Pixel Scroll 7/19/22 A Phlogiston Of Filers

(1) AKO CAINE PRIZE. Kenyan writer Idza Luhumyo has been awarded the 2022 AKO Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story “Five Years Next Sunday”, published in Disruption (Catalyst Press and Short Story Day Africa, 2021). The story is about “a young woman with the unique power to call the rain in her hair. Feared by her family and community, a chance encounter with a foreigner changes her fortunes, but there are duplicitous designs upon her most prized and vulnerable possession.”

Okey Ndibe, Chair of the 2022 AKO Caine Prize Judging Panel, announced the winner at an award ceremony at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Luhumyo’s story was described by Ndibe as ‘an incandescent story – its exquisite language wedded to the deeply moving drama of a protagonist whose mystical office invites animus at every turn.’ 

Judging the Prize alongside Ndibe this year were French-Guinean author and academic Elisa Diallo; South African literary curator and co-founder of The Cheeky Natives Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane; UK-based Nigerian visual artist Ade ‘Àsìkò’ Okelarin; Kenyan co-founder of the Book Bunk Angela Wachuka. 

Luhumyo takes the £10,000 prize, beating 267 eligible entries in a record year of submissions. She will be published in the 2022 AKO Caine Prize anthology later this year by Cassava Republic Press. She is the fifth Kenyan writer to win the award after Binyavanga Wainaina (2002), Yvonne Owuor (2003), Okwiri Oduor (2014) and Makena Onjerika (2018).

(2) AUCTION RESULTS. The “Hollywood Legends” event organized by Julien’s Auctions rang up some big numbers for these items of genre interest:

…Other top sellers included the red, white and blue shield handled by Chris Evans’ Captain America in the 2012 superhero blockbuster “The Avengers,” which went for $200,000.

A Stormtrooper helmet used in 1977′s original “Star Wars” movie sold for $192,000, while a hammer wielded by Chris Hemsworth’s titular superhero in 2013′s “Thor: The Dark World” made $51,200….

(3) BUZZ LIGHTYEAR FOREVER. The USPS invites postal service users to “’Go Beyond’ Your Typical Forever Stamps with Buzz Lightyear”. The first day of issue will be August 3. There will be a ceremony that day at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.

The iconic image of Buzz Lightyear has been captured in the newest Forever stamps from the U.S. Postal Service and Disney and Pixar.

Go Beyond is a colorful pane of 20 stamps arranged in four horizontal rows of five stamps featuring the image of Buzz Lightyear, a Space Ranger marooned on a planet 4.2 million light-years from Earth.

Greg Breeding was the stamp art director using illustrations from Pixar Animation Studios.

The release joins the Charles M. Shulz (and the gang) and James Webb Space Telescope stamps coming this year, and the already available Shel Silverstein stamp.

(4) ALONG CAME JONES. Stephen Jones, the British editor, had some things to say about pronouns yesterday that have since been taken private (or offline), therefore cannot be quoted here. However, some of the knock-on discussion he had about them was screencapped.

Hillary Monahan doesn’t name the person they light into in this thread, but everybody knew who it was. Thread starts here.

The Midnight Society thought the situation called for a satire. Thread starts here.

The social media discussion also reminded people of some of Jones’ history, such as:

(Jones’ remarks can be viewed on the 2021 Bram Stoker Awards ceremony video around the 1:23 mark.)

(5) PERSONAL DEFINITIONS. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] Contributors to the horror anthology Other Terrors explain what they think “other terrors” means to them. “A Roundtable Discussion on The Meaning of ‘The Other’” at CrimeReads.

Eugen Bacon: As an African-Australian author who is black, female, migrant and a single mother, I have struggled with identity and being ‘different’. I think, as humans, intrinsically, we want to belong, to be integral to the worlds we live in.

‘Other’ is anyone who looks different, feels different, thinks different, acts different, lives different, owns different (possessions), is perceived different—there’s a whole spectrum of othering, which is what makes the theme of Other Terrors very relatable and easy to respond to. More so in the safe space that speculative fiction offers for engaging with difference, even in acts of subversive activism….

(6) WESTERCON 74 EVENTS ONLINE. [Item by Kevin Standlee.] All of Westercon 74’s Events — anything that happened in the Main Hall or on the Main Stage of the Tonopah Convention Center, as distinct from Programming that happened in function rooms of the TCC or the other convention buildings — are now online on a newly-minted Westercon 74 YouTube channel in the Events playlist:

This includes, in the order that they happened:

  • Friday: Opening Ceremony
  • Saturday: Match Game SF
  • Sunday: Westercon Business Meeting, Committee of the Whole on Site Selection, Kuma’s Korner Stuffed friends gathering
  • Monday: Closing Ceremony

In addition, the channel includes separate recordings of the opening and closing title videos that we played during the opening and closing ceremonies.

Programming will post those online and hybrid items that we recorded to a separate playlist on this channel when they are able to do so. The head of online/hybrid programming, Michelle Weisblat-Dane, came down with COVID-19 immediately after the convention, which has slowed production.


1965 [By Cat Eldridge.] Forty-seven years ago, The Tenth Victim premiered in Ireland. An international co-production between Italy and France, it is based on Robert Sheckley’s 1953 short story “Seventh Victim” which was nominated for a Retro Hugo at Noreascon 4. No, I’ve no idea why it became the Tenth Victim.

It was directed and co-written by Elio Petri who had spent five years trying to get this filmed. In filming it, he made some major changes. Sheckley told his story from the point of view of a man hunting his seventh target, a woman, whereas in the movie she is the hunter. And as most reviewers note, the film is largely a chase story. It’s been a very long time since I read it so I don’t know how much it deviates from the original text.

The French-Italian production was fairly expensive to make at a cool million. That’s ten million now. Absolutely no idea what they spent that much money on making what was a chase film. Very expensive cars? Crates of champagne? Caviar? 

The movie company insists that it lost money, some ten million. They needed to have drank a lot less champagne.

Coming full cycle, there’s a Sheckley novelization of the film. Algis Budrys in his June 1966 Galaxy Science Fiction review said it was “a reasonably good chase novel”. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 19, 1883 Max Fleischer. Animator, film director and producer. He brought such animated characters as Betty Boop, Popeye and Superman to the screen and was responsible for a number of technological innovations including the Rotoscope and Stereoptical Processes. You can see Betty’s first screen appearance here in the 1930 Cartoon, “Dizzy Dishes”. (Died 1972.)
  • Born July 19, 1904 Groff Conklin. He edited forty anthologies of science fiction, one of mystery stories. His book review column, “Galaxy’s Five-Star Shelf”, was a core feature in Galaxy Science Fiction from its premiere issue in October 1950 until the October 1955 issue. He was nominated at NyCon II for a Best Book Reviewer Hugo, and at Millennium Philcon, he was nominated for a Retro Hugo for Best Professional Editor. (Died 1968.)
  • Born July 19, 1927 Richard E. Geis. I met him at least once when I was living out there in Oregon. Interesting person. He won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer twice; and whose science fiction fanzine Science Fiction Review won Hugo Awards for Best Fanzine four times. The Alien Critic won the Best Fanzine Hugo (once in a tie with Algol), and once by himself. And yes, I enjoyed reading the Science Fiction Review. I’ve not any of his handful of genre novels, and certainly haven’t encountered his soft-core porn of which there’s a lot. (Died 2013.)
  • Born July 19, 1938 Jayant Vishnu Narlikar, 84. He and Fred Hoyle developed the Hoyle–Narlikar theory, which Stephen Hawking would prove is incompatible with an expanding universe. He would write two genre novels, The Return of The Vaman (translated from Marathi) and The Message from Aristarchus. His autobiography is My Tale of Four Cities: An Autobiography.
  • Born July 19, 1950 Richard Pini, 72. He’s half of the husband-and-wife team responsible for creating the well-known Elfquest series of comics, graphic novels and prose works. They are also known as WaRP (as in Warp Graphics). It’s worth noting that characters based on works by the Pinis appear in the first issue of Ghost Rider.
  • Born July 19, 1963 Garth Nix, 59. Writer of children’s and young adult fantasy novels, to wit the Keys to the KingdomOld Kingdom, and Seventh Tower series. The Ragwitch which I read quite some time ago is quite excellent and being a one-off can give you a good taste of him without committing to a series.
  • Born July 19, 1969 Kelly Link, 53. First, let me note that along with Ellen Datlow, she and her husband Gavin Grant were responsible for the last five volumes of The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror. They all did an absolutely magnificent job. All of her collections, Pretty MonstersMagic for Beginners and Get in Trouble are astonishingly good. And she’s much honored having three Nebula Awards, a World Fantasy Award, an Otherwise Award, a Sturgeon Award and received a MacArthur Genius Grant. She was a finalist for a 2016 Pulitzer Prize. And Hugos. She won a Hugo at Interaction for her “Faery Handbag” novellette, her “Magic for Beginners” novella was nominated at L.A. Con IV, and finally Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet was nominated at Nippon 2007 for Best Semi-Prozine (her husband Gavin Grant was also nominated). 

(9) HARD TO KEEP CURRENT. Goodreads lists “The 72 Most Popular Fantasy Novels of the Past Three Years” based on reader info. I’ve actually read three and expect to read two more of these. I was sure my score would be zero.

Fantasy literature is arguably the single oldest genre in all of storytelling. Contemporary fantasy has its roots, overtly or not, in world mythology and folklore, which in turn have their roots in oral traditions that extend back beyond recorded history. Old!
But today we’re interested in new fantasy. Gathered below are the most popular fantasy books of the past three years, as determined by reader shelvings and reviews. All books listed here were published in 2019 or later, in the U.S., and for fantasy series with multiple titles (ArmentroutButcherMaas!) we’ve listed the first series book published in that time period.

(10) FUTURE ERIC FLINT TITLES COMING FROM BAEN. [Item by Andrew Porter.] Toni Weisskopf wrote to me, “His last email to me was the delivery of revision of THE TRANSYLVANIAN DECISION; that’s already on the schedule. There’s a few more, which I expect collaborators will finish. Credit will vary, depending on how much input Eric had already given.”

(11) FUNDRAISER FOR FLINT FAMILY. The GoFundMe set up for Eric Flint’s wife Lucille – “Eric Flint” – has already made its $10,000 goal, having raised $11,627 at this writing.

My name is Debbie and my sister, Lucille Robbins, just lost her beloved husband of 21 years, Eric Flint. For the last six months Eric has been fighting the fight of his life, but unfortunately his body could no longer sustain the battle and he succumbed to the infections that robbed him of the final years of life. Eric had so many plans, right up to the end. He wanted to live and to keep writing and to keep reaching out to everyone in the Science Fiction community, but here we are. Unfortunately Eric has not been able to write while he has been sick and Lucille lost many hours of work taking care of Eric. As you know writers have to keep writing to make money and right now Lucille and family could use some help financially with the costs of memorial services. Any donation will be greatly appreciated.

(12) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Honest Trailers: Hulk v. Thor (1988)” the Screen Junkies narrator notes, “no one wanted this.  You’ve got to trust us.”  The movie isn’t even called “Hulk v. Thor,” it’s “The Incredible Hulk Returns,” the first of three made-for-TV Hulk movies.  This ripe piece of ’80s cheese has Bruce Banner hiding out as “Bruce Banyon” when he isn’t turning into Lou Ferrigno and “gruntflexing.”  But Hulk DOES fight Thor. They even dance around a sparkly machine while fighting.  And Thor has a drinking problem. “I’m thirsty,” Thor says in the laboratory. “Is there nothing to drink in this alchemist’s den?”

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

33 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/19/22 A Phlogiston Of Filers

  1. First!

    I’m reading Vonda N. McIntyre’s Barbary, a lovely novel indeed. And nibbling all day on Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups.

  2. No subscriber notification was generated for today’s Scroll.

    Sound familiar?

  3. (12) I think I watched this when it was new (and I watched the Honest Trailer too, of course).

  4. 12). And so appropriately, the actor who played Thor in that movie (Eric Allan Kramer) also played Alan Hale, Jr. in Surviving Gilligan’s Island, the TV movie Dawn Wells produced about the making of the series.

  5. (8) Groff Conklin’s name on an anthology has always been a sign for me that i’m going to enjoy the book. For a while i was buying Conklin anthologies pretty regularly from the late Bud Webster. One time he gifted me with the Conklin bibliography he had compiled.

  6. (9) I’ve read several of them (7 or 8, I lost track counting), and have about as many on Mt TBR.

  7. (3) I had the USPS Philatelic catalog show up in my mailbox yesterday. Not just stamps, but tchotchkes…and notebooks.

  8. 9) Goodreads most popular fantasy novels: I’ve read 16 by my count (several of them because they were nominated for the Hugo) with two more on Mt. Tsundoku. One of those was Natalie Haynes’ A Thousand Ships so I want to take this opportunity to plug her BBC podcast “Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics”, which is totally delightful. (If you think that the phrase “stands up” evokes “standup comedy” you are not in the least wrong.)

  9. I had several of Groff Conklin’s anthologies when I was young. While my interest in that era of SF has waned considerably over the years, I do still consider him one of the best anthologists of the era. The man had good taste.

    When I first saw The Tenth Victim, I didn’t realize that the novel was based on the film, rather than the other way around, so I thought it was an amazingly good adaption. Learning of my mistake lowered my opinion of the film slightly, but I still like it, and think it captures the feel of a Sheckley story surprisingly well.

    I also have no idea why the number of the victim changed.

  10. I’ve read five of the 72, own unread copies of another 5 or 6, and have about a dozen on library/Overdrive wishlists.

    When Dick Geis passed away, I noted that “I cut my fannish eyeteeth on Dick Geis’ artificial vagina”, which is not a sentence often written. SF REVIEW, around 1968, was my first encounter with a traditional SF fanzine. (I’d seen a few comics fanzines, which were mostly either sales-lists or amateur comics.) It sucked me in quickly (perhaps I should rephrase that, considering how this paragraph began) , and it’s been almost exclusively traditional fandom for me since. One of the things that stood out about SF REVIEW (later THE ALIEN CRITIC) was Geis’ unapologetic openness about his porn-writing career and about meeting his needs with self-pleasure, including via the aforementioned artificial vagina, which he gave a glowing review. Quite an eye-opener for an inexperienced 16-year old nerd.

  11. (9) 10 read. 4 on the to-be-read pile. Quite a few more on my list of wants.

    As often with lists, a few authors that I’m very surprised not to see, for example Katherine Addison.

  12. (9) Read two of them, DNF two more, another eight I’ve bought for my partner who’s read most of those.

  13. (9) Read 7, started one other and put it down…. somewhere. Probably under the bed. Should pick it up once Hugo season is over. Two others on the Kindle waiting for attention. One of which I did open, saw it to be over 800 pages and closed again.

  14. 9) I’ve read 3, maybe 4 (I’d need to double check to confirm the specific Seanan McGuire Wayward Children book). There are several more on there that I do plan to get to … eventually. Myself, I probably would’ve added the new Guy Gavriel Kay to the list, but otherwise I didn’t see any notable omissions, just based on my own reading.

  15. 9)
    Hmm, I got 19. Some more I’ve wanted to read and have (the Stephen Fry I’ve been waiting for a long driving trip to consume in audio for example) others are completely terra incognita to me.

  16. (4) This has been such as mess. Sure, I know it must be frustrating for influential older authors and editors to see their popularity and influence fade. But artists have to face the fact that new people discovering a field might not be interested in the voice of someone who is much older. Sure, those fans might be missing out on some great stories, but they also have a point. (And they are sort of allowed to read what they want, anyway…)

    There was a lot of subtweeting previously, with some people avoiding naming names. They mentioned the Best New Horror anthology, so that cleared it up for some. (It was followed by posts reassuring us that they weren’t talking about Stephen Graham Jones.)

    Some people thought the joke about being the original Stephen Jones wasn’t that bad. After all, he has been part of the field for longer. But I think that would be more appropriate if he and Stephen Graham Jones were buddies or something. Otherwise, at best, it’s awkward. And looking back, you have to wonder if there was some envy behind it.

  17. (6) I neglected to say in my original message that Friday’s events at Westercon 74 also includes Question Time for the Utah in 2024 Westercon bid and for Westercon 75 Anaheim. Because of the last-minute filing from Utah and the relatively late arrival of the Anaheim proposal, there was no regularly-scheduled program item for this, so I decided to do it immediately after the Opening Ceremony. The recording is in the playlist following the Opening Ceremony.

  18. 9) 16 for me, with several others on the TBR. Maybe I’m not quite as much of a dinosaur as I think. Looks like a good list, though – nothing stood out to me as a “would not touch that with a ten-foot pole” item, and I normally have a couple of them on any best-of list.

    (It seems I’m definitely not as much of a dinosaur as a certain well-known horror editor. Hmm.)

  19. (9) 21 read for me, which kind of surprised me.

    Has anyone here watched the entire season of Yellowjackets? I caught the first two episodes free on Amazon Prime and am wondering if it’s worth it to dip my toe into Showtime for a month.

  20. I’m not going to give my numbers, but man, do I need to stay in more.

  21. Feeling entitled to a convention panel invitation is never a good look. Going public with a complaint on the shaky premise that your rejection is emblematic of a larger societal problem is worse. Attacking the pronouns of the con volunteer who sent the rejection completes the a-hole trifecta.

    Stephen Jones took a minor bruise to the ego as an excuse to publicly shame a person’s pronouns because they had the misfortune of being tasked with letting him know he wasn’t getting a con invite. Getting rejected hurts, he’s just learned four decades into a career as a horror editor.

    “Listen up, everybody! My speech is being stifled!” the silenced voice cries to his 1,300 Facebook friends.

  22. @Xtifr:

    I also have no idea why the number of the victim changed.

    Inflation led to a “Cost of Dying” increase in the number of victims.

  23. Media birthdays – wait, did Max Fleischer die, or did Betty Boop?

    And, of course, happy 53rd anniversary of the Neil and Buzz’s little excursion.

  24. @9, huh; 15 for me. More than I expected, actually. But most of them I read for Hugo voting, so thank you, nominators-of-good-books….

  25. (9) Huh, one and one DNF. Plus another four wating to be read. Have I got the lowest hit rate?

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