Pixel Scroll 9/20/21 Something Is Pixelling But You Don’t Know What It Is, Do You, Mr. Scroll?

(1) SOMTOW’S FILM WINS AWARD. This past weekend Somtow Sucharitkul and an orchestra flew in to do a concert at the Oldenburg International Film Festival — the biggest indie fest in Europe, “Sundance of Europe.” The music selected for the occasion, he says, “included all sorts of great music appropriate to our field including the 1922 score from Nosferatu and the ‘classic’ overture to Piranha II.”

The festival audience also witnessed the premiere of The Maestro, a film made with director Paul Spurrier, with Somtow’s score and onscreen performance.  (See File 770’s post about the making of The Maestro.)

In the video below you can watch the entire concert of film music at the Oldenburg Festival — followed by Somtow’s surprise at receiving the Spirit of Cinema Award 2021 for The Maestro.

Oldenburg Festival founder and director Torsten Neumann (left) Somtow Sucharitkul (right)

(2) NO EMMYS FOR SFF SHOWS. The Primetime Emmy Awards aired last night but I don’t have a post up about them because “Sci-fi and fantasy shows completely shut out of Primetime Emmys”, as explained at Winter Is Coming.

… And while series like WandaVision and The Mandalorian cleaned up at the Creative Arts Emmys, which awards more technical categories like production design and costuming, they came up empty at the Primetime Emmys, which rightly or wrongly are considered to be more prestigious….

(3) NEW LEM TRANSLATION. Stanislaw Lem’s 1964 story, published in English for the first time, tells the tale of a scientist in an insane asylum theorizing that the sun is alive. “The Truth, by Stanislaw Lem”, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, is part of a new collection and a free read at The MIT Press Reader.

Here I sit writing in a locked room, where the door has no handle and the windows can’t be opened. They’re made of unbreakable glass. I tried. Not out of a wish to escape or out of rabid fury, I just wanted to be sure. I’m writing at a walnut table. I have plenty of paper. I’m allowed to write. Except no one will ever read it. But I’m writing anyway. I don’t want to be alone, and I can’t read. Everything they give me to read is a lie, the letters start to jump before my eyes and I lose patience. None of what’s in them has been of the least concern to me ever since I realized how things really are….

(4) MARCIA LUCAS’ OPINION ABOUT SW SEQUELS. From Marcia Lucas’ foreword in a new biography about Howard Kazanjian.

IGN continues, in “Marcia Lucas Was ‘Furious’ Over Star Wars Sequel Trilogy: ‘They Don’t Get It’”.

…And perhaps to set the record straight, Lucas also directs her wrath at her ex-husband’s prequel trilogy, revealing her disappointment in Episode I literally brought her to tears in 1999.

“I remember going out to the parking lot, sitting in my car and crying,” Lucas writes. “I cried. I cried because I didn’t think it was very good. And I thought [George] had such a rich vein to mine, a rich palette to tell stories with… There were things I didn’t like about the casting, and things I didn’t like about the story, and things I didn’t like — it was a lot of eye candy. CG.”…

(5) DUNE, ON THE BIG AND BIGGER SCREEN. “’Dune’ Earns $36.8M in Overseas Debut”The Hollywood Reporter has a breakdown.

The highly anticipated Legendary/Warner Bros. movie opened overseas to $36.8 million across 24 markets and 7,819 screens. Russia led international tickets sales with $7.6 million, followed by France ($7.5 million), Germany ($4.9 million) and Italy ($2.6 million).

Dune‘s giant-format ticket sales were a particular stand-out, with the movie earning $3.6 million in Imax ticket sales from 142 screens, making its per-screen Imax average an astounding $25,000. The Imax ticket sales made up 10 percent of the movie’s total international take. The movie was shot for large-format viewing, with the Imax version featuring an exclusive expanded aspect ratio….

(6) IN CASE YOU WANT TO KNOW. Deadline has a vast calendar of when shows will begin airing: “Fall TV Premiere Dates 2021: New and Returning Series”.

Deadline’s comprehensive annual list of fall premiere dates for new series and new seasons of returning series. It covers more than 450 broadcast, cable and streaming shows bowing from September 1 through December 31

(7) SOUNDS OF SILENCE. I’m gradually working my way through SF Signal’s blogroll. It was compiled years ago and many of the authors have in the interim changed to another platform or dropped blogging for other alternatives. Justine Larbalastier explains why she moved on from Twitter in “Why I Left Twitter, or, the Last Day of 2019”, and left  blogging in “The Importance of Masks”, posted in July 2020.

…I haven’t been blogging because I missed the community that used to be here. When this was a regular blog there was a wonderful conversation in response to almost every post. I’m finding blogging here to silence soul sucking.

I miss the community of the old days but I accept those days are gone. The conversations now unfold on social media.

I have found an engaged community on Instagram ready and willing to discuss the intersections of fashion and politics during this pandemic and there are no trolls. I’m loving it. So I post my mini essays there. I will continue to post longer essays here and will soon be updating this site with my fashion research.

I don’t foresee returning to Twitter anytime soon. It was too depressing. I miss those of you I no longer interact with, but my mental health is so much better since I left. So . . .

(8) RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 1840. Barbara Hambly, who is still at it, recently migrated her blogging activity to Barbarahambly.blogspot.com as she notes in “Experimental Post #2”.

And here we are, at my new blog. The website is yet to come, and for the first couple of weeks I’ll be buried in a deadline: Benjamin January # 19, Death and Hard Cider, which takes place against the background of the 1840 Presidential election. I thought about calling it, “Tippecanoe and Murder, Too,” but realized that a lot of people won’t understand the reference to the campaign of William Henry Harrison. That was the first “modern” style Presidential campaign, with songs, rallies, women’s auxiliary organizations (even though women couldn’t vote – the guys found them convenient for providing refreshments at the rallies, and Harrison’s opponents railed against those hussies for handing out leaflets and reading newspapers and having opinions about the politics of their betters)….

(9) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

  • 1979 – Forty-two years ago on this evening, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century first aired on NBC. It was developed by Glen Larson who created Battlestar Galactica and Leslie Stevens who created Outer Limits. It is of course based on characters created by Philip Francis Nowlan. The only cast that counts was Gil Gerard as Captain William “Buck” Rogers and Erin Gray as Colonel Wilma Deering. Oh, and Mel Blanc in the first season voicing Twiki. It lasted but two seasons of thirty-seven episodes. Buster Crabbe who played Buck Rogers in the original thirties Buck Rogers film serial would play Brigadier Gordon in an episode here. It’s worth noting that the series re-used most of the props, star fighters, stages, some of the effects film and even costumes from Battlestar Galactica. 

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 20, 1935 — Keith Roberts. Author of Pavane, an amazing novel.  I’ve also read his collection of ghost stories, Winterwood and Other Hauntings, with an introduction by Robert Holdstock. Interestingly he has four BSFA Awards including ones for the artwork for the cover of his own first edition of Kaeti & Company. (Died 2000.)
  • Born September 20, 1940 — Jonathan Hardy. He was the voice of Dominar Rygel XVI, called simply Rygel, once the royal ruler of the Hynerian Empire, on Farscape.  He was also Police Commissioner Labatouche in Mad Max, and he had a one-off in the Mission: Impossible series that was produced in his native Australia in the “Submarine” episode as Etienne Reynard. (Died 2012.)
  • Born September 20, 1950 — James Blaylock, 71. One of my favorite writers. I’d recommend the Ghosts trilogy, the Christian trilogy and The Adventures of Langdon St. Ives whichcollects all of the Langdon St. Ives adventures together as his best writing, but anything by him is worth reading. I see the usual suspects don’t have much by him but they do have two Langdon St. Ives tales, Homunclus and Beneath London.
  • Born September 20, 1951 — JoAnna Cameron, 70. I’ve previously mentioned in passing Shazam!, a Seventies children’s series done by Filmation. Well she was the lead on Isis, another Filmation children’s series done at the same time. Her only genre appearance was a brief one in the Amazing Spider-Man series. Anyone here seen it? I don’t remember seeing it. 
  • Born September 20, 1955 — David Haig, 66. He played Pangol in “The Leisure Hive” a Fourth Doctor story. He also showed up on Blake’s 7 in “Rumours of Death” as Forres, and was Colonel Bonnet inThe Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Tales of Innocence. He’s also General Vandenberg in the film remake of A for Andromeda. Finally I should I should he’s The Player in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead done at The Old Vic a few years back.
  • Born September 20, 1974 — Owen Sheers, 47. His first novel, Resistance, tells the story of the inhabitants of a valley near Abergavenny in Wales in  the Forties shortly after the failure of Operation Overlord and a successful German takeover of Britain. It’s been made into a film.  He also wrote the “White Ravens”, a contemporary take off the myth of Branwen Daughter of Llyr, found in the New Stories from the Mabinogion series.
  • Born September 20, 1986 — Aldis Hodge, 35. He played Alec Hardison on the Leverage series which just got a reboot. Ok, I know it’s not precisely genre but if there’s a spiritual descendant of Mission: Impossible, this series is it. Both the cast and their use of technology in that series are keeping with the MI spirit. He’s also had one-offs on CharmedBuffy the Vampire SlayerSupernaturalThe Walking DeadStar Trek: Discovery’s Short Takes and Bones (which given that it crossed over with Sleepy Hollow…)

(11) COMICS SECTION.

(12) FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD. “Whistle, Gotham City’s latest superhero, is Jewish. It’s a full-circle moment for the comics industry” reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

It turns out that Batman’s hometown of Gotham City has a historically Jewish neighborhood, complete with a synagogue. And for this year’s High Holidays, at least one masked superhero will be worshipping there. 

Her name is Whistle, a.k.a. Willow Zimmerman, and she’s a Jewish superhero — DC Comics’ first to be explicitly created as Jewish in 44 years. She’s an activist-turned-masked-crusader who draws inspiration from Jewish teachings; she develops the ability to talk to dogs; and she’s making her debut this month in “Whistle: A New Gotham City Superhero,” a graphic novel geared to young adults.

“There’s a long and fascinating history of Jewish creators in comics,” the book’s author and character creator, E. Lockhart, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “Superman, Batman and Spider-Man were all invented by Jewish men, and scholars have interpreted them through a variety of lenses that take that into account. But while there have certainly been Jewish superheroes before, Whistle is the first Jewish hero to originate as Jewish from DC Comics since 1977.”

Lockhart was referring to Seraph, a superhero from Israel who helped Superman in “Super Friends #7? before immediately falling out of the public eye. 

(13) TWENTY ACROSS. Catherynne M. Valente celebrated on Facebook her appearance as a clue in a Washington Post crossword puzzle.

(14) NEIGHBORHOOD READY TO BEAM UP. Janice L. Newman tells Galactic Journey readers about their new (in 1966) television-watching tradition: “[September 20, 1966] In the hands of an adolescent (Star Trek’s ‘Charlie X’)”.

….It’s official, we now have a “Star Trek” night at our house each week, when we gather our friends and watch the latest episode. Though we’ve only watched two episodes so far, the show is off to an interesting start! This week we saw “Charlie X”, which had thematic similarities to both of the pilots we saw at Tricon….

(Tricon was “this year’s” Worldcon in Cleveland.)

(15) LIKE THE TUNGUSKA EVENT? It’s a theory. “A giant space rock demolished an ancient Middle Eastern city and everyone in it – possibly inspiring the Biblical story of Sodom” reports Yahoo!

…Experiments with laboratory furnaces showed that the bubbled pottery and mudbricks at Tall el-Hammam liquefied at temperatures above 2,700 F (1,500 C). That’s hot enough to melt an automobile within minutes.

The destruction layer also contains tiny balls of melted material smaller than airborne dust particles. Called spherules, they are made of vaporized iron and sand that melted at about 2,900 F (1,590 C).

In addition, the surfaces of the pottery and meltglass are speckled with tiny melted metallic grains, including iridium with a melting point of 4,435 F (2,466 C), platinum that melts at 3,215 F (1,768 C) and zirconium silicate at 2,800 F (1,540 C).

Together, all this evidence shows that temperatures in the city rose higher than those of volcanoes, warfare and normal city fires. The only natural process left is a cosmic impact….

(16) JEOPARDY! Andrew Porter was tuned in to tonight’s episode of Jeopardy! where contestants had trouble connecting this chemistry lesson with a famous film.

Final Jeopardy: 1980s Movies

Answer: The dip used to kill characters in this 1988 film consisted of Acetone, Benzene & Turpentine, ingredients in paint thinner.

Wrong questions: What is “Dune?” and “What is Raiders of the Lost Ark?”

Right question: What is, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

(17) MOVIE HISTORY UP FOR BIDDING. Heritage Auction’s “Monsters & Friends: Featuring The Kevin Burns Collection” event November 5-7 will include many prime items, including these two:

First, Producer Stanley Bergerman’s Personal Copy of the Universal Pictures Script for Frankenstein (1931). A vintage studio bound and bradded, 99-page screenplay for the Classic Horror movie, Frankenstein. Stanley Bergerman was Universal Studios head, Carl Laemmle’s, son-in-law and a Producer. The oversized script is filled with the content that became one of the greatest monster movies of all time. Second, The Wizard of Oz Metro Goldwyn Mayer Clapperboard (1938). A large vintage wooden clapperboard with metal-hinged clapstick, hand lettered in white on the black painted front face, “Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Wizard Of Oz, Director – Victor Fleming, Camera – Harold Rosson,” and dated, at the bottom of the board, “11-6-1938.” 

[Thanks to JJ, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, Lise Andreasen, Will R., Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to contributing editor of the day Randall M.]

42 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/20/21 Something Is Pixelling But You Don’t Know What It Is, Do You, Mr. Scroll?

  1. First!

    MEDIA BIRTHDAY) I truly loved Buck Rogers in the 25th Century when it first saw it. I’m not sure what I’d make of if I saw it now and I’ll be damned if I know what the Suck Fairy would make of it.

  2. (9) I really enjoyed the first season of “Buck Rodgers” but the second season significantly dropped off in quality, as even in my teenage (at that time) self recognized.

  3. Andrew (not Werdna) says I really enjoyed the first season of “Buck Rodgers” but the second season significantly dropped off in quality, as even in my teenage (at that time) self recognized.

    Well I’ve not rewatched the series since it first aired so I’ve only the vaguest of memories about it forty years on. I tended not to as critically view series at that point in my life as I do now. That was true of fiction in general.

    Now writing up a review of Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland’s The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. as I thought I’d reviewed for Green Man but I hadn’t. Yeah I really liked it.

  4. 9) Only Gil Gerard and Erin Gray counted? No love for Pamela Hensley as that magnificent skank, Princess Ardala? For shame! – I rather liked that iteration of Buck Rogers; it was never going to be anything but cheesy fun, and that made it good-humoured and unpretentious (which put it two steps ahead of Battlestar Galactica right from the start), and it managed to ditch the absolutely toxic racism of the original stories and the comic strip. I do agree that the second season was weaker, though.

  5. (8) some of us non-historians get it. (I was behind a car with the license TIPYCNU, and the license-plate frame read “My Other Car Is NTYLER2”. I would have been ROFLMAO, but I was driving on a busy street.)

  6. Steve Wright says Only Gil Gerard and Erin Gray counted? No love for Pamela Hensley as that magnificent skank, Princess Ardala? For shame! – I rather liked that iteration of Buck Rogers; it was never going to be anything but cheesy fun, and that made it good-humoured and unpretentious (which put it two steps ahead of Battlestar Galactica right from the start), and it managed to ditch the absolutely toxic racism of the original stories and the comic strip. I do agree that the second season was weaker, though.

    Someday y’all are going to realise that I write such statements to see if I can a rise of you. Yeah she was fun too. And Mel Blanc put an interesting spin in the first season (primarily) into the ever so cute robot as well.

  7. 9) It was GLEN Larson, not Gary, who worked on Buck Rogers (The same worthy Harlan Ellison dubbed “Glen Larceny” ) And at what point did Buck’s birth name change from Anthony to William?

    12). I wonder if the past Jewish superhero alluded to might be the more mainstream Ragman drawn by Joe Kubert rather than Seraph.

  8. (4) It remains a mystery to me why there was anyone who wasn’t disappointed, at least disappointed, by the Star Wars prequels. But, I acknowledge that some such people do exist.

    (9) I remember enjoying Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. I don’t remember much more than that. I would not recommend betting on me being able to distinguish still from Buck Rogers from stills from the 1980 Flash Gordon movie.

  9. Lis Carey says I remember enjoying Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. I don’t remember much more than that. I would not recommend betting on me being able to distinguish still from Buck Rogers from stills from the 1980 Flash Gordon movie.

    I’ll admit that when doing the Birthdays that I have to be careful not to mix up the two fictions as they do tend run together in my mind. They are remarkably similar in some ways.

    I am now living amidst a mostly packed up apartment. Tomorrow I go to my bank to pick up the necessary bank checks for my new landlord and money for the movers. Farhia and I will move my plants including my thirty year old Christmas cactus.

    The last thing to be packed up will be the green plaster hedgehog that sits on my desk.

  10. J Evans says to me Good luck with the move!

    Thanks! It’s it’s less than two weeks away. It’s a lovely apartment with four closets (this apartment has just a very small one) and it’s larger than this one. Because I qualified for a federal subsidy, I’ll be paying substantially less than what I’m paying now.

    I’m moving before I get my next two surgeries which is a Very Good Thing. They will be my sixth and seventh surgeries in three years.

  11. (10) I’m not sure why you say that about Jim Blaylock (also amongst my most favorite of writers). Amazon has absolutely everything he’s written on Kindle.

  12. 1) This is about 60 kilometres from where I live, but I had no idea that Somtow Sucharitkul was there. Anyway, Oldenburg International Film Festival is a good festival, so congratulations to receiving the award. Apparently, his orchestra performed at the festival closing ceremonies, too.

  13. (12) There was in fact a quartet of Israeli (and presumably – and in one case definitely – Jewish) superheroes introduced in John Ostrander and Kim Yale’s Suicide Squad run around 1990 – Ramban, Dybbuk, Golem and Judith.

    Not sure if any writers after Ostrander and Yale used the characters, but Ramban turned up in Ostrander’s Spectre series.

  14. 15
    Thanks for the link! I’ve never heard of this event, or site, or at least I don’t remember hearing of it. (The old grey matter ain’t what she used to be.) A solid Tuesday already.

    8
    Good to hear Hambly is still at it. I read her first 55 thousand novels, enjoyed them all. I always felt she was underappreciated. When she came along, nobody else was writing sf fantasy horror romance mysteries with historical fiction elements. Ain’t many yet. A pioneer.

    Another Blaylock fan here. Fave is Land of Dreams. Glad to see he’s appreciated. His prose is just magical. Laughing out loud at one end of a paragraph, skin crawling with dread by the other. Magic.

    5
    I admit I’ll be making every attempt to get to an IMAX screening of Dune. Against my better judgement, I’ve allowed myself to get excited. If I were clever I’d expand my mask into a stillsuit. Covid safety compliant AND participatory theatre.

  15. J. J. Abrams wrecked Star Trek with his “reboot”, and made it unwatchable in spite of a fine cast of young actors. Now, he’s doing the same with Star Wars. If you want your Star Trek hunger satisfied, go looking on the internet for the fan-produced episodes. They’re MUCH mor satisfying.

  16. @PJ Evans oh my god that is the best thing ever.

    (8) I agree that you don’t have to be a historian to get it, the 1840 election and its very catchy slogan was covered in my high school American History class. Of course, I very much doubt it’s taught anymore.

    (15) Geez, when God wants a city gone, He doesn’t use half-measures…

  17. I’ve been rewatching Buck Rogers recently for the first time since it was broadcast, and I hadn’t realized how … horny of a show it really is, partly based on the women’s costumes (sequined bikini-tops being popular clothing in the future, apparently) and how many women just kind of fling themselves at Buck as he walks by.

    Plus the fact that the episode with Buster Crabbe is called “Return of the Fighting 69th”, which I refuse to believe was accidental.

  18. @K
    Check AO3 for the fanfiction based on the reboot – some of it’s quite good (and has no lens flares).

  19. Joe H. says: Plus the fact that the episode with Buster Crabbe is called “Return of the Fighting 69th”, which I refuse to believe was accidental.

    Actually it’s an old military reference. The Fighting 69th was a 1940 war film starring George Brent, James Cagney and Pat O’Brien The film was based upon the actual story of New York City’s 69th Infantry Regiment during World War I who in turn were given that name when opposing General Robert E. Lee during the American Civil War.

  20. I stand corrected in response to that bit, then, but hold to the first part of my comment.

    (Also, it’s kind of a shame that Buster Crabbe wasn’t given some kind of brief cameo on the 1980 Flash Gordon film, just on general principles.)

  21. What is the best in life?

    To Scroll your Pixels, to see them Filed before you, and to hear the Godstalkations of their Book Recs?

  22. Joe H. says I stand corrected in response to that bit, then, but hold to the first part of my comment.

    (Also, it’s kind of a shame that Buster Crabbe wasn’t given some kind of brief cameo on the 1980 Flash Gordon film, just on general principles.)

    Yeah I was surprised that they didn’t too. Though he might been busy filming his role of Sheriff Kowalski in The Alien Dead which likely was being produced at the same time.

  23. I looked at some episode descriptions – at least one second season episode “Testimony of a Traitor” was good (though it returned to the Earth setting of the first season).

    I also have to shout-out to the Buck Rogers closing theme song, which I still like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_z_WOC4IZs (cheesy though it is).

    I think part of the problem with the second season was that Mel Blanc was unavailable for half the season and the new Twiki voice just felt wrong…

    The second season of Buck Rogers did introduce the stoic Hawkman, who is undoubtably the inspiration for the the equally stoic “Bird Person” from Rick and Morty.

    I had more to say about Buck than I was expecting!

  24. Meredith moment: A. A. Milne’s country house mystery The Red House Mystery is available from the usual suspects for ninety nine cents. I know that it is not even genre adjacent but it’s a great read.

  25. I appreciate the reverence and gentleness with which Crabbe was in the Buck Rogers TV series. as opposed to, say, how Bubo gets treated in the CLASH OF THE TITANS remake…

  26. @Andrew (not Werdna) — even before actually rewatching Buck Rogers, I’d been earwormed by that closing credits song for the past, what, 40+ years.

    Daaah di daaah di daaaah di daaaahhh …

  27. [(15) LIKE THE TUNGUSKA EVENT?]

    I got excited about this, because who doesn’t like a good disaster story?

    (I think if I post the links using the code tag, it doesn’t treat it as an actual link, so I don’t have to worry about this going into moderation. Well, let me find out)

    If anyone is interested, the paper itself is open-access:
    A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-97778-3

    But I’ve been seeing lots of criticism by actual experts, and the whole thing is starting to smell more than a little fishy.

    1) A bioarchaeologist disputes the interpretation of the body parts found:
    https://twitter.com/ChrisStantis/status/1440404380386160646

    2) A zooarcheologist says that someone with actual osteological knowledge should be able to tell the difference between an infant bone and a small mammal bone:
    https://twitter.com/FlintDibble/status/1440416847841546247

    3) Multiple threads by an astronomer/geologist who has specialized in researching the evidence of meteorite airbursts (and was cited by the paper) sees problems:
    https://twitter.com/MarkBoslough/status/1440097126856282113
    https://twitter.com/MarkBoslough/status/1440377970497966089
    https://twitter.com/MarkBoslough/status/1440490620854800385
    (possibly more to come)

    4) An archaeologist points out that they may have misused the software that generated their unified radiocarbon dating from the various radiocarbon dates :
    https://twitter.com/MTB_Archaeology/status/1440473335687630865

    And possibly more problems as well. Will there be a retraction? We’ll see!

  28. I will have to wait to watch the concert, but anything Somtow does is going to be ok with me, and I am so glad they gave him an award. I mean, most people go to these events with an entourage, but Somtow went with an orchestra and gave a concert! –That’s class!

    Barbara Hambley used to be one of the most charming and intelligent fixtures at the conventions I attended. She also danced well. But I am glad to see that her absence stems from doing what a writer should be doing, which is writing up a storm, rather than having some difficulty or other. Though I miss her, the stories are what matter most in a writer’s life.

  29. (15) Well, at least if I ever decide to write a story about a city with Bronze-era tech that gets destroyed by an air burst I now have some idea of what it might look like.

  30. K: The first and third Star Trek Reboot movies were kind of good. Pity that they made that numbering mistake and keep calling Star Trek: Beyond the “Third” though.

    Whereas Star Wars # 7 was decent but not fabulous; the relief it wasn’t another “The Phantom Menace” let a lot of people kind of gloss over its flaws until movies 8 and 9 in different ways made every flaw that much bigger and more glaring. Even then, I think it could have been pulled together into something after the Last Jedi, but instead 9 decided to pretend it never happened in favour of bringing back a big bad in a ludicrous way, and thus turn what could have been a trilogy into a steaming hot mess.

    Rebecca Roanhorse’s tie-in novel meant to bridge the space between movies 8 and 9 would have made a MUCH better 9th movie. It was no Black Sun, but it was a solid readable plot that actually felt like Star Wars.

  31. @ Lenora Rose

    As far as the sequel trilogy is concerned, I would strongly disagree with you on this. Episode 7 was derivative but at least it introduced new characters nicely, while 8 had some of the best moments in Star Wars period. 9 had to deal with the lack of coordination between the movies but made up for it with some of the best pure space opera in the entire series (redemption of Ben Solo, Solo kicking the Knights’ asses in light-side mode, and the whole Exegol sequence as well).

  32. It was years after seeing the series that I saw the full “opening number” that has the theme song (in the theatrical movie). It’s….a thing.

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