Pixel Scroll 6/20/18 Poltergoose

(1) SPFBO LONGLIST. Mark Lawrence rounded up 300 entries for the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off in a very short time, and now has assigned 30 titles to each of his 10 participating review bloggers. See the longlist at “SPFBO 2018, Phase 1”.

(2) AMAZING STORIES REJECTS. Steve Davidson has denied a news story reported by Jason Sanford and linked in yesterday’s Scroll: “Amazing Stories and Rejections”. Here are excerpts from his explanation.

….It is entirely untrue that we are not notifying authors of rejections.

However, we understand why there may be some confusion on this matter.

The vast majority of our rejections take the form of an automated “status update” email to the submitter.  A story goes from draft to being read, to being rejected or accepted.  Submitters are notified both in an email and on their submissions account of any status changes that affect their submissions.

…Some people had issues on initial sign up, and some people are (now) complaining of  not receiving rejection notices.  Both the initial sign up issue and no receipt of rejections are a result of the user’s email server.  We’ve checked, double-checked and re-checked;  all status notices, all sign-up verifications, are being properly generated by the system and are being sent out.  Non-receipt has, in every case, turned out to be the result of an email server rejection.  Permissions are too picky, the user has not white listed the email address, etc.

Unfortunately, other than informing you of this situation, there is nothing that we can do on our end to correct this.

Our system is WordPress based.  That software platform hosts more than a third of all internet sites (and a large number of genre-related sites);  our system is therefore no more and no less “complicated” than any other WordPress based site you may be familiar with….

(3) SANFORD ANSWERS. Jason Sanford responded in a Twitter thread that begins here and includes these comments:


(4) FANS RALLY ROUND. ComicsBeat is calling attention to a “Crowdfunding campaign set up after writer Leah Moore suffers a brain injury”.

Leah Moore and her partner John Reppion have written some top notch comics for DC, Dynamite and many other publishers.

But now they are facing a huge challenge.

Moore suffered severe head trauma and brain injury while attending a music festival.

Andrew O’Neill set up a JustGiving appeal for “Leah and John”.

Leah and John are comic book writers, who usually scrape by on caffeine and stress while creating wonderful art. Recently, they have been beset by brutal circumstances – John recently lost his sister Dawn and Leah has sustained a severe and degenerative brain injury at Download (metal!) and has had an operation to remove a blood clot.

Needless to say, their already fragile and insecure method of putting food on the table for themselves and their three kids (two feral) is going to be impossible while Leah recovers and John looks after her.

As an artistic community and bunch of pals, let’s raise some money to help them through, (and then we can use our generosity later on as leverage for favours and cake).

The goal was to raise 2,500 UKP – they’ve already raised 11,142 UKP.

(5) MISSING THE MIND MELD. I’ve fallen behind in linking to one of my favorite features on the sff web: this installment of Mind Meld appeared in March — “Mind Meld: Books That Expand the Definition of Genre”, curated by Shana DuBois at the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog. The participants are Tristan Palmgren, Jeannette Ng, Patrice Sarath, Rebecca Kuang, Aliya Whiteley, Gareth L. Powell, Jasmine Gower.

The evolution of storytelling has followed us through the ages from fairy and folk tales to the vast variety of mediums now available to us.

As storytelling expands in unusual and innovative ways to keep pace with global conversations, what are some books you’re most excited about?

(6) HOLD ROBOTIC CONVERSATIONS ABOUT WESTWORLD. Adweek tells readers “You Can Now Explore the Depths of Westworld by Talking to Alexa”, “But only ‘true fans’ will make it all the way through.”

You can now explore the depths of Westworld from your living room, kitchen, bathroom, wherever—as long as you have your Amazon Echo nearby and within earshot. All you have to say is, “Alexa, open Westworld.”

Today, HBO announced the debut of its new Alexa skill, called Westworld: The Maze. It’s designed specifically for fans of the show to play on their various Amazon voice devices, just in time for the show’s upcoming Season 2 finale this Sunday. HBO partnered with agency 360i and Westworld production team Kilter Films on the project.

The Maze is a choose-your-own-adventure game with over 60 storylines, 400 possible choices for players to make and roughly two hours of game time in which Westworld fans can immerse themselves. Fans will recognize the voices of characters from the show, including Jeffrey Wright as Bernard and Angela Sarafyan as Clementine, as they dive into this mystical world.


(7) FRANKENBOOK. Arizona State University’s  Joey Eschrich, Editor and Program Manager, Center for Science and the Imagination, and Assistant Director, Future Tense, sends word about a new project involving the Center, The MIT Press, and MIT Media Lab that marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein.

Frankenbook is a collective reading experience of the original 1818 text of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein. The project is hosted by Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination, The MIT Press, and MIT Media Lab. It features annotations from over 80 experts in disciplines ranging from philosophy and literature to astrobiology and neuroscience; essays by scientists, ethicists, and science fiction authors Cory Doctorow and Elizabeth Bear; audio journalism; and original animations and interactives.

Readers can contribute their own text and rich-media annotations to the book and customize their reading experience by turning on and off a variety of themes that filter annotations by topic; themes range from literary history and political theory to health, technology, and equity and inclusion. Frankenbook is free to use, open to everyone, and built using the open-source PubPub platform for collaborative community publishing.

The project has already garnered attention from Boing Boing and Brain Pickings, and they’d love to have more participation in the project from the SF community.


  • June 20, 1975 – Steven Spielberg’s Jaws premieres.


  • Kendall sends along a two-parter from Library Comic about Mount TBR – #412
    and #413.
  • Lise Andreasen found that Deflocked is not the comic you’re looking for. (And yet I’m linking to it anyway….)

(10) WAS THE EMPIRE DESTINED TO FAIL? In her Vox post “Solo reveals the weakness of the Star Wars Galactic Empire”, Amy Erica Smith lays out a detailed argument why Solo: A Star Wars Story shows up the Galactic Empire as a fatally weak state. WARNING: The whole story is basically one big spoiler.

Pop quiz: What’s missing in Solo?

Okay, there’s a long list: the opening crawl. R2-D2.

More importantly: the Emperor. Darth Vader. And 90 percent of the Stormtrooper presence of other movies.

That last item is the most telling indicator of the Galactic Empire’s glaring open secret — its extreme weakness. From a political science perspective, the movie Solo fills in a lot of holes in how we understand the Galactic Empire — the approximately 22-year regime between the dictator Sheev Palpatine’s consolidation of power as Emperor at the end of Episode III and his death at the hands of his second-in-command at the end of Episode VI.

What we learn from Solo is that the Galactic Empire is a very, very weak state. It’s so weak that it’s not much of a state at all. Don’t believe the Empire’s propagandists.

The detailed analysis —and a bunch of spoilers — follows from there.

(11) JOHN SCALZI ENDORSES FREEDOM. Well, of course. But it’s also the brand name of a technology Scalzi finds helpful for keeping him from frittering away his writing time.

…I end up checking news and social media sites more often than is useful, when what I really need to be doing is working on a book.

…It got to a point in the last couple of months that I had to accept the problem was me, and that I wasn’t going to go away anytime soon, so I had to take other steps. So I looked into “distraction free” software, i.e., those programs that block your access to Web sites and apps for a period of time so you have no choice but actually do the work you’re supposed to do. After comparison shopping, I went ahead and picked Freedom. Freedom works on a subscription model and can block sites and apps on your desktop and phone; it has pre-selected block lists you can choose from (including for news, social media, shopping and adult sites among others), and you can also create your own lists. Once you do that, you can set a time for how long you want to have the blocking run, up to 24 hours. You can also schedule blocks, to have them show up at the same time every day and etc.

…And it worked well — I’d check out Twitter almost by muscle memory and get confronted by a green screen that said things like “You are free from this site” and “Do things that matter,” which seemed a little snarky and pushy, but on the other hand, I was in fact trying to do something that mattered (finish my book), so. …It did what it was supposed to do, which was keep me on track and writing on the book.

(12) SFF FROM MADRID. Rachel Cordasco recommends a “New Collection by Cristina Jurado” at Speculative Fiction in Translation.

Nevsky Books will publish a new collection of stories by Spanish SF author and editor Cristina Jurado in July entitled Alphaland.

“From upgraded humans to individuals living among daydreams, from monsters to fantastic beings, these creatures populate a highly imaginative and evocative world, impregnated by an inspired sense of wonder. Draw near with care and enter Alphaland!”

Cristina Jurado (Madrid, 1972) is a bilingual writer and the editor of SuperSonic Magazine, a Spanish and English venue which has re-energized the Spanish speculative fiction scene….

(13) LONDON CALLING, MILWAUKEE ANSWERING. “Orange Mike” Lowrey is back on the BBC – this time on the BBC World Service programme Trending (June 17): “The Mysterious Wikipedia Editor”.

Who is “Philip Cross”? That’s the name on an account that has made more than 130,000 Wikipedia edits since 2004. But it’s not so much the volume of his work but his subject matter that has irritated anti-war politicians and journalists around the world. His detractors claim that he’s biased against them and that his influence has made some entries unreliable. It’s a charge that’s rejected by the foundation behind Wikipedia, but the person behind Philip Cross remains elusive. So what happened when we tried to track him down?

(14) OPEN THE POP3 PORTS PLEASE, HAL. This Gizmodo headline starts with the bad news and follows with the good news: “This Light-Up HAL 9000 USB Flash Drive Can’t Sing, But Probably Won’t Kill You Either”.

Master Replicas, makers of some of the finest lightsaber replicas in any galaxy, sadly closed its doors back in 2008. Last year, however, part of its original team opened Master Replicas Group, a new company that’s relaunching with a series of 2001: A Space Odyssey collectibles to start, including a flash drive based on one of Hollywood’s most terrifying villains.

You don’t have to be worried about this miniature HAL 9000 replica refusing to open an air lock for you, or listening in on private conversations by covertly reading your lips. This one-sixth scale replica of HAL 9000 has no smarts and no ill intentions, but it does recreate the computer’s glowing red eye whenever it’s plugged into your computer.

The Master Replicas Group product page shows a limited edition 32 gigabyte USB flash drive modeled on the “eye” from 2001’s HAL 9000 at $64.95, and a 16 gigabyte  version available for $24.95 where the product page makes no mention of this version being a limited edition.

(15) SPACE IN THE SIXTIES. The Russians and Americans are pushing the envelope at Galactic Journey: “[June 20, 1963] Crossing stars (the flights of Vostoks 5 and 6)”.

Gordo Cooper’s 22-orbit flight in Faith 7 afforded America a rare monopoly on space news during the month of May.  Now, a new Soviet spectacular has put the West in the shade and ushered in a new era of spaceflight.

(16) PICK UP THIS MESS. From now on, no more Pigs in Space, so to speak: “Astronauts eject UK-led space junk demo mission”.

A UK-led project to showcase methods to tackle space junk has just been pushed out of the International Space Station.

The RemoveDebris satellite was ejected a short while ago with the help of a robotic arm.

The 100kg craft, built in Guildford, has a net and a harpoon.

These are just two of the multiple ideas currently being considered to snare rogue hardware, some 7,500 tonnes of which is now said to be circling the planet.

This material – old rocket parts and broken fragments of spacecraft – poses a collision hazard to operational satellites that deliver important services, such as telecommunications.

(17) PREVIEW. BBC reports that “Stranger Things comic will explore the Upside Down”.

The first series, due for release in September, will focus on Will Byers and his time in an alternate dimension.

The character spends nearly all the first season in a mysterious place which his friends name the Upside Down – but his experience is barely seen.


(18) HULK DEPARTURE. Nick Schager, in the Yahoo! Entertainment story Hulk At 15:  How Ang Lee’s Distinctive Blockbuster Paved the Way for the Modern Marvel Cinematic Universe,” says that “Hulk taught Marvel to temper their movies’ thematic ambitions” by making all the MCU movies part of a large tapestry rather than highly individual films like Lee’s.

…In most respects, Marvel, beginning with 2008’s Iron Man, shunned the risks taken by Hulk, and thus Lee’s film now functions as ground zero for the creative decisions that have guided the past decade of MCU endeavors. Nowhere is that more apparent than in Lee’s storytelling approach, which seeks to duplicate the look and feel of a comic-book page. That’s felt in the fonts used for his opening credit sequence, and in his use of square and rectangular split-screens and transitions, all of which aim to duplicate the structure of a comic’s paneled layout. Segueing from shot to shot, and scene to scene, with digitized wipes and rotations, and employing extreme close-ups, iris devices, and other superimposed imagery — most thrillingly, a late freeze-frame of Josh Lucas’s villain in front of a massive explosion — Lee diligently echoes, at every turn, the very medium that first gave birth to heroes like the Hulk.

That method was never to be seen again in the MCU, which has consequently adhered to a far more conventional cinematographic schema that allows its various franchises to feel as if they’re complementary parts of a larger tapestry. Simply put — a movie universe doesn’t work if any individual entry is too eccentric to match its brethren….

(19) COMING SHORT FICTION. Mythic Delirium has acquired two new collections, Snow White Learns Witchcraft by Theodora Goss and The History of Soul 2065 by Barbara Krasnoff.  Mike Allen says both are scheduled for release in 2019.

Theodora Goss

In Snow White Learns Witchcraft, World Fantasy Award winner Theodora Goss retells and and recasts fairy tales by Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimms, Hans Christian Andersen, and Oscar Wilde. In these stories and poems, sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious, always lyrical, Goss re-centers and empowers the women at the hearts of these timeless narratives, much as her acclaimed novel series, The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, does for the classics of Victorian supernatural literature.

With cover art by Ruth Sanderson and an introduction by Jane Yolen, Snow White Learns Witchcraft is currently scheduled for a February 2019 launch.

Barbara Krasnoff

In The History of Soul 2065, Nebula Award finalist Barbara Krasnoff has accomplished a stunning feat. This collection of interconnected short stories crosses many genres, spinning tales of sorcery, ghosts, time travel, virtual reality, alien contact, and epic, elemental confrontations between good and evil. The book also spans past and future generations, telling the heart-breaking and heart-warming histories of two Jewish immigrant families, one from Eastern Europe, one from Western Europe, whose lives are intricately, mysteriously intertwined.

The History of Soul 2065, with cover art commissioned from Paula Arwen Owen, is scheduled for a July 2019 release.

(20) STUCK TO THE SHELVES. Toys’R Us is trying to empty out its stores with a massive going out of business sale. WorldClassBullshitters found some things just aren’t going — “The Star Wars Toy Landfill Has Been Found!”

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

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69 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/20/18 Poltergoose

  1. Unexpected first?

    I’m just back from a couple day business trip, during which I read both of Joseph Brassey’s Drifting Lands books (Skyfarer and Dragon Road; highly recommended fun adventure stories with engaging characters in a cool world) and have now started a collection of stories by Clifford Ball (one of the first Robert E. Howard imitators back in the immediate aftermath of Howard’s suicide; apparently he only published six stories, all of which have now been collected by DMR Books under the title Thief of Forthe; only three of the six are actually sword & sorcery in the classic mode).

  2. Third fifth just to say that I really do intend to get back to my Hugo reading one of these days.

  3. I don’t have a coherent thought right now. Also, here in 697, bandwidth is really limited.

    So I’ll pretend to sleep,and see where Shoggoth deposits me in the morning.

  4. Lis: Now I’m envisioning Nigel Bruce telling Basil Rathbone, “By Jove, Holmes, that’s a Shoggoth deposit!”

  5. 3) If Sanford believes he is doing journalism, and not merely writing a newsletter, he might think of the journalist Code of Ethics which in most versions state that you always give the person a you write about a chance to reply before you publish.

  6. (3) I thought part of being a journalist was reaching out for comment from the other side of a story such as this. Even the Metro, an extraordinarily bad newspaper, manages this.

    ninja’d by Hampus.

  7. (1) SPFBO LONGLIST. LOL at the “average title” Lawrence came up with based on the wordle of title words: “Shadow Dragons of Blood City” Methinks @Meredith might read that. 😉

    (14) OPEN THE POP3 PORTS PLEASE, HAL. Heh, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for a USB drive like this to appear (or maybe there was one like this before?).

  8. Kendall on June 20, 2018 at 10:17 pm said:
    (1) SPFBO LONGLIST. LOL at the “average title” Lawrence came up with based on the wordle of title words: “Shadow Dragons of Blood City” Methinks @Meredith might read that. ?

    Could that be the Cocky Shadow Dragons of Blood City?

  9. @Iphinome: 😀 I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Amazon rec’d a book with “Cocky” in the title to me tonight and I was like WUT.

  10. rochrist said:

    20) Who are these guys WorldClassBullshitters
    and why would anyone care? The Star Wars Toy Landfill Has Been Found!

    These cats have a pretty strong following. That video is only 48 hours old.

    With that said it would be pretty easy for anyone to create a walk thru meme of their local Toy R Us store at this time; that would resonate with many genre fans. It would just depend on what the videographer chose to focus on, and how that videographer chooses to portray anyone specific genre or toy. Right now I could do a whole thing on Legos, if I chose to. BECAUSE RIGHT NOW IT’S ALL ON SALE!

    I just walked through my local TRUs the other day, and came to the conclusion that what I really want; when I grow up, is a few of those nice pieces of industrial grade twelve foot tall shelving units. My wants and desires have changed since I was 13 years old.

    But it is still kind of sad to walk those isle, knowing that it will soon all be gone and replaced by Amazon B&M stores.

  11. Despite what he said on Twitter, Sanford’s “reporting” was, yes, incorrect. He said e-mails weren’t sent (something he’s not in a position to know), when the problem was lack of receipt. Do people (not just him) not understand e-mail is fallible (moreso these days than it used to be, IMHO)? Technical glitches, spam filters, blacklists, etc. ad nauseum.

    At work we have to deal with this sort of thing sometimes. It’s very frustrating when customers expect us to fix problems that are really at their end or in some third-party service they use. (Mini-rant removed; this is a pet peeve of mine.)

    So I feel for the “Amazing Stories” crew! Good on them for looking into it, considering a process change (though it sounds like the issue’s outside their end of things), etc.

    I empathize with writers frustrated at an apparent lack of response, too.

  12. These cats have a pretty strong following. That video is only 48 hours old.

    The question is, who is that following made up of. I mean, it isn’t an accident that little blurb was focused on Rose, the current target of the worst of the haters. The attitude given off by their website seemed to reinforce the idea of where they were coming from.

  13. 20)
    In my humble opinion, as someone who has bought and sold collectible toys for the past 20 years, this guy is an idiot.

  14. @Kendal

    Having been an email administrator, I feel your pain. My favourite being: “the reason you’ve not received our email is when I do a lookup of your MX record I get…”

  15. rochrist said:

    These cats have a pretty strong following. That video is only 48 hours old.

    The question is, who is that following made up of. I mean, it isn’t an accident that little blurb was focused on Rose, the current target of the worst of the haters. The attitude given off by their website seemed to reinforce the idea of where they were coming from.

    There is no doubt in my mind that this cat is a railer. So, he decided to make a video about TRUs going out of business and saw an opportunity to present a meme supporting his bias towards Rose and her sister. I am not impressed. The TRUs clearance bins are currently filled with everybody’s favorite childhood/ adulthood character. I am not a fan of Dr. Who but IMO the tent is really big and has room to spare for everybody. Having walked through my local TRUs I could have made the same argument against Dr. Who, as this cat did against Rose. Whatever. This cat clearly hates Star Wars more than he loves it.

    Railers are going to rail when ever the opportunity to rail presents itself.

  16. @ Kendall:

    Drat, ninja’d. Yes, I can see writers complain about not receiving rejection (or, indeed, acceptance) notices. I can also see that there’s a short jump from “didn’t receive” to “it wasn’t sent”. But it’s not only things like “it’s in the spam box” that is at play, here. I’ve had genuine cases of “mail server A simply cannot talk to mail server B” (usually because either A, or B, was doing something that was sufficiently far from the written standard that the other simply went “nope, sorry, you’re broken). But at least those things leave log traces.

  17. The Pup Scrolled Down And Tickboxed His Hyperlinks, A Squeezed E-zine by Mr. Fifth

  18. I think the worst is having to explain to people used to using received mail notices why we don’t have them enabled. It’s always a difficult conversation.

  19. (1) A friend of mine wrote up an SPFBO title generator here: https://codepen.io/anon/pen/qKorgw

    My favorite titles generated were “The Legacy Shadow of the Legacy Shipwreck” and “The Brutal Raven of the Last Faces.” Someone got “The Foolish Oath of the Necromancer,” which sounds great, too.

    As a side note, I’m sorry if there’s already been discussion on this, but does anyone technically competent know why the RSS feed for the site has apparently slowed down? I didn’t get any File 770 posts and then I got the last 8-10 or so all last night, so I didn’t see Pixel Scroll 6/19 until this morning.

  20. @David H. The Foolish Oath of the Necromancer?

    That could be a little golden book, if little golden books were cooler than I remember.

  21. @Hampus wouldn’t it be nice if the whole community urged people not to write critical articles without giving the subjects a chance to respond? I’ve discarded a couple of draft articles I wrote for Rocket Stack Rank after I got responses from people involved. It’s never fun to learn you were wrong about something, but it’s a lot better to do it in a private e-mail than in public.

    It should be standard practice, then, that whenever a critical article appears for people to ask “so what did the person you’re writing about say?” Answers like “Oh I didn’t talk to them” or “There’s no point in talking to them” should get strong pushback.

    I think that would go a long way towards bringing civility back.

  22. 5) Well there hasn’t been a Mind Meld since March (Shana has had a lot on her plate), so….

    I personally think that just having one a month as BN has been doing, dilutes it. But then it’s just Shana doing it rather than a rotating SF Signal cast (which included me) whereupon we could ask a question per week every week and not have it be overwhelming.

  23. Sorry to hear about Koko. What’s the status on non-human language acquisition, incidentally? There was a big splash about it with Koko and Washoe many years ago, but I can’t recall seeing anything about it in the last decade. Does anyone here know anything about it? Collectively, Filers have quite an amazing amount of expertise in a wide variety of subjects, so this seems a good place to ask.

  24. Greg Hullender on June 21, 2018 at 5:51 am said:

    It should be standard practice, then, that whenever a critical article appears for people to ask “so what did the person you’re writing about say?” Answers like “Oh I didn’t talk to them” or “There’s no point in talking to them” should get strong pushback.
    I think that would go a long way towards bringing civility back.

    I can’t help imagining how I might respond to things like this in the (admittedly pretty remote) contingency of me becoming a famous author….

    “Before publishing this article on perceived anti-Slovenian bias in Steve Wright’s latest comedy of manners Arterial Blood Spurting from Explosively Detached Body Parts, we naturally contacted Mr Wright and invited his comments. They were as follows: ‘Jesus motherhumping Christ, don’t you people have anything better to do, I am six weeks past my deadline already and my editor is breathing down my neck, no offence or anything but can you please EFF OFF AND DIE ALREADY?’ We are pleased to do our part towards promoting civility in literary discourse.”

  25. 14) Too creepy for me, alas.

    @ Kip: Sadly, the concept has already been hijacked by those who are just fine with the cost being borne by people who aren’t like them.

    @ rochrist: Well, if you’ve been thinking about getting something like that and want a bargain, now you know where to look. OTOH, your second comment echoes what I was thinking as well.

    @ John A: Oh, those things. My default response, barring some very strong reason for doing otherwise, is to click “Never” and then the trashcan icon. Most of what generates them is quasi-spam anyhow.

    @ Greg: Hear, hear!

  26. @Greg Hullender: the journalistic training I received basically said, if it is “news”, you cast as wide a net on the subject as you can, “both sides” as people put it, although there are usually more than two perspectives on most stories, and you check the veracity of what those individuals are stating. “Aliens stole my baby” is a different story when you learn that the person making the claim has a long history of making such claims, has been treated for mental illness and has never had a child. That story is no longer an aliens story, though it may be a legitimate story on other things.
    In the specific instance of this event, not only wasn’t Amazing given a voice, authors who have submitted and have been happy with their experience, or at least have not had any issues, were not represented either.
    It’s minor in this case. I over reacted because it pushed one of my buttons at a moment when I was wrestling with other things.
    Your suggestion is a good one, but I question how many people out there really understand the concept. And, as we’ve seen with the advent of “citizen journalism”, the dynamic has shifted from verify before publication to (maybe) verify after the sensation and additional traffic have toned down.

    For an example of what I consider to be pretty good reportage on a subject that has a variety of perspective, is “apolitical” and illustrative of how a story changes over time, I offer this NHPR article on the history of the “first paintball game”. The piece begins at approximately 29 minutes in. My portion at about 41:30:

  27. I’m really not sold on (18). Ang Lee’s…um, unique…style was never replicated, but I don’t think that’s so much that Marvel never replicated it as it was that everyone who saw it said, “Hmm. That’s something I can do with never seeing in a motion picture ever again.” I don’t think it discouraged Marvel from doing stylistic experimentation (I defy anyone to set ‘The Winter Soldier’ down side by side with ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ or ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’…or for that matter, ‘The First Avenger’…and say that they’re stylistically pretty much the same) and I think that Ang Lee’s Hulk was a pretty serious outlier for movies in general, not just comic book films.

  28. David H. As a side note, I’m sorry if there’s already been discussion on this, but does anyone technically competent know why the RSS feed for the site has apparently slowed down? I didn’t get any File 770 posts and then I got the last 8-10 or so all last night, so I didn’t see Pixel Scroll 6/19 until this morning.

    I’m not technical person you’re looking for, but I will add these notes for the benefit of that person when they come along —

    I’ve seen occasional reports of this happening. If it’s really only occasional, then I would be inclined to look for an explanation on the recipient’s end of the communication chain.

    I would be surprised if the change I made in response to the DDoS — page caching — affected notification as new posts go online.

  29. Looking for this quote: It was a historian talking about diversity and he said something along the line: If there is a Medieval scottish potatoe farmer and his gay, black lover, the ahistorical part are the potatoes”,
    I cant remember where I read about it – Was it here somewhere? My Google-Foo turned up empty (but we sure talked a lot about potatoes here).

  30. @ Peer

    Here’s an article about potatoes and diversity in computer games in the medieval era.

    Note: I didn’t read it carefully, so I don’t vouch for the whole article.

  31. I have issues with Ang Lee’s Hulk, but the comic-strip cuts and wipes are not one of those issues.

  32. My goodness, just imagine if Marvel *had* followed in Ang Lee’s footsteps? We might have gotten any number of movies about characters dealing with absent, malevolent, or dysfunctional father figures! Just imagine how it would have been if, say, Starlord had to deal with a malevolent father figure, or Gamora? What if Iron Man had an absent father, or Spider-Man? Or if Thor’s dad or Black Panther’s dad turned out to have a problematic past? The mind boggles at how different things would be.

  33. @Rob Thornton Thanks, it makes the same point, but it was not the quote Im looking for.
    If I only can remember where I read about it (IIRC the quote was from Reddit, I think? But I dont read reddit, so someone must have mentioned it….)

  34. I’m pretty sure that the major problem with Ang Lee’s Hulk movie was that the Hulk’s most dynamic on-screen fight was between him and a mutated poodle. Other than that, he got shot at by the military and fought a big CGI blob, (setting off a mini-era of superhero movies where the heroes fought big CGI blobs – Green Lantern and Fantastic Four 2). Unsurprisingly, at least in my opinion, none of the movies in which the superheroes ended up fighting big CGI blobs fared all that well with the critics or the movie-going public. That doesn’t have anything to do with the style. That has to do with whether people are invested in the final conflict facing the characters. If they aren’t, the movie ends up feeling hollow and empty, even if you have a a relatively talented actor like scenery chewing Nick Nolte be the one who turns into the big CGI blob.

  35. Is anybody else having a hard time getting io9, AV Club and the other sites of the former Gawker network to load? The texts do load, but no images and everything is slow as molasses.

    Cause I’m having problems reaching several websites, including io9 and AV Club and am trying to determine whether it’s a problem on their end or on mine. Personally, I suspect it’s my ISP, but I want to check before contacting them.

  36. @Cora

    Loading snappy here for IO9 and AV Club.

    Edited: OK I take it back. Went back to read an article and slow image load…

  37. Thanks, Mike–it could very well be at my end, but I will say that I’ve noticed the delay in the last week or two (which is why I accidentally commented on a 6/12 Pixel Scroll when the 6/13 or 6/14 Pixel Scroll was already out). I’ll keep an eye on it, I guess.

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