Pixel Scroll 4/12/24 One Pixel, One Scroll, One File

(1) ONCE ON HIS SHELVES. San Diego State University is home to the Edward Gorey Personal Library, which they acquired in 2009.

The Edward Gorey Personal Library is a special collection at San Diego State University library that comprises 26,000 books collected by Edward St. John Gorey (1924-2000). Over 9,000 catalogued volumes, or 35% of the collection are searchable. If you find a book you would like to examine from this collection, please contact Special Collections and University Archives at [email protected], or at 619-594-6791 or visit their service desk in Love Library 150. Books may only be viewed in the Special Collections area.

An American artist, Edward St. John Gorey’s publications include over one hundred books. His most well-known works include The Gashlycrumb TiniesThe Doubtful Guest and The Wuggly Ump. Many of his illustrations appear in publications like The New Yorker and The New York Times. Gorey illustrations and book designs enhance editions of works by Charles Dickens, Edward Lear, Samuel Beckett, John Updike, Virginia Woolf, H.G. Wells, Florence Heide and Peter Neumeyer.

And if you’d like to know “What Books Did Edward Gorey Collect?” then click the link. Lots of familiar names there. One jumped out at me – isn’t Franklin W. Dixon the author of the Hardy Boys series?

I also learned his biography has this clever title: Edward Gorey: Born to Be Posthumous.

(2) IT WASN’T UNDER HIS KILT. “Reported armed man at Scottish train station was ‘Star Wars’ Stormtrooper” with a plastic blaster. UPI has the story.

Police in Scotland said a reported armed man who led to a train returning to a station turned out to be a Star Wars cosplayer on his way to a comic book convention.

The man, known as the Grampian Stormtrooper on social media, was dressed in his Imperial Stormtrooper costume “with a Scottish twist” — a kilt — when he boarded a ScotRail train to Dundee at the Aberdeen train station.

The train returned to the station shortly after departing and the man was approached by a guard who escorted him to waiting police officers.

The cosplayer wrote on Facebook that he was “met by two firearms officers, three Police Scotland, two British Transport police, and had to chat to them all in an office.”

The man learned that he had been reported for carrying a “firearm” on the train, and he explained to police that his “blaster” was a plastic prop….

(3) WORLDSHAPERS KICKSTARTER. Edward Willett’s Shadowpaw Press is for the fifth year in a row running a Kickstarter campaign to fund an anthology featuring sff writers who have been guests on his Aurora Award-winning podcast, The Worldshapers. The Kickstarter is here: Shapers of Worlds Volume V by Edward Willett.

Shapers of Worlds Volume V will feature stories by Brad C. Anderson, Edo van Belkom, J.G. Gardner, Olesya Salnikova Gilmore, Chadwick Ginther, Evan Graham, M.C.A. Hogarth, M.J.  Kuhn, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Kevin Moore, Robin Stevens Payes, James S. Peet, Omari Richards, Lawrence M. Schoen, Alex Shvartsman, Alan Smale, Richard Sparks, P.L. Stuart, Brad R. Torgersen, Hayden Trenholm, Brian Trent, Eli K.P. William, Edward Willett, and Natalie Wright.

The cover art is by Tithi Luadthong.

Backers’ rewards offered by the authors include numerous e-books, signed paperback and hardcover books, Tuckerizations (a backer’s name used as a character name), artwork, one-on-one writing/publishing consultations and mentorships, audiobooks, opportunities for online chats with authors, short-story critiques, and more.

The campaign goal is $12,000 CDN. Almost all of those funds will go to pay the authors, with the rest going to reward fulfillment, primarily the editing, layout, and printing of the book, which will be published in January 2025 in both ebook and trade paperback formats

(4) PREEMPTIVE OPINION. “Can Joker: Folie à Deux avoid becoming like any other comic book movie?” the Guardian’s Ben Child is skeptical.

…The jury remains out on whether [director] Phillips can repeat the trick with Joker: Folie à Deux. After all, there is likely a very good reason that nobody ever made a sequel to Taxi Driver or The King of Comedy, in the format of a musical. But even if the new film fails miserably, it is likely to give us more intriguing ideas to take the comic book movie genre forward than any number of the new episodes currently being put together by new DC boss James Gunn, brilliant (in a common-or-garden superhero flick kind of way) as these may well end up being….

(5) RONDO NOMINEE FOR BEST ARTICLE OF THE YEAR. The deadline for the public to vote in the Rondo Awards is April 16 at midnight. Email votes (with your name & e-mail address) to David Colton, c/o [email protected].

Steve Vertlieb appeals to Filers to support his nominated article “Subversion of Innocence: Reflections on ‘The Black Cat’ (Universal Pictures, 1934” which was published here.

(6) TURBOLIFT TO HIT BOTTOM ON LOWER DECKS. It is the end, my friend, says The Hollywood Reporter: “‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ to End With Season 5”. (However, Strange New Worlds will get another season.)

Paramount+ has made two big decisions about its Star Trek universe.

Strange New Worlds has been renewed for a fourth season, while Lower Decks will end with its previously announced upcoming fifth season, expected to air sometime this year.

Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan and executive producer Alex Kurtzman posted a statement on the Star Trek website about the decision to conclude the animated series: “While five seasons of any series these days seems like a miracle, it’s no exaggeration to say that every second we’ve spent making this show has been a dream come true. Our incredible cast, crew and artists have given you everything they have because they love the characters they play, they love the world we’ve built, and more than anything we all love love love Star Trek. We’re excited for the world to see our hilarious fifth season which we’re working on right now, and the good news is that all previous episodes will remain on Paramount+ so there is still so much to look forward to as we celebrate the Cerritos crew with a big send-off. … We remain hopeful that even beyond season five, Mariner, Boimler, Tendi, Rutherford and the whole Cerritos crew will live on with new adventures.”

(7) LINDA HAMILTON Q&A. “Linda Hamilton Nixes ‘Terminator’ Return, Talks AI and Almost Retiring” she tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Your career has spanned so many incredible projects, even just looking at television, from Beauty and the Beast in the ’80s to Resident Alien now and Stranger Things coming up. It must feel like a radically different landscape now.

It does, and it’s been kind of a pleasure to ride that long wave. I have seen things, and certainly can remark upon the changes in all areas of film and television, but mostly TV, I think. I’m not sure the studio system really has much longer. Things are changing faster now than they ever changed in the history of Hollywood, in terms of product and streaming and just so many new jobs that are created because of what we get to shoot. People who are contact lens specialists and people who are nail specialists when you do a show like Claws, and intimacy coordinators, and the sensitivity training, the HR, and then there’s the actual filmmaking and the special effects and the Volume for all the special effects, which is now on Stranger Things. I’m like, “What the hell? Where am I?” It’s like, okay, we’ll do a scene and then [you hear], “ball and chart,” and it’s some special effects magic that they come in and do at the end of every shot. So yes, it’s changing.


[Written by Cat Eldridge.]

Born April 12, 1973 J. Scott Campbell, 51. J. Scott Campbell is a comic books artist best known for his work on Wildstorm Comics. Scott actually got hired by Wildstorm by submitting a package that included a four-page WildC.A.T.S  story. Before that however his first work was on Homage Studios Swimsuit Special at age twenty. It’d get a PG-13 rating today. If that. 

J. Scott Campbell at the 2023 Comic-Con. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

So did you know that Marvel did a Swimsuit issue as well? It was an annual magazine-style publication from 1991 to 1995. One issue said “Take Wakanda Wild Side” on the cover. Really it did. 

His subsequent work for Wildstorm included  some illustrations in WildC.A.T.S Sourcebook and Stormwatch #0. I love the idea of #0 issues. Why so? 

Now do you remember Gen13? He created the series along with Jim Lee and Brandon Choi as the series came out of Team 7, a series that Lee and Choi created. The series involved a group of spandexed clothed metahuman teens. I like that series but it wasn’t nearly as fun as Danger Girl, his next series.

That series followed the adventures of a group of female secret agents, made the most of Campbell’s talents which involved very well-endowed women,  in the firm of three sexy female well weaponized secret agents — Abbey Chase, Sydney Savage and Sonya Savage and over the top action sequences.  

Twenty years ago I read Danger Girl: The Ultimate Collection, which is a bit of an overstatement as it’s only two hundred and fifty-six pages long, but it’s still a lot of a fun. Yes, it’s still available.

Danger Girl has been continuously published since it was first came out twenty-six years ago, so there’s a lot of it now. I’ve read quite a bit of it over the years and it’s been pretty consistent in its quality. However only the first seven-issue series is illustrated by Campbell. 

Campbell illustrated the covers to the Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash six-issue limited series.

Eighteen years ago, Marvel Comics announced that he had signed an exclusive contract to work on a Spider-Man series with writer Jeph Loeb. Yes he did just covers, not interior work. 


(10) FLOW MY TEARS, THE ENGINEER SAID. “Blink to Generate Power For These Smart Contact Lenses” at IEEE Spectrum.

The potential use cases for smart contacts are compelling and varied. Pop a lens on your eye and monitor health metrics like glucose levels; receive targeted drug delivery for ocular diseases; experience augmented reality and read news updates with displays of information literally in your face.

But the eye is quite a challenge for electronics design: With one of the highest nerve densities of any human tissue, the cornea is 300 to 600 times as sensitive as our skin. Researchers have developed small, flexible chips, but power sources have proved more difficult, as big batteries and wires clearly won’t do here. Existing applications offer less-than-ideal solutions like overnight induction charging and other designs that rely on some type of external battery.

Now, a team from the University of Utah says they’ve developed a better solution: an all-in-one hybrid energy-generation unit specifically designed for eye-based tech.

In a paper published in the journal Small on 13 March, the researchers describe how they built the device, combining a flexible silicon solar cell with a new device that converts tears to energy. The system can reliably supply enough electricity to operate smart contacts and other ocular devices….

(11) PUT YOUR METAL TO THE BIPEDAL. [Item by SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie.] Now, I’m not a huge sport fan but if I had to pick one then it’d be Rollerball. The original, not the new-fangled 21st century one. Great audience chant….

Reported in this week’s Science, robotic football…  

Generating robust motor skills in bipedal robots in the real world is challenging because of the inability of current control methods to generalize to specific tasks. Haarnoja et al. developed a deep reinforcement learning–based framework for full-body control of humanoid robots, enabling a game of one-versus-one soccer. The robots exhibited emergent behaviors in the form of dynamic motor skills such as the ability to recover from falls and tactics such as defending the ball against an opponent. The robot movements were faster when using their framework than a scripted baseline controller and may have potential for more complex multirobot interactions.

Primary research is here.

(12) IT’S ABOUT TIME. [Item by SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie.] “Climate change has slowed Earth’s rotation — and could affect how we keep time” – “The effect of melting polar ice could delay the need for a ‘leap second’ by three years” says Nature.

An analysis published in Nature has predicted that melting ice caps are slowing Earth’s rotation to such an extent that the next leap second — the mechanism used since 1972 to reconcile official time from atomic clocks with that based on Earth’s unstable speed of rotation — will be delayed by three years.

“Enough ice has melted to move sea level enough that we can actually see the rate of the Earth’s rotation has been affected,” says Duncan Agnew, a geophysicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and author of the study.

Primary research sadly behind a paywall here.

Also, two researchers discuss the issue here.

(13) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Zach and Kelly Weinersmith talk about — and demonstrate — why living on Mars is a bad idea. “The Mars crisis, explained by 2 experts” at Hard Reset.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Cat Eldridge, Dan Franklin, Danny Sichel, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Steven French, Mike Kennedy, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day BGrandrath.]

Discover more from File 770

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

32 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/12/24 One Pixel, One Scroll, One File

  1. Jon Meltzer says No more Lower Decks?!?

    Paramount +, and many of the other streamers, have fixation on five years and out for series. Weird idea of diminishing returns I think.

    SWAT which actually just got renewed for a another season on that streamer was originally cancelled after five seasons before that decision was reversed and was then actually cancelled again after this sixth season before this decision was again reversed.

    This reversal required a lot of complex financial negotiations between Paramount and the company that produces SWAT as it’s expensive to produce.

  2. For tomorrow’s scroll: Martha Wells posted her Jack Williamson Lecture keynote speech.

    (Here’s an aside. (I do asides a lot, because Murderbot’s way of thinking was based on my own brain, except my attention span is a lot more limited.) One of the major publication reviews for Artificial Condition wondered why Murderbot was so wary of humans considering they were all so nice to it. That was also the novella where one of the characters was a ComfortUnit, which Murderbot called a sexbot, but I don’t know, maybe that was too subtle. So I’m not exaggerating about the way some readers ignore the fact that it was a story about enslaved people.)

  3. (13) We can do some of that stuff… and you really want gravity while a woman is pregnant. Moons and planets do have that… but: in my future universe, almost all of us have the mesh – genengineered cells that first monitor your health, then are modified to fix things. In an upcoming novel, there’s a religious colony on a 1.4G world… and though they were strongly against getting the mesh, they have to… because that’s how they resolved a very high rate of miscarriages. Now, trying to do Mars or Luna now… that’s experimenting.

    Oh, and you can also sum up a lot of what they had to say in Charlie Stross’ comment: canned monkeys don’t ship well. (that is, spaceships and humans).

  4. 8) I remember Gen13, which I enjoyed a lot at the time. I even have some of the characters as action figures. I had no idea that Campbell and I are almost the same age.

  5. Cora says I remember Gen13, which I enjoyed a lot at the time. I even have some of the characters as action figures. I had no idea that Campbell and I are almost the same age.

    I’m very fond of Wildstorm as regards pretty much everything they did that I’ve read. Certainly not groundbreaking by any means but highly entertaining. Welcome to Tranquility is a series there that should be read that doesn’t get enough love.

  6. @Anne Marble–Franklin W. Dixon was, alas, a house name.

    As was Carolyn Keene. And many others. The Stratemeyer Syndicate didn’t just mass produce books, they mass produced the writing of the books. I don’t ever want to hear anyone whining about “author’s rights,” or “respecting the author’s intentions,” when it comes to updating any Statemyer Syndicate books to reduce the racism, sexism, etc., in the first-run version. My parents would not have invited Edward Stratemeyer to dinner.

    Franklin W. Dixon

  7. #Anne Marble:
    And of course, Dixon, Appleton and Keene were all house names for a succession of underpaid anonymous hirelings of the Stratemeyer Syndicate. During the Great Depression, the writer’s fee for all rights was gradually cut from the original $125/book to $100 and eventually $75.

  8. 2)
    People quite often, these days, see what they want to see instead of what’s there.

    Fritz Leiber recounted an incident where he had an award he was given at a con questioned when he took it on the plane with him. It looked like a weapon.

    I’m a short guy, and I dress as such. Sometimes I get addressed as “she” or “ma’am” even though I have a full beard and mustache! When they hear me tell them I’m not the bearded lady, they step back, and apologize. The look on their faces is priceless! You can almost see the “tilt” sign flashing on their foreheads!

    Through all this, so far, I’m glad no one shoots first and asks questions later!

    10) There is also a new, hi tech replacement lens for cataract patients, which can offer distance, middle, and close up vision in one lens. It’s a little more expensive than the regular lenses which can be either distance or close up.

  9. 2) Given that the prop guns in the original Star Wars were replicas of existing firearms – the stormtroopers were carrying Stirling submachine guns, for example – it’s possibly understandable that some passenger got a bit perturbed.

    Weird though it may seem to us, there are still people who haven’t seen Star Wars and don’t know what a cosplayer is. Reporting a “guy in a strange outfit with a face concealing helmet and carrying a gun” is not, perhaps, an irrational reaction. (The spellchecker on this gadget didn’t know “stormtrooper” or “cosplayer”, which just goes to show.) At least the police seem to have been reasonable about it all.

  10. WRT #13 and Kelly and Zach Weinersmith. Their book “A City on Mars” is fabulous. Funny AND informative AND a reminder that space won’t be nearly as easy as we’d like it to be.

    Absolutely worth reading.

  11. Lis Carey writes “I don’t ever want to hear anyone whining about ‘author’s rights,’ or ‘respecting the author’s intentions,’ when it comes to updating any [Stratemeyer] Syndicate books to reduce the racism, sexism, etc., in the first-run version.”

    And the Hardy Boys are now fair game for anyone to update– at least when it comes to the characters and the early novels– since they started joining the public domain last year. You can find the original versions (which the syndicate itself has since significantly rewritten) on Project Gutenberg, which started posting them last year, and create any new variation you want, as long as you don’t use original elements from still-copyrighted later novels and editions, and you don’t try to pass them off as “official” Hardy Boys books (since the publisher that acquired rights to the books may still have trademark rights).

    Many of “Victor Appleton”‘s Tom Swift novels have similarly been in the public domain for years. But in the US we’ll have to wait until 2026 until the first of “Carolyn Keene”‘s Nancy Drew stories go public domain.

  12. (6) That’s very disappointing new about Lower Decks. That show is hilariously entertaining, made by people who obviously love Star Trek while recognizing that there is a lot to poke fun at.

  13. 11) The International Robogames (Robogames.net) take place next weekend (April 18-20 ) in San Jose, including robot soccer.

    I’ve medaled in the bartending and static art bot events several times, and am volunteering at the event as well this year.

  14. @Tom Becker: “Everybody knows a Stormtrooper couldn’t hit a barn wall with that prop.”

    Not everybody. Perhaps everybody but “mundanes?” (as the old Ren Faire chestnut goes).

    Just as an aside, my very, very square sister went to a fancy hotel with her husband for dinner. when they descended the elevator, and the doors opened, there were people in costume. She turned to her husband and whispered, “Oh, God, a science fiction convention going on! Lets get out of here!”

    I had to laugh. I can just imagine how she would have reacted when the hotel had two conventions, one science fiction, and the other, a mortician’s convention! The cross – politicization there was really something!

  15. Carl: Oh, thanks a ton. I got my second eye done a year ago… and they insist that if one’s middle, they put long distance in the other, regardless of what you ask for.

    Steve Wright: anyone too literally stupid to tell a costume from reality needs to be medicated.

    And again, Carl? sf con and morticians? You mean like the year (in the nineties, I think) when Philcon shared the hotel with a … can’t remember if it was funeral directors, or the folks who make tombstones. Downtown, at a fancy hotel….

  16. Ok, I’m reading Brust’s new book Lyorn and I need help. It’s set in a theater doing a musical. And Brust filked well-known musicals in his book. I’ve only just started reading the book, but it’s obvious that “I am the very model of a Fourteenth Cycle dramaturge” is to “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General” from The Pirates of Penzance, and “Costumes for bodies and makeup for faces” is to “My Favorite Things* from “The Sound of Music”…. but what is “Take up your thimble and needle and thread/Measure and cut and sew” set to? (It’s at the beginning of Chapter 2.) The rhythm seems just on the edge of familiarity and it’s making me crazy….

  17. Just as an aside, my very, very square sister went to a fancy hotel with her husband for dinner. when they descended the elevator, and the doors opened, there were people in costume. She turned to her husband and whispered, “Oh, God, a science fiction convention going on! Lets get out of here!”

    Reminds me of when I went to MilPhil in 2001; I travelled straight from work, so I was still in office-standard clothing when I got my badge. In the hotel lobby, a nice older couple apparently saw me as the most approachable person there, and asked me what on Earth (or as it turns out, off-Earth) was going on.

  18. Thanks for the title credit, the next round is on me.
    13) I have wanted to live on Mars since reading Red Planet and none of your pesky facts are gonna change that

  19. @Myself, I just found out that Brust put up a link on his website with links to clips of each musical. (The one I couldn’t quite place was the title tune of Cabaret.)

    Link is here: https://dreamcafe.com/


  20. @Cassy B: “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag / and smile, smile, smile….”

    Okay, so, I don’t listen to the Aurora podcast, but every name I recognize on that list of contributors is a Sad or Rabid Puppy or their spouse, and while I can think of less appealing traits to share, it really doesn’t make me want to do anything to get a copy nearer to me.

  21. @Bruce Baugh: I’m confused; I don’t see where the Aurora podcast is mentioned.
    Oh, that’s scroll item (3). I know 3 non-puppies (unless they’re secret sympathizers) on the list also.

  22. @Mark, I had my cataract surgery done for close up and I wear glasses for distance. I’m as close to 20/20 as I was when I was a kid. It’s a miracle either way. 100 years ago, there weren’t any cataract surgeries, and people just wore glasses with one side blacked out, or, if they went blind, that was it.

    The multi-focal cataract lenses I mention are higher in priced, and not covered for most of us. I found out abut it AFTER my 2nd cataract surgery. Sight is a gift that one doesn’t fully appreciate until one has lost it, and in our cases, regains it. So what if we wear glasses, as long as we can see clearly when we do?

  23. Carl – what we can do now is amazing. Even from 50 years ago. In ’21, I had surprise open heart surgery. Weeks later, calling the surgeon’s office, I was utterly mind-boggled when the hold advertising for the hospital talked about US News & World Report’s rating for “normal open-heart surgery” was very high.

    When the hell did it go from “experimental, wow, the guy lived!!!” to a regular procedure?

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.