Pixel Scroll 7/14

Today’s Scroll is seven stories tall.

(1) In 2015 the Science-Fiction Club Berlin will mark its 59th and the Andymon club (which started life as the Youth Astronomy Club) will celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Sonja Fritzsche, Professor of German and Eastern European Studies at Illinois Wesleyan University, traces the fascinating history of Berlin fandom before and after the Wall in a “Science-Fiction Fandom in United Berlin” at World Literature Today:

On November 9, 1989, the night the wall fell, several Andymon members crossed over the border into West Berlin to celebrate. Lost on a side of Berlin they had never seen, they decided to contact one of the West Berlin fans from their earlier visit. Luckily, they found her, and this second meeting, now on the other side of the border, helped to cement a future collaboration between both Berlin fan clubs. The first collaborative effort came as early as 1990 with the short-lived fanzine Mauersegler, the title of which refers to a variety of bird (common swift) and also means “one who sails over the wall.” Andymon members also helped organize and present at the Bärcon in West Berlin in September 1990. (According to Hardy Kettlitz, six Andymon club members also traveled to the FreuCon in Freudenstadt in the Black Forest in 1990.) Famous science-fiction collector Forry Ackermann visited the clubs in both East and West in September 1990. Both of the clubs still exist today, although Andymon has become dominant in recent years. It is fair to say that without these club members, many of whom are not only active fans but also translators, bibliographers, editors, and authors in their own right, German science fiction would be less rich and vibrant.

(2) Business Insider has an unlimited buffet of great photos of cosplayers wowing the crowds at San Diego Comic-Con 2015.

(3) The First Fandom Award winners will once more be announced at the start of the Hugo Awards ceremony this year in Spokane reports John L. Coker III.

Coker writes in the latest issue of First Fandom’s news publication Scientifiction: “Due to the efforts of several First Fandom members (including Steve Francis), our annual awards have returned to their traditional home: the Worldcon.”

(3) The Hollywood Reporter evaluates the productions and celebrities who were on stage at Comic-Con and names five winners and three losers.

(4) Former Nightline journalist Jeff Greenfield boldly starts his Politico essay “Primary Amnesia: What the press forgets every election” with a long science fiction reference.

In his classic 1941 short story “Nightfall,” Isaac Asimov imagines a planet (Lagash) with six suns. Only once every 2,049 years does total darkness fall—and with nightfall comes the appearance of the stars. When that happens, the citizens of Lagash go mad; they burn everything in a desperate attempt to banish the darkness. The total collapse of civilization means there is no record of what has happened; no collective memory to ward off the next collapse when darkness descends again in another 2,049 years.

This fictional story unfortunately is an illuminating (no pun intended) guide to how we cover—or miscover—the presidential primary process. Even though there’s a gap of only four years between elections, as opposed to two millennia and change, it’s as though our collective memory gets wiped clean sometime around the inauguration, and we approach the next cycle with no guide to what has happened in elections past.

The key lesson we forget every four years is that the nominating process stands in sharp contrast to the general election, where “fundamentals” often hold sway.

(5) Cracked.com offered a prize for the best reader mashup of Godzilla with another famous movie. The results are posted in “40 Great Movies Made Better By Adding Godzilla”.

Despite the vast amount of crappy movies he’s been in, Godzilla is still pretty awesome. He’s radioactive dinosaur that breathes fire — what more could a child want?

With that in mind, we asked readers to show us some movies that could benefit greatly from that awesomeness, and gave $100 to the winner …

Gravity with Godzilla

If this faux poster of Gravity ranked 40th (which it did), there must be some astonishing entries. And there are — other films improved with Godzilla included Paris Hilton’s sex tape, Electric Boogaloo Breakin’ 2 and Hitchcock’s North By Northwest.

(6) Another part of the ongoing Godzilla lovefest is that the famous kaiju has been officially made a resident of Japan and tourism ambassador. The ceremonial plaque gives this explanation of the honor.

Reason for special residency: Promoting the entertainment of and watching over the Kabuki-cho neighborhood and drawing visitors from around the globe in the form of the Godzilla head built atop the Shinjuku TOHO Building.


Ambassador Godzilla

Ambassador Godzilla

(7) Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesterpup as the Aggregated Dan Goodman offers this “helpful” suggestion:

There are people who believe conservative science fiction and fantasy have been unfairly slighted in the World Science Fiction Society awards (aka the Hugos.)  As some of you know, this year two groups have tried to remedy the problem they see.

Perhaps there should be a list of older sf which Sad Puppies, Mad Puppies, and those inclined to agree with them might find objectionable.

Here is a start:

Robert A. Heinlein, Revolt in 2100.  A strongly Christian US government is overthrown, with the author’s obvious approval.

Robert A. Heinlein, The Puppet Masters.  The future setting has term marriages.

Robert A. Heinlein, “Delilah and the Space Rigger.”  Blatant feminism.

H.G. Wells, The Time Machine.  In the far future, descendants of the upper classes are exploited by the dictatorship of the proletariat.  (Marxists might also find this novel objectionable.)

Harry Turtledove, Guns of the South.  A victorious Confederate government deprives many citizens of their property.

What warning labels would you add?

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian and Rogers Cadenheaed for the links they provided.)