Pixel Scroll 7/7/16 Where the Filed Things Are

(1) STAR TREK CATCHES UP WITH THE PRESENT. The BBC story “Star Trek character Hikaru Sulu revealed as gay” says the Star Trek Beyond development is a salute to actor George Takei.

One of Star Trek’s best known characters, Hikaru Sulu, has been revealed as gay.

The character, played by John Cho in the current franchise, will be shown as having a same sex partner in the forthcoming Star Trek Beyond.

Cho told the Herald Sun the move was a nod to George Takei, the gay actor who played the character in the original 1960s television series.

The decision was taken by British star Simon Pegg, who wrote the screenplay.

(2) TAKEI UNIMPRESSED. Takei himself is not enthusiastic about the idea, he told The Hollywood Reporter.

The idea came from Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty in the new films and penned the Beyond screenplay, and director Justin Lin, both of whom wanted to pay homage to Takei’s legacy as both a sci-fi icon and beloved LGBT activist.

And so a scene was written into the new film, very matter-of-fact, in which Sulu is pictured with a male spouse raising their infant child. Pegg and Lin assumed, reasonably, that Takei would be overjoyed at the development — a manifestation of that conversation with Gene Roddenberry in his swimming pool so many years ago.

Except Takei wasn’t overjoyed. He had never asked for Sulu to be gay. In fact, he’d much prefer that he stay straight. “I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”

He explains that Roddenberry was exhaustive in conceiving his Star Trek characters. (The name Sulu, for example, was based on the Sulu Sea off the coast of the Philippines, so as to render his Asian nationality indeterminate.) And Roddenberry had always envisioned Sulu as heterosexual.


George Takei with Buzz Aldrin

George Takei with Buzz Aldrin

(3) MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE HETEROSEXUAL FRONTIER. In the link above, Takei also discusses the Kirk/Uhura kiss, to which the BBC devoted several paragraphs in an article about classic Star Trek’s handling of black/white race issues.

In 1968, US television broadcast what many claim was the first interracial kiss on American airwaves. It occurred between two of the sexiest characters alive: Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura, on Star Trek. According to Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura, “We received one of the largest batches of fan mail ever, all of it very positive, with many addressed to me from girls wondering how it felt to kiss Captain Kirk, and many to him from guys wondering the same thing about me.

(4) THE IDEA FOR FOLDING. The author of “Folding Beijing”, “Hugo-nominated Chinese author Hao Jingfang talks sci-fi, inner journeys and inequality” with the South China Morning Post.

For me it was heartbreaking to read about how people in different “spaces” had different amounts of time when they had access to daylight. That sounds like the most basic thing. How did you think about illustrating those discrepancies?

We always think that time is the only thing we share equally. So if time is divided unequally by social status, then inequality is complete. For me it was artistically striking to create this setting.

The other reason is perhaps economic because unemployment is always a problem in the US, in Europe, as well as in China. The Chinese government is afraid of unemployment, so sometimes it will maintain a plant or a factory to avoid huge unemployment. But in the future as technology develops, how will people deal with unemployment? Perhaps the easiest and cruellest method is to limit the time (they are awake), and then they will not create problems. So this setting provides an extreme solution to a social problem. I hope that we can find better solutions in real life, but in stories you can just push things to the extreme.

(5) MORE HUGO REVIEWS. Doris V. Sutherland, having completed her long series comparing the 2014 and 2015 Hugo nominees, moves on to discuss this year’s contenders – “2016 Hugo Reviews: Novelettes” at Women Write About Comics.

(6) SF ART IN SCOTLAND. The Adventures in Time and Space exhibit runs July 7-October 2 at The Lighthouse in Glasgow.

Science fiction films exert a powerful grip on the human imagination. This innovative exhibition, curated by Berlin based leading Scots designer, Jon Jardine and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland will offer insights into the architecture of science fiction. It will compare the ideas of architectural visionaries with startling representations of buildings and cities from the birth of cinema to the present day.

Over 180 new works of art have been specially commisioned by Artists Ian Stuart Campbell, Douglas Prince, Ciana Pullen and Piotr Sell for the exhibition.

The Festival of Architecture 2016 is a year-long, Scotland-wide celebration of design, creativity and the built environment, led by The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.


July 7, 1907 – Robert Anson Heinlein would have been 109 years old today.

Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein


According to Spider Robinson, the closing quotation for today’s edition of the emailed morning headline-summary The Economist Espresso is by Robert Heinlein: “Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.”

(9) ABSTAIN. At Mad Genius Club, Kate Paulk looks over the nominees in the two editor categories —  “Hugo Category Highlights – The Finalists – Best Editor, Short Form and Long Form”. She finds only Jerry Pournelle worthy of consideration in Short Form, and as for Long Form:

I think I’m going to have to sit out this category. There simply isn’t enough in it that’s caught my attention over the year for me to make a judgment, and I personally refuse to simply say “Oh, X is a good person and they’ve done a lot of good over the years”. That’s not what the award is for.

That’s pretty amazing, to think Paulk invested a whole year promoting the Sad Puppy cause while being bored by the output of nine of its ten Hugo-nominated editors.

(10) HUGOGAMI. Lisa Goldstein weighs in on Hugo nominated Novelette: “Folding Beijing” at inferior4+1.

“Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu, is on the Rabid Puppies slate, but it also seems to be a popular story in its own right.  There are other popular stories on the slate as well, in an attempt, I think, to confuse Hugo voters.  Apparently we’re supposed to react like Harcourt Mudd’s robots in Star Trek: — “But it’s a Puppy choice! — But I like it! — But it’s a Puppy choice!” — and then our logic circuits overheat and our brains shut down.

(11) 2016 SHORT FICTION REVIEWS. “Gardner Dozois reviews Short Fiction, June 2016” at Locus Online.

He covers Asimov’s 4-5/16, Tor.com 1/6/16 – 4/13/16, Lightspeed 4/16, and Slate 4/26/16.

(12) WORLDCON NEWS. MidAmeriCon II has released several updates.

Fan Tables – deadline for reserving is July 15.

Worldcons traditionally offer complimentary Fan Tables to non-profit groups organized by members of a particular science fiction/fantasy fandom or convention. Fan Tables are an opportunity for attendees to get information about other fan groups and for fan groups to introduce themselves to fans from around the world. MidAmeriCon II has a limited number of tables available for fan groups to promote themselves and to sell memberships or club paraphernalia. (If you would like to sell more than memberships and T-shirts, please investigate the Creators Alley or Dealers Room).

The following conventions, convention bids, clubs, and societies have already reserved or are expected to reserve a Fan Table at MidAmeriCon II: …


Please remember that your $60 child membership comes with 5 FREE hours of childcare, the earlier you book those hours the better to ensure we still have enough space. At the door convention rates for children are: Wed $15, Thurs-Sat each day $25, and $15 for Sunday. Onsite childcare, if there is still room, will be $15 per hour (pre-reg is $10 online).

We are thrilled to be working with KiddieCorp as the professional childcare provider for MidAmeriCon II. KiddieCorp has worked regularly with Worldcon in recent years ­including in Spokane, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Denver, Montreal, Reno, and Chicago ­and have an excellent understanding of our needs and interests. Childcare will be held in the Kansas City Marriott which is close to the convention center and also connected to it via underground tunnel. More information about our hotels and room bookings can be found on our hotel information page.

Children’s Programming

Our children’s program is for children aged 6 to 12 and also their parents. Some items are suitable for older kids and teenagers who are also welcome. We plan to have a program for the full weekend involving crafts, games, toys, mini-projects, books, comics, and a bit of space for children to enjoy. We want to create a room where there is always something to do, where science and engineering meet fiction, film, books, comics, and the fantastic, and where kids will enjoy themselves and have fun!

YA Programming

MidAmeriCon II will also have some great YA programming including workshops, panels, and more for the young and young at heart. From steampunk to romance, action, and film, our YA programming explores the fun in fiction while also tackling some tough questions about ethics, love, and nontraditional families.

Panelists include Guest of Honor Tamora Pierce, Gail Carriger, Stina Leicht, Rebecca Moesta, Cerece Rennie Murphy, Greg van Eekhout, and other fabulous authors in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and more.

(13) ALWAYS. From The Guardian: “Tesla driver killed while using autopilot was watching Harry Potter, witness says”

The Tesla driver killed in the first known fatal crash involving a self-driving car may have been watching a Harry Potter movie at the time of the collision in Florida, according to a truck driver involved in the crash.

The truck driver, Frank Baressi, 62, told the Associated Press that the Tesla driver Joshua Brown, 40, was “playing Harry Potter on the TV screen” during the collision and was driving so fast that “he went so fast through my trailer I didn’t see him”.

The disclosure raises further questions about the 7 May crash in Williston, Florida, which occurred after Brown put his Model S into Tesla’s autopilot mode, which is able to control a car while it’s driving on the highway.

The fatal crash, which federal highway safety regulators are now investigating, is a significant setback and a public relations disaster for the growing autonomous vehicle industry.

(14) FAILED PREDICTIONS ABOUT REAL TECHNOLOGIES. The BBC ginned up a five-things article about transportation technologies that never became centerpieces of a glorious future.

WITH EVERY JULES VERNE NOVEL, James Bond film or World’s Fair came new, fantastical ways of getting around. They packed our near-future with science-fiction promises: walkways that did the walking for us, pod cars built for one, jet-powered backpacks that let humans fly. Today, although these things exist, they’re hardly commonplace. Why did these transportation moonshots fall by the wayside, and short of their pledges to revolutionise the world? ….


Then: There is likely no discarded transportation relic that sums up the past’s vision of the future better than the monorail. Inventors had been toying with the idea of an elevated, single rail line since the 1800s, and by 1956, Houston, Texas saw the first trial run of a monorail in the US, in all its shiny, glass-fibre glory. The otherworldly, curvy carriages that zoomed high above the ground popped up piecemeal around the world in places like Japan, but the turn of the century’s rise of the automobile proved too much for the sky high train of tomorrow.

Now: Today, monorails are chiefly the chariots of airport terminals and amusement parks. Disney World in Florida has a monorail system that shuttles Mickey lovers from car park to theme park — including a line that runs directly through the soaring lobby of Disney’s Contemporary Resort hotel.

(15) AVOIDING THE OBVIOUS ANSWER. They’re pretty sure Tunguska was a meteorite, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying these other interesting theories.

Some suggested the Tunguska event could have been the result of matter and antimatter colliding. When this happens, the particles annihilate and emit intense bursts of energy.

Another proposal was that a nuclear explosion caused the blast. An even more outlandish suggestion was that an alien spaceship crashed at the site on its search for the fresh water of Lake Baikal.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, David K.M. Klaus, Spider Robinson, Chip Hitchcock, Mark-kitteh, Lisa Goldstein, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]

68 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/7/16 Where the Filed Things Are

  1. (2) TAKEI UNIMPRESSED. That’s a really interesting discussion. Another angle that may play into Takei’s reaction: Representation is great. But a big problem facing out gay actors in Hollywood is getting hired to play straight roles, which is most roles. So Takei may feel that making Sulu gay retroactively removes an example of a gay actor successfully playing a straight character.

  2. Sacrificial Fourth

    ETA: (9) ABSTAIN. – In all fairness, (i) I don’t think there was much promoting done for SP4, and (ii) She’s been bored for far more than just the Editor categories.

  3. Jim Henley: Actors are usually pretty receptive to publicity, especially when years past their prime. So I’m wondering if what looks like a purist’s complaint about violating Roddenberry’s vision for the category has a simpler cause — like Shatner, Takei hasn’t been cast in any of the new Star Trek movies, and may be pissed off about that.

  4. (1) & (2)
    My reaction is much the same as when the new version of Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica was female: hmm, that’s interesting. Nu-Starbuck was much like original-Starbuck, but genderswitched, and was an interesting portrayal. If Nu-Sulu is done as well, I’d have no cause for complaint.
    (Though unlike Starbuck, we only rarely got a glimpse into the personality of Sulu in TOS. I mean, apart for a penchant for swashbuckling what do we know about Sulu?)

    (9) ABSTAIN.
    I feel a yawn coming on myself.

    (13) ALWAYS.
    The Autosteer was still in beta. I myself would never entrust my life to software in beta. It’s a different story with computer games in beta, but then the failure mode of a beta-version computer game is much less lethal.

    ETA: Second Fifth!

    Missed by *this* much…

  5. 3) I wish this myth would just die. Not only wasn’t it the first interracial kiss on American TV (even ignoring edge cases like Lucy and Ricky, Lloyd Bridges kissed Nobu McCarthy in an episode of Sea Hunt a full decade before the Star Trek episode aired), it wasn’t even the first interracial kiss on American TV that month. (And lest anyone argue that that doesn’t count because it’s not a romantic kiss, remember that in the ST episode in question, aliens use mind control to force Kirk and Uhura to kiss.)

  6. (9) ABSTAIN

    Paulk seems to be trying very hard not to like anything. She complains that John Joseph Adams curated some stories for the packet rather than providing a full issue (which are available for free online, but why make the effort?) but then moans about the full issues from other editors. Her praise for Pournelle amounts to noting that the stories are on-theme and a backhanded compliment about the non-fiction.

  7. @Soon Lee

    I mean, apart for a penchant for swashbuckling what do we know about Sulu?

    Don’t we briefly see his Kirk meet his daughter in Generations?

  8. @Sean Hunh. I always wondered about Lucy and Ricky as an edge case, but didn’t know about The Sea Hunt, or the Bonanza parody.

  9. @IanP,
    Hmmm, checks, so it was, Demora Sulu, daughter of Hikaru.

    Though I guess that in theory that doesn’t necessarily make Sulu heterosexual, could have been bi, or given it’s the future, could have had a daughter using technology. And presumably there’s nothing that precludes adoption either?

  10. Eh I think the ship’s already sailed on canon and new Star Trek. Ship’s sailed, gone to warp eight, and performed a slingshot maneuver around the planet retcon.

  11. Soon Lee: I mean, apart for a penchant for swashbuckling what do we know about Sulu?

    One of his hobbies is botany (The Man Trap). And the original script for The Trouble With Tribbles had Sulu, not Chekhov, waxing enthusiastically about quadrotriticale (there was some sort of issue Gene L. Coon had, either with Sulu, or with Takei, apparently, which caused that script change).

  12. #15 Tunguska: quibbling about terms.

    “Meteor” is the term for the atmospheric event–the streak of light that you see. A “meteorite” is the object once it is on the ground (easy way to remember it, think of all of the types of rock that end with “ite”, including anthracite and lignite coal and ammonite and trilobite fossils.) If the object is still is space it is a meteoroid (never mind at what point a large meteoroid becomes a small asteroid.) Since the damage at Tunguska was done by an air burst explosion before any fragments hit the ground, if you want to be a pedant about it (and, apparently, I do) Tunguska wasn’t caused by a meteorite. (What would you call it to be technically correct? A bolide.)

  13. I don’t think it’s all that surprising that Takei is not particularly happy about this sort of thing. Takei comes from an older generation, who generally placed a lot more emphasis on respecting a creator’s original vision for his work. I’m far more apt to believe Takei when he says this than the musings of random people decades later, since Takei was actually there with Roddenberry on the set day after day to discuss what vision Roddenberry had for Sulu.

  14. I’m torn on the whole “new Sulu is gay” thing. Takei is right, it’s not what Roddenberry intended. But what’s the alternative? This is a Star Trek movie, not an hourly TV shows that runs for a few seasons. The cast is already crowded, and most character scenes will (and should) go to the established cast and to the villain. After that there’s not much space to develop a real character. Further, the likelihood of any new character carrying forward is slim, so he or she becomes the cameo gay for one movie. That’s just doing a PC checkbox, not incorporating gay characters into the canon.

    Changing the orientation of an established character is clumsy, but IMHO it’s better than anything else they could do to bring LGBT characters into the foreground of the canon. And once that’s said, yeah, having it be Sulu (while preserving his daughter) is a nice tip of the hat to Takei.

  15. Takei is right, it’s not what Roddenberry intended.

    Roddenberry spent most of his life after 1969 creating a myth of himself as the great auteur behind Star Trek, but the truth is lots of other people were instrumental in making the series great, and often times Roddenberry’s own vision sucked. Some of the best installments in the franchise — The Wrath of Khan, The Undiscovered Country, and Deep Space Nine — are things that went against his intentions (or at least what he later claimed his intentions were — there are lots of things he claimed credit for that simply aren’t true, including that “first” interracial kiss).

    So the fact that he intended Sulu to be straight doesn’t bother me.

  16. Re Sulu: I’m sure this whole terrible mess can be straightened out (pun disowned) with some simple Star Trek logic. Reverse the polarity of the flux! Holodeck it! Personally, I favor a combination of lost years in alternate history and the liberal use of Mirror Universe Lecher Sulu. People space itself with Sulus! IDIC!

  17. @Sean O’Hara

    And the dirty little secret of third season Star Trek: It was when Roddenberry had lost a number of the collaborators who helped make what we think of as “Star Trek” and was able to make the stories more of what he’d wanted all along.

  18. Sigh, so much for staying spoiler-free about the new Trek movie (not just this post but at least three times on Facebook just yesterday) :/

  19. (11) 2016 SHORT FICTION REVIEWS: With all respect to Gardner Dozois, I’m really missing Lois Tilton. She had some quirky preferences in terms of theme and tone, but her analysis of the stories had some depth and she wasn’t afraid to be negative.

  20. And the dirty little secret of third season Star Trek: It was when Roddenberry had lost a number of the collaborators who helped make what we think of as “Star Trek” and was able to make the stories more of what he’d wanted all along.

    Actually Roddenberry had quit as showrunner at that point and Freddy Frieberger took over. That was one of three times where Roddenberry lost control of the franchise, the next being after The Motion Picture, when Harve Bennett took over producing the movies, and then after the second season of TNG, when the names we’re familiar with — Pillar, Berman, Braga — started coming in.

    The best source for what Roddenberry actually envisioned (at least once he entered his self-mythologizing phase) is the novelization for TMP, which is full of lots of weird ideas.

  21. (1)/(2) Very interesting. I find George Takei’s response to be impressive. He has a better understanding of Gene Roddenberry’s concept for Sulu and how he fit into Gene’s view of the series and Mr. Takei is willing to defend Gene’s perspective. Retroactively re-writing the character isn’t always a great choice…or even a good one. (FTR, gay characters in Star Trek are overdue, IMHO. This retcon in particular doesn’t move my needle much in either direction.)

    I’m sure the guys on The Post Atomic Horror Podcast will have a positive spin on this retcon.

    @Soon Lee

    Sulu started out in the science section before moving over the command section. He appears to be a capable, competant, enthusiastic, and loyal* officer. From his mannerisms, he appears to be well in the hetero side of things. ISTR several episodes where Sulu was looking at female characters with a sort of “if she’s willing then I’m willing” expression on his face. He explicitly had an interest in Uhura. Which I suppose is a long version of “we know a lot about Sulu well beyond his interest in swords**”.

    *Mirror universe, duh…. [8*)

    **No, no, no….the OTHER kind…..sheesh.

    (14) I don’t find the failure of those innovations all that surprising. Individuals in general, and therefore successful human societies, place a premium on efficiency***. Mass transit systems are designed to move people from one specific/fixed point to another. People generally have little interest in those two points as their actual origin and destination are frequently someplace else. Monorails and moving sidewalks are great options for social planners that think people should adjust their lifestyle to match social planner expecations/designs. Well, social planners and specific venues that move a lot of people along a specified path on a regular basis such as theme parks, airports, and massive parking structures.

    (Well designed, integrated mass transit systems [lookin’ at you, western European nations] certainly improve the utility of mass transit. But automobiles are still more effecient for most people.)

    Automobiles are a much more effecient method for getting people from where they are to where they want to be for a bunch of different reasons. Once we get the wrinkles in (13) ironed out, automobiles will become an even more efficient method that may well kill mass transit outside of dense urban centers in the U.S.

    ***hence capitalism, yay!


  22. About the Locus short fiction reviews: Gardner’s on-line column is an import from the print magazine and operates under the magazine’s length constraints*–this latest one runs 1400 words. Lois’s were written for the website, appeared twice a month, and could run 3000-5000 words each. Those are signifcantly different review environments.

    * To say nothing of the time and effort it would take to match Lois’s output, even if there were enough pages available. I struggle to get through two (or very occasionally three) books and generate 2000-2500 words of copy in a month. I know that I’m old and slow, but I wasn’t much faster when I was merely middle-aged.

  23. 1 & 2) This morning Simon Pegg posted a respectful and informed rebuttal to George Takei.

    I support modern Sulu being gay because… why not? It’s about damn time. It’s the future and Trek is THE inclusive Utopian Future that embraces all kinds of crazy stuff.

    Note: Any time I read about someone talking about, “Gene’s Vision for Star Trek” I remind myself that that same vision included the Gangster Planet and Trouble with Tribbles episodes punctuated by Kirk giving Karate chops to reptile aliens and fighting off Spock’s genetic Sex Rage.

    Gene Rodenberry’s vision of Star Trek when taken to an extreme is impossible because it ignores basic human nature. A Post-Scarcity society where there is no poverty, disease or war where there is no money is an awesome idea on the surface, but it would require a certain amount of rigidity when you think about it. Utopia is a great idea if you can get 100% of the population to get with the program.

    The Federation strikes me as a society whose members are perpetually stir crazy. They have no money and war is out of the question so they are constantly looking for something to do or build. That’s why we get so many pet projects and holodeck episodes. What about people who are just not good students or who don’t like building things or reading? How are they doing? There are certain basic parts of human nature that either need to be technologically controlled or given new outlets for and most of Gene’s Trek doesn’t show that.

    Gene’s Vision had a bunch of missing pieces that for that Utopian Omelet is more than likely a few broken eggs.

  24. I remind myself that that same vision included the Gangster Planet and Trouble with Tribbles episodes

    For the record, Roddenberry didn’t like the Trouble with Tribbles or A Piece of the Action.

  25. I religiously follow Doris V. Sutherland.s reviews. In this case, she’s expressed more clearly than anyone else what’s wrong with “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead”.

  26. My regular Friday review post covers the last three months of Podcastle.org listening. (If I can remember the story, it must have been memorable.)

    Particularly recommended:

    410: The Saint of the Sidewalks by Kat Howard
    413: This is Not a Wardrobe Door by A. Merc Rustad
    and although it wasn’t quite at all my sort of thing, as long as you don’t have a phobia about clowns or bees:
    420: The Bee Tamer’s Final Performance by Aidan Doyle

  27. I strongly suspect that if George had been involved in the decision of how to present the new Sulu, he’d be much more supportive of whatever they ended up doing.

  28. Roddenberry’s vision also included the spectacularly racist Vulcans. I was kind of surprised when I realized how much they denigrated the emotional humans and vaunted their superior logical species. (Okay, mind, it was that ridiculous DS9 baseball episode, but that crystallized some of the disdain I saw from Spock.)

  29. Forgot to tick the box, so I will add that I have a Vitamix blender that reverses the blades by reversing the polarity of the motor! So awesome. Geordi would be proud.

  30. Dawn Incognitio: Roddenberry’s vision also included the spectacularly racist Vulcans.

    Not seeing it that way. The Vulcans were created to personify and dramatize an inherent human conflict between rationality and emotion, wisdom and impulse. In classic Trek there is still affection between the lead characters manifesting the conflicting traits — evident in the comedy when McCoy or Spock tries to have the last word.

  31. Making Sulu gay in the new Star Trek is a nice gesture, but that’s really all it is. I certainly like the message that by the 23rd Century being gay will be so unremarkable that no one will remark on it, but at this point in history, that’s hardly a remarkable observation.

    If Star Trek: The Next Generation had included unremarkable gay characters back in the late 80s, early 90s, that would have been something to talk about. They certainly had plenty of opportunities, but they seemed to go out of their way to avoid even mentioning that anyone on the ship had any idea that homosexuality was possible at all.

    In The Outcast, they met someone from a world where people are supposed to be androgynous, and people who develop a gender get “fixed.” Never, in the whole episode, does anyone on the crew comment that that’s how gay people used to be viewed.

    In The Perfect Mate, they have to deal with an alien who can make herself seem like any man’s ideal woman. It never seems to occur to Picard to either have a woman watch over her or have a gay man do it–he uses Mr. Data instead.

    So, sure, it’s nice to see a gay character on Star Trek, but it’s way too late to make any real difference.

  32. @JJ: If memory serves me right, the reason Sulu wasn’t in “The Trouble with Tribbles” is that George Takei was filming The Green Berets and so was unavailable.

  33. Never, in the whole episode, does anyone on the crew comment that that’s how gay people used to be viewed.

    Heck, if people in the ST:TNG ‘verse have to have the concept of “fear of death” explained to them (as Crusher (Doctor, not Scrappy) once had to do for Picard) I can believe that they no longer understand that being gay was ever considered a problem.

  34. Today’s read — Oath of Gold, by Elizabeth Moon

    Third book of a fantasy series. A woman recovers from personal tragedy, becomes a paladin, and sets a king on his rightful throne.

    I had mixed feelings about this one, just as I did about the second book. The parts of the story that were about Paksenarrion’s personal journey were riveting and well-written. The parts that were about restoring the king … eh, I really didn’t care. I appreciated that the story made a real attempt to make the point that having a good king on the throne was more important than having the “proper inheritor” on the throne, but nonetheless, golly gee the “proper inheritor” turned out to be the bestest option after all, what a coincidence. I’m glad I stuck it out for a culminating sequence towards the end (albeit an intentionally violent and disturbing one) , but I wish I hadn’t had to go through a plot I really didn’t care much about to get there.


    Mr. G,

    I have sent you numerous scroll titles that were at least initially well-received, but that have so far failed to be utilized.

    I am more than happy to give File 770 – the leading market in this segment – first crack, but I do not want my work to remain stuck in purgatory in perpetuity (a redundancy).
    If you find my submissions not up to the normal high quality standards of your publication, I would at least expect and appreciate receiving a rejection slip in a timely fashion (well, actually, appreciate might not be the most appropriate word), as I would like to be able to submit them to othermarkets, as substandard as they may be.
    It might also be nice if you arranged for me to win that hattrick, but I’d wait a few days in order to avoid any hint of favoritism…(some less than friendly types are known to be watching the sit, fyi).
    In conclusion, may I say that I think you are (“hey! where’s the butter!?”) doing an absolutely fabulous job and will be more than happy to convey that sentiment to all and sundry. Unless of course that opinion changes. Which it might. Just sayin.
    Finally in conclusion, thank you for taking the time to read this missive.
    BTW. Do you have any books on Amazon II can review?


  36. @Sean O’Hara it wasn’t even the first interracial kiss on American TV that month.

    Not the same month — Smothers Brothers was 29 Sept 1968, Plato’s Stepchildren was 22 Nov 1968. Otherwise, thanks for the info. I was unaware of the predecessors.

  37. Lois Tilton: [11] So now short fiction reviews are news?

    Kind of unfair, isn’t it? When you stopped doing them, I started paying attention to who was trying to fulfill the role you’d handled so well that I’d always taken the coverage for granted.



    (Double-7 0 movies, as I’m sure nobody on earth has ever said, ever.)

  39. @Mike Glyer:

    Thanks for your reply. I would like to apologize for the hyperbole in my phrasing. I don’t actually believe that Gene Roddenberry conceived Vulcans as xenophobic and it was unfair of me to characterize it that way.

    My view of Vulcans is coloured by the Vulcan supremacist Captain in “Take Me Out to the Holosuite” (“…is it just me, or is that Captain really racist? That doesn’t fit in Roddenberry’s Box!”), and the bullying and/or ostracization in Spock’s childhood as referenced in the NuTrek movie, the Animated Series episode “Yesteryear”, and the reply from Leonard Nimoy to a biracial girl in FaVE Magazine in ’68. Through that lens, those comedic exchanges between Spock and Bones sound a lot more condescending, even though I’m sure that wasn’t the original intent.

  40. (1) & (2) I am a Star Trek fan, but not a devoted fanatic. I love the series, but in an “I really enjoy this story” way, not in a “I will debate you to-the-death over it” way. That said, I find the recent Star Trek movies so tediously idiotic, I don’t care what they do with Sulu or any of the other characters, because it’s already such totally mindless, juvenile, silly, vapid, and anti-cannon bullshit, it makes no difference. Whether or not Gene Roddenberry would have wanted a gay Sulu, I think he’s probably already been rolling around in his grave for quite some time over what JJ Abrams & co have done to his vision.

    (9) I don’t care what Kate Paulk thinks or says or writes, and I don’t care how she votes. I just hope that effective means can be devised to prevent Puppy vandals from continuing to screw with the Hugo Awards.

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