Pixel Scroll 7/18/22 Scroll With A Pixel Earring

I’m spending the day accompanying my mother to an in-office surgery, so this will be Scroll Lite. Cat has run up the birthdays. I hope you’ll add in the comments whatever other links of sff interest deserve to be Scrolled today.

(1) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.  

2006 [By Cat Eldridge.] Sixteen years this evening on SyFy, the Eureka series premiered. I was fascinated with it from the very first episode and watched it all the way through. Set in the fictional town of Eureka located apparently in Oregon (though it also showed up in California and Washington), the group of mad geniuses at Global Dynamics engage in creating technologies that are, well, science fictional in nature. It did not, to my surprise, get nominated for any Hugos.

SPOILER TIMER. REALLY MAJOR SPOILER! GO AWAY! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED! 

I love how it ended with our Sheriff leaving town to take his daughter to University meeting himself on the road first coming to town with her. I wonder if the co-creators of Andrew Cosby who helped found BOOM! Comics and Jaime Paglia, who go on to be the Executive Producer on The Flash series as well a writer there, had that in mind all along? It’s a very cool coda to the series.

MAJOR SPOILER DONE! NOW YOU CAN LOOK BACK. 

I was always impressed with its rather large ensemble cast and how each character managed to developed over time. And stories were allowed their proper time to unfold, no hurrying things there. And the digital effects were stellar too. 

The setting of the small town anchored of course by its cafe where everyone could encounter everyone else in the town was archetypally perfect. And really, really sweet. Pie, anyone?

I’m also please that it was allowed a proper wrap-up, so that like Farscape with The Peacekeeper Wars, we weren’t left wondering how The Story ended. 

There’s been two BOOM! Box series and three novels (Substitution MethodBrain Box Blues and Road Less Travelled). 

It’s streaming oddly enough on Peacock. NBC must have been one of the investors in SciFi as Warehouse 13 is streaming there to.  I believe it’s also free on Amazon Prime and Roku. 

(2) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 18, 1913 Red Skelton. Comedian of the first order. The Red Skelton Hour ran for three hundred and thirty-eight episodes.  I remember Freddie the Freeloader. He’s here because ISFDB says he wrote A Red Skelton in Your Closet which is also called Red Skelton’s Favorite Ghost Stories. He also has cameos in Around the World in Eighty Days and Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, both of which I consider at least genre adjacent. (Died 1997.)
  • Born July 18, 1938 Paul Verhoeven, 84. Responsible for Starship TroopersTotal Recall, Hollow Man and Robocop. He’s made films nominated for the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation three times (Starship TroopersTotal Recall and Robocop) but has not won it. 
  • Born July 18, 1943 Charles G. Waugh, 79. Anthologist who is amazingly prolific. I count over two hundred anthologies, most done with co-anthologists, and many done with Martin Greenberg. Oft times a third anthologist would be listed, i.e. Poul Anderson for Terrorists of Tomorrrow, or Isaac Asimov for Isaac Asimov’s Wonderful Worlds of Science Fiction series. His latest is Killing London done just a year co-edited with Don Wismer.
  • Born July 18, 1980 Kristen Bell, 42. Veronica Mars. Genre, well not really, but a lot of y’all watch it. A favorite series of Charles de Lint.  She also voiced Jade Wilson in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies which I highly recommend as it’s highly meta.
  • Born July 18, 1982 Priyanka Chopra, 40. As Alex Parrish in Quantico, she became the first South Asian to headline an American network drama series. Is it genre? Maybe, maybe not, though it could fit very nicely into a Strossian Dark State. Some of her work in her native India such as The Legend of Drona and Love Story 2050 is genre as is Krrish 3, an Indian SF film she was in. She’s got a key role in the Matrix Resurrections film. No, I’m not saying what it is as many of you haven’t seen it yet. 

(3) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] Stephen Fry narrates this video by advocates in Britain calling for a four-day work week.

[Thanks to Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, and Chris Barkley for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer.]

33 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/18/22 Scroll With A Pixel Earring

  1. To help fill things in (first!)

    Used Book Store Visit Debrief

    Store: Reston Book Shop (Reston, VA)

    PRIME SWAG: Heathern by Jack Womack.

    (Did not even know this book existed, let alone in mass paperback. Huzzah!)

    OTHERS (Unread)

    The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson
    The Jesus Incident by Frank Herbert
    Brightness Falls From The Air by James Tiptree Jr

    GIVEAWAY BOOK: Aristoi by Walter Jon Williams

    (This is my entry in the Shoulda Won All The Awards Competition. Just brilliant.)

  2. I loved Brightness Falls from the Sky and Aristoi (and recently reread the later).

  3. Juan Sanmiguel says Kristen Bell starred in the Hugo winning The Good Place. She was also in the genre adjacent Fanboys.

    Oh do tell me about The Good Place please.

  4. “The Good Place”: it’s really really good. The series is complete. And they stuck the landing.

    Intro: Bell’s character finds herself in an office waiting area. Ted Danson’s character tells her that she had died and is now in “The Good Place”. Problem is Bell’s character doesn’t think she deserves to be there, yet doesn’t want to fess up in case they send her to “The Bad Place”. Shenanigans ensue & what is initially a bit of a farce develops into much more. I don’t want to say much more because spoilers but I loved this series.

  5. My father was a Fullerbrush man about the time the Red Skelton movie The Fullerbrush Man came out. Dad got very sick of people on his route bringing up the movie. (Eventually, he became an actuary.)

    I got to meet Red Skelton when he was performing stand-up comedy in the late 1970s. (He was performing at Towson State — it wasn’t a university yet.) This may have been about the same time when he lost a $155,000 diamond ring at the hotel where he was staying in Towson, Maryland. Somebody found it in the snow a couple of days later and got a reward. I didn’t find a missing ring, but I did get a Red Skelton autograph. 🙂

    As far as what’s going on in the world, a controversial British editor of horror has been called out yet again for some of his comments… Sometimes, speculative fiction controversies feel like Groundhog Day.

  6. Anne Marble says As far as what’s going on in the world, a controversial British editor of horror has been called out yet again for some of his comments… Sometimes, speculative fiction controversies feel like Groundhog Day.

    I missed that story. Who was that idiot?

    I always like Red Skelton when I caught him on television. And im not a big fan of comedians in general.

  7. I went to the supermarket today and in their occasionally-present book sale bin, they had several copies of “The Collapsing Empire”. Hardback, only $6.

  8. Appropos of nothing, I finished rereading Mervyn Peake’s “Titus Groan” for the Chicon 8 1946 Project. It’s just as great as I remember, and the Suck Fairy is not present. The remaining issue is the question of whether this is fantasy, SF or whatever. I’m reserving my answer for Chicon. Needless to say, one could argue any of them.

  9. Eureka is on Peacock because Eureka was on and produced by SyFy Channel which is owned by Universal, as are NBC and Comcast/Xfinity.

    In surprising news today, Rob Zombie announced that his movie “The Munsters” would be a Netflix exclusive, bowing on the service in Sept 2022. I figured that since “The Munsters” are owned by Universal and the movie is being produced by Universal that it would stream on Peacock.

    Peacock is the streaming home of the series “The Munsters” as well as “Leave It to Beaver”. Both series were produced by Universal Studios and both were created and produced by Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly. When “The Munsters” was filmed in 1964-1966 the Cleaver House was located across the street from the Munster House. Later Universal Studios moved the sets around and the Cleaver House ended up next door to the Munster House. The slightly redressed Cleaver House was used as one of the homes in “Desperate Housewives”

    The opening credit sequences for the 2 seasons of “The Munsters” parodied the 2nd and 6th Season opening credit sequencies of “Leave It to Beaver”. Season 2 of LItB opended with June Cleaver entering from the Kitchen carrying lunch bags, going to the bottom of the staircase and being greeted by Ward, Wally, and “Jerry Mathers as ‘The Beaver'” Season 1 of “The Munsters” opened with Lilly at the bottom of the staircase seeing Marilyn, Grandpa, Eddie and Herman off for the day. The Season 6 opening for LItB opended with June coming out of the front door carrying a picnic basked followed by Ward, then Wally then Beaver who is carrying a baseball bat. The 2nd Season opening of “The Munsters” opens with Herman crashing thru the front door, followed by Lilly thru the door carrying a picnic basket, then Marilyn, Grandpa and then Eddie carrying a very large baseball bat.

    The order of the Munsters’ appearances in the 1st Season opening changed when Beverly Owen left the part of Marilyn Munster and was replaced by Pat Priest. In the 1st iteration had Lilly, then Herman, then Grandpa, then Marilyn then Eddie. In the 2nd iteration its Lilly, Grandpa, Marilyn, Eddie and then Herman.

    I’ve loved the witty lines of dialogue in “The Munsters” such as Lilly telling Marilyn about her new boss at the tearoom “He’s very nice, looks just like Cary Grant….poor man” Or Herman’s boss, Mr Gateman “at the parlor” telling Lilly “I’m afraid Mrs Munster when Herman demanded an increase in salary we were taken aback, you see we’re not used to raising people down here” or the various family members bemoaning “poor unfortunate Marilyn” as Herman said “No one on MY side of the family ever looked like that”

  10. Eureka also did the most brilliant reboot of a series mid-run that was ever done, which totally changed things and made it even better. Brilliant series.
    I grew up watching Red Skelton every Tuesday night on TV. He visited my college (Texas A&M) to perform once. He arrived on Monday and spent the week touring the campus and did his show Friday night. I was sitting in a cubicle in the student programs office, with a friend sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall, and eyes closed. Red walked by, stopped, looked at him, and said to me “You’d better sober him up before he goes to class.” Marvelous encounter and I got his autograph after his show. He stayed as long as anyone wanted an autograph, until after midnight, after doing a one-man show for two hours straight. They don’t make them like Red anymore.

  11. We watched Red Skelton when I was growing up. I’ve not cared for a lot of comedians, esp. American since then… but then I can’t seem him making it these days – he was too kind, too “let’s laugh at ourselves”, not “laugh at them”, or “laugh at me, I’m stupider than you’ve ever been”.

  12. Re: The Good Place – It takes several episodes before the audience gets the full picture on several characters, so I’d recommend giving it 6-7 eps to see if you like it instead of the usual 3. The eps are only 25 mins or less so it’s not too much of a commitment.

  13. Re Red Skeleton, I have such fond memories of him and his show growing up, especially watching with my grandparents. He was funny yet so gentle and warm at times. I know there were times when he probably was not, but it’s such a great memory. I don’t think I ever saw the ghost thing. And let’s not forget Clem Kadiddlehopper (sp?).

  14. Bit of trivia about that character: “Representatives for Red Skelton contacted the producers of “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show“. They claimed that Bullwinkle’s voice was an unauthorized use of Clem Kadiddlehopper. Producer Jay Ward responded by having a segment on the show where Bullwinkle would address the issue … in a voice that was a deliberate imitation of Clem Kadiddlehopper.”

    Obviously they didn’t win that battle as Bullwinkle’s voice continued on. Though another source notes “Clem Kadiddlehopper was based on a Vincennes neighbor named Carl Hopper, who was hard of hearing. Skelton’s voice pattern for Clem was very much like that of the later cartoon character, Bullwinkle. They were sufficiently similar to cause Skelton to contemplate filing a lawsuit against Bill Scott, who voiced the cartoon moose.”

  15. Kristen Bell also voiced a character in a decidedly genre Disney/Pixar flick called Frozen. I believe it had some minor success.

  16. Kirsten Bell also played the lead character in the recent Mary Poppins, which is genre!

    Titus Groan and the sequel Gormenghast are good. But you can skip the third book, Titus Alone, and not miss anything.

  17. Kristen Bell was also in the recent Netflix mini-series The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window. I enjoyed her performance there, but as a parody of “woman in danger” psychological-thriller books and movies, it left me rather unsatisfied. It tried to be both apples and oranges, but the tone vacillated between broad satire and serious thriller elements, and didn’t fully succeed for me in either aspect. If you like Kristen Bell, it might be worth a watch.

  18. Aristoi is that rare bird, a transhumanist story that I think I could bear to reread.

    And the mudra of contempt throwaway is worth the purchase price.

  19. Meredith moment: Andre Norton‘s The Zero Stone is available from the usual suspects for a buck ninety nine. It involves, as most likely y’all
    know, a most unusual feline. And isn’t it the first of a series?

  20. Aristoi is one of my favorite pieces by WJW. It actually gets pulled out and reread periodically like the Metropolitan and Drake Majestral books.

  21. Another fan of Brightness Falls From The Sky and The Good Place here.

    @ Randall: Frozen is a Disney Animation Studio’s movie. No Pixar involvement. Whenever you see something as being Disney/Pixar, it means it’s by Pixar, with no DAS involvement, although of course Disney MegaCorp owns Pixar.

  22. I’ve finished reading Pat Murphy’s Max Merriwell trilogy, which is both fascinating and immensely entertaining. It’s a crime against literature that the first book is out of print.

  23. @Nicholas Kristen Bell played Mary Poppins in a three-minute Funny or Die sketch in 2014. Emily Blunt starred in the 2018 movie Mary Poppins Returns.

  24. @Jim Janney:

    This interview has the background on why it’s out of print

    The Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien contends this novel is an infringement of J.R.R Tolkien’s classic work The Hobbit. I contend that my novel does not infringe but is rather a transformative feminist commentary. Nonetheless my publisher and I have agreed to discontinue the publication of the novel to avoid further dispute.

  25. @Andrew (not Werdna): yes, Murphy was at Westercon this month and the topic came up. I’m not criticizing the decision, as it’s clear which side had the most money to spend on lawyers, only lamenting the situation.

    Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a story fragment where Long John SIlver and Captain Smollett step away from the story for a smoke break and a friendly argument over which one of them the author likes better. The Merriwell books are like that only squared and cubed.

  26. Thank you, Cliff. I guess I was not paying attention.

    Cat, The Zero Stone is the start of a duology; the sequel is Uncharted Stars. It is possible that more sequels were written as Norton aged by “Norton and . . . “, like the inferior Beast Master sequels (beyond Lord of Thunder, that is) but I wouldn’t count them.

    Sorry, I have strong feelings about Andre Norton’s work.

  27. While as-you-know-Bob I wish only the best to Mike and his family, I must say I do enjoy the shortened Scrolls.

  28. Jvjr: What kind of items are your favorites? (And anybody else who wants should tell me, too.)

  29. My son Keith got to work as a clown at a birthday party for Red Skelton in Hawaii. Of his many adventures, it only came up when he was showing me his scrapbook. I was singularly impressed. Then I learned that a fellow actor had also worked that party, but that neither recognized the other in the clown makeup.

    I really loved Skelton. For a while I had a robe that Kelson made (it burned up in the fire) that allowed me to do ‘Obi Wan Kadiddlehopper,’ and I leave to your imagination how the character emerged…

    The important thing about the third Titus Groan novel is that for some bizarre reason the American edition had weird and inexplicable cuts. As at that point Peake knew his capacities were diminishing he put his poetic narrative into hyperdrive, opting for a condencive technique where every single beat counts. Removing the names of characters does matter. At first glance the original British edition seems awfully similar, but when you read the words aloud you trip all over the ignorance of publisher who mandated the cuts.

    What he would have given thirty pages before is refined down to a page or two, but by the essential nature of poetry (as in ‘essence’) he makes it work.

    I have read that Maeve Gilmore has prepared an edition of a fourth book which he had planned, but I have not yet seen it.

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