Pixel Scroll 9/25 Slate Outta Dogpound

(1) Here are three science fiction and fantasy birthdays to celebrate on September 25.

Born 1951: Mark Hamill

Born 1930: Shel Silverstein

Born 1952: Christopher Reeve

(2) Plans are afoot to launch a San Juan in 2017 NASFiC bid at DeepSouthCon, which will be held next weekend. Source: committee member Warren Buff, who is working on the facilities. The website is mostly private at the moment.

(3) “NASA to Announce Mars Mystery Solved” on September 28, promises the press release.

NASA will detail a major science finding from the agency’s ongoing exploration of Mars during a news briefing at 11:30 a.m. EDT on Monday, Sept. 28 at the James Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The event will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Taking part in the news conference will be Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA Headquarters; Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters; graduate student Lujendra Ojha of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta; Mary Beth Wilhelm of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California and the Georgia Institute of Technology; and Alfred McEwen, principal investigator for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

I don’t see Mark Watney’s name in there anywhere…

(4) On April 7, 2016, LASFS will welcome Hugo, Nebula, and Aurora winning author Robert J. Sawyer who will read from his new novel, Quantum Night. The book will be published by Ace Books on March 1. Kudos to President Matthew B. Tepper for lining up the engagement.

(5) Today in History

September 25, 1959 Hammer Films’ take on The Mummy premieres in England.

(6) The Nerdist alerts fans to updates in German artist Dirk Löchel’s online poster featuring hundreds of science fictional star ships ranging from Star Trek to Mass Effect.

A high-res version can be downloaded from the artist’s Deviant Art site, where he also discusses the updates in detail including such frequently asked questions as…

Q: Why isn’t the Death Star/CSO Carrier/V’Ger/other large ship on the chart?

A: For reasons of image quality and chart organisation, only ships between a minimum of 100 meters and 24000 meters are applicable for this chart, sorry. Arbitrary? Yes! But I had to draw the line somewhere.

Q: And where’s TARDIS?

A: It’s both too large and too small for the chart.

(7) J. C. Carlton in “How To Create Your Own Monsters” appeals for people to sympathize with Vox Day, linking to a long list of insulting things people have said about Vox over the years. Because, Carlton thinks, what Vox has orchestrated with the Hugo Awards is all their fault.

The puppy kickers had every opportunity to put a hand out and create some sort of consensus with Larry and the rest of the Sad Puppies.  They could have listened to what the puppies were saying and taken a more even handed stance.  Above all they could have avoided the fiasco of no awarding the Hugo Awards.   Instead they treated the puppies with abuse and disparagement, conducting yet another campaign of destruction.  But they aren’t hitting Vox the Count working against them.  All they have managed to do is create yet more Counts and hasten their own destruction.

(8) Al Harron explains why he is now a former contributor to The Cimmerian blog in “Matters of Importance” on A Wilderness of Peace.

[Leo Grin on The Cimmerian] “The Cimmerian Blog has been defunct for half a decade, but now that one of our former bloggers has been exposed as an SJW, we feel impelled to rise from our slumber to declare that we stand 100% against SJWs and their travelling freakshow of interlocking fetishes and predatory abuses.

As a now-confirmed SJW, Barbara Barrett is hereby EXPELLED from this blog. We have struck her prose from every post, and her face from every picture. Let her name be unheard and unspoken among us, erased from the memory of our august fellowship, for all time. So let it be written. So let it be done.“

Barbara Barrett is a friend, a colleague, and an erudite scholar. I wrote to Leo stating, in no uncertain terms, that if anyone on The Cimmerian was to be expelled, their prose struck, their faces scored out, their very names unheard and unspoken, for the “crime” of criticism, then they must do exactly the same to me.

I campaign for Scottish independence. I took great pride in our movement’s peaceful, positive message in the face of immense opposition. That opposition had the might of the entire UK Establishment at its back, seeking to crush anything that could threaten their dominion over these isles and their resources. Everyone in the movement has a story about being intimidated, being abused, being threatened. My mother has been physically assaulted three times in the past few years. The car was trashed, the windshield cracked, property vandalised and stolen. Grown men and women have screamed obscenities in my face, my mother’s, the children in my family. I have been called every name under the sun: “Nazi,” “Fascist,” “Taliban,” “Racist,” “Scum,” “Evil.” I do not need to have my name associated with the likes of Vox Day.

Yet I put up with the intimidation and abuse and threats, because some things are worth the struggle. Some things are that important. And frankly, I had spent too long being silent on the matters of Gamergate and Rabid Puppies, because I didn’t feel it was my place. I didn’t want to stick my neck out. But after three years campaigning for independence and facing down all the power of Westminster, I find myself completely unafraid and resolutely unphased by the schisms of fandoms – and it makes choosing sides a lot easier. What fear, what power, could they hold over me, given what I have just experienced?

So, to remove any doubt: I advocate the cause of social justice. I denounce the activities of Vox Day and his supporters. And I publicly express my support, unequivocally and without reservation, for my friend and fellow Robert E. Howard scholar, Barbara Barrett.

(9) Steve Davidson has posted “The 1941 Retro Hugo Awards (Part 7 Novels)” at Amazing Stories.

Final Blackout is generally considered both a golden age classic and perhaps the best story Hubbard turned out.  Typewriter In the Sky is an early example of alternate realities and the “author as god” concept.

Absent the reading I still need to do, I think the stand-outs in this list are Slan, Gray Lensman and If This Goes On… (though I’ve only read that in the fix-up Revolt in 2100).

(10) Bravo to Lauowolf for the impromptu filk “Filers of London”

I saw a Filer with a Kindle in his hand

Walking through the West End in the rain.
He was looking for a place called the Odeon Leicester Square.
Gonna go see The Martian on screen.
Aaoooooo!
Filers of London!
Aaoooooo! (Repeat)

If you see him reading on a train,
Better not ask its name.
Little old lady downloaded a jillion ebooks in shame.
Filers of London again.
Asoooooo!
Filers of London!
Aaoooooo! (Repeat)

He’s bleary-eyed alright, cause he’s blogging all the night.
And lately he’s been reading in the shower.
Better stay away from him
Or he’ll list some more books, Jim
But look at that tbr tower!
Asoooooo!
Filers of London!
Aaoooooo! (Repeat)

(11) First a Hugo rocket, now a LEGO astronaut – see what’s floating in the window now at the International Space Station.

(12) The cast of Agent Carter promote the show with some Hayley Atwell and Dominic Cooper pranks.

https://twitter.com/HayleyAtwell/status/647176917196496896

https://twitter.com/HayleyAtwell/status/647204721241944064

(13) At Fast Company — “Take A Long Look At The Amazing Nic Cages/Tim Burton Superman That Almost Was”. (They say that like missing it was a bad thing…)

It’s a plot worthy of a comic book. In some alternative universe, Nicolas Cage might have have been Superman.

Back in the ’90s, Warner Bros had greenlit Superman Lives, a moodier take on the Man of Steel mythos to be produced by Jon Peters, directed by Tim Burton, and starring Cage, then hot off an Oscar win for Leaving Las Vegas. The team caught the fascination of the comic zeitgeist, until an unfortunately-timed shot of a droopy-eyed Cage in superhero garb leaked and fan support soured. Two years, three scriptwriters, and a slew of concept art and costume tests later, the project was dead.

(14) J. W. Ocker, curator of OddThingsIveSeen.com, knows the harvest season is at hand, and that File 770 believes in “All Bradbury all the time.” Check out “Strange Stuff From My Study, Episode 4: Ray Bradbury’s Halloween Decorations”.

For this fourth episode of Strange Stuff From My Study, I dig into my collection to show you a pair of extremely special and extremely relevant-to-the-season items: Halloween decorations that once belonged to the Great Scribe of Halloween himself, Ray Bradbury.

 

Appropriate for any season is the author’s Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe:

My latest book is Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe, in which I visited every Poe site on the East Coast and across the Atlantic, meeting and talking to those men and women who are upholding the dark poet’s physical legacy. It’s a weird book, but it won the 2015 Edgar Award for Best Critical/Biography.

Poe Land cover

(15) And while we’re in this eldritch neighborhood, The Last Witch Hunter trailer looks fairly horrifying.

(16) Did Ridley Scott just pull the rug out from under Neill Blomkamp’s Alien sequel? A September 24 news report says Scott just revealed the title of Prometheus 2 to reporters – and it’s not Prometheus 2.

During an interview with HeyUGuys, the 77-year-old filmmaker – and director of the original ground-breaking ‘Alien’ movie – revealed the rather surprising title.

“Actually, really it’s going to be called Alien: Paradise Lost,” he said. “So Prometheus 2 is not really what it’s going to be… it’s going to be Alien: Paradise Lost.”

Alien: Paradise Lost heads to cinemas on May 30 2017.

(17) A 7-minute video, To Scale: The Solar System, shows how “On a dry lakebed in Nevada, a group of friends build the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits: a true illustration of our place in the universe.”

[Thanks to J.W. Ocker, JJ, Mark-with-no-last-name, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

354 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/25 Slate Outta Dogpound

  1. I’m falling asleep now, so the start of the bracket itself will have to wait for tomorrow. See y’all then!

  2. @ Aaron:

    As always, the worst thing that can happen to the reputations of the Pups is that people will listen to what they have to say and read the things they have written.

    In my own experience, that’s quite true. I was b-a-r-e-l-y aware of the 2014 Puppy kerfuffle. It wasn’t as noisy or as interminably-long at this year’s mess, and my attention was on a bunch of other things at the time.

    And having no direct exposure to the Puppies in 2014, since I wasn’t paying attention, and only hearing some vague rumors or dismay about them, I really had no opinion about Puppies last year. “No opinion” would have been my response if anyone had asked me exactly one year ago what I thought of the Puppy thing.

    But in 2015, I happened to pay attention at the start, when SP3 launched, and have paid attention ever since. And it is my direct exposure to Puppy rhetoric and behavior that has given me an extremely negative opinion of them. For precisely the reasons Aaron has mentioned.

    So, yeah, I would say that actually listening to the Puppies is damaging–to them. I was neutral about them until I started paying attention to their rhetoric and activities.

  3. Huh. I HATED The Fresco, and as I’m a long-time Tepper reader (since the day my high school librarian took Beauty off the New Fiction shelf and set it firmly in my hands), that’s saying something. I wanted to counter-nominate The Family Tree, but, alas, 1997.

    Meanwhile, I loved The Time Traveller’s Wife, despite my mild allergy to its style of title. (I wanted to love the movie more, but it just wasn’t a very good adaptation, to my mind.)

    What was that great saying about “it would be a terrible thing if we were all alike”– was it “just think of the popcorn shortage,” or some other snacky foodstuff?

  4. @Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    My mother liked The Time Traveler’s Wife. The main reason it didn’t hit the wall is because it was her copy. 😉 (Also because she raised us all to have the utmost respect for books. Parenting-while-librarian.)

    I think in the end, I’d rather have read a book about the daughter, preferably with 100% less pre-destined relationship where they first meet when the woman is a child.

  5. Meredith says:

    I might hate-vote against The Time Traveler’s Wife if the other one sounds good.

    I might come out of lurkerdom precisely to hate-vote against The Time Traveler’s Wife. I should probably say why it flipped all my switches. Maybe because it so clearly wasn’t about her, even if she got the title. And the role of Fate and Destiny were rather ham-handed. I’m keeping spoilery bits to myself, but… I had my own copy and I do think it hit the wall.

  6. I am very happy that a Steerswoman book by Kirstein made the list.

    Huzzah!

    I also think that Diplomatic Immunity is the strongest of the three eligible Bujolds. Cryoburn is gut wrenching and Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance wrenches guts due to prolonged laughter. But DI is the better of them IMO.

  7. Fire Watch — I’m shattered.

    Can someone tell me — does the “Fire Watch Stone” actually exist? If it does, I must remember to go see it if I ever get to London…not that any bystander will comprehend why I’ll cry when I see it…

  8. Kurt Busiek: Also my first Willis. Also planning to try something else, at some point.

    Ooh, yes, please read some of her other work. I loved To Say Nothing of the Dog (and yes, I was familiar with Three Men in a Boat, my dad having read it to me as a bedtime story). If you’ve ever worked in academia, research, or similar bureaucracy, Bellwether is enjoyable (and very in-story frustrating).

    Still haven’t finished Blackout/All Clear. Not so much bounced off as drifted away due to other far more compelling demands on my time.

    Hey, ULTRAGOTHA, could you please discuss more why you think DI is the strongest? I enjoyed it but felt it was a bit thin. Would love reasons to re-read it with better appreciation.

  9. I love To Say Nothing of the Dog so much, I would marry it if I could. But I hadn’t read Three Men in a Boat till after To Say Nothing of the Dog and that did not affect my enjoyment of the former. Sigh. I love that book so much. I also liked Bellwether quite a lot, had a very difficult relationship with Doomsday (which doesn’t mean I didn’t kvell after reading it, but oh, my goodness, that book is dire…) and didn’t read Blackout/All Clear because I am just not that interested in WWII and I had just been put off Willis’s sad stuff by Doomsday. In terms of periods I do like, 18th or 19th century, yes, please, and especially Regency and Belle Epoque. Medieval, oh yes, and I was really into the Black Death before The Doomsday Book. But not American history of the Revolutionary or Civil sort and no WWII. It just doesn’t speak to me.

  10. I’ve read 31 of 64 on the list, plus for another 10 of the authors, I’ve at least read one or more of their other books. So I’m doing much better than I was with Fantasy (17 out of 128, plus other books by 13 authors). But I much prefer SF to Fantasy, so that’s not surprising.

    I generally don’t vote unless I’ve read both books — but if I feel very strongly (in either direction) about 1 book without having read the other, I’ll feel comfortable voting anyway.

  11. Lori Coulson: Fire Watch — I’m shattered.

    I know, right?

    Lori Coulson: Can someone tell me — does the “Fire Watch Stone” actually exist? If it does, I must remember to go see it if I ever get to London…not that any bystander will comprehend why I’ll cry when I see it…

    Yes, it does.

  12. Lexica –

    I’ve found that Bujold always rewards re-reading.

    The ending of Cryoburn aside, I felt it was thinner than the other Vorkosigan books. It’s an interesting , enjoyable, and well told tale but I felt most of the crunchiness was that anticipation of the inevitable ending rather in the story itself.

    In DI, I liked the more alien background and the chance to see the culture the Quaddies had built. I liked Miles’s realization that “work” had an extra echo of meaning in the Union of Free Habitats, like “honor” does on Barrayar.

    I liked the redemption of Bel Thorne, the Barrayaran pilot who goes against his cultural conditioning, the Minchenko ballet, and the extra view we get of the Cetegandans. I liked to watch Ekaterin and Roic coming even more into their own and how Miles figured out what was going on (and even more, how he attempted to explain it. “Unpack, Miles!”)

  13. The Time Traveler’s Wife went to the thrift store, where it can waste someone else’s time.

    On the other hand, I haven’t met a WIllis book I haven’t loved.

  14. Huh. I HATED The Fresco, and as I’m a long-time Tepper reader (since the day my high school librarian took Beauty off the New Fiction shelf and set it firmly in my hands), that’s saying something. I wanted to counter-nominate The Family Tree, but, alas, 1997.

    Ironically, Beauty is one of hers I really disliked–and I loved The Fresco. But like I said earlier, I don’t think it’s great, I just liked it. Unfortunately her later stuff tended toward the forgettable for me–the Conpanions had some interesting bits, but I’ve never needed to re-read it the way I did Rasing the Stones, say.

  15. I’ve read 9 (one of which I disliked a lot). Probably none will go up against each other, but I’ll watch with interest!

  16. Part of my love for The Fresco is wistful wish-fulfillment fantasy, I’ll admit. HEY CHIDDY AND VESS, WE COULD USE YOUR INTERVENTION LIKE WHOA, WHERE ARE YOU?

  17. Erk. I’ve read 25, which means that Mount File770 is gonna go through another growth spurt as people describe books that I should really be reading.

    @JJ @Meredith @BigelowT

    I’m with you on hate-voting tTT’sW. Only issue is if it goes up against Little Brother, and I have to decide which one I disliked more.

  18. In re MtFile770
    At some point, in discussing otters in sf, someone suggested Miesel’s Shaman.
    Thank you, that is a lovely otter.

  19. I might hate-vote against The Time Traveler’s Wife if the other one sounds good. :p

    Watch it, or I’ll curse your bookshelves. Wonderful book.

  20. I’ve read 5. I’m an evil person and vote on pairs where I’ve only read one. Otherwise I’d never get to vote. LOL

    I’ve read ten. I may be doing a lot of that, too.

  21. snowcrash: I’m with you on hate-voting tTT’sW. Only issue is if it goes up against Little Brother, and I have to decide which one I disliked more.

    As Kyra has chosen Bacigalupi’s Shipbreaker rather than The Wind-Up Girl, I have thankfully been spared the possibility of a Double Hate Bracket.

  22. I’ve read lucky 13, so all my favorites will be matched in the first rounds!!

    I, too, will vote in a round when I haven’t read both if I feel strongly enough about the one I have read.

    I took note of all the recommendations here and for the fantasy rounds. They went on my wishlist, I downloaded a sample or I copied and pasted the list into a text file I’ve named the Loom of File770. I have more than 30 pages of pasted lists!!!! (Many are duplicates, I’m sure, but still. Talk about a looming stack ‘o virtual books.) And I still haven’t finished reading them here in 9614.

    On tTTW, I started that book at least 3 times and just ended up wandering away each time. Can’t even remember much about it now.

  23. And I still haven’t finished reading them here in 9614.
    Somehow that fails to surprise me.
    Given the current list-acquisition/book-reading ratio I will never finish.
    I will be here at the heat-death of the universe, under a pile of unread books.

  24. @junego&Lauowolf

    In the utmost poor taste: I’ve sort of been waiting for the first report of a Filer dying after their Mount770 pile falls on them, or possibly attains sentience and eats them.

  25. Meredith on September 27, 2015 at 11:34 pm said:
    @junego&Lauowolf

    In the utmost poor taste: I’ve sort of been waiting for the first report of a Filer dying after their Mount770 pile falls on them, or possibly attains sentience and eats them.

    Fritz Leiber, Our Lady of Darkness.
    You’ll never look at your tbr pile the same again.

  26. @ Lauowolf

    I will be here at the heat-death of the universe, under a pile of unread books.

    I can picture a pathetic pile of shivering Filers straining our eyes to finish as many books as we can before the last star sputters and goes out!

  27. junego on September 27, 2015 at 11:56 pm said:
    @ Lauowolf

    I will be here at the heat-death of the universe, under a pile of unread books.

    I can picture a pathetic pile of shivering Filers straining our eyes to finish as many books as we can before the last star sputters and goes out!

    Flashlights under the blankets!
    Just to the end of the chapter.
    Really, almost done.

  28. It was a very disappointing day when my parents figured out that when I said I’d put the Discworld book down at the end of the chapter, I wasn’t being entirely straight with them…

  29. Oh but only imagine my joy when my daughter started doing the same thing.
    Really.
    Made me absurdly happy.

  30. @Lauowolf

    I’d thought I was so sneaky keeping the books with no chapters for bedtime, sigh. Foiled again…

  31. The only flaw with Diplomatic Immunity is that it really should have had a POV shift to Ekaterin near the end.

  32. Jamoche: The only flaw with Diplomatic Immunity is that it really should have had a POV shift to Ekaterin near the end.

    Aaaauuuuuggghhhh! People keep bringing up Memory and Cryoburn and Diplomatic Immunity and Falling Free and all the other Vorkosigan books!

    The new one doesn’t come out until February! I can’t start a re-read until at the very least after Christmas, if I want to time it properly! Stop making me want to read these books again right now!!!

  33. When my dad discovered I was reading under the covers for an hour or so after bedtime, he made a new rule: Lights-out time was an hour after In Bed time.

    Many, many years later, I read The Time Traveler’s Wife, and loved it.

  34. before the last star sputters and goes out!

    We had better make sure no Nepalese monks get their hands on any good computer equiptment then.

  35. @ Tintinaus

    before the last star sputters and goes out!

    We had better make sure no Nepalese monks get their hands on any good computer equiptment then.

    We could always get that other computer to answer that last question. “Let there be lamps” to read by.

  36. Part of my love for The Fresco is wistful wish-fulfillment fantasy, I’ll admit. HEY CHIDDY AND VESS, WE COULD USE YOUR INTERVENTION LIKE WHOA, WHERE ARE YOU?

    YES.

    Also, to go along with the wish-fulfillment, artists are very occasionally allowed to save the day if they paint heartbreaking works to make the gods weep, ideally while dying in the process, but the Fresco is the only book I’ve ever read where commercial illustrators save the day by working efficiently on a deadline. I will never make the gods weep, but lo! I am become Wombat, Meeter of Deadlines.

  37. @JJ — Thanks for the link. Made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, plus goosebumps and tears.

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