Pixel Scroll 6/24/16 Porcupine Tree’s Yellow Pixel Dreamscroll

(1) BREXIT. J. K. Rowling’s response to the Brexit voting reports was –

“Death Eaters are everywhere,” said Micheline Hess.

(2) BRIXIT. Caption: “Live scenes from the Channel tunnel.”

View post on imgur.com

(3) BEAT THE RUSH. Buzzfeed found “19 People Who Are Moving To Australia Now That Britain Is Leaving Europe”. One of them is ours.

  1. This person who was so prepared to move to Australia that they already did it.

(4) AUF WIEDERSEHEN. So who’s cheering the outcome? Vox Day, naturally: “England and Wales choose freedom”.

The Fourth Reich is rejected by a narrow margin, 52 percent to 48 percent, thanks to the actual British people, who outvoted the invaders, the traitors, the sell-outs, and the Scots….

(5) IMPORT DUTY. And Marko Kloos has his joke ready.

(6) THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE. Darth Vader will be back in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and James Earl Jones will be back as Darth’s voice.

The original Sith Lord is back. A new cover story from Entertainment Weekly confirms plenty of details for this winter’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but there’s one long-rumored detail that’s sure to have fans breathing heavily: Darth Vader will return in the new film.

It only makes sense that Anakin Skywalker would once again plague the Rebellion in Rogue One. The plot of the film sees a band of ragtag Rebel fighters tracking down plans for the Death Star from the original Star Wars trilogy. The planet-sized weapon was Vader’s pet project, so seeing him again isn’t a total surprise. Still, it’s nice to finally have the information 100% locked in after months of speculation.

Update: It gets better. EW has also confirmed that James Earl Jones will be returning to voice Vader in Rogue One. Jones reprised the role for the animated Star Wars Rebels recently, but this will mark a big return to the silver screen. However, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy cautioned fans not to expect Vader to be a prominent presence in Rogue One. “He will be in the movie sparingly. But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.” Well, he only had 12 minutes of screen time in the original Star Wars, and look how that turned out.

(7) PAT CADIGAN UPDATE. Yesterday Pat Cadigan told about a great doctor’s report in “Yeah, Cancer––Keep Running, You Little B!tch”.

My oncologist was smiling broadly  even before she called my name.

The level of cancer in my body has fallen again, this time very slightly. The rest of my tests are perfect. Unquote; she said perfect. She also likes my I’m Making Cancer My B!tch t-shirt. I am killing this cancer thing.

Maybe people’s reaction was too effusive. Pat thought they got the wrong idea, so today she wrote, “I Think I Have To Clarify Something”.

Which is to say, I still have cancer, and unless something miraculous happens, I will always have cancer. Recurrent endometrial cancer (aka recurrent uterine cancer) is inoperable, incurable, and terminal. There are something like four different forms (I think it’s four) and I have the one with the worst prognosis.

However, it is treatable. My cancer cells have progesterone receptors, which means that doses of progesterone can keep it stabilised at a low level. For how long? Impossible to say. Could be months. Could be a few years. Could be more than a few years. Nobody knows…just like someone without cancer. Technically, I’m still terminal but now the more accurate term would be incurable. My own preference is incorrigible.

(8) HE SAYS GIVE THANKS. Peter David has this take on the Star Trek fan film guidelines.

So thanks mostly to the efforts of the “Axanar” people, the guys who raised a million bucks to produce a “Star Trek” based film which resulted in a lawsuit, Paramount has now issued specific guidelines for anyone who wants to make a Trek fan film. And naturally fans are unhappy about it.

My response?

You guys are damned lucky.

When I was producing a “Star Trek” fanzine back in the 1970s, Paramount issued a decree: No one could write “Star Trek” fanfic. It was copyright infringement, plain and simple, and not to be allowed. At one convention I attended, Paramount lawyers actually came into the dealer’s room and confiscated peoples’ fanzines from right off their tables.

The fact that they loosened up to the degree that they have should be something fan filmmakers should feel damned grateful for….

(9) MEANWHILE CAPTAIN KIRK IS OUT OF WORK. At the Saturn Awards, William Shatner told a reporter he’s up for it.

Shatner, 85, spoke to reporters at the Saturn Awards in Los Angeles, and confirmed that he will not appear in “Star Trek Beyond,” according to the Belfast Telegraph.

But when asked about future movies, the actor was willing.

“We’d all be open to it, but it’s not going to happen,” he said. “”The fans would love to see it. Have them write to [‘Star Trek Beyond’ producer] J.J. Abrams at Paramount Studios.”

(10) COMIC BOOK ART. M.D. Jackson continues answering “Why Was Early Comic Book Art so Crude? (Part 3)” at Amazing Stories. By now, things are looking up –

[At Marvel] The artists excelled at creating dynamic panels. More than just men in tights who beat up bad guys, the Marvel heroes had depth and the art reflected that. Unusual angles and lighting effects were explored and the character’s expressions had to relay the complex emotions they were feeling (even when they were wearing a mask).

(11) WHERE THE BOYS ARE. Vox Day saw the Yahoo! Movies post about the Moana trailer disguising that it’s a princess movie (guess where?) and made a trenchant comment in “The Disney bait-and-switch” at Vox Popoli.

Boys don’t want to see movies about princesses. Boys don’t want to read books about romances either. But rather than simply making movies that boys want to see and publishing books that boys want to read, the SJWs in Hollywood and in publishing think that the secret to success is making princess movies and publishing romances, then deceiving everyone as to the content.


  • June 24, 1997 — The U.S. Air Force officials release a 231-page report dismissing long-standing claims of an alien spacecraft crash in Roswell, New Mexico, almost exactly 50 years earlier.


  • June 24, 1947 – Peter Weller, of Buckaroo Banzai fame.


  • Bela Lugosi’s appearance in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) would be only the second time he appeared as Dracula on screen. It would also be his last time to do so.


(16) RULES OF THE ROAD. Alexandra Erin, in “The Internet Is Not Your Global Village”, experiments with a solution to a chronic shortcoming of social media.

Now, I don’t have a detailed set of guidelines or proposed social mores for interacting with people online to go with this observation. I can tell you this: the ones we use for offline interactions don’t work, and any proposed rule needs to take into account the vast differences between online interactions and offline ones.

So let’s take a quick stab at formulating some….

You Having Something To Say Is Not The Same As Me Having Something To Hear

If you and I are having a conversation and what I say sparks some kind of personal connection with you, then by all means, you take that tangent and you run with it. I mean, there are nuances and shades… if I’m talking about the time my true love got caught in a bear trap along with a bear who mauled them to death while a swarm of bees enraged by the bear stealing honey stung them both, further aggravating the bear, and you say, “Yeah, speaking of pain, that reminds me of the time I got a paper cut. Hurt like anything, it did!”… well, I think most people would say that’s a bit boorish.

But if we’re just talking, and I mention a frustration and you’re like, “I know what that’s like, [similar experience]”… that’s a conversation.

(17) TESTING FOR TWANG. When an author decides to have nasal surgery, it’s always nice to have it reviewed in full multimedia fashion as Mary Robinette Kowal does in “What do I sound like after surgery? Like this…”

I’ve been very pleased that I still look like myself. The swelling will keep going down, albeit more slowly. The big question though is… what do I sound like? As an audiobook narrator, this was one of the things I was worried about since mucking about with the nose and sinuses can change resonance.

So, here, for your amusement, are four recordings of me reading the same piece of text….

(18) ANIME NEXT. Petréa Mitchell brings the harvest home early with her “Summer 2016 Anime Preview” at Amazing Stories.

Just when you’re all settled into the routine of one anime season, it’s time for another! Here’s what the sf world will get to see from the anime world in July.

(19) FRANK OR VITRIOLIC? the Little Red Reviewer asks a question to begin “On writing negative reviews”

Hey blogger buddies – do you write negative reviews? And what I mean by a negative review isn’t “this book sucks”, it’s “this book didn’t work for me and let me tell you why”. A well written negative review tells you just as much information about the book about a positive review. When I write critical / negative reviews, it’s mostly to talk about why I bounced off a book, or why I though the book was problematic. Oftentimes, it’s a book that the majority of readers really enjoyed, perhaps the book even won a ton of awards, but really, really didn’t work for me. Any of my friends will tell you I’m not the kind of person to sugar coat. If I think something didn’t work on some level, I’m going to say so. If I was offended by something, or thought it was boring, or thought the POV switches weren’t clear, I’m going to say so. If a book made me, personally, feel like the world of that book is not a world I would be welcome in, I’m going to say that too.

I do not write negative reviews to dig at an author, or to convince others not to read that author’s books…

(20) SHOULD WE? Krysta at Pages Unbound Reviews asks “Why Aren’t We Talking about Religious Diversity?”

However, religious diversity is regularly glossed over in discussions of representations or is regularly dismissed by those who find a character of faith to be “too preachy” or don’t want religion “shoved down their throats.”  This attitude does a disservice to the many people of faith throughout the world who would also like to see themselves reflected in characters in books.  It assumes that the presence of an individual of faith is, by nature, overbearing, unwelcome, and oppressive–that is, apparently an individual is allowed to have a faith as long as no one else has the misfortune of knowing about it.

However, despite the lack of characters of faith in modern and mainstream literature, a majority of the world identifies with some form of religion.  The Pew Research Group in 2010 determined that 16.3% of respondents were not affiliated with any sort of religion.  The other ~83% identified with a religious group.  That is, in any group of ten people, you could theoretically assume eight were religious.  And yet religion remains absent in most YA and MG books.

But, for many individuals, religion is more than an abstract belief in a higher deity.  Religion is something that affects one’s philosophy, one’s actions, one’s daily life.

(21) MAYBE A LITTLE AFRAID. Yahoo! Movies describes the Ghostbusters theme remake.

Paul Feig’s reboot of Ghostbusters gives everything a full redo — including, it turns out, the classic, catchy, campy theme song by Ray Parker Jr. The theme song as revamped by Fall Out Boy with Missy Elliott, released this morning (hear it above), abandons the bright pop past in favor of a darker guitar-heavy dose of alternative/mid-2000s emo angst. Be prepared to hear this song in various Hot Topics for the next couple of weeks/months/years.


(22) THE MYSTERIOUS EAST. A surprising objective of Russian technological research? The BBC explains in “Beam me up, Prime Minister”.

A popular Russian paper said that a governmental working group was meeting up to discuss the national technological development programme. The programme envisages, among other things, that by 2035 Russia will develop its own programming language, secure communications systems and… teleportation.

For the initial stage of the programme development, 2016-18, the agency responsible is seeking about 10bn roubles (£100m) in financing.

There was an online reaction to this bold statement. Russian internet users reacted in all kinds of different ways, from disbelief, to amazement to sarcasm.

…In another typical comment, popular user “Dyadyushka Shu” joked about money being “teleported” away from Russia: “Experiments in teleportation have been going on in Russia for a long time – billions of dollars have already been successfully teleported to Panama offshores.”

Spoiler Warning: Chip Hitchcock explains, “Really only at the quantum level, but handled so clumsily that the satirists had a field day.”

(23) QUEASINE. Is this what Death Eaters snack on?

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, and Dave Doering for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Simon Bisson.]

208 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/24/16 Porcupine Tree’s Yellow Pixel Dreamscroll

  1. Mike: I can only plead sleeping pills, which worked better and sooner than I thought they would. Yow! I was face down till 1 PM. Apologies to all. My bad.

    The post in question seemed to be all about needing to see more representation of Christians in US literature. And despite a lot of rhetoric, Christians are NOT repressed in the US at this time. They’re the 70% super-majority, and so many of them are trying to jam their particular interpretation of the Bible into law.

    Tasha and Standback do have a legit complaint: there aren’t a lot of Orthodox Jews in fiction that isn’t all about them being Jewish in a Jewishly way doing Orthodox things. Not running around to department stores and surfing the internet and changing their car’s oil. When they are represented, they’re usually Haredim and Lubavichers, not average Jews.

    Muslims have it even worse — when’s the last time you saw them in fiction not being all terroristic, wife-beating, etc. other than Ms. Marvel? Going around the supermarket, the Muslim housewives in my neighborhood don’t look or act any different from me except they’re wearing more clothes in summer and don’t buy pork. At home, I’m sure their lives are very different (I don’t pray 5 times a day), but again, they’re average people in public. I go to one Muslim grocery enough and learned the rules that I’m now seen as a semi-regular and get served only after elderly women, women wrangling children, and others who get deferred to by most societies — and ahead of people younger than me, even if they speak the language. Young men are not rude to me there, and I like it! 🙂

    And Hindus, Sikhs, etc. get basically nothing. Practitioners of Vodun and Santeria only show up to kill animals and cast evil curses. I’ve never seen any Falun Gong members written about except in terms of their persecution and imprisonment; it doesn’t look much like my next-door neighbors with their neat lawn and new Prius. We can only come up with a couple of Rasta examples.

    Plus our European correspondents have shown that banging on about any religion is mighty weird and not true to life at all for them. It’d make a book much less believable. Yet the opposite is true in the US; like LGBTQ, a lot more atheists are out online than IRL.

    So the article was… mmm… not as helpful as it could be, with some problematic starting assumptions.

  2. @Microtherion

    At first, I thought you surely must be hyperbolic, but looking at the name statistics, there definitely seems to be big discrepancy between Germany and Switzerland in that respect: “Daniel” was the second most popular boy’s name in Switzerland in the 50s and 60s, and does not make the top 100 in Germany. “Jakob” was top 50 in Switzerland in the 1940s, not in the top 150 in Germany. “David” far more popular in Switzerland. Even “Josef” with an extremely strong catholic tradition was far more popular in Switzerland. The one exception I can think of was “Michael” which was #1 in Germany in the 1950s and #2 in the 1960s, not quite as popular as in Switzerland.

    Michael is the one big outlier of an Old Testament name that was very popular in 1950s, 60s and 70s Germany and beyond. No idea why. You could also include Andreas probably, though that is New Testament.

    Oddly enough, Daniela was a popular girl’s name in the 1970s, but you rarely find people named Daniel before the 1980s. Ditto for David. And Jakob needed even longer to regain its popularity.

    @Heather Rose Jones
    For Jewish writers that academically inclined people might have read in the early 19th century, the most obvious name is philosopher Moses Mendelsohn. There is also Rafael Levi, mathematician and astronomer. Rahel Varnhagen nee Rahel Levin, who ran a literary salon in Berlin in the late 18th/early 19th century, is another possibility, though most of her literary output consisted of diaries and letters that wouldn’t have been published until later.

    A bit later, there is also Ludwig Philippson, who founded an important Jewish newspaper in Germany, wrote about politics and religion and also penned a historical novel about Jews in 16th century Spain, but he wasn’t active until the 1830s.

  3. lurkertype: The post in question seemed to be all about needing to see more representation of Christians in US literature. And despite a lot of rhetoric, Christians are NOT repressed in the US at this time. They’re the 70% super-majority, and so many of them are trying to jam their particular interpretation of the Bible into law.

    The article’s fallacy is implying writers as a whole should be rectifying a statistical imbalance — if it’s a majoritarian view, won’t that take care of itself? — just as your fallacy is treating Christians as a monolithic group even as you divide and subdivide the examples of other faiths.

  4. I’m not sure why it’s surprising that Michael appears where other Judaic names do not; like Gabriel, it’s been taken over by Christianity (cf St. Michael’s Mount in SW England, and Mont St. Michel in western France). I would guess that even people looking for Jewish names to persecute would hesitate to assume someone named after the Defender or the Annunciator is not Christian.

  5. @Mike:

    The article’s fallacy is implying writers as a whole should be rectifying a statistical imbalance — if it’s a majoritarian view, won’t that take care of itself?

    Part of the narrative of a slice of Christianity in the US is that they are under threat; the fact that they are a majority doesn’t matter because they think that majority is fading much faster than it is, or because most of the population aren’t “real” Christians. They’re also ignoring the directive of their prophet not to make a show of their faith; there could be plenty of people in books who are truer to the words of Yeshua bin Yussuf (rather than his many subsequent interpreters)(*) than any of the people Krysta cites; they just aren’t being visible — an option not available to (most of?) the minorities with which she’s seeking ]parity[.

    cf Simak’s TIme and Again

  6. Chip: I often think about a discussion I had with a friend after reading his historical Civil War novel in which I pointed out that even though he had the Freemasons in there, he had absolutely zero representation among any of his characters of the widespread religious life many people had at that time. He made it clear that he was writing what he was interested in having his book about, and religious characters weren’t it. That was a significant erasure.

    If the author of that article is only arguing that the prevalence of various religions in human culture should be reflected in fiction, that’s one thing, and as has been pointed out there are quite a few sf/f stories with religious cultures, but if the argument is only a dogwhistle for writing more Christian characters into fiction, then the person needs to find people interested in doing that work. Like the story of Henny Penny — they need to get involved in the work of making the bread if they expect to have their appetite satisfied.

  7. @lurkertype:

    Practitioners of Vodun and Santeria only show up to kill animals and cast evil curses.

    Didn’t they get that right on, of all places, the old Friday the 13th TV show? I seem to recall there was one episode where, while the person with the cursed object was doing typical ‘Hollywood voodoo’, someone else showed up who actually performed Vodou in much more the way it is performed in reality, and was helping them track down the cursed item. After having to correct some misapprehensions in the main characters. (One suspects that episode was written by someone with a valid axe to grind on the subject.)

  8. Just to correct a common assumption that seems to have been repeatedly made in these comments: Krysta’s post on religious diversity is NOT a call for more Christian representation in literature. It’s not about feeling Christians are under attack or a failing majority, etc. The post (literally the point of asking for religious *diversity*) is suggesting that characters of many different religions (i.e. not only Christianity) could be represented in mainstream literature. It’s also talking primarily about representing real religions, not invented or fantasy ones, in contemporary/realistic fiction. Because real people often belong to and practice a religion, but many characters in realistic fiction from major publishing houses do not make any religion at all. It’s not suggesting that all books need to contain religion either, just proposing that publishers could expand what they’re offering and include more characters of faith in the books they choose to publish (and not just Christian characters).

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