Pixel Scroll 4/21/19 A Scroll Without A Pixel Is Like A Walrus Without An Antenna

(1) LITERARY DIVE. Juliette Wade and her Dive Into Worldbuilding team interview “Caroline Ratajski”. There’s a detailed synopsis you can read at the link, and a video recording you can see on YouTube.

…We asked how writing a chapter every two weeks for an audience affects her writing process. It does put certain limits on her. She can’t revise anything that came before. She needs to give events a runway, wants to avoid writing a specific year when events occurred, etc. She has an outline, and she has an outline of how the characters should interact and grow over time. She also has a sense of how she wants the garden to develop, and what she wants the climax to look like.

Carrie [Caroline] described this as the “fanfic model of writing.” She used to write fanfic, so it works for her. The response of the audience buoys her. She says this has all the advantages of fanfic, and also The Secret Garden is out of copyright, so that saves a lot of trouble. Patreon is a good vehicle for serial storytelling. Carrie said she wasn’t reinventing anything. The original book was also a serial that was collected into a book. Carrie explained that she is not echoing the chapter structure, but following the narrative beats pretty closely. Lennox does meet her cousin in secret. She does have a somewhat combative relationship with her maid, though in the retelling, the maid is not Dickon’s sister.

(2) PRE-WEDDING ALBUM. Kurt Erichsen, 2002 Rotsler Award winner, has published a collection of his strips in Murphy’s Manor – the 30-Year Wedding.

Of all the cartoon projects I’ve drawn, by far the biggest is my LGBT comic strip, Murphy’s Manor. It was syndicated in local Gay and Lesbian newspapers from 1981 to 2008 – 1,183 comic strips total.

I’m happy to announce a new collection of Murphy’s Manor comic strips in a self-pub book, distributed through Amazon. The title is Murphy’s Manor – the 30-Year Wedding. It includes cartoons about gay relationships, ultimately leading to marriage, with or without approval of the government. All told, there are 120 comic strips: 98 from the strip’s original run, and 22 new ones. Front and back covers are in color; the interior comic strips are black and white.

In 2015 when John and I were able to get married legally, I decided to proceed with the book. It was slow going – can you believe it took me nearly 4 years to put it together?? Most of which was in production of the new cartoons. I used to produce 4 strips a month!

Click on this link: Murphy’s Manor – the 30 Year Wedding. I am also working on an eBook (Kindle) version. This is a new format for me, and working out all the kinks could take a bit of time. Hopefully not another four years.

(3) TINTINNABULATION. Open Culture reveals“How Andy Warhol and Tintin Creator Hergé Mutually Admired and Influenced One Another”. Bet you didn’t know about that.

The field of Tintin enthusiasts (in their most dedicated form, “Tintinologists”) includes some of the best-known modern artists in history. Roy Lichtenstein, he of the zoomed-in comic-book aesthetic, once made Tintin his subject, and Tintin’s creator Hergé, who cultivated a love for modern art from the 1960s onward, hung a suite of Lichtenstein prints in his office. As Andy Warhol once put it, “Hergé has influenced my work in the same way as Walt Disney. For me, Hergé was more than a comic strip artist.” And for Hergé, Warhol seems to have been more than a fashionable American painter: in 1979, Hergé commissioned Warhol to paint his portrait, and Warhol came up with a series of four images in a style reminiscent of the one he’d used to paint Jackie Onassis and Marilyn Monroe.

(4) <ROLLEYES>. Dear Simon & Schuster, There is no such thing as a Hugo Award for Best New Writer.

(5) PULP BOWIE. “Artist Reimagines David Bowie Songs as Old Pulp Fiction Book Covers” at My Modern Met.

When LA-based screenwriter Todd Alcott isn’t writing for feature films, he’s working on his artistic side project. He merges his love of pulp fiction with music to create David Bowie-inspired vintage comic book covers.

Alcott uses pre-existing vintage paperbacks as his starting point, before digitally altering the text and parts of the image to create his mashup prints. These once loved, now tattered and worn books have been given a new lease on life, and Alcott has chosen no better subject to grace their covers than the equally beloved Starman. And best of all, Bowie’s fascination with sci-fi, his outlandish fashion, and his love of the antihero make him a natural fit as a graphic novel protagonist.

(6) A COMING OF AGE STORY. Middle age, that is. Past TAFF winner Jim Mowatt’s confession begins —

My wife often teases me about my being associated (married) with a woman who has attended an Oxbridge institution, is the daughter of a civil servant and eats avocado. A fruit that has become so closely associated with privileged millennials. To provide his wife with the foodstuffs she desires, working class Jim from Leeds has to creep into a supermarket, buy an avocado and escape from the store without been seen in the possession of this pompous fruit.

However, I now wonder whether I am reaching the stage where I must embrace the fact that I’m no longer Jim from the block and that I have reached that rather unnerving state of being that enables me to buy ridiculous fruit, not always worry about the price of things and enjoy gentle middle England humour. It’s a terrifying thought but maybe I should just relax and drown in the crocheted gentility of it all.

(7) D&D. In “How Dungeons & Dragons somehow became more popular than ever”, Washington Post writer Gendy Alimurung discusses how Dungeons and Dragons has evolved to attract Millennials, including finding other players through Meetup groups, and having the fifth edition of the D&D manual in 2014 attract more women by being less sexist (women’s strength is no longer always less than men’s and no “sexist artwork–no more armored bikinis, no more monsters with breasts, no more topless ladies (unless her character really, really calls for it” that ensures that 38 percent of D&D players are now women.

(8) BOWEN OBIT. The English writer John Bowen (1924-2019) reportedly died April 18 at the age of 94. Matthew Davis sent this tribute:

Bowen wrote numerous offbeat thrillers (in a territory between Angus Wilson and Patricia Highsmith), and “After the Rain” (1958) is about an apocalyptic flood, but he has a small cult reputation in British fantasy and science fiction television. His 1970 TV play “Robin Redbreast” has been rediscovered and championed as a contemporary folk horror equal to “The Wicker Man”. He wrote half of the episodes of the outstanding 1971 Orwellian dystopian TV series “The Guardians”, and also contributed several fine ghost stories during the form’s 1970s TV heyday. Not Sfnal at all are the episodes he wrote of the TV mystery series “Hetty Wainthrop Investigates” – the original book was written by his partner David Cook


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born April 21, 1928 Dee Hartford, 91. Miss Iceland, companion of Mister Freeze in two episodes of the Sixties Batman show.  Also had appearances on Time Tunnel, Lost in Space, Land of The Giants, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Yes, she was very pretty and that really counted in that time.
  • Born April 21, 1939 John Bangsund, 80. Prominent Australian fan in the Sixties through Eighties. A major force with Andrew I. Porter behind Australia winning the right to host the 1975 Aussiecon, and he was Toastmaster at the Hugo Award ceremony at that convention.
  • Born April 21, 1945 Takao Koyama, 74. Japanese anime scriptwriter. He is one of the most influential individuals in anime, due to his seminal scripts and his teaching of the next generation of writers. Works that he’s done scripts for which are available with subtitles include The Slayers, Dragon Ball Z and Spirit Hero Wataru.
  • Born April 21, 1954 James Morrison, 65. Lt. Col. Tyrus Cassius ‘T.C.’ McQueen on the short-lived but much remembered Space: Above and Beyond series. Starship Troopers without the politics. He also appeared as Warden Dwight Murphy in the third season of Twin Peaks.  He’s got far too many one-off genre appearances to list here, so do your favorite.
  • Born April 21, 1965 Fiona Kelleghan, 54. Author of the critical anthology The Savage Humanists In which she identifies a secular, satiric literary movement within the genre. She also did Mike Resnick: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide to His Work. A work in progress by her is Alfred Bester, Grand Master: An Annotated Bibliography.
  • Born April 21, 1979 James McAvoy, 40. In the Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune series, he was Duke Leto II Atreides. Later roles included Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Professor Charles Xavier in X-Men film franchise, Victor Frankensteinin Victor Frankenstein and Bill Denbrough in It – Chapter Two


  • Free Range has Scully and Mulder pursuing the truth about Easter.

(11) A CAT NAMED GOOSE. Dana Marquez tells Sideshow readers “Everything You Need to Know About Captain Marvel’s Cat”. Feel free to eavesdrop.

So what’s up with the Goose the cat anyway? Unless you’ve followed the comics, the film may have lost you there when it introduced the flerken’s surprise powers and alien backstory. She’s not just Nick Fury’s soft spot; she’s a beast- literally! Read along for more information on Goose’s true comic origin and to find out just what the heck a flerken really is.

(12) BAY WATCH. BayCon 2019 is a month away:

(13) LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY. This crimebreaking headline comes from SYFY Wire: “Norwegian police ‘arrest’ Night King on grounds of animal cruelty and destruction of property”.

In a parody Facebook post from a few days back, the upstanding police officers of Trondheim, Norway proudly announced that they had apprehended the White Walker leader on grounds of animal cruelty and appalling rumors of wall destruction. These are obvious references to the villain’s actions in Season 7, where he killed one of Dany’s dragons (before turning it into an ice zombie) and destroyed The Wall, allowing his undead army to march into the territory of living humans.

“This particular post was meant to be funny; these kind of posts generate a lot of attention and new followers for us. That’s useful when we later ask for help i.e. solving crime or search for missing persons,” the Trondheim police told SYFY Wire in a statement. “Behind the mask is one of our younger officers, handpicked for the job.”

In addition, the post included photos of the Night King (dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, of course) posing for a mugshot and being led into a solitary jail cell. The arresting officers, jokingly referred to as Trondheim’s night’s watchmen, also accused the Night King of turning once-fruitful regions into desolate wastelands.

(14) HUGO REVIEWS. Steve J. Wright has completed his Hugo Short Story Finalist reviews (and they are excellent reviews, as usual).

(15) NOT COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN. Todd Mason sends along  “Friday’s ‘Forgotten’ Books and More: the links to the reviews: 19 April 2019” – you’ll find links to all these reviews in his post (reviewer’s name first, title and author/editor’s name last).

This week’s books and more, unfairly (or sometimes fairly) neglected, or simply those the reviewers below think you might find of some interest (or, infrequently, you should be warned away from); certainly, most weeks we have a few not at all forgotten titles…

  • Patricia Abbott: News of the World by Paulette Jiles
  • Barbara Barrett: The Edge of Tomorrow by Howard Fast
  • Joachim Boaz: New Worlds SF, April 1964, edited by John Carnel
  • John Boston: Amazing: Fact and Science Fiction Stories,  May 1964, edited by Cele Goldsmith Lalli
  • Ben Boulden: “Hawksbill Station” (novella version) by Robert Silverberg
  • Brian Busby: The March of the White Guard by Gilbert Parker
  • Susanna Calkins: Death and the Joyful Woman by “Ellis Peters” (Edith Pargeter)
  • Martin Edwards: Marion aka Murder Off the Record by John Bingham
  • Peter Enfantino: (Proto-Marvel) Atlas Horror Comics, March 1952
  • Will Errickson: Dead White by Alan Ryan
  • José Ignacio Escribano: La berlina de Prim (“Prim’s Carriage”) by Ian Gibson
  • Curtis Evans: The Cases of Lieutenant Timothy Trant by “Q. Patrick” (Richard Webb and Hugh Wheeler); “Mrs. B’s Black Sheep” by “Q. Patrick”; Speaker of Mandarin by Ruth Rendell
  • Olman Feelyus: Frankincense and Murder by Baynard Kendrick
  • Paul Fraser: Astounding Science-Fiction, September 1943, edited by John W. Campbell, Jr. 
  • John Grant: A Line of Blood by Ben McPherson
  • Aubrey Hamilton: The Dogs of War by Frederick Forsyth
  • Rich Horton: Take a Girl Like You by Kingsley Amis; The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting; Reduction in Arms and The Barons of Behavior by Tom Purdom; Rachel Swirsky’s short fiction; The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines; Gene Wolfe, 1931-2019; Fandom Harvest and other fannish writing by Terry Carr
  • Jerry House: The Vanguard of Venus by Landell Bartlett; Eh!, November-December 1954 (Charlton Comics’ first imitation of Mad)
  • Kate Jackson: The Noonday Devil by Ursula Curtiss; Love Lies Bleeding by Edmund Crispin
  • Tracy K.: The Shortest Way to Hades by Sarah Caudwell; Entry Island by Peter May
  • Colman Keane: Deep Cover and Recoil by Brian Garfield
  • George Kelley: The Best of Li’l Abner by Al Capp
  • Joe Kenney: The Great God Now by Edward S. Hanlon; American Avenger #1: Beat a Distant Drum by “Robert Emmett” (Robert L. Waters)
  • Rob Kitchin: IQ by Joe Ide
  • B. V. Lawson: Death on Remand by “Michael Underwood” (John Michael Evelyn)
  • Evan Lewis: “The Ghost of Dutch Emil”  and “Right Hook to Tokyo” by Ed Lacy (prose content in Rangers Comics August 1946 and December 1945 respectively)
  • Steve Lewis: “Murder, 1986” by P. D. James (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, October 1970, edited by Frederic Dannay); “A Madonna of the Machine” by Tanith Lee (Other Edens II edited by Christopher Evans and Robert Holdstock); Spit in the Ocean by Shelley Singer; “Long Shot” by Vernor Vinge (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, August 1972, edited by Ben Bova); The Saint in New York by Leslie Charteris; Spider-Woman, June 1978, written and illustrated by Marv Wolfman, Carmine Infantino and Tony DeZuniga; “Skin Deep” by Kristin Kathryn Rusch (Amazing Stories, January 1988, edited by Patrick Price)
  • Lawrence Maddox: the Assignment: novels by Edward S. Aarons
  • John F. Norris: Dangerous to Me by “Rae Foley” (Elinore Denniston)
  • John O’Neill: The Nightmare and Other Stories of Dark Fantasy by “Francis Stevens” (Gertrude Barrows Bennett)
  • Matt Paust: Smoke Detector by Eric Wright 
  • James Reasoner: Captain Shark #2: Jaws of Death by “Richard Silver” (Kenneth Bulmer)
  • Richard Robinson: G Stands for Glory: The G-Man Stories by Norvell Page  
  • Gerard Saylor: Directorate S by Steve Coll
  • Jack Seabrook and Peter Enfantino: DC War Comics, October 1974
  • Steven Silver: “Build Your Own A-Bomb and Wake Up the Neighborhood” by George W. Harper (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, April 1979, edited by Stanley Schmidt)
  • Victoria Silverwolf: Worlds of Tomorrow, April 1964, edited by Frederik Pohl
  • Dan Stumpf: The Screaming Mimi by Fredric Brown
  • Kevin Tipple: …A Dangerous Thing by Bill Crider, “TomCat”: The Complete Cases of Inspector Allhoff, V. 1 by D. L. Champion; “An Urban Legend Puzzle” by Rintaro Norizuki (translation by Beth Cary), Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, January 2004, edited by Janet Hutchings; The 3-13 Murders by Thomas B. Black

(16) POWERS NOT USED FOR NICENESS. The Boys premieres on Amazon July 26, 2019.

THE BOYS is an irreverent take on what happens when superheroes, who are as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians and as revered as Gods, abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. Subscribe to tvpromosdb on Youtube for more The Boys season 1 promos in HD!

[Thanks to JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Bonnie McDaniel, Matthew Davis, Chip Hitchcock, Rich Lynch, Hampus Eckerman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, Todd Mason, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip WIlliams.]

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30 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/21/19 A Scroll Without A Pixel Is Like A Walrus Without An Antenna

  1. 1) I’ve never read The Secret Garden myself, but had absorbed a general idea of its storyline via social osmosis over the years. I got a better idea of the story when I joined a local writer’s workshop; one of the other participants was working on a revisionist version of TSG. He was a nudist/naturist in private life, so he was writing a nudist-friendly version of the story. He did a pretty good job avoiding any creepiness about it, but as I (and others) in the group pointed out, any story with naked children running around in it would cause some people to freak out, regardless of how innocently it was portrayed. His marketing plan was to self-publish and shop it around to nudist resorts and organizations.

    (Apparently “fiction for naturists” is a small but present niche in the literary world. Goodreads has a “Best Naturist Fiction” list with 52 entries.)

  2. 12) Once again, I’m a p[anelist at Baycon, and this year’s “Give Doug A Weird Panel And Watch Him Run With It” is a comparison between baseball fans and SFF fans. It will feature, for the first time since the State Qualification Tournament in 1984, my dramatic reading of Casey At the Bat.

  3. I have now completed one full day out of the hospital.

    Also, I have made the critically important discovery that I don’t need to refrain from caffeine while on my antibiotics.

    I’m told that as happy as the human members of my sister’s family are that I’m recovering, it’s the non-human family members who are most relieved. Cinder (Maine Coon cat) and Whisky (standard poodle) were worried that The Interloper, Dora, might be planning to take up permanent residence. Whisky, without being toorude about it, when to some effort to explain to Dora that my niece loves her, Whisky the best, and don’t you forget it! This included such desperate measures as abandoning, however temporarily,her firm stance against being a lapdog.

    Dora was not paying attention. She was very worried about me. She really doesn’t approve of hooman veterinary hospitals, she knew I was sick, and the ER, where she had last seen me, was a madhouse that day.

    The picture of Dora sitting on a pile of old shoes, which my sister sent me to show me just how weird my dog is, would probably be stretching the “cats sleeping on sf” past the breaking point, but you should be able to see it here

  4. women’s strength is no longer always less than men’s

    I’m trying to think of when that was the case. My partner is the D&D player who assures me that there weren’t such rules in D&D 2nd edition (mid eighties). I’m from a RuneQuest tradition, where the lack of such penalties was explicit in the 1980 edition that got me hooked.

    Artwork, fair play.

  5. @NickPheas

    Pretty sure it wasn’t true of the blue-cover Basic Set or original AD&D either. (It’s been a long time but I near enough memorised them when I was in my early teens.) Some other systems did – Thieves Guild is the one I can remember – but I think it was always more proverbial than a thing that actually happened.

  6. It’s not so much a strength modifier, but for fighters in 1st edition AD&D, the percentile bonus added to a maximum strength was limited to 18/50 for women. Which made quite a bit of difference as far as to hit j bonus and damage.

    Also, demi humans had gender-based Strength caps. Elves for example had a maximum of 18 for men and 16 for women, Halflings 17 vs 14, and so on.

  7. @Mike Glyer: “Julius Schwartz and the others who ditched part of the first Worldcon to attend Lou Gehrig Day at Yankee Stadium…”

    …made a very good call!

  8. @Rose
    Of course, while you’d think there’s be an even distribution, I ancedotically saw lots more 18/00 scores than any of the other percentiles above 18. Funny how that happened.

    Take care, get better

  9. @Rose Embolism

    You’re absolutely right of course, now I check. I suspect I forgot because it didn’t come up much at the time… which is more evidence for the article’s point.

  10. 14) Blimey. Am I news? … I’m trying to get a review out every day, and (as with last year, and the year before) I’m being annoying by not doing it in any particular order. So, well, reviews are there if anyone wants to read them – I try to be fair and to avoid serious plot spoilers, but that’s all I can promise.

  11. As a player of D&D since the Little Brown Books in 1978… yeah, it’s really nice to see more female players out there. (I’m fortunate in that the campaign I’ve been in since the early ’80s has a decent number of female players, and they’re not just the stereotypical “wife-or-girlfriend-dragged-along” but interested and engaged players in their own right.

    (Also as a side note, I’ve been binge-watching/listening to the Critical Role podcast/youtube videos since last November. Almost caught up, which is insane, because there are (including first (finished) and second (running) campaigns), about 200 episodes, each of which average between four and five hour apiece. Actors playing D&D is actually a lot of fun to watch….)

  12. Meredith Moment: Shadow & Claw, a collection of the first two of Gene Wolfe’s New Sun books, is currently $2.99.

  13. @OGH (re baseball overlap): I recall Ellison mentioning a fellow writer (?Bryant?) for whom the mutual ID/password (“I get all sorts of crank calls — how do I know you’re who you say you are?”) was deep baseball trivia. I don’t know whether they got as far as “Smead Jolley, the only player to make three errors on a single play” (per Bellairs, The Face in the Frost).

    @World Weary: ooh, solid burn. It’s a pity the essayist buys into Chandler’s burlesque, which was already out-of-date, but they may not be old or bookwormish enough to have read significantly from that period.

  14. Another Meredith Moment: The ebook version of Alastair Reynolds’ Revelation Space is now $0.99 at Amazon and Apple (down from $2.99).

  15. Hampus Eckerman: At least the harlot table is gone.

    True. Though as far as sexism goes, the Ur-example is the article by Lenard Lakofka that appeared in the Dragon, “Woman and Magic”, which:
    * Gave women characters different class titles
    * Had their strength rolled on 1D8+1D6
    * Removed Charisma and replace it with Beauty
    * Gave women seduction spells based on their Beauty.

    It was a real piece of 70s male chauvinism, and spawned a huge backlash by both men and women gamers. An overview of the controversy can be found here, along with a link to the original article. (The rest of the thread can be ignored)

  16. April 21st is also the birthday of Iggy Pop and Robert Smith. Pop appeared in an episode of Deep Space Nine and did the title track for Repo Man.

    Smith fought Mecha Streisand on South Park.

    All scrolls are grey

  17. Idle Pleasures by Geo. Alec Effinger is a whole collection of SFnal sports stories.

    The original comic, The Boys, has a major character whose appearance is modeled (with permission) after then-fairly-obscure actor Simon Pegg. I’m not sure how I feel about an adaptation which doesn’t feature Pegg–though I’m sure he’s priced out of their league these days. But I enjoyed the comics enough that I’ll probably still check it out.

  18. @ Jack Lint

    Pop appeared in an episode of Deep Space Nine and did the title track for Repo Man.

    The DS9 makeup crew did an amazing job on Iggy Pop. I knew which alien he was and I still couldn’t believe it.

  19. Iggy Pop has never really looked fully human even without the makeup and prosthetics.

  20. @Joe H: “Iggy Pop has never really looked fully human even without the makeup and prosthetics.”

    I jjumped on stage and danced in a chorus line with my right arm around him. He looked pretty human to me that night.

  21. @Paul Weimer

    True story…

    One of our group back in the 80’s always played some sort of barbarian with 18/00 strength and wore gauntlets with a strength bonus. He was a prototypical D&D uber-fan.

    If our DM got tired of having one of his barbarians and changed the campaign, this guy would whip out one of his other barbarian characters. Our DM got tired of that and started a brand new campaign with the stipulation that we all have brand new characters rolled per the book.

    This guy came down to the first session with a barbarian…with 18/00 strength. The DM called him on it and had him re-roll a new character in front of us.

    And he rolled up a barbarian with 18/00 strength right then and there. We played with his dice and there was nothing funky about how they rolled.


    Keep getting better.



    IIRC, humans were considered to be the normal/nominal race with elves, dwarves, etc. being modified from the norm with bonuses/deductions for non-humans. My personal favorite non-human race was a rock troll that was detailed in Dragon way back when. Lots of strength, great against swords, but terrible vs. lightning based attacks. Usually had rocks in his head. **chuckle**

    If humans are the nominal in the D&D world, then it makes sense for it to be statistically more difficult for females to get to 18/00 strength. But in a fantasy game, surely there is room for a new race and/or class that makes female characters statistically stronger than males.

    The words of a President have an enormous weight and ought not to be used indiscriminately. – Calvin Coolidge

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