Pixel Scroll 8/23/17 Best Pixel Scroll Title Ever

(1) EVERYBODY NEEDS A HOBBY. They look like inanimate objects auditioning for parts in an N.K. Jemisin novel. What they really are is more easily explained: “How stone poses became a surreal project”.

“Sometimes people assume they must be Photoshopped, but that would be more of a technical challenge than what I actually do, which is throw the rock into the air – or ask a friend to throw it for me – and photograph it while it is up there.

“That way the light and shadow position themselves correctly on the rock without any further intervention.”

(2) GRAPHIC ARTS AND SCIENCE. In “What’s your science teacher doing in a comic book?”, the Washington Post’s Erin Blakemore discuses “S.T.E.A.M. Within The Panels:  Science Storytelling Through Comic Books, Comic Strips, and Graphic Novels”, currently on exhibit at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Space is massive, time is infinite, and the future is limitless. But, with comic books, the massive, the infinite, and the limitless are broken down into individual panels, discrete moments of time that readers ingest and process at their own pace. From the factual to the fantastic, comic books and graphic stories show the application of science in the modern world and well beyond, one panel at a time.

Since very early in their history, comics have been inspired by science, resulting in stories that range from hopeful to bleak, utopian to dystopian, and somewhere in between. In “S.T.E.A.M Within the Panels” we look at how science has been depicted in comics and narrative literature. Some of the pieces are explicitly connected to science, while others reflect reactions to science. Others still are, in the tradition of science fiction, springboards to speculation based on scientific ideas. In all, they show how comics project the complicated and often contradictory ways that the public perceives science.

Includes the work of the following artists and creators: Jordan Clark, Matt Dembiciki, Kata Kane, Sean Gorman, Jay Hosler, Vince Underwood, Paul Hoppe, Magret de Heer, Matteo Farinella, Katie McKisock, Rosemary Mosco, Damion Scott, James Harvey, Orion Zangara, Paul Sizer, Vasco Sobral, Roxanne Bee, D.M. Higgins, Kelly Phillips, Matthew R. McDaniel, and more!

(3) CHOWCAST. Scott Edelman invites you to Brunch on Eggs Benedict with A. Merc Rustad in Episode 45 of Eating the Fantastic.

A. Merc Rustad. Photoby Scott Edelman.

A. Merc Rustad has published fiction in Lightspeed, Uncanny, Shimmer, and other magazines, and their short story “How To Become A Robot In 12 Easy Steps” was included in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015. They were on that weekend’s Nebula ballot in the short story category for “This Is Not a Wardrobe Door,” which is included in their debut short story collection So You Want to Be a Robot, described by Publishers Weekly as “unmissable.”

We discussed some terrible writing advice which messed with their head and the way they got over it, how the Redwall series by Brian Jacques turned them from a reader to a writer, why some fan fiction doesn’t get the fan fiction label while other fan fiction does, the reason the animated television series Beast Wars: Transformers was such a major influence both professionally and personally, why they almost destroyed their Nebula-nominated story “This Is Not a Wardrobe Door,” the secrets to assembling a short story collection, and more.

(4) A ROYAL WEDDING. TrekMovie.com found a funny video clip to run at the end of their news flash “Terry Farrell and Adam Nimoy To Wed”:

Congratulations are in order for two members of the Star Trek family. Over the weekend Star Trek: Deep Space Nine star Terry Farrell confirmed that she was engaged to be married to Adam Nimoy, son of Star Trek legend Leonard Nimoy. The news first came via Access Hollywood’s Scott Mantz and was confirmed by Terry via Twitter.


(5) CRAFT TIME. The weapon for the chosen one has been forged.

(6) DESTROYING SF IN PRINT. The Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction/Uncanny Magazine Year 4 Kickstarter reached the Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction  PHYSICAL BOOK STRETCH GOAL.

Everybody who backs for just that or at $50 and above is getting a FANCY BOOK!

And in another update, they posted a new Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction personal essay:

Here is today’s new Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction personal essay (edited by Nicolette Barischoff). These essays, much like their counterparts in the previous Destroy Kickstarters, will feature disabled creators sharing what it is like being a disabled person in the science fiction community. Shine on, Space Unicorns.

“After the Last Chapter” by A.C. Buchanan

The Chrysalids was different. The edge of panic started to seize me when I read it. I knew it was saying something deeply personal to me; was too scared to contemplate what.

The novel is set in northern Canada, some years after a global nuclear war, in a society ruled by religious extremism which denounces any biological mutation or atypicality as the work of the devil. This is a world in which disabled people are either killed or sterilised, then banished from society. The book follows a group who are forced to conceal their telepathic abilities for fear of their lives. At the conclusion of the novel they are rescued by a woman from the island country of Sealand, where these telepathic abilities are both common and viewed as a positive stage in evolution.

In retrospect, it’s obvious why this work was so important to me. I was both autistic and queer, only partially aware of both, in a conservative country where neither was acceptable. I tried—and failed—to find a balance between the inevitable violence that would follow any expression or exploration of my reality, and the slower, but no less destructive, intense denial of any sense of self. I spent my teens careering between rebellion and obsessive rule following, between internalised self-hatred and burning anger, eventually determining that no matter what I did, the parts of my person I did not yet know to call autistic would always be suppressed whenever they dared to show themselves.

(7) VACUUM PACKED. The Verge has ranked “18 space suits from science fiction, from worst to best”. Here’s one they’re very fond of:

One of my absolute favorite space suits appeared long before real humans went into space: it’s in the 1950s Tintin comics (and later cartoons) Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon. These suits aren’t what we ended up using: they’re hard armor with a bubble helmet rather than lighter cloth, and seem cumbersome to wear and walk around in, not to mention specifically fitted to each person (and dog!)

But, they’re still a beautiful, iconic design that did draw on some real concepts. While they certainly predate the space age, and Hergé does depict the suits in use on the Moon, as well as a couple of points where they’re being constructed and fixed, which means that he did put some thought into how these theoretical space suits might have functioned.

(8) COMICS SECTION. Mike Kennedy appreciates the astrophysical humor in yesterday’s In The Bleachers.

(9) WHAT DO THE SIMPLE FOLK DO? Nancy Kress told her Facebook followers:

Working on draft three of a novel, an insanely complicated sort-of-space-opera-with-physics that STILL has too many inconsistencies in the timeline. I swear, my next book will be single-viewpoint, near-future, on-Earth, and short. Possibly a haiku.

(10) WIELDING THE HAMMER. A new take on Thor:

In a flash, the Marvel heroes are offered a gift: to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who came before them! Today, Marvel release GENERATIONS: THE THUNDER written by Jason Aaron with art by Mahmud Asrar. In this new and exciting story, Jane Foster meet a version of Thor she’s never met before – one who has not yet picked up the hammer.


(11) HEALTHY SCRATCH. You won’t be seeing this actor in the Han Solo movie after all: “Michael Kenneth Williams’ Role Cut From ‘Star Wars’ Han Solo Movie Amid Reshoots” reports Deadline.

“I felt great about what I created with the directors that I worked with,” said Williams, who was cast in the Han Solo origin story by original helming duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who exited in June. “It is what it is.”

“When Ron Howard got hired to finish out the film, there were some reshoot issues that needed to be done in regards to my character, in order for it to match the new direction which the producers wanted Ron to carry the film in,” Williams told Deadline. “And that would have required me on a plane a month ago to London, to Pinewood, to do reshoots. But I’m here, on location in Africa. It’s scheduling. I’m not going to be back on the market until the end of November after [his SundanceTV series] Hap and Leonard, and for them to wait that long for me, that would have pushed back the release date, which I believe is in May 2018. They wanted me now; I couldn’t go. So they had to clip-clip-clip.”

Plot and character details had been kept under wraps, but Williams said he played a half-human, half-animal in the film and that “we created a kick-ass character, in my opinion. I’m proud of it.”

(12) KRAZY PRICES. Twenty-four hours left to bid on these irresistible items being auctioned by Nate Sanders firm, like this George Herriman Krazy Kat Illustration (minimum bid $11,000).

Original ”Krazy Kat” hand-drawn and signed illustration by George Herriman, rendered in multi-color ink and watercolor. An extremely popular comic strip created by Herriman in 1913, Krazy Kat depicts the unlikely love triangle of a cat, a mouse and a dog: Krazy Kat, Ignatz Mouse and Officer Bull Pupp. Krazy Kat’s naive, unrequited love for Ignatz is consistently and unceremoniously rewarded by bricks hurled to the back of his head, thrown by the cantankerous mouse. Officer Bull Pupp does his best to protect Krazy Kat, whom he not so secretly loves, from Ignatz’ relentless brick attacks. In this hand-drawn illustration from the early 1930s, the three march along, holding up their respective offerings: a brick, bobby stick, and umbrella and flower. Signed by Herriman, ”Hey ‘Louie’ – Thine – Geo. Herriman”, drawn for Louis Staub, a New York printer. Krazy Kat ran for almost thirty years, from 1913-1944, a favorite of comic fans and such notables as E.E. Cummings, William Randolph Hearst, Jack Kerouac and Pablo Picasso. Illustration measures 9.5” by 6”. Three hole punches at top and light creasing to edges, otherwise near fine condition.

Other auction highlights:

  • Original Walt Disney Signed Bambi Cel
  • Marvel Tales Starring Spider-Man! Cover Art
  • Charles Schulz 1961 Peanuts Strip

(13) POPULARIZING SCIENCE. Award-winner Nora Bourbia tells about “My academic poster at the Worldcon75 in Helsinki (Finland), August 2017”.

For the last two years the Worldcon has invited young scientists (PhD student and postdoc level) to present their work to the public audience via a poster and a five minute presentation. I couldn’t miss this great opportunity to do some public engagement and I was really happy to be accepted among 15 others for the academic poster presentation session. The title of my talk was: The tale of the neuroscientist who modifies DNA of mice with viruses.

…It was great to talk to a variety of people, from both scientists in my field to non-scientists. I was happy to see curiosity and have a range of discussions with the Worldcon75 attendees. On top of that I was surprised and very pleased to win the academic poster presentation judged by the panel of the Worldcon75 and sponsored by the BWAWA (Baltimore-Washington Area Worldcon Association). It was really amazing, the panel judged the poster as well as the presentation. I am so happy about this award and to have been part of the Worldcon75.

(14) WHOO – IS TO BLAME? The BBC asks “Has Harry Potter cursed these owls?” There’s a video report at the link.

Since the runaway success of the Harry Potter series some Indonesians have started keeping owls as pets. More owls are being sold and conservationists are worried about the impact on the population in the wild.

(15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Trailer for Every Oscar-Winning Movie Ever with BriTANick” has the smart-alecks at Cracked trying to put every cliché they can into a three-minute video.

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Hampus Eckerman, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Rich McAllister.]

48 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/23/17 Best Pixel Scroll Title Ever

  1. Is the extra letter in “Pixell” a joke I’m not… nah, couldn’t be.

    Well, the gallbladder’s out, the drain’s out, and I’m mostly just taking it easy.

    Trying the tickybox, for old times.

  2. @Kip —

    Hey, I had my gallbladder out last fall. I wasn’t “lucky” enough to need a drain, though. Hope your recovery goes well!

  3. Kip W: Rest easy. You may have to wait to begin your well-deserved appertainment!

  4. Kip W on August 23, 2017 at 5:27 pm said:
    Sympathy offered. (I got needle-punched this morning. Results in a few days to a week, depending.)

  5. A couple of sites pointed at this Mad-Libs-esque book blurb prompt by Beth Bacon:

    _______(Main Character name) is a ____________. She lives in ________ and what she wants most in the world is _________. But that’s not possible because ________. So she did ______. Well, that didn’t work out very well because_______ and ______. Then along came _________. He/she/they did ___________ and __________ and ______. That made things even worse because _________. Now it looked like _______(Main Character name) would never get what she wanted. But then, one day, __________happened. Would _______ (Main Character name) finally find the __________ she was seeking? This _________(tone of book, i.e. suspenseful, gripping, lyrical, etc.) story of _________(type of story, i.e. intrigue, mystery, romance, etc.), captures the spirit of ___________ (setting or tone) and confirms the power of _______ (theme or message).

    I wanted to try it out and ended up at Lois McMaster Bujold’s Memory:
    Miles Naismith is an admiral. He lives in outer space and what he wants most in the world is the Dendarii Free Mercenaries. But that’s not possible because Miles is also a Barrayaran ImpSec agent. So he faked a report. Well, that didn’t work out very well because he got caught and fired. Then along came his cousin Ivan. He dumped ice water on Miles and dragged him to parties and skivved off work. That made things even worse because Ivan is an idiot. Now it looked like Miles would never get what he wanted. But then, one day, Miles’ boss Illyan had a mysterious breakdown. Would Miles finally find the heroic destiny he was seeking? This devastating story of intrigue and air handling maintenance captures the spirit of space opera and confirms the power of the hyper little dwarf.

    I feel sure people here can do great things with this. Just not by spoiling anything recent, please.

    (I’ve been offline for a few days, so apologies if my searches for “Bacon” and “Mad Libs” overlooked an extant vein of commentary.)

  6. (4) That scene is a delight! I’m surprised my wife didn’t squee about the episode when she went through DS9 on her current Star Trek binge.

    (6) I have a lot of respect for Lightspeed’s work with their special issues, but from what I can see (and I’d be happy to be proven wrong!) their special issues haven’t had a huge impact in their own regular publishing. Special issues focused on representation are good, but regular and steady representation is better.

    (14) First abandoned huskies due to Game of Thrones, and now owls due to Harry Potter. Pets are not toys!

  7. 5) I am delighted by the idea of a weapon forged during an eclipse. As I said on twitter, I need to borrow this idea for a story or an RPG session

    4) That was a fun episode. Because tribbles.

  8. (1) some people are just lucky enough to be telekinetic.
    (2) Are Eggs Benedict another of those foods that mean completely different things depending on which side of the Atlantic you come from? Like flapjacks?
    That picture looks nothing like what I’d expect if I ordered them.
    (6) agree with Greg. The kids are told to expect rescue from ‘Zealand’ and think that must be a transmission error.

  9. Apropos of nothing…. They said it couldn’t be done – oh, wait, no, they said it shouldn’t be done – but I’m pressing on anyway, and have started my read-through and analysis of Vox Day’s magnificent octopus, A Throne of Bones.

    OK, so thus far I’ve only managed the front cover and the prologue… but I can do this. I have what it takes to review Vox Day. I have the critical acumen and the breadth of genre knowledge to interrogate the text effectively. I have the intellectual stamina and intestinal fortitude to see the project through to the end. Most important of all, I have the right initials. I can do this.

  10. Karl-Johan Norén: I have a lot of respect for Lightspeed’s work with their special issues, but from what I can see (and I’d be happy to be proven wrong!) their special issues haven’t had a huge impact in their own regular publishing. Special issues focused on representation are good, but regular and steady representation is better.

    1) I agree that steady representation is better, but just looking at Lightspeed‘s TOC for the 2017 issues so far, I see quite a few POC and LGBTQ authors — and they’ve had a “Translated Chinese SF” initiative going on for a while now. So I would disagree that the diversity of their special issues has been an anomaly.

    2) Uncanny requested, and was given, permission to take up the Destroy! mantle, and this issue is being put out by Uncanny Magazine, which has been doing a fantastic job of publishing diverse authors.

  11. That Fingerpori comic strip: Here’s the approximate translation although I guess it can be understood without the text as well…

    First panel: (The guy’s name is Heimo Vesa) “What’s going on?”
    “George R.R. Martin’s signing queue.”
    Middle panel: “Well, I must experience this”.
    (As in once in a lifetime thing.)

    The pun is that in Finnish that signing queue sentence can be understood both ways… This comic strip is full of these kinds of puns. I guess the artist Mr. Pertti Jarla was also at the Worldcon 75 or he heard about the signing queues from someone.

  12. @NickPheas
    I was confused by the Eggs Benedict, which look nothing like Eggs Benedict, too, so I clicked through to the post and saw that the food in the photo is actually some kind of pancakes. The Eggs Benedict are also pictured and look more like what you’d expect.

  13. Karl-Johan Norén: as I read the story, the issue is not abandonment but destruction of a breeding population; pet owls are kept individually, and there may not be enough left in the wild. Not that that can be treated as better (or worse) than abandonment, just a different screw-up-the-world result.

    @Nick Pheas — IIRC, Edelman always leads with a photo of his guest; looks like the only one he had was with pancakes. He may have figured “Eggs Benedict” set the tone he wanted.

  14. @Steve Wright. Forsooth, thou art stronger in stomach than I. Godstalk, and may white Christian prayers go with you into the generic extruded fantasy product middle age setting..

  15. @Robert Whitaker Sirignano:
    There’s a wonderful new book out called Krazy: George Herriman, A Life in Black and White. You’re right, the strip wasn’t as widely popular as some others, and if you read any number of them you’ll see why: they’re pretty puzzling at first glance, like little surrealist parables. Still, it was popular enough to last all those years.

    One of the things I found interesting about Herriman is that he was a light-skinned black man passing as white. His parents had moved the family from New Orleans to Los Angeles, where no one knew them, and registered the kids in white schools. Apparently he never mentioned this to anyone, including his children.

  16. Lisa: William Randolf Hearst had no love for blacks, and it was part of his world view. I’ve read the first hundred pages of the book. Its a disturbing portrait about getting a better life in the need to “pass”. And it seemed he also never mentioned his “color” to his wife.

    Though on one of the DVDs of the very earliest animated Krazy Kat cartoons, his birth certificate is shown, and it read “negro” in the Race slot.

  17. OK, so thus far I’ve only managed the front cover and the prologue…

    Which one?

    Ok, cheap joke…

    Oh, Matt, Ive feeling were not in Hells Kitchen anymore!
    (Just finished The Defenders, like it)

  18. Thanks, guys! Yeah, I’ll have to get permission from my guardians here before I start appertaining much, but recovery is swell.

    I’d be participating more, but it’s a lot of extra work now that (for some reason probably to do with me) I can’t seem to subscribe to anything, so I have to bookmark most recent comment in a bunch of threads… or, the alternative, where I go back to sleep, or listen to music instead.

    I do expect to be back, though. (Maybe my next shower will remove the last remainder of the surgeon’s Sharpie initials on my abdomen.)

  19. @lauowolf: sounds like someone was at least more organized than the 1989 Hugo scammers (not that that would have been hard).

  20. SJW (no relation): OK, so thus far I’ve only managed the front cover and the prologue…

    Peer: Which one?… Ok, cheap joke

    Well, I laughed out loud, anyway. 😀

  21. (9) So Nancy Kress thinks a “single-viewpoint, near-future, on-Earth” book is a solution to her problems? She should probably talk to Charlie Stross about that. One book which needed a huge chunk rewritten, simply because reality took too strange a turn, and another series which had to be abandoned for similar reasons…

    At least with the far-future stuff, you only have to be consistent with yourself, and not with unpredictable/crazy real-life politicians/voters/etc.

    That said, I’m tingling with anticipation at the thought of a new “insanely complicated sort-of-space-opera-with-physics” from Ms. Kress. After which I plan to tingle with anticipation at the thought of her new haiku. 😀

    (2) Those who are interested in comics about science and math, and who haven’t checked out Larry Gonick’s Cartoon History of the Universe or his various Cartoon Guide to… (Physics, Calculus, Chemistry, etc.) books should remedy this lapse asap.

  22. http://www.pajiba.com/book_reviews/did-this-book-buy-its-way-onto-the-new-york-times-bestseller-list.php
    Fascinating in a train wreak sort of way.

    There are services that do this. There was this GIGANTIC douchebag that I knew in college that went on to found a megachurch franchise (and get kicked out of it for undisclosed moral shortcomings) who bought his way onto the New York Times via a service known as “Result Source.”

    Basically why “NYT bestseller” doesn’t even rate picking it up to look for me.
    (I can usually spell wreck, but it’s been a hard week already.)

  23. I am impressed by how much care these guys seemed to take to avoid triggering any of the NYT’s usual detection mechanisms for such schemes. I suspect the Times may be reviewing some of their procedures even now

    This is not the greatest pixel scroll in the world, no–this is just a tribute.

  24. Xtifr: I am impressed by how much care these guys seemed to take to avoid triggering any of the NYT’s usual detection mechanisms for such schemes. I suspect the Times may be reviewing some of their procedures even now.

    It will be interesting to see if the NYT takes legal action to stop them from advertising the book as a “New York Times Bestseller”.

  25. Andrew on August 24, 2017 at 5:59 pm said:
    > Madlibstalk!

    Did anyone else mis-read that as “Muad’dibStalk”?

  26. The Pixels Scroll: M. Glyer’s Classic Tale of Wretched Hives and High Tsundokus

  27. Did anyone else mis-read that as “Muad’dibStalk”?

    I read it as Quasi-Hatrack-stalk.

  28. @Mark

    The Unmentionables of Scroll: House Castalia, sit unread on my bookshelves, reminding me that I must have more discerning taste, at least in my impulse purchases….

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