Pixel Scroll 10/24 The Pixels that Fall on You from Nowhere

(1) Quirk Books has compiled an array of “Bookish Tights and Leggings” now on the market. For example:

ColineDesign Printed Tights

Jane Austen quotes. Emily Dickinson poems. ColineDesign on Etsy also allows you to personalize your tights with any text you want.

Because I could not stop for Death, he kindly gave me these leggings.

We have our eye of Sauron on this map of Middle Earth by BlackMilk Clothing.

If you’re looking to go into fight some Orcs, these sword leggings by Souvrin will keep you battle ready.

 

lotrleggings

(2) John King Tarpinian remembers the neighbors built a fall-out shelter — today it is a wine cellar. Atlas Obscura looks back to the Cold War days in it gallery “Surviving a Nuclear Attack with Spam, and Other Images from Cold War Fallout Shelters”.

During the Cold War, as the arms race between Soviet Russia and the United States escalated, the perceived threat of nuclear attack became increasingly heightened. In response, the U.S. developed procedures to protect its citizens should the worst happen. In 1956, the National Emergency Alarm Repeater—NEAR—warning siren device was implemented to alert citizens to a nuclear attack. Students were drilled in “duck and cover” practices at schools. Books with titles such as Nuclear War Survival Skills were issued. And the only means of protection against radiation in the event of such a catastrophe was a fallout shelter.

Designs for fallout shelters appeared in pamphlets, subway advertisements and displays at civil defense fairs.  President Kennedy even got involved. In September 1961, the same month that the Soviets resumed testing nuclear weapons, Life magazine published a letter from the President advocating the use of fallout shelters. Rather terrifyingly, it was printed over an image of a mushroom cloud.

But that was just one of the many interesting graphical representations of the threat of annihilation. Below, check out our collection of fallout shelter designs and photographs that show just how people in the 1950s and 1960s tried to prepare for the unthinkable.

(3) Last Halloween Curbed posted a fascinating collection of photos of party costumes created by members of the Bauhaus school.

Most people attribute Germany’s Bauhaus school with the following: being on the vanguard of minimalist design, the paring down of architecture to its most essential and non-ornamental elements, and the radical idea that useful objects could also be beautiful. What may be overlooked is the fact that the rigorous design school, founded by modernism’s grandsire Walter Gropius, also put on marvelous costume parties back in the 1920s. If you thought Bauhaus folk were good at designing coffee tables, just have a look at their costumes—as bewitching and sculptural as any other student project, but with an amazing flamboyance not oft ascribed to the movement.

 

escola_bauhaus

(4) M. Harold Page tells how to conquer the NaNoWriMo challenge at Black Gate, with a collection of links to posts filled with his advice. Two examples…

Some Writing Advice That’s Mostly Useless (And Why): The following writing advice is mostly useless — “Work on your motivation,” “Revise, revise, revise,” “Have a chaotic life,” “Just write,” “Know grammar and critical terms,” “Practice skills in isolation.”

World Building Historical Fiction using Military Thinking: Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of research or worldbuilding. Instead use a layered approach, focussing your world building  as you descend from Strategic (villas exist and can be raided for supplies), through Operational (this villa sits on this ground amidst these fields), to Tactical (here is the ground plan of the villa and here are the people guarding it) level.

(5) Timothy Harvey’s “Doctor Who: How To Train Your Time Lord” at SciFi4Me concludes its introduction with a true piece of wisdom:

We don’t watch Doctor Who for history lessons.

It’s an episode recap with the premise —

OK, so if you’ve ever wanted to see what happens when you cross Doctor Who with How to Train Your Dragon, well, here you go.

(6) “10 Alabama actors who had roles in ‘The Twilight Zone’ series”

Day 5 of Kelly Kazek’s “13 Days of Alabama Halloween,” posted each day from Oct. 19-31 featuring an old news item, spooky legend, historical tale or fun list about All Hallow’s Eve.

“The Twilight Zone” TV series was groundbreaking for its time, not only for its spooky and supernatural content but for its social commentary. Twice, the show’s tales featured Alabama. A 1964 episode mentions Birmingham in a morality tale about hatred and the 1983 movie based on the series also references Alabama in a segment that features the Ku Klux Klan.

But the series has other Alabama connections: At least 10 Alabama actors had roles in the original and reboot of “The Twilight Zone” series, including some of the best-known episodes, such as “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.”

(7) Maureen O’Hara passed away October 24. Her resume was light on genre work, but included memorable fantasies like The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Miracle on 34th Street, and Sinbad the Sailor, the latter with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. She never was nominated for a competitive Oscar but received an honorary Academy Award last year.

(8) Many fans are linking to video of a Lenin monument that has been made over as a statue of Darth Vader,  part of the “de-Communization” of Ukraine, and David K.M. Klaus says, “I’m not sure that this is an improvement…!”

People dressed as Chewbacca and Stormtroopers from Star Wars attend the unveiling of the Darth Vader monument in Odessa on Friday. The monument, built around a bronze Lenin statue, is part of Ukraine’s de-communisation legislation which was introduced earlier this year. The Darth Vader character attending the event says that he is happy to be made into a monument while ‘still alive’

(9) Today’s Birthday Boy

  • October 24, 1915 — Bob Kane (cartoonist; co-creator of Batman) was born

(10) I only thought I had never heard of PewDiePie, the most-viewed YouTuber of all-time. Then I read that he does the Let’s Play! videos. My daughter has watched a bunch of those and shown me a couple.

(11) “The most complete picture of the Milky Way ever” explains Gizmodo —

The picture comes from astronomers at Germany’s Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Of course, this wasn’t a simple matter of an instantaneous point-and-click shot. Instead, to get the full spread, researchers spent a full five years taking photos, which they put into a single 46 billion pixel image.

The entire resulting image was so large, that the photo could only be released in sections…

To see the whole thing, Ruhr-Universität Bochum built a special tool where you can scroll through the full image right here.

(12) Actor Richard Benjamin will do a Q&A following a showing of the movie Westworld at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on November 15 at 1 p.m. Presented by Creature Features. Hosted by Geoff Boucher. Tickets $15.

(13) “Shambleau” read aloud by the author C.L. Moore – the audio from a 1980 spoken word record, posted on YouTube.

(14) Via Andrew Liptak at io9 –

Yesterday, word broke that Bryan Fuller was bringing the sci-fi anthology show Amazing Stories back to life. Now, you can watch the entire first season of the original 80s series over on NBC.

(15) Haven’t had enough Star Wars trailer creativity yet? Science Vs. Cinema co-creator James Darling has mashed together the ultimate supercut for Star Wars: The Force Awakens using all three trailers and the Comic-Con BTS reel.

[Thanks to Michael J Walsh, James H. Burns, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]

390 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/24 The Pixels that Fall on You from Nowhere

  1. My rules of thumb:

    Question 1: Are freaky things happening that couldn’t possibly actually happen in the world as we know it today?
    If yes, you are reading SFF.

    Question 2: Is the ultimate in-universe explanation for why these freaky things can occur presumed to be some kind of Science?
    If yes, you are reading Science Fiction.

    Question 3: Is the ultimate in-universe explanation for why these freaky things can occur presumed to be some kind of Magic?
    If yes, you are reading Fantasy.

    Question 4: Is the ultimate in-universe explanation for why these freaky things can occur presumed to be some kind of Science AND some kind of Magic?
    If yes, you are reading Science Fantasy.

    Question 5: Is the ultimate in-universe explanation for why these freaky things can occur not really explainable that way?
    If yes, you are probably reading some weird-ass SFF sub-genre like alt-history or something.

    Question 6: But what about this borderline or special case which your questions do not adequately cover?
    Go away, I’m reading.

    Question 7: No, but seriously, there’s this thing most people think is Science Fiction but I would argue —
    LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA

  2. @junego

    Then I doubt it would annoy me. I don’t see a good reason for saying that American’s shouldn’t explore their own cultural issues within sf/f, especially near-future sf. In fact, I’d go say that’s one of the things near-future sf is particularly good at; extrapolating the effects of a new technology on the culture of today and tomorrow. Which culture is up to the writer and naturally American writers will usually write about American culture.

    I’m also not that bothered about science which isn’t considered possible today. I don’t object to FTL. The most important thing is that the writer makes it sound plausible enough rather than anything else – which, again, I haven’t read the book, but I have a fairly low bar to clear for that one. 🙂 Technobabble away with no painfully obvious basic mistakes and I’m quite happy to go along with it.

  3. I don’t object to FTL in stories. I just object to the following combination:

    1) Using FTL in a story
    2) Calling that story “hard science fiction”
    3) Looking down your nose at so-called “soft science fiction”

    If you do just 2 and 3, I’m over you, but at least I’m not contemptuous. But if you go for the trifecta I am all, “Spare me your airs you big cheater.”

  4. Me:

    “Like the snowstorm in The Martian”

    Dust, dammit! If it had been snow, that would make it fantasy, obvs.

  5. Meredith: Then I doubt it would annoy me. I don’t see a good reason for saying that American’s shouldn’t explore their own cultural issues within sf/f, especially near-future sf.

    I just got done reading the story, and am amazed that anyone could consider it “insular” simply because it’s set in the U.S. and some of the background for the story involves the current war on women’s rights by conservatives.

    If a virus threatened eventual extinction of the male half of the species — or, at the very least, men were going to become a distinct minority, you can’t tell me that that wouldn’t have exactly the same sorts of discussions and reactive behavior going on in the UK as were going on in the U.S. in the story.

    It’s an interesting story, but it didn’t wow me enough for me to consider it Hugo-worthy.

  6. Graydon on October 26, 2015 at 6:03 pm said:
    @Lis Carey — there’s a difference between postulated future knowledge (FTL, contra-gravity, collapsium…) to which a veneer of plausibility has been attached, and actual current knowledge that’s being contradicted, ignored, or quite possibly disdained.

    A lot of SF biology does that; we know an awful lot about how life works, but it doesn’t make it into SF.

    I have a very educated family. Or maybe a pedantic one, I’m not sure.

    Whenever we watch TV there is always someone in my family headdesking about some issue of science, biology, logic, medicine, mathematics, physics, mechanics, chess, art, lawyers, language use, fashion, planetary formation, history …

    I imagine we would be very tedious for other people to be watching with. We do take turns soothing each other (“TV logic!” or “Comic book physics!” are two of our watchwords.).

  7. I do think there’s a marked difference between saying “I don’t personally enjoy reading about [x] so I didn’t enjoy [book]” and saying (paraphrased) “Because [book] had [x] it was bad and insular and not science fiction, even though [x] is not science fiction relevant.”

    (I think that might have been accidental, actually, and Stevie probably did mean her later criticisms of parthenogenesis to be the science fiction relevant aspect, but the original comment didn’t mention that at all and only the American culture aspects and the not-science-fiction bit. Bit unfortunate.)

    I think it is usually best to bear in mind, when criticising books/television/films/whatever, that there may be someone reading who likes it or similar things to the aspect which bugged you and who might be hurt by, ah, over-enthusiastic wording. That isn’t to say it is never appropriate to criticise something harshly, but it is worth thinking about whether that something truly deserves it and whether the collateral damage is worth it.

  8. @Jim Henley

    Yep.

    @Susana

    Yeah! EVERYONE knows it never snows in science fiction. Anyone who says otherwise is a Marxist!

    @JJ

    Well, I haven’t read the book so I can’t say whether it would feel true-to-the-UK, but even if it didn’t I don’t see why that would matter. Americans are allowed to write American-centric fiction just the same as people from every other culture are allowed to write about their own.

    It isn’t cultural imperialism until other factors are involved.

    @Peace

    I enjoy a good nitpick with the right people, but unless the error is brain-breakingly wrong and not consistent with the internal rules of the story I can forgive it… Once I’m done pointing out how Wrong it is. 🙂 Internally consistent is the most important thing, in my opinion (e.g. comic book physics are fine because that’s how things work in that universe).

  9. FILE 770 LIVE-ACTION TV TOURNAMENT AND BRACKETS

    Coreward Region – Round One

    1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5 (1)
    Space: Above and Beyond (16)

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    Land of the Lost (8)
    Misfits [UK] (9)

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    UFO (5)
    Robin of Sherwood (12)

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (4)
    Out of the Unknown (13)

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    Battlestar Galactica [Reboot] (3)
    The Mighty Boosh (14)

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits (6)
    Friday the 13th: The Series (11)

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Slings and Arrows (7)
    Torchwood (10)

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)
    Lexx (15)

  10. Right. This, so far, does not require forehead cloths.

    1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5 (1)
    Space: Above and Beyond (16)

    Easy.

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    Land of the Lost (8)
    Misfits [UK] (9)

    I’m voting for Misfits purely on my hatred of Land of the Lost.

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    UFO (5)
    Robin of Sherwood (12)

    I saw a few episodes of Robin of Sherwood. It seemed reasonably well done.

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (4)
    Out of the Unknown (13)

    No contest.

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    Battlestar Galactica [Reboot] (3)
    The Mighty Boosh (14)

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits (6)
    Friday the 13th: The Series (11)

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Slings and Arrows (7)
    Torchwood (10)

    Ok, I lied. I need a forehead cloth for this one. But I’m going with Torchwood. Ghosts notwithstanding, Slings and Arrows just doesn’t feel SFnal to me.

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)
    Lexx (15)

  11. @ Graydon
    “there’s a difference between postulated future knowledge (FTL, contra-gravity, collapsium…) to which a veneer of plausibility has been attached, and actual current knowledge that’s being contradicted, ignored, or quite possibly disdained.
    A lot of SF biology does that; we know an awful lot about how life works, but it doesn’t make it into SF.”

    Several things:
    1. In the particular instance, although extremely improbable, parthenogenesis is not completely implausible. That bacteria would have to overcome 3 or 4 hurdles, but it’s no worse than FTL, artificial gravity, etc, imo.

    2. In the general, I agree that knowledge and use of biology in SF is often not great, but then so also for physics. See FTL, meteor shields… So?

    3. Overall, if you restrict the genre of SF only to ideas, technology, developments that we now know are plausible, then you will have a pretty small and in some ways stunted genre. I mean you couldn’t even speculate about mining the asteroids because it’s not economically plausible! :-p

    Each person can parse the genre any way they want, but I agree with whoever said the other day that SF was mainly differentiated from standard fantasy by the premises that the study of natural laws and application of those studies had led to whatever handwaving the author does. And I’ll add that there is a general presumption that there are no active supernatural causes or effects involved in the ‘world’ described.

  12. Coreward Region – Round One

    1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5 (1)

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    Abstain

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    Abstain

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Abstain

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    Abstain

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits (6)

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Slings and Arrows (7)

    Forehead cloth, please!

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)

    A lot of brackets where I only know one of them.

  13. FILE 770 LIVE-ACTION TV TOURNAMENT AND BRACKETS

    Coreward Region – Round One

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    Misfits [UK] (9)

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    Robin of Sherwood (12)

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (4)

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    The Mighty Boosh (14)

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    Lexx (15)

  14. @ Kyra
    re: rules of thumb

    LOLIRL. I’m framing those for the *next* argu…uhm…discussion about what is real SF.

  15. 1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    Abstain

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    Abstain

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Abstain

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    Battlestar Galactica [Reboot]

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Abstain

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original]

  16. There are a few of these where I haven’t seen much of either. But I am voting in all of them, because I guessed what people would vote for.

    1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5 (1)
    Space: Above and Beyond (16)

    An easy one. I used to be a huge fan of B5.

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    Land of the Lost (8)
    Misfits [UK] (9)

    Watched Lost on Saturday mornings when I was young. Never seen the other.

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    UFO (5)
    Robin of Sherwood (12)

    More SFnal. I suppose Robin might have had fantasy elements, I don’t know.

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (4)
    Out of the Unknown (13)

    Never seen the latter, but doubt it’s beating DS9.

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    Battlestar Galactica [Reboot] (3)
    The Mighty Boosh (14)

    Lots of things here I’d put above either BSG, but this thing I’ve never heard of isn’t one of them.

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits (6)
    Friday the 13th: The Series (11)

    One is a classic, the other…isn’t.

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Slings and Arrows (7)
    Torchwood (10)

    Torchwood had its problems but I’m willing to vote for it.

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)
    Lexx (15)

    See comment to #6.

  17. Lis

    There’s a very big difference between something we know to be completely impossible; ie creationism and all its works, and something like FTL travel via wormholes which has a fair number of very, very serious discussions between well respected physicists who do not characterise it as innately impossible.

    And there is the difference; all competent life science people know that human parthogenesis is impossible, just as all competent life science people know that the genetics in Seveneves is impossible.

    We are being asked to sign up to that impossibility because of the politics pertaining to a rather small percentage of the global population, which admittedly has a great deal of military power, even though we know it’s nonsense. And I decline to sign up to the nonsense because the truth matters; scientists have been booted out because they failed to toe the line, and no doubt they will continue to be booted out; I can’t prevent it but I can talk about it happening, and I can continue to support those people who do continue to behave as scientists instead of getting a nice well paid job somewhere explaining that creationism really has all the answers…

  18. 1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5

    I will always vote for Babylon 5 over any other option.

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    Land of the Lost

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    Robin of Sherwood

    My favorite adaptation of Robin Hood. I also might have had a thing for Judi Trott.

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    The Mighty Boosh

    I will always vote against the new Battlestar Galactica.

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    Friday the 13th: The Series

    I might be voting for this because I had a crush on Robey.

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Torchwood

    I can’t vote against Captain Jack at this point.

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original]

  19. Coreward Region – Round One

    1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5 (1)

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    Misfits [UK] (9)

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    Robin of Sherwood (12)

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (4)

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    The Mighty Boosh (14)

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits (6)

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Torchwood (10)

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)

  20. And Yipes! I managed to stick my very earnest comments into

    The Brackets

    Apologies to all, I’ll try to do better. About my only excuse is that nobody provided me with a chilled face cloth before I responded, but, let’s face it, a large Cosmopolitan would have been an improvement…

  21. Meredith: Well, I haven’t read the book so I can’t say whether it would feel true-to-the-UK, but even if it didn’t I don’t see why that would matter. Americans are allowed to write American-centric fiction just the same as people from every other culture are allowed to write about their own.

    A New Mother, Eugene Fisher, Asimov’s, Apr/May 2015

    (This is a bit spoilerish, but it’s not a mystery or suspense story so it’s not giving a lot away)
    The story postulates a virus making women able to self-reproduce; the virus is an STD which can be carried by both males and females, hence its widespread presence in the population is assured to eventuate. The story details the reactions to this, including:
    – insistence that the self-reproducing women are not “real” mothers
    – insistence that the clone children are not “real” people
    – proposals to isolate infected people from the rest of the population (or eliminate those people entirely)
    – proposals for sterilization of infected women and female children
    – and of course, a lot of the men freak out at the realization that their gender will, if not disappear, become a distinct minority, lose power, and become unable to father children of their own

    I can’t see the UK (or any other country) being especially exempt from any of these reactions should such a virus such as the one described actually occur.

  22. Forehead Cloths! Getcher fine, organic forehead cloths here! And you can dust your TV with them, too!

  23. Coreward Region – Round One

    1. Babylon 5
    2. abstain
    3. UFO
    4. Star Trek: Deep Space 9
    5. Battlestar Galactica [Reboot]
    6. abstain
    7. abstain
    8. The Twilight Zone [Original]

  24. 5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    Battlestar Galactica [Reboot] (3)

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits (6)

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Torchwood (10)

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)

  25. 1. Babylon 5
    2. Didn’t care for either; abstain
    3. Robin of Sherwood
    4. Star Trek: DS9
    5. abstain
    6. Outer Limits
    7. Torchwood, duh
    8. Twilight Zone (OG)

    Well, at least this round was easy.

  26. I’m gonna assume the voting rules are the same as Kyra’s – Choose, abstain or tie.

    *****************
    FILE 770 LIVE-ACTION TV TOURNAMENT AND BRACKETS

    Coreward Region – Round One

    1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5 (1)
    Space: Above and Beyond (16)

    Abstain

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    Land of the Lost (8)
    Misfits [UK] (9)

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    UFO (5)
    Robin of Sherwood (12)

    Abstain

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (4)
    Out of the Unknown (13)

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    Battlestar Galactica [Reboot] (3)
    The Mighty Boosh (14)

    Abstain

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits (6)
    Friday the 13th: The Series (11)

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Slings and Arrows (7)
    Torchwood (10)

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)
    Lexx (15)

  27. 1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5 (1)
    Space: Above and Beyond (16)

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    Land of the Lost (8)
    Misfits [UK] (9)

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    UFO (5)
    Robin of Sherwood (12)

    There will always be at least one 12 seed that upsets a 5. And let us make it this one.

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (4)
    Out of the Unknown (13)

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    Battlestar Galactica [Reboot] (3)
    The Mighty Boosh (14)

    As it happens, I am not a big fan of the BG reboot, but I was really not taken with The Mighty Boosh.

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits (6)
    Friday the 13th: The Series (11)

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Slings and Arrows (7)
    Torchwood (10)

    Such a lovely show, Slings and Arrows. I also like Torchwood, but we’re talking Sling and Arrows here. Slings and Arrows.

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)
    Lexx (15)

  28. I don’t see the harm in allowing someone to vote a tie for a match even though it has no effect on the outcome, so voting for a tie is fine.

  29. @junego — 1. In the particular instance, although extremely improbable, parthenogenesis is not completely implausible. That bacteria would have to overcome 3 or 4 hurdles, but it’s no worse than FTL, artificial gravity, etc, imo.

    Pathogenesis in placentals _by accident_ would un-suspend my disbelief pretty hard, much as soft-shelled archosaur eggs (or ovoviviparous archosaurs) because there’s a developmental dependency involved. (Cell differentiation and placental formation in the placental mammal case, calcium uptake and bone formation in the archosaur case). Then we get the problem of how a bacterium is managing to modify genes in a eukaryotic cell. That’s jumping a very high wall, plausibility-wise. (So is universal plague, a trope I could well do without.)

    So I can imagine a story that pulls this off, but it would have to work very hard.

    There are some ways in existing theory to get FTL or apparent FTL; we don’t know how to test those predictions, but “relatively says we can’t have FTL” is too strong. Similarly, while we know the quantum stuff is correct to many decimal places in its scale and general relativity certainly tests out (if not to as many decimal places) we also know there are things the Standard Model doesn’t explain. They’re just the sort of odd cosmological things that you could stick an excuse for FTL in if you want.

    The existing SFnal furniture generally doesn’t do that, granted, but I’d argue there’s more room for not-definitively-known-to-be-impossible FTL than there is for parthenogenetic placentals.

  30. Coreward Region – Round One

    1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5 (1)

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    Abstain

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    Abstain

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (4)

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    Abstain – if only I could lop a season (or two) off BSG, I’d vote for it, but alas as an entire show, no.

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits (6)

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Torchwood (10)

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)
    Lexx (15) [I like you Lexx, but not more than Twilight Zone]

  31. Cally:

    Forehead Cloths! Getcher fine, organic forehead cloths here! And you can dust your TV with them, too!

    Send a bale to headquarters! I’m passing out….

  32. 1. WAR AND PEACE
    Space: Above and Beyond (16)

    Urgh. Both worthy, and gloriously uneven. But I gotta give a compassionate vote here to S:AAB. The Angriest Angel was an ep that stayed with me for a looooong time

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (4)

    IM(not so)HO, the best Star Trek by far.

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    Battlestar Galactica [Reboot] (3)

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)

    Never, ever, understood Lexx.

  33. (Sorry, got this in the wrong Scroll. At least I was able to delete it in time.)

    No forehead cloths as yet! Thank you!

    1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    Land of the Lost (I know it’s cheesy as all get-out. [mumbledy] age me still loved it.)

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN

    Abstain.

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (Long story and damned good story.)

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    Battlestar Galactica [Reboot] (In this case, the tragedy was the last episode, I guess–although I thought parts of it were quite poignant–but man, what came before was good.)

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits (This seems like a real mismatch to me.)

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Abstain.

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original]

  34. @ JJ

    re: A New Mother

    What you said.

    I was giving the story the side-eye at the beginning because I thought it was going down a preachy road, then the momentum picked up and the more universal problems/questions came to the fore. To your list I’d add the question of ethical journalism and, structurally, the way the plot went from the particulars of this woman’s life to this huge, looming disaster (that the story made no attempt to resolve – just threw it up there and said “what if?”) and then smashing back down to the particular of how it would effect this woman’s life.

    It gave me tingles ;^}

  35. それがヒッタイトを話すのですか?

    The parthenogenesis story reminded me almost entirely of a story Anne McCaffrey wrote in the 70’s about what we now call IVF and surrogacy. Exact same rhetoric against the protagonists about incest (the surrogate was the, shock, horror, twin sister of the dad), other improper sex (sis was a virgin), destruction of the normal family, worry if the children would have souls, fulminations of religious and political leaders, nosey reporters, etc. etc. Other than the fact that the current story had parthenogenesis and lesbians, it was pretty much the same. So I’m not super-impressed with a story that so closely reminds me of something from 40 years ago — which is before the religious right got so het up about women’s reproductive health.

  36. 1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5 (1)

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    UFO (5)

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (4)

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits (6)

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Slings and Arrows (7)

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)

  37. Mike Glyer: Send a bale to headquarters! I’m passing out…

    I like the idea of a “File770 HQ”… the hive to which the scum and villainy bees swarm.

  38. @Stevie —

    There’s a very big difference between something we know to be
    completely impossible; ie creationism and all its works, and something like FTL travel via wormholes which has a fair number of very, very serious discussions between well respected physicists who do not characterise it as innately impossible.

    Nothing in the story asks us to accept creationism, even for the sake of the story. Creationism isn’t even mentioned in it. There are a few characters who presumably do believe in creationism, but they’re the bad guys.

    And there is the difference; all competent life science people know that human parthogenesis is impossible, just as all competent life science people know that the genetics in Seveneves is impossible.

    Haven’t read Seveneves; don’t plan to. Stephenson is far too annoying and full of himself.

    Human parthenogenesis is impossible–but the story doesn’t posit it just randomly happening. It does posit it happening by means that are improbable in the extreme–just like all the most popular forms of FTL, routinely accepted and for which you are happily making excuses.

    Any sf story gets its one impossibility, and from there it depends on what’s done with it.

    We are being asked to sign up to that impossibility because of the politics pertaining to a rather small percentage of the global population, which admittedly has a great deal of military power, even though we know it’s
    nonsense.

    It’s. A. Freaking. Novella. A story. A work of fiction, which may or may not work for you, but which in any case has exactly zero military, political, or economic power to attempt to coerce you to like it or pretend to like it.

    And I decline to sign up to the nonsense because the truth matters; scientists have been booted out because they failed to toe the line, and no doubt they will continue to be booted out; I can’t prevent it but I can talk about it happening, and I can continue to support those people who do continue to behave as scientists instead of getting a nice well paid job somewhere explaining that creationism really has all the answers…

    Name a single incident of a a scientist at a real college or university (not Liberty University and other religious colleges of its ilk) losing their position over creationism. With links, please, because I’m not buying unsourced anecdotes.

    Oh, and in case anyone thinks I think this story is wonderful and perfect, my review of “The New Mother” is at the link.

    I’m just not buying Stevie’s bizarre idea that being a story written by an American, set in America, and reflecting some real political and cultural issues in America, makes it a vicious attempt at cultural imperialism and completely lacking in any literary merit.

  39. Coreward Region – Round One

    1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5 (1)
    Space: Above and Beyond (16)

    And I weep, because I loved Space:Above and Beyond, but it just wasn’t in Babylon 5’s class.

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    Land of the Lost (8)
    Misfits [UK] (9)

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    UFO (5)
    Robin of Sherwood (12)

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (4)
    Out of the Unknown (13)

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    Battlestar Galactica [Reboot] (3)
    The Mighty Boosh (14)

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits (6)
    Friday the 13th: The Series (11)

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Slings and Arrows (7)
    Torchwood (10)
    Abstain

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)
    Lexx (15)

  40. Coreward Region – Round One

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Slings and Arrows (7)

  41. Junego

    Trust me on this one; bacteria are incapable of generating that kind of a change in an organism, no matter how many lucky breaks it gets against its hosts, and bacteria do tend to keep a clear view on what’s in it for the bacteria, which generally tends to be steady as she goes.

    Perhaps an example might help; my lungs are colonised by a hyper mutating multi resistant strain of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, probably the most ubiquitous organism on the planet. Every so often it forgets to behave like a competent pathogen should, and tries the microbiological equivalent of invading Poland, and thus killing me in the process. So far we have persuaded it to see the error of its ways, and I continue to walk the high wire, but none of its hypermutations go anywhere remotely related to its’ host reproduction. Why should it? It’s immortal; once the colony becomes mucoid it’s a single entity, and it behaves like a single immortal entity.

    In other words, there’s nothing in it for them; the idea that a bacterial colony would hang around incurring developmental costs for no benefit is only believable if you believe there is some higher purpose, in other words, Creationism. Bacteria don’t believe in Creationism; after all, they’ve already got immortality so there nothing in it for them..

  42. 1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5 (1)

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    Land of the Lost (8)

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (4)

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    Battlestar Galactica [Reboot] (3)

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    Friday the 13th: The Series (11)

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)

  43. Meredith

    This is so, and I should have been more tactful. Part of the problem is that I know a great deal about infection, at the sharp end, as it were; I lost count of my hospital admissions a lot of years ago.

    Another large chunk is that my daughter is a hospital doctor, dealing with very ill people; you would be surprised at the number of people -usually relatives- who will reel off fiction stories and newspaper articles as if they were true; stick a Science in there and it might as well be the secular equivalent of the Bible…

  44. Stevie: Trust me on this one; bacteria are incapable of generating that kind of a change in an organism, no matter how many lucky breaks it gets against its hosts, and bacteria do tend to keep a clear view on what’s in it for the bacteria, which generally tends to be steady as she goes.

    Given that you clearly feel that stories are invalid unless they contain real science, I can’t imagine why you would read any science fiction at all. And given your insistence on verisimilitude with real life, fantasy — like Pratchett — would be Right Out.

  45. Coreward Region – Round One

    1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5 (1)

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    pass

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    Robin of Sherwood (12)

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    pass Haven’t ST’s appointment

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    Battlestar Galactica [Reboot] (3)
    The Mighty Boosh (14)

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits (6)
    assuming the original series

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    pass

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)

  46. @ Graydon
    “The existing SFnal furniture generally doesn’t do that, granted, but I’d argue there’s more room for not-definitively-known-to-be-impossible FTL than there is for parthenogenetic placentals.”

    You know, I’m neither a physicist nor a biologist, but I’d almost bet the opposite is true. Biology is more flexible in some respects than physics. Regardless…

    From what I do know of physics, FTL is really, really, really unlikely. From what I know of biology, mammal parthenogenesis is really, really, really unlikely. I don’t privilege one set of handwaves over the other set.

  47. For a minute there when I saw the seeding numbers I thought this was the results and I’d missed the round entirely!

    Coreward Region – Round One

    1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5 (1)
    Space: Above and Beyond (16)

    2. THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
    abstain

    3. THE BATTLES OF BRITAIN
    UFO (5)
    Robin of Sherwood (12)

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (4)
    Out of the Unknown (13)

    5. TOGETHER THEY MAKE TRAGICOMEDY
    abstain

    6. NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE
    The Outer Limits (6)
    Friday the 13th: The Series (11)

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    OK, this is embarrassing, but: abstain. Although I’ve heard great things about both series, I haven’t actually watched a single episode of either.

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)
    Lexx (15)

  48. 1. WAR AND PEACE
    Babylon 5 (1)

    4. LONG STORY / SHORT
    Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (4)

    7. THE IMMORTAL BARD VS. THE IMMORTAL
    Slings and Arrows (7)

    8. GLOAMING VS. GIGASHADOW
    The Twilight Zone [Original] (2)

    I have a soft spot for Lexx, but not that soft.

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