Pixel Scroll 9/9 The Scrolls Must Roll

(1) Blastr reports the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum needs photos or film of the original Enterprise model to assist them in replicating what the Enterprise looked like during and after the cult-classic episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.” That apparently was the last time the model was altered while the series was in production.

The National Air and Space Museum is opening its hailing frequencies and asking fans for help. They need original pics or footage of their original Enterprise model — which has already gone through eight different restorations ever since it was built in 1964, by the way — so that they can restore it to all its August 1967 glory. Yep, it’s that specific.

Star Trek fans made first contact with the ship in 1972, when a model was featured at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Calif., during Space Week (a 10-day gathering of space-related activities). Then, in 1974 through 1975, the ship was put on display in the Smithsonian’s Arts & Industries Building in Washington, D.C., while the National Air and Space Museum’s new home base was being built on Independence Avenue.

(2) And while we’re discussing Classic Trek, should anyone ever ask you how Roddenberry came up with “Sulu” as the character’s name, George Takei explains:

In an interview with the website Big Think, he revealed that his character is based on the Philippine Sulu Sea. According to him, show creator Gene Roddenberry wanted a generic Asian name for the helmsman. He thought that most Asian last names were country-specific, like Tanaka, Wong, and Kim. In 1966, Asia was dealing with issues like warfare, colonization, and rebellion, and Roddenberry didn’t want to reference any of that.

(3) A few days ago I posted about the new BB-8 robot from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now someone has dissected a BB-8 with photos and commentary worthy of a medical examiner. You sicko!

(4) And on Force Friday, that glorious excuse to sell toys from the new Star Wars franchise, the rarest collectible was a mis-packaged Kylo Ren action figure – found on the shelves in Glendale, John King Tarpinian’s home town. And specialized collectors are always on the lookout for funny/funky slipups like this.

That’s when eagle-eyed shoppers might have spotted Kylo Ren—the helmeted, crossguard lightsaber-wielding new villain played by Adam Driver in The Force Awakens—being sold as lady storm trooper Captain Phasma after an apparent packaging error placed the new Star Wars villain in the wrong box that got shipped out for the massive retail push.

Misprinted, misshapen, and mis-packaged memorabilia occupy a niche spot in the world of collectibles, particularly in the long history of the Star Wars franchise. And while packaging errors are known to occur “more often than people think,” according to Toy & Comic Heaven’s James Gallo, it’s the production errors and discontinued design variants that yield more highly prized value to collectors….

There’s the infamously naughty 1977 Topps C-3PO #207 trading card, in which the Force appears to be very strong in C-3PO’s chrome junk, an aberration that Topps quickly corrected in subsequent printings. A bizarre yellow-hued discoloration on Kenner’s 1997-era Luke vs. Wampa set made the “incontinent” Hoth beast a curious find for Star Wars collectors. “Yak Face” (never distributed in the U.S.), “Vinyl Cape Jawa (later reconfigured with a cloth cape), “Rocket Firing Boba Fett” (cancelled on the eve of production for fear of a choking hazard) and versions of Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Obi-Wan Kenobi bearing telescoping lightsaber accessories have reportedly sold to hardcore collectors over the years for thousands of dollars.

(5) Amazon says The Man in the High Castle: Season 1 will be available November 20, 2015. The first episode was teased in January. This trailer debuted at the San Diego Comic-Con.

(6) For a limited Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is offering guests the rare opportunity to see the new Batmobile from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice before the movie debuts in March. Here’s a video of Batman’s new set of wheels.

(7) “Alien Nuclear Wars Might Be Visible From Earth” writes Ross Andersen in The Atlantic.

A team of astronomers recently tried to determine whether Trinity’s light might be cosmic in a different sense. The Trinity test involved only one explosion. But if there were many more explosions, involving many more nuclear weapons, it might generate enough heat and light to be seen from nearby stars, or from the deeper reaches of our galaxy—so long as someone out there was looking….

I asked Jill Tarter what she thought of the paper. Tarter is the former director of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute and the inspiration for Ellie Arroway, the heroine of Carl Sagan’s Contact, played by Jodie Foster in the film adaptation. Tarter told me the paper was “getting a bit of buzz” in the SETI community. But she also urged caution. “The problem is the signatures are detectable for cosmically insignificant amounts of time,” she said. Distant stars burn for billions of years, sending a constant stream of light toward Earth, but the flash from a nuclear war may last only a few days. To catch its light, you have to have impeccable timing.

(8) There’s a tad too much science fictional truth here for this cartoon to make a successful motivational poster. “Shoot for the Moon” on The Oatmeal.

(9) Let’s not forget one other award given last weekend at Dragon Con. Larry Correia and “Brando TorgersOn” were the first to win the “super prestigious LaMancha award.” Says Correia —

The fact that the gnome is tilting at that windmill with a nazi tank is just one of the added touches that make the LaMancha so prestigious.  It is crafted out of the finest southern bass wood and delicately hand carved with a poignant message.

La Mancha Award

La Mancha Award

(10) “We Watched That (So You Didn’t Have To): John Cusack and Jackie Chan’s VOD Historical Action Epic, ‘Dragon Blade’” by Shea Serrano on Grantland —

I sit here before you a man, a man who has watched Jackie Chan in any number of films — in a near countless number of films. There was one where he played a man who operated a fast food van and had to become a hero. There was one where he played a man in South Africa with amnesia who had to become a hero. There was one where he teamed up with a white man to become a hero and also one where he teamed up with a black man to become a hero, not once, not twice, but thrice. And now I have seen him wear a very thick wig and a poet’s goatee and a very generous amount of makeup and sing about racial harmony and total peace and then make a deathmobile out of shields and spears and then become a hero. I sit here before you a man, a man who has seen Dragon Blade.

(11) Your reality may vary!

(12) An especially good installment of SF Signal’s Mind Meld, curated by Paul Weimer, calls on participants to discuss the best deaths in science fiction and fantasyT. Frohock, Richard Shealy (sffcopyediting.com) , John Hornor Jacobs, Ramona Wheeler, Richard Parks, Alasdair Stuart, Martha Wells, Tina Connolly, Susan Jane Bigelow, Christian Klaver, Joe Sherry, and Gillian Polack.

(13) While researching today’s scroll I found a few more things I needed to report about Sasquan. Such as – the silly PA announcements.

And photos of the Other Awards winners including David Aronovitz.

Then, someone recorded Filthy Pierre playing the Superman theme on his Melodica.

And finally, whatever the opposite of comic relief is –

(14) Just how scientifically accurate is The Martian? This short video on Yahoo! lets Andy Weir, Matt Damon and others make their case.

(15) Sometimes a battle between a giant space jaybird and the Enterprise is just a battle between a giant space jaybird and the Enterprise.

[Thanks to Susan de Guardiola, Martin Morse Wooster, Mark, Will R., Colin Kuskie, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

357 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/9 The Scrolls Must Roll

  1. RedWombat on September 10, 2015 at 9:00 pm said:

    I still think a sort of weak pubescent pon farr and then the serious adult version would reconcile things. Like musth in elephants or something.

    Or the term is overloaded – you know there’s ‘pon farr’ and then there is ‘Pon Farr’. Vulcan’s know from the context which meaning of the term they mean.

  2. My point being: cars were/are cool, therefore hood ornaments are cool. Gnomes were never cool. Cars are useful, techie, engineering, and manly; gnomes, not so much. Puppydum didn’t think through this, as usual. Artistically, it’s a mess; in inspiration, it’s all about a small in-group; the windmill metaphor is confused/backwards…huh. Maybe it IS the perfect Puppy award! Still, points for trying, boys! (But, logically, can’t a tank take out a windmill even when it’s being driven by a gnome?)

    It’s no Hugo (give it another 20 years), but it’s a start. I think the charm lies in the ad-hoc assemblage, and if it were ever to become prettified, it would lose what charm it has. Although swapping the gnome for a troll would help.

    Oooh, Sapphire and Steel. I have it on VHS from when the local PBS station showed it in the… early 90s? Wonder if the tapes are still playable.

    @Rick Moen: of COURSE “nuanced” is an SJW word. In right-wing land, you’re either with us or you’re agi’n us.

    I ain’t drinking zero-g whisky, if this is how it’s going to go. Rubber and fish? Looks like astronauts of the future had better go for space vodka when not on a planet.

  3. @Maximillian

    @Tasha – Is that Huff series the one where a book is based on the Battle of Rourke’s Drift? That was a fun series.

    Yes it is.

    Weird that it’s by the same author as the ‘Blood Xxxxxxx’ series of vampire/detective books.

    She writes in a wide number of genre/sub-genre within SFF. It’s always fascinating to see how much breadth as a writer she has. I highly recommend checking out her other series.

    I absolutely love The Keeper Chronicles and for those that love magic and cats check it out. I have the omnibus edition.

    If you like music and magic and families with lots of strange twist The Enchantment Emporium, book 1 (I call it the Gale Family series) is fun. Last week I read the third and most recent book in the series The Future Falls – my thoughts are somewhere on File770 (spoiler free).

  4. rochrist on September 10, 2015 at 9:13 pm said:
    When the two were compared, the space whisky had “hints of antiseptic smoke, rubber, and smoked fish” among other flavors, whereas the Earth sample was noted for its “hints of cedar, sweet smoke, and aged balsamic vinegar,” according to the company. The near–zero gravity evidently affected the behavior of the whisky’s terpenes—the origin of most flavors and aromas found in plants—revealing a whole different side to the spirit, says Ardbeg’s director of distilling and whisky creation.

    Ok, definitely not happy about THAT. I’m not a fan of my Islay having notes of burning rubber and smoked fish!

    Well that’s going to be a big drawback for living independently in space.

  5. That sounds intriguing. Did it have Afrikaaners in it? I only ask so I could ask:
    If it had a dying boer, my Huff?

    I don’t think we knew much about the races of the humans in the story. If so it went over my head. To many alien species to focus on.

    groan

  6. Tasha Turner on September 10, 2015 at 10:06 pm said:

    groan

    Apologies. Last one, I promise. The joke has worn thin and thinking them up is too much like work. You might say that it is…a dying chore.

  7. Currently listening to Bujold retrospective on the Incomparable episode 24

    I need to go back and reread some of her books in preparation for her new book due next year. I got the new novella but it’s been so long since I read the Curse I might go back and read that first.

    I have never read the Sharing Knife series. Does anyone recommend ?

  8. @RedWombat: I would also be okay with “it happened but the nice Deltan cadet down the hall took care of things before it got out of hand.”

    Ahem.

    Anyway, no doubt there’s a good slash explanation that explains all the inconsistencies and retconning with pon farr!

  9. @Shambles

    The first one is good, but I felt that as the series went on they were a bit… I dunno. Unfocused? Still enjoyable and well-written, of course, but not Bujold’s best work. ETA: That being said I’m not entirely sure I’ve read all of them so perhaps I’m being unfair. ETA2: (I checked, I’ve read the first three but not the fourth, so I’m missing the ending.)

  10. @Shambles: My other half enjoyed the Sharing Knife series, if you trust a once-removed rec. 😉

    ETA: I’m not sure if my other half read all 4(?) books or not, but I’m sure the ones read were enjoyed.

  11. lurkertype:

    Sapphire and Steel has been out on DVD for a while. I have four different boxsets of the series: two British, one with the pre- and post- advertisement title cards missing (and therefore some of the action missing) and one with the title cards restored, an Oz version with audio glitches and a US version released by A&E.

    All sets have few extras or none at all; no one set has the same extras as another.

    Most DVD players in Oz are multi-standard/multi-region, btw.

    Late edit: Oooo, I see there’s yet another boxset available now, and it’s NTSC, R1.

  12. @Meredith @Kendall

    Thanks, I will attempt the first one in the series and see if I want to press on.

  13. RedWombat on September 10, 2015 at 9:00 pm said:

    I still think a sort of weak pubescent pon farr and then the serious adult version would reconcile things. Like musth in elephants or something.

    One of the episodes of Voyager had Tuvok say that the drive of Ponn Farr increased with age, and while focused meditation can get one through it, that gets more difficult the older they get. Perhaps in the past Spock was able to ride it out with minimal trouble, but he finally reached one that he couldn’t.

  14. Wondering if people have read David Gerrold’s latest:

    https://www.facebook.com/david.gerrold/posts/10206429079778157

    Here, on this continent, we’ve built a cultural monomyth that carries within it the seeds of our own destruction — the mythic hero. We believe in John Wayne, the strong man who comes to rescue us. It’s a variation on the Christ myth. Or Superman. Or Batman. We’re incapable of being responsible, we need a daddy figure to sort things out for us. (The savage deconstruction of this monomyth is a movie called “High Noon.” It’s worth a look.)

    Belief in superheros is an adolescent fantasy — it’s a way of abnegating personal responsibility. Whatever is wrong with the world, the Justice League, the Avengers, SHIELD will fix it.

    The counterpoint is that whatever is wrong with the world — it’s not us. It’s THRUSH or SPECTRE or HYDRA or some other unnamed conspiracy. It’s always a conspiracy. […]

    You think all this shit doesn’t affect the way we think about each other?

    It has encouraged too many of us to think like self-centered, spoiled brats, with an inflated sense of importance, and an expectation of entitlement.

    Continued at:
    https://www.facebook.com/david.gerrold/posts/10206429180220668

    Given the nature of the internet — see previous post — it becomes
    easier and easier to believe in coalitions, cabals, and conspiracies.
    Somewhere there’s a dark net where hackers plot nefarious schemes. Somewhere, there are billionaires paying internet shills to invade various online discussions with specific propaganda. […]

    That’s what a lot of this looks like — a continuing belief that there’s a massive entrenched conspiracy, that “the establishment” no longer serves the fans, and that the true heroes of the genre must rise against these corrupt masters and take a stand for truth, justice, and the American way against the secret cabals of science fiction. Hail Hydra, and all that. […]

  15. I have read all four Sharing Knife books and enjoyed them. The worldbuilding is great and Bujold’s prose and plotting are always good, but you have to accept that they are squarely in the romance-novel category (vs. something like Paladin of Souls, which has elements of romance).

  16. @Shambes: Update–my other half did read all four, but said something about later books bringing to mind Jennifer Roberson’s Tiger & Del series; he also liked that series, so it’s a pretty mild criticism, methinks.

  17. @bloodstone75
    That is interesting, I did not realize the books could be considered romances. That makes them more intriguing to me.

    ETA: @Kendall, that is another series I have not read but I have been curious about it. Thanks for the reminder on Tiger & Del.

  18. Here is an interesting post on black gate on the Pelbar cycle that came up when we were discussing post apocalyptic SF. I really enjoyed these books and I look forward to reading them again soon.

    https://www.blackgate.com/2014/01/31/paul-o-williams-and-the-pelbar-cycle/

    Each book is a self-contained adventure (I didn’t read them in order until I had them all and didn’t have a problem with it), but the overall story arc tells of the re-uniting of human groups which became isolated after “the time of fire” and evolved separately into distinct (though recognizable to us) societal types.

    If we had to categorize, The Pelbar Cycle is post-apocalyptic SF – there’s a map right at the beginning to let the readers know we’re dealing with the North American continent. If you don’t happen to notice the map, however, your clues will be few and far between just at first.

    Most post-apocalyptic books, starting right with Neville Shute’s On the Beach, deal with the time period shortly after the apocalyptic event, though not all feature the aftermath of nuclear war.

    The Pelbar Cycle is one of those rare series in which the time of fire took place so long ago that to many of the surviving peoples it isn’t even a legend.

  19. Someone tell me again what the puppy complain about the Hugos was?

    It wasn’t THEIR award, silly.

    But of course, if they want to start their own award, fine by me. They can spend 50+ years building up its credibility and see how far they get.

    after about Wrath of Khan all the movies went off the rails

    I wouldn’t go that far. I like 4 (the whale movie, although I think it hasn’t aged quite as well as it might have) and six (the Federation isn’t always so perfect movie), “First Contact” for the Next Generation movies, and the first J.J. Abrams movie. (Although I hated the second JJ Abrams movie to pretty much a “Nemesis” level of hatred.

    I just looked up J.J. Abrams to make sure I was spelling his name right. We are within 5 weeks of being exactly the same age. Now I feel like I’ve wasted my life.

    my Islay having notes of burning rubber and smoked fish

    In my Scotch-tasting experience, none of these flavor notes are as dire as they sound. But then, my Scotch-tasting experience is “liking pretty much all the ones I’ve tried.”

  20. Devin on September 10, 2015 at 8:47 pm said:
    I have to stand up for Seveneves here. I actually think the narrative structure is brilliant: the dark ages have no records, and so you don’t get to know what happened there except via oral histories and seeing the outcomes. To me, it makes the narration much more historical rather than omnipotent.

    Count me as another who really liked Seveneves; it’s on my Hugo nomination longlist. I am in complete agreement with you about the narrative structure: it’s a genius & courageous decision to focus most of the narrative on the early part of the crisis, with the subsequent big gap reflecting the paucity of historical record as efforts were focussed on the rebuild, then taking up the story again once technology gets rebuilt. The genetics stuff I was willing to handwave as a magical plot-device, mostly because it’s a topic I have some familiarity with & I could see how much of a reach it was. Overall, the litmus test for me was that I was still thinking about it days after finishing the book.

  21. Occy: Well, that’s a wide variety to choose from. The advantage with the VHS version is that I already own it. However, the new R1 version at $26 seems worth asking ye jolly olde elf to bring me in a few months.

    Regarding Star Trek VI: at a Worldcon, a Paramount representative was showing clips and stuff for what was then the upcoming film. Skepticism abounded at her cheerful PR pitch, there were grumbles, etc. Because we’d just seen Trek V “What does God need with a starship?”

    And then, my hand to God, she actually said “But it’s an even-numbered Star Trek movie!”

    There was a silence as everyone thought “She said that? They know we say that? The STUDIO FLACK said that?” and then laughs and applause.

    Indeed, it didn’t suck.

  22. I remember a book reading where Lois Bujold told us that when she had a short story published in a romance/sf anthology, she got letters (or emails) from romance readers and from sf readers, and they were reading an almost entirely different story from each other. They had different emotional arcs through the story. The romance readers didn’t notice (or possibly just didn’t care about) some of the stuff the sf readers did, and vice versa. So, if memory serves (and it’s 1:30 am here, so it might not!) she set out to write a book (which turned into two books, which each got split in half by the publisher) where both the romance arc and the sff arc would work about equally. And that’s the Sharing Knife books. The good thing is that at least both of the books that got sliced in half had reasonable stopping points at the halfwayish point (or she wrote in reasonable stopping points after the fact; I don’t know which). But it doesn’t hurt to bear in mind that the first two books are one book, and the second two are its sequel.
    I enjoy them a lot; they’re fantasy, the setting is (rot-13 for spoiler) irel cbfg-ncbpnylcgvp, nf va gur ncbpnylcfr unccrarq pbhagyrff trarengvbaf ntb, and they’re not connected to any of her other books.
    Fantasy readers with romance allergies may not like them so much as I did, though I didn’t find the romance angle too heavy-handed. Kind of like the Cordelia books; there are romance tropes but they don’t unbalance the story for me.

  23. Somewhere, there are billionaires paying internet shills to invade various online discussions with specific propaganda.

    Of course, this is true. Well, not necessarily the billionaires part. But it’s hardly unusual for various political organizations (or, yes, corporate PR departments) to (attempt to) brush up wikipedia articles. The Russian government (well, probably the government. If not then oligarchs whose connections are such that they might as well be) has hundreds of trolls on payroll. No, really.

  24. I am an enormous fan of Bujold, but the Sharing Knife series left me cold.

    Not horrible, but it felt like a romance author trying to write Bujold-style and failing at it. It was nowhere near as good as Curse of Chalion.

    If it helps to calibrate the opinion, I did go start reading Heyer after Lois dedicated a book to her (among others), so it isn’t just the romance part thatbisbthe problem.

  25. I’ve liked most of the Star Trek films I’ve seen, but I haven’t see all of them; I haven’t seen some TOS ones and I think I’m missing one of the Next Gen ones, too. I loved the first TOS:Alternative Universe one, but outright hated the second. I have a very long list of grievances about that film. Normally I just say it wasn’t my thing or I didn’t like something (because tastes differ), but for That Film I’m quite willing to say I thought it was awful and I think the majority of people who liked it were probably having some sort of consensus hallucination because they definitely can’t have seen the same movie I did.

  26. @Meredith

    Yes THIS. That second reboot movie was just misstep after misstep after idiot balls. Ugh.

  27. @snowcrash

    A friend-who-is-no-longer-a-friend (but not because of Star Trek, ALTHOUGH IT WAS CLOSE) tried to tell me that because it had a good score on Rotten Tomatoes it must be that I had terrible taste. There are lots of people for whom telling them that the popular view says they’re wrong, so there, would not work very well (and for goodness sake the man was a satanist he ought to have known better), but I think someone with a background of very independent home education probably comes high on the list of people who’ll go straight to haha yeah no that’s a terrible argument.

    Seriously, that movie. How did they screw it up that badly? Just, why? I’ve never been so pleased to hear of a director change nor so annoyed to hear of where the director ended up going.

    ETA: I’m a big fan of the FatF films so I’m hoping the skill and practice of working with ensemble casts will shine through for the next Star Trek film. That wasn’t the only problem with the second one, though, so who knows.

  28. @lurkertype

    Looks like astronauts of the future had better go for space vodka when not on a planet.

    Astronauts, being red-blooded blue collar males, will of course soak themselves in space gin.

  29. I wish to file a complaint about the replacement SJW credential you sent me last Saturday to replace the one I farewelled last month. Not only is it an “all-body-points” Siamese, it does not meow. Instead, it coos and trills and purrs. The truth is now clear to me.

    You sent me a black Tribble with claws. If not for the fact that my remaining SJW Siamese is getting along with it splendidly, I would be demanding a full refund and replacement.

    Well, ya see, they get darker coats in cold temperatures. Yours was rescued from Pluto. I promise, after the next shed, all will be well.
    Coos and trills and purrs? Huh. It only ever hissed at me.

  30. Microtherion: Astronauts, being red-blooded blue collar Southern white males, will of course soak themselves in space gin.

    FTFY.

  31. I don’t understand the complaints, then. See, there’s “cat”, right there in the name. Cats are cats! Pigs is pigs!

  32. My husband points out that since it was partially aged in space, it can no longer be called “Scotch”. (He’d heard the story from another source that identified the distillery.)

  33. The closest I’ve come to SJW qualification was when a cat barrelled past my partner and through the front door one evening as he came home with the shopping, and was then very reluctant to be put out again (she bit him, although she was very friendly and lovely with me). She wasn’t even a siamese cat. I’m letting the SJW side down.

    (I love cats, but with a house that’s been in a perpetual state of semi-renovation for the last five years it just wouldn’t be a good or safe environment for one.)

  34. Regarding the Sharing Knife books… I read and enjoyed them, but I haven’t reread them as many times as I’ve read the Chalion or Vorkosigan books, so I guess I didn’t like them as much as those series. Still, there are great concepts and solid worldbuilding the Sharing Knife, and nobody can say she doesn’t put her main characters to the test in them.

  35. @Jane_Dark

    Personally, I will be tremendously disappointed if Armada gets a nomination. I loved Ready Player One, but Armada felt like slightly whiny male wish-fulfillment.

    I enjoyed the first half of RPO, but by the end was disappointed by just how shallow it ended up being and how silly the end result was. I thought it had real potential and is a classic example of an author not being able to turn a great concept into a finished story. I’ve heard so far that Armada is a watered down version of RPO, which doesn’t excite me.

  36. I loved the first TOS:Alternative Universe one, but outright hated the second. I have a very long list of grievances about that film. Normally I just say it wasn’t my thing or I didn’t like something (because tastes differ), but for That Film I’m quite willing to say I thought it was awful and I think the majority of people who liked it were probably having some sort of consensus hallucination because they definitely can’t have seen the same movie I did.

    Was there anyone who liked the second “lens flare” Trek film? Maybe I’ve been spending too much time in fan communities on the internet but my impression is that it is universally loathed. That being said, I did enjoy the first JJ Abrams reboot and I am looking forward to the next Star Wars film. But then again, I did stand in line for tickets to see episode I so fool me once…

  37. I kinda liked the second Abrams movie. Though it was too long and shouty. But there were sequences in it that I loved, and it had Bandicoot Bandersnatch in it, so there’s that.

    The only Star Trek movies I flat out hated were the first and the fifth. I liked the third one much better than pretty much everyone, I think.

  38. cmm on September 11, 2015 at 8:17 am said:
    The only Star Trek movies I flat out hated were the first and the fifth. I liked the third one much better than pretty much everyone, I think.

    The Motion Picture is basically Rendezvous with Rama: The Movie. Good idea, but it’s not really the kind of film you can do with the budget and talent available to Trek in the 70s. I rewatched all the movies a few years ago, and the thing which struck me the most about them is how slow-paced they all are. It’s 45 minutes into Wrath of Khan before Enterprise and Reliant meet, for example.

  39. Apologies. Last one, I promise. The joke has worn thin and thinking them up is too much like work. You might say that it is…a dying chore.

    No, no don’t stop punning on my account. A few groans are part of punning culture where I come from… Or maybe it’s because I’m the one groaning? I’d miss it if you all stopped. I’d feel like I’d become the mean girl who doesn’t let anyone have fun.

    I have never read the Sharing Knife series. Does anyone recommend ?

    Highly. I love them. Recently reread them and enjoyed them more the 2nd time around. They are an interesting experiment combining romance and fantasy tropes. I’ve been reading Sidelines and she talks about connections with trips/vacations with her dad as well as what she was trying to accomplish with these books which made the reread poignant.

    I, personally think both the romance and fantasy parts work but know many seem to disagree. But I’m a big romance reader, a big LMB fan, I read lots of PNR/UF, I like fantasy, and I love most cross-genre stuff. I also rarely like bestsellers unless I found them when they were mid-list and if they reach the point where their editors are no longer editing them I usually wander off. I’ve been told I’m not your average reader. On Goodreads on some of my early reviews I put “my recommendations are useless until you get to know me”.

  40. Re: Seveneves

    I must confess to an occasional twinge when people talk about the dark ages; the absence of written records does not equate with the absence of highly developed skills. For those unable to visit the British Museum, the website provides some excellent images and description of the Great Torc from Snettisham.

    We have no written information about the culture and the master craftsman who produced it; we just know that there is nothing to equal it in the gold work of Greece, Rome and China at the same time, around 75 BC. And in order to create it the goldsmith needed both scientific and creative skills in advance of the written cultures; what we know, we know from the objects.

    The same is true of the ‘dark ages’ of the Medieval period; the so called barbarians created remarkable metalworks which greatly excel those of the so called civilised world…

  41. @stevie

    Independent of any critique of Seveneves, I appreciate this and find it facisnating. Now you’ve sent me down the wiki hole reading about ancient artifacts.

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