Second Pixel Scroll 4/28/16 Scroll Up And File Right

Here’s a bonus Scroll, healthfully free of references to rocket-shaped awards. Well, except for that one.

(1) THE DOCTOR. Vulture provided an introduction for this clip of David Tennant and Stephen Colbert doing their own version of “Who’s on First”.

David Tennant is currently playing Richard II in a cycle of Shakespeare history plays at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and on Wednesday night, he stopped by Stephen Colbert’s show to tell him all about it. But before he could, he had to take part in a very silly “Who’s On First” spoof with late night’s most verbally gifted host, one that wrapped in Doctor Who, Doctor Strange, and Benedict Cumberbatch (who, coincidentally, is about to play Richard III on British TV).



(3) GIVE FORWARD. When Ed Dravecky III passed away at WhoFest last weekend, away from home, a crowdfunded appeal was launched on behalf of his partner Robyn Winans seeking financial assistance to help with the transport and funeral arrangements.The target was $2,000 – over $5,000 was raised.

(4) FREE PAOLO BACIGALUPI STORY. Joey Eschrich, Editor and Program Manager for the Center for Science and the Imagination as Arizona State University, and Assistant Director, Future Tense, has something for you —

I just wanted to share this new (free) short story from Paolo Bacigalupi about artificial intelligence, pleasurebots, and the ethical and legal quandaries of human-machine interaction – I’m hoping you might consider sharing it with your community!

The Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, where I work, commissioned and edited the story along with’s Future Tense channel – it’s the first in Future Tense Fiction, a series of short stories about how technology and science will change our lives. The story is accompanied by a response essay from Ryan Calo, a robotics and law expert at the University of Washington.

(5) FULL FURY FIVE. The “Wasteland Weekend” video features people cosplaying entire cars in Mad Max-esque styles.

For Mike Orr, a.k.a. “Sweet Lips,” escapism comes in the form of Wasteland Weekend: an annual four-day post-apocalyptic festival held in the Southern California desert that attracts thousands of people from around the country. It’s basically a giant celebration of end-of-the-world culture, where, per Sweet Lips, “people can do whatever they want.” This includes everything from hand-to-hand combat to burlesque to bonfires that set the night sky ablaze.

But most of all, people come to Wasteland for the cars?—?DIY war machines that look as though they’ve rolled right out of Fury Road.


(6) TO THE PAIN. The New York Times explains why “Ramsay Bolton of ‘Game of Thrones’ Is the Most Hated Man on TV”.

Like many successful actors, Iwan Rheon, better known as the blithely malicious Ramsay Bolton on “Game of Thrones,” arguably the most hated man on television, admits he’s concerned about being narrowly defined by an indelible character. But ask a logical follow-up question — what else are you working on? — and the scale of his challenge becomes clear.

“I’m playing a young Hitler,” he replied, referring to the British television movie “Adolf the Artist.” Then realization took hold, and his face crumpled in mock despair: “Oh, I’m typecast already!”

(7) KEEP YOUR YAB BANG CHUT. A side-effect of the studio’s suit against the producers of Axanar is this story: “Paramount Pictures sued over copyright of Klingon language”. Notwithstanding the headline, what’s been filed is an amicus curae brief, which, as Chris Meadow explains, “Is a legal brief in which a party not directly involved in a case puts in a few words about issues that could nonetheless affect them depending on how the case is decided.”

A group called the Language Creation Society is suing Paramount Pictures in federal court over its copyright of the Klingon language from the television series Star Trek, arguing that it is a real language and therefore not subject to copyright.

The suit, filed by Marc Randazza and the Language Creation Society, argues that while Paramount Pictures created Klingon, the language has “taken on a life of its own.”

“A group called the Language Creation Society claims in U.S. federal court that Paramount Pictures lacks the ‘yab bang chut’ or ‘mind property law’ necessary to claim copyright over the Klingon language,” Randazza wrote in the brief’s description.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the issue had previously been brought up in a lawsuit between Paramount Pictures and CBS over a crowdfunded Star Trek fan film that made use of the language.

Ken White at Popehat did his own analysis of the question.

The legal point is a fascinating one: if a language is created in connection with a copyrighted work of fiction, can there be a copyright on other use of the language, even if it’s not to speak the lines from the copyrighted work?


  • April 28, 2007  — Ashes of actor James Doohan, who portrayed engineer “Scotty” on Star Trek, and of Apollo 7 astronaut Gordon Cooper soared into space aboard a rocket.


(10) SINFUL STAR WARS. CinemaSins covers Everything Wrong With Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and reminds us: “Remember, no movie is without sin!”

(11) FUTURE DSC AWARDED. SF Site News learned ConCave to Host DeepSouthCon in 2018.

(12) WE NOW KNOW. In 2016, the planet Mars will appear brightest from May 18 to June 3. NASA has the scoop.

Mars Close Approach is May 30, 2016. That is the point in Mars’ orbit when it comes closest to Earth. Mars will be at a distance of 46.8 million miles (75.3 million kilometers). Mars reaches its highest point around midnight — about 35 degrees above the southern horizon, or one third of the distance between the horizon and overhead. Mars will be visible for much of the night.

There is a nice animation at the above site showing how Mars’ appearance embiggens during the approach…

(13) UNEXPECTED VACANCY IN HALL H. “Fox Movie Studio Pulls Out of Comic-Con Main Event Over Piracy Fears” at The Wrap.

20th Century Fox will not showcase its upcoming movie releases in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con this year.

The studio feels it cannot prevent the piracy of custom trailers and exclusive footage routinely screened for fans in attendance, an individual familiar with the decision told TheWrap.

A representative for Fox declined to comment. SDCC was not immediately available for comment….

(14) THE PLURAL OF NEMESIS. The Verge introduces Batman: The Killing Joke trailer.

The first full trailer for Batman: The Killing Joke, Warner Bros. Animation’s first R-rated Batman movie, is finally here. Based on the acclaimed and highly controversial graphic novel of the same name, the film will explore Batman’s relationship with the Joker, and drive home the fact that they represent perfect arch-nemeses for one another.

Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, released as a one-shot back in 1988, is considered by many fans as the greatest, and perhaps most terrifying, Joker story ever written….


[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Glenn Hauman, JJ, Will R., Mark-kitteh, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File770 contributing editor of the day Heather Rose Jones.]

119 thoughts on “Second Pixel Scroll 4/28/16 Scroll Up And File Right

  1. >> Now comes world domination led by the raccoons.

    > The Architect of Sleep, anyone?

    Ah, someone besides me remembers that one. I’ve always wondered what happened after.

  2. @P J Evans:

    Ah, someone besides me remembers that one. I’ve always wondered what happened after.

    You’re hardly the only one. My understanding is that it was all supposed to be published as one doorstopper novel in the first place rather than in two parts until the publisher balked, and Boyett got so jerked around by the publisher refusing to either publish the rest of it or to release the rights so he could get someone else to publish it (most companies not wanting to publish the second book in a set if they can’t also publish the first) that these days he’s pretty much written the whole thing off as a rather nasty lesson and doesn’t ever want to talk about it again.

    *checks Wikipedia page, and blinks* Wait, Boyett is collaborating on a novel with Ken Mitchroney?

  3. @ Dr. Science. Has he read Metropolitan and City on Fire by Walter Jon Williams? Fascinating look at the politics of a coup, intresting characters and intriguing world setup. I didn’t care for the romance plot, but can’t say it’s not realistic. The main downside is there no word on when the next book in the series is coming out.

  4. Googling random 2016 books labeled as Space Opera, I found that almost everything was series. Oasis by Dima Zales, Starflight by Melissa Landers, and Icarus by Matt Verish are the first in their series, at least. I don’t know anything else about them.

  5. Thanks @chip! That helps! I think I’ll try it after I re-read the Ancillary trilogy.

    I thought I would love Hide Me Among the Graves, but stopped partway through and never went back. I loved The Stress of Her Regard, but somehow HMAtG didn’t quite work for me.

  6. Mark: “Of Sorrow and Such” was one of my favourites, but it didn’t quite get the traction it deserved. Once you’ve finished Envy Of Angels just go back and look at the cover again…”

    I loved “Of Sorrow and Such”. It’s an amazing novella, which I agree deserved more traction than it got.

    “Envy of Angels” was a delight. Definitely the success mode of clever.

  7. Lauowolf: I had totally forgotten that one of my nephews just moved to Kansas City.

    Does he need a bench? Because we get to keep the benches we sponsor (so far we’ve got 2), but I sure as hell won’t be taking one home on the plane.

    I guess we’ll hold a drawing for any of you who live in the area and want to take one home. Shipping and handling are purely the responsibility of the new owner.

  8. Gee, I have no idea whether he’d want a bench or not.
    Not really sure of his needs/tastes.
    This is going to be one of those adventurous visits – I haven’t seen these guys for years and years.
    But I bet there are local convention people who could make good use of a couple of benches.
    And I’d do first refusals among the good folks organizing and volunteering to make this happen.

  9. @JJ
    I was wondering if there are any local Kansas City organizations/parks/playgrounds in need of benches we could donate ours to. I’ll try to do some internet research this weekend.

  10. (7) As well as tons of Klingon, the amicus curiae brief also has a Lebowski reference.

    @Lauowolf: Excellent! We’ll need a photo of you on Ancillary Bench, and it’ll be good to have two more serpentine Filers.

    @Tasha: There were many good ideas in that list, and some of them weren’t even mine.

  11. Now comes world domination led by the raccoons.”

    I, for one, welcome our new raccoon overlords.

  12. @Doctor Science: A friend at work recommended And Again by Jessica Chiarella to me; it’s (I believe) near future SF, although perhaps the topic isn’t quite right for your husband’s present circumstances (it’s about four people who get new bodies due to their physical ailments). Or maybe it’s just right, I’ve no idea – just passing along a rec.

    I’ve been tempted by Mark Alpert’s The Orion Plan (out now) and Sean Danker’s Admiral (out in a few days). I technical can’t rec them, not haven’t read them yet, but they’ve been taunting me and sound very interesting. 🙂

  13. Kendall: A friend at work recommended And Again by Jessica Chiarella to me

    I’ve got that on my Library request list, thanks to you (or someone). For some strange reason ??? I haven’t gotten to it yet… but hopefully soon.

  14. @Mark & @JJ: Googling “Envy of Angels” (though I already know the cover) finds me a lot of pictures of Angel’s Envy whiskey, hmm. 😉 As for the story itself, tur pbire qvq fyvtugyl fcbvy n zvabe yvggyr guvat va gur obbx, ohg abg n ovt qrny. I’m pretty sure I know what’s coming up, but this doesn’t bother me – I am enjoying the ride. 🙂

    @JJ: I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before here; which is silly since I haven’t read it yet, but it is on my list! If/when you get to it, I’m interested in what you think.

  15. Simon Bisson said:

    I’m sure I’m not the only one here who remembers the Weasel Patrol

    You most certainly are not! Hadn’t thought about them in years…

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