Pixel Scroll 6/3/24 Rikki Don’t Lose That Pixel, You Don’t Want To Scroll Nobody Else

(1) THE NO BODY PROBLEM. The other day File 770 linked to a report with the good news that Netflix confirmed 3 Body Problem will have a second and third season. Today, Giant Freakin’ Robot took the same story and turned it into a reason for panic: “Huge Netflix Sci-Fi Hit Gets Canceled After Season 3”. Got to get those clicks somehow!

Netflix has long had a reputation for canceling great shows right as they become mainstream hits, and it looks like that won’t be changing anytime soon. The streamer recently revealed that 3 Body Problem will be canceled after season 3.

That means that fans still have two more seasons to look forward to, but it’s not entirely clear how much of the original novels will ultimately be adapted by the show.

At first glance, the news that Netflix has canceled 3 Body Problem after season 3 comes as something of a shock.

After all, the first season was a genuine hit: it currently has a 79 percent critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 78 percent audience score….

(2) KGB. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present Grady Hendrix & Bracken MacLeod on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. The event begins 7:00 p.m. Eastern at the KGB Bar (85 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003; Just off 2nd Ave, upstairs.)

Grady Hendrix

Grady Hendrix is the New York Times-bestselling author of How To Sell a Haunted HouseThe Final Girl Support GroupMy Best Friend’s Exorcism, and many more. His history of the horror paperback boom of the ’70s and ’80s, Paperbacks from Hell, won the Stoker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction. His books have been translated into 23 languages and sold over a million copies, which means he is guaranteed a seat on the space ark when the earth becomes uninhabitable. You can learn more useless facts about him at www.gradyhendrix.com.

Bracken MacLeod

Bracken MacLeod is a Bram Stoker, Shirley Jackson, and two-time Splatterpunk Award finalist and the author of several books including Closing Costs and 13 Views of the Suicide Woods, which the New York Times Book Review called, “Superb,” though he imagines the reviewer pronouncing that, “supOIB.” Before devoting himself to full-time writing, he’s survived car crashes, a near drowning, being shot at, a parachute malfunction, and the bar exam. So far, the only incident that has resulted in persistent nightmares is the bar exam. So, please don’t mention it.

(3) PHILLY SUMMER AUTHOR EVENTS SCRATCHED. Michael Swanwick alerted Facebook fans that the summer Author Events at the Free Library of Philadelphia have been cancelled. Apparently, the entire staff quit this morning. Here’s the announcement in its totality:

Dear Friends,

The entire lineup of scheduled Author Events is cancelled. The Author Events team is no longer with the Free Library Foundation.

With sincere thanks for your support over these many years of our program, “the big, beating heart of literature in Philadelphia,” (Philadelphia Inquirer),

Andy Kahan, Laura Kovacs, Jason Freeman, and Nell Mittelstead

Reasons for their quitting have yet to be reported.

UPDATE: The Philadelpha Free Library has followed up the earlier email with another saying that despite the resignations no Author Events have been cancelled. See the complete text of that email in Todd Dashoff’s comment below.

Here is the later message:

(4) MARK YOUR CALENDAR – AND MAP. Lev Grossman will be taking to the skies on “The Bright Sword Tour”. The full schedule is at the link. The journey starts in Brooklyn and ends at the San Diego Comic-Con

The Bright Sword is coming out on July 16th. I’m going on tour to promote it.

Not in any virtual or zoomy sense, I am actually going to transport my physical corporeal cells all around the USA. And to bits of the UK as well. Any other anglophone nations want a piece of this—Canada, Australia, New Zealand—you just let me know.

I’m really, really looking forward to it. It’s an incredible privilege to be able to travel around and talk to people about books.

There are definitely aspects of it that make me nervous. Like most writers I am a poorly distributed mix of intro- and extro-vert and I’m never quite sure which of these aspects is going to be outward-facing at any given moment.

But mostly I’m just unbelievably excited. My extrovert-face actually loves talking to crowds, especially about books and King Arthur and The Bright Sword, which I have been working on for ten years, and my family got sick of me talking about it about one year into that process, so you can imagine how much stuff I’ve got pent up. I love new places, and food, I don’t mind planes, and I actively, immoderately adore hotels of all kinds….

(5) SECOND FIFTH. “55 Years Ago, Star Trek Delivered Its Worst Finale — And Accidentally Saved the Fandom” claims Inverse’s Ryan Britt. It was the last aired episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. One of Kirk’s revenge-seeking ex-girlfriends engineers a way to swap bodies with him.

…The episode also accidentally fueled an emergent fan phenomenon: slash fiction. As fanfic readers know, the concept of slash fiction, in which fans pair one character with another, derives its name from Kirk/Spock fanfic, which imagined the famous duo as lovers. In “Turnabout Intruder,” after Spock mind-melds with Janet Lester and realizes Kirk is in her body, he holds their hand, treating Kirk like his girlfriend. It’s not subtle. Supposedly, even the actors were aware the story’s gender-role-switching elements prompted all kinds of questions about Kirk and Spock’s true feelings. In a famous outtake, William Shatner jokingly reworked his line to say, “Spock, it’s always been you, you know it’s always been you. Say you love me too.”

We know this because super-fan Joan Winston got herself onto the “Turnabout Intruder” set. In the fan-made essay collection Star Trek Lives! Winston recounted the experience in great detail, including the anecdote about Shatner jokingly professing his love to Spock. By 1972, Joan Winston would become one of the key organizers of the world’s first Star Trek conventions.

In 1970, only 300 people attended the first San Diego Comic-Con. In 1972, Winston brought 3,000 people to the first Star Trek convention. By 1974, Winston’s fourth Star Trek Lives! convention attracted at least 15,000 attendees. Star Trek conventions helped create large-scale genre-themed conventions in general, which is partially why today’s geek landscape even exists. Small fantasy and sci-fi conventions existed before Star Trek, but Trek made the idea of having a big convention possible, and Joan Winston was one of the movement’s key pioneers….

(6) SOUND INVESTMENT. “U.S. Audiobook Sales Hit $2 Billion in 2024” reports Publishers Weekly.

The audiobook market in the United States continues steadily growing, with revenue increasing by 9%, to $2 billion, in 2023, according to the Audio Publishers Association, which published data from its annual sales survey today. The sales survey, conducted by Toluna Harris Interactive, incorporates data from 27 publishers, including Audible, Hachette Audio, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster, among others.

In addition, the APA has released highlights from its 2024 consumer survey, carried out by Edison Research, which showed that 52% of U.S. adults, or nearly 149 million Americans, have listened to an audiobook. The survey also found that 38% of American adults listened to an audiobook in the last year, up from 35% reported in 2023….

(7) STOKERCON 2025. The StokerCon 2025 Guests of Honor are:

  • Paula Guran
  • Graham Masterson
  • Gaby Triana
  • Tim Waggoner

(8) SMALL WONDER KICKSTARTER FUNDS.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

June 3, 1964 James Purefoy, 60. James Purefoy has an interesting genre history though I’m going to start with his role in Hap and Leonard based off that series created by Joe R. Lansdale. There he was Hap Collins who was imprisoned for refusing to be drafted during the Vietnam War.  He and Leonard Pine are rather eccentric private investigators for Hap’s girlfriend Brett Sawyer. 

Remember A Knight’s Tale, a film that the Suck Fairy tells me that they don’t even have in their database. He played the dual role of Edward, the Black Prince of Wales and Sir Thomas Colville. It currently not surprisingly has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of eighty percent. It’s one of my favorite films. 

James Purefoy at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012.

Next on his genre work is Solomon Kane where he played that character. Based on the Robert E. Howard character, he made a stellar Kane. It currently has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of seventy-one percent. 

He was Kantos Kan, the Odwar, the commanding officer, of the ship Xavarian in the John Carter film. It currently has a much better rating than I was expecting at Rotten Tomatoes rating — sixty percent. Huh.

He is cast in a main role as Captain Gulliver “Gully” Troy / Captain Blighty in the second and third seasons of the Pennyworth series, the prequel to the Gotham series. I like it a lot better than the latter series. 

He’s Philippe de Clermont  in A Discovery of Witches series based off on Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy, and it’s named after the first book in the trilogy.  I read and really loved these novels. 

Almost on my list is his performance as Laurens Bancroft in the Altered Carbon series. Yes I read the Richard Morgan trilogy. I thought it was excellently well written story with great characters and a fascinating story. He’s a ruthless billionaire who cares for nothing but what he wants. 

What is finally on my list is something I never knew had been done. BBC Radio 4 as part of their Dangerous Visions series broadcast a two-part adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Off the Philip K. Dick work. It stars James Purefoy as Rick Deckard and Jessica Raine as Rachael Rosen.  No other cast is credited, a bit odd I think. 

(10) COMICS SECTION.

(11) MUSEUM STARTED WITH SALVAGED SETS CAN’T OPEN ITS DOORS. Santa Monica’s SciFi World isn’t open despite a “gala opening” on Memorial Day – the LA Times says in its story “A child porn conviction and angry ‘Star Trek’ fans: Inside the drama around a new sci-fi museum” that “The museum’s public opening is delayed indefinitely due to permitting issues with the city”. The full article is behind a paywall.

Sci-Fi World, a new “museum” that promises fans real and replica props, costumes and sets from popular films and TV shows, hosted its opening “gala” on Memorial Day in the historic former Sears building just a couple of blocks from the Santa Monica Pier.

More than a decade in the making, the museum has drawn the interest of “Star Trek” fans worldwide thanks to its genesis story: Superfan Huston Huddleston said he salvaged a replica of the bridge from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” from a discard pile outside of a Long Beach warehouse in 2011. Huddleston, known for his fanatical devotion to science fiction and horror, launched Kickstarter campaigns to restore the prop and open a museum to house it, raising nearly $163,000 in less than two years.

But now Huddleston, 54, has emerged as the nexus of questions swirling around the museum, which, despite the recent gala, did not actually open as scheduled. Some of those same sci-fi fans who were enthralled by the museum’s origin story have since learned that in 2018, Huddleston was convicted of misdemeanor possession of child pornography. He was required to serve 126 days in jail and three years of summary probation, complete 52 weeks of sex offender counseling and pay fines.

In an interview with The Times, Huddleston said he knew that any association with the museum after his conviction would be toxic for an organization that hopes to attract young fans, so he gave up control of the nonprofit and its collection of film and TV ephemera to the museum’s chief executive.

But several Sci-Fi World volunteers past and present told The Times that Huddleston remains active — if not central — in museum operations and preparations for opening. Lee Grimwade, one of the museum’s lead volunteers who quit a day before the gala, said Huddleston is “definitely 100% involved.”…

(12) AI AND SHOW BIZ. “State of Generative AI in Hollywood”Variety has a roundup. The complete report is behind a paywall.

… It further examines the advancement and potential of video generation models that have gripped the industry, including OpenAI’s Sora and Google DeepMind’s Veo, which were announced in the first half of 2024.

Yet to understand how the tech is actively being used today also requires an understanding of its limitations and challenges. VIP+ digs into the specific factors holding back gen AI implementation as tools used to make the highest production-value content. Ethical use is now central and critical to gen AI decision making for media and entertainment companies, and it is the final focus area of this report.

Research for this special report partly draws from 28 independent interviews conducted on background from February to May 2024 with leaders at generative AI tech and service providers, those in VFX and content localization networks, film and TV concept and storyboard artists, independent filmmakers experimenting with generative AI, ethical technologists and lawyers specializing in entertainment and cybersecurity….

(13) VOICE ACTOR Q&A. “Star Wars Bad Batch: Dee Bradley Baker on Voices, Clones, Show Ending” at The Hollywood Reporter.

If The Bad Batch were a live-action series, it’d most certainly be considered an ensemble show. But given that one actor voiced 22 (!) characters in the final season of the animated series, that term might not quite fit in this case. It’s a point that the voice actor himself, Dee Bradley Baker, humbly acknowledges.

The Bad Batch is a very different creative ask of an actor, to bring all of these full-fledged, full-bodied characters together in a scene as an ensemble, not as disconnected or one-offs,” says Baker. “This is an ensemble story in the same way that The Clone Wars was originally an ensemble story. It’s just in this particular ensemble, I’m most of the ensemble,” he adds, laughing.

The Disney+ series, which ended its three-season run on May 1, follows Clone Force 99, a special forces squad comprising clone solders who were enhanced with special abilities, in the aftermath of Order 66 (whereby Emperor Palpatine ordered the clones to kill all Jedi). The group is led by stellar tracker Hunter and includes the abnormally strong Wrecker, brilliant Tech and uber marksman Crosshair. The quintet is rounded out with Echo, a regular clone who, after cybernetic modifications, joined up with the Bad Batch. All five of those characters are voiced by Baker, who is an Emmy contender this awards season for his role as Crosshair….

Speaking of fans, what is the voice you get asked to do most often?

[In Wrecker’s voice] They want to hear Wrecker all the time. I always say Wrecker wrecks my voice, but I’ll talk like Wrecker anyway. [Switching to Crosshair’s voice] Also, Crosshair because he meant a lot to many of the fans. He was probably the most interesting character of all of the Bad Batch [switching back to his real voice] because Crosshair really had the arc, the transformational redemption arc, that was his story, and what started out to seem to be sort of an adversarial counter-character ends up being the character that you’re rooting for. And that is finally redeemed with that hug that he gets from Omega. It’s a really beautiful story, it’s an inspiring story, and people are really locked into that. But it’s a lot of fun [in Hunter’s voice] just to switch from character to character [in Tech’s voice] because each one is very different from the other [back to his real voice], and they’re all just different people, and they’re here within me.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Cat Eldridge, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Steven French, Teddy Harvia, Kathy Sullivan, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve “Steely” Green.]


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13 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/3/24 Rikki Don’t Lose That Pixel, You Don’t Want To Scroll Nobody Else

  1. James Purefoy was excellent in the BBC/HBO Series “Rome” as Marc Anthony

  2. (1) Depends on if they’re making a video of the books… or a Peter Jackson expansion of it. In the latter case, it’ll need another three seasons…
    (3) Further from Michael: the staff gave a month’s notice, and instead were fired right then. Something’s going on…
    (4) What a great pic of the author on tour… (ROTFL!)
    (5) Um, “there were small before…” Worldcon in 1967 was over 1700, which is not exactly small. And ’74… that’s the one that was a disaster, that a national ticket agency, which was supposed to sell some limited number, kept selling, and the hotel was massively overwhelmed, as where the con runners. There’s a comic book about that…
    (12) There is no “gen AI”, and not, probably, for a long time. And “ethical”, in Hollywood? That’s like “military intelligence”, right?
    (13) To go off-topic… exactly how many Jedi were there in the Old Republic? And how many clones, if the Republic spanned the entire galaxy…?

  3. (3) Here’s the followup from the Library:

    View this message on our website.
    Dear Friends,

    I hope this email finds you well. We recently discovered that a message was sent out indicating that all future Author Events have been cancelled.

    We want to clarify that no Author Events are cancelled and we remain committed to continuing this beloved program.

    We regret to inform you that the Author Events Team—Andy Kahan, Jason Freeman, Laura Lovacs, and Nell Mittlestead—have submitted their resignations, effective immediately. While we respect their decision and thank them for their many years of dedication, we want to assure you that we are taking steps to ensure a smooth transition and the continuation of our Author Events.

    If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please feel free to contact me directly. We appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate through this change together.

    Thank you for your continued support of the Free Library and our Author Events program. We look forward to welcoming you to our upcoming events.

    Warm regards,

    Monique Moore Pryor
    Executive Director
    Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation
    [email protected]

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  4. (1) That’s an impressively stupid take. Netflix says it’s committed to three seasons–and a season per book seems reasonable. Beyond that–there’s really no guarantee that they’ll stop when they get to the end of the trilogy, which I really wish certain famous individuals would do, when adapting books to screen.

    (11) He has to go, emphatically and completely, or the museum is dead.

  5. So Mark says Further from Michael: the staff gave a month’s notice, and instead were fired right then. Something’s going on…

    So I see that you didn’t bother to actually read that message in which it noted that the four of them submitted their resignations which means that they were not fired?

  6. Lis: Seriously, endless series are a plague. And when there’s no reason… I gave up on Kevin J. Anderson when I got to the fifth book of the “Hidden Suns” series… and in the last two chapters, oh, the baddies that we thought were done are back, and the last chapter, oh, the baddies who created them and have been gone 10,000 years are back. I said, I see, he got another five book contract. Not going to wind it up. Nope. (The woman who’s raped in the third? book, and then identifies with the rapist didn’t make me happy, either, with three daughters…)

  7. MaryAnn Harris, Charles de Lint’s spouse, passed away earlier today, after a long hospitalization.

    From the Go Fund Me that’s been helping with medical expenses:

    From Charles

    I’m so so sorry to have to tell you all that Mare passed away this afternoon, June 3, 2024. She fought long and hard to try to beat the awful state in which the Powasssan virus had left her but in the end she just didn’t have the strength to carry on any longer. She died peacefully in her room, surrounded by family, in the beautiful space that her friends and family made of what had been a sterile hospital room. […]

  8. @Mark

    Yuck. Well, that just added to my already lengthy list of never wanting to read anything Kevin J. Anderson writes.

    (1) That story is downright idiotic. Whoever wrote that misleading headline and the equally incoherent article should have their keyboard snatched from their hands.

  9. (5) Star Trek Lives (by Joan Winston, et al) was my introduction to the concept of fandom, so I’m happy to see her mentioned (and I recognized the quotes from her account of the filming of Turnabout Intruder).

  10. 11) Bad behavior harms everyone. There is no excuse for it.

    3) There’s GOT to be more here than meets the eye with this organization. Control, censorship, threats of lawsuits by partisans, bad blood, personality conflicts, or what? Better it be public so the public can respond.

  11. Meredith Moment: the original Dangerous Visions is $1.99 at many of the usual suspects.

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