Pixel Scroll 6/21/21 Unfifthgettable

(1) FIVE GODS AT 4TH STREET. “Choosing What Matters: Concepts of Heroism in The Curse of Chalion” is a video of this weekend’s 4th Street Fantasy virtual panel about the Lois McMaster Bujold novel.

In The Curse of Chalion by Minneapolis-based writer Lois McMaster Bujold, the gods set many unknowing people on the path to save the world, but only Cazaril stays the course and arrives able to do what’s needed. It isn’t extraordinary ability required of him, but extraordinary commitment to compassion: his training takes the shape of moments of unfailingly, continually choosing compassion as those acts build in scale of difficulty and significance. For the 20th anniversary of The Curse of Chalion’s publication, let’s discuss how Bujold pulls this off. How does she make this journey of disparate moments that are not “action-packed” so compelling, and why does this model of heroism in fantasy matter? Panelists: Stella Evans, Max Gladstone,  Marissa Lingen, Paul Weimer, and Patricia C Wrede.

(2) THE IOWA WAY. [Item by Michael J. Lowrey.]  ICON, Iowa’s oldest SF/F con, has announced that ICON 46 will be held in person from October 15-17, 2021. The GoHs are: Eric Flint, author; Jeff Lee Johnson, artist; Beth Hudson, fan; Joe and Gay Haldeman, ICON founders; Jim C. Hines, toastmaster.

They advise people to get hotel reservations early, as the University of Iowa moved a home football game in nearby Iowa City onto the con weekend after the ICON contractual arrangements were made.

(3) CROWN OF THEIR CAREERS. Two genre TV icons, Gillian Anderson and Elisabeth Moss, interview each other for Variety“Elisabeth Moss & Gillian Anderson on The Handmaid’s Tale and The Crown”.

Moss: Was there something that you found in her [Margaret Thatcher’s] story that was untold?

Anderson: My partner, Peter Morgan [“The Crown” creator], had expressed that we had some similarities, just in terms of our work ethic; I’m quite a perfectionist. I really didn’t know her until I had started to do the research, and she’s such a divisive character — over here specifically. It wasn’t until I dove into her that I kind of understood why it made sense that I might play her. It was almost like an alchemic thing.

Moss: People ask, “What makes you choose a certain character?” And I always have a lot of trouble answering, because I don’t know what it is. It’s just a feeling of there’s something about that person that either I know or I want to get to know — like you said, it’s an alchemy.

Anderson: Having done a couple of long-running series in my life, you’ve done four seasons now of “Handmaid’s,” and I know from watching interviews of yours that is something that you still clearly love and embrace — and have also added directing. Tell me the challenges and the delights for you of being four years into something.

Moss: I’m curious if you like the same thing about it, but I feel like you get something from doing a long-running show that you don’t really get anywhere else except maybe theater, but you’re telling the same story every night. Like on “Mad Men,” that was nine years of my life — 23 to 32.

Anderson: That’s exactly what it was for me on “X-Files.” Moss: Is that right?

Anderson: Yeah, that’s just so interesting.

Moss: You grow up during that time; you become an adult during that time. And so it feels like this merging of life and work. And the way that you get to develop a character over seven seasons, or however many seasons it is, is like nothing else. There are certain characters I played in film that I would love to play again, and I would love to explore more — but you only get to do it in TV. There are things that you can do in Season 4 that you can’t do in Season 1. And to get that opportunity of 92 episodes, it’s like an acting exercise. Television is my first love, weirdly. I know for most people it’s either theater or film, but television is where I grew up….

(4) SOUL FOOD. Lincoln Michel talks about Michael Moorcock’s “How to write a novel in three days” process: “Strange Methods: Michael Moorcock’s 3-Day Novel” at Counter Craft.

… Along these lines, I thought I’d try a little series called “strange methods” where I look at some unusual story-writing ideas, and see what techniques can be stolen. First up is a process I think about a lot: Michael Moorcock’s guide to writing a novel in three days.

Michael Moorcock, if you don’t know, is a British novelist who is probably most famous for his Elric of Melinbone fantasy novels which are kind of like Conan the Barbarian reimagined as a philosophical (and somewhat emo) goth with a sword that ate souls. However, Moorcock has written a truly crazy number of books in different genres and modes and often published several books a year at his most productive. How did he do it? Well, enter the three day method….

(5) RESTORATION. The Samir Mansour Bookshop, once the largest bookshop in Gaza, which was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike and is now receiving donations to support the shop and help them rebuild – The Guardian has the story — “Donations flood in to restore Gaza bookshop destroyed by Israeli airstrikes”.

Donations of money and books from around the world have flooded in to help rebuild one of Gaza’s largest booksellers, the two-storey Samir Mansour bookshop, which was destroyed by Israeli air strikes in May.

Founded 21 years ago by Palestinian Mansour, the shop was a much-loved part of the local community and contained tens of thousands of books in various languages covering everything from philosophy and art history to fiction and children’s books. It was reduced to rubble on 18 May, during the 11-day conflict that killed more than 250 people in Gaza and 13 in Israel.

Now a fundraiser managed by human rights lawyers Mahvish Rukhsana and Clive Stafford Smith has raised more than $200,000 (£141,000) to help rebuild the shop, while tens of thousands of donated books have been sent from all over the world to help Mansour restock.

…Rukhsana said they are aiming to replace all of Mansour’s 100,000 books and rebuild his bookshop. They also aim to help him establish a new project: the Gaza Cultural Centre, which would be a new library next door, from which readers could borrow books without paying….

(6) FUNDRAISER. The FIYAHCON staff, Best Related Work Hugo finalists, is seeking contributions to “Help Get FIYAHCON to DisCon III”.  At this moment they’ve raised $1,125 of their $8,000 goal.

Every year, the Hugo Awards are hosted by Worldcons which take place in a different city somewhere in the world (weirdly often in the U.S. for a “world” anything, but that’s another post entirely.) This year, the ceremony takes place in December in Washington, D.C. Worldcons—despite what we are sure have become best efforts—are not set up to accommodate team-based honorees such as the full staff of a literary magazine or, in our case, a convention. This leads to the occasional horror show where names are left off of ballots and team members are left out of parties beholden to capacity restrictions. (Look, we get it.)

We’d like to forego the madness and fatigue of events passed where we bemoan the State of Things yet again. We created an entire convention to address those issues.  Instead, we’d like to arrange our own mini-meetup to celebrate our nomination with some of our team in person at DisCon III. And we don’t want to take from the convention budget to do it.

We’re seeking to cover travel and lodging expenses for some of our team members to attend the convention in person Dec 15-19, as well as covering the attendance fees for our interested team members who will only be able to attend virtually. Combined, that’s about 15 people. To address the capacity issue of the pre-award party, we’d also like to host our own dinner over the course of the weekend so that we have a formal means of celebrating the work we’ve done together, whether we win the award or not.

(7) JOANNE LINVILLE (1928-2021). She passed away June 20, having gained genre fame in two well-known sff TV series. SYFY Wire pays tribute:

Joanne Linville, an actor whose career included a pair of memorable appearances in early sci-fi TV classics, has passed away at the age of 93, via Deadline. In addition to playing the central character in a haunting episode of The Twilight Zone, Linville also carved out a place in Star Trek history by appearing in the original TV series’ third season as a Romulan commander who falls romantically for Spock….


  • June 21, 1991 — On this date in 1991, The Rocketeer premiered. It was produced by Charles Gordon, Lawrence Gordon, and Lloyd Levin, and was directed by Joe Johnston. It starred Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton, Paul Sorvino, and Tiny Ron Taylor. The 1991 film was based upon the character of the same name created by comic book artist and writer Dave Stevens. It would be nominated for a Hugo at MagiCon which be the year that Terminator 2: Judgement Day would win that category. Critics in general really loved it but it did very poorly at the Box Office. It holds a rather excellent sixty-five percent rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born June 21, 1938 — Ron Ely, 83. Doc Savage in Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. He was also, fittingly enough, Tarzan in that NBC late-Sixties series. Somewhere Philip Jose Farmer is linking the two characters…  Other notable genre roles included being a retired Superman from an alternate reality in a two-part episode “The Road to Hell” of the Superboy series, and playing five different characters on the original Fantasy Island which may or may not be a record.
  • Born June 21, 1940 — Mariette Hartley, 81. She’s remembered by us for the classic Trek episode “All Our Yesterdays”, though, as OGH noted in an earlier Scroll,  probably best known to the public for her Polaroid commercials with James Garner. She also had a role as psychologist Dr. Carolyn Fields in “Married”, an episode of The Incredible Hulk. 
  • Born June 21, 1947 — Michael Gross, 74. OK, I’ll admit that I’ve a fondness for the Tremors franchise in which he plays the extremely well-armed and very paranoid graboid hunter Burt Gummer. Other than the Tremors franchise, he hasn’t done a lot of genre work as I see just an episode of The Outer Limits where he was Professor Stan Hurst in “Inconstant Moon” (based on the Niven story I assume) and voicing a few Batman Beyond and Batman: The Animated Series characters.
  • Born June 21, 1957 — Berkeley Breathed, 64. ISFDB on the basis of a chapbook called Mars Needs Moms is willing to include him as genre but I’d argue that Bloom County which includes a talking penguin is genre as they are fantastic creatures. And he contributed three cartoons to the ConFederation program book.
  • Born June 21, 1964 — David Morrissey, 57. His most well-known role is playing The Governor on The Walking Dead. I saw his brilliant performence as Jackson Lake, the man who believed he was The Doctor in “The Next Doctor”, a Tenth Doctor adventure which was an amazing story. He was also Theseus in The Storyteller: Greek Myths, and played Tyador Borlú in the BBC adaption of China Mieville’s The City & The City. I’ll admit that I’m very ambivalent about seeing it as I’ve listened the novel at least a half dozen times and have my own mental image of what it should be. He has also shows up in Good Omens as Captain Vincent.
  • Born June 21, 1965 — Steve Niles, 56. Writer best-known for works such as 30 Days of NightCriminal Macabre, Simon Dark and Batman: Gotham County Line. I’ve read his Criminal Macabre: The Complete Cal McDonald Stories and the graphic novel — great bit of horror! Sam Raimi adapted 30 Days of Night into a film. 
  • Born June 21, 1969 — Christa Faust, 52. It does not appear that she’s written any original fiction save one novel with Poppy Z. Brite called Triads but she’s certainly had a lot of media tie-in work including novels set in the Final DestinationFriday the ThirteenthFringeGabriel HuntNightmare on Elm StreetSupernatural and Twilight Zone universes. Did you know there’s an entire ecology of novels, fan fiction, a game, comics, even an encyclopedia guide, September’s Notebook — The Bishop Paradox made around Fringe? I hadn’t until I was researching her. One of the perks of doing this. 
  • Born June 21, 1979 — Chris Pratt, 42. Star-Lord in the MCU film franchise, principally the Guardians of The Galaxy films. His first genre role was voicing Jake in the “Attack of the Terrible Trio” episode of The Batman series. After that, he’s largely confined himself to the MCU with the exception of being Owen Grady in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. 

(10) WILL UK LOSE A CENTURY OF CINEMA HISTORY? The Guardian shares photos of 11 historical cinemas in the UK at risk due to pandemic closures.Cora Buhlert, who sent the link, says “I’ve actually been at the Electric Cinema in Birmingham.” – “Crippled by Covid: the vintage British cinemas under threat – in pictures”.

(11) GOOGLE SLOW GLASS. Slashdot has a report about “The Relatives Frozen in Time on Google Street View”.

Social-media users are sharing Google Street View images featuring friends and relatives who have since died. It was sparked by a post on the Twitter account Fesshole, which asks followers to submit anonymous confessions — many of which are explicit. The original poster said they had searched the map platform for images taken before their father had died. Launched in the US in 2007, Google Street View has since rolled out worldwide. The BBC’s Neil Henderson shared an image of his late father at his front door. “I have literally hundreds of pics of my dad but the Google Street View is quite affecting, like he’s still around,” he wrote. Another tweeter showed an image of a couple holding hands in the street – his parents, he said, who had died several years ago….

(12) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Pirates of the Caribbean:  Dead Men Tell No Tales Pitch Meeting” on Screen Rant, the writer explains there’s no point in having a pitch meeting for the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, because like the other four the film will have “Jack Sparrow, an antagonist with an undead crew, a young couple falling in love,” and “some vaguely magical and nautical things” so who cares about the plot?  But this time we learn why Jack Sparrow wears hair beads!

[Thanks to Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Cora Buhlert, Michael J. Lowrey, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, and JJ  for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

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37 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/21/21 Unfifthgettable

  1. 9) I have a copy of a Hard Case Crime release entitled “Money Shot” by Christa Faust, which I believe is an original novel. (Haven’t read it yet.)

  2. StephenfromOttawa says I have a copy of a Hard Case Crime release entitled “Money Shot” by Christa Faust, which I believe is an original novel. (Haven’t read it yet.)

    Huh. One moment while I go over to Amazon for a search. Yep, she’s done a number of Hard Case pulps. I wouldn’t have spotted these using my sources as I looking for genre related fiction. She also novelised Snakes on a Plane. Thanks for the note.

    Hard Case is a great publisher. There’s a Zelazny on them, though I don’t recall the title right now. I only remember the Green Man reviewer commented on the amount of smoking in it.

  3. (3) I just finished Season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale, and it was better than the third (although none of the subsequent seasons have been as good as the first). But Elisabeth Moss directed three episodes this season, and she showed a deft, interesting touch behind the camera as well as a powerhouse performance in front of it.

  4. Fifth! Second Fifth!

    @9 I give Berke Breathed genre status for his “Ahead Warp Zillion” Bloom county cartoon. I had the sweatshirt, once upon a time…

  5. Other than sampling my way through the Hugo packet which I finally got to completely download, I just finished listening to A Master of Djinn and it’s on my Hugo nomination list. I’m re-listening now to all of the most excellent Dagmar Shaw series that Walter Jon Williams penned. I’m reading the latest Polity novel by Neal Asher, Jack Four and Ken MacLeod’s Corporation Wars trilogy.

  6. I read The Dead Man’s Brother, the Hard Case Crime Zelazny novel, recently and thought it was pretty good. Some strong writing. Not a great work but certainly entertaining. Apparently it was written around 1970-71.

  7. (8) Rocketeer was fun. Bill Campbell was better in it than he was as “The Outrageous Okona”

    (9) Yes, the Outer Limits episode is based on the Niven story (one of his best).

  8. StephenfromOttawa says I read The Dead Man’s Brother, the Hard Case Crime Zelazny novel, recently and thought it was pretty good, not just a failed exercise in another genre. Some strong writing. Not a great work but certainly entertaining. Apparently it was written around 1970-71.

    Yeah that’s the novel. It’s a true trunk novel lost for thirty years before if I remember correctly Trent Zelazny found and offered it up to Hard Case who published forty after it was it was finished off in 1971.

  9. Meredith moment: I was looking to see if The Dead Man’s Brother was available from the usual digital suspects which it’s not but I found his Lord of Night, The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth and his Unicorn Variations collection are available from those sources for the surprisingly low price of just ninety nine cents.

  10. Not only does Berkeley Breathed’s universe include a talking penguin—it also features a talking basselope (cross between a basset hound and an antelope) and a non-talking cat who is a former rock star, once had an affair with US Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, and later had his brain replaced with that of Donald Trump. Not to mention the regular (if brief) appearances by little green men in flying saucers.

    Yeah, I think I might be willing to consider it genre! 🙂

    Also, I will second the notion that Rocketeer was fun! Not particularly deep or anything, but it wasn’t trying to be. Just light-hearted, pulpy, slightly-nostalgic fun.

    eta: I stumbled across The Dead Man’s Brother several years ago, by sheer random luck, and generally agree with StephenfromOttawa about it.

  11. (8) Dave Stevens has a cameo in The Rocketeer. He appears as the German test pilot in the film of the disastrous test of the German rocketeer design.

    (9) It’s Bernie Kopell’s birthday (b. 1933) Probably best now remembered as Dr. Bricker on the Love Boat, but he was in seemingly everything and appears to still be active. He was Siegfried/Seigfried in most of the variations of Get Smart. He had an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Nine episodes of Bewitched. Most importantly, he was on both Night Gallery (“The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes”) and Supertrain!

  12. Xtifr says Also, I will second the notion that Rocketeer was fun! Not particularly deep or anything, but it wasn’t trying to be. Just light-hearted, pulpy, slightly-nostalgic fun.

    I consider The Rocketeer to be that rare perfect film where everything (plot, characters and the special effects) are all spot on. And if you’ve read the original source material, they did a damn fine job of staying true to it.

  13. I find, with the Hard Case Crime novels, that the newly written ones are often excellent but the reprints of original pulps from Back In The Day are so steeped in the sexism of the time that I can’t read them.

  14. Kit Harding says I find, with the Hard Case Crime novels, that the newly written ones are often excellent but the reprints of original pulps from Back In The Day are so steeped in the sexism of the time that I can’t read them.

    Almost all of the pulps and mysteries from that time period are deeply steeped in sexism. There’s a few authors such as Rex Stout which are quite readable, but they tend to be few and far between.

  15. (9) The movie adaptation of 30 Days of Night was directed by David Slade, not Sam Raimi.

    (10) I once interviewed Victoria Price (daughter of Vincent) at the Electric Cinema. Unfortunately, the management stands accused of sharp practice over the way staff members were treated during the venue’s government-enforced shutdown.

  16. There is a dog. She is not yet my dog, and may not become my dog, but she is a real possibility.

    If she is The Dog, there may be a wait, because she was just bred and) might be pregnant. The breeder involved said she didn’t know someone was going to need an adult dog… Can you imagine it? She’s not clairvoyant! Shocking!

    (I would be thrilled to have a dog from this breeder; she’s a big part of why the breed is so overall healthy, and we think similarly about teaching dogs what you want from them.)

    Right now, though, the dog might be pregnant, and the breeder will be having surgery at the end of this week. I shall need to wait a bit, for further assessment, and for doing anything about it to be practical.

  17. Roger Zelazny/The Dead Man’s Brother:

    Its original title was Apostate’s Gold. Roger shipped it off to Doubleday and was quite surprised that they just shipped it back with “no thanks.” Since he hadn’t particularly enjoyed writing it, he put it away and didn’t bother writing any more like it.

    Roger didn’t generally outline, but started out with a vague idea of where he might like to end up. Since mysteries, he decided, had to be plotted backwards, that genre wasn’t for him.

    Good luck, Lis!

  18. Mariette Hartley was also in Genesis II, the first of Gene Roddenberry’s attempts to tell a story about a man named Dylan Hunt who wakes up in the future. She played a mutant with two navels – the network had forced a redesign of her costume in “All Our Yesterdays”, and Roddenberry felt he was owed a navel.

  19. Lis, here’s hoping that you are her person, and that there’s a good friendship in your future.

  20. HardCase published Donald Westlake’s trunk novel “The Comedy is Finished” which I enjoyed (in spite of its overwhelming 1970s-ness)

  21. JJ says Linville’s daughter Amy Rydell reprised her mother’s Romulan Commander character in Star Trek Continues, and is the eerie spitting image of her.

    It’s amazing what makeup can do considering this is what her daughter really looks like.

  22. Cat Eldrdge: It’s amazing what makeup can do considering this is what her daughter really looks like.

    I think that was taken when she was much younger. You can certainly see the resemblance to her mom in this one.

  23. JJ says I think that was taken when she was much younger. You can certainly see the resemblance to her mom in this one.

    Yep much closer. Thanks.

    Now reading and listening through the Hugo semi-prozine nominees.

  24. “The Witness for the Dead” dropped, and it’s good! (Though poor Celehar has to deal with a ghoul and a couple of murders and and.
    But here in 4749, it’s fine.

  25. O.o
    the Hugo Admin team just resigned, if I’m understanding what I read on Twitter. I am obviously deeply negligent in keeping abreast of SFF developments, so of course I came hot-foot to File 770 to get the latest news.

    In the meantime many thanks to the Hugo team for all the work they put in, and my sympathies for whatever difficulty it was that had to be resolved this way.

  26. @Lis
    It’s not scary, not like in a horror story. (Celehar has experience with them. What you mostly find out is why they’re a problem.)

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