Pixel Scroll 5/24/17 Hives And Filers Were Spawned To be Released

(1) COLLATERAL DAMAGE. This week’s terrorist bombing in the U.K. has quashed Wonder Woman’s London premiere.

Warner Bros. has canceled its Wonder Woman premiere in London, following Monday’s terrorist attack following an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.

“Our thoughts are with those affected by the recent tragedy in the U.K.,” the studio said in a statement. “In light of the current situation, we will not be proceeding with our plans for the Wonder Woman premiere and junket activities in London.”

The red carpet event had been scheduled for May 31…

(2) STAR POWER AHEAD. Vanity Fair’s “Cover Story: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Definitive Preview” includes great cast photos.

The first trip to Skellig Michael was wondrous: an hour-long boat ride to a craggy, green island off the coast of Ireland’s County Kerry, and then a hike up hundreds of stone steps to a scenic cliff where, a thousand years earlier, medieval Christian monks had paced and prayed. This is where Mark Hamill reprised his role as Luke Skywalker for the first time since 1983, standing opposite Daisy Ridley, whose character, Rey, was the protagonist of The Force Awakens, J. J. Abrams’s resumption of George Lucas’s Star Wars movie saga….

“When I read the script for Episode VIII, I went, “Oh my God, we’re going back?’ Because I said I was never going back,” Hamill told me when I sat down with him recently at his home in Malibu. He wondered, in vain, if they could drop him in by chopper this time, “which is so clueless of me, because there’s no landing pad, and it would mar the beauty of it all,” he said. Hamill is a youthful 65 but a sexagenarian nevertheless; whereas the fit young members of the crew were given 45 minutes to get up to the now iconic Rey-Luke meeting spot — carrying heavy equipment — Hamill was allotted an hour and a half, “and I had to stop every 10, 15 minutes to rest.”

None of this was offered up in the form of complaint. Hamill just happens to be a rambling, expansive talker — in his own way, as endearingly offbeat a character as his friend and on-screen twin sister, Carrie Fisher, who passed away suddenly and tragically last December. Like Fisher, Hamill was put on a diet-and-exercise regimen after he was reconscripted into the Star Wars franchise. (Harrison Ford was under less obligation, having retained his leading-man shape because he never stopped being a leading man.) Over a spartan snack plate of carrot sticks and hummus, the man behind Luke held forth at length on this subject.

(3)WHY HE USES THE OXFORD COMMIE. James Davis Nicoll wants your suggestions for book to review in his new series Reds Under the Bed.

Subversives! They lurk everywhere! They could be anyone, from the kindly couple next door to the innocent seeming nuclear researcher mailing thick bundles to Moscow every week, from your child’s teacher to the President himself! Even you could be an unsuspecting brainwashed puppet of the enemy!

There have been many noteworthy works about the hidden enemy. Some were even readable. Many will be reviewed.

(4) A TIE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR. Love this art — and shouldn’t they be able to make a tie that actually animates the way it does in the ad? Think how many of those they could sell this Father’s Day. “Coffee & Donuts DIY Coloring Book Tie”.

Colorfully formal

The fun part about getting a tie that you can color is that you can choose how formal you get to be. Casual Friday? Draw some some chocolate sprinkles on those donuts. Wearing a tux? We mean, you could just color the whole thing black – we aren’t stopping you. Although, we wouldn’t say drawing a vibrant rainbow donut is a bad idea either. Hint hint. Color in your perfect neck-wear with the Coffee & Donuts DIY Coloring Book Tie. Get those creativity wheels turning for you to unleash on the world. The only thing we don’t encourage is spilling actual coffee on it. Save the impressionist art for another day.

(5) OLD FAVES. At Tor.com Natalie Zutter explains “Why I Stopped Reading The Queen’s Thief Series”. The answer is surprisingly simple.

My best friend handed me Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief probably shortly after its publication in 1996, at a point where we had read through all of Tamora Pierce’s then-current body of work and were slowly going mad waiting for the next installment. The Thief was the logical recommendation for a next read: Gen was small and sassy like Alanna, stubbornly self-reliant even when the gods decided to take an interest in his business, and as creative an interpretation of the thief archetype as Alanna is with knighthood. It was also, I think, the first fantasy novel that actually bowled me over with its twist. The stuff I had read before then — ”The Song of the Lioness, The Blue Sword, etc. — kept me enthralled simply exploring every inch of their lush worlds, but The Thief set up expectations and then swiftly subverted them.

It was such a perfect standalone novel that I remember initially being leery of the sequel. But then 2000’s The Queen of Attolia, true to the brutal ruler after which it’s named, upped the ante with a devastating act of violence early on that forever alters Gen’s identity. Suddenly, instead of a thief or trickster he is neither, simply a beloved protagonist coping with the unimaginable. By the end of the book, our worldview — both as readers and as participants in the ongoing conflict among Sounis, Eddis, and Attolia — has radically shifted. So why didn’t I continue on with The King of Attolia, published in 2006? For one, I didn’t even know that a third installment existed. Around that time, I met new fantasy heroines in Rani Trader (from Mindy Klasky’s The Glasswrights’ Apprentice) and Mel Astiar (from Sherwood Smith’s Crown Duel) and forgot all about Gen.

But twenty years after I read The Thief, Turner’s series has stolen my attention back….

(6) HELP BAEN DESIGN CHALLENGE COINS. Baen Books is calling on their fans for suggestions about a planned set of souvenir coins.

Challenge coins, which began as a military tradition, have become a widely recognized way of showing membership and boosting morale. Collectors have spent thousands of dollars tracking down coins but now you can get a full set of Baen coins for free!

We’ve commissioned artist Jack Wylder (of Monster Hunter Nation fame) to design a set of 12 Baen Challenge Coins, and we’d like your input on designs! What do you think should go on coins representing the following four series?

Tom Kratman’s Carreraverse

John Ringo’s Posleen Wars

Travis S. Taylor’s Tau Ceti Agenda

Michael Z. Williamson’s Freehold

Please email your design ideas to [email protected] with “Baen Challenge Coin Design”in the subject line. Submissions must be in by Memorial Day (May 29th). If your design is selected, you will win a free coin when they’re minted, so be sure to include a mailing address in your idea submissions. The winning design across all four series (as voted on by the Baen team and our authors) will receive a full set of all 12 coins–and the exclusive Baen bonus coin! We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

(7) WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE COMIC? NPR has opened the digital voting booths — “It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane … It’s Our Comics And Graphic Novels Reader Poll!”

Here at NPR headquarters in DC, MARVELous IMAGEs and FANTAstic GRAPHICS are dancing in our heads as we contemplate this year’s edition of our famous Summer Reader Poll — who will make the cut? Will it be packed with old favorites or BOOM! Will a DARK HORSE muscle in?

Oh god, we can’t keep this up anymore. Let’s just come right out and say it: This summer, we’re celebrating comics and graphic novels, and we need your help! Whether it’s a dogeared childhood treasure, the latest Eisner award winner or the webcomic you binge-read last week, tell us about it using the form on this page.

Based on what you tell us, our expert panel of comics creators, reviewers — and geeks — will curate a final list of 100 favorite comics…

(8) HIGHLY SPECIALIZED. Enjoy Atlas Obscura’s “Ultimate List of Wonderfully Specific Museums”. Cat Eldridge sends the link with a note: “There is here in this city a museum devoted to umbrella covers. And of course we have the world famous International Cryptozoological Museum…”

A lot of them seem really interesting, despite a few doubtful-sounding entries like The Museum of Celebrity Leftovers

(9) WORLD FANTASY CON MEMBERSHIPS TO RISE. World Fantasy 2017 will be held in San Antonio, Texas from November 2-5.

WFC2017 attending membership rates will be go up on June 1 to $275. Supporting memberships will remain at $50. Currently attending memberships are $225 and have been held at this rate for over 6 months. Memberships are available for immediate purchase at various conventions, online at http://www.wfc2017.org, and by postal mail. Attending memberships will be transferable until either September 1, 2017, or when 850 memberships are sold, whichever comes first.

The guests of honor of World Fantasy 2017 are David Mitchell, Karen Joy Fowler, Greg Manchess, and Gordon Van Gelder, with Martha Wells as the Toastmaster.


  • May 24, 1985 — H.P. Lovecraft’s classic tale comes to the big screen in Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator, first seen on this day.
  • May 24, 2003 — Crop circle discovered in Haysville, Kansas.

(11) SHUT UP AND DEAL. The Spinoff invites us to follow along: “Let’s play — Legendary: the Marvel Deck Building Game”.

…There will be Marvel-themed poetry slams by 2020. Until then, Marvel Legendary is here to perform a hostile takeover in the board game scene — and it’s eerily addictive. My board game dealer, Douglas Moore, opened up his trench coat and gave me a free hit.

As you are my guest, dear Liam, I’ll let you pick the heroes we will play with. Given the three sets I have crammed in here, I should be able to pick them ou-

I like Dr. Strange. Can I be Dr. Strange?

*sigh* OK, I don’t have Dr Strange. He’s from the Secret Wars Expansion… I think. Try again.

Can I be Wolverine?

Will that be X-Men Wolverine or X-Force Wolverine?

Oooooh, X-force please!

So what I have here are the hero cards for just one hero. We need to shuffle them in with four others to form the hero deck we will be recruiting from.

…can I choose Nightcrawler?

Yes, ya can.

…and Storm? …and Spider-Man? …and Groot?

Yes, yes, and yeeesssssss. I’ll go ahead and set up the rest of the game….

(12) ALIEN TOUCH. GeekTyrant says “Ridley Scott Working on a Sci-Fi Series Lineup for TNT”.

With the release of Alien: Covenant this past weekend comes news that the movie’s director, Ridley Scott, is developing a Science Fiction block of programming for the cable network TNT. Scott will develop one night of original sci-fi programming that will showcase several formats including an hour long series, short form programs and other formats in collaboration with TNT.

(13) JEOPARDY. An answer from last night’s Jeopardy!

The correct question is what is Andy Weir’s book, The Martian?

(14) A LATE-HATCHING EASTER EGG. PopSugar has been hitting the books: “Here’s Another Harry Potter Detail We Can’t Believe We Never Noticed Before”.

J.K. Rowling always surprises us with the amount of detail she poured into Harry Potter, and it feels like every day we learn something new about the series. Reddit user SunshineallDay’s fan theory provides more evidence of how much Rowling hid in her books.

It might be hard to catch when you’re first reading, but look a little closer and you’ll see it. The fun Easter egg shows how Hermione’s character learned Wizard Baruffio wasn’t the most intelligent in The Sorcerer’s Stone from Professor Flitwick. Later in The Order of the Phoenix, Harry and Ron are tempted to drink Baruffio’s Brain Elixir before their O.W.L.s, but Hermione clearly recalls their lesson and pours the drink down the toilet. An image from the books highlighting these two passages is below….

(15) THIS FELL OUT OF THE WRINKLE IN TIME. An item old enough to be new. Cynthia Zarin’s 2004 New Yorker profile about Madeleine L’Engle, “The Storyteller”.

I once asked L’Engle to define “science fiction.”She replied, “Isn’t everything?”On another occasion, in the vast, sunny apartment in a building on West End Avenue where she has lived since 1960, and where she and her late husband, the actor Hugh Franklin, brought up their three children, she offered an example. “I was standing right there, carrying a plate of cold cuts,”she said, pointing at a swinging door between the dining room and the pantry. “And I swooped into the pantry, bang, and got a black eye. It was exactly as if someone pushed me.”At eighty-five, L’Engle is a formidable figure. She is five feet nine in her stocking feet, and uses a wheelchair owing to a broken hip. She has a birdlike head, a sharp nose, and an air of helpless innocence that is almost entirely put on. She wore a loose-fitting dress in one of her favorite colors, peacock blue. “Most likely,”she continued firmly, “it was a poltergeist. There must have been a teen-age girl in the house. All that energy! They create the best atmosphere for them, you know. We don’t know how to catch and harness it.”She nodded. “Too true of most things.”

(16) INCONCEIVABLE! Aussiecon II guest of honor Gene Wolfe, joking about his out-of-print books, said that the difference between a fanzine editor and a professional publisher is that if a faned sells all the copies of his fanzine, he’ll print more.

— So can this Marvel Comics news item really be true?

An alliance for the ages — Amadeus Cho joining forces with Old Man Logan, Sabretooth, Domino, Warpath, and Lady Deathstrike to battle the new Weapon X. Now, this Hulk-sized team-up is about to get even bigger, as Marvel is pleased to announce that TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #19 has sold out and will immediately return for a second printing.

A mysterious new director of the Weapon X program is creating soldiers who threaten the lives of some of the most powerful and deadly heroes the Marvel Universe has ever seen. But the man behind the curtain has now set his sights on a new target: the fearless, gamma-imbued Amadeus Cho. What will become of the Hulk when he is forced to partner with some of Marvel’s deadliest killers and hunters? One thing is for sure — this is a story not to be missed!

(17) WORDS FROM A MASTER. Fantasy-Faction scored an interview with Bernard Cornwell.


FF: Sean Bean is renowned for his repeated and progressively messier mortality on both the large and the small screen.

Surely this means there is one book at least still to write: “Sharpe’s Death“?

BC: There is another Sharpe book to be written, maybe more than one, but none of them will be called Sharpe’s Death!

He’s immortal.

(18) SUMMER IS COMING. Another season of Game of Thrones begins July 16.

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Phil Nichols, Cat Eldridge, Mark-kitteh, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day IanP.]

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58 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/24/17 Hives And Filers Were Spawned To be Released

  1. Kendall, my first thought was the same as kathodus’: gung fur pbairavragyl “nppvqragnyyl ena vagb uvz” orpnhfr fur jnf n fhfcrpg va gur qrngu bs ure ybire, naq unq uvz haqre n tynzbhe gb cerirag uvz sebz vairfgvtngvat shegure, juvpu jnf jul ur jnf fb vaperqvshpxvatyl fghcvq nobhg abg ernyvmvat gung ur fubhyqa’g or funttvat n fhfcrpg naq vafgrnq fubhyq or vairfgvtngvat ure. Vg qvqa’g znggre jurgure fur jnf njner bs ure bja angher be abg, ur jnf fgvyy haqre n tynzbhe. Guvf jubyr fhocybg jnf whfg tybffrq bire.

    Vg jnf zl vzcerffvba gung gur nhgube vagraqrq gur eriryngvba nobhg ure gehr angher gb or n fhecevfr cybg gjvfg – ohg vg jnf n ernyyl onqyl qbar bar (nf V fnvq, V gjvttrq gb vg gur zbzrag ur ena vagb ure, 40% vagb gur obbx). Naq nf xngubqhf fnvq, ng gur raq, gurer jnf ab “buzltbq, V jnf haqre n tynzbhe, V jnf fb fghcvq, ubj pbhyq V unir cbffvoyl qbar gung?” dhrfgvbavat be vagebfcrpgvba ng nyy – ab guvaxvat nobhg “qvq V ernyyl ybir ure, be jnf V whfg haqre gur vasyhrapr bs ure cbjref?”, ab “ubj qb V cebgrpg zlfrys sebz orvat fhoiregrq va guvf jnl ntnva?” Naq gur snpg gung Avtugvatnyr whfg abqqrq naq zbirq ba jvgubhg nal bs gung jnf hggreyl haoryvrinoyr naq vapbafvfgrag, gbb.

    It was just bizarre. I can only put it down to writer inexperience, because I don’t know how else you would justify it.

  2. @JJ, Kendall: I read Moon Over Soho long enough ago that I’m a bit fuzzy on the details – but my recollection of the twist you’re discussing is that it was intended to be obvious to readers, in a “let’s watch Peter stumble around being stupid”-kind of way.
    (And I think that’s vague enough to not warrant rot13-ing?)

  3. @Johan

    I think you’re correct, although it’s a risky tactic because you can just annoy the reader instead. I’ve just had a very similar experience in October Daye #2, where some supernatural shenanigans were obvious to the reader but inexplicably not to the private investigator sent there to look out for supernatural shenanigans. I’m not sure why it annoyed me in Daye but not Rivers – possibly because it was combined with some other contrivances to bottle the characters up that had reduced my patience.

  4. Johan P: my recollection of the twist you’re discussing is that it was intended to be obvious to readers, in a “let’s watch Peter stumble around being stupid” – kind of way.

    Sure, that’s possible — but what was the point? In the end everyone just says “too bad, so sad” and goes blithely on their way without anyone stopping to think about why it happened and how it could be prevented from happening again. And as questionable as that sort of obliviousness would be coming from Grant at that point, it’s utterly out of the question that Nightingale would react (or rather, not react) in the way that he did.

    Combined with the deus ex machina in the first book, where Grant goes from one word which may mean anything in a whole range of things to “I know! This will enable me to solve the problem!” — which was just ridiculous — I’m putting it down to lack of skill in plotting. I do think that, by book 4, the author’s skills have considerably improved. But it doesn’t change my assessment that it’s the weakest of the five Series Finalists of which I have now read all the novels.

    There is much in the Rivers of London novels to be appreciated — the sly, snarky humour, the character development of the various human and supernatural characters, the insider’s-scenic-tour-of-London-travelogue we get with each book. But to me, the clunky bits detract a bit from my enjoyment of it.

  5. @Kendall @Johan – I think you both may be right, but like @JJ said, I don’t think that was wrapped up well in the book.


    I’ve just had a very similar experience in October Daye #2, where some supernatural shenanigans were obvious to the reader but inexplicably not to the private investigator sent there to look out for supernatural shenanigans.

    I’m having that experience right now! I am reading this one as quickly as possible because after Moon Over Soho I have little patience for this.

    Both of these series are suffering similar issues, though I think it’s worse in October Daye. I feel like I understand what McGuire is trying to do, but she’s doing it in a very “new writer” kind of way, where I keep thinking of how another author could add more depth to the plot and conversations. It feels like she’s working through the story she had outlined, and I can see the effort. In both cases, I’m not ready to give up on the series, because I’ve heard they improve later, and also because both authors show a lot of promise. I did like Midnight Riot quite a bit, though. I wasn’t as bothered by the deus ex machina (I scarcely remember it – I was just thinking of the book as a fun read and not thinking too much about it) as @JJ, though.

  6. @Kathodus

    In McGuire’s case she actually is a new-ish writer at book #2, whereas Aaranovitch was an experienced TV writer before turning to novels. I actually wonder how much of the things that are niggling some people are a matter of his TV instincts producing elements that don’t play so well to some readers?

    Anyway, enough people have said that Toby Daye picks up from #3 that I’m powering through my issues with #2 – I put it down to a sudden demand for a sequel resulting in a slightly rushed job that, as you say, feels like an outline getting a fairly basic draft on top. Also, I enjoy the character enough that I would like to try more.

  7. @JJ: Npghnyyl gurer’f gnyx nobhg ubj rkcrevrapr znxrf lbh zber noyr gb erfvfg zragny vasyhrapr. Vg’f va gur pbagrkg bs gur snpryrff zna, gubhtu, fb lrf, vg jbhyq’ir znqr frafr gb qenj na rkcyvpvg cnenyyry. Naq pyrneyl ur’f abg nf vzzhar gb zntvpny vasyhrapr nf ur gubhtug! OGJ V qba’g npghnyyl erzrzore jurgure Avtugvatnyr jnf njner bs gur cbffvovyvgl bs Fvzbar univat nal rssrpg yvxr guvf ba Tenag. Jnf gung fcryyrq bhg – lbh’er znxvat vg fbhaq yvxr ab bar rira gnyxrq nobhg vg, va juvpu pnfr ubj jbhyq Avtugvatnyr xabj hayrff Tenag fnvq fbzrguvat? Naljnl, V sryg ure qrngu naq uvf ernpgvba jnf jryy qbar. Pyrneyl rira vs gurer jnf zntvpny vasyhrapr ba uvz, nf V oryvrir, VFGZ vg ghearq vagb zber guna gung. Frireny bs gurfr obbxf ner raqvat jvgu rzbgvbany fghss gung VZUB vf jryy qbar (LZZI).

    BTW I’m not trying to convince you that you should love parts of it that didn’t work for you, just in case it comes across like that (I hope not!). Just trying to point out a couple of things that haven’t come up in this thread that make it hang together better for me, some of which didn’t occur to me (“why didn’t X bother me?”) till you or kathodus or Mark mentioned them.

    @kathodus & @Mark (Kitteh): Gah I need to start the second Daye book! I’m reading the nominated Penric novella right now; the first was very good and I’m enjoying the second one. 🙂

  8. @Mark – Oh, I wonder if you’re right re the television thing. It ultimately seems to be just too subtle to be effective. Could be entirely different in another medium.

    @Kendall – I enjoyed that Penric novella. It was on my nomination list.

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