Pixel Scroll 10/22/20 Yondo Lies The Pixel Of My Filer

(1) GET READY TO LAUNCH. At Nerd and Tie, “Interview: Eliana González Ugarte and Coral Alejandra Moore of Constelación Magazine” conducted by Andrea Johnson,

NOAF: I am so excited for Constelación Magazine! When and how, and why did you decide to make this magazine a reality?

Coral Alejandra Moore: The entire process of building Constelación from the idea to what you can see on the website and social media now was really organic. Eliana and I met at a virtual convention called Flights of Foundry in May of this year, and a few weeks later we met again at the Nebulas convention. We both happened to be a in a zoom room where John Picacio and Mary Robinette Kowal started talking about Spanish language speculative fiction because of Eliana’s experience with it, and that got the hamsters in my brain turning. A few emails, and Twitter DMs later, Eliana and I were already moving forward at warp speed, and we really haven’t stopped since then. Lots of people got quarantine puppies during the pandemic, but we got a quarantine magazine!

NOAF: What makes Constelación Magazine different from other speculative fiction magazines out there?

Eliana González Ugarte: We take stories in both English and Spanish! One of our goals is to publish more Latin American and Caribbean authors who may not be able to submit their stories directly in English, or they’d have to first pay someone to translate it for them in order to be able to submit. 

(2) NEXT REVELATION. Alastair Reynolds has delivered the latest book in the Revelation Space series. It will probably be called Inhibitor Phase: “I’ve delivered a book”.

… As may be apparent to those familiar with my work, the book takes place in the Revelation Space universe and is largely set in the years after ABSOLUTION GAP, my 2003 novel. 

It’s not intended as a sequel to that book, but merely another entry in the mosaic of books and stories which illuminate a larger future history. That said, it does have connective tissue with some of the other novels. although I’ve scrupled as carefully as I can to make the book function as a standalone title, a single book which tells a complete tale in its own right and can be read as “just” an isolated story.

.. What happens in the book? I’m not going to say – just yet. I can state that some of the influences that have fed into the book include a film by Ingmar Bergman, a song by Scott Walker (in fact more than one), and the closing track of a Muse album.

(3) HEINLEIN STANDING DOWN. “‘Starship Troopers’ is off the Marine commandant’s reading list, but ‘White Donkey’ by Terminal Lance is in”. Would you like to know more? Task & Purpose has the story.

The Marine Corps commandant’s reading list saw some big changes this week, with the sci-fi military classic Starship Troopers getting the boot as newer works of fiction like The White Donkey took a place on the shelf.

The change came on Tuesday when Marine Commandant Gen. David Berger released the new reading list, which includes 46 books across a range of topics and genres….

(4) AFTERLIFE POSTPONED. Yahoo! Life reports ”End of the world delays Ghostbusters: Afterlife to June 2021″.

Perhaps sensing that the minds of the moviegoing public—as much as concepts like “moviegoing” and “public” exist during the COVID-19 pandemic—were otherwise occupied with images far more horrifying than a giant SlorSony announced this afternoon that the release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife has been pushed to June 11, 2021. For those keeping score at home, that’ll put the Jason Reitman-directed sequel into theaters 37 years after the original Ghostbusters, four months after its first revised release date, and approximately two-and-a-half years after self-proclaimed “first Ghostbusters fan” Reitman stuck his foot in his mouth upon announcing that his new addition to the comedy franchise was “for all the other fans.” But then again, what’s waiting 16 additional weeks in the midst of 40 years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes, and all of the other stuff that Dan Aykroyd might attribute to the difficulties of getting a third film set in the continuity of the first two Ghostbusters movies in front of people?

(5) A FLASH FROM FIFTY-EIGHT. Fanac.org has added 17 photos from the late Karen Anderson’s collection (thanks to Astrid Bear) to the Solacon (1958 Worldcon) album. These include half a dozen photos from “Alice in Thrillingwonderland”  which was performed at the con.

In issue #795 of Karen’s fanzine Zed, you can read the script for the play starting on page 7. So now you can read the script, see the pix and imagine yourself there. There are also some wonderful masquerade photos and some individual photos as well. Thanks to Astrid for letting us put them up.

(6) SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MAMMAL. “It’s a Wild City! Funny Wildlife PSAs Appear in NYC”Untapped New York knows where they came from.

… Hynes got his start writing for Untapped New York and turned his animal-focused column into Wild City, which was released earlier this year. It’s an illustrated exploration that highlights everything from the return of the humpback whale to the pizza rat…. 

The illustrator of the animals on the posters is Kath Nash, who also illustrated Wild City. Each of the PSAs have more highlights about each creature. The Mandarin Duck one says “Remember this little guy? Used to be around all the time! Loved to swim in Central Park and have his picture taken. But now he’s just gone! We will always love you, Gucci duck. Please come home soon! ENJOY YOUR LOCAL WILDLIFE TODAY!” One of the mastodon says, “NEW YORK GIANTS. Mastodons were the original New Yorkers. These big buddies lived all over the city back in the day. Just imagine this furry elephant roaming around Inwood or wherever. It’s wild.”…

(7) VINTAGE 98.6. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] It’s a cold Halloween night. What better to curl up with than a warm bucket of blood? “Halloween Kills: Jamie Lee Curtis Jokes About All The Fake Blood Needed For The Sequel” at CinemaBlend.

[…L]egendary scream queen [Jamie Lee Curtis} recently joked about the massive amount of fake blood needed to make the project [Halloween Kills] into a reality.

Halloween Kills is in the can and was set to arrive in theaters this October, before being delayed a full year amid the pandemic. Jamie Lee Curtis is as disappointed as anyone else about this, although she recently posted an awesome video from the movie’s set. The Knives Out actress shared the story behind said clip, saying:

So the second movie that we shot takes place immediately where the first movie lets off, which is similar to what Hallowen II did. Halloween II picked up exactly after Halloween I. So I’ve been stabbed in the stomach by Michael. And the first sequence is us in the back of this truck which you see us climb into at the end of the movie. I posted on Instagram this video because you’re in the back of a truck, they’re trailing behind you. But I’m supposed to literally be bleeding out, I’m supposed to be hemorrhaging. So we had to freshen the sticky blood. And they have this big bucket, like a paint bucket. And by the end of it I was like ‘Give me my bucket. I want my bucket.’ Because it was warm, and it was super cold. David called it ‘the sauce.’ He said ‘Bring in more sauce.’

[…Y]ou can check out the video that Jamie Lee Curtis was referencing [at Instagram].

(8) MONTANARI OBIT. Gianni Montanari, writer, translator, curator of the Italian prozine Urania from 1985 to 1990, has died at the age of 71 reports Fumetto Logica. Francesco Spadaro called him, “A genius I’ve known for years through printed paper, then in person in an unexpected friendship like all the great gifts life gives you.”

Montanari was also creator of the Urania Prize.

(9) MEDIA ANNIVERSARY.

  • 1990 — Thirty years ago at ConFiction, Hyperion by Dan Simmons wins the Best Novel Hugo. Runner-ups were George Alec Effinger’s A Fire in the Sun, Orson Scott Card’s Prentice Alvin, Poul Anderson‘s The Boat of a Million Years and Sheri S. Tepper‘s Grass. It is the first book of his Hyperion Cantos and was followed by The Fall of Hyperion. It would also be nominated for the BSFA and Clark, and win the Locus Award for Best SF Award. (CE)

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born October 22, 1882 – N.C. Wyeth.  One of America’s greatest illustrators; his masterpiece Treasure Island; over a hundred books.  For us e.g. Rip Van WinkleRobin Hood.  Outside our field e.g. Coca-Cola, Lucky Strike; Beethoven, Liszt, Wagner for Steinway & Sons; public and private buildings; patriotic images during both World Wars.  Besides illustration – “Painting and illustration cannot be mixed” – portraits, landscapes.  Here is a gallery.  (Died 1945) [JH]
  • Born October 22, 1927 – Lee Jacobs.  When he wrote “The Influence of Science Fiction on Modern American Filk Music”, filk was a typo.  But it acquired a life of its own.  Active in Washington, D.C, fandom; then Los Angeles.  Took part in FAPA (Fantasy Amateur Press Ass’n, our oldest apa), SAPS (Spectator Am. Pr. Society, our second-oldest), SFPA (Southern Fandom Pr. Alliance), The Cult.  Wrote The Ballard Chronicles (pulp-magazine parody featuring Wrai Ballard) and Redd Boggs – Superfan.  (Died 1968) [JH]
  • Born October 22, 1938 Derek Jacobi, 82. He played a rather nicely nasty Master in “Utopia”, a Tenth Doctor story. He’s currently Metatron on Good Omens. And he was Magisterial Emissary in The Golden Compass. I’ll single out that he’s played Macbeth at Barbican Theatre in London as part of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre ensemble. (CE) 
  • Born October 22, 1939 Suzy McKee Charnas, 81. I’d say The Holdfast Chronicles are her best work to date. “Boobs” won the Best Story Hugo at ConFiction. She’s also won the Otherwise, Nebula, Gaylactic Spectrum, and Lambda Literary Awards. Any of you read her Sorcery Hall series? (CE) 
  • Born October 22, 1943 Jim Baen. Editor of Galaxy and If for three years. He edited the sf line at Ace ad then Tor before starting his own namesake company in 1983. In late 1999, he started Webscriptions, now called Baen Ebooks, which is considered to be the first profitable e-book service. He also was the editor of Destinies and New Destinies which I remember fondly.  He was nominated for Best Editor Hugo five times between 1975 and 1981 but never won. At Nippon 2007, he’d be nominated for Best Editor, Long Form. (Died 2006.) (CE)
  • Born October 22, 1948 – Debbie Macomber, 72.  Over 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide.  First winner of the Quill Award; Romantic Times Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award; RITA Award.  For us, three novels about three angels who work miracles but have a hard time resisting the use of human technology, which sometimes lands them in trouble; they are named – which couldn’t resist – Shirley, Goodness and Mercy.  [JH]
  • Born October 22, 1952 Jeff Goldblum, 68. The Wiki page gushes over him for being in Jurassic Park and Independence Day (as well as their sequels, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Independence Day: Resurgence, but neglects my favorite film with him in it, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, not to mention the  Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake he was in. (CE) 
  • Born October 22, 1954 Graham Joyce. Selecting his best novel is a futile exercise as everything is fantastically good but I’ll single out Some Kind of Fairy Tale and The Tooth Fairy as the ones I found the most interesting reads. (Died 2014.) (CE) 
  • Born October 22, 1956 Gretchen Roper, 63. Long-time member of fandom, filker and con-runner. She co-founded Dodeka Records with her husband, Bill Roper. She received with her husband the Pegasus Award for Best Original Humorous Song, “My Husband The Filker”, and was inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame. She runs The Secret Empire, a business selling filk-related stuff and other things at cons. (CE)
  • Born October 22, 1958 – Keith Parkinson.  A hundred forty book covers, a hundred eighty interiors. Three artbooks, most recently Kingsgate.  Cards. Video and online games.  Here is the May 85 Amazing.  Here is In the Shadow of the Master (in Dutch; English title After the King; Tolkien).  (Died 2005) [JH] 
  • Born October 22, 1960 – Dafydd ab Hugh, 60.  Eight Star Trek novels, four others; four shorter stories including “The Coon Rolled Down and Ruptured His Larinks, a Squeezed Novel by Mr. Skunk” (novelette; Hugo & Nebula finalist).  Served in the U.S. Navy. [JH]
  • Born October 22, 1992 – Carrie Hope Fletcher, 28.  Four novels for us; career onstage including A Christmas Carol (Menken, Ahrens & Ockert 1994), The Addams Family (Lippa, Brickman & Elice 2009), Cinderella (Lloyd Webber, Zippell & Fennell 2019), Mary Poppins (Sherman, Sherman, Drewe & Fellows, 2004).  Singer, Internet celebrity.  YouTube channel with 650,000 subscribers.  [JH]

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • At Bizarro, Trolls and Gremlins come to an agreement.

(12) HELD FOR RANSOM. Brenton Dickieson found an unexpected connection between some works of C.S. Lewis: “My Paper, “A Cosmic Shift in The Screwtape Letters,” Published in Mythlore” at A Pilgrim in Narnia.

 …It isn’t that Lewis wrote these Screwtapian letters; rather, as he says in the preface published in your copy of The Screwtape Letters:

“I have no intention of explaining how the correspondence which I now offer to the public fell into my hands.”

What is intriguing about the handwritten preface, is that Lewis makes a link between Screwtape and his Ransom book–Out of the Silent Planet from 1938 and Perelandra, which he was writing at this time. This is the first sentence of the “Ransom Preface,” as I call it:

“Nothing will induce me to reveal how my friend Dr. Ransom got hold of the script which is translated in the following pages.”

It is a pretty exciting discovery and one that I have spent years working on…. 

…. You can purchase Mythlore here, and the free open-access copy of this paper is available here.

(13) VIDEO OF THE MINUTE. In “Honest Trailers: Us” the Screen Junkies take on the 2019 film, which has “enough social commentary to trick snobs into watching B-movie sci-fi horror action.”

(14) POE IN TOWN. In “Edgar Allan Poe And The Rise Of The Modern City” on CrimeReads, College of Charleston English professor Scott Peeples looks at Poe’s story “The man In The Crowd” to discuss Poe’s attitudes towards urban life.

First published in December 1840, Poe’s story “The Man of the Crowd” encapsulates the mystery and fear that attended the rapid development of cities and the influx of “strangers.” Though set in London, where Poe had lived as a child and whose density and growth exceeded those of American cities in 1840, the tale reflects the future shock of mid-nineteenth-century urban experience generally. For the first third of the story, the narrator, recuperating from an unnamed illness, sits alone at the “large bow-window” of a coffee house, watching the parade of pedestrians at the workday’s end. A shrewd taxonomist of urban types, he identifies the professions and social stations of passersby. The first group includes “noblemen, merchants, attorneys, tradesmen, stock-jobbers . . . men of leisure and men actively engaged in affairs of their own.” He proceeds down the social ladder, calling attention to visible clues…

(15) SHARDS OF PLENTY. Gizmodo finds Bennu is ready for its close-up. “Stunning Images Show NASA’s Attempt at Scooping Samples From an Asteroid”.  

…Pictures snapped by the spacecraft’s SamCam imager show the 1-foot-wide (0.3-meter) sampling head absolutely bathed in debris. Though I’m no expert, it would be hard to believe that nothing got scooped up by the collection system, known as Touch-and-Go, or TAG. But images can be deceiving, and the team, led by the University of Arizona, will spend the next week trying to figure out how much debris was collected.

Approximately one second after making touchdown, the probe fired a nitrogen gas bottle, which produced the debris cloud, according to a NASA statement. OSIRIS-REx arrived at a predetermined site called Nightingale and reached the surface during its first attempt….

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Bob Marley — Redemption Song” on Vimeo is an animation of the classic Marley song by Octave Marsel and Theo de Gueltzl.

[Thanks to Rob Thornton, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Rich Horton, Cat Eldridge, JJ, John Hertz, Michael Toman, Michael J. Walsh, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jeff Smith.]

79 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/22/20 Yondo Lies The Pixel Of My Filer

  1. Love the title.

    (14) Wow! That’s very interesting (reminds me of Lewis’ reference to Middle Earth in That Hideous Strength)

    (10) In “Frasier,” (two years after Galaxy Quest) Derek Jacobi played a rather “Alexander Dane” like actor who had played an android on a space show, and couldn’t get back to the stage thereafter (the joke being that he was actually a pretty bad stage performer).

  2. (10) Graham Joyce also wrote a highly entertaining column for Critical Wave, the semi-prozine I edited with Martin Tudor, offering insights into both the life of a full-time writer and the assorted idiocies of the publishing industry.

  3. (10) For horror movie fans, Jeff Goldblum’s best role is probably the manic physicist Seth Brundle in David Cronenberg’s spirited 1986 remake of The Fly.

  4. (3) I don’t think it was a good idea to have ST on a military reading list in the first place. It’s not that it’s a bad book per se, but it’s the kind of fascist fan fiction that could appeal to professional military types in all the wrong ways.

  5. I sorta suspect that, if Jeff Goldblum was born in 1952 (as I was), he’s most likely 68 (like I am), not 67.

  6. Folks, can you help me recall a title?
    It’s a relatively recent novel about a scientist studying flow state, figuring out how to induce it and the ramifications of that when that technology gets out of the scientist’s hands.
    Sound familiar to anyone?
    Thanks in advance!

  7. Rich Lynch: It doesn’t say it happened in October. It says it happened 30 years ago.

  8. Heh. I thought that we must have used today’s title before, because I remembered seeing it. Oh, that’s why I remembered it…

    Also for us by N.C. Wyeth: The Return of Tarzan, two magazine covers, one reused for the hardcover. (One of my favorites of the Tarzan novels. In fact I happen to be rereading it now, for the umpteenth time.)

  9. Oh, and thanks, Andrew, for your nice comment on the title. Yours are so good I feel quite honored.

  10. (10) I already agreed with the choice of Graham Joyce novels 🙂 The Kindle edition of TheTooth Fairy is currently 99p on Amazon UK.

  11. @BravoLimaPoppa : I’m sure I read a review of that (probably in Locus) in 2020. I’ll see if I can find it.

  12. Paul King on October 23, 2020 at 2:35 am said:
    (10) I already agreed with the choice of Graham Joyce novels ? The Kindle edition of TheTooth Fairy is currently 99p on Amazon UK.

    The Tooth Fairy is excellent.

  13. Can someone help me out with some information? I have a friend who is halfway through the Broken Earth trilogy and she is finding it very grim and draining and doesn’t know if she should continue on. How does the trilogy end, emotion-wise? It doesn’t have to be Happily Ever After, but outright despair is something she wants to avoid. I can’t advise her because while I bought the books a few months ago I had decided that 2020 was not the year I was going to read them.

  14. Meredith Moment: The ebook version of Bruce Sterling’s Schismatrix Plus” is available for $2.99 at Apple Books, Amazon, Kobo, and Google. If you haven’t read it, you should.

  15. Also, let it be known that there were 34 books in the Gor series at the time this post was published. You’re welcome.

  16. Rob Thornton on October 23, 2020 at 8:56 am said:
    Also, let it be known that there were 34 books in the Gor series at the time this post was published. You’re welcome.

    ISFDB lists 35.

  17. (3) IIRC, Starship Troopers was on the original Commandant’s list, was removed, and then was reincorporated. So this isn’t exactly unprecedented. The list changes according to the times as well as in response to the desires of the current Commandant. It is always a useful tool for educating Marines at all phases of their careers.

    The White Donkey is an appropriate addition to the list; particularly in light of the current trends in servicemember/veteran suicide. Max’s other graphic novel, Lapis Lazuli, is better than The White Donkey both in terms of the story and the art. I know I’ve pumped it before, but you will not regret reading Lapis Lazuli one little bit. Or go one better and read both. They are both great works by a talented Marine veteran.

    @microtherion

    “…. but it’s the kind of fascist fan fiction that could appeal to professional military types…”

    Just….nope. Anyone asserting that the ST book is in any way fascist has a lot of heavy lifting to do.

    Now listening to Weapons by Jars of Clay.

    Regards,
    Dann
    The answers you get from literature depend on the questions you pose. – Margaret Atwood

  18. @Michael J. Walsh:

    John Lange.

    Norman’s real name, and a pseudonym Crichton used for some potboilers.

    And, no, Michael Crichton and John Norman are not the same person, unless all those new Gor books are trunk novels and the “John Norman” I saw at a Worldcon once was an actor.

  19. @ Dann665

    Just….nope. Anyone asserting that the ST book is in any way fascist has a lot of heavy lifting to do.

    Here we go. I don’t want to get into an extended debate on this well-covered topic, but I think a response is due.

    OK: I think that ST has fascist tendencies because it implies that people who serve in the military are superior people by default. (What, you want to talk about the “non-military” service options? From what I recall, Heinlein barely mentioned them and seemed to treat them with contempt.)

  20. Rob Thornton says OK: I think that ST has fascist tendencies because it implies that people who serve in the military are superior people by default. (What, you want to talk about the “non-military” service options? From what I recall, Heinlein barely mentioned them and seemed to treat them with contempt.)

    Eh? I’m not following your logic at all. Fascism is an authoritarian, right-wing political system. The military in Heinlein’s universe couldn’t even vote until they finished their tour of duty no matter long it was. And nothing in the novel suggested the military wee thought of as superior.

    I don’t think he, like the creators of Trek’s Federation, thought of either polity as being facist though its hard to call them democratic either. What both did do is create very long-term stable peaceful societies, something often desired more than freedom for a lot of people.

    Now playing: Kristian Blak’s “Ygggdrasil”
    Now reading: October issue of Locus

  21. @Rob Thorton

    Within the narrative of the book, there are some expressions of high self-regard. That is native in pretty much any military setting. I’ve got stories….. Heck, even in a setting involving police and firefighters, both groups will hold themselves in higher regard while simultaneously appreciating the valued service of the other group.

    However, within the context of the book. there are non-military options and they are more than barely mentioned. I quoted one extensive section on my blog in my argument against associating ST with fascism.

    They aren’t explored because this is a MILsf book. It isn’t intended to be a handbook for building the next society. It is intended to use a MILsf tableau to discuss the complementary nature of responsibility and authority.

    Also within the context of the book, troopers in the officer academy are instructed in such a way as to pop a hole in that self-regard for military service. Their poli-sci class makes a point of suggesting that those with citizenship via non-military branches are just as effective participants in that democracy as those that obtain the franchise via military service.

    Aaaannnnnnddd….I should probably stop. I read this book roughly once a year. I find most arguments equating ST with fascism frequently eliding relevant sections of the book that clearly, IMHO, dispute that position.

    Now listening to…..Doc McStuffins! It’s time for your check-up!

    Regards,
    Dann
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” – George Orwell

  22. And nothing in the novel suggested the military wee thought of as superior.

    Part of the issue is that there is a disconnect between what the novel says and what it shows. Johnny’s father says no one in his family has been part of the military for generations, that the military is unimportant, etc. – which could be taken as the general view among the civilians in the ST universe. But the novel concludes with Johnny’s father joining up, following his son’s footsteps, which certainly seems like a stark reversal on the part of one of the few non-military characters in the book.

    I prefer “Space Cadet”

  23. @Michael J. Walsh: I ran across a Crichton “John Lange” book a year or so ago in a collection of SF/thrillers I was moving from one location to another – and was quite startled (though I eventually realized it wasn’t the John Norman Lange).

  24. @BravoLimaPoppa : I’m sure I read a review of that (probably in Locus) in 2020. I’ll see if I can find it.

    I checked the last few Locus issues and haven’t found it, sadly

  25. @Dann665

    Anyone asserting that the ST book is in any way fascist has a lot of heavy lifting to do.

    So let me try to do the lifting, working through Umberto Eco’s list in “Ur-fascism” (https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1995/06/22/ur-fascism/):

    Cult of tradition. I see that in the novel. Do I need to dig up references?
    Rejection of enlightenment values. e.g., the fetishization of corporal punishment in school and army.
    Action for action’s sake. cf. “Everybody fights”, and the dubious tactics employed.
    Disagreement is treason. cf. the numerous times that a dubious moral proposition is presented as a “mathematical fact”.
    Fear of difference. In ST, there is an utter refusal to empathize with the alien species in any way, or to recognize in any way their right to existence. This is all the more alarming considering that ST was written as in response to the proposed nuclear test ban treaty, and so the “bugs” were more or less stand ins for the soviets.
    Appeal to a frustrated middle class. I seem to recall that this description could apply somewhat to the protagonist.
    Obsession with a plot[…]. The followers must feel besieged. That one is arguably excusable in a novel, but it’s undeniably there.
    The followers must feel humiliated by the […] force of their enemies. Bugs wiping out cities in a surprise attack.
    For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. Need I say more?
    The Leader, knowing that his power was not delegated to him democratically but was conquered by force, also knows that his force is based upon the weakness of the masses; they are so weak as to need and deserve a ruler. A recurring pattern in the novel, from the civics teacher to the drill instructor.
    everybody is educated to become a hero.
    The Ur-Fascist hero tends to play with weapons—doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.
    Ur-Fascism must be against “rotten” parliamentary governments There is contempt for civilian government and democracy throughout the book.
    Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. for this one, I can’t recall any evidence.

    And as Andrew says, there is a considerable disconnect between what the book says, and what it shows. The vast majority of citizens are not supposed to be serving in combat roles, but hardly any of them are shown. Exercise of citizenship is pretty much never shown (all the soldiers pretty much serve until they get killed, so one suspects that the actual government is very much run by REMFs). There is contempt for civilian society and human rights throughout. Yeah, I feel comfortable calling this fascist propaganda.

  26. The OSIRIS-REx success delights me. And it pleases me to think that Dad’s legacy is in the mix, since he designed ranging systems for the Deep Space Network. Obviously all his work’s been replaced multiple times over, but later versions inherited ideas, if nothing else. 🙂

  27. microtherion says In ST, there is an utter refusal to empathize with the alien species in any way, or to recognize in any way their right to existence. This is all the more alarming considering that ST was written as in response to the proposed nuclear test ban treaty, and so the “bugs” were more or less stand ins for the soviets.

    So where did Heinlein say this? Source please.

  28. Andrew! Found it! My brain goes soft when I’m exhausted.
    Anyway, Echoes of Another: A Novel of the Near Future by Chandra K. Clarke

  29. @ Dann665

    When I said the non-military service options were barely mentioned, that was compared to the rest of the book (which of course is about the military). As you said, this is a MilSF book, and the focus is on the military.

    And to me, it is self-evident that since military training qualifies you for citizenship in this society, military people must be intrinsically better than civilians. Which leads us to fascism, because it worships the military model of operations, where the leaders order and the people obey. There is no room for dissension or freedom of thought.

    Maybe the ST society is based on democracy, but the citizens will not have democratic habits of thought and will think of democracy as a riot without rules. Now this doesn’t happen in America, but that’s because the military is under the direction of civilians and is trained to be directed by civilian governments.

    What if the government is only ex-military like ST? Civilians will be sheep directed by “benevolent” shepherds who think of their charges as lesser beings. Ex-military outside the government would form a new ruling class and the ST society would only be a democracy in name.

    That’s why I think ST has fascistic tendencies. i don’t think it’s fascist propaganda, but the book leans towards Mussolini.

  30. Nancy Sauer: I have a friend who is halfway through the Broken Earth trilogy and she is finding it very grim and draining and doesn’t know if she should continue on. How does the trilogy end, emotion-wise? It doesn’t have to be Happily Ever After, but outright despair is something she wants to avoid.

    It doesn’t end in outright despair, but honestly, I think if your friend is struggling emotionally right now, this isn’t the right time for that trilogy. It requires a lot of emotional heavy lifting.

    Maybe you can think of a less grim series to recommend for her, based on her preferences.

  31. microtherion says
    @Cat Eldridge: “this” as in ST written in response to test ban negotiations? “It is known”, as the Dothraki say (e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starship_Troopers or https://newrepublic.com/article/118048/william-pattersons-robert-heinlein-biography-hagiography).

    Neither of those citations says anything directly from Heinlein about this being so. The second doesn’t have state this as a supposition.

    Or “this” as in the bugs being stand-ins for the Soviets? If ST was written in response to the test ban negotiations, isn’t that a rational inference?

    No, it isn’t. It’s your supposition. I want to see RAH saying that was why he wrote it and that the Bugs were stand-ins for the Soviets. Maybe one of the Heinlein experts here can render their opinion on this claim by you.

  32. @Cat: Regarding why he wrote “Starship Troopers” Heinlein writes in “Expanded Universe”

    “When the soi-disant “SANE” committee published its page ad in Colorado Springs (and many other cities) on 5 April 1958, I was working on The Heretic (later to be published as Stranger in a Strange Land). I stopped at once and for several weeks Mrs. Heinlein and I did nothing but work on this “Patrick Henry” drive. We published our ad in three newspapers, encouraged its publication elsewhere, mailed thousands of reprints, spoke before countless meetings, collected and mailed to the White House thousands of copies of the letter above—always by registered mail—no acknowledgement of any sort was ever received, not even in response to “Return Receipt Requested.” Then the rug was jerked out from under us; by executive order Mr. Eisenhower canceled all testing without requiring mutual inspection…. I was stunned by the President’s action. I should not have been as I knew that he was a political general long before he entered politics—stupid, all front, and dependent on his staff….

    Presently I resumed writing—not Stranger but Starship Troopers.

    I don’t recall Heinlein ever says specifically that the Bugs represented the Soviets, though.

  33. “a pseudonym Crichton used for some potboilers.”

    At least two of which, “Dealing” and “Binary”, are pretty good.

    And have been recently reprinted by Hard Case Crime.

    Regarding Starship Troopers as fascist, we’ve had this discussion before and it never leads anywhere. Those who like the novel will vehemently defend it as not fascist, those who dislike it will just vehemently continue to dislike it.

  34. I don’t recall Heinlein ever says specifically that the Bugs represented the Soviets, though.

    Well, who else should they represent in the context of the Cold War? The only other possible option is the People’s Republic of China.

  35. @Andrew: thanks, that’s pretty much the account I remembered without recalling the exact source.

  36. 15) And now new pictures show that the sampling head is so full, some is spilling out! They’re even dropping the planned step of spinning the spacecraft with the arm extended (to weigh the sample), so that they avoid losing any more.

  37. @Cora: I’m responding to Cat’s request for a specific acknowledgment

    Andrew (who rather liked Starship Troopers (haven’t reread it lately, I’ll admit), but is open to arguments about its various problems)

  38. Andrew (not Werdna) says I don’t recall Heinlein ever says specifically that the Bugs represented the Soviets, though.

    Ok that makes sense. I just can’t imagine that Heinlein had any specific group in mind for the Bugs being stand-ins for.

    Just finished watching: season three opener of Discovery.

  39. I don’t think the Bugs stood for a country, but for an idea.

    That said, it’s interesting to note that the characters are noticeably diversely named, but that not one of those names sounds Russian. (Whereas we do have both a Chang and a Ho.) I just thumbed back through the book quickly to verify that, and I’m almost certain I’m fully correct on this narrow point.

    There are three very glancing references to Russia (as opposed to communism, which comes in for a good beatdown): A boot camp is located in Siberia, a late twentieth century Russo-Anglo-American alliance is opposed to the Chinese, a troop carrier is named Moskva.

    I noticed the lack of Russian names on a recent re-reading, I guess in preparation for this discussion. Who knew? I’m not sure what to make of it without overinterpreting.

  40. In a letter to Judith Merrill, quoted in Patterson’s biography, Heinlein said “Starship Troopers describes a libertarian, democratic, almost idyllic utopia”. So he didn’t think it was fascist.

    @microtherion “Appeal to a frustrated middle class. I seem to recall that this description could apply somewhat to the protagonist.”
    Johnnie is not middle class, he is upper class. His father bought him a Rolls helicopter for his 14th birthday. He broke a Ming vase as a toddler. In Chapt. 6, he recalls Dubois making fun of him for being rich.

  41. I always appreciated that Heinlein was partial to the one true spelling of Johnnie.

    @bill: It was democracy for those who had the vote. It would have been interesting to see what the rest of that world looked like, but we never, ever see it. The only non-military scenes we get are in the classroom and the street fight in Seattle. And we see what we see through the eyes of someone for whom the system works.

    @microtherion: bill’s point about Johnnie’s economic and social class is well-taken. About half the points you checked off don’t fit. I don’t want to belabor that point by point, but I will say that looking for a detail that fits a checklist like that isn’t how to use it. It’s box-ticking and not analysis–though on that detail, you are simply wrong.

    You did help me see something I’d never considered before, though, which my recent re-read–actually, both a full re-read and many, many partial looks, over about three weeks–put me on the track of as I realized the Big Science Fiction Idea in the book wasn’t powered suits or thirty-second bombs, but a science of moral philosophy.

    With that in mind:

    Rejection of enlightenment values. e.g., the fetishization of corporal punishment in school and army…
    Disagreement is treason. cf. the numerous times that a dubious moral proposition is presented as a “mathematical fact”.

    I was reading it in part to see whether Dubois does, as I’ve seen asserted–possibly here–debunk a bogus version of Marx’s labor theory of value and present and praise a legitimate version. That’s a credible claim, because I think Heinlein would have found that a funny joke to play. Turns out I don’t know enough Marx to decide.

    That attentiveness did pay off when I saw the results of the book’s moral philosophy as stated by its proponents don’t match the claims made for it. They’re inconsistent.

    What you pulled out of my brain, though, came from that pairing above.

    The idea of a mathematically provable, logically consistent moral philosophy seems to me to be an Enlightenment wet dream, a perfect complement to the mechanistic Newtonian physical universe. One also can’t untangle the Enlightenment from the forcible conquest of half the world by those it Enlightened.

    I’ve been dragged forcibly to acknowledge the dark side of the Enlightenment, much as I was dragged to some disillusionment with Heinlein on reading the full Busby letter.

    So a very different way of interpreting Starship Troopers is as a novel about a flowering of Enlightenment values as they were forcibly imposed on other species. Only this time, they aren’t invading cultures who’d done nothing to them, taking everything they had, and killing them at will.

    I’d call that a moral improvement over Enlightenment values as they were practiced.

    That’s how it looks from the safe vantage point of 8543.

    YMMV–Your Millennia May Vary.

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