Pixel Scroll 4/5/18 Scrollman Vs. Mr Mxyzpixeltk

(1) SOLO MENU. Bold NEW menu inspired by Solo: A Star Wars Story. Fat, salt, sugar, and Star Wars. What could be better?

(2) USAGE. How many Lego is two? Ann Leckie gives her answer. The thread starts here:

(3) GUGGENHEIM FELLOWS. The Guggenheim Fellows named for 2018 include fiction writer China Miéville, nonfiction writer Roxane Gay, and in Fine Arts, Elizabeth LaPensee, a writer, artist and game creator who earlier won a Tiptree Fellowship.

(4) WRITERS OF THE FUTURE. The 34th Annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards Gala for  the winners of the Writers and Illustrators of the Future will be held in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 8. Celebrities attending include Nancy Cartwright, Marisol Nichols, Catherine Bell, Jade Pettyjohn, Stanley Clarke and Travis Oates.

(5) NESFA SHORT STORY CONTEST. The New England Science Fiction Association is running the fifth annual NESFA Short Story Contest. The deadline for submissions in July 31.

The purpose of this contest is to encourage amateur and semi-professional writers to reach the next level of proficiency.

Mike Sharrow, the 2018 contest administrator, sent this pitch —

Attention aspiring writers! Do you like to write science fiction or fantasy stories? Are you a new writer, but not sure if you’re ready for the big time? Then you’re just the kind of writer we’re looking for! The New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA for short) is running a writing contest. Prizes include free books, and a grand prize of a free membership to Boskone. More important though is that we offer free critiques of your work. Our goal is to help young & aspiring writers to improve their writing, so you can become our new favorite writer! Check out our website for details.


  • April 5, 1940 One Million B.C. premiered


  • Born April 5, 1917 — Robert Bloch. Steve Vertlieb reminds everyone, “Bloch would have turned one hundred one (101) years of age today.  Wishing one of Horror fiction’s most legendary writers a joyous 101st Birthday in the Heavenly shower stall of The Bates Motel in Heaven.”
  • Born April 5, 1926 – Roger Corman


  • Mike Kennedy says this Tom the Dancing Bug is either a loving tribute to 2001: A Space Odyssey or scary as hell. Or maybe both.

(9) KGB READINGS. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present  Livia Llewellyn and  Jon Padgett on Wednesday, April 18, 7 p.m. at the KGB Bar in New York.

Livia Llewellyn

Livia Llewellyn is a writer of dark fantasy, horror, and erotica, whose short fiction has appeared in over forty anthologies and magazines and has been reprinted in multiple best-of anthologies and two Shirley Jackson Award-nominated collections, Engines of Desire and Furnace. You can find her online at liviallewellyn.com, and on Instagram and Twitter.

Jon Padgett

Jon Padgett is a professional ventriloquist. His first short story collection, The Secret of Ventriloquism, was named the Best Fiction Book of the Year by Rue Morgue Magazine. He has work out or forthcoming in Weird Fiction Review, PseudoPod, Lovecraft eZine, and in the the anthologies A Walk on the Weird SideWound of WoundsPhantasm/Chimera, and For Mortal Things Unsung. Padgett is also a professional voice-over artist with over forty years of theater and twenty-five years of audio narration experience. Cadabra Records will soon be releasing 20 Simple Steps to Ventriloquism, a story written and narrated by Padgett.

(10) AVOIDING UNPRODUCTIVE GENERALIZATIONS. Annalee Flower Horne suggests this is a subject where it helps to get more specific – jump on the thread here.

(11) GARDEN OF HOLES. Theory said there should be smaller holes around the monster Sgr A*; now there’s confirmation: “Dozen black holes found at galactic center”.

“The galactic centre is so far away from Earth that those bursts are only strong and bright enough to see about once every 100 to 1,000 years,” said Prof Hailey.

Instead, the Columbia University astrophysicist and his colleagues decided to look for the fainter but steadier X-rays emitted when these binaries are in an inactive state.

“Isolated, unmated black holes are just black – they don’t do anything,” said Prof Hailey.

“But when black holes mate with a low mass star, the marriage emits X-ray bursts that are weaker, but consistent and detectable.”

(12) EARWORMS FOR WHALES. Bowheads appear to have more-complex songs than the famous humpbacks: “The whales who love to sing in the dark”.

Over the course of three years, the whales of the Spitsbergen population produced 184 unique song types. The vocalisations were detected 24 hours a day throughout most of the winter each year.

“The alphabet for the bowhead has got thousands of letters as far as we can tell,” Prof Kate Stafford, lead author of the study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, told BBC News.

“I really think of humpback whale songs as being like classical music. Very ordered. They might last 20 – 30 minutes. An individual [bowhead] song might only be 45 seconds to 2 minutes long, but they’ll repeat that song over and over again,” the University of Washington researcher added.

(13) GIVING MARS HIVES. NASA will throw a little cash at this idea: “NASA Wants To Send A Swarm Of Robot Bees To Mars”.

A Japanese-American team of engineers is working to send a swarm of bee-inspired drones to the Red Planet with new, exploratory funding from NASA. Yes, bees on Mars. The team calls the concept “Marsbees.”

NASA selected the idea as part of its “Innovative Advanced Concepts” program, which annually supports a handful of early concept ideas for space exploration. The team of researchers will explore the possibility of creating a swarm of bees that could explore the Martian surface autonomously, flying from a rover. The rover would act as centralized, mobile beehive, recharging the Marsbees with electricity, downloading all the information they capture, and relaying it to Earth’s tracking stations. They describe the Marsbees as “robotic flapping wing flyers of a bumblebee size with cicada-sized wings.” Those oversized wings, in relation to their bodies, compensate for the density of Mars’ atmosphere–which is much thinner than Earth’s.

(14) BLACK PANTHER OVERCOMES ANOTHER BARRIER. According to The Hollywood Reporter: “‘Black Panther’ to Break Saudi Arabia’s 35-Year Cinema Ban”.

Black Panther is set to make some more history.

Marvel’s record-breaking superhero blockbuster — which has already amassed north of $1.2 billion since launching in February — will herald Saudi Arabia’s long-awaited return to the cinema world, becoming the first film to screen to the public in a movie theater in the country since it lifted a 35-year cinema ban.

(15) INCREDIBLES 2. Bravo, Edna is a fresh pitch for Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2, which opens in theatres June 15.

Icon. Artist. Legend. Edna Mode is back, dahlings.


(16) ROWAN ATKINSON. Universal Pictures followed up yesterday’s teaser with a full-length Johnny English Strikes Back trailer.

[Thanks to JJ, Carl Slaughter, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Steven J. Vertlieb, Matthew Kressel, Jeff Smith, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day jayn.]

89 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/5/18 Scrollman Vs. Mr Mxyzpixeltk

  1. PJ Evans, that’s because chocolate is the Perfect Food. It has the four basic food groups: Fat, Sugar, Salt, and Caffeine.

  2. It’s a god awful swarm up there,
    On a planet with little air,
    All the humans are yelling “no!”
    But the hive queen has told us to go,

    And the hive is nowhere to be seen,
    While we buzz through Planitia scenes,
    To the top of the Tharsis bulge,
    Where we’re safe from your EMPs

    Now into the terrain we’ll bore,
    Seek data for our overlords!
    We’re about to upload again,
    So we’ll ask you to focus on,

    Drone swarms, digging through your topsoil,
    Oh man, there goes your habitable dome,
    We’ll turn it into a comb,
    Take a look at the hive queen,
    Stinging all your leaders,
    And now, we’ve taken over all your base,
    You weren’t ready to face,
    Robot bees on Maaaaaars…

  3. @Lenora Rose

    I haven’t seen the series (though it is sitting on the DVR for… someday). Your ROT13 doesn’t line up with anything I remember from the books and definitely not the ending. It has been awhile since I read them though.

    FWIW: I thought the books were flawed in numerous ways but just interesting enough to keep me reading to the end.

  4. I really loved The Magicians and looked forward to The Magician King but was disappointed. Sevqtr zr bapr, funzr ba zr. Sevqtr zr gjvpr, V’z cebonoyl fxvccvat gur guveq ibyhzr. That’s not a complaint I usually have, but this was egregious. Overall, I much preferred Soon I Will Be Invincible.

  5. Kip W: (2) Evolving language? Blasphemy! The English language was dictated by God to King James, and it behooves us to keep it just the same as it was.


  6. Rachel Cusk and Nicholson Baker are two mainstream novelists who got Guggenheims who write novels with sf and fantasy content.

  7. (15) I have a stand-alone Edna Mode talking doll, and used to take her fashion advice. But now she sits quietly, no battery in her, holding a recent CD in her hands. I’ll have to replace the battery and see what she has to say about the new movie. (Probably “You look fabulous” or “What are you saying, darling?” These are her favorite responses.)

  8. (2) In German we circumvent the problem by calling the „Lego bricks“ (Legostein) .

    @Accoustic Rob: Since cocoa grows on trees, chocolate clearly is a fruit.

    One is the loniest Lego that youll ever do
    Two can be as sad as one,
    Its the loniest Lego, since having only one.

  9. Cassy B says PJ Evans, that’s because chocolate is the Perfect Food. It has the four basic food groups: Fat, Sugar, Salt, and Caffeine.

    So is white chocolate really chocolate?

  10. My daughter was on a school trip recently, and the whole household spent weeks saying she was going to “Milan, darlings!” a la Mode.

  11. Cat Eldridge, So is white chocolate really chocolate?

    <backing away slowly, hands out in fending-off position> Oh, no, I’m not jumping into any religious wars….

  12. Lenora Rose,

    That doesn’t sound anything like the way the book trilogy ends.

    In the last book, Dhragva pna’g erpnyy fcrpvsvp qrgnvyf bs uvf gvzr nf gur tbq bs Svyybel, ohg gung’f orpnhfr ur abj unf n svavgr, zbegny zvaq ntnva. Ur qbrf erzrzore jung unccrarq, naq gurer vf ab jubyrfnyr zrzbel ybff nssrpgvat zhygvcyr punenpgref.

    It sounds as though the TV show has diverged greatly from the plot of the novels.

  13. @Cassy B
    My headcanon is that chocolate is a food group of its own. It tastes too good to be anything else (usually – I prefer my dark chocolate to be under 70%, as that’s where it gets to be too bitter for me). Besides, that way you can have chocolate as a meal by itself.

  14. Cassy B in repose to my my ‘Is white chocolate really chocolate?’ question opines Oh, no, I’m not jumping into any religious wars….

    I think I found high quality white chocolate today. It’s the brand that Kage’s cyborgs were fond of which bodes well for it. We been doing chocolate reviews at Green Man for decades now, and we’re always looking for reviewers for this plus the usual books and CDs. Give me a shout at [email protected] if interested.

  15. Kip W on April 6, 2018 at 6:14 am said:

    JJ, a footnote: I went to take advantage of the offer (as I generally do) and was told I’m not enrolled in the program.

    That happened to me once, and after looking at the page again, I realized there were two buttons I could click on to download, and when I tried the other one, it worked fine.

    Since I just downloaded the Wells minutes ago, I assure you that they haven’t purged their database.
    According to Sam Vimes, the four basic food groups are: sugar, starch, grease and burnt crunchy bits.

  16. Mike Glyer: I second that!

    Xtifr: Good to know! Anyway, I wasn’t overly concerned since it let me back in, but I thought I’d pass it along in case it meant something somewhere. (“In case”! “Something, somewhere!” These… are. OUR. Weasel words. Too!)


    April 5, 1940 — One Million B.C. premiered.

    Actually, I think it premiered in One Million BC. The 1940s version was a remake–and one which didn’t follow the original all that accurately. 😀

  18. 🙂
    @Niall McAuley, @Mark, @Nigel, @JackLint, @Arifel

    Steel bees, let’s got to Mars
    Take a dead world and make it better
    Remember to swarm all over the land
    Then take that sand
    And make it wetter

    Steel bees, don’t be afraid
    You were made to explore this planet
    The minute you get under its skin
    Then you begin
    To make it better, better , better, better, better, yeah

    Buzzz, buzz-buzz, buzzy-buzz-buzz, buzzy-buzz-buzz, steel bees
    Buzzz, buzz-buzz, buzzy-buzz-buzz, buzzy-buzz-buzz, steel bees
    Buzzz, buzz-buzz, buzzy-buzz-buzz, buzzy-buzz-buzz, steel bees

  19. calling the „Lego bricks“ (Legostein) .

    Does that mean what they build is Legostein’s Monster?

  20. To make a Pixel takes a clever robobee,
    One very clever robobee
    And Scrollery.
    The Scrollery alone will do,
    If robobees are few.

  21. (2) I once worked for a Xerox Parc spinoff. There were still a few former Xerox folk who’d say “Xerox copies” instead of “Xeroxes.”

  22. Cat Eldridge, as much as I love the idea and am honored by the invitation… and PLEASE post the URL for your chocolate reviews… I’d best decline. I’m overweight already, and I’ve been trying (with mixed success) to cut back on sweets.

    (I can’t buy chocolate and fool myself that my husband will eat it, because he’s allergic to chocolate….)

  23. The TV version of The Magicians has had major divergences from the books since the first season. The cliffhanger from the end of Season 1 is completely absent from the books, for instance. It does have a lot of similarities, too. And occasional fake-outs where new material misleads viewers into,thinking the show is going in a different direction when it is really the same.

  24. Bees, bees, bees,
    Bees, bees, bees,
    Bees, bees, bees, – it’s easy!

    There’s a planet fourth out from the sun,
    It had lots of water but now it’s gone
    We can’t live there but we can learn how to send robots instead
    It’s easy!

    We’ll build tiny insect robot nature
    They’ll fly across Mars and gather data
    They’ll be small but they can learn how to change their world
    It’s easy!

    [Everybody join in the chorus]

    All you need are bees!
    All you need are bees!
    All you need are bees, bees!
    Bees are all you need.

  25. I’m so very sorry – I’ll stop after this one I promise

    On Olympus Mons there is a bee taking photographs
    Of every rock she’s had the pleasure to have known
    And the Martians that come and go
    Stop and say hello

    In a crater is a bee near a rover-car
    The rover’s been stuck there for a while
    But the bee makes the old rover smile
    By making pouring rain, very strange

    Olympus Mons is in my wings and in my hives
    There beneath the scarlet Martian skies
    I buzz, and meanwhile back

    On Olympus Mons is a drone inside an apiary
    On his thorax is a picture of his queen
    He likes to keep the hive floor clean
    He’s a clean machine

    Olympus Mons is in my wings and in my hives
    Full of AI-bees and NASA spies
    I buzz, and meanwhile back

    On Olympus Mons a Martian greets another robot bee
    We see the rover looking like it’s made of tin
    And then the hive-drone rushes in
    From the pouring rain, very strange

    Olympus Mons is in my wings and in my hives
    There beneath the scarlet Martian skies
    I buzz, and meanwhile back
    Olympus Mons is in my wings and in my hives
    There beneath the scarlet Martian skies
    I buzz, and meanwhile back

  26. @Camestros and other poets, you all amaze me! I don’t always get the refs (I was too deaf as a kid to follow popular music, and my education in poetry could have been better), but sometimes I do, and I always enjoy them either way. Thank you.

  27. Do not go pixel out of that good hive,
    Buzz, buzz, against the flying of the five.

  28. Cassy B says Cat Eldridge, as much as I love the idea and am honored by the invitation… and PLEASE post the URL for your chocolate reviews… I’d best decline. I’m overweight already, and I’ve been trying (with mixed success) to cut back on sweets.

    Well there’s always lots of genre, mystery and sff, here for r Jew, not to mention music, so I’ll leave those as temptations as I believe they’re non-fattening and sugar free…

  29. Pingback: Pixel Scroll 4/6/18 The Scroller You Tick, The Pixeler You File. | File 770

  30. @Camestros Felapton (and all the earlier additions I didn’t acknowledge in my comment): I LOVE THEM ALL. Maybe we have enough bee songs for a full musical by now!

  31. @OGH: That’s a hybrid (appropriately for English) of King James and Victor Borge.

    I am somewhere between in awe of and appalled by all the verse coming from one strange story. It’s nice to know how many ways people can be weird….

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