Pixel Scroll 6/13/19 And What Rough Pixel, Its Hour Come Round At Last, Crowdfunds Towards Dublin, To Be Scrolled?

(1) SKIPPING OVER THE SAND. Judith Tarr tells why she’ll be passing on a Bene Gesserit tv series with an all-male creative team. Thread starts here.

(2) KAIJU-CON. On Saturday June 14, the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles is holding a one-day “Kaiju-Con”.

In conjunction with Kaiju vs Heroes, JANM is hosting a day-long Kaiju-Con that will include a vendor hall, workshops, panel discussions, and demonstrations all related to kaiju and Japanese toys. The day will culminate in a special free outdoor screening at 8:30 p.m., on JANM’s plaza of Mothra vs. Godzilla from 1964.

The museum’s exhibit “Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys” continues through July 7.

… After the war, the United States closely monitored the types of industries allowed to revive in Japan. The toy industry was one of the first to be enabled to reinvent itself, and the kaiju films and television shows helped fuel it. Additionally, the toy industry helped stimulate Japan’s economy during the early postwar reconstruction period. These new artistic and economic factors fused with kaiju and hero characters to set the stage for a golden age of Japanese popular culture—one that Nagata first became enamored with as a nine-year-old boy.

Nagata’s pursuit of these Japanese toys took him on an unexpected journey that brought new realizations about his cultural identity as an American of Japanese ancestry….

(3) DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS. Gizmodo assures us that “Half the DNA on the NYC Subway Matches No Known Organism”.

The results of a massive new DNA sequencing project on the New York City subway have just been published. And yup, there’s a lot of bacteria on the subway—though we know most of it is harmless. What’s really important, though, is what we don’t know about it.

The PathoMap project, which involved sampling turnstiles, benches, and keypads at 466 stations, found 15,152 life-forms in total, half of which were bacterial. The Wall Street Journal has created a fun, interactive microbial map of the subway out of the data, showing where on the lines the bacteria “associated with” everything from mozzarella cheese to staph infections was found.

(4) GUNN RETROSPECTIVE. Dark Matter Zine is revisiting the work of the late Hugo-winning fanartist Ian Gunn: “Giant man-baby. A silly illo by Ian Gunn”.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be seeing some movie cliches that Ian Gunn drew. Today’s, obviously, is the giant man-baby walking in slow motion. Although the drawing is at least 20 years old but did Gunn foresee the Trump Baby resistance balloons, banners etc? I wonder if the giant Trump Baby acts in slow motion too?

(5) JUST A LITTLE SMACK. John Boston doesn’t pull his punches when he’s slugging the prozines of 1964 for Galactic Journey: “[June 12, 1964] RISING THROUGH THE MURK (the July 1964 Amazing)”.

Can it be . . . drifting up through the murk, like a forgotten suitcase floating up from an old shipwreck . . . a worthwhile issue of Amazing?

You certainly can’t tell by the cover, which is one of the ugliest jobs ever perpetrated by the usually talented Ed Emshwiller—misconceived, crudely executed, and it doesn’t help that the reproduction is just a bit off register.

(6) CLONE ARRANGER. ComicsBeat brings music to fans’ ears — “ORPHAN BLACK returns in new serialized novel and audio adaptation”.

The Clone Club is reconvening. Variety reports that Orphan Black, the hit BBC America sci-fi series that ended in 2017, is set to return as a serialized novel, with accompany audio narration, later this year. The new story is produced by publishing startup Serial Box, and will feature original series star Tatiana Maslany providing the audio narration.

(7) FLIP THE SCRIPT. Eater says the promotion is really quite simple: “Burger King’s New ‘Stranger Things’ Special Is Literally an Upside-Down Whopper”.

With the premiere of Stranger Things Season 3 just a few weeks away, Netflix and Burger King are teaming up for a fast food stunt that seems aimed at the die-hard fans, only: At 11 locations across the country, the chain is adding an “Upside Down Whopper” to the menu, which is literally just a Whopper served upside down. No special Demagorgon sauce, Eggo bun, or Hopper’s bacon crumbles. It’s just an inverted hamburger in Stranger Things-branded packaging.

The YouTube caption assures viewers —

pro tip: you can’t get eaten by something in the upside down if you’ve already eaten the upside down whopper. served upside down at select bk locations on June 21:

(8) MILES OBIT. Actress Sylvia Miles has died at the age of 94 reports the New York Times.

Sylvia Miles, who earned two Academy Award nominations (for “Midnight Cowboy” and “Farewell, My Lovely”) and decades of glowing reviews for her acting, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. She was 94.

Ms. Miles began her career as a stage actress; [she] was a witch in “A Chekhov Sketchbook” (1962). She described her character in the 1977 horror film “The Sentinel” as “a mad dead crazed German zombie lesbian ballet dancer.” Her other film roles included … Meryl Streep’s mother in “She-Devil” (1989).

Her final TV appearance was in 2008, on the series “Life on Mars.” Her last screen appearance was in “Old Monster,” a 2013 short based on the epic “Beowulf.”


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born June 13, 1892 Basil Rathbone. He’s best remembered for being Sherlock Holmes in fourteen films made between 1939 and 1946 and in a radio series of the same period. For films other than these, I’ll single out The Adventures of Robin Hood (all Robin Hood is fantasy), Son of Frankenstein and Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet. (Died 1967.)
  • Born June 13, 1893 Dorothy Sayers. ISFDB often surprises me and having her listed as writing four stories in the genre did it again. All of them were written in the Thirties and here they are: “The Cyprian Cat”, “The Cave of Ali Baba”, “Bitter Almonds” and “The Leopard Lady”. So, who here has read them and can comment on them being genre or not? (Died 1957.)
  • Born June 13, 1929 Ralph McQuarrie. Conceptual designer and illustrator. He worked on the original Star Wars trilogy, the first Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars Holiday Special, Cocoon, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Nightbreed, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home andE.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. (Died 2012.)
  • Born June 13, 1943 Malcolm McDowell, 76. My favorite role for him was Mr. Roarke on the rebooted Fantasy Island. Of course, his most infamous role was Alex in A Clockwork Orange. Scary film, that. His characterization of H. G. Wells in Time After Time was I thought rather spot on. And I’d like to single out his voicing Arcady Duvall in the “Showdown” episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Remember the Will Smith starred Wild Wild West film? Here is the same premise with John Hex instead. 
  • Born June 13, 1945 Whitley Strieber, 74. I’ve decidedly mixed feelings about him. He’s written two rather good horror novels, The Wolfen which made a fantastic horror film and The Hunger. But I’m convinced that his book Communion about his encounter with aliens is an absolute crock. 
  • Born June 13, 1949 Simon Callow, 70. English actor, musician, writer, and theatre director. So what’s he doing here? Well, he got to be Charles Dickens twice on Doctor Who, the first being in “The Unquiet Dead” during the time of the Ninth Doctor and then later during “The Wedding of River Song”. He’d also appear, though not as Dickens, on The Sarah Jane Adventures as the voice of Tree Blathereen in “The Gift” episode. I’ve not watched the latter. How are they? He was The Duke of Sandringham in the first season of Outlander
  • Born June 13, 1953 Tim Allen, 66. Jason Nesmith in the beloved Galaxy Quest, winning a much deserved Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. (What was running against it that year?) it actually had a big hit several years previously voicing Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story which would be the first in that film franchise.
  • Born June 13, 1963 Audrey Niffenegger, 56. Her first novel was The Time Traveler’s Wife. She has stated in interviews that she will not see the film as only the characters in the novels are hers. Good for her. Raven Girl, her third novel about a couple whose child is a raven trapped in a human body, was turned into performed at the Royal Opera House. 
  • Born June 13, 1981 Chris Evans, 38. Captain America in the Marvel film franchise. He had an earlier role as the Human Torch in the non-MCU Fantastic Four and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. I think this makes him the only performer to play two major characters in either the DC or Marvel Universes. 

(10) ROBOCOMICS. The New York Times looks at a marketing solution: “Like Comic Books? This Platform Picks Titles for You”.

Comic book fans have multiple digital options to choose from these days, with apps for independents, manga and political cartoons as well as libraries from giants like DC and Marvel. But the fractured nature of the business means readers have to visit several platforms to fill their needs.

Enter Graphite, a free digital service from Graphic Comics that begins Tuesday and hopes to put them all under one roof.

The impetus for the company was a simple one, said Michael Eng, Graphite’s chief executive: “There is no solution right now that serves comics in all its forms.”

The goal of the service is to offer digital comics from all formats, including the work of independent creators as well as major publishers, and make it all free. The content will include ads, but an ad-free service is available for a $4.99 monthly fee. Graphite also hopes to expand the audience of comics readers by offering material in 61 languages. But its biggest bet is on artificial intelligence, which will suggest content to readers based on their taste.

(11) HIDDEN NO MORE. BBC: “Hidden Figures: Nasa renames street after black female mathematicians”.

The street outside Nasa’s headquarters has been named “Hidden Figures Way”, in honour of three African-American women whose work helped pave the way for future generations at the space agency.

(12) A LARK IN THE VACUUM. The Atlantic’s Rebecca Boyle has her own estimate of “The True Price of Privatizing Space Travel”.

…NASA’s decision to open up the space station is in some ways a natural next step for space exploration. Earlier, earthbound vessels all experienced a similar transformation. Transoceanic ships, railroads, and airplanes spawned cottage industries to enable their spread and wide adoption, and each eventually reached the masses. And in widening access to space, NASA is actually behind the Russians, whose space agency has transported a few space tourists through a company called Space Adventures.

But space is different. Space, as they say, is hard. To get there, you have to strap yourself to a bomb, and sometimes those bombs malfunction.

Personal space exploration is also hard to justify….

…Handing tourists the keys to the ISS reflects a much broader shift in space exploration, one that prioritizes resource extraction and commercial profit over pure research and collective scientific efforts. It’s a step toward making space more mundane, a travel destination defined by money and vacations, rather than discovery and glory.

(13) ONE OF EVERYTHING. Joe Sherry does a fine job of tackling these finalists in “Reading the Hugos: Related Work” at Nerds of a Feather.

Related Work is a bit of a catch-all category. It’s for work that is primarily non fiction and that is related to science fiction and fantasy, and which is not otherwise eligible elsewhere on the ballot. This is how you can have an encyclopedia compete against a folk album against a podcast against a collection of essays about movies (this was in 2012 when the Fancast category had not yet been created. That particular lineup of finalists can’t happen today. You may also note that albums and songs have been included in Dramatic Presentation – because the two Clipping albums in question are narrative driven whereas Seanan McGuire’s Wicked Girls was not.). There may also be a single blog post competing and winning in the category. Or a series of blog posts focusing on the women of Harry Potter. In the case of this year there is a four way biography, a series of interviews, a three part documentary, a collected essay series about the Hugo Awards, a recognition of the work done by a website, and the experience of bringing together Mexicanx fans and creators to Worldcon. Related Work is an interesting cross section of another side of the genre and another side of fandom.

(14) HUGO NOVELLAS. James Reid continues his “Hugo Awards Extravaganza 2019 – Novella”.

I feel like this category has undergone a bit of a renaissance with digital publishing: when I was growing up, I thought of Novellas as either the anchor of a short story collection, 1 or works that flesh out a larger series.2  Without the pressure of meeting mass market paperback length however, novellas can be sold as free standing works, which then can lead to series of novellas.  Fully half the slate fall into this category,3 and not only are they sequels, but they are sequels to previous nominated works.

In all three of these series, I liked the original novella,4 but the two sequels that were in the ballot last year, Binti: Home and Down Among the Sticks and Bones were both marked by precipitous drops in quality.  Given this, my big questions going into the ballot this year are can Artificial Condition avoid this sophomore slump, and can either of the threequels pull out of their series nosedives?

(15) CANNED. “Star Wars’ Mark Hamill Reveals He Got Fired From Jack in the Box for Doing a Clown Voice”Comicbook.com has the story.

Star Wars icon Mark Hamill is still full of stories that will surprise and delight fans – as he recently proved during an appearance on The Late Show with James Corden. Corden and Hamill were talking about the road to fame (and all the detours it an take); when they got to the topic of Hamill having worked as a waiter (like so many struggling actors), we got this great anecdote:

“I tried. I always was trying to find the theatrical aspect of it. You know, I worked right down the street at Jack in the Box. And I was in the back all the time, making shakes and minding the grill, and I always aspired to work the window… The one chance I had at it, it never occurred to me not to be in character as the clown, as the Jack in the Box clown! Who would want to hear [Robot voice] ‘What is your order?’ I wanted to hear [Clown voice] ‘Whats your orderrrrrrrrrr?” My manager didn’t think it was very funny: He told me to go home and never come back. I got fired! Fired for being in character! Why you… [Shakes fist] I’ll show you: One day I will be The Joker and then you’ll be sorry!”

(16) BIG FAMILY IS WATCHING. [Item by Jonathan Cowie.] Nature notes some past fiction has become science fact with the rise of the surveillance state — “Eyed up: the state of surveillance”

In the 1998 Hollywood thriller Enemy of the State, an innocent man (played by Will Smith) is pursued by a rogue spy agency that uses the advanced satellite “Big Daddy” to monitor his every move. The film — released 15 years before Edward Snowden blew the whistle on a global surveillance complex — has achieved a cult following. It was, however, much more than just prescient: it was also an inspiration, even a blueprint, for one of the most powerful surveillance technologies ever created…

This is the basis for the new book Eyes in the Sky: The Secret Rise of Gorgon Stare and How It Will Watch Us All by Arthur Holland Michel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019).

(17) A SEMI-MOVING PICTURE. Mike Kennedy sent the link with an observation – “I was not aware we needed this”: “‘Playmobil: The Movie’: Film Review” in The Hollywood Reporter.

Once they’re transformed into animated characters, Charlie soon winds up prisoner in a Gladiator-like kingdom ruled by the evil Emperor Maximums (Adam Lambert), prompting Marla to team up with a hipster food truck driver (Jim Gaffigan, providing vague comic relief) and a ridiculous secret agent (Daniel Radcliffe) to get her bro back. Along the way, she runs into tons of other merchandise, although it’s uncertain at this point whether the figure of Glinara (Maddie Taylor) — basically a female Jabba the Hut decked out in a sleeveless leather dress — was something already made by Playmobil or a creature the filmmakers invented for the hell of it.

Otherwise, everything goes exactly where you expect, from the live-action scenes bookending the cartoon to the nonstop chases and thundering soundtrack to all the attempts at humor that mostly miss their mark. To the director’s credit, the animated sequences are richly rendered, making the most of the rather stiff and plain-looking originals (though, if you want to get nitpicky, an early gag poking fun at the fact that Playmobil legs are unbendable is soon forgotten) and offering up a plethora of settings that help compensate for the lack of good writing.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, ULTRAGOTHA, John King Tarpinian, JJ, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day, the reference detecting Randall M.]

51 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/13/19 And What Rough Pixel, Its Hour Come Round At Last, Crowdfunds Towards Dublin, To Be Scrolled?

  1. 3) I feel strangely compelled to reread Preston & Child’s Reliquary.

    8) I also remember Malcolm McDowell from Lexx (I’m surprised to see it was only one episode) and the movie Doomsday.

    As for actors playing two DC or Marvel roles, Josh Brolin was Thanos in the MCU and Cable in the second Deadpool movie. (And he also played Jonah Hex in the live-action Jonah Hex, but let us never speak of it again.)

  2. 1) NO.

    9) Ryan Reynolds has played both Deadpool and Green Lantern. His part in the really bad GL was even lampshaded in DP when he yells “And please don’t make the super-suit green. Or animated.”

  3. 9) Born June 13, 1892 — Basil Rathbone

    I know I mentioned it here recently, and perhaps most people know this anyway, but I like the factoid so much I’ll say it again — I’ve always been impressed by the fact that he was a champion fencer IRL (he was the British Army fencing champion twice). Makes me want to go watch Robin Hood and his other swashbucklers again.

  4. @1: so it will be as much of a dumpster fire as the remake of The Wicker Man, eh? Someday the frat boys in Hollywood will grow up, but I don’t expect to see it.

    @3: the article at least points toward acknowledging what biologists know: we know we haven’t identified nearly all the species on Earth and are particularly weak on the small ones.

    @9: Galaxy Quest‘s competition wasn’t what I’d call strong (The Matrix, The Sixth Sense, Being John Malkovich, The Iron Giant), but ISTM that it was about par for that time. But even a strong group would have been hard-pressed to make headway against a movie ragging (however gently) on Trekkies.

  5. Reliquary was a fabulous book and it kicked off an unending fascination for me about what lies beneath many of the urban centers of the world.

  6. Chip Hitchcock: I personally thought the competition was overwhelming, because I wrote in 2000 — “Why are we even bothering to have an election for the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo this year? Don’t you think everyone already voted for The Matrix?” But I said that as prelude to declaring I would cast my lonely vote for Galaxy Quest.

    Then at the Chicon 2000 Hugo reception I sat down with Glen Boettcher and Nancy Mildebrandt. Glen was buoyant because Jeff Walker had designated him to accept the Hugo if The Matrix, Iron Giant or Sixth Sense won. Ten seconds after he explained that to me word passed through the room that the script writer and producer of Galaxy Quest had arrived in person — and Glen started to worry that pair would beat his three aces.

  7. I agree with you, Mike. I think that’s an excellent group of films, and I’d happily binge the whole group again.

  8. Cotrarius, I’ve been told that Rathbone had to be very careful in fencing with Errol Flynn, because he knew so much more about the art of the sport than Flynn. Had to carry him, is how it was expressed to me.

    As Blog is my witness, I’ll never go scroll-less again!

  9. @Rochrist — That was my reaction to Reliquary as well. (And it occurs to me that I’ve fallen behind on the Pendergast books again, so I’ll probably have to catch up. After I finish the Dagger & the Coin books, and then do an as-yet-undetermined amount of Hugo reading.)

  10. Mike Glyer: word passed through the room that the script writer and producer of Galaxy Quest had arrived in person

    I think it’s wonderful that they felt it was important enough to come, and were rewarded for that show of respect with a win. I wish that more of the Hollywood personages whose works are nominated would show up to the Hugos.

  11. @Joe H. Personally, I think Preston and Child have phoned in the last couple Pendergast books. YMMV.

  12. I’d have to agree that Galaxy Quest faced some serious competition! The Matrix was a huge hit, and remains very popular. (Not a fan myself, but I can’t deny its success.) The Sixth Sense had Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and two Acting nominations, and Being John Malkovich for Best Director and Best Supporting Actress. And that was at a time when it was still unusual for genre films to get nominated for anything besides SFX. The Matrix and The Sixth Sense have also both left lasting marks on popular culture.

    Galaxy Quest was my pick, but I’m still astounded it won against that competition.


    I have mixed feelings about this. I loved the show, but a big part of what I loved was the combination of trick acting and invisible special effects that made the clones come to life. Which obviously won’t be a part of a novel or audio adaptation. As for the story, I definitely got the impression that they were winging it, and barely managed to finish before losing control of the plot completely. Not sure where they could go next, though sideways might be safe. And the representation, which is what drew a lot of people to the show, was amazing for television, but I’m not sure it would be quite as impressive in other media.

    Still, there’s a good chance I’ll check it out.

  13. Chris Evans: Well, that depends on how major you think The Losers was. It also had Zoe Saldana, which gives her two Marvel characters as well.

  14. Surely The Losers is DC, and not actually DCEU? Having a part in each franchise is much less a thing than having two in the same.

  15. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the pixels falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the scrolling and the filed.

  16. (9) Malcolm McDowell was also the bad guy in Star Trek: Generations, Blue Thunder and Tank Girl, and Metallo in the animated DC shows Superman and Justice League Unlimited.

  17. 9) I go to my Dorothy Sayers collections, and herewith I pronounce judgement:-

    “The Cave of Ali Baba” is a Peter Wimsey story, and full of gimmicks, but not by any means supernatural or science-fictional.

    “Bitter Almonds” features Sayers’s lesser-known detective Montague Egg, and is another gimmicky story, but not genre.

    “The Leopard Lady” is a stand-alone and features some fakery of supernatural events, but it’s explicitly fakery, and there is no actual genre element.

    But “The Cyprian Cat” is an actual werewolf – well, werecat – tale, and if you want to claim Sayers as One Of Us on that basis, well, she’s guilty as charged.

  18. @C.A. Collins — TBH, I think the Pendergast series started going downhill at the point where it became the Pendergast series and not the series about weird monsters in the NY subways or weird shenanigans on an Oak Island analogue or a faux Anasazi city, in which Pendergast was just this weird dude who sometimes showed up to help or to exposition.

    Having said which, even the later, phoned-in books I do enjoy in a kind of fast food drive-thru sort of way.

  19. 3) However, as the articles state, “no known organism” really means “no organism in their DNA databases”, which as of this 2015-published study failed to include, for example, cockroaches.

  20. @ Joe H.: I hit my limit at: Pendergast, the man who does everything better than everyone, is not only a detective, a sharp shooter, and a scholar, but also a sous chef. Why him being too big a snob for lobster rolls should have been my sticking point, I’m not sure, but…
    I loved Still Life With Crows, btw, and that’s as far from the museum as possible.

  21. 1) I myself want to see how this movie is going to turn out before wondering how a spin off series is going to go…but not having any women writers on a show about an all-women part of the Dune verse is…suboptimal to me.

  22. Morning! Sun!

    Not liking Tess of the Road. May have just reached the point where it may start to seem worth my effort. Currently at 12%. Is giving it till 20% to decide if I should keep reading reasonable?

  23. Steve Wright: I’ve never been sure about ‘The Leopard Lady’. We are clearly being led to think it’s an illusion, but if it is, how did the illusion come about? The people responsible for the illusion seem themselves to be an illusion.

    Sayers also wrote a number of plays with religious themes, featuring angels, devils etc.; how religion relates to SFF is a puzzling question, but they aren’t just dramatisations of accepted dogma. One is a version of the Faust legend, and must count as genre if Marlowe’s, Goethe’s etc. versions do.

    Oh – and one of the Wimsey stories, I think Busman’s Honeymoon, includes a ghost, who is handled absolutely straight – of course Duke’s Denver has a ghost, why wouldn’t it?

  24. @C.A. Collins: Yes, there’s a level of Pendergast’s breathtaking omnicompetence (a description I always like to incorporate into my annual reviews) that gets to be a bit overbearing. Like Hannibal Lecter without the culinary peculiarities.

  25. @Paul Weimer

    Herds of a feather might work for a group of Emu…or Terrorbirds

    Now, you see, I was visualizing herds of mites on a single feather. 🙂

    And never mind what I thought (3) was going to be about . . . 😉

  26. @Kip Williams: at one of the early Arisias, a stunt performer demonstrated what they said was for good reason called Flynning: clash high, clash low, repeat ad nauseam.

    @JJ: I would not assume that the producer of Galaxy Quest had not been notified that somebody should be there, just as I doubt that Peter Jackson made a thank-you clip for Toronto on spec. It is possible that Hollywood pays more attention than it used to — IIRC the winner in 1980 (where I ran the division that included the Hugo awards) had to be told they’d won in order to get them to send a rep (who IIRC was coming anyway) — but I would not expect this given the nature of the Hugo voter pool.

    @Xtifr: my impression is that The Matrix has not aged well in public opinion, but I’m not a good gauge of what people think.

    @Lis Carey: my notes on Tess say she starts with unreasonably unintelligent choices, but gets better; YMMV.

    @Andrew M: I’d forgotten the ghost in Busman’s Honeymoon, but it’s definitely there — although so short an appearance and so taken for granted that considering it for genre is … thin. OTOH, I’ve always assumed that Sayers was the “Dorothy” that A Civil Campaign is co-dedicated to (Wikipedia says possibly Dunnett, but threads on tor.com lean all mention Sayers — some specifically link Ekaterin and Harriet), so there’s props for inspiration.

  27. @Joe H. Hannibal Lector with ~different~ culinary peculiarities in Crimson Shore.
    (Yeah, I’m like a dog with a bone. See my avatar?)

  28. Now I just want to show up at Pendergast’s Dr. Strange-style mansion with a big ol’ bag of Taco Bell. “Would you like a chilito, Agent Pendergast?”

  29. @Lis —

    Not liking Tess of the Road. May have just reached the point where it may start to seem worth my effort. Currently at 12%. Is giving it till 20% to decide if I should keep reading reasonable?

    Tess starts out as quite an idiot, and she never becomes perfect, but she does grow. As a whole, I thought the book was sweet if kind of slight.

    @Kip —

    I’ve been told that Rathbone had to be very careful in fencing with Errol Flynn, because he knew so much more about the art of the sport than Flynn. Had to carry him, is how it was expressed to me.

    I was just reading an article yesterday that included quotes of Rathbone’s low opinion of Flynn’s fencing, so that rumor seems to be true. OTOH, he apparently thought much more of Tyrone Powers’s abilities.

  30. Whoops, I’m used to Marvel being the movies that have a sense of comic-book fun. But the Evans entry does say “either the DC or Marvel Universes” 🙂

  31. (1) no, thanks.

    (9) yes, Busman’s Honeymoon has one ghost that appears and at least two others are discussed. A story called “Striding Folly” has dream and horror elements. Do they count?

  32. The Think Geek website is moving their brand to the main GameStop website and they’re doing a 50% off sales-final sale on the whole site if you use the code MOVINGDAY. While supplies last, of course.

  33. I’ve been told that Rathbone had to be very careful in fencing with Errol Flynn, because he knew so much more about the art of the sport than Flynn. Had to carry him, is how it was expressed to me. (Kip Williams)

    I remember a host on TCM saying that Rathbone was afraid of getting injured by Danny Kaye’s fencing in The Court Jester, because he was making it up as he went along. Don’t know if it’s true, but, if you watch the movie, it seems possible.

  34. Now, if the Jack in the Box promotions team was smart, they’d sign Mark Hamill up for a series of ads with Jack.

    On the subject of Hollywood and Hugo and Nebula awards, when chairing the Nebulas in 2006, when they had their script award, the two finalists were Joss Whedon’s Serenity and a Battlestar Galactica episode. While Universal did send some Firefly/Serenity stuff to go into the charity auction, we were not able to get any acknowledgement from Whedon to read when he won. Galactica’s Bradley Thompson and David Weddle were there for the ceremony I secretly hoped they would win. I do have a nice photo of me in my suit holding Joss Whedon’s that I still use for my profile picture at times.

    This year at the Nebulas, Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman accepted in person the Ray Bradbury Award for Into the Spider-Verse. When Rothman called out Connie Willis as one of his favorite authors in his acceptance speech, I made sure after the ceremony they were introduced. I also made a point to thank them for accepting the award in person. Many authors chatted with them afterwards about how much they enjoyed the film.

    Its not uncommon, though, to make sure a nominee who may not be planning to attend, is made aware that it would behoove them to be present for the ceremony. Even Heinlein, in a letter exchange with the chair of the early 60’s Chicago Worldcon, indicated he was likely only going to attend if he knew for sure he was getting the Hugo award that year (letter that is part of the science fiction collection at the Northern Illinois University in DeKalb).

  35. @Kevin Harkness: and I heard decades ago that Kaye picked up fencing very quickly, such that his coach said he could have been in the Olympics. Unfortunately, it has been a couple of years since I read a biography of Kaye, so I don’t remember any comment on that point. It’s possible that Kaye was making up the fencing for the parts where he was not under Griselda’s spell (and so was supposed to be a completely inexperienced klutz); it’s also possible those parts were well-practiced.

  36. @Chip —

    @Kevin Harkness: and I heard decades ago that Kaye picked up fencing very quickly

    Yes, I’ve been reading a few Rathbone articles the last couple of days, and they say the same thing, with remarks from Rathbone about how talented Kaye was.

    Of course, I’ve always loved Danny Kaye, so that came as no surprise to me. 😉

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