Pixel Scroll 6/7/24 As Godstalk As My Scrollness, I Thought Pixels Could Teleport

(1) FRENCH CONVENTION WITH UKRANIAN FEATURE. [Item by Michael Burianyk.] The 2024 edition of Nice Fictions – Recontres de l’Imaginaire takes place this weekend (7, 8, 9 June) in Nice, France. This is a festival of the imagination – Science Fiction, Fantasy, Art, Gaming, Comics, Manga and Cosplay. It is a very inclusive event and this year it features Speculative Fiction and art from Ukraine.

On Friday will be a panel presentation of the Embroidered Worlds anthology of Ukrainian SFF in English translation with Michael Burianyk, Atthisarts publisher, E.D.E. Bell and editor Valya Dudycz Lupescu. They will discuss the genesis and evolution of this project. This will be in ENGLISH – Friday, 7 June at 17:30 Central European Summer Time (Nice) or 11:30am Eastern Daylight Time (New York). This will be a simultaneous in-person and YouTube broadcast event. For anyone actually in Nice, note that the book the book Embroidered Worlds will be on sale (€20) on site on Friday and Saturday.

On Sunday Mykhailo Nazarenko (renown literary critic from the University of Kyiv) will be conversation with Jean-Louis Trudel to discuss “Ukrainian speculative fiction: from Romantic to Post-Modern and colonial to post-colonial”. This will be in ENGLISH– Sunday, 9 June at 17:30 Central European Summer Time (Nice) or 11:30am Eastern Daylight Time (New York). It will only be a virtual event only, broadcast on YouTube.

 Note that if you miss the actual presentations, they will have been recorded and stored on YouTube and accessed via the links above.

 On Friday and Saturday, prominent Ukrainian sculptors Yehor and Mykyta Zigura will exhibit some of their work on site.

(2) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman invites listeners to dig into duck with Alex Jennings in Episode 227 of the Eating the Fantastic podcast.

In a different world, I’d be in Pasadena right now for the Nebula Awards conference, but in this world, I’ve just survived two consecutive weekends of conventions — first Balticon, then StokerCon — and there’s such a thing as too much fun, even for an extrovert like me. So instead, I’m at home, inviting you to take a seat at the table with the first of three guests I hosted while in Baltimore — Alex Jennings.

Alex Jennings.

Jennings is the winner of the 2023 Compton Crook Award for his debut novel, The Ballad of Perilous Graves. His writing has appeared in Fantastic Stories of the ImaginationElectric VelocipedeStrange HorizonsUncanny MagazineFantasy MagazineNew Suns, and Current Affairs, and many other venues. Some of his short fiction was published in the 2012 collection Here I Come and Other Stories.

He also writes a regular speculative poetry review column for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction titled “Chapter and Verse.” In 2022, he was the inaugural recipient of the Imagination Unbound Fellowship at Under the Volcano, a writing retreat held annually in Tepoztlan, Mexico. He is also an instructor of fiction and popular fiction at The University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program.

We discussed his dream which commanded him to move to New Orleans (plus his brother’s dream which supported that decision), how writing his debut novel transformed him into the kind of person he needed to be in order to write his debut novel, how Octavia Butler invited him into the field, which artist he wishes would draw the comic book adaptation of his novel The Ballad of Perilous Graves, what China Miéville taught him at Clarion about the deadly nature of “second order cliches,” how joy is revolutionary in and of itself, the way his experience as a standup comedian helps him help you care about the multiple POVs of his novel, which issue of Uncanny X-Men was the first comic book he ever read, the nature of his quasi-mystical approach to writing, and much more.

(3) SFF/H REVIEWS. Lisa Tuttle’s latest “Best recent science fiction, fantasy and horror – reviews roundup” for the Guardian takes in You Like It Darker by Stephen King; Tomorrowing by Terry Bisson; Freakslaw by Jane Flett; The Mark by Fríđa Isberg; and Horror Movie by Paul Tremblay.

(4) AUTHORS GUILD ON RWA BANKRUPTCY. The Authors Guild posted this yesterday: “AG Statement on Romance Writers of America Bankruptcy Filing – The Authors Guild

The Authors Guild was saddened to learn of the Romance Writers of America‘s recent bankruptcy filing. While we are aware of the issues that led to the RWA’s loss of membership, we regret the difficulties suffered by an organization that supported authors for more than 40 years and has been a valuable ally in our advocacy efforts. 

The RWA has been an active member of the Authors Coalition of America alongside the Authors Guild, and we have collaborated on various initiatives. It has been a part of our AI coalition and collective bargaining efforts, having signed many advocacy letters and regularly attending our meetings. Additionally, the Guild has worked with the RWA in filing amicus curiae (or “friend of the court”) briefs in a variety of cases, most recently in the appeal of Hachette v. Internet Archive to the Second Circuit, supporting the publishers’ argument that the Internet Archive’s “fair use” defense is without merit.

The romance genre is a large one, with a predominantly female authorship, many of whom are self-published. We understand that the RWA plans to continue serving these authors regardless of its financial restructuring, and we sincerely hope they will be able to do so. The Authors Guild remains committed to supporting the RWA and its members during this challenging time, as we believe in the importance of united advocacy for the betterment of all authors.

(5) THE NEXT CHAPTER AFTER ELEVEN. In “Romance Writers of America has filed for bankruptcy. What’s next?” Literary Hub’s Brittany Allen inquires about times to come.

…I spoke to Christine Larson, a journalist and labor historian who studies the romance writing community, in search of a little more context. How did a collective founded on a love for love stray so far from its better angels?

And what’s next for the romance community?

…. In her upcoming book, Love in the Time of Self-Publishing: How Romance Writers Changed the Rules of Writing and SuccessLarson argues that the romance community is inherently nimble, despite the shambling of its largest institution. Over a decade of study, Larson observed that authors in “Romancelandia” (to use the preferred nomenclature) are uniquely group-minded. She noted unusual working behavior, not seen in traditional publishinglike the fact that advice moves fluidly among romance authors. Established writers talk to newbies, and vice versa.

“A super important thing to take away here is that romance writers have the strongest writing community that I have ever seen,” Larson insisted. And no bungling board can quash that. Even if the larger irony herethat a community so inherently nimble, diverse, and vanguard has been tethered to an organization as blind-spotty as any found in Old Publishingisn’t lost on anyone.

From here, Larson sees three ways forward for RWA: 1) the org could rebuild itself (“But I think that’s an outside possibility”); 2) it could reconstitute as a much smaller, perhaps local organization with smaller goals; or 3) romance writers seeking a professional collective may flock to the Authors Guild, whose membership has grown 45% over the past five years….

(6) BJO COA. Bjo Trimble’s daughter Lora told her Facebook friends in a public post, “We have moved mom up to West LA and here is her new Address”:

Betty Trimble
West Los Angeles Veterans Home
11500 Nimitz Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90049
United States

(7) CHRISTMAS CAPER. That’s when BBC News says to tune in: “Wallace and Gromit return to face penguin nemesis Feathers McGraw”.

Wallace and Gromit will face their arch-enemy, the evil penguin Feathers McGraw, when they return in a new full-length feature film this Christmas, the BBC has confirmed.

The 70-minute adventure, titled Vengeance Most Fowl, will see the iconic duo face off against their nemesis who was last seen in the 1993 Oscar-winning short film The Wrong Trousers.

Wallace and Gomit creator Nick Park said he decided to bring back McGraw after fans asked if the character would ever return.

Made by Aardman Animations, it will be the first outing by the pair since 2008’s A Matter of Loaf and Death.

Wallace and Gromit films are a staple of the Christmas TV schedule, with the debut picture, a Grand Day Out – about Wallace deciding to fly to the moon (believing it to be made out of cheese) – appearing for Channel 4 on Christmas Eve 1990.

 (8) FAKE FROM SOUP TO NUTS. Victoria Strauss takes Writer Beware readers through every step: “From Motionflick Studios to Snow Day Film: The Evolution of a Book-to-Film Scam”.

…Everything about this email said “bogus”, from the solicitation itself (solicitation, as regular readers of this blog know, is one of the first signs of fraud these days), to the implausibly large option fee, to the absurd notion that an established Hollywood figure like Paul Dano would be personally creating pitch decks.

Other signs of bogosity: Motionflick appeared to be brand new, with a web domain registered on June 25, 2023, just days before the solicitation was sent….


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

June 7, 1962 Lance Reddick. (Died 2023.) The series where I first saw Lance Reddick was decidedly non-genre. He played Cedric Daniels,  lieutenant in the Baltimore Police Department’s Narcotics Unit on The Wire series, undoubtedly one of best such series ever done. 

Lance Reddick. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Now his best performance in a genre role I believe was on Fringe, another stellar series, where as Phillip Broyles, the Homeland Security Special Agent who is head of the Fringe division which was established to investigate a series of terrorist incidents which may or may be not just be unexplained phenomena. 

When the 2022 Netflix Resident Evil series was done, Lance Reddick was chosen to be the character, the first person of color to do so. The showrunners did not want to limit themselves to actors who resembled Wesker’s in-game appearance. Lance in Syfy Wire noted, “This Wesker, although very very much based on the Wesker in the games, isn’t exactly him.”

He showed in a brief recurring role on Lost as Matthew Abaddon, where he “was an agent of Charles Widmore whose job was to get people to “where they needed to be”. His name, Abaddon, comes from the Bible’s reference to the Angel of the Bottomless Pit, whose job it is to take souls to their destination in the Last Judgement, corresponding to his role in the series.” That description is courtesy of Lostpedia, the Lost Encyclopaedia.

Remember the terribly good Jonah Hex film? He’s is an acquaintance of Hex, where he’s a blacksmith and inventor who equips Jonah with his one-of-a-kind specialized weaponry essentially a sort of Q though I might be stretching that comparison. 

The last role of his I want note is as Charon in the John Wick films.  He’s the concierge of the Continental Hotel in New York City. He often interacted with John Wick in his position as the concierge of the hotel, offering John various services.  He will appear in the fifth film, John Wick Presents: Ballerina, and the last film before his death. 


(11) I COULD DROP A LOG. [Item by Bruce D. Arthurs.] The Poozeum, a new museum in Williams, Arizona dedicated to coprolites, might be of interest to the F770 audience: “Poozeum: Fossilized poop museum opens in Williams, AZ”. AZ Central is on the spot.

…Today we bring you news of a new free museum in Williams, Arizona, that is all about poop.

Specifically, coprolite, which is fossilized poop.

Here’s how to visit the new Poozeum, devoted to dinosaur poop and what we can learn from it.

…”There are pieces that are truly one of a kind, including a dinosaur bone that has a coprolite on it, showing that an animal pooped on a dinosaur bone, and they fossilized together.

“There is also a gar fish that has poop lodged in its teeth – both fossilized together, indicating that it intentionally or accidentally ate poop prior to death.”

Over the years, Frandsen’s collection has grown to 8,000 pieces and they’re all on display at the Poozeum, which opened on May 18, 2024 and calls itself “the world’s premier dinosaur poop museum and gift shop.”…

So I had to see what you’d find in the shop there. Here’s one example:

(12) JUSTWATCH REPORT: AUDIENCE PREFERENCE TOWARDS STREAMING TITLES. After looking at Netflix’s most watched movies and TV shows of 2023, JustWatch decided we wanted to look at how those titles hold up with audiences. Now that we are halfway through 2024, we can see if the mega-platforms most watch titles have had any lasting impact on audiences, and how their IMDb scores have affected long term viewership. 

JustWatch took a look at IMDb scores and compared those to the most clicked titles on JustWatch’s Netflix page. They saw that even though Lucifer is the most popular title with JustWatch users browsing Netflix titles, it has the lowest IMDb score. Overall, this has not affected audience preference for the series. 

If you want to learn more about Netflix’s content, check out JustWatch’s newest page: Netflix Statistics. The page features insights into Netflix’s market share, content, and finances. 

(13) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Ryan George takes us inside the Pitch Meeting for The Divergent Series: Allegiant.

The YA craze took the world by storm for several years, only to die a quick and uncereminous death with the Divergent series, which saw it’s third part perform so badly that they never even finished making them. Allegiant definitely raises some questions. Like what’s up with Tris’ hair? How many section councils are there? Why is all their technology borderline magic? To answer all these questions, check out the pitch meeting that led to Allegiant!

[Thanks to SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Steven French, Teddy Harvia, Michael Burianyk, Kathy Sullivan, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]

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29 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/7/24 As Godstalk As My Scrollness, I Thought Pixels Could Teleport

  1. May I have some spare words?

    After a few days of Cider first deciding to be sick again, and then deciding she has the energy to interrupt my reading, they’re all knocked out of my brain.

    (She’s much better now.)

  2. Lis: I can donate “petrified” and “Constantinopleitanicherdudelsakpfeifer”. Hopefully somebody will chip in a verb.

  3. @Mike Glyer–Thank you! Those make very useful start.

    But I’m very curious about the source of the second one. I have great difficulty reading green on yellow mimeo paper, on a screen…

  4. (0) Only if they’re entangled.
    (11) To quote King Pellinore: Fewmets!

    LisC: well, if you want some action words, try “hypergolic”.

  5. Lis Carey: If I’m remembering correctly, it’s a German word used in a Mark Twain story and means “bagpipe player from Constantinople”.

  6. @mark–Thank you. Hypergolic is a lovely word.

    @Mike Glyer–It’s gone into deep hiding. I googled it, and the only two hits were from File 770. I shall have to do more research. I might have to read Mark Twain. Hmm. Might not be a bad idea!

  7. Mark Twain uses a longer version of the German word (“Constantinopolitanischerdudelsackspfeifenmachersgesellschafft!”) in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

  8. I would also praise Lance Reddick for his role as Sylar in the Horizon Zero Dawn/Horizon Forbidden West games. Don’t trust him.

  9. @Lis Carey, allow me to donate one of my favorites: absquatulate. (It’s so much fun to say: Absquatulate! Absquatulate! Absquatulate!) And if saying it three times summons anything, you can be sure it will run away again very quickly….

  10. 12) Wow. Some data hound got a job at JustWatch and must feel like he’s died and gone to heaven

  11. For a verb, I’ll toss in subaqueate, from Jack Vance’s The Languages of Pao.

  12. Defenestration. Querulous. Circumambulate. Kumquat (in honor of W.C. Fields).

  13. @Russell Letson–

    Defenestration. Querulous. Circumambulate. Kumquat (in honor of W.C. Fields).

    Wonderful words! Added to my collection. Thank you!

  14. A coining of a late friend: ambisinister (having two left hands).

    One of my favorite titles from my wife’s stories: “Hubris, Halcyon, Guacamole.” A young girl is practicing spelling bee words–also aberrant, bungalow, and gallivant.

  15. “He mispronounced quite common words: urticate, salpinx, bordereau.”

  16. “They take part of a verb and put it down here, like a stake, and they take the other part of it and put it away over yonder like another stake, and between these two limits they just shovel in German.”
    – Mark Twain

    … and now i Absquatulate back to American English!
    – JW

  17. (12) I don’t know for sure, but I would guess that Lucifer’s on-line rankings suffer a bit from people who have never seen it but are offended by the premise. Which may skew the results here.

    (For those who don’t know the show, it’s very loosely based on the extremely charming version of the Devil created by Neil Gaiman for the Sandman comics, and, much like Gaiman’s Good Omens series, has plenty to offend certain easily-offended religious fanatic types.)

  18. One of my favorite Gene Wolfe coinages: logophage. One who eats (their own) words. 🙂

  19. The theology of Lucifer is, shall we say, unconventional. Personally, I lost interest somewhere in the second or third season; the writers seemed to have lost any sense of where, if anywhere, the show was supposed to be going. Perhaps things picked up again after that.

  20. @Jim Janney: the third season was the last on network TV, and was reportedly the subject of massive interference from the network, who were dissatisfied with demographics it was appealing to. The third season is also generally considered the worst by fans. (And if it had ended there, when the network canceled it, it would probably also be winning awards for Worst Cliffhanger in a Series’ Final Episode.)

    Fortunately, it was picked up by Netflix, who were less concerned with targeted advertising, and went ahead and made the show the fans wanted. Seasons four and five are generally considered the show’s best!

    I, like you, had given up on the show, but when season four dropped, I decided to give it a second chance and was quite happy that I did.

  21. She noted unusual working behavior, not seen in traditional publishing—like the fact that advice moves fluidly among romance authors. Established writers talk to newbies, and vice versa.

    Gee, what a shame nobody in the science fiction and fantasy community has ever done this. It’s so unusual!

    (Note for the sarcasm-impaired: this is sarcasm. Extreme sarcasm.)

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