Pixel Scroll 8/8/17 Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Scrolls Of Summer

(1) THE FLAG IS UP. Kevin Standlee and other selected members of Worldcon 75 attended a reception hosted at the Helsinki City Hall to welcome Worldcon to the city.

Worldcon Reception at City Hall

(2) INDEPENDENCE DAY. Did you notice that Hoboken, New Jersey, is a sovereign country now? At least, it has a line of its own in Worldcon 75’s membership update, just like the Vatican City State.

(3) STAR TREK FAN FILM ACADEMY. “Post-Axanar, CBS unveils first official fan filmmaking initiative in Trek history”ArsTechnica has the story.

After pushing a nearly year-and-a-half copyright battle with fan filmmakers toward a settlement earlier this year, CBS and Star Trek New Voyages Producer James Cawley announced the creation of a Star Trek Film Academy equipped to train interested creators and produce future fan films.

This marks the first official, CBS-sanctioned fan filmmaking effort in Trek‘s 50-plus year history. The academy will start business in the fall with the first films expected in Spring 2018. Unlike prior Trek fan films or those made under newly announced guidelines, films done through the Star Trek Film Academy will be able to employ people who’ve worked on professional Trek productions.

These Academy fans and films will also have access to the New Voyages sets and facilities [on Ticonderoga, NY]. New Voyages is a fan-made Web series Cawley helmed from 2008 through 2015, creating about one episode per year. Though the series was not officially a CBS production, sets constructed for New Voyages became licensed as a “Studio Set Tour” beginning in July 2016. Throughout its run, New Voyages featured contributions from major Trek players like George Takei (reprising his role as Sulu) and Eugene Roddenberry, Jr. (as a producer).

(4) LOVE FOR DRAGON AWARD NOMINEES. Congratulatory posts show where some of the nominees have their strongest support.

Inkshares for one:

Congratulations to the Five Inkshares Authors Nominated for the 2017 Dragon Awards!

DragonCon, the pop culture, fantasy, sci-fi, and gaming convention based in Atlanta, has announced their round of 2017 nominations for the coveted Dragon Awards. Previous winners include Terry Pratchett, Naomi Novik, and Neil Gaiman.

This year a whopping five Inkshares authors have been nominated! These talented authors will be representing Inkshares in their respective categories and we couldn’t be more proud!

And the Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance for another:

“Multiple CLFA Authors on Final Ballot for 2017 Dragon Awards”

In only its second incarnation, the Dragon Awards have already shot to prominence as one of Science Fiction/Fantasy’s most consequential fan-powered awards. Here at CLFA, we are bursting with pride at the significant number of our members who have reached the Finalist stage of the contest. Scroll down to see which CLFA’ers made the cut; click on any book cover to read more and shop.

(5) ANOTHER COUNTY HEARD FROM. N.K. Jemisin seems to have learned about her Dragon Award nomination…today?


(6) CHANGING OF THE GUARD. BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow reports “Toronto’s amazing science fiction library, the Merril Collection, has a new head librarian”.

That new head librarian is Sephora Hosein, a “lifelong fan” who has vowed to bring in younger readers and a new generation of fandom by connecting the collection using “social media and programming for people who maybe love science fiction and fantasy, but never dove deep into fandom.”

I think Judy Merril would have loved this approach. I was trepidatious when I heard Lorna was stepping down as the library has been such a fixture in my life, but Ms Hosein sounds like a brilliant successor.

Hosein has taken the reins from longtime collection head Lorna Toolis, herself having moved from managing another formidable research collection — Toronto Public Library’s Canadiana Collection at the Toronto Reference Library.

Gregg Calkins in 2013: a photo from his old blog.

(7) CALKINS OBIT. Longtime fan Gregg Calkins died last week after suffering a fall. He was 82. Gregg got active in fandom in the Fifties and his fanzine Oopsla (1952-1961) is fondly remembered. He was living in the Bay Area and serving as the Official Editor of FAPA when I applied to join its waitlist in the Seventies. He was Fan GoH at the 1976 Westercon. Calkins later moved to Costa Rica. In contrast to most of his generation, he was highly active in social media, frequently posting on Facebook where it was his pleasure to carry the conservative side of debates.

He is survived by his wife, Carol.

(8) COMIC SECTION. John King Tarpinian found a real fish story in today’s Bizarro.

(9) THE MERCURY 13 STILL AIM FOR THE STARS. An early astronaut candidate, rejected for being female, may finally go into space: “This Pilot Is Headed To Space With Or Without NASA”.

Wally Funk has spent her life in pursuit of a dream. The pilot, flight instructor and almost-astronaut longs to go to outer space.

In 1961, she was part of a group of female pilots who took part in tests to determine whether women were fit for space travel. The project was run by the same doctor who developed tests for NASA astronauts and the women became known as the Mercury 13.

“I get a call said, ‘Do you want to be an astronaut?’ I said, ‘Oh my gosh, yes!’ And he said, ‘Be here on Monday to take these tests,’ ” the 78-year-old Funk recounted to her friend and flight student, Mary Holsenbeck, during a recent visit to StoryCorps in Dallas.

…. Funk bought a ticket for Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic commercial spaceship and hopes to be on board its maiden voyage into space. Holsenbeck plans to be there, cheering Funk on when she finally blasts off.

(10) NEW VIEW. Using glass may be the best way to fix broken bones.

Thompson’s answer was to build the world’s first glass implant, moulded as a plate which slotted in under the patient’s eye into the collapsed orbital floor. The idea of using glass – a naturally brittle material – to repair something so delicate may seem counterintuitive.

But this was no ordinary glass.

“If you placed a piece of window glass in the human body, it would be sealed off by scar tissue, basically wobble around in the body for a while and then get pushed out,” says Julian Jones, an expert in bioglass at Imperial College London. “When you put bioglass in the body, it starts to dissolve and releases ions which kind of talk to the immune system and tell the cells what to do. This means the body doesn’t recognise it as foreign, and so it bonds to bone and soft tissue, creating a good feel and stimulating the production of new bone.”

For Thompson, the results were immediate. Almost instantaneously, the patient regained full vision, colour and depth perception. Fifteen years on, he remains in full health.

(11) STICKER SHOCK. Langford’s basilisks vs. AI: “The tiny changes that can cause AI to fail”.

The year is 2022. You’re riding along in a self-driving car on a routine trip through the city. The car comes to a stop sign it’s passed a hundred times before – but this time, it blows right through it.

To you, the stop sign looks exactly the same as any other. But to the car, it looks like something entirely different. Minutes earlier, unbeknownst to either you or the machine, a scam artist stuck a small sticker onto the sign: unnoticeable to the human eye, inescapable to the technology.

In other words? The tiny sticker smacked on the sign is enough for the car to “see” the stop sign as something completely different from a stop sign.

It may sound far-fetched. But a growing field of research proves that artificial intelligence can be fooled in more or less the same way, seeing one thing where humans would see something else entirely. As machine learning algorithms increasingly find their way into our roads, our finances, our healthcare system, computer scientists hope to learn more about how to defend them against these “adversarial” attacks – before someone tries to bamboozle them for real.

(12) STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. ScienceFiction.com transcribed the show’s new intro.

In case you didn’t catch it all, here is a transcript of Martin-Green’s narrations:

As we stand at the edge of an unknown universe, we know our greatest challenges lie before us, that our future is not bound by fear and that our mission is not to conquer, but to discover. That is our destiny, a destiny written in the stars. So, we boldly go where we have never gone before.

And yesterday CBS put out these brief videos of the crew and characters in the new series.

  • Our mission is not to conquer, but to discover.

  • Captain Philippa Georgiou of the U.S.S. Shenzhou

  • “We are creating a new way to fly.” -Captain Gabriel Lorca

  • “My people were biologically determined for one purpose alone: to sense the coming of death.” – Saru

  • Meet Voq!

(13) THOSE AREN’T BABY BUMPS. Nicole Weaver, in “‘Star Trek: Discovery’: Cast Reveals Why the Klingons Look So Different”, reveals, among other reasons, that these Kilingons have ESP!

  1. Klingons will have heightened senses because of their new features

According to the designer, Neville Page, the ridges act as extra-sensory receptors on the Klingons’ heads and backs. Per io9, this is because the Klingons are “apex predators” and would need this to make it to the top of the food chain. One of the Klingon actors, Mary Chieffo, went into detail about this new development.

Obviously the hair was the biggest thing people noticed, or the lack thereof. And I will attest to the fact there is a reason my ridge goes back the way it does. There are sensors and pheromones…There is a whole reasoning behind it that is adhering to what has always been true in Klingon canon…So I deeply believe we are in line with what has come before but is also adding a new kind of nuance.

(14) CAMEO. New York Mets pitcher “Noah Syndergaard was on ‘Game of Thrones.’ He died.” says NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra.

The Dodgers absolutely killed the Mets this past weekend. As they were collectively dying yesterday evening, Noah Syndergaard was dying individually over on HBO.

It was on “Game of Thrones,” which featured a blink-and-you’ll miss it cameo from Syndergaard as a member of the Lannister army. His big moment: he threw a spear and killed a horse. Best throw he’s had all year given the injuries that have sidelined him since April. He’s likely done for the season when it comes to baseball — he hasn’t started throwing yet — but he’ll never come back to Westeros, as he was burnt to death by a dragon. That’ll put a guy on the 60-day DL for sure.

(15) NOT THE KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE. Adweek finds the drumsticks are bigger in Georgia: “The Giant Chicken From KFC’s Marietta, Georgia, Store Springs to Life in W+K’s New Film”.

It’s not every day you get to see a building in the shape of a giant chicken, let alone one that can get up and walk away. But that’s the delightfully hallucinogenic conceit of a sweet little five-minute animated short from KFC and Wieden + Kennedy, celebrating the renovation of one of its marquee restaurants with a story of a little boy who befriends a roving animatronic fast-food store.

Marietta, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb, is home to The Big Chicken, a KFC franchise famous for its unusual architecture—namely, a towering, 56-foot-tall, angular red hen with mechanical eyes that roll in slow 360 degree circles, and a beak that opens and closes in sync, like some deranged obstacle in an 8-bit video game.


[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Andrew Porter, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Rich Lynch, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

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80 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/8/17 Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Scrolls Of Summer

  1. Welcome to the world, Sophia.

    Trailing clouds of pixels do we come from scrolls which are our home.

  2. This calls for the File 770 lullaby:

    Pixel, pixel, little sneed,
    How I wonder what you’ll read,
    Up above the scroll so high
    Like a filer in the sky…

  3. Soft pixel, warm pixel, little ball of scroll
    Happy filer, godstalk filer
    Read, read read

  4. 10: I hear that the human surgical implants are 98 percent identical to Gorilla Glass.

    13: The more I read about Star Trek: Discovery the more I look forward to The Orville.

  5. Congrats Aaron!

    Of course the authors cant resign. They have to loose against the puppie backed authors. Thats the point of the whole thing! Because then the truth is out, that the puppies are right that the puppies read true SF and everyone else will stop reading everything else.

    The pixels are scrolled by the dozends.

  6. Congratulations Aaron.

    Feeling jealous of everyone in Helenski. You’ll have a blast!

  7. @StephenfromOttawa: “At this point I think the Dragon Awards are looking pretty bush league.”

    I think that’s unfair to the bush league.

  8. “You can Pixel any time you like,
    but you can never Scroll”

    “Helsinki, Helsinki, the con to which you want to get,
    Helsinki, Helsinki, but you can livestream yet”

  9. Aaron on August 9, 2017 at 7:00 am said:

    In happy news, Sophia Rey Tiberius made her long-awaited debut on 8/8 and in my wholly unbiased opinion is completely adorable.

    Well done Sophia, welcome to the world!

  10. @1: I suppose they had to be selective because the city hall wouldn’t fit 6000 people, and having a reception in the city hall is a nice recognition — but I wonder whether they would have done better to follow Glasgow’s 1995 example and bring the reception to the convention center. Or is the CC not large enough for all those people in one place either? Sounds like it might not be from Cheryl Morgan’s first-day report (link I thought from somewhere here, but now I can’t find it…).

    @15: that’s wonderful!

    @Greg Hullender re @11: I think that’s a large assumption; who will be updating the database? Will it be the GoogleMaps people who still haven’t figured out (after over a month) that the connection between I-90 westbound and I-95 (either way) has been moved rather than severed? Or maybe a bunch of overloaded local governments will reliably help what is so far entirely private enterprise? (Do any of the current projects assume a DB rather than recognition?)

    OTOH, I also dropped this on Making Light, where it was germane to an ongoing thread; a commenter there found the original paper and argues that the developers can fix this easily now that they know about it. I’d hope for a more robust process from the start, but I know just about nothing about neural nets, or AI in general; I do wonder what glitches haven’t been realized yet.

    @Oneiros re @10: Hasn’t Gibson (?Sterling? ??) been telling us for years that the future is here but unequally distributed?

    @Mark: I think that should be Honorary Littlest Filer pro tem; I’d hate to think no future (or even present) Filer would reproduce. In any case, congrats to Aaron.


    Shame a ticket had to be bought, but even so, nice to hear. Hope she makes it.

    (10) NEW VIEW

    Wow this is very cool – especially that they’re going to work on cartilage repair. Hopefully they’ll be finished before I grind away too much of mine. 🙂 (Occupational hazard of my particular thing.)


    Yay! August is definitely the best month to be born in, too, in my totally unbiased opinion. 🙂

    @Everyone at Worldcon

    I hope you’re having a lovely time. Also possibly going green with envy in your general direction. 🙂

  12. Letting everybody know the Scroll will be late today. I have to run out and drive my daughter places. 🙂

  13. Books which I read on the plane that turned out to be excellent if a little middle-booky and left me desperate for more: Raven Stratagem

    Books which I belatedly learned don’t have a “The” at the start of the title: Raven Stratagem

  14. @Aaron, congratulations! May Sophia Rey grow up to be as awesome as her namesake.

    @Everyone in Finland

    Do they have Dr Pepper in Helsinki? If so, raise a glass for me and enjoy.

  15. I finished up the October Daye series – really liked some of the short fiction and enjoyed the novels (although it noticeably smoothed out a few books in), but my socks stayed on. It would be distressing to discover a New Favourite Series at this point in time so I’m a bit relieved. I’m not surprised the short fiction has had individual nominations – I liked those the best. I’ll keep track of it in future, though, because I did like it.

    Raven Stratagem – liked it, not quite as much as Ninefox Gambit, not sure of the wisdom of univat gur znva frperg or n guvat gung rirelbar jub ernq gur svefg bar jbhyq nyernql xabj. Looking forward to the next one.

    Penric’s Mission and Mira’s Last Dance – I really felt these were two halves of a novel rather than distinct stories. Good, of course, because Bujold, but I liked the first two better.

    In a Heartbeat – cute short film. “A closeted boy runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams.”

    Couple of questions:

    Mari Ness finished up the Disney Read-Watch (which I loved! a lot! it was really interesting!) on the 5th of January – can I nominate the whole thing for Related Work because of the series/whole work rule or am I out of luck because I didn’t read it soon enough?

    I recently discovered that the fanwriter I’ve mentioned a couple of times lately – most recently on the 27/07 Pixel Scroll, I think – also wrote a certain dragon series wot got nominated (haha yes I’ve totally been having minor hysterics over the fact I didn’t notice for nearly a decade that one of my favourite fanfic writers and one of my favourite writers are the same person). This does not appear to be a secret, but is not advertised, which is why I’m not putting the two names together in an easily searchable comment. Should I nominate them for Fan Writer under their fannish name or their published name or both?

    (Nearly a decade. How.)

  16. @Chip: Gibson rings a bell for that one, although it’s also a fairly common theme throughout all of cyberpunk I guess.

  17. Aaron, newborns aren’t supposed to be that cute! Congrats again on your impossible offspring.

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