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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQsjAbZDx-4

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

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

borg-cube-star-trek-voyager-hallmark-holiday-ornament-ship-lights-talking-tng-c3b68288c5b61f435ea28afb437a58af

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!

cthulhuglasstreetopperq09u09u09flakdjfoijwef9ew_465_476_int

(4) Badass garden gnomes to protect your front lawn

star-wars-garden-jawa

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.

ad8115_rocket-bookends_csw

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

horror-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

dragon-baubles-aelia-petro-4

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)

star-wars-fleece-robes-b

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)

darth-vader-slippers

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)

uss-enterprise-quadracopter

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)

1c81_rampaging_kaiju_garden_gnome

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

Fantastic Beers and Where To Find Them

Delaware’s Mispillion River Brewing came out with five Harry Potter beers last month. They served them at the “Fantastic Beers and Where to Find Them” event held the day Fantastic Beasts opened in theaters. The four named for the houses of Hogwarts were served in matching souvenir glasses.

The Milford brewery (255 Mullet Run) will pair the beers with four commemorative glasses, each dedicated to a house of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry — Gryffindor (9% ABV Double IPA) , Slytherin (dry hopped sour), Hufflepuff (6% ABV Kolsch) and Ravenclaw (5.2% ABV Porter). Deathly Hallows, the brewery’s small batch Belgian Tripel, will make its annual return as well.

The fifth Harry Potter-themed beer, The Deathly Hallows, translates into a brew with the following flavors:

The Elder Wand, the Ressurection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility composed the mythical Deathly Hallows.  Our version is a Belgian Trippel brewed with candi sugar.  Bright yellow, the Deathly Hallows features spicy notes from the yeast.

Mispillion River Brewing does a lot of pop culture-themed beers, anything to draw attention to the product. With a new Star Wars movie coming out in December, it’s not hard to guess the inspiration behind their December 17 promotion.

vader-double-black-ipa

The commemorative Vader pint glass —

vader-glass

They also have a channel on YouTube where you can see such videos as Star Wars Brewer.

Here are some of their other creations with genre appeal.

Threat Level Purple is an 11% ABV Imperial IPA (or, as they say, it has “an 11% fallout”) which you can take to your shelter when The Big One hits.  This high-octane brew will keep you fortified during long periods of global devastation.  And when you emerge, assuming there’s any civilization left, you can recycle the can!

threat-level-purple-can-e1474316654477

Holy Crap! comes in a can with a psychedelically-colored dinosaur on the front.

holy-crap-large-can

Holy Crap! evolved by accident, when our brewer blended two different styles of beer. After months of digging for the recipe, we learned: you can’t suppress a brewer’s gust instinct. This 8.5% ABV Imperial Red Ale leads with a strong malt body and finishes with the dry bitterness of a 65-million year extinction. Hold on to your butts!!!

Space Otter features a furry astronaut.

space-otter-large-can

When designing a beer specifically for your benevolent leader, one must address the existential question, “But what is his spirit animal”? With those words, the Space Otter was launched. This 5% ABV pale ale is brewed with Citra and Azacca hops and is out of this world.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster for the story.]

Rick Deckard: Overrated!

blade_runner_poster

By Carl Slaughter: With a sequel to the classic science fiction film Blade Runner on the way, it’s time to debunk the myth of Rick Deckard as the legendary Blade Runner.

Deckard is portrayed as an ace replicant hunter, the best Blade Runner in the history of blade running, so good he was brought out of retirement to find and kill 4 of the most dangerous replicants ever.

This is nonsense:

Replicants Roy Batty, Leon Kawalski, Pris Stratton, and Zhora Salome all caught Deckard by surprise.

Replicants Roy Batty, Leon Kawalski, and Zhora Salome almost killed Deckard.

Replicant Leon Kawalski disarms Deckard.

Replicant Leon Kawalski didn’t kill Deckard only because Deckard’s girlfriend replicant Rachael killed Kawalski with his Deckard’s gun.

Replicant Zhora Salome didn’t kill Deckard only because their fight was interrupted by a visitor.

Replicant Roy Batty didn’t kill Deckard only because Batty was about to die and wanted Deckard to hear his last words.

Tyrell Corporation founder Dr. Eldon Tyrell and Tyrell Corporation employee J.F. Sebastian are murdered by replicant leader Roy Batty before Deckard catches up with him.

Replicant Pris Stratton seduced Tyrell’s chess partner Sebastian into infiltrating Tryrell’s quarters before Deckard catches up with her.

All things considered, the legendary Blade Runner Rick Deckard didn’t fare any better than an average police detective.

Techno Dystopia Premise

By Carl Slaughter: There is a creepy paragraph in the July issue of Wired that has frightening implications. Here are various scenarios. Techno dystopia science fiction premise. Any writers up the task?

“Every technological move toward privacy will be answered with a legal one aimed at shifting the equilibrium back toward surveillance: If law enforcement continues to be foiled by uncrackable encryption, it will come back with an order for “technical assistance,” demanding companies weaken their security measures and rewrite their code to help the cops.  Some form of crypto backdoor might even be built in secret. And Congress still threatens to advance legislation that could ban user-­controlled encryption outright.”  – Wired

—  “Sorry sir, this bank no longer allows you to choose your own password.”

—  “Sorry sir, this library no longer allows you to choose your own password.”

—  “Sorry sir, this post office/UPS no longer allows you to ship packages without a verifiable street address that matches the street address on your ID.”

—  “Sorry sir, you cannot check into this hotel because your drivers license/passport has been pinged.”

—  “Sorry sir, you cannot buy this phone without sending your fingerprint to a law enforcement database.”

—  “Sorry sir, you cannot use this Internet cafe without submitting your photo to a facial recognition database.”

—  “Sorry sir, you cannot buy this printer/fax machine without a government mandated forensic/monitoring chip.”

—  “Sorry sir, you cannot use this email service without registering your computer.”

—  “Sorry sir, you’re under arrest for using a computer/Internet service that is not registered with local law enforcement.”

—  “Sorry sir, you’re under arrest for developing/distributing/using encryption software without a high level security clearance from a Homeland supervised government agency.”

National Finish-Your-Book Day

Six hours ago John Scalzi announced he had finished writing his latest book.

And he told Whatever readers what the title of the next book in the series will be —

  1. Even though my brain is currently the consistency of fried ricotta, I’m already thinking about book two in the series, which I think I will call — are you ready, this is an exclusive! — The Last Emperox.
  2. (Yes, “emperox.” I can make up words. I’m a science fiction author, damn it.)

N. K. Jemisin followed suit two hours later, tweeting that she had finished her book.

She also told her Patreon followers what the title of that book will be. (Not reproduced here because that might aggravate the people who paid to know.)

So this has been a very productive day in the sf/f genre, I’d say.

Not Murray but Danny the K

By John Hertz: I’m no citizen of Electronicland, but I try to look now and then.

I see I needn’t remark that George Orwell (Pixel Scroll 3 Oct 16, No. 9; Jack Lint, 4 Oct at 11:29 a.m.) seems to have gotten Chinese tea as Number Ten Ox warned the rest of us in that great year 1984.

And it’s already been observed that Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy stories, “The Eyes Have It” (Jan 64) and thereafter, a quarter-century later than “The Mathematics of Magic” (de Camp & Pratt, Aug 40) and “Magic, Inc.” (Heinlein, Sep 40) on which we were just voting for the 1941 Retrospective Hugos (MidAmeriCon II, 74th World Science Fiction Convention), could only have been a tribute from a true knight.

But the talk of tea, and Nate Fillion’s swell photo and caption (P.S. 2 Oct 16, No. 11 – P.S., I love you) of which we can’t have one without the other, called from memory a comment of mine to John DeChancie in Vanamonde 1040 a while ago, which our gracious host thought you might like.

The Gremlin automobile by American Motors, only produced 1970-1978, is considered collectible.  Bill Clinton and George W. Bush each drove one.  You if needing to contest the point with Phil Foglio could withstand an argument that Gremlins do not exist.  A kremlin is a fortress or citadel; the famous one in Moscow (having like “the White House” become specific) in fact contains five palaces, although Communism disavowed private luxury.  Through 30 Jun 13 the State Historical Museum, together with the Kremlin museums, is holding an exhibit commemorating the 400th ascension anniversary of Tsar Michael.  The Russian love of tea, so characteristic now, dates only to the 19th Century, Van 755 (brackets as there):

You remind me of the story Joyce Toomre tells [p. 17 of Classic Russian Cooking, her 1992 ed’n of Elena Molokhovets, A Gift to Young Housewives: famous “from the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 to the onset of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917” (p. 3), the author’s name a household word, parodied by Chekhov, lampooned by Soviets, reprints appearing promptly when the U.S.S.R. fell], that when tea came to Russia it caught on slowly, puzzling lords and peasants, so that in one song “an unlucky house serf … ordered to prepare tea … not knowing what to do with the leaves, seasoned the brew with peppers, onion, and parsley, the traditional Russian seasonings.  When he was abused for his concoction, he decided it was because he forgot the salt.”

Georg Hegel (1770-1831), beloved of Communists, was contemporary with the pioneering Romanticist August Schlegel (1767-1845), translator of Shakespeare into German, who I hear was noted at the Int’l Conf. on Shakespeare in National Cultures, Moscow, 9-13 Jul 12; busts, statues, being displayed, books preserved.  You know Nabokov’s 1923 translation of Alice in Wonderland (L. Carroll, 1865; the famous tea-party is ch. VII); Communists, stung by his satire (“a central core of spirit in me … flashes and jeers at the brutal farce of totalitarian states, such as Russia, and her embarrassing tumors, such as China”, en passant taking the clown suit in which the interviewer tried to clothe him and placing it elegantly onto the fitful offeror, not to mention — oops, too late — the wanted-to-blame-but-forced-to-praise review of King, Queen, Knave; New York Times 12 May 68, Sect. 7 p. 1), suppressed his writings and sought to ruin his reputation.  So I quite understand your report that the Gremlin from the Kremlin had the Hegel and the Schlegel, while the Alice from the palace, once holding the pellet with the poison, had the brew which was true.