Pixel Scroll 4/25/24 Why Scroll Around Half Dead When We Can File You For Only 22 Pixels?

(1) THE EDITOR’S LIFE. Penmen Review has a two-part transcript of a panel about “The Role of the Editor in Publishing” with editors Ellen Datlow and Joe Monti, and copyeditor Deanna Hoak.  

Ellen Datlow: Well, I mean, short fiction is very different in getting into. It’s always been difficult, and I think it still is, but there are so many people starting new magazines. It’s hard to make a living out of writing short fiction and editing. There aren’t that many magazines that pay their editors or publishers, like F&SF, the four Dell Magazines: Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock, Analog, and Asimov’s. Most of the others are started by people who are scrambling to make a living out of it, like Neil Clarke and the Thomases. It’s very hard. And the way to get into anything is to read slush, whether it’s novels or short stories, if you can get a job or an internship. You often don’t get paid to do that, but it’s experience, and you make connections and contact anyone you ever heard of.  

One thing I learned very early is that if someone—a book editor or a major editor or publisher or anybody else—says “There’s no job, but I can talk if you’d like to come in,” always say yes. If anyone professional offers to have a drink with you, coffee with you, just talk with you in their office, say yes, because they may know some other job available, and they’ll give you insight into the whole publishing industry. It goes back to the connections and networking aspect of the whole thing. You have to put yourself out there.  

Part II is here: “Professional Editors Discuss Self-Publishing, Networking and More”

W4W: We’re going to try to pull some questions out of the chat. How fast do you need to be able to edit?  …

Deanna Hoak: I’m paid by the hour, but you’re expected to do more and more within that hour. When I first started out in copy editing, the standard was that you were expected to edit about 2,500 words per hour, say ten manuscript pages an hour. But now companies are expecting more and more. I know there is one publisher that wants 17 pages an hour done.  

As a copy editor, I read every manuscript at least twice, and I read sections of it more than that, because if I don’t read it at least twice, I will miss some of the plot holes. Plus, you’re fact checking. You’re going back and forth. You’re doing a lot of stuff. Seventeen pages an hour – it just doesn’t work for me. I end up not taking very many projects for the companies that want me to do that.  

Joe Monti: I keep it all in my head as I go along. It’s terrible. So I’m a slow reader, but it’s because I read and ingest it and keep it all going in my head at the same time. I may make little comments on the side throughout the manuscript. But yeah, I keep it all in my head, and then keep going. And then there’s a flow that happens. It’s very much a bell curve. Maybe 15, 20 pages the first hour. And then by like hour two or three, I’m going to 40, 60 pages an hour.  

But it depends on the book. And sometimes I have little to no editing. I have done almost no editing on Ken Liu‘s quartet of fantasy novels. And if you’re not familiar, the last two were 367,000 words, so it was split in two. That one we cut the ends off and beginnings. But other than that, I didn’t edit almost anything in it. Yet it took me two months because I was reading it and making sure it all fit. And everything fit perfectly. But Ken’s a rare genius, and he’s worked meticulously on his craft. One of the reasons why we work well together is that I know he knows that I trust him, and I get him. This is a lot of the creative part of it–I get your voice.  

(2) ONE BILLION SERVED. In “Yes, People Do Buy Books”, Lincoln Michel rebuts the claims in Elle Griffin’s “No one buys boks” (recently linked in the Scroll). 

… How many books are sold in the United States? The only tracker we have is BookScan, which logs point of sale—i.e., customer purchases at stores, websites, etc.—for most of the market. BookScan counted 767 million print sales in 2023. BookScan claims to cover 85% of print sales, although many in publishing think it’s much less. It does not capture all store sales, any library sales, most festival and reading sales, etc. (Almost every author will tell you their royalty reports show significantly more sales than BookScan captures. Sometimes by orders of magnitude.)

Still, I’ll be very conservative and assume 85% is correct. This means around 900 million print books sold to customers each year. Add in ebooks and the quickly growing audiobook market, and the total number of books sold over 1 billion. Again, this is the conservative estimate….

(3) DEDUCING THE SATISFACTIONS OF SHERLOCK. “Nicholas Meyer on the Great Escape of Art (and the Art of Detective Fiction)” at CrimeReads.

…I write Sherlock Holmes stories for the same reason I read them, to divert my attention from the terrifying issues that plague the rest of my waking hours—Ukraine, Gaza, drought, famine, wildfires, limits on voting rights, Fox News and anti-vaxxers.

But for a few hours, when I read or write Sherlock Holmes stories, I am transported to what appears to be a simpler world, where a creature of superhuman intelligence, nobility, compassion and yes, frailty, can make sense of it all. Was the Victorian world in fact simpler than this one? We’ve no way of knowing, but like an audience willing itself to believe that the magic trick is really magic, we are conniving accomplices to our own beguilement….

(4) JIM HENSON DOCUMENTARY. Animation Magazine is there when “Disney+ Debuts ‘Jim Henson Idea Man’ Official Trailer”.

… Directed by Academy Award winner Ron Howard, Jim Henson Idea Man chronicles the story of extraordinary artist and visionary Jim Henson. In his 36-year career, Henson created some of the world’s most cherished characters, including classic Muppets like Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy and all of Sesame Street’s iconic residents, including Big Bird, Grover, Cookie Monster and Bert and Ernie. Henson also directed beloved fantasy films like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth….

(5) HUGO 24. Camestros Felapton is reviewing the 2024 Hugo finalists. The latest entry is “Hugo 24: The Saint of Bright Doors by Vajra Chandrasekera”.

…Fetter, the central character of The Saint of Bright Doors is more keenly aware of the dislocation of both time and geography than most. He has some of the qualities of a Peter Pan, unattached from his shadow and with a loose relationship with gravity. Raised in a remote rural village by his mother to be an assassin, he has turned his back on that destiny and instead lives in the modern world of email, crowd-funding, run-down apartments and light-rail transit.

Fetter lives in the present or rather he doesn’t live there at all. Science fiction and fantasy have their fair share of unreliable narrators but Fetter lives in a world of unreliable world-building….


(7) FATHOM LORD OF THE RINGS EVENT. Via Robin Anne Reid we learn that Fathom Events will reprise The Lord of the Rings Trilogy on June 8, 9 and 10 in certain U.S. theaters. Tickets available at the link.

Warner Bros. and Fathom Events are teaming up to release Jackson’s magnum opus in extended versions, including those Jackson remastered for the 4K Ultra HD rerelease that came out in 2020. This will be the first chance for fans to see the purest iteration of Jackson’s vision on the big screen, however.


[Written by Cat Eldridge.]

Born April 25, 1969 Gina Torres, 55. Where shall I start with Gina Torres?  What was her best role? I submit it was a non-genre role as Jessica Pearson in the legal drama Suits and Pearson, the sort of sequel series where she was a disbarred attorney. It was a truly meaningful role that she got to grow into over the time the two series ran.

Gina Torres in 2018.

Genre-wise her most interesting character was Zoë Alleyne Washburne in the Firefly series which I really would have loved to see developed into more a rounded character had the series lasted. I liked her background of having served in the Unification War under Reynolds for two-and-a-half years and being one of the few to survive the Battle of Serenity Valley. 

Before that she was down in New Zealand, where she appeared in Xena: Warrior Princess as Cleopatra in “The King of Assassins” , and in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, she had a recurring role as Nebula. 

She was in the M.A.N.T.I.S. series as Dr. Amy.  I liked that series. 

She was the Big Bad in a season of Angel as Jasmine. It’s hard to explain what she did here without Major Spoilers being given away and there might be at least one least one reader here who hasn’t seen Angel yet. I actually think it’s a better series than Buffy was. 

Right after the Firefly series, she has a role in the Matrix films, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions as Cas. 

After that came the Cleopatra series where she was Helen “Hel” Carter  (and which last longer than I thought at twenty-six episodes) , a great piece of pulpy SF. She was obviously having a lot of fun there.

One of my favorite roles for her strictly using her voice came in the animated Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths where she was the Crime Syndicate Siberia Woman. Stellar role done with just her voice.  She also voiced Vixen / McCabe on Justice League Unlimited. She was the girlfriend of John Stewart, the Green Lantern there. 

She voiced Ketsu Onyo on two of the animated Star Wars series, Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars Forces of Destiny. She’s a Mandalorian bounty hunter who helps the Rebel Alliance. 

She’s on Westworld in a storyline that that is so convoluted that I’m not sure that I could explain it. Suffice it to say that she was there. Or not. 

Lest I forget I should note that she had a recurring role on Alias as Anna Espinosa, an assassin who was the utterly ruthless and ceaselessly persistent nemesis of Sydney Bristow, the character that Jennifer Garner played. 


(10) OCTOTHORPE. In episode 108 of the Octothorpe podcast, “Ramp is Not Ramp”, John Coxon, Alison Scott and Liz Batty look back at Eastercon.  

We bask in the post-Levitation haze, going into some detail on accessibility, venue, programme, virtual, social and other aspects of the most recent Eastercon. We also mix in a variety of witty and insightful commentary, probably.

A drawing of a blackboard with text that reads: “Octothorpe 108 guide to Glasgow street food.” A picture of a deep fried pizza with glasses is next to text reading ’The “Coxon” pizza crunch’, a picture of three pakora with glasses next to ‘The “Scott” haggis pakora’, and a picture of a deep fried Mars bar next to ‘The “Batty” deep fried Mars bar”. Stars also adorn the backboard, and bottles of red and brown sauce are in the bottom-left-hand corner.

(11) ABANDON HOPE. Inverse reasons that if Heritage Auctions is selling all the stuff needed to make more episodes of HBO’s Westworld, there’s no hope that will happen: “2 Years After It Was Canceled, HBO’s Most Divisive Sci-Fi Show Might Officially Be Dead”.

Westworld ran for four seasons on HBO, but was canceled shortly after its last season wrapped and was later booted from the streaming platform. Season 4 ended on a more or less satisfactory note, but both Nolan and Joy have expressed interest in finishing the story they started.

According to the creators, Westworld still needs one more season to wrap up the battle of wills between humans and hosts. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, however, Nolan suggested the story could continue in a different medium, like a graphic novel or even a movie. Either way, television production seems to be moving on for good, as Westworld’s costumes, props, and set pieces are about to be scattered to the winds.

Heritage Auctions is hosting a massive Westworld auction. The event features more than 230 pieces from the series…

(12) THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MAGIC. Variety reports “Harry Potter Books Full-Cast Audiobooks to Be Exclusively on Audible”.

… Amazon’s Audible and Pottermore Publishing, the global digital publisher of Rowling’s Wizarding World, will co-produce a brand-new audiobook series for the original seven Harry Potter stories. The new audiobooks are scheduled to premiere in late 2025, with each of the seven English-language titles to be released sequentially for a global audience, exclusively on Audible.

The companies said the full-cast audio productions — with more than 100 actors — will “bring these iconic stories to life as never heard before.”…

(13) UNEXPECTED STUFF. “Oreo Has a First-Of-Its-Kind Cookie Hitting Shelves Soon” and Allrecipes is ready to blab what it is.

… Oreo and Sour Patch Kids have teamed up to create the first-ever sour Oreo cookie. No, the Sour Patch Kids aren’t playing a trick on you—this collab is very real.

The limited-edition Sour Patch Kids Oreos look like your classic Golden Oreo, but look again; Those mischievous gummy candies are actually in the cookie and creme. The Oreo cookie itself is Sour Patch Kids-flavored and dotted with colorful mix-ins. The sandwich creme is the classic Oreo creme filled with sour sugar pieces. Looks like this Oreo will also be sour, sweet, then gone…. 

(14) CHARGE IT! “Detroit debuts ‘road of the future’ with wireless electric vehicle charging”WBUR explains.

Drivers will buy 17 million electric vehicles this year, according to the International Energy Agency. That means one in five cars sold worldwide will be EVs.

That’s a lot of cars, and they need a lot of places to charge. Detroit is testing a new way to charge EVs that doesn’t require plugging cars in — just drive on the right strip of road and watch the battery fill up.

Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd spoke with Bloomberg NEF analyst Ryan Fisher and Justine Johnson, chief mobility officer with the state of Michigan’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification about the future of charging systems and EV sales….

“A vehicle will be connected to a smart road. Essentially the road has a wireless inductive charging coil inside of it and the vehicle is communicating with the actual coils underneath the road to receive their charge. So while a vehicle is driving, as long as it has the receiver underneath the vehicle, you charge and you drive at the same time maintaining your charge but also adding some charge range to that as well.”…

(15) TAU BELOW ZERO. Reported in today’s Nature: “Detectors deep in South Pole ice pin down elusive tau neutrino”. “Antarctic observatory gathers the first clear evidence of mysterious subatomic particles from space.”

An observatory at the South Pole has made the first solid detection of a type of elementary particle called the tau neutrino that came from outer space.

Neutrinos of all three known ‘flavours’ are notoriously elusive, but among them, the tau neutrino is the most elusive yet: it was first directly detected in the laboratory only in 2000.

At the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, detectors embedded throughout a cubic kilometre of the Antarctic ice sheet pick up flashes of light that signal the possible presence of a neutrino. When a tau neutrino hits the ice, it produces a particle called a tau lepton, which travels only a short way before decaying. The resulting signal is similar to that produced by an electron neutrino, whereas muon neutrinos produce muons, which leave long traces in the ice.

The IceCube Collaboration looked at IceCube data from 2011 to 2020, and used machine learning to distinguish between the signals of tau, electron and muon neutrinos. The collaborators found seven interactions that had a high probability of being produced by high-energy tau neutrinos.

Primary research here

[Thanks to Teddy Harvia, Kathy Sullivan, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Cat Eldridge, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, and Steven French for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Patrick Morris Miller.]

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14 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/25/24 Why Scroll Around Half Dead When We Can File You For Only 22 Pixels?

  1. (0) Would you take 21 pixels?
    (1) ARGH. That’s hard. And this is why I won’t self-publish – I want that editorial help.
    (2) I have no idea about book scan… but Amazon author is utterly useless, since they will not tell you about ebook sales ->from Amazon<-. And it claims to have sold zero print copies of my current novel, which I have trouble believing.
    (3) “Simpler”? Hell, no. How about a lot more homelessness? How about most folks working 16 hours/day/6 day weeks? And Holmes, frail, no, he is Justice, giving what is deserved, not prescribed.
    Birthday: sigh I need to see her in more things. I lusted, er, sorry, adored her in Firefly.
    (10) I see the words “haggis pakora”, and need help scrubbing it from my mind.
    (14) Um, no. a) how much charge can you pick up while driving? I have grave doubts it’s enough to keep you moving right now, without using battery. If it is… and for many vehicles? Anything that wanders onto it that isn’t a car is fried. And btw, how’s your mobile/laptop doing while on it?

  2. 2) Thanks for linking that! When he says “overall print sales have held pretty steady”, I conclude that when ebooks & audiobooks are added in, total book sales have more than doubled, to 2 billion books or more.

    He says that “for some genres, especially science fiction and fantasy, ebook sales can easily exceed print sales” — but he never talks about the Atlas of the book industry, the One Genre To Rule Them All: Romance. Romance readers were ebook early adopters, even before SFF, and I assume that ebooks sales exceed print sales for Romance, too.

    And audiobooks aren’t just a little sidebar, either: I recall Scalzi talking about audiobooks, and how happy he is with the voice actors he’s had, but how even if he weren’t 100% thrilled with their choices he’d still love audiobooks because they’re one-third of his sales.

    That’s why I’m quite confident that total book sales have doubled or more: because e- and audio-books make it easy for people to read (or listen to) books in more circumstances than they could 30 years ago.

  3. (0) Just when I thought Readers Take Denver had run out of outrageous incidents, today the organizer announced that she has COVID. Some believe she must have had it during the convention. And according to reports, she was unmasked — and yelling at people — during the convention.

    (2) I was glad that article critiqued the “50% of books only sell 12 copies” myth that was mentioned in the other article.

    (3) Yup. “Simpler” time. Pshaw. I’m sure Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Kelly would also agree with you that it was not a “simpler” time.

    (13) Yikes! I like Sour Patch Kids now and then — but I don’t think I want that flavor in my Oreos.

  4. @mark: If it’s any better, I think I saw a recipe for rattlesnake vindaloo once.

    Thanks for the title credit!


    I’ve listened to some of C. J. Cherryh’s work as audible “full-cast audio” and was decidedly unimpressed with the format. Why, I ask, is there a trend (comics, film, tv) to take books further and further away from their original text?

  6. About Harry Potter in particular, they probably need a reason to give people for buying another version of what they’ve already read, seen, or heard.

  7. Michael Burlanyk asks I’ve listened to some of C. J. Cherryh’s work as audible “full-cast audio” and was decidedly unimpressed with the format. Why, I ask, is there a trend (comics, film, tv) to take books further and further away from their original text?

    If you think of this as like films based off those novels, they’re quite good. The BBC production of Neverwhere which had the enthusiastic support of Gaiman is a most excellent adaptation of the novel. And why do it? Because the creative process isn’t limited to the novel just being within the written page.

  8. As I understand it, the Neverwhere TV show came first, and the novel is effectively a novelization of it. If you want to talk about excellent novel adaptations of Gaiman, you could go to Good Omens.

  9. (10) Iain Banks’ novel Whit is set amongst a cult whose adherents enjoy haggis pakoras, bridie samosa, channa neeps, black pudding bhaji and saag crowdie paneer. And lots of strong tea.

  10. 14) The University of Utah tried something like this ten years ago, only at the stops for their shuttle buses. I don’t know how that worked out or if it’s still in use. UTA runs electric buses by my block, but they use conventional batteries that recharge overnight. And the state legislature-imposed coal depot “inland port” is now talking about building a section of roadway with imbedded wireless charging.

    Beyond technical details that I’m not an expert on, the obvious problem is the big capital outlay up front, for something that may or may not see actual use.

  11. 2.) I was really glad to see Lincoln Michel’s take, in part because I had spent a year or so reading Elle Griffin’s assorted takes and coming to the conclusion that her perspectives were not…entirely accurate, at least based on my experience and knowledge of the industry (And Jane Friedman’s take on Elle Griffin in Substack Notes was…quite amusing. I consider both Friedman and Michel to be more credible about The State of The Industry than Griffin).

    Yes, I’ve self-published for twelve years now, but I have many friends in traditional publishing and we’ve talked about the industry for a lot longer than those twelve years.

    The biggest problem is that the industry is significantly fragmented and there is no one way to determine what actual sales are in a reliable fashion. As a self-published author, I have a better grasp of what’s going on with my work than traditionally published authors do theirs, but even at that, this awareness requires monitoring several reporting dashboards on a regular basis. And the only reason I don’t have more dashboards to monitor is that I use Draft2Digital instead of individually uploading to different ebook platforms.

  12. @8 – I think “Siberia Woman” is a typo for “Superwoman”? Superwoman is the Earth-Three counterpart of Wonder Woman; in Sarah Pinsker’s “And Then There Were (N-One),” one of the clues that the narrator comes from a different timeline is that she mentions the 2005 Gina Torres Wonder Woman movie.

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