Pixel Scroll 5/24/21 Pixelback Scroller


The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force is pleased to announce that BOOM! Studios have begun to work with them to achieve the Task Force’s goals to ensure that all writers who are owed royalties and/or statements for their media-tie in work are identified and that Disney and other companies honor their contractual obligations to those writers after acquiring the companies that originally hired the writers. 

BOOM! Studios strongly support all creators receiving any reporting and royalty payments they are contractually owed. When we have obligations, we honor them,” said Filip Sablik, President, Publishing & Marketing BOOM! Studios. “We are happy to work with both the Disney Task Force and our licensor Disney to resolve the situation to everyone’s satisfaction.”

Through their research, the Task Force believes that BOOM! Studios were not told about the writers who were due royalties when Disney transferred media rights to them. Though Disney is a partial owner of the studios, it is not engaged in the day-to-day operations. “BOOM! Studios are not at fault here, and the #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force is grateful that they have taken the lead with their cooperation,” said Mary Robinette Kowal, President, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). “With their help, we’re able to speed up the process of locating writers who might have been affected by the rights transfer by Disney. I wish Disney itself was also willing to work with us.”

Fans, fellow writers, and the creative community need to continue to post on social media showing their support so the #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force can help writers. Thanks to their support, the message is reaching Disney and related organizations, such as BOOM! Studios, to alert them to the work they need to do to honor their contractual obligations. 

(2) KRANER Q&A. Download the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction’s interview with Author Stephanie Kraner.

(3) FREE VIRTUAL BALTICON. Balticon, Maryland’s oldest science fiction convention, is holding its second virtual convention on Memorial Day Weekend (May 28-31, 2021). Balticon is being offered without charge at balticon.org.

“Last year we set a high standard that other science fiction conventions have used as their model,” said ConChair, Yakira Heistand. “Balticon 55 will be even better because we learned a lot and had an entire year to plan for this format, instead of just two months.”

Hugo-winning author Seanan McGuire, headlines the event as the Guest of Honor. Celebrated author, C.J Cherryh will accept the Robert A. Heinlein Award. Micaiah Johnson will receive the 2021 Compton Crook Award, given for the best first science fiction novel and named to honor the memory of long time Towson University professor Compton Crook. Maryland high school winners of this year’s Jack Chalker Young Writers’ Award will read from their works.

Almost 300 panels, concerts, discussions, and readings are planned during the 36-hour convention, along with open role playing and board gaming sessions Traditional Balticon events including the art show, headed by Artist Guest of Honor Alyssa Winans, and the four-hour short film festival Sunday evening are on the schedule. The very popular science program offers multiple presentations on medical advancements, space exploration, and other technological developments.

For the first time, Balticon is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council (msac.org) through an emergency grant.  “We are happy to have this help because hosting an online convention requires many additional resources,” said Steven Joel Zeve, the Balticon Treasurer. A GoFundMe fundraiser is being held to help make up for the revenue lost by holding a free convention.

Balticon is a presentation of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Inc. The BSFS building, in east Baltimore, houses a 12,000+ item library of speculative fiction books, magazines, and videos. Information on regular BSFS events can be found at bsfs.org.

(4) FAN IMPROVEMENTS. In the May 19 Financial Times, Tom Faber discusses game “modders.”  He explains that a “mod is a fan-made alteration that can range from small graphical tweaks to huge overhauls in gameplay.”

The most frightening thing in Capcom’s new horror game Resident Evil Village is not the mutilated hand of protagonist Ethan Winters, nor the 9-foot tall Lady Dmitriescu with her razor-sharp fingers:  it is Thomas The Tank Engine.  Days after the game’s official release, members of the online modder community, who hack games to alter graphics and gameplay, have already offered a raft of ludicrous additions. including swapping every monster in the game with Barney the Dinosaur.

Thomas is special for gamers, though. Since a modder first swapped the dragons of SKYRIM for the cheery blue locomotive in 2013 (prompting legal threats from IP holder Mattel), he has been incongruously shoehorned into all manner of games.  Most memorable was the mod that replaced Mr X, the mutant villain of Resident Evil 2, with a huge Thomas who stalks you with dead eyes, his theme tune jangling eerily.

(5) THE BOOKS YOU LOVE. Salman Rushdie encourages us to “Ask Yourself Which Books You Truly Love” in an opinion piece for the New York Times.

…I believe that the books and stories we fall in love with make us who we are, or, not to claim too much, the beloved tale becomes a part of the way in which we understand things and make judgments and choices in our daily lives. A book may cease to speak to us as we grow older, and our feeling for it will fade. Or we may suddenly, as our lives shape and hopefully increase our understanding, be able to appreciate a book we dismissed earlier; we may suddenly be able to hear its music, to be enraptured by its song.

When, as a college student, I first read Günter Grass’s great novel “The Tin Drum,” I was unable to finish it. It languished on a shelf for fully 10 years before I gave it a second chance, whereupon it became one of my favorite novels of all time: one of the books I would say that I love. It is an interesting question to ask oneself: Which are the books that you truly love? Try it. The answer will tell you a lot about who you presently are….

I want to return, however, to that childhood self, enchanted by tales whose express and sole purpose was enchantment. I want to move away from the grand religious epics to the great hoard of scurrilous, conniving, mysterious, exciting, comic, bizarre, surreal and very often extremely sexy narratives contained in the rest of the Eastern storehouse, because — not only because, but, yes, because — they show how much pleasure is to be gained from literature once God is removed from the picture.

One of the most remarkable characteristics of the stories now gathered in the pages of “The Thousand Nights and One Night,” to take just one example, is the almost complete absence of religion. Lots of sex, much mischief, a great deal of deviousness; monsters, jinnis, giant Rocs; at times, enormous quantities of blood and gore; but no God. This is why censorious Islamists dislike it so much.

In Egypt, in May 2010, just seven months before the revolt against President Hosni Mubarak, a group of Islamist lawyers got wind of a new edition of “Alf Laylah wa Laylah” (the book’s original Arabic title) and brought an action demanding that the edition be withdrawn and the book banned because it was “a call to vice and sin” that contained several references to sex. Fortunately, they did not succeed, and then larger matters began to preoccupy Egyptian minds. But the fact is, they had a point.

(6) ETERNALS TEASER. Marvel dropped a trailer for Eternals.

“Throughout the years we have never interfered, until now.” Watch the brand new teaser trailer for Marvel Studios’ “Eternals” and experience it in theaters this November.

(7) LIEUTENANT TOLKIEN. Atlas Obscura thinks there’s a connection between Lord of the Rings and the “Cannock Chase Military Training Grounds – Staffordshire, England”. I don’t promise the article provides much more info than the claim.

… Also present, near the village of Brocton is an accurate 40-meter by 40-meter model of the area involved in the Battle of Messines Ridge in Belgium. It was complete with accurate contours, trenches, roads, railways, and an accurate model of the village of Messines. This model was re-excavated by archaeologists in 2013 and after laser scanning was covered with a protective membrane then re-buried because it was too fragile to be left exposed. The model was constructed by German prisoners held in a nearby POW camp and was used for training purposes. An information board now marks the spot….

One of the best known WWI occupants of the Cannock Chase complex was J.R.R. Tolkien, who both trained and lived locally while recovering from injuries sustained in France. Many people believe that several parts of the chase inspired scenes in the author’s Lord of the Rings trilogy….

(8) SHAVER SPEAKS. Here’s a visit to an antique land. Jerry’s House of Everything gives a full intro to the appearance of “Ray Palmer and Richard Shaver on The Long John Nebel Show”. (The recording is at the Internet Archive.) Doesn’t say what year the show was aired, but Nebel died in 1978, so before then, anyway.

…In 1943, Shaver wrote to Amazing Stories to tell the editor Ray Palmer that he had discovered an ancient unknown language called Mantong, the source for all human languages.  Palmer, always on the lookout for ways to shill his magazine, got in touch with Shaver.  Shaver submitted a manuscript to Palmer which Palmer rewrote and published the novella, titled “I Remember Lumaria,” in the March 1945 issue.  The story introduced the evil “deros” to the science fiction reading public….

(9) CHANNELING RAY BRADBURY. Inverse declares “The most underrated sci-fi anthology show ever is streaming for free right now” – Peacock is running episodes of The Ray Bradbury Theater.

…Unlike most sci-fi anthology shows — like Twilight Zone or Outer Limits — The Ray Bradbury Theater has the most in common with Black Mirror for one simple reason: the vast majority of the episodes are written by the same person.

The Ray Bradbury Theater is literally what it sounds like: Ray Bradbury presenting TV versions of a bunch of his short stories. It’s the kind of stunt that seems almost impossible to imagine now, with the closest analog perhaps being Castle Rock insofar as Stephen King is probably the closest living version of Bradbury. It’s hard to find a short story writer more prolific and consistently good as Bradbury, especially when you go digging around in the sandbox of older science fiction. Bradbury’s stories don’t always make sense, but they’ve always got style and attitude.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born 24 May 1794 – Rev. Dr. William Whewell.  (Pronounced “hew-ell”.)  Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.  Crater on the Moon named after him.  Mathematician, Anglican priest, historian of science.  Coined the words scientist, physicist, linguistics, osmosis, ion, astigmatism.  Royal Medal for organizing thousands of volunteers internationally to study ocean tides.  Clifton Fadiman in Fantasia Mathematica anthologized this poem.  (Died 1866) [JH]
  • Born May 24, 1917 – Irving Cox.  Five dozen stories in AmazingAstoundingCosmosFantasticFutureIfImaginationOrbitRocket StoriesSaturnSF AdventuresSF QuarterlySF StoriesUniverse – to name just some of the prozines we’ve had.  You can read ten of his stories from 1953-1960 here.  (Died 2001) [JH]
  • Born May 24, 1925 — Carmine Infantino. Comics artist and editor, mostly for DC Comics, during the late 1950s know as the Silver Age of Comics. He created the Silver Age version of the Flash (with writer Robert Kanigher),  Deadman with writer Arnold Drake and the  Elongated Man (with John Broome). He also introduced Barbara Gordon as a new version of Batgirl. Infantino wrote or contributed to two books about his life and career: The Amazing World of Carmine Infantino (Vanguard Productions and Carmine Infantino: Penciler, Publisher, Provocateur. (Died 2013.) (CE)
  • Born May 24, 1928 – William Trevor.  Whitbread Prize for The Children of Dynmouth, reviewed by Elaine Cochrane in SF Commentary 60/61, p. 26 [PDF]; two more Whitbreads; Hawthornden Prize; Saoi; four O. Henry Awards (not limited to U.S. authors since 2002).  (Died 2016) [JH]
  • Born 24 May 1930 – Terri Pinckard.  Stories in Fantasy BookVertex; wrote the Introduction to Womanthology (F. Ackerman & P. Keesey eds. 2003).  Told the L.A. Times (3 Jun 99) that when we landed on the Moon “I cried.  Science fiction writers were the ones who dreamed it.”  With husband Tom Pinckard hosted the Pinckard Salon, which drew Ackerman, Bloch, Bradbury, Daugherty, George Clayton Johnson, C.L. Moore, Niven, Pournelle, Roddenberry, Spinrad.  Dian Girard dedicated Tetragravitron (as by J.D. Crayne) to “Members of the Pinckard Salon”.  Big Heart (our highest service award) to Terri & Tom jointly.  (Died 2005) [JH]
  • Born May 24, 1947 — James Cosmo, 74. Genre work is fairly deep including appearances in films including HighlanderThe Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeThe Seeker: The Dark Is Rising and Wonder Woman, as well as television series such as SS-GBTerry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic and the Game of Thrones. (CE)
  • Born May 24, 1952 — Sybil Danning, 69. Her rise to fame began with her  role in Roger Corman’s space opera cult classic, Battle Beyond the Stars which he billed as his Star Wars. (No kidding.) She went on to star in HerculesHowling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf, a faux trailer directed by Rob Zombie titled Werewolf Women of the SS for Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse (I couldn’t make this stuff up!), the Halloween remake and finally she as in a horror film called Virus X. Series, She appeared in recurring roles of the The Lair as a vampire out for revenge. (CE) 
  • Born May 24, 1953 — Alfred Molina, 68. His film debut was on Raiders of The Lost Ark as Satipo. He was an amazing Doctor Octopus on Spider-Man 2, and he also provided the voice of the villain Ares on the outstanding 2009 animated  Wonder Woman. Oh, and he was a most excellent Hercule Poirot on Murder on the Orient Express. I know, not genre, but one of my favorite films no matter who’s playing the character. (CE) 
  • Born May 24, 1960 — Doug Jones, 61. I first saw him as Abe Sapien on Hellboy, an amazing role indeed. To pick a few of my favorite roles by him, he’s in Pan’s Labyrinth as The Faun and The Pale Man (creepy film), a clown in Batman Returns, the Lead Gentleman in the “Hush” episode of Buffy and currently Commander Saru on Discovery. (CE) 
  • Born May 24, 1960 — Michael Chabon, 61. Author of the single best fantasy novel about baseball, Summerland which won a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature. His other two genre novels, Gentlemen of the Road and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, winner of Best Novel at Denvention 3, are stellar works in themselves. He was Showrunner for the first season of Picard but will be Executive Producer for the upcoming season. (CE) 
  • Born May 24, 1965 – Watanabe Shin’ichirô, age 56.  (Personal name last, Japanese style; apostrophe to indicate syllables “shin-ichi-rô”; circumflex to indicate is a long vowel, also written oh or ou or oo – or with a macron, which this software won’t allow.)  Co-directed Macross Plus; directed Cowboy Bebop, alternative-history Samurai ChanpurûSpace DandyCarole & Tuesday.  Blade Runner – Black Lotusis expected in 2021.  At the Yokohama (65th) Worldcon my host’s daughter was rehearsing The Magic Flute but none of my fellow gaijin are rehearsing Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees.  [JH]
  • Born May 24, 1985 – Isabelle Melançon, age 36.  Drawings in Oziana and The Baum Bugle.  Oz found its way into the Webcomic that Isa co-authors, Namesake – or vice versa.  Here’s a sketch for Quibbling and even one for Hamilton.   [JH]


  • Half Full spotted this puzzle book celebrity.
  • Lio has a great name for a school.

(12) GET READY TO CELEBRATE TOWEL DAY. Save the Rhino encourages you to Stand up for Towel Day 2021, tomorrow, May 25. I’m told it’s Douglas Adams’ favorite charity. (Fanzine fan Jim Mowatt raised money for them, too, in 2016 – “Mowatt Marathons To Save The Rhino on April 24”.)

Join us for a raucous evening of fun and merriment to celebrate a day of towel-carrying and all things, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’.

We’ve teamed up with Stand up for Towel Day to bring you the very best sketches and segments from real events between 2017 and 2020. It will feature the very best sketches and segments from Stand Up for Towel Day’s short but rich history.

Limited edition Towel Day merchandise will be available during the event. Including a towel!

…Since 2017 Stand Up for Towel Day has provided a place to gather after a day of celebratory towel carrying for stand-up comedy, slam poetry, sketches, improv and more in homage to Douglas and his work.

For the second year in a row, we’ve teamed up with Stand up for Towel Day’s curator, Rachel Wheeley, and producer, Nell Thomas, to bring you the 2021 edition of the event.

This year’s programme, a pre-recorded event, will feature live footage recorded at real events from 2017 to 2020. It will feature the very best sketches and segments from Stand Up for Towel Day’s short but rich history. Thanks to Kevin Jon Davies, Douglas Adams documentarian and author ‘42 The Probable Ideas of Douglas Adams’ for making the footage available.

(13) HOLLYWOOD SINCE COVID. Guillermo del Toro’s next movie, scheduled for a December 3 release, interrupted production because of the pandemic. “Nightmare Alley: Release Date, Cast, Details” at IndieWire. The title caught my eye, because the book it’s based on was written by Joy Davidman’s first husband.

…The movie wrapped in December of 2020, and now, a year later, it’s headed for release on December 3 from Searchlight Pictures. Del Toro spoke about the film’s production during an IndieWire Live conversation over the summer. “We stopped the shoot a week before [the industry shut down]. We reacted super fast, we proposed the studio to stop as opposed to being asked to stop,” del Toro said. “That saved us. Nobody to my knowledge in the cast or the crew got coronavirus. We were roughly 45 percent in. We were literally in the middle of a great scene. We went to lunch and talked to the studio and when we came back we said, ‘Everybody leave your tools and leave now.’”

Here are nine things to know about del Toro’s latest thriller before it opens later this year.

A Noir-Tinged Storyline

Based on the novel by William Lindsay Gresham, the film centers on an ambitious young carny (Cooper) with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words. He hooks up with a female psychiatrist (Blanchett) who, it turns out, is even more dangerous than he is. The seedy story drops us into the demimonde of 1940s American show business, and introduces us to the sleazy denizens of a carnival filled with grifters, charlatans, and noir-like femme fatales. 

(14) UNDER PRESSURE. John Scalzi wonders if we expect too much:

(15) RELIC OF THE INTERNET. The New York Times says “Welcome to the Space Jam, Again”. State-of-the-art-1996!

The 1996 “Space Jam” website is important in the way antique maps are important — not because they are necessarily useful tools for present-day navigation, but because they reveal the boundaries around which people’s lives were once oriented, and invite us to remember, or imagine, a world differently arranged.

Many years past its original relevance (of which there was never terribly much, this being the official website of the 1996 live-action/animated sports comedy “Space Jam”), the “Space Jam” website now serves as a virtual portal to the 1990s. The home page — a low resolution star-speckled black galaxy whose flat cartoon planets are slapped, like stickers, around the “Space Jam” logo — is not a nostalgic recreation. It is the real thing, beautifully preserved in the resin of digital time — a visual artifact from a less connected World Wide Web.

Today the internet is dominated by overlapping social platforms. But the “Space Jam” website, which existed before Google, harkens to an era when the web felt more like an infinite archipelago of islands to which one might surf in pursuit of one’s passions — or by accident….

(16) IT’S ABOUT TIME. Mind Matters sets the frame for The Bargain, a DUST sci-fi short film: “Sci-fi Saturday: In a Future Market, Time To Live Is Bought, Sold”.

Cora is indentured in the service of Hue, the creator and owner of time-exchanging technology. She is alive thanks to Hue’s monthly “payments”: on her own, she’d have only a few weeks left. She works as his bodyguard and assistant, extracting or injecting time from his clients. She is horrified by Hue’s predatory deals, but complaining means breaching her contract. However, when a single mother of two falls victim to his extortion, Cora’s leash finally snaps. She now has to choose between her future or the life of a stranger.

(17) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In the SPOILER-FILLED “Army of The Dead Pitch Meeting” on Screen Rant, Ryan George explains that the movie asks “What if zombies did everything?” and has “strong zombies, fat zombies, dumb zombies, and robot zombies.”  Also, we learn that a group of mercenaries can carry hundreds of millions in $100 bills out of Vegas because they have backpacks!

 [Thanks to John Hertz, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Brown Robin.]

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57 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/24/21 Pixelback Scroller

  1. First!

    (3) FREE VIRTUAL BALTICON. Having not attended a Baltcon, I think I attend will this as it sound really interesting.

    Now listening to Walter Jon William’s This Is A Not A Game

  2. With apologies to Michael Chabon (& Cat Eldridge), the best fantasy novel about baseball is and shall always be The Iowa Baseball Confederacy by W.P. Kinsella. (In my opinion.)

  3. Rich Lynch: Or else The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. by Robert Coover.

  4. Shoeless Joe is pretty good even if it hadn’t become Field of Dreams. However, it doesn’t have the Black Angel in rightfield.

  5. The finest baseball film ever done is Bull Durham. And yes I know that it is most definitely is not genre or even genre adjacent.

  6. Annie Savoy is certainly genre adjacent. “I know things.”

    Speaking of sports and being genre adjacent. Ted Lasso has some minor plot points that are of interest. At one point, he gives the angry team captain a copy of Wrinkle in Time and we see him reading it later while exercising. There’s a curse that dates back to the first world war. (The team assumes the young Nigerian player would know all about curses and he admits he loves that sort of thing, but only because he liked the Harry Potter books.)

  7. Mike Glyer says But it does have a character named “Nuke”!

    Ahhh Ebby Calvin ‘Nuke’ LaLoosh. No brains, but a wicked pitching arm.

  8. I agree with Cat about Bull Durham. And I’ve even been to the stadium where “Hit Bull Win Steak” now resides.

    “The only church that truly feeds the soul, day in and day out, is the church of baseball.”

  9. The best fantasy novel about baseball? While we’re are at it, let’s decide on the best afternoon. The best smell of newly cut grass. The best sound of the crack of a bat. Every fantasy novel about baseball is the best in its own way. Nancy Willard’s Things Invisible to See. Michael Bishop’s Brittle Innings. Katharine Kerr’s Polar City Blues.

    Sadly, I’m blanking on the name of a science fiction novel where the main character is an outstanding cricket player.

  10. Best baseball movie: The Natural

    Best baseball novel: The Iowa Baseball Confederacy

  11. @Tom Becker: Well, the Fifth Doctor wore cricket gear, and we saw him playing the game in one episode. (And in another he got himself moving while in microgravity by pulling a cricket ball out of his pocket and bouncing it off a wall, catching it on the rebound.)

  12. 10) James Cosmo’s genre work goes back a long way, and includes some of my favourite TV shows of all time – Gerry Anderson’s UFO, Nigel Kneale’s chilling The Stone Tape, and Robert Holmes’s adaptation of The Nightmare Man.

    And speaking of my favourite things and today’s birthdays, Alfred Molina was in Ladyhawke. (He was also in Species, which is much less of a favourite of mine. And Wikipedia says he was very nearly Rimmer in Red Dwarf, which might have been… interesting….)

  13. One of my favorite Alfred Molina roles is non-genre. He played Dr. Harding Hooten in David Kelley’s short-lived (only 10 episodes) 2013 MONDAY MORNING medical drama, based on a Sanjay Gupta book. Molina’s character was Chief of Staff at a Portland, OR hospital; the “Monday Morning” of the title referred to weekly peer-review meetings where doctors’ decisions and treatments over the previous week were praised or, umm, not (particularly from Dr. Hooten). Good ensemble cast, getting into “great” from both Molina and Ving Rhames (as the hospital’s head trauma surgeon). I was sorry to see the show cancelled after so quick a run.

  14. The Ashes play a part in Life, the Universe, and Everything.

    Didn’t Tom Baker use a cricket ball in one of the Ark in Space episodes?

  15. Molina played Diego Rivera in Frida, which I don’t think can quite be sold as magic realism.

    Selection Day (novel and TV adaptation) concerns a teen cricket player who regularly talks with – not to, with – his household deity, who, being an aspect of Ares, isn’t much help with his cricket or family problems.

  16. @Jack Lint: yes, in the first episode, he tries to hit the “Off” switch for the Ark’s security system with a cricket ball. (The security system throws the ball back at him, in fragments.)

  17. David Tennant uses a cricket ball to avert a piano based accident in the Human Nature/Family of Blood two-parter.

  18. (3) Looking forward to the virtual Balticon – not as good as the real thing, but still good (still good).

    (10) I really enjoyed Molina’s performance as Doc Ock.

  19. I recall that at least one of the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Life, The Universe & Everthing)went into some detail about a planet with battle robots called Krikkit.
    The fact that I remember little else about the book does not say much for its notability.

  20. 14) And more than half the US can’t and won’t see it anyway. Including me, alas.

  21. @Ken Richards: Yeah, one of the later Hitchhiker books had the Krikkitmen as villains. I think it was originally a proposal that Adams had for a Doctor Who episode (Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen)

  22. @Andrew
    One might argue about ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ being genre related, but it does include Joyce’s construction of racy sex scenes from the names of famous cricketers. To wit “… whenever she druv gehind her stumps for a tyddlesly wink through his tunnil-clefft bagslops after the rising bounder’s yorkers, as he studd and stoddard and trutted and trumpered, to see had lordherry’s blackham’s red bobby abbel …”

    But I did find reference to a SF novel allegedly written by the great Sir Gary Sobers https://www.cricketcountry.com/articles/when-garry-sobers-lent-his-name-to-a-science-fiction-novel-428557

  23. It’s the Glorious Twenty-Fifth of May! Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably Priced Love, and a Hard-Boiled Egg!

    GNU Terry Pratchett

  24. Re cricket in the genre:
    Willy Rushton’s novel W. G. Grace’s Last Case is at least genre adjacent since Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde appear in it.
    I recall reading a short story a long time ago about some time travellers bringing W. G. Grace to the present to see how he compared to modern day cricketers. It was, however, just an extended joke about changes to the LBW law and I don’t remember where I read it or who it was by.

  25. Something seems to have gone wrong. My post has appeared twice and there is no edit option.

  26. Something seems to have gone wrong. My post has appeared twice and there is no edit option.

    Ah, reminiscent of the lesser known Ellison story, I Have No Button But I Must Correct that Typo.

  27. Meredith Moment: This month’s Tor.com eBook of the Month is Nghi Vo’s When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, the really excellent sequel to The Empress of Salt & Fortune (which was also really excellent).

  28. (1) This is good. Could get interesting.

    (14) It really is quite a lot to put on just one Moon. But I suspect the Moon will rise to the occasion.

  29. Baseball, time travel, and alternate universe: “The Wandering Warriors”, by Smale and Wilber. Not bad.

  30. (9) Ray Bradbury Theater is also shown on Sunday mornings (10am to 2pm) on Comet TV. Comet TV is free, so if you aren’t subscribing to Peacock, it’s a good alternative. I now get Comet as part of my cable tv package, but you can stream it for free on your computer.

  31. I deleted the duplicate comment. But I’d hate to lose the comments about the duplicate comment….

  32. (4) FAN IMPROVEMENTS. In the May 19 Financial Times, Tom Faber discusses game “modders.” I remember the version of Doom that replaced the shotgun-wielding sergeants with equally lethal Energizer bunnies.

  33. Re: 6
    I don’t remember Bradbury’s Fahrenheit being a “fix-up” (whereas The Martian Chronicles very obviously is).
    Am I remembering wrong, or is the article telling porkies?

  34. It’s a horror movie, with chunks of Aborignal magic, but The Shout starts with a cricket game in a mental hospital/asylum. Tim Curry in cricket whites is a bonus.

    The IMDB has over 400 matches to cricket and over 2000 to baseball. The problem with the IMDB keyword is that any mention will often get a movie tagged with the keyword. (Like Kill Bill Vol. 1 gets baseball because The Bride slices a baseball with her sword.) Interstellar, It Chapter 2, ET, War of the Worlds, Men in Black, Signs, and Oblivion all turn up in the top 25 for baseball, but I’m not sure it plays much of a part in any of them.    

    Take me out to the scroll game/Take me out with the file
    Buy me some pixels and Shadowjack/I don’t care if I never loop back

  35. As far as I can tell from the ISFDB, the 1953 book Fahrenheit 451 contained (1) the novel “Fahrenheit 451”, which was an expansion from “The Fireman”, (2) the story “The Playground”, and (3) the story “And the Rock Cried Out”. Maybe the journalist found this confusing. It’s been too long since I read any of them, to know whether there is any further connection between these three beyond having the same author and appearing in the same book.

  36. (1) I really wish the #DisneyMustPay crowd would give us some actual details rather than the simplified version.

    Like… there’s two possibilities here. One is that Disney has no legal case but lots of money, and is being very stupid. Which, I mean, is always a possibility.

    The other option is that media tie-in contracts are abusive pieces of crap, and that these authors signed shitty contracts that mean that Disney legitimately has no legal obligation to pay them, and so the authors are trying to downplay that fact in favor of hoping that if they make Disney look bad for long enough, it won’t matter.

    It feels like there’s not enough of a focus on the issue that media tie-in books are a completely separate animal. ADF doesn’t own the copyright to Splinter in a Mind’s Eye. He sold that copyright to some Lucas subsidiary in exchange for something, and that something may or may not have any relationship to the rights he would have if he was actually the owner of the copyright.

    On a basic level, I feel like–if, indeed, Disney has some sort of comprehensible claim–the SFWA is doing a huge disservice to the community by just taking an advocacy position, rather than educating writers on the contract terms that these tie-in writers signed and what to look out for in the future.

  37. @Jack Lint: “The battle of Scrollterloo was Fifth on the Pixeling collections of Eaton”

  38. On the topic of virtual cons, the N3F has now launched NefferCon, the Con That Neffer Ends. It’s an all-virtual convention, formed to take advantage of the particular features that the internet offers. You can join it on MeWe.com, https://mewe.com/group/60a9bfa0d982f519ecc95c14

    To save several people some typing, there are only so many MeWe-like sites on the net. There are things that NefferCon is likely to do that would probably not be consistent with Facebook’s terms of service and that might created interesting times for the organizers, so FB would not be a good location.

  39. Fen giving awards is a tradition as old as the N3F Laureate Awards, first given in the 1940s. The N3F continues to give awards, now as the Neffys. For 2020 activities, we now have a list of Neffy nominees. The nominees are:
    Best Fan Writer:
    Cheryl Cline
    Jeffrey Redmond
    Best Fan artist:
    Alan White
    Jose Sanchez
    Best Fan Website:
    Fanac Fanhistory Project
    Best Fan Editor:
    William Breiding
    Justin E.A. Busch
    Bob Jennings
    Best Non-N3F Fanzine:
    Portable Storage
    Event Horizon
    Best N3F fanzine:
    The N3F Review of Books
    Best Literary-Critical or Historical Work
    First Fandom Annual 2020: Celebrating Robert
    The Elusive Shift How Role-Playing Games
    Forged their Identity by Jon Peterson
    From Barsoom to Malacandra by John C. Wright
    Best Comic/Manga/anime:
    Flying Sparks
    The Lovely People
    The Cosmic Warrior
    Best TV show:
    The Expanse
    Best Movie:
    Best Pro Artist:
    Brad Fraunfelter
    Best Book Editor:
    Toni Weisskopf
    Best novel:
    Storm Between the Stars by Karl Gallagher
    Unmasked by Kai Wai ‘Benjamin’ Cheah
    Hussar by Declan Finn
    Pure Poison by Hawkings Austin
    Coven by Declan Finn
    Gods of Pangea by John C. Wright
    Younger readers:
    Dragon Eye, PI by Karina Fabian
    The Unbearable Heaviness of Remembering
    by L. Jagi Lamplighter
    The Lady Heiress by Christopher G. Nuttall
    The Shadows of Alexandrium by David Gerrold

  40. Brian says It feels like there’s not enough of a focus on the issue that media tie-in books are a completely separate animal. ADF doesn’t own the copyright to Splinter in a Mind’s Eye. He sold that copyright to some Lucas subsidiary in exchange for something, and that something may or may not have any relationship to the rights he would have if he was actually the owner of the copyright.

    And how do you know that Alan Dean Foster doesn’t own the copyright to Splinter in a Mind’s Eye? A citation would be appreciated. Everything I’ve read explicitly says that he indeed does have that copyright.

  41. @Cat Eldridge: The paperback copy I have of Splinter of a Mind’s Eye lists a copyright notice of “(c) 1978 by The Star Wars Corporation.”

    If you search copyright.gov for that work, it lists the copyright owner as The Star Wars Corporation, and lists the author as “The Star Wars Corporation, employer for hire”.

    That makes me think that The Star Wars Corporation is the owner of the book, and has some contractual obligations to Alan Dean Foster, though I have no idea what those are, or whether they’re fully discharged.

    It’s also very possible that those obligations are completely separate from whoever owns the book itself, so the idea that Disney could purchase the rights to the book and not the obligations is a thing that completely makes sense, depending on what the original contract between The Stars Wars Corporation and ADF said.

    Which is kind of crucial information that no one is mentioning.

  42. Brian says If you search copyright.gov for that work, it lists the copyright owner as The Star Wars Corporation, and lists the author as “The Star Wars Corporation, employer for hire”.

    You’re basing your whole argument off that? (ROFL) That’s not even a legal statement meant of copyright, it’s just boilerplate. And just because the Copyright Office lists The Star Wars Corporation as the copyright holder doesn’t mean that they are as they can claim anything they want by merely filing the copyright paperwork. It doesn’t mean that they actually legally are the copyright holder.

  43. rochrist says Summerland is beyond wonderful.

    Indeed it’s one of those perfect novels. It’s little wonder that it won that it won a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature.

  44. If I remember the Alan Dean Foster case correctly, he does not own the copyright, but the contract does give him royalties. Not all tie-ins do. Maybe none do now, I haven’t seen a recent tie-in contract. Disney’s case is that they didn’t sign the contract that specified royalties, the original publisher did, so that Disney doesn’t have to pay them.

  45. Jeff Smith says If I remember the Alan Dean Foster case correctly, he does not own the copyright, but the contract does give him royalties. Not all tie-ins do. Maybe none do now, I haven’t seen a recent tie-in contract. Disney’s case is that they didn’t sign the contract that specified royalties, the original publisher did, so that Disney doesn’t have to pay them.

    Ok that makes sense. Contract law usually holds that a party taking over a contract assumes the obligations of that contract so Disney is being sleazy by saying they’re not responsible for paying royalties.

  46. (1) Based on virtually everything I’ve ever heard and read from comics creators about Boom! Studios, I suspect the task force may have difficulties in this effort beyond the ones created by Disney itself. Boom! is infamous for paying poorly and extremely late; responses on the annual Creator Resource Page Rates survey have consistently said things like “have been known to send incredibly late payments” and “sometimes tries to secretly annul contracts by slipping extra clauses into the fine print of their payment vouchers”, with far more such reports than any other publisher.

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