Pixel Scroll 9/16/18 Mother, Please! I’d Rather Scroll It Myself!

(1) VISUALIZING LE GUIN. Andrew Liptak interviews artist David Lupton, who is responsible for the art in The Folio Society’s new edition of The Left Hand of Darkness“Behind the gorgeous new illustrated edition of Ursula K Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness”.

Tell me a little about adapting the scenes from the novel with your art. How did you go about capturing the characters?

My process for adapting scenes for a Folio Society edition always begins in the same way. I start by reading the book from beginning to end. Then I go back and re-read the book whilst making notes of the scenes that I’d like to illustrate. I also have to keep in mind that the illustrations need to be paced throughout the book and depending on the length it usually works out that an illustration is needed every 20 pages or so. Therefore I go through the book and note what occurs around these page numbers and begin to formulate ideas on how to interpret the imagery described.

For The Left Hand of Darkness, I initially chose approximately 20 scenes that I thought could help tell the story visually and then I worked with Sheri Gee (art director at Folio Society) and Ursula to whittle down what imagery would work and what wouldn’t. I also wanted to draw a variety of compositions from extreme close-ups of faces, to wider drawings of snowy mountains, and so had to balance that imagery throughout the whole sequence. In terms of the characters, I simply read the descriptions in the text, which are quite succinct and open for interpretation, and then talked with Ursula personally to get an understanding of what she wanted.

(2) MEXICANX SAGA. Hector Gonzalez takes the opening step on “My Road to Worldcon 76. Part 1: The Mexicanx Initiative” at Medium.

…I remember pedaling like crazy to get to La Casa de los Sabores (aka home) in time to talk to John. I made it back with 18 minutes to spare, which I invested in taking a quick shower and cutting some vegetables for dinner. I dialed at 7:01 PM and I heard John [Picacio]’s voice. He wanted to know more about myself, why me, as a fan, wanted to attend Worldcon and be part of this Mexicanx Initiative. I shared how sci-fi and comics were a big part of my history while growing up. How friends and family usually gave me books for my birthday as a child and how I devoured those stories. How my favorite encyclopedia was about a humanoid robot that was part comic and part in-depth information about different topics, from astronomy to biology.

“Who is a current creator that you admire?” John asked. Alejandro Jodorowski was my answer. I shared how his movies, books, and comics had influenced me….

(3) BOUND FOR MARS. Already showing on Hulu – The First.

Sean Penn leads an ensemble cast in this near-future drama about a crew of astronauts attempting to become the first humans on Mars. Under the direction of visionary aerospace magnate Laz Ingram (Natascha McElhone), the crew contends with peril and personal sacrifice as they undertake the greatest pioneering feat in human history.


(4) HOW BEER WILL HELP COLONIZE MARS. On Food & Wine, Mike Pomranz opines that “Beer Might Be the Key to Surviving on Mars, But Not for the Reasons You Think”. It seems that beer wort is being used as feedstock for bacteria that in turn create something that could be useful on Mars or other harsh environments:

“[We have] developed a super-insulating, ultra-light, and ultra-transparent aerogel film,” Ivan Smalyukh, a professor in the [University of Colorado] Department of Physics, explained to Digital Trends. “Aerogels are extremely porous solid objects that are made mostly from air, and are about 100 times less dense than glass panes. Our aerogel is made from nanocellulose, which is grown by bacteria that eat waste beer wort, a waste byproduct of the beer industry.”

…“Extraterrestrial habitats will face extreme temperature fluctuations which must be eliminated inside the habitat,” Smalyukh continued. “We see our aerogel product as a prime way to accomplish this, additionally allowing for the harvesting and storage of solar energy inside of habitats because these aerogels are transparent to sunlight. Because our aerogel can be made from waste, space colonizers wouldn’t necessarily have to bring the aerogel with them from Earth, which would be expensive. Instead, they could grow, from waste, [and] with the help of bacteria, aerogels to be used in habitats.”

Needless to say, Food & Wine is thrilled that culinary science could play a role in colonizing other planets. Not that at least some of the colonists would object to having beer available with or without the aerogel byproducts.

(5) INDIANA IS FROM ILLINOIS? You can buy the house where Indiana Jones and Han Solo grew up, in a manner of speaking – Harrison Ford’s boyhood home is for sale.

A Long Time Ago, in a Town Close to Chicago was a Storybook Tudor. Restore Harrison Ford’s Childhood Home to its Former Glory. 1st Time on the Market Since 1970.

(6) PRINCESS OR ACTION HERO? Fan art by Artemii Myasnikov reimagines Disney royalty as action heroes. Myasnikov’s Instagram feed also mixes in a lot of other genre work, but it was his Disney oeuvre that caught the eye of SYFY Wire’s Josh Weiss (“This fan art by Artemii Myasnikov turns Disney royalty into Disney action heroes”).

For too long, Disney’s pantheon of princesses were depicted as feeble damsels in distress that required handsome, horse-riding/sword-wielding princes to get them out of sticky situations. In recent years, however, the company recognized just how archaic this was and began to create strong, independent women who don’t need no men.

…They can all fend for themselves, kick butt and take names, but thanks to artist Artemii Myasnikov, they’ve become even more badass in art that turns them in all-out warriors. In a way, it gives a second chance to those old school princesses (Snow White, Aurora, and Cinderella) that were nothing more than foibles for the “big strong” princes.

(7) CLICKBAIT FOR CAVEMEN. NPR says “Researchers Discover Ancient ‘Hashtag'” – the oldest-found drawing dates back ~73k years.

Scientists working in South Africa say they’ve found the earliest known drawing. It was dug up in a cave where early humans apparently lived for thousands of years and left behind numerous artifacts.

The drawing isn’t what you’d call elaborate; it’s a row of crosshatched lines along the smooth face of a rock that may have been a tool for making ocher. In fact, the red lines were made with red ocher. The pattern (with a little imagination) resembles a hashtag. What’s remarkable is that it was apparently made about 73,000 years ago. That’s tens of thousands of years older than similar drawings made in European caves.

The researchers, led by Christopher Henshilwood of the University of Bergen in Norway, have previously found a sort of toolkit for making ocher at the site, known as Blombos Cave, that dates back 100,000 years. That evidence shows that early Homo sapiens were clearly making ocher a long time ago, though for what purpose is unclear. And they’ve found a piece of ocher from about 70,000 years ago with engraved crosshatching on it….

(8) WASHINGTON WONDERS. Michon Boston, in the Washington City Paper piece “Wonder Woman’s Version of 1984 D.C. Versus the Real Thing” looks at how the set designers for Wonder Woman 1984 turned the clock back in its Washington scenes, including building old-school phone booths, turning the facade of the long-closed Georgetown Theatre into a twin showing a double bill of Footloose and Ghostbuster, and resurrecting the AIDS activist slogan SILENCE=DEATH in front of the Hirshhorn Museum.

…Later, crews built a Commander Salamander façade over the former Appalachian Spring American craft storefront next door to Reddz and across the street from the original Commander Salamander, now an M&T Bank. The secret was out. The ’80s and Wonder Woman had arrived.

Operating under the working title Magic Hour, Fleischer and counterpart Matthew Noonan approached D.C.’s Office of Cable, Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) to set the groundwork for filming a live-action period film in D.C.

“They approached us because they heard about the incentive program,” says OCTFME Associate Director Herbert Niles, describing the agency’s Entertainment Rebate Fund. Since 2016, productions have been able to apply for a refund of up to 35 percent of qualified production expenditures provided they spend at least $250,000 in D.C. and hire residents to work on the crew. Warner Bros. Pictures’ Wonder Woman 1984 “represents the largest and most impactful production footprint in the District of Columbia since the film office was established [in 1979],” Niles says….


  • September 16, 1963The Outer Limits premiered on television


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 16, 1932 – Karen Anderson. Author with Poul Anderson, King of Ys series, also The Unicorn Trade likewise with him. She’s also cited as doing a lot of essays, short fiction and poetry, some with him, some not. She’s also cited as the author of Henry Kuttner: A Memorial Symposium. And I’d love to see the maps she’s credited with having done!
  • Born September 16 – Lisa Tuttle, 66. She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, received Nebula Award for Best Short Story for “The Bone Flute” which she refused, and a BSFA Award for Short Fiction for “In Translation”.  For novels, I’ll single out The Mysteries, The Silver Bough and Catwitch, a YA novel she co-wrote with Una Woodruff. I highly recommend Stranger in the House: The Collected Short Supernatural Fiction, Volume One.
  • Born September 16 – Jan Siegel, 63. She’s best known for the Fern Capel series which consists of Prospero’s ChildrenThe Dragon-Charmer and The Witch’s Honour. She also did the YA Sangreal trilogy and a number of other works which may or may not be genre.
  • Born September 16 – Mike Mignola, 58. Illustrator and writer, best known for his long running Hellboy series. Two novels with Christopher Golden, Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire and Joe Golem and the Drowning City, another with Thomas E. Sniegoski, Grim Death and Bill, the Electrocuted Criminal. Extensive comics work as well including one of my favorite undertakings, Gotham by Gaslight.


  • At Farcus two guys try to get their carcass on Noah’s Ark-us.
  • Get Fuzzy makes very, very, very bad use of CCGs.

(12) SCALZI BREAKOUT. I liked this series of groanworthy puns –

(13) I’M MELTING. “ICESat: Space will get unprecedented view of Earth’s ice” — ultraprecise measures of what we’ve lost.

The American space agency has launched a laser into orbit to measure the condition of Earth’s ice cover.

The satellite mission, called ICESat-2, should provide more precise information on how these frozen surfaces are being affected by global warming.

Antarctica, Greenland and the ice floating on the Arctic Ocean have all lost volume in recent decades….

(14) MORE ABOUT BEER. “‘World’s oldest brewery’ found in cave in Israel, say researchers” — pushes date from 5K to 13K years ago, and suggests beer may not have been a side-effect of making bread.

Researchers say they have found the world’s oldest brewery, with residue of 13,000-year-old beer, in a prehistoric cave near Haifa in Israel.

The discovery was made while they were studying a burial site for semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers.

Brewing beer was thought to go back 5,000 years, but the latest discovery may turn beer history on its head….

(15) COLD BALLOONS. Read about “The giant hangar built for an Arctic airship”:

In the photo, a huge silver airship floats over a large snowfield. On the sides of the airship are stamped in black capital letters, one word: ITALIA.

The machine itself is dwarfed by the snow-covered mountains that surround it on three sides. Their glaciers glisten in the spring sunshine. In front of it is the sea, full of floating chunks of ice.

Cables hang down from the sides of the craft like the antenna of an insect. A multitude of tiny stick-like figures await their orders below.

In front of the dirigible is a very large, strange-looking construction. It has no roof, but two sides that look like the giant wooden trestle bridges that you see in Westerns movies. It is clad in green canvas.

But what exactly is it?

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In Escape (2018) a man realizes he is living in a simulation, in a short film narrated by Stephen Fry — “Stephen Fry Voices a New Dystopian Short Film About Artificial Intelligence & Simulation Theory”.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, Steven H Silver, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Robert Whitaker Sirignano.]

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66 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/16/18 Mother, Please! I’d Rather Scroll It Myself!

  1. First! I subscribed to the DC streaming service which has been rather fun as all the animated shows are there which given there length suit my post-death attention span of less than thirty minutes before forgetting what I was watching quite fine.

    Looks reasonably well stocked on the comics side as well. Certainly worth eights bucks a month.

  2. Lis Carey says Tired. Still here anyway

    You’ve my fullest sympathies. My perpetual headache decided to be truly epic on Friday to be point that I took my emergency med (Imetrix) and that didn’t work so I took 1500 mg of Acetaminophen as well. ((I know, not a good idea.) My brain decided that yesterday was Friday as I’d lost Friday to that headache level to the point that I tried to do business with shops closed on weekends. So yes I’m very tired today.

  3. 10) Agreed with you Kat re: The maps and Karen Anderson

    6) I did like this series. Princesses rescuing themselves…

  4. 1) Speaking of Le Guin, if The Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin comes to your town (I know it’s playing in various cities), go see it. (It premiered here in Portland this weekend, and we just got home from seeing it.

    It’s absolutely great. (And reminds me how much we miss her.)

    Failing that, it’s an American Masterpiece film, and I’m sure it will be showing up on PBS sometime this coming season.

  5. 6) I have to show my daughter these. Also, if you haven’t already found it Rejected Princesses is a blast. I did show that to my daughter and she completely appalled her elementary school administrator for their historical person day costumes (aka Halloween) when she showed up as La Jaguarina one year and Grace O’Malley the next. Polite well mannered young women my a$$. After two rounds of that they began limiting it to saints and figures of Catholic history. That year she went as Sichelgaita.

    I dread the day she discovers La Maupin.

    Why yes, I do have copies of the various uppity women books for her.

  6. (12) Had I less fortitude, these would drive me to weep while imbibing a beverage brewed by an LGBT friend… but I refuse to give in to tear-in-my-queer-peer’s-beer pressure.

  7. (4) Kage Baker had beer brewing on Mars in “Empress of Mars” (both the novella form and the novel form).

  8. Would I join the mob rushing lemming-like off the dock into the harbor? No! I refuse to yield to pier pressure!

  9. Despite last night’s 3-bean chilli and an awful build up if wind, I won’t succumb to rear pressure.

  10. I forsee soothsayers rising up en masse to stop this pun thread; yes, there will be seer pressure!

  11. Will I leave the long line for the men’s room at this Rush concert for that wastebasket in the dark corner, like those other guys? No! I refuse to give in to…actually, giving in to pee-er pressure sounds better and better. All things peeing equal.

  12. When everyone else is rubbernecking, just keep driving. Don’t slow down and look. Don’t give in to peer pressure.

    When the regata ends, take your time tying up at the dock and help avoid accidents. Don’t give in to pier pressure.

  13. We interrupt this pun-fest for a Meredith Moment: Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber available on Audible for $2.95, today only. Also possibly for Audible subscribers only, but worth checking.

    You may now resume punning.

  14. You can hear Kage reading The Empress of Mars here. She gave it to us after Nightshade failed to publish a limited edition set of the book and a CD of her reading the book.

  15. Do you people really intend to lower yourself to the level of doing these puns?

    (Waits to see if anyone gives in to sneer pressure.)

  16. Well, until the shoggoth brings back the time machine, we don’t need to worry about succumbing to year pressure…

  17. (12) The House of Lords Act of 1999 reduced the membership of the House of Lords, the upper chamber of UK parliament, from 1330 in October 1999 to 669 in March 2000. Of course, the buildings themselves remain unchanged, in particular their volume. The discussions did not become markedly more heated; Thus, per the ideal gas law, PV=nRT, Peer Pressure was approximately halved.

  18. Unrelated to these terrible (wonderful) puns, but I just burned through Mary Robinette Kowal‘s Lady Astronaut books. They are stunningly good. Jaw dropping good. It will be interesting to see how things are nominated, with both books in the series released in the same year. That it will be nominated for various everythings is not in question.

    Interesting to note that including the Lady Astronaut of Mars short, I think the the whole qualifies for a best series nomination.

  19. Darren Garrison on September 17, 2018 at 7:31 am said:

    Do you people really intend to lower yourself to the level of doing these puns?

    (Waits to see if anyone gives in to sneer pressure.)

    Lower the levels? That requires giving in to weir pressure.

    I’m sorry, Pixel, I’m afraid I can’t scroll that.

  20. Ryan H: Interesting to note that including the Lady Astronaut of Mars short, I think the the whole qualifies for a best series nomination.

    Mark-kitteh reports here that, according to a post by MRK on her site, the total is just short at 238,581 words.

    There’s a third novel coming, though, so the series will get its day.

  21. Don’t give in to such a weak taunt. Resist mere pressure.

    1500 words short? She could put it over the top with a series of Twitter posts :p
    Make a couple “in character” accounts and do some “dispatch’s from space”

  22. If I’m being nagged into reading books about astronauts stranded on Mars am I giving into Weir pressure?

  23. The Harper told me to do it and I resisted; the Holder told me to do it and I resisted. But when Lessa told me to do it, I succumbed to Weyr pressure.

  24. @Peer, I think everyone here is wary of any pressure that you might bring to bear!

    But then, any use of scissors relies on the inability of material that is being cut to resist shear pressure.

  25. Inside the Third Reich is a thoroughly self-serving memoir by one of Hitler’s inner circle – it sets out, deliberately, to play down its author’s involvement in Nazi atrocities. I didn’t fall for it, and I would urge other readers not to, either. Don’t give in to Speer pressure.

    Join the Flat Earth Society! Don’t give in to sphere pressure!

    There are plenty of cuts of good lean meat that are just as tasty and low in fat as venison, and less expensive besides. Don’t give in to deer pressure.

    (Although I suppose, if you went with beef on that last one, you’d be giving in to steer pressure.)

  26. FREE NOVELLA, online for one week only:

    Dix, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

    This novella is set in her Diving Universe, and was published in Asimov’s in March this year. It’s also a section from the novel Searching for the Fleet, which comes out this week, and it’s a good sampler for those who haven’t read any of the stories in the series (which is one of my big favorites!).

  27. I refuse to believe the 17th Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare’s plays. I’m resisting de Vere pressure.

  28. 4) Reminds me of Emma Newman’s “Planetfall”. The characters lean heavily on 3D printing, but there are also some “grown” materials that they use in building their colony.

    I enjoyed the first 1/2 to 2/3s of “Planetfall” well enough. Good but not great.

    In any case, it seems to be harder for sci-fi authors to outpace research engineers.

    Wisdom includes not getting angry unnecessarily. The Law ignores trifles and the wise man does, too. – Job:A Comedy of Justice

  29. Andrew says Thanks Cat for the link to Kage reading.

    You’re welcome. To my knowledge, it’s the only recording of her doing this, but I’d be very happy to be contradicted. Words is where on the Green Man Review site you’ll find the various first chapters, author readings and even the trailer for Emma Bull’s War for The Oaks movie that never got done. Well never was going going to get done but that’s another story…

  30. Now I feelpressure inside the mountain
    I feel pressure, burning the peers
    And I feel pressure, hollowing souls
    And I feel pressure, filing the peer
    And I hope you rembember thee

    Oh, should my pixels scroll
    Then surely I’ll do the same
    Confined in ticked boxes
    We got too close to the Baen
    Calling out Ray hold fast and we will
    Watch the books burn on and on the martian side
    Dandelion comes upon the wine

    (With pressure from Ed Sheeran)

  31. Camestros Felapton on September 17, 2018 at 12:30 pm said:
    Diamonds are overvalued economically and socially. We should resist DeBeers pressure.

    Actual good advice. Current high status of diamonds completely engineered by a very sleazy company!

  32. @John A. Arkansawyer: my most amusing moment at a beer tasting was seeing a couple of women looking at the line (up the spiral staircase from the basement) in dismay — and then realizing that for once the men’s queue was massively longer than the women’s (which wasn’t even visible) and walk past snickering. Seems like too many men drink all of every sample (instead of just tasting); they’re succumbing to beer pressure. (Yes, I know that’s been done — but I’m a facilities geek, in multiple senses.)

  33. Andrew: The Harper told me to do it and I resisted; the Holder told me to do it and I resisted. But when Lessa told me to do it, I succumbed to Weyr pressure.

    No matter what anyone else says I applaud this one — I refuse to give in to jeer pressure….

  34. Don’t knock peer pressure! It got the world the Magna Charta.

    I’ll predict that when (7) is fully deciphered, it will say #notallcavemen.

  35. Any fans of Erin Ptah’s superb web comic Leif & Thorn (she also does the superb But I’m a Cat Person), FYI she just started a Kickstarter for a print Volume 1 of Leif & Thorn. 😀 Or if you’re not a fan but want to be. . . . 😉

    Leif & Thorn: From the About page for this updated-daily webcomic, “A sparkly queer bilingual fantasy comedy. Featuring trauma recovery, slow-burn romance, cross-cultural communication, and baby unicorns.” [Sorry, you only see a baby unicorn couple of times, IIRC.]

    But I’m a Cat Person: The first part of the About page description for this updated-weekly webcomic – “Two ordinary graduates adopt a puppy…which turns out to be a magical shapeshifting battle monster. Now one of them is involved in a soul-binding ownership contract, rich and powerful people are lurking around looking to challenge them, and they still can’t find any companies that are hiring.” [IMHO this makes it sound much lighter than it is, but Ptah does a great job of integrating humor into both webcomics.]

    And if you’re not reading either/both of those webcomics, why not?! 😉 BTW I’m quoted on the Kickstarter page under “READERS LOVE IT,” LOL. That surprised me. BTW one of the chibi examples on the page is one Ptah did for me as one of her patrons at Patreon; the one with the Centaur (check it out under “REWARDS”).

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