(1) GENRE SQUEAKS IN. [Item by Cora Buhlert.] Amazingly, there actually is one genre book on the Deutscher Buch Preis (German Book Prize) longlist, which is quite unusual for this award, which tends to go to family sagas with historical background or novels about rootless young people in the big city.
The novel in question is Auf See (At Sea) by Theresia Enzensberger, which tells the story of a woman who grows up in a floating city in the Baltic Sea that was founded by her father, a tech billionaire to escape the chaos on shore. Alas, the floating city is declining and the protagonist worries that she might be succumbing to the same mystery disease as her late mother.
The 20-book longlist is here. The winner receives prize money of €25,000 (US$24,855). The five finalists each receive €2,500 (US$2,485). The shortlist will be released September 20.
(2) LET ME INTERRUPT YOU. “An ‘Impertinent’ Interview with Lawrence Block” at Janet Rudolph’s Mystery Fanfare includes a few sff moments.
…And here you are with another book—
The Burglar Who Met Fredric Brown.
—and another plug for another title, sheesh, what is it with you? Never mind, don’t answer that. Fredric Brown. Sensational writer, a whole lot better than you, and equally at home in science fiction and mystery. You ever write any SF?
I had a story in a magazine, Science Fiction Stories, in 1959, and it was chosen for Judith Merril’s best-of-the-year collection. And in 1984 Fantasy & Science Fiction ran “The Boy Who Disappeared Clouds.”
Two stories twenty-five years apart. Doesn’t exactly put you up there with Sturgeon and Asimov, does it?
I never said—
(3) BOFFO HOME BOX OFFICE. “House of the Dragon recorded HBO’s biggest premiere of all time” reports The Independent.
HBO has revealed that the first episode of its Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon recorded the network’s biggest premiere of all time.
Warner Bros Discovery said that the show recorded approximately 9.9 million views on Sunday (21 August) night in the US alone….
(4) HOW TO COOK A DIREWOLF. “Chicago Chef Iliana Regan Didn’t Just Cook Fine Dining — She Cooked Fanfiction” explains Eater’s Rachel P. Kreiter.
The first time I went to a Game of Thrones dinner at the restaurant Elizabeth, the room was decked out in banners bearing ancestral sigils, while dozens of vinyl figurines were stuffed into every possible gap and onto every ledge. It was April 2017, a seventh season of the show would air in a couple of months, and a friend had come to Chicago to attend this dinner with me, not because we loved Game of Thrones — neither of us had watched for years at that point — but because the idea of a fannish dinner was exciting.
Before each of 10 courses, the staff explained the source or inspiration for everything that was served. We had the “black bread” that is mentioned repeatedly in the novels the TV series is based on. (This version was dyed with squid ink.) It was served with accompaniments, one of which was an asparagus relish; at another table, the server was explaining how he’d seen the chef arranging the asparagus on her bread like dragon scales while testing out the recipe.
If courses were inspired by something exact, the servers mentioned its scene of origin: After Catelyn Stark arrests Tyrion Lannister at an inn, she dines on onions dripping in juices, and we got the same. (The plating of these was vaguely scale-like, too.) Within a three-part course that reflected the seafaring Iron Islands culture, one dish, squid “noodles,” was a subtle nod toward the sigil of the local ruling family. Another Iron Islands dish, clams in a dashi broth, was inspired by a particular line in the fourth book of five currently published: “Aeron broke his fast on a broth of clams and seaweed cooked above a driftwood fire.” These citations were delivered in the same breath as the ingredient sources: This cheese is from Indiana, and that amuse-bouche draws on a description of tables laid with strawberries and sweetgrass.
The chef, Iliana Regan, has seemingly never done anything half-assed or half-hearted in her life; obviously she owns a small army of Game of Thrones dolls, and if she was bothering to cook a menu about it, there was going to be a chest of handmade dragon eggs next to the duck press near the kitchen….
(5) HANDMADE. Geek Tyrant introduces fans to “Impressively Detailed Sci-Fi Mecha Cardboard Art By Greg Olijnyk”.
…One of his pieces is titled David v G 2.0, which is a Mecha meets samurai meets bible story. It’s a retelling of David and Goliath. Each of his creations below comes with a little note about what his goal was for each piece.
(6) HEADED FOR CHICAGO? Just a reminder about the availability of a great resource, “Neil’s Native Guide, Chicon 8 Edition”.
This compendium is for members of Chicon, who are only in town for a few days, with hours or half-days (or empty stomachs!) to fill, so “here” is the Hyatt Regency on East Wacker (city center map We’re part of Illinois Center on the south side of the mouth of the river.). Except for Hyde Park (Museum of Science and Industry, University of Chicago, site of the first nuclear “pile”, site of 1893 Columbian Exposition), marked with the Ferris Wheel, I’ve tried to restrain myself from things more than a couple of miles from the Loop. Alas, no Nazi submarine  , Pullman, Garfield Park Conservatory, or Green Mill (fortunately, Ric Addy’s tour of the basement is on YouTube ).
(7) LANSDALE INTERVIEW. [Todd Mason.] And a good one, though you can pretty much ignore that pre-i/v intro. The interviewer does like to ask Tell Me About Your Journey questions of Creatives. “’The Family That Creates Together…’ Writer Joe Lansdale & Singer Kasey Lansdale” in The Hollywood AWAC Podcast with Host Bill Thill.
Host Bill Thill sits down with writer Joe R. Lansdale (“Hap And Leonard”, “Cold In July”, “The Bottoms”, Etc.) And Kasey Lansdale to discuss their recent collaboration writing their new book, “Terror Is Our Business”. This talented father-daughter duet chat about the creative process and what it takes to build a life less ordinary while pursuing creative endeavors.
(8) POPULARIZING SPACE EXPLORATION. At Dreams of Space, scans of Wernher Von Braun’s fictionalized portrayal of what “5 Days on the Moon” would really be like. From This Week, March 8, 1959.
“5 Days on the Moon” by Wernher Von Braun and illustrated by Fred Freeman. These are hard to find. I am still looking for a copy of part 2.
(While we’re aware of Von Braun’s V-2 program in WW2 and use of slave labor there, this item is linked as an example of how a vision for Moon exploration was set in American mass media just a few years before the real thing.)
(9) THE HORROR. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] If Winnie the Pooh can get a horror adaptation, why not Pretty Woman? “Popular Movies That Need Horror Adaptations”, a list by Buzzfeed’s Jeremy Hayes. For example:
3. It’s a Wonderful Life
The original is a Christmas classic, but this horror adaptation would focus on the elements at the movie’s end when George Bailey wishes he was never born. There’s an opportunity for a thought-provoking thriller with dark and supernatural elements. Imagine Clarence as a dark angel instead of George’s guardian angel.
My horror movie description: A man’s life falls into chaos after an angel makes it so he was never born.
The closest film comparison: The Forgotten
(10) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.
2014 – [By Cat Eldridge.] Peter Capaldi began his reign as the Twelfth Doctor in “Deep Breath” which featured just a brief cameo from Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. It was a crowded affair as his Companion, Clara Oswald as played by Jenna Coleman, was there, as was Neve as Madame Vastra and Catrin Stewart as her wife Jenny Flint and Dan Starkey as Santoran Strax.
Partly without a working memory, a common theme with newly regenerated Doctors and one I’d dearly love to know why, he takes on The Faceless One. No more shall I say to skip the bother of posting SPOILER WARNINGS!
Now how was Capaldi as a Doctor? I liked his spiky, brusque and acerbic take on the Doctor and there were episodes that I must say were absolutely stellar. The take off Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express titled “Mummy on the Orient Express” and the heist story “Time Heist” was one of the best Who stories even told. “Twice Upon a Time” where he meets the First Doctor was amazing.
His relationships with Clara Oswald and Bill Potts I thought was written well. The Third Companion, Nardole, really not so much. That’s not his fault that at least for me Nardole didn’t work.
I hold that he was smart, inventive and unlike most incarnations of the Doctors save the Fourth and the Seventh, he had a touch of sarcasm running through him. Subtle at times, not at all subtle other times. Not a bad thing to have, I’d say.
Some of his episodes got nominated for Hugos — “Listen” at Sasquan, “Heaven Sent” at MidAmeriCon II, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” at Worldcon 75 and “Twice Upon a Time” at Worldcon 76. None alas won.
(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born August 23, 1868 — Edgar Lee Masters. Author of the Spoon River Anthology which, since each poem is by someone who’s dead, should count as genre, shouldn’t it? Well, I think so even if you don’t, so there. (Died 1950.)
- Born August 23, 1927 — Peter Wyngarde. Not a lead actor in any genre series but interesting nonetheless. For instance, he shows up in the two Sherlock Holmes series, one with Peter Cushing and one with Jeremy Brett. He’s in a series of Doctor Who with the Fifth Doctor and he faces off against the classic Avenger pairing of Steed and Peel. He shows up as Number Two in The Prisoner as well. (Died 2018.)
- Born August 23, 1929 — Vera Miles, 93. Lila Crane in Psycho which she reprised in Psycho II. On a much more family friendly note, she’s Silly Hardy in Tarzan’s Hidden Jungle, the very last of the twelve Tarzan pictures released by RKO. She has done one-offs on Buck Rogers in Twentieth Century, Fantasy Island, The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, I Spy and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
- Born August 23, 1931 — Barbara Eden, 91. Jeannie on I Dream of Jeannie. Her first genre role however was on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea as Lt. Cathy Connors though she’d show up a few years later as Greta Heinrich on The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm. And let’s not forget Barbara Eden’s role in The Brass Bottle, a 1964 film where she’s the girlfriend of a guy who is played Tony Randall who finds a troublemaking genie who was portrayed by Burl Ives. Some thirty-five years after I Dream of Jeannie went off the air, she had a recurring role as Aunt Irma on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
- Born August 23, 1944 — Karl Alexander. Author of Time after Time which when filmed was directed and written by Nicholas Meyer. Cast included Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen and David Warner. (A thirteen-episode series would happen in 2017.) His sequel of Jaclyn the Ripper is not as well known, nor is his Time-Crossed Lovers novel. (Died 2015.)
- Born August 23, 1965 — Chris Bachalo, 57. Illustrator well-known for his work on DC Comics’ Shade, the Changing Man and Gaiman’s two Death series, Death: The High Cost of Living and Death: The Time of Your Life.
- Born August 23, 1970 — River Phoenix. The Young Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was his best known genre role. He was also Wolfgang Müller in Explorers, and he’s Talbot Roe in Silent Tongue, a horror film most likely you’ve never heard of. (Died 1993.)
- Born August 23, 1990 — Jessica Lee Keller, 32. Lauren, Elise’s Best Friend, in The Adjustment Bureau from Philip K. Dick’s “Adjustment Team” story. She also shows up in Lucifer, Terror Birds and 12-24 where IMDB describes her as the One Tit Zombie. (CE)
(12) SF REFERENCES, TOO. In the Washington Post, Michael Cavna profiles Tom Batiuk, who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Funky Winkerbean,” one of the few daily strips where the characters age in real time. “How ‘Funky Winkerbean’ became the darkest strip on the comics pages”.
…“I started out writing about kids in high school who worry about trying to get a date and climbing the rope in gym class,” says the “Funky Winkerbean” creator this month by Zoom from Medina, Ohio. “Now, I’m writing about going to financial seminars and getting colonoscopies and playing pickleball.”…
(13) BOOK AUCTION ONLINE WEDNESDAY. Matt of Bookpilled is having another classic book auction Wednesday, August 24. “Whatnot – Vintage SF & Fantasy Masterpieces Livestream by thriftalife”. From what Matt calls a “Painfully Good Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Haul That I Can’t Keep”. The video previews some of the gems.
(14) MOON HOAX NEWS. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the Washington Post, Dave Kindy discusses the Great Moon Hoax of 1835, in which readers of the New York Sun were thrilled by a series about creatures on the Moon until they discovered the series was sf written by Sun reporter Richard Adams Locke. “Great Moon Hoax of 1835 convinced the world of extraterrestrial life”.
…The Sun ran six articles on the discoveries over the course of a week beginning on Aug. 25, 1835. The stories included amazing descriptions of life on the moon, as viewed through an enormous telescope with “hydro-oxygen” lenses built by Herschel at an observatory on the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
According to the Sun, the articles were reprinted from the Edinburgh Journal of Science in Scotland. In them, Grant wrote about golden temples and a ruby coliseum built by Vespertilio–Homo, a Latin name meaning “bat-man,” which was given to the humanoids populating the moon.
He also reported how “some of their amusements would but ill comport with our terrestrial notions of decorum.” Apparently, these winged humans liked to share intimate moments in public — presumably of a sexual nature…
(15) DIFFERENT ENDING TACKED ON. The New York Times reveals “In China’s Version of ‘Minions’ Movie, Morality Triumphs”. BEWARE SPOILERS.
The bright yellow creatures known as Minions have caused plenty of chaos on movie screens. When their latest film, “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” opened in China last Friday, censors decided to impose some law and order.
In the original version, the film’s two main villains make a bold escape, unpunished. But on Chinese social media, photographs of what appeared to be a jarringly different epilogue stitched into the credits section soon began to circulate widely.
According to that epilogue, one of the villains got a lengthy prison sentence for his crimes, while the other became an attentive father of three, in what some saw as a nod to China’s policy of encouraging higher birthrates.
(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Honest Trailers: Minions: The Rise of Gru,” the Screen Junkies say that “Everyone will be dumber for having seen it. But I award it all the points and may God make Minions of us all.” Now that Pixar has cornered the market in depressing your kids, the Minions film delivers fart jokes, ‘Silly Minion gibberish,” and ancient Boomer references that are too old for your parents (remember Don Rickles?)
[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Rob Thornton, Todd Mason, BGrandrath, Neil Rest, Andrew Porter, Chris Barkley, Michael Toman, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]
Love this title.
“But you gotta make your own kind of Pixel
Scroll your own special Scroll…
Peter Wyngarde was also Klytus in the Dino DeLaurentis “Flash Gordon.” “Klytus I’m bored, what have you got for me today?”
Please, what is the derivation of today’s Pixel Scroll title? Because I am reminded of
Which inspired in my mind, “Another Scroll, Another Planet.”
Kiss Me Kate’s “Another Opening, Another Show”
@Andrew (not Werdna),
Cooking : bread dyed with squid ink? Never saw the series, and black bread is pumpernickel.
Time After Time: one of my favorite movies. Jack Warner is a real sociopath, not a Hollywood parody, and, come on, it’s romantic.
Capaldi as the Doctor: YES. He’s one of my favorites, and the episode that I always remember is with the 2-dimensional monsters… by the end, the transit workers, and even his companion, have finally realized, THIS IS A THOUSAND YEAR OLD ALIEN BEYOND IMAGINATION, AND HE’S FCKING SCARY!. Which is what the Doctor *is.
(3) I knew it had to be something like that, because my HBO Max app kept crashing on Sunday each time I tried to download the episode. (I was finally able to watch it last night.)
(5) That is so cool!
Speaking of apps crashing as the HBO one did with Bonnie, my bank introduced a new card and required everyone to activate it, so I tried a half dozen times today. They all failed as the agent simply went away. I mean she did. Just stop responding on the phone.
So I called the regular customer service number and the human agent there activated the new card in several minutes. I can’t use it until September second.
By the way my new bank bought my present bank which purchased my previous financial institution which in turn bought the band I had before that… there were five bank purchases in total.
(11) As I did last year, I must call to your attention Barbara Eden’s role in the theatrical The Brass Bottle (1964) where she’s the girlfriend of a guy (Tony Randall) who finds a troublemaking genie (Burl Ives). I used to see it on TV as a kid, but it seems to be forgotten now.
(11) Barbara Eden also appeared in Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962), adapted from the Jules Verne novel of the same name, and of course is Angela Benedict in The 7 Faces of Dr Lao (1964), the film version of Charles Finney’s The Circus of Dr Lao, a movie I love although I freely concede Finney probably hated it.
gottacook says and correctly so As I did last year, I must call to your attention Barbara Eden’s role in the theatrical The Brass Bottle (1964) where she’s the girlfriend of a guy (Tony Randall) who finds a troublemaking genie (Burl Ives). I used to see it on TV as a kid, but it seems to be forgotten now.
It’s been added it.
PhilRM, would you like to do Her Birthday up next year pretty please? I will offer up dark chocolate as a bribe.
@Cat: Consider it done!
“Once the Pixels Go Up, Who Cares Where They Scroll Down?”
Barbara Eden: Indeed I remember “The Brass Bottle” A copy of the DVD is sitting next to one of my laptops. If I’m still running the Video Room at Balticon in 2024 I intend on showing it, along with a couple of episodes of “I Dream of Jeannie”
Barbara Eden talked about the making of “Jeannie”. The Bottles for the show were originally special Jim Beam Whiskey bottles that were Brown Glass. For the show a new fancier stopper was made. There were several Jeannie Bottles made, in the Black and White Seasons the bottles were left brown and a gold filagree pattern was silk screened onto them. When the show started filming in color, the bottles were painted in the familiar Pinks & Purples to better show off on Color TV. There were several different bottles made for the series. There was the main bottle that was handled and seen sitting about Major Nelson’s house and a series of bottles where there was a hole drilled in the bottom to allow a tube to be inserted so that smoke could be pumped out for the Jeannie exiting and entering the bottle effect. The combination of the drilled hole and the hot steam pumped thru the bottle kept causing them to break and according to Ms Eden the show would go thru several of them every season. She tells that when the series was cancelled she kept one of the painted prop bottles.
I have several of the Jim Beam bottles around here somewhere, but alas they have not been painted, they remain their plain brown selves.
Edgar Lee Masters: nice that his birthday is remembered in FILE770. His “Spoon River Anthology” is justly famous, but, I have to say, not very stfnal. Remember Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” singing “Spoon River, / Wider than a kilometer”? And of course there’s Sir J. C. Squires’ (1884 – 1958) parody of Masters’ verse, titled “If Gray Had Had to Write His Elegy in the Cemetery of Spoon River, Instead of in That of Stoke Poges”, which begins:
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The whippoorwill salutes the rising moon,
And wanly glimmer in her gentle ray,
The sinuous windings of the turbid Spoon.
In fact, Spoon River, which flows through north central Illinois for about 100 miles before joining the Illinois River at Havana, IL, is not particularly turbid.
In re Peter Wyngarde, we might also mention that Chris Claremont stole his surname for a minor but significant player in the Dark Phoenix Saga in X-Men.
@David Goldfarb: Artist John Byrne also used Wyngarde as the model for the character named after him: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bku4Jb-n0bX/
Not to mention giving character the same first name as Wyngarde’s best-known role, the eponymous hero of Jason King (a spin-off from Department S, where Wyngarde played the same character – and which might be considered genre-adjacent, what with its theme of impossible crimes, often committed using high technology?)
Re Scroll Title derivation: Here’s the link I sent to OGH with the title suggestion (same song, different performance — from the 1999 London revival), and this one includes the video, very nice. (I have fond if fuzzy memories of a London perf of this show, probably mid-late 80s, rousing performance.)
And here’s a link for “Hulkling,” who is a Marvel character, rather than a munged-for-ScrollTitlePurposes word.
And BTW, in case anyone is/was curious about the “wheresitfrom” my few-days-prior “One Sturgeon, One Spock, One Bierce” here’s John Lee Hooker‘s version and here’s George Thorogood and the Destroyers
(2) LET ME INTERRUPT YOU
First, thanks for the head’s up, I’m a big Block fan (I’ll ping my library to pre-order the Fred Brown book), particularly his Keller series, and his Ehrengraf For the Defense stories (collected into a book), ditto his Evan Tanner series, which is where I note that Block’s TANNER ON ICE book is, if not sf per se, it’s very adjacent since it includes a ~25-year cryogenic suspension for Evan Tanner (which lets Block bring Tanner, who he’d been writing about for a bunch a years, into the then-present, to face the ensuing complications, hijinks, etc. Other than the cryo device, it’s not sf in any way, and doesn’t need to be.
I’m not sure if Block’s novel A RANDOM WALK qualifies as SF. Maybe some sub-genre of contemporary fantasy. But, given the persistent fantastical elements, it’s something.
Mention of Spoon River Anthology reminded me:
Over on Twitter, earlier this year, Kip Williams posted a thread of links to the “Toon River Anthology” series of comic characters speaking their obituaries in the manner of Spoon River, that he’s been creating at intervals since 2008. Twitter thread.
They’re a lot of fun.
@ Cat Eldridge
In 1989 I bought my first house, and got homeowners insurance from a guy in a small office who was always available and responsive. He had previously played minor league baseball and kept a framed glove on the wall. He died in a horrible accident (his garage door fell on him), and woman who bought his office was just as nice and accessible. She sold it about 20 years ago, though, and it’s been sold several more times since then (I think I’m on the 6th name to write checks to), and each one is more, for lack of a better word, “corporate”. I get more spam email, more solicitations for services and products I don’t need or want, and less of a feeling like they are who I need. My premium went up 30% this year (they tell me it’s because the replacement cost of my house has gone up that much).
I also have a car policy with them. My brother died nine years ago, and I transferred his mailing address to my house so that I’d get necessary bills and such that needed to be closed out. His name showed up on the car policy earlier this year, along with a bill for coverage. I asked “Wot the hell?” and they said that since their computers discovered he was getting mail at my house, they decided that he was living there and might use my car and thus should be insured “to protect me”. I asked if a person whose death certificate is nine years old is likely to wreck my car, and they begrudgingly agreed no, and took him off the policy.
I should have said so on the day it came out, but that was one of the better Scroll titles in recent memory.
@Bill, Thanks. (I was waffling between “Stalk” and “Spock”)
I agree – it was a great title.
“I said, ‘I know, everybody Fannish
Now you Fannish, too'”
(14) A lengthier and quite absorbing account of the 1835 NY Sun “moon hoax” is “The Sun and the Moon: the Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Dueling Journalists and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York” by Matthew Price.
The title had me trying to hum some other tune that I maddeningly couldn’t quite remember, and today the penny finally dropped.
“But don’t Fifthget, Filers,
that’s what you get Filers,
for Scrolling whoopee.”
My theory on the Doctor so frequently being somewhat amnesiac on regeneration is straightforward and boring; it’s very hard to figure out who you are now if everything about who you were then is getting in the way and clamouring for your attention. Even if “then” was technically about one minute earlier. The memories return once the new personality is established enough to remain itself and not get swallowed up. I mean, imagine if Baker’s doctor (either one), or Tennant’s, or Whitaker’s, were still behaving exactly like William Hartnell’s take? NOT a series that would go far.
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