Pixel Scroll 9/4/22 The Pixel in the Scroll at the Edge of the World

(1) WRITER X GIFT BOX. [By Melanie Stormm.] We’re celebrating a year of Writer X with a giveaway! For three weeks from August 29th to September 12th, simply leave a comment on upcoming Writer X fits for your chance to win an exclusive Writer X gift box at no cost to you. Supplies are limited so don’t wait. One gift box per household, please.

*Note: if you have left a comment, be sure to check back for instructions on where to send your mailing address. Your secrets are safe and not given away. 

(2) 2024 WORLDCON. Glasgow 2024 is now a seated Worldcon. The site selection results were announced today. The committee’s Progress Report Zero with guest of honor bios, membership rates, and other information, can be downloaded at the link.

(3) CHICON 8 COVID TRACING. Chicon 8 has sent an email to attending members listing the voluntarily provided information about people at the con who reported being positive for Covid. There were eight cases listed in the email.

(4) KORSHAK COLLECTION. The prospectus for the Korshak Collection, on display this weekend at Chicon 8, shows many of the images and promotes its availability for display at museums and other institutions.

The Korshak Collection consists of approx. 100 paintings, drawings, and etchings of published illustration including works from the classical stories Tarzan, Alice in Wonderland, Faust, The Tempest, The Pit and the Pendulum, and Don Quixote, among others. The Collection also includes artwork originally featured in some of the most notable contemporary fiction stories such as John Carter/ The Princess of Mars and the Lord of the Rings.

The show is offered fully curated and may be altered, redacted, or supplemented to fit the curriculum of the hosting institution. Versions of this exhibition have been featured at the American Society of Illustrators, the Stanford Museum, the University of Maryland at Baltimore’s Kuhn Library, the Chazen Museum, and the South Bend Museum of Art, among others. Artwork from the collection has been exhibited at the Norman Rockwell Museum, the MUVIM (Spain), and toured Japan.

Original copies of the novels, magazines, and printed materials where the illustrations were first published are provided for display and programming opportunities. Programming for this exhibit has included screening of associated films, children’s stories/read-a-longs, costuming, collector’s participation including collection tours, and artist/author discussion panels. There are certainly more opportunities than limitations with programming given the breadth and familiarity of the major exhibition themes

(5) CHICON 8 BUSINESS MEETING. Tune in to what happened at the Sunday session via Alex Acks’ liveblog: “WSFS Business Meeting – Sunday Liveblog”.

Kevin Standlee also has uploaded the video of the meeting to YouTube.

Kevin sends a postscript:

You’ll see after Site Selection and before we get to constitutional amendments where Kate Secor attempted to introduce a motion to censure Chengdu. As you’ll see, there was nowhere near the 2/3 necessary to get it debated. Had it gotten the 2/3, it would have been discussed first thing on Monday.


1995 [By Cat Eldridge.] Twenty-seven years ago in syndication by MCA TV (which did it for the first two years of this followed by Universal Television Enterprises doing so for a year and Studios USA Television Distribution doing so for the rest of the run), Xena: Warrior Princess first aired. Before it ended its six years run, there would be one hundred and thirty-four roughly forty-eight minute episodes.

Created by John Schulian and Robert Tapert, the former only did some writing for Tremors genre wise. Tapert of course the same year created Hercules: The Legendary Journeys along with Christian Williams. Busy year for New Zealand series production, eh? 

It developed by R.J. Stewart Sam Raimi. The former other than co-creating Xena, just created Cleopatra 2525; Raimi of course has a long list including directing the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy  and the Evil Dead franchise. 

The real reason watching was, and is now if you catch it on the streaming services now, Xena as performed in that amazing leather outfit by Lucy Lawless and companion Gabrielle as played by Renee O’Connor. Their adventures episode in and episode out out were always worth watching. 

A number of fascinating secondary cast were here as well. Fair warning: I never liked Ted Raimi. Not one bit. Now Bruce Campbell, Karl Urban, Kevin Smith, Alexandra Tydings — all these performers were fun.

NBC announced a reboot but the Gods were merciful and it got cancelled. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 4, 1905 Mary Renault. Her superb Theseus novels, The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea, are definitely genre. I also recommend, though very much non-genre, Funeral Games which deals with Alexander’s successors. It is a messy tale indeed. (Died 1983.)
  • Born September 4, 1926 Robert A. W. Lowndes. He was known best as the editor of Future Science FictionScience Fiction, and Science Fiction Quarterly (mostly published late Thirties and early Forties) for Columbia Publications. He was a principal member of the Futurians. A horror writer with a bent towards all things Lovecraftian ever since he was a young fan, he received two letters of encouragement from H. P. Lovecraft. And yes, he’s a member of the First Fandom Hall of Fame. (Died 1998.)
  • Born September 4, 1924 Joan Aiken MBE. I’d unreservedly say her Wolves Chronicles were her best works. Of the many, many in that series, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase featuring the characters of Bonnie Green, Sylvia Green and Simon is I think the essential work to read; even though The Whispering Mountain is supposed to a prequel to the series, I don’t think it’s essential reading. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is certainly the one in the series I used to see stocked in my local bookstores before the Pandemic. No Hugos, but she won an Edgar Allan Poe Award for Night Fall. (Died 2004.)
  • Born September 4, 1924 Ray Russell. His most famous story is considered by most to be “Sardonicus” which was published first in Playboy magazine, and was then adapted by him into a screenplay for William Castle’s Mr. Sardonicus. In 1991 Russell received the World Fantasy Award and the Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. His Tartarus Press also received a World Fantasy Award for Special Achievement. (Died 1999.)
  • Born September 4, 1928 Dick York. He is best remembered as the first Darrin Stephens on Bewitched before he became seriously ill. He was a teen in Them!, an early SF film which is considered the very first giant bug film. He showed up in myriad Alfred Hitchcock Presents, several episodes of The Twilight Zone and has a one-off on Fantasy Island. He voiced his character Darrin Stephens in the “Samantha” episode of The Flintstones. (Died 1992.)
  • Born September 4, 1957 Patricia Tallman, 65. Best known as telepath Lyta Alexander on Babylon 5, a series I hold that was magnificent but ended somewhat annoyingly. (I know some of you don’t hold that opinion.) She was in two episodes of Next Generation, three of Deep Space Nine and two of Voyager. She did uncredited stunt work on further episodes of the latter as she did on Voyager. H’h to the latter. Oh, and she shows up in Army of Darkness as a possessed witch. Does Ayn Rand count as genre? If so, she was in Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike  as Holly.
  • Born September 4, 1975 Kai Owen, 45. Best known for portrayal of Rhys Williams in Torchwood, the Doctor Who spin-off I stopped watching after the first two series. He reprised his characters in the Big Audio auidiodramas. And he was on Da Vinci’s Demons as Otranto Citizen in “The Sins of Daedalus” episode. Yes, they turned Da Vinci into a fantasy character! 
  • Born September 4, 1999 Ellie Darcey-Alden, 23. She’s best known for playing young Lily Potter in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. She’s also celebrated here for being  Francesca “Franny” Latimer in the Doctor Who  Christmas special “The Snowmen”, an Eleventh Doctor story.  She was also in the Robin Hood series as Mary in the “Total Eclipse” episode. (I think we need a concordance to the various Robin Hood series at this point. Really. I’m serious.) 


(9) MATCH WITS. Jennifer Hawthorne says Filers might enjoy Book Riot’s “Quiz: Can You Match the Fantasy Novel To Its Opening Lines?” She got 22 out of 40 right. I got 16, which is a questionable achievement because I have only read four of the books in the quiz.

Do you think you have what it takes to succeed? Are you the chosen one? Can you pull the proverbial sword from the stone? Will you be able to answer the quiz that tests: how many of these fantasy book opening lines can you identify?

Your task today is potentially simple or incredibly difficult depending on your familiarity with the fantasy books in question and their opening lines. However, I will let you know now that quite a few fantasy novels open with a four-to-five-word sentence that is vague enough to trip up experts in the field. Given the difficulty of the task, I decided an equally epic reward should await you for completing the quiz. Whether you turn out to be a Page, a Squire, or a Knight, know you gave it your best shot.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Chris Barkley, Michael Toman, Melanie Stormm, Daniel Dern, Jennifer Hawthorne, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Paul Weimer.]

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24 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/4/22 The Pixel in the Scroll at the Edge of the World

  1. Dick York: York injured his back while serving in the Army and if flared up through out his career. The last season or so that he was on “Bewitched” he was in agony and could only get thru filming by using pain-killers and lying down between takes. While filming what would be his last episode he slipped and fell and his back went out completely, he had to be carried off the set on a stretcher. The writers then hastely re-wrote the episode around his character. As there were only a couple of episodes left in the season, the writers wrote Darrin out of the scripts and then they re-ordered the episodes so that episodes with and without Darrin would alternate. When it became clear that Dick York would not be able to return, the producers re-cast the role over the season break. They cast Dick Sargent as the new Darrin. Sargent was the original choice for the part of Darrin when the series was originally being cast, but Sargent was already under contract for another series and was not available. After Dick York was cast and the Pilot and the first couple of episodes were filmed, Sargent’s series was passed on by the network and he was now available, but the part was taken.

    The part of Darrin wasn’t the only part that was re-cast during the series run. Marion Lorne, who portrayed the ever befuddled Aunt Clara (who was the family member of Samantha’s that Darrin was genuinely fond of) died. Rather than re-cast the role, the producers brought in Alice Ghostley as painfully shy Esmerelda.

    The actress that played the nosey neighbor Gladys Kravits, Sandra Pearce, died at the end of second season and she was replaced by Sandra Gould who continued to the end of the series. Both Marion Lorne and Sandra Pearce would be Nominated for Emmys for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy after their deaths, and both would win.

  2. 9) 20/40, a fair amount of guesses, and a fair amount I got wrong that I probably should have gotten right.

  3. 21 out of 40. A lot (most) of the books used in the quiz are ones I haven’t read, but I’d heard enough about them from reviews and online mentions I could narrow the possibilities, or at least eliminate the titles I was pretty sure weren’t the correct choice.

    Hilde and I went to CoKoCon, in Scottsdale, Arizona, this weekend, our first in-person con in nearly three years. Attendance was light after a three-year gap, but we went to some pretty good panels and had a few interesting conversations. Masking was mandatory in the conference center areas (and folk were very cooperative about following the guidelines), but with the light attendance, maintaining a wide (very wide) social distance on the hotel walkways was quite easy. One thing I noticed was that the folk I think of as the “Next Generation” of Phoenix fandom, those who came after the Old Guard (like Hilde) who were in at the very beginning of Phoenix conventions in the 1970s, are all grey-haired themselves now.

    (Aside: I am now an official septuagenarian myself. I guess the good news is that I’ve survived this long. The bad news is it comes with increasingly chronic stiffness and aches; “Cereal, coffee, and ibuprofen: official breakfast of septuagenarians.”)

    Between the shrinkage of the Old Guard (from death, health problems restricting their activity & travel, and some just going poof over the years without an official gafiation announcement), very few of the OG people we’ve always tended to catch up on our lives with at conventions are still around.

    But I was still startled to learn that Jim Webbert has passed away, back on March 17th of 2021, following a stroke. I’d have thought Jim was well-known enough in fandom (he and Doreen were from an earlier generation of fandom than the Old Guard folk, but moved to Phoenix just when we younger folk were gathering up steam) that I’d have at least heard about his death from some of the fan-sites I follow. When I got home, I googled around to see if I’d missed something; and found a few mentions (Steve Davidson in Amazing; Jim’s name had been included in the 2021 Worldcon In Memoriam presentation; and the Fancyclopedia 3 entry updated with the actual date of death), none of which I’d been aware of until now. But I was quite surprised that File770 doesn’t seem to have reported it (a search on “Webbert” only came up with a birthday entry in 2021); is this news to you too, Mike?.

  4. The Korshak collection If you get a chance SEE IT!!! What wasn’t mentioned above – there are some actual Arthur Rackhams, and a Howard Pyle, And many, many artists – Finlay, and a Hildebrandt, and on and on.

  5. Bruce Arthurs: If I didn’t run any kind of a death announcement it’s probably news to me. Unless I saw it later as part of the In Memoriam. Because I have no clear memory and yet reading your comment the idea didn’t feel entirely fresh either.

  6. Still boggles my mind to remember that Xena started as a spin-off of Hercules! (Which was a decent enough show in its own right, but…it weren’t no Xena!)

  7. 5) WSFS Business

    So, yesterday, WSFS supported Ukraine in calling for Putin supporting Chengdu GoH to be disinvited – A laudable move as the SF community should bear witness (a Quaker term) against those supporting crimes against humanity.

    Then today, we get news of a motion (that failed) against Chengdu – but was it to call for another GoH who supports the imprisonment and ‘re-education’ of Uighurs? Nope, it was for failure to deliver on WSFS commitments….Interesting to see WSFS fandom’s priority hierarchy…

    And so it goes…

  8. (9) 17 out of 40 – some wild guesses, some answers correct by elimination (I had read 3 of the four possible answers).

    (6) Go Xena Go

    I was glad to see Edwin (Ted) Scribner mentioned in memorial – I was a long-time email friend of his.

  9. Patricia Tallman had an early role in George Romero’s “Knightriders.” In this Arthurian inspired motorcycle film, she played a character modelled on Elaine, the Fair Maid of Astolat.

  10. 12 of 14, mostly random guessing but I’ve read maybe half of the ones I guessed correctly. Some of the multichoice answers were from books identified in previous questions, so I call foul.

    I was a major Xenite back in the day and still have all the episodes on DVD. I was more impressed by the way the show consistently passed the Bechdel test while still being gloriously sexy pulp fiction. I was also impressed by Ted Raimi as Joxer the Mighty, particularly the musical episode where he sang Dancing In The Moonlight.

    Just got back from Denver, where I had major fun seeing Nine Inch Nails at Red Rocks and looking at dinosaur footprints. My arthritic old joints don’t like the altitude though, so I guess I will be living at sea level until the tide is lapping at my door.

  11. Still boggles my mind to remember that Xena started as a spin-off of Hercules! (Which was a decent enough show in its own right, but…it weren’t no Xena!)

    Starring Kevin Sorbo who has NOT aged well.

  12. @rochrist: Yes, there’s that too, but Xena was eclipsing Hercules even before Sorbo began to reveal some of his less pleasant aspects.

  13. Joan Aiken: I thought the Dido Twite books got a bit thin and tired in the later books, but love her short fiction for adults like “The Green Flash.”

  14. rochrist says Starring Kevin Sorbo who has NOT aged well.

    One second… ouch… well, he can play a mummy in his next film and they won’t need any makeup.

  15. So, apparently I morphed into Kate Secor somehow? The reason I introduced the motion I did was certainly not due to any animosity towards China or having a WorldCon there. It was the fact that, as of today, I can buy my membership for Glasgow, but not for Chengdu. I honestly fear that the board is in danger of not fulfilling the requirements of a WorldCon. I myself have a membership already, having voted in site selection, and plan on attending, but I’d like to bring my son along as well, and currently, there is no way to know when, or if, I can buy him a membership. I’m disappointed that this wasn’t possible to discuss at the meeting, as the 2/3 vote didn’t pass, and as such debate wasn’t in order.

  16. There are (were) two Ray Russells. You have combined them into one person in the birthdays section. One is dead, the other (Tartarus Press publisher) is still alive.

  17. Jonathan C: So, yesterday, WSFS supported Ukraine in calling for Putin supporting Chengdu GoH to be disinvited – A laudable move as the SF community should bear witness (a Quaker term) against those supporting crimes against humanity.

    Then today, we get news of a motion (that failed) against Chengdu – but was it to call for another GoH who supports the imprisonment and ‘re-education’ of Uighurs? Nope, it was for failure to deliver on WSFS commitments….Interesting to see WSFS fandom’s priority hierarchy…

    And yet only one of those things — the one that was proposed and failed — is something that directly affects WSFS members, and that WSFS actually has the capability to do something about. Resolutions on political subjects are good in that they communicate members’ thoughts on them — but they are largely symbolic and have no power.

    If your ability to join a Worldcon, nominate and vote on the Hugos, and vote in Site Selection is of little importance to you, that’s fine. But sneering at the members who do care about those things is a pretty poor look on your part.

    WSFS members can both care about that and about the fact that Chengdu has made poor choices in the writers they have chosen to honor. It’s not an either/or proposition.

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