Pixel Scroll 8/10/17 Trailing Clouds Of Pixels Do We Come From Scrolls Which Are Our Home

(1) STILES MEDICAL UPDATE. Steve Stiles had cancer surgery. His wife, Elaine, had good news for Facebook readers:

Thanks to everyone who expressed concern & well wishes. Steve came thru the op fine tho minus most of his right lung so they’d be sure to get all the cancer.

(2) AT THE CORE. James Davis Nicoll is determined to fill your shelves. Here’s a new list of must reads: “Twenty Core Young Adult Works of Speculative Fiction Every True SF Fan Should Have on Their Shelves”. The first three titles are –

  1. Aria by Kozue Amano
  2. Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
  3. Red Moon and Black Mountain by Joy Chant

(3) BUTLER ON TV? Vanity Fair says “Octavia Butler Is Finally Heading to TV, Thanks to Ava DuVernay”.

Ava DuVernay is ushering Octavia Butler’s work into a new era. The director is adapting Butler’s 1987 book Dawn for television, alongside director Victoria Mahoney (a Queen Sugar collaborator) and producer Charles D. King (Fences).

She confirmed the news on Twitter, writing that she is honored “to bring legend Octavia Butler’s stellar work to screen.”

Dawn is the first book in Butler’s Lilith’s Brood trilogy. The futuristic sci-fi tale takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where nearly all humans are gone, and the remaining few have been whisked away by an alien race called the Oankali, who want to breed with them. The story follows Lilith Iyapo, a black woman who wakes up to a new world after being taken by the aliens.

(4) BEFORE INDEPENDENT’S DAY. Cat Rambo began a series of posts about SFWA with a perspective on the past — “SFWA and Independent Writers, Part One: History of the Organization”.

As part of a Twitter conversation, one of my favorite gamewriters, Ken St. Andre, suggested I write up something about SFWA and independent writers that goes into enough detail that people can understand why — or why not — they might want to join. This is part one of a multi-part series that will talk about some of the history behind the decision, and in this first part I want to talk about the organization prior to admitting independent writers. Part two will discuss how SFWA came to change membership criteria in order to make it possible for people to qualify for membership with indie sales in 2016, and some of the changes made as part of planning for that expansion. Part three will focus on how SFWA has changed in the intervening time, while part four will look at what I see as the changes that will continue as we move forward over the next decade. In all of this, I’m trying to provide something of an insider’s look that may or may not be useful, but certainly will be full of many words.

…. Initially SFWA was exactly what you would expect of a volunteer organization run by the most chaotic, capricious, and disorganized creatures possible: science fiction writers. Stories abound, including records getting lost because someone’s cat peed on them, Jerry Pournelle inviting Newt Gingrich to be the Nebulas toastmaster and a subsequent heated brouhaha that included some people walking out of the ceremony and Philip K. Dick agitating to get Stanislaw Lem expelled. My favorite remains Joe Haldeman’s account of the SFWA finances being somewhere in the realm of $2.67 when he became SFWA treasurer, so he bought the notebook to keep track of them out of his own pocket.

(5) UH-OH. Apparently you really can’t tell a book by its cover.


In the movies, the identity of the Toxic Avenger before his unfortunate accident with toxic chemicals was janitor Melvin Ferd.


  • August 10, 2003 – First Earth/space wedding. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, aboard the International Space Station, married Ekaterina Dmitriev, on Earth.
  • August 10, 2004 — Cartoon character Donald Duck received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

(8) NOT TIRED OF WINNING. Adam-Troy Castro archly announces his newly-founded awards:

I am announcing the new Adam-Troy Castro Awards. These new Awards, trophies cast in the shape of Adam-Troy Castro, will be awarded only to Adam-Troy Castro. This is to correct the injustice of Adam-Troy Castro not getting certain other major genre awards. These will prove that all other writing awards suck and are the product of nefarious cabals. My own nefarious cabal of Adam-Troy Castro will make sure that only Adam-Troy Castro is eligible.

You think your alternate awards are sufficiently anti-diversity? Fie, I say on you! Fie! Mine are so non-diverse that they can only go to works by one person! They will not engage in favoritism. All works by Adam-Troy Castro will have the same chance as all other works by Adam-Troy Castro. This is fair! This is equitable! This is self-pleasuring of an order even higher than your awards!

(9) GIANT PLANET NEWS. He killed Pluto – can this make up for it? IEEE Spectrum asks, “Is There a Giant Planet Lurking Beyond Pluto?”

Michael E. Brown is often called “the guy who killed Pluto.” But he takes the moniker in stride. Sitting in his sunny Pasadena office at the California Institute of Technology, Brown jokes that Pluto, which was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006, had it coming. The year before, Brown had discovered Eris, a frosty dwarf in the outer solar system more massive than Pluto and named, fittingly, for the Greek goddess of strife.

Brown now has good reason to hope that history will remember him not for the Eris-instigated demotion of Pluto but as codiscoverer of an as yet unseen, true ninth planet—a Neptune-size world so massive that it may have tipped the entire solar system a few degrees sideways.

I meet Brown in the late afternoon, shortly after his breakfast. The 52-year-old, sporting a week-old beard and Converse sneakers, is shifting his sleep schedule to spend the coming nights remotely babysitting a giant telescope as it scans the heavens from the snowy summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Calculations that Brown published last year with Konstantin Batygin, a former student of Brown’s who now occupies the faculty office next to his, suggest that Planet Nine is real. Somewhere out there, they are convinced, drifts a frozen world so distant from the sun—perhaps 5.5 light-days, or roughly 150 billion kilometers—that high noon on its surface is no brighter than a moonlit night on Earth.

(10) CARRIE FISHER. Tim Keneally in The Wrap says “Carrie Fisher Leaves Behind Estate Worth Nearly $7 Million” which reports that Carrie Fisher’s will is clearing probate and Billie Lourd is likely to be the primary recipient of the $7 million.

(11) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Traveling Through Brush and Ink is an animated journey on Vimeo through great classical Chinese paintings held by the National Palace Museum in Taiwan

[Thanks to James Davis Nicoll, Adam-Troy Castro, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Cat Rambo, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kevin Harkness.]

30 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/10/17 Trailing Clouds Of Pixels Do We Come From Scrolls Which Are Our Home

  1. (5) That seems rude.

    (8) Adam-Troy Castro has got this favoritism and anti-diversity stuff nailed! NAAILED, I tell you!

    (9) He owes us a planet.

    Glad the surgery went well. Cancer sucks.

    Neat article. Learned something new about SFWA history.

    I knew it! The cabal (of one) is real!

    (11) VIDEO OF THE DAY.
    That was quite soothing.

  3. @Camestros

    How do we converge Adam Troy Castro? Do we get two of him and sort of smoosh them together?

  4. Mark on August 11, 2017 at 2:39 am said:


    How do we converge Adam Troy Castro? Do we get two of him and sort of smoosh them together?

    It’s a challenge!

  5. Mark on August 11, 2017 at 2:39 am said:

    How do we converge Adam Troy Castro? Do we get two of him and sort of smoosh them together?

    As likes they’ll repel each other. You need to put a Castro Troy Adam in the middle and then apply pressure.

  6. 4) Cool!

    5) I don’t understand how it would be possible to strip any of that out as the relationship of the prince is a pretty huge portion of character development, motivations of several characters, integral to several plot lines and conclusion. I mean there are books and movies with a romantic subplot that could probably be stripped out and replaced but it’s not a subplot, that relationship is one of the vital aspects of the main plot.

    That they did it without even consulting the author is…just gross.

  7. No way it will start on time. The line is enormous, doing its own serpentine. People are still waiting to get in.

  8. JJ: I have that open and am waiting for something to happen besides one “test message” I saw go by….

  9. They just said they’re having trouble with the livestream but it will be recorded. Remember kids — Tech always fails!

  10. Well, dammit, looks as though we’re going to have to settle for text coverage. What a shame. 🙁

  11. @2: 11? 12? /20. (Unsure about the Norton, which I would have read when it was ~new and I was reading voraciously and indiscriminately.) Glad to see the Ford mentioned (although I hope nobody thinks they can dismiss it as just-another-YA, like someone I used to know), and to see the gender imbalance starting to smooth out ;), but there are several works where I’d ask why it’s YA, e.g. McKillip, Mirrlees, Piper. (The Ford is split — somewhere around a third of the book is adult doings — but ISTM that any juvenile doings in those three are secondary-to-minor.) And I’d have chosen almost any Jones over Cart and Cwidder, which I found such a slog that I remember almost none of it; does anyone else prefer this over all her other work? ISTM that she covered everything from light (e.g., Eight Days of Luke) to dark (e.g., Fire and Hemlock) better elsewhere.

    @5: I’ve heard of a soup ad being inserted in a chase scene in a Discworld novel, but cutting out an entire thread is something else.

    @9: great story, including the possibility that we already have images that haven’t been identified. So when do we hear from the Lectroids?

  12. I’ve only read eight on JDN’s list this time, and, yeah, three of those I’ve never thought of as YA: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Little Fuzzy, and The Crystal Cave.

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