Pixel Scroll 4/21/24 Alright, You Heard A Selkie Bark!

Cartoon by Teddy Harvia

(1) FREYDIS MOON IDENTITY CHALLENGED. [Item by Anne Marble.] There are allegations that author Freydis Moon is really an alias for Taylor Barton, Taylor Brooke, and Jupiter Wyse — who were problematic. Freydis Moon is a nonbinary autistic author of horror and fantasy plus paranormal romance. The author was also claiming to be Latine. (The author won an award for Best Latine Representation from Indie Ink.) But the allegations say that this author is actually white — and that they were caught being racist against BIPOC in the past. There is a lengthy and detailed thread by Elle Porter on X.com that begins here: “In this thread you’ll find a walkthrough of evidence that shows a direct link between Freydís Moon and Taylor Barton/Taylor Brooke/Jupiter Wyse.”

There is so much information that there is a Google Docs file.

This document contains evidence that links Jupiter Wyse, one of the many pen names of Taylor Barton, to Freydís Moon, despite Freydís’s frequent claims they do not know Taylor Barton or any of their aliases.

Evidence compiled in this document was a dual effort between a long-time peer of Freydís Moon and someone who was close to Taylor Barton/Taylor Brooke/Jupiter Wyse during their active periods. The latter has chosen to remain anonymous at the time of this document’s creation, so names and emails have been censored to protect that person’s identity.

All screenshots include a link to the image hosted on a public google drive….

For more about earlier accusations against Taylor Barton, there is an article from 2021: “Fake Names & Brownface: Why Queer Fantasy Author ‘Taylor Barton’ Has Been Accused of Catfishing” [at Fanficable].

Freydis Moon was on Twitter, Instagram, etc. But the Twitter account seems to be gone, and their @freydismoon Instagram account is now private.

The author published a number of books under the Freydis Moon name: Freydís Moon (Author of Heart, Haunt, Havoc) at Goodreads.

The author also helped edit Spectrum: An Autistic Horror Anthology. The publisher has responded to this and removed Freydis Moon’s presence from the anthology:

(2) BRAND WISDOM. Here’s Charlie Jane Anders’ advise about “How To Build Your Online ‘Brand’ Without Burning Out” at Happy Dancing.

…I suspect that our ideas of what is possible on social media got heavily skewed by a few outliers who were good at both creative pursuits and also being an influencer. For most of us, I feel like there’s a law of diminishing returns: the more followers you have, the smaller the percentage of those followers will actually support your work instead of just enjoying the free entertainment of your online antics.

So here are some possibly helpful tips for having a personal brand, without burning out

The first of seven tips is:

1) Keep surprising people

The essence of a brand is predictability and consistency — but we love people who surprise us. Don’t let the brand thing force you to get stuck in a rut. You should contain fucking multitudes!

Another tip is:

5) Don’t try to go “viral”

Instead of trying to do whatever the algorithm wants you to do, focus on doing stuff that actually makes your community happy — even if you go less “viral,” people might appreciate you more and be more likely to support you in the future. Oftentimes, “going viral” means amusing people who will never give a shit about you.

(3) THE BOTS ARE ALRIGHT. “How Stories About Human-Robot Relationships Push Our Buttons” in The New Yorker; Annie Bot and Loneliness & Company reviewed.

… As modern dating has evolved into an online-first activity, artificial intelligence has found its match in a generation of users for whom tech-assisted romance is the default mode. The Kinsey Institute revealed in this year’s “Singles in America” survey that fourteen per cent of Gen Z-ers admit to using A.I. to optimize their dating lives. Volar is just the latest company to leverage the new technology in the love space. For help crafting seductive dating-app profiles, love-seekers don’t need Cyrano de Bergerac—they can simply download Cyrano, one of countless “rizz generator” apps (“rizz” being Gen Z slang for charisma). When love dies, there are such apps as Texts from My Ex, which lets A.I. scan messages from a former flame for signs of incompatibility. A woman fresh from a breakup with a jerk named Cesar let A.I. perform an autopsy on their correspondence; she posted her results to Reddit, writing, “I let AI examine our text messages = validation at last.”

Others, tired of kissing frogs like Cesar to find a prince, have started asking A.I. to make them a knight in the shining armor of a titanium-encased smartphone….

(4) THE PAST OF CAPTAIN FUTURE (AND OTHER FUTURES). Alter Ego # 187 has recently gone on sale with Glen Cadigan’s biography of Edmond Hamilton, and it even includes a free preview online which can be read here. Cadigan adds:

As often happens with these things, there was material that didn’t make it into the finished product, and I ran a lot of it in my most recent Substack newsletter. “Is This Thing On? XVIII”. I also included bonus material in previous newsletters, such as quotes from Ray Bradbury about his friend and mentor, as well as a poem by then-seventeen year old Mortimer Weisinger, Hamilton’s future agent and editor, which originally ran in the November, 1932 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, extolling his virtues. All of these can be found (and linked to) at glencadigan.substack.com.

(5) TOP MEN. Listverse picks “The Ten Greatest Engineers in Science Fiction History” – a list obviously put together by someone who never read a book. Only two women, though they are ranked first and second. (And #9 — “Buckaroo Bonsai”?!)

In first place is —

1 Bulma

Wife of the irritable Saiyan Prince, Vegeta Bulma is quietly the most interesting character in the entire Dragon Ball series. She built a Dragonball detector from scratch. She also invented a portable shrinking machine, a time machine, and a generator that allowed Vegeta the hyper-training necessary to become a Super-Saiyan.

She’s constantly creating cool gadgets and hacking any technology she comes across. She created a universal translator to decipher alien languages and can use it to speak to animals. The list of her accomplishments goes for light years, making her the greatest engineer in all of science fiction

(6) LEANE VERHULST (1969-2024). Conrunner Leane Verhulst died April 20 at the age of 54. Aware that she was in the late stages of cancer, a group of friends gathered at the Chicago-area convention Capricon in February in hopes of encouraging her, as Chris Barkley wrote in “So Glad You (Didn’t) Ask #81”.

The family obituary is here and begins —

Leane Verhulst, 54 of Spring Valley, died Saturday, April 20, 2024 at Rock River Hospice and Home in Sterling.

Leane was born on June 25, 1969 in Sterling, the daughter of John and Phyllis (Gluesing) Verhulst. She graduated from Newman Central Catholic High School in 1987. She then continued her education at North Central College where earned a double Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. Leane worked as a computer programmer for the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs (1991-1994), Northwestern Medical Center (1995-2003), Advocate Health Care (2003-2006), and most currently, as an independent custom programmer for Verhulst Consulting working through Blackhawk Consulting in Chicago. She enjoyed going to Science Fiction Conventions, playing board games, traveling, and reading. She was a part of the Science Fiction Outreach Program and would donate books to those in need….


[Written by Cat Eldridge.]

Born April 21, 1954 James Morrison, 70. So which cancelled series are on your list that you wish had definitely been finished? On mine is Space Above & Beyond with James Morrison as Lt. Col. Tyrus Cassius “T. C.” McQueen (USMC, In Vitro), whose Birthday is today. As played by Morrison, Lt. Col. McQueen was a completely believable military officer, not a caricature of one as seen in far too many SF shows. He, like every character, was a believable real being.

James Morrison in 2014.

Likewise the series itself was stellar, both the ship and the universe it traveled being quite believable. The Chigs made an interesting enemy being linked to Earth life — something not noted until the last two episodes of the cancelled series. They had small black eyes set deeply in the head, pale pink skin, an almost missing nose, a protruding upper jaw, something that might be gills. As the Chigs got as close in Jupiter, the question is how far out did the War start? Was this a compact war fought with a few star systems?  There’s no way to know as, like all SF series that deal with interstellar flight, it deals with such distances badly. Just my opinion of course.

Ok, so what else is Morrison do? His other long term character was on 24. Is it genre? I think so, or at genre adjacent. Buchanan during the Day 4 story was the Director of CTU Los Angeles. Before taking command of CTU LA, he was a Regional Division Director at CTU. He was initially sent to CTU Los Angeles by Division Command to oversee the exchange of Jack Bauer for Behrooz Araz in that story. He role would develop over a number of stories. He’d be in thirty-five episodes, one of the longest running characters. 

Not surprisingly he had a Twilight Zone appearance, though given his age it was on the new series. He was in “The Blue Scorpion” episode where a strange here now, gone then gun effects an anthropology professor who’s going mad. He is the voice of JEFF. I won’t say more just in case someone here hasn’t seen it. 

He plays a major a role in the X-File episode, “Theef”: Dr. Irving Thalbro is staying the night with his daughter and her family including Dr. Robert Wieder (Morrison) when in the middle of the night, Irving finds a pile of dirt shaped like a man in his bed. Irving is eventually discovered by Robert hanging from the ceiling with the word “theef” painted in Irving’s blood on the wall.’”


  • Tom Gauld – wow, this is like The Hunger!

(9) DOIN’ WHAT COMES NATURALLY. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] About 2.2 billion years ago, an archaea absorbed a bacteria and eventually “tamed” it as an organelle called a mitochondria. Adding this new capability allowed the evolution of all eukaryotes (cells with membrane-bound sub parts) and eventually multicellular life.

About 1 million years ago, a more advanced cell absorbed a cyanobacteria which eventually became an organelle called a chloroplast. Thus began the evolution of plant life.

Now there’s evidence that about 100,000 years ago, a single-cell algae absorbed a bacteria capable of directly fixing nitrogen from the air. And some of those scientists believe we may be witnessing the creation of an organelle they dub a nitroplast. “For the first time in one billion years, two lifeforms truly merged into one organism” at Popular Science.

… In the paper published in Cella team of scientists show that this process is occurring yet again. They looked at a species of algae called Braarudosphaera bigelowii. The algae engulfed a cyanobacterium gives it a bit of a plant superpower. It can “fix” nitrogen straight from the air and combine it with other elements to form more useful compounds. This is something that plants normally can’t do….

[Thanks to Chris Barkley, Cat Eldridge, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Kathy Sullivan, Anne Marble, Hampus Eckerman, Lise Andreasen, JeffWarner, Glen Cadigan, Steven French, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel (reference explained here) Dern.]

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21 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/21/24 Alright, You Heard A Selkie Bark!

  1. “So which cancelled series are on your list that you wish had definitely been finished?”

    “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”. We are left hanging at the end of the second season. It did some really nifty things with the setting. I would have loved to have seen where they went following the season ending cliffhanger.

  2. (3) Using an AI to “craft” you means you aren’t real in the first place. The better answer is “blah, blah, this is who I am. I’m not changing – can you be interested/live with me as I am?”
    (4) Loved Hamilton. I think some of what I write is influenced by what I read in my teens.
    (5) I see: that incorrectly titled. It should read the 10 greatest engineers in movies and tv sf. If you really mean sf, we start with Dick Seaton, of Doc Smith’s Skylark of Space series. Then, Cardynge, from the Galactic Patrol series. Go ahead, anyone show me someone with bigger engineering…
    (9) Um, er, the timeline seems a bit odd. 1M years ago, multicellular creatures appeared? Maybe they meant “about 1m years later“.

  3. (1) This thing is growing into such a big mess. I see some authors saying, “I tried to warn you about Freydis Moon last year…” And others countering with, “You didn’t have enough evidence at the time. Stop blaming the victims.”


    (4) Ooh, that looks cool.

  4. (9) Bacteria are plural; the singular is bacterium. I expect people writing about science to do better.

  5. @mark
    (9) D@mn typo. That should’ve been “About 1 billion years ago…” RE chloroplasts.

  6. 8) Many here will probably already know that Periwinkle Chukwu is one of Nnedi Okorafor’s cats (both of whom are soon to star in a graphic novel scripted by her).

  7. Cancelled series that I wish had been continued, a partial list in no particular order:
    Marco Polo (Netflix)
    Carnivale (HBO)
    Shadow and Bone (Netflix)
    American Gods (Cinemax?)
    Willow (Disney)

  8. (5)

    a generator that allowed Vegeta the hyper-training necessary to become a Super-Saiyan

    Not only do they not read books, they didn’t even read the manga.

  9. There was a series called La Révolution on Netflix that wondered what it would have been like if the French aristocracy had been literal vampires instead of merely metaphorical ones. But it was canceled after the first season, so we will probably never know.

  10. 1) What a goofy flap over pseudonyms! Between the two of you, Mr. Kuttner and Ms. Moore, will the real Lewis Padgett please stand up? Not to mention this group of guys I’m a fan of: John Riverside, Caleb Saunders, Anson McDonald, Lyle Monroe, and Simon York (hint: they’re all the same person).

  11. (5) If they had read any SF books, I’m sure that Daniel Boone Davis would have been on the list, somewhere near the top.

  12. +1 for Sarah Conner Chronicles.

    I am somewhat surprised that the various companies with rights to Terminator comic books have never done a Season 3 series to resolve it, but it wouldn’t shock me if the rights to film Terminators and TV Terminators were under different contracts.

    Shirley Manson was so good.

    Naturally in the UK is got asked at half past midnight’s plus or minus forty five minutes so it was a right pain trying to catch it.

  13. (5) Firefly’s Kaylee Frye makes it three women engineers. Still not enough women. MacGyver(!) isn’t even sci fi. A substandard list to be sure.

  14. (9) That’s just cool. The kind of information that Oor Wombat will be putting into acceptance speeches in the future.

  15. Jim Janney Not all the French aristos in Genevieve Cogman’s Scarlet are vampires, but enough of them are!

  16. @ Betsy
    “(5) Firefly’s Kaylee Frye makes it three women engineers. Still not enough women. MacGyver(!) isn’t even sci fi. A substandard list to be sure.”

    When I mentioned D. B. Davis (from Heinlein’s A Door Into Summer), I almost added Holly Jones (from his short story “A Menace From Earth”) as well. But I decided that while she is a great character, we don’t know enough about her to say that she is a great engineer as well. But maybe Gloria Brooks McNye from “Delilah and the Space Rigger”? We know her work was good, and that productivity went up when she joined the crew.

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