Pixel Scroll 6/25/16 All My Kzins Remembered

(1) PHOTOS FROM THE LOCUS AWARDS.

File 770 was a Locus Award finalist in the magazine category and I did arm someone with an acceptance statement in case I unexpectedly won. It never occurred to me to dramatize my feelings about losing, however, I see First Novel nominee Sylvia Moreno-Garcia refused to admit defeat. (Or was that just her reaction to Nick Mamatas?)

My designated accepter, Suzle Tompkins, stands at the right of this photo.

(2) THUMB UP. Gary Westfahl delivers his verdict at Locus Online: “The Fogeys of July: A Review of Independence Day: Resurgence”. BEWARE SPOILERS.

Since I was recently complimented at a conference for writing “honest” film reviews, I feel obliged to begin this one by conveying my honest reaction to Independence Day: Resurgence: although I was bored and appalled by the original Independence Day (1996), and utterly baffled by its tremendous popularity, I somehow found its belated sequel to be surprisingly engaging, even moving, despite some obvious issues in its logic and plausibility. Perhaps this indicates that I am finally becoming senile, unable to distinguish between worthwhile entertainment and reprehensible trash; perhaps this is a sign of the times, so that a film modeled on a film that stood out in 1996 for its risible inanity and clumsy manipulativeness now seems, amidst scores of similar films, merely typical, or even a bit superior to its lamentable competitors. Perhaps, though, it is simply a better film than its precursor, the theory that merits some extended exploration.

(3) ONLINE COMICS. David Brin is back with “A look at Science Fiction webcomics: Part 3”.

Crowded Void, by Mike West offers one of the more unusual concepts. Finding Earth too crowded and people rather distasteful, Vincent Foxwell thought he could find peace when he took a job on a cargo vessel, hauling junk in space, with only an AI for company. Space turns out to be more crowded than he imagined…. when his spacecraft is swallowed by a massive space worm, where there is already an intestinal civilization of over a million humans and aliens, jockeying for position in the worm’s digestive cycle. He must find a way to escape… before digestion is complete. But first he must deal with the The Joint Intestinal Monarchy, which controls the worm, harvesting parts from spaceships. No end of good material for humor… a new theory of wormholes? Start at the beginning here.

(4) BANDERSNATCH. Charles de Lint reviewed Diana Pavlac Glyer’s Bandersnatch in the July/August Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Yes, there is a wonderful font of information about the Inklings, but it also provides one of the better guides to the collaborative process, including a chapter with the end about how to get the most out of a group set up in a style similar to that of the Inklings.  I think one of the best  pieces of advice she gives is the difference between “I don’t personally like this’ and ‘This isn’t any good’ in critiquing a manuscript.

To writers setting up a writing group, I recommend Bandersnatch wholeheartedly,  That said, those who simply love to read–especially those who particularly appreciate the work of Tolkien, Lewis, and Williams–will find much to enjoy as well.

(6) EAU DE MIDCHLORIAN. When you wear Star Wars Perfumes, the Force is with you….

The trilogy of futuristic “must have” perfumes transfers the essence of the Star Wars universe skillfully into a fascinating world of fragrances, which represent the best-known elements and characters from the saga.

The products are presented in a luxurious and lavish flacon which draws upon the symbolism of probably the most emblematic element of the movie – the lightsaber.

There’s Amidala, for women, and Jedi, and Empire for men.

AMIDALA inspired this fragrance through her royal elegance as well as by her strong, indomitable will. The elegant and sensual notes of vanilla, musk and patchouli are complemented by a fruity top note of apple and tangerine and merges into a sovereign seductive aura for any situation by day and by night; a floral perfume with oriental and powdery notes, which makes its wearer irresistible.

Should you want to smell like Darth Vader, spritz yourself liberally with this stuff —

EMPIRE covers you with an aura of masculinity and power. A scent that captures the dark side of the Force; mystical, formidable and superior. It starts with a sparkle of fruity notes from lime and apple. Powerful chords of amber, patchouli and tonka-bean characterize the powerful heart and base note that refine the composition. The result is a distinctive, oriental, seductive fragrance – perfect for the night, made for men which one better does not get in the way.

I just love that The Mary Sue kicks off its post about these perfumes with a GIF from the first Star Wars movie showing our heroes in the garbage bin and Han Solo demanding, “What an incredible smell you’ve discovered.”

(7) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • June 25, 1951 — On this day in 1951, CBS aired the first commercial color television network broadcast. At the time, no color TV sets were owned by the public. The broadcast was seen on color TV sets in public buildings. (Emphasis on commercial – there were other network broadcasts in color the previous year, 1950.)
  • June 25, 1982 — John Carpenter’s The Thing, seen for the first time on this day.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY GIRL

  • June 25, 1925 — June Lockhart, whom some remember from Lassie, while fans remember her from Lost in Space.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • June 25, 1903 – George Orwell

(10) MARK THIS DATE: Neil Gaiman will be on Late Night with Seth Meyers next Friday night, July 1.

(11) HARD TO WIN. Chuck Tingle had a good excuse for not getting a Locus Award.

(12) BREXIT DEBRIEFING. Camestros Felapton registered his disapproval of Brexit by refusing to art containing a notorious Leave supporter.

Not doing cat pictures because Timothy is still running around the house wearing a mop and pretending to be Boris Johnson whilst shouting “effinEurolosers” at squirrels.

(13) FREE SPEECH. The July Harper’s Magazine excerpted the brief the Language Creation Society filed in the Axanar lawsuit claiming that CBS and Paramount did not have copyright over the Klingon language.

Plaintiffs claim copyright over the entire Klingon language.  The notion is meqHutlh (‘lacking reason.’)  If this court commits this qab qech (“bad idea”), an entire body of thought will be extinguished.  Hoch jaghpu’Daj HoHbogh Suvwl’ ylvup-‘ (‘Pity the warrior who kills all his enemies.’)  By Plaintiffs’ account, everyone who translates something into Klingon, writes a poem in Klingon, gives a speech or presentation at a Klingon Language Institute meeting or Star Trek convention, or gives lessons on how to speak Klingon is a copyright infringer. Qam ghu’vam, loD!  (“This will not stand, man!”)  Plaintiffs’ argument that ‘a language is only useful if it can be used to communicate with people, and there are no Klingons with whom to communicate’ is an insulting assertion.  Many humans speak Klingon.  People get married in Klingon.  Linguist d’Armond Speers spent three years teaching his infant son how to speak Klingon. Speaking and writing in Klingon is not simply a matter of transposing words from a different language, either.  The Sesame Street theme-song lyric ‘Sunny day, chasing the clouds away’ translates into Klingon as jaj pen puQmo’, chaw’nIS je Jaj ‘ej Haw’raDchen, or ‘Day of the daytime star, the clouds are filled with dread and forced to flee.’  Klingon is not just a language, but a state of mind.

(14) TEMPLE GRANDIN. A Blank on Blank animation of an interview with Temple Grandin contains lots of food for thought for geeks and nerds. (Don’t be thrown off by the Squarespace ad about 4:30, because Grandin resume talking for another 90 seconds when it’s done.)

(15) RAINING ON A PARADE. Jesse Hudson, in a review of Alastair Reynolds’ Chasm City for Speculiction, compares its execution unfavorably with an Iain Banks standby.

This is important to note given the bifurcated storyline, and its intended effect. Seemingly an emulation of the narrative structure of Iain Banks Use of Weapons, Reynolds’ adherence to plot above character does not allow the big reveals to be very big. I will not spoil the story for those unable to put one and one (not even two and two) together, but suffice to say the underlying reality of the situation is telegraphed in the least subtle ways the length of the novel, emphasized by the lack of complete coherence at the character level. Where Banks’ story resolves itself in surprising fashion upon the final chapter, a surprise that feeds logically back through the entire book, I have doubts Chasm City does the same for the majority of readers—this coming from a person who is terrible at predicting endings

I’m not implying any defect in Hudson’s opinion of Reynolds’ book, but I have to say I saw the ending of Use of Weapons coming from a long way off. To me, Banks’ success was in delivering the expected “surprise” in an elegant way.

(16) TOM REAMY. Joachim Boaz reminds readers about a strong award contender, now forgot, Tom Reamy’s Blind Voices (1978), at Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations.

Tom Reamy’s Blind Voices (1978) was nominated for the Nebula, Hugo, and BFSA awards and came in second in Locus voting for best novel in 1979.  Posthumously released, Reamy died of a heart attack while writing in the fall of 1977 at 42.  His take on small town America transformed by the arrival of a traveling circus and its array of wonders will stay with you for years to come.  The science fiction elements (revealed more than halfway through the novel) interlace and add to the elegiac and constrained fantasy feel.  The specter of sexuality and violence spells cataclysm.

(17) OLD SCHOOL FAN. In a piece cleverly titled “Trexit”, Steve Davidson says “Get off Star Trek’s lawn!”

Alec Peters, you asked for it and you got it.  A set of fan work guidelines for the Star Trek universe that pretty much kills everything except maybe Lego animations. (Which are fine for what they are, but…)

I don’t personally do fanfic, fan films, fan art, etc., I’m sufficiently happy to stick with the originals, lament the lack of “more of the same”, and to spend some time dithering over whether or not I want to invest in the latest whatever released by the franchise holders.

But maybe that’s because I’m an old school fan with old school ideas about how one goes about engaging with someone else’s property….

(18) A LIZARD WITHOUT THUNDER. At Galactic Journey, The Traveler is falling out of love with one of the major prozines: “[June 25, 1961] The Twilight Years (July 1961 Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Like Victorian ladies’ hats, the dinosaurs became increasingly baroque until they were too ungainly to survive.

I worry that The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction is heading in that direction.  I’m all for literary quality in my sf mags, but F&SF has been tilting so far in the purple direction that it is often all but unreadable.  I present Exhibit A: the July 1961 “All-Star” issue.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

88 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/25/16 All My Kzins Remembered

  1. I never did get much into Van Vogt. Probably his best, to my taste anyways, was The Violent Man which isn’t SF. Of course that’s also the one with a Russian roulette scene with a semiautomatic pistol. Which would be brief if nothing else.

  2. I gave up on The Builders at the line “Scantily clad females carried trays of liquor to powerful males, threading their way through poker tables and roulette wheels.”

    It’s like Wind In the Willows, with cocktail waitresses.

  3. @emgrasso: Up here in Minnesota we’re also big on Sven Samurai, which we understand to be a spinoff from the wildly popular Ole and Lena series.

  4. @JJ
    Thanks for the reviews and adding more to my TBR.

    @Charon D
    The world needs less books with lines like the one you’ve quoted. Shows no respect for women, how tough most waitresses are (been one), and no imagination or creativity on the part of the author – using a line which can be found in hundreds of books or common scene in TV shows and movies.

  5. Agreed that Slan was very unsatisfying. I entered it prepared to be well-disposed, because I felt that some people were likely to oppose it for the wrong reasons (i.e. because of the symbolic significance that ‘slan’ later acquired); but its lack of coherence was just too annoying. (There’s an interesting example of ‘what writers don’t anticipate’, by the way: the plot, such as it is, would be unworkable if the characters were not wearing hats.)

    Van Vogt’s short fiction nominee worked much better – until the end. I could even accept the idea of a universe where gur ynjf bs zngurzngvpf jbex qvssreragyl – it doesn’t make sense, but hey, this is speculative fiction – but then he has to go and explain it.

  6. @Charon D
    The book sounds horrid, but I love your line
    It’s like Wind In the Willows, with cocktail waitresses..

    (ETA: I agree with what @Tasha Turner said)

  7. Jack Lint: Really like your Gravatar — I usually read comments on the WordPress dashboard where they aren’t displayed, which accounts for my not noticing earlier.

  8. Blind Voices floored me when I read it and I thought it was better than every other Hugo nominee that year but Up the Walls of the World. That was a strong year. Too bad it couldn’t come out the year before or the year after. It might have won in either case. Reamy died too soon.

    PS Publishing is doing a slipcased limited that’s out of my budget at present, which may have something to do with some of the conversation about Reamy.

  9. OGH – It’s Ricky Walker who won a Space Patrol Terra IV rocket in a contest held by Ralston Purina back in 1954. He also won the swell space helmet shown and a bicycle.

  10. I thought Slan was entertaining but very dated in some ways (holy unnatural dialogue Batman!), and the ending annoys me. Perhaps this is unfair but I couldn’t help comparing it to Jumper by Steven Gould (written in 1992), which does something similar but way better.

  11. Welp.

    Just got back from seeing Independence Day: Resurgence.

    Extremely Short Review: AAUUGH KILL ME NOW

    One-sentence review: Do not go see this if you have any affection at all for the original, which was freaking Shakespeare in the Park compared to this bloated, technobabble-stuffed, heartless mess.

    WARNING: ROT 13 RANTY MC RANTFACE FOLLOWS

    Bxnl, jurer qb V fgneg? Jvgu gur snpg gung Ebynaq Rzzrevpu nccneragyl srryf gung PTV ba fgrebvqf, obeebjvat sebz nyy gur qvfnfgre zbivrf bs gur cnfg 20 lrnef, vapyhqvat Fna Naqernf naq uvf bja 2012, znxrf hc sbe npghny punenpgref naq trahvar rzbgvbaf? Gung ur’f qenttvat (nyzbfg–Jvyy Fzvgu qrfreirf na Bfpne sbe cnffvat ba guvf bar) nyy gur npgbef sebz gur cerivbhf zbivr vagb n cergragvbhf, qhzorq-qbja frdhry gung purncraf jungrire tbbqjvyy gur bevtvany vafcverq va vgf nhqvrapr? Gung nf V jnf jngpuvat vg, V ernyvmrq gung rirel fprar jnf qrfvtarq gb znavchyngr zr, jvgu ebhfvat zhfvp naq fvyyl fcrrpurf gung jrer cbbe ergernqf bs Cerfvqrag Juvgzber’f bevtvany, vagb guvaxvat guvf jnf npghnyyl n fgbel gung znqr frafr? Naq gur “fgbel” orngf jrer bss-xvygre, fghcvq naq uhzbeyrff?

    Tnu. V gnxr n onpx frng gb ab bar va zl ybir sbe Wrss Tbyqoyhz, ohg V ernyyl jvfu ur, Oerag Fcvare, naq rirelbar ryfr vaibyirq unq fubja Ebynaq Rzzrevpu gurve pbyyrpgvir zvqqyr svatref.

    Bxnl. Fubeg cybg: Gur nyvraf erghea jvgu n Uneirfgre Fuvc gur fvmr bs gur Ngynagvp Bprna, jvgu gur vagragvba bs qevyyvat guebhtu gb gur rnegu’f pber naq senpghevat gur cynarg. (Ol gur jnl, fnvq uneirfgre fuvc jvcrf bhg Rhebcr naq gur ragver [erohvyg] Rnfgrea Frnobneq nf vg pbzrf va naq CYNAGF VGFRYS BA OBGU PBAGVARAGF YVXR N GRA-YRTTRQ FCVQRE, JUVPU JBHYQ VZZRQVNGRYL SENPGHER GUR CYNARG JVGU AB QEVYYVAT VAIBYIRQ. Nccneragyl guvf guerr-gubhfnaq-zvyr-jvqr ornfgvr trarengrf vgf bja tenivgl, juvpu cebivqrf n unaql-qnaql rkphfr sbe Ze Rzzrevpu gb haebyy gur 4gu Trarengvba PTV! Rkcybfvbaf! Oernxvat tynff! Fpernzvat fnpevsvpvny ynzof, re, uhzna orvatf! Fhpxvat hc NYY GUR OHVYQVATF NAQ PVGVRF, PNEF NAQ SERRJNLF (naq crbcyr) VAGB GUR NVE nf vg pbzrf va, naq, nf Qnivq Yrivafba fb phgryl abgrf, “Jung tbrf hc zhfg pbzr qbja,” naq thrff jung? Gur erohvyg Rzcver Fgngr Ohvyqvat penfurf vagb gur tebhaq nagraan-svefg! Nppbzcnavrq ol nqqvgbany cvgul Yrivafba pbzzragnel: “Gurl nyjnlf tb sbe gur ynaqznexf!”)

    (Ol gur jnl, guvf vf tvira nyy bs SVIR FRPBAQF’ rzbgvbany jrvtug va gur zbivr, naq BAYL orpnhfr n abj-tebja Qlyna Uvyyre, npr-gbxra-oynpx-cvybg, frrf uvf zbgure Wnfzvar, abj n qbpgbe naq tvira nyy bs guerr yvarf bs qvnybthr, qvr orsber uvf rlrf! Vg’f gur HYGVZNGR ERSEVTRENGBE, crbcyr.)

    (Ohg url, n guerr-gubhfnaq-zvyr-jvqr fuvc chapuvat guebhtu gur ngzbfcurer fubhyq unir qrfgeblrq vg naq xvyyrq zbfg yvsr ba Rnegu naljnl, frggvat bss, bar jbhyq guvax [Arny Fgrcurafba, uryc zr], znffvir gfhanzvf naq sverfgbezf. [Bu lrnu, naq gur qroevf sebz gur bevtvany Zbgure Fuvc vf fgvyy beovgvat gur cynarg! Hu…jung unccrarq gb bhe Uneq Enva???] Ohg gura, jr jbhyqa’g unir unq n cbvagyrff ovyyvba-qbyyne tebffvat zbivr, abj jbhyq jr??)

    Ohg url, gur cyhpxl uhzna enpr, yrq ol n fvyire-orneqrq, CGFQ-evqqra Cerfvqrag Juvgzber, svtugf onpx!! Bayl, nf uvf abj-tebja qnhtugre Cngevpvn fb jvfryl abgrf, “Qnq, jr’er abg tbvat gb jva guvf gvzr,” naq lbh qnza orgpun jr jbhyqa’g unir…UNQ VG ABG ORRA sbe gur qrhf rk znpuvan guebja va sebz abjurer, va gur sbez bs NABGURE nyvra enpr yrnqvat n…TNYNPGVP ERORYYVBA???? Guvf enpr [ovbybtvpny? NV? vg’f arire znqr pyrne], n juvgr fcurer gung vf gur nccnerag ybir puvyq bs gur Qrngu Fgne naq Rir sebz Jnyy-R, cbcf bhg bs n jbezubyr nobir gur Zbbaonfr orsber gur Uneirfgre Fuvc neevirf, ubyqvat bhg vgf sevraqyl Yhpnf-rq naq Qvfarl-svrq unaq va pbzenqrfuvc naq cbgragvny Nyvra Dhrra Xvpxnff [Evcyrl, jurer ner lbh?], naq jung qb jr [naq Znqnzr Cerfvqrag] qb???

    “Fubbg ‘re qbja, fba! Yrg’f qrfgebl nal cbgragvny nyyvrf orsber jr rira xabj jub gurl ner, jvgubhg nal nggrzcg gb gnyx gb gurz!”

    Bu, ohg bhe cyhpxl Svir Gjraglfbzrguvat Urebrf erfphr gur urneg bs gur Ybir Puvyq Fcurer whfg nf gur Uneirfgre Fuvc neevirf, naq pneevrf vg, guebhtu znal inevbhf cybg gjvfgf naq geninvyf, gb Nern 51 jurer, gur perrcvyl hangebcuvrq Qe. Oenxvfu Bxha vf whfg jnxvat hc nsgre uvf gjragl-lrne anc. Qe. Bxha whzcf bhg bs orq nf vs ur unq erny zhfpyrf naq qvirf vagb gur zlfgrel bs gur Gval Ybir Puvyq Fcurer! Zrnajuvyr, va n Znffvir Frevrf bs Qvfwbvagrq, Pyhzfl Rqvgf, Rnegu’f qrsrafrf nggrzcg gb qrfgebl gur Uneirfgre Fuvc, frg bss Pbyq Shfvba Obzof, unf n Terrql Fnyintr-Uhagvat Pncgnva xrrc jngpu ba gur cebterff bs gur nyvra’f pber-qevyyvat ynfre, pbzcyrgr jvgu n ubxrl PBHAGQBJA PYBPX (“lbh unir bar ubhe!…lbh unir sbhe zvahgrf…lbh unir GJB zvahgrf” [jvgu 20 zvahgrf bs svyz erznvavat], naq bu lrnu, gur Gval Ybir Puvyq Fcurer fcrnxf Ratyvfu gb Qe Bxha naq gryyf uvz gurer’f n jubyr TNYNPGVP ERORYYVBA bhg gurer whfg jnvgvat sbe n pregnva lryybj naqebvq gb yrnq gurz…naq cbbe CGFQ-evqqra Cerfvqrag Juvgzber funirf bss uvf orneq, vafcverf uvf qnhtugre gb pel bar grne, naq cvybgf gur Pbyq Shfvba Obzof vagb gur urneg bs gur Gra-Fgbel Nyvra Dhrra’f crefbany genafcbeg naq QBRFA’G RIRA QRFGEBL URE, guhf znxvat uvf fnpevsvpr hfryrff rkprcg gung vg zbgvingrf Cngevpvn gb GNXR GB GUR FXVRF NAQ ORPBZR N CVYBG NTNVA, ohg fur qbrfa’g qrfgebl gur Gra-Fgbel Nyvra Dhrra rvgure! Ure oblsevraq, bar bs gur bevtvany Svir Cyhpxl Gjraglfbzrguvatf, fjbbcf bhg bs gur fxl va gurve obeebjrq nyvra svtugref npdhverq qhevat gurve rfpncr sebz gur Uneirfgre Fuvc [jurer vafgrnq bs chapuvat na nyvra bhg nf Jvyy Fzvgu qvq va gur bevtvany, fnvq oblsevraq qrzbafgengrf uvf pbbyarff ol cvffvat ba gur Uneirfgre Fuvc vafgrnq] naq svanyyl, svanyyl, qrfgeblf gur Nyvra Dhrra va n ohefg bs ynfre sver naq terra chxr-vaqhpvat Tubfgohfgref-fglyr nyvra oybbq!

    Bu ohg Terng Tuh, gung’f abg rira gur raq! Gur Gval Ybir Puvyq Fcurer gnyxf gb Qe. Bxha, fntryl abgrf gung “Uhznaf ner n snfpvangvat fcrpvrf,” naq bssref gur jbeyq gur frpergf gb VAGREFGRYYNE GENIRY, naq va gur ynfg yvar bs gur zbivr, Qe. Bxha cebabhaprf gung jr pna tb gb gur fgnef, yrnq gur eroryyvba, naq XVPX FBZR NYVRA NFF!

    Guhf, bs pbhefr, frggvat gur fgntr sbe na raqyrff zbarl-tehoovat senapuvfr gung jvyy cerfhznoyl fhpx gur ragver Zneiry naq Yhpnf/Qvfarl havirefrf vagb vgf obggbzyrff znj.

    *headdesk*headdesk*headdesk*

    Unless you’re really fond of flushing your money down the toilet, folks, I wouldn’t waste my time.

  12. UK Labour Party is now in total meltdown with eleven shadow cabinet members having resigned after one was sacked for expressing no confidence in the leader.

    I’m going to watch the finale of Person of Interest to cheer myself up…

  13. IanP on June 26, 2016 at 2:08 pm said:
    UK Labour Party is now in total meltdown with eleven shadow cabinet members having resigned after one was sacked for expressing no confidence in the leader.

    That is reassuring – I was worried the UK had changed beyond all recognition, so its nice to see Labour engaging in a traditional factional feud rather than uniting against the enemy. Just like the good old days…*

    *[this was the most positive spin I could put on things]

  14. @Camestros

    Boris is also said to be standing for the Tory leadership on a Unity platform, which just goes to show that the absurdity of British life continues as normal,

  15. Went to see ID Resurgence on Thursday in IMAX 3D. While as cheesy as all hell I liked it more than its predecessor if anything and it it is still better than Star Trek Into Darkness.

    ETA @Bonnie McDaniel, didn’t in rot13 your comment as I’m on the iPad and have just got back from Tapas with lots of Rioja. I probably agree with most of it though.

  16. @JJ: Ooh, I didn’t know the next Wells was out. Must go buy. It’s interesting to see SF where the linguistics is as important as the nuts and bolts of the spaceships. I like that there’s romance in there too — it develops logically from the situation, which is something that doesn’t always happen in pure romance novels. I LOVED “Raven and Reindeer” too — more than the original or Frozen. Magical and delightful.

    @Hampus: Oh, huzzah. JKR and Tingle, a winning combo. Love is real.

    I’m almost as old as Kip and Steve. And now have old TV show themes in my head. I miss proper TV show themes, new shows don’t have them. I managed to miss Skippy, though I saw everything else mentioned. Green Acres is quite surreal when you think about it.

    @Daniel Dern: Great title. Larry Niven should buy it from you and write something, maybe a retrospective article.

    @Bonnie: Yep, giving this one a miss. Like, probably not bothering to see it on TV in a year unless very drunk.

  17. Green Acres was based on a radio show, “Granby’s Green Acres” (which survives, in part, at Archive.org), but really took it to a surreal meta-comedic level that is still pretty impressive at times. I liked the one where storekeeper Sam Drucker is trying to put out the town newspaper in the opener, but it keeps showing the names of cast members, to his disgust.

    My favorite moment on “Petticoat Junction” happens to have been a Sam Drucker moment (he worked across several shows, I mention parenthetically). Kate is trying to get advice from Sam without admitting she’s doing it, so she disguises it by reversing the genders to a hypothetical about a widower with three sons. “Oh yeah,” says Sam. “I watch that one all the time.” Kate persists. What, she asks, if the youngest one wants to get marries, and… “You mean Ernie? That little kid wit’ th’ glasses?” Sam asks. The scene shifts soon after, but I thought the lampshading about the counterpart show was a good one.

    I watched those shows, when I could, when they were first-run. I think I got into them even more when they were on Nick at Nite, due to shrewd marketing, like their lyrics to the “My Three Sons” song:

    It’s My Three Sons,
    Yes, my three sons,
    They’re my three sons
    On Nick at Nite.

    They have a dad
    His name is Steve
    He has a job
    He’s really tall!

    And then there’s Bub
    He makes them food
    They have a dog
    They’re My Three Sons
    (on Nick at Nite)!

    But don’t get me started on Nick at Nite.
    [Eva will not harm you.]

  18. Oh, I went and found it: How To Be Swell. The third one in this set of four short TV bumpers from the 90s is my favorite in the series, “Life Has Meaning!” (“Perhaps if your Mr. Sartre had watched more TV, he wouldn’t be such a Gloomy Gus!”)

  19. Person of Interest finale is a real punch in the feels…

    That better make next years BDPSF Hugo short leet.

  20. Oh, yes, that seems to be the voice and the lyrics and the piano chords and the underlying train bed. Thanks! (There’s a chance it’s good—it did lead to the second series.)

  21. Perhaps someone here would have the ability to find a horrific earworm ad from the late 60s that I’ve failed at.

    -I am an acne pimple, as lonely as can be.
    -Don’t cry, pimple, I’ll keep you company.
    -Say, fellow pimples, would three be a crowd?
    -All together, pimples, Sing Real Loud!
    –NYAAAAAAAA…

    The animation for the ad was just black dots. Sheer naked irritation value, unequalled (for me, at any rate) until “Chow Chow Chow” ads.
    I really think it’s the most obnoxious ad ever, and yet the internet fails to have a copy of it to reference. There’s just one YouTube video where some guy sits in a room and sings it.
    I certify that I am a grown person who votes, drives a car, and sometimes wears a hat.

  22. I liked the DOBIE GILLIS show. Surrealistic and often veered into science fiction. And its constant reference to THE MONSTER THAT DEVOURED CLEVELAND, a non existent film.

    I could roll in nostalgia, buying sets of shows and watching them again. But most of them were not good then and were time filling.

  23. When I hear The Littlest Hobo, all I can think of was an early episode of That 70s Show where Eric gets to host a party at the house without his parents and Kitty imagines the worst happening.

  24. I think I have to work the phrase “furry essentialism” into writing panels at Further Confusion (San Jose’s furry convention) now.

  25. @Bonnie McDaniel: (ID5 – because what else should I call a sequel to ID4?)

    I do feel obliged to point out that there’s a prequel novel, Independence Day: Crucible, which explains what happened during the 20 years between the two movies. It provides a lot of the context and characterization that properly should have been in the movie. (Examples include the African ground war, the relationships between Jake, Dylan, Charlie, and Patricia, and how Captain Hiller’s death affected David’s career path. I think that’s vague enough to not need rot13.) The film leans rather heavily on that information, which worked fine for me as I read that novel quite recently… so I was mainly connecting dots instead of trying to catch up. In other words, when that punch was thrown in the moonbase, I knew exactly why… just like I knew that Juvgzber qvqa’g unir CGFQ. Ur, yvxr rirelbar ryfr jub’f unq zragny pbagnpg jvgu gur nyvraf, unf orra univat avtugznerf gung fgnegrq erpragyl naq unir orra trggvat jbefr. Vg’f n fvqr rssrpg bs gurve erghea, abg cflpubybtvpny genhzn.

    Now, does that excuse the laughably rubber science, including but by no way limited to forgetting that gur znagyr vf gbgnyyl n guvat gung rkvfgf orgjrra gur pehfg naq gur pber, naq qevyyvat guebhtu ZBYGRA EBPX vf ng orfg ceboyrzngvp? Of course not, but the original movie had those kinds of mistakes. I’m only pointing out that the new project wasn’t “heartless” – it just made the mistake of putting too much key information on the page instead of on the screen.

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