Pixel Scroll 10/15/17 Like Pixels Through A Monitor, These Are The Scrolls Of Our Hive

(1) A FANTASY MAP THAT WORKS. Literature Map, The Tourist Map of Literature is a lot of fun. Seems accurate, too. Plug in a name and give it a whirl.

The Literature-Map is part of Gnod, the Global Network of Discovery. It is based on Gnooks, Gnod’s literature recommendation system. The more people like an author and another author, the closer together these two authors will move on the Literature-Map.

(2) NEW HELMSMAN FOR STARLINE. The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association announced a change in editorship for its official poetry publication — “Introducing StarLine’s new editor, Vince Gotera”

With the upcoming 40.4 issue of Star*Line we welcome its new editor Vince Gotera, and thank F.J. Bergmann for her exemplary service and vision in what a journal of speculative poetry can be. We look forward to the approach Vince Gotera will take in the years ahead, especially with the arrival of the 40th anniversary of the SFPA in 2018.

Vince Gotera is an award-winning member of the international Science Fiction  and Fantasy Poetry Association, and he has been nominated for Rhysling Awards.

Vince was born and raised in San Francisco and lived in the Philippines for part of his childhood. He completed undergraduate studies at City College of San Francisco and Stanford University, where he earned a BA. He earned an MA at San Francisco University and both an MFA and a PhD at Indiana University.  He is the author of the poetry collections Dragonfly (1994) , Ghost Wars (2003) and Fighting Kite (2007) and the critical volume Radical Visions: Poetry by Vietnam Veterans (1994).  His upcoming volume of poetry is Pacific Crossings. 

He is also a former editor of North American Review and was the poetry editor of the journal Asian America.

(3) ELECTRIC SHEEP DREAMER. The argument continues: NPR’s Adam Frank asks, “Is Harrison Ford An Android In ‘Blade Runner’?”

But it has gotta be the last director’s cut.

That is where you get to see exactly why director Ridley Scott’s movie is considered so important and so influential. His vision of a future Los Angeles that is all torrential rain, steam and blue searchlights piercing through ruin is nothing short of jaw-dropping.

But it’s also in this final cut that Scott reinserts two scenes the studio removed. They hold the key to Deckard’s status. Near the end of the film, Deckard has a dream about a unicorn. Later, he is escaping with Rachael — the beautiful next-generation replicant whom he has fallen for. Just as they walk out the door of his apartment, he finds an origami figure in the shape of a unicorn that was left by his former police partner Gaff. This signals that Gaff (who has a major origami habit) knows about Deckard’s dream because it’s not really Deckard’s. It’s an implant. Every replicant’s memories and dreams are fake. They are implanted to give a “back story” needed to stabilize the replicant’s artificial personality.

So the unicorn dream is central to the “Deckard as replicant” argument….

(4) AMBISCAREDSTROUS. The Los Angeles Times interviews “Horror master Guillermo del Toro on how scaring people is different on TV and in the movies”.

“There is a big difference when the mediums are different,” Del Toro says during a recent interview on the phone from Toronto, where he lives part time and also where “At Home With Monsters,” the traveling museum exhibition of his memorabilia, artwork and ephemera, recently opened.

In explaining the distinctions between the different methods of storytelling, be it movies, television, books or graphic novels, Del Toro also points out the ways in which they interrelate.

“TV now you have to plan it, you structure it for binge watching,” he says. “Meaning, you structure the whole season like a three-act play. You have a first act, the first third of the season, second act is the middle third and you structure it like that. Whereas a movie you’re dealing with a continuous experience that’s going to last around two hours, so it’s more traditional.

“The other mediums, like video games or books, may follow different sets of rules,” he continues. “But what I find really interesting as a storyteller is that each of those mediums informs the other. You find yourself applying tricks that you learned developing a video game in telling a movie. Little tricks that you learn structurally working in TV, you apply them to a movie and so forth.”

(5) PUMPKINSTEIN. Here’s what was scaring people in 2014 — this price for a pumpkin: “Pumpkinstein Is The Only Halloween Pumpkin You’ll Ever Need”.

People never believe it’s real the first time they see it; they all want to touch it to make sure,” Tony Dighera of Cinagro Farms in Fillmore, Calif., told The New York Times.

Dighera told the Tri-Valley Dispatch that it took four years and $500,000 to develop the technique and find the perfect pumpkin for the job.

“When you try something for four years of your life, people really start to think you’re wacko,” he told the Times.

What some people may find “wacko,” however, is the price. Dighera is selling Pumpkinsteins for about $75 wholesale, with retailers marking them up to $100 and even $125.

For a pumpkin. A very cool pumpkin that looks like Frankenstein, but still a pumpkin.

(6) THE BEST. Now available, The Best of Richard Matheson, edited by Victor LaValle from Penguin.

Where Matheson shines is in his depictions of ordinary horror, the way strange goings-on affect everyday people, and his ambiguous endings leave plenty of room for further thought. As a bonus, editor LaValle offers an enlightening introduction that discusses Matheson’s influence on his own work and even offers up the story behind what he calls his “Matheson moment,” giving more heft to the stories that follow.

(7) DON’T BE KNOCKIN’. Victor LaValle pays homage to the horror master with a real-life story from his own past — “My Favorite Richard Matheson Story Is the One I Lived Through” at Electric Lit.

Anyway, I’m standing there and Tasha and Lianne are coming through the doorway and then I heard it, a sound in the kitchen. Knocking. Not all that loud, but I was close to the kitchen and getting closer. By that I mean that Tasha and Lianne were taking off their coats and I ran away. Later I told Cedric I went to “get them water,” but there’s no other way to say it: I fled.

As soon as I entered the kitchen the knocking stopped. I figured it might be their boiler kicking in. It was winter after all. I knew I’d run away though so I came up with the water idea and went scrounging for cups. This led me on a chase through the cupboards as, in the other room, Cedric called for me. And then I reached their pantry door. This style of one-family home had a separate little pantry, about the size of a small walk-in closet. I found the door there and, still hunting for glasses, I tried the handle and found it locked. Then Cedric walked into the kitchen.

“Cheese,” he said. “You making me look bad.”

(8) TAINT BY NUMBERS. Junot Diaz’ introduction to Global Dystopias, “To Map, to Warn, to Hope”, from the Boston Review.

William Gibson has famously declared, “The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed.” Gibson’s words have been much on my mind of late. How could they not be? The president is a white nationalist sympathizer who casually threatens countries with genocide and who can’t wait to build a great wall across the neck of the continent to keep out all the “bad hombres.” After a hurricane nearly took out Houston, the country’s most visible scientist, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, stated that the effects of climate change may have grown so severe that he doubts the nation will be able to withstand the consequences.

For me, literature, and those formations that sustain it, have ever been a eutopic enclave against a darkening dystopian world.

Then, as if on cue, Puerto Rico, a U.S. colony almost completely bankrupt by neoliberal malfeasance, was struck by Hurricane Maria with such apocalyptic force that it more or less knocked the island into pre-modernity. Earlier today a former student informed me that more skin bleaching is consumed in India than Coca-Cola, and on the edge of my computer a new site is announcing that the Chinese government has made it nearly impossible for its 730 million Internet users to express opinions online anonymously. Plus this little cheery gem from the Federal Reserve: the top 1 percent of the U.S. population controls 38.6 percent of the nation’s wealth, an inequality chasm that makes the Middle Ages look egalitarian. Whether we’re talking about our cannibal economics or the rising tide of xenophobia or the perennial threat of nuclear annihilation, it seems that the future has already arrived.

(9) GONE VIRAL. These hitchhikers are along for the evolutionary ride: “Ancient Viruses Are Buried in Your DNA”, in the New York Times.

In July, scientists reported that a strange protein courses through the veins of pregnant women. No one is sure what it’s there for.

What makes this protein, called Hemo, so unusual is that it’s not made by the mother. Instead, it is made in her fetus and in the placenta, by a gene that originally came from a virus that infected our mammalian ancestors more than 100 million years ago.

Hemo is not the only protein with such an alien origin: Our DNA contains roughly 100,000 pieces of viral DNA. Altogether, they make up about 8 percent of the human genome. And scientists are only starting to figure out what this viral DNA is doing to us.

(10) HISTORY IS BUNK. Once again, an appealing theory is murdered by a few lousy facts: “Sinister ‘Secrets’ of Easter Island’s Doomed Civilization Begin to Unravel With Rapa Nui Genetic Discovery”.

Recently, Rapa Nui has become the ultimate parable for humankind’s selfishness; a moral tale of the dangers of environmental destruction. In the “ecocide” hypothesis popularised by the geographer Jared Diamond, Rapa Nui is used as a demonstration of how society is doomed to collapse if we do not sit up and take note. But more than 60 years of archaeological research actually paints a very different picture—and now new genetic data sheds further light on the island’s fate. It is time to demystify Rapa Nui.

The ‘ecocide’ narrative doesn’t stand up

The ecocide hypothesis centres on two major claims. First, that the island’s population was reduced from several tens of thousands in its heyday, to a diminutive 1,500-3,000 when Europeans first arrived in the early 18th century.

Second, that the palm trees that once covered the island were callously cut down by the Rapa Nui population to move statues. With no trees to anchor the soil, fertile land eroded away resulting in poor crop yields, while a lack of wood meant islanders couldn’t build canoes to access fish or move statues. This led to internecine warfare and, ultimately, cannibalism….

…Perhaps, then, the takeaway from Rapa Nui should not be a story of ecocide and a Malthusian population collapse. Instead, it should be a lesson in how sparse evidence, a fixation with “mysteries,” and a collective amnesia for historic atrocities caused a sustainable and surprisingly well-adapted population to be falsely blamed for their own demise.

(11) WE HATES IT. How much does the New York Times’ Jeannette Catsoulis dislike Goodbye Christopher Robin? This much:

As predictable as mermaid frocks at the Oscars, Hollywood greets the end of the year by suddenly noticing that roughly a third of moviegoers (and three-quarters of art-house audiences) are over 50, most of them women. This annual phenomenon can lead to theaters clogged with old-lady bait, which usually means something British and upper-crusty, preferably with literary roots. A dollop of war, a death or two, and it’s off to the awards races. “Goodbye Christopher Robin” checks all the boxes. Drenched in dappled light and Carter Burwell’s honeyed score, Simon Curtis’s glowing picture dangles the story of how the author A. A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) created the Winnie-the-Pooh tales using the stuffed animals of his son, Christopher Robin (beautifully played by little Will Tilston). What we’re really watching, though, is no less than a stiffly depressing portrait of toffee-nosed child abuse….

(12) WEIN’S LAST SWAMP THING. Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly we know “New Swamp Thing Winter Special #1 to feature posthumous story from co-creator Len Wein”.

Wolverine co-creator Len Wein, who died in September at the age of 69, was one of the most influential comic book writers and editors ever, leaving his mark on the DC and Marvel Universes. At the time of his death, he was hard at work on a new story about the iconic DC Comics character he co-created with Bernie Wrightson: Swamp Thing, the avatar of the Green.

Before he died, Wein had completed the script for the first issue of a new series about the vegetation-covered monstrosity formerly known as Alec Holland, which would be illustrated by his 2016 Swamp Thing  miniseries partner Kelley Jones. While we won’t ever see this series come to fruition, EW can exclusively reveal that fans will get a chance to read the first issue of the planned series in 2018 when DC Comics releases Swamp Thing Winter Special #1 (on sale Jan. 31), which will present the story in both its original script form with art by Jones.


  • October 15, 2003 — China launched its first manned space mission becoming the third country in history to send a person into orbit.

(14) SEXUAL COURSE CORRECTION. Trae Dorn, at Nerd & Tie, reports “On ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ TV’s Constantine Will Finally Be Allowed to Smoke, Be Into Dudes”.

When Matt Ryan first played the title role on NBC’s Constantine, the peacock network was a little nervous about acknowledging two things about the character: his bisexuality and his chain smoking. And while they let John Constantine occasionally hold a cigarette, his being into guys was kind of a sore spot steadfastly avoided by the show. Ryan has since reprised the part on The CW’s Arrow, which merged the continuities. With the addition of a forthcoming CW Seed animated series, many fans of the comics’ version of the character have hoped his sexuality would be finally addressed.

And we’re happy to say, it will be.

It’s been announced that Matt Ryan’s Constantine will guest star on a Legends of Tomorrow two parter this season, and when he does his bisexuality will be directly acknowledged….

(15) BRANCH OFFICES. If the government did this for employees, it would be a scandal. A private company did it, so it’s a nice feature article, “Microsoft built tree houses for its employees”. The Verge has the story.

The tree houses are a part of Microsoft’s “outdoor districts” which are connected to buildings around its Redmond campus. They feature weatherproof benches, hatches that hide electricity sockets, rustproof rocking chairs, a fireplace, wood canopies, and an outdoor Wi-Fi network. There are ramps built in for those who need them. If you get hungry, there’s also an indoor cafeteria that’s extended outside and a barbecue restaurant built into a shipping container.

Microsoft said it had been planning renovations and surveyed employees to see what they cared about the most. Employees said if they were given the opportunity, they would work outside more.

(16) SHORTCHANGED. SF Bluestocking says — “Star Trek: Discovery – A long, poetic episode title is no substitute for real depth”:

After a strong two-part premiere and a decent transitional episode last week, “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry” is a bit of a disappointment. After cramming a ton of set-up and plot into its first three episodes, what the show needs now is to establish a new normal and give the characters a reprieve from the constant barrage of Events! Happening! so the audience can get to know these people we’re supposed to care about. This is a needle that was successfully threaded in “The Vulcan Hello” and “Battle at the Binary Stars,” where we were given a nice prologue and several flashbacks to establish Burnham’s character and her friendship with Captain Georgiou, and this gave weight to the events at the end of the second episode, setting up Burnham for a redemption arc over the rest of the series. Last week’s episode contrived to get Burnham onto the Discovery and introduced a new cast of characters, so the next logical step would be to show us more of how these characters interact with each other, what makes them tick, or even just how Burnham settles in to the normal rhythm of life on the ship. Instead, this episode features another crisis, but it struggles throughout to convey why any of these events should matter to the viewer….


(17) IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU’RE YOUNG AT HEART. Now Creation Entertainment is running a cycle of Once Upon A Time conventions. The next is in Burbank, CA in November.

Every once in a blue moon a television series captures the hearts of viewers who become passionate about their love of the storyline, the look and feel of the show, and the actors that breathe life into the characters we come to cherish. ABC’s Once Upon A Time certainly fills that rare bill as fans worldwide have made this show one that is the talk of the Internet and eagerly followed by viewers, much in the tradition of other series that Creation Entertainment has been involved with in its 45-year history.


(18) WENDIG BOOK IN DEVELOPMENT FOR TV. Yesterday, Chuck Wendig called the internet to attention:


I have an announcement to make.

*opens mouth*

*ants pour out*

*ants collectively spell a message*

FBI Drama From Jerry Bruckheimer TV & ‘MacGyver’ EP David Slack Set At CBS

*ants return to mouth*

*maw snaps shut*

So, if you click that link, you’ll see a couple notable paragraphs:

CBS has put in development Unthinkable, an FBI crime drama from Jerry Bruckheimer Television and MacGyver executive producer David Slack. CBS Television Studios, where both JBTV and Slack are based, is the studio.

Written and executive produced by Slack, Unthinkable, based on Chuck Wendig’s 2016 novel Invasive, is about a brilliant futurist, trained to see danger around every corner, who’s recruited by an uncharacteristically optimistic FBI Agent to identify the threats only she can see coming – and stop them before it’s too late.

(19) NOT JUST A COMIC CON. Japanese pop culture will be celebrated at Youmacon2017 in Detroit from November 2-5.

Downtown Detroit is filled with people in costumes, and it has nothing to do with Halloween. Thousands of Japanese pop culture fans have come from all over the country to Youmacon…

Youmacon is a popular culture event similar to most “Comic Cons”, however instead of focusing on comic books, Youmacon is a celebration of Japanese popular culture and its influence on our own culture over the past few decades. Common themes throughout the event are Anime (Japanese animation), Video Games, Japanese style artwork and comics, and the rising internet culture influenced by all of the above.

Youmacon brings a unique all-ages mix of interactive events, celebrity guest panels, and live musical performances to Downtown Detroit. One of its most popular events, “Live Action Mario Party”, emulates the video game experience – often filling the room to fire code capacity. Players participate in gameshow-like mini-games to help their teams advance and win.

Wearing costumes, or “Cosplay” as it’s known at conventions, is very popular with attendees of Youmacon.

(20) FRIGHTFULLY TASTY. He was a terror on the screen but a sweetheart in the kitchen, and his recipes are making a comeback: “Dish up some scary-good eats with new expanded Vincent Price cookbook”.

Vincent Price might have been the Merchant of Menace in classic fright films like House on Haunted Hill, The Tingler, and House of Wax, but he was also quite the Renaissance man. Besides being a familiar face in horror films, Price was renowned for his impressive collection of fine art (even selling tasteful paintings for Sears!) and his wizardry in the kitchen as a master chef.

One of Price’s best-selling cookbooks is getting an expanded makeover by Dover’s Calla Editions and being re-released in a deluxe volume, which includes additional material, memories, and comments by his daughter, Victoria, and son, V.B.

(21) IF YOU WANT IT DONE RIGHT. Here’s s link to Archive.org’s recording of Patrick Magee reading Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman originally aired by the BBC in 1997. One reviewer said:

This is a unique work by Flann O’Brien – funny, oblique,odd, beguiling, and horrific by turns. It’s got a peculiar, pastoral, otherworldly quality, yet at the same time you can believe that it really is taking place in some deranged Irish backwater town. To give you an example something that made me howl with laughter, the central character falls foul of the law, and is sentenced to be hanged, on a trumped up charge, so they build a gallows in the police station yard, but the chippie is scarcely competent, so he prevails on the narrator to give him a hand….

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Lace, Carl Slaughter, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, David K.M. Klaus, Cat Eldridge, Nigellicus, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories.. Title credit goes to  File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip W.]

52 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/15/17 Like Pixels Through A Monitor, These Are The Scrolls Of Our Hive

  1. “If I Have Scrolled Further Than Others, It Is Because I Stood On The Pixels Of Filers.”

  2. (10) Good! Rapa Nui doesn’t deserve to serve as a perpetual object lesson for a bunch of colonizers who haven’t done them any favors.

    (11) Teenage girls and old ladies, just two of the demographics the average pumpkin-spice-latte-sucking-whippersnapper may casually disrespect in a piece targeted toward a general audience.

  3. 10) Hunh. I took the ecoside narrative hook line and sinker when I read Jared Diamond. I did think the movie was dramatized bunk, though.

    1) My first pluggings in do seem to dovetail with my experience. Huzzah!

  4. Sacrificial fourth! Fifth! And interested to read about Rapa Nui. I’d believed Jared Diamond’s account.

  5. Folio Society’s new releases include what looks like a beautiful back-to-back edition of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and A Scanner Darkly, among other genre titles. (I know about this because I couldn’t resist their The Man in The High Castle and got on their email list — I’m not in the habit of buying their books, which are way too expensive for me I’m afraid.)


  6. Diamond ran away with a not implausible theory without doing all the research, and, sadly, ignoring some key points that are more comfortable to ignore.

    Not breathing wonderfully, but I did use my inhaler to keep things working.

    Remembered to take all my meds, not just some. I get brownie points for that, right?

    Have the SFWA fantasy bundle waiting for the next two scheduled reviews to be done.

    Dora, my Chinese Crested service dog, was purring earlier. I swear. Purring. I could both feel and hear it.

  7. @10: I began to wonder about the “facts” in this story at

    The anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl—most famous for crossing the Pacific in a traditional Inca boat

    The Kon-Tiki was a raft, not a boat; I wonder how many other facts the writer got sloppy with in his research? I’d love to know more about the claim/idea/… that the moai “walked” — at least enough to figure out whether it has a chance of being plausible — but http://www.thestatuesthatwalked.com doesn’t answer.
    @Andrew: that sounds like a story I would have sworn I read on its original publication (which would put it long after RAH stopped selling short stories). I wonder whether someone else replayed the idea, or I somehow read a magazine from 1941. (Not impossible as I spend several years around MITSFS, which owns Campbell’s personal collection of ASF, but it seems implausible.) In any case, thanks for the reference; I remembered it on reading the article but was lost trying to remember specifics.

    The story described by @21 sounds amusing. However, I’d like to know why the recording was released 15 years after the death of the reader. (Bizarre fact: I once helped Magee off stage when he was too drunk to find the exit.)

  8. 17: I believe that two of the four people in the photo for Once Upon a Time are no longer in the cast and the other two are no longer playing the characters that are in the photo.

  9. (1) Wow, the literature map is pretty cool! It certainly has some surprising connections. It might even be slightly useful–jury’s still out on that. 🙂

    (3) Yes, we all know that Ridley Scott thought it would be clever to ruin an excellent story with his cheesy, pulp-style “tweest” that anyone who had ever seen a science fiction movie (let alone read any) would see coming from a mile away. But anyone who hasn’t reassigned Decker as “human, despite it all” in their headcanon is missing out on an excellent movie.

    @Chip Hitchcock: In the specialized jargon of sailors, the Kon Tiki may not be a boat, but in plain English, it is certainly a “small vessel for travel on water”. Likewise, despite the insistence of the military, a rifle remains a type of gun. And despite the insistence of IT folks, a bit can be two or three–the word isn’t limited to ones and zeros. 🙂

  10. (1)
    I had fun with that map. And submitted some corrections. (“Annie Prouxl”? How did they miss that one?)

  11. (10) I believe the civil war theories on Rapa Nui predates Jared Diamond, but it’s nice to see it debunked anyway. I didn’t know about the 19th century slave raids either.

    Jared Diamond has all the hallmarks of a well-accomplished person in his field who came up with a set of observations in another field, and then made a simplistic theory out of it. Then he got successful peddling his simplistic theories. He’s academic snake oil.

    (11) Reading the review, I get no reasoning why the reviewer thinks as she does about the movie. The review feels more like a set of sweeping, subjective statements.

    (19) I thought ComicCons haven’t been primarily about comics for a long time?

  12. @Karl-Johan Norén: The Times probably didn’t give her more words than that, and specifics are the first thing that have to be cut (a problem I frequently run into; I have 900 words to say about a thing but I’ve been given 350, so I make sure all the important points are in there and cut everything else, including references to specific elements in the text that support those claims). There is zero leeway in print. I’ve even had sentences cut from the final draft of a review to make it fit better on the page when an image didn’t resize they way they’d originally thought it would, even though I came in exactly at my word limit. Those words don’t get restored when the thing is posted online.

    Also, and this is a pet peeve of mine, literally every review of everything is subjective. Objectivity is a thing that doesn’t actually exist in the real world, and is not even something that’s considered an ideal to try for in reviewing.

  13. Don’t know if the article in 10.) mentioned it, but the latest episode delivered another Trek first: the first f-bomb! Immediately followed by the second f-bomb! Wow, edgy!

    Nyfb, na natel, plavpny, tevmmyrq Uneel Zhqq, Xyvatba cevfba gbegher, naq n Fgnesyrrg cevfbare xrcg nyvir gb or gur frkhny cynlguvat bs gur srznyr fuvc pncgnva. Rira zber rqtl! Frr ubj rqtl gurl pna znxr Gerx!

    I’d love to know more about the claim/idea/… that the moai “walked” — at least enough to figure out whether it has a chance of being plausible

    There was a Nova-NatGeo special on PBS about it. Don’t know if you can watch the whole thing on-line anywhere, but here is a short clip.

  14. (9) Always cool to see science catching up with science fiction. I remember this being a focus of the Darwin’s Radio duology by Greg Bear – anyone else read them?

  15. I’m never going to be able to watch ST Discovery because I won’t pay $6/month to watch one show with commercials. The more that I hear about the show, the less unhappy I am about this. That said, when all the episodes are available to binge, I might consider giving it a try. It still seems like a poor value to pay so much money for one show, especially when I don’t have time to watch all the genre offerings available without paying extra for them.

    My roommate and I have started The Orville, thanks to recommendations of Filers. We have enjoyed the first few episodes on demand.

  16. @Xtifr: so Huck and Jim went down the Mississippi on a boat? I’m not a sailor — I don’t even hang around with sailors — and I don’t think it’s reasonable to call something with no inside a boat.

    @Darren: TFTR. That looks like more work (and better coordination needed) than moving stone blocks on rollers (as I’ve read described for the pyramids), but I can believe a people doing that once they’d decided making all those statues was worthwhile.

  17. @ CHip Hitchcock:

    based on some quick image search, it loks as if Kon-Tiki (Heyerdahl’s vessel) had a small-ish building, so would definitely count as having “an inside”.

  18. @Darren: TFTR. That looks like more work (and better coordination needed) than moving stone blocks on rollers (as I’ve read described for the pyramids), but I can believe a people doing that once they’d decided making all those statues was worthwhile.

    A couple of years ago (having known about it from the PBS show) I used that method (minus the ropes) to move a largish chest freezer that a neighbor was giving away from their house to mine. Carrying it would have taken probably four people (three might could have handled the weight, but that would be asymmetric) but I turned it up on one side and walked it home back and forth on two corners by myself with little effort required. The advantage is that once you get the rhythm going, you have inertia on your side.

  19. @Chip

    @Andrew: that sounds like a story I would have sworn I read on its original publication (which would put it long after RAH stopped selling short stories). I wonder whether someone else replayed the idea, or I somehow read a magazine from 1941. (Not impossible as I spend several years around MITSFS, which owns Campbell’s personal collection of ASF, but it seems implausible.) In any case, thanks for the reference; I remembered it on reading the article but was lost trying to remember specifics.

    I have a vague memory of someone else playing with the same idea. The Heinlein story was collected twice (more times than I would have expected for a story that Heinlein didn’t like) http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?191308

    (1) I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen the Literature Map before (a few years ago?). Some of it seems pretty accurate, but for very popular authors, the clustering shows “authors who are also very popular” more than “authors whose works bear some resemblance” (for example, Stephen King is close to Tolkien and Rowling, forming a cluster of “very popular authors” with no particular similarity of tone or style while Ludlum is near Clancy and Cussler, which is a legitimate cluster of military/spy thrillers).

  20. Hi there Filers. I have a favor to ask: a list of “Canadian” fictional characters w/affiliation to modern-day Canadian political parties. I want to do something like this, but with “Canadians” instead of US superheroes. For these purposes, even people like Offred (June Osbourne) or Molly Millions count as “Canadian”. You can answer here or tweet me using #FakeCanPoli.

    Sorry for the interruption, and I hope this isn’t too far out of bounds for this site. If it is, I apologize. (I think that the Making Light crowd would be even better at this since I’m not specifically asking for SF characters, but I think that bringing in even this much politics there would be against the rules).

  21. Jameson Quinn on October 16, 2017 at 9:50 am said:
    Run it by Idumea first; if she says it’s okay, then there’s no problem.

  22. Re Rapa Nui, the new interpretation of the historical record makes much more sense, though I did like the idea that South Americans had also sailed there. I enjoyed Kon Tiki when I read it in high school.

    In my head canon, Deckard is human. I think Ridley Scott should be banned from even commenting on his own body of work, let alone revisiting it. He’s a great visual stylist but doesn’t seem to have more than a rudimentary grasp of the basics of plotting and story logic. Also, hasn’t Hampton Fancher always said that Deckard is human?

    The Filmweek reviewers said that Goodbye Christopher Robin made Saving Mr. Banks look like a sweet fun-filled family film. I recommend the Filmweek podcast for any movie fan.

  23. @Martin Wooster

    17: I believe that two of the four people in the photo for Once Upon a Time are no longer in the cast and the other two are no longer playing the characters that are in the photo.

    I’m pretty sure you could take any four actors from the show at random and the same would be true.

  24. Has this been mentioned yet?


    (Basically, they have a collection of old fanzines and they’re hoping to crowdsource transcriptions from scans they have posted online.)

    EDIT: Link directly to the fanzine collection:
    You can view them at will, but need to create an account to enter transcriptions.

  25. Do any of the versions of Blade Runner actually say that replicant’s dreams are fake? For that matter, that human’s dreams aren’t fake?

  26. @August: Yes, every review is subjective, but note that I said “sweeping, subjective statements”. To me, those are the type of statements that paints with a very wide brush and with very little effort made to back up those statements. (As a translator, I’ve at times received feedback that my translation was “too close to the English” or similar, and at the same time noted that the customer-edited version was closer to English syntax and word order.)

    Yeah, I get everything with limited word count. But I still say the review was bad because it gave too little reason for why it thought the movie was bad and showed child abuse.

    (9) Kon-Tiki is a strange case. It was constructed as a raft, but it was both powered (via sails) and steerable. But I think it’s most often described as a raft.

  27. @Chip Hitchcock: nobody is saying that you have to call it a boat, any more than anyone is insisting that the military suddenly has to start calling their rifles guns. What you don’t get to do, though, is inflict your linguistic quirks on others.

    Now, if you said it wasn’t a ship, I might go along with you, since “ship” is more consistently used for large vessels. But boat is, and always has been, a fairly generic term, even if some people try to reserve it for specific cases, much as the military does with “gun”.

    @Ky: Not one of my very favorites, but I like Greg Bear enough that I’ve read the majority of his work, including the Darwin’s Radio books. And yeah, ancient invaders hiding in our genes is definitely not a new idea.
    I haven’t been following Once Upon a Time lately, but I was under the impression that they’d recently switched out most of the long-running cast members.
    @Andrew: yes, the map is definitely not clustering according to style. But that’s pretty much to be expected. To me, that’s part of what makes it interesting.

  28. Jameson Quinn: Gail Bowen’s Joanne Kilbourn stories start up being directly about politics in Canada (Specifically Regina) and include several characters with not-quite-elided obvious political affiliations.

  29. RE: ST Discovery/The Orville

    After reading so many recommendations here, I took a shot at The Orville. Episodes 2, 3, and 6 were delightful. I’ll have to see 4 and 5 soon.

    The FoxNow app on Roku is a great way to stream Fox shows for free. I think older episodes may require a subscription to a cable service to obtain access.

    I’ll watch ST Discovery after it hits Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.


  30. Xtifr: Now, if you said it wasn’t a ship, I might go along with you, since “ship” is more consistently used for large vessels. But boat is, and always has been, a fairly generic term, even if some people try to reserve it for specific cases, much as the military does with “gun”.

    If it can be carried on another vessel, it’s a boat. If it’s too large for that, it’s a ship.

    This is canon.

  31. Hmm, that sounds plausible enough. Although, in head canon, a ship is what Kirk and Spock or Frodo and Sam have. 😀

  32. @Jameson Quinn:
    Probably not what you wanted, particularly since it actually uses vaguely fictionalized versions of real people a lot, but the first thing your question reminded me of was Mark Shainblum’s old comic Angloman.

    (By ‘vaguely fictionalized’, I mean things like having somebody who is obviously a caricature of Brian Mulroney as a superhero named ‘Power Chin’, with a chinstrap on his helmet and a big ‘PC’ on his chest. Angloman’s base was the ‘Fortress of Two Solitudes’. Subtle the humour wasn’t.)

  33. since “ship” is more consistently used for large vessels

    Patrick O’Brian goes into this in great depth. Technically, in the age of sail at least, it’s not a ship unless it has three masts, regardless of how big it is.

  34. @Xtifr: this is not my linguistic quirk; that’s why I asked what you would call Huck&Jim’s conveyance. Go ahead, show a hundred people off the street a picture of Kon-Tiki, ask them what it is, and see how many call it a boat.

    @OGH: I’m aware of that canon as one of the linguistic formalities Xtifr is railing against; however, it’s obviously incomplete as it would require applying “boat” to any random piece of trash on the water.

    @P J Evans: I think you posted to the wrong blog….

  35. Chip Hitchcock: @OGH: I’m aware of that canon as one of the linguistic formalities Xtifr is railing against; however, it’s obviously incomplete as it would require applying “boat” to any random piece of trash on the water.

    That sets some kind of new record for lame logic around here. You don’t try to navigate through the water by riding random trash, nor does anyone else.

  36. @OGH: That sets some kind of new record for bull. You quoted a simplistic definition, which made no requirement that what was picked up be ridable; I pointed out that flaw. You haven’t come up with canon that can make a raft into a boat.

  37. A raft is an assembled craft and as such very different from any bit of random floating trash one might spontaneously find. And if I saw the craft identified as the Kon-Tiki raft in a photograph, I’d probably call it a boat, too: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Kon-Tiki-raft#ref112596
    It looks like a boat, it’s got a prow and everything. Naturally I’m not a maritime expert in anything whatsoever, but if someone looked at that and called it a boat without knowing anything else about it, I’d hesitate to shower imprecations of ignoramus on him…

    Also, I’m old-fashioned and consider the Britannica canon – which includes rafts as a subset of boats: https://www.britannica.com/technology/boat

  38. Chip Hitchcock: No, I think my point was that I made a pleasant, useful contribution to the discussion which for some sad reason you needed to ridicule rather than discuss. Sailors know they aren’t talking about flotsam. I know that, too, and so do you.

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