Pixel Scroll 3/31/22 There’s No Way To Delay, That Pixel Scrolling Every Day

(1) LASFS IN THE FIGHTING FORTIES. [Item by David Langford.] As a direct result of comments at File 770, I’ve made Bixelstrasse generally available in paperback from Lulu.com — by agreement with Rob Hansen – with all proceeds going to TAFF. It’s a pretty hefty volume at 429pp, and there’s a map on the back cover!

Rob Hansen has compiled this substantial (194,000 words) history of the 1940s Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society from contemporary fanzine accounts, so the story emerges from the participants’ own words. Besides such famous or notorious fans as Forrest J Ackerman, Charles Burbee, Claude Degler, Francis Towner Laney, “Morojo” and “Tigrina”, we meet several well-remembered professionals including Ray Bradbury, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Harryhausen, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, Fritz Lang, Fritz Leiber and A.E. van Vogt. As Rob himself puts it: “… there have been other occasions on which fans have shared premises in varying degrees, but to have a community of fans centred around a clubroom and living in nearby rooming houses on the same street gave rise to all-week, around-the-clock fanning of a sort not seen before or since. […] This set-up, the whole ’fannish village’ they established, was immensely appealing to me in my twenties (though seeing so much of each other inevitably exacerbated personality clashes, of course). Add in the large numbers of fans from around the country who passed through Los Angeles thanks to the war, many of them processed via the Induction Center at nearby Fort MacArthur before being sent off to fight, and you have something unique in the history of fandom, a saga featuring fans and pros, communists and homosexuals, madmen and mystics, Hollywood stars and spies.”

(2) BURBEE: MORE COMPLEAT THAN EVER BEFORE. In Ansible on April 1, David Langford will announce another TAFF free ebook — The Incompleat Burbee Volume 2 — expanded from the 1996 version with further previously uncollected material. Cover art by Bill Rotsler. As always, a donation to the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund is welcomed.

Charles Burbee’s earlier fanwriting was collected as The Incompleat Burbee in 1958, but he carried on being grumpy, acerbic and funny (though with longer and longer gaps between appearances) for further decades. Terry Carr planned this second volume in the 1970s and typed many stencils for a duplicated (mimeo) edition that never appeared. The stencils were passed from fan to fan until finally Jeff Schalles published The Incompleat Burbee Volume 2 as a photocopied fanzine in 1996.

This ebook contains the complete text of that 1996 edition, plus a number of further Burbee articles and stories not included either then or in 1958. These begin with an early piece for Francis Towner Laney’s The Acolyte (1946), include several classics such as the legendary “I Had Intercourse with a Glass of Water” from Terry Hughes’s Mota (1974), and end with material first published in Robert Lichtman’s Trap Door after Burbee’s much-lamented death in 1996.

(3) CANCELLED FLIGHTS. Camestros Felapton follows his series of Firefly episode reviews by speculating where it would have gone next had it stayed on the air: “Firefly Friday: Riding off into the sunset part 2”.

… I also want to talk about some of the elements that either surprised me or, I believe, would have changed if the show had lasted longer. With a show like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (to pick on the near-contemporary Whedon show) neither the first season nor the final season are the best examples of what the show is like. If Firefly had lasted three or four seasons it would have evolved and advocates of the show would probably be pointing to the ‘best’ episodes as ones from season 2 or 3. Star Trek: The Next Generation really improved sharply from Season 3 onwards, the most Doctor-Whoey Doctor Who is arguably Tom Baker, the FOURTH iteration of the character and multiple years into the show….

(4) STORYTELLING DECISIONS. Maryann Corbett’s review argues that Maria Dahvana Headley didn’t translate Beowulf but adapted it, and thoughtfully compares the book with the work of other translators. “The Monsters and the Translators: Grappling with Beowulf in the Third Millenium” at Literary Matters. Her review concludes:

…That narrator of Headley’s, along with a few other elements of her retelling, can make me grimace the way Professor Kendall did at my old comic book. But Headley’s book is not the comic I feared it would be after reading reviews that emphasize bro and dude; it’s an effective and enjoyable poem. I debate with myself: are my reservations fair, or are they biases built on too much early exposure to Old Stuff? I’m pleased to have read Headley. I’m more pleased to have been invited back to old books and notes and blasted forward to marvelous new ways of learning.

(5) THE HOBBITS MEN DON’T SEE. [Item by Daniel Dern.] “Tolkien Estate updates website with previously unseen content” reports The Bookseller.

…The relaunch date, 26th February, is significant in Tolkien lore because 26th February 3019 was the date in the Third Age when the Fellowship of the Ring was broken at Amon Hen and Frodo and Sam set out on their journey to Mordor. 

The newly launched website, tolkienestate.com, will exhibit the literary and artistic works created by J R R Tolkien and to provide further insights into his life and times. The website includes sections on his writing, painting and calligraphy, his scholarship and letters and a timeline of his life, together with numerous family photographs. It also features an audio-visual section containing recordings and clips featuring both the author and his son, Christopher Tolkien. 

(6) A FINE TIME WAS HAD BY ALL. “The Library Ends Late Fees, and the Treasures Roll In” — the New York Times is there to admire the returning relics.

…Some items, checked out decades ago, arrived with apologetic notes. “Enclosed are books I have borrowed and kept in my house for 28-50 years! I am 75 years old now and these books have helped me through motherhood and my teaching career,” one patron wrote in an unsigned letter that accompanied a box of books dropped off at the New York Public Library’s main branch last fall. “I’m sorry for living with these books so long. They became family.”

Three DVD copies of “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day,” a 2009 action film about Irish Catholic vigilantes in Boston that has a 23 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, were returned to three libraries in three different boroughs.

When New York’s public library systems announced last October that they would be eliminating all late fines, the goal was to get books and people back to the more than 200 branches, as well as research centers, across the city after a year and a half of limited hours and access.

The goal was achieved: A wave of returned overdue materials came crashing in, accompanied by a healthy increase (between 9 and 15 percent, depending on the borough) of returning visitors.

Since last fall, more than 21,000 overdue or lost items have been returned in Manhattan…

(7) REMEMBERING STEVE STILES. Michael Dobson put together a computerized slide show as a tribute to Steve Stiles’ artwork, first shown at DisCon III in conjunction with the table sales of Steve’s posthumous collection. It’s now viewable on YouTube: “Steve Stiles – An Appreciation”. The soundtrack includes music by Ted White’s band Conduit.

(8) THIRD MAN THEME. Ally WIlkes discusses “Encounters with the Supernatural in Antarctica: A Brief History” at CrimeReads.

… The benevolent third man—which John Geiger dubs the ‘saviour’ presence—appears to be something distinct from our traditional understanding of ghosts. It appears in crisis situations and interacts with the observer, even if only to provide a sense of comfort. However, the Antarctic also contains stories of encounters with a less benevolent presence. This second type of encounter, again, doesn’t fit neatly into the category of ‘ghost’, if by that we mean the spirit of a human person who has died (and often at the place in question—Antarctica poses a bit of a conundrum on this front, as although it’s certainly seen its share of deaths, its footprint of human occupation is far later and far sparser than most other places on the planet)….

(9) FILET MINION. Illumination Entertainment’s Minions: The Rise of Gru will be released in July.

Long before he becomes the master of evil, Gru (Oscar® nominee Steve Carell) is just a 12-year-old boy in 1970s suburbia, plotting to take over the world from his basement. It’s not going particularly well. When Gru crosses paths with the Minions, including Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto—a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please—this unexpected family joins forces. Together, they build their first lair, design their first weapons, and strive to execute their first missions. When the infamous supervillain supergroup, the Vicious 6, oust their leader—legendary martial arts fighter Wild Knuckles (Oscar® winner Alan Arkin)— Gru, their most devoted fanboy, interviews to become their newest member. The Vicious 6 is not impressed by the diminutive, wannabe villain, but then Gru outsmarts (and enrages) them, and he suddenly finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil. With Gru on the run, the Minions attempt to master the art of kung fu to help save him, and Gru discovers that even bad guys need a little help from their friends.

(10) RICHARD LABONTÉ. The family obituary for Richard Labonté has been published by the Toronto Globe and Mail: “Richard LABONTE Obituary (2022)”.

As an editor of gay anthologies, co- founder of the A Different Light bookstore chain, and mentor to many authors, he was one of the most influential advocates of queer culture and literature in North America. …Throughout the 1990s, A Different Light became a centre of queer culture in California and New York, places where authors and fans met for readings and informal receptions. Over 22 years, Richard combined his bookselling career with his editorial expertise to connect authors with thousands of new readers…. 

(11) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1985 [Item by Cat Eldridge.] Thirty-seven years on ABC, Max Headroom premiered. That however was not the beginning of the phenomenon known as Max Headroom. The story is based on the Channel 4 British TV film produced by Chrysalis, Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future. That short film is largely similar to the pilot of ABC series. 

The British film consisted of material intended to be broken into short segments for a music video program, The Max Headroom Show, which did premiere two days later. Max Headroom served as veejay, and its first episodes unusually featured no introductory title sequence or end credits, just Max as done by Matt Frewer in that amazing makeup blabbing away. It was a hit and several interactions were done including for the American cable network Cinemax.

Now back to Max Headroom. The dystopian series was set, as it said twenty minutes in the future in a city, if not a world dominated by media networks. Y’all know the story so I won’t say more than that. It did a splendid job of depicting a future of what was very obviously a limited budget. 

Matt Frewer, Amanda Pays and William Morgan Shepherd are the only performers that carry from the Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future version of this story. And several characters such as Dominique, Blank Reg’s Companion, don’t exist in that bleaker version of the story. No idea if that version is available on DVD. 

Max Headroom I consider to be every bit as good as Farscape or any of the better genre series. It would last but two seasons and a mere fourteen episodes before being cancelled. 

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 31, 1926 John Fowles. British author best remembered for The French Lieutenant’s Woman but who did several works of genre fiction, The Magus which I’ve read a long time ago and A Maggot which I’ve not read. Some works which are not genre such as The Collector just make me shudder. (Died 2005.)
  • Born March 31, 1927 William Daniels, 95. He’s the voice of KITT on the Knight Rider series on the movie came afterwards. He also has genre appearances in The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, the original Kolchak: The Night StalkerThe Incredible HulkGalactica 1980Faerie Tale TheatreTouched by an Angel and a fantastic “appearence“ on Star Trek: Voyager where he’s the voice of Hospital Ship 4-2, Allocation Alpha in the “Critical Care” episode. 
  • Born March 31, 1932 John Jakes, 90. Author of a number of genre series including the Brak the Barbarian series.  Dark Gate and Dragonard are his other two series. As Robert Hart Davis, he wrote a number of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. novellas that were published in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Magazine. The magazine apparently only existed from 1966 to 1968. 
  • Born March 31, 1934 Richard Chamberlain, 88. His first dive into our end of reality was in The Three Musketeers as Aramis, a role he reprised in The Return of Three Musketeers. (I consider all  Musketeer films to be genre.) Some of you being cantankerous may argue it was actually when he played the title character in Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold which he did some years later. He’s listed as voicing the Jack Kirby-created character Highfather on the superb Justice League: Gods and Monsters but that was but a few lines of dialogue I believe. He was in the Blackbeard series as Governor Charles Eden, and series wise has done the usual one-offs on such shows as Alfred Hitchcock PresentsBoris Karloff’s ThrillerChuck and Twin Peaks.
  • Born March 31, 1936 Marge Piercy, 86. Author of He, She and It (published outside the UK as Body of Glass) was shortlisted for the Otherwise Award and won the Arthur C. Clarke Award. She also wrote Woman on the Edge of Time (1976) doomed to be called a “classic of utopian speculative sf”. Woman on the Edge of Time was nominated for a Retrospective Otherwise Award (1996).
  • Born March 31, 1943 Christopher Walken, 79. A performer whose first role was in The Three Musketeers, as a minor character, John Felton. He has a minor role in The Sentinel, a horror film, and a decidedly juicy one in Trumbull’s Brainstorm as Dr. Michael Anthony Brace followed up by being in Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone as Johnny Smith. Damn, I’d forgotten he was Max Zorin, the villain in A View to a Kill! H’h, I didn’t know he was in Gibson’s New Rose Hotel but then I haven’t actually seen it yet. Is it worth seeing? And let’s wrap this up by noting his appearance in The Stepford Wives as Mike Wellington.
  • Born March 31, 1960 Ian McDonald, 62. Now here’s an author that I’ve read a lot of starting with his first novel, Desolation Road, and following through to his most recent, The Luna series. I do have favorites — the aforementioned Desolation Road and the other Mars novel, Ares Express, plus the India in 2047 series and The Dervish House  are the ones I like the best. Chaga I think is the one I need to read again as I was annoyed by it the first time. 

(13) COMICS SECTION.

(14) THE GAME’S AFOOT. Annalee Newitz was referenced on Jeopardy! last night.

(15) BEUKES ADAPTATION. Shining Girls premieres on Apple TV+ on April 29.

Based on Lauren Beukes’ best-selling novel, Shining Girls follows Kirby Mazrachi (Moss) as a Chicago newspaper archivist whose journalistic ambitions were put on hold after enduring a traumatic assault.Years after a brutal attack left her in a constantly shifting reality, Kirby Mazrachi learns that a recent murder is linked to her assault. She teams with veteran reporter Dan Velazquez (played by Wagner Moura) to understand her ever-changing present—and confront her past.

(16) BLOWN TO MORE THAN 8 BITS. “A retro computer museum in Mariupol was attacked by Russia”NPR’s news item will probably interest Chris Garcia, who used to work in a computer museum, and it will probably make him sad, too.

Nearly two decades ago, Dmitriy Cherepanov started a collection of retro computers in Mariupol, Ukraine, that grew into an internationally known assemblage of historic machines, housed in a private museum he called IT 8-bit.

Russia’s campaign to take over his city in southeast Ukraine has killed at least 2,000 civilians, destroyed most of the city’s homes and turned Cherepanov’s beloved computer museum into rubble.

“I’m very upset,” Cherepanov, 45, told NPR. “It’s been a hobby of my life.”

IT 8-bit held more than 120 examples of computer technology and game consoles from the last century. Cherepanov estimates that up to 1,500 people visited the free museum every year before he closed it at the start of the pandemic.

Cherepanov knows the small building housing the museum was bombed, like many other structures in the city, sometime after March 15. He believes that any machines that weren’t destroyed by the blast were likely taken, given the desperate circumstances in the city now.

(17) MOON RISE. In the Washington Post, David Betancourt interviews Oscar Isaac about Moon Knight and his previous roles in Marvel movies as the villain in X Men: Apocalpyse and his voice work in Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse. “Oscar Isaac, with ‘Moon Knight,’ finally rises to the Marvel A-list”.

…To prepare for the role, Isaac said, Robert Oxnam’s “A Fractured Mind: My Life with Multiple Personality Disorder” became his bible. The book is a deeply personal account of the author’s struggles and eventual acceptance of the multiple lives taking place in his mind.

“It felt like that was the orienting principle for this, because it was a real journey into this guy’s discovery and healing, which is the integration that had to occur for him to be able to live with [multiple personalities] as a functioning human being,” Isaac said….

(18) TWO CHAIRS TALKING. David Grigg and Perry Middlemiss have an excellent adventure is episode 72 of Two Chairs Talking, “A Dangerous Kind of Vision”.

We take the Hugo Time Machine back to 1968, when Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visions anthology dominated the short fiction categories. Perry and David argue about the Best Novel winner, Lord of Light.

(19) WAS CODA THE ONLY UNDERDOG TO WIN AN OSCAR? It’s well known that CODA was an underdog in the Oscar race for Best Picture, which is further proven below. The JustWatch Streaming Guide graphic shows this trend continued in other categories as well, with winners Encanto and Drive my car being less popular than other nominees in their respective categories. 

JustWatch is an international streaming guide that helps over 20 million users per month across 100 countries to find something great to watch on Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV+, etc.

(20) HERE’S THE BEEF. “We Must Live in a Horrid Simulation, Because Joe Rogan Just Offered to Train Elon Musk to Fight Vladimir Putin” declares Futurism.

Sometimes it feels like our overlords are phoning it in with the stuff they’re programming into our simulation.

Exhibit A: Former UFC color commentator turned “Fear Factor” host turned notoriously dubious podcaster Joe Rogan is now offering to help Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk train so that he can fulfill his goal of kicking Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ass, presumably in retaliation for the latter’s invasion of Ukraine.

No, this isn’t the world’s dumbest round of “Cards Against Humanity” — it’s actually something the Rogan said on a recent episode of his podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” in response to Musk challenging Putin to single-hand combat earlier in March.

“I offered my services,” Rogan told his guest, Aussie comedian Monty Franklin. “I texted him. I said, ‘Dude I will arrange all of your training.’ ‘If you really do fight Putin,’ I said, ‘I will arrange all your training,’”…

(21) BRAINY VIDEO. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] Tom Scott tosses off 14 story ideas involving brains in under six minutes!

(22) “NOVEL” IDEA: DOWSE FOR THE DEAD. [Item by Dave Doering.] It never ceases to amaze me how “reality” can be waaayyy stranger than fiction. The Marshall Report tells about cops being trained to use dowsing rods to find buried remains. “Can ‘Witching’ Find Bodies? Police Training Alarms Experts”. Surely there’s a novel idea in there…

One student asks about dowsing rods.“You want to use some?” replies Arpad Vass, an instructor at the National Forensic Academy in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where law enforcement officers come to learn how to use science to solve crimes — at least in theory. “I use them on everything.”

[Vass] teaches students the proper way to dowse and some of “the 17 scientific principles that make the rods work, which took me years to figure out.”

TechDirt’s Tim Cushing is beyond skeptical: “Cops Are Being ‘Trained’ To Use Literal Witchcraft To Find Dead Bodies”.

… Alarmed? They should be apoplectic! This is insanity. That this has gone longer than Vass’ first attempt to introduce dowsing into forensic science is an indictment of both the University of Tennessee and the law enforcement agencies that still pay to have officers and investigators subjected to cop-washed black arts by a “scientist” deep in throes of self-delusion. Dowsing “works” like a Ouija board “works.” It’s an illusion that relies on self-deception. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, science.

It does not magically become a science just because Vass is capable of using science-y words or has a background in actual science….

(23) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Honest Game Trailers: Triangle Strategy,” Fandom Games says this game is so dull it drags “more than a mandatory Zoom meeting”: and is equivalent to George RR Martin writing “a visual novel while on Ambien and not knowing what a visual novel was.”  As for gameplay, the narrator complains that “I don’t want my poor decision making to come to a logical conclusion.  I do that by existing.”

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Rob Thornton, David Langford, Chris Barkley, StephenfromOttawa, Daniel Dern, Dave Doering, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jon Meltzer.]

38 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/31/22 There’s No Way To Delay, That Pixel Scrolling Every Day

  1. First!

    If I didn’t say it strongly enough in his Birthday, Ian McDonald’s weirdly wonderful linked novels Desolation Road and Ares Express are really great reading as long as you don’t take them Too Seriously. The audio versions of them are great as well.

  2. (12) I read A Maggot decades ago – I remember that it made me think of the Genesis song “Keep It Dark”

  3. (11) And I’m still annoyed that they cancelled it!

    (12) I’m afraid to reread “The Collector.”

    Happy birthday to William Daniels, who also played “Captain Nice” in 1967. While it was short-lived, there were reruns, and it does appear to be on DVD. Has anyone seen it?

    I read one of John Jakes’ Brak the Barbarian books when they were reissued in the 1980s, I remember liking it, even though he’s no Conan. Should I reread them? Do they compare to the other barbarians of the short revival, such as Oron and the Lin Carter and Andrew Offut books? Or did I like it just because Brak was blond? 🙂

    Richard Chamberlain was also in “The Slipper and the Rose,” a musical adaptation of Cinderella. Great cast, gorgeous settings and costumes.

  4. Re (6) A FINE TIME WAS HAD BY ALL.
    FWIW (and YLMV {Your Library May Vary}), last I heard (admittedly, a buncha years ago but I don’t see why it would have changed but I could ask), the late fees our library charges (not during much of the past Covid year-or-so) don’t go the the library — although, at least, replacement-book $ does (or “do” if you feel that “$” here is plural). In some burgs, like Cleveland (per a friend), senior citizens don’t get fine-dinged, at least.

  5. Anne Marble says And I’m still annoyed that they cancelled it!

    Me too. And I was surprised that there was only fourteen episodes over two seasons, that’s what British series do, but not American series. I’m used to short seasons like that as I watch a lot of a British series (indeed I’m working my way through all twenty one seasons of the forensic series Silent Witness right now) but as I said this is not usual for American television seasons.

  6. (22) It may work, but it shouldn’t be used instead of more solidly-based techniques. (It’s also subject to wishful thinking.)

  7. Richard Chamberlain also starred in the amazing Australian film “The Last Wave,” directed by Peter Weir, which is definitely genre and one of my favorites (and an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes).

  8. bookworm1398 says Ian McDonald is one of my favorites, he really brings the sense of wonder.

    To use a word from Roald Dahl’s jThe BFG he is always scrumdiddlyumptious. Though I admit the Chaga novels are ones that I read again to really get the full gist of.

  9. Very glad to see someone else remembers “Trouble Every Day,” in my opinion among Frank Zappa’s best songs. It is STILL timely, even though it was written right after the Watts riots in 1965.

  10. I read one of John Jakes’ Brak the Barbarian books when they were reissued in the 1980s, I remember liking it, even though he’s no Conan. Should I reread them? Do they compare to the other barbarians of the short revival, such as Oron and the Lin Carter and Andrew Offut books? Or did I like it just because Brak was blond?

    I only read the first Brak collection, which collects the Brak stories published in the 1960s in Fantastic and enjoyed it. Brak is a very Conan-like character and John Jakes is on record that he specifically conceived him as such. But IMO Brak is a lot better than the Clonans chrurned out by people like Lin Carter, Andrew Offutt (both of whom have more merit as editors) and Gardner Fox.

    Next to Michael Moorcock, John Jakes is one of the few writers from the second sword and sorcery boom of the 1960s and 1970s who’s still alive. Charles Saunders passed away in 2020, though Pat McIntosh who wrote a shortlived series of stories about a swordswoman named Thula in the 1970s is still alive as well.

    Keith Taylor, author of the Bard books which came out at the tail end of the second sword and sorcery boom in the early 1980s, is still alive as well.

  11. 22) Regarding dowsing, my grandfather used a dowsing rod and swore that it worked, though I did not inherit whatever talent he may have had. And yes, I tried.

    Some US soldiers also used dowsing rods made out of wire coat hangers (easier to make than the traditional willow rod) to locate Vietcong tunnels and booby traps during the Vietnam war with some success, though of course we didn’t hear of those soldiers for whom it didn’t work.

    Finally, even if it’s nonsense, a dowser who helps the police is a great characters for a paranormal mystery series.

  12. I didn’t know [Walken] was in Gibson’s New Rose Hotel but then I haven’t actually seen it yet. Is it worth seeing?

    No.

    He does have a supporting part in the TV+ show Severance, which very much is.

  13. I not only watched Captain Nice during its original run, I owned the paperback novel by William Johnston who also did the Get Smart! novels. Only years later did I realize that he filmed that show probably only weeks before his scenes as Ben Braddock’s father in The Graduate – although the next time I saw Daniels wasn’t in that film (a bit mature for an 11-year-old), but rather on stage, during a school field trip to NYC in December 1969 to see 1776.

  14. (11) And Max Headroom also figured in the most mysterious and infamous TV hack — of, of all things, a showing of Doctor Who — where on November 22, 1987 someone (someones) broke into a broadcast with a performer dressed in a Max Headroom mask who made Chicago references, Clutch Cargo comments, and ending with him getting swatted with a flyswatter.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Headroom_signal_hijacking

    And they have never been caught . . .

  15. Happy birthday to William Daniels, the original John Adams in 1776, which I still rewatch.

  16. 12) I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Ian McDonald at Dublin Worldcon and making a joke on a panel at his expense. Probably the only useful thing I said on that panel, too. Good sport, nice guy, and excellent writer.

    And note: Christopher Walken’s most fabulous genre appearance was in the Fatboy Slim “Weapon of Choice” music video a few years ago. I still watch it from time to time, and it’s definitely a heck of a magnificent fantasy piece.

  17. Yes, thanks for (1) Mike. After researching and assembling BIXELSTRASSE there are a couple of things I remain curious about:

    1) When exactly did the FBI recruit Sam Russell and what do his reports on LASFS members say about them, something I imagine only a Freedom of Information request could answer.

    2) What did the outside of the Bixel Street clubroom look like? I figure it was built in the 1920s or 1930s, so there may still be architectural plans and a drawing of the exterior in city hall, or wherever such things are stored in LA. Based on the partial glimpses seen in other photos I suspect it looked very similar to the white building that flashes by at the 4.13 point in this footage, minus the stairs out front:

    1940s LA

  18. (6) Eliminating library late fees is increasingly common. I just did some poking around, and libraries which have already eliminated late fees include Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Liverpool, London, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, and Seattle. I’m not sure about Denver, whose website was unclear, but of the arbitrary set of cities I just checked, the only one that is definitely still charging charging late fees is Atlanta.

    (14) Wow, congrats to Annalee Newitz! That’s quite an honor, if an odd one!

  19. Cat Eldridge on March 31, 2022 at 7:01 pm said:

    …I watch a lot of a British series …

    FYI, have you (or anybody here) tried out FilmRise, a (per their site) “…Brooklyn-based film and television studio and operator of the FilmRise Streaming Network, the world’s largest independently owned portfolio of ad-supported streaming apps and FAST channels.”
    (I just learned about them via a press release yesterday, haven’t yet installed the app on my Firestick to check ’em out.)
    (We already have more than enuf via Acorn and Mhz, not to mention having already seen bazillions via PBS over the decades, but there may be more good-’nuff’s on FilmRise.)

  20. Truly, Frank was the Mother of us all; and an enormous amount of his output is stfnal and/or (occasionally) fantastical; I mean: mutant gypsy vacuum cleaners? Dental floss bushes?

  21. (12) William Daniels was one of the best reasons to watch St. Elsewhere, a show at least as genre as Three Musketeers (and, asking because I don’t know and would like to understand — what makes Three Musketeers SF or Fantasy, as opposed to straight adventure fiction?)
    (12) John Jakes had a number of stories published in the SF pulps in the 1950s.
    (12) Christopher Walken “A performer whose first role was in The Three Musketeers, as a minor character, John Felton.” ???? He had been an actor for quite some time by then. He got his start as a child actor, and was on a network TV show in 1953.

  22. Oh bill, Three Musketeers is genre for the purpose of the Birthdays because I get to decide it as being so. That’s the reason. I don’t need to explain it to you or anyone else as it is completely and absolutely my perogotive. (See Cats, rule of existing. I think Heinlein created them.)

    And I’m talking about the first genre role here for a performer hence Walken’s first such role was in The Three Musketeers as a minor character, John Felton. Surely you’ve noticed that’s what I do by now, don’t you? If not, you need to pay better attention.

  23. 8) Interesting. A little while back, I read The White Road by Sarah Lotz, which is set on Mount Everest rather than in the Antarctic, but is explicitly inspired by the same phenomenon (and the same T.S. Eliot quote.) I have a feeling I’ve seen it in other places too – clearly it’s a fertile source of inspiration. (It was even an element in my own little fantasy novel The Ninth Knigh [he says, clutching desperately at any passing scrap of literary respectability.])

  24. @Cat Eldridge

    Three Musketeers is genre for the purpose of the Birthdays because I get to decide it as being so.

    It’s obvious that you get to decide, both from your previous statements and from what shows up in the listings. I was simply asking what the guidelines are. It was a good-faith question, and I hoped I would hear from you what your definition of “genre” is. I know it means different things to different people, and sometimes the boundaries make for an interesting discussion. I’m truly curious what you see in Robin Hood and Musketeers that causes you to associate them with the typical fare for this site — SF and Fantasy. I don’t see much in common, myself, unless the boundaries of genre are so expansive and inclusive that pretty much any historical adventure fiction could fit in. Personally, there’s something I get from good SF (and to a lesser extent, Fantasy) that I don’t get from other works by Dumas, or works like Ivanhoe or Last of the Mohicans or William Tell or Zorro and the like; that “difference” is part of why a distinction between genre and non-genre is useful.

    I know that some people’s definition of “genre” includes horror. I can at least understand that, since much horror includes a supernatural element that overlaps fantasy. I don’t share that definition, but at least I understand it. Other folks include animation, or anthropomorphized animals, or alternate history that may or may not include SFnal reasons for a timeline split. When the boundaries are clear, people can usefully call something “genre” or not and communicate. But when someone says “this is genre” and only that person knows why it is genre, it’s hard to go much further.

    (and FWIW, I’m aware that sometimes my posts set you off, and I was trying to ask in a non-confrontational way, because I really was curious. I see that didn’t happen.)

    And I’m talking about the first genre role here for a performer hence Walken’s first such role was in The Three Musketeers as a minor character, John Felton. Surely you’ve noticed that’s what I do by now, don’t you? If not, you need to pay better attention.

    I do pay attention. Sometimes you explicitly say “this is their first genre role”. Sometimes you say “this is their first role” and it’s pretty clear that the role in question isn’t genre, and it is in fact the first role that the obvious sources (IMDB, Wikipedia, etc.) lists as being their first. And, apparently, sometimes you say “this is their first role” when you mean “this is their first genre role” and we are supposed to figure it out.
    In this case, figuring out was difficult because “Three Musketeers” isn’t Walken’s first role (like I say, he was in TV as far back as 1953); it wasn’t his first SF/Fantasy role (see, for example, “The Boy Who Saw Through” (1956), in which he plays a kid who can see through walls:

    ); and further, “Musketeers” isn’t obviously genre. So I figured you meant what you said — first role.

  25. You know bill this isn’t a matter of being consistent, of being logical or even trying to… Hell, I don’t even want to play your idiotic game.

    The Birthdays are intended to start conversations, not to be nit picked like you and a few other do because you don’t like what I do. Don’t like that I include The Three Musketeers? Fine. But I’m under no obligation to give a reason as to why I do so.

    Just go play your dumb games elsewhere.

  26. I ordered a copy of the hardcover edition of Rainbow Mars as somewhere in the last near quarter century of moves I lost my copy of it. It arrived today and I must say it’s a quite magnificent book. But I was surprised to discover that the epub edition actually has more contents that it does.

    Both The Reference Director’s Speaks and Svetz’s Timeline are not here. Not sure when they were written but I assume later.

  27. “History is the trade secret of science fiction” — Ken MacLeod (also attributed to Isaac Asimov)
    Therefore, to those in the know, historical fiction is science fiction.
    Therefore, The Three Musketeers is science fiction.

  28. Anotehr William Daniels genre appearance was in a brief but memorable role in THE PRESIDENT’S ANALYST (1967), one of my favorite films:

    “Darn it, Bing. I told you not to play around with my guns. No, I do not want that in the house. That is my car gun. My house gun is already in the house. Now, put that back in the glove compartment, and don’t let me catch you fooling with my guns again.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.