Pixel Scroll 6/12/18 Your Mother Was A Scrollster And Your Father Smelt Of Pixelberries! I File In Your General Direction!

(1) ON WITH THE SHOW, THIS IS IT. Deadline learns “‘Looney Tunes’ Getting Short-Form Revival At WB Animation”.

Warner Bros Animation is creating a new series of short-form cartoons based on the studio’s iconic Looney Tunes Cartoons franchise featuring the likes of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the gang that will harken to the original Looney Tunes theatrical shorts. The studio said today multiple artists will produce 1-6 minute shorts “written” and drawn by the cartoonists allowing their own personality and style to come through.

The plan is to produce 1,000 minutes each season, with the content to be distributed across multiple platforms including digital, mobile and broadcast…

(2) ADVANCE WORD. “How incredible is Incredibles 2? The critics give their verdicts” in a BBC roundup.

Fourteen years on from The Incredibles, a sequel to Pixar’s hit animation has arrived – and it’s “worth the wait”.

That’s the verdict of the Hollywood Reporter, which praises its “engaging” characters and “deep supply of wit“.

Screen International lauds the film’s “kinetic elan“, while Forbes called it “funny, thoughtful and thrilling”….

(3) GOOD POINT. Concern for passing on a legacy is surprisingly absent from many corners of fandom.

(4) BULLIED. ScreenRant tells the story of “5 Actors Who Were Bullied Off Social Media By Angry Fans.”

Let’s kick this whole thing off with a very obvious and very simple fact that shouldn’t even need stating: Actors are NOT the same as the characters they play. When they’re in movies or television shows, they’re ACTING (the clue is in the word “actor”). And if you’ve ever bullied an actor because of something their CHARACTER did – online or otherwise – you really do need to take a long hard look at yourself! That being said, sadly, cowardly bullying of that nature happens all the time in the modern world – it’s particularly easy to do from behind a computer screen when you have a picture of a cat as your profile picture – and, rather unsurprisingly, the actors on the receiving end don’t like it very it much. In this video, we’ll take a look at five actors who were ruthlessly and senselessly bullied off social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) by angry so-called “fans” of their movies and TV shows who simply didn’t think before they spoke (N.B. You’re absolutely NOT a fan if you’ve ever done this). The actors in question are; the Star Wars sequel trilogy’s Daisy Ridley, Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s Kelly Marie Tran, Ghostbusters’ Leslie Jones, The Walking Dead’s Josh McDermitt and Game of Thrones’ Faye Marsay.


(5) JACKPOT HGHWAY. What do you get when you combine Heinlein’s “Let There Be Light” with “The Roads Must Roll” (give or take a few details)? Roads paved with solar panels! The New York Times has the story — “Free Power From Freeways? China Is Testing Roads Paved With Solar Panels”.

On a smoggy afternoon, huge log carriers and oil tankers thundered down a highway and hurtled around a curve at the bottom of a hill. Only a single, unreinforced guardrail stood between the traffic and a ravine.

The route could make for tough driving under any conditions. But experts are watching it for one feature in particular: The highway curve is paved with solar panels.

“If it can pass this test, it can fit all conditions,” said Li Wu, the chairman of Shandong Pavenergy, the company that made the plastic-covered solar panels that carpet the road. If his product fares well, it could have a major impact on the renewable energy sector, and on the driving experience, too.

(6) EMERGENCY BACKUP SIXTH ITEM. (Someone noticed I left a gap in the numbering.) Syfy Wire calls these The 13 best friendships in sci-fi & fantasy.

As we alluded to earlier, it was Sam who literally carried Frodo at a critical point in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. But Frodo would have been lost to the ring long before that if his best friend hadn’t accompanied him. In terms of trios, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley could face almost anything together. The original Star Trek also had a core trio of friends: Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.


(7) ALTERNATE UNIVERSE NEWS. Kevin Lincoln, in “What If Star Wars Never Happened?” at Polygon, has an alternative universe where George Lucas passes on Star Wars to direct Apocalypse Now (which comes out in 1976), which begins a chain of events including the election of Al Gore in 2000 and the non-existence of Netflix.

The 1970s

Hot off the runaway success of 1973’s American Graffiti, which becomes one of the most profitable movies ever made, 29-year-old George Lucas tries to write a script about a moral, expansive universe filled with mysterious power and mythological heroes and villains. The first treatment he produces is, by many accounts, incoherent. Discouraged by the negative response, he decides to take up his friend Francis Ford Coppola’s offer to direct a Vietnam War movie called Apocalypse Now, written by their other friend, John Milius.

Lucas brings the film in on time and just barely over budget, delivering a well-reviewed movie shot in cinema-verite style that draws comparisons to The Battle of Algiers and Z. But audiences are tired of the Vietnam War, which had finally ended in 1975, and when the movie comes out in 1976, it’s a modest success rather than a breakout hit like Graffiti. However, combined with the success of The Godfather II in 1974, it’s enough to impress the holders of the rights to Flash Gordon, who earlier refused Lucas’ offer to adapt the property. They agree to allow him to make a movie based on the character, produced by Coppola.

(8) SNAP, CRACKLE AND PLOT. Atlas Obscura tells about the importance of some low-tech effects: “Why Foley Artists Use Cabbage and Celery to Create Hollywood’s Distinctive Sounds”.

In one of the final scenes of James Cameron’s Titanic, Rose (played by Kate Winslet) clings to a floating headboard, a piece of debris from the shipwreck that claimed over 1500 lives. A delirious Rose, adrift in the freezing ocean, sees a rescue team in the distance and moves her head. As she lifts her frozen hair off the wood, it crackles audibly.

But Rose’s hair never actually crackled, and the sound wasn’t made by hair at all: It was the sound of frozen lettuce being peeled by Foley artists in a studio. While subtle to the ear, and almost unnoticeable amidst the dialogue, score, and other sound effects, the crackle is critical to amplifying the scene’s drama. And it’s the responsibility of Foley artists to forge these unique sounds in post-production, often from lettuce heads, coconuts, and other foods.

It’s an uncharacteristically overcast May day in Culver City, California—an enclave within Los Angeles where many production studios are found. I’m at Sony Pictures, where two of the studio’s resident Foley artists, Robin Harlan and Sarah Monat-Jacobs, recount the struggle to make Rose’s frozen hair sound like frozen hair. First they tried freezing a wig, but that didn’t work. Velcro didn’t do the trick, either. Later, Harlan was at home and, while making herself a sandwich, found that a head of lettuce’s crackle worked perfectly. “They really wanted to hear the sound of frozen hair pulling off of this wood bedstead, but I mean, you can’t really freeze your own head,” says Harlan.

(9) PETERS OBIT. Only just announced… Luan Peters (1946-2017): Actress and singer, died December 24, 2017, aged 71. Genre appearances include Doctor Who (two episodes, 1967 and 1973), Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (aka My Partner the Ghost, one episode, 1969), Lust for a Vampire, Twins of Evil  (both 1971), The Flesh and Blood Show (1972), Vampira (aka Old Dracula, 1974), Land of the Minotaur (aka The Devil’s Men. 1976).


  • June 12, 1987 Predator premiered on this day
  • June 12, 2012 — Ray Bradbury’s Kaleidoscope went into general release.
  • June 12, 2015 Jurassic World debuted


  • Frazz discusses an application of Sturgeon’s Law but Mike Kennedy doesn’t think the math works.
  • Lise Andreasen asks if you can pass all four of the Turing Tests posed in Tom Gauld’s comic?

(12) POINT OF EXCLAMATION. Do not miss Camestros Felapton’s “Beard Subgenres (Crossover event!)” unless you have something important scheduled, like sorting your sock drawer. Just kidding!

Combining our occasional series of pointless infographics, with our occasional series of misclassifying mundane things by sub-genres of SFF and our occasional series of pictures of beards, Felapton Towers presents: beards by subgenres!

(I have no idea how I am going to justify linking to this. There’s not even a cat this time.)

(13) LEVEL-HEADED. This amazing movie technology advance is still news to me – million dollar idea:

instead of spending thousands of dollars on steady-cam equipment, filmmakers should just attach a camera to the head of a chicken and carry the chicken around as you film.

(14) ERRANT PEDANTRY. Marko Kloos volunteered these examples –

(15) TIDHAR. Jonathan Thornton reviews Candy by Lavie Tidhar” at Fantasy-Faction.

Candy is Lavie Tidhar’s first book for children. It is a perfectly pitched noir take on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964). Its delightful premise following a twelve-year-old private detective in a city where chocolate, candy and sweets are banned. As such the book is both fun and amusing. However, as with Tidhar’s earlier work, his playful approach to genre is in service to the story’s hidden depths. He uses the trappings of noir detective tales to tell a subversive children’s story about corruption, the exploitation of vulnerable communities, and the limits of justice. The end result is a novel that for all its joyous sense of fun still packs a surprising emotional and philosophical punch.

(16) OUTCOME OF SENSITIVITY READ. At The Book Smugglers: “Between the Coats: A Sensitivity Read Changed my Life – an Essay by Sarah Gailey”.

I’m queer, which is why I always thought I’d be dead by now….

… I was a new writer, alien to the writing community, completely unaware of the conversations about queer representation that had been developing for years before I’d thought to write a single word of my story. It didn’t occur to me that queer tragedies like that are part of an agenda, and that the agenda had been working on me for a long time. That agenda had succeeded at keeping me quiet and scared and lonely in ways that I thought were fine, just fine, thanks, how are you? That agenda had succeeded at making me hold my breath. Because of that agenda, I spent my days hoping that no one ever noticed me.

None of that entered my mind, not even once. I thought I was writing in-genre. Fantasy stories have magic. Science fiction stories have rules that I don’t always understand because I somehow got through high school without taking a physics class. Queer stories have death.

And then I got some feedback on the story from a sensitivity reader. They had volunteered to make sure I wasn’t screwing up on a particular point of representation — but they took issue with the story as a whole. They told me emphatically that I should reconsider writing a queer tragedy; that it was a trope, that it was harmful to readers, that it was overused and dangerous. I took the feedback with mortifyingly poor grace. I was lucky enough to be quickly corrected on my behavior. In the wake of that correction, trying to figure out which way was up, I asked friends for help processing the critique.

My straight friends said it was bullshit. They said there was nothing wrong with queer tragedies — that queer people dying again and again was fine. Queer people are just people, and people die, they said. That’s just how it is. Really, it’s best not to overthink it. Go ahead and Forget.

My queer friends didn’t tell me that. Instead, they pointed me to articles and blog posts and callouts pointed at the Bury Your Gays trope. They talked to me about representation with more patience than I deserved. Many of them said that it was okay that I didn’t know, because a lot of straight writers don’t think about these things….

(17) HORRIFIC SCENARIO. In “‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 50: How the horror classic is more relevant than ever in the #MeToo era”, Yahoo! Entertainment writer Nick Chasger looks at Rosemary’s Baby on its 50th anniversary in the wake of both director Roman Polanski and star Mia Farrow’s role in the #MeToo movement.

Focused on a powerless (and physically slight) female who’s marginalized, assaulted, and controlled in equal measure, Rosemary’s Baby soon becomes a terrifying tale about misogyny’s many guises. As the thing growing in her womb makes her sicker and sicker, her face so ashen that friends can’t help but remark upon it, Rosemary is made to feel crazy as well as helpless. That’s most evident when, after getting into an argument with Guy over her description of Sapirstein as “that nut,” she makes sure to assuage her husband that she’s not going to have an abortion — an option that, it’s clear, she doesn’t have the right to choose, even if she wanted.

(18) VOICE OF COMMAND. A new scheme for playing video games….

For the very first time ever, take your rightful place as the Dragonborn of legend (again) and explore Skyrim using the power of your own voice…your Thu’um!


[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, ULTRAGOTHA, Steve Green, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Lise Andreasen, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day jayn.]

125 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/12/18 Your Mother Was A Scrollster And Your Father Smelt Of Pixelberries! I File In Your General Direction!

  1. @Lenore Jones: My pet peeve is “lay” vs “lie”. I fear the battle is lost on that one. It was probably lost a long time ago; I recall reading (in a late-1960’s English class) that a WW2(?1?) phrasebook for soldiers misused “lay” because the compilers concluded that’s what most of the users would do.

    @Arkansawyer: “Your cat is on the roof and won’t come down.”

  2. Cassy B on June 13, 2018 at 1:22 pm said:

    […B]ut only one word that literally means “literally”…

    Actually…we have “actually”. Which so far seems to have successfully resisted being used as an intensifier–unlike “literally” which has been used as an intensifier for 350 of the 400 years it’s been part of the English language. (And nobody complained for 300 of those years.)

    Personally, I suspect that the reason a lot of people complain about “literally” is that it’s been adopted into (and perhaps overused by) certain disfavored dialects like “Valspeak”. “Sounds like a teenage girl” is a fate worse than death for some people. 🙂

  3. @Bill

    Is there a nearby hill, on which partisans battle over lower-upper quotation marks ( „. . . “ ) vs., you know, correct ones (“ . . .”)?

    Probably. In my case it was auto-correct 🙂

    @AG Carpenter: Yes, the content has been greatly improved.

  4. Some years back, Marvel Comics had an event where most of the super-powered mutants on Earth lost their powers. They called it “Decimation”. Before the event, we were told that there were about two million mutants. After…two hundred.

    I always wondered whether the IRS took extra care to audit Marvel’s corporate taxes the next year.

  5. Actually…we have “actually”. Which so far seems to have successfully resisted being used as an intensifier

    I think These Kids Today™ are in the process of overcoming that resistance each time they say (abbreviated or not) “WTAF?”

  6. Hey, sorry to jump in on this already long thread, but does anyone have any suggestions for “classic” SF/F novels (hopefully more fantasy than SF) by women and/or non-UK/US and/or non-white writers?

    I’m in a “Classic Fantasy” club that has *only* read white US/UK writers and most of them have been men. (Examples includes Dune, Nine Princes in Amber, The Shadow of the Torturer, Frankenstein, The Black Company, The Princess Bride, The Hobbit, Swords and Deviltry, The Riddle-Master of Hed, A Wizard of Earthsea, Dragonflight).

    I’m hoping to nominate at least a couple “non-white” or “non-men” writers to not make the choices a bit more interesting. Bonus points if it’s a relatively available book (the club members are not going to search too hard for a book if it’s out of print).

  7. Well I can see 4 white women just on your example list, so they’re not totally excluded. Still, add C.L.Moore.

    Octavia Butler and Samuel R. Delany are always suggested for PoC authors. At least the former is also always worthy. (Haven’t read the latter but have heard some of his work is hard to approach, and some of his more obscure work is deservedly so, but many people say his best or his more approachable work is excellent).

    Charles R. Saunders’ Imaro is African sword and sorcery, and was reprinted not that long ago.

  8. In the “male, white, non-US/UK”, there’s a couple of “originally in English” books by Sam J. Lundwall, although I fear they probably fall in the “out of print” category. “Alice’s World” (1971), “No Time for Heroes” (1971), “Bernhard the conqueror” (1973). And “2018 A.D or the King Kong Blues” (1975) is a translation from Swedish, as far as I can tell (I believe it’s “King Kong Blues” (1974)).

    The first two were published by Ace, the latter two by DAW.

  9. @David H.:

    Anne McCaffrey’s works, especially but not only her Pern series, are generally considered classics. So, too, are Andre Norton’s, but of an earlier vintage. Both were women, but white and of the US/UK tradition… and they’re the tip of a very large iceberg. I’m sure some of the others here can point you to a more comprehensive resource or three.

  10. @Lenora–I didn’t mean to imply that the group hadn’t read any women, but out of 14 books read (I didn’t list all of them), only 5 were by women.

    I’ll definitely re-nominate Butler and some of the others mentioned (hadn’t realized Imaro got reprinted).

    Another factor that’s annoying about the votes is the “runaway” option–Butler and Delany might be on the nominations, but a more well known (and white) writer would get the overwhelming votes (i.e. The Hobbit). It’s hard to change an online voting culture to one that wants to try a “new-to-them” classic!

  11. Delany mostly falls on the SF rather than fantasy side, with the Neveryon series being his only extended fantasy work, and also from his more difficult phase.

    Hope Mirrlees’ Lud-in-the-Mist for an older classic? Angela Carter? Marquez’ 100 Years of Solitude?

  12. I don’t know much about Garcia Marquez–that’s magical realism, yeah? And I only know Carter for *The Blood Chamber* collection.

  13. that’s magical realism, yeah?

    Yes. 100 Years of Solitude is both one of his most famous and most overtly magical realism.

    Not all of Carter’s work is fantasy, but besides The Bloody Chamber, Nights at the Circus would be a good one.

  14. You could force their hand by say puttling Moore’s Jirel of Joiry up against Imaro.

    (The reprint was a few years back now and may fall into obscure again.)

  15. @LurkerType: You honour me, and you have my thanks. (But note that I have never promised a set schedule – sometimes I’ll post multiple stories in a day, sometimes I’ll not post anything for a few days, if I’m busy or out of inspiration. I try to post daily during weekdays, but not having made a promise lets me avoid beating myself up if I don’t.)

    @David H.:

    I suspect it’s easier to find non-white and/or non-male writers from UK/US, than it is to find translated works by writers outside UK/US. Having said that, you can check out Trudi Canavan (Australian) and Lian Hearn (UK born, Australian resident since the 1970s).

    Non-US/UK women widely available in English include:

    Tove Jansson – the last Moomin book – “Moominvalley in November” – is an amazing, melancholy book. Highly recommended, and while it’s best appreciated as the conclusion to the Moominvalley stories, it can be read on its own.

    Astrid Lindgren – her three YA (I guess?) fantasy novels “Mio, My Son”, “The Brothers Lionheart”, and “Ronia the Robber’s Daughter” are all good reads, the third being my favourite.

    (Not a recommendation, as such, but Margit Sandemo’s “The Legend of the Ice People” is a 47-novel paranormal historical romance series, which was originally published 1982-1989. I’m just in awe how quickly it was produced. The first few are translated to English.)

    Oh, hey, that’s Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian. Can I think of a Danish and Icelandic writer too? *wracks brain* Oh! Bjarne Reuter! Hm… I haven’t read any of his books translated to English, but “The Ring of the Slave Prince” looks promising, though seems to be just Historical, with no fantasy elements. *gives up on Icelandic writers, recommends the Edda*

    Sticking to the Baltic sea, there’s also Andrzej Sapkowski, Polish author ot the Witcher series (Sword&Sorcery). I prefer the short story collections over the novels, personally, but I have a thing for short fiction.

  16. @David H: Leigh Brackett definitely belongs on the list, but I suspect there’s nothing of hers in print; somebody would have to pick and choose what to put in an omnibus, as most of her work was AceDouble size or smaller. I’m partial to People of the Talisman. Note that most of C. L. Moore’s work was short (e.g., the abovementioned Jirel of Joiry is several vaguely-successive stories) and/or collaborations.

  17. @ jayn

    Also, Tanith Lee’s Tales of the Flat Earth (Death’s Master. Delusion’s Master, Delusion’s Mistress) and her Books of Paradys amongst many.

    And not even scratching the surface: Mary Gentle’s Rats and Gargoyles, Lisa Goldstein’s Dream Years (etc.), Greer Gilman’s Moonwise, Nancy Springer’s Book of the Isle quadrilogy, R.A. MacAvoy’s Damiano trilogy/Belly of the Wolf trilogy, und so weiter.

  18. Nnedi Okorafor’s “Who Fears Death” and her “Akata Witch” series come well recommended, as do her other books and stories. She is an American whose parents emigrated from Nigeria.

    The Tiptree Award honor lists and the Carl Brandon Society award lists have lots more suggestions.

  19. Hey, sorry to jump in on this already long thread, but does anyone have any suggestions for “classic” SF/F novels (hopefully more fantasy than SF) by women and/or non-UK/US and/or non-white writers?

    Not PoC but:

    Elizabeth Moon, The Deed of Paksenarion, plus the five volume sequel published recently.

    Tanya Huff, The Quarters novels. I think there are five in the series. She’s Canadian, a Maritimer specifically.

  20. For classic classics, there’s always Andre Norton. For pre-’60s SFF, your main* non-male options are Norton, Moore, and Brackett, and I think Norton’s the best of the three (though I love Moore as well). Her early stuff was mostly SF, but the Witch World books are very highly regarded.

    Not-so-classic, but I have to throw out Nalo Hopkinson’s name. Brown Girl in the Ring and Midnight Robber are particular favorites of mine.

    * I’m going to tiptoe right past mentioning Bradley.

  21. To go way classic fantasy, there’s Lud-In-the-Mist by Hope Mirlees.

    For non-U.S./UK classic fantasy, let’s see … The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgako, and The Neverending Story by Michael Ende.

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