Pixel Scroll 4/1/16 There Has to Be a Trophy in Here Somewhere

It’s the First of April you know.

Bruce Campbell as Doctor Who

(1) PHAKE PHANS LISTEN UP. We predict there will be a journey in your future.

PHLEGMATIC PHLEAS ANNOUNCE TPP PHUND 2016 NOMINATIONS OPEN Nominations for the Phlegmatic Phleas’ TPP Phund (Trans-Planetary Phan Phund) are open. Note: Trip awards are one way only. Another note: Current funding is available for up to a dozen winners. Fifth note: You may nominate slates rather than individuals. Pre-Fifth note: Nominate someone you feel has earned the right to go far. Post-Fifth note: Sponsored by the “You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hound Dog” Phoundation.

(2) A TALL TAIL. The Aurora Awards left a category out of today’s announcement: “Best Canadian Squirrel in a book, story or poem”.

  • Squirrelly McSquirrelface in, An Icebreaker goes North, Nuts Are Us books
  • Fuzzy Nutcracker in, The Galactic Safe, In Trees Publishing
  • Digger Moreholes in, “A Tail of Nuts”, Rodent Magazine, issue 341
  • Zippy Treeclimber in, “The Maze of Nuts”, Squirrel Poets, issue 1
  • Warhammer Graytail in, A Song of Oaks and Pine, Random Tree Press

We are proud to announce this special new category.  Stay tuned for more details.

(3) CONNIE THE DECEPTICON. Connie Willis’ April Fool’s Day blog post ends with a list of her dozen all-time favorite April 1 jokes. One of them is fake.

That’s another key to a good April Fool’s joke–details.  The more specific the story is, the more believable, especially if it involves science.  Or a technology that’s already in our lives.  Like lasers or smartphones.  Or digital watches.   My favorite April Fool’s joke of all time was the one the BBC did where they announced Big Ben was going to go digital.  A bright green digital readout was going to replace the four Victorian clock faces.  You can imagine how that was received!

(4) A HAIRY PROBLEM. At the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum “Tribble Trial Trends Toward Trouble”.

Stardate 1604.01: At 12:01 am EDT this morning, the National Air and Space Museum began breeding tribbles. This bold, innovative, not-at-all-ill-advised experiment will run for 24 hours, until 11:59 pm tonight, allowing Museum specialists to study the galaxy’s most adorable ecological disaster in greater detail than ever before. The tribble trial utilizes five original specimens of the species Polygeminus grex from the original Star Trek television series, donated to the Museum in 1973.


(5) THE DECENT THING TO DO. You heard it here last: “National Geographic to Stop Publishing Nude Animal Pictures”.

The media group says that it will no longer degrade animals by showing photos of them without clothes.

(6) MIGHT CHANGE HIS MIND TOMORROW. Joe Vasicek explains “Why I stopped writing”, at One Thousand And One Parsecs.

This will probably come as a shock to most of you, but I’ve decided to give up writing. It was a good run while it lasted, but the time has come to pack it away with my other childhood dreams, like living on a houseboat or becoming a paleontologist.

Why did I give up writing? Because frankly, I just don’t have any new ideas anymore. Whenever I manage to come up with one, it turns out that someone else has already done it. Accidental marriage in space? Firefly. Trek across a desert planet? Dune. Colonizing an unexplored nebula? I don’t know off the top of my head, but I’m sure it’s been done before.

(7) IT IS THE END MY FRIEND. io9’s James Whitbrook declared “There Was Only One Decent April Fools’ Day Prank Today, and This Is It”

Friends, we’ve finally made it: The hellishly wearisome event that is April Fool’s Day is basically at its end. We at io9 despise this black day, but even our curmudgeonly souls got a smile out of this “prank” by the Canadian Library and Archives, which claimed to have dug up Wolverine’s military records from its collection.

The organization announced today that it had secured the declassified journals and military records of Canada’s most famous son: James “Logan” Howlett, better known to his legion of comic book fans a X-Man Wolverine.

(8) JOKES BECOME REAL IF YOU PAY ENOUGH. ThinkGeek offers a “Star Trek White Noise Sleep Machine”


As effective as the Vulcan nerve pinch

  • Drift off to sleep to a familiar low thrum
  • 8 sounds from 5 different spacecraft
  • Projects a moving starfield on your ceiling

Is this genuine? At a price of $149.99 it must be.


  • April 1, 1964 The Horror of Party Beach opens on April Fools’ Day.

Party Beach

(10) THE TRUTH WILL OUT. SciFiNow ranks “The Top 10 Avengers TV Episodes”. Number 1 is “The Hidden Tiger” (Mar 1967).

“Pussies galore!” Ronnie Barker’s cat-rescue home is the centre of a magnificently ludicrous plot to turn domestic moggies into man-eating killers. A feel-good feline frolic exemplifying prime Avengers.

(11) EDELMAN HOMES IN ON THE RANGE. Scott Edelman’s latest installment of Eating the Fantastic features Carolyn Ives Gilman —


Carolyn Ives Gilman

A new Eating the Fantastic is now live! Episode 5 was recorded with Carolyn Ives Gilman at Range in Friendship Heights, Maryland.

We discussed what’s kept her coming back to her Twenty Planets universe for a quarter of a century, how her first science fiction convention was “total sensory overload,” what it was like working with David Hartwell as an editor, why she’s not visible on social media, and more.

Edelman says, “If all goes well, the next will be Andy Duncan.”

(12) DOC WEIR. Winner of the Doc Weir award for unsung UK fan heroes is Kathy Westhead. [Via Ansible.]

(13) MYSTERY GATHERS. Deadline Hollywood says an MST3K reunion is in the works – “Full ‘MST3K’ Casts To Reunite For RiffTrax 10th Anniversary”.

In the 17 years since the cult TV series’ cancellation, the creative team behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 have never fully reunited in public. That changes this summer as part of the 10th anniversary of MST3K offshoot Rifftrax, with RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion Show, a live event to be performed in Minneapolis on June 28 and broadcast to theaters nationwide by Fathom Events. Tickets will be available April 15th from the official RiffTrax website.

(14) MORE FROM LEVINE. David D. Levine’s new Wild Cards novelette “Discards” is a free read at Tor.com. And more!

My superhero story “Into the Nth Dimension,” originally published in Human for a Day, has been podcast at GlitterShip — narrated by me!. The full text is also available on the web to read for free. You can read or listen here.

I will be appearing at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle next Friday, April 8 (one day only). I’ll be on the panel “Aliens and Airships and Authors, Oh My!”, followed by an autograph session. At other times you can most likely find me at the WordFire Press booth.

I’ve sold an essay, “How to Sell a Novel in Only Fifteen Years,” to the nonfiction anthology The Usual Path to Publication. It comes out in June and you can pre-order it here.

(15) BVS WINS BY LOSING. This was posted on March 30, just saying…. “Batman V Superman Sets Unwanted Box Office Record”.

‘Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ may have netted the fourth biggest opening weekend of all time, but according to business site Forbes, it’s broken a record that may be rather less welcome.

It’s recorded the worst audience drop-off over a weekend for any superhero movie in ‘modern box office history’.

Attendance has plummeted for the critically-hammered movie, which sets Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel against Ben Affleck’s Caped Crusader.

It dropped an eye-popping 55% between Friday and Sunday, a figure which even beats the 48% drop in numbers set by the much-despised ‘Fantastic Four’ last summer…

(16) POST TAFF STRESS SYNDROME. Wolf von Witting is still recovering from losing TAFF.

On the first day, it was grossly tear-jerking ballads. On the second day I went on to heavy metal and other music which blows the crap out from a brain (where there is one). But in the night before the third day, my scary godmother (she doesn’t like being called a fairy) came to me in a dream and announced that I was to become the pope of European sf-fandom. “You’re supposed to reform TAFF, not win it!” she said and hit me over the back of my head with her magic wand.

She had… a beaver sitting on her left shoulder, and suddenly it became so clear to me why I lost again. It was meant to be this way, folks. We’re not living in 1952 anymore. It’s EASY and relatively cheap crossing the Atlantic now. If the yanks wish to meet the pope of European fandom, there are two ways.

1) come to Italy – that’s where the pope lives.

2) I’d be absolutely delighted to accept any FGoH invitation they send (we have American guests all the time over here in Europe. You can afford it, if you care to meet the pope).

The Gods of fandom have resolved the issue to the best of all possible outcomings. Filkers are not stupid, mind you. They knew what they were up against. So they just did what was necessary to win and I have to both salute and bless them for that. Before my scary godmother went away, she uttered some magic mumbo jumbo in an obscure language I didn’t quite understand (could have been Albanian).I recall the final three words: “Nnn.. in come Pope!”

(17) HUGO PROBABILITY SEMINAR. Chaos Horizon’s Brandon Kempner reveals his prediction in “Estimating the 2016 Hugo Nominations, Part 5”.

By breaking these out into three groups and three turnout scenarios (40%, 60%, 80%), I produced 27 different models. To conclude, we can look to see if certain books show up in a lot models, and then I’ll make that my prediction….

So that makes the official 2016 Chaos Horizon Hugo prediction as follows:

  • Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
  • Uprooted, Naomi Novik
  • The Aeronaut’s Windlass, Jim Butcher
  • Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
  • Somewhither, John C. Wright

(18) CYBORG OLYMPICS. A video of people are competing in the world’s first “cyborg Olympics.” The Cybathlon competitors, called pilots, use technology to compensate for disabilities.

(19) VERTLIEB DOCUMENTARY GAINS MOMENTUM. Diabolique online magazine is getting behind the Steve Vertlieb feature documentary The Man Who “Saved” The Movies.

vert4The first film from Gull Cottage / Sandlot’s newly minted “Gull Cottage & Flying Bear” banner, STEVE VERTLIEB: THE MAN WHO “SAVED” THE MOVIES is the feature-length documentary delving into the colorful life, career and ultimate legacy of cinema archivist, journalist, historian and film music educator STEVE VERTLIEB – who’s quiet, unassuming persona belies his growing status as one of the most respected of figures to a new generation of cinema buffs, filmmakers, and, surprisingly, even that most fickle and verbose of filmdom’s family tree –  the genre fanboy.

A former on-air TV reviewer of film, and magazine writer, Steve’s learned and literate dissertations on cinema over the last near half-century have made him a much sought after consultant on numerous projects, including an appearance in the 2006 award winning documentary KREATING KARLOFF, and as consultant on TCM’s 75th Anniversary Restoration of Merian C. Cooper’s original KING KONG. Widely considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on the legendary “Great Ape”, his numerous articles on the subject (including that in the still definitive volume THE GIRL IN THE HAIRY PAW) is referenced to this day by film makers, teachers and cinema students alike.


(20) MY APRIL 1 INSPIRATION. Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Lt. Worf Bloopers.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Clifford Samuels, Glenn Hauman, Hampus Eckerman, Steve Vertlieb, and Daniel Dern for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

119 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/1/16 There Has to Be a Trophy in Here Somewhere

  1. I received an email this afternoon with what appears to be one of my interim March 31 ballots; it’s got some of my changes, but none of my artist nominations. I’m holding hope that I’ll get another half-dozen emails with the rest of my changes; fortunately I made a record (Ironically, for this site!) so I can send the Hugo administrators a text document of my final ballot (minus, alas, the URLS for the artists, which I stripped out so as not to have too many links for this site) if necessary. I’ll email it to them on Monday if I don’t here from them by then.

  2. @lurkertype Free indie books Sat. and Sun. Amazon US. No guarantees as to quality, but there’s a lot of them, they can’t all suck.

    I see a few authors I read there. If your into steampunk check out Lindsay Buroker – her UF is pretty good too so check out her author page as she usually has a number of freebies or 1st book in series discounts. I read Ruby Lionsdrake although it’s light on SF and heavy on sex – I’m more familiar with her other pen name which is serious historical fiction. I haven’t read the Rinelle Grey book on promotion but have read others I found her a fun light read – I’ve enjoyed her blog. I’ve read Athena Grayson but don’t remember anything specific other than loving the cover. I own a number of C.J. Archer’s books but I’m not sure if I’ve gotten around to reading them – the promo book is very familiar. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of Patty Jansen’s – I think it’s usually been in multi-book sets or anthologies. There are a number of other books listed I have but haven’t read and don’t have any thoughts on the author. I believe all the authors I’ve listed I met on FB groups and checked their books out in my earlier days of learning the publishing business – they’d be on the indie side.

    My husband is a fan of Lindsay Buroker steampunk books.

  3. I read the Buroker and liked it. I’ve read a couple of the other books there. The box sets look good, too.

  4. @Paul Weimer: I loved the Long Price Quartet, and whatever pieces of Abraham’s short fiction I read.

    Then I bounced hard off of Leviathan Wakes, aaaand now I’m a little scared of sampling Abraham’s other more recent work. As you say, “less traditional” is a feature, not a bug, and with Abraham and me specifically, I suspect “more traditional” may fall on the bug side :-/

  5. @Mark, @JJ, et al.: Sorry, I didn’t know? remember? Worst Contact was all reprints when I mentioned it in response to the request for new-not-reprint anthologies. (blush)

    @Vicki Rosenzweig: Thanks for the info. Maybe they just need better/more reliable/faster servers, or e-mail relays, or something.

    @lurkertype: “they can’t all suck” – oh my. Don’t jinx it. 😉 And thanks for the link. FYI, folks, I checked one on Kobo, and it’s free there, too. And it had the purplest cover I’ve ever seen! Anyway, I’m gonna check some of these out. I’m not much into steampunk, but that’s 3 (counting Mr. @Tasha Turner) recs for it within 30 minutes, so why not get it, right? 😀

  6. @Mark: I’ve been getting some good recommendations for upcoming fantasy off Black Gate, and two anthologies that sound worth getting hold of are Genius Loci: Tales of the Spirit of Place (ed. Jaym Gates), and Monstrous Little Voices: New Tales from Shakespeare’s Fantasy World (stories by Jonathan Barnes, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Emma Newman, Foz Meadows, and Kate Heartfield — a promising list of authors).

  7. @Kendall, JJ

    Technically there’s one (1) new story in there!

    It’s by Hoyt.


    I’m instantly sold on Monstrous Little Voices, and Genius Loci looks good too although it looks like it’s been in kickstarter delay hell.

    Kickstarter seems to be very popular for putting together anthologies nowadays, maybe that’s where I need to be watching.

  8. > “… now I’m a little scared of sampling Abraham’s other more recent work.”

    I actually haven’t read Long Price or The Expanse yet, but I will wholeheartedly recommend The Dagger And The Coin series. I wouldn’t really call it traditional … possibly it’s more traditional than Long Price, I clearly wouldn’t know, but there are a lot of things about it which are quite original, I thought.

  9. @JJ:

    I’d been hoping to get more traction with my tweets about Trump vowing that if the GOP didn’t nominate him, he’d run as a Whig and make sure his competition knew there’d be hell toupee.

    Alas, ’twas not to be.

  10. @Rev. Bob

    Maybe you need to be more subtle – try something less hair-raising next time.

  11. @Mark:

    I was subtle… at first. Mentioned an endorsement by Horace Greeley, recommending that Trump take up Henry Clay’s old banner if need be, and so on.

    Kids these days. No sensa hist’ry.

  12. Kickstarter has been a great place for anthologies. Not so good for my bank account. Genius Loci should be great and hopefully will be out this year. Other works by the publisher have been worth the wait. I didn’t think to include it. I’m sure if I went through my Kickstarter profile I’d come up with some 25+ anthologies as well as a number of graphic novels to keep your eyes out for.

    However, as a longtime Kickstarter backer I’ve learned not to put too much belief in estimated shipping dates. So I’m trying to only mention projects which have a past history of shipping on time and I see no reason for it to change based on what I know of where the project stands/how they handle things.

  13. @mgdevery:

    To use some recently read examples from Michael Coney: Hello Summer, Goodbye (UK) is a much better title than Rax (US), to my mind

    Or the Canadian title of Pallahaxi Tide.

    My first experience with Coney was The Celestial Steam Locomotive; there was a copy of that in the local library in Brentwood Bay. (Coney was local, which helped: the hospital where he died is about a fifteen minute walk from where my parents live.)

    On the other hand, the shaggy dog/Just So Story he did in Gods of the Greataway was… did we just read a multi-page setup for a single bad pun?

  14. Previously in these scrolls, mgrasso and someone else I can’t find wrote about Kingfisher by Patricia McKillip and wanted to discuss it. I just wrote a post, in which I could barely begin to talk about all the myths and symbols in that novel, and would be happy to continue the discussion either at my blog or here.

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