(1) CLARION WEST AUCTION AND GALA. The Clarion West After Dark 2022 Auction is open until October 21 at 9:00 PM Pacific Time. You must register for the event to begin bidding on auction items. Clarion West After Dark is a fundraising event and auction created to help support Clarion West’s year-round speculative program.
Here are a couple of the many items on the block:
Clarion West board member Yang-Yang Wang (Dungeon Scrawlers) will serve as DM for a One Shot Dungeons & Dragons adventure (a single self-contained adventure) with author Seanan McGuire (Middlegame, Every Heart A Doorway, X-Men) and up to 3 of your friends.
Nisi Shawl is an award-winning author of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. They also make delectable, unique, and magical teas. Spend time with Nisi learning how they buy, dry, cut, stir, and steep the best cup of tea. Join Nisi at the home of board member Susan Gossman in Queen Ann.
Includes a signed copy of Nisi’s book Everfair.
There will also be a livestreamed Clarion West After Dark 2022 event on YouTube on October 21 at 7:00 p.m. Pacific with Special Guest Author Daniel J. Abraham. Register at the link.
Join us as we journey across the dark expanse of space for a night of celebration, imagination, and inspiration. Clarion West is all about stories, and our story is like a generation ship: students become instructors and scholarship recipients become donors, powering this journey across time and space as we go boldly into the creation of wild and amazing worlds.
(2) SFBC’S PROMO ART RARITIES. The fourth installment of Doug Ellis’ look at the art from the Science Fiction Book Club’s Things to Come bulletin is now available; this one covers 1964-1966 and includes seldom seen work by Virgil Finlay. “The Art Of Things To Come, Part 4: 1964-1966” at Black Gate.
…As I’ve noted in prior installments, the artists who contributed to these early bulletins are often unidentified. That’s usually the case during this period as well.
The notable exception to that rule is the great Virgil Finlay, who kicks off our tour with his illustration for Fifth Planet by Fred Hoyle and his son, Geoffrey Hoyle (misspelled as Goeffrey) from the Winter and March 1964 issue of the bulletin. The original of this lovely piece still exists in a private collection….
(3) PARAMOUNT PLUS HALF PRICE DEAL. [Item by Daniel Dern.] Paramount Plus, where the new Star Trek shows (and some of the older ones) are available, is having a “temporary promotion” (not clear how that differs functionally from “a sale.” (Note: “Offer ends 11/3/22.”)
In particular (as in, the one I just went for), Paramount Plus’ with-ads version has a half-off year offer ($24.99 instead of $49.99). (And other offers which I ignored, because of lack of interest or frugality. We enjoyed no-ads on a previous promotion, which, when it expired, I cancelled our subscription.)
So if you plan to watch Star Trek (new seasons and some older ones, and, I believe, movies) (and/or want to watch the final season of The Good Fight), here’s a helpful article (where I learned about this) including a link: https://www.howtogeek.com/841103/you-can-get-an-entire-year-of-paramount-for-just-25
(1) As HowToGeek cautions, “The only catch is that the subscription auto-renews, and the low price is only for the first year”.
If you don’t want to lose track and accidentally get auto-renewed, at full price, in a year, consider cancellation after, say, a month. (If you were able to get the free trial period, make sure you’re a few days past that.)
Paramount says: “If you cancel your subscription, the cancellation will go into effect at the end of your current subscription period, as applicable. You will have continued access to the Paramount+ Service for the remainder of your paid subscription period.”
(2) The HowToGeek article says [you] also get an Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite. https://www.amazon.com/fire-tv-stick-lite/dp/B07YNLBS7R ($29)
However, I didn’t see this offered in the actual subscribing process or the near-immediate confirmations from Paramount. I just did a Chat with Paramount customer service; they said I should have received an email with a PIN (didn’t comment whether that related to the promised Fire Stick), and will cause a new message-with-PIN to get sent to me.)
Even if you don’t need one for everyday use, if you’re actually travelling (within the US), it might be a convenient take-along.
(4) SCHULZ CENTENNIAL. Just to remind you, the new issue of Charles M. Schulz / Peanuts stamps is now available from the USPS.
New stamps salute the centennial of cartoonist Charles M. Schulz (1922–2000) whose “Peanuts” characters are some of the best known and most beloved in all of American culture. For five decades, Schulz alone wrote and drew nearly 18,000 strips, the last one published the day after he died. Each character reflects Schulz’s rich imagination and great humanity. His resonant stories found humor in life’s painful realities including rejection, insecurity and unrequited love.
In a celebratory mode, characters from “Peanuts” adorn 10 designs on this pane of 20 stamps and form a frame around a 1987 photograph of Schulz.
Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps from Schulz’s artwork and an existing photograph by Douglas Kirkland.
(5) DOCTOR WHICH. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] Leslie S. Klinger provides background on Robert Louis Stevenson for a new edition of Dr Jekyll And Mr. Hyde.
… While RLS’s fiction never flagged in popularity, he was shunned by the critics for a long period. His work was excluded from major anthologies for much of the twentieth century. Today, however, he is highly regarded by academia as an original voice, an artist with a wide range of interests and insights, no longer to be relegated to the shelves of children’s literature or horror fiction. In 2004, the Journal of Stevenson Studies began publication, with an impressive editorial board and a mission: “The Journal of Stevenson Studies (JSS) is committed to the study and wider consideration of the work of Robert Louis Stevenson as a popular writer with an original and unique insight into the moral, psychological and cultural ambiguities of the modern world. This is the Stevenson admired by authors like Henry James, Graham Greene and Jorge Luis Borges….
(6) JEMISIN TAKES STOCK OF NYC. N. K. Jemisin was the guest on a New York Times podcast — The Ezra Klein Show: “A Legendary World-Builder on Multiverses, Revolution and the ‘Souls’ of Cities” on Apple Podcasts.
N.K. Jemisin is a fantasy and science-fiction writer who won three consecutive Hugo Awards — considered the highest honor in science-fiction writing — for her “Broken Earth” trilogy; she has since won two more Hugos, as well as other awards. But in imagining wild fictional narratives, the beloved sci-fi and fantasy writer has also cultivated a remarkable view of our all-too-real world. In her fiction, Jemisin crafts worlds that resemble ours but get disrupted by major shocks: ecological disasters, invasions by strange, tentacled creatures and more — all of which operate as thought experiments that can help us think through how human beings could and should respond to similar calamities.
Jemisin’s latest series, which includes “The City We Became” and “The World We Make,” takes place in a recognizable version of New York City — the texture of its streets, the distinct character of its five boroughs — that’s also gripped by strange, magical forces. The series, in addition to being a rollicking read, is essentially a meditation on cities: how they come into being, how their very souls get threatened by forces like systemic racism and astronomical inequality and how their energies and cultures have the power to rescue and save those souls.
I invited Jemisin on the show to help me take stock of the political and cultural ferment behind these distressing conditions — and also to remember the magical qualities of cities, systems and human nature. We discuss why multiverse fictions like “Everything Everywhere All at Once” are so popular now, how the culture and politics of New York and San Francisco have homogenized drastically in recent decades, Jemisin’s views on why a coalition of Black and Latinx voters elected a former cop as New York’s mayor, how gentrification causes change that we may not at first recognize, where to draw the line between imposing order and celebrating the disorder of cities, how Donald Trump kept stealing Jemisin’s ideas but is at the root a “badly written character,” whether we should hold people accountable for their choices or acknowledge the way the status quo shapes our decision-making, what excites Jemisin about recent discoveries about outer space, why she thinks we are all “made of exploding stars” and more.
(7) CINEMA FARAWAY. [Item by Cora Buhlert.] I review the 1967 West German Edgar Allan Poe adaptation The Snake Pit and the Pendulum at Galactic Journey as part of an overview post about recent movies. The other films covered are Quatermass and the Pit, The Day the Fish Came Out, which I have to admit I’d never heard of before, and Bonnie and Clyde, which is not even remotely SFF, but a film that reviewer Jason Sacks really likes: “[October 18, 1967] We Are The Martians: Quatermass and the Pit, Bonnie and Clyde, The Day the Fish Came Out and The Snake Pit and the Pendulum”.
… Compared to the many horrors of the real world, watching a spooky movie in the theatre feels almost cathartic. And so I decided to get away from the real world by watching the new West German horror movie Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel (The Snake Pit and the Pendulum) at my local cinema….
(8) ICONIC ARTIST. The Goodman Games website has a profile of Flash Gordon artist Alex Raymond: “A Profile of Legendary Illustrator Alex Raymond”.
Few people have influenced American comics as much as Alex Raymond. While “Jungle Jim” and “Rip Carson” [sic – Rip Kirby] may not be household names, Raymond’s most famous creation, Flash Gordon, is so ingrained into American pop culture that simply his name can be used as shorthand for a specific type of heroic, romantic science fiction. Alex Raymond’s career was short, and his death came far too soon, but his art and influence are immortal….
(9) SERIES COMPLETED. The Guardian interviews Malorie Blackman, author of dystopian YA fiction: “Malorie Blackman: ‘Thank God that’s done!’”.
…The sixth and final book in the Noughts & Crosses series, Endgame, came out last year. How do you feel now that’s over?
Mainly: Thank God I lived long enough to finish it! And: Thank God that’s done! OK, to be serious about it, it’s been a hell of a journey, which I’m really grateful for because it’s been 20-odd years. But I really do feel with the end of Endgame that really is it. And anyone who’s read it will know why. If there are more books written in that series, they won’t be by me….
(10) BE YOUR OWN SQUID. Also at the Guardian, Amelia Tait asks why immersive pop culture experiences are booming: “Dance like you’re in Bridgerton, play Squid Game: why are immersive experiences booming?”
…Welcome to the age of immersion. Dinosaurs and DC barely scratch the surface – this summer also saw the launch of Stranger Things and Tomb Raider “experiences” in London, an I’m A Celebrity Jungle Challenge in Manchester, and an Alice in Wonderland “immersive cocktail experience” in Sheffield.
By September, fans were able to re-enact Netflix’s Squid Game at Immersive Gamebox venues in London, Essex and Manchester. In the coming weeks, London will also host an experience based on the horror franchise Saw, while Cheshire will see thousands visit Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience. And that’s without mentioning the boom in immersive art experiences, the most recent of which – Frameless – has just opened in central London….
(11) HAUNTED TRACKS. The Cromcast have launched their annual “Cromtober” event of reviewing spooky works in October. This time around, they discuss The Twilight Zone episode “A Stop at Willoughby”: “Episode 1: Get on the Ghost Train and Head to Willoughby”.
…For our first episode, we focus most of our discussion on the class Twilight Zone episode “A Stop at Willoughby” where our protagonist “Mr. Gart Williams, an ad agency exec, who in just a moment, will move into the Twilight Zone—in a desperate search for survival.”
Beyond our stop in the Twilight Zone, we also discuss why trains are kind of scary and the different things they symbols in folklore and ghost stories. Last but not least, let’s learn about President Abraham Lincoln’s Ghost Train! Hop aboard, won’t you? …
(12) JIM MCDIVITT (1929-2022) Former astronaut Jim McDivitt, who played key roles in making America’s first spacewalk and moon landing possible, died October 17 at the age of 93. NPR paid tribute:
…In 1962, McDivitt was selected by NASA to become an astronaut. He was chosen to pilot Gemini 4 — becoming the first-ever NASA rookie to command a mission.
Considered NASA’s most ambitious flight at the time in 1965, the Gemini 4 mission was the first time the U.S. performed a spacewalk and the longest that a U.S. spaceflight had remained in Earth’s orbit: 4 days.
Four years later, McDivitt commanded Apollo 9 — a 10-day shakeout mission orbiting the Earth in March 1969 that involved testing the lunar landing spacecraft. It paved the way for NASA to successfully land humans on the moon four months later in July 1969.
Apollo 9 was his last trip to space. Despite his instrumental role in propelling NASA’s moon landing, McDivitt himself never reached the moon. Francis French, a spaceflight historian, said McDivitt chose not to command a moon landing mission and decided to take on a management role….
… McDivitt became manager of Lunar Landing Operations in May 1969, and in August of that year became manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program. He was the program manager for Apollo missions 12-16….
(13) MEMORY LANE.
2005 — [By Cat Eldridge.] Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars (2005)
Once upon a time, a beloved SF series got cancelled, and yes there is absolutely nothing unusual in that happening, it happens more often than it should. What is extremely unusual is that it got a second chance to have a proper ending in the Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars seventeen years ago.
So let’s tell the tale of how that happened. Farscape arrived here twenty-three ago when Deep Space Nine was just wrapping up and Voyager was well into its seven year run. It started fine and ratings were strong until the fourth season and that, combined with regime change here in the States on who was picking up the tab for the two million dollars per episode led it to end abruptly.
Fans being fans weren’t going to let things end that way, nor should we. (Yes I loved the show. Deeply, unreservedly. I think it was one of the best series ever made, if not the best.) A massive campaign was undertaken with of course emails, letters, phone calls, and phone calls pleading with the network to reverse the cancellation.
Even Bill Amend who created the Fox Trot series had his Jason Fox character direct his ire at SciFi and demand that they change their mind.
Well they did, sort of. A fifth season didn’t happen after all. What did happen in some ways I think was even better though I know that isn’t a popular opinion among those who wanted a full season.
What we got was the two episode, one hundred and eighty minute Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars which I thought splendidly wrapped things up. Every single storyline that wasn’t dealt with during the series was during this film.
SPOLER ALERT HERE.
We got a baby too. Yes, our Peacekeeper gives birth in a fountain in the middle of a firefight, insists she’s married while in labor, carries her baby unscathed through a battle. I assume that the baby was a puppet from the Henson labs. It was terribly cute.
END OF SPOILERS
I’ve watched it at least a half dozen times, probably more, in the last fifteen years. The Suck Fairy in her steel toed boots is obviously scared of those Aussie actors (and the non Aussie one as well) as she slinks away to harass someone else.
Just looked at Rotten Tomatoes — not at all surprisingly, it carries a ninety-two percent rating among audience reviewers there. It’s streaming at Amazon Prime.
(14) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born October 18, 1934 — Inger Stevens. She’s here for two appearances on The Twilight Zone. She had the lead as Nan Adams “The Hitch-Hiker” and she was again the lead, Jana, as the sensitive daughter of a creative genius in “The Late of The Hour”. Her only other genre credit was as Sarah Crandall in the post nuclear Holocaust film The World, the Flesh and the Devil. The coroner ruled her 1970 death a suicide. (Died 1970.)
- Born October 18, 1938 — Barbara Baldavin. She was a recurring performer on Trek first as Angela Martine in “Balance of Terror” and “Shore Leave”. She would also appear in the final season’s “Turnabout Intruder” as communications officer Lisa. After that, she had one-offs on Fantasy Island and The Bionic Woman. She retired from the business in 1993.
- Born October 18, 1948 — Dawn Wells. Mary Ann Summers on Gilligan’s Island which y’all decided was genre.. She had genre one-offs on The Invaders, Wild Wild West and Alf. (Died 2020.)
- Born October 18, 1944 — Katherine Kurtz, 76. Known for the Deryni series which started with Deryni Rising in 1970, and the most recent, The King’s Deryni, was published in 2014. As medieval historical fantasy goes, they’re damn great.
- Born October 18, 1951 — Jeff Schalles, 71. Minnesota area fan who’s making the Birthday Honors because he was the camera man for Cats Laughing’s A Long Time Gone: Reunion at Minicon 50 concert DVD. Cats Laughing is a band deep in genre as you can read in the Green Man review here.
- Born October 18, 1952 — Pam Dawber, 71. Mindy McConnell in Mork & Mindy. She did very little other genre work, such as Faerie Tale Theatre and the Twilight Zone. She was however in The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything as Bonny Lee Beaumont which is based off the John D. MacDonald novel of the same name. Go watch it — it’s brilliant!
- Born October 18, 1964 — Charles Stross, 58 . I’ve read a lot of him down the years with I think his best being the rejiggered Merchant Princes series. Other favorite works include the early Laundry Files novels and both of the Halting State novels.
(15) FIGURES DON’T LIE. Cora Buhlert posted another “Masters-of-the-Universe-Piece Theatre” photo story. This one is called “Fake Out”.
(16) SCI-FI BREAD. It turns out that the “Pan Solo” linked here the other day was only the latest genre baking stunt from this Benecia, CA bakery. The New York Times gets the goods: “Bakery Creates ‘Pan Solo,’ a 6-Foot Replica of ‘Star Wars’ Hero Made of Bread”.
…In 2018, the year they opened the family bakery, they made Game of Scones, featuring a White Walker made of bread, next to an iron throne of baguettes.
Encouraged by the positive response from the public, in 2020 they made the “Pain-dough-lorian,” clad in armor made of bread, “Baby Dough-Da” clothed in bread and “floating” in mixing bowls, and “the Pandroid,” made of pans and kitchen tools, all inspired by the television series “The Mandalorian.”
Last year, they created “Dough-ki,” a menacing alligator made of bread, with sharp teeth and curved horns, modeled after “Alligator Loki,” a creature on the Marvel television series “Loki,” starring Tom Hiddleston…..
(17) MERMAN FOR HIRE. The Los Angeles Times takes readers “Inside Southern California’s subculture of mermaid enthusiasts”.
…Laflin squirmed and flailed around on the floor for 45 minutes that first time. When he could finally sit up, he looked down his torso to inspect himself. Half fish, half man, it was a transformation that turned out to be life-altering.
Ten years after he first tried on the set piece in his apartment, Laflin, 40, is a full-time merman, part of a hub of mermaid enthusiasts in Southern California who inhabit personas that express everything from a yearning for childhood play and entertainment to environmental advocacy and gender identity. Going by the stage name “Merman Jax,” he runs a business that he christened Dark Tide Productions, which employs a team of about 10 men and women who perform at events such as birthday parties, corporate galas, and Renaissance fairs, sometimes in water, sometimes posing by a pool or the entrance of an event.
Mermaids tend to be more in demand, Laflin says, because most clients prefer to go with a performer who is female-presenting. But he loves the moments when he is swimming in a tank or lounging poolsidebecause of the sense of wonder it can inspire….
(18) THE MASKED HYMIE. “You probably forgot that Dick Gautier once filled in briefly as Batman” – let MeTV remind you.
In 1971, Adam West was done being Batman.
“I knew it was going to be hard to live down such a strong identification,” West told a TV columnist syndicated in The Newspaper Enterprise Association that year. “But it’s been even harder than I anticipated. And today the series is being widely rerun, so I’m still identified with Batman.”
This was three years past the series end, but the action series maintained a wide fan base, and that year, an idea was floated to use the popular characters of Batgirl, Batman, and Robin to run a public service announcement raising awareness for a movement to secure equal pay for women.
In the PSA, Batman and Robin are tied up, and Batgirl appears.
“Untie us before it’s too late,” Batman commands Batgirl.
“It’s already too late,” Batgirl retorts, refusing to set them free until Batman agrees to give her a raise. “I’ve worked for you a long time, and I’m paid less than Robin!”
The PSA was promoting awareness of the federal equal pay law, and it ends with a cliffhanger to tune in tomorrow to find out if Batman does his duty and gives Batgirl what she’s owed.
West refused to do this PSA, not because of politics, but because he just didn’t want to be Batman anymore….
(19) DEL TORO’S PINOCCHIO: ONE REVIWER’S TAKE. “’Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’ Review: The Fantasy Master’s Distinctive Stop-Motion Take on the Old Story Carves Out Its Own Way” at Yahoo!
The possessive claim in the title “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” is a gutsy one. There’s confidence — some would even say arrogance — in filming an oft-told story at least as old as the hills, and suddenly branding it as your own: Even two auteurs as ballsy as Francis Ford Coppola and Baz Luhrmann didn’t slap their own names on “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet,” respectively. Still, you can hardly blame del Toro’s stop-motion spin on Carlo Collodi’s 19th-century chestnut “The Adventures of Pinocchio” for wanting to advertise its distinguishing vision up top: After umpteen tellings of the wooden-boy tale, and coming on the heels of Robert Zemeckis’ wretched Disney remake, Netflix’s rival adaptation has to announce itself as something different. That it is; it’s often delightful too….
(20) THESE ARE THE MENUS OF THE STARSHIP ENTERPRISE. “The New ‘Star Trek’ Cookbook Reveals the Challenges in Recreating Trek Food” reports Rachel P. Kreiter at Eater, who finds that making food green isn’t enough.
…The Star Trek Cookbook is lightly bound by the conceit that Monroe-Cassel is a “gastrodiplomat” lecturing Starfleet cadets about how to further the Federation’s exploratory and expansionist goals through sharing a meal with representatives of other planets. The dishes themselves are all references I could ID from a lifetime of consuming Star Trek, but each dish’s franchise origin is noted. The book is organized by dish type, and not Star Trek series, era, or culture. In theory this makes it more usable for its intended purpose, that is, making and eating the food. This is (ugh) logical for a cookbook, and some of the recipes in here are good. Cardassian Regova eggs, for example: I boiled them, cracked the shells, and submerged them in dye diluted in water until they emerged a pretty, webby green. Spiked with some frilly bits of lettuce they looked striking; maybe I’d serve them at a Halloween party. They were also okay devilled eggs, and I learned a new trick: that you can slice off the tops and prepare them vertically.
But they’re also just devilled hen eggs, and nothing in the filling (yogurt, red pepper, garlic) makes them anything other than superficially a little weird. Everything about how the food looks — the plating, the reliance on dyes, the lightly modernist approach — broadcasts alienness, in a sci-fi aesthetic way. But making a traditionally structured cookbook with solid recipes for kinda odd-seeming food falls short of this project’s full potential, since nobody is going to a Star Trek cookbook first and foremost because it’s a cookbook…
(21) AI ART GENERATION. Camestros Felapton reviews one of the early books about the new AI art-creating systems, by a name that will be familiar to some of you: “Review: An Illustrated Guide to AI Prompt Mastery by Jack Wylder”.
…If the name sounds familiar, Jack Wylder does a lot of work with Larry Correia including producing Correia’s podcast. He’s recently produced a book which, unsurprisingly was promoted in former Puppy circles. That’s where I saw it but my interest wasn’t the connection to that particular circle of authors. Rather, I’ve been interested to see how independently published authors would start engaging with machine-learning art generation systems such as Midjourney and Dall-e for producing book covers.
…An Illustrated Guide to AI Prompt Mastery attempts a system-agnostic approach to prompts. It doesn’t suggest a given system or discuss the syntax differences between systems. That is a sensible choice given that new systems are appearing regularly and the details of the syntax are better covered in their own documentation. The downside is that if you are expecting a kind of plug-and-play manual to AI-art syntax you’ll be disappointed….
(22) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Honest Game Trailers: Overwatch 2,” Fandom Games says this comes from Blizzard, which “delivers controversies faster than new titles,” as development of the game led to a lot of the staff quitting and the company releasing a bug-ridden game that included times where 40,000 people were in front of you to play. Overwatch 2 is for “people who fear change so much that you want sequels that are five percent different than the last title,” and that Blizzard should have fixed the bugs in Overwatch rather than come out with a “new” line extension.
[Thanks to Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Daniel Dern, Cora Buhlert, Doug Ellis, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, and Chris Barkley for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jim Janney.]
I have never actually seen a production of The Music Man, but spent a lot of time in the orchestra pit during a high school production, and it obviously warped me.
I’ve seen the film of The Music Man — I think it’s one of the most wonderful musicals ever done and I’m not even that fond of musicals on the whole.
I hope that they’ve filmed the Hugh Jackman theatrical version.
I saw the film, and my school did it when I was a sophomore (they had the people who could do it well – the music room has a wall full of trophies). Several of them I knew from junior high. I saw the band do “76 Trombones” in a parade, also, with some fancy marching.
So I snickered (and got the live audio) when I read the title.
(16) Benicia is art-friendly – there are studios at the old Armory. But I miss the barn owl nest box and its webcams. (The owls were Frida and Diego. Did I mention it’s art-friendly?)
Finlay – drool.
“Why she thinks we’re all made of exploding stars”? I think the interviewer needs to go watch Carl Sagan’s Cosmos (and Jemison is wonderful – in London, she let me fondle her Hugo in the party).
Trek only, so no crottled greeps.
Oh, yeah, Alex Raymond. I like that he used human models… as did a lot of other artists back then. Now… they draw most women, and all female superheroes, for 16 yr old boys, anatomically impossible (esp. wearing heels, which no male superhero does). Give me real human beings.
20) I admire the restraint it must have taken to not use the word ‘replicate’ instead of ‘recreate’.
(3) PARAMOUNT PLUS HALF PRICE DEAL.
Ahahaha. Paramount Plus was meant to have launched in New Zealand the same time as it launched in Australia in August 2021. It didn’t happen. So when Star Trek: Discovery got taken off Netflix, there was no legal way to watch the new season. It was a return to the bad old days of having to wait a year or longer after shows were first broadcast in America, before they made it to New Zealand. To date, Paramount Plus is not available in New Zealand.
Fortunately, it only took a few months before local free to air channel, TVNZ, got the rights to it, so we have been able to watch it, albeit later. The latest season of ST: Discovery was excellent (though I didn’t manage to avoid spoilers for some of it).
I see your title’s Axelot and raise you an Ocelot. (Who would not wish to imagine raising an ocelot?)
(6) Looking forward to the next book in the Great City series.
(14) Since Dawn Wells has died, it’s no longer accurate to say “She and Tina Louise are the last surviving regular cast members from [Gilligan’s Island].”
12) James McDivitt attended our local 2-year community college before moving onto the University of Michigan. At one time, the Michigan Space and Science Center was located on the campus; complete with several rocket engine bells, a couple of capsules, and one rocket body.
From a personal perspective, I attended classes in James McDivitt Hall as part of pursuing my degree.
What “multiculturalism” boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture—and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture. – Thomas Sowell
Re: multiculturalism. I know this is a place where we can enjoy fandom despite our differing views, but maybe keep the racism down a bit?
@ (13) Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars
I know this isn’t a common opinion, but as a huge Farscape fan I wish it had just ended on the final cliffhanger, and Peacekeeper Wars had never been made.
At the end of season four there were a bunch of hanging threads… but that was OK for me. They had always existed in a larger universe.
But the characters had all come to various states of acceptance. There was a new status quo. Many of the ongoing plots had resolved. Peacekeeper Wars rushed in a bunch of plot but I didn’t think it did any of the characters or relationships any favors.
And (spoilers) there was something absolutely perfect and 100% Farscape about the heroes getting blasted by some random critter on some random planet that had nothing to do with anything. That was always how their story was going to end. Not saving the universe, but in a stupid misunderstanding. In particular I thought Browder and Black played that final scene on the boat to absolute perfection.
You might find Thomas Sowell’s biography A Personal Odyssey interesting. One of his better-known professional books, The Vision of the Anointed, is also quite good. There are many other outstanding works in his bibliography.
Baseless allegations of racism (sexism, younameit-phobia, etc.) are pointless.
TANSTAAFL/TINSTAAFL/TNSTAAFL – Truth no matter how you slice it.
21) I don’t mention it here for obvious reasons. But Larry and Steve have a great podcast discussing topics of interest to authors. Not being a writer, I only listen when the topic and/or guest is particularly interesting.
They invited Jack to participate in a recent episode on this topic. Anyone interested in a shorter, audio version might find the episode useful.
Libraries are where books sleep when you’re not reading them.
@Sophie Jane — are you aware that Dann is quoting a black guy?
I’m not a fan of ending comments here with .SIG quotes that have nothing to do with the discussion or post.
I’m even less a fan of using them to inject off-topic politics into a discussion.
There are a lot of other places on the Internet where you can bore people with Thomas Sowell.
@Sarah Avery: Ocelot is definitely better, I wish I’d thought of it.
Daniel Dern has an update on his item about Paramount Plus:
Daniel Dern reports: