophie Jane says Property, as always, is theft. But authors do need to live – I’d suggest extending the existing schemes that support workers laid off during the pandemic to cover them.

    No, it isn’t. Damn stupid statement no matter how you parse it. Even social democracies like Sweden have property rights.

    And what the Internet Archive is doing is outright theft of the intellectual property owned by others including I suspect many who are read and admired here. This is why I’ve found their insistence that Fifties SF material is in the public domain often to be dodgy. They like pressing the edges of copyright far too much.

  14. The majority of my interactions with the Internet Archive have been to access the vast trove of pre-20th century printed books that the have (somewhat irregularly) available. So I’ve been less aware of their dodgy practices. The earlier books have their issues in usability: despite making works available in a variety of formats (photo-facsimile, pdf image, text, epub, etc.) the text-based versions are based on raw OCR which can be … um … suboptimal for early printing formats. (Use of decorative capitals, changes of fonts, tendency of serifs to run into each other, etc etc) But by triangulating between formats I’ve been able to do some amazing feats of historic research.

  15. Heather Rose Jones notes The majority of my interactions with the Internet Archive have been to access the vast trove of pre-20th century printed books that the have (somewhat irregularly) available. So I’ve been less aware of their dodgy practices. The earlier books have their issues in usability: despite making works available in a variety of formats (photo-facsimile, pdf image, text, epub, etc.) the text-based versions are based on raw OCR which can be … um … suboptimal for early printing formats. (Use of decorative capitals, changes of fonts, tendency of serifs to run into each other, etc etc) But by triangulating between formats I’ve been able to do some amazing feats of historic research.

    For those purposes, they’re invaluable. But their search bots are less than discriminating in what they collect and I’ve had to have them remove material that they claimed was in the public domain when we had clearly marked it as clearly being not so. This happened more than once so I know that they have a pattern of doing this.

    They’re less that willing to admit when they’ve made such mistakes which makes them all the more irritating. Right now they’ve got multiple copies of Eighties SF films up that they claim are in the public domain that are clearly are not. I hoping they get slapped hard by the copyright holders.

  16. (10) Also Dana Gillespie’s birthday. Most famous for avoiding carnivorous seaweed in a Sargasso Sea in The Lost Continent. Also in The People that Time Forgot (one of those Doug McClure Forgot movies) and the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore take on The Hound of the Baskervilles, which isn’t as much fun as you might hope. More successful later in life as a singer, David Bowie wrote “Andy Warhol” for her.

    Also Marc Davis who was one of Disney’s Nine Old Men. Animator who designed Snow White, Bambi, Cinderella, Cruella de Vil, and Maleficent but also did character designs for some of the Disneyland rides like The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.

    And Warren Beatty. I still have a soft spot for Heaven Can Wait though its view of professional football is really looking dated. Not so much for Dick Tracy, but at least it was stylish. He was also Milton Armitage on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

    (13) You know, Anne Francis stars in Forbidden Planet, woo oh oh oh oh oh

    Andy Warhol, Pixel Scroll
    Can’t tell them apart at all

  17. You should always put “Property is theft” into its proper context, standing next to Proudhon’s other two triplets: “Property is freedom” and “Property is impossible”. That stool needs all three legs to stand.

  18. @Jeff Smith: I’ve always found it amusing that the original poster, which depicts Robbie carrying a skimpily-dressed Altaira, is pretty much an exact scene from the film – except that in the film Robbie is carrying Warren Stevens. (Who is decidedly not skimpily dressed.)

    Interestingly, while the original DVD release of the movie used the theatrical-release poster for the cover art, the 50th Anniversary DVD re-release (which has a wonderful transfer of the film, vastly better than the original DVD) has new artwork with Leslie Nielsen and Anne Francis in the foreground, and behind them Robbie is now carrying Warren Stevens.

  19. @Contrarius: I’m happy to imagine that the diplomatic fallout from that particular incident happens offscreen – the only people we actually know are aware of it are Seven and Elnor, although you’d reasonably expect they’d pass the whole story along and it would get to the Federation powers-that-be eventually. It’ll be part of the knotty and involved and not-very-interesting-to-the-viewer diplomatic fallout from the whole incident. (Along with other stuff, like when they add a question to the application forms for Starfleet Security, something like “Are you now or have you ever been a member of a fanatical Romulan secret society?”…. Seriously, heads should roll over in Starfleet Security.)

    With regard to the Internet Archive: of course there is a lot wrong with the copyright system (rapacious estates squatting on the IP rights of long-dead authors, for example, often to the detriment of those authors’ reputations), but it’s the method we’ve got for compensating authors right now, and unless and until someone develops and implements a better system, making books available for free will take money away from the authors. And they need that money if they’re going to live and keep on writing.

    As an impecunious reader, I’m always happy when an author decides to give something away for free… but that’s the point, the author decides. Not me. Not some well-meaning third party. The author, who is in the best position to judge what they can afford to give away.

  20. I have found large parts of what the Internet Archive is doing valuable–but this “Emergency Library” of theirs is stealing from living authors who are trying to make a living.

  21. @Camestros Felapton: Patterns of Force involved a historian, not a Federation or Starfleet official. The Omega Glory featured a Starfleet captain, agreed, but one whose mental capacity had crumbled following the loss of his entire crew. Neither reflected Federation or Starfleet policy.

    (1) Ian Levine has pointed out via his Twitter account that he sold this collection 12 years ago, and wishes it no longer bore his name.

  22. Orphan Black is the best genre show the BBC has ever produced. Fight me! 🙂

    I’m going to stay out of the copyright debate, except to say that I think MAX(life,70) would be a much more reasonable term than life+70. Oh, and libraries are a good thing. A hallmark of civilization, in fact.

  23. @9 (Oliver): two substantial collections of his short work and a 3-novel omnibus (unfortunately without the one recommended) are available from NESFA Press — although I’m not sure whether orders will be filled quickly.

    @9 (Robinson): Jeanne also choreographed and performed “Higher Ground”, ?”notes toward a Stardance”? (It was performed and Noreascon Two; I’ve forgotten the exact subtitle.) A reference from Wikipedia says that much later in life she had choreographed and was planning the performance of a snippet of zero-G dance (in one of the bits-of-zero-G jets). Youtube has a clip.

    @Jeff Smith: movies didn’t have ratings in the 1950’s — and (as noted in a scene in Venus Plus X) the attitudes towards sexism and violence (as opposed to passion) back then were … special. (I have this memory of the trope being flipped on one of the covers of McCaffrey’s Restoree — where the flip is plot-appropriate — but all I can find is the conventional Hildebrandt; I wonder whether the flipped version would have been acceptable in your workspace.) The fact that the poster is wrong and has since been corrected is fascinating, but leads to a question: does the MPAA vet posters? Somebody presumably decides what trailers aren’t for all audiences, but posters are another matter.

    @Sophie Jane: epigrams from centuries gone are frequently unconstructive; editing makes them more so. If you’re actually familiar with more than a slogan, can you compare this one with Marx’s labor theory of value?

  24. @camestros There was also the drumhead, where an overly zealous admiral mccarthyies everyone. Even bigger was the movie Insurrection where at least some Federation-superiors want to put aside the prime directive for a fountain of youth. And I remember an episode that ended with several high ranking Federation admirals being bodysnatched, where it was hinted this might be more widespread (but never followed up).
    And DS9 was still darker. Captain Sisko ones released a bioweapon on an inhabited planet to catch a criminal (which was never followed up). The secret police (Sector 47) was also introduced here, not in Discovery.
    And in Enterprise the Vulcans spied at the Alpha Centaurians….

    The federation was mainly absent in TOS so indeed there are less examples of Wrongdoungs though.

    Do viruses dream of infected sheep?

  25. @Xtifr–Libraries don’t steal the books they lend. Not only do they not steal them; they commonly pay more than the individual retail buyer.

  26. @Lis Carey
    Libraries get editions with better-quality binding, so they’ll hold up under use. Sometimes they pay to get books rebound – mostly children’s books.

  27. @P J Evans–Often libraries pay more even when not getting “library binding.”

    And regardless of nitpicking over (sometimes available) library binding, libraries buy the books. They don’t steal them.

  28. Lis Carey says Libraries don’t steal the books they lend. Not only do they not steal them; they commonly pay more than the individual retail buyer.

    That depends on where they get their stock. My local library system gets much of its of book stock through a local bookstore that gives them a deep discount, and all of their graphic novels are stocked from purchases made from a comics shop who also give them a very good discount. And ebooks have substantially altered what physical stock iis purchased.

  29. except to say that I think MAX(life,70) would be a much more reasonable term than life+70

    Life + something is to allow continuing support for dependents which is reasonable for personal copyright. Whether 70 is the right number has arguments either way.

  30. @Cat Eldridge–1. That’s great, for that library.
    2. It’s also not at all typical. Most libraries are paying at least retail price.
    3. Even so, it’s still not theft, which is what the Internet Archive is doing with its “Emergency Library.”
    4. You may or may not have noticed that major publishers have been highly resistant to letting ebook sales to libraries and ebook lending by libraries become normal.

    So, no, criticizing the Internet Archive for its outright theft isn’t an attack on libraries, and doesn’t justify attacks on libraries, or attempts to equate real libraries and the Internet Archive’s “Emergency Library” stocked with stolen materials.

  31. @Jeff Smith
    I’m just boggled what about the classic poster of Forbidden Planet creates a hostile work atmosphere. Anne Francis may be scantily clad, but she does wear clothes.

    @Camestros @Peer
    It’s Section 31, but they definitely originated in Deep Space Nine.

    I’ve also been aware for a long time that the Federation and Starfleet aren’t necessarily good and haven’t been portrayed that way all the way back to the original series. True, the captains and crews we see are generally good people – except for Gabriel Lorca, of course, and he’s sebz gur zveebe havirefr. But even good captains like Kirk or Janeway or even the moral paragon that is Jean-Luc Picard do make questionable decisions on more than occasion. After all, it was Picard who imposed a grisly Handmaid’s Tale type society on the planet of the Irish stereotypes, because somehow reproduction by cloning is immoral. It was also Picard who was fully willing to let a pre-warp civilisation die of some kind of natural disaster because the Prime Directive forbids him from interfering (somehow I think that the Prime Directive does not require letting people die). It was Worf’s foster brother who came up with a plan to save those people and got yelled at by everybody up to and including Picard.

    Meanwhile, Sisko makes so many of questionable that he slides far into shades of grey territory, which is part of the reason why I never much liked Sisko. I’m currently in the middle of rewatching Discovery with someone who has never seen it and have realised that a) I like even season 1 a lot more the second time around and b) I prefer even Lorca to Sisko.

    I suspect that most of us remember the good Star Trek episodes where Starfleet did the right thing and the respective captain made the right choice and tend to forget the bad ones, unless they’re really horrible like the Space Irish Handmaid’s Tale or “The Prime Directive demands that those people die”. For example, one of the most despised Star Trek Next Generation episodes is “Code of Honor”. I know I must have seen it, because I’ve watched all of it, but I have zero memory of that episode, most likely because to me it was bad, but not up to the level of truly terrible.

    We mainly remember the good episodes and that’s why we sometimes have a distorted view of what Star Trek was like.

  32. except to say that I think MAX(life,70) would be a much more reasonable term than life+70

    Life + something is to allow continuing support for dependents which is reasonable for personal copyright. Whether 70 is the right number has arguments either way.

    Copyright should definitely be at least life, because the person who created the work has the right to profit from it. And part of the reason why fixed copyright terms of X years were abolished is because of cases of elderly creators suddenly losing the rights to their work and thus their livelihood.

    Life + X is fine, e.g. if a creator dies young and leaves behind a partner and young children. However, I don’t think X needs to be 70. I would be perfectly fine with life + 20 or 25, which should help the families of creators who died young, but does not lock up works for decades. But life + 70 is what we have and IMO it should be honoured.

    Regarding the Internet Archive, I have extensively used their collection of vintage pulp magazines for my Retro Reviews project, even though it was obvious that most of those works are still under copyright, if one assumes life + 70 (and most countries don’t have the weird US exceptions). However, all authors involved were dead, most stories were long out of print or had never been reprinted, so the financial loss to the authors’ heirs wasn’t that much of an issue. And in cases where there was a legal copy available at a reasonable price (e.g. with the Asimov or Leigh Brackett or “City” stories, which are still in print), I used that.

    However, this National Emergency Library features books from authors who are still alive and did not consent to having their books scanned and distributed for free. And sorry, but that is piracy, even if it is well intentioned. Not to mention that book stores are closed and Amazon has decided they’d rather sell groceries and hygiene products than books, so authors and publishers are losing a lot income already.

    Regularly libraries are a different beast altogether, because they pay for books.

    Also talking about otherwise well regarded websites and organisations ignoring copyright law, Project Gutenberg blatantly flaunts German copyright law, which is life + 70, no exceptions, and refused to take down pre-1923 books by Thomas and Heinrich Mann and Alfred Döblin, all of which are still in copyright and in print and on the reading lists of hundreds of schools and universities, even when ordered by a German court to do so. Instead, Project Gutenberg blocks all German IPs from its site (the whole site, not just the handful of offending books). When I try to access Project Gutenberg from Germany, all I get is a passive aggressive message telling me to write to my congressperson and ask them to allow Project Gutenberg to violate German law. Never mind that a) we don’t have congresspeople and our parliament doesn’t work that way, and b) even if I don’t even like the Manns or Döblin (banes of my school days along with Erich Maria Remarque and Max Frisch), I don’t support violating the rights of their heirs.

  33. Cora Bulhert says However, this National Emergency Library features books from authors who are still alive and did not consent to having their books scanned and distributed for free. And sorry, but that is piracy, even if it is well intentioned. Not to mention that book stores are closed and Amazon has decided they’d rather sell groceries and hygiene products than books, so authors and publishers are losing a lot income already.

    Cora, that’s not true. Amazon continues to sell its entire stock. I’ve ordered books and magazines this past week without any problem. What they’re is prioritising delivery of certain items over other items. The result is that it might take a longer time for a book to ship that you’re used to but you’ll still get it.

    Until I’ve heard from an author that their sales have dropped off because of the pandemic, I’ll treat such claims as being unproven at this time.

  34. Amazon Germany continues to sell books (and everything else) they already have in stock, but delivery times are slower and they have announced that they will not stock or order new books from April on. I also know that Amazon.com has deprioritised deliveries of books and other goods, though I don’t know if they have stopped ordering books completely.

    As for booksales falling, I’ve heard from a lot of self-published authors (who have access to their sales in real time) and small presses that their sales have dropped significantly in March (and sometimes even in late February) compared to what would be normal at this time of year or for a new release or a book that has been put on sale, etc… I’ve also heard that Amazon rankings are holding steady, even as sales drop, which suggests lower booksales across the board. And while it’s only anecdotal evidence, my own sales have also fallen compared to previous years beginning in late February.

    Authors published with bigger publishers normally don’t have real time access to sales information, so they won’t know for sure whether sales have fallen until the royalty statements come in.

  35. 7) What I’ve seen reported elsewhere is that the ebooks being provided by IA were purchased by them, and that said ebooks have DRM embedded such that the books will be deleted from the reader’s computer/device after a set amount of time. The only thing new is that they’re allowing multiple people to borrow the book at the same time rather than restricting it to one at a time as previously. Is this incorrect?

  36. MAX(life, 70) allows for supporting your children as long as you create works after the age of, oh, fifteen or so! For most works, it will mean 70 years. Works created towards the end of your life will probably help support your grandkids as well. But works created when you were fifteen…well, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for them to go into the public domain when you die. (Assuming you live to at least 85.) It’s not like you created them for the express purpose of feeding your grandkids at that age!

    In fact, life+X sort of punishes you for creating works late in life. Those works will have a shorter copyright than works you created as a youth. That’s silly. Chances are you’re more skillful when you’re older (assuming you’ve ducked the Brain Eater).

    People who think life+70 is too long often suggest something like life+25. (I just saw John Scalzi suggest this on Twitter.) But that means something you finish the day you die will only be copyright for 25 years! MAX(life, 70) means it’ll be copyright for, well, 70 years. That’ll help your family a whole lot more than a mere 25!

  37. @Heather Rose Jones

    I love the pre-20th century books there.

    This may be the most wonderful thing I’ve found on the site.








  38. Tor.com’s prolific James Davis Nicoll

    Am I prolific? My monthly stats never make me feel like I am.

    (for tor this year it’s been six in January, five in February, and four in March)

  39. James Davis Nicoll: It’s a subjective impression, using as a yardstick how often Scrolls link to you in comparison with anybody else.

  40. For a few more data points, in the past week or so I have purchased a book, a Blu-ray, and a pack of guitar strings from the big South American river. They arrived promptly. (Mind you, the strings were from a third party vendor.)

  41. Lis Carey says to me that It’s also not at all typical. Most libraries are paying at least retail price.

    Now I’m curious. Why would Libraries pay at least retail price if not more? In these days of deep discounts at Amazon, I’m betting that many a system has figured out ways to get a break from whatever jobber they use. Certainly they’d want to do this for their popcorn literature stock which often is heavily borrowed when a title comes out and hardly at all later.

  42. This isn’t about the complexities of older US works.

    Apologies if I was being unclear.

    What IA have done here is clear piracy. What IA have done in the past has always been of unclear virtue

  43. Okay, the long comment I was writing just went poof.

    You think of libraries as large bulk buyers, able to negotiate great deals with jobbers.

    Most local libraries are quite small. There are a lot of them, but all buying individually.

    And buying by purchase order, so it’s clear who they are, and that each book purchased will be read by multiple unrelated readers.

    The publishing industry traditionally regarded libraries as a valuable market, which bought a lot of books and bore dividends by cultivating young people who became book buyers in their turn.

    Now, most publishers are owned by larger companies, owned by still larger companies, who are mostly in the broader “entertainment industry.”

    And the entertainment industry, fundamentally, thinks anything other than pay-per-view is lost money.

    Even NYPL or Library of Congress can’t buy at a volume that would make the bean counters interested in cutting a deal.

    Libraries, barring individual local anomalies, pay at least retail price, and usually more. The effect of the publishing industry being absorbed by the entertainment industry has been, in this respect, pernicious. The attitude at work can be clearly seen in OGH’s periodic reports on conflicts between publishers and libraries over access to ebooks. Well, except for the fact that I seem to be the only person who comments on those, so maybe I’m the only one that reads them.

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