Pixel Scroll 8/6/18 Have Space Suit, Will Robinson

(1) LACKEY HOSPITALIZED OVERNIGHT AT GEN CON. Mercedes Lackey thought she was having a stroke, but instead had been poisoned by outgassing from all the materials in the newly renovated room where she stayed at Gen Con. She’s making a full recovery, reports Krypton Radio.

Lackey told Facebook followers the story:

On Wednesday night we checked into the Marriot for Gencon and were given a newly renovated room. What did not occur to me was that this was a newly renovated room and everything was outgassing. Paint, carpet, furniture, everything. In a room with no way to vent the gas building up. And I am incredibly sensitive to that stuff.

Thursday night we went to bed after a day of con work. I woke up to the alarm at 9 after 9 hours and sleep and felt like I hadn’t had any. I reset the alarm for 10, same. I reset it for 11 and got up, still feeling the same. As I was getting ready, I realized I was getting more and more unsteady, dizzy, disoriented, losing my balance. I began talking to myself and heard myself slurring words. I realized I was in trouble, tried to dial 911, got 977 instead, hit the 0 on the house phone, told them I thought I was having a stroke, and please call emergency services.

By the time they got there I was halucinating. When I opened the door to the paramedics, and the hotel manager, I saw the medics, the manager, and standing between them a beautiful woman with long sandy-brown wavy hair in an astronaut’s orange jumpsuit. I explained what my symptoms were as best I could and THEY were convinced I was having a stroke. Meanwhile, Judy Chambers who had been gofering for me had arrived, with Bill Fawcett. Bill took over in his usual efficient manner (and he is literally my guardian angel in this).

By the time we got to the hospital I could barely talk and was hallucinating like it was Woodstock. Bill and Judy were with me every step of the way, as I got EKG, EEG and MRI. I’ll tell you all about the hallucinations some time, they were doozies. Bill stayed with me until I got a room, and the hallucinations and slurred speech started to clear. That was when he told me about the conversation he and the hotel manager had had about the outgassing. Bill stayed with me until about an hour after I fell asleep.

By this morning I was absolutely my old self. By 10 AM I had convinced the GP, the Neurologists and the Toxicologists that I was good to release, and they turned me loose about noon. Charles Borner, another friend who was in the loop (and scheduled to stay with me when Bill couldn’t) brought be back over to the con, and I managed to do my scheduled signing.

(2) THE SILVER AGE OPENS. Galactic Journey’s Gideon Marcus is there at the beginning: “[Aug. 6, 1963] X marks the comic (X-Men, Avengers, Sgt. Fury, and more from Marvel)”.

In fact, if the prior age be gilded, then our current era of comics resurgence must be some kind of Silver Age.  Just look at performance of the successor to Atlas Comics, that titan of the industry that had died back in 1957.  Leaping from obscurity just a few short years ago, Marvel Comics has doubled down on its suite of superheroes, launching three new comic books in just the last few months.

The most exciting of them is The X-Men, featuring a team of teenage mutants under the tutelage of Professor Charles Xavier, at once the most powerful telepath in the world, and also the first handicapped superhero (that I know of).

Let’s meet the cast, shall we?  We’ve got Slim Summers (“Cyclops”), who projects ruby blasts from his eyes; Bobby Drake (“Ice Man”), the kid of the group, who creates ice at will; Hank McCoy (“Beast”), possessed of tremendous agility and oversized hands and feet; Warren Worthington III (“Angel”), a winged member of the upper crust (financially and evolutionarily); and Jean Grey (“Marvel Girl”), a telekinetic.  Why Bobby is a Man and the older Jean is a Girl, I haven’t quite figured out.

(3) FANCASTROVERSY. Claire Rousseau spotted a proposal in the Worldcon Business Meeting Agenda to update the Best Fancast Hugo to Best Podcast that she doesn’t like at all. The thread starts here.

(4) THE FUTURE IS NOW. Reuben Jackson comes up with “6 sci-fi prophecies that are already here” at Big Think.

Contact lenses that record experiences

Just imagine contact lenses that are also cameras, giving them the ability to record and store whatever you see so you can play it back whenever you want to – your wedding, the birth of your child, or a particularly happy vacation that you don’t want to forget.

Well, Sony has recently filed a new patent for ‘smart contact lenses’ that actually record your experiences. The technology behind these lenses would be highly sophisticated. They would feature special sensors that would convert mechanical energy into electrical energy to activate the camera. It would even be able to adjust for the tilt of the wearer’s eye and use autofocus to adjust for blurry images.

(5) LOST SPIRITS. Forbes advises “Forget The Hollywood Studios: Lost Spirits Distillery Is The Best Tour In L.A.”. (From January 2018).

Nestled on Sixth Street in the arts district of Downtown L.A., Lost Spirits Distillery is one of those things you have to be in on to even find it. You don’t need a password or to pass a velvet rope to get in, just a reservation. But you’re not going to casually stroll down Sixth and find Lost Spirits. You have to be in on the secret, which is fitting because once you walk into the lobby you enter another world, one of mystery, science, intrigue and award-winning whiskey and rum.

When you go down the rabbit hole into the Willy Wonka-esque factory for adults, take a trip to the bathroom, even if just to wash your hands. There you will have your first, but not last encounter with TESSA, the computer system that was created by “mad” scientists Bryan Davis and his partners to lead the tour. More HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey than Siri, TESSA is your surprisingly welcoming guide to Lost Spirits.

“We build stuff for jaded people,” Davis says proudly.

Davis, part of the five-person super team that now oversees Lost Spirits, explains to our group during the tour that the bathroom technology was the first use of TESSA. “As soon as we finished the automation software, we looked at each other and were like, ‘Dude, let’s go automate the bathroom,’” he says laughing.

… “They speak to today’s generation of drinkers by combining booze, artificial intelligence, Disneyland and gastronomy to make the best distillery tour ever,” says Joey Chavez, one of the riders on the tour that day.

(6) FANTASTIC 4. This week on Beeb Beeb Ceeb Radio 4 (also available on iPlayer.)

HG Wells’s story of a brutal Martian invasion of Earth, dramatised by Melissa Murray.  BBC Radio 4 play.

by Jules Verne, dramatised by Gregory Evans.

Three very different people escape the American Civil war by stealing a balloon – which crashes near a deserted island. But perhaps it is not quite as deserted as they think it is…

BBC Radio 4 documentary page now up — The comic that had Dan Dare

And also, a dramatized Dan Dare adventure

Episode 1

Dan Dare, The Voyage to Venus Episode 1 of 2

The Voyage to Venus

Dashing test pilot, Dan Dare, is selected to fly the Anastasia – a new experimental spacecraft using alien technology – on its maiden voyage to Venus. The mission is to make first contact with the mysterious civilisation that sent the technological secrets to Earth…

(7) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • August 6, 1996 — The first novel in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, A Game of Thrones, was first published on this day
  • August 6, 2003 — Asteroids renamed to honor final Shuttle Columbia crew.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

  • Born August 6, 1926 – Janet Asimov. Famous for co-authoring the Norby series of YA novels with her husband.
  • Born August 6, 1934 – Piers Anthony
  • Born August 6 — Michelle Yeoh, 56. Regular in the Star Trek: Discovery series, also appears in Guardians of The Galaxy, Vol. 2Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonThe Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and Tomorrow Never Dies.
  • Born August 6 — M. Night Shyamalan, 48. Producer, Director or Writer (all three usually) of genre work such as  After EarthThe Last Airbender and Lady in the Lake. Need I note that he always an actor in these as well?
  • Born August 6 — Vera Farmiga, 45. First genre work was in the Roar series, later work includes Snow White: The Fairest of Them All where Snow White meets Satan, more horror in The Conjuring 2, yet more horror as Norma Louise Bates in the Bates Motel series, and appearing in the forthcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
  • Born August 6 — Ever Carradine, 44. Cast regular in The Handmaiden’s Tale, The Runaways and Eureka which weirdly has been renamed A Town Called Eureka. H’h.
  • Born August 6 — Josh Shwartz, 42. Writer, The Runaways, Chuck, and the forthcoming Monster High animated film.

(9) COMICS SECTION.

  • Bizarro shows a Star Fleet gun safety lesson.

(10) MORE TREK IN THE WORKS. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] In an interview with Deadline, “CBS All Access Bosses On More ‘Star Trek’ Series, ‘The Twilight Zone’ Status, Stephen King & More – TCA” CBS execs David Stapf, Marc DeBevoise, and Julie McNamara talked of plans for yet more Star Trek on their paid All Access service:

“My goal is that there should be a Star Trek something on all the time on All Access,” CBS TV Studios president David Stapf said Sunday during a Deadline interview about the CBS streaming service that included the platform’s president and COO Marc DeBevoise and EVP Original Content Julie McNamara.

No, they don’t seem to mean a 24/7/365 Trek channel, but apparently want to have at least one series in the Trek universe(s) on CBS All Access at all times. That would include the recently announced Patrick Stewart Star Trek series but also other Trek spinoffs in development (both “limited series” and “ongoing series.”  They also gave updates on other genre series, including The Twilight Zone reboot and a series adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand.

(11) CHANNEL YOUR INNER ELF. Now that you know they exist, can you live without them? “Urbun Elf Earbuds Headphones”:

New design elf ear shaped earbud earphone,cute, perfect sound quality.Great gift.

Ultra-soft ergonomic fit in-ear earbud headphones conform instantly to your ears;With three sets(S,M,L) of ear tips and 3.9-ft Long TPE cord threads.

(12) BEAR WITNESS. Emily Asher-Perrin tells why “I Have A Lot of Feelings About Christopher Robin” at Tor.com.

With the success of the Paddington films, it seems as though certain parts of Hollywood have recognized that we could all do with more films that are the equivalent of hugs and hot chocolate and warm blankets. And since Disney has their own lovable bear to trot out, it was only a matter of time before we could expect a (slightly) more realistic look at the Hundred Acre Wood and all its inhabitants. Christopher Robin aims to tug at the heartstrings, but gently, and with all the simple wisdoms that A.A. Milne’s books have imparted on generations of readers. It succeeds at this feat particularly well.

[Spoilers for Christopher Robin]

Despite some of the action-oriented trailers, anyone expecting Christopher Robin to be a new generation’s Hook will probably walk out confused. Maintaining the tone of Milne’s work was clearly foremost of the minds of the creative team, and Winnie the Pooh and pals are reliable as they ever were. Christopher Robin, though he is struggling with the demands of being an adult, never becomes callous or distant.

(13) WHY PROGRAMMING NEEDS TO BE COOL. Cora Buhlert has made lemonade from some recent fannish news: “Convention Programming in the Age of Necromancy – A Short Story”.

Convention Programming in the Age of Necromancy

At the daily program operations meeting of a science fiction convention that shall remain unnamed, the debate got rather heated.

“We absolutely need to hold the ‘Future of Military Science Fiction’ panel in Auditorium 3,” the head of programming, whom we’ll call Matt, said.

“And why?” his fellow volunteer, who shall henceforth be known as Lucy, asked, “Is military SF so important, that it needs one of the bigger rooms, while we shove the ‘Own Voices’ panel into a tiny cupboard?”

“No,” Matt said, “But Auditorium 3 has air conditioning.”

Lucy tapped her foot. “And? Are old white dude military SF fans more deserving of coolness and air than own voices creators and fans?”

Matt sighed. “No, but Heinlein’s reanimated corpse is coming to the panel. And trust me, he smells abominably. Oh yes, and he’s declared that he wants to attend the ‘Alternative Sexualities in Science Fiction’ panel, so we’d better put that in a room with AC, too.” …

(14) JEMISIN BACK ON W76 PROGRAM. N.K. Jemisin tweeted –

(15) CHICAGO IN 2022 WORLDCON BID. Their social media is getting more active. The ChicagoWorldcon Facebook page is calling for “likes.” So if you do…!

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “This Actor’s Cartoon Game Is Strong” on Vimeo, Great Big Story profiles voice actor Tara Strong, best known for her work on “Rugrats,” “Fairly Odd Parents,” and as Rocky in the new version of “Rocky and Bullwinkle.:”

[Thanks to SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Mark Hepworth, Carl Slaughter, ULTRAGOTHA, Andrew Porter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern if you like it, otherwise, the blame goes to OGH who edited Dern’s original idea.]

78 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/6/18 Have Space Suit, Will Robinson

  1. First!
    That Lost Spirits tour sounds like a lot of fun but I have the nagging feeling the spirits they make aren’t that great.

  2. Neither First nor Fifth. (I have to admit I kinda want those elf earbuds. But I’m rather sad that they only seem to come in Pale Caucasion; I expect there are plenty of folks who would otherwise like them that are being erased here.)

  3. (10) I’m guardedly on board for Old Man Picard, but I hope further series don’t get so bloated and unwieldy they end up killing the golden goose.

    Also, Michelle Yeoh is 56? OMG. (Not shocked OMG, but in awe–she looks great.)

    Here in 9870, space suits pack into your elf-form earbuds and expand as needed.

  4. Cassy B. on August 6, 2018 at 7:57 pm said:

    Neither First nor Fifth. (I have to admit I kinda want those elf earbuds. But I’m rather sad that they only seem to come in Pale Caucasion; I expect there are plenty of folks who would otherwise like them that are being erased here.)

    Oh my god, genocide!

    Oh, wait–nobody is getting rid of anyone, they just aren’t being marketed to with a cheap novelty product.

  5. 1) That sounds like a terrible and very strange experience. Glad she’s fine now.

    @Cassy B. Sounds like a business opportunity. Buy some, paint brown and black, resell. Only half kidding.

  6. bookworm1398 on August 6, 2018 at 8:42 pm said:

    @Cassy B. Sounds like a business opportunity. Buy some, paint brown and black, resell. Only half kidding.

    Yes, but how many shades? I’m thinking you need to produce at least 50 to be close enough to everyone’s skin tone to avoid being subject to terms of moral outrage. (I think I mentioned these here when they first showed up on a Japanese site I read. Originally sold by a Chinese company, they are mentioned again sold by a Japanese company, both of which are probably blissfully unaware that they are commiting “erasure” by not producing multiple color SKUs.)

  7. 1) Yikes! Glad she’s recovered.

    2) Most female superheroes of the 60s were “girl” or “lass” or “damsel” or something along those lines. Exceptions: Wonder Woman, Catwoman (and the latter was a villain, not a hero). I think Batwoman was later — when I was regularly reading DC just a little later than that, it was still Batgirl. And Supergirl. And Hawkgirl. And Invisible Girl over at Marvel. Etc. etc. etc.

    3) I agree with her objection.

    4) Heh. I recognized the KITT console even though I’ve never seen an episode of the show! But really, there wasn’t anything else it could have been.

    There’s a smart house in the Bradbury short story “There Will Come Soft Rains”. The Wikipedia article notes that later reprintings of the story have advanced the putative date from 1985 to 2026… which is a little unsettling at this point!

    The Star Trek PADD seems to be very similar to an iPad.

    11) If I made more use of headphones, I would certainly get these. Imagine using them while doing your exercise walk in the mall! 🙂

    15) Chicago is hogging. They need to let someone else have a chance. IMEAO.

    @ Darren: Neutrogena offers 14 shades of foundation. They look a little short on Asian and Native American skin tones to me, but I think you could add those and still get by with no more than 20. This isn’t professional cosplay, after all.

  8. (13) Have Hollywood do the reanimation. That should solve the problem of needing AC.

    (11) God forbid not that particular shade of pale express disappointment at the earbuds’ unavailability in anything but that particular shade of pale, and comment on the fact that for most of the human race, they’ll stand out in a way other than that intended by the maker/seller.

  9. Love the title!

    2) Interesting that Charles Xavier is the second wheelchair-bound team leader in comics, but the “first handicapped superhero,” because The Doom Patrol’s Niles Caulder didn’t have superpowers.

  10. @Lee: Actually Batwoman was introduced in the Fifties, not-so-coincidentally right after Dr. Wertham made insinuations about the Dynamic Duo’s sexual orientation. She got purged from the Batman Family in the early Sixties, and then was revived in the first decade of this century.

    Female heroes from the Sixties without “Girl” in the name – I don’t disagree with your larger point, but my trivia head feels challenged, to see how many I can think of:

    The Wasp
    The Scarlet Witch
    Platinum (of the Metal Men)
    Zatanna
    Possibly the Black Widow, if she’d finished her heel-face turn. (Kurt probably knows just when that happened.)
    Madame Medusa
    Crystal
    An alien Green Lantern named Katma Tui. She didn’t really have a hero name besides “Green Lantern” but she was treated with a reasonable degree of respect.
    Black Canary

    I don’t think any of the girl members of the Legion of Super-Heroes qualify, but they at least had a bit of an excuse for being named “Girl”, “Lass”, or “Damsel” – wait a second! Insect Queen. Who didn’t have many appearances, but we’re reaching for everything we can here.

    Dumb Bunny of the Inferior Five qualifies here on the merest technicality.

    The Valkyrie made her debut in 1970, so is excluded.

    Kurt no doubt will remember a dozen that I have forgotten, of whom at least three will make me smack my head that I forgot them.

  11. Interesting that Charles Xavier is the second wheelchair-bound team leader in comics, but the “first handicapped superhero,” because The Doom Patrol’s Niles Caulder didn’t have superpowers.

    I think it’s tough to call Xavier the first handicapped superhero on a couple of different grounds — Doctor Mid-Nite was blind, to pick an obvious exception. Captain Marvel Junior walked with a crutch as Freddie Freeman. And then there are the fictional handicaps, like Robotman being a disembodied brain with a prosthetic body, Negative Man having to be wrapped up in lead bandages, the Hulk being subject to uncontrollable physical changes, Aquaman being unable to stay out of water for more than an hour, and so on.

    But mainly I’d quibble because you don’t need powers to be a superhero — ask Batman, Robin, The GA Sandman, Green Arrow, Iron Man and many, many more.

    And before you say Iron Man’s armor is a power, it’s not — it’s a weapon. And the Chief has a hi-tech wheelchair that fires missiles, so he’s even-ish.

    But the super- in “superhero” isn’t short for “super-powered.” It’s an intensifier, just as it is in superspy or supermodel. It indicates a dramatic, larger than life hero, not a super-powered one. Superpowers are very nice, but they’re optional.

  12. From memory:

    Mary Marvel
    Fantomah
    Shrinking Violet
    Dolphin
    Liberty Belle
    Princess Projectra

    But yeah, I remember being very confused by all the “girl” and “boy” in the names of the members of Legion of Super-Heroes. They were clearly not children as I was. I think it was even worse in Sweden, as some of the names were translated to more childish versions. Shrinking Violet became Miniature Girl. Light Lass became Light Girl. And so on.

  13. @Darren G Oh my god, genocide! Oh, wait–nobody is getting rid of anyone, they just aren’t being marketed to with a cheap novelty product.

    That’s a very strong reaction to “it’s a shame they don’t come in more colours”. Some might even call it rude.

  14. Possibly the Black Widow, if she’d finished her heel-face turn. (Kurt probably knows just when that happened.)

    1967, more or less.

    Kurt no doubt will remember a dozen that I have forgotten, of whom at least three will make me smack my head that I forgot them.

    What, a dozen? From the 1960s? That’s a tall order…

    1. Lorna Dane, later Polaris
    2. Nameless of the Metal Men
    3. Princess Projectra of the Legion
    4. Shrinking Violet, ibid
    5. The Silver Sorceress of the Heroes of Angor
    6. Quantum Queen of the Wanderers
    7. Psyche, ibid
    8. Superwoman (Luma Lynai)
    9. Superteen (Betty Cooper)
    10. Lady Sif
    11. The Enchantress (June Moone) – hero in her 60s appearances, villain later)
    12. Lois Lane as Super-Lois. Or as the Bug-Belle. Or Lana as Super-Lana. Take yer pick.

    And just for good measure, Wonder Tot and Streaky.

  15. Mary Marvel
    Fantomah
    Shrinking Violet
    Dolphin
    Liberty Belle
    Princess Projectra

    Mary Marvel didn’t appear in the 60s, though she appeared before and after. Same for Fantomah and Liberty Belle. I didn’t include Dolphin because she wasn’t really very superhero-ish until after the 60s.

    But sure, Jeckie and Vi should count.

  16. 11) While my answer to the question in the first sentence is an emphatic “yes”… what would be the harm, exactly, in providing these in multiple colours? Tuvok ears as well as Spock ears? I mean, you know some Drow cosplayer is going to want them in black or purple anyway….

  17. you don’t need powers to be a superhero — ask Batman, … Iron Man

    Isn’t being able to build things no-one else can a super-power? Wildbow’s “Worm” has Tinker as a classification of powers, and Penny Akk and her father Brian from “Please don’t tell my parents I’m a supervillain” and sequels are both gadgeteers rather than having other powers.

    Also, very vague memory from the mid-60s has the Iron Man chest piece as being an iron lung to keep the wearer breathing due to having had polio, so maybe counting as an early example of disabled superhero. Long enough ago and what few comics I remember belonged to a friend so I may have my characters confused.

    Ooh! I haven’t had to re-enter my name and email…

  18. Isn’t being able to build things no-one else can a super-power?

    No, it’s Pulp Science. Occasionally Mad Science.

    The Chief manages both, at different times.

  19. very vague memory from the mid-60s has the Iron Man chest piece as being an iron lung to keep the wearer breathing due to having had polio

    It was always for his heart, though the heaviness of it in early appearances and the need to keep wearing it do give it some similarity to an iron lung. (I think the very first Iron Man story ends with the implication that he can’t remove the suit, though he can hide the chestpiece under his clothes in subsequent appearances).

  20. Whichever of Daniel or OGH is responsible, I love today’s Pixel Scroll title.

    We tried looking at the Lost in Space reboot at home recently, only managed to slog through a couple of episodes, but myself and my wife startled the children by both whooping when the robot finally said Those Words.

  21. The default to -girl endings actually comes pretty late. Almost all of the female Golden Age superheroes either have “Woman” (e.g. Wonder Woman), a gender identifier other than girl (e.g. Mary Marvel, Miss America) or non-gender-identifying names (e.g. Black Canary.)

    The only well-known GA heroine I know of with “girl” in her name is Hawkgirl; I’m sure Kurt could think of a few more, but I’d guess the ratio of non-“-girl” to “-girl” names is still likely to be pretty strong up to the introduction of the Legion of Superheroes. (Being a legion, of course, they have a disproportionate impact on quantitative analyses.)

  22. @Steve Wright

    I mean, you know some Drow cosplayer is going to want them in black or purple anyway….

    That’s what Plastikote is for.

  23. @James: Thanks. Only bit I can clearly remember from the story was him having to plug in to the mains to recharge and struggling to do it. And the “inconspicuous” cylindrical chest piece under shirt and tie…

    And this time I have to re-enter name and email…

  24. @Cassie B: Your post prompts this: “Not First, nor Fifth, nor even Frog, just little old me, PixelDog”

  25. Andrew, <snork!> I haven’t thought of Underdog for years….

    Lis Carey, to be fair, I actually am the color those earbuds would go with, or close enough, anyway. But that doesn’t keep me from being sad they don’t have, I dunno, maybe six colors? Say, pink, light brown, medium brown, dark brown, black, and green (for Vulcans, doncha know…) Nobody sensible expects perfect skin-tone matches from a mass-produced novelty, but something that is at least not ludicrously wrong would be nice….

  26. Niall McAuley on August 7, 2018 at 3:06 am said:

    Whichever of Daniel or OGH is responsible, I love today’s Pixel Scroll title.

    Mike, if it’s OK with you, I’ll post what I’d submitted, from which you extracted (refined|perfected) what’s at the top. (Or you can decide Filers don’t want to know how scroll sausage is made…)

  27. Darren Garrison: It doesn’t have to be genocide to be stupid on the part of marketers — or part of a long and ongoing issue of erasure on the part of many many many many many product manufacturers.

    Insinuating nothing short of genocide is problematic (Especially when the initial comment was, after all, “Rather sad that they don’t”, hardly a world-ending rage) is not a sign of anything but you being rude.

    And sure, people could tint them themselves if they really wanted – but why should they have to? Unless they’re doing something as elaborate as cosplay (and why would you buy earbuds to do proper cosplay with?), a few basic tones should be pretty easy to produce.

  28. @ David: I knew as soon as I made that post that someone would come up with a bunch of counter-examples. It’s all good.

    @ Kurt: In the Polychrome Heroics universe, people like Batman, Robin, and GA would be called “supernaries” (where “nary” refers to someone with no powers), and Iron Man would be a gizmologist. If someone can build things that nobody else can replicate (although other people can use them), they’re a super-gizmologist.

  29. 3) Youtubers are a part of the SFF community that I don’t have a lot of exposure and connection to, but they are apparently a real and active thing.

    13) hehehehe. Well done, Cora.

    15) I feel conflicted about another Chicago Worldcon. I sadly missed the last one.

    From a personal point of view:

    It’d be the closest possible Worldcon physically to me (since Minneapolis is never going to get one of it’s own, more’s the pity).
    US Worldcons, with the turn into Trumpian politics, and becoming a more problematic destination for minorities of all sorts, are something that I feel reluctant to support. When people like Cheryl Morgan or Peter Watts are automatically no-gos for a US Worldcon, and a raft of others would hesitate to come to one, I have to consider what is good for SFF Fandom in general. And yet, a lot of US SFF fans are never going to have the spice to go to Europe or Australasia or Asia for a Worldcon and keeping Worldcons out of the US excludes them in turn.

  30. Meredith Moment: Frederic Durbin’s A Green & Ancient Light is currently $0.99. I remember reading his Dragonfly several years ago and really enjoying it — kind of a mix between Ray Bradbury and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

  31. Ghost Bird on August 7, 2018 at 1:13 am said:

    That’s a very strong reaction to “it’s a shame they don’t come in more colours”. Some might even call it rude.

    And I think calling a cheap novelty product that will likely be sold only in a tiny volume being produced in only one color being couched in the language of moral outrage of someone being done wrong (“erasure” isn’t a neutral term, it is “this wrong must be righted!” language) is a very strong reaction. Here is what likely happened:

    Chinese company makes cheap pinkish novelty product for East Asian market (where almost everyone is pinkish.)

    A couple of years later an American distributor decides to try selling it in the West with English-language packaging for the exact same headphones, doesn’t think the additional sales potential of special-ordering a variety of custom colors is worth the expense.

    Not everything is a moral crusade.

  32. Lis Carey on August 6, 2018 at 10:24 pm said:

    God forbid not that particular shade of pale express disappointment at the earbuds’ unavailability in anything but that particular shade of pale, and comment on the fact that for most of the human race, they’ll stand out in a way other than that intended by the maker/seller.

    This is where they were being sold in 2016. This is where they were being sold in 2017. I think they are entirely suitable for the one billion plus people in the market that the original maker/seller was aiming at.

  33. Darren, you could have said that in the first place without trolling by talking about genocide.

  34. @Darren G Not everything is a moral crusade.

    “Rather sad” doesn’t sound like a moral crusade to me, but nusuth.

  35. (10) I’m all for more Star Trek in my life, but I have concerns about quality. Because there are few things as good as a good Trek when it’s firing on all cylinders.

    And then there’s Star Trek V: The Final Frontier which I re-watched a year ago (after not having seen it since it was in theaters). It’s several hours of my life that I will never get back.

  36. @Cassy B: no variation of ~yellow? That would probably also require shades, but ISTM that East Asian color is sufficiently common and sufficiently different from both mostly-Caucasian and Caucasian/African mixes that it should be available — even if the ears are currently sold only in North America (unclear from the link).

    @Lee: How is Chicago hogging? Is Nice in 2022 active enough to be taken seriously? (I’m enough out of the Worldcon loop that I don’t know whether they’re invisible or I’m not looking in the right places.) The site will be decided in 24 months; that’s not a huge amount of lead time.

    @Cora: cute story (or at least cute running gag). I suppose Ellison would refuse to come if he were reanimated, and Silverberg (who co-wrote a story about zombie performers with Ellison, way back when) isn’t dead yet — and would probably not carry the gag as the rudest I’ve ever heard him be was a relatively serious discussion of the weaknesses of making every new book the beginning of a series.

  37. In the Polychrome Heroics universe, people like Batman, Robin, and GA would be called “supernaries” (where “nary” refers to someone with no powers), and Iron Man would be a gizmologist

    It’s a nice distinction that’s useful for Polychrome, I’m sure. In this universe, though, at least in English, they’re called superheroes — and Batman and Robin are two of the foundational examples the term was popularized around.

    So there can be sub-definitions within the category, but the category has to include Batman, or it’s not reflecting usage.

  38. Re (2) David Goldfarb on August 6, 2018 at 11:16 pm said:

    An alien Green Lantern named Katma Tui. She didn’t really have a hero name besides “Green Lantern” but she was treated with a reasonable degree of respect.

    None of the 7,200 Green Lanterns (2 per each of 3,600 sectors) had individual “hero names.” They were individually and collectively called Green Lantern (or, as “Doiby” Dickles, aid, with his cab “Goitrude” to Golden Age’s Alan Scott, “Lantrin.”) Nicknames, like “GL,” “Crab-Face Guy” (for Kyle Rayner, because of his whacky mask), etc.

    More to the point, as, IIRC, Peter David kvetched, in, I think one of his (many)(wonderful) “But I Digress” columns in (no longer being printed) COMIC BUYERS GUIDE, “they’re wearing rings, why are they being called ‘Green Lanterns’?”

    I don’t think any of the girl members of the Legion of Super-Heroes qualify,

    Yeah, but weren’t they ALL teenagers? (Ignoring the Adult Legion versions that came later.) Didn’t, in fact, at least one story revolve around a member “aging out” of membership requirements?

    As for other names not yet cited,
    I don’t think Bizarro-Lois counts 🙂
    It doesn’t look like anybody’s yet mentioned Phantom Lady.
    Some of The Spirit’s nemeses, whose names I’m blanking on.
    Hampus, you got Liberty Belle, but it looks like you missed her previous nom de cape, unless that was just/also her civilian name, Jessie Quick

  39. Thanks to OGH’s gracious permission (above), herewith the title for this scroll as originally submitted:

    Have Danger! Have Space Suit, Will Robinson? Have Travel, Will Robinson! Will,
    Travel!

    which, if nothing else, says way too much about how my brain “works.”

  40. It doesn’t look like anybody’s yet mentioned Phantom Lady.

    Not around in the Sixties.

    Some of The Spirit’s nemeses, whose names I’m blanking on.

    There are plenty of them, but they’re not superheroes.

    Hampus, you got Liberty Belle, but it looks like you missed her previous nom de cape, unless that was just/also her civilian name, Jessie Quick

    The Golden Age Liberty Belle was named Libby Lawrence. Her daughter, Jesse Chambers, went by the codenames Jesse Quick and Liberty Belle, but wasn’t created until the 1990s.

  41. Darren Garrison on August 6, 2018 at 8:23 pm said:
    Cassy B. on August 6, 2018 at 7:57 pm said:

    Neither First nor Fifth. (I have to admit I kinda want those elf earbuds. But I’m rather sad that they only seem to come in Pale Caucasion; I expect there are plenty of folks who would otherwise like them that are being erased here.)

    Oh my god, genocide!

    Oh, wait–nobody is getting rid of anyone, they just aren’t being marketed to with a cheap novelty product.

    Concern trolling much?

  42. Chip Hitchcock, yes, some midrange Asian skin tone would be good. Let’s say one generic Caucasian, one generic Asian, one light brown, one medium brown, one dark brown, and, of course, green. Because Vulcan.

    I know perfectly well that mass-market tchotchkes are never going to be a great match for any particular person’s skin tone (the one they actually make appears too pink for my very slightly olive/Mediterranean skin tones) but with a range of shades people could at least pick the least-ludicrous color. Or green. Green is always an option….

  43. Anna Feruglio Dal Dan: Concern trolling much?

    Does an item about an amusingly ludicrous gadget need to be immediately turned into a referendum on racism?

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