Pixel Scroll 8/25/23 Like A File Over Troubled Pixels I Will Scroll You Down

(1) HOPE FOR THE JAMES WHITE AWARD. Gareth Jelley, editor and publisher of Interzone, responded to the comments about the James White Award in yesterday’s post “Are These Awards Dead or Just Pining for the Fjords?”

Thank you for the interesting post today on awards. Funnily enough, I’m becoming a big fan of James White’s writing and have one of his books on the bedside stack at the moment.

But you are right: I’ve not yet been asked about Interzone and the James White Award.

It is on my radar, though! It has been on my list of things to do as Martin McGrath and I chat once in a while on the IZ Digital Discord. But we’ve both been quite busy.

So, not 100% an ex-award yet — it is something I would definitely like to get going again, once Interzone is back on its feet.

(2) BEHIND THE SCENES. “Disney+ Celebrates ‘Star Wars: Ahsoka’ Debut with ‘Rebel Crew’ Featurette” and Animation World Network has the story.

Disney+ celebrated yesterday’s launch of Lucasfilm’s newest series, Star Wars: Ahsoka, by sharing the Rebel Crew featurette, a look behind the making of the series. The first two episodes of the show are now available. 

The show, set after the Empire’s fall, follows the former Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano as she investigates an emerging threat to a vulnerable galaxy.

Rosario Dawson, who reprises her The Mandalorian role as Ahsoka Tano, is joined by Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren; Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Hera Syndulla; Ivanna Sakhno as Shin Hati; Wes Chatham as Captain Enoch; Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker; the late Ray Stevenson as Baylan Skoll; David Tennant as Huyang; Temeura Morrison as Captain Rex; and Lars Mikkelsen as Grand Admiral Thrawn….

(3) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman invites listeners to chow down on crispy pickled cucumbers with Lisa Morton in Episode 205 of his Eating the Fantastic podcast.

Lisa Morton

My second guest from this year’s Pittsburgh StokerCon is Lisa Morton, a screenwriter, award-winning prose writer, author of non-fiction books, and Halloween expert.

She’s written more than 150 short stories, including the Bram Stoker Award-winning “Tested” (from Cemetery Dance magazine) and “What Ever Happened to Lorna Winters?,” chosen for inclusion in Best American Mystery Stories 2020. In 2010, her first novel The Castle of Los Angeles was awarded the Bram Stoker Award for First Novel. Her other novels include Malediction (nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel), Netherworld, and Zombie Apocalypse: Washington Deceased.

Her work as an editor includes the anthology Midnight Walk, winner of the Black Quill Award and nominated for the Bram Stoker Award, Haunted Nights (co-edited with Ellen Datlow), Ghost Stories: Classic Tales of Horror and Suspense, and Weird Women: Classic Supernatural Fiction by Groundbreaking Female Writers 1852-1923, co-edited with Leslie Klinger. As a Halloween expert, Lisa wrote the definitive reference book The Halloween Encyclopedia (now in a second edition), and the multiple award-winning Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween. Her screenplay credits include the feature films Tornado WarningBlood AngelsBlue Demon, and The Glass Trap. She’s is a former President of the Horror Writers Association.

We discussed how seeing The Exorcist at age 15 changed her life, why she sometimes feels guilty about her path to publication, our memories of the late, great Dennis Etchison, the differences between trick or treating in New York vs. L.A., the weirdest thing about working in a bookstore during the pandemic, the differing ways our writing was affected by lockdown, how she myth-busted Halloween, why she doesn’t think of rejection as rejection, what she means when she says horror fiction should be more political, writing for themed anthologies, what it would take for us to turn our hand to novels, and so much more.

(4) SFF ABOVE THE 38TH PARALLEL. Ars Technica leads readers to “The strange, secretive world of North Korean science fiction”.

A plane is flying to the Philippines, gliding above “the infinite surface” of the Pacific Ocean. Suddenly, a few passengers start to scream. Soon, the captain announces there’s a bomb on board, and it’s set to detonate if the aircraft drops below 10,000 feet.

“The inside of the plane turned into a battlefield,” the story reads. “The captain was visibly startled and vainly tried to calm down the screaming and utterly terrorized passengers.”

Only one person keeps his cool: a young North Korean diplomat who has faith that his country will find a solution and save everyone. And he’s right. North Korea’s esteemed scientists and engineers create a mysterious anti-gravitational field and stop the plane in mid-air. The bomb is defused, and everyone gets off the aircraft and is brought back safely to Earth.

This story, Change Course (Hangno rǔl pakkura) by Yi Kŭmchǒl, speaks about solidarity, peace, and love for the motherland, displaying an intricate relationship between literature and politics. It was first published in 2004 in the Chosǒn munhak magazine, only to be reprinted 13 years later, around the time North Korea claimed it was capable of launching attacks on US soil.

“Political messages in every North Korean sci-fi can be hardly missed,” historian of science Dong-Won Kim, who taught at Harvard University and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea, told me….

(5) GALAXY QUEST NEWS. “Is Sigourney Weaver Reprising Her Role in a ‘Galaxy Quest’ Series?” Animation World Network thinks the answer is yes.

Finally, a morsel of news from the Paramount+ series adaptation of Galaxy Quest! While the project has finally made headway after a stint in production hell, we can now report that Sigourney Weaker will reprise her role as Gwen DeMarco, according to a source close to Giant Freakin Robot. Gwen will serve as a mentor-like figure for a new generation of cast members aboard the Protector, if the news is to be believed….

…The Galaxy Quest series will be produced by Mark Johnson under his Gran Via Productions banner. No other execs have been announced.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born August 25, 1909 Michael Rennie. Definitely best remembered as Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still. He would show up a few years later on one of The Lost World films as Lord John Roxton, and he’s got an extensive genre series resume which counts Lost in Space as The Keeper in two episodes, The Batman as The Sandman, The Time TunnelThe Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Invaders. (Died 1971.)
  • Born August 25, 1913 Walt Kelly. If you can get them, Fantagraphics has released Pogo in six stunning hardcover editions covering up to 1960. They’re planning to do all of his strips eventually. Did you know Kelly began his career as animator at Walt Disney Studios, working on Dumbo, Pinocchio and Fantasia? (Died 1973.)
  • Born August 25, 1940 Marilyn Niven, 83. She was a Boston-area fan who lives in LA with her husband Larry Niven. She has worked on a variety of conventions, both regionals and Worldcons.  In college, she was a member of the MITSFS and was one of the founding members of NESFA. She’s also a member of Almack’s Society for Heyer Criticism.
  • Born August 25, 1947 Michael Kaluta, 76. He’s best known for his 1970s take on The Shadow with writer Dennis O’Neil for DC in 1973–1974. He’d reprise his work on The Shadow for Dark Horse a generation later. And Kaluta and O’Neil reunited on The Shadow: 1941 – Hitler’s Astrologer graphic novel published in 1988. If you can find them, the M. W. Kaluta: Sketchbook Series are well worth having.
  • Born August 25, 1955 Simon R. Green, 68. I’ll confess that I’ve read pretty much everything he’s written. Favorite series? The NightsideHawk & Fisher and Secret History are my favorite ones with Drinking Midnight Wine the novel I’ve re-read the most. 
  • Born August 25, 1958 Tim Burton, 65. Beetlejuice is by far my favorite film by him. His Batman is interesting. Read that comment as you will. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is definitely more Dahlish than the first take was, and Sleepy Hollow is just damn weird. Well, too damn weird for my liking. 
  • Born August 25, 1970 Chris Roberson, 53. Brilliant writer. I strongly recommend his Recondito series, Firewalk and Firewalkers. The Spencer Finch series is also worth reading. He won two Sidewise Awards, first for his “O One” story and later for The Dragon’s Nine Sons novel. He’s had five Sidewise nominations. And he’s scripted a lot of comics, primarily Hellboy related, but also FablesThe Shadow, Doc SavageiZombie and House of Mystery.

(7) SAND STOPS RUNNING IN THE HOURGLASS. “’Dune: Part Two’ release postponed to 2024 as actors strike lingers” reports the Portland (ME) Press-Herald.

The release of “Dune: Part Two,” one of the fall’s most anticipated films, has been postponed from November until next near, Warner Bros. confirmed Thursday.

Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction sequel had been set to open Nov. 3 but will instead land in theaters March 15. With the actors strike entering its second month, “Dune: Part Two” had been rumored to be eyeing a move. Variety earlier this month reported Warner Bros. was mulling the delay.

Warner Bros. is opting to wait until its starry cast can promote the follow-up to the 2021 Oscar-winning “Dune.”…

…Dune: Part Two” is one of the biggest 2023 films yet postponed due to the ongoing strikes by actors and screenwriters. Recent releases have mostly opted to go ahead, despite lacking their stars on red carpets or on magazine covers. SAG-AFTRA has asked its members not to promote studio films during the work stoppage….

(8) NEXT DOMINO TO FALL IS TOLKIEN ANIME FILM. “‘Lord Of The Rings: The War Of The Rohirrim’ Release Delayed Until December 2024” reports Deadline.

New Line’s animated movie The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is moving from its April 12, 2024 release date to December 13 of next year.

The move stems from a chain reaction of Warner Bros re-dating Thursday, spurred by Legendary Entertainment’s Dune: Part Two moving from November 3 this year to March 15, 2024, which pushed that financier and producer’s other title, Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire, from that date to April 12, 2024.

Dune: Part Two had to move had to shift on account of the unavailability of its cast to promote during the ongoing actors strike.

War of the Rohirrim will now face off on its new December date against Sony’s reboot of The Karate Kid.

The anime feature, directed by Kenji Kamiyama, is set 183 years before the events chronicled in the original New Line Lord of the Rings trilogy. Those Peter Jackson movies, in addition to his Hobbit trilogy, always played the December year-end holiday period.

The War of the Rohirrim centers on the fate of the House of Helm Hammerhand, the mighty King of Rohan, a character from the appendix of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingSuccession actor Brian Cox will provide the voice of the protagonist.

(9) FOUND ON FACEBOOK. This is a little touch of genius.

(10) DO YOU KNOW SHUTTLE LORE? The National Air and Space Museum Hackathon invites you to play Galactic Mystery. As far as I can tell I got all the questions right. Is that possible? That has never happened before!

Each year, the National Air and Space Museum holds the Air and Space Hackathon, in collaboration with Deloitte, for local students. A hackathon is a design sprint-like event with the goal of creating functioning software or hardware by the end of the event.

In the most recent Air and Space Hackathon, small teams from schools around the DC area took on the challenge of designing a web or mobile prototype aimed at a K-12 student audience. The goal of their prototype was to highlight inspiring stories of diversity in the past, present, and/or future that connects to something on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Team Rambutan from the Governor’s School @ Innovation Park was the winner of our latest Hackathon! They created a game called “Galactic Mystery” in which users answer questions related to Space Shuttle Discovery to solve the mystery of who stole Canadarm. As players successfully progress through the game, their shuttle climbs through the levels of the atmosphere.

And now, their “Galactic Mystery” game is a reality! Anyone can play from wherever you are to test your knowledge of Space Shuttle history.

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

34 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/25/23 Like A File Over Troubled Pixels I Will Scroll You Down

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    And yet the sun is over the yardarm!

  2. (6) Happy Birthday to Fuzzy Pink.

    (9) By disobeying this order I prove myself not a robot.

  3. (1) Could Sector General fix Jetpack?

    (6a) “Klaatu barada nikto.”

    (6b) I have to find sneak the “Hawk & Fisher” omnibus further up the TBR. I had the original paperback ages ago (with the Royo cover). One of my nephews may have purloined the book temporarily. He didn’t reach much, but he decided this book must be cool because the guy on the cover carried a giant ax.

    (9) That’s genius!

  4. Anne Marble says I have to find sneak the “Hawk & Fisher” omnibus further up the TBR. I had the original paperback ages ago (with the Royo cover). One of my nephews may have purloined the book temporarily. He didn’t reach much, but he decided this book must be cool because the guy on the cover carried a giant sx.

    Hawk carries an ax because a demon in the Darkwood clawed his eye out. That bloody big ax is a gift from the High Sorcerer, so it’s enchanted. Yeah, I’m way, way too familiar with the series.

    Did I mention there’s a dragon who collects butterflies who’s a friend of Hawk and Fisher? Well of who they really are…

  5. Birthdays, Walt Kelly. Why, yes, I do have nine (or is it ten) books of Pogo. And from the chapters in one, on grammar. is how I invented my favorite tense, which is what I call my new Literary Movement: forget “hopepunk” or “noblebright”, I’ve got Future Perfectable.
    (9) How ’bout if I jump up and down to celebrate a certain felon-to-be?

  6. Lis Carey says We need more dragons.

    That is quite true.

    The Ravens tell me we we will be getting some very nice reviews of both dragons and fire lizards.(fire lizards though though they be small and fierce are wonderful companions.)

  7. That’s why he isn’t in this year — I want the birthdays to focus on a positive reason for remembering the person. Seems to me there’s James Bond or something that could have been discussed.

  8. 6) Connery had quite an impressive set of genre credentials even setting aside Bond — going back all the way to Darby O’Gill and the Little People in 1959, and stretching to include Time Bandits (my personal favorite), Outland (excellent blue-collar SF), and of course Highlander and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, amongst others.

  9. @Joe H

    I was just re-reading some essays by Le Guin and I noticed she said in a1988 footnote that the only two real SF movies she’d seen were Time Bandits and The Brother From Another Planet. Hard to fault her taste, at least

  10. For some reason I find myself greatly amused at the idea of Ursula K. Le Guin watching Time Bandits.

  11. I love Michael Kaluta’s Madame Xanadu covers for Doorway to Nightmare (and for the much later Madame Xanadu series).

  12. Humble Bundle’s book deal this week is Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid and October Day series. (Serieses? Serii?)

  13. Fair warning, the McGuire bundle is another one that’s Kobo-only instead of just giving you the actual files.

  14. Joe H, it clearly states that the bundle is available as epub or PDF files that can be used on any device. Really it does.

    What it says is “The titles in this bundle are available through Kobo.com. To access the content, create or log in to your Kobo.com account.”

  15. @Cat Eldridge–

    Joe H, it clearly states that the bundle is available as epub or PDF files that can be used on any device. Really it does.

    What it says is “The titles in this bundle are available through Kobo.com. To access the content, create or log in to your Kobo.com account.”

    So, exactly the same thing it said about the Mercedes Lackey bundle, which turned out to be Kobo only.

    Nope, sorry, if Humble Bundle says it has to be downloaded from Kobo, I’m now assuming it’s Kobo only, until someone proves otherwise to my satisfaction.

  16. Yeah, I have a Kobo account so I’m not completely frustrated by this bundle’s delivery, but I’m going to check more carefully. I’m far more interested in easy to download DRM-free epubs.

  17. If someone wanted to toss me a Kobo e-ink reader, I would adjust my position accordingly on my interest in these Kobo bundles. But that seems a bit pricy, even if someone were disturbed by my dismissal of them, which I assume no one really is. I mean, I’m not going to be picketing either Kobo or Humble Bundle, not even virtually. (Can you do a virtual picket line? I’m not sure how that would work.)

    It will just have to wait till I’m feeling comfortable with spending the money to find out if the Kobo e-ink reader would be a positive edition. I.mean, addition.

  18. @Andrew (not Werdna)–I don’t read on my phone, and I read only a very limited selection of things on a tablet. Only things where images are really key.

    If the main delivery format for the content is text, it’s the e-ink reader for me.

  19. To be fair, I did get the Mercedes Lackey bundle (before I realized that it was Kobo-specific), and I did eventually figure out the sequence of steps required to get the files onto my Kindle, but it was enough of a hassle that I’m not going to bother in this case.

    (I was also not super jazzed about the Pathfinder Tales bundle that put everything into your Paizo.com digital library, but at least Paizo lets you download the ePubs and then send them to your device without having to jump through a lot of hoops. Other than the fact that it takes about three mouse clicks to download each individual file.)

  20. @Joe H
    I emailed the support line and said that they were very helpful, but that the information on how to download should have been on the download page in a clear format. (The previous bundles had been straightforward to download.)

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  22. For what it’s worth, I will tell you that Kobo’s e-ink reader has served me well for many years. Durable (I’ve dropped mine several times) and the backlight is adjustable and gives an even illumination (no hot spots) for when you want to read in bed. Good battery life. My husband and I both own one. Mine claims to be waterproof, but I’ve obviously take a fair amount of care not to test that claim…

    I bought my first Kobo about ten years ago. About two years ago, the swipe-to-turn-the-page on my reader started getting a little glitchy (sometimes the pages turned backwards), so I bought a replacement (with physical buttons to turn pages as well as the swipe to turn pages). I like my Kobo and use it every day. It’s easy to sideload books from my computer with Calibre; I do have to change Kindle format to epub format however as it does not natively support azw files. (Apprentice Alf is your friend….)

    Anyway, I’m a satisfied Kobo owner, if you have any questions.

  23. Kobo files – you can download them to your computer (or at, I did on my iMac) by clicking on the ellipsis next to the book name on the page showing your purchased books. It’s annoyingly hidden but there.

    10) it was me. I needed it to service the Jewish Space Laser in preparation for zapping the Trumpazoid Zombies .

  24. @tim Rowledge, indeed, I download all my purchased books and save them on two different computers. I was an early ebook adopter, and was a proud owner of a Sony ebook… until Sony abruptly stopped supporting ebooks. So I no longer trust corporations to keep my digital library safe. I have local backups. Just In Case. And I strongly encourage others, whatever ebook platform they may use, to do likewise. Corporations will keep your books “safe for you in the cloud”…. right up until they don’t. <wry grin> And I don’t care if you’re talking about Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Kobo or anyone else.

  25. @Tim Rowledge: I normally download my Kobo books in just that way, but for the Bundle books this time, the files downloaded aren’t epub (and are too small to be ebook files of any sort). Maybe I’ll try it again tonight

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