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    Home / College Guide / Pixel Scroll 7/8/24 Listen, Billy Pixel’s Come UnScrolled In File
     Posted on Tuesday, July 09 @ 00:00:10 PDT

    (1) MAAS AND YARROS DOMINATE THE MARKET. [“With Fantasy on Fire, Print Book Sales Are Catching Up to 2023”](https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/financial-reporting/article/95444-with-fantasy-on-fire-print-book-sales-are-catching-up-to-2023.html?oly_enc_id=7809B3463278E9B) reports Publishers Weekly. …Results for the first half of 2024 leave no question about what is driving sales: adult fantasy sales skyrocketed 85.2% over the first six months of 2023 thanks to a huge increase in interest in romantasy. Combined with increases of about 20% each in the science fiction and suspense/thriller areas, unit sales of adult fiction rose 6.3% in the first half of 2024. Sales of graphic novels continued to recede from record highs in 2022, falling 16.1% in this year’s first six months. Books by Sarah J. Maas and Rebecca Yarros are leading the fantasy charge. Yarros’s Iron Flame and Fourth Wing combined to sell about 1.1 million copies, while Maas had seven books selling in big numbers, led by her latest, A Court of Thorns and Roses, which sold more than 740,000 copies. Her seven current bestsellers combined sold more than three million copies… (2) THE EXTRA FILES.

    [Item by Steven French.] David Duchovny answers some readers’ questions in the Guardian: [“David Duchovny: ‘I’m not just throwing on a kilt willy-nilly’”](https://www.theguardian.com/film/article/2024/jul/04/david-duchovny-im-not-just-throwing-on-a-kilt-willy-nilly?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other) Do you believe? TurangaLeela2 The proposition that Earth is the only planet in the universe that has managed to sustain intelligent life seems an impossibility. On the other hand, do I believe we’ve been contacted or are in contact with aliens? I don’t believe that, no. How often do I get asked if they are going to reboot The X-Files? I mean, that’s the default question people like to ask. If I was going to do it, I’d let y’all know. You wouldn’t have to ask me. I wouldn’t keep it a secret. Nowadays, I think people believe in conspiracies we never would have aired because they were just too stupid. (3) WHAT COMES OVER THE DIGITAL TRANSOM. Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas belts out [“The Ballad of the Slush Reader: What I’ve Learned (And What I Want to Know) about Reading Slush”](https://www.sfwa.org/2024/07/03/the-ballad-of-the-slush-reader-what-ive-learned-and-what-i-want-to-know-about-reading-slush/) at the SFWA Blog.

    … I’m not the self-appointed slush reader representative of the short fiction genre publications, nor do I pretend to be one. I write these lines, first and foremost, from my own brief but fulfilling experience as a slush reader for Clarkesworld Magazine, as well as from what I’ve gathered in conversations with friends, who are also part of editorial teams. This essay is unapologetically, a personal generalization that hopes to start a discussion somewhere, sometime…. Communication is a two-way affair. Editors should be clear about the specific kind of commitment expected from slush readers: amount of stories read, level of detail in recommendations’ comments, etc. It is expected from them to be approachable and open to answering our questions on submission guidelines, as well as offering guidance on handling problematic stories, protecting author privacy, and giving advice on trusting our editorial instincts. First readers should write concise, unambiguous notes for the submissions we read and share any concerns we may have about them. We shouldn’t ghost our editors or make unilateral decisions based on our interpretation of the magazine’s guidelines if something is not clear in them.

    We’re members of a team, after all. As the first ones to interact with a submission, we must treat the authors’ privacy with respect. A little decency goes a long way. Markets have the responsibility to delineate confidentiality specifications for the team and make sure authors know they exist. I believe that having better practices during recruitment, selection, and training can help identify and avoid the few people who might try to misuse the authors’ private information before they can even have access to it. We’re supposed to read slush to support and advocate for other people’s work, but that doesn’t mean that we have power over them or that they owe us anything. We shouldn’t even think about rejecting a story on the basis of an author we don’t like, or recommend our friend’s work just because we know each other. We’re professionals. We do this for the stories, for the end readers. At Clarkesworld, for example, I don’t make final decisions but suggestions that have to be reviewed and approved by a senior member of staff. (4) WILL MERGER AFFECT THE FEDERATION? [“Paramount Global Officially Agrees To Skydance Merger, With Potential Big Impact On Star Trek’s Future”](https://trekmovie.

    com/2024/07/08/paramount-global-officially-agrees-to-skydance-merger-with-big-potential-impact-on-star-treks-future/?fbclid=IwY2xjawD5Z6VleHRuA2FlbQIxMAABHQLux8KzKQSaGPq_k7Lu1xeTQEBJJizr-dpshoHH6cC4DMNXX1wTlNaZ_A_aem_02KlEV1Pgdbv7a8aAyMaeA) – and TrekMovie.com tries to foresee what that impact might be. Today, Paramount Global announced that Shari Redstone’s National Amusements (which owns a controlling share of Paramount) will be sold to David Ellison’s Skydance Media and RedBird Capital for $2.4 billion, leading to a $4.5 billion merger of Paramount Global with Skydance. The deal will offer voting and non-voting shareholders a premium on their stock as well as inject billions into “New Paramount” coffers to help pay off debt. A new leadership team has been announced, with Skydance’s David Ellison to be Chairman and Chief Executive Officer with RedBird exec (and former NBCUniversal chief) Jeff Shell named as president…. …Since the 1960s when Desilu was purchased by Paramount, the Star Trek franchise has seen its way through multiple corporate changes. It is too early to know what this announcement means for the Star Trek franchise, but this deal was seen as one of the better potential outcomes.

    Unlike other potential bidders, Skydance is committed to keeping Paramount relatively intact, avoiding any potential division of the Star Trek rights that occurred during the Viacom/CBS corporate split years before they were remerged in 2019. The most positive indication for Star Trek is that Skydance previously partnered with Paramount on the production of the last two Trek feature films, and they were committed to backing the next movie currently in development. Skydance CEO David Ellison, who will run the new Paramount, was credited as an executive producer for both Into Darkness and Beyond. These movies were mentioned by Ellison in a call with investors this morning…. …During today’s call, incoming Paramount president Jeff Shell talked about seeing Paramount+ as part of an “ultimate bundle.” He also indicated they will be looking at more licensing deals and “windowing” strategies for Paramount-owned content, which could lead to Star Trek streaming originals showing up beyond Paramount+. Today’s investor presentation noted Star Trek as one of the key franchises for the new Paramount, including a plan to “reevaluate” franchises to fuel a “powerful and repeatable IP ecosystem.

    ” Today Ellison also talked about unifying franchises across TV, film and interactive media, which could potentially lead to a more comprehensive Star Trek Universe…. (5) HE MADE IT SO. [“Patrick Stewart Is Ready To Engage”](https://freebeacon.com/culture/patrick-stewart-is-ready-to-engage/) at the Washington Free Beacon. …Stewart represents a fascinating mix of working-class ethics, having grown up poor but hard-working, and upper-class aesthetics, which he refined first in amateur plays and then in acting schools. This occasionally led him to mildly awkward encounters. My favorite story in his memoir comes on the set of Dune, where Stewart (who was playing warrior-poet Gurney Halleck) was introduced to the musician Sting. “Do you … play in a group?” Stewart asked. “Yes, with The Police,” Sting replied. “I broke into a broad grin,” Stewart writes. “‘You play in a police band?’ I said. ‘Wow! How marvelous!’ I have never fully recovered from the sheer embarrassment I suffered when word got out on the set about my exchange with one of the world’s biggest rock stars.”… (6) LANTHIMOS TURNS TO SFF. According to The Mary Sue, [“Yorgos Lanthimos and Emma Stone’s Next Is a Sci-Fi Comedy”](https://www.

    themarysue.com/bugonia-release-date-cast-and-more/?fbclid=IwY2xjawD5RyBleHRuA2FlbQIxMAABHXqwS2m8GEjVISTlFWcTddfvHs1KWpYyxZpmRoc_RHTydStnzG5iqavwUw_aem_P0C0thkxhYQ5z8_SbTsR2Q). Lanthimos’ 2023 picture Poor Things got a lot of awards attention this year. … The movie, titled Bugonia, is set for a November 7, 2025, release date in the US. Jesse Plemons, who featured in Lanthimos’ recent release [Kinds of Kindness], has been announced as the co-lead alongside Stone…. …A fifth collaboration between Stone and Lanthimos, the film is an adaptation of the 2003 South Korean sci-fi comedy Save the Green Planet!, directed by Jang Joon-hwan and starring Shin Ha-kyun and Yun-shik Baek. The plot follows two conspiracy-minded men who kidnap the powerful CEO of a major corporation, assured that she is an extraterrestrial being determined to end Earth’s existence. It remains to be seen whether Lanthimos’ rendition will be similar to the original or whether he tweaks the story to introduce some of his own elements…. (7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY. [Written by Cat Eldridge.] July 8, 1951 — Anjelica Huston, 73. The first role that I clearly remember Anjelica Huston from was as Mortica Addams in The Addams Family thirty-three years ago.

    She was every bit was ghoulishly fascinating as was Raul Julia as Gomez Addams. She inhabited that role as if she’d been born to play it. A perfect couple they were. It’s worth noting that she always had a ghostly glow around the eyes, which became most noticeable when she was standing or lying in dim light. Bela Lugosi in 1931’s Dracula had the same effect. That meant all were her scenes were filmed with a light in her face. So being Morticia required Huston to wear a truly tight dress on top of an already tight corset to give her the character’s distinctive, slim silhouette. (Director Barry Sonnenfeld aimed for a cartoon-like figure, so hence that metal corset which restricted her movements and caused quite severe headaches. She reported that she gleefully burned all of the dresses when shooting finished.) In addition, she had to wear custom makeup to lighten her skin to create the look of Morticia, have her hair painfully scraped so that she could wear a wig and then on top of all this, had to wear regular makeup, fake nails and eyelash extensions to complete the look. Despite all of this I think that, Huston’s portrayal of Morticia captured both warmth and macabre humor.

    She was a perfect mother to two rather unusual children, and a loving wife to Raul. She’d reprise her role in Addams Family Values. The first film was nominated for a Hugo at MagiCon, the second at ConAdian. Her first genre role, and yes I’ve seen it but I’ve honestly long since forgotten everything about it, was in Ice Pirates as Maida, one of the pirates. I really need to show you what she was outfitted there as it is, errrr, well, I think kind of silly. So what else did Angelica appear in? Good question. She would appear in The Witches based off of the Roald Dahl work as the Grand High Witch. Her makeup here is a work of art so here it is. Yes, I know the film has fallen into let us say disrepute among certain groups, but I still like it. I’m not seeing anything else this genre but she did one interesting animated work, one of which I wish to point out which is then let me spell this correctly in English A Cat in Paris. In French it sounds oh so much better as Une vie de chat. A cat’s life. Black cat with red stripes leads a double life. During the night, he accompanies a car burglar named Nico (who calls him Mr. Cat), who performs heists to steal jewels. She voices the English version of Claudine.

    She’s in John Wick, Chapter 3, Parabellum as The Director about which the John Wick wiki helpfully says “The Director is a crime lord and leader of the New York branch of the Ruska Roma. She is also the adoptive mother of John Wick and a mentor at the Tarkovsky Theater.” (8) COMICS SECTION. [Pearls Before Swine](https://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2024/07/08)finds a problem next door. [Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal](https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/coming)anticipates the next religion. [Rubes](https://www.arcamax.com/thefunnies/rubes/s-3314964)learns what monsters want. [Heart of the City](https://www.gocomics.com/heartofthecity/2024/07/07)has a crossover, or at least passing-through. (9) RINGS OF POWER WILL BIND COMIC-CON. [“‘Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power’ Season 2 To Conquer San Diego Comic-Con”](https://deadline.com/2024/07/lord-of-the-rings-the-rings-of-power-san-diego-comic-con-1236003393/) says Deadline. This year at [SDCC], ahead of the series’ [Season 2 premiere on August 29], the streamer will host an exclusive press and influencer reception by invitation only on Thursday, July 25, in San Diego. It will be followed by The Rings of Power panel in Hall H on Friday from 11:05 a.

    m.-12:15 p.m. featuring the series’ showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay as well as cast giving fans a inside look at Season 2 in Middle-earth. Afterward, at 1:45 p.m. at Venue 808 in San Diego, a fan meet-and-greet with cast will be held in conjunction with the official Lord of the Rings fan site TORn (TheOneRing.net). On display will be a curated collection of Season 2’s costumes and props…. (10) MAD, YOU KNOW. [“Americana meets meshuggeneh at a museum exhibit about MAD magazine”](https://www.jta.org/2024/07/07/ideas/americana-meets-meshugenneh-at-a-museum-exhibit-about-mad-magazine) – Jewish Telegraphic Agency takes you there. There’s a delightful “what if” moment at the start of “What, Me Worry? The Art and Humor of MAD Magazine,” a new exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum here. In 1964, MAD commissioned Rockwell himself to paint a portrait of Alfred E. Neuman, the humor magazine’s gap-toothed mascot, as he might have looked in real life. Correspondence featured in the exhibit suggests that Rockwell — grand master of gentle, folksy, even cornball Americana — was close to signing on with what MAD called its “usual gang of idiots”: goofball masters of sophomoric, anti-establishment satire.

    In the end, Rockwell turned down the offer. “I think I better back out of this one,” he wrote. “After talking with you, and my wife who has a lot more sense than I have, I feel that making a more realistic definitive portrait just wouldn’t do. I hate to be a quitter, but I’m afraid we would all get in a mess.” We didn’t lose just a marriage of comic sensibilities, but of ethnic ones: the “goyish” and the Jewish, mid-20th century style. Rockwell’s world is full of farmers and fishermen, country folk and small-town shopkeepers. MAD seemed to have been born on the Lower East Side, come of age in the Bronx, and found its voice somewhere between Brooklyn and Broadway…. (11) WORLDS WITHIN MURPHY’S LAW. Feeling mellow? Let’s fix that. The Mary Sue presents [“The 10 Best Dystopian Novels, Ranked”](https://www.themarysue.com/best-dystopian-novels-ranked/). …Authors have dreamed about all the countless ways the future can go wrong and will go wrong, so much so that a new genre was born from the collective unease: dystopian fiction. These novels are the worst—meaning they’re the best in their field… This one’s new to me: 6. The Giver The Giver [by Lois Lowry] may seem like a utopia on the surface, but it’s a dystopia like all the other cities on this list.

    Set in a peaceful society where people’s bad memories of the past are wiped away, only one person known as the Receiver of Memory is privy to the secrets of the human race. In order to maintain peace, the elders of this society eliminate the free will of everyone else. A good idea on paper? Not even in the pages of this book. You’ll soon find out why. (12) SHIFTING GEARS. Ever heard that phrase, “Stop the Earth, I want to get off!”? Well, who knew — [“Earth’s core has slowed so much it’s moving backward, scientists confirm. Here’s what it could mean”](https://wsvn.com/news/us-world/earths-core-has-slowed-so-much-its-moving-backward-scientists-confirm-heres-what-it-could-mean/) at WSVN. Deep inside Earth is a solid metal ball that rotates independently of our spinning planet, like a top whirling around inside a bigger top, shrouded in mystery. This inner core has intrigued researchers since its discovery by Danish seismologist Inge Lehmann in 1936, and how it moves — its rotation speed and direction — has been at the center of a decades-long debate. A growing body of evidence suggests the core’s spin has changed dramatically in recent years, but scientists have remained divided over what exactly is happening — and what it means.

    … One promising model proposed in 2023 described an inner core that in the past had spun faster than Earth itself, but was now spinning slower. For a while, the scientists reported, the core’s rotation matched Earth’s spin. Then it slowed even more, until the core was moving backward relative to the fluid layers around it. At the time, some experts cautioned that more data was needed to bolster this conclusion, and now another team of scientists has delivered compelling new evidence for this hypothesis about the inner core’s rotation rate. Research published June 12 in the journal [Nature]not only confirms the core slowdown, it supports the 2023 proposal that this core deceleration is part of a decades-long pattern of slowing down and speeding up… (13) RASMUSSEN Q&A. [Item by Steven French.] An interview with astrophysicist Seven Rasmussen who has published in Clarkesworld under the pen name C.M. Fields: [“’All things that wander in the heavens’: how I swapped my ivory tower for the world of science fiction”](https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-024-02211-0) in Nature. Through golden hive minds, dreaming androids and interstellar alien worlds, astrobiologist and speculative science-fiction author Seven Rasmussen explores humanity within the unfamiliar and strange.

    Rasmussen writes short stories that often feature space and the distant future — topics that her work as an astrobiologist at Tacoma Community College in Washington often touches on. Her debut non-fiction book, Life in Seven Numbers: The Drake Equation Revealed, is due to be published in June 2025. The book explores the seven variables of the Drake Equation, which estimates the number of intelligent, communicating civilizations in our galaxy. Rasmussen spoke to Nature about writing science fiction as a scientist, her experience as a community-college professor and the importance of storytelling in science… (14) WITCH WAY IS UP. [“Agatha All Along Trailer: Kathryn Hahn Returns as WandaVision Witch”](https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/agatha-all-along-trailer-kathryn-hahn-wandavision-1235940855/) – The Hollywood Reporter sets the scene. …A spinoff series from Disney+’s 2021 show WandaVision, Agatha All Along hails from creator Jac Schaeffer and premieres on the streaming service Sept. 18 with the first two episodes…. …Hahn reprises her WandaVision role as Agatha, who finds herself without her powers after a teen breaks her from a spell and urges her to attempt a dangerous gauntlet of trials known as Witches’ Road.

    “I miss the glory days,” Hahn says in the trailer. “She took every bit of power I had, and I can be that witch again.” (15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Danny Sichel.] Alan Becker, creator of 2023’s “Animation vs Math”, which starts with simple arithmetical concepts and quickly devolves into an all-out battle with lasers and mecha, has done it again. “Animation vs Geometry” begins with the concept of the line segment and somehow becomes a thrilling chase scene with a giant monster from beyond reality. [Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Danny Sichel, Daniel Dern, Chris Barkley, Cat Eldridge, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Steven French, Teddy Harvia, and Kathy Sullivan for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).] Discover more from File 770 Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

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