Pixel Scroll 9/30/16 How Much For Just the Pixels?

(1) WRITERS WITH POWER? Having lived through the days when few sf authors had any kind of industry prestige, I’m impressed how many genre writers are included in “Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors 2016”, compiled by The Hollywood Reporter. The list begins with Patrick Ness, and Lauren Oliver, drops Margaret Atwood in the middle, and spots Rowling at #1, Stephen King at #2, and George R.R. Martin at #4. Neil Gaiman and Diana Gabaldon are in there, too.

(2) QUESTION TIME. Shana DuBois has unveiled a new installment of a popular feature at B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, “Mind Meld: The Imagined Possibilities of Science Fiction”.

In Istvan Csicsery-Ronay’s The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction, he states works of science fiction “may be credible projections of present trends or fantastic images of imagined impossibilities. Or an amalgam of both.”

Q: Do you enjoy science fiction that is more a reflection of where today’s society could be headed in the near future, or science fiction that reflects a far, far future, and why? What are some recent works you’ve enjoyed?

The participants are S. C. Flynn, Michael R. Underwood, Laura Anne Gilman, Andrea Phillips, K. C. Alexander, and Malka Older.

(3) CAT RAMBO AUTHOR NEWSLETTER. Cat Rambo sent a link to her newsletter:

Usually I don’t make my newsletter public, but I did so today so people can see a sampling what it’s like: http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=5c1e6d30440f85da8e0ac39d3&id=5befcbc8ca

One of the news items is about — The Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers.

On October 1, Rachel Swirsky and Juliette Wade will launch their classes in the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers. The following week I’ll be announcing four single session workshops for October-December: the long-promised space opera class with Ann Leckie, live classes with Swirsky and Wade, and one solo workshop.

(4) WHO REVIEWS MOST BOOKS BY POC? James Davis Nicoll is not one to hold a grudge. He’ll tell you so – read “A challenge for Rising Shadows, Foundation, SFS, Analog, Asimov’s, Vector, F&SF, SFX, and Locus”

Nobody who made Strange Horizons’ annual count—still not holding a grudge—has reviewed as many books by POC as I have.

Nicoll is speaking of Strange Horizons’ “The 2015 SF Count”. The editors there explain:

Welcome to the sixth Strange Horizons “SF count” of representation in SF reviewing. The goal of the count is straightforward: for the last calendar year, for a range of SF review venues, to calculate the gender and race balance of books reviewed, and of reviewers.

Despite being just about the most prolific reviewer in the field, a review-writing dynamo, Nicoll is not included in the Strange Horizons survey. Maybe if he pretended  to be a magazine?

(5) FUNDRAISER. Family members of the Yosts have started a GoFundMe page to benefit the two girls, ages 6 and 8, who survived the murders reported here the other day.

I am a family member of the Yost Family and even typing these words out now still doesnt make it real.  The unimaginable as happened to two little innocent girls who are now left with out parents to raise them.  Our hearts are completely broken and will miss them every single day that passes.  We will remember the good times we had and remind these two beautiful girls of how much they were loved by their parents.  The girls are 6 and 8 and will need all the help they can get in this extremely tragic event.

Every donation received will be to help for future care of these children.

Our family sends our deepest gratitude for any help.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.  We truly appreciate all of your help and kind words while our family mourns the loss of two beloved family members.

(6) GOLDEN DUCK. Still catching up with awards announced in August.

2016 Golden Duck Awards

The 2016 Golden Duck Awards were announced by Doug Drummond and Helen Gbala at MidAmeriCon II on August 18.

  • Picture Book Interstellar Cinderella, by Deborah Underwoon (author) and Meg Hunt (illustrator) (Chronicle)
  • Eleanor Cameron Award for Middle Grade Fuzzy Mud, by Louis Sacher (Delacorte)
  • Hal Clement Award for Young Adult Armada, by Ernest Cline (Crown)

(7) KANSAS CITY BBQ. Scott Edelman and David Levine sat down for barbecue while attending the Worldcon, and that culinary inspiration led to Episode 19 of the Eating the Fantastic podcast.


We talked about the things being a science fiction fan for so long taught him about being a professional science fiction writer, what it was like contributing to George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards universe after having read the series since Day One, how pretending to live on Mars for two weeks helped him write his newly published novel Arabella of Mars, and much more.


  • September 30, 1988 Elvira, Mistress of the Dark premieres in theaters.


  • Born September 30, 1924 — Truman Capote.

And what, you may ask, is his connection to sf/f?

After a rejection notice from the pulp magazine Weird Tales, Ray Bradbury sent his short story “Homecoming” to Mademoiselle Magazine. There it was spotted by a young editorial assistant named Truman Capote, who rescued the manuscript from the slush pile and helped get it published in the magazine. “Homecoming” won a place in The O. Henry Prize Stories of 1947.  This was the first publication of a Ray Bradbury story in the mainstream.

(10) FAN FUND OF NEW ZEALAND. The FFANZ administrators have announced that Lynelle Howell is running to be the fund’s delegate to Continuum 13, in Melbourne, 2017:

The Fan Fund for Australia and New Zealand was created to strengthen the ties between Australian and New Zealand fandom.  FFANZ assists fans with travel to the Natcon of the other nation, and assists with as many of the attendant costs of travel as practical, as well as facilitating connections between fans.

This year’s FFANZ race is a westward bound one, facilitating travel by a New Zealand fan to the 56th Australian Speculative Fiction National Convention, Continuum XIII – Triskaidekaphilia, to be held in Melbourne, Victoria, over Queen’s Birthday Weekend, 9th-12th June, 2017. It is expected that after the trip the winner takes over as administrator of the fund, engages in fundraising for the fund, and that they promote links between the two fandoms via a trip report or other means.

Click the link above for the candidate’s platform, and her nominators’ statements.

(11) FREAKY FRIDAY MUSICAL. The Washington Post’s Jane Horwitz writes about the Disney-backed Freaky Friday musical, opening at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia this weekend, including how the show is simultaneously based on the Mary Rodgers novel, the first Disney movie, the second Disney movie and the 1995 TV movie and how stars Emma Bunton and Heidi Blickenstaff really like working together.

(12) WHAT DIDN’T MAKE IT TO THE PAGE. Some things are better left untold.

(13) HIDEOUS TO BEHOLD. The Good Show Sir blog promises to post “Only the worst Sci-Fi/Fantasy book covers. The amazing thing is, they never run out!

There are many pieces of cover art that are beautiful to behold. Yet, there are others which exhibit a rarer, odd form of beauty. We think that such conflicts of focal points, lettering choices, false perspectives, anatomical befuddlement, ridiculous transport vehicles, oversized and frankly unusable monster-hunting weaponry, clothing choices that would get you killed walking down the street let alone hiking a through a frozen wasteland, clichéd cat-people, and downright bad art deserve their own special form of tribute.

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

The Hammer and the Horn

I think they’re living up to their promise….!

[Thanks to JJ, Scott Edelman, Michael J. Walsh, Hampus Eckerman, Cat Rambo, James Davis Nicoll, DMS, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]

49 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/30/16 How Much For Just the Pixels?

  1. Q: Do you enjoy science fiction that is more a reflection of where today’s society could be headed in the near future, or science fiction that reflects a far, far future[?]

    Yes. 🙂

  2. 7) David Levine was indeed a fan of Wild Cards from day one.

    We had George RR Martin as a guest (Toastmaster) at OryCon ’86 and because I was chairing the convention, I couldn’t make it to his interview (there are disadvantages to being a con chair).

    I ran into David as he left the interview and he told about hearing about this neat new superheroes series that George was editing, with the first book coming out the following year.

    And that was the first I’d heard about Wild Cards

  3. Just watched the first two episodes of Luke Cage. This is definitely a darker, grittier show than Jessica Jones, and Mike Colter is outstanding. I’m not sure of the timeline though–if this is taking place before Luke hooks up with Jessica or after. (Actually, scratch that–it must be before, because [rot-13] ur fgvyy qbrfa’g xabj ubj uvf jvsr Erin qvrq.) Just in these first two eps, the show is doing a great job of capturing the feel of Harlem; it’s almost another character in itself.

  4. The Hammer and The Horn: What is going on there?

    My guess is that it’s something like

    “In the wrestling ring, “Hammerfist” Vidar and Hulk “Leotard Man” Horn where arch enemies. But after Vidar saved Leotard Man’s life by carrying him out of a burning wrestling arena, the two also became lovers. [insert innuendo about hammers and horns here.]”

    It’s almost tempting to try to get hold of the book to read it and find out. Except, of course, that the cover scene probably never happens in the book.

  5. I know we’ve had this question before, but now it is a reality: Best Series 2017 ideas? Of the top of my head you’ve got:

    Vorkosigan Saga and World of Five Gods
    Marie Brennan’s Lady Trent series
    Craft Sequence, Max Gladstone
    Peter Grant/Rivers of London series
    Invisible Library, probably – it’ll have 3 volumes in the UK by the end of the year but I’m a bad word count estimator.

    And some weirder eligibility grey areas:
    Kameron Hurley released a Bel Dame novella via Patreon in January 2016, does that mean the Bel Dame series is eligible?
    Likewise, I’m pretty sure N.K. Jemisin has discussed 1. a Broken Earth “proof of concept” story out there somewhere and 2. doing a “fanfic” of one of her older universes (Dreamblood, 100KK) as a Patreon reward in the next couple of months, which could make one or more of her series eligible?
    Has Ken Liu ever written a Dandelion Dynasty short? If so surely that series is eligible too?

  6. @Johan ahh just seen it! Cheers for the heads up and cheers JJ and co. for the initial legwork.

  7. That Palmer Eldritch cover isn’t “horrendous”. It’s a bit of a spoiler, though …

  8. Charon D.
    Now we see the limitations of the Google method for checking a quote. I knew I’d done something like that recently (turned out to be day before yesterday), but what possible search string on your version would have brought mine up? If only Google allowed high-concept search. “Google, show me recent parodies of the plum poem.” “2,529,004 matches found for October.”

    Camestros Felapton
    That’s insidious. It should be in Tickypedia. (Which I totally did not Google on, and I expect to hear from someone any minute.)

    Mike Glyer
    Oo, thanks. Here’s one I’m working on, but I’m stuck for an ending: “Llorcs lexip was I ere I saw…”

  9. I think that’s a bit unfair to the Three Stigmata cover, but I’m aware that American tastes in SF cover design run more to the doggedly literal/photorealistic.

    (I have a soft spot for Penguin cover design because I grew up with my mother’s collection of SF novels, which had a lot of Penguin books. It was their earlier series of modern-art covers that first drew her attention and got her reading SF.)

  10. 7) Sadly the closest I got to KC BBQ was the food truck outside the convention. I mean it was tasty but I don’t know how it compares

  11. @ Arifel: I’ll put up the Changed World books for Best Series. I just finished the new release (Prince of Outcasts), and will note that it ends on a cliffhanger much the way that The Sunrise Lands did. But aside from that, it’s a smooth continuation of the saga; we find out what happened to everyone after the end of the previous story, get to see some more of the characters from the short-story theme anthology, and watch the ramp-up for the next Great War, with a new eldritch player in the game…

  12. @ Cattfish

    7) Sadly the closest I got to KC BBQ was the food truck outside the convention. I mean it was tasty but I don’t know how it compares

    Me similarly, except it was the “KC barbecue hash” for breakfast on Monday morning at the Marriott restaurant. I truly *meant* to have dinner at a good BBQ place while I was there, but as it fell out, it would have meant making a special trip quite some distance away, as well as having to choose to miss some other evening event. If I’d fallen in with a congenial party that was making an expedition, it might have been worth it, but the stars didn’t align.

  13. Jim Henley noted on Twitter that the ebook of Delany’s DHALGREN is available right now for $1.99. On a cost-per-word basis, that’s definitely a bargain!

    Let me also put in a good word for COMFORT ME WITH APPLES, by Peter De Vries, also on sale for $1.99 today. De Vries was a literary writer, worked on the New Yorker staff for years, etc., and wrote stories and novels about middle-class suburbia. He was also one of the funniest* writers around, his work filled with witty and sardonic wordplay and outrageous circumstances. The movies REUBEN, REUBEN and PETE ‘N’ TILLIE were based on his work. He’s probably my favorite literary writer.

    *”funniest” as long as you avoid BLOOD OF THE LAMB, which was based on the death of De Vries’ own young child from leukemia. Some of his other books have tragedy mixed with the comedy, but BOTL is absolute rip-out-your-heart saddening.

    COMFORT ME WITH APPLES was actually the first De Vries book I read, back in the early 70’s. Long-time fan rich brown had written a fanzine article about his young attempt to write a Very Significant Mainstream Novel (read: pretentious), which had borne the title of… COMFORT ME WITH APPLES. Shortly after reading brown’s fanzine piece, I was browsing a selection of used books and came across a worn paperback of De Vries’ similarly titled work, and picked it up on a whim. One of the best quarters I ever spent.

    (What, that’s not enough of an SF connection? Okay, add in this: Peter De Vries son, actor Jon De Vries, was in the “Up the Long Ladder” episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Boom, skiffy!)

    Both DHALGREN and COMFORT ME WITH APPLES were among today’s offerings from Early Bird Books; details here

  14. @Kip W
    Some might consider this proof that we are actually a couple of separate rooms full of monkeys with typewriters in communication via walkie talkie rather than … cough … humans posting stuff, but I think they’re wrong. Great, er, awesome, uh, hopelessly book-addicted and file-ish minds think alike!

    A Facebook search for a 20k share
    A Yahoo search for a 4m share
    A Google search for a 13k share
    Tick, filers, tick with care
    Tick in the presence of the passenjare!

  15. @Bonnie

    Luke Cage takes place after Jessica Jones – Jessica was the “rebound girl” Pop mentioned, who fubg Yhxr va gur urnq jvgu n fubgtha. Plus, in Jessica Jones he was clearly someone who had so far been laying low and never doing any of the hero things he’s starting to do here.

    I’m not sure where you got the impression that he doesn’t know about the thing you mentioned.

  16. Charon D.
    That is, indeed, a humorous misapprehension! It makes me want to emit the distinctively human sound of laughter. Ha ha! Gzorninplatz! Ha!

  17. @Ghostbird
    Yeah, it’s not just that Palmer Eldritch cover– I can understand someone finding that off-putting (though I think that’s because it captures a disturbing image from the book pretty well)– but that blog really has it in for anything in the ’70s surrealist poster art vein, which is a lot of my favorite stuff ever. Check out the Clifford Simak one on the first page; also A Scanner Darkly. And they don’t have anything to say about it, they just find all “psychedelic” designs automatically funny.

  18. microtherion: Does that make File770 the “Enchanted Ticky Room”?

    Brilliant question!

  19. @Eli

    Yes, you’re right. I realized that after I read a few more articles about the series.

  20. Send not to ask for whom the pixel scrolls, it scrolls for thee.

    (Optionally change the last word to “ticky”?)

  21. In the Ticky Ticky Ticky Ticky Ticky Room
    In the Ticky Ticky Ticky Ticky Ticky Room
    Where Mike doles out Scrolls
    To the Puppies’ gloom
    In the Ticky Ticky Ticky Ticky Ticky Room

  22. This moose tried putting carets in a post and preview hid everything between the carets, so switched to “ampersand lt and ampersand gt” which correctly appeared as carets in preview but the post has them as entered.

    Preview apparently discards everything between carets, and using the other approach doesn’t work either: WYSINWYG. (sigh)

  23. Cadbury Moose: This moose tried putting carets in a post and preview hid everything between the carets, so switched to “ampersand lt and ampersand gt” which correctly appeared as carets in preview but the post has them as entered.

    You have to enter them with a semi-colon —   < and >

    Without the semi-colon, they will appear correct in the preview window, but be wrong in the actual post.

  24. Technically, the less-than and greater-than symbols should be called those, or angle brackets. A caret looks similar but is vertical, like this: ^

  25. Sour Easter? Spicy Halloween? Any other flavoured festivals going?

    <Hides under desk.>

    Aha! Thank you for that, my HTML constructs are displaying properly.

    (Memo to Elves: this is yet another site-specific variation.)

  26. @ Cadbury Moose: The semicolon version is standard HTML, and should work anywhere. The fact that it displays properly in preview without them may be site-specific, but I know that without the semicolons things don’t work right on LJ or ML either, and so have trained myself to use them automatically.

  27. Thanks, Lee.

    What’s confusing this moose (easily done, I’m afraid) is that I’ve never had a problem on ML and have never used semicolons to delimit the HTML wossnames.


    (A now thoroughly confuzzled chocolate moose.)

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