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. Second First!

    (6) TO THE PAIN.
    Iwan Rheon played a rather different character & was very good in “Misfits” (about a group of young offenders on community service who contract superpowers). Mind you, that was before GoT.

  2. Thrifth again!

    (2) PETER DAVID. – Congrats Padguy!

    (6) TO THE PAIN. – Ok, That’s hilarious

    (14) THE PLURAL OF NEMESIS. – I have very mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it’s Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, The One True Batman and The One True Joker. OTOH, it’s Killing Joke. By the time I got into comic in the 90’s, there had been so many imitations of dubious quality that I was just heartily sick of the concept.

  3. (7) YAB BANG CHUT Interesting question, really, no matter what one thinks about the reach that modern copyright law has. In one way, a constructed language must really be considered to have value as a work (as opposed to, say, a single work phrase). On the other hand, it’s only value lies in the ability to create other works, ie derivative works. And the latter are generally allowed.

  4. That Klingon language thing is not a separate lawsuit, that’s an amicus curae (“friend of the court”) brief filed in the Axanar case. An amicus curae brief 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 bit more precision in your writeup, please. 😛

  5. @Mike Glyer: #13 says “Fix Movie Studio” – should, be, “Fox,” methinks? (supplying extra commas missing from Oxford-comma haters)

    (14) THE PLURAL OF NEMESIS. As with most trailers these days, it includes far too much.

    ETA: The coveted second fifth!

  6. Kendall: “(supplying extra commas missing from Oxford-comma haters)”

    I understand it’s also called the Harvard comma, and for the non-denominational, the serial comma,

  7. ObSFReadingUpdate: I’m so behind the times, listening to 2015 novellas! 😉 Plus, virtue-signalling. 😉 But anyway, I’m still listening to the excellent-deal-for-Audible-members Season 1. If you like audiobooks and haven’t read most of these (or like audiobooks-as-rereads), I recommend this collection.

    I just finished “Of Sorrow and Such” by Angela Slatter and wow, that was a great story! I don’t remember hearing (much?) about it before, but probably it just slid by me. I was amused the narrator was the same as for “Witches of Lychford” in this collection; she may be typecast as a witch in a village setting. 😉 Anyway, she was a great narrator. If I’d heard this story sooner, I’d’ve nominated it for Best Novella; I had a couple of empty slots. The only thing I was a bit meh over was gur cnfgbe’f zbgure fubjvat hc, especially nf n jvgpu, juvpu frrzrq fhcresyhbhf (gur raq pbhyq’ir orra jevggra jvgubhg ure, be nalbar, va gung ebyr). And why didn’t she hfr ure cbjref gb uryc ure qnhtugre-va-ynj sooner? Regardless, a great novella.

    “The Last Witness” was as good as I remembered from the ebook, though IMHO it has a bit of an extra “oomph” the first time one experiences it. Also, the narrator started out great, but half or 2/3 through, the audio quality changed and his voice got sharper and changed in other ways, which was quite irritating. It improved at some point – or I got used to it. But at first, that jarring change in audio was annoying as heck for a little while.

    Now I’m listening to “Envy of Angels,” which IIRC got mixed reviews here (?), but the series seems to have gotten praises in general/elsewhere. So far, so good, and the narrator’s very good, doing various accents that may or may not be accurate, but work fine for me. I dislike present tense, so there’s that. Originally, the description for this novella didn’t interest me, and I disliked the cover; but it’s a good story and I’m interested to see how it finishes, and I bet I’ll get the next one (which has an awesome cover). I may be shallow to mention covers, but they do give an impression of the type of story; I got a “humorous SFF” vibe, which I’m not into (well, and the first cover was McNuggets with some doodling; hardly high art, to me). But while there’s a little humor, it’s not that sort of story. Anyway, again – so far, I’m liking it!

  8. (6) Dunno, the kid who plays Ollie has to be a strong competitor for most hated.

    (13) The way these people think confuses me. They’re afraid someone will use a phone to record their commercials and put them on YouTube wherein people will watch them and then want to go see the movie?

    The horror.

  9. Kendall: #13 says “Fix Movie Studio” – should, be, “Fox,” methinks?

    Thanks — foxed now.

  10. Chris Meadows: I have updated the item. With luck the change will be to your satisfaction — I ganked your explanation….

  11. Adapting anything by Alan Moore summons a whole flock of suck-fairies. I’m guessing it is some sort of magic curse he has placed on all his work to punish comic book companies.


    We are now only 61 dollar short from having two parks at MidAmericon2. Park 770 and Park God Stalk (or whatever the name). This will give us two benches with plaques and two signs. And lots of space to raptor. Please help us make Ancillary Bench a reality!

  13. Carla Speed Mcneil on twitter revised a particular scene in The Killing Joke in most satisfactory manner but I can’t find it now.

  14. So The Killing Joke got an R rating after all. Can’t say I’m surprised. I knew DC Animated been cleared to release without cutting if that was the rating, but last I’d heard, they didn’t know whether the MPAA was going to give it the R or a PG-13.

    @Camestros: “Adapting anything by Alan Moore summons a whole flock of suck-fairies.”

    Just be glad nobody’s adapting his Lost Girls. “Suck-fairies” could’ve taken on a whole new meaning.

  15. 6) to be fair, he was pretty creepy in that first season of Misfits too

    Don’t see the point of a Killing Joke movie. Much more likely to be a weaker version of the comic than to add anything. The art is worse for one thing.

    But not as bad as remaking Watership Down to be less violent. What the fuck?

  16. Rev. Bob on April 29, 2016 at 1:33 am said:

    @Camestros: “Adapting anything by Alan Moore summons a whole flock of suck-fairies.”

    Just be glad nobody’s adapting his Lost Girls. “Suck-fairies” could’ve taken on a whole new meaning


  17. Re 12. I’ll be glad not to get any “Mars is going to be as big as the full moon” nonsense that I seem to get in email and on facebook every time there is an opposition.

    fun fact that i spent a few minutes googling to discover: Orson Welles goofed, or didn’t care: There was no opposition of Earth-Mars in October 1939 (which is when the War of the Worlds is set, although it was broadcast in 1938). There WAS a Earth-Mars opposition in July that year, though.

  18. Actually the one *animated* adaptation of a Moore work I know of — an episode of the Justice League cartoon based on his Superman story “For the Man who Has Everything” — is rather good, and as good an adaptation as one could wish for.
    That said, The Killing Joke is easily one of his worst works, and it’s coming out at a bad time for DC — an adaptation of the most notorious piece of violence against a woman in one of their comics being released the same week as the allegations of persistent sexual harassment by one of their editors became public, and as they fired their most senior woman editor…

  19. @Andrew: (Killing Joke timing)

    The only awkwardly-timed part is the trailer. The project was announced months ago, and the movie itself hits home media sometime this summer. Honestly, I think changing the established schedule would probably be a bigger media snafu than leaving it intact.

    Whether that’s a good or bad thing is open to interpretation, of course.

  20. An Amazon UK deal of interest, 99p for Low Town #1 The Straight Razor Cure by Daniel Polansky. Polansky’s The Builders is up for best novella.
    I read the novel a few weeks ago and I guess I would peg it as fun but unchallenging. It’s a grimdark(ish)/low fantasy city setting, with a disgraced former ‘detective’ turned minor criminal trying to solve a series of murders in a very noirish way. While no-one actually says “forget it Jake, it’s Low Town”, you wouldn’t be surprised if they did.

  21. I was filling out my postal ballot for the London local elections this morning, and was amused to see that Loncon guest Bryan Talbot’s original publisher Lee Harris (who put up the money for the first issue of Brainstorm Comix) is standing as the pro-cannabis legalisation candidate:

    Lee’s a fascinating man, who’s deeply embedded in the history of London SF, not just through his lifelong friendship with Bryan. Mike Moorcock and Hawkwind were regulars at his Portobello Road store Alchemy, which has also appeared in China Mieville stories.

  22. And as a one time Captain in the Floating City it ill behooves me not to fund a “Bench!”

    (The ARG that ran in the run up to the launch of Thomas Dolby’s A Map Of The Floating City had something of a surfeit of benches in the flotsam of the North Sea. It was also a delightful piece of collaborative SF involving a quest to restart Tesla’s sabotaged wireless power systems in a damaged and broken dieselpunk world, where the survivors of an apocalypse were sailing ships to the North Pole.)

  23. I’d seen Lee Harris coming up on Twitter, and thought for a moment that this was Lee A Harris in question.

    Which does at least explain why LAH bothers to list himself with the A.

  24. 2) I’m very glad that Peter David was able to make that announcement. It is my understanding that his health was touch and go for a while there. Hopefully we’ll be seeing him at Balticon again in the future.

    7) That is a pretty interesting legal question. It’s sorta related to how the Brits have made THe Jedi Order into a sanctioned religion. Could Disney sue them?

  25. Thank you, Mike. My father in law survived a series of heart attacks earlier this week, and a heart cath yesterday. I am so happy to have this content available in the waiting room. I know its more work on your part, Mike, and I really appreciate you doing so.

  26. The “Jedi are a recognised religion” thing is an urban myth:

    “The Census form’s question on religion – the only question where a response was not compulsory – offered a series of tick-boxes for the major religions in the UK (Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh); a tick-box for ‘none’; and a free space to write in ‘any other religion’. This was the first time a religion question was included in a Census.

    A campaign on the internet claimed – wrongly – that Jedi, the belief system at the heart of the Star Wars films, would receive official government recognition as a religion if enough people quoted it on their Census forms. An email in support of the campaign, quoted by BBC News, invited people to ‘do it because you love Star Wars… or just to annoy people.'”

    There’s actually no such thing as an officially recognised religion in the UK. The Established Church has a special legal status, but everything else is treated on a case by case basis.

  27. @Kendall

    “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…

  28. @Andrew Hickey

    Fair enough. That’s good to know.

    I still wonder if Disney could sue someone who attempted to get a Jedi Temple off the ground.

  29. @hampus I wonder if steam comes out of Vox’s head when he sees the Guardian agreeing with him.

    The Day After is being remade, I bet, too. With rainbows and a happy Reagan behind the curtain.

    There’s a good show running over here called Deutschland 83 (I think I have that number right) that had a good scene of East German kids singing along with 99 Red Balloons. Which has Captain Kirk in it, so I can mention it here.

    And that completes my stream of consciousness for the day.

  30. The difference between the style and detail of the Killing Joke animation vs Brian Bolland’s original comicbook pages is like the difference between Gary Leach and Chuck Beckham drawing Marvelman.

  31. (7) I’m curious if a similar language legal issue has ever come up with other published works that involved an invented language, has anything similar ever happened with Tolkien’s languages?

    On a non-legal, fan level, this whole project and the way the creators have gone about it pisses me off immensely. My earliest experiences participating in fandom have been on a fanfic/fanart level and I definitely subscribe to the school of thought where we try to find a good balance of respecting the original creator and being creative ourselves as a way of enjoying these awesome fictional universes and characters, and I come from a fandom place where emotionally I do not like seeing people (fans or otherwise) trying to make a quick buck like that while being so disrespectful to both the original artist and other fans, trampling that careful balance and good relationship with creators that we put so much effort into. To me it’s very frustrating to see people who want to use for their own ends a built-in fanbase like Trek fans to get funded and make money, and then they try to disingenuously turn around and pretend it was never a fan project like “what is this “Star Trek” you speak of?” when the copyright owners tell them to knock it off. Come on, pull my other leg, let’s get the bells ringing.

  32. @sunhawk Yes. There was a big legal kerfuffle in the Sindharin/Quenya language communities around the time the films came out, when someone tried to claim copyright to the language work that had been done to extend the languages beyond Tolkien’s roots. It pretty much destroyed the communities.

  33. @Oliver_C: “The difference between the style and detail of the Killing Joke animation vs Brian Bolland’s original comicbook pages is like the difference between Gary Leach and Chuck Beckham drawing Marvelman.”

    The “sneak peek” feature on the Justice League vs. Teen Titans disc talks about that very subject. Basically, yeah, animation means losing detail. It’s part of the medium. They specifically wrestled with the problem of being as true to the style as reasonably possible within animation’s constraints, and their solution was to look at Kevin Nowlan’s style as a stripped-down take on Bolland and go from there. The video’s available on YouTube; that discussion starts at about the 3:15 mark and goes to about 4:55.

  34. 14) The Killing Joke. I would much rather this had been made as a live action movie (back in Tim Burton’s time also). As an animated feature it will just be the comic book with some flash animation to make the panels move. I suspect I’ll still have to see this, though.

  35. (10) Yes!! (and yes/still, I enjoyed the movie for the most part)

    Great toad in the sky, my day has just been consumed!

  36. I am skeptical of a Watership Down remake, but willing to withhold judgment.

    Honestly, there’s a balance one could conceivably strike between the gore of the first one and Fiver The Happy Fluff-Bunny Has An Adventure, though I am admittedly cynical about them striking it. In places, though, Woundwort looks more like a Rankin-Bass goblin than a rabbit, and you could likely go MORE realistic and actually look less violent as a result.

    I am desperately fond of the movie. Still, the original is dated as all hell in places–the musical numbers make me cringe–so I’m not utterly opposed to a respectful remake.

  37. Hampus et al, Whoo-hoooo! Go, us! (I won’t get to Worldcon, so I’m hoping for LOTS AND LOTS of photos.)

    If we end up calling it God Stalk Park, we need a photo of Patricia Hodgell sitting on the bench. If we end up calling it Ancillary Park, we need a photo of Ann Leckie sitting on the bench. Or, hell, even if it’s called neither one, it would still be cool to have either or both on one of Our Benches….)

    Actually, I’d love it if any filers who made to Worldcon posted photos of themselves in File770 park….

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