Pixel Scroll 4/2/24 Knitting the Fannish News:  Scroll One, Pixel Two

(1) BURROUGHS ON THE BLOCK. Heritage Auctions will hold The World of Edgar Rice Burroughs Rare Books Signature® Auction on April 25:

…featuring more than 120 lots — many of which have never been publicly offered, and some of which come from Burroughs’ collection, including his dual-edged knife used in the 1929 film Tarzan and the Tiger and the Gothic library table famously seen in numerous photos of the man at his Tarzana, California, home. But the event could just as easily have been titled The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

…Indeed, the deft brush of James Allen St. John graces the cover of the catalog for this event, which boasts two original oil paintings by St. John that were turned into iconic dust jackets for Swords of Mars, starring John Carter, and Tarzan’s Quest….

St. John’s artwork for the dust jacket that wrapped the first edition of Sword of Marsbecame the definitive rendering of that tale. The same holds for his dust jacket artwork for Tarzan’s Quest, another Blue Book serial also published as a novel in 1936 — and the last Tarzan story to feature the Ape Man’s wife, Jane, as a significant character. Of course, she’s on the cover in her final star turn in the long-running series….

(2) KEEP THOSE DONJONS MOVIN’, RAWHIDE! [Item by SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie.] BBC Radio 4 has broadcast a nifty version of Diana Wynne Jones Howl’s Moving Castle.

In the land of Ingary, Sophie Hatter is resigning herself to an uninteresting life working in a hat shop, when a castle appears above the town of Market Chipping and refuses to stay still.

Visiting the shop one day, the dreaded Witch of the Waste transforms Sophie into an old crone. Setting off into the countryside to seek her fortune, Sophie soon runs into the sinister moving castle. But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the souls of young girls.

First published in 1986, Howl’s Moving Castle’s reputation has grown over time to become recognised as a fantasy classic and, in 2004, it was adapted as an Oscar-nominated animated film by Studio Ghibli.

You can listen to it here: “Drama on 4, Howl’s Moving Castle”.

(3) PUBLISHING TAUGHT ME. SFWA has announced that their online anthology Publishing Taught Me now has a full roster of contributors. Two currently published essays by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki and James Beamon are available at Publishing Taught Me: A SFWA Anthology Project.

Additional essays are upcoming from Diana Pho, Erika Hardison, Kanishk Tantia, Nelly Garcia-Rosas, Yoon Ha Lee, and Emily Jiang. These essays will be posted on the first Wednesday of each month through September.

The Publishing Taught Me anthology is part of the Publishing Taught Me program supported by a grant from the NEA. Monthly posts of essays addressing the presence of BIPOC in the publication of SFFH are being edited by multiple award-winning editor Nisi Shawl and two interns, Somto Ihezue and Zhui Ning Chang. The essays will be posted through September 4. An Editors’ Afterword is scheduled for October 2, and in November anthology authors will have a chance to participate in an online symposium on the topic of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in our genres.

(4) HEAVY WAIT CROWNS. Atlas Obscura recommends “10 Secure Places to Wait Out the Zombie Apocalypse”.

THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE HAS LONG been a favorite subject of horror movies, but where would you hide if the undead really roamed the Earth?…

Fifth on their list:

5. Prison Cell of Ludger Sylbaris


On May 8th, 1902, the Mt. Pelee volcano erupted on the island of Martinique, killing an estimated 30,000-40,000 people in the town of Saint Pierre. Only a handful survived–a few lucky sailors in boats off the coast, and a local drunk who had been thrown in jail the night before: Ludger Sylbaris. His solitary confinement cell, a stone structure built partially into the ground, saved his life from scalding volcanic gasses and ash. Saint Pierre never recovered from the devastation, and today has a population of around 1000, but Sylbaris’ prison cell still stands. With a tiny window and one entrance, it could be a good place to hunker down during a zombie invasion.

Pros: This structure has a few things going for it in terms of zombie defenses: it’s located on an island, it’s made of stone with only one entrance to fortify, and, perhaps most importantly, it’s one of the few structures in the world that has already proven its effectiveness at withstanding truly apocalyptic conditions.

Cons: Mt. Pelee is still one of the world’s most active volcanos, so there is a chance that while waiting out the zombies, you would have to deal with an eruption.

(5) TOM DIGBY (1940-2024). Ansible® 441 reports “Tom Digby (1940-2024), US fan, filker and fanzine publisher who was a fan GoH at the 1993 Worldcon, died on 27 March aged 84”.

His burial took place today in Half Moon Bay, CA.

He was twice nominated for the Best Fan Writer Hugo – in 1971 and 1972 – at a time when his writing was mainly seen by those who read his zine Probably Something in LASFS’ weekly APA-L.

Around the same time he was referenced in Larry Niven’s story “What Can You Say About Chocolate-Covered Manhole Covers?” (1971), set in part at the Dian and Bruce Pelz divorce party which preceded my time in LASFS by a couple years. (There really was a cake topped by bride and groom figures facing in opposite directions.) Tom Digby was the inspiration for the alien.

Digby believed ideas are the real currency that distinguishes fandom. He coined the term “idea-tripping” for our kind of play.

And he was endlessly inventive. He made up “plergb”, a kind of Swiss-army-knife of words for use in all kinds of gags. Here is my own official certificate authorizing me to use the word. (Click for larger image.)

(6) ED PISKOR (1982-2024). “Ed Piskor, Hip Hop Family Tree and X-Men: Grand Design Artist, Reportedly Passes Away at Age 41”CBR.com. has the story.

Ed Piskor, the artist of the Eisner Award-winning comic Hip Hop Family Tree, has reportedly passed away, per a Facebook post by his sister. Piskor, the co-host of popular podcast and YouTube channel Cartoonist Kayfabe, had recently become embroiled in controversy after two women accused Piskor of sexual misconduct, leading to the cancellation of a planned art exhibit in Pittsburgh showcasing his Hip Hop Family Tree art and Cartoonist Kayfabe co-host Jim Rugg announcing that he was ending his “working relationship” with Piskor. On Monday, Piskor posted a lengthy note where he indicated he had plans to take his own life after refuting some of the allegations against him…. 

I’m not going to run it all down here, but if you want more stomach-turning details including the roles of JDA and Comicsgate search his name on X.com.

(7) JOE FLAHERTY (1941-2024). [Item by Todd Mason.] Second City comedy troupe writer/performer/director Joe Flaherty has died. Along with the frequent Second City stage and SCTV material that dug deeply into fantastica in various manners (Canada’s Monty Python in many ways), he also had roles in and wrote and produced such work as Back To The Future Part Ii and Really Weird Tales, and the sitcom Maniac Mansion (and in other modes, the fine short-lived series Freaks And Geeks). One of his recurring characters was Monster Chiller Horror Theatre horror host Count Floyd, the other regular gig for his local newscaster character Floyd Robertson, on the various forms of the SCTV series. “Joe Flaherty, comedian known for work on SCTV and Freaks and Geeks, dead at 82” at CBC News.


[Written by Cat Eldridge.]

Born April 2, 1948Joan D. Vinge, 76. One of my favorite writers is Joan D. Vinge. What do I consider her best series? Without question that’d be the Snow Queen series of which the first novel, Snow Queen, won a Hugo at Denvention Two. I’ll admit that my favorite work in this series is Tangled Up In Blue where two police officers must fight corruption within the Tiamat force. It’s more personal I think than the rest of the series. 

Joan D. Vinge

Next in line for her would be the Cat trilogy (well it did have a chapbook prequel, “Psiren” which I’ve not read) consisting of Psion, Catspaw and Dreamfall. Cat, the young telepath here, is fascinating as is his story which she tells over the three novels. 

I’m going to give a shout-out to her first novel, The Outcasts of Heaven Belt which was serialized in February-April 1978 in Analog. An egalitarian matriarchal belt-based society is in a conflict against a patriarchal society in the same region of space. If Niven could write sympathetic female characters, this is what he might have written. Only she wrote it better. Really, it’s that good.

I general don’t read media novelizations so I can’t comment on all of her many such writings like Cowboys & AliensLost in Space, Tarzan, King of the Apes and Willow

I’ve not read her short fiction, so I’d like to know who here has. What’s the best collection? 


  • Close to Home has a character’s DNA test results.
  • Eek! Explains why we saw only one Batmobile driver.
  • Frazz reflects on sayings and the weather.
  • F Minus comes up with a new game.
  • Phoebe and Her Unicorn realize it’s all Greek to them.
  • Zits is sure there are better means of transportation

(10) GET YOUR MALZBERG FIX. Daniel Dern doesn’t want you to miss Collecting Myself: The Uncollected Stories of Barry N. Malzberg, released as an ebook last September and as a paperback on March 1 by Starkhouse Press. “Having just learned about it and purchase-requested my library get it,” he says.

(11) BUT WILL THEY HAVE DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME? [Item by Mike Kennedy.] “White House directs NASA to create time standard for the moon”Reuters has details.

The White House on Tuesday directed NASA to establish a unified standard of time for the moon and other celestial bodies, as the United States aims to set international norms in space amid a growing lunar race among nations and private companies.

The head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), according to a memo seen by Reuters, instructed the space agency to work with other parts of the U.S. government to devise a plan by the end of 2026 for setting what it called a Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC).

The differing gravitational force, and potentially other factors, on the moon and on other celestial bodies change how time unfolds relative to how it is perceived on Earth. Among other things, the LTC would provide a time-keeping benchmark for lunar spacecraft and satellites that require extreme precision for their missions.

“The same clock that we have on Earth would move at a different rate on the moon,” Kevin Coggins, NASA’s space communications and navigation chief, said in an interview.

OSTP chief Arati Prabhakar’s memo said that for a person on the moon, an Earth-based clock would appear to lose on average 58.7 microseconds per Earth-day and come with other periodic variations that would further drift moon time from Earth time….

(12) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Learn “How Madame Web Should Have Ended” from the crew at How It Should Have Ended. (With an assist from Pitch Meeting’s Ryan George.)

Madame Web needs more than just a new ending… It needs a complete overhaul.

[Thanks to Steven French, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, Dave Butterfield, Daniel Dern, Kathy Sullivan, Hampus Eckerman, Todd Mason, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Cat Eldridge, and SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]