(1) CROUCHING TIGER CAPTAIN. Actress Michelle Yeoh has been cast as a Starfleet captain, but there are conservative and radical interpretations of what that means.
Deadline reports it this way:
EXCLUSIVE: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon‘s Michelle Yeoh is heading into the final frontier with Star Trek: Discovery. Sources confirm to Deadline that the upcoming CBS All Access iteration of the fabled franchise will see Yeoh playing a Starfleet Captain.
However, before you start mapping out the deck of the Discovery, sources close to the production tell us exclusively that Yeoh actually will be the leader of another ship. We hear that Yeoh has been cast as Han Bo and her ship is the Shenzhou. The Yeoh-run spacecraft is set to play a big role in Discovery‘s first season.
Asked for comment, Star Trek: Discovery producer CBS TV Studios declined to confirm Yeoh’s casting,
BBC America is more suggestive:
Forget Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, and Archer: A new Star Trek TV series is in the works at CBS, with a captain in the form of Michelle Yeoh.
Deadline reports that the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star will play Starfleet Captain Han Bo in Star Trek: Discovery, which is due on our screens in May….
So what do we know about her character? Well, apart from her name and rank, not very much. Details about the new series are being kept under wraps, though we do know it’s set ten years before the original one featuring Captain Kirk, and will bridge the gap between 2005 series Enterprise and the Kirk years by following the crew of the USS Discovery as they discover new worlds and civilizations.
(2) ENGLISH AS A FIRST LANGUAGE. I took the BBC quiz “English phrases: Test your knowledge”, linked by Chip Hitchcock in comments, and laid an egg. And don’t ask me where that phrase originated, because it’s clear I wouldn’t know!
There are many peculiar English phrases whose origins and meaning can appear obscure. For instance, where does “dead as a doornail” come from? When might one say: “I’ll go to the foot of our stairs?”
A recent BBC News article unearthing the stories behind some phrases drew a huge response from readers, who sent in examples of their own.
But how much do you know about the English language and its sayings?
(3) CHABON’S LATEST. Michael Chabon’s Moonglow is another work readers can simply enjoy, while critics are preoccupied defining its form.
Michael Chabon’s new book is described on the title page as “a novel,” in an author’s note as a “memoir” and in the acknowledgments as a “pack of lies.” This is neither as confusing nor as devious as it might sound, since “Moonglow” is less a self-conscious postmodern high-wire act than an easygoing hybrid of forms. Chabon has what sounds like a mostly true story to tell — about characters whose only names are “my grandmother” and “my grandfather,” and also about mental illness, snake hunting, the Holocaust and rocket science — and he may not have wanted to be bound too tightly by the constraints of literal accuracy in telling it.
The LA Times has more coverage of Chabon which, if you haven’t already exhausted your 10 free articles for the month as I have, you can check out.
Michael Chabon’s new novel “Moonglow” was inspired by a story his grandfather told on his deathbed. The novel is about families — their lies, loves and the stories they tell about themselves. Kate Tuttle talks to Chabon about fatherhood and fiction; …
(4) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS
- Born November 27, 1907 – L. Sprague de Camp
- Born November 27, 1926 — Rusty Hevelin
(5) SCI-FI AIR SHOW. A gallery of photos shows these old warbirds parked on the museum runway — makes you think you could reach out and touch them.
The SCI-FI AIR SHOW’s purpose is to preserve and promote the rich and varied history of Sci-Fi/Fantasy vehicles. Through display and education we seek to celebrate the classic design and beauty of these ships and the rich imaginations that created them. When the cameras stopped rolling, many of these proud old ships were lost and forgotten. Please join us in working to keep these rare and beautiful birds soaring!
(6) RIM OF THE ANCIENT MARINER. A Star Wars actor is busy keeping another franchise afloat. ScreenRant posted “Pacific Rim 2 Set Photos: John Boyega Heads to The Drift”
Having spent a good chunk of the past few years in development limbo, Pacific Rim: Maelstrom – the sequel to writer/director Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 film – has finally begun filming. Contrary to the initial plans, however, del Toro is not directing the sequel and is instead handing the reigns over to former Daredevil showrunner, Steven S. DeKnight; who after spending multiple years establishing himself in the television world, is set to make his feature directorial debut with the blockbuster project. Much to DeKnight’s credit as well, he’s managed to wrangle quite an impressive cast together for the anticipated sequel.
John Boyega is set to lead the cast, as well as executive produce the film, and will be playing the son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost, following his breakout role in last year’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Now, we’ve finally gotten our first look at Boyega in the character from the film too.
(7) DEATH WARMED OVER. When Will R. was still among us, he sent a commentary along with the link to this Aliens news item: “Looks Like Neill Blomkamp Really Is Planning To Bring ALIENS’ Newt Back To Life”
“When you say ‘worst deaths,’ do you mean ‘most horrible’ deaths? (I’ve always thought bringing Ripley back, cloned together with the aliens, was about the most horrible thing ever done to a character. John Hurt, though…that’s an all-time classic death.)
“Or do you mean worst deaths narratively speaking? That one would be fun. The first one would be…interesting, but I’d hate to call it fun.”
(8) FOR THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE. I’m sure there’s someone on your list who’d be cheered to receive a copy of The Krampus and the Old Dark Christmas.
Once the mythic bogeyman of European Catholic childhoods and long presented as the opposite of Santa Claus, Krampus is a growing presence in American culture. With the appearance of the demonic Christmas character Krampus in contemporary Hollywood movies, television shows, advertisements, and greeting cards, medieval folklore Krampus-related events and parades in North America and Europe, Krampus is a growing phenomenon.
Though the Krampus figure is now familiar, not much can be found about its history and meaning, thus calling for a book like Al Ridenour’s The Krampus: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil. With Krampus’s wild, graphic history, Feral House has hired the awarded designer Sean Tejaratchi to take on Ridenour’s book about this ever-so-curious figure.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Will R., and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kurt Busiek.]
“The pixels were coming from inside the scroll!”
 If you can’t see this show, just go to the Army Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis, Virginia. They have a flying wing, hovercrafts, some sort of walker, jet pack, and a horrific platform with handlebars over an immense propellor that I just don’t like to think about, in addition to many tons of planes, trains, automobiles, and other equipment.
I have a swell idea. Let’s say, when you’re editing your comment, that you could click the gol-dang tickybox! Wouldn’t that be grand?
I suppose there could be a sequel:
“And with strange pixels even scrolls may die”
New York Times:
I don’t think it’s close to remotely true. I think it’s fiction taking the form of a memoir, like the modern-day parts of THE PRINCESS BRIDE.
He’s mentioned that he saw an ad for the Chabon Scientific Company, which he was never able to find out any information about — but he put it in the book and built the lives of several members of his family around it. All that’s made up — as are the biographical conversations with his grandfather that supposedly provided all the material for the book. He mentions that those fictional conversations were inspired by a similar experience, an elderly relative who opened up about his past while under medication at the end of his life. But he noted that those conversations were comparatively pretty dull stuff, not the sweeping revelations of MOONGLOW.
His grandfather wasn’t fired from a job to make room for Alger Hiss, though a great-uncle used to say it had happened to him. And I think he said some of the grandfather’s and grandmother’s story was a way to write about experiences he’d had with his wife.
So it’s bits and pieces of experience, repurposed and used as part of a story that has huge whacking fictions built on those bits of repurposed reality, along with a lot of novelistic invention. Ultimately, it’s a novel he’s peopled with characters who purport to be (but aren’t) his relatives, telling a story that’s nicely organic but still too neatly-structured to be real life.
It’s terrific, but it’s not mostly true. It’s fiction with touches of reality.
 is missing a link.
Bill: Thanks for supplying it. Seems I forgot to move the link when I decided to make “Sci-Fi Airshow” the item title.
Kurt Busiek: So it’s kind of like a series of metastasized Tuckerizations.
As some day it may happen that a pixel must be found, I’ve scrolled a little list — I’ve scrolled a little list.
Mike Glyer: So it’s kind of like a series of metastasized Tuckerizations.
All the way down!
And the Christmas Goat of Gävle has burned down again.
The penultimate paragraph in that link is fantastic.
So we go from Black Friday and the Thanksgiving Holiday right back into the work week, but with the added distractions of Cyber Monday in the midst of trying to get the pileup of work done. Whoever thought that was a great idea?
I intended to ask about the goat the other day but didn’t after I checked and found it was only just due to go up.
Both volumes of Octavia Butler’s now rather timely Parable series are Kindle Daily Deals today:
my favourite Gävlebocken year is probably 2005, when it burned down after a gingerbread man shot it with flaming arrows.
Just so I understand… it’s not actually vandalism or tragedy for the Goat to be destroyed? It’s a sort of annual weird ritual? (Do the arsonists, if caught, get charged with anything?)
1) Michelle Yeoh in Star Trek
Perhaps a high-profile USA television gig for Ms. Yeoh will encourage The Weinstein Company to do something with the US rights to 2010’s film “Reign of Assassins,” a martial arts romance starring Ms. Yeoh which has not been authorized for any distribution in the US. (I vaguely recall reading about a brief theatrical run and a DVD for the UK.)
It is definitely vandalism but I do not know how much of a tragedy it is.
It seems to mostly be the outgrowth of showing a bunch of swedes(possibly drunk) a large flammable object and telling them not to set it on fire.
@Magewolf I suppose it’s better than showing a bunch of drunken Swedes some Irish and English monestaries…
@Paul – Thanks! Reading material acquired!
I can’t decide whether I’m glad or sad about the goat. You’d think folk could wait a couple weeks, but I suppose everyone wants to be the one to do it.
FYI, if there’s anyone left who hasn’t read Chiang’s “The Story of Your Life” but is off-put by the expense of the “The Stories of Your Life” collection, I found a pretty awesome-looking Hartwell-edited anthology containing it – “Year’s Best SF 4.” It’s a little more than half the price of the Chiang-specific collection. Once I read the story, I realized I’d read it some time ago, I think in physical version of the collection I just avoided buying. Be znlor V’ir orra bireyl nssrpgrq ol gur fgbel naq nz erzrzorevat zl cnfg frys erzrzorevat ernqvat vg ynfg avtug?
Speaking of Chiang, I just read “Exhalation”, which was very good.
2): That list is not of general-English but quite-specifically-British-English phrases, with a strong bias toward north-of-England obscurities. I only got 4/10, and I’m a Brit-lit Ph.D. and Anglophile who understands most of the dialogue not only in Monty Python skits but The Goon Show.
(2) ENGLISH AS A FIRST LANGUAGE.
I thought my four was poor, but I feel better about it now.
Meredith Moment: The SF Signal twitter feed’s been posting Amazon ebook deals. They don’t seem to work for me though… #regionlocked?
You’d think I’d remember to ticky, but no.
Come on up and unscroll my pixels sometime.
8/10 but I was brought up on North-of-England obscurities.
@kathodus – also available in Nebula Awards Showcase 2001 (ed. Silverberg) – https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=silverberg&sts=t&tn=nebula+awards+showcase+2001
and, if you want to give the editor/authors their due
I ‘think’ the latter is a new copy that will pay royalties; the first link is to ABE for used ($3.50 + shipping, the least expensive option)
(2) 4/10. One answer I got wrong I think is unfair, orpnhfr V’ir serdhragyl urneq vg bhgfvqr gur Oevgvfu Vfyrf. But at least 2 I got right were due to sheer guessing, and another to semi-educated guessing.
My NaNoWriMo word count: 67,808. More importantly, to me at least, the last two I typed were “The” and “End”. Is this a good place to ask for beta readers…? Wait, it’s NaNo, they’d be more like alpha readers, really.
(Ignore me, I’m just feeling cheerful.)
(2): 6/10, but with one exception that was all guesswork.
I’m from the North of England and I only got 1/10. How embarrassing.
Bonus Meredith Moment:
Shawn Speakman at Grim Oak Press has one novel (The Dark Thorn) and two anthologies (Unfettered and Unbound) on sale for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks, for the next two weeks.
The two anthologies were created with stories donated by well-known authors to help pay off Shawn’s medical bills from his 2011 treatment for Stage III non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The impressive Table of Contents are included in the books’ descriptions.
Vandalism, indeed. A clear case of burning ambition.
They are fined large amount of money and sent to jail if caught. But they will always remain heroes in our hearts.
Sounds like it really gets their goat.
You know how to pixel, don’t you? Just put your links together and…scroll.
@ursula. Funny, the first time I heard the original was in a MASH episode, and remembered wondering “What movie?” when Major Houlihan added “I like old movies too.”
One year an American set the goat on fire and was surprised when he was arrested.
It survived a year when it was made from straw with some sort of fire retardant. I suppose people were disappointed. It was put away at the end of the season.
I usually try to check in on it on the goat cam they set up. This year it was gone before I remembered to do so.
For those in need of a bit of courage and encouragement right now, Catherynne M. Valente has posted a new Fairyland story:
The Beasts Who Fought for Fairyland Until the Very End and Further Still
Read this, click through to the story.
Oooh. Ninja’d by JJ. My link has Cat’s explanation, so both are good.
In happier news, thanks to whichever Filer has been repeatedly recommending “Good Show Sir!” dot uk. Hours of laughs at bad SF/F cover art.
At the rate they’re going, that Yule goat is going to get burned down before it’s put up next year. They need more security guards.
(2) I got 8/10 with some guessing.
That is such a great feeling, isn’t it? Congratulations!
The Sci-Fy Airshow thing was inspired and evil. Why evil? I thought I could go see those somewhere until I finally understood it was trick photography.
But fun nonetheless.
Steve Wright: that’s an awesome feeling, isn’t it ? I failed last year and didn’t try this tear, but I racked up two wins prior.
Usual advice is set it aside for a couple of months or three, work on a totally different project, then look at it again yourself and revise… THEN ask about betas. But I know people who did it your way too.
What’s it about?
@Lenora Rose: capsule description? In a galaxy with FTL travel, an artificial intelligence goes crazy and decides to enforce the laws of causality… with guns.
(I’m Steve Wright on the NaNoWriMo forums, too, so there’s a synopsis and an extract on my user page, if you want a taste of it. A taste should be enough, I suspect.)
Yea. Let’s get pixel… and not scroll!
@2: I got 6 of 10, but that included at least one lucky guess
@8: the correspondent forgot to mention comics; the first I remember hearing about Krampus was at pvponline.com
@Rose Embolism: Various sources tell me the raiders of the British Isles were largely Norwegian (with some Danes, e.g. “Canute”); the Swedes tended to go overland, e.g. to be Varangian Guardsmen. I overheard a docent at the Kon-Tiki speaking of “that one poor Swede on the same raft as six crazy Norwegians”.
@JJ and Lurkertype
Thank you both for the Valente link!