Pixel Scroll 4/3/18 You Got The Jong Number For That Pixel Scroll

(1) WHEN TROLLS ATTACK. The London Film and Comic Con told readers how they responded to a trolling attack.

Now to an important activity that really did affect us last week and it did catch us out for a few hours until we worked out what was going down.

Two days before the most recent big announcement, 15 new accounts were created on our forum and equally, multiple new Facebook members with brand new accounts started following our Facebook page. Then, on the announcement night, the users of these accounts started to aggressively and negatively comment and undermine the guest announcement. This was the ONLY thing they were set up to achieve.

This was not noticed by us at first and it took some time to look into these Facebook accounts. As we started to look a little closer, it was clear that we’d attracted a small vocal minority with a real and cynical agenda to purely undermine the guest announcement and belittle any fans or attendees showing any type of excitement.

I’ve since learnt this is known as ‘TrollJacking’, where internet trolls post or comment on a piece of content or an announcement to drum up negativity or just to damage the purpose of the thread. What a lovely thing to do.

This is something very new to us and it really did catch us out, in fact so much so we left the comments up online – as we believe in freedom of speech and opinion and there’s always the odd bit of negativity with every update or announcement.

To all the true fans out there, regardless of whether you are happy about the announcement or not – I am sorry that we did not pick up on it sooner and allowed this minority to cause friction at a time that should have been a time for great excitement and discussion for everyone….

This announcement on Facebook about the appearance of Christopher Eccleston seems to have been the target.

(2) CORALINE MEANING. The Guardian interviews Gaiman about the opera based on his book: “Neil Gaiman on Coraline the terrifying opera: ‘Being brave means being scared'”.

The button eyes are a macabre touch that places Gaiman’s story firmly in the Grimms’ Fairy Tales tradition. And there’s more than a touch of Hansel and Gretel in Coraline’s themes of parental abandonment, an initially appealing but evil mother figure, and a brave child who conquers her fears to win the day. “I’d wanted to write a story for my daughters,” says Gaiman in the introduction to the 10th-anniversary edition, “that told them something I wished I’d known when I was a boy: that being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t scared. Being brave means you are scared, really scared, badly scared, and you do the right thing anyway.”

(3) A NIGHT AT THE OPERA. And The Guardian comments on the performance: “Coraline review – creepy adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s tale will turn kids on to opera”.

The Royal Opera have certainly done it proud. The supernatural rubs shoulders with the mundane in Aletta Collins’s production, in which the two worlds are placed back to back as mirror images on a revolving stage. Magic consultants Richard Wiseman and David Britland have been drafted in to provide the special effects, which drew gasps from the audience on occasion on opening night, though Collins also has a knack of suggesting unease by the simplest of means. The scene in which Kitty Whately’s Other Mother produces syringes and surgical needles in an attempt to sew buttons over the eyes of Mary Bevan’s Coraline (“just a little incision under your eyelids”) had me squirming in my seat.

(4) DUFF. SF Site News covered the Down Under Fan Fund result:

Marlee Jane Ward won DUFF (the Down Under Fan Fund) in an unopposed race. She will travel to the US to attend Worldcon 76, to be held in San Jose from August 16-20….

(5) ALPHABET SOUP. James Davis Nicoll returns with: “Fighting Erasure: Women SF Writers of the 1970s, Part IV”. This time letter letters I and J, which include –

Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones was prolific and talented, which makes singling out a particular work as a starting point especially problematic. The fact she’s the subject of one of my review projects doesn’t help, as it only expands the number of worthy candidates. Although it is a bit of a cheat, what I would recommend is not a single novel but an omnibus: 2003’s The Dalemark Quartet. It is composed of four early secondary-world fantasy novels that recount the history of troubled Dalemark, from its age of legends to a quasi-medieval period thousands of years later.

(6) MLK. On the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death, here is N. K. Jemisin’s contribution to CNN’s post “Who is Martin Luther King Jr. to us, 50 years later?”

N.K. Jemisin: I pray it won’t take another 50 years

In 1963, as Martin Luther King Jr. sat in solitary confinement in Birmingham, he lamented the failures of white moderates, who at the time seemed to prefer “a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”

It must have seemed clear to King that even white people who claim to support equality are unreliable allies — willing to talk the talk and walk a few steps, but only if their own anxieties are put first.

Which is why the civil rights movement made what progress it did by effectively shaming white moderates into doing the right thing. This makes me wonder what America is to do in 2018, when our society daily endures a shameless embarrassment of a President, abetted by his shameless party and the shameless media — and when, too often, some white liberals and moderates openly wonder if there’s some way to ease tension between themselves and … fascists.

I have no solutions to offer, other than to survive and to try and help as many others survive as possible. It saddens me that we’ve progressed so little in the 50 years since King’s death. I pray it won’t take another 50 years for all of us to know the presence of justice at last.

N.K. Jemisin is an author of speculative fiction. In 2016, she became the first black to win the Hugo Award for best novel for “The Fifth Season.” In 2017, she won Hugo for best novel again, for “The Obelisk Gate.”

(7) EXPANSE. The next Expanse novel will be out in December – Tiamat’s Wrath.

(8) THEY’LL BE BACK. The Hollywood Reporter brings word: “‘Riverdale,’ ‘Flash,’ ‘Supernatural’ Among 10 CW Renewals”.

The CW, fresh off news that it is expanding to a sixth night of originals for the 2018-19 broadcast season, has renewed nearly its entire lineup.

Returning for additional seasons are: Arrow, Black Lightning, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Legends of Tomorrow, Dynasty, The Flash, Jane the Virgin, Riverdale, Supergirl and Supernatural.

Still to be determined are the fates of midseason fare The 100, iZombie and Life Sentence and fall debut Valor. Official decisions on those four — as well as The CW’s new series orders — will be determined in May.

(9) FIGURING IT OUT. NPR’s Glen Weldon finds both style and substance in “‘Legion,’ Season 2: Welcome Back To The Weirdest Corner Of The Marvel Universe”.

Legion is the story of David Haller (a perpetually rumpled and vaguely confused Dan Stevens), the world’s most powerful mutant, who’s now free of the evil psychic parasite known only as the Shadow King, who last season assumed the form of his friend Lenny, played by Aubrey Plaza. David’s grown up believing himself to be schizophrenic, but came to realize his true nature when he was taken in by an organization seeking to train him — and to fight the Shadow King, who is in fact an ancient being known as Amahl Farouk (played, this season, by Navid Negahban).

(10) BEWARE SPOILERS. Martin Morse Wooster tells me, “Since you are having more troubles with computers I offer a show recap” —

Last night’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow began with a scene captioned ‘OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE–1979,”  The camera zooms in on the back of an African-American student’s head.  The student, suing an Olympia manual typewriter, dutifully types, “Obama.Political Science 100.”  We know that this scence is about Barack Obama when he was a freshman in college.  Obama looks out the window and sees a campus in springtime.

As the future president is typing, the window is smashed and a giant paw GRABS the president and holds him high in the air!  It is Grodd the gorilla, and he’s on a mission.

‘IT’S TIME TO MAKE AMERICA GRODD AGAIN!,” the beast thunders,

Fortuntately the Legends of Tomorrow show up and Grodd drops Obama, who runs off.  The Legends then blast the beast with flamethrowers, then shrink him and throw him in a Mason jar.  The future president then decides to party with the Legends on their time ship.  He holds out a hand to one of the women, saying, “Hi, my name is Barry.”  “You should call yourself ‘Barack,’ ” she responds.  Another woman swoons, “I miss you, Barry!”

I wish I could tell you how Obama gets back to California and somehow doesn’t remember how he was nearly killed by a giant talking ape and then partied with some time lords.  But this is the first of a two-part episode, so we will learn these answers next week

(11) SKYE STOMPERS. Why are the : “Dinosaur tracks on Skye ‘globally important'”? They date to the Middle Jurassic, for which there’s relatively little data.

Most of the prints were made by long-necked sauropods – which stood up to 2m (6.5ft) tall – and by theropods, which were the older cousins of Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Researchers measured, photographed and analysed about 50 footprints in a tidal area at Brothers’ Point – Rubha nam Brathairean – a headland on Skye’s Trotternish peninsula.

The footprints were difficult to study owing to tidal conditions, the impact of weathering and changes to the landscape but the scientists identified two trackways in addition to many isolated footprints.

(12) SMUGGLE BY WIRE. TeleCrunch reports “Chinese police foil drone-flying phone smugglers at Hong Kong border”:

Dozens of high-tech phone smugglers have been apprehended by Chinese police, who twigged to the scheme to send refurbished iPhones into the country from Hong Kong via drone — but not the way you might think.

China’s Legal Daily reported the news (and Reuters noted shortly after) following a police press conference; it’s apparently the first cross-border drone-based smuggling case, so likely of considerable interest.

Although the methods used by the smugglers aren’t described, a picture emerges from the details. Critically, in addition to the drones themselves, which look like DJI models with dark coverings, police collected some long wires — more than 600 feet long.

…So here’s what you do:

Send the drone over once with all cable attached. Confederates on the other side attach the cable to a fixed point, say 10 or 15 feet off the ground. Drone flies back unraveling the cable, and lands some distance onto the Hong Kong side. Smugglers attach a package of 10 phones to the cable with a carabiner, and the drone flies straight up. When the cable reaches a certain tension, the package slides down the cable, clearing the fence. The drone descends, and you repeat.

I’ve created a highly professional diagram to illustrate this technique (feel free to reuse):

(13) READ BUHLERT. Cora Buhlert has some new work available — “A Triple New Release and Some Thoughts on Cozy Space Opera”.

I have an announcement of my own to make. And it’s a big announcement, because I have not one but three new In Love and War stories to announce, two short stories and one short novel.

The first of the two short stories isn’t quite that new, because it has been available as part of the anthology The Guardian for a while now. However, if you want a standalone edition, here is your chance.

Like Dreaming of the Stars and Graveyard Shift, Baptism of Fire is a prequel to the In Love and War series proper, though it is listed as Part 2 at most vendors, because they don’t support prequels very well.

(14) BLOOM. The singer of “F*** Me Ray Bradbury” continues her TV career as someone who is late.

Rachel Bloom of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend fame will be heading over to another CW show when she guest stars on an upcoming episode of iZombie.

Bloom will be portraying a “pretentious theater actor” whose death is investigated by iZombie’s Liv (Rose McIver) and Clive (Malcolm Goodwin), TV Line reported.

(15) GOING GREEN. The 2019 Worldcon committee wishes to apprise you of the availability of the “Finest Public Toilet in Dublin”. Or “Where All the Big Lads Hang Out…” as the post’s author Pádraig Ó Méalóid says:

It’s the middle of August 2019, and you’re in Dublin for Worldcon – a Stranger, if not in a Strange Land, at least in a strange city. A strange city with many secrets, which sometimes only the locals truly know about. You’ve heard all about our native literary giants – George Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, and Flann O’Brien, to name but three – but even they were only human, prey to the wants and needs that mortal flesh is heir to. It’s only natural that you’ll want to know where they would have gone, and where you could go, too. So let me introduce you to one of the hidden architectural gems of my native city: the beautiful public toilets in the National Library of Ireland….

(16) GOING PINK. You could win this outfit and fight cancer —

Enter to win Deadpool’s Pink Suit and Send a Big F-You to Cancer at https://fox.co/DeadpoolPinkSuitYT Learn more about Fuck Cancer at https://LetsFCancer.com


[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Brian Z., Andrew Porter, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Josh Jasper.]

33 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/3/18 You Got The Jong Number For That Pixel Scroll

  1. 6) A fascinating article. I love seeing people reinterpret the past in ways they can understand.

    10) This development is making me ever less likely to write that story where Obama explains his Very Good Reason for helping throw the 2016 election to Trump.

  2. In Dublin’s fair WorldCon
    Where the fans are all woebegon
    Searching for loos that won’t poisons their rears
    They tense and they scrunch up
    Not trying to touch much
    The manky old porcelain under their bums
    Their bums their bums oo-oh
    Their bums their bums oo-oh
    They won’t get infected if they’d had all their shots.

  3. John A. Arkansawyer: what you say makes it sound like you think she’s wrong…?

  4. (2) I saw this in action the first time I gave blood. It was around 1983, at Georgia Southern College, and there were several frat brothers there. One of their own had been in an auto accident and was getting blood at the hospital, and they were donating blood for him. The one making the most jokes was clearly petrified at the prospect of having the needle and all, but there he was anyway, going through with it. I asked the person taking mine to assign it to the same person. I wanted to reward the hero, even if he didn’t know about it.

    (3) Speaking of opera, I would like to take some time out to listen to the work of Alma Deutscher some day. Her first opera was based on a Neil Gaiman story, “The Sweeper of Dreams,” and she still reads SF and/or fantasy. I hope she has a long career.

  5. 8) It’s pretty amazing that the lowest rated show on prime time television continues to keep getting renewed without persistent rumours of being dropped, shut down or shifted into broadcast dead time. It’s a critical darling (and a tremendously written and acted show) but the amount of leeway its been given is extremely unique.

  6. @Lenora Rose: I don’t think anyone who contributed to that article could be wrong exactly, just modern.

    Last month, I went to a memorial service for an old friend who was kind of a big deal, someone who made a real difference in the world. I knew him long enough and well enough to be able to identify the sorts of omissions and emphases in the various obituaries I read and eulogies at the memorial service.

    This local paper left out that part of the story because the publisher is a putz; those industry obituaries dodged the fact that he’d been critical of its recent development.

    None of them were wrong, even when I thought–knew, in fact–they were.

  7. “Which is why the civil rights movement made what progress it did by effectively shaming white moderates into doing the right thing.”

    I thought MLK did much to advance civil rights by appealing to the better angels of white moderate’s natures, as well those of others. I’m pretty sure that’s how LBJ felt.

  8. @2/@3: that looks and sounds incredible. I am an unfan of opera (only partly because it shortchanges choruses — I don’t sing intentional solos) but am hoping this one travels far enough that I can see it.

  9. (1) OK, was it Puppies who are angry about Thirteen being a woman, or was it Who fanboys who are still bearing a grudge over a decade later about Eccleston leaving after one season? (Who fanboys are capable of still bearing grudges dating back over forty years, 2005 is recent.)

  10. Oooooh.

    It’s just been announced that Ann Leckie will be coming to Israel for ICon, our big convention, in the fall.

    ::AM EXCITE!!!::

  11. So, continuing yesterscroll’s discussion on Paperwhites, maybe you can help me out? I’m looking for a good platform for taking notes as I read textish files — as one might do when, oh, say, beta-reading something.

    I’m looking for something where it’s extremely easy to (a) read and (b) scribble very brief, not-necessarily-legible notes to myself on snippets of the text.

    Here’s the rub: Once I’m done, I want those notes all on a Word or Google-ish document, keyed to the same snippets.

    Up until now I’ve been reading + commenting on my Kindle, and copying comments manually, which is a huge PITA. I’d like something more convenient. The best alternative I can think of is read + comment on a Google Doc on a tablet. I’m not crazy about Google Docs on mobile, though, particularly its commenting (although I haven’t tried it on a tablet; just casually on my phone).

    Any avid and/or highly-optimized beta readers out there have any advice for me? Thanks 😀

  12. John A. Arkansawyer – That’s fair. I also don’t think one article could possibly cover all the nuances of a person.

    David W: I can’t claim any huge familiarity with the full history of the civil rights movement, but my impression is that he did a bit of both. He appealed to better natures *and* he drove some people to shame. I Have a Dream and Letter from Birmingham Jail alone cover that whole territory. And one thing I did learn so far about MLK was that he wasn’t exactly a one-trick pony.

  13. @Dex: If you’re referring to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, they’ve also announced that this season will definitely be the last. They’re going to write a proper conclusion and everything. Which isn’t a bad way to go out for a show that’s struggled to find an audience, despite heaps of critical praise and a decent chunk of awards.

    What I’m hoping now is that Bloom will get the opportunity to go on and do some musical adaptations of Bradbury works. Though I admit this is a thought that would have made me cringe before seeing CEG (and FMRB). 🙂

  14. When I think of shame and the advancement of civil rights, what I do remember (I was a young child back then) was the pictures, mostly. Like of protestors being set upon by police dogs and being hosed down with fire hoses. Those were brave people who were protesting peacefully for equal rights under the law, and how they were treated was shameful. But it wasn’t like MLK had to forcefully point that out. He didn’t have to, as this statement from LBJ shows:

    EVER SINCE the events of Sunday afternoon in Selma, Ala., the administration has been in close touch with the situation and has made every effort to prevent a repetition. I am certain Americans everywhere join in deploring the brutality with which a number of Negro citizens of Alabama were treated when they sought to dramatize their deep and sincere interest in attaining the precious right to vote.

    The best legal talent in the Federal Government is engaged in preparing legislation which will secure that right for every American. I expect to complete work on my recommendations by this weekend and shall dispatch a special message to Congress as soon as the drafting of the legislation is finished.

    Federal officials have been sent to Selma and are supplying up-to-the-minute reports on developments there.

    The Federal District Court in Alabama has before it a request to enjoin State officials from interfering with the right of Alabama citizens to walk from Selma to Montgomery in order to focus attention on their efforts to secure the right to register and vote. I have directed the Justice Department to enter the case as a “friend of the court” so that it can present its recommendations and otherwise assist the court in every manner in resolving the legal issues involved in the case.

    We will continue our efforts to work with the individuals involved to relieve tensions and to make it possible for every citizen to vote. I urge all who are in positions of leadership and capable of influencing the conduct of others to approach this tense situation with calmness, reasonableness, and respect for law and order.

    Statement by the President on the Situation in Selma, Alabama.
    March 9, 1965

  15. @Xtifr

    If you’re referring to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, they’ve also announced that this season will definitely be the last.

    Missed that. A shame but good to go out on their terms with some proper closure before getting stale.

    And I could definitely handle more Rachel Bloom in any capacity. Hadn’t heard of her before her Hugo nom and became a fan pretty quickly.

  16. (12) Randall Munroe would like to have a word…..

    Wisdom includes not getting angry unnecessarily. The Law ignores trifles and the wise man does, too. – Job:A Comedy of Justice

  17. @Standback I find Play Books quite handy for that kind of thing. You can upload your own files for reading, and have your highlights and comments automatically collated in a Google Doc.

  18. Standback: The person most currently critiquing for me asked for an epub file for easy reading when not taking notes, and a word .doc or .rtf to make notes upon directly. I myself have no better suggestion, never having tried to use my reading platforms to read a novel I’m critiquing. (I’ve mainly used google docs, word, or hard copy)

  19. I sometimes think a link to the Pixel Scroll tag up there by the masthead would be somewhat handy-like. Just pondering aloud.

    The Scroller You Tick, The Pixeler You File.

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