Pixel Scroll 9/24/16 The Scroll Glows White On The Mountain Tonight, Not A Pixel To Be Seen

(1) INTERNMENT DRAMA. Courtesy of Fathom Events, “Broadway Musical ‘Allegiance’ Starring George Takei to Screen in Cinemas”.

Allegiance,” the Broadway musical that starred George Takei in a four-month run last season, will come to movie theaters around the country in a one-night-only December screening presented by Fathom Events, the distributor of alternative cinema content.

“Allegiance” tackles the serious historical subject of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, in a story loosely inspired by Takei’s childhood. Also starring Lea Salonga (“Miss Saigon”) and Telly Leung, the musical has songs by Jay Kuo with a book by Marc Acito, Kuo and Lorenzo Thione. Stafford Arima directed the production.

(2) HOLLYWOOD POWER COUPLE SPLITS. Did you wonder why Leia and Han broke up? Now we know: “Carrie Fisher’s Hilarious Reasons Why Leia and Han Solo Broke Up” from CInemaBlend.

Carrie Fisher was the guest of honor at the Saskatoon Comic and Entertainment Expo (via NB), and in front of a crowd of Star Wars fans she revealed why Han and Leia put an end to their relationship. Apparently, Han spent too much time smuggling with the “hairy guy” and not enough at home with his wife. While hyperspace is a pretty good metaphor for a breakup, I’m not sure that it’s a particularly flattering one with regards to Han’s powers as a husband (hyperspace is awfully fast). Of course, it’s pretty safe to say that this is non-canonical, but it’s always nice to hear from Fisher. She’s typically hilarious and sarcastic about everything, and hearing her version of Star Wars events is almost always entertaining.

(3) PYTHON MEDICAL UPDATE. Monty Python’s Flying Circus member Terry Jones has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, the BBC reports.

The news was confirmed as Bafta Cymru announced the Welsh-born comedian is to be honoured with an outstanding contribution award….

Jones, who is from Colwyn Bay in north Wales, was a member of the legendary comedy troupe with Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin and the late Graham Chapman.

He directed Monty Python’s Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life and co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Gilliam.

The surviving members reunited for 10 reunion performances at the O2 Arena in London in 2014.

(4) FRAUGHT WITHOUT MEANING. Joshua Rivera ponders the meaning of Bill Hader being cast as Alpha 5 in the Power Rangers movie for GQ readers.

No upcoming movie confounds me more thaJoshn 2017’s Power Rangers remake. In an era of Hollywood where every studio needs a franchise, it’s kind of a foregone conclusion that the Teenagers With Attitude would get another at-bat sooner or later, but it’s hard to figure out who this movie is going to be for. Is it something chill enough for modern teens, like this super cool Instagram-ready group shot suggests? Is it going for pure outrageous spectacle, like those goofy-ass costumes and giant CGI robots suggest? Or is it somehow trying to get even our attention, by casting Bryan Cranston as Zordon the floating space wizard head and Elizabeth Banks as villain Rita Repulsa.

Oh, and Bill Hader’s here now too….

(5) TECH APPLICATION. Motherboard suggests “Google Glass Could Be a Social Gamechanger For Kids on the Autism Spectrum”.

“While reading facial expressions is difficult for all of us at times (Was that a smile or a grimace?), for people with ASD, social interactions and friendships can be especially nerve-wracking. People on the spectrum may avoid eye contact and therefore fail to recognize and interpret facial expressions, challenges that also have far-reaching repercussions in school or at work.”

JJ noted, “Several Filers have said that they have to deal with prosopagnosia (the inability to recognize faces). I have to wonder if this would have positive applications for that, as well.”

(6) IN NO TIME. ”Quantum Teleportation Just Happened For Real”, Gizmodo tells us.

Quantum teleportation is the mystical, far-off in the future idea where quantum information encoded into particles of light can be transferred from one place to another remotely. Except it’s not far-off in the future — it just happened. Teleportation is real and it is here.

The teleportation occurred over several kilometres of optical fibre networks in the cities of Hefei in China and Calgary in Canada.

The two independent studies show that quantum teleportation across metropolitan networks is technologically feasible, and pave the way towards future city-scale quantum technologies and communications networks, such as a quantum internet.

(7) UNKNOWN CONTRIBUTORS TO SPACE AGE. Tor.com invites fans to “Meet the Hidden Figures of NASA in New Trailer”.

While the first trailer for the forthcoming NASA biopic Hidden Figures takes a wide look at how three black female mathematicians launched John Glenn into space, the second trailer tightens its scope, reintroducing you to Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe).

Called the “colored computers” and tucked into a corner of NASA’s offices, these women weren’t given their due—neither within nor outside of NASA’s walls, as everyone from engineers to the police cannot fathom women of color working in the space program


(8) NYRSF FALL SCHEDULE. The New York Review of Science Fiction Readings announces its schedule for the beginning of its 26th season — http://www.hourwolf.com/nyrsf/.

(9) SOMEWHERE IN TIME TRIVIA. The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island is hosting a “Somewhere in Time” Weekend on October 28-30.

Somewhere in Time Weekend is one of our most popular and special weekends at Grand Hotel. The movie Somewhere In Time was filmed at Grand Hotel and on Mackinac Island in 1979 and the movie was released in 1980

Movie Trivia from the Wikipedia:  Richard Matheson, who wrote the original novel and screenplay, appears in a cameo role as a 1912 hotel guest. He is shocked by Richard’s (Christopher Reeve) having cut himself shaving with a straight razor.

A then-unknown William H. Macy has a bit role as a critic in the 1972 scene before Elise hands the watch to Richard. George Wendt is credited as a student during this same scene, but his appearance was omitted from the final cut of the film. Richard Matheson’s daughter, Ali, is similarly credited as a student.


  • September 24, 2004 Shaun of the Dead is released in theaters in North America.


  • Born September 24, 1936 – Jim Henson

(12) HELP DRAFT WORLDCON 75 PROGRAM. Worldcon 75 open for programming suggestions.

Do you know somebody who would be a perfect programme participant for Worldcon 75?

We want suggestions on everything and anything SF-related: books, movies, science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, urban fantasy, translations, science, fandom, dance, music, writing, authors, graphic novels, plays, cosplay, anime etc.

The theme of Worldcon 75 is WORLD in all its many, many meanings! We are especially interested in programming items which fall under that theme, as well as those covering “Erilaisuus” (difference/diversity/alien – this word does not translate well into English), “Music” and “100 years of Finland”.

(13) INTERIOR DECORATION. N. K. Jemisin found a happy place to park her Hugo.


(14) ONLINE AND OFFLINE. How John Scalzi strikes the balance: “Who We Are Online, Who We Are Offline, How They’re Different and How They’re the Same”.

Over on Facebook, a person who claims to have met and interacted with me (and he may have! I meet and interact with a lot of people) suggests that he wouldn’t want to associate with me because, among other things, there’s a difference between how I present myself online and how I present myself offline, which this fellow takes to mean that I say things here, that I wouldn’t say there. Which means, apparently, that I’m false/dissembling/a coward and so on.

This is interesting to me! I have thoughts on this! I am going to share them with you now!

One: Of course, and I think obviously, people who don’t want to associate with me should not associate with me. Whatever reason you have for not wanting to associate with me — including having no reason at all! — is perfectly acceptable. It’s your life, and life is too short to associate with people with whom you have no desire to spend time, even if that person is me. Maybe I’ll be sad about that, if you are someone I like or admire or thought I might one day like to get to know. But I’ll just have to be sad about that. If you don’t want to associate with me, I celebrate your choice. Go! Be associative with others who are not me….

(15) THE LASAGNA STRATEGY. Why is Lou Antonelli “Staying at Home”? Well, he wasn’t invited to be a guest of FenCon this weekend. To avoid this happening too often, he offers this incentive —

Those of you who attended Conquest in Kansas City may recall I brought home-made lasagna for the reception held in the con suite for the debut of the “Decision Points” anthology. That was on a Friday night; I’ve been told that for the rest of the convention people kept coming into the con suite asking “Is there any more lasagna?” I will bring lasagna to any con I go to next year – unless I fly – so there is an incentive to invite me right there. If you have never tasted my lasagna, it’s universally conceded to be the best in the world.

As we say in Texas, “It ain’t bragging if you can do it.”

[Thanks to Dawn Incognito, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor Kyra.]

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48 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/24/16 The Scroll Glows White On The Mountain Tonight, Not A Pixel To Be Seen


    The potential applications for those of us on the “face-blind” spectrum would rely on how well the algorithms are designed with regard to the people we regularly interact with. A lot of facial recognition software turns out to have significant racial bias problems.

  2. “If you have never tasted my lasagna, it’s universally conceded to be the best in the world.”

    And if you have? Does that provide evidence to the contrary?


  3. I think the gray and white stuffed thing in Jemisin’s photo looks like it might be a bedazzled tortoise. I’m guessing there might be an interesting story behind that.

  4. How many SFF authors call out, by name, conventions in their blog posts for not inviting them as guests? Why would any con want to invite someone who does this? It’s just terribly self-pitying and pathetic. 🙄

  5. (5) But if you’re avoiding eye contact, your Google Glass won’t be pointing at the person’s face either…?

    (7) That is a really great cast. I will watch this.

    (13) It’s probably a whale, though I first saw it as a Firefly.

    (15) I can guaran-damn-tee I’ve eaten at least two lasagnas better than CUL’s, and didn’t have to put up with a delusional asshole to do it. Pass.

  6. Now I’m hungry and it’s 1:30am. I will eat bread and jam and pretend that it’s mushroom lasagna. I think I now now my Sunday afternoon project.

  7. @JJ: I think you’ve come up with a perfect title. “Terribly Self-Pitying and Pathetic: The Sad Puppies Story”.


    I’m really looking forward to this movie.

    It’s more than a bit discouraging to see how many true stories like this keep coming out, in so many different arenas.

    I guess I should be glad that they are coming out eventually… but the fact that it’s usually far too late to do any good for the main characters makes me really sad.

  9. 5) Unless the software can also tell you where you met, just facial recognition would have limited utility.
    14) it’s not as simple as online/offline. Online, I might give a book a scathing one star review on amazon, but I wouldn’t go to the authors website to post the book was terrible – that would be rude. Offline, I might tell a friend I dislike X, but still be pleasant to them in person. It’s all about context.

  10. bbz: Mmmmmmmmmmm, mushroom lasagna…

    (Which reminds me that I haven’t made lasagna in years and should remedy that, although not on Mr. Antonelli’s account.)

  11. Antonelli’s also rewriting history a bit; “I didn’t attend Fencon last year; I went to so many conventions earlier in the year I didn’t want to attend any after Labor Day.”

    Um, anyone else recall back when we were at war with Eurasia, er, when Antonelli claimed that in self-punishment for writing to the Spokane police dept. as to how David Gerrold was dangerously insane he wouldn’t attend any post-Sasquan conventions for six months? A bit different from having convention burnout.

  12. Tom Galloway: anyone else recall… when Antonelli claimed that in self-punishment for writing to the Spokane police dept. as to how David Gerrold was dangerously insane he wouldn’t attend any post-Sasquan conventions for six months?

    He also said he was going to abstain from social media for 6 months. I don’t think he ever left, never mind coming back.

  13. 14) It’s notoriously difficult to judge tone on the Internet, because a whole lot of non-verbal cues don’t come across in text-only interaction (and no, emoticons are not a viable substitute!) So, when you’re reading someone’s posts, you tend to assign things like tone of voice, level of seriousness – a whole lot of emotional information that goes towards our assessment of their personalities. And there is no earthly reason to suppose we make those assignments correctly.

    So, if I were to say to someone (in the flesh), “you seem different in person from the way you do online”, it seems to me that I’d be saying “you actually have your own personality and not the one I’ve invented for you”… which is, I think, only to be expected, really.

  14. Steve Wright: when you’re reading someone’s posts, you tend to assign things like tone of voice, level of seriousness – a whole lot of emotional information that goes towards our assessment of their personalities. And there is no earthly reason to suppose we make those assignments correctly.

    You’re right — I think people tend to say to themselves, “Well, if I posted that, it would be because I was hurt / angry / trying to be nasty, so therefore, the person who posted this must be doing so from that motivation as well.”

    It’s entirely possible that the poster wasn’t feeling any of those things, and was just posting what to them was a dispassionate statement of fact.

    And then you also get the cases of people who post nasty stuff with a smiley or winkie emoticon as if that excuses what they’ve posted, and they expect other people to give them a pass for it, because of the emoticon.

    Online communication can be a difficult thing to parse.

  15. I suspect that we are a loooong way off from facial recognition software being good enough to provide reliable clues to the autistic and face blind. Ever get those “identify this person” quizzes from Facebook when they are trying to confirm that you are really you? They choose images from your gallery and those of people on your friends list? And “faces” that they highlight include segments of random inanimate objects and folds in clothing? Also, things like this?

    I think the gray and white stuffed thing in Jemisin’s photo looks like it might be a bedazzled tortoise.

    That’s a dolphin. I was about to make a comment about her being careful to not jump the shark with her Hugo, until I noticed that the tail fluke was horizontal, not vertical.

    A lot of facial recognition software turns out to have significant racial bias problems.

    Which brings to mind one of the best episodes of the insanely underrated Better Off Ted.

  16. I can speak with some authority about the grey and white stuffed animal in Jemisin’s photo. It’s Bravo the Dolphin.

    On the JoCo Cruise last year, Jemisin was one of the featured guests on the Writing Track. We were in port one day, and she was doing a short story reading in one of the ship’s bars; really more of a large lounge than a bar. So she’s standing there at the microphone, reading, and the mic cuts out, and suddenly we hear the ship captain’s voice, informing us that there was about to be a crew drill, and we passengers should ignore it.

    Since the mic is part of the ship’s systems, as a safety measure it cuts out every single time there’s a PA announcement. Which makes sense, of course. So she backs up a sentence or two, and continues reading. And the ship’s horn goes off, giving the emergency signal.

    So she backs up a sentence or two, and continues reading. And the captain’s voice comes back, and tells the crew to assemble at their designated (emergency? fire? I don’t remember) stations.

    So she backs up a sentence or two, and continues reading. And the captain’s voice comes back, and says “Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!” and then cryptic orders which sound like they mean “there’s a fire at this particular place, but let’s not scare the passengers”.

    So naturally, what can we do? All of us in the lounge cheer, and say “Bravo!” to Jemisin.

    And meanwhile it turns out that the lounge is a crew assembly area for condition Bravo, as crewmembers in high-vis vests and jumpsuits start lining up along the walls.

    And with the mic cutting out all the time for announcements, Jemisin abandons it, calls on her classroom teaching experience, and simply projects her voice.

    It was a good story, told under challenging circumstances. And near the end of the cruise, a group of people (not including me, alas; I didn’t find out about it until the presentation) took one of our JoCo Cruise swag items for the year, a stuffed dolphin wearing a fez, and blinged it up, named it Bravo the Dolphin, and awarded it to her as a prize for grace under fire alarm.

  17. I’m not “face blind”, but I am clueless when people “hint” at things. The best example I can give is, I was doing a tournament series (for paintball) and one of the sponsors spent an inordinate amount of time praising everything we were doing and then, towards the end of the premiere event, sat down and basically said “this was really cool and we want to sponsor a series next year…we’d really like to be involved…think we can help…yada yada…”
    My response was “that’s great, lets figure out how many events…yada yada”.
    What I came to realize several years later (after the series was NOT picked up by the sponsors, in fact, replaced with their own carbon copy) was that “we’d like to be involved” was code for “you give us a piece of the action and we’ll bring in the sponsors”.
    I ask myself almost every day what other “opportunities” I’ve missed because people don’t seem willing to come right out and say what they want: “I’m willing to do my thing if you cut me in”.
    This is not the only arena where this occurs. Women. Turns out there have been a few interested in me, but brushing shoulders and flattery obviously don’t penetrate. “I like you and would like to have a relationship” would penetrate.
    White lies too. I receive them at face value and am often upset when I find out what someone was really trying to say – gently.
    Apparently, I’m clueless about these little interpersonal levels of communication. So, if you see me somewhere and my fly is open, don’t make “closing zipper” motions. Be up front about it and say “hey Steve, your fly is open”. Otherwise, I’ll think you’re demented, or have an itch you can’t scratch – it will never occur to me that your gestures are relevant to my personal condition.
    This leads me, I think, to be pretty blunt in my own communications.
    Anyone else got this going on?

  18. I’m a bit sad for Terry Jones. Aside from everything else I have fond memories of a series he did on the Crusades. Perhaps if he were to build a giant rabbit…?

  19. @ JJ, Pretty sure that’s the international trailer that’s been out for a while. I like it better than the first one b/c it just has the one whoop-siren thing in it. The first trailer always summons my wife into the room to tell me to “let that damn wookie out already!”

    I hope Janelle Monáe shines in this. Someone in Hollywood needs to dump a pile of money on her so she can make the big-budget science fiction musical her videos have hinted at already,

  20. Ebook sale!

    Shadow Ops: Control Point, #1 in the “Shadow Ops” series by Myke Cole, is $1.99 at iTunes USA, Kobo, and probably other places in the USA, too. Courtesy of Ace (uses DRM). I’ve enjoyed this series. Some call it MilFantasy.

  21. Having worked registration at a couple of cons, I’m all for guests with gifts, but oh dear, crazy uncle lou. Does it turn out that calling the cops on a gutsy of honour mean cons are reluctant to invite you? Who’d a thought it?

  22. @steve davidson – My reading of social cues got so hypersensitive for…erm…life-related reasons…that it became effectively useless. I came out the other side, as it were–if somebody across the room scratched, I’d check my fly. Like having very sensitive equipment and pointing it directly into a rave.

    Well, you can’t live like that forever without things burning out. I was hyper-sensitive to the point of paranoia, my friends now would probably describe me as cheerfully oblivious. (Medication helps a LOT.) I’m fine at most normal social interactions, but every now and then I’ll run into a person who is expecting me to notice something and…well…it can go badly. (Passive-aggressive stuff rolls off me, which would be much more beneficial if there weren’t so many passive-aggressive people. See also: first marriage.)

    @ Simon Bisson – Pine? Oh–Dusky? Or did they split them again when I wasn’t looking?

    He didn’t take me to hyperspace much, and the few times he did, it was over so quick!

    Sad news.

    It’s good that they are being recognized now. The Good Old Days weren’t good for everyone.

    I’ve never been invited to a convention; I’ve just gone as a fan. Like you know, thousands of other fans.

  24. I’m gonna make one final comment about “This Census-Taker” in this thread due to the Great Ticky Crisis after much percolation.

    Gur puvyq va n wne vzntrel vf nyfb cebonoyl n zrgn-pbzzragnel ba gur ernqre. Jr ner oynax fyngrf, yrneavat bayl jung gur aneengbe pubbfrf gb gryy hf guebhtu gur cresbezngvir frpbaq obbx.

    I will likely be nominating this for novella, just from how much it’s been twisting my brain.

  25. (3) Sad to hear that.

    @Cally – thanks for sharing that story.

    @Steve Davidson – I have similar issues. I was also terrible at noticing when someone was coming on to me when I was in my 20s. And that went both ways – I’d imagine interest when there was none and completely not notice it when it was there. It also took me years to learn to tell when people were being passive aggressive or subtly insulting to me, and I still often miss it. Which is good, because I’d rather not notice that stuff. And when I do try to pay attention to that stuff, I go the route @RedWombat discussed, and start reading too much into everything anyone says or does.

  26. latest reading: The Race by Nina Allan. Came with some strong endorsements on the back and an interesting blurb, but left me cold; I might have been willing to trace through the meta a little more if it hadn’t been heaped with apparently pointless natter. (Flap copy says the author is Christopher Priest’s partner; I’ve been fascinated by about half of his work that I’ve read and completely blocked on about a quarter, especially recent work. Did Allan borrow from his recent ideas about what makes a novel?) It is quite possible that there are levels of brilliance I’m missing; I didn’t think Annihilation succeeded at its own goals either, even with all the interesting discussion that went on here. I would love to hear from anyone who read this and liked it.

    Additional personal taste rot13’d in case somebody finds it a spoiler: nobhg unys bs gur obbx nccrnef gb or svpgvba ol n abg-irel-tbbq-nhgube punenpgre va zhpu bs gur erfg bs gur obbx. V’ir urneq bs haeryvnoyr aneengbef ohg guvf frrzf gb zr gb obeqre ba gur fghag Mrynmal chyyrq va gur frpbaq Nzore cragnybtl, jurer obbx guerr ghearq bhg gb or gur qbcr qernz (be ~cflpubgvp shthr?) bs gur aneengbe bs gur bgure sbhe obbxf.

  27. (3) Several years ago I saw Terry Jones give a lecture on medieval history at a local college. A student early music ensemble performed beforehand. When Jones came out, they exited to the Gregorian chant from Monty Python & the Holy Grail, complete with head-bashes against their books. I hate (I mean, really, really, really hate these kinds of diseases.

    (I should also read some of his nonfiction books, and watch more of his BBC documentary series.)

  28. kathodus: $12.99 for “This Census-Taker.” Ouch.

    Oi, that is really pricey for a 400-page novel e-book — never mind for a slim 200-page story which is largely impenetrable. I was lucky enough to get it from my library.

  29. I’m often simply afraid of people. Afraid I’ll do something that makes them angry. And then I can become convinced that I have made them angry…

    I can miss signals I should be getting, very easily, whether they are good or bad. I have no real expectation that people will like me at all; at the same time, I don’t expect anyone to be malicious. If someone acts badly toward me, I get guilty and confused long before I get angry.

    Until I eventually figure it out.

    But in situations where I know I’m competent, with real confidence in it, I can do what seem to me to be ordinary, helpful things, and occasionally hear back later that it seemed much more important to the other person. I don’t always know what to think about that.

    I am rambling. I had a stressful weekend pet sit ting for a sick, old dog who decided that with his family “missing” he wasn’t going to eat or take his pills. But I did start listening to the audiobook of The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke.

    Im.going to entertain dreams of the ticky box returning.

  30. Lis Carey: Im.going to entertain dreams of the ticky box returning.

    Me too. Apparently it’s really important to the way a lot of people participate here. Because now that it’s not working, commenting is slowing to a snail’s pace.

    Actually, I’m giving Jetpack a couple of days to fix their bad update. And if they don’t move, I have two other things to try.

  31. I really appreciate getting notifications days, or even weeks, later, when someone posts a comment on a thread which I would otherwise have no reason to go back and check.

    I think not having the notifications really impairs “the conversation” amongst Filers, and I am sad that it is gone. I hope it will be back soon.

    flicks lighter, holds it high, and sways back and forth


    When will the

    Oh, hell. I’m just going to go have a wine or ten. 🍷

  33. @JJ: Save a glass for me. Also, I got two e-mails from the 9/23 thread. Mysterious!

    /god-stalk (to be regretted later)

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