Note: I’m going to start putting the year in the header, too.
(1) SNODGRASS ON AXANAR. Melinda Snodgrass commented about the suit against Axanar on Facebook.
So far a cease and desist order has only been issued and a lawsuit filed against Axanar, but speaking as a former attorney I see no way for CBS and Paramount to turn a blind eye to the other fan efforts. As it is they have an “unclean hands” issue because they allowed the fan productions to go forward for so many years without reacting. Now that they are taking notice they will have to take notice across the board — no exceptions. That’s my best prediction based on training and education.
Because I am a professional screenwriter and also as a trained attorney I feel I have to step away from any involvement with any Star Trek fan funded project. Out of love for Star Trek, and the chance to write for two wonderful actors from the original series I was excited to write a new Trek script. And at the time I agreed to do this CBS was giving everyone tacit approval, a sort of wink and a nod. That is no longer the case.
Am I disappointed? Of course. Having met Walter I would love to have written for him, but it’s not to be. Look, I don’t blame the network or the studio. Bottom line the intellectual property that is Star Trek belongs to them. They have an obligation and a right to protect their asset.
(2) BIG BUCKS BUT SMALL FOOTPRINT. Forbes writer Scott Mendelson ponders why “Five Years Ago, ‘Avatar’ Grossed $2.7 Billion But Left No Pop Culture Footprint”. Why does the film Avatar have no great fannish following (ala Star Wars)?
Despite a pretty swift case of blockbuster backlash, whereby pundits quickly attributed the film’s box office success entirely to the 3D effects, I still think it’s a pretty fantastic adventure film. The characters are simple but primal, and the storytelling is lean and efficient even while running nearly three hours. Avatar was arguably the right film at the right time, with a potent anti-imperialism message that came about just as America was waking up from its post-9/11 stupor and the rest of the world was more-than-ready to cheer a film where murderous private armies were violently defeated and driven away by impassioned indigenous people.
But it was basically a historical cinematic footnote not a year later, with no real pop culture footprint beyond its record-setting box office and groundbreaking 3D.
(3) ADVISED BY C3PU? Hasbro responded to complaints about not including a Rey figure in Monopoly.
Few bought the explanation.
— Megan Rodham Ford (@TheMeganFord) January 5, 2016
(4) GALLIFREY CONUNDRUM. LA’s Doctor Who-themed convention Gallifrey One has posted a “Program & Guest Update: Early Schedule, Fan Panels and More!” Here’s a panel devoted to a question I’ve wondered about myself.
Life and Death in the Moffat Era — These days it doesn’t seem like anybody who’s dead stays dead… it’s merely a setback! From Clara to Rory to Missy to Osgood to Davros and even the Time Lords — and you have to through the increasingly complicated history of River Song in there somewhere — has Steven Moffat’s decision to bring back multiple characters made death in Doctor Who anti-climactic? Or is it just another example of the wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey fun that keeps the show fresh?
(5) USED BOOKSTORES. Mad Genius Club’s Amanda S. Green, in “Bookstores: Friend or Enemy”, a commentary on Kristen Lamb’s post about the publishing industry (also linked here the other day), makes an interesting point about used book sales.
When I started this post, I did so figuring I’d be flaying Lamb over how she viewed used bookstores. Why? Because some of the comments I’ve seen around the internet claimed she denounced used bookstores as bad for authors. She doesn’t, not really. She points out something a lot of readers don’t understand. When you buy a book from a used bookstore, the author gets nothing from that sale. Also, she rightly points out that the books you will find in such stores are, by the vast majority, traditionally published books. So, used bookstores aren’t much help for indie authors.
However, for authors whose books are found there, used bookstores do serve a purpose. In fact, it is much akin to the same purpose libraries serve. A person is more likely to pay a percentage of the price of a new book for an author they have never read before than they are to pay full price. So, even though that author doesn’t get a royalty from that particular sale, if the buyer likes the book, there is the possibility of a royalty sale down the road. Even if the reader doesn’t buy a new book later, they will discuss the book with others who might. To me, it is promotion and a good thing. Word of mouth is the best sort of promotion an author can have.
(6) TODAY IN HISTORY
- January 5, 1889 — The word hamburger first appeared in print in the Walla Walla Union, Walla Walla, Washington.
(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS
- Born January 5, 1914 — George Reeves, of Adventures of Superman fame. (He was also one of Scarlett O’Hara’s suitors in Gone With The Wind.)
- Born January 5, 1929 — Russ Manning, artist of the comic strip Tarzan, whose credits include Magus Robot Fighter.
- Born January 5, 1941 – Hayao Miyazaki, Japanese film director, producer, screenwriter, animator, author, and manga artist.
(8) DIRTY PICTURES. Settle down, they’re only pictures of dirt. NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now sending back close-ups of tall, ripple-ridden Martian sand dunes. Lots of photos here.
(9) GOTHAM. Formerly known as Pee Wee Herman — “Gotham: First Look At Paul Reubens As Penguin’s Father”.
Back in NY shooting pic.twitter.com/5fwzjxH780
— Danny Cannon (@DannyJCannon) January 5, 2016
Cobblepot is in need of a parental figure on Gotham, after his mother was killed toward the end of the first half of the season, by Theo “Dumas” Galavan. What role daddy dearest will play in that story is unclear, but from this image it looks like Penguin may have gotten his more vengeful side from his paternal parent.
While we don’t know exactly when Penguin’s Papa will show up, Gotham returns February 29, 2016, so we can expect him soon after.
(10) LEAPIN’ LITTERS. Not every dog has his day.
— Genre Mutt (@WagTheFox) January 5, 2016
(11) THE CERTAINTY UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE. T. C. McCarthy can’t explain it.
(1) @voxday calls me irrelevant and tells me to go away. His people spend the next two hours going after me, proving I'm somehow relevant.
— Based SciFi (@tcmccarthy_) January 5, 2016
(12) QUIDDITCH PONG. Combining the elements of Harry Potter’s favorite sport with beer pong, the Unofficial Quidditch Pong tabletop game assigns the player representing each house three unique spells. For example —
Avada Kedavra– Once per game, choose a cup and remove it from the table. (can be used on Resurrection Stone)
Crucio– All of your opponents must make trick shots for one round
Imperio– Dictate which cup your opponents must make for one round
(13) WETFOOT. Past LASFS President, actor Ed Green, plays one of the hundreds of faux lawyers and bankers fording the Rio Grande to illustrate a talking point in this Ted Cruz campaign ad. (If there’s a problem with the embedded video below, it can also be played at the Ted Cruz website Fix Our Border Yeah, like you would do that…)
Ed appears at in all his glory at :14, :25 and :35.
[Thanks to Dave Doering, John King Tarpinian, and David K.M. Klaus for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.]