Pixel Scroll 4/9/19 In The Comments The Filers Come And Go Scrolling Pixelangelo

(1) MISSING SUPERHEROES FORMATION. The Wrap tells how “‘Avengers: Endgame’ Press Conference Leaves Seats Empty for Thanos’ Victims”.

In a cheeky nod to the end of “Infinity War,” Sunday’s press conference for the upcoming “Avengers: Endgame” left several seats empty for the actors who played characters snapped into oblivion by Thanos.

“Post-Snap, there’s a few empty seats, so I’d like to welcome back the people that you see here onstage,” said “Iron Man” director and star Jon Favreau, who hosted the event.

Those who did make it included Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, “Endgame” directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Danai Gurira, Chris Hemsworth, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd, Karen Gillan, Jeremy Renner, and “Captain Marvel” newcomer Brie Larson.

(2) CAPTAINS UMBRAGEOUS. Yahoo! Lifestyle brings us a sneak peek released yesterday on Good Morning America: “Marvel Released a New Clip from ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and Someone Isn’t Happy About Captain Marvel Joining the Team”.

(3) CELLAR DOOR (NOT INTO SUMMER). Empire posted an exclusive clip from the Tolkien biopic.

Tolkien explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the “fellowship” apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth novels.

(4) INSPIRING CHART. The Book Smugglers host “Fran Wilde: A Map of Inspirations and Influences for RIVERLAND”. Wilde’s post begins —  

The last time I did an inspirations and influences post here, I drew you a literary family tree for Updraft. It got a little out of hand. (Carmina Burana and a taxidermied weasel qualify as out of hand.)

This time, for Riverland, which is my first middle grade novel, I drew you a map. …

(5) APOLOGIA FOR AO3. Slate’s Casey Fiesler tries to explain “Why Archive of Our Own’s Surprise Hugo Nomination Is Such a Big Deal”.

…But fan works, and the community that surrounds them, often don’t get the respect they deserve. So AO3’s nomination for the prestigious award—both for the platform itself and for the platform as a proxy for the very concept of fan fiction—is a big deal. Many, both inside and outside the sci-fi and fantasy community, deride fan fiction as mostly clumsy amateur works of sexual fantasy—critiques that, as those who have looked at them closely have pointed out, have a glaringly gendered component. Erotic fan fiction is part of the landscape—and, frankly, can be a wonderful part of it—but it’s about more than that. It’s about spending more time in the worlds you love and exploring characters beyond the page. It’s about speculating over how things could be different, just as good science fiction and fantasy does. And it’s also about critiquing source texts, pushing back against harmful narratives, and adding and correcting certain types of representation (including the ways women and LGBTQ people are portrayed in these genres).

(6) SHOOTING THE MOON. Christian Davenport in the Washington Post questions whether the administration’s goal of landing on the Moon in 2024 can be met, since the plan is based on a lunar orbital station that has not been built, much less contracted.  Davenport notes that Vice-President Pence “has dedicated more time to space than any other White House official since the Kennedy administration.” — “Trump’s moonshot: The next giant leap or another empty promise?”.

…NASA officials also face a major test of their agency’s effectiveness: Is this another empty promise by an administration nostalgic for the triumph of Apollo and looking to make a splash while in office, or can NASA somehow pull off what would be an audacious step just in time for the presidential election?

Already, there are signs that the White House’s plan is running into fierce head winds.

At a hearing Tuesday, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.), the chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, blasted Pence’s speech for lacking any details of how NASA would achieve what she called a “crash program” or what it would cost.

“We need specifics, not rhetoric,” she said. “Because rhetoric that is not backed up by a concrete plan and believable cost estimates is just hot air. And hot air may be helpful in ballooning, but it won’t get us to the moon or Mars.”

(7) EARLY LESSONS. Tobias Buckell tells about the famed magazine’s significance to him, and empathizes with those affected by its parent company’s recent bankruptcy filing, in “100 Years of Writer’s Digest (#WritersDigest100): Some Thoughts”.

…I did a keynote for Writer Digest conference in Cincinnati not too long ago. I really tried to kick my keynoting abilities up to a new level, and I think I was able to deliver. But while there, I met quite a few staff from Writers Digest. I really hope this ends well for them, as they were all excited about helping writers and celebrating books.

(8) SAY (SWISS) CHEESE! Science says we may know tomorrow: “Here’s what scientists think a black hole looks like” .

More than half a dozen scientific press conferences are set for 10 April, raising hopes that astronomers have for the first time imaged a black hole, objects with gravitational fields so strong that even light cannot escape. Although their existence is now almost universally accepted, mostly from the effect of their gravity on nearby objects, no one has actually seen one.

Black holes themselves are entirely dark and featureless. The giant ones at the centers of galaxies are also surprisingly small, despite containing millions or billions of times the mass of our sun. To make observing them yet more difficult, those giants are shrouded in clouds of dust and gas. But streams of superhot gas swirl around the holes, emanating radio waves about a millimeter in wavelength that can penetrate those clouds.

Two years ago, an international collaboration known as the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) corralled time on eight different radio telescopes around the world to try to image the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, known as Sagittarius A*, and another at the center of nearby galaxy M87. They used a technique known as interferometry to combine the output of the globally scattered instruments to produce images as if from a single dish as wide as Earth. A dish that large is needed to see the details of something that would fit easily within the orbit of Mercury and is 26,000 light-years away.

(9) MORE MCINTYRE MEMORIES. A lovely tribute to Vonda McIntyre by Arwen Curry, director of Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin:

On camera in Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, Vonda keenly describes the moment when women began to make a space for themselves in science fiction and fantasy, and the controversy it stirred up. I recorded her during a vacation with Ursula and Charles Le Guin in the southeast Oregon desert on a blistering day — a day so hot that the camera overheated and we had to pause filming and cool off. I still feel a little guilty about the heat of that afternoon, and grateful that she endured it.


  • April 9, 1960 – The Mercury Seven astronauts were introduced to the public.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born April 9, 1911 George O. Smith. He was an active contributor to Astounding Science Fiction during the Forties. His collaboration with the magazine’s editor, John W. Campbell, Jr. ended when Campbell’s first wife, Doña, left him in 1949 and married Smith. Ouch.  He was a prolific writer with eight novels and some seventy short stories to his name.  He was a member of the all-male dining and drinking club the Trap Door Spiders, which was the inspiration for Asimov’s the Black Widowers. (Died 1981.)
  • Born April 9, 1926 Hugh Hefner. According to SFE, he  had been an avid reader of Weird Tales when he was younger.  Perhaps as a result, Playboy came to feature stories from the likes of Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov,  Algis Budrys, Ray Bradbury,  Richard Matheson, James Blish,  Robert A Heinlein, Frederik Pohl and Rod Serling.  Arthur C. Clarke’s “A Meeting with Medusa” which would first run here won a Nebula. (Died 2017.)
  • Born April 9, 1926 Avery Schreiber. Principal genre claim is being in Galaxina which parodied Trek, Star Wars and Alien. Other genre appearances included being a rider on a coach in Dracula: Dead and Loving It, the Russian Ambassador in More Wild Wild West and the voice ofBeanie the Brain-Dead Bison on the Animaniacs. (Died 2002.)
  • Born April 9, 1954 Dennis Quaid, 65. I’m reasonably sure that his first genre role was in Dreamscape as Alex Gardner followed immediately by the superb role of Willis Davidge in Enemy Mine, followed by completing a trifecta with Innerspace and the character of Lt. Tuck Pendleton. And then there’s the sweet film of Dragonheart and him as Bowen. Anyone hear of The Day After Tomorrow in which he was Jack Hall? I hadn’t a clue about it.
  • Born April 9, 1972 Neve McIntosh, 47. During time of the Eleventh Doctor, She plays Alaya and Restac, two  Silurian reptilian sisters who have been disturbed under the earth, one captured by humans and the other demanding vengeance. Her second appearance on Doctor Who is Madame Vastra, in “A Good Man Goes to War”.  Also a Silurian, she’s a Victorian crime fighter. She’s back in the 2012 Christmas special, and in the episodes “The Crimson Horror” and “The Name of the Doctor”. She reprises her role as Madame Vastra, who along with her wife, Jenny Flint, and Strax, a former Sontaran warrior, form an private investigator team. 
  • Born April 9, 1982 Brandon Stacy, 37. He worked on both of the new Trek films as a stand-in for Quinto with obviously the acting jones as he become involved in two of the Trek video fanfics, Star Trek: Hidden Frontier and Star Trek: Phase II, the latter in which he portrays Spock of course. 
  • Born April 9, 1990 Kristen Stewart, 29. She first shows up in our area of interest in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas as a Ring Toss Girl (ok, it wasn’t that bad a film). Zathura: A Space Adventure based off the Chris Van Allsburg book has her playing Lisa Budwing. Jumper based off the Stephen Gould novel of the same name had her in a minor role as Sophie. If you’ve not seen it, I recommend Snow White and the Huntsman which has her in the title role of Snow White. It’s a really great popcorn film. Finally she’s got a gig  in The Twilight Saga franchise as Bella Cullen. 
  • Born April 9, 1998 Elle Fanning, 21. Yes, she’s from that acting family. And she’s certainly been busy, with roles in over forty films! Her first genre film is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button followed by Astro Boy, Super 8MaleficentThe BoxtrollsThe Neon Demon, the upcoming Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and a recurring role on The Lost Room, a Cursed Objects miniseries that aired on Syfy. 


  • Grimmy tries a familiar origin story on for size – and it doesn’t fit!

(13) BIGGEST BANG. The makers of the Top Sci-Fi Weapons infographic say —

Sci-fi movies aren’t complete if they don’t show highly advanced and destructive weapons. From lightsabers to photon torpedoes, they’ve been iconic on their own.

As these weapons caught our interest, we’ve put together the ultimate arsenal of reality-warping weapons in order to compare which is the most powerful sci-fi weapon in the universe.

This is not just random ranking. Would you believe we worked with physicists and engineers on this infographic.

(14) WAKANDA SOUND. Hear “Wakanda Funk Lounge” by SassyBlack at Bandcamp.

“Wakanda Funk Lounge” by SassyBlack, is a svelte slab of hologram funk delivered directly from the Black Panther nation of Wakanda. This four-song EP contains the chart-topping hits from that nation’s funk lounges, and rising star, SassyBlack.

SassyBlack is a queer “blaxploitation, sci-fi warrior queen” and is also a multi-talented, space-aged songwriter, beatmaker, composer and singer. Her music has been described as “electronic psychedelic soul,” with roots in experimental hip-hop, R&B, and jazz. Her voice has been compared to that of Ella Fitzgerald, Erykah Badu, and Georgia Anne Muldrow and her beats owe a debt to Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones. Like Queen Latifah, she sings, raps, is an actor (who recently appeared on Broad City) and produces all her own music. Before going solo, she recorded and performed as half of the Afrofuturist hip-hop duo THEESatisfaction. Her music has received attention from Okayplayer, Afropunk, The Fader, Pitchfork, Bitch magazine and more.

Her brand new “Wakanda Funk Lounge” EP has been recently released as a 500-copy special-edition 7” single on Seattle hip-hop record label Crane City Music. The cover was designed by visual artist Wutang McDougal and each copy is pressed on colored vinyl and is individually numbered. The music is also available online on all major streaming services and can be purchased digitally through Bandcamp. It’s funky music that reminds us that Wakanda’s main export is “VIBE-ranium.” 

In describing the project, SassyBlack says that “Wakanda Funk Lounge is about black freedom. When I think of “Black Panther,” it is talking about black freedom, so much that we have our own secret space. What would be freer than a Wakanda funk lounge?”

This is not her first sci-fi or superhero-themed project. SassyBlack performed at 2018’s Emerald City Comic Con, and her 2016 full-length album, “No More Weak Dates” contains numerous references to Star Trek. In an interview with Hearst publication Shondaland, she explains her sci-fi fascination: “Star Trek and Star Wars have always had bars and concerts. There’s no culture without music… And so Black Panther’s M’Baku invites me to come and perform in one of Wakanda’s funk lounges. This EP is the music I perform there. And where it gets crazy is that I’m like, ‘Listen, I have to leave Wakanda now because I’m going to go join Starfleet.’ [laughs] It could technically work.”

(15) SEE SPACEX MISSION. NBC News: “SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket set for first commercial launch. Here’s how to watch it live online.”

Thirteen months after its maiden flight, SpaceX’s huge Falcon Heavy rocket is being readied for its first commercial launch on Wednesday.

The 230-foot-tall rocket is scheduled to lift off at 6:35 p.m. ET from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This will be only the second flight for the world’s most powerful rocket now in operation.

(16) SPFBO ENTRY. Jessica Juby reviews Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off #4 finalist Symphony of the Wind by Steven McKinnon” at Fantasy-Faction.

…You’d be wrong if you thought this was going to be a light-hearted jaunt on airships. We’re quickly introduced to our rag-tag crew aboard the Liberty Wind, with plucky protagonist Serena and the chip on her shoulder, discovering their unique personalities. It’s not long into the story before things start going wrong, the pace immediately picks up and gives us a taste of what’s yet to fully unfold.

It’s commendable that the author strikes while the iron is hot and gets down and dirty within the first chapter…

(17) IN MEMORY NOT GREEN. Out of This World SFF Reviews’ Nick T. Borrelli delves into After the Green Withered  by Kristin Ward.

AFTER THE GREEN WITHERED is definitely a book with a relevant political and social message.  Author Kristin Ward does not pull any punches in this regard and the reader absolutely gets a taste of what the world could possibly be like if we continue down our current path with regard to how we are addressing environmental issues.  I’m a fan of dystopian SF like this one, and I thought that by and large the author did a solid job of creating an atmosphere that delved into the hopelessness that living under these conditions would obviously engender. 

(18) SERIES REVIVED. Joe Sherry heralds an author’s return to an iconic setting in “Mircoreview [book]: Alliance Rising, by C.J. Cherryh and Jane Fancher” at Nerds of a Feather.

Alliance Rising marks the return of C.J. Cherryh to her Alliance-Union Universe. It’s been ten years since the publication of Regenesis, and since then she’s published nine more Foreigner novels, but it’s been a long wait for Alliance-Union fans. Alliance Rising is the earliest novel set in the timeline. Set on the cusp of the Company Wars, there are plenty of references for long time Cherryh readers: Pell Station, Cyteen, the azi and the Emorys, the ship Finity’s End and its captain JR Neihart. Put together, the novel is grounded in a particular time and the edges of a setting that many readers are well familiar with even though no prior knowledge is required.

(19) KARMA CHAMELEON. To beat computer hackers, do cybercrime professionals need to change their Patronus? — “Should cyber-security be more chameleon, less rhino?”

Billions are being lost to cyber-crime each year, and the problem seems to be getting worse. So could we ever create unhackable computers beyond the reach of criminals and spies? Israeli researchers are coming up with some interesting solutions.

The key to stopping the hackers, explains Neatsun Ziv, vice president of cyber-security products at Tel Aviv-based Check Point Security Technologies, is to make hacking unprofitable.

“We’re currently tracking 150 hacking groups a week, and they’re making $100,000 a week each,” he tells the BBC.

“If we raise the bar, they lose money. They don’t want to lose money.”

This means making it difficult enough for hackers to break in that they choose easier targets.

And this has been the main principle governing the cyber-security industry ever since it was invented – surrounding businesses with enough armour plating to make it too time-consuming for hackers to drill through. The rhinoceros approach, you might call it.

But some think the industry needs to be less rhinoceros and more chameleon, camouflaging itself against attack.

(20) END OF AN ERA? BBC asks “Is ‘Game of Thrones’ the last great blockbuster TV show?” And I obligingly click…

As the fantasy saga returns for its final series, Chris Mandle asks whether the small screen will ever produce such a worldwide obsession again.

…In the US, season seven had an astonishing average viewership of 32.8 million people per episode – to put that in context, the finale of Mad Men, another critically acclaimed, much talked about prestige drama, pulled in 4.6 million US viewers in 2015 – while in recent years, interest in the show has surged in Asian markets, among others.

But while Thrones changed television, it’s also true that television itself changed during the show’s run. As the wars between the factions of Westeros’s Seven Kingdoms have raged, traditional television has been usurped by streaming services, non-linear viewing and ‘binge’ culture, where consumers, rather than wait patiently for an episode airing each week, are more used to having an entire season dropped in their lap to watch at their leisure.

What seems likely is that Game of Thrones’ swansong might also mark the end of TV’s monoculture era – the age of shows that everyone watches and talks about together. Certainly, nothing else that appears on traditional broadcasters seems primed to roll out on its scale….

(21) UNEXPECTED TRAIT. And he’s not the only one at the studio who has it — “Aphantasia: Ex-Pixar chief Ed Catmull says ‘my mind’s eye is blind'”.

The former president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios says he has a “blind mind’s eye”.

Most people can close their eyes and conjure up images inside their head such as counting sheep or imagining the face of a loved one.

But Ed Catmull, 74, has the condition aphantasia, in which people cannot visualise mental images at all.

And in a surprising survey of his former employees, so do some of the world’s best animators.

Ed revolutionised 3D graphics, and the method he developed for animating curved surfaces became the industry standard.

He first realised his brain was different when trying to perform Tibetan meditation with a colleague.

(22) TIME FOR SILVERBERG. Rob Latham discusses “Temporal Turmoil: The Time Travel Stories of Robert Silverberg” at LA Review of Books.

… But throughout his career, Silverberg returned obsessively to one of the genre’s key motifs — time travel — upon which he spun elaborate and strikingly original variations. During his New Wave heyday, when he was one of the preeminent American SF writers, he produced six novels dealing centrally with themes of temporal transit or displacement — The Time Hoppers (1967), Hawksbill Station (1968), The Masks of Time (1968), Up the Line (1969), Son of Man (1971), and The Stochastic Man (1975) — his treatment of the topic ranging from straightforward adventure stories to heady philosophical disquisitions. The new collection Time and Time Again: Sixteen Trips in Time (Three Rooms Press, 2018), which gathers 16 stories published between 1956 and 2007, provides a robust — and very welcome — conspectus of Silverberg’s short fiction on the subject….

(23) NO SPARKLES. BBC wants to explain “What unicorns mean to Scottish identity”.

From Edinburgh to St Andrews and Glasgow to Dundee, the one-horned mythological horse is real in Scotland.

In a corner of Edinburgh, outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse with its witches’ hat towers and crenellated turrets, 74-year-old tour guide Kenny Hanley can often be found pointing to a little piece of magic atop an ornamental gateway at the residence’s southern approach.

The focus of his attention is an almost-forgotten stone emblem of the city and country in which he lives, and yet few realise it’s one that teems with meaning, telling an almost unbelievable story about Scotland’s national identity.

Take a step back, and the fuller picture emerges. There’s a second cast-stone figure opposite – a rampant lion, crowned, and holding a ceremonial flag as it stands guard. But Hanley’s gaze remains drawn to the slender, mythical creature wrapped in chains to our right.

The stone is just stone and the lion is just a lion, but this horse-like figure – adorned with a singularly fancy horn on its forehead – is extraordinary. It is a unicorn. And, believe the hype or not, it is Scotland’s national animal.

…“It’s long been a symbol of purity and power, but also of virginity and subtlety,” said Hanley, who works as a Blue Badge guide for the Scottish Tourist Guides Association. “And those values still stand up when thinking about Scotland today. These are characteristics embedded in the Scottish psyche.”

…According to the National Museum of Scotland, medieval legend further suggests only a king could hold a unicorn captive because of the supposed danger it posed, something that may have given rise to its widespread adoption. What is known is James II wholeheartedly embraced the legend, and the unicorn became the symbol of purity and power that Scottish kings and nobility identified with in the 15th Century. Over time, this led to the unicorn becoming officially recognised as Scotland’s national animal.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jack Lint, who wears his scrolls rolled.]

48 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/9/19 In The Comments The Filers Come And Go Scrolling Pixelangelo

  1. Reading “Alliance Rising” was like coming home. It’s not perfect, but I enjoyed every word and will reread. I can recommend it to be added to anyone’s TBR pile!

  2. “When Pixels are Scrolled by My Baby,
    Pixels are Scrolled by Me….”


  3. 11) Scanning the birthdays and seeing Dennis Quaid’s name, I immediately thought of The Right Stuff. Coincidentally scroll item 10 notes that this is the anniversary of the public introduction of the seven Mercury astronauts.

  4. (11) To my knowledge, no story by Robert Heinlein was published in Playboy. (I found one or two mentions online of his novel Friday having been serialized there, but the Heinlein online archives says “published by Holt, Rinehart & Winston in 1982 without prior serialization.”)

  5. (23)
    “The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the Crown” – L. Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

  6. gottacook says To my knowledge, no story by Robert Heinlein was published in Playboy. (I found one or two mentions online of his novel Friday having been serialized there, but the Heinlein online archives says “published by Holt, Rinehart & Winston in 1982 without prior serialization.”)

    Stories being in the widest meaning possible to include serialized msterial as well. Really I’m not going to spend hours making sure that what is stated on the web that I use here is actually a hundred percent correct. Birthday notes are stories, not academic research papers.

  7. gottacook: While Heinlein did not have a story published in Playboy, he was one of the sf writers who contributed to its “1984 and Beyond” feature in the Sixties (says the Science Fiction Encyclopedia). I thought he was interviewed there, too, but looks like that was in Oui.

  8. Looking at my dad’s mid-1960s issues of Playboy as a pre-teen constituted (among other things) a decent SF education. I especially recall the trio of stories in which authors were shown what Wikipedia calls “a clay head without ears” and each of them wrote a story about it; Clarke’s was “Playback” (which, when I read it again in an anthology years later, seemed to be missing something without the image of the head as it appeared in the magazine).

    I apologize for seeming to require scholarly precision, but I’m an editor and sometimes can’t restrain myself.

  9. Another 4/9 birthday, not strictly SF&F-relevant but perhaps of fannish interest regardless: Tom Lehrer, writer of such classic songs as the post-apocalyptic “We Will All Go Together When We Go,” the space race ballad “Wernher von Braun,” and that peppy and useful filk “The Elements.” He’s now 91 and still (as far as I know) kicking along.

  10. Birthday notes:

    Playboy Press had a line of science fiction mass market paperbacks for maybe a year in the early 1970s. I had a couple of the short fiction collections, which were terrific, and I think there were also a few novels.

    Cat asked about the movie The Day After Tomorrow (2004) in Dennis Quaid’s birthday note. Quaid plays the lead role of a climate scientist in this climate change disaster story which appeals to my inner 12 year old. As a series of superstorms plunges Earth into a new ice age, Quaid’s character has to venture into the frozen zone to rescue his son. I’ve watched this a few times on TV; it’s an enjoyable junk-food movie.

  11. People actually do picture sheep just like in those old cartoons? Jumping over fences and everything?

    So many weird things people said when I was a kid make *so much* more sense now.

    “although exactly what is going on in the brain is still unclear.”

    That’s how I feel about the rest of you.

  12. 21) I also have Aphantasia, though I am neither famous nor artistic (I was a drafter back in the pencil & paper days). I never knew until I was discussing art with my wife, who is a children’s book illustrator.

    5) – Can nobody understand why AO3 got nominated?

  13. (11) Poor Neve McIntosh, typecast as a Silurian.

    Gottacook: I think Asimov wrote another of that trio of stories. Possibly “Eyes Do More Than See”.

  14. No ebook version of Alliance Rising, or most other Cherryh novels, available in the UK.

    This makes me sad every time I look.

  15. 21) Interesting to read that some artists suffer from this. Myself, I can only visualize things very fleetingly. I wonder how this impacts dreams?

    As well as co-inventing the Catmull-Clarke subdivision surface representation of curved surfaces – as mentioned in the article – Ed was also co-author of the REYES algorithm, named for Point Reyes in northern Marin, but also an acronym for Renders Everything You Ever Saw) which was the foundation of film rendering for many years.

  16. Andrew laments Poor Neve McIntosh, typecast as a Silurian.

    Genre wise, that’s pretty much true. She did appear in an episode of Dracula, a short-lived ‘reimagining’ of that novel, and she was Fuchsia on the Beeb’s production of Gormenghast. Critical, a BBC Medical drama first aired in ‘15, was her first time as regular recurring cast.

    She’s actually continued playing Madame Vestra for Big Finish Productions in a spin-off series of storiies which do not involve the Doctor. Well most of the time.

  17. 13) As usual, concentrating on pop-culture, movies and the real world, they miss out on all the fun ones. A list of planet-smashing weaponry that doesn’t even mention Iain M. Banks or E.E. “Doc” Smith? Come off it.

  18. I never knew that Fuschia was also Madame Vestra!

    I also enjoyed Alliance Rising very much, and it led me to my ongoing Alliance/Union reread, which I think will end for the time being with Chanur’s Legacy, since everything after that takes place much further down the timeline. (And I have other things waiting in my TBR pile, including Tasha Suri’s Empire of Sand; and I also have a whole bunch of Hugo reading to do at some point.)

  19. Meredith Moment: Jeff VanderMeer’s Veniss Underground is currently $1.99. This is an edition that includes the novel plus several related stories & novellas &c., it appears.

  20. I just realized that Tessa Thompson is in three of the Best Dramatic presentations – Annihilation, Sorry to Bother You, and Dirty Computer. That seems like quite a feat.

  21. ambyr:
    Tom Lehrer is a benefactor of mankind in one other way as well (and the Google teasers hinted at something in the 1860s that may have pre-empted this, but if they’re just going to spin turbines and beachballs at me instead of telling me, I’m just going to jump ahead and ignore them):

    In 1955 Tom had a different sort of business to take care of — the U.S. Army. The draft was very much alive during the ’50s, and most able-bodied young American men saw military service sooner or later. ‘I went into the Army for two years: January 1955 to January 1957. Believe it or not, I enjoyed it … The only thing I did contribute to the war effort was vodka Jell-O. I was assigned to a naval base, even though I was in the army. We wanted to have a Christmas office party, but the rules forbade all alcoholic “beverages,” so a friend of mine and I decided to confront this challenge. Of course there’s plum pudding and the like, but you have to eat too much to produce any effect. So she and I experimented with various flavours of Jell-O, various alcoholic ingredients, and various proportions. Obviously, you can’t experiment too extensively, because you soon lose your powers of discrimination, but we settled on vodka in orange Jell-O — same recipe as on the box, only with vodka instead of the cold water. I have heard that daiquiris are good in lime Jell-O. We filled little paper cups with the final product, took them into the base past the guards, and nobody said anything. It was a very nice party.’
    —excerpt from the notes to “The Remains of Tom Lehrer” CD set

  22. (14) SassyBlack is also on Spotify. Sadly, this EP is not there….yet. She is working on a third solo album, Ancient Mahogany Gold, slated to be released later this year.

    What she does have on Spotify is pretty good stuff.

    (20) The TV monoculture has been dead for a while. It is much harder to attract a mass audience. GoT just proves that it is still possible with quality actors, a good story, and good production values. I’m sure it will happen again….eventually.

    A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by. – John Wayne

  23. 18) One of James Robert Neihart’s lines in Alliance Rising is straight from the song “Finity’s End”, which is an occasional part of my repertoire. I got chills when I read it.

  24. (6) The Trump administration has no plan for returning to the moon. They have no plan for it. They have proposed cuts to NASA’s budget for the programs that would help get us there. Pence was talking to a state politician right before that speech, and decided he could be JFK, too.

    There is no there there, and it’s not NASA’s failure. It’s the Trumpsters’ failure to grasp that words and PR don’t get anything done–that JFK fired people’s imaginations because he actually committed to getting it done, in substantive ways, including spending the money.

    Trump thinks any money not spent on his golf trips and lining his pockets is theft from him personally. He has no interest in our actually going back to the moon, and will think it’s liberal bias when he is not showered with praise for having promised it long after it’s clear to everyone he has no intention of doing it.

  25. (6) There was one story earlier this year where Trump supposedly asked NASA if they could get to Mars in a short period of time if the government threw money at the problem. They told him that even an unlimited budget wouldn’t get us to Mars in the period he suggested. The implication being that he was looking for a big achievement to add to his re-election campaign. Or else someone just was on Fox and Friends talking about Mars and he got excited about it for a week or two.

    There’s a checklist of the Playboy Press anthologies here. I mainly remember seeing the cover to The Playboy Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy, but I don’t know if I ever read it. I used to see a lot of copies in used book stores.

    One of the morning news shows had a story about Kobe Bryant writing fantasy novels. They sounded like Harry Potter if Harry Potter was better at some of the more common sports instead of Quidditch.

    There was a recipe for Punch Jelly published in 1862 by Jerry Thomas. There’s a story about it here. Uses cognac and rum instead of vodka.

    Got a ride with a filer and the Pixel Scroll man
    To a town down by the sea

  26. @11: I have fond memories of George O. Smith; the not-quite-a-Venus-Equilateral-story in Boucher’s Treasury may have been the first thing I read suggesting that there was still a place for thoughtful-but-ordinary tinkerers among the rich kids, mad scientists, and corporatists. Unfortunately, even without rereading I can feel the suck fairy at work on his novels, and VE itself became obsolete ~[when the transistor was invented].

    @Jack Lint re @11: I read that anthology not long after it came out; it had some surprising material for its time and source. I’ve read that Alice K. Turner was responsible for much of the magazine’s SF, but this book came out ~15 years before she took over so there is credit to go around.


    Best way to watch is via SpaceX’s YouTube video feed, which goes live in about six hours.

    If all goes well, this should be a really cool launch, with three segments recovered. Elon estimates a 5-10% chance of failure, which, sadly, might be even more impressive.

    (Still sick. Worst cold in 10 years. Hoping for a nice launch to cheer me up.)

  28. In The Comments The Filers Come And Go Scrolling Pixelangelo

    I Grow Old … I Grow Old …
    I Shall Wear the Bottoms of My Pixels Scrolled

  29. Jack Lint on April 10, 2019 at 8:58 am said:

    (6) There was one story earlier this year where Trump supposedly asked NASA if they could get to Mars in a short period of time if the government threw money at the problem.


    rcade on April 10, 2019 at 1:33 pm said:

    I Grow Old … I Grow Old …
    I Shall Wear the Bottoms of My Pixels Scrolled

    Been a scroll title. Twice.

  30. During a tour of Mount Vernon with Emmanuel Macron, Trump is to have said, “You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.” You know he’s trying to get his name on a nice little plaque on the moon or Mars.

    Actually, he’d probably prefer the Chairface Chippendale Gambit. Heaven help us if we develop the technology necessary for the Lens Larque Maneuver.

    Ça pix pour moi

  31. Re Trump. IIIRC there’s a scene in The Atrocity Archives Where The Laundry access an alternate universe where the Cthulhulian forces have helped the Nazis win absolute world domination and when Bob looks up he sees the face of Adolph Hitler has been carved into the moon. Not saying that Trump is quite that egotistical but I’m not sure that he isn’t…

  32. Filers may wish to know that regular reader of and occasional commenter on File 770, Geoff Thorpe, has died recently. The following announcement, along with at least one photo and possibly further material, is appearing on the Facebook page of our local SF club, the South Hants Science Fiction Group, aka SHSFG. (No link as I myself completely eschew Facebook, but I’m told it’s easily findable.)

    “Geoff Thorpe 1954 – 2019.

    We are sorry to hear that long-time SHSFG member Geoff Thorpe passed away last month. He discovered fandom later in life when longtime UK fan Fran Dowd met him online on Library Thing and convinced him that he might enjoy SF conventions. He attended the 2005 Worldcon in Glasgow and was subsequently introduced to the SHSFG. He joined the group in 2006 becoming a regular, active member hosting Book Club meetings and Christmas parties. He remained a con-goer, attending Eastercons and World Cons as well as a host of smaller cons in the UK and continental Europe.

    He also represented Cambridge University and England in domestic and international Tiddlywink* competitions.”

    [* Perhaps to the surprise of many, Tiddlywinks is a serious competitive sport. Geoff, who was a mathematician, reportedly won a Cambridge Blue for it, and had a rare and difficult-to-achieve formation of multiple overlappping winks named for him.]

    Geoff had been due to host the 88th meeting of the SHSFG’s Book Club last Saturday 6th April. Failed attempts to contact him by email and phone during the week led to two members visiting his house on Friday where they made the sad discovery. This announcement (also conveyed to Dave Langford of Ansible) has been delayed to allow the police to first inform his known surviving relative.

  33. Terry Hunt: Thanks for letting us know. Thorpe was an active participant in some of our WSFS Rules discussions here.

  34. @Patrick Morris Miller, re 18) and Finity’s End, I missed that! What line is it? I will look for it when I start my next re-read

  35. I’m sorry to hear of Geoff’s passing. Condolences to his family and friends.

  36. @Terry

    Sad to hear about Geoff. I knew him from librarything and from various cons. Just before Eastercon too. Strange he always seemed as if he had been around the con scene longer than I had. I had no idea that Worldcon 2005 was his first con.

  37. @BGrandrath: “No law on our decks but the laws we have made.” (That’s the line from the song; it’s slightly different in the book but essentially the same.)

  38. Trump is said to have said, “You’ve got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.”

    Of course, this is mostly backwards. Not sure about ancient monuments, but In modern day at least, a person’s name gets put on things because people remember them. When that wordfame lasts for more thana decade after their own life, it’s rarely because their name was on a monument. It’s more likely to be because they are taught in school or are a cultural legend or a religious figure (I know who Augustine is, and why his name is on my church, but it’s not *because* his name is on my church. In fact, he’d probably dislike our church).

    And a lot of times, those people aren’t remembered outside of their brief lifetime just because their name is on something. I went to schools named after people: I remember the schools but I would have to go out of my way to look up the people. And after decades of driving and being driven down the Boulevard named for him, I only learned who Bishop Grandin is recently, because of the controversy over leaving a major city artery named for an instigator of a genocidal act. Which actually means I wish he’d stayed irrelevant and forgotten except as “How you get from the University to the east side of town.”

  39. Entirely true — but “Trump confuses cause and effect; dog bites man. Film at who’s-going-to-watch it.”

  40. Fifty years from now, a lot more people will know who Lee Harvey Oswald was than who I was. I’d rather be mostly forgotten than notorious the way Oswald is.


    ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings’
    Nothing beside remains.

  41. Jack Lint:

    Heaven help us if we develop the technology necessary for the Lens Larque Maneuver.

    I doubt the hair would be gravitationally stable if he did that, even leaving the solar wind out of account.

  42. @Patrick Morris Miller thanks, I have the Finity’s End cassette tape (cassette tape!!) but don’t think I have a player anymore.

  43. @BGrandrath: It’s been uploaded to Youtube, by someone who added the annotation “this is not piracy, this is salvage”.

Comments are closed.