Pixel Scroll 9/11/17 Can He Bake A Pixel Pie, Charming Mikey?

(1) AFTER THE STORM. Yahoo! Lifestyle has collected tweets with photos of hurricane damage at DisneyWorld – and while there is some, it’s not too heavy.

(2) BABYSITTING ORION. Let NPR tell you what it’s like “Riding Out Irma On Florida’s Space Coast — And Keeping An Eye On The Spacecraft”.

Every time a major storm hits the Space Coast, the ride-out crew members pack their toothbrushes and nonperishable food and settle in to spend the duration of the storm inside the Launch Control Center. Helms is riding out his second hurricane at the center, along with firefighters, security officers, building experts and contractors responsible for the hardware itself.

The most sensitive equipment is secured in climate-controlled spaces. The challenge is to make sure that no matter what happens outside, nothing changes inside.

“Humidity and temperature — those are the big two that affect the spacecraft,” Helms says. For most people, if you rode out a hurricane and just lost air conditioning for a few days, it’d be a victory. For the Space Center, that’s the worst-case scenario, Helms says.

(3) TOP COMICS ARTISTS SINCE 1992. SfFy presents, in no order, “The 25 greatest comic book artists from the last 25 years”.

To celebrate the last 25 years in comics, we’re looking back at the greatest comic book artists from the last quarter-century. Before anyone cries outrage on why George Perez or Walt Simonson are not on this list, please remember that we’re just talking about the last 25 years, and the legendary works we are highlighting only go back to 1992. Our criteria is based on a balance of unique creativity, distinct and influential style, longevity, and impact, as opposed to quantity or how big the profile was of said project(s). Their interior artwork had to be their biggest contribution (even though their cover art may be depicted below) during this era, and it must inspire, evoke emotion and/or transport the reader to a far off vivid world and keep the reader dreaming when they close the book. Now, without further ado…

1. Mike Allred

Notable works: Madman, Red Rocket, The Atomics, Sandman, X-Force/X-Statix, Silver Surfer, Wednesday Comics, iZOMBIE, Fantastic Four, Batman ’66

(4) CROWDSOURCED SCHEDULE. James Davis Nicoll calls on you to help decide “What 12 Dianne Wynne Jones books should I review in 2018?”

This is a work in progress. Open to suggestions. In 2015 and 2016, I devoted Fridays to Norton and Lee, respectively. That led to a certain level of fatigue towards the end of the projects. In 2017, I focused on authors from Waterloo Region, which side-stepped the fatigue issue at the cost of causing problems with the gender ratio of authors reviewed1. In 2018, my idea is to

Focus on four primary authors, three women and one man: Dianna Wynne Jones, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Carrie Vaughn. A rotating roster avoids fatigue and with women outnumbering men three to one, I shouldn’t have the same problem maintaining my desired women to men ratio.

(5) EIGHTIES REBOOT. According to Deadline, “‘The Greatest American Hero’ Reboot With Female Lead Gets Big ABC Commitment”.

A re-imagining of Steven J. Cannell’s 1981 cult classic The Greatest American Hero is flying back to development with a new creative team, a big new commitment and a big twist.

ABC has given a put pilot commitment to the half-hour single-camera project. In it, the unlikely (super)hero at the center — Ralph Hinkley (played by William Katt) in the original series — is Meera, an Indian-American woman. The Greatest American Hero comes from Fresh Off  the Boat writer-producer Rachna Fruchbom and Nahnatchka Khan’s Fierce Baby. 20th Century Fox TV, where Fierce Baby is based and Fruchbom recently signed an overall deal, will co-produce with ABC Studios.

(6) MANIC MONDAY. And another manic Chuck Wendig / John Scalzi thread.

(7) DISCOVERY CREW. In a Cnet video, cast members of the upcoming series discuss their characters and how they each fit into the Trek universe

(8) MONSTERS FROM THE ID. How much can you say about Forbidden Planet before you’ve said it all? A lot! In “Creating Our Own Final Frontier: Forbidden Planet”, Centauri Dreams’ guest blogger, Larry Klaes, discusses the film in great detail (19,383 words). Greg Hullender sent the link with a comment explaining, “Centauri Dreams is usually about science, not SF, so this is a little unusual for them, but Klaes does a pretty good job of tying the movie to our modern understanding of reality.”

While the makers of FP no doubt knew better than to outright criticize their government and country’s agenda against its Cold War adversaries, they did find in Dr. Morbius (just say his name out loud for the proper effect) a symbol for representing their fears of a field and its practitioners who were increasingly being seen as amoral if not directly malevolent as well as appointing themselves as the single-point arbiters of what was best for the rest of humanity. This is exactly what Morbius did with the incredibly powerful and deadly Krell technology he encountered and subsequently obsessed upon as he cut himself off from the rest of his species over the next twenty years, the very same technology that had wiped out an entire civilization in one swift blow many centuries before. The captain of the C-57D was not just following protocol when he attempted to radio home for further orders once he began to realize the full extent of what he was dealing with on Altair 4: Adams was hoping to get a wider consensus on the alien power he had come upon beyond the words and actions of a single self-appointed authority figure in the guise of the scientist Morbius.


  • September 11, 1976 Ark II made its television premiere.


If you know Wonder Woman, you’ll laugh at today’s Off the Mark.

(11) SATISFIED CUSTOMER. Code Blue. Code Blue…..

(12) THEATER IN THE GROUND. Unbound Productions presents Wicked Lit 2017 between September 29-November 11:

Wicked Lit has been staged at Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery in Altadena where audiences walk through the hallways of the mausoleum and among the headstones in the cemetery as our plays are staged all around.

Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery, 2300 N. Marengo Ave. Altadena.

(13) TRANSLATION: WHY HE THINKS YOU SHOULD BUY HIS BOOK. At Slate, Lawrence Krauss answers the rhetorical question: “Why Science-Fiction Writers Couldn’t Imagine the Internet”.

What I find most remarkable of all is that the imagination of nature far exceeds that of human imagination. If you had locked a group of theoretical physicists in a room 50 years ago and asked them to predict what we now know about the universe, they would have missed almost all the key discoveries we have made since, from the discovery of dark energy and dark matter to the ability to detect gravitational waves. That is because we need the guidance of experiment to move forward in science. How we hope nature will behave or how we think it should behave is irrelevant. Experiment determines what we must build our theories on, not a priori prejudice about elegance or beauty, or even what seems like common sense. Quantum mechanics defies common sense—so much so that Einstein never really accepted it. But as experiments today, from entanglement to quantum teleportation, demonstrate, quantum mechanics does describe the universe at fundamental scales.

That’s why science fiction—though it can inspire human imagination, as Stephen Hawking said in the preface of my book The Physics of Star Trek—is fundamentally limited. It is based on human imagination and past experience. That is a great thing. But it doesn’t mean the science-fiction future will resemble our own.

(14) JUST PUCKER UP AND BLOW. “Dr. Rufus Henry Gilbert’s Plan for an NYC Transit System Powered By Air”The Daily Beast remembers.

In fact, he was beat over a century and a half ago by a former Civil War surgeon named Dr. Rufus Henry Gilbert who came up with the idea for a public transportation system for New York City that would have established an elevated pneumatic tube system in place of the underground subway that New Yorkers love to hate today.

Gilbert may have seemed like an unlikely candidate to invent such an innovative solution for New York City’s transportation woes, but his idea was rooted in his original profession.

It all started before the Civil War when the doctor went on a tour of Europe following the death of his wife. There, a grieving Gilbert was gripped by the terrible conditions in the slums, and he became convinced that the overcrowded and dirty environment was to blame for the high rates of disease and death among the poor. If only they could escape the cramped conditions of the inner city and live out in the fresh air, he thought, all their health problems would be solved….

His technological ideas were impressive and cutting-edge for his day—and even for our day—but he also conceived of a look for the system that was downright beautiful. Elaborate, Gothic metal arches would top the streets of New York, extending out of sleek columns secured to the sidewalk at regular intervals. Plenty of scrolls, flourishes, and metal detailing decorated each arch, and they were all capped by two large tubes that would serve as the conduit for passengers to get around the city.

(15) KEEPING THE CAN’T IN REPLICANT. How the actor prepared — “Blade Runner 2049: Jared Leto made himself ‘partially blind’ for role”

Preparing for Blade Runner 2049, Leto went full method actor again, apparently partially blinding himself by wearing sight-limiting contact lenses.

“He entered the room, and he could not see at all,” director Denis Villeneuve told the SWJ magazine in a profile piece about Leto.

“He was walking with an assistant, very slowly. It was like seeing Jesus walking into a temple. Everybody became super silent, and there was a kind of sacred moment. Everyone was in awe. It was so beautiful and powerful — I was moved to tears. And that was just a camera test!”

(16) THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK. Thanks to people who have sent me links to Jon Del Arroz, or to posts reacting to Jon Del Arroz.

(17) THIS SPACE UNINTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK. Camestros Felapton, in “Just One Last Note on ex-Kerfuffles”, says the dog park of the internet has allowed its domain to expire.

As I already have one whateverhappenedtoo post up about those unhappy hounds of Hugo hostility, I’ll leave one more snippet: the domain name ownership of “sadpuppies4.org” has expired. The website that hosted the fourth iteration of distempered doggedness…

(18) TIPPING POINT? The BBC’s report “Offshore wind power cheaper than new nuclear” may be specific to the UK, but might also be a signpost to changes elsewhere.

Energy from offshore wind in the UK will be cheaper than electricity from new nuclear power for the first time.

The cost of subsidies for new offshore wind farms has halved since the last 2015 auction for clean energy projects

Two firms said they were willing to build offshore wind farms for a guaranteed price of £57.50 per megawatt hour for 2022-23.

This compares with the new Hinkley Point C nuclear plant securing subsidies of £92.50 per megawatt hour.

(19) MISSION ENDS FRIDAY. Cassini: Saturn probe to set up death plunge: “Cassini: Saturn probe turns towards its death plunge”.

The international Cassini spacecraft at Saturn has executed the course correction that will send it to destruction at the end of the week.

The probe flew within 120,000km of the giant moon Titan on Monday – an encounter that bent its trajectory just enough to put it on a collision path with the ringed planet.

Nothing can now stop the death plunge in Saturn’s atmosphere on Friday.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Alan Baumler, Chip Hitchcock, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]

85 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/11/17 Can He Bake A Pixel Pie, Charming Mikey?

  1. Foist!

    Although if you’re going to go, ‘death plunge into Saturn’ is a heck of a way to go.

  2. 4) Wow. Four women. I’m amazed they had that many. Of course in lists like this I’m always a little bit surprised when they don’t just list Ursula K. LeGuin and leave it at that. I’m still thinking I could add at least four women to that list, though.

    5) I remember my mother, who worked in special education, loved Greatest American Hero- she said it was the first show to feature a dyslexic superhero. I’m thinking that with a larger general awareness of superheroes, this could be even more successful. Assuming the writing’s good.

    9) As a kid, I thought Ark II was awesome. It had a Landmaster-lookalike, a jetpack, and a woman lead who I had a mild crush on. I wish it had lasted longer. Hell, I wish they would do a remake.


    This item looks as though it’s incomplete. It just trails

  4. (13) TRANSLATION: WHY HE THINKS YOU SHOULD BUY HIS BOOK. Yet nowhere in mainstream science fiction was the internet imagined… nowhere did crew members get information from ethereal machines whose locations and identities were otherwise unknown.

    Um, hello? The Ophiuchi Hotline, 1977?

  5. JJ: This item looks as though it’s incomplete. It just trails

    The best I can do is add an ellipsis. If I complete the phrase, then it’ll still be lacking the referenced graphic. Unless I add that too, and that’s almost the entire post.

  6. 3) Crying outrage that Minna Sundberg isn’t on the list.

    15) Acting seems to be on the way out, stupid stunts the way to go.

  7. (19) Cassisi sure is going for the most Viking of Viking funerals, outdoing even the Vikings. That will show those Viking women (see 12@The Map Is Not The Epic Fantasy Just As The Pixel Is Not The Scroll)!


    I can’t actually tell what he’s getting at here but it seems to me that a comprehensive eligibility list that doesn’t make value judgements is a genuinely helpful thing.


    I endorse this item. (Non-item?)


    Puts me in mind of this xkcd.

  9. Mark: I can’t actually tell what he’s getting at here but it seems to me that a comprehensive eligibility list that doesn’t make value judgements is a genuinely helpful thing.

    I think he was startled to find his work on a list associated with a Hugo Award Category, and then he found it highly amusing. I’m glad that I could make his day (I’ve actually made several authors’ days, based on the Tweets I’ve seen). 😀

  10. 13) The Shockwave Rider? (Since the major other ones seem to have been listed already.)

    Come to think of it, ISTR that in one of the original “Buck Rogers” stories, the evil Airlords of Han spend their leisure time doing something that looks suspiciously like online shopping….

    And of course Ralph 124C41+ was pretty well networked-up.

  11. I haven’t seen this mentioned here yet, apologies if it’s a repost: Hugo Finalist Semiprozine, The Book Smugglers, are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to “level up”, funding their 2018 season of stories plus improvements to the website, more commissioned articles and increased pay for contributors.

    I don’t read a lot of short fiction but I’ve enjoyed almost all the stories I’ve read of theirs – the most recent being Avi Cantor has Six Months to Live. They publish great non-fiction too, and everything comes with an emphasis on diversity and representation and in a mix of YA and “OA” styles. Lots of nice electronic and dead tree things in the rewards if you enjoy or want to sample their work.

  12. Krauss clearly needs to read more science fiction if he thinks that the Internet was never predicted, anywhere. In a very weird way (because everything in that movie is weird, even Zardoz has an Internet of sorts.

  13. (13) I’m also a bit questioning about some of his data points. As far as I know, dark matter and dark energy haven’t been discovered yet. There is a lot of theoretical reasoning on its properties, and it seems to explain some things about our observations, but there haven’t been any experiments that are built on the presence of dark matter or dark energy. On the other hand, the gravity waves were first theorised 100 years ago or so, and instruments to actually try to detect them (faulty ones, granted) were starting to be built 50 years ago.

    Futurology (either in itself or via science fiction) is still fraught with errors and both too little and too much imagination, but I think his examples were quite poorly chosen.




    Not a bad list. Lately I’ve been keeping an eye out for Babs Tarr and Marguerite Sauvage, neither of whom made the list but I like their work. 🙂


    Fascinating. It’s worth clicking through to some of the linked articles, too, just for the pictures.


    Yes, it is so very brave, noble and borderline religious experience to see someone fake disability. Um. What.


    I fully support this blankness. Annoying so-and-so.


    Huh. Almost a shame. Once they started trying doing something positive and separate from awards it all rather petered out.


    Perhaps with more offshore farms I won’t get quite so many leaflets from NIMBY campaigners. That would be nice. (I quite like the way wind farms look, anyway, so they’re barking up the wrong tree trying to get me to vote for resisting them.)

  15. (18) They will just be replaced by NOMC [Not On My Coastline]. It’s happened before near Martha’s Vineyard. The people who can afford waterfront property don’t want the view “damaged”.

  16. (13) and people responding “but this book …” – I think some of you are responding more to the headline than the actual article.
    Krauss readily admits that “Various science-fiction writers imagined a world with some characteristics of the internet, to be sure.” and gives some examples. However, he also points out differences between those predictions and the internet we know today. Which may or may not be relevant, sure. He also points out that some of the closer predictions are from a time when “The nascent beginning of the internet was already emerging in the scientific community, at least.”

    (17) I never understood why they choose that domain name in the first place. If they intended to keep doing this year after year, an unnumbered domain would have been better, to avoid changing names and accumulating multiple domains over the years. If they intended the campaign to be short-lived, and never intended to keep the site running, a subsection on MGC would have made more sense.

    (18) Meanwhile, we’ve just reelected a government containing climate change deniers because Norwegians believe oil will be the world’s preferred energy source for the next several hundred years, and that our economy can be based on revenue from oil production forever. 🙁

  17. Johan P.–

    Krauss readily admits that “Various science-fiction writers imagined a world with some characteristics of the internet, to be sure.” and gives some examples. However, he also points out differences between those predictions and the internet we know today. Which may or may not be relevant, sure. He also points out that some of the closer predictions are from a time when “The nascent beginning of the internet was already emerging in the scientific community, at least.”

    Just a bunch of special pleading.

    “The Machine Stops” — November 1909
    “Ralph 124C41+” — April 1911
    “A Logic Named Joe” — March 1946
    “The Last Question” — November 1956

    And no, none of them looked exactly like the modern internet–because that’s not a thing that happens with predictions, ever. Speculation collides with real life and the never perfectly predictable ways people use things. I don’t think even the guys at DARPA in the 1970s say the internet of 2000s.

  18. @Lis Carey: Thank you for including “The Last Question” – that certainly had characters “get information from ethereal machines whose locations and identities were otherwise unknown.”

    P.S. “There are as yet insufficient Pixels for a meaningful Scroll”

  19. Johan P, from one citizen of a country whose top elected officials are climate-change deniers to another, condolences….

  20. 17: someone (probably reading Camestros) has snapped that domain name up. On 8/30 of this year, apparently. Name protection, registration protection.

    SF Prediction(TM): either Timothy, Beale or a veterinarian organization (those…!) are responsible.

  21. Retro Hugo question for the hivemind.

    Are they only possible for a year where no awards were made at all, or is it possible to have an award in a missed category when there were others.

    Particularly thinking about the 1957 Best Short Story non-Award, following a conversation with a friend about Omnilingual.

  22. 15 – Method acting is supposed to help an actor put in a better performance by understanding the character better, judging by past performances maybe he should try something else since that isn’t working. Eyes are very sensitive and I’m hoping in his quest to be the biggest idiot on set he didn’t actually do himself harm.

  23. NickPheas on September 12, 2017 at 6:11 am said:

    Retro Hugo question for the hivemind.

    Are they only possible for a year where no awards were made at all,…?

    Yes. If there were Hugo Awards presented in a given year, even if they didn’t cover current categories (and of course they wouldn’t have done so in many cases, like Fancast), you can’t present Retro-Hugos for that year.

  24. 3) Sigh… of course no Chris Bachalo. He never seems to make anybody’s list.

    13) Never trust an SF writer who thinks they can actually predict the future. And doubly never trust an actual futurist.

  25. Re SF not predicting the Internet (or lots of other stuff)… yeah, A LOGIC NAMED JOE, MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS (arguably for “Internet of things”), etc. But as has been pointed out, that’s not a meaningful criticism or even analysis… because part of the ‘fiction’ aspect is, well, it’s not prediction. Or you can selectively cite only works which did, or didn’t predict what you are looking at.

    Back when Stanley Schmidt was still editing Analog, he asked me a few times for a fact article, “What’s Next For The Internet?” One reason I never did it was because it was pretty clear (to me, at least) that much of what the Internet’s various Next Big Things over the previous five or ten years weren’t predicted, they happened. E.g. Google/search engines, YouTube, social media. Much of this was (IMHO) fueled by affordable available bandwidth (wired and wireless), smartphones, and a few other tech things. I don’t remember what my other “things nobody was predicting” mental starter list had, but it sure didn’t feel like data points on a projectable trajectory other than ‘we’ll be as surprised as you are.” I suppose I could have written a retrospective article on “why we can’t predict what’s next,” but what fun is that? Or perhaps a fuzzy enough-arrows-that-after-the-fact-some-will-hit-what-turn-out-to-be-targets piece, but there’s neither rigor nor savvy in that.
    Robert Heinlein wrote two predictive essays (both in one of his non-fic collections), the second like 20-25 years after the first, revisiting his hits and misses.

  26. And in A Logic Called Joe Murray Leinster also predicted that one the first things that people would use the technology for would be porn.

  27. Quick Meredith moment, and I apologize if this has been mentioned before, but Steven R. Boyett’s FATA MORGANA is 99 cents on the Kindle right now and it’s a solid, enjoyable read well worth that price.

  28. I once tried to make a list of actual SF predictions, where SF writers had genuinely, seriously, predicted something and got it right. It wasn’t a very long list. I can only remember two items on it, now:-

    – Some of Isaac Asimov’s characters (the journalist in the framing story of the I, Robot collection, IIRC, is one of them) take notes on a small gadget that can be kept hidden in a pocket and operated one-handed with “discreet knuckle motions”. It sounds awfully like a portable stenotyping device using a chorded keyboard, and the Microwriter device that came out in the 80s is a pretty good match. (I once actually saw someone using a Microwriter AgendA, in a metro station in Newcastle. Which, come to think of it, is one of the few places I’ve seen a Sinclair C5 in the wild, too. [It ended up in a pub, being used as a receptacle for pot plants, but never mind.] They love their obscure technologies, do Geordies.)
    – The very first episode of Doctor Who, back in 1963, predicted that Britain would go over to decimalized currency. (Decimalization didn’t actually happen until 1971, and the Royal Commission which recommended it wasn’t set up until a couple of years after that episode was broadcast.)

    Portable stenography and currency reform. It’s not much, but it’s something. (I didn’t count Arthur Clarke’s prediction of communications satellites, as that was in a technical article and not an SF story.)

  29. It’s been well discussed that many authors were encouraged, during the Campbell era, to treat their stories as “thought experiments”.

    This is the same methodology utilized by futurists whose job is often to advise corporations on the landscape 5, 10, 20, 50 years from now.

    I get the sense that when many people discuss this issue, the “model” for “prediction” is equivalent to accurately predicting tech/social change/politics/etc., exactly, down to the minutest detail: “On April 17th, 2024, Professor Farnsworth will perfect and demonstrate cold fusion…”

    That’s like accurately predicting that a hurricane will make landfall in Florida at this exact one mile stretch of beach at a specified time and date.

    That’s not the kind of prediction being engaged in. SF’s “predictions” are more akin to those spaghetti hurricane forecast tracks; the internet? no. the creation and utilization of computer technologies for a variety of tasks related to storing information and mathematical calculations? Certainly.

    SF was “in the cone of probability”. Any more detail and precision beyond that is luck and circumstance.

    But do note that the “cone” is sufficient for making broad, strategic decisions, though not necessarily refined tactical ones.

  30. Another Meredith Moment: Patricia McKillip’s collection Dreams of Distant Shores is $1.99 on Kindle.

  31. Meredith Moment:

    Dreams of a Distant Shore, a collection by Patricia A. McKillip, is on sale at Amazon for $1.99.

    15) *SIGH* Sadly, this is not the most irritating response to someone learning what it’s like to be disabled temporarily (a practice I have no problems with, particularly if it’s not due to accidental injury-I don’t wish for anyone to join my out group even if they have a parole date).

    Once, while in college, an organization was running a “Disability Awareness Day”, encouraging students to learn first hand what being blind, deaf, in a chair, on crutches, et cetera, was like.

    One of the organizers came into the room I was in, looking for prospective volunteers. His pitch to them was, “Anyone want to find out what being on crutches or being in a wheelchair is like? C’mon-it’ll be fun!”, after which everyone in the room but him looked over at me.

    I briefly imagined throwing him out the window, decided I didn’t look good in a jumpsuit and handcuffs and said, “Oh yeah, it’s a lot of fun” and he turned red and ran out of the room.

  32. 15) I’m with Meredith on this one. Hooray for the guy playing a blind guy super awesomely! This does not bode well for the new Blade Runner film – I am seeing a correlation between Jared Leto throwing himself into an oddball role and the movie stinking.

    16) I looked at JDA’s site. I don’t think any information would be lost if all the text was replaced by the phrase “LOOK AT ME!”.
    It would be a more pleasant experience, as far as I am concerned.

  33. @Greg Hullender: I seem to recall that there was a story that (accidentally) predicted that the first person on the moon would be named Armstrong!

  34. I didn’t read the article, but “Science Fiction Writers aren’t actually in the business of prediction” is a common thesis, as is the related “Science Fiction is usually really about the present, even when it’s set in the future.” So I’m not expecting any stunning revelations.

    That said, James Schmitz got pretty close to predicting the Web in 1962, I think, in A Tale of Two Clocks (aka Legacy). He even called it something similar, IIRC.

    And as far as predictions in general go, I still say that few have matched the 40-year accuracy shown in Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar. (Of course, that’s not necessarily saying a lot, but…)

  35. @ GSLamb

    (18) They will just be replaced by NOMC [Not On My Coastline]. It’s happened before near Martha’s Vineyard. The people who can afford waterfront property don’t want the view “damaged”.

    I am now imagining all those medieval Dutch burghers complaining about the windmills blocking their view of the sea that was threatening to engulf them…

  36. @Andrew Rocket Jockey by Philip St. John, a ’50s Winston juvenile that I reread a few months ago, has “Major Armstrong” landing on the moon in 1964 in the book’s first sentence.

  37. Re: predicting scientific advances in fiction

    There’s a broad, vast sliding scale of what counts as a prediction of future technology. At one end of the scale, I’m fond of citing how the medieval Welsh tale “Math vab Mathonwy” (4th branch of the Mabinogi) predicted the invention of the hospital incubator for premature births. (Baby is born vastly premature, is placed in “a small chest” to continue growing, crying is later heard from the chest and a fully-grown infant is retrieved.)

    One of the delightful things in the 1890 hollow-earth novel Mizora is the number of mechanical inventions that can be correlated with modern tech (after the fact) although their actual functioning within the novel itself was entirely hand-wavium. That is, although they are presented as technology rather than magic, the actual mechanisms are not explored beyond “hey, it’s electricity”. But there are clear and unambiguous descriptions of the functionality of wifi video conferencing and the roomba.

  38. Hampus:

    15) Acting seems to be on the way out, stupid stunts the way to go.

    Does that mean Im not the only one who doesnt think Leto is a good actor?
    So far I found the roles I saw (at least the ones I knew it was him) played differently, than usual – I give him that – but not really played well. Somehow I always have the feeling he wants to show off, rather than play a role.

  39. @Alan Ziebarth: I just reread “A Logic Named Joe” to check my recollections. There are a couple of racy offhand remarks, one of which is certainly not pornography (an anthropological film) and the other debatable (at most — against this is the implication that the central “Tanks” are controlled, rather than allowing randoms to post on them). Possibly you’re thinking of Clarke’s “I Remember Babylon“, in which the mechanism is a comsat rather than a network, and the explicit purpose is ~erotic?

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