Pixel Scroll 5/24/23 We Don’t Need Another Pixel (Thunderscroll)

(1) NEW TIKTOK BOOK AWARDS UK/IRELAND. TikTok isintroducing the TikTok Book Awards UK and Ireland 2023.

In the past year, the #BookTok hashtag has grown more than 160% to over 138 billion views – and shows no sign of stopping! The #BookTok community of authors, readers and fans is transforming the publishing world: propelling new authors into the mainstream, reviving much loved classics, inspiring a new generation of bookworms and helping to boost print book sales.

In celebration and recognition of the titles, authors, content and creators that have made the unique BookTok ecosystem what it is, we are proud to launch our very own TikTok Book Awards for the UK and Ireland. For the first time, we’re creating a true people’s choice book award – giving our community the chance to vote for the winning books, authors and creators in-app….

The award categories will be: BookTok Creator Of The Year, BookTok Book Of The Year, BookTok Author Of The Year, Best BookTok Revival, Indie Book Shop Of The Year, Best Book to End A Reading Slump, Best Book I Wish I Could Read Again For The First Time, BookTok Cover of The Year, and BookTok Livestreamer of The Year.

A panel of judges is creating the longlist (they are named at the link). The final winners will be decided by the TikTok community in the UK and Ireland, through an in-app vote that will go live in July, with all winners being crowned in August.

(2) INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE. The International Booker Prize 2023 winner was announced May 23 – Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, translated by Angela Rodel. It is not a genre work, although that may not be your first impression after reading the description:

Time Shelter becomes the first novel originally published in Bulgarian to win the prize. In the book, a ‘clinic for the past’ offers a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s sufferers: each floor reproduces a decade in minute detail, transporting patients back in time. But soon the past begins to invade the present.

(3) RUSSIA/UKRAINE CONFLICT ROILS PEN AMERICA. The Guardian explains why “Author resigns from PEN America board amid row over Russian writers panel”.

Masha Gessen, the prominent Russian-American writer who has documented Russia’s decline into authoritarianism, has resigned as vice-president of PEN America after the organisation cancelled an event last week with Russian dissidents after objections from Ukrainian participants.

The group, which was founded in 1922 and describes itself as “stand[ing] at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression,” was plunged into controversy after it acknowledged that it had called off an event at a literary festival in New York after Ukrainian writers on a separate panel had threatened to pull out.

Gessen’s resignation – and coverage of it in the US media including Gessen’s claim that the Ukrainian position had “blackmailed” PEN America – has prompted a series of furious exchanges with Gessen accused of “gaslighting” Ukrainians by focusing on Russians as “victims of tyranny”.

… In a statement released by PEN America on Tuesday, the group admitted it had made “mistakes” and misunderstood a requirement from two Ukrainian participants, Artem Chapeye and Artem Chekh, who are also serving soldiers, that they could not be involved in PEN’s World Voices festival if Russian writers were involved in any way.

While Gessen – who uses they/them pronouns – was born in Russia but lives in the US is seen by many as an “American writer,” the presence of the two others on the panel complicated the issue with Chapeye telling the Atlantic, which first broke the story, he could not make distinctions between “good” Russians and “bad” Russians.

“Until the war ends,” he added, “a [Ukrainian] soldier can not be seen with the ‘good Russians.’”…

(4) RE-DISCOVERY LIT ANNOUNCED. Open Road’s new imprint Re-Discovery Lit has 200 titles slated for its inaugural list. Their use of a “similarity engine” to scout reprints doesn’t sound at all creepy, does it? “Imprints: Open Road’s Re-Discovery Lit” at Publishers Lunch.

Open Road has launched an imprint devoted to republishing out-of-print and reverted titles, Re-Discovery Lit. They expect to reissue about 200 titles a year, publishing primarily in ebook format, though titles will be available in print-on-demand editions as well. Mara Anastas, who is publisher of the imprint, says in the announcement, “Agents and writers everywhere have been excited to learn of this new opportunity for out-of-print and reverted works.”

Authors on the list include Barbara Delinsky, Clifford D. Simak, Roger Angell, Alan Dean Foster, and Ronald Malfi. An agreement with Alloy Entertainment brings back series including Melinda Metz’s YA Fingerprints series and Eileen Goudge’s Who Killed Peggy Sue? series.

For acquisitions, Open Road is drawing on the “similarity engine” technology to assess titles and use predictive analytics to see if they are a good match for the company’s marketing levers. “If it isn’t a fit, we’ll say to the rightsholders, ‘This is not a book we can help lift,'” ceo David Steinberger noted, and for titles that do align they can present a clear marketing plan for the republication.

(5) TINA TURNER. (1939-2023). One of the most successful singers ever, Tina Turner died May 24 at the age of 83. Her legion of hit performances impacted sff with “We Don’t Need Another Hero“ from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, from the film in which she also played the character Aunty Entity, and the theme song for 1995 Bond film GoldenEye. She appeared as The Acid Queen in Tommy (1975) and The Mayor in Last Action Hero (1993). The New York Times obituary is here.


2012[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

Frances Hardinge’s A Face Like Glass is where the Beginning is from this Scroll. It was published eleven years ago by Macmillan Children’s Books.

She was nominated for a the Kitschie Awards’ Red Tentacle for Best Novel, an Award sponsored by Blackwell’s, the specialist bookstore.

Though she’s considered a children’s writer, I’d say that any of you would find her fantasies well-worth reading. 

This Beginning gives us an excellent look at her writing style…


The Child in the Curds

One dark season, Grandible became certain that there was something living in his domain within the cheese tunnels. To judge by the scuffles, it was larger than a rat and smaller than a horse. On nights when hard rain beat the mountainside high above, and filled Caverna’s vast labyrinth of tunnels with the music of ticks and trickles and drips, the intruding creature sang to itself, perhaps thinking that nobody could hear. 

Grandible immediately suspected foul play. His private tunnels were protected from the rest of the underground city by dozens of locks and bars. It should have been impossible for anything to get in. However, his cheesemaker rivals were diabolical and ingenious. No doubt one of them had managed to smuggle in some malignant animal to destroy him or, worse still, his cheeses. Or perhaps this was some ploy of the notorious and mysterious Kleptomancer, who always seemed determined to steal whatever would cause the most chaos, regardless of any personal gain. 

Grandible painted the cold ceiling pipes with Merring’s Peril, thinking that the unseen creature must be licking the condensation off the metal to stay alive. Every day he patrolled his tunnels expecting to find some animal curled comatose beneath the pipes with froth in its whiskers. Every day he was disappointed. He laid traps with sugared wire and scorpion barbs, but the creature was too cunning for them. Grandible knew that the beast would not last long in the tunnels, for nothing did, but the animal’s presence gnawed at his thoughts just as its teeth gnawed at his precious cheeses. He was not accustomed to the presence of another living thing, nor did he welcome it. Most of those who lived in the sunless city of Caverna had given up on the outside world, but Grandible had even given up on the rest of Caverna. Over his fifty years of life he had grown ever more reclusive, and now he barely ventured out of his private tunnels or saw a human face. The cheeses were Grandible’s only friends and family, their scents and textures taking the place of conversation. They were his children, waiting moon-faced on their shelves for him to bathe them, turn them, and tend to them.

Nonetheless, there came a day when Grandible found something that made him sigh deeply, and clear away all his traps and poisons.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born May 24, 1925 Carmine Infantino. Comics artist and editor, mostly for DC Comics, during the late 1950s know as the Silver Age of Comics. He created the Silver Age version of the Flash (with writer Robert Kanigher) and the Elongated Man (with John Broome). He also introduced Barbara Gordon as a new version of Batgirl. Infantino wrote or contributed to two books about his life and career: The Amazing World of Carmine Infantino and Carmine Infantino: Penciler, Publisher, Provocateur. (Died 2013.)
  • Born May 24, 1953 Alfred Molina, 70. His film debut was on Raiders of The Lost Ark as Satipo. He was an amazing Doctor Octopus on Spider-Man 2 and in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and he also provided the voice of the villain Ares on the outstanding 2009 animated  Wonder Woman. Oh, and he was a most excellent Hercule Poirot in the modern day version of Murder on the Orient Express. I know, not genre, but one of my favorite films no matter who’s playing the character. 
  • Born May 24, 1960 Michael Chabon, 63. Author of the single best fantasy novel about baseball, Summerland which won a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature. His other two genre novels, Gentlemen of the Road and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, winner of Best Novel at Denvention 3, are stellar works in themselves. He was Showrunner for the first season of Picard and was Executive Producer for the second season. He also did revisions to the script for Disney’s John Carter.
  • Born May 24, 1960 Doug Jones, 63. I first saw him as Abe Sapien on Hellboy, an amazing role indeed. To pick a few of my favorite roles by him, he’s in Pan’s Labyrinth as The Faun and The Pale Man (creepy film), a clown in Batman Returns, the Lead Gentleman in the “Hush” episode of Buffy and Commander Saru on Discovery.


  • Free Range demonstrates a good reason why logic is no use against childhood fears.
  • Dee Fish shows a Jedi in action. Or trying to be. Lise A says the lesson is, “The important thing is to face all threats without fear and to act fast.”

(9) IMAGE COMICS CHANGES DISTRIBUTORS. “Image Comics ditches Diamond for Lunar to get its comics into comic shops after a 25+ year relationship” reports Popverse.

In a move sure to cause surprise throughout the comic book industry, Image Comics — the third largest single-issue comic book publisher in the North American market, after Marvel and DC — has announced that it has signed a worldwide exclusive distribution deal for comic store distribution with Lunar Distribution, to take effect this fall.

What does this mean for Image Comics customers?

The new deal — which specifically covers distribution to the comic store ‘direct market,’ as opposed to digital, bookstores, and other outlets — means that, for the first time in the publisher’s existence, single issues will not be carried directly by Diamond Comic Distributors, which has been Image’s exclusive distribution partner since April 1995. Instead, Lunar, which has been DC’s primary distribution partner to North American comic book stores since 2021, will take over all duties relating to the ordering and shipping of single issues and collected editions to comic stores inside the United States as well as internationally. The changeover will happen effective with Image’s September releases, which will open for retailer orders on June 14.

(10) TREK CROSSOVER COMING. Entertainment Weekly introduces the Strange New Worlds season two trailer: “See ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ stars in live action on ‘Strange New Worlds’”.

…The new trailer for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2, premiering on Paramount+ this June 15, brings with it our first look at the big crossover event. Jack Quaid and Tawny Newsome, who voice the animated characters Beckett Mariner and Brad Boimler on Star Trek: Lower Decks, will embody their characters in live-action form.

“Surprise!” Newsome’s Mariner tells a perplexed Captain Pike (Anson Mount) and Spock (Ethan Peck), alongside a noticeably purple-haired Boimler….

(11) STRIKEOUT. SYFY Wire reminds fans how “The Last WGA Strike Stranded a Heroes Character in a Dark Future”.

…When Heroes premiered on NBC in 2006, the first season was a huge hit. This was pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the idea of an exciting, sprawling superhero universe on TV was an instant draw. Season 1 focused on a group of characters, including the ostensible protagonist Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia), as they came to terms with the mysterious superpowers they had acquired and rushed to “save the cheerleader, save the world.”

Season 2 was not beloved in the way that Season 1 was. It’s not necessarily fair or accurate to say that the shortcomings of the sophomore season were all due to the 2007-2008 WGA strike — creator Tim Kring admitted that there were several problems with the season — but the fact that the strike made it so they only produced 11 out of a planned 24 episodes certainly didn’t help. The show rushed to wrap up the season early in an attempt to bring things to a conclusion rather than leave the season abruptly unfinished….

(12) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In this Christopher Plummer plays Vladimir Nabokov lecturing on Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”.

This is a short TV movie based on Nabokov’s lecture at Cornell upon “Metamorphosis,” Kafka’s bizarre story about a man who wakes up one morning to discover he has turned into a giant bug. This was filmed at 1989 by Peter Medak, and Christopher Plummer is portraying Vladimir Nabokov.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Hampus Eckerman, Lise Andreasen, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Bonnie McDaniel.]

Remembering Christopher Plummer

Christopher Plummer in 2014.

By Steve Vertlieb: Christopher Plummer was among the greatest actors of his, or any other generation of classical artists and performers. His grace, dignity, and commanding demeanor on both stage and screen commanded the respect and allegiance of both collaborators and admirers throughout his remarkable seventy-year career. His mesmerizing artistry demanded respect upon whatever theatrical stage that he chose to appear, while his remarkable appearance was often startling to behold. He was astonishingly handsome, a truly charismatic performer whose finely chiseled features belied a gift of performance that had often risen to ethereal heights. He was a gifted Shakespearean actor whose brilliance and magnetism sublimely transcended both stage and screen.

Christopher Plummer in 1959. Photo by Carl Van Vechten – Van Vechten Collection at Library of Congress, Public Domain

A frequent guest in the early days of live television, Plummer played Mike Connor (a role played previously by James Stewart in The Philadelphia Story, and Frank Sinatra in High Society) in a 1959 production of the celebrated Phillip Barry play in which his brash reporter squires the haughty Tracy Samantha Lord, played by actress Diana Lynn. Plummer essayed the roles of “Cyrano De Bergerac” in 1962, and “Hamlet At Elsinore” in 1964 for the small screen, but his enduring celebrity would soon develop in a larger medium. The actor appeared prominently in Samuel Bronston’s 1964 epic The Fall of The Roman Empire as Commodus.

However, it was his casting as Captain Von Trapp in the superb 1965 film translation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music that brought him to international fame and recognition. Appearing opposite both Julie Andrews and revered actress Eleanor Parker, Plummer virtually stole the film in the role created by folk singer Theodore Bikel in the original Broadway production. Plummer’s deceptively understated interpretation of a deeply private aristocrat troubled by the gradual loss of old world values, while valiantly resisting the repugnant occupation of Hitler’s Nazi bullies, brought startling dignity to a now legendary screen role and performance. While Julie Andrews lit up the screen with her joyous performance as his adorable Maria, it was Plummer whose quiet dignity and strength brought the beloved motion picture to its powerful resolution and victory.

John Huston’s classic 1975 filming of The Man Who Would Be King paired Plummer with actors Sean Connery and Michael Caine. As author Rudyard Kipling, the actor once again dominated the screen in a memorable performance that easily shared screen dominance with his legendary co-stars.

In a startling change of pace, Plummer portrayed one of the most malevolent villains in modern screen history. As a chillingly deranged criminal stalking Elliott Gould in the Canadian thriller The Silent Partner in 1978, Plummer proved that his often charming persona could provide a deadly counterpoint in this remarkable film.

The aristocratic actor would have seemed the perfect choice to essay the role of Sir Arthur Conan Coyle’s legendary consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes…and so, in 1979, the actor assumed the trappings of the classic character, playing opposite James Mason as Doctor Watson, in Murder By Decree. Plummer lent considerable skill to his compassionate performance as Doyle’s singular detective in a rare, yet defining characterization in which the definitively clinical sleuth lets down his guard, allowing an emotional moment of hitherto unsuspected sensitivity and deeply human awareness.

It was in 1980 that Richard Matheson’s romantic fantasy novel Bid Time Return was turned into a deservedly revered film translation. Somewhere In Time features tender performances by leads Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour as lovers struggling to find one another across a sea of time and space, while Christopher Plummer as an autocratic martinet stands troublingly in their path. Accompanied by composer John Barry’s rapturous, cherished musical score, Plummer’s performance as William Fawcett Robinson is that of a deeply scarred, ultimately fragile remnant of an age that has, perhaps, cruelly left him behind … a wounded warrior clawing at the past in order to salvage his dignity and painfully crumbling control.

Plummer as the Klingon General Chang.

In 1991, director Nicholas Meyer delivered the final salutation to the original Star Trek cast with Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country. Featuring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, De Forrest Kelly, George Takei, James Doohan, and Nichelle Nichols reprising their classic roles for the final time, the “undiscovered” star of the film was, undeniably, the great Christopher Plummer chewing up the scenery in as delicious a Shakespearean performance as might be imagined. As Chang, the evil general menacing the Enterprise crew, the actor delivers a joyous tour de force with wonderful abandonment and classically trained glee, virtually stealing the film with grace, wit, and menacing charm.

As the actor matured, transitioning into roles befitting his now advancing age, he assumed a comfortable ease in which his performances became ever more flawless and beloved. Opposite actor Russell Crowe in The Insider (1999), a true story having occurred within the CBS Television News Division, Plummer delivered a superb, understated, Oscar-nominated performance as journalist Mike Wallace in what must surely have been among his most respected and beloved characterizations.

In 2001, Plummer starred in a television adaption of On Golden Pond, as the embittered elderly spirit portrayed by Henry Fonda in the long-remembered motion picture version of the award-winning play. It was a role that he would play repeatedly in one form, shape, or another in the years left to him.

Plummer won his first and only Oscar for his wonderful performance in Beginners in 2010 as a dying father not quite finished with providing unsettling surprises for his long suffering family. In 2012, in Barrymore, he played John Barrymore in a bittersweet recreation of the actor’s troubled final years.

Having reluctantly replaced actor Kevin Spacey in the role of billionaire J. Paul Getty, in All The Money In The World, Plummer gracefully essayed one of his most powerful, if villainous, Oscar-nominated portrayals as the cold, calculating oil magnate whose passion for profit eclipsed his tenuous feelings for family and loss.

Plummer once again played an alternately calculating, yet hilarious octogenarian in the hit film production of Knives Out in 2019. It would be among his final film roles.

Christopher Plummer passed away on Friday, February 5, 2021. His roles and performances, along with his near legendary grace, culture, and impeccable class, elevated this noble thespian to reverential heights of international respect and admiration.

He lent Shakespearean dignity to each of his increasingly remarkable performances, becoming the eloquent voice and virtual persona of “Hamlet” in countless screen and stage incarnations. His was the defining voice of classical performance. His loss is mourned….His legacy celebrated. He was an actor for the ages. Rest Well, Sweet Prince.