Pixel Scroll 9/18/16 I Scroll The Pixel Electric

(1) WISCON GOH SPEECH. Justine Larbalestier posted “My WisCon 40 Guest of Honour Speech” in August.

Teens have made YA the second most profitable fiction category in the USA—after romance. Twelve years ago I mostly had to explain what YA is. These days not so much. Some of those folks who were bewildered as to why anyone would write YA back then, now read it, and some of them even write it. YA advances are, on average, higher than those for SFF writers.

Most of the top-selling SFF books in the USA are YA, not adult. Many YA books sell millions of copies all over the world. Not my YA books, alas. Can’t have everything.

YA, of course, could not be this huge if only teens were reading it. The Hunger Games trilogy sold far more copies in the USA than there are teenagers. Adults are reading YA in huge numbers. Adults are making YA super profitable for publishers.

But it was teens that started the YA explosion. They were the ones who pushed the Harry Potter, then Twilight, then Hunger Games series on their parents and teachers and other adults in their lives. Pretty much every mega-hit YA book starts out that way.

You’d think the shared bond of loving books would diminish the hatred and suspicion of teenagers and the things they like.

You’d be wrong.

There’s now a whole genre of op ed pieces about how YA is destroying the minds of the adults foolish enough to read it, turning them into blithering, infantalised ninkompoops who will never grow up. At the same time we YA writers are also corrupting the teens who read our books. Multi-tasking!

(2) SEUSS/STAR TREK MASHUP. A Kickstarter appeal is raising funds for Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go!

oh-the-places-youll-boldly-go

[It’s] a parody mash-up from the mind that brought you “The Trouble With Tribbles” that brings together two of the most beloved creations in history in a joyous celebration that will inspire you to join the high fliers who soar to high heights!

We’re creating a 48 page, 8.5″ x 11″ book that’s familiar and brand new at the same time, a perfect gift for children and adults of all ages, for anyone looking forward to the future.

  • David Gerrold is one of those gee-whiz-bang writers Who’s written for Star Trek, and Babylon 5, and Sliders, He wrote the Dingilliad, When HARLIE Was One, And won Hugos and Nebulas for his Martian son. (And really, to answer the question that wearies, He promises there’s a book 5 in the series.)
  • Ty Templeton‘s also a name you should know; We’ve followed his work back from Stig’s Inferno. He’s done Spider-Man, Star Trek, and Batman (it’s true!) And won Eisners and Shusters, and taught comics too.
  • Glenn Hauman‘s the person we brought in to edit. He’s okay, we guess. (Hey, don’t blame us, he said it). He’s wrote Star Trek and X-Men and colored some pics And now does the works over at ComicMix

The Kickstarter has raised $18,818 of its $20,000 goal at this writing, and has 11 days left to run.

(3) BOOK COVER AWARD. The ingenious Camestros Felapton’s new project is ranking SFF book covers from the current year. Here’s what he’s got so far – “Best SFF Award Nominee Book Cover Award 2016: longlist”.

Last year I ranked the Hugo best novels by book covers. I am going to do the same this year but I’ll extend the field to include the Nebulas, Clarkes and whattheheck The Dragons (winners only – too many nominees). So not quite the Felapton Towers award for best SFF book cover because that is wayyyy to big a field but instead the Felapton Towers award for best SFF book cover for books that got nominated for an award.

PLUS: BONUS AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION! Regular readers (yes, even Phantom) please suggest one other book not on the initial list!

And here’s his scoring system: “Best SFF Award Nominee Book Cover Award 2016: Criteria”.

Eligibility: yeah whatever

Prize: A jpeg of Timothy the Talking Cat

Criteria: Not going to just rank the covers but consider them on the basis of some different strands:

  • Artwork: 0 to 4 points. Not every book cover needs its own epic painting but if it has one then the work gets graded from 0 to 4. Note that this is purely in terms of the artwork on its own merits. Relevance and appropriateness to the book will be covered elsewhere.
  • Functionality: 0 to 3 points. A cover has a basic job to do. Can you read the title and who wrote it? Is all the relevant information there? Is the information well ordered?
  • Graphic design (aesthetic): 0 to 6 points. Text, art, borders, colour, everything – as a complete image how good is the cover in terms of making all the bits work together aesthetically? An extra couple of points are available here for covers with no artwork per-se, so that artwork-heavy covers don’t get an in-built advantage.
  • Relevance/appropriateness: 0 to 2 points. I haven’t read all the books, so I don’t want to weight this too heavily. Based on plot synopsis/reviews, does the book cover fit its contents? Does this horror story set in feudal Japan look like a cyberpunk western set in Mexico?

Jump in and give him a hand!

(4) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY GIRL

  • Born September 18, 1917 – June Foray, voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and innumerable other cartoon characters. Chuck Jones is reported to have said, “June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc, Mel Blanc was the male June Foray.”

(5) FLYING W. Rumor has it that ”Whataburger is having words with DC Comics over Wonder Woman’s new logo.

w-logos

The worlds of fast food and comic book superheroes are colliding in a way that we’ve never seen before.

According to a Whataburger spokesperson, the San Antonio-based burger chain and DC Comics are currently involved in what the chain terms as a “friendly trademark discussion” with the classic comic book brand over the recent redesign of Wonder Woman’s stacked W logo.

A story making the rounds on a handful of comic book blogs suggested that the two parties were at war with each other. It seemed like bunk on the outset but we decided to go directly to Whataburger to see if this was anything of note.

“Contrary to some suggestions, Whataburger is not at war with Wonder Woman over her newly redesigned logo. In fact, Whataburger supports superheroes like Wonder Woman and her friends in the Justice League,” a Whataburger company spokesperson wrote in a statement to Chron.com. “Truth be told, Whataburger’s own superhero – Whataguy – would love to team up with Wonder Woman and her friends sometime to battle evil together.”

(6) YOU ORDERED SHELLFISH? John Scalzi, in Hawaii for a convention, has found all kinds of things to pretend to be distressed about at his luxury accomodations. For example:

(7) NEVER WERE TRUER WORDS SPOKEN. Wesley Chu hit the bull’s-eye:

[Thanks to Glenn Hauman, John King Tarpinian, Steven H Silver, and Darren Garrison for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Lis Carey.]

83 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/18/16 I Scroll The Pixel Electric

  1. Tatiana Maslany just won Outstanding Lead Actress (Drama) for Orphan Black, and Game of Thrones took Best Drama Series at the Emmys.

  2. DOGS FLEW SPACESHIPS!
    THE AZTECS INVENTED THE VACATION!
    MEN AND WOMEN ARE THE SAME SEX!
    YOUR FOREFATHERS TOOK DRUGS!
    YOUR BRAIN IS NOT THE BOSS!
    Yes, that’s right…
    EVERYTHING
    YOU
    KNOW
    IS
    WRONG!

    (Just a straight quote this time, but you can sub random words with “pixel,” “scroll,” “hive,” “file,” and “fifth” ad libitum. Off to bed, I hope.)

  3. #5: “Recent” redesign? The Wonder Woman logo was redesigned in 1981 (Wonder Woman Vol 1. #288, cover date Feb 1982) to its current nesting WW, with minor variations since. 35 years is a looong time to wait on calling a trademark dispute. Who wrote this arti–?

    Ah, Rich. Love the guy, the comics press’s own British tabloid.

    And thanks for the coverage of “Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go!” oh gracious host!

  4. Glenn Hauman: And thanks for the coverage of “Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go!” oh gracious host!

    You, as the editor, might want to get the “He’s wrote Star Trek and X-Men and colored some pics” part corrected. 😉

  5. I’m sure they can do some sort of cross promotion with the Wonder Woman movie and Whataburger. Currently running in DC comics is a Snickers ad with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Doomsday (which was interesting when the original four page ad showed up in an issue where they actually were fighting Doomsday.

  6. (5) FLYING W.

    Reading down the article makes it a bit clearer – it sounds like DC are applying for a more expansive trademark than they had in the past, including use on food and beverages, that has the potential to overlap with Whataburger. The burger chain are making sure their toes aren’t stepped on. Sounds like the sort of thing that should be totally routine unless one side gets stupid.

  7. Re: Rami Malek of Mr. Robot winning Best Actor Emmy. Anyone else just a tad suspicious that the actor portraying a security hacker on a show with actual security hacker advisors won? : -)

    Unless I’m mistaken, one of the two visuals for William Schallert during the In Memorium segment was from The Trouble With Tribbles. I also liked how the segment used one video for Jack Larson and Noel Neill with him saying something like “I’m Jimmy Olsen. She’s Lois Lane. We’re from the Daily Planet.”

  8. JJ: What? I’ve written for both Star Trek and X-Men tie-ins, and colored– oh, de meter? De meter is off because her daughter done gone to de underworld for six months.

    Hey, they can’t ALL be gems.

  9. Glenn Hauman: What?

    You’s wrote for both Star Trek and X-Men tie-ins? 😉

    Damn you Kickstarter people. I swear if there were no more Kickstarters, and no more SFF books ever published, I would still not get through Mount Tsundoku before I die. 😀

  10. Not in reply to anything in particular, but I’d like to thank all those Filers who didn’t tell me when I suggested a scroll title that had already been used or proposed by someone else. As late as I entered the game, there must have been a score or more.

  11. It’s not like Wonder Woman is unfamiliar with fast food — she worked at a “Taco Whiz” for a while in the 90s.

  12. Meredith Moment: Today’s Amazon UK Kindle Deal is Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. YA Fantasy novel with a Middle Eastern flavour. I’ve been sort of looking at this for a while so I figured while it’s only £0.99 is a perfect time to buy it.

  13. @JJ, clearly I need to train my SJW credentials to kick me off the electronics at night.

  14. I was disappointed that Earl Hamner, Jr. and George Clayton Johnson were left out of the In Memoriam.

  15. Kip W on September 19, 2016 at 5:55 am said:

    Not in reply to anything in particular, but I’d like to thank all those Filers who didn’t tell me when I suggested a scroll title that had already been used or proposed by someone else..

    Anybody out there who could (and would) help Mike G out with (assuming he’d put it to work) code for an automatic titles-used collector page, similar to “The Compleat Litter of Puppy Roundup Titles” (which may be non-automatic, for all I know.)? Ideally, with a “click-to-sort” by alphabetical, by date, and by suggestor (possibly doable, since it seems like the in-text phraseology identifying this is consistent). For extra credit, also sortable by reference (e.g., Godstalk, Heinlein titles), and by how funny it is.

  16. The Hunger Games trilogy sold far more copies in the USA than there are teenagers.

    Are there supporting numbers on this? Thinks… Call it 300 million US population, presume median age at death to be about 70 (largely to make the maths easier), presume that the population is evenly distributed for age (again to make the maths easier) then you arrive at roughly one in ten of the US population being teenagers, so about 30 million.
    30 million sales seem a huge number. It’s complicated I guess, because ‘The Hunger Games triology’ doesn’t make is especially clear if we’re saying that there have been 30 million sales of all three books, or each of the books sold at least 30 million. I’d guess the former. Still, each volume selling ten million (again to make the maths easier, I’m sure some people will read the first and not feel the urge to bother with the next) is an impressively huge number.
    Again, to make the maths easier: The first book is something like ten years old? So perhaps one should have taken account of all the people who because teenagers during the time it was in print. I haven’t.

  17. Wonder Woman and Whataburger need to do a cross-promotion. Obviously.

    They need to do a comic where Wonder Woman stops Cheetah by throwing a bunch of Whataburgers at her. “Obligate carnivores just can’t resist the meaty taste ofWhataburgers…”

  18. @ NickPheas. Per Wikipedia, there are 40 million people in US aged 10-19. Scholastic estimates 23 million copies of Hunger Games (the first book) sold in the USA. So technically you are correct, the number of sales is less than the total number of teenagers.
    However, I believe the overall point is still true, YA is selling so well nowadays because it also attracts large numbers of adult readers.

  19. 1) My favorite variant of that genre of think-piece is the one in which a first-time YA author (usually male, often with a movie deal) says unbelievably stupid things about existing YA work in order to position his own work as a new thing which is going to save the genre and bring enlightenment to the benighted children.

    Surprisingly, these writers usually don’t manage to create something worth reading.

  20. If I could scroll like that, I wouldn’t need the talcum pixels!

    (FWIW, not seeing my text previewing this time. Something new to be bothered with!)

  21. Daniel Dern on September 19, 2016 at 8:49 am said:

    Kip W on September 19, 2016 at 5:55 am said:

    Not in reply to anything in particular, but I’d like to thank all those Filers who didn’t tell me when I suggested a scroll title that had already been used or proposed by someone else..

    Anybody out there who could (and would) help Mike G out with (assuming he’d put it to work) code for an automatic titles-used collector page, similar to “The Compleat Litter of Puppy Roundup Titles” (which may be non-automatic, for all I know.)?

    A less elegant workaround is to put this in google: “Pixel Scroll” site:file770.com
    It will mainly list Pixel scroll titles

  22. However, I believe the overall point is still true, YA is selling so well nowadays because it also attracts large numbers of adult readers.

    Case in point: A co-worker is a big fan of the Hunger Games, as is his sister.

    He’s 70 year old…his sister is older.

  23. @ Camestros
    A less elegant workaround is to put this in google: “Pixel Scroll” site:file770.com
    It will mainly list Pixel scroll titles

    Possibly easier to check a particular title would be to type into Google:
    [your suggested title] site:file770.com

    If it’s been used already, it should show up.

  24. I mainly use an iPad for site work, so my SJW creeds, all three of ’em, don’t bother me I’m working, but one of them, a male Abyssinian male rescued from a barn where a breeder had dumped him and his litter mates, bats me on the head come dawn to feed him so ill feed him.

  25. Ah, yes, the old “poke, poke, poke, Oh, were you sleeping? Sorry about that! but as long as you’re already awake …” ploy.

  26. Joe H, could always be worse. One of my SWJ credentials, Dante, likes to “help” me nap.

    “Oh, are we napping? GREAT!” <walks up and down body> <settles for about thirty seconds> “Are we napping yet?” <stands up, recurls> “Ah, that’s better.” <settles for about thirty seconds> “My ears are itchy.” <stands up, recurls> “How about now? Are we napping yet?” ….

    Most cats help you nap. This cat “helps” you nap.

  27. Of late, I’ve been sourly thinking that YA fiction contains a lot of adult wisdom and adult skills which too many adults are busy demonstrating that they either were never taught or have forgotten — or worse yet, discarded on purpose. Perhaps more adults should be reading YA.

  28. Allegedly it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

    Aarrhhhh.

    But which is the best Pirate book that’s not Treasure Island? I’m going to vote On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers.

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