Buckaroo Banzai Returns – To the San Francisco Public Library

This patron borrowed Buckaroo Banzai when she was in high school, but her family moved and she never returned the book—until now.

During the San Francisco Public Library’s Fine Forgiveness Program (Jan. 3 – Feb. 14) 699,563 overdue items were recovered. During the six-week period, late fees were waived on all returned books, CDs, DVDs and other materials, regardless of how long overdue. Included were 12,246 items that were more than 60 days past due. The value of those long overdue items was nearly $236,000.

SF and fantasy figured prominently in publicity used to get out the word – and in stories about some of the oldest books returned under the program.

The five longest-overdue items that people brought back were:

  1. 40 Minutes Late by F. Hopkinson Smith (due 1917)
  2. Brass: A Novel of a Marriage by Charles Norris (due 1937)
  3. The Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov (due 1953)
  4. The Principles of Biology by Gardiner and Felmister (due 1967)
  5. Billiards at Half Past Nine by Heinrich Boll (due 1968)

The collection of short stories titled 40 Minutes Late was 100 years past due, and Brass, a Novel of a Marriage by Charles Norris had a due date stamp of 1937, making it 80 years past due. In both cases, the books were originally checked out by the returners’ great grandparents.

The fellow who returned 40 Minutes Late said his grandmother checked out the book from the library’s Fillmore branch (now shut down), and she died one week before it was due.

About the century-old book Katherine Jardine, Public Relations Officer says, “We need to process it back into the system. We are not sure yet if it will go back out into circulation. It might live in our History Center or Special Collections.”

Longest overdue books returned under amnesty displayed in a case at the San Francisco Public Library. SFPL photo.

Display of amnesty books at SFPL. Photo by Dave Nee.

Coverage of the amnesty campaign included an interesting map showing the distribution off accrued fines throughout the city. Patrons with unpaid fines have their borrowing privileges frozen. City Librarian Luis Herrera said, in consequence, the fines disproportionately affect low-income patrons, who need library services the most.

City data show that the highest fine amounts are concentrated in historically impoverished neighborhoods. Tenderloin patrons owe $302,376, Mission residents are $227,722 in the red, and a Bayview, Hunters Point and Visitacion Valley ZIP code owes $253,302.

In comparison, Financial District residents owe $8,347 and Presidio residents owe $6,495. But any San Franciscan could earn back card privileges by dropping off late materials at one of the library’s 27 branches during the campaign.

[Thanks to Dave Nee for the story.]

Gone Interplanetary

Art Widner at the 1990 Worldcon. Photo taken and (c) by Andrew Porter.

By Marty Cantor: This is going on a few lists where there may be some fen who remember this Art Widner board game.

Right, you read the name up above correctly — Art Widner.

Interplanetary is a board game which Art Widner invented in 1943.

From paperwork (which I cannot now find) I believe that there may very well have been several boards many decades ago but I am certain of one board which is still in existence, the board I used when I played the game last night.

Some time after I joined LASFS in 1975 I discovered that LASFS had not only a board for this game but also various playing pieces. And paperwork showing that others had made attempts to make the game more playable than what was apparently earlier versions of the game.

Ted Johnstone, Bill Ellern and Betty Knight demonstrating Interplanetary at the Los Angeles Hobby Show in 1960.

As a seasoned board game player I soon found that the game seemed to need quite a bit of work to make it fully playable and I worked on the game, off and on, for several years. This work required the cooperation of other LASFS’ game players. Finally, in 2007, after many years of not paying attention to the game, I put what I consider to be the finishing touches on the game – and then again put the game aside for about 10 years.

Until last night.

A couple of weeks ago I i/n/v/e/i/g/l/e/d/ convinced three women who were new to the Friday Night Board Gaming Meetup I run to play a Eurogame called Wars of the Roses. This is a longish game of some intricacy. They loved the game so I thought I would introduce them to Interplanetary so I printed the rules and handed them out.

Last night 4 of us played Interplanetary. It is, obviously, not a Eurogame-style game, depending as it does on the rolling of dice. Interplanetary is, though, a game with some strategy and a spectacularly different board than any other game.

We had fun.

Interplanetary game board

Origins of Project Bluebook

By Carl Slaughter: On July 29, 1952, the Pentagon held a press conference about flying saucers.

The flying saucer phenomenon began on June 24, 1947, after Kenneth Arnold reported to his airport tower sighting nine saucer-shaped vessels flying at extremely fast speed in echelon formation over the mountains of Washington state. When Arnold landed, the local media was waiting for him. The wire services picked up the story. Within 24 hours, newspapers all over the country ran front page headlines about the Arnold report. Suddenly more and more people claimed flying saucer sightings. UFOs had entered American culture.

On January 7, 1948, Kentucky Air National Guard pilot Captain Thomas Mantell crashed and died while in pursuit of a UFO. The public and the military began to take flying saucer sightings much more seriously because Mantell’s death indicated a possible alien hostile presence on Earth. (Another concern was that the vessels might be Soviet. This was at the beginning of the Cold War.) On October 1, 1948, North Dakota Air National Guard second lieutenant George Gorman engaged in an extended chase with a UFO that had speed and maneuverability far beyond any human vessel at the time.

In response to these and other UFO encounters, the Pentagon launched Project Bluebook and other investigation projects. The CIA launched the Robertson Panel and Congress launched the Condon Committee. Project Bluebook was finally shut down in 1970.

Whether or not you believe in UFOs, this documentary is an excellent history of the UFO phenomenon.

Barkley — So Glad You (Didn’t) Ask: A Column of Unsolicited Opinions — #5       


The Proust Questionnaire Answered

By Chris M. Barkley:

From the Vanity Fair website:

The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Here is the basic Proust Questionnaire.

1)      What is your idea of perfect happiness?

To be listening to music, reading, writing or creating something of value.

2)      What is your greatest fear?

That my life has no meaning and nothing I have done has any value.

3)      What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Without a doubt, I procrastinate way too much. I’ll work on that tomorrow. Promise.

4)      What is the trait you most deplore in others?

When people impulsively give in to their most inner crassness and do things to please themselves without a thought to how their actions might be interpreted by others.

5)      Which living person do you most admire?

Currently, the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. I also admire the men and women of law enforcement and public safety, who put their lives on the line EVERY day.

6)      What is your greatest extravagance?

I LOVE buying music, books and films. What I take for granted everyday is a pleasure that is denied to a great number of people in the world.

7)      What is your current state of mind?

Troubled, but feeling hopeful.

8)      What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Modesty or moderation. When I was younger, I tried to dial back my self-worth and ego to appease other people, which, I think, held me back in my development as a person. As I’ve grown older, I learned the hard way that those sorts of feelings are actually harmful. If you’re good at doing something, ANYTHING, you have to be your own cheerleader first before you can get others to believe it. Occasionally, you’ve got to cut loose and feel it, otherwise you’ll tie yourself in emotional knots.

9)      On what occasion do you lie?

It’s usually a selfish impulse to protect myself from some stupid mistake or faux pas that I should have avoided in the first place. Shameful, but true.

10)   What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I would love to have been three or four inches taller.

11)   Which living person do you most despise?

I TRY not to despise anyone because hating takes a lot of personal energy and  is distracting me from more important concerns. Having said that, Donald J. Trump has worked himself off of my Christmas card list..

12)   What is the quality you most like in a man?

Honesty and a sense of humor.

13)   What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Honesty and a sense of humor.

14)   Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Gotcha. Really? C’mon Man!!!!!!

15)   What or who is the greatest love of your life?

I have the privilege of having two exceptional people in my life; my daughter Laura and my life partner, Juli. I LOVE them both so much.

16)   When and where were you happiest?

When I am in the company of the people I love and good friends.

17)   Which talent would you most like to have?

One day, I would like to learn how to play musical instrument, such as a guitar or the piano.

18)   If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Well, I am learning to be more decisive, be less of a procrastinator and try not to be such a hoarder. Every day is a challenge.

19)   What do you consider your greatest achievement?

That I am a loving parent who has successfully raising a responsible adult.

20)   If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

I honestly can’t fathom to idea of being someone or something else. One thing is certain; not as a lobster. PLEASE!

21)   Where would you most like to live?

Anywhere my partner Juli happens to be.

22)   What is your most treasured possession?

The love I feel for Juli and Laura. It is greater than any physical possession I have. (Except for those 1966 copies of Justice League of America, numbers 46 and 47.)

23)   What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Being depressed, mainly about my own state of mind or being worried about my country and our world.

24)   What is your favorite occupation?

While I love my current occupation as a bookseller, I would gladly trade it in to be a full time, professional writer.

25)   What is your most marked characteristic?

My dry and somewhat caustic wit. And my big nose.

26) What do you most value in your friends?

Honesty, loyalty and Vernor’s Ginger Ale..

27) Who are your favorite writers?

Harlan Ellison, Rita Mae Brown, Octavia Butler, William Shakespeare, William Goldman, Aaron Sorkin, Elmore Leonard, Dashiell Hammett, Gregory McDonald, Raymond Chandler, Rex Stout, Jack Vance, Jim Bouton, Theodore Sturgeon, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Robert A. Heinlein, Leonard Maltin, Kage Baker, Kij Johnson Nnedi Okorafor, Lois McMaster Bujold, George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Alfred Bester and Alice Sheldon (James Tiptree, Jr.) .

28)   Who is your hero of fiction?

I tend to gravitate towards film characters than literary ones. Lately I have been drawn to Max Rockatansky and Imperator Furiosa, the haunting main characters of Mad Max – Fury Road.

29)   Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Until Lin Manuel-Miranda enlightened us all about the life of Alexander Hamilton, I wouldn’t have an answer to this question.

30)   Who are your heroes in real life?

Teachers, cops, fire fighters and all other first responders. They should be the most respected and highest paid workers in America.

31)   What are your favorite names?

Laura and Juli, of course.

32)   What is it that you most dislike?

Arrogance, avarice and dishonesty are at the top of my list, especially if that person happens to be an elected servant of the people.

33)   What is your greatest regret?

That I spent nearly forty years wondering if I could be a writer instead of BEING a writer.

34)   How would you like to die?

Quietly, of old age if at all possible, watching Casablanca or 2001, A Space Odyssey. Otherwise, it should be in a spectacular fashion, with tons of spectacle.

35)   What is your motto?

“No Surrender, No Retreat.”

With MANY THANKS to Vanity Fair magazine.

On Another Tentacle

by John Hertz: (reprinted from Vanamonde 1230; italics, parentheses after this, in original)  My exhorting my companions on the Left (Mike Glyer once said I have the gift of exhortation; I warned him I was taking that as a compliment) not to be so smug, self-righteous, arrogant about our opinions (see Van 1228) shouldn’t be taken to imply I think you folks on the Right ought to be smug, self-righteous, arrogant about yours.  Indeed you have trumped us (8 Nov 16).  But triumphalism isn’t good argument.  It isn’t good politics.  It isn’t neighborly.  And since you are fond of saying you, not we, are the true guardians of liberty, I believe I may add It violates your own principles.  Now is the time for you to be better preachers, teachers, reachers.  I’ve insisted “Democracy is not Give me what I wish no matter what but I can be outvoted” (Van 1224); however, as Samuel Johnson said, people “may be convinced, but they cannot be pleased, against their will” (Lives of the English Poets, 1781; Congreve); and lest you fall into the pit beside the road of victory, I remind you of a remark by Isak Dinesen (who called it the saying of the hero of a book read as a child, Out of Africa ch. IV pt. 5 “The Iguana”, 1937): “I have conquered them all, but I am standing amongst graves.”

What Is the Destiny of the World’s Largest UFO Archive?

We’re accustomed to hearing about “the graying of fandom,” Apparently Sweden’s UFO enthusiasts face the same problem. A recent Swedish-language article asked what is going to happen to the world’s largest UFO archive? (Hampus Eckerman kindly translated the piece into English.) Here is an excerpt.

…The world’s largest UFO archive can be found in Norrköping. But the enthusiasts are getting older and older. Who will take over all handwritten saucer sightings, shaky video footage and previously classified documents? …

20,000 Swedish observations

The history of the archive began in 1973 when Anders Liljegren and his two ufo obsessed librarian friends Kjell Jonsson and Håkan Blomqvist decided to start collecting UFO literature. At first, the initiative was mainly a way to get their own opportunity to immerse themselves in the subject. The books they got their hands on they made available for borrowing over mail for people around Sweden. After a year they received a large donation of 400 books from a famous ufologist. And since then it has just rolled on. Over the years, the focus has broadened. In AFU [Archives for the Unexplained], there is beside the UFO literature, also books on a variety of other paranormal phenomena.

– That is why we are planning to change the name, says Anders Liljegren, smiling.

Archives and libraries are scattered in twelve cellars in the Norrköping district Ljura. The collections has n addition to several meters of shelved audio and video tapes more than 25,600 book titles, 70 000 Journals and 250 000 digitized press clippings from around the world. But not only that. There are also some 20 000 reports made in connection with the Swedish UFO sightings, as well as similar national report archives from Denmark, England and Spain. Anders Liljegren takes out a white folder from one of the cluttered bookshelves and fish up a report authored by a woman who had seen a gray, spinning, discus-shaped object that hovered above her car. Anders Liljegrens colleague Johan Gustavsson, who sits rapt in front of a computer, is employed as a researcher at the AFU and examines, on behalf of the national organization UFO Sweden, all of the approximately 250 UFO sightings coming in each year….

…We walk to another room across the courtyard, where among other things, UFO Sweden’s association and personal archives are kept. The shelves are cluttered and it smells heavily of paper and dust. There are also parts of journal collections, sorted by country. We sit squatting and checking out a colorful fanzine with UFO sightings from the then Rhodesia. When AFU has more than three copies of the same book or magazine, it happens that Anders Liljegren sellis the titles on Ebay as a way to get money into the business. The Foundation has also started the second-hand bookshop AFU Shop with customers from all over the world.

– About a year ago I sold stenciled UFO booklets from Tasmania that I received several hundred dollars apiece for, he says.

…DN-journalist [Translator’s note: Sweden’s largest newspaper Dagens Nyheter] Clas Svahn, vice chairman of the national organization UFO Sweden, is the one who today leads all collection of materials to the archive. Anders Liljegren has retired but remains as a foreman on a volunteer basis. During his 43 years on the AFU, he has been involved in a number of memorable moments. An experience that will never fade was when he and his colleague Håkan Blomqvist at the end of the 80’s drove in panic to Bromma [translaters note: Suburb of Stockholm] to retrieve the famous ufologist Gösta Rehn’s private correspondence.

– We managed to save 32 binders that lay buried under potties and broken portfolios in a garbage room. We were there just before garbage collectors came, says Anders Liljegren.

What has kept you going during all these years?

– I like to build things up and do not really care about what the UFO phenomenon may have as explanations. This work also invites surprises every day.

Hand on your heart. Do you think that there are civilizations in other solar systems which sometimes makes detours to greet us?

– It is unlikely, but not impossible. If someone could explain all the observations based on scientific arguments, I would buy it. AFU Foundation does not run this archive based on some believed aspects.

What is the future of the AFU?

– We of course want everything to be preserved for posterity. But we are getting older and older. A multi-million donation would have been fine now. We would have had a room where we could gather everything under one roof. We also need volunteers with knowledge of the paranormal phenomena that can continue to work with the archives and library.

We bid farewell to the UFO-gang, leaving the fluorescent bleach archive. The skewed evening sun reflected in rental buildings windows. The propeller plane is gone. In the sky, nothing can be seen. Or what is that?

To Pull No Strings and Buffalo None

By John Hertz: Say fans, what time is it? Nomination time!

It’s nomination time,
It’s nomination time.
Let’s have a balmy clime,
Send in what’s really prime.
Ignore what looks like slime,
Abet nobody’s crime.
We’ll make the Finns’ bells chime,
And sing out “That kind I’m!”
Let’s give a rousing cheer
’Cause nomination’s here.
It’s time to start the show,
So fans, let’s go!

Summer fall winter spring, may every thunder thud.

Based on a True Story

by John Hertz: A seasonal poem.

Strange that I’ve become
A red-suited man with deer;
Nothing of Myra;
Truth to tell (what else?) I love
A time folk rejoice and give.

An acrostic (read down the first letters of each line) in 5-7-5-7-7-syllable form like Japanese tanka.  Santa Claus is in origin Nicholas (270-343), Bishop of Myra, then part of Greece, today part of Turkey; “Santa” is saint, “Claus” is Nicholas – I’d better not call it a nickname.  Stockings before the fireplace, and gifts that appear in them, are part of his story.  He died on December 6th.  Naturally he tells the truth, he’s a saint.

Filers Destroy Lyrics

While you’re waiting for Santa, appertain yourself a hot chocolate (or stiff belt), settle back, and enjoy this collection of some parody verses and holiday filks that Filers have been leaving in comments the past few months.

Camestros Felapton

Did you get my vote, Chuck Tingle?
I can’t remember another Hugo vote like this
You were on their slate Chuck Tingle
But you were parodying yourself and softly pounding something new
I could see the cheesy artwork
And sounds of raptor calls were coming from the blue

There was something on the slate that starred
The buckaroos were hard, Chuck Tingle
They were pounding there for you and me
For liberty, Chuck Tingle
Though I hope that No Award will win
There’s no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Chuck Tingle


Kip W

Don’t put your pixel in the scroll, Missus Woofington,
Don’t put your pixel in the scroll.
For the publishing field is vicious, and the going’s dog eat dog
The editing scene is angry and mean,
It’s right there in my blog.
It’s a quick read, though not substantial, I may say,
And written in a cloying way
And that’s enough of that.
No Award, Missus Woofington,
FNORD, Missus Woofington!
Don’t put your pixel in the scroll!

Camestros Felapton

Pokestops abound in San Jose
But I’ve been away so long, I might go wrong and catch a Magikarp
Pokestops are great in San Jose
I’m going back to find an electric kind in San Jose

Stoic Cynic

With profuse apologies to Porgy, Bess, George Gershwin, and 33,000 cover versions
(really, 33,000! Wikipedia says so):

Hugo Time And the votin’s not easy
Pups are slatin’
And the rotten is high

Your reading’s done
And No Award’s good lookin’
So hush little voter
Don’t you cry

One of these WorldCons
Pups’re going to give up trolling
Then you’ll spread your wings
And you’ll fly to the sky

But till that morning
There’s a’nothing can harm you
With EPH & 3SV standing by

One of these WorldCons
Pups’re going to give up trolling
Then you’ll spread your wings
And you’ll fly to the sky

But till that morning
There’s a’nothing can harm you
With EPH & 3SV standing by

PhilRM http://file770.com/?p=32560&cpage=1#comment-524729

Pacific Rim, Or A Vision on A Screen

For robinareid, because it’s all her fault.** **Not actually her fault. I took laudanum a few liberties with meter, but then, so did Coleridge.

In Pacific Rim did del Toro
A desp’rate Shatterdome decree;
The last defense ‘gainst humans’ foe,
By airlift mighty Jaegers go
Down to a Kaiju sea.

So twice ten miles of city ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
A bulwark to end the toll of Kaiju-kills.
But here is where I must beg to disagree
With those enthralled by Kaiju-punching thrills:
This movie really didn’t work for me.

Because oh! To me it doesn’t make any sense:
Why must they rely on giant robot fists?
We have missiles and nukes – mighty armaments!
Why don’t you zip it? replies the audience.
Can’t you see we’re all really enjoying this?
So: from the portal, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in CGI were breathing,
Two mighty Kaiju sinuously emerge.
Humanity’s end now looms on the verge:
While critical Kaiju-lore has been acquired,
A scientist’s bold risk that must be admired
Has tragically caused a new scale of trouble:
The Kaiju assault has literally doubled.
The Kaiju-pair’s most cruel and murderous attack
On crews Russian, Chinese and Australian –
Impossibly fierce – through no human failing
Leaves the noble Jaegers scattered like sea-wrack.
To face the next peril from Kaiju-hell:
Two half-teams, and two battered Jaeger shells.

To seal the breach is the only throw:
Chance so slight it’s all but lost.
A hopeless trip to depths below?
“No!” cries Stacker Pentecost:
“I don’t care if it’s Kaiju five or six;
“We are cancelling the apocalypse!”

Once child-wounded Mako Mori
As warrior does arise;
And enter into brave company,
To share the Drift with staunch Raleigh
New-found friend and best ally.
Chuck and Stacker clear the way
By noble sacrifice;
Gypsy Danger will the Kaiju slay,
With thermonuclear device.
Passage secured by Kaiju-skin,
They face the peril of the breach;
The Kaiju-masters wait within.
Will dauntless heroes really win?
Wait! They have a safety margin:
Rescue by escape pod (one each).
Compelled I’ll credit them with this:
The story ends without a kiss.
Mako Mori Test for the win.

Simon Bisson http://file770.com/?p=32440&cpage=2#comment-521355

"Santa Mike" by Lynn Maudlin

“Santa Mike” by Lynn Maudlin

Twas the night before Worldcon, when all through the blog
Not a godstalk was stirring, not even a fan
The pixels were scrolled by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Mike Glyer soon would be there.

The commenters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Hugo Awards danced in their heads.
And mamma in her lettercol, and I in my Chrome,
Had just settled our laptops for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the web there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the keyboard to see what was the matter.
Away to the Windows went Adobe Flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature pixel and eight tiny scrolls.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be our Mike
More rapid than eagles his bloggers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now, Kyra! now, Camestros! now, Kurt and Paul!
On, Meredith On, Hampus! on, Red and Wombat!
To the top of the page! to the top of the Google!
Now scroll away! Scroll away! Scroll away all!”

As dry scrolls that before the wild pixels fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the bloggers they flew,
With the sleigh full of books and Mike Glyer too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The scrolling and pixeling of each little post
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Mike Glyer came with a bound.

He was dressed all in badges from his head to his foot,
And his pixels were all tarnished with ashes and scroll.
A bundle of Hugos he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a faned, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they pixeled, his dimples how scrolled!
His cheeks were like gravatars, his nose like an emojii!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a scroll,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pixel he held tight in his teeth,
And the scroll it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his pixel and a twist of his scroll,
Soon gave me to know I had a huge to-be-read.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the scrollings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the pixel he rose!

He sprang to his posts, to his scrolls gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a pixel,
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Worldcon to all, and to all a good-fan!”

Kurt Busiek http://file770.com/?p=32472&cpage=1#comment-521579

“Pixels and scrolls, pixels and scrolls
Mean so much more when I see
Pixeled and scrolled declarations
On File Seven Seven, um, Tee”

Jack Lint http://file770.com/?p=32472&cpage=1#comment-522130

The file and the pixel,
When they are on a roll,
Of all sites that are on the web,
The file bears the scroll.

Rob Thornton http://file770.com/?p=32472&cpage=2#comment-522307

On a Sunday morning slidewalk,
I’m wishing, Lord, that I was scrolled.
‘Cause there’s something in a Sunday
That makes a pixel feel alone….

rea http://file770.com/?p=32472&cpage=2#comment-522495

Outside in the cold distance
A wildcat did scroll
Two pixels were approaching
And the wind began to howl

Rev. Bob http://file770.com/?p=32614&cpage=1#comment-526891

This is the theme to Pixel Scrolls
The off-meter theme to Pixel Scrolls
Filers looked me up and asked if I would filk a theme song

It’s almost halfway finished
No, I didn’t say it was Finnish
How do you like this ode to Pixel Scrolls?

This is the theme to Pixel Scrolls
The crudely-filked theme to Pixel Scrolls
This is the tune that’s guaranteed to shoo off all the Barflies
We’re almost to the part
Where I run out of lyrics
Now let’s read the latest Pixel Scroll!

Charon D. http://file770.com/?p=32614&cpage=2#comment-527403

What pixel is this who scrolled to rest
From Glyer’s laptop of wonders
Where scrollers revel in riotous puns
And appertain when they find blunders

This, this is pixel scroll!
Where fifths flow freely and so do trolls
Tick, tick, the follow-up box
Or you might miss some epic filking

Tom Becker http://file770.com/?p=32667&cpage=1#comment-528522

It’s beginning to look a lot like pixels
Everywhere you go
Take a look in the seven and seventy glistening once again
With rocket pins and silver scrolls aglow

Last Second Sci-Fi Holiday Gifts

John King Tarpinian and I have been virtual window shopping since October. We’d like to share some of the gift suggestions we found most amusing. And sure, you could actually buy these and send them to someone – just don’t sign our names to the card!

(1) The Hipster Nativity Set


The Three Wisemen

It’s crazy to think that the Wisemen followed a star in the sky to find Jesus, rather than using Google Maps, but who are we to judge? These Wisemen arrive to the birth of Jesus in style, rocking their favorite hipster outfits, and tricked out segways.


(2) Borg Cube – Star Trek Voyager Hallmark Holiday Ornament Ship Lights Talking TNG


A unique ornament – Depicts the distinctive cube-shaped vessel of the Borg Collective. Known for its speed and adaptability, the massive spaceship has powerful weapons and an uncanny ability to repair itself if damaged in combat. Light glows errily and steadily from within the ship. To hear an exclusive greeting delivered in true Borg fashion, press the button located on the ornament. This message will play through one time and stop automatically: “We are the Borg. Enjoy your holidays. Resistance is futile.”

(3)  Behold the evil glory of the Baphomet, Krampus and Cthulhu tree toppers!

Here’s Cthulhu!


(4) Badass garden gnomes to protect your front lawn


Star Wars Garden Jawa

These rodent like creatures from Tatooine were born to do this job. If they were good enough to find C-3PO and R2-D2, they’re good enough for your front lawn. Plus he’s traveled from a galaxy far, far away to serve you, so you know he’s not going anywhere.

(5) The only shortcoming of these great rocket bookends is the $150 pricetag.


Retro rocket bookends, fashioned in solid metal The two hand-polished aluminum halves of this powerful rocket can hold an infinite mass of knowledge between them. Heavy iron bases and soft felt bottoms keep planetary sagas secure without scratching shelves, while the brass antenna and portholes allow unseen passengers to look out over your personal library.

(6) Horror Christmas Tree Ornaments


This holiday season, decorate your Christmas tree in style! Thanks to Middle of Beyond, your tree no longer has to endure the painfully boring ornaments that we all know and hate. Behold!

The other day when my family was decorating the tree, there was a discussion about the tree topper. We know we’re not going to have an angel, so what other options do we have? A star, a ribbon…meh. What a pointless conversation that was. Little did I know, MOB has a Cthulhu tree topper! I’ll be honest, I don’t think my significant other will sign off on that, but I might be able to sneak a Cthulhu ornament on the tree.

(7) Dragon Baubles by Aeilia Petro


As we’ve already established earlier, Aelia Petro is a pretty big fan of dragons. Remember her dragon jewelry that makes you feel like the mother of dragons? Well, she’s now created something just as awesome – dragon baubles!

The baubles come in many different colors and have tiny little dragons hugging them as if they were their own eggs. They’re perfect for decorating your Christmas trees and bringing some magic into your homes! Unfortunately, the baubles aren’t on sale right now, but will hopefully be available again soon! Keep on checking in at the ArtByAelia Etsy shop to purchase them.

(8) The Star Wars Fleece Robes (Hammacher Schlemmer)


These are the hooded fleece robes that transport common Earthlings to a galaxy far, far away, to assume the persona of an iconic Star Wars character. Made from thirsty 100% polyester fleece that keeps one as dry as Tatooine, each bears its namesake’s signature hallmarks from the beloved movies. Chewbacca’s faux fur exterior replicates the Wookie’s cuddly yet fierce bearing, with his shoulder-slung ammunition bandolier and integrated waist pouch; Darth Vader’s E-3778Q-1 armor contains the Sith Lord’s life support system and a holstered light saber; Princess Leia’s hood sports her signature side bun hairstyle; the Jedi Knight’s proudly displays the rebel alliance starbird and a holstered lightsaber that informs the galaxy of where one’s true allegiance lies. With two front pockets and a removable fleece tie. Machine wash. Imported. One size fits most adults. (3 lbs.)

(9) It’s also possible to order matching slippers for some of these robes. For example:

Darth Vader Slippers (Hammacher Schlemmer)


These are the Darth Vader slippers preferred by those who like to hum the “Imperial March” when striding forth to fetch the paper. Keeping toes as warm as wampa fur during a Hoth winter, the open-back scuffs wrap the foot in cozy, heat-trapping polyester plush while still being easy to slip on and off. The fires that fuel Darth Vader’s internal torment project an air of ferocity that forces out the cold, ensuring that the warmth will be with you. Sizes S (Men’s 7-8; Women’s 8-10) or L (Men’s 11-12; Women’s 11-14). (1 lb.)

(10) Invade your neighbor’s privacy with the U.S.S. Enterprise Quadracopter (Hammacher Schlemmer)


This is the only remote controlled flying U.S.S. Enterprise that explores strange new yards and seeks out new life and new civilizations. Modeled after Captain James T. Kirk’s famous vessel as it appeared in the 1979 motion picture, it has four 3 1/2″ diam. propellers built into its iconic primary hull to provide backward, forward, up, down, or sideways movement. Providing superior flight stability, the quadcopter’s six-axis stabilization allow it to be tossed into the air and throttled up simultaneously. Its four-channel 2.4 GHz remote provides digital proportional control of rotor speed for flights from 200′ away. The quadcopter plays 10 sounds from the original television series (e.g. photon torpedoes and red alert) and its 10 LEDs replicate the ship’s hull and nacelles’ lights. Its rechargeable battery provides up to seven-minute flights from a one-hour charge via its USB cable. Includes display stand and remote control (requires four AA batteries). Ages 10 and up. 15 1/2″ L x 9 3/4″ D x 4 1/4″ H. (4 oz)

(11) Gardenzilla (ThinkGeek)


It all starts out so innocently. You might notice one or two on the ground under a rose bush or near a climbing vine, but you don’t think much of it. Then one day you go outside and realize your entire garden has been overrun. What are your options? You could coat everything with some highly-toxic pesticide and hope for the best. Or you could install a Kaiju in your garden, guaranteed to get rid of those pesky gnomes. This guy spares gnone.

Pesky garden gnomes have finally met their match in the Rampaging Kaiju Garden Gnome. We’re not sure how the Japanese scientists shrunk him to 9″ tall, but we assume it had something to do with radiation. Made of durable cast poly resin, he’s ready to take his place as the guardian of your garden