Pixel Scroll 7/26/23 Scrolls Guaranteed To Get Filers Commenting, Or Double Your Pixels Back

(1) HUGO VOTER PACKET. Joe Yao of the Chengdu Worldcon committee fielded a question online about the packet.

First, he pointed out that one is coming, as noted in this brief reference in a July 10 story on the Chengdu website:

The Hugo Awards Subcommittee of the 2023 Chengdu Worldcon will also provide paper ballots and Hugo Packet for each category of the finalists.

Then he shared this status report:

And here I would like to update the process of the Hugo Packet. We asked all the finalists to submit their works to the packet no later than July 25 (today), and we are still collecting works from them. Our goal is to release the packet for members to download by end of July.

(2) TURNOVER ON BUFFALO NASFIC COMMITTEE. Immediately following Buffalo’s confirmation as site of the 2024 NASFiC in the site selection vote last weekend, chair Wayne Brown released a new committee list. It was the first time that two significant members of the bid heard about changes that affect them.

Alex von Thorn told Facebook readers:

Marah Searle-Kovacevic has been removed as vice-chair of the #BuffaloNASFiC2024 convention. I have also been effectively demoted from Finance division head to “Treasurer” (so that I would not be doing budget, planning, or registration). As of Tuesday, when we found out by way of an org chart posted to Discord, we are no longer working on the convention.

…Marah feels like the pattern of disrespect and mistakes has been building for a while and she doesn’t think the chair wants our participation other than in tertiary roles. I’m annoyed and frustrated but that is secondary. Marah’s leadership and track record of accomplishment is indispensable and irreplaceable. As a Buffalo native and resident for more than thirty years, and with decades of experience working on WSFS conventions, she is knowledgeable and motivated to work on a WSFS conveniton in Buffalo; unfortunately it doesn’t seem that this will be it. The chair doesn’t value experience; he has said explicitly he wants no connection to or involvement with the SMOF community of experienced conrunners. He only respects people he knows personally and only wants input from people who agree with him. That’s not me, it’s not the job of a treasurer, and although she’s better at finding reconciliation and consensus, ultimately it’s not her either.

…The sticking point for Marah is that she doesn’t like being fired via an org chart update…

(3) WHO’S ACCEPTING THE CHENGDU OFFER. Chris Barkley will be going.

I will try to spot other names as they surface, although this is coming up at precisely the moment “X” (formerly Twitter) has provoked a lot of writers to focus their efforts on other platforms making it less easy to search for announcements.

(4) WHO’S DECLINING THE CHENGDU OFFER. Gideon Marcus told File 770 readers that no one from Galactic Journey will utilize the offer.  

“Full disclosure: I’m not going, would not go, and cannot go. But one of our team is.”

Strike that. After consideration, and impressed by the actions of fellow nominees who have declined invitations because of Chengdu’s problematic GoH choice, we have decided there will be no Galactic Journey representative at Chengdu.

The Hugos, of course, belong to all of us, so we’ll still be voting.

(5) MEDICAL UPDATE. Congratulations to Adam-Troy Castro who announced on Facebook today, “There is ‘no cancer.’ I will need regular checkups for a while, plus maintenance of my port, but it is gone, gone, gone.”

(6) FULL DISCLOSURE: THEY’RE COMMERCIALS. “’Alf’ reboot: Ryan Reynolds revives character with sponsored content” reports USA Today.

Ryan Reynolds is indulging his love for ’80s nostalgia, and it’s out of this world.

Reynolds is rebooting Alf, the furry brown alien of the eponymous sci-fi comedy from the 1980s, with a series of sponsored content shorts on his Maximum Effort Channel. The “Deadpool” star previewed some of the extraterrestrial hilarity in a trailer montage posted Monday.

In the video, Alf can be seen discussing and using various products with their human friend Eric, including mobile network operator Mint Mobile, doorbell camera brand Ring and television streamer Fubo.

The Maximum Effort Channel, which launched in June as part of a deal with Fubo, acquired the rights to the “Alf” sitcom and will incorporate branded segments called “Maximum Moments” into reruns of the original series….


1950 [Written by Cat Eldridge from a choice by Mike Glyer.]

C.M. Kornbluth, a member of the Futurians, provides us with our Beginning this Scroll.  He participated in the Fantasy Amateur Press Association, the oldest APA in existence.  And he’s a member of the First Fandom Hall of Fame. 

He got nominated for six Hugos of which he won but one at Torcon II for “The Meeting” short story.  It was only his Award win until a Retro Hugo for “The Little Black Bag” novelette at The Millennium Philcon. 

Well he did garner a Prometheus Hall of Fame Award for The Syndic but I’ll admit I’ve mixed feeling about those Awards. Just me I’ll admit but I’m quite sure about libertarian futurists and their criteria for these Awards.

So “The Little Black Bag” which is our Beginning first appeared in the July 1950 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. The cover art is a still from the Destination Moon film.

The story is in Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929-1964 which was edited by Robert Silverberg and is available from the usual suspects.

And now for our Beginning…

Old Dr. Full felt the winter in his bones as he limped down the alley. It was the alley and the back door he had chosen rather than the sidewalk and the front door because of the brown paper bag under his arm. He knew perfectly well that the flat-faced, stringy-haired women of his street and their gap-toothed, sour-smelling husbands did not notice if he brought a bottle of cheap wine to his room. They all but lived on the stuff themselves, varied with whiskey when pay checks were boosted by overtime. But Dr. Full, unlike them, was ashamed. A complicated disaster occurred as he limped down the littered alley. One of the neighborhood dogs–a mean little black one he knew and hated, with its teeth always bared and always snarling with menace–hurled at his legs through a hole in the board fence that lined his path. Dr. Full flinched, then swung his leg in what was to have been a satisfying kick to the animal’s gaunt ribs. But the winter in his bones weighed down the leg. His foot failed to clear a half-buried brick, and he sat down abruptly, cursing. When he smelled unbottled wine and realized his brown paper package had slipped from under his arm and smashed, his curses died on his lips. The snarling black dog was circling him at a yard’s distance, tensely stalking, but he ignored it in the greater disaster.

With stiff fingers as he sat on the filth of the alley, Dr. Full unfolded the brown paper bag’s top, which had been crimped over, grocer-wise. The early autumnal dusk had come; he could not see plainly what was left. He lifted out the jug-handled top of his half gallon, and some fragments, and then the bottom of the bottle. Dr. Full was far too occupied to exult as he noted that there was a good pint left. He had a problem, and emotions could be deferred until the fitting time.

The dog closed in, its snarl rising in pitch. He set down the bottom of the bottle and pelted the dog with the curved triangular glass fragments of its top. One of them connected, and the dog ducked back through the fence, howling. Dr. Full then placed a razor-like edge of the half-gallon bottle’s foundation to his lips and drank from it as though it were a giant’s cup. Twice he had to put it down to rest his arms, but in one minute he had swallowed the pint of wine.

He thought of rising to his feet and walking through the alley to his room, but a flood of well-being drowned the notion. It was, after all, inexpressibly pleasant to sit there and feel the frost-hardened mud of the alley turn soft, or seem to, and to feel the winter evaporating from his bones under a warmth which spread from his stomach through his limbs.

A three-year-old girl in a cut-down winter coat squeezed through the same hole in the board fence from which the black dog had sprung its ambush. Gravely she toddled up to Dr. Full and inspected him with her dirty forefinger in her mouth. Dr. Full’s happiness had been providentially made complete; he had been supplied with an audience.

“Ah, my dear,” he said hoarsely. And then: “Preposserous accusation. ‘If that’s what you call evidence,’ I should have told them, ‘you better stick to your doctoring.’ I should have told them: ‘I was here before your County Medical Society. And the License Commissioner never proved a thing on me. So, gennulmen, doesn’t it stand to reason? I appeal to you as fellow memmers of a great profession–“‘


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 26, 1883 Edwin Balmer. Together with author Philip Wylie, he penned When Worlds Collide and After Worlds Collide. The first was made into the 1951 movie by George Pal. He also wrote several detective novels and collaborated with William MacHarg on The Achievements of Luther Trant, an early collection of detective short stories. The latter are not genre, despite being listed as ISFDB as I’ve read them. (Died 1959.)
  • Born July 26, 1928 Stanley Kubrick. I’m reasonably sure 2001: A Space Odyssey was the first film I saw by him but Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was the one that impressed me the most. A Clockwork Orange was just damn depressing. And I’m not a horror fan as such so I never saw The ShiningBarry Lyndon is great but it’s not genre by any means. (Died 1999.)
  • Born July 26, 1945 M. John Harrison, 78. Winner of the Otherwise Award. The Viriconium sequence, I hesitate to call it a series, starting with The Pastel City, is some of the most elegant fantasy I’ve read. And I see he’s a SJW as he’s written the Tag, the Cat series which I need to take a look at again. He’s also been a major critic for the past thirty years reviewing fiction and nonfiction for The GuardianThe Daily Telegraph, the Times Literary Supplement and The New York Times. He’s lightly stocked at the usual suspects though the Viriconium sequence is there at a very reasonable price.  And his short stories are excellent, so may I recommend Settling the World: Selected Stories 1970-2020?
  • Born July 26, 1945 Helen Mirren, 78. She first graces our presences as Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She next shows up in a genre role as Alice Rage in The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu, Peter Sellers’ last film. She’s Morgana in Excalibur and then leaps into the future as Tanya Kirbuk in 2010: The Year We Make Contact. She voices the evil lead role in The Snow Queen, and likewise is Deep Thought in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
  • Born July 26, 1954 — Lawrence Watt-Evans, 69. Ok I’ve now read “Why I Left Harry’s All-Night Hamburgers” which won him a short fiction Hugo at Nolasco II. It also was nominated for a Nebula and won an Asimov’s Reader’s Poll that year. It’d be his only Hugo. Yes, I’ve read him other fiction by him as well — his War Surplus series is quite excellent.
  • Born July 26, 1957 Nana Visitor, 66. Kira Nerys on Deep Space Nine which for my money is the best of the Trek series to date and I’m including the present series in that assessment. After DS9 ended, Visitor had a recurring role as villain Dr. Elizabeth Renfro on Dark Angel. In 1987, Visitor appeared as Ellen Dolan in a never developed series pilot for Will Eisner’s The Spirit with Sam J. Jones as The Spirit. And she had a brief role in Torchwood: Miracle Day.
  • Born July 26, 1971 Mary Anne Mohanraj, 52. Writer and editor. Founder of Strange Horizons. She has one genre novel, The Stars That Change, six works published in the Wild Cards Universe, and many piece of short fiction. She also an anthology, Without A Map, co-edited with Nnedi Okorafor.


  • Luann finds it hard to explain a distinction that’s important to writers.

(10) UHURA’S SCRIPTS AND THE WITCH’S HAT. “Paul Allen estate donates thousands of rare music, film and sci-fi artifacts to Seattle’s MoPOP”GeekWire has details.

Thousands of one-of-a-kind artifacts from Paul Allen’s collection, spanning decades of cultural relevance, are headed to Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture, the institution he helped found 23 years ago….

They include:

  • Handwritten lyrics by David Bowie for “Starman” from the early 1970s.
  • Motorcycle jacket worn by Prince in his 1984 film “Purple Rain.”
  • A collection of Nichelle Nichols’ (Lt. Nyota Uhura) hand-annotated scripts from the “Star Trek” television and film series (1965-1998).
  • The iconic hat worn by Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz.”
  • A full-size flying “Spinner” vehicle from the 1982 film Blade Runner.

…Several dozen artifacts from the bequest are currently on display in MoPOP exhibits, including “Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction;” “Fantasy: Worlds of Myth & Magic”; “Scared to Death: The Thrill of Horror Film”; “Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses.” The artifacts will also be incorporated into future exhibitions and loaned to other museums and institutions worldwide….

(11) OHIOANA WINNER. “The Kaiju Preservation Society is a 2023 Ohioana Book Award Winner” announced John Scalzi on Whatever. He also posted this graphic of the other category winners.

(12) A GAME? “Seen at CVS…” says Daniel Dern.

(13) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Ryan George takes us inside the “Interstellar Pitch Meeting”.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Mike Kennedy, Rich Horton, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Cat Eldridge.]

29 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/26/23 Scrolls Guaranteed To Get Filers Commenting, Or Double Your Pixels Back

  1. (5) Congratulations and have fun with port maintenance! (I had mine for six months longer than expected because pandemic. So it came out after a year and a half of maintenance, which was getting it flushed out every couple of months.)

  2. I found another signed book here that I didn’t know that I had — Beagle’s The Last Unicorn: The Lost Version which is a sort of ur-version of the novel as Peter puts in his afterword. It’s a very, very cool book.

  3. (5) Good news from Adam, some we’re really glad to hear. (Been there, done that, still here to annoy people – welcome to the club.)
    (13) Oddly enough, every time Mike posts streaming lists, Interstellar’s in every time, unlike the movie that won the Hugo that year. Hmmm, maybe it’s better than the pitch, and maybe it’s a damn good movie, with the right attitude….

  4. “SatisfFantion Guaranteed!”

    Re: The Twitter rebrand. I was seeing the bird replaced with X for a day or two(?) but now on my desktop it has reverted to the blue bird, though I am using the “Control Panel for Twitter” extension on Chrome. On my phone, it’s still the blue bird. Who knows anymore with Twitter?

  5. Soon Lee asks Re: The Twitter rebrand. I was seeing the bird replaced with X for a day or two(?) but now on my desktop it has reverted to the blue bird, though I am using the “Control Panel for Twitter” extension on Chrome. On my phone, it’s still the blue bird. Who knows anymore with Twitter?

    I’ve seen that across the net with the blue bird showing up at random when the X should be there. I think the underlying code, like so much of what was Twitter is rotting away.

  6. The twitter rebrand – is it just me, or does their “X” look an awful lot like the X of X-windows ™?

  7. (5) Wonderful news!

    (10) And a wonderful connection.

    Today I had two DMH case worker visits, back to back, due to a DMH internal communication glitch I was assured wouldn’t happen.

    I ended the day by doing shopping I had intended to do earlier.

    I also Accomplished A Thing, which shall remain unrevealed by me. Something else didn’t get done, but it (probably) will tomorrow.

    I am exhausted.

  8. (2) feels like there’s an AWFUL lot more going on than somebody botching an org chart…two resignations over that would be a bit of overkill even by fannish standards (it borders on the Yes, Prime Minister episode “Man Overboard”). Will try to stay tuned on this one…

  9. (8) Lawrence Watt-Evans won his Hugo in 1988 at Nolacon II. “Why I Left Harry’s All-Night Hamburgers” was published in 1987. I’d see him at local conventions since he lived a few miles from me. I also saw him at post-Hugo parties still wielding his award. That year the base included the exhaust of the rocket so the 1988 Hugos are twice as tall as the others.

    (12) When Exploding Kittens started on Kickstarter in 2015, it set a record for the most backers (103,000 on seven days), and was the fourth most-funded campaign on the site. Was the ? for seeing it sold at CVS or the game itself? If it was the CVS part, they’ve sold toys for a while, although they’re usually made of cheap plastic, and not board or card games less than a decade old. If they hadn’t heard of it, it’s just the modern phenomenon of everyone, including me, in their own cultural silos, totally oblivious to some item that millions of other people are quite familiar with.

  10. PJEvans: sigh Forget fonts, and look at the graphic design/trademark of each. It appears to me close to violating the tm of X-windows.

  11. Not the same – I’ve seen both. It IS the Monotype one, which is also protected. And you CAN’T trademark Unicode characters.

  12. Re 2: I hate politics. That’s why I would rather attend cons than run them.

    Re: 5: Congratulations on being cancer free! I had a run-in with cancer, and it’s a wonderful feeling to be free of it. It’s like a great weight lifted off your life. I’ve been cancer free for 30 years and counting. Hope you will be, too!

    Re: 10: Nichelle Nichols is still with us, in spirit. She was one of THE nicest show business personalities I have ever met, along with DC Fontana. Both classy, generous in giving their time to fans, and all-around nice people.

  13. Re Interstellar: A lot of my students asked me about the movie in the last three weeks or so. They all were quite excited about it. It must have released on streaming and now the whisper campaign seens to work (in my school at last)

    A bit sad that DS9 is not revisited by the recent retro/Star Trek- craze, but then again, maybe for the best (and 2 actors have passed avay and I dont thibk Avery Brooks has plans to revisit his role)

    scroll title (Skrull title?) The commentariat rehearse the uprising

  14. (5) I’m thrilled to hear the good news from Adam! It’s always uplifting to celebrate someone’s triumphs. And hey, I can totally relate to that feeling of having been through challenges and still being here to keep annoying people – welcome to the club of resilience!

    (13) It’s quite intriguing how every time Mike shares streaming lists, “Interstellar” makes an appearance, unlike the movie that won the Hugo that year. Makes you wonder, maybe “Interstellar” is even better than its initial pitch, and perhaps it’s simply a damn good movie with the right attitude that resonates with audiences time and again.

    Re 2: I’m not a fan of politics either. That’s why I find more joy in attending cons than organizing them.

    Re: 5: It’s truly heartwarming to hear that you are now cancer free! I, too, had my own battle with cancer, and the feeling of being free from it is simply indescribable. It’s like a heavy burden lifted from your shoulders, and you can finally breathe again. I’ve been living cancer-free for over three decades now, and I sincerely hope that you will enjoy the same victorious journey!

    Re: 10: Nichelle Nichols will forever live on in our hearts. Meeting her was a profound experience. She and DC Fontana were among the most gracious show business personalities I’ve ever encountered. Always elegant, and they never hesitated to give their time generously to their fans. Truly, they were exceptional individuals with hearts of gold.

  15. [8] The Encylopedia of Science Fiction claims The Achievements of Luther Trant as having “borderline science fiction elements.”

  16. @Cat Eldridge

    Just me I’ll admit but I’m quite sure about libertarian futurists and their criteria for these Awards.

    I admire the fact that they find worthy works across a broad range of author perspectives. I wouldn’t expect John Scalzi, Cory Doctorow, Travis Corcoran, Magaret Atwood, and Sarah Hoyt to be ideological bosom buddies, but they all have works that were finalists for the award. Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves won the award and was a Hugo finalist.

    I’ve been trying to read the Prometheus winners for a few years. I’ve not gotten around to as many as I’d like, but what I’ve read has been worth the time/money involved. At least, the putative ghost of Dorothy Parker has remained firmly ensconced in her grave – or has been off pestering someone else – whilst I’m engaged in reading a Prometheus winner. Maybe not uniformly “great” books, but generally good ones.

    Frank Miller never threw a book.

  17. (5) Good for him, that’s always a good day.

    Helen Mirren was an absolute smoke show in Excalibur (still the best King Arthur movie, although I do hold a soft spot in my heart for the Clive Owens/Keira Knightley version) and has continued to be so to this day.

  18. Recent events have caused me to reassess something that bothered me about INTERSTELLAR: The deliberate teaching in schools that the Moon Landings were faked.

    That now seems much more plausible to me.

  19. (10) Oh just for a chance to see those scripts. 🙂 (If it were up to me, many of them should say, “Give Uhura more to do here.”)

    So maybe he wants to be sued by yet another company?…

    @ Soon Lee
    For want of a better name, certain Bluecheckers.

  20. @peer

    A bit sad that DS9 is not revisited by the recent retro/Star Trek- craze, but then again, maybe for the best (and 2 actors have passed avay and I dont thibk Avery Brooks has plans to revisit his role)

    Last season of Lower Decks, the crew visited DS9 with Nana Visitor and Armin Shimerman providing voices.

  21. 8) I watched ‘Shazam: Fury of the Gods’ the other night, and there was Helen Mirren as… a god(dess). (Her stunt double surely earned her pay on that one.)

    And DS9 was definitely the best Trek. Fight me.


  22. Soon Lee on July 26, 2023 at 7:44 pm said:

    Re: The Twitter rebrand. I was seeing the bird replaced with X for a day or two(?) but now on my desktop it has reverted to the blue bird, though I am using the “Control Panel for Twitter” extension on Chrome. On my phone, it’s still the blue bird. Who knows anymore with Twitter?

    Not the answer to the above question – my money would be on DNS propagation shenanigans – but, speaking of Control Panel for Twitter, their latest update added the option to replace the X logo with the blue bird. It’s under UI Tweaks. (I don’t think it defaults to checked.) I find it makes what little interaction I still have with Twitter distinctly more soothing.

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