Pixel Scroll 5/6/21 One Day, When The Scrolling’ Is Done, We’ll Tick The Box And Go

(1) BEYOND “MY BAD”. In this video Cat Rambo offers pro tips about “How to Screw Up”. Which maybe you thought you already knew how to do, right? That’s probably true. Cat’s advice is really about what to do afterwards.

(2) BONESTELLS SELL IN HERITAGE AUCTION. “Mars Illustration a Top Lot at $2.3-Million Heritage Auction”Fine Books and Collections has the story.

…Just a couple of months after the Perseverance Rover landing on Mars, Chesley Bonestell’s The Exploration of Mars book cover, Winged Rocket Ferry Orbits Mars Prior to Landing after 250-Day Flight, 1956 soared to $87,500, nearly three times its high pre-auction estimate. The offered image appeared on the cover of Wernher von Braun’s iconic book, The Exploration of Mars. The painting illustrates von Braun’s design for the space ship that would allow humans to go where no man had gone before.

A second work by Bonestell, Mars as Seen from the Outer Satellite, Deimos, The Solar System interior book illustration, 1961, brought a winning bid of $41,250.

(3) WOMEN’S PRIZE. [Item by Cora Buhlert.] The shortlist for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction, an important UK literary award, has been announced. Piranesi by Susannah Clarke is one of the finalists. Another finalist is at least borderline SF and yet another is a crime novel: “Women’s prize for fiction shortlist entirely first-time nominees” in the Guardian. The winner will be announced July 7, and receive £30,000. 

The 2021 Women’s prize shortlist

(4) DOCTOR WHO BLOG TOUR. Titan Comics’ Doctor Who: Vol. 1: Alternating Current blog tour will be visiting File 770 on May 24 to share an art preview.

(5) NO STARTING GATE. In “The Art of Worldbuilding In Media Res” on CrimeReads, Nicole Kornher-Stace recommends novels by Lauren Beukes, Hannu Rajanemi, and Stephen Graham Jones for readers who want to start their novels with an action scene without a lot of backstory about how the world you are creating operates.

…Stephen Graham Jones’s The Only Good Indians starts practically in the middle of a parking-lot bar brawl, full of asides about events and characters that will make no sense to you until you get further in, but you’re being reeled into the story one sucker-punch of a sentence at a time. You don’t care that you don’t understand yet. You don’t need to. You’re immersed, and you realize distantly that you have no idea who or what is being referenced in some of these asides, but by that point you’re in it up to the eyeballs, and the only way out is through….

(6) NOT A SILENT MOVIE. A Quiet Place Part II will be in theatres May 28.

Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.

(7) THAT’S T-REX SHIRT, NOT T-SHIRT. [Item by Daniel Dern.] From the company that has brought great (but not all still available) planets’n’space designs (see “Shirts Are The Reason for the Season”), a dino-themed  Hawaiian shirt:

I don’t remember my dino chronology to know off-hand whether this is era-ologically inaccurate (were they all contemporaneous and in the Jurassic), but do we care?

I have several High Seas shirts already, they’re well made and worth the price.

I’d sent this to Robert J. Sawyer, since he’s a dinophile (or at least knowledgeable about ’em), for interest, along with my comment that I didn’t know enough to be sure whether the shirt was, chronologically, inaccurate/misleading. Here’s his reply, which he OK’d to use:

Robert J. Sawyer: “Very cool!  They aren’t all contemporaneous, sadly.  Triceratops (lower left) is the very end of the Cretaceous, for instance.  But it’s a great-looking shirt!”

(8) NEW ATTITUDE. Here’s an art piece of Guilala, the kaiju in 1967’s The X From Outer Space — as a muppet. The artist is Melanie Scott/

(9) STRANGER THINGS. In “Stranger Things 4 clip teases Hawkins National Laboratory footage, Eleven clip”, SYFY Wire sets the scene.

Whatever’s happening underground at Hawkins, it definitely looks sinister… but then again, didn’t it always? Netflix is seemingly hinting that new evils are brewing for Stranger Things 4, and they’re unfolding mostly out of sight, inside the secret government lab that formerly served as Eleven’s supernaturally cold childhood home.

(10) LEON OBIT. Talented comics artist John Paul Leon has died of cancer May 1 at the age of 49: “DC Remembers John Paul Leon 1972 – 2021” at the DC blog.

From his time drawing the iconic Milestone Media hero Static Shock while a junior at New York’s School of Visual Arts to his work on the genre-defining Earth X for Marvel in the late 1990s to his recent DC work with writer Kurt Busiek on Batman: Creature of the Night and the upcoming Batman/Catwoman Special, Leon brought his unmistakable take to everything that he touched.

DC executives and talent alike shared their thoughts across social media at the news of his passing. DC publisher and chief creative officer Jim Lee offered high praise for Leon, saying, “One of the greatest artists of our generation, he was also one of the nicest and most talented creators one could be lucky enough to have met.”…


1971 –Fifty years ago, Mary Stewart won the first Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for The Crystal Cave. The other nominated works were The Marvellous Misadventures of Sebastian by Lloyd Alexander, Deryni Rising by Katherine Kurtz and Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny. She would later win another Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for The Hollow Hills novel. These would be her only genre awards. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born May 6, 1915 Orson Welles. Certainly the broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” in 1938 was his pinnacle of genre success but he also did for the Federal Theatre Project the 1936 adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast. That was known as the Voodoo Macbeth which might give you an idea of what he did to it. He would later do a more straightforward film of Macbeth. And of course he made a most excellent radio Shadow as well! (Died 1985.) (CE) 
  • Born May 6, 1923 – Gordon Davies.  Ninety covers for us; some other work e.g. the Eagle Annual.  Here is the Nov 52 Authentic.  Here is Earthlight.  Here is Space Cadet.  Here is C. Brown ed., Alien Worlds.  Here is M. Ashley ed., The History of the SF Magazine pt. 4.  (Died 1994) [JH]
  • Born May 6, 1927 – Gerard Quinn.  Fourscore covers, two hundred eighty interiors.  Here is Gateway to Tomorrow.  Here is Jack of Eagles.  Here is a drawing that appears to have been auctioned at Loncon I the 15th Worldcon.  Here is the Nov 61 New Worlds.  Here is the Apr/May 82 Extro.  Our Gracious Host’s appreciation here.  (Died 2015) [JH]
  • Born May 6, 1946 Nancy Kilpatrick, 75. Fangoria called her “Canada’s answer to Anne Rice”. I do recommend the anthology she edited Danse Macabre: Close Encounters with the Reaper as it’s a most excellent horror collection. She’s exceptionally well stocked at the usual suspects. (CE) 
  • Born May 6, 1950 – Craig Strete, age 71.  Six novels, threescore shorter stories for us; eight other novels.  Did this cover for Red Planet Earth 2 while editor.  First place in the 1984 Dramatists Guild – CBS New Plays Program.  Sometimes uses the name Sovereign Falconer; he is Cherokee.  [JH]
  • Born May 6, 1952 Michael O’Hare. He was best known for playing Commander Jeffrey Sinclair on Babylon 5.  Other genre appearances were limited — he played Fuller in the 1984 film C.H.U.D, was Jimmy in the “ Heretic” episode of Tales from the Darkside and appeared as a thug on the subway train in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. And yes he’s one of many Babylon 5 actors who died well before they should’ve. (Died 2012.) (CE) 
  • Born May 6, 1955 – Barbara McClintock, age 66.  Half a dozen covers for us.  Here is The Red-Eared Ghosts.  Here is a Complete Tales of Uncle Remus (who, I respectfully suggest, deserves study, even with our modern reservations, however late we have been with them, in hand).  Various books and prizes; five NY Times Best Books, two Time Best Books.  Sets and costumes for the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Twelve Dancing Princesses.  Illustrated for Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock.  Website.  [JH]
  • Born May 6, 1962 – Kamil Vojnar, age 59.  Threescore covers.  Here is Killing Time.  Here is Flying in Place.  Here is Others of My Kind.  [JH]
  • Born May 6, 1969 Annalee Newitz, 52. They are the winner of a Hugo Award for Best Fancast At Dublin 2019 for “Our Opinions Are Correct”. And their novel Autonomous was a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Novel, John W. Campbell Memorial Award and the Locus Award for Best First Novel while winning a Lambda Literary Award. They are also the winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction, ”When Robot and Crow Saved East St. Louis”. (CE) 
  • Born May 6, 1983 – Ingrid Jonach, age 38.  One novel for us; three others.  “Once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.”  [JH]


  • xkcd has a bit of a time warp.
  • While Dilbert has (theoretically) found a cure to racism.
  • Danish cartoonist Wulffmorgenthaler’s May 3 has Sauron visiting a construction side. Translation to English: “Hm… Well, I know art deco is beautiful, but we were thinking more like gothic and black for my tower…” Lise Andreasen says, “I love the orc driving The Eye around.)”

(14) HERE’S LOKI AT YOU, KID. SYFY Wire covers an announcement by “Marvel Studios’ Loki”.

Channeling Loki himself, Disney+ decided to pivot without warning by moving the debut of the character’s Marvel Cinematic Universe TV show up two days to Wednesday, June 9. In fact, all episodes of Loki will now premiere on Wednesdays, instead of the usual Friday window that was reserved for WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter SoldierTom Hiddleston confirmed the news during a special video announcement that begins with an epic display of famous Marvel props: Iron Man’s helmet, Cap’s shield, and, of course, Thor’s hammer.

“Look, I’m sorry to interrupt,” Hiddleston says, abruptly cutting off the noble montage. “It’s just I’ve noticed that in these long superhero montages, Loki tends to get a bit left out, even though, arguably, he’s incredibly heroic himself [as well as] cunning and charming. I could go on, but maybe … why don’t I just prove it to you? Wednesdays are the new Fridays.”

(15) TRAILER ON STEROIDS. Screen Culture shares “DC’s The Batman (2022) Ultimate Trailer”.

Take a look at our ultimate trailer for Matt Reeves’ The Batman (2022), the trailer features footage from ‘The Batman Official Trailer’ as well as from previous Batman films and contains scenes that resonates with the actual plot for ‘The Batman’

(16) COMICS/GAME CROSSOVER.  Here’s a clip promoting Batman’s entry into Fortnite.

Featured in the new Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point comics, Grab the Batman Zero Outfit in the Fortnite Shop now!

(17) A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY NOT SO FAR AWAY. Mike Dunford, a lawyer who does law streams on Twitch called The Questionable Authority, did a lawstream about the time Star Wars tried to sue the original Battlestar Galactica series for copyright infringement. The discussion of the lawsuit itself is here if people are interested. The stfnal part starts 50 minutes in. He created a cool intro to his talk:

(18) SCREENLESS. [Item by David Doering.] The Engineering heroes at my alma mater, BYU, are developing incredible 3D simulations without monitors. Yes, free-floating 3D images of the Enterprise in combat with a Bird of Prey or a light saber battle. Wow. Has to be seen to be believed. “Using lasers to create the displays of science fiction, inspired by Star Wars and Star Trek”.

Inspired by the displays of science fiction like the holodeck from Star Trek and the Princess Leia projector from Star Wars, a BYU electrical and computer engineering team is working to develop screenless volumetric display technologies. Led by Dan Smalley, BYU professor of electical engineering, the team uses laser beams to trap and illuminate a particle and then to move the particle and draw an image in mid-air. “Like a 3D printer for light,” these displays appear as physical objects to the viewer and, unlike a screen-based image, can be seen from any angle. In this demonstration of the technology, the team shows how they’ve created tiny animations of battle explosions and other images created completely with laser light. Smalley also provides an update on new research that shows how to simulate virtual images in a volumetric display (research published in the April 6, 2021 issue of Scientific Reports).

(19) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Cat Rambo has lots of other good advice, in this video about “5 Tips for Story Submissions.”

I’ve talked before about sending out fantasy and science fiction story submissions. Here’s five tips (well, four and a half, really) about what to do once you’ve submitted a story.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Cora Buhlert, John Hertz, Dann, Mike Kennedy, JJ, Lise Andreasen, David Doering, Ben Bird Person, Cat Eldridge, Jennifer Hawthorne, Martin Morse Wooster, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer.]

36 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/6/21 One Day, When The Scrolling’ Is Done, We’ll Tick The Box And Go

  1. First!

    I should have my review of Alternating Current for here done in the next few days. It’s popcorn reading of the graphic novel variety but quite good. My only complaint as always is that they don’t take long to read.

  2. (11) Mary Stewart was the only genre work my mother read (as far as I know!) – and so I was able to borrow all Stewart’s Arthur books from her. Thanks Mom!

  3. (17) Haven’t had a chance yet to check if he mentions Brian Aldiss’ involvement as an expert witness for Universal’s defence team. I recall Brian saying he found it all rather surreal, but satisfyingly lucrative.

  4. 17) I take that the lawyers behind the attempt to sue Battlestar Galactica for copyright infringement settled their case? And what was their grounds for doing so anyways?

  5. (15) Sorry, DC, but that’s a shambolic mess which does nothing to make me want to watch Pattinson’s take on the character. Overlong, confused and utterly generic — then again, that pretty much sums most of the current crop of superhero movies.

  6. Steve Green says Sorry, DC, but that’s a shambolic mess which does nothing to make me want to watch Pattinson’s take on the character. Overlong, confused and utterly generic — then again, that pretty much sums most of the current crop of superhero movies.

    It isn’t just DC that’s been a mess as I’d argue Marvel is an overrated mess too. The Guardians of The Galaxy was brilliant but otherwise, not so much. The best superhero film of recent vintage was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse which of course won a Hugo at Dublin 2019.

  7. @Cat Eldridge. That comment was certainly not aimed solely at DC. Most of Marvel’s “Phase One” was just about tolerable, but the entire overblown enterprise began to fall apart after The Avengers. I can think of much better ways to waste three hours.

  8. Still slogging my way through Persephone Station, I’m about to the halfway point. It’s very obvious why Cat Eldridge bounced. The first two chapters don’t appear to have been necessary.

  9. @cat eldridge

    Watch the Twitch video if you want the details of the case and how it came out and why.

  10. @steve Green: Disagree, especially phase 3 was quite good imho. But to each its own.

    6) The missed the opportunity to name it “An even quieter place” or at least “Two quiet”

    Yay Title Credit again! Should have written a whole song, then Id have title crediti for a week Muhahaha

  11. (12) One of the last roles for Orson Welles was the voice of Unicron in The Transformers: The Movie. It actually was released after his death. He was the narrator for “Silent Snow, Secret Snow” on Night Gallery. He did a few bad horror movies like Necromancy and The Legend of Doom House. Did the voice of U.N. Owen in the 1974 version of Ten Little Indians. (I don’t remember it being very good, but the cast is full of kinda notable actors.)

    It was also Stewart Granger’s birthday (b. 1913) who was Allan Quatermain in the 1950 version of King Solomon’s Mines. Thought Moonfleet (directed by Fritz Lang) might be appropriate but it turns out to be the name of a town in Dorset.

    Silent Scroll, Secret Scroll

  12. Meredith moment: Aliette de Bodard’s The Citadel of Weeping Pearls, set in her Xuya Universe, is available today from the usual suspects for a buck ninety nine. It’s a most excellent story.

  13. (12) Orson Welles also did the voice-over for the Star Trek – The Motion Picture trailer in the fall of 1979. Superior to the movie itself in some ways, perhaps. Here’s a prettified version with unchanged soundtrack:

  14. Iphinome say Still slogging my way through Persephone Station, I’m about to the halfway point. It’s very obvious why Cat Eldridge bounced. The first two chapters don’t appear to have been necessary.

    So it’s worth sticking around for after the first two chapters which really don’t work? I must say my TBR list is very long…

    Now listening to Simon R. Green’s The Best Thing You Can Steal, the first of his Gideon Sable series.

  15. I recently finished Requiem Moon by C.T. Rwizi before kicking off my Hugo reading. This is the second installment in his Scarlet Odyssey series that began with last year’s book, Scarlet Odyssey.

    This series focuses on Salo (Musalodi), a magic-using young man who comes from a culture where magic is strictly a woman’s vocation while the men are taught to fight and herd cattle. There is some middle ground where men can tinker with magical-mechanical machines.

    Salo and his friends have arrived at the major city where there aren’t any gender restrictions on who may practice magic. He becomes entangled with the ruling king – actually a woman, but by tradition, they refer to the monarch as “king” regardless of who is on the throne. There are ten tribes that are born with magically induced identifying tattoos. The king’s tribe is more important than the rest. There is a great deal of inter-tribal strife that eventually results in near genocide.

    There are also groups of people kept in either slavery or serfdom. They form a sort of underclass that worships a different religion than the various “free” tribes/groups.

    To be able to work magic, you must develop (or borrow) a theorem. It is implied that this theorem is akin to a mathematic theorem crossed with a computer program. The entire effect has a very effective steampunk vibe. I’m not a big steampunk fan and these books were quite enjoyable.

    Salo’s theorem turns out to be a very powerful theorem which makes him quite influential. He uses his magic to help the king and her people.

    There are common tropes to western literature that are hard to avoid. Many fantasy books end up with presumed western tropes. C.T. Rwizi’s works are quite different in that they are wholeheartedly inspired by an African cultural framing.

    The book includes subtextual themes regarding racism, tribalism, and some gender identity issues. The author wisely keeps the subtext below the text.

    The first book was fantastic; on my nomination shortlist, FWIW. The second book was very good and suffers only from being part of a series. I neglected to include C.T. Rwizi in my nominations for the Amazing award. I won’t make that mistake next year.

    Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men. John Stuart Mill

  16. (15) my word, that was a long plodding trailer with all of the worst elements of modern trailers – baselines accompanying people using flashlights, voiceovers, close up shots of people walking (slightly slowed down) with dramatic background music…I could go on.

    Definitely going to see it though. I see every Batman movie.

    Also I just watched the Superman and Lois pilot and was blown away. The most interesting take on Superman I’ve ever seen. I know I’m late to the party, I’m choosing to focus on the fact that I showed up at all.

  17. “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
    That’s not my department” say Wernher von Braun

  18. Miles Carter says Definitely going to see it though. I see every Batman movie.

    Does that include the animated ones? If not, you’ve been missing some brilliant work. The Return of The Joker set in the Batman Beyond series time frame is among the best of all Batman films ever done.

    Now listening to Larry Niven’s “All the Myriad Ways”

  19. @Cat
    I had no idea until now there were Niven shorts on Audible!

  20. Paul Weimer says I had no idea until now there were Niven shorts on Audible!

    There’s a tasty selection. There’s this one plus “For a Foggy Night”, “Passerby”, “Wait It Out”, “ Madness from the Inconstant Moon”, “Becalmed in Hell”, and “Not Long Before the End”. If you’ve a membership, click the Plus Catalog after searching for him button as all of them and a lot of his novels such as A Gift from Earth are free for listening.

    Rainbow Mars is not free but I purchased that as it’s one of my favorite works by him.

  21. Paul Weimer says to me Thank you!

    You’re welcome. I just finished Simon R. Green’s The Best Thing You Can Steal which was most excellent though too brief which is true of most Green fictions and I’m now listening to Arkady Martine’s A Desolation Called Peace. The Niven short story was a palate cleanser between the two.

  22. Cat Eldridge on May 7, 2021 at 9:46 am said:

    So it’s worth sticking around for after the first two chapters which really don’t work? I must say my TBR list is very long…

    Jury’s still out.

  23. Iphinome says re Persephone Station and if worth finishing it: Jury’s still out.

    Well do give me a head’s up when you finish it. I really did like the premise, so I was quite disappointed that it didn’t start well.

  24. I finished Persephone Station and it was okay. There are lots of things that don’t make sense. The character names and initial setup imply it is an SF version of The Seven Samurai, but then the plot is different, which is fine, but why all the references? Also some of the plot doesn’t make sense given the worldbuilding. But I loved the characters, and some of the scenes were great. If there is a sequel, I definitely will buy it.

  25. Speaking of “All the Myriad Ways,” I’ve been trying to think of a story that bears some similarity to it. In this story, the hero is a police detective trying to understand the recent burst in apparently motiveless crime – the setting is in a world where the existence of time travel is public knowledge, and it is occasionally used to reverse disasters, and during the time period of the story, there has been a recent assassination that it is expected that time travel will be used to “correct.” The not-terribly-surprising conclusion that the detective eventually comes to is that people are committing crimes because they know that everything they do in the present will be without consequence because the “reset” will erase them all. This would be a story from no later than the early 80s, and quite possibly much earlier. Does anyone remember it, or did I imagine it after reading All the Myriad Ways too often?

  26. Tom Becker says I finished Persephone Station and it was okay. There are lots of things that don’t make sense. The character names and initial setup imply it is an SF version of The Seven Samurai, but then the plot is different, which is fine, but why all the references? Also some of the plot doesn’t make sense given the worldbuilding. But I loved the characters, and some of the scenes were great. If there is a sequel, I definitely will buy it.

    Hmmm… Ok, I think I can skip resuming it within feeling missed anything. There’s enough that I’m looking forward to on To Be Listened queue now that I can winnow this one out without regret. Indeed both P. Djèlí Clark’s A Master of Djinn and Seanan McGuire’s An Angel of The Overpass drop on Audible in just a few days.

  27. @Dann665: Thanks for posting your thoughts on Rwizi’s second “Scarlet Odyssey” book! I haven’t read the first, but it’s on my list to take a look at. It sounds like it’s definitely worth a look!

  28. @Cat Eldridge, I’m finished. Short answer 2.5 stars rounded up to three or maybe the full three.

    Long answer, after a couple of days of digesting I’ll type it out and add it to the next Iphinome reads stuff comment.

  29. @Kendall

    I hope it provides a great deal of satisfaction for you. The series is very unique and, IMHO, worth the time.

    The Africans know I’m not an African. I’m an American. – Whoopi Goldberg

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