Pixel Scroll 10/6/17 You Are In The Village. There Is A Rover There.

Your host is on the road to New Mexico where he will celebrate his mother’s 91st birthday.

So it’s up to you, Dear Reader, to add your wisdom in the comments, along with the links to what should have been in the Scroll.

(1) PKD MOVIES BY THE NUMBERS. Ross Johnson gives us “Every Philip K. Dick Film Adaptation, Ranked” at the B&N Sci-FI & Fantasy Blog. At the bottom of the barrel:

  1. Paycheck, directed by John Woo. Based on: The 1952 short story of the same name.

The early, pulpy Dick story focuses on a man named Jennings, an employee of a corporation with a unique non-disclosure agreement: after two years, they’ll erase his memory, but he’ll walk away with a hefty paycheck. He awakens to discover that, not only is he the target of a massive police chase, but he apparently decided to forego cash payment for his services and instead accept a pile of seemingly useless tchotchkes, though he has no memory of why. Spoiler for a really effective twist you might see coming anyway: ultimately, he learns the work involved a project to peer into the future, and the bag of seemingly useless knickknacks are what will keep him alive as he escapes his pursuers. That’s a decent enough hook for a short story, but can’t sustain a two-hour film. The movie adds in a love story and a lot of surprisingly leaden action, considering the director is John Woo. Affleck won a Razzie for his efforts, but presumably collected a nice paycheck.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jack Lint.]

69 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/6/17 You Are In The Village. There Is A Rover There.

  1. Johan P on October 7, 2017 at 7:32 am said:

    “You are in a snow-covered street, outside a tavern. A person is laying in the snow. You don’t know which pronoun to use for the person.”

    Speaking of pronouns, I’m currently re-reading Delany’s Stars in My Pockets Like Grains of Sand for the first time since the eighties, and was startled by the fact (which I’d completely forgotten) that it has a culture which uses “she” and “her” as the default pronouns. “Woman” is also a term used for “male, female, or neuter” (the only categories he mentions). The exact rules for all of this is a bit confusing, but doesn’t seem to be sex- or gender-related. Here’s a direct quote:

    In Arachnia as it is spoken on Nepiy, “she” is the pronoun for all sentient individuals of whatever species who have achieved the legal status of “woman”. The ancient, dimorphic form “he,” once used exclusively for the genderal indication of males (cf. the archaic term man, pl. men), for more than a hundred-twenty years now, has been reserved for the general sexual object of “she” during the period of excitation, regardless of the gender of the woman speaking or the gender of the woman referred to.

    Delany is more subtle with his use of the pronouns than Leckie; he seems to go out of his way to avoid calling attention to it, except very occasionally as a reminder that this culture is indeed quite different from our own. It’s actually an interesting contrast to Leckie’s approach.

    I can’t say which I prefer–they’re both excellent writers–but the comparison is actually making the book even more fun for me.

  2. I read “Stars in My Pocket” back in the 1980s also (and not since then unfortunately), and remember how “he” was used as a marker indicating the speaker’s interest in the person being spoken of. As I recall, after a while, it seemed completely natural that a character would (for example) be embarrassed to realize that her use of “he” revealed her feelings about another character. The “Family”/”Sygn” conflict was also in this book, too, right?

    P.S.

    “Your host is on the road to New Mexico where he will celebrate his mother’s 91st birthday.”

    “I post congratulations to my host’s mother and safe travels for my host”

  3. @Andrew: yes, Family/Sygn is correct.

    I have to say that the book is holding up surprisingly well, despite its age. In fact, I think I might be enjoying it more now than I did the first time. I remember it as being a lot more confusing than it seems to be now. Which may have something to do with how I’ve changed over the intervening years. And may have something to do with how the field has grown and become more sophisticated since the eighties. (Which I think it has.)

    I also think I’m going to have to go back and re-read the Ancillary books after this, to see how Leckie’s version compares. Although, honestly, I may just be looking for any ol’ excuse to re-read the Ancillary books. 😀

  4. @Xtifr:

    I have to say that the book is holding up surprisingly well, despite its age. In fact, I think I might be enjoying it more now than I did the first time. I remember it as being a lot more confusing than it seems to be now.

    Good to know. I remember several books/stories that I appreciated much more on reread; I’ll have to find my copy of “Stars.”

    P.S.

    “A witch offers you Turkish Delight. Do you accept it. Y/N?”

  5. You are in Space. No one can hear you scream here.

    > scream
    NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU!

  6. @ChrisHitchcock: Is the current problem in Puerto Rico with generation or with distribution? I would have guessed that the power plants are OK, but the lines are down.

    I think that adding battery/solar to the mix would improve future resilience, but if the problem is with distribution the quickest way of getting power back online may well be to concentrate on repairing the power lines.

  7. @Stewart: I would not assume the plants are still working — a lot of them are probably in more-accessible (e.g., lower-lying,flood-prone) areas — but I don’t know enough to be definite. The thing about solar-cells-plus-batteries (vs (e.g.) solar-thermal) is that it’s scalable; IIUC, a big battery is just a lot of small batteries. (Most big arrays are certainly just collections of panels; there are several in eastern Massachusetts like blow-ups of my roof.) This could mean that a complete grid may be desirable for balancing, but not as critical to getting close to what the island had before Maria.

  8. @ Camestros

    You are in an expanse of semi-open woodland. The ground is littered with what appear to be canine skulls. A strong independent chicken is pecking at a ripe tomato.

  9. You are in a Tulgey Wood. There is a Tumtum tree here.
    >stand in uffish thought
    You hear an alarming burbling approaching.

  10. ElizaBeth (Lace) Gilligan passed this morning in her sleep. She’d been struggling with cancer. Very sorry to pass along this news to those who knew her.

  11. all right, I’ll bite. Is Heather referring to something specific (and if so what), or is it pure surrealist invention?

  12. Chip Hitchcock and P.J. Evans, Our Wombat recently bought several acres of scrub woodland (it used to be a tobacco farm) that she’s calling Dogskull Patch because she’s found at least two dog skulls on it. Despite her fervent and repeated assertions that she will never, ever keep poultry of any kind, she and her husband have been adopted by a neighbor’s chicken (which survived a racoon attack which wiped out the rest of the flock). Said chicken has been dubbed Strong Independent Chicken in a forlorn attempt to not admit that S.I.C. now lives mostly in Our Wombat’s front yard. And Our Wombat’s husband has been feeding S.I.C. And has just built a coop for her….

    The tomato refers to Our Wombat’s Hugo-winning story, “The Tomato Thief”.

    Hope this clarifies….

    (Even though I don’t have a twitter account, I’ve been following hers because, frankly, it’s hilarious.)

  13. Pet peeve: new film adaptations of the same source material are not “remakes”. They are new adaptations. The 2014 Robocop film was a remake. The 2012 Total Recall was a new adaptation of the original source material that included nods to the fact that it wasn’t the first adaptation. See also: Solaris (2002), True Grit (2010), Conan the Barbarian (2011).

    (It’s a question of whether you’re using the original film as your starting point, or the material that film was adapting. If you’re using the film, it’s a remake, regardless of whether it was itself an adaptation. If you’re using the original material that was being adapted as your starting point, it’s a new adaptation, though obviously there will be similarities.)

  14. @ Chip Hitchcock

    all right, I’ll bite. Is Heather referring to something specific (and if so what), or is it pure surrealist invention?

    I believe that Our Wombat’s life could easily fit the description of “pure surrealist invention” on occasions. (Others have footnoted the reference adequately.)

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