Pixel Scroll 6/12/16 But I Still Haven’t Scrolled Where the Pixels Are

(1) MAGIC STACKS. The Oxford University Press Blog gives “6 reasons why the Hogwarts library is the true hero of the Harry Potter books”.

…Alas, when our letter-bearing owl rudely pulls a no-show, accepting one’s muggle status is a hard pill to swallow. But, as today is Magic Day, we’ve decided to temporarily shelve our disappointment, and pay tribute to our favourite Hogwarts hotspot. Undoubtedly, the unsung hero of the Harry Potter series, we’re referring to a place with more answers than Albus, better looks than Lockhart, and even more mystery than Mad-Eye Moody. This is why we love the Hogwarts library…

It has screaming books.

Though, deep down, we’re rooting for Harry to succeed in his endeavours, given his complete disregard for the rules, we can’t help but feel a certain amount of satisfaction when one of his plans goes awry. As far as we’re concerned, any young scallywag who presumes to enter the restricted section of the Hogwarts library in the dead of night, without even attaining a teacher’s note of approval, deserves to happen upon a screaming book. On this particular occasion, we commend the library for thwarting this little rascal’s rebellious plans.

(2) THE PEEPS LOOK UP. Jim C. Hines has a gallery of 80+ photos taken at the recently completed Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop.

Mike Brotherton and Christian Ready

Jim C. Hines

(3) PRICE POINTS. Fynbospress has another skull session for indie authors: “How much for the print book?”

How much should you charge for your print book?

The answer is: it depends. First, are you planning on getting wide sales of your print book, or is it just there to make your ebook page look more professional, and more of a bargain?

This is a serious question: indie pub is still small press pub (just one-author houses), and can get into libraries and brick and mortar shops. It just takes more work, and usually more lead time between finishing the books and publishing them. In some genres, especially nonfiction segments where a large portion of the revenue is from talks and print books sold at same, the print version is more important than the ebook price.

(4) NEXT YEAR’S CAPCLAVE. Elizabeth Twitchell, Chair of Capclave 2017, announced a GoH today — Neil Clarke, of Clarkesworld.

Clarkesworld Magazine’s work in promoting speculative short fiction makes him a perfect fit to join another Capclave guest, Ken Liu, as the con celebrates 10 years of the WSFA Small Press Award. The con will be held October 6-8, 2017 at the Gaithersburg Hilton.

(5) RAY HARRYAUSEN. He’s a fast worker.

(6) INSIDE JOB. “Charmed: Fairy Tale Reform School Book 2” by Jen Calonita (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman) at Fantasy Book Critic.

ANALYSIS: Flunked, the first book of the Fairy Tale Reform School series, was a fast, fun children’s novel. It followed the life of a young thief (Gilly Cobbler) who was caught and sent away to Fairy Tale Reform School. Fairy Tale Reform School is designed to help fairy tale character right their wrongs and learn how to become productive members of their respective fairy tales. After all, not everyone can be the hero, villain, or princess; some people do have to be the baker, cobbler, or famer.

Now, Charmed is the second book of the series and picks up shortly where Flunked left off. Alva (our big bad for the series and is a version of the evil fairy queen from Sleeping Beauty) has been locked up. Meanwhile Gilly Cobbler, who was once an overlooked young thief who is trying to reform herself, is now considered a hero for what she did in Flunked, but all is not well.

(7) NO PLACE LIKE HOME – BREW. Martin Morse Wooster is back.

NHCmedalI’ve just returned from three days in Baltimore with home brewers.  I have always maintained that home brewers are the people most like fans who are not fans.  The National Homebrewers Conference has a con suite during the day, known as “Social Club” where people can sit and drink home-brew. They have a masquerade, except it’s called “club night,” and the competition is between clubs, whose members dress up in costumes (Vikings and pirates were popular this year) and serve free beer.

There were two developments this year that made the convention more like a sf con than in the past.

  1.  The name of the convention has formally been changed from “National Homebrewers Conference” to “Homebrewcon.”
  2.  The home brewers have discovered silly badge ribbons.  They haven’t gotten to the level of a Worldcon where you can get a generalissimo-sized stack of ribbons, but I saw at least two or three silly ribbons on some badges next to the serious ones for being a judge or being on the organizing committee.  I never noticed anyone with more than four ribbons.

I also learned of the demise of one of the convention’s quirkier traditions.  They used to give a prize, known as the Golden Urinal or “Pissoir D’Or”, to the club whose members brought the most number of kegs to the convention. In 2013, the Barley Legal Club of southern New Jersey (note to people from New Jersey–they’re “near exit 4”) showed up with 200 kegs and the trophy was retired.  They brought the urinal to the convention, and I can now say I have drunk from the Golden Urinal on three occasions.  And yes, it is a urinal painted gold.

Next year’s Homebrewcon will be from June 15-17 in Minneapolis.

(8) KASEY LANSDALE. Wynona’s opening act at the Canyon Club on June 17 is Joe R. Lansdale’s baby girl.

Kasey Lansdale and her father Joe Lansdale.

Kasey Lansdale and her father Joe Lansdale.

Now, WYNONNA and her band The Big Noise, led by her husband/drummer/prodcer, Cactus Moser, have released their debut full-length album to critical acclaim. Rolling Stone’s Stephen L. Betts raved, “Wynonna & The Big Noise brings a raw, unvarnished approach to the album’s dozen tracks, which run the gamut from gutsy blues to sweet, Seventies-inspired country-pop…. Wynonna’s legions of country fans will feel right at home.” Get ready, Agoura Hills, cause WYNONNA & The Big Noise are taking it on the road – and make their debut appearance on The Canyon stage.

Opening sets by ‘Michael-Ann’ and ‘Kasey Lansdale’

(9) INDY 5. “John Williams Will Score Indiana Jones 5 & Star Wars: Episode VIII” guarantees ComingSoon.

Last night, the American Film Institute held a red carpet event honoring legendary film composer John Williams (Jaws, Harry Potter, Superman) with a lifetime achievement award. The 84-year-old Williams, whose work on all four Indiana Jones films as well as all seven Star Wars Saga films are career-defining, took the opportunity to assure the world he would be back for Lucasfilm‘s next installments of both franchises.

“If I can do it, I certainly will,” Williams confirmed to Variety of his commitment to do the music for Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII, currently in the home stretch of filming. “I told Kathy Kennedy I’m happy to do it, but the real reason is, I didn’t want anybody else writing music for Daisy Ridley.”

Meantime, during an interview with Empire Magazine about his new movie The BFG, Spielberg confirmed a MacGuffin has been selected for Indy 5:

“(Steven Spielberg) shows us videos of the BFG’s recording session on his iPhone, looks forward to INDIANA JONES V: “We have a McGuffin, that’s all I can say”. 

It is extremely exciting news that Indy 5 has possibly found its central MacGuffin. While Spielberg did not give details, the MacGuffin will likely be revealed as a title is decided upon. The previous Indiana Jones films either had the MacGuffin within the title or had a hint to the identity of the fabled object.

The MacGuffins are often supernatural in nature and possess incredible power. They also often reflect personally on Indy in regards to some facet of their nature. There have been three MacGuffins thus far, two of them being based on Judeo-Christian mythology. Crystal skull was the only one not to be directly religious. The nature of the MacGuffin may be hinted at once we learn more about the plot.


  • June 12, 1968 Rosemary’s Baby, seen for the first time on this day. Did you know: Rosemary’s baby was born in June 1966 (6/66).
  • June 12, 1981 — Ray Harryhausen’s last effects work appears in Clash of the Titans.
  • June 12, 1987 Predator was released.  The alien’s blood was a mixture of KY Jelly and the goop from inside green glow-sticks.

(11) SMOKE ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM. The 1960-1961 season of Twilight Zone is finished, and The Traveler at Galactic Journey has the verdict – “[June 11, 1961] Until we meet again…. (Twilight Zone Second Season wrap up)”.

When Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone debuted in October 1959, it was a fresh breeze across “the vast wasteland” of television.  Superior writing, brilliant cinematography, fine scoring, and, of course, consistently good acting earned its creator a deserved Emmy last year.

The show’s sophomore season had a high expectation to meet, and it didn’t quite.  That said, it was still head and shoulders above its competitors (Roald Dahl’s Way Out, Boris Karloff’s Thriller, etc.) The last two episodes of this year’s batch were par for the course: decent, but not outstanding…

In this Twilight Zone episode, one of the men was talking about how good his cigarettes tasted, and I thought for a moment he was going to break into an advertisement.  Of course that didn’t come until the end — when Rod Serling recommended Oasis cigarettes “for the freshest of tastes”….

(12) INFLUENCE AND COLLABORATION. Spark My Muse with Lisa DeLay – “Eps 65: The Myth of the ‘Lone Genius’ – CS Lewis expert Dr. Diana Glyer”. Here are some of the show notes from the half-hour podcast:

MIN 1:30

Diana’s first introduction into the world of Tolkien.


Wondering what the conversations of Lewis and Tolkien were like and how they influenced each other.

Our conversations become the spark for creative breakthrough.

(That’s a cool quote from Diana and you can Tweet it just by clicking it. It’s like Elfin magic!)


No one had researched and written about their relationship of collaboration and influence from the inside–like a fly on the wall.


How we think about literary influence and collaboration. Process influence versus product influence.

The role of creative input and question-asking during the initial period of creative inspiration.

MIN 7:30

Looking at dairies and primary documents and drafts and the detective work of Diana’s book “The Company They Keep”.


“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island and, best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.” — Walt Disney

(14) A GREAT BOOKSTORE IS CLOSING. Marc Scott Zicree, “Mr. Sci-Fi,” prowls the aisles at Mystery & Imagination Bookshop as he explains tells you why books — and bookstores — are important.

(15) WHEN ANOTHER BOOKSTORE CLOSED. Ray Bradbury’s last visit to Acres of Books.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, Michael J. Walsh, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day LunarG.]

80 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/12/16 But I Still Haven’t Scrolled Where the Pixels Are

  1. Like other people here, I have Roses and Rot out from the library and am much looking forward to it. Kat Howard also has a quite lovely story in the latest Uncanny, “The Sound of Salt and Sea”, concerning the rituals connecting living and dead members of a community.

  2. @Sunhawk:

    Smithworks/Smithaven (I’ve seen it both ways) out of Peterborough has a lovely unfiltered bottle-conditioned lager called Kellerbier that is just delightful. Possibly The Best Lager I’ve ever had. (I’m more of an ale or wheat beer drinker.)

    SF reading: I’ve been bogged down in Gene Wolfe’s “The Ziggurat” for the past couple of days. I normally don’t stall in the middle of a novella like this, but it’s making me apocalyptically angry due to Reasons. If the ending doesn’t reveal that our protagonist is hugely unreliable, I may have to go all ranty.

  3. @Dawn
    The Ziggurat. Yeah, that is definitely not a Wolfe I find favor with, because of Reasons.

  4. I’m enjoying Roses and Rot so far, though there was one passage that switched present and past tense in a way that totally jarred me.

    Also, there’s a grammatical thing that I think is new, which I’m wondering about. It has two quotes by the same character, one right after the other, where the upper quote doesn’t have a final quotation mark. I’ve seen it twice in this novel so far, and I think I may have seen it in another novel as well. Is this a standard practice now?

  5. “My understanding,” he said, “was that in a block of dialogue, if there was actually a paragraph break within the dialogue, then there would be no final quotation mark on the first paragraph.

    “Of course, things could have changed since then. I thought parenthesis also worked the same way.”

  6. Reading the various amounts of what the ALICE IN WONDERLAND books are all about only makes me doubt a lot of critical output.

    The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition by Martin Gardner. A must-have.

    I burned through the first four books when I was younger. Never felt the need to pick up 5, 6 or 7 after that though. I’ve also only seen films 1 and 3.

    I binge-read all 7 books in the period between movies 7 and 8 (all of which I’ve seen.) They’re okay, but I’m not of the age to be blown away by them.

    On an unrelated (to Alice or Harry) note, Judy and Jetson and Alf are dead. (No, it wasn’t a murder-suicide.)

  7. Rose Embolism: What Joe H said. If there’s no close quote, the following open-quote is assumed to be from the same speaker. This is helpful when you have a character pontificating for several paragraphs. Or pages. You don’t need dialog attribution cues, like “he continued” or “she pontificated”…

    I’ve not seen it with parenthetical asides, but then, parenthetical asides rarely go on for paragraphs, so I might just have missed it.

  8. You have fun things, you have co incidence and then you’ve got academic requirements to publish material that doesn’t make sense. Don’t over think anything.

    BTW, I agree with you on this. I’d estimate that 99 44/100ths percent of the “symbolism” found in books by book critics and reading circles has absolutely nothing to do with anything that the author was thinking about. (And yes, there is a trope for it.)

    I’m very much not the target audience for long works deeply analyzing (and IMO fetishizing) works of fiction and their writers. (The reason I like the Gardner book on Alice so much is because of pointing out all of the “hidden” cultural references that would have been perfectly obvious to a Victorian British schoolchild but are perfectly obscure now. And the hidden math. Annotations to explain references that are no longer obvious are fine with me.)

  9. @Dawn Incognito – oh thanks for the tip, and it’s available from the LCBO, nice! I wish I liked beer, it’s not beer’s fault, I just can’t tolerate certain types of bitterness (I have a similiar problem with most wines) and the closest I get is hopped apple cider like the delicious stuff from Applewood Winery in Stouville (they also make some great fruit wines and the BEST apple meads one could ask for, it’s like drinking liquid sunshine)

  10. Re: (7) ” . . . I have always maintained that home brewers are the people most like fans who are not fans.”

    In my part of the world (Hampshire, England) there’s significant overlap between the memberships of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale; Portsmouth & South East Hants, and South Hants branches) and SF/Fantasy Fandom (the South Hants Science Fiction Group). It’s a running joke that if you want to discuss SF, you go to CAMRA events, and if you want to talk beer, you come to SHSFG meetings.

    In passing, the mentions of the prestigious Pissoir D’Or point up a difference in UK and USA xanthophilist terminology. In the UK, Real Ale is by definition dispensed from a “cask” (in which it has undergone a secondary fermentation from live yeast (thus providing dissolved CO2 or “finish”), but not pressurization from extraneous CO2 even as a serving aid) – a “keg” is by contrast a container for beerish substances that have been pasteurized, filtered and artificially re-pressurized with CO2, and is anathema.

  11. @Terry Hunt

    There’s more than a little of that in the US state of Minnesota as well.

  12. I finished Kameron Hurley’s The Geek Feminist. Definitely recommend it. First book added to my list for next year’s Hugo nominations in related work. I highlighted quite a number of sentences and even entire paragraphs. I’m going to need to reread the book to process all of it. I’m not sure what it was about the book but I felt old reading it – weird. I think I’m ~15 years older than Hurley.

    I’m now rereading Blindspot by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald as the stuff which went down in Florida this weekend combined with Hurley’s book has me thinking a lot about unconscious biases and the kindle version was on sale at Amazon for $2.99 today.

  13. Cassy B on June 13, 2016 at 11:59 am said:

    Rose Embolism: What Joe H said. If there’s no close quote, the following open-quote is assumed to be from the same speaker. This is helpful when you have a character pontificating for several paragraphs. Or pages. You don’t need dialog attribution cues, like “he continued” or “she pontificated”…

    I’ve not seen it with parenthetical asides, but then, parenthetical asides rarely go on for paragraphs, so I might just have missed it.

    Oh, I’ve seen it with parenthetical asides. I’ve forgotten which (very annoying) author introduced me to this, but I’ve definitely seen it.

  14. Read Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, for an extreme example of quotations that go on for multiple paragraphs (chapters, even). The bit in the middle when Marlow stops the story for a moment to relight his cigarette never fails to freak readers out if they don’t notice that the enormous long quotation came to an end.

    There are parts of the Revised Standard Version of the King James Bible which have quotes inside quotes inside quotes that go on for multiple paragraphs, meaning that each new paragraph starts with a “‘” for a while. It gets into this mess because it has sections that start off like this:

    (speaker) said, “The Lord hath said unto me, ‘Go to the people and tell them, “Your doom is sure! . . .

    I’ve never seen it done with parentheses, but it makes some sense.

  15. @Terry Hunt

    All but the real old-guard accept that bottle-conditioned beer is real ale too. CAMRA even have a “CAMRA says this is real ale” logo to clearly identify bottle-conditioned beers.

    For those who may not be familiar with the term bottle-conditioned beer undergoes a secondary fermentation after bottling.

  16. Then you everyone, It’s actuallya little disturbing they I just got around to noticing that technique.

    Anyway, still enjoying Roses and Rot, though I have a little bit of the fantasy equivalent of “Uh uh, don’t go up those steps, don’t open that door” going on. I guess I’m more used to modern fantasy where the literary allusions are more subtle and complex, like say “Fire and Hemlock” or “All Our Pretty Songs”, or “The Sumner King”.

    I’m also wondering if the more obvious portrayal of what’s going on is why this book is more popular on GoodReads. Maybe more on that later.

    Anyway, still enjoying it.

  17. I’ve seen the ISS in the middle of a metro area. It’s often brighter than any stars or planets, right up there with low-flying airplanes. Not in the middle of a big city (although if in a big enough park far enough from lights, maybe), but easily done in suburban areas, esp. with the yellow streetlights if the night is clear.

    I’m another non-Potterite, but friends who are adult Potter fans rave endlessly about the Wizarding part of the amusement park and have spent great amounts of money there. They say that children are completely overwhelmed by how realistic (if one can use that word in this context) it is and really really love it.

    The subsequent paragraph quotes have been standard practice for as long as I’ve known there was a standard practice. I’m used to it enough that when… erm… less-technically inclined or badly edited authors do the opposite, it’s confusing, particularly when the characters in the conversation are holding differing opinions or amounts of information. I don’t think I’ve come across multiple-page parenthetical asides, thankfully.

    Being both a super-taster for bitter, and somewhat allergic to hops, I am not a beer person. Nasty stuff. Some of the varieties sound quite nice until they muck them up with those icky hops. Beer without hops and coffee (pleh) that tastes like it smells would be fine with me.

  18. Finally finished “The Ziggurat”. My stomach hurts. I feel like it was played a little too straight. I’ve read the theories about the ending, and am highly conflicted. Part of me wants to reread for clues, and part of me recoils in horror. So if that was Wolfe’s intent, mission accomplished.

  19. Dawn Incognito: Finally finished “The Ziggurat”. My stomach hurts. I feel like it was played a little too straight. I’ve read the theories about the ending, and am highly conflicted. Part of me wants to reread for clues, and part of me recoils in horror. So if that was Wolfe’s intent, mission accomplished.

    I went and looked up a synopsis, after you first mentioned it. I don’t think it’s something I’m going to be hunting down.

  20. @lurkertype: I’ve seen the ISS several times in the middle of Houston, a city that almost defines “light pollution”, so I conclude that you can see it almost anywhere.

  21. Oh, yeah. I remember living in Houston and thinking “It’s a clear night tonight. I can make out the edges of the moon.”

  22. @darren Yeah. I grew up in NYC and was a city-oriented sort. I really didn’t get to see a decent night sky outside of a planetarium show for a long time.

  23. @ andyl

    Yes, I completely concur with that, but I didn’t want to digress into further forms of containers such as bottles or beer boxes (usually used for beer “dropped bright” as otherwise the pressure build-up might prove calamitous).

  24. @ lurkertype

    Look out for mild ale. This was traditionally brewed with no or little hops (hence the name – nothing to do with strength): modern versions vary in hoppiness, but some are fairly hop free. Sarah Hughes’ Dark Ruby Mild, brewed at the Beacon Hotel in Sedgley, is one of my favourites.

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