Pixel Scroll 7/1/21 Scrolling By 40 Specially Trained Ecuadorian Mountain Pixels

(1) KGB IN TIMES TO COME. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present Nancy Kress and Kim Stanley Robinson in a YouTube livestream event on Wednesday, July 21 at 7 p.m. EDT. Link to follow. 

  • Nancy Kress

Nancy Kress is the multiple-award winner of science fiction and the occasional fantasy.  Her most recent works are the stand-alone novella Sea Change, about the genetic engineering of crops, and the space-opera The Eleventh Gate. Based in Seattle with, Nancy divides her time between writing and trying to train a very stubborn Chihuahua puppy.

  • Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson is a multi-award winner of science fiction probably best known for his Mars trilogy. His most recent novels are Red Moon and The Ministry for the Future. He lives in Davis, California.

(2) JEMISIN’S STATEMENT. Following publication of the Vox article “How Twitter Can Ruin A Life”, based on an interview with Isabel Fall, author of “I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter,” some of N. K. Jemisin’s tweets about the topic from 2020 (see the Wikipedia) have been criticized. Today Jemisin posted an explanatory “Statement on Isabel Fall comments” at her blog.

… The reporter also reached out to me while researching this article, because there’s been a lot of internet chatter about my involvement. I shared what I could with her (off the record), and since she let me know that she was in direct contact with Ms. Fall, I took the opportunity to send a private apology at that time. I had hesitated to do so publicly before this because I didn’t know if it would just bring more unwanted attention to Ms. Fall — but since we’re talking about all of this again, now seems like a good time….

Jemisin recaps in some detail what she was trying to say and what went wrong, followed by this short summary:

…I am deeply sorry that I contributed to Ms. Fall’s distress, and that I was not as thoughtful as I should have been in my response. Let me also apologize specifically to my trans and NB readers, some of whom caught flak because I RTed them, and others who may have been hurt or confused by what I said. I just should’ve done a better job of it.

By now I hope it’s clear that I never wanted to hurt Ms. Fall and was trying to offer support…. 

(3) ALIEN COMING TO TV. Vanity Fair interviews the showrunner: “New ‘Alien’ TV Series Will Be Class Warfare With Xenomorphs”.

…Now a new FX TV series based on the franchise is in the works from Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley—who says it’s about time for the facehuggers and xenomorphs to sink their claws into the white-collar executives who have been responsible for sending so many employees to their doom. 

In a conversation about the symbolism of season four of Fargo, Hawley also offered an update on the Alien series, as well as his new novel, Anthem. The show, however, will have to wait a little while, since the crush of new productions after the pandemic has consumed all of Hollywood’s resources. How appropriate….

Vanity Fair: What’s next for you? Is there a season five in the works for Fargo?

Noah Hawley: Yeah, I think so. I don’t have it yet. I have pieces that will have to survive. They’re not connected. I think it would be good to create an ending, and deliberately come to something, knowing it’s the last one and see how one might wrap up this anthology. What’s next for me, it looks like, is [an] Alien series for FX, taking on that franchise and those amazing films by Ridley Scott and James Cameron and David Fincher. Those are great monster movies, but they’re not just monster movies. They’re about humanity trapped between our primordial, parasitic past and our artificial intelligence future—and they’re both trying to kill us. Here you have human beings and they can’t go forward and they can’t go back. So I find that really interesting.

(4) SPEED READING. Cat Rambo will be part of the July 2 First Friday Quick Read Zoom event. It’s free – register at the link.

Join us for a lunchtime tasting menu of science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories written by women and non-binary authors. We’ll feature 6 authors who will each have 8 minutes to tempt and tantalizing you with their reading. Our readings are like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates – you never know what you’ll get!

(5) RADIO PLAY WINS KURD LAßWITZ AWARD. The radio play jury of Kurd Laßwitz Award has finished voting reports award trustee Udo Klotz. The winner is Der zweite Schlaf by Heinz Sommer.

  • Best German SF Radio Play First Broadcast In 2020

 (6) SFF AFTER MAO. There is a new book on Chinese sff in the 70s and 80s that readers might be interested in: Hua Li’s Chinese Science Fiction during the Post-Mao Cultural Thaw, from University of Toronto Press.

The late 1970s to the mid-1980s, a period commonly referred to as the post-Mao cultural thaw, was a key transitional phase in the evolution of Chinese science fiction. This period served as a bridge between science-popularization science fiction of the 1950s and 1960s and New Wave Chinese science fiction from the 1990s into the twenty-first century. Chinese Science Fiction during the Post-Mao Cultural Thaw surveys the field of Chinese science fiction and its multimedia practice, analysing and assessing science fiction works by well-known writers such as Ye Yonglie, Zheng Wenguang, Tong Enzheng, and Xiao Jianheng, as well as the often-overlooked tech–science fiction writers of the post-Mao thaw.

Exploring the socio-political and cultural dynamics of science-related Chinese literature during this period, Hua Li combines close readings of original Chinese literary texts with literary analysis informed by scholarship on science fiction as a genre, Chinese literary history, and media studies. Li argues that this science fiction of the post-Mao thaw began its rise as a type of government-backed literature, yet it often stirred up controversy and received pushback as a contentious and boundary-breaking genre. Topically structured and interdisciplinary in scope, Chinese Science Fiction during the Post-Mao Cultural Thaw will appeal to both scholars and fans of science fiction.

(7) TIME LIMIT. A trailer has dropped for the fourth and final installment of the Rebuild of EvangelionEvangelion: 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon A Time.

The fourth and final installment of the Rebuild of Evangelion. Misato and her anti-Nerv group Wille arrive in Paris, a city now red from core-ization. Crew from the flagship Wunder land on a containment tower. They only have 720 seconds to restore the city. When a horde of Nerv Evas appear, Mari’s improved Eva Unit 8 must intercept. Meanwhile, Shinji, Asuka, and Rei wander around Japan.

(8) MARS IN CULTURE. “Exploring the Red Planet through History and Culture” with Nick Smith (past President of LASFS) will be hosted by the Pasadena Museum of History. This free virtual presentation* will be available for viewing Thursday, July 22 through Sunday, July 25. Sign up for email notification here.

The planet Mars has long been connected to humankind through religions, literature, and science. Join Nick Smith, guest curator of PMH’s 2018 exhibition Dreaming the Universe, to explore our fascination with Earth’s neighboring planet, and discover some of the many ways Mars is part of our culture. 

This free virtual presentation* will be available for viewing Thursday, July 22 through Sunday, July 25. An email with the link to the presentation will be sent to all of our email subscribers on Thursday, July 22.

*Pre-recorded presentation from Spring ArtNight 2021.

(9) RESOURCES FOR HORROR FICTION SCHOLARSHIP. The University of Pittsburgh library system announced the acquisition of the papers of Linda Addison, Kathe Koja, and the archives of the Horror Writers Association: “University of Pittsburgh Library System Acquires Additional Archives for its Horror Studies Collection”/

…The ULS has acquired the papers of Linda D. Addison, the most decorated horror poet today with a total of six Bram Stoker literary awards. Addison became the first African American writer to win a Stoker in 2001 for her collection, Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes and has also received the Lifetime Achievement (2018) and Mentor of the Year (2016) Awards from the Horror Writers Association as well as the title Grand Master from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (2020). Her poetry explores themes of race, gender, loss, struggle, hope, and the resiliency of humanity through a lyrical style that employs both traditional horror tropes of the supernatural as well as stark realism. Her archive will include drafts and manuscripts of her poetry as well as ephemera such as convention programs and awards which help demonstrate her impact on the genre. On her hopes that her archive will inspire others, she says:

“Having my writing journey from journals, through edits to final versions, become part of the University of Pittsburgh Horror Studies Collection is a dream, I never imagined, come true! To think that others, studying my process, could find value and inspiration will allow my work to safely exist past the length of my life, is an incredible blessing.”

The ULS has also acquired the papers of Kathe Koja, who is a true iconoclast whose works push boundaries, expand our conceptions of horror, and prove that horror is indeed a true literary genre. Her first novel, The Cipher (1991), won both a Bram Stoker Award and Locus Award and solidified her impact as a force within new horror. She employs a striking and unique prose style to explore themes of alienation and social isolation as well as transcendence, often through art. Her collection will include drafts, manuscripts, and notes from her novels and short stories. On her decision to establish her archive at the University of Pittsburgh, Koja said:

“A book is its writing as well as its words: the thoughts and notes and drafts and edits (and edits, and edits) that comprise the final text. To have all that making made available for scholars, readers, and fans of horror literature is a real boon, and I’m beyond delighted that my own horror novels will now be available this way.”

Lastly, the ULS has acquired the archives of the Horror Writers Association (HWA), the premiere professional organization for writers working in the genre.  This collection, established by current HWA President John Palisano with support from former President Lisa Morton, documents the history of the organization through its newsletters, convention booklets and programs, and other published materials. Collectively, these materials illustrate the work of the HWA, as well as the community it has built. The HWA has been the main space for writers working within the genre to collect and collaborate since the late 1980s and has issued the Bram Stoker literary awards since 1987 at yearly conventions, such as the World Horror Convention and, since 2016, StokerCon.

(10) HUGO NOMINEE IS PLEASED. Best Professional Artist Hugo finalist Maurizio Manzieri tweeted –


2003 – Eighteen years ago, Iain M. Banks’ only non-fiction book was published. It was Raw Spirit: In Search of The Perfect Dram. Of course he published it as Iain Banks as only his SF was under published under Iain M. Banks. It was his tour of the small whisky distilleries of Scotland in the small red sports coupe that he’d bought with the advance from the publisher who’d underwrote the entire affair on the word of Banks that it was a Great Idea. And being Banks about the Iraq War as well.  As he says in his introduction, “After doing extensive research, I can definitely tell you that single malt whiskies are good to drink”.  If you want to know more about this book, we reviewed it here at Green Man Review. And yes, it is available from the usual suspects. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 1, 1891 — Otis Adelbert Kline. Early pulp writer and and literary agent whose great claim to fame was a possibly apocryphal feud with fellow author Edgar Rice Burroughs, in which he supposedly raised the latter’s anger by producing close imitations of Burroughs’s Mars novels. Wollheim and Moskowitz believed in it having happened, Lupoff did not. (Died 1945.)
  • Born July 1, 1934 — Jean  Marsh, 87. She was married to Jon Pertwee but it was before either involved in Dr. Who. She first appeared alongside The First Doctor in “The Crusade” as Lady Joanna, the sister of Richard I (The Lionheart). She returned later that year as companion Sara Kingdom in “The Daleks’ Master Plan”. And she’d return yet again during the time of the Seventh Doctor in “Battlefield” as Morgana Le Fay. She’s also in Unearthly Stranger Dark PlacesReturn to OzWillow as Queen Bavmorda and The Changeling. (CE)
  • Born July 1, 1935 — David Prowse. The physical embodiment of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. Ok, it’s been  a very long time since I saw Casino Royale but what was Frankenstein’s Creation doing there, the character he played in his first ever role? That he played that role in The Horror of Frankenstein and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, Hammer Films a few later surprises me not. He shows up in Gilliam’s Jabberwocky according to IMDB as Red Herring and Black Knights (and no I’ve no idea what that means). Finally he’s the executioner in The People That Time Forgot, a film that’s very loosely based off of several Burroughs novels. (Died 2020.)
  • Born July 1, 1952 — Dan Aykroyd, 69. Though best known as Dr. Raymond Stantz in the original Ghostbusters films (which he wrote with Harold Ramis), he actually shows up a year earlier in his first genre role in Twilight Zone: The Movie as Passenger / Ambulance Driver. He’s reprising his role in the recent Ghostbusters 2020
  • Celebrated July 1, 1955 — Robbie the Robot. On this date in 1955, Robby the Robot was born. Or more properly constructed. Or so claims the studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, that would release Forbidden Planet, where he had his first screen appearance, on March 3, 1956 when the movie had its US premiere. He would go on to be in a number of  series including Lost in Space twice plus on The Addams FamilyThe Man from U.N.C.L.E. twice,  Twilight Zone (five appearances , mostly as toys) and Holmes & Yo-Yo to name but a few of his other  appearances. His latest appearance was on The Big Bang Theory with other movie props in “The Misinterpretation Agitation” episode. He had a memorable appearance on The New Adventures of Wonder Woman where he was the Master of Ceremonies at one of our SF Cons!  
  • Born July 1, 1962 — Andre Braugher, 59. He’s the voice of Darkseid in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse which is why he makes the Birthday list. If there’s ever proof that a great voice actor can make an animated role, this is it. It’s also a superb film. His other major genre role is as General George W. Mancheck in The Andromeda Strain series that originally aired on A&E. 
  • Born July 1, 1964 — Charles Coleman Finlay, 57. The Traitor to the Crown series is his best known work. His first story, “Footnotes”, was published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction where many of his stories have since been published. Six years the editor of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, ending in February of this year.
  • Born July 1, 1981 — Genevieve Valentine, 40. Author of the superb  Persona novel and also she scripted a Catwoman series, working with artists Garry Brown and David Messina. Her first novel, Mechanique: A tale of the Circus Tresaulti, won the Crawford Award for a first fantasy novel. She scripted a run of Xena: Warrior Princess, and scripted Batman & Robin Eternal as well. 


(14) HUGOS FROM THE HAGUE. Fanac.org now hosts a video of the ConFiction (1990) Worldcon Hugo Ceremony.  

This video, captured with a hand held camera, covers the Hugo Awards, as well as the Campbell Award for New Writers, and the fannish Big Heart and First Fandom awards. Many awards were accepted by designees for the recipients, and we see Anne McCaffrey and Jack Chalker among those accepting for others. There’s a bit of humor from Dave Langford, and appearances by the American Ambassador to the Netherlands, C. Howard Wilkins. The World Science Fiction Society Banner, first hung at NyCon II in 1956, makes its appearance, and the video ends with the traditional view of all the recipients on stage. The video was recorded by John Cramer, provided by Tom Whitmore and used with the permission of Kees van Toorn, Chairman of ConFiction.

(15) SHAT TRADES SMACK. Shat gets into trouble by being a host on Russian propaganda network RT.“Star Trek Icon William Shatner Spars With Journalists About His New Show on Kremlin TV” says The Daily Beast.

Star Trek star William Shatner has taken to Twitter to trade blows with journalists who called him out for hosting a new show on the Kremlin’s notorious state-funded network, RT.

Earlier this week, the 90-year-old Canadian actor—known for taking on the legendary role Captain James Kirk in the Star Trek saga—announced he would be hosting a new general talk show on the American branch of RT called “I Don’t Understand,” where he’ll be posing questions to guests on a variety topics. The show is set to debut later this month.

Alexey Kovalev, an investigative editor for Meduza—one of the most popular independent Russian-language news outlets—had some choice words for Shatner on his work with the network.

“Quick reminder about [RT’s] views and editorial policies @WilliamShatner is now endorsing (whether he wants to or not),” he tweeted on Thursday, linking to a thread that ends with “Don’t go on RT, unless you are okay with sharing a mic with some of the most vile racist degenerates out there. It’s not a legitimate media platform. It has no redeeming qualities. And if no other platform will have you, then you really shouldn’t have *any* platform.”

Those comments seem to have hit a nerve with Shatner, who wrote back, “Perhaps instead of rebuking me with facts that have zero influence on my show, a better use of your time would be to move? It seems that you being in Moscow means you are directly supporting the very regime you are berating me about. #hypocrite.”…

(16) POE’S SCIENCE REPORTING. Daniel Engber reviews John Tesch’s Poe biography The Reason for the Darkness of the Night: Edgar Allan Poe and the Forging of American Science in “Edgar Allan Poe’s Other Obsession” at The Atlantic.

…By 1840, Poe was working at a men’s magazine, where he launched a feature called “A Chapter on Science and Art,” consisting of the sorts of squibs on innovation later found in Popular Mechanics. (“A gentleman of Liverpool announces that he has invented a new engine,” one entry started.) With this column, Tresch suggests, “Poe made himself one of America’s first science reporters.” He also made himself one of America’s first popular skeptics—a puzzle master and a debunker, in the vein of Martin Gardner. Poe wrote a column on riddles and enigmas, and he made a gleeful habit of exposing pseudoscience quacks….

(17) RAILGUN R.I.P. The idea got a lot of media attention, however, they’re going another direction: “Navy ditches futuristic railgun, eyes hypersonic missiles” reports the AP.

The U.S. Navy pulled the plug, for now, on a futuristic weapon that fires projectiles at up to seven times the speed of sound using electricity.

The Navy spent more than a decade developing the electromagnetic railgun and once considered putting them on the stealthy new Zumwalt-class destroyers built at Maine’s Bath Iron Works.

But the Defense Department is turning its attention to hypersonic missiles to keep up with China and Russia, and the Navy cut funding for railgun research from its latest budget proposal.

“The railgun is, for the moment, dead,” said Matthew Caris, a defense analyst at Avascent Group, a consulting firm.

(18) PUNCH, BROTHERS, PUNCH WITH CARE. At the link, another fabulous Middle-Earth transit map, from 2018 – “One does not simply walk into Mordor” by artist Christian Tate.

Middle Earth map commissioned for Empire Magazine plotting the journeys of Tolkien’s key characters through Peter Jackson’s six films of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies.

(19) A REALLY SHORT HOBBIT. Brenton Dickieson introduces readers to “The First Animated Hobbit, and Other Notes of Tolkienish Nonsense” at A Pilgrim in Narnia. The film runs about 11 minutes.

…Rembrandt Films had purchased film rights to produce a film by 1967, but a Hollywood feature-length deal fell apart. According to the Wikipedia page, the film was produced cheaply and quickly–Mythmoot lore places it at 7-10 days–and premiered on the last day that the contract, paying people to see the film. Having fulfilled the contract, they were able to return rights to Tolkien, opening possibilities for future adaptations, including the 1977 animation (which I call “the cute Hobbit” in my mind), and the trilogy epic of the fairy tale in the early 2010s by Peter Jackson, which some may have heard about….

(20) VIDEO OF THE DAY. The HISHE series says this is “How Godzilla vs Kong Should Have Ended”.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, Shao Ping, N., Tom Becker, Daniel Dern, JJ, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Jon Meltzer.]

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36 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/1/21 Scrolling By 40 Specially Trained Ecuadorian Mountain Pixels

  1. (17) A railgun-using USS Zumwalt is featured in Singer and Cole’s The Ghost Fleet, btw.

  2. First?
    And while I’ve got the floor, I’d like to impose on the Filer hive mind for help in locating a story I read once approaching 50 years ago (and it wasn’t a new story then.)
    In the story, a time traveler from the far future is amazed at the number of rules, regulations, and taboos in the contemporary culture he visits. He tells the narrator his people follow only two “commandments”: 1. Thou shalt not offend thy neighbor, and 2. Thou shalt not be too easily offended.
    As you might guess, I’ve had occasion to want to quote this a number of times in recent conversations and would like to do so accurately.
    I halfway think it might be by Sturgeon, just because it sounds like him, but some weird almost-memory makes me want to attribute it to Robert Bloch, even though most of his time travel stories were jokey affairs.

  3. (12) Dan Aykroyd spells his name with the y not the c, as far as I know. That’s how I’ve always seen it spelled.


    Manzieri has been doing such excellent work for more than 2 decades, that I was sure he’d have been a Pro Artist finalist before, but this is his first time. It’s delightful to see him so happy at this recognition.

  5. 12) You’re selling Dave Prowse’s genre career very short there; he appeared as a half-naked silver-painted android in The Tomorrow People, as the Minotaur in the Doctor Who story “The Time Monster”, as Hotblack Desiato’s bodyguard in the TV version of The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, as a bemused weightlifter in the low-power superhero show The Champions… and that’s all just off the top of my head. And, of course, he was known to a generation as the road safety superhero, the Green Cross Code Man. We shall not look upon his like again.

  6. (12) Jean Marsh was memorable as the very feminine robotic companion to Jack Warden in one of the very earliest Twilight Zone episodes. (Yes, I wrote this last year too.)

    (And it’s Harold Ramis, not Raimis.)


  7. Andrew-
    Yes! That has to be what I was almost remembering! Thank you! I was as pretty sure I’d get an answer, but didn’t dream it would come that quickly.

  8. Steve Leavell: He tells the narrator his people follow only two “commandments”: 1. Thou shalt not offend thy neighbor, and 2. Thou shalt not be too easily offended.
    As you might guess, I’ve had occasion to want to quote this a number of times in recent conversations and would like to do so accurately.

    While you’re at it, make sure that you quote the rest of the traveler’s statement:
    “It wouldn’t be any good trying to run our society under a pair of laws like that.”

  9. While on Saturday Night Live, Aykroyd did a number of sketches that are genre-ish. The “Star Trek” sketch, where he played McCoy, is likely the most famous, but he was in Twilight Zone parodies (as Rod Serling); parodied Vincent Price; and was in “Coneheads” sketches as Beldar.

  10. Jean Marsh was the host for the International Animation Festival, which ran on PBS in the 1960s. Not exactly genre, although some of the films probably had fantastic elements.

    My theory on Casino Royale is that the producers had seen the last episode of The Prisoner and thought that it made entirely too much sense.

  11. 7) I assure you, that makes sense in context.

    15) Hidden away somewhere is a portrait of Shatner. In it, he looks very very old, very very wise, very very kind, and very very polite.

  12. Steve Leavell & Andrew (not Werdna): I was curious what/who the story/writer was, so I followed the link.

    “J.T. McIntosh” was a bit of a surprise, but mainly because he’s little remembered these days. He was an old favorite of my wife Hilde, though, and whenever we hit up a used book store, always kept a lookout for McIntosh titles we didn’t have.

    The Wikipedia article on McIntosh quotes Clute as saying McIntosh’s early work was the most creative. Seems reasonable; Hilde’s favorite JTM is probably Rule of the Pagbeasts aka The Fittest. One In Three Hundred also got multiple re-reads by her. Both were among his earliest works.

    Looks like a large portion of his work is now available in ebook from the Big River and other sources.

  13. 17) After reading today’s scroll I read a few chapters of Our Past The Stars by K.B.Wagers and within minutes railguns were mentioned twice. Synchronudity at work

  14. Robby the Robot also appeared in Columbo. Many of his cases involved the murderer using state of the art tech to set up the alibi, assuming nobody – especially not a rumpled detective – would figure out how it worked. But this episode pushed it all the way into genre.

  15. 11) I recall Banks relating that, when it became known that he was to tour whisky distilleries writing a book, friends asked ‘Dae ye need any hulp wi’ tha”

  16. Ken Richards says I recall Banks relating that, when it became known that he was to tour whisky distilleries writing a book, friends asked ‘Dae ye need any hulp wi’ tha”

    Yeah, he tells that story in the book:

    ‘Banksie, hi. What you up to?’
    ‘Well, I’m going to be writing a book about whisky.’
    ‘You’re what?’
    ‘I’m going to be writing a book about whisky. I’ve been, umm, you know, commissioned. To write a book about it. About whisky. Malt whisky, actually.’ ‘You’re writing a book about whisky?’ ‘Yeah. It means I have to go all over Scotland, driving mostly, but taking other types of transport – ferries, planes, trains, that sort of thing – visiting distilleries and tasting malt whisky. With expenses, obviously.’
    ‘You serious?’
    ‘Course I’m serious!’
    ‘Oh yeah.’
    ‘… Do you need any help with this?’

  17. @Steve: Glad to help. I posted my reply last night just before heading off to sleep, so I didn’t elaborate, but “You Were Right, Joe” was a story I’d spent many years only vaguely remembering and trying to find; I first read it in the 1970s in The Fourth Galaxy Reader http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?40173, and when I finally tracked down another story (“Man of Distinction”) to it, and reread the Reader, I was delighted to reacquaint myself with “You Were Right, Joe,” “I Am A Nucleus,” “Name Your Symptom,” “The Bomb in the Bathtub” and several other notable stories. Good times!

  18. Andrew-
    The Galaxy anthology is probably where I encountered the story as well. I don’t recall reading McIntosh then or ever, but I did recognize the name. Anyway, thanks again.

    @OGH: Great item title!

    My question, were you thinking of Mark Twain’s story “A Literary Nightmare”, or the Homer Price story explicitly citing and referencing it, “Pie and Punch and You-Know-Whats,” (by Robert McCloskey, best known as the author of Make Way For Ducklings)?

    Or did you already know (which I hadn’t until quick pre-commenting research) that the poem/song was not original to Twain, coming from tram fair signage, songily immortalized by Isaac Bromley, Noah Brooks, W. C. Wyckoff, and Moses W. Handy. (There’s also a Wikipedia entry).

    Also, unsurprisingly, the music group Punch Brothers explicitly takes their name from said poem/song. So post, scrollers, post with care.

  20. Western celebrities and journalists who take Putin’s checks by doing shows on RT are disgraceful. William Shatner’s defense — “It seems that you being in Moscow means you are directly supporting the very regime you are berating me about” — is imbecilic. Independent Russian journalists like Alexey Kovalev are risking their lives being critical of the regime and Shatner’s calling him a hypocrite because he’s not leaving the country? Surely there are other opportunities for Shatner to make money.

  21. I don’t think that Shatner should be working on RT which has indeed promoted some awful stuff, but RT does (like US-state organs from VOA to Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty) sometimes provide neutral coverage that would be otherwise lacking, mainly through livestreams of events. Dismissing RT overall is no wiser than dismissing RFERL when it reports about Belarusian regime’s harassment of activists and journalists just because both organs came to existence to do state propaganda. Kovalev, a graduate of a British university, himself has written some questionable stuff , including this 2010 piece about bad minorities terrorizing ethnic Russians while the West says nasty things about Russia only because it supposedly doesn’t understand it etc, basically Russian version of Fox News stuff:

    “Several of my friends have been mugged, stabbed, shot at and beaten in Moscow in the last few months. In every single case, the perpetrators were groups of young men from various Caucasian republics, predominantly Dagestan, and in most cases they were released from the station without even a warning. Most Caucasian republics have their “special representatives” in other regions of Russia ready to help their compatriots in any kind of trouble, which in most cases means pulling them out of a police station. Dmitry Sokolov-Mitrich, a journalist from the Izvestia paper, argues that these special representatives’ involvement prevents proper integration of Caucasian youth into Russian society and creates a “culture of impunity”. Alexander Mityayev, also a journalist, who was beaten up with his friends in a cafe by a group of Caucasians, says the police are doing their best – to avoid starting a criminal investigation…. The few remaining Russian Orthodox churches in Northern Caucasus exist under the constant threat of being desecrated – precisely for being Russian. But hardly anyone among the Russian authorities, western media or human rights campaigners seems to acknowledge those problems. Western reporting of ethnic issues in Russia is not only unfair and one-sided, it also contributes to the problem.”

    From: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/jan/14/russians-not-racist-fair-treatment-nationalism

  22. Dismissing RT overall is no wiser than dismissing RFERL …

    I wouldn’t compare a government-funded media outlet run by an autocratic government and one run by a Western democracy. I have no qualms about dismissing every outlet bankrolled by Putin, including RT.

  23. rcade: It was nice of Kirstie Alley to not let Shatner make the dumbest comment by a Trek actor today.

  24. My favourite example of a Columbo murderer using (what was then) state-of-the-art tech in an alibi scheme was the one where a bad guy used a VCR to tape a baseball game, then played it back and persuaded a witness that the two of them were watching it live. The actor who played the murderer? William Shatner.

  25. 19: Gene Deitch? The animation director who gave us Tom Terriffic and Manfred the Wonder Dog on a shoestring budget, in the halls of Captain Kangaroo’s Treasure House? I am interested to see how he would handle The Hobbit!

    Skimming quickly through the 12-minute film, it appears to be a series of storyboard stills on an animation stand. Zooms and pans, but I didn’t spot any real movement, except for some animation effects. Lush colors, which distinguish it from Tom, and interesting design.

    I just might watch the whole thing.

  26. How is a railgun projectile traveling at seven times the speed of sound not a hypersonic missle?

  27. rochrist: Maybe I won’t pretend to know the answer to that after all, since I don’t know what all a “hypersonic missile” can do after it’s launched.

  28. To me, “missile” implies internal propulsion, projectile implies velocity was imparted, e.g., by exploding gas, arbalest, bow, a series of magnets, etc.

  29. Modern military usage seems to be a self-propelled guided weapon. Even dumb rockets without any steering don’t count as missiles, even if, in antiquity, a sling stone was a missile. So rail-gun projectiles fail both on lack of self-propulsion and on lack of steering.
    It’s probably a case of in-group members talking about “guided missiles” so much they forget that there are any other kind.

  30. Ken Richards says That was the extract I was thinking of. ‘Raw Spirit’ is the one Banks not in my collection.

    Well it is available from the usual suspects, or to be had reasonably priced in dead tree form from a lot of vendors. There’s an audiobook but alas it’s not narrated by Banks so I’ve won’t listen to it.

  31. Bill Higgins– Beam Jockey says Gene Deitch? The animation director who gave us Tom Terriffic and Manfred the Wonder Dog on a shoestring budget, in the halls of Captain Kangaroo’s Treasure House? I am interested to see how he would handle The Hobbit!

    The first episode of Tom Terrific can be seen here. There’s a fair number of them up on YouTube.

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