Pixel Scroll 3/18/19 I Needed Pixels Coz I Had None, I Filed The Scroll And The Scroll Won

(1) MCINTYRE. CaringBridge readers received a saddening update about Vonda McIntyre’s status:

Vonda has been told she has somewhere between two weeks and two months. She’s doing well enough right now that she will probably last longer than the short end of this estimate but we aren’t seeing much cause for hope she might exceed the long end. 

She has signed up with hospice. The people who have come out this past week all seem smart and kind, and Vonda is pleased with them.

Vonda is, on the whole, fairly comfortable. She gets some pain before her scheduled paracentesis sessions, but she says it isn’t bad and goes away as soon as she gets the procedure. She’s weak, moves slowly, and sleeps a lot. However, she’s alert and engaged when she is awake, and has been enjoying visits from various people. She doesn’t eat much, but is still enjoying food and has no nausea issues.

Emotionally, I find her to be in astonishingly good shape. She’s still grieving the loss of Ursula and her sister, Carolyn, but she says she’s not especially upset about her own situation. She is focused on getting some things down, many of which are fun for her. This stuff could hit harder later but for now she seems calm and accepting.

Frank Catalano sent the link with a note: “Vonda was generous to me when I moved to the Seattle area in the 1980s and I took on the task of administering SFWA’s Nebula Awards. She and I and a small crew of volunteers stuffed and stamped numerous Nebula Awards Reports in my Queen Anne apartment. I consider her a friend and she has also encouraged my writing.”

(2) MONSTER MASH. A new trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters has dropped. The move arrives in theaters May 31

Following the global success of “Godzilla” and “Kong: Skull Island” comes the next chapter in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ cinematic MonsterVerse, an epic action adventure that pits Godzilla against some of the most popular monsters in pop culture history. The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

(3) ALSO NSFWWW. Camestros Felapton pauses for breath at almost the halfway point in the series to write a quick review: “Love, Death + Robots: Initial Impressions”.

I’ve watched eight episodes (out of eighteen) of Netflix’s “Adult” anthology series based on contemporary SF short stories. It’s ‘Adult’ in the sense of stereotypes of adolescent male interests which means many episodes with gore and most episodes with CGI boobs. There are some good pieces but they are ones that differ sharply from the general aesthetic.

(4) TECH SUPPORT. Brianna Wu has an opinion piece in today’s Boston Globe: “Senator Warren is onto something: The best way to protect the tech industry is to break it up”.

I’ve spent a career working in tech as a software engineer. And I believe regulated markets are the best way to build and deliver innovative products. That might sound counterintuitive. But increasingly, the largest players in the game aren’t playing by the same rules. Instead, they’re using their power to bully or buy out the competition.

That’s why I was thrilled last week when Senator Elizabeth Warren put forward a bold plan to break up the largest tech companies, including Facebook, Google and Amazon. Many parts of the plan are strong and have widespread support by industry experts, such as breaking up Facebook and Instagram. Other parts inadvertently jeopardize privacy and increase consumer risk of malware and spyware. Overall, it’s a strong start to an antitrust conversation that is long overdue.

(5) WOLFE’S SERVICE RECOGNIZED. Last week at the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts conference, Gary K. Wolfe received the Robert A. Collins Service Award, “presented to an officer, board member, or division head for outstanding service to the organization.” [Via Locus Online.]

(6) IMPATIENTS. In “Cory Doctorow’s Radicalized and Audience Awareness”, Joseph Hurtgen urges us all to “Put Cory Doctorow’s Radicalized on your reading list. It’s a short and powerful meditation on the power of the internet to radicalize suffering individuals, the broken healthcare system in the US, the exploitation of the poor in America, and the broken judicial system in the US.”

…Doctorow considers a slightly different kind of mass murdering, one with a political agenda. The terrorists in Doctorow’s world kill to force the US to fix the broken healthcare system. In the 21st century, our situation is that experimental treatment for cancer is available to those that can write a seven-figure check. But for the rest of us, no matter how much we’ve paid into the system, death is still the only cure. 

(7) HOLDING FORTH. YouTube has video of Isaac Asimov on The David Letterman Show, October 21, 1980

(8) ELLEN VARTANOFF OBIT. Ellen Vartanoff (1951-2019) died March 17 reports her brother-in-law, Scott Edelman.

Stu McIntire wrote a tribute for ComicsDC:

Ellen Vartanoff was a fan, a collector, creator, artist, teacher, mentor and so much more to countless friends and admirers. Condolences to Irene, Scott, and all of Ellen’s family. I will always carry with me the last time I saw Ellen.

The Washington Post covered a 1997 exhibition she put together from her own cartoon collection:

“I’ve been in love with cartoons since I was 7 years old,” says Vartanoff, 46, who financed her early comic book purchases by collecting returnable soft drink bottles, which brought her 2 cents each. “That amount was more meaningful back when comics cost a dime. My sister and I have been collecting comics since 1957 and began collecting original cartoon art in the 1960s, way before it became a popular thing to do.”

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born March 18, 1926 Peter Graves. Star of Mission Impossible and the short lived Australian filmed Mission Impossible which if you’ve not seen it, you should as it’s damn good. I’m reasonably certain his first genre role was on Red Planet Mars playing Chris Cronyn. Later roles included Gavin Lewis on The Invaders, Major Noah Cooper on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Doug Paul Martin in Killers from Space and Paul Nelson on It Conquered the World. It’s worth noting that a number of his films are featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 series. (Died 2010)
  • Born March 18, 1932 John Updike. It might surprise you to learn that there are two Eastwick novels, The Witches of Eastwick and The Widows of Eastwick, the latter set some three decades after the first novel ended. He wrote a number of other genre-friendly novels including The CentaurBrazil and Toward the End of Time. (Died 2009.)
  • Born March 18, 1947 Drew Struzan, 72. Artist known for his more than a hundred and fifty movie posters which include films in Back to the Future, the Indiana Jones, and Star Wars film franchises. In addition, he designed the original Industrial Light & Magic logo for Lucas. My favorite posters? Back to the Future, The Goonies and The Dark Crystal.
  • Born March 18, 1950 J. G. Hertzler, 69. He’s best known for his role on Deep Space Nine as the Klingon General (and later Chancellor) Martok. He co-authored with Jeff Lang, Left Hand of Destiny, Book 1, and Left Hand of Destiny, Book 2, which chronicle the life of his character. His very TV first role was a genre one, to wit on Quantum Leap as Weathers Farrington in the  “Sea Bride – June 3, 1954” episode. Setting aside DS9, he’s been in Zorro, HighlanderThe Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of SupermanLois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Charmed, Roswell and Enterprise series;  for film genre work, I see The Redeemer: Son of SatanTreasure Island: The Adventure Begins and Prelude to Axanar (yet another piece of fanfic). In addition, he’s done a lot of video game voice acting, the obvious Trek work but such franchises as BioShock 2The Golden Compass and Injustice: Gods Among Us. 
  • Born March 18, 1959 Luc Besson, 60. Oh, The Fifth Element, one of my favorite genre films. There’s nothing about it that  I don’t like. I’ve not seen Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and reviews leave me disinclined to do so. The Transporter is not genre but I recommend it as a great film none the less. 
  • Born March 18, 1960 Richard Biggs. He appeared as Dr. Stephen Franklin on Babylon 5, reprising the role in the final aired episode of Crusade, “Each Night I Dream of Home”. Other genre roles included playing Roger Garrett on Tremors, Hawkes In The Alien Within, An Unnamed Reporter on Beauty and the Beast,  Dr. Thomson on an episode of The Twilight Zone and a Process Server in an episode of The Magical World of Disney. (Died 2004.)
  • Born March 18, 1961 James Davis Nicoll, 58. A freelance game and genre reviewer. A first reader for SFBC as well. Currently he’s a blogger on Dreamwidth and Facebook, and an occasional columnist on Tor.com. In 2014, he started his website, jamesdavisnicoll.com, which is dedicated to his book reviews of works old and new; and which later added the highly entertaining Young People Read Old SFF, where that group read prior to Eighties SF and fantasy, and Nicoll and his collaborators comment on the their reactions.
  • Born March 18, 1989 Lily Collins, 30. First genre role was in cyberpunk horror film Priest as Lucy Pace. She next shows up in Mirror Mirror before being Clary Fray in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. I did read the first three or four novels in the series. Recommended them wholeheartedly, no idea how the film is. She’s Edith Tolkien in the Tolkien filmnow in post-production. 

(10) STAY TUNED FOR VERSE. John A Arkansawyer sent a note with this link to his sff poem: “Shameless self-promotion for something which will not win the Rhysling But I’m pleased to have written it in the last fifteen minutes.” — “The Synoptic Bump in “Warrior”, by Gordon R. Dickson”.

(11) IT’S STILL NEWS TO ME. From 2011, Tracer’s parody “How David Weber Orders a Pizza”. He nails the style.

The telephone rang.

Jason Wilkins roused himself out of his dough-and-flour-addled stupor, and gazed at the ringing noise emanating from the receiver….

And if you scroll down to item #24 you’ll find Chapter 2 of Weber’s epic “In Ovens Baked.”

Pizza Delivery Person Third Class Alonzo Gomez smoothly turned his control wheel counterclockwise, with the skill of a man who’d practiced this maneuver for years. In the sealed chamber in front of his feet, a gear at the end of the wheel’s shaft pushed the rack-and-pinion assembly to one side, changing the angle of the vehicle’s front wheels. Now, driven onward relentlessly by the vehicle’s momentum, the tires bit into the road surface obliquely, forcing the vehicle’s nose to port and carrying the entire vehicle with them on its new course. Alonzo and his vehicle thereby rounded the corner, taking them off of Elm street and onto 5th Avenue….

(This reminds me of the time I watched a visiting clergyman doing a sendup of “Pastor Jack telling the congregation the church is on fire.” He had everyone in hysterics, with the assistant pastor waving his handkerchief in surrender.)

(12) DUNE BUILDERS. Warner Bros. Pictures has announced the full cast and creative team for the new Dune movie with Brian Herbert as an executive producer. No change in the November 20, 2020 release date: “Cameras Roll on Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Entertainment’s Epic Adaptation of ‘Dune’”.

(13) RETRO FUTURE. Popular Mechanics remembers “When Pan Am Promised to Fly Us to the Moon”.

In 1964, Austrian journalist Gerhard Pistor walked into a Vienna travel agency with a simple proposition. He’d like to fly to the moon, and if possible, he’d like to fly there on Pan Am. 

The travel agency, presumably dumbfounded by this request, decided to simply do its job and make the ask: It forwarded the impossible request to the airline, the legend goes, where it attracted the attention of Juan Trippe, the notoriously brash and publicity-thirsty CEO of Pan American World Airways, the world’s most popular airline. Trippe saw a golden opportunity, and the bizarre request gave birth to a brilliant sales ploy that cashed in on the growing international obsession with human spaceflight: Pan Am was going to launch commercially operated passenger flights to the moon. Or, at least, that’s what it was going to tell everyone. 

In hindsight, it’s beyond ludicrous. NASA wouldn’t land men on the moon for five more years; the promise of lunar getaways on a jetliner sounds like a marketing scam at worst, and the most preposterous extension of 1960s techno-optimism at best. And yet, in a striking parallel to today’s commercial space race, would-be customers put down their names on a waiting list for their chance to go to space, joining Pan Am’s “First Moon Flights” Club.

If history is a guide, then Virgin Galactic, SpaceX and Blue Origin should be cautious. Pan Am dissolved in 1991 without ever getting close to launching a spacecraft. Even when it promised the moon and the stars, the airline was far closer to financial oblivion than it was to the cosmos. 

(14) NOW THEY TELL US. “US detects huge meteor explosion” – but we need to hear about it from BBC?

A huge fireball exploded in the Earth’s atmosphere in December, according to Nasa.

The blast was the second largest of its kind in 30 years, and the biggest since the fireball over Chelyabinsk in Russia six years ago.

But it went largely unnoticed until now because it blew up over the Bering Sea, off Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.

The space rock exploded with 10 times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Lindley Johnson, planetary defence officer at Nasa, told BBC News a fireball this big is only expected about two or three times every 100 years.

(15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Disney–The Art of Animation” on YouTube, Kaptain Kristian provides the 15 principles of animation that have ensured Disney’s continued excellence in animation for over 80 years.

[Thanks to Bill, JJ, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Daniel Dern, Scott Edelman, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kurt Busiek.]

46 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/18/19 I Needed Pixels Coz I Had None, I Filed The Scroll And The Scroll Won

  1. @9: I found The Witches of Eastwick debatable (at best), starting from the frame in which 3 women have gotten their powers by decisively destroying the men in their life then burn the last of their powers to get new men. (The latter is one error the movie didn’t make.) I gave up on Widows after a couple of chapters as it seemed to despise everything in the world including the characters. Maybe I just don’t get Updike, or maybe people read his work as pointing at other people instead of themselves.

    @9 ctd: Valerian is very pretty as a set of pictures, and alternates between dim and creepy as a story. I don’t resent the time seeing it because I needed to get out and do Something Else.

    @11: nice to be reminded there was a reason not read any Weber (beyond the one I read way-back-when) even if he was GoH for a con I was working on.

    @13: ISTM that PM is being unnecessarily pessimistic; Pan Am was in trouble, promises or no promises, as soon as deregulation happened if not before. I’m not queueing for a ticket on any of the named spacelines but I won’t be waiting for them to fail either.

  2. And on a happier note: cheers for Goss’s win (see previous-but-one story); the second book sprawls a bit compared to the first (which I raved about here a year or so ago), but it’s still both fun and pointed.

  3. (11) Good heavens. Really? I understand this is a parody, but if Weber writes like anything close to that…ugh.

  4. Bonnie McDaniel: Good heavens. Really? I understand this is a parody, but if Weber writes like anything close to that…ugh.

    The earlier Honor Harrington books are actually pretty readable. The later ones have become quite tedious, with excruciatingly-detailed descriptions of battles, (including numbers of missiles fired by each side, how many were destroyed by countermeasures, how many missed, and how many were hits — I think he’s catering to Royal Manticoran Navy RPG’ers) and political screeds.

    I’ve been skipping ahead on all of that crap for quite a few novels now, but unsurprisingly, the last couple of them have yet to make their way to the top of Mt. Tsundoku.

  5. (13) What nonsense: of course Pan Am developed the Space Clipper. I had an Airfix model of it, so it has to have been real. Plus, didn’t Stanley Kubrick insert footage of one in operation into some travel documertary he made?

  6. @Bonnie —

    (11) Good heavens. Really?

    It’s my impression that he’s hit-and-miss — perhaps depending on his co-authors at any given time?

    I quickly dnfed the first Honor Harrington novel — nearly threw it against the wall, figuratively speaking — and that’s supposed to be something impressive. OTOH, I quite liked most of the Prince Roger series (the last book was a serious letdown), which was co-written with Ringo. So YMM definitely V.

  7. JJ said The earlier Honor Harrington books are actually pretty readable. The later ones have become quite tedious, with excruciatingly-detailed descriptions of battles, (including numbers of missiles fired by each side, how many were destroyed by countermeasures, how many missed, and how many were hits — I think he’s catering to Royal Manticoran Navy RPG’ers) and political screeds.
    I enjoyed the first seven or so, but I can see that he’s gotten more interested in plotting battles than stories. I picked up the last one with some misgiving, since it was the size of an old-style dictionary. Parts of it kept my interest but not enough for me to finish it. And for the first time I lost track of which character was which, but didn’t care.

  8. 9) Valerian was a mess, but I was quite fond of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. The comic book was a lot more harsh, but the movie had a nice matiné charm.

  9. So far, I’ve managed to avoid reading any Weber. I have indeed heard a lot of people praise the Honor Harrington books, but it never really sounded like my cup of tea. MilSF in general is not something I find particularly appealing, and “the British Navy IN SPACE!!!” is one of my least favorite types of MilSF. I slogged my way through Poul Anderson’s Flandry series because I was a huge Anderson fan, but it was a slog.

    Thus I cannot judge the quality of the parody. But I still enjoyed it. 🙂

    Happy birthday to JDN! (And to the others, but they’re somewhat less likely to actually read this.)

    I found quite a bit to dislike in The Fifth Element. But I still ended up loving it. In fact, I consider it to be in a special category of movie–ones which are good despite being bad. Which is not at all the same as so-bad-they’re-good. In fact the only other movie I can think of in this category is John Carpenter’s They Live. And of the two, I much prefer Element.

  10. I read and enjoyed a great deal of Weber, though I crashed to a stop in Harrington during the Great Drought of my brain when I couldn’t read novels for a few years last decade, and I haven’t gone back to pick them up again despite my wife urging me to regularly.

    I have a soft spot for his utterly ludicrous Mutineer’s Moon, which reminds me of late-period Doc Smith, in a good way.

  11. @Ray Radlein I have a soft spot for his utterly ludicrous Mutineer’s Moon, which reminds me of late-period Doc Smith, in a good way.

    Agreed, and even more so for the first sequel. (The second sequel is dull, and reads like an early attempt at what became the Safehold series, which I Do Not Prefer.)

    I also have soft spots for Path of the Fury (more ludicrous space opera) and Oath of Swords (breezy D&D-ish fantasy with an obvious debt to Elizabeth Moon’s Paksenarrion). Avoid any sequels or prequels, though.

  12. (11) On Usenet a while back there was a Weber/William Goldman mashup – “the good parts” version of the Harrington books (i.e. “at this point, I’ve left out 14 pages on missile manufacture”). When I have the time, I’ll find the link and post it.

  13. (9) When J. D. Hertzler was guest of honor at ConGlomeration, the new local con, last year I was well dubious; another actor who just did another role.

    He may well have been, but he was damned funny and entertaining! And all these other genre roles you mention; he seems to be drawn back to the field, so he probabl isn’t “just another role”. If they had to have an actor they got a good one.

  14. 12) Okay. Here we go. I’d wondered if it was really going to happen…I guess now, the cameras will roll and we will see if an unfilmable book can be filmed. Again.

    Re: Besson. I SO wanted to like Valerian., I really really wanted to, the opening couple of minutes are wonderful…and then the male lead shows up. And then the movie goes off the rails for me, again and again and again and again. GAH.

  15. @Paul Weimer

    Snap! Valerian looked lush, and interesting…. and then the male lead opened his mouth and I just wanted to strangle the character. So I turned off instead.

  16. @14 “Now they tell us” because the people whose job it is to look for explosions in the atmosphere don’t consider it their job to tell anyone: they looked at their detectors, saw that it wasn’t nuclear, catalogued it, and moved on. (That part wasn’t in the BBC story.)

    I’m used to reading about someone having discovered a new species in a specimen, or fossil, that’s been sitting in a drawer for decades, and I know astronomers are still using the century-old Harvard star photographs, so this bit of “yeah, it happened, file it” shouldn’t have surprised me. But somehow, explosions are different: we expect people to notice, and talk about, things going BOOM!

  17. @Xtfir:

    MilSF in general is not something I find particularly appealing, and “the British Navy IN SPACE!!!” is one of my least favorite types of MilSF.

    I do like the occasional MilSF, which makes it odd that that wasn’t why I glommed onto the early Honor Harrington books. I fell in love with them because they were “the French Revolution IN SPACE!!!”

    I hadn’t realized until then that seventh-grade world history had made such an impression on me, but there you have it. When the series stopped being about the French Revolution I stopped reading it.

  18. The only Honor Harrington book I read, I remember being a moderately amusing story that ran on a predictable track — a bit too predictable, but in a harmless “I am eating popcorn because I want popcorn, and I don’t want it with powdered spice mix, or caramel, or cheese, or any of the other flavour enhancing stuff this time” way — couched in too many words. I could not turn off my editor brain as I usually can for other peoples’ writing, it kept coming in and saying “You could cut half of the words and still say the same thing.”

    (And in several places, I mean half. The **opening line** was 10 words. I thought of a way to say the exact same thing in 5.)

    So yeah, I couldn’t bring myself to read another one.

    The parody feels suspiciously likely — although it ALSO reads almost exactly like the “parody of old time SF but with our everyday tech” articles that used to crop up.

  19. 11) Special Pizza Moment: Ken Forkish’s Elements of Pizza: How to Make World-Class Pies at Home is available in ebook format from Kindle and Apple (perhaps elsewhere as well) for $2.99.

  20. My husband is a HUGE fan of the old Dune game. Pity we don’t live remotely near you, Paul, I suspect he’d be happy to find more willing players. I’ve always been a bit leery, but it’s in the realm of things I would be willing to try. Though I think he still has the original game.

  21. @Rob Thornton — Ooh! I actually ordered the hardcover (I generally prefer my cookbooks to be in physical form), but look forward to thumbing through it and seeing how it compares to my current favorite pizza book, Peter Reinhardt’s American Pie.

  22. Yeah, that’s a fair dinkum simulations of Weber’s current writing style. Honor Harrington fell down that rabbit hole after the 8th book. His latest pretty much wraps up her story.

    The Safehold series has the same infodump flaws. Although his latest in THAT series is a phone book that spans almost 20 years, with births, deaths, lots of infodump on economics in Siddermark and much angsting about whether the Archangels are coming back.

    The entire book could have been left out except the last chapter, which is the Mother of All Cliffhangers and a cheat to boot. He could have compressed the entire rest of the book into maybe 5 chapters, then used the space he saved to pick up with the aftermath of the cliffhanger, because it would have been a heck of a lot more interesting.

    I do like the Mutineer’s Moon ‘verse.

    The strangest book he’s written is the one where Earth is conquered by aliens, and then saved from said aliens by vampires. I forget the title. It was a decent read, and short enough and without infodumps to be enjoyable. But … weird.

  23. The Dune board game was published by Avalon Hill, but designed by another company, Eon. Eon are mainly famous for Cosmic Encounter, but published other games including a licensed Darkover game.

    A rethemed version of the Dune game was published by Fantasy Flight not so long ago. Set in the universe of Twilight Imperium, it’s called Rex: Final Days of an Empire.

  24. The list of interns for the President’s Council of Economic Advisors includes these recognizable names: Steve Rogers, Bruce Wayne, Kathryn Janeway, J. T. [Jabba the] Hutt, Jo(h)n Snow, Peter Parker, Aunt May, and John Cleese. A list for a prior year included J. T. Kirk and J. L. Picard.

    Hard to say whether this makes one feel better or worse about current affairs.

  25. (11) Found it! Paul Clarke wrote this on USENET back in 2009 (link
    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/rec.arts.sf.written/o6hqexF7_ts/Xb9f__CxuhkJ )

    Excerpt: “At this point I removed forty-three pages discussing missiles. Yes,
    forty-three. And yes, missiles. How many were fired, and by whom (3
    pages). The types of heads with which they were fitted (2 pages) and a
    history of their technical development (5 pages). How many were
    destroyed, broken down by countermeasure and enemy squadron (2 pages).
    … Then the enemy returned fire and he started _all over again_. Trust me, you don’t want to read that.”

  26. James Davis Nicoll says to me: Thank you for the birthday felicitations!

    My pleasure. You certainly deserved being on the Birthday list.

  27. @Rob Thornton
    I got a copy via Kobo – I wouldn’t have known about it with your comment!

  28. @PJ Evans

    Sorry about that. The sites I mentioned were the only places that I could confirm (i.e. were in the e-newsletter). Usually it is a good idea to check your fave site even if it isn’t mentioned.

  29. Luc Besson also made Lucy (2014), which alas is not about any famous people by that name such as AL-288-1, Lucy van Pelt, or my cat, but is a totally bonkers and fairly enjoyable piece of SF/F/action nonsense about cool special effects emanating from Scarlett Johansson. I normally can’t stand anything based on the “you don’t use 100% of your brain” thing, but this movie takes that concept so much further into total ridiculousness (with captions indicating exactly how much brain she’s using at each stage of her superpowers) that somehow I didn’t mind.

  30. There was a feature on the Lucy DVD called “The Real Science of Lucy”, which I can only imagine was a group of highly qualified neurobiologists laughing hysterically for 25 minutes.

    Fun movie, though.

  31. Rob, you have nothing to be sorry for. I understood your comment as that you hadn’t checked other sources – so I hit the one I use (which usually does have the same stuff).
    I have to say that the author has a very appropriate name: Forkish.

  32. The strangest book he’s written is the one where Earth is conquered by aliens, and then saved from said aliens by vampires. I forget the title. It was a decent read, and short enough and without infodumps to be enjoyable. But … weird.

    I feel like I’ve read a story along those lines, though I don’t remember it being book-length. I wonder if it was the same one.

  33. I normally can’t stand anything based on the “you don’t use 100% of your brain” thing, but this movie takes that concept so much further into total ridiculousness (with captions indicating exactly how much brain she’s using at each stage of her superpowers) that somehow I didn’t mind.

    You have to respect diving through the stupid idea so hard you come out the other side.

  34. @Nancy Sauer: I like a lot of individual examples of MilSF, even though the genre doesn’t appeal to me in general. The French Revolution, though, I’m afraid I associate with being forced to read A Tale of Two Cities when I was young–and not enjoying it. (Dickens had his moments, but man it was clear that he was being paid by the word!)

    For some reason (I have my theories), most of the MilSF I do like is written by women. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be a whole lot of women writing MilSF. I can name half-a-dozen, but I’m not sure I can name a full dozen. Unless this changes–or men do–I’ll probably continue to not like MilSF in general, while still enjoying the occasional specific instances. 😉

  35. Earth is conquered by aliens, and then saved from said aliens by vampires. I forget the title

    Out Of The Dark.

    Vague memories of thinking “why did the vampires wait so long to act”

  36. “Earth is conquered by aliens, and then saved from said aliens by vampires. I forget the title”

    He, first I thought you were talking about The Madness Season, but then I saw that was written by C. S. Friedman.

  37. @Xtifr:

    (Dickens had his moments, but man it was clear that he was being paid by the word!)

    Or being serialized. Which meant that some parts got padded out even more than others because he had to make each section of the serial about the same length, but still wanted to hit certain beat points at the ends of chapters.

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