Pixel Scroll 5/13/16 Stop, Drop, And Scroll

(1) ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. Ann Leckie’s train delivered her to Chicago on time for Nebula Weekend, unlike last year when she was delayed by a bacon-related catastrophe.

(2) FREE ALLEGED BOOK. Timothy the Talking Cat’s amanuensis Camestros Felapton reports:

Now available from Smashwords, until they decide it is too embarrassing even for them, There Will Be Walrus First Volume V.


There Will Be WALRUS final

Crafted from the finest pixels and using exquisite fonts and typographical metadata, There Will Be Walrus is the ground breaking anthology series from Cattimothy House – the world’s leading publisher of feline edited military science fiction anthologies.

The book comes with additional bonus content and includes features such as:

  • clauses
  • sentences
  • paragraphs
  • chapters

Spelling and punctuation are used throughout and in many cases radical new and exciting approaches have been taken. Copy-editing has been applied at industry standards as found in top flight Hugo nominated publishers such as Castalia House or Baen Books.

(3) ZINES ONLINE. The University of New Brunswick Library has posted complete scans of a number of classic old fanzines from their collection, Algol, Luna, Amra, Mimosa, four  issues of Tom Reamy’s Trumpet, the earliest issues of Locus, and others. Click here.

(4) BETTY OR VERONICA? CW has given series orders to Greg Berlanti’s live-action Archie Comics series Riverdale. Entertainment Weekly says it will look like this:

Set in present-day and based on the iconic Archie Comics characters, Riverdale is a surprising and subversive take on Archie (KJ Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes), and their friends, exploring the surrealism of small town life — the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome façade.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa will write and executive-produce with Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Jon Goldwater. Cole Sprouse, Ashleigh Murray, Luke Perry, Madelaine Petsch, Marisol Nichols, and Mädchen Amick will also star.

(5) I COME NOT TO PRAISE THEM. ABC has axed The Muppets. Entertainment Weekly ran its obituary.

The comedy series lasted one 16-episode season on the network after launching to tremendous buzz last fall.

The beloved franchise was given a modern-day, adult-themed makeover by producers Bob Kushell (Anger Management) and Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory). The show also some criticism for trying to make the classic family characters more contemporary, including focusing on their love lives. Midway through the season run, falling ratings prompted ABC to make a major change behind the scenes, replacing showrunner Kushell with Kristin Newman (Galavant), who pledged to bring “joy” to the series. Yet the changes didn’t alter the show’s fate.

(6) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman has posted Episode 8 of his podcast Eating the Fantastic, in which he dines and dialogs with dual guests, Lynne Hansen, and Jeff Strand.

Jeff Strand and Lynne Hansen

Jeff Strand and Lynne Hansen

Lynne is a horror novelist turned filmmaker whose recent short, Chomp, received 21 nominations at a variety of film festivals, winning 7 times, including the Fright Meter Awards Best Short Horror Film of 2015, and Jeff Strand is not only the author of the wonderfully titled horror novels I Have a Bad Feeling About This and The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever (and many others)—he’ll also be the emcee Saturday for the Stoker Awards banquet.

Next episode of Eating the Fantastic, which will go live in approximately two weeks, will feature Maria Alexander, whose debut novel, Mr. Wicker, won the 2014 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

(7) WOMEN FEATURED AT GENCON. Anna Kreider points out “GenCon’s Featured Presenters are 52% female, and that’s a huge deal”.

[Before I start – full disclosure, I am one of the Industry Insider Featured Presenters for this year’s GenCon. So I’m sure that there are those who will say that me writing this post is self-serving arrogance and/or egomania, but whatever.]

The GenCon Industry Insider Featured Presenters for 2016 have been announced, and holy shit is this year’s lineup amazing! Seriously, take a look:

That’s right, folks. There are 13 female IIFPs and only 12 men. This means there are MORE WOMEN THAN MEN, and that is a HUGE FUCKING DEAL, because that is a HUGE amount of change in a really short period of time. To prove it, let’s look at the numbers:

(8) MEDICAL UPDATE. It was announced on his blog that Darwyn Cooke is being treated for cancer.

It is with tremendous sadness that we announce Darwyn is now receiving palliative care following a bout with aggressive cancer. His brother Dennis and I, along with our families appreciate the outpouring of support we have received. We ask for privacy as we go through this very difficult time

(9) BLOG LAUNCH KEEPS UP MOMENTUM. Our Words’ rollout includes Sarah Chorn’s list of future plans

Anyway, things I envision for this website, so you know what to expect in the near future-ish:

1. I am continuing the guest posts. I love them. I think they are interesting, and I love getting diverse perspectives about many, many facets of disabilities in the genre.

2. I have a few interviews out. Yay! And I really want to keep interviews going.

3. I have a few giveaways in the works.

4. I have launched the book club, which I really, really want to take off.

5. I am currently working on doing a series of questions and answers. The idea behind this actually came from a few convention panels I was on, focusing on the topic of disabilities in the genre. After each panel, a host of authors would stand up and ask a ton of very good, very important questions about writing disabilities. So I figured maybe I can try to bring something like that to my website. I’m not exactly sure the format yet, but the idea is that I will get questions about writing disabilities from people who wish to ask said questions, and then I will send those questions to a few disabled genre authors to answer in a panel sort of format. That will take time to figure out, but it will happen eventually.

6. I have received a handful of books this week to review for this website, so start expecting book reviews.

7. I am trying to drum up a bunch of people willing to write about accessibility issues at conventions. There was some noise about this topic last year, but con season is upon us, and I’d like to get some people over here who are willing to write about it. We need to make some more noise about this. It is so important. 8. I am working on getting some people who are willing to write/do regular features over here.

(10) DAN WELLS. Our Words reposted “Dan Wells on Writing Mental Illness”, which originally appeared on SF Signal in 2015.

One in five people in America has a mental illness. One in twenty has a mental illness so serious it inhibits their ability to function. Look around the room you’re in: do you know who they are? Do you know how to help them? Maybe that one in five is you: do you know how to help yourself? The most depressing statistic of all is that no, none of us do. In 2015, Americans with mental illness are more likely to be in prison than in therapy. As a nation and as a culture we are absolutely terrible at recognizing, treating, and coping with mental illness. This needs to change.

(11) JAY LAKE. Our Words has also republished “Jay Lake on Writing With Cancer”, which the late author wrote for Bookworm Blues in 2012.

Cancer is not a disability in the usual sense of that term. It’s not even really a chronic disease, like lupus or MS. Rather, it’s an acute disease which can recur on an overlapping basis until one is cured or killed. Some cancers, such as indolent forms of prostate cancer or lymphoma, can be lived with until one dies of other causes. Other cancers such as pancreatic cancer can move like wildfire, with a patient lifespan measured in weeks or months from diagnosis to death.

My cancer falls somewhere in the mid range between the two. And though I wouldn’t think to claim it as a disability in either the social or legal senses of that term, it has a lot in common with disabilities.

Cancer has affected my writing in two basic ways. First, the disruptions of treatment. Second, the shifts in my own thoughts and inner life as I respond to the distorting presence of the disease in my life.

The treatments are brutal. Surgeries are rough, but they’re fairly time constrained. I’ve had four, a major resection of my sigmoid colon, a minor resection of my left lung, and two major resections of my liver. In each case, I spent three to six days in the hospital, followed by several weeks at home in a fairly serious recovery mode. I was back to writing within a month every time. These days, when I contemplate future surgery (far more likely than not, given the odds of recurrence for my cancer cohort), I budget a month of time lost and all it good.

(12) FIND YOUR OWN INKLINGS. Rachel Motte tells “Why C.S. Lewis Would Want You to Join a Writing Group” at Catholic Stand.

When J.R.R. Tolkien retired from his post at the University of Oxford in 1959, he intended to spend his new-found free time finishing The Silmarillion. Though this book is less well-known than his Lord of the Rings, Tolkien considered it his real work—the work he’d spent decades trying to get back to.

One can easily imagine the newly retired professor, still in his tweeds, bent over his desk, glad to at last avoid the professional obligations that had long kept him from the literary project he loved best. Instead, writes Inklings scholar Diana Pavlac Glyer, he found that the increased solitude hampered his ability to move forward with his favorite project. Glyer explains,

He quickly became overwhelmed by the task. He found himself easily distracted, and he spent his days writing letters or playing solitaire… Tolkien had become increasingly isolated, and as a result, he found himself unable to write. (Diana Pavlac Glyer, Bandersnatch: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings, p. 117)

You probably think of writing as a solitary activity—and, to some extent, you are right. “Many writers do little else but sit in small rooms recalling the real world,” notes Annie Dillard in The Writing Life. “One wants a room with no view, so imagination can meet memory in the dark.”

In the best of circumstances, however, that’s not where the story ends. Although we’re right to think of writing as partly a solitary activity, it’s also true that writers—like other artists—benefit from meeting regularly with other creative people.

(13) CRITICAL THEORY. “Russell Letson reviews Judith Merril” at Locus Online.

The Merril Theory of Lit’ry Criticism: Judith Merril’s Nonfiction, Judith Merril (Aqueduct Press 978-1-61976-093-6, $22.00, 348pp, tp) March 2016.

…Her critical work was more practical than theoretical, but nonetheless systematic and precise. She was a commentator who was also a practitioner, an analyst who was also a fan, with a broad-church sensibility that could not disentangle SF from the cultures that surrounded it.

In The Merril Theory of Lit’ry Criticism, editor Ritch Calvin has gathered and condensed thirteen years’ worth of material into a single vol­ume that includes the introductions and ‘‘sum­mation’’ essays from her long-running series of annual ‘‘Best SF’’ anthologies; book reviews for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction; and a single long, reflective essay written for the Science Fiction Research Association’s journal Extrapolation. The chronological arrangement allows us to follow Merril as she explores the shape and extent of the modern fantastic, locates particular writers and works in that geography, and develops an aesthetic and historical-social framework for making judgments. (The full texts of all the items are available as an e-book, which is nearly twice as long as the print version. Omitted material consists mainly of individual story introductions from the annual anthologies.) …

(14) LAST YEAR, WHEN WE WERE YOUNG. Matt interviews Andrew J. McKiernan  at Smash Dragons.

The title story for your collection is a fascinating tale about survival amidst a strange and very disturbing apocalypse. I’m curious, how did this particular story come about? Where did you draw your inspiration from? 

Like pretty much every story I write, it starts with a title. That’s where I thought Last Year, When We Were Young came from. Just a title that popped into my head that I ran with and a story emerged from it. It is always my wife who points out the real life inspirations for my stories, when here I am thinking they’re just stories, fictions. In this case, my father-in-law had just been diagnosed with a brain tumour and the operation to remove it didn’t go too spectacularly for him. At the same time, my own father had a heart attack and I’d just entered my 40s and my eldest son had turned 18. So, the title story is me trying to deal with the fact that we all age, and that it happens so goddamn quickly. We get older, and yet a lot of the time we still feel like we’re kids and teenagers. The first 20 years of our life seem so long and so important and our mind dwells on those times. I’m 45 now, and yet a part of me still feels like I’m 18 and should be out there playing in a band and getting drunk and enjoying myself. Age creeps up on us so quickly. We’re adults before we know it. Mid-life crisis, I guess, the realisation that I had aged and that I really would die one day, and this story was my subconscious way of examining that.

(15) MARK YOUR CALENDAR. George Donnelly will be having a sale a week from today.

Today’s top libertarian fiction authors bring you 99-cent fiction books May 18-20 only. Some are even free. Read on your phone, tablet, browser or kindle

(16) PLANETARIUM PANEL FEATURES CLARKE FINALIST. Spaceships: Above and Beyond at the Royal Observatory Planetarium”, Greenwich, Thursday, May 26 (18.30-20.30). Click the link for full details and tickets. Here’s the line up:

  • Libby Jackson, Former ESA Flight Director now working for the UK Space Agency
  • Dr. Adam Baker, Senior Lecturer in Astronautics at Kingston University
  • Dr. Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich
  • James Smythe, Science Fiction author – shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2016
  • The panel discussion will be hosted by Tom Hunter, Director of the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

(17) PANAMA GOLD. At The Toast, Mallory Ortberg has posted “Every Fan Fiction I Have Started Writing Once I Found out Emma Watson Was Named In The Panama Papers”.

“Mustn’t complain, though,” Harry said after an odd silence. “That’s what our taxes are for, after all.”

“We don’t pay taxes,” Hermione said. “Taxes are for Muggles.” She extinguished her cigarette in the last slice of cake.

“But you’re –” Harry started.

“I used to be a lot of things,” Hermione said decisively. “I have money now instead.”

Harry stopped at every bar on the way home, until he could no longer remember the look that had entered her eyes as she said it.

(18) PIXAR PRAISE. Kristian Williams’s YouTube video “Pixar–What Makes a Story Relatable” explains why Pixar films work — because at their core, they’re great stories.

(19) ADDRESSEE KNOWN. Not everybody Andrew Liptak outs was very far undercover to begin with: “Guess Who? 15 Sci-Fi Authors Who Used Pseudonyms—and Why” at B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog.

U.K. Le Guin, Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the most famous living science fiction authors, but when she sold her story “Nine Lives” to Playboy, her editors asked her to change her name to U.K. Le Guin, fearing that a female author would make their readers “nervous.” Le Guin remembered it as the only time, “I met with anything I understood as sexual prejudice, prejudice against me as a woman writer.” She’s never used a pseudonym again, and “Nine Lives” appears under her own name in The Wind’s Twelve Quarters.

(20) THE NEBULA ON CHAOS HORIZON. Brandon Kempner calls his shot in “2016 Nebula Prediction”.

I’ve spun my creaky model around and around, and here is my prediction for the Nebulas Best Novel category, taking place this weekend:

N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season: 22.5%
Ann Leckie, Ancillary Mercy:22%
Naomi Novik, Uprooted: 14.7%
Ken Liu, The Grace of Kings: 13.3%
Lawrence Schoen, Barsk: 10.7%
Charles Gannon, Trial by Fire: 9.5%
Fran Wilde, Updraft: 7.3%

Remember, Chaos Horizon is a grand (and perhaps failed!) experiment to see if we can predict the Nebulas and Hugos using publicly available data.

(21) A PICTURE AND A THOUSAND WORDS. Defenestration, for reasons that will become obvious, made sure we didn’t miss this Hugo humor.

Andrew Kaye (known in some circles as AK) is the creator of Ben & Winslow and other questionable comics, many of which can be found in his deviantART gallery and his Tumblr. He’s also the editor-in-chief of this magazine. Duh.

I realize a lot of the folks who read Ben & Winslow might not be familiar with the drama that’s surrounded the Hugos lately–you can find plenty of articles and blogs discussing it in more detail than I can spare here. Basically, unlike other major awards, the Hugos are chosen by science-fiction and fantasy fandom. Last year a subset of that fandom got angry with the growing diversity among the award nominees and the subject matter they wrote about (or in other words, the nominees weren’t all straight white men writing adventure stories). They took advantage of the Hugos’ fan-based voting  and hijacked the list of nominees with their own choices. The 2015 Hugo ballot was a shambles–many nominees dropped out, and most Hugo voters chose to vote for “No Award” rather than vote for what actually made it to the ballot.

Well, the same thing has happened this year. The same people are trying to control the award. Trying to destroy the award. And if they’re allowed to continue, they’ll succeed. Needless to say, a lot of people are upset about this. To someone unfamiliar with the award, the whole thing looks like a big joke.


[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Matthew Davis, and Tom Hunter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

109 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/13/16 Stop, Drop, And Scroll

  1. I’ve just finished There Will Be Walrus First Volume V and I can say definitively that it was a book. With walrusses.

    (Don’t mind me, I’ll just be giggling madly over here in the corner….)

  2. Been binge watching movies this weekend:

    * Captain America: Winter Soldier. Managed to not fall asleep this time. It was ok, I guess? But I got bored at the final action sequences again, seemef pointless and irritating. Had to go make tea in the middle of them.

    * Age of Ultron: Came to the conclusion that Tony Stark shouldn’t be trusted with anything more advanced than a toothpick unless under constant surveillance. The logical person to demand that would be Captain America. Stark is much more dangerous than the Hulk. Again, an acceptable movie.

    * Ant-man: Now, this one was fun! More of this kind of movies is what is needed. A good ride, nice humour, protagonists who aren’t arrogant or idiots. On the same level as the Avenger-movies that is.

    * Micmacs: Same director as Delicatessen and City of Lost Children. A light work, but good family fun. Nice settings, good actors. Nothing to remember, but absolutely ok to watch.

  3. “Copy-editing has been applied at industry standards as found in top flight Hugo nominated publishers such as Castalia House or Baen Books.”

    At first I read “applied” as “appalled”. Can’t imagine why I should make such a mistake.

  4. Should we begin debating the eligibility of There Will Be Walrus for Best Related Work?

  5. Hampus –

    I’m a family doctor, and I find that quote about 1 in 5 people having some form of mental illness to be a bit surprising, but not unbelievable. In my practice, I would say the number of people with some sort of mental illness is significantly higher than that, but I have always assumed that that was due to selection bias. I.e, chronic health issues and pain exacerbate depression, and having underlying depression makes you less able to tolerate pain, so an awful lot of people I see with chronic health issues also have issues with depression.

    I agree with you that I don’t think that you can say that a person who has occasional sadness or the “blues” has a mental illness. Is there anyone in this world who does not have occasional sadness? No, I think what they saying is that 1 in 5 people have a problem that is significant enough that it interferes with their life.

    When they say 1 in 20 people have mental illness severe enough to interfere with their ability to function, my interpretation is that those people are having problems with things like holding down a job, staying in a healthy relationship with another person, getting out of the house to grocery shop, paying bills, getting dressed in the morning.

    If someone, for example, has less severe depression, they may by able to do the things they have to do for basic functioning, but still not be enjoying things that they used to enjoy. They may be irritable and find themselves snapping at their kids all the time. They may not be sleeping well. A person like this has not lost the ability to function, but that is not to say that they are not depressed.

  6. Peter J: At first I read “applied” as “appalled”. Can’t imagine why I should make such a mistake.

    Hey, you sound qualified to take over copyediting Pixel Scrolls!

  7. John Mark Ockerbloom said:

    I watched an early episode of the show that aired this year, and didn’t like it. My main problem wasn’t that the show had “adult” or “edgy” bits in it– as others have pointed out, things like that were there in the older show too, though usually expressed in a way that kids could ignore. Nor was it that the show’s format was different from the old variety-show format. My main problem was that I didn’t *like* any of the principal characters as they were portrayed.

    My feelings exactly. Transgressive and edgy is fine, desirable even, but there was a pervasive wrongness about the new show on a whole different axis.

    One thing that especially bothered me was Fozzy’s relationship. It’s not the suggestion of Muppet-human attraction, because there’s been plenty of that over the years, but Fozzy’s a guy with an established career and the implied age difference creeped me out (even using Cartoon Land rules where we ignore the fact that he was around in the 1970s and should technically be an old man by now).

    I’ve heard better things about the more recent episodes, where it sounds like they tried to make the characters more likable as well as making the show format more like the old one. But I’d lost enough interest by that point that I didn’t go seek the episodes out. It sounds like I wasn’t alone in that.

    You’re not.

  8. Stfg:

    I checked some reports in swedish and they say that mental unhealth is the most common problem at hospitals (confirmed by my mother who is a doctor and psychiatrist). Around 15% of the cases. But I think the descriptions seem to differ between suffering from mental unhealth and having a mental disease. The last most common described as having a diagnose.

    But I’m really not sure here. I mostly speak about how the words are usually used. That does not mean that it is the correct usage.

  9. > “Came to the conclusion that Tony Stark shouldn’t be trusted with anything more advanced than a toothpick unless under constant surveillance.”

    To be fair, by the next movie he’s in, he’s in agreement with you.

  10. Glenn Hauman: Sadly, Darwyn Cooke passed away overnight.


    RIP to one of the all-time greats. I still remember how that first issue of New Frontier blew me away.

  11. I have finished There Will be Walrus. I have to say, that is excellent writing and editing for a cat. I appreciate Timothy’s energetic excoriation of the squirrel menace. It reminds me of my friend’s cat, Thing, now sadly deceased. He was a happy, fat, orange tabby. Timothy would probably consider him a gamma male. He would sit outside on the patio and take in the sun while an angry squirrel chattered angrily at him from the branches of a nearby tree. Thing never once looked up or seemed to take any notice of that squirrel. If only he’d had Timothy’s guide.

  12. @ Cora
    Thanks for the muppets’ videos. Better than I remembered!

    @ Kyra
    *rushes off to get Margaret the first* many thanks! All I’ve read about her was Virginia Woolf’s essay, would love to read more. What a goldmine you are!

  13. Next movie: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, directed by Luc Besson. It is based on a french comic book, incidentally the first one I found in the adult section of my library.

    Where the comic had a quite dark feeling, the heroine blunt with a sour expression, the movie more a family adventure comedy where the heroine is still quite blunt, but much more charming.

    With mummies and flying dinosaurs in Paris on the beginning of last century, it is a nice little watch, but I did prefer the comic book.

  14. It is beyond my crafting capabilities, but are there any Vile Filers skilled enough at cross-stitch or needlepoint to whip up one of these for a 770 bench at WorldCon?

  15. @Katherine Jay:

    The first season of The Muppet Show is pretty uneven, but there are a couple of classics there as well. The Peter Ustinov and Vincent Price ones stand out in my mind, and Mummenschanz is…something else.

    @John Mark Ockerbloom and @Petréa Mitchell:

    I was thinking of Fozzie being one of the ones who was kind of off. Fozzie was always pretty pathetic and desperate for approval, but he was also incredibly sweet. I don’t recall him being really mean-spirited, even towards Statler and Waldorf. In the new series, there was a bit of a crueler streak to him. My boyfriend called it “Constanza-esque”.

    And now I’m feeling kind of mushy so you get some bittersweet TMS videos:

    Bernadette Peters singing “Just One Person” to Robin. (Robin in the new show? Wrongity wrong wrong wrong. Voice, puppet, everything.)

    Gonzo singing “Jamboree”.

  16. When it comes to The Squirrel Menace there is only one true tried and tested weapon. That weapon is, of course, Drunk Parrot.

  17. @hampus Drunk Parrot needs no kung fu. Drunk Parrot has elderberries.

  18. Hampus Eckerman on May 14, 2016 at 12:14 pm said:

    Next movie: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, directed by Luc Besson. It is based on a french comic book […]

    I suspected it must be something like that. Entertaining but very uneven movie. In some parts it seemed like they were dumbing things down for kids, but others seemed bizarrely dark and disturbing. Especially when compared to the light-hearted way they glossed over some potentially dark, disturbing elements. Some of that I could put down to cultural differences, but overall, I was left with the (unconfirmed till now) impression that it was based on a more grown-up work which had been too-quickly adapted for a younger audience.

    Besson can be good, and this was fun, but far from his best work.

  19. Thanks for Walrus appreciation people 🙂

    Jim Henley on May 14, 2016 at 8:17 am said: @alexvdl: Thanks for keeping my Teleteddies script from sinking without a trace.

    I loved the Teleteddies very much. I assume they have small laptop screens on their bellies with rolling feeds of misogynistic posts from youtube comment sections.

  20. We had a successful Filer meet-up at the Kalamazoo Medieval Congress: robinareid and I had lunch together and I introduced her to all the textile geeks I hand out with.

  21. Peter J on May 14, 2016 at 10:13 am said:

    “Copy-editing has been applied at industry standards as found in top flight Hugo nominated publishers such as Castalia House or Baen Books.”

    At first I read “applied” as “appalled”. Can’t imagine why I should make such a mistake.

    It’s perfectly natural. When the words ‘copy-editing’,’Castalia’ and ‘Baen’ appear in the same sentence, a word like ‘appalled’ is pretty much obligatory.

  22. are there any Vile Filers skilled enough at cross-stitch or needlepoint to whip up one of these

    It’s doable, but I’d need more information or a better picture to make it work. (I have software that can convert images to charts – but that one is just a little *too* fuzzy and dark to work well.)

  23. Book report: “In The Labyrinth of Drakes” by Marie Brennan: another satisfying installment in the saga of Lady Trent and dragons. In this volume Isabella & Co. are in meta-Egypt, and the similarities to the Amelia Peabody series are obvious and amusing.

    The one think that isn’t at all amusing is the book designer’s choice to have each volume printed with a different color font, on paper that isn’t really white. This particular combo, dark red on cream, pushed the edge of readability to me, and Mr Dr Science couldn’t read it comfortably at all in less-than-perfect light. Cute, but not practical nor reader-friendly.

  24. This was always one of my favourite classic Muppets clips…

    Welcome to Our House

    (I sing it, too, usually in close proximity to my husband singing Tom Lehrer’s Irish Ballad…)

  25. Doctor Science: That is absolutely NOT my experience. Every time I saw a new doctor for my depression (it hasn’t happened in a while) the FIRST thing they did was a thyroid test, because fixing that is easy.

    Clinical Depression was frequently not recognized or diagnosed by general practice doctors for a long time in the U.S. (it’s gotten a bit better now, as doctors have become more educated on the subject, and the stigma on mental illness is starting to lessen).

    The fact that depression was being way underdiagnosed was brought out when the anti-depression drug bupropion was introduced. Doctors who prescribed it to patients for depression started reporting that large numbers of those patients claimed to have stopped smoking cold turkey after going on the drug regimen. (I actually knew someone who’d been smoking since the age of 14 for more than 20 years, who’d tried and failed several times to quit, who just spontaneously stopped smoking after being prescribed bupropion.)

    It was surmised that a lot of smokers are actually unknowingly self-medicating themselves for depression (nicotine being a stimulant) — and once their depression was being treated and their brain chemistry straightened out, no longer felt the need for the nicotine.

    The drug company, of course, recognized an opportunity for further monetization, and remarketed the anti-depression drug as a “stop-smoking medication” named Zyban, thus bypassing the stigma on mental illness.

  26. JJ, some of the drugs currently used for depression turn out to work very well for some forms of atopic dermatitis. (Apparently they’re run by serotonin, and inhibiting the re-uptake fixes that problem.)

  27. The Hive of scum and villainy chart appears to be $5 on etsy

    The PNG image there was good enough for me to chart it – although I won’t swear that the colors match.

  28. P J Evans: some of the drugs currently used for depression turn out to work very well for some forms of atopic dermatitis. (Apparently they’re run by serotonin, and inhibiting the re-uptake fixes that problem.)

    That’s really interesting! Thanks for that nugget.

  29. Mike Glyer on May 14, 2016 at 10:30 am said:
    Peter J: At first I read “applied” as “appalled”. Can’t imagine why I should make such a mistake.

    Hey, you sound qualified to take over copyediting Pixel Scrolls!

    Not sure that would be such a good idea – I tend to find my weird misreadings are more interesting than the originals, so I might be tempted to make what you might call uncorrections.

  30. At the Edinburgh Fringe a couple of years ago I saw Henson’s Puppet Up improv show. The one I went to was an early afternoon show so was fairly clean (Brian Henson’s family were in the audience) but still managed a few adult only laughs.

    Good fun.

  31. Camestros Felapton on May 14, 2016 at 1:47 pm said:

    Worldcon 75 staff live tweeting the Eurovision Song Contest finals is delightful.

    Zoiks! Turned out to be very exciting and geopolitically complex at the end!

  32. P J Evans –
    Yay! I do crochet, and could make and send tiny plush Cthulhus, but that’s about the limit of my Dark Fiber Arts. 🙂

    Thanks for the link, emgrasso!

  33. SFWA announces that they will now admit game writers.

    Oooh, I look forward to the criteria being released. Also, hope they do the same for comic/ graphic novel writers as well

  34. @Hampus

    Ant Man, Thomas the Tank Engine’s exit made me laugh so hard I hurt. It’s the eyes that do it…

    Ant Man gets a great scene in Civil War too.

  35. I’m assuming that those with an expressed interest in the ‘adult’ portions of the Muppets have managed to arrange a viewing of Peter Jackson’s Meet the Feebles? So very not for children. Or most workplaces.

  36. To TTTC:

    If tyranny has a face, then it is clad in a red onesie.

    Words to live by, my friend. Words to live by.

    I am itching to start fan fic for McEdifice and Mikhail, but I just know I would want to bring in Vax Doy’s younger brother, Vax Deferens. And Timothy would never allow it. He seems the litigious type and fiercely protective of his copyrights and characters.

  37. BigelowT on May 14, 2016 at 5:53 pm said:

    To TTTC:

    If tyranny has a face, then it is clad in a red onesie.

    Words to live by, my friend. Words to live by.

    I am itching to start fan fic for McEdifice and Mikhail, but I just know I would want to bring in Vax Doy’s younger brother, Vax Deferens

    I’ll pass on your appreciation 🙂

  38. @errol That is something a person truly only needs to see once, though it’s still not as annoying as King Kong.

  39. I was fortunate (?!) to see MtF while in a hostel in London – great environment, explaining the cultural references to the international audience.

  40. @Doctor Science: Both of them are mine, and I’m not alone. I spent more than ten years trying to find a doctor who would even order a full thyroid panel instead of just saying “Fatigue? Must be depression. Here, have an SSRI.” Which of course never worked.

    They never even suggested a thyroid panel. I was demanding one because of my family history and got repeatedly blown off.

  41. Rail: They never even suggested a thyroid panel. I was demanding one because of my family history and got repeatedly blown off.

    I am so sorry that you had such shitty luck trying to find a decent doctor. That is just so wrong. I hope you’ll never accept that sort of treatment again, and keep trying doctors until you find a good one.

    I’ve lived in numerous cities, and I’ve always had great luck finding GPs who took my family history seriously and understood that I knew what I was talking about (two of them for 10 years each, and two of them for 4 years each). There was a year when I lived in another city and the doctor I picked out of the HMO book of availables (a lot of doctors had a full patient list) was absolute crap.

    But good doctors do exist. I hope that you’ve been able to find one.

  42. (19) ADDRESSEE KNOWN. Rowling’s grandfather’s name is Kathleen?! Huh, there’s girl’s name I didn’t know was also a boy’s.

    @alexvdl: Yes! I remember that Raquel Welch + Miss Piggy number fondly. “W O…(throat clear)…P I G!”

    @Hampus Eckerman: I loved “Ant Man” and nominated it this year. Very fun movie.

    @IanP: I was surprised and really happy when (ROT-13 for a minor spoiler) Nag Zna ghearq vagb Tvnag Zna va Pvivy Jne. I was not expecting that! 😉

  43. @JJ: Thanks. I eventually managed to network with others in similar straits and get on wait lists instead of randomly choosing doctors off the PCP list and hoping for the best. There’s a reason why many of those doctors have schedule space to take new patients….

    There’s enough knock-on effects from going untreated for so long that I’m often short of spoons, but it’s still better than it was.

    These days I just start humming “Industrial Disease” when I think of those days of doctor swapping and emergency room doctors who won’t believe I’m having an asthma attack.

  44. I also liked Ant Man a lot and nominated it.

    I can cross-stitch and I could do the one in the picture, but I’m bad at anything besides the cross-stitch, meaning I wouldn’t be able to turn it into a pillow or anything useful. Frame it, sure. But things which require seams and actual sewing are unlikely to happen.

    Now I want to cross-stitch If tyranny has a face, then it is clad in a red onesie as a companion piece.

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