Pixel Scroll 9/15 Scroll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean — scroll!

(1) On this day in history —

September 15, 1949: The Lone Ranger TV series debuted with American Clayton Moore and Canadian Jay Silverheels.

(2) It’s a small world. How small? Ann Leckie, while plugging David Steffen’s Long List Anthology Kickstarter, show how small in this startling admission:

If you’re a longtime reader, David Steffen’s name might sound familiar. He runs the Submission Grinder, an online sub tracker for writers, and he is also the current champion of Ferrett Steinmetz’s Rejection Challenge. He received a rejection to a story some five minutes after he submitted it. The submission was to Podcastle, and was very short, and was timed exactly perfectly for the slush reader to respond to it almost immediately. I know this because I was the slush reader in question. High five, David! I’m exceedingly glad you’re doing this antho.

(3) The first film Alfred Hitchcock worked on, once believed lost, will be shown publicly this week.

A “lost” Hitchcock film that has not been shown publicly for nearly 100 years is being screened this week at the British Silent Film Festival. Three Live Ghosts (1922) was one of the first films that the young Alfred Hitchcock worked on and had been thought lost forever.

It has just been discovered in a Russian archive and is being publicly shown thanks to Laraine Porter|, of De Montfort University Leicester’s renowned Cinema and Television History (CATH) research team. It is one of dozens of screen gems being shown as part of the festival – the UK’s largest event dedicated to silent films, supported by the British Film Institute. Laraine, who has organised the three-day film festival at Leicester’s Phoenix Cinema, said: “No-one has seen this since 1922 and many Hitchcock scholars thought it was no longer extant. He was credited as a title designer, but it is likely that he would have been involved much more than that. “When you read his interviews he is talking about helping out and advising, and in those days it would have been a much more communal atmosphere on set. ?“What is also interesting is the role that his wife, Alma, played because she was an editor and collaborator yet received little attention.”

(4) A wonderful video about Penguin Random House midnight launch of Terry Pratchett’s The Shepherd’s Crown.

(5) Gizmag says it’s time to sell you the Star Wars Devon Dark Side Watch.

Companies the world over are clamoring to release licensed merchandise ahead of the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The recent Force Friday saw numerous products launched on an expectant public, but while most are priced between a few dollars and a few hundred dollars, rarer items come with a heftier price tag. One example of the latter is the limited-edition Star Wars watch from Devon, which will set Star Wars fans with very deep pockets back US$28,500….

Star Wars by Devon is actually based on the Devon Thread 1 model, but with plenty of Star Wars details added to ensure it will delight fans. Owners will be able to spot Darth Vader’s helmet, the wings of a TIE Fighter, and the Imperial Crest embossed on the crown.

(6) Where’s the Official WSFS Ears-Are-Burning Fire Extinguisher? Kevin Standlee sure could use it about now.

I’ve been getting e-mails now talking about unspecified “rumors” about what happened at the 2015 WSFS Business Meeting. Well, the minutes aren’t finished yet…., but there’s no secret about what happened at the Business Meetings this year…..

(7) Jim C. Hines has a take about the Maynard/Valente exchange in “Cool Kids”

I get that a lot of us struggled growing up. We felt excluded, and we envied those who were more popular, more successful, more comfortable with themselves and their friends. Most of us continue to struggle. It’s part of being human. But this whole “Nerds vs. Cool Kids” thing is bullshit. It’s the same artificial and simplistic us vs. them, left vs. right, puppy vs. anti-puppy, Hero vs. Villain garbage that’s been poisoning people for ages.

There will always be small-minded people trying to divide the world into Us and Them. Some of these folks have found that dispensing poison earns them attention and followers.

That doesn’t mean the rest of us have to drink it.

(8) Disney is working towards a new Mary Poppins movie (not a remake or a reboot) says The Hollywood Reporter.

The new story will be set around 20 years after the tale of the classic 1964 movie that starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. It will also take its cues from the book series that P.L. Travers wrote. (The original, published in 1934 is based largely on the first book. The last book in the series was released in 1988.)

Rob Marshall, who directed “Into the Woods” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” for the studio, will helm the new feature, which will also be a musical.

Songwriting team Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who worked on “Hairspray” and “Smash,” will compose new original songs as well a new score.

David Magee (“Life of Pi”) is board to write the screenplay.

As detailed in Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” Travers’ had testy relationship with Walt Disney over the adaptation of the original. But the studio is working with her estate on the new movie.

(9) Not everyone appreciates astronaut and baseball fan Terry Virts as much as he deserves. Virts arranged to present a space-worn Orioles jersey to team manager Buck Showalter. But what was Buck’s response? He wanted to know —

“Do you have rubber gloves when you take it? It’s not like it’s been on the moon or something, right? … You don’t know what bacteria from Mars is up there or something. Next day you wake up and your arms are ate off or something.”

(10) Alexis Gilliland’s Rosinante series lives again in this review by James Davis Nicoll.

But I would credit his Campbell win to the fact that those two novels, The Revolution from Rosinante and Long Shot For Rosinante , really are fun little books, books I was certain I would not regret revisiting after a gap of twenty-two years 3.

(I do understand that’s like saying “Don’t worry, I know what I am doing” while playing with burning plastic.)

(And I hope including the parenthetical sentence spares you from unrealistic expectations of reading a nostalgic puff piece….)

(10) Lorraine Devon Wilke’s “Dear Self-Published Author: Do NOT Write Four Books a Year” at the Huffington Post has elicited much scoffing from some indie published sf writers – and now Baen novelist Larry Correia has deconstructed it in “Fisking the HuffPo because writers need to GET PAID”.

The thing is “good” is a relatively meaningless measurement. Ringo’s fans think they’re good enough to give him mid six figure royalty checks twice a year. Kevin [J. Anderson] lives in a castle. I’m pretty sure the average HuffPo writer considers me a hack, but then again, I get paid, and HuffPo writers don’t (no, really, I was shocked to learn that HuffPo only pays in “exposure”).  

That’s a knockout line as long as you don’t remember Correia is delivering this fisking free of charge on a blog.

[Thanks to both Marks, Will R., Martin Morse Wooster, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anna Nimmhaus.]

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396 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/15 Scroll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean — scroll!

  1. @Lis

    And lest people get the feeling I’m a completely depressing, as well as depressed, wet blanket

    I would never.

  2. Lis Carey: And lest people get the feeling I’m a completely depressing, as well as depressed, wet blanket

    You know, I suspect that you have a lot of people here on File770 who can empathize with your situation. There are probably many of us here who have been down in the Black Abyss at one or more points in our lives, for a wide range of reasons. At one point I was the recipient of “downsizing”. At another point I severely compromised my own career for that of my partner at the time, and I ended up paying very dearly for it (lost ground that I’ll never get back) and struggled to get a decent job because of that.

    One of the things I really like about File770 is that when people make personal revelations, it often triggers the response in me “oh, someone else has gone through that, too, it’s not just me, and I’m not alone”.

    I don’t know how much I or anyone else here can actually do for you — but I hope very much that you realize that you’re not alone.

  3. @Lis: A Darker Shade of Magic . . . another one on my to-buy list! (It may sound like everything’s on my to-buy list or TBR stack.) I read your review last night or this morning, and it reminded me that I need to win the lottery* so I can just read 24/7. 😉 I enjoy your reviews, BTW.

    * I don’t “play” the lottery.

  4. @JJ —

    I don’t know how much I or anyone else here can actually do for you — but I hope very much that you realize that you’re not alone.

    The rational part of my mind knows, but sometimes it’s harder to remember than others. Thank you, and Tasha, and Meredith, for the reminders.

    @Kendall —

    I don’t “play” the lottery.

    Neither do I. And you know? I’ve heard rumors that makes it harder to win, which seems totally unfair!

  5. Heather: Your writes, they are gooder and gooder. We thinks, we votes so.

    JJ, that was well-put. Our collective range of experience is so broad that someone probably does know exactly what a lot of different ughs are like, and even if nobody does, there’s a lot of well-practiced empathy available.

  6. Graydon! Long time no type! I don’t blame you for not wanting to deal with the South American River; their terms seem awfully exploitative.
    Are you working on another Commonweal book, she asked hopefully?

  7. Reasons not to commit suicide:

    1) The med tech gets better every year.
    2) Consider the possibility that this is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
    3) If I die, I won’t actually experience the end of pain. I will simply not exist, anymore, and those last moments will still encompass this horrible pain. In the end, my existence will still have been pain.
    4) The horse might learn to talk.

    And, for me, the horse did learn to talk. I was suicidal. Then I was on a huge amount of meds. Then, rather abruptly, and accidentally, I wasn’t. Which is how I discovered that I was over-medicated. And while I have bad bits, where I can tell the depression is chemical but there’s nothing I can do about it, they go away. And mostly, these days, life is good.

    I know why I didn’t kill myself in high school. I didn’t have access to a high-lethality method, and I was terrified that if I tried and failed, I’d have to deal with my parents. My parents were considerably more frightening than hospitalization or death.

  8. I had four older sisters, so I always knew there was an end in sight, that at seventeen I would be somewhere else, going to college.
    I literally started watching the calendar in fifth grade*.
    And there were always books.

    (*Fifth grade was the year I missed more days of school than I turned up for.
    I’d leave in the morning, sneak around into the basement, and stay there and read all day.
    The school didn’t flunk me, cos I topped all standardized tests.)

  9. Lydy, thank you! Those are all excellent reasons!

    And now, I want to sit and ramble on about my thoughts, but if I don’t go to the bank and deposit the cash I just received, then my bills with nt get paid and I’ll lose internet, phone, and possibly hot water.

    You’d think that here in 4480, there’d be a way to deposit cash electronically from home, but noooo.

  10. I got far enough earlier this spring, toward the end of a prolonged period of unemployment, that I started asking friends who had tried to commit suicide how they knew when they thought was “serious.” The value of the survivor benefit my daughter would get through age 18 pretty exactly fit the cash flow gap. It basically would cover the mortgage. The biggest thing that stopped me was that: a) it had to look like an accident, for the sake of my kids; and b) we were down to one car already! Then a job offer came through…

  11. Hi Cally!

    Commonweal #3 is headed to copy-edit just as soon as I apply some first reader remarks. It’s a continuation of A Succession of Bad Days, mostly from Zora’s point of view. I am hoping to make it available early in Q2, 2016.

    Commonweal #4 is being irksome and recalcitrant and I think what I’ve got is notes for #4, #5, and #6 more than it’s strictly progress, but it may at long last be moving.

  12. Graydon, I’m certainly looking forward to more. And from my point of view, working out what needs to go in a later volume is productive work on ones closer to hand.

  13. @Jim Henley: I heard an NPR story on the seven people who survived jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Every one of them had the same thought on the way down: “Well, that was a bad idea.” One of them said that the moment after he stepped off the bridge he thought, “Every problem in my life that I’ve ever had was fixable, except for this one.” I wonder if the sudden, immanent knowledge of death somehow resets the monkey brain. I don’t know. (If that were the case, could we cure suicidal depression by attaching people to bungee cords and throwing them off bridges? Possibly without telling them about the bungee cords?) I do know what when I was at my most suicidal, it made perfect sense to me. And looking back on it, it seems like a drug-state, an emotional/intellectual space that I can’t access, merely remember.

  14. @Lydy Nickerson:

    I heard an NPR story on the seven people who survived jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Every one of them had the same thought on the way down: “Well, that was a bad idea.”

    Hah! Especially because…

    I do know what when I was at my most suicidal, it made perfect sense to me.

    This reminds me of exactly what my friend who responded to my query said. She said in her experience there were two indicators this was serious suicidal ideation right now: “1) It stops seeming like a bad idea. You may feel incredibly sad about it, you may not like it, but it doesn’t seem stupid all of a sudden. 2) [Honestly, I didn’t quite understand what her second sign was from her description. Perhaps that’s why I’m still alive. :D]”

  15. My usual state of being these days is that while I’m not particularly bothered about continuing to be alive (there was some concern about whether the surgery might go very badly indeed because of my various wotsits, and it was a bit disappointing to wake up at the end), I also don’t feel particularly motivated to do anything about it. Having pain management that actually works helps a lot, and so does having (at least for the time being, it never really ends) the benefits stuff sorted out. Last year didn’t go quite so well, and neither did the twelve or so years before that, so feeling like this is pretty good for me.

    I was never very good at reasons. My main one was that my brain gremlins were never any good at convincing me that people didn’t care, and I never wanted to hurt anyone. Apart from that at the moment I suppose they’d be: I doubt there’s an internet connection in the afterlife; I haven’t finished building all of my nanoblocks kits yet and also they just brought out some new ones; I’d like to know how much of a difference access to a decent wheelchair and ring splints would make; I want to see EPH put into practice so I get to nominate in a more typical Hugo year; I’m really tactile and being incorporeal would suck so much.

    @everyone: I’m really glad you didn’t do the thing. I’d hate to not have got the chance to meet you all, and now that I have I’d miss you if you were gone.

    (@Lis, my mother hasn’t got back to me yet. I haven’t forgotten.)

  16. I do know what when I was at my most suicidal, it made perfect sense to me.

    This. It seems like a reasonable option when you’re there.
    For me, antidepressants help, and I need to get back on them. (Side-effect: SSRI relieves my itchy skin. I want that more than the anti-depressant effect.)

  17. One of the things I really like about File770 is that when people make personal revelations, it often triggers the response in me “oh, someone else has gone through that, too, it’s not just me, and I’m not alone”.

    This. This so much. And I got it by just lurking for months.

  18. Cassy B — Eustacen are present in #3. So are some of their associated sheepdogs. (More as background to a philosophical conversation than taking an active role, admittedly, but they’re there.)

    Bruce Baugh — you’re right. And the part of my brain that doesn’t operate on a basis of “Word count for the Word-Count God” even agrees with you.

    Having three (I hope it’s three) novels worth events happening at the same time in the timeline, well, I had to give up and construct a spreadsheet. I may have to really give up and stick dates in the chapter headers.

  19. My list since I brought the last up but didn’t share

    1. Had to have a guarantee of success and not leave a gruesome mess for people I loved to find (the day I got over this I really freaked let me tell you)

    2. Knowing if I killed myself the people I loved would have to live with the guilt forever (getting over this the same day as getting over the above frakkin scary – thank goodness I had over the years learned to put a support network in place and turn using it into “muscle memory”)

    3. Life had to get better at some point didn’t it? I mean therapy and anti-depressants and good doctors would fix my health and time at some point would mean life would stop sucking right? I had 9 months of fantastic at 30 so I know it’s possible. And since the car accident the only suicidal I’ve been was when my psychiatrist messed with my anti-depressant dosage by “mistake”

    So those were my three.
    Now I have one: you fought to live after being hit by a truck when you should have died, don’t be stupid, snap out of it, take a Xanax, & call/text your network ASAP. This carried me through the anti-depressant dosage mistake.

  20. @Lis – I’ve heard back, she can’t help. 🙁 Too far out from her specialism. I’m very sorry.

  21. re: self-elimination:

    I’m lucky that I try to put myself in the shoes of others. Even at my bleakest, when I believed that everyone would be better off without me, I still thought about immediate repercussions of my suicide. No jumping off overpasses or in front of subways because I didn’t want to traumatize the drivers. When your plan has to include being found by professionals (I know multiple people who found the bodies of their parents) and therefore also be relatively fool-proof, well that becomes too difficult to implement.

    Now I have multiple people who I’ve promised to talk to before doing anything drastic, and wonderful nephews who I want to watch growing up. It doesn’t make the constant pain and weariness go away, but it helps me push through them. Where there’s life, there’s hope and all that crap.

    (ob. SFnal content: “Beatification of the Second Fall” by Sean Robinson was gorgeous. Quiet and unsettling and so much implied rather than told.)

  22. I’m putting this comment in a thread with a lot of commenters, in the hope that it will get the widest distribution on notifications.

    If you haven’t already given your thoughts on the books which appeared in the Hugo Best Novel Longlist this year, please consider going over to that discussion thread and doing so, as a way to help people decide if there are books that sound interesting enough to be added to their TBR list (aka “Mount File770”, h/t to snowcrash).

  23. Temporarily de-lurking: As someone who suffers from depression and has had suicidal ideation (not recently, thankfully), there’s a very good recent book called “Stay” that points out that, because of suicide clusters, you may actually be keeping anywhere from 1-5 other people alive by choosing to live. I’ve found this very helpful.

    Also, and this one’s gonna sound strange–I only mention it because it helped me–but if you have access to a library, the audio CDs of Tony Robbins’ Personal Power II (library recommended because it’s free, and I figured ‘what did I have to lose’ when I checked them out.) I picked up some tricks from the CDs which have been surprisingly helpful to mitigate my own depression and anxiety.

  24. @Greg

    That’s a really good reason and I’m adding it to my list – not least because I can think of one person who would almost definitely get caught up in that (this isn’t arrogance: I’m a part of their Team Them while they wait for the extremely long mental health waiting list to put them at the front, and there have already been some times where me messaging them at that second was purely coincidentally A Good Thing) and another person who’s a maybe. Both of those people are pretty damn important to me.

    PS. If you’re still interested in doing that project with me, I owe you an email. 🙂 I think things have calmed down enough now that I can be as confident as I can be that I won’t have to flake on you.

  25. @Lis –
    I have enjoyed your posts here as well as the reviews on your site. You have written pieces that people have enjoyed, and because of you, I have found stories that I didn’t know existed… Which I really enjoyed reading. So thank you, and tell that to the jerkbrain part of your head, when it starts whispering darkly.

  26. I once had a therapist have me do a very difficult exercise. I’ve had a number friends tell me they’ve done this after hearing about it and found it helpful so I’m sharing:

    1. Go to friends/family in your support network and ask them to tell you one thing they feel you do to make the world a better place simply by being you. You can start with one or two best friends or even things said in recent conversations. Tell people it’s an assignment as it makes it easier, not easy, easier to ask. This step is really hard.

    2. Put their answers in a list (try to name it something better than I did “why I’m liked and special” was hard to take seriously). Maybe “Things people think I’m good at”. When doing this step you aren’t allowed to dismiss others judgement (ha I’ve got them tricked. This isn’t really true. OR But this is easy to do so its no big deal). Everything goes on the list: makes me smile, great baker, saved my life, good at recommending books, great writer, good hugger, etc.

    3. When really depressed or suicidal pull the list out and read it. Read it again and again. Read it when not suicidal.

    Step 1 is really embarrassing to do. I put it out on my FB feed before I thought about it so I couldn’t chicken out. I learned a lot of interesting stuff about what people thought of me all good. This could have gone badly but I was prepared for a few people to use this as an excuse to attack me. Thankfully no one did.

    Step 2 is hard. I wanted to discount most of what people said. I mean really I’m not special or all that interesting or useful… Or you know maybe I am…

    Step 3 is a habit you have to create and you have to stop the voice in your head saying “not true” to which you need to reply “time for new tape yes it is“. Step 3 can also give you an idea of an activity to try or a person to call.

  27. @Lis You’ve shared insight on not just books but people and your life which helped me delurk.

    Take the compliments you’ve gotten here & you have a start for your list. *evil grin*

  28. @Tasha — Thanks!

    I do in fact have a little notebook, which my last therapist told me to write Good Things in so I could read them later…which has been on an extended hiatus… Time to revive it?

  29. Lis, I like your pocket reviews. They are just the right length for me and give good informtion. Thank You!

    @Lis — I have repeatedly found your comments funny, insightful, and/or thought-provoking,

    I second these. 🙂

  30. I second these. 🙂

    I fifth them! No, seriously, I do.

    File770 is exactly like Usenet for me, in that I am nearly never reading on time, and in that I refrain from posting appreciation alone, because that, combined with not being able to keep up would lead to an endless stream of Yeahs and Yays and You Go, and, just like most people, I am always a little afraid that I’m a bore. But you, Lis, and a lot of you people, and the whole as a community, know that I’m very likely to be nodding vigorously or perking up, or being moved by what you write. Just two or five days after you write it.

    And Mike Glyer, you I am always thanking!

  31. @Susana S.P.

    Lots of us read a little bit (or a lot) behind and compose compilation replies as we go. I’m sure your contributions would be valued. 🙂

    And just remember: You’ll always be less of a bore than our resident trolls. 😉

    (My personal commenting bugbear is finding ways to tell people that I thought their joke was funny. I’m terrible at it. At some point I’m going to give up and just type LOL @ people.)

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