(1) PRINCESS AWOL. Yahoo! Movies side-eyes this disturbing pattern – “’Moana’ Teaser: A Brief History of Disney Omitting Princesses From Princess Movie Trailers”. Moana doesn’t show up until :38 of this teaser trailer –
This all began after 2009’s The Princess and the Frog underperformed at the box office. That film had a few notable issues — like a meandering story, in which the princess spent most of her time being a frog — but per the Los Angeles Times, Disney execs came to the conclusion that The Princess and the Frog didn’t attract an audience because boys didn’t want to see a movie about princesses.
With that in mind, Disney Animation’s next princess-centric feature went through an image makeover. Instead of Rapunzel, it would be called Tangled, and the marketing would center on the princess’ love interest Flynn Rider. Here’s the first trailer, released in 2010, which barely includes Rapunzel at all.
(2) ANOTHER COUNTY HEARD FROM. Ashley Pollard dissents from the belief that Mary Shelley is the founder of British science fiction. She names her candidate in a post for Galactic Journey – “[June 22, 1961] Home Counties SF (A Report From The UK)”.
Let me explain my title to you. The British Home Counties surround London, where I live, and consists of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex. I mention this apropos of probably the most well known of Britain’s science fiction novels: the apocalyptic War of the Worlds by Herbert George Wells.
The story is a veritable march through the Britain’s heartland, describing how the Martian tripods march from Woking in Surrey to Essex, wrecking all that’s nearest and dearest to the heart of the British people. Though I should point out that this was a very English-centred story (Scotland, Wales and Ireland are left out), and regarding the rest of the world or our former colonies, Wells has little to say.
War, arguably, was where British science fiction was born. I say “arguably” because Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein can probably lay claim to being the first British SF story; however, its roots seem to me to be more firmly in Gothic Horror. I believe that Wells set the scene for British SF in a way that Shelley’s story has so far not. Though perhaps now that we are in the swinging sixties, her influence will be felt more as women’s emancipation moves forward.
(3) KEEP ON BANGING. ScreenRant loves the music from Suicide Squad.
In case it wasn’t obvious from the excellent music choices for all of the trailers so far, Suicide Squad‘s soundtrack is set to be a major feature of the film. The full soundtrack listing for Suicide Squad: The Album has already been released, and features music by Panic! At The Disco, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Eminem, as well as a song called “Purple Lamborghini” which was written specifically for the film by Skrillex and Rick Ross.
With regards to “Purple Lamborghini,” we already know that Skrillex and Rick Ross filmed a music video with Jared Leto in his Joker costume – the song is, after all, named after his vehicle of choice. However, this isn’t the only tie-in music video to be released for the movie; twenty one pilots have just released their own, featuring the soundtrack song “Heathens,” which is set in Belle Reve (the maximum security prison where Task Force X are held before they are recruited by Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller) and features a few fragments of new footage from the movie.
Now Twenty-One Pilots is in the mix.
(4) EATING THE FANTASTIC PODCAST. Scott Edelman invites one and all to “Eavesdrop on my lunch with Linda Addison in Episode 11 of Eating the Fantastic”.
We talked of how someone who earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics transforms into a four-time Bram Stoker Award winning writer, the way a chance encounter with Grand Master Frederik Pohl during a New York is Book Country Festival helped her make her first sale to Asimov’s, why this acclaimed horror poet has now decided to go from micro to macro and write a science fiction trilogy, and much more.
(5) NO CLINGING VINE. “’Gotham’ Casts New Grown-Up Poison Ivy for Season 3 Of Batman Backstory Series” says Deadline.
Transformed to a 19-year old, Ivy “Pamela” Pepper isn’t playing Selina Kyle’s sidekick anymore. With the Ted 2 actress now taking on the role, a newly confident and empower Pepper will be moving towards her poisonous persona and Bruce Wayne.
When we last saw her on Season 2 of Gotham, the foliage focused orphan who would become Batman villainess and eco-terrorist Poison Ivy was played by Clare Foley. Well, that’s about to change for Season 3 of the Fox series as Ivy has grown up and will now be portrayed by Maggie Geha, it was revealed today
(6) SHOUTING YOURSELF HORSE. Engaged by the discussion here of the huge battle in a recent Game of Thrones episode, Vox Day devoted a post to “The military geniuses at File 770”
It’s clear that neither the producers of the episode, nor Aaron, has any idea how cavalry was, and is, used on the battlefield. It is a secondary arm; it is the infantry that is “the queen of the battlefield”. Hollywood likes horses because they are exciting and dramatic, but one should never allow oneself to be misguided into thinking that the tactics one is seeing on the screen are even remotely reasonable, let alone realistic or historically plausible.
(7) UP ABOVE THE WORLD SO HIGH. TimeOut Los Angeles sounds skeptical — “Dinner in the Sky, coming to LA in July, dangles diners 15 stories in the air”.
Dinner in the Sky, an aerial dining experience that takes place 150 feet above ground level, launched in Belgium in 2006 before swiftly bringing its gravity-defying dinners to cities around the world (Rome, Athens, Kuala Lumpur and Cape Town, to name a few). On July 1, Dinner in the Sky is making its LA debut and will continue hoisting ballsy diners via crane from the comfort of LA Center Studios in Downtown LA throughout July. Once in the air, a small staff will serve a four-course meal with a view, cooked up by chef Keven Lee (the Hollywood-based chef currently owns a private events company called My World on a Plate).
The actual elevated contraption looks like some kind of inverted roller coaster ride, with diners strapped into bucket seats and a waitstaff securely fastened with harnesses. Still, after hearing about this arguably insane endeavor, a couple crucial questions were raised in our office:
What if you have to pee?
What if you have to puke?
What if you drop your fork?
What if you get drunk and start a fight with your dining partner? There is literally nowhere to cool off.
If none of the above fazes you, maybe the pricetag will: the whole experience starts off at $399,
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY GIRLS
- June 22, 1947 – Octavia Butler
- June 22, 1949 – Lindsay Wagner
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY
- June 22, 1958 — Bruce Campbell
(10) THE MIGHTY AMAZON. You can stop wondering who will play the President in Supergirl – it’s Lynda Carter.
While the United States argues about whether the next president should be Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, at least we know DC Comics’ fictional world is in good hands.
The CBS TV series “Supergirl” (moving to The CW) announced today that Lynda Carter — best known for her role in the “Wonder Woman” TV series from ’70s — will be running the country (and hopefully having Supergirl’s back) as the president of the United States in the show starting in season 2, according to Variety.
(11) NIGHT OF GIANTS. The video has been posted of Stephen King’s visit with George R.R. Martin earlier this month in Santa Fe.
(12) HEALING ARTS. Nicola Griffith will have everyone wanting to sign up for her same medical plan
One of my new doctors is called Hou, pronounced Who. Things are looking up…
— Nicola Griffith (@nicolaz) June 21, 2016
JJ asks, “But is the nurse named Dalek?”
(13) CHARM AND POISON. Entertainment Weekly eavesdrops as “Ricky Gervais and Jiminy Glick trade insults on Maya & Marty”.
Ricky Gervais never misses the chance to excoriate his fellow Hollywood celebrities, but he may have met his match in Jiminy Glick. Gervais sat down with Martin Short’s fat-suited celebrity interviewer on this week’s episode of Maya & Marty, and was immediately thrown into the deep end. First, Glick called him “Steve Carell,” and then said he only remembered Gervais’ name because it sounded like “gingivitis.”
“It’s like a talking egg,” Gervais said of Glick. “Humpty Dumpty came to life.”
“Thank you, first of all, because I’m a big fan of that guy,” Glick said.
Glick responded by taking issue with Gervais’ British accent, comparing him to Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins and pirates.
“You know it’s not an accent I’m putting on? This is my accent,” Gervais said.
(14) APEX NOVELLA. E. Catherine Tobler’s novella The Kraken Sea has been released by Apex Publications.
Fifteen-year-old Jackson is different from the other children at the foundling hospital. Scales sometimes cover his arms. Tentacles coil just below his skin. Despite this Jackson tries to fit in with the other children. He tries to be normal for Sister Jerome Grace and the priests. But when a woman asks for a boy like him, all that changes. His name is pinned to his jacket and an orphan train whisks him across the country to Macquarie’s. At Macquarie’s, Jackson finds a home unlike any he could have imagined. The bronze lions outside the doors eat whomever they deem unfit to enter, the hallways and rooms shift and change at will, and Cressida – the woman who adopted him – assures him he no longer has to hide what he is. But new freedoms hide dark secrets. There are territories, allegiances, and a kraken in the basement that eats shadows.
As Jackson learns more about the new world he’s living in and about who he is, he has to decide who he will stand with: Cressida, the woman who gave him a home and a purpose, or Mae, the black-eyed lion tamer with a past as enigmatic as his own. The Kraken Sea is a fast paced adventure full of mystery, Fates, and writhing tentacles just below the surface, and in the middle of it all is a boy searching for himself.
(15) CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR THE RAY BRADBURY READ. Steven Paul Leiva is urgently looking for proposals for this Bradbury-themed event August 22 in Downtown Los Angeles.
To be considered as a reader you must submit a proposal for a reading of a five-minute-or-under excerpt from one of Bradbury’s many works. The excerpt can come from any of Ray’s published prose and verse writings and should have a central theme, coherence, and completeness about it. More than one excerpt or poem can be read, as long as their reading time does not exceed five minutes. Excerpts from plays and screenplays will not be accepted.
You must submit your excerpt in a typed, double-spaced Word or PDF document. The date you are submitting the document should be at the top of page one, along with your name and contact information. Before the text of the excerpt, list the work it is from and, in the case of a story, essay, or poem, the collection you found it in. After the excerpt, you are more than welcome to add a few words of why you chose the excerpt and what it means to you.
Readers will be chosen based on what excerpts will make for the best possible program of readings for the afternoon, with a balance between the types and tones of Bradbury’s writings. In the case of duplicate excerpts proposed, if an excerpt is included in the program, the first submission of that excerpt will be chosen.
Submissions will be accepted between June 1 and July 15. Submissions should be sent as attachments to an email sent to Steven Paul Leiva at [email protected]. Readers will be chosen and informed by August 8.
The readers will be chosen by Steven Paul Leiva, the director of the Ray Bradbury Read.
(16) WORLD’S LARGEST NERF GUN. Speaking of weapons civilians don’t need, Mark Rober’s gun, which is powered by a 3000 psi paintball tank, shoots darts made from pool noodles and toilet plungers.
BONUS SILLINESS. This comes via Jim Rittenhouse —
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, and Scott Edelman for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Rob Thornton.]
@Mike: No, you were right, just a different part of the conversation.
Gunpowder fantasy? Eema point ya toward this Connecticut Yankee fella.
I’d be more shocked if Teddy actually turned out to be right about, well, anything. Being loud and uninformed and wrong is his modus operandi. Or mode operata, using his version of Latin.
Lots of examples prior to that as well. The key indicator that Teddy has no clue what he’s talking about is his absurd generalizations and lack of context. If he means that cav is a secondary arm in terms of size and troop allocation, he’s right. Cav is expensive to recruit, train and maintain. If he means it is secondary in terms of offensive impact, he’s seems to have missed the last 2000 years or so of war.
I’m still going with the assumption that most of his “military” experience is war-games set in periods, and not the actual study of the periods in question. As that tends to have girl cooties and such.
Jon Snow = Leeroy Jenkins.
(I never raided in vanilla WoW, and I know the Leeroy Jenkins thing was a joke, but it still makes me grin.)
I think Mr. Beale is just following the military wisdom and genius of his hero Aristotle.
I would not be at all surprised if he claimed Orcs were the true Queen of the Battlefield.
I’m still going with the assumption that most of his “military” experience is war-games set in periods, and not the actual study of the periods in question.
He did write a book in which the protagonist turns out to be a military genius due to his experience in playing Warhammer 40K.
Truly, though, it was Bartholomew’s use of oobleck that would revolutionize medieval warfare. Not since Greek Fire had such a compound been used to such terrible effect upon the enemy.
The threat of oobleck to influence the policy positions of the head of state surely is a case of Bartholomew engaging in bioterrorism rather than warfare?
I’m sure Teddy would get along swimmingly with the guy who bases his US History on Ozzie and Harriet and Leave it to Beaver.
Bartholomew (or Bart, as he came to prefer it) had to put aside meteorological matters to do battle with his piano teacher. The weaponry he ended up using was, in fact, very atomic.
Meanwhile, as self-driving cars move towards real-world use, nobody wants to be a fat guy shoved onto a railroad track.
It’s the 3AS (Third Artist Syndrome) as applied to military wisdom?
The economics part emphasises the horrendous cost of having decent weapons and indeed the hefty cost for anyone of having a couple of changes of clothes.
There were a lot of villages in England that had to provide a given fraction of a knight’s service – which would be like paying for part of the armor, or one of the squires, or a horse. It was one of the ways that estates were valued.
@Andrew M, @Russell Letson, @AllSteves
I explain the concept of “genre” to my Literary Theory students by comparing the weak and strong versions of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. On the one, hand, having a term (such as “Science Fiction” or “High Fantasy” or “Planetary Romance”) does make it easier to think about the similarities among various texts and hence to perform the basic act of genre criticism: to tell people that they might enjoy/not enjoy a particular text because it is like/not like others. II’s similar to a farmer finding it useful to have different names/concepts to distinguish “grackles” and “purple martins” since one eats grain and one eats bugs that eat grain. Once you have those words/concepts, you know enough to respond accordingly AND to discuss it with other farmers, agronomists, pest control specialists, etc. NOT having the words/concepts meant I might foolishly kill or drive off the “helpful” birds on the misapprehension that they were the “bad” ones. However, the “strong” version (where our language absolutely controls us) fails because it cannot account for the fact that, hey, people have new experiences and new ideas and coin new words to help talk about them. So in the case of genre theory, it’s not that works we can ex post facto affix a genre label to did not exist or were not genre works prior to some literary theorist creating a term for them any more than grackles and purple martins did not exist until someone named them. Rather, it’s that the genre label makes it EASIER to talk about the works, lets us develop more detailed ways of talking about them, allows bookstores to put up signs and marketers to make sales strategies, and so on, just as the wise farmer can use ornithological knowledge to find ways to keep the helpful birds around while driving away the “bad” ones.
While in NYC a few weeks back the ladylove and I went to the Met (I really wanted to see the Transitional Object: PsychoBarn display in the Roof Garden.) While walking through the Met, I paused to study a bust of Aristotle and almost had to physically stop myself from pointing and screaming, “ARISTOTLE! XANATOS!”
:shakes fist: Curses you, File 770 commentators! :/shakes fist:
@chad. I’d totally have taken a picture of the bust for the purpose of playing as such with the image.
Heck, if I can find that bust when I go visit NYC this fall, I will.
@ Soon Lee
If you want a more direct link to the “Third Artist” essay being referenced there, a copy of the original appears here.
Speaking of gunpowder fantasy, I wonder if anybody ever filmed Der Freischütz.
Heather Rose Jones,
Thanks! Will remember to credit appropriately in future.
It’s an idea that’s got legs. I first encountered it in a comics discussion about artists who weren’t very good at drawing humans & the suggestion was made that they hadn’t done much (if any) life drawing because their figures were so unrealistic…
Because of course he f*cking did. He’s just the sort to have missed the fact that the Imperium is a brutal, terrible satire?
@TYP, in all fairness, he wouldn’t be the first to hear “IN THE GRIM DARKNESS OF THE FAR FUTURE THERE IS ONLY WAR” and go “That sounds like an excellent philosophy!”, instead of, y’know, laughing their arse off.
Heck, he would be the platonic ideal of that mentality.
The definition of science fiction is vague; therefore, of necessity, the definition of the “first” SF story is as well. Nevertheless, I tend to go with de Bergerac. Others wrote about trips to the moon before him, but he was the first to propose using technology to get there. That seems to me to be a really key issue.
As for Frankenstein being gothic horror…I have to say that I didn’t find the book (unlike it’s film adaptations) to resemble any sort of horror! Tragedy, yes. Horror, no.
At the same time, it’s more of an examination of the consequences of technology than de Bergerac’s work, which merely extrapolated technology. Both count as science fictional approaches in my view, but Shelley’s is the sort of approach that tends to be more interesting to me, other things being equal.
Regarding “gunpowder fantasy”, would Novik’s Temeraire series count? While I’m given to understand that the film plans for the series are currently in abeyance, I’m not giving up hope!
@Soon Lee, Heather Rose Jones:
Well, for comics, Scott McCloud did have a chapter on that sort of effect in Understanding Comics. He approached it from the other direction, though, starting from the people who drew comics characters having obviously never paid attention to anything other than the surface output of a few favourites, working inward through the onion to those who actually studied the foundations of the art form.
@ Soon Lee & Jenora Feuer
I make no claims to have originated the entire concept of derivative creativity. But the specific essay mentioned in Soon Lee’s link and the associated label “The Third Artist” was mine. That’s all.
Holy crapweasels, Heather, you wrote the Third Artist essay?!
*collapsed into Wayne’s World-esque am-not-worthy-ing*
(6) Aw, widdle Teddums just can’t keep away from reading us, can he? Supposedly hates us, but never misses a bit of it? Kinda suspicious. But it did give him a chance to engage in one of his favorite pastimes: doubling down on stupid when talking about something he doesn’t know squat about.
Warriors on horses! So unimportant that they had absolutely no effect on early European conquests in what’s now Latin America, no giant changes in the lifeways of native North Americans, nor any help to the same in defending their land… not to mention @RDF’s point (and those guys had quartermasters that have probably never been beaten, which is why they were high-ranking officials).
@Aaron: I might put Teddums’ complete ignorance up as far as 1700, frankly; he doesn’t seem to know about the English Civil War, Thirty Years’ War, etc. His almost-complete ignorance, of course, covers all of history and prehistory.
(16) Escalation of weaponry continues apace, I see. Although it’s never going to be a concealed weapon. What next, Nerf cannons? Nerf tanks?
BONUS: Pretty sure that wouldn’t make any more sense in context.
At least three times, probably more.
Not really surprising given the global totality of his ignorance, but somehow disappointing that he should overlook the triumph of a bunch of manly anglo-saxon psalm-singing yeomen in stout buff coats creating 17th century Europe’s most successful army for God, Liberty, Landowning (and Keeping uppity-womens-in-their-place*)”.
I guess the New Model should have invested in fewer horses and more flaming broadswords to catch his attention.
* Just imagine the knee-slapping, faction-spanning laughter at the Putney debates over the idea that women might be included in any concept of universal adult sufferage.
TYP: “Though with Game Of Thrones’ feudalism being stable for three or four thousand years – maybe the peasants would have more weapons”
The novels don’t actually spend much time on battlefields… and since many of the point-of-view characters are nobles or knights or both, their own military ventures tend to be pretty well furnished… but Martin does talk a bit here and there about what the typical foot soldier is equipped with, and it seems pretty close to medieval reality on Earth. Here’s the priest Meribald talking about his days as a peasant soldier:
“Almost all are common-born, simple folk who had never been more than a mile from the house where they were born until the day some lord came round to take them off to war. Poorly shod and poorly clad, they march away beneath his banners, ofttimes with no better arms than a sickle or a sharpened hoe, or a maul they made themselves by lashing a stone to a stick with strips of hide.”
And the novella The Sworn Sword, set about 100 years before the Ice and Fire books, concerns two knights being tasked by their small-time feudal lord to round up the peasants for a stupid military campaign and finding that most of them aren’t really up for anything more than a fistfight.
I think the show hasn’t put a whole lot of effort into fleshing out that aspect of the world, but it does at least make it somewhat clear that weapons don’t grow on trees, since the best-outfitted troops by far are the ones who work for very wealthy families.
Aw…shucks…no need to make a fuss. *scuffs foot*
Back in my days as “Muffaroo” at the Comics Curmudgeon, I commented on the work of the last truly bad Dick Tracy artist (the one just before Joe Staton came in and returned the strip to glory). There was a tiger threatening our hero, and I pointed out that the first drawing was very, very carefully rendered, as if it was painstakingly copied from a photo or an old engraving. The second time we saw the tiger, it had been hurriedly copied from the first drawing. The third and subsequent times, the artist figured he had it down pat and could trust in his awesome drawing ability to turn out a series of increasingly off-base felines that would have had Louis Wain dialing “91” and keeping his finger over the 1.
As my own third artist, I’ve also used the same sort of hypothetical sequence to criticize the political caricatures of the duck strip. His “Obama” work, for instance, is like photocopies of photocopies, wandering farther and farther away from any ability to recognize the subject apart from context, labels, or conditioned response (“pointed stick that talks is ZERObama!”).
@Heather Rose Jones:
Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound as if I was downplaying your role in this. Scott McCloud was just my first exposure to the concept. Your description is significantly… pithier, I suppose would be a good way to put it? Almost poetic. “The Third Artist” is a very succinct way of putting it that easily carries the connotations you’re going for. Easier to use in conversations about the subject.
Scott McCloud is many things, but succinct is not usually one of them. (He’s far too much of an engineer at heart, in love with the gears and grease of how things work, and willing to explain until people’s eyes glaze over. And I say that as someone with similar tendencies on occasion.)
Reminds me of an old Chinese illustration of a tiger made by someone who had obviously only ever heard a vague description of a tiger. I couldn’t (quickly) google it up, but you can get plenty of similar examples from mideaval European bestiary illustrations. Witness, for example, what some people thought a crocodile looked like. Or an elephant. And you cannot even handle this.
increasingly off-base felines that would have had Louis Wain dialing “91” and keeping his finger over the 1.
As the kids say, this is Everything. Wonderful turn of phrase, Kip.
@JR Lawrence: Exactly. They were “Onward, Christian Soldiers” IRL. And may I say how much I enjoy your avatar and TYP’s discussing this stuff. 🙂
The previously-mentioned Michael Livingston, who had a nice discussion on this, edited the freakin’ book about the Battle of Crecy. I’mma go with his ideas on medieval warfare, too.
I love, love, the description of Whalley’s Horse at Langport, (four weeks after Naseby) winning the day by charging Goring’s army through a narrow sunken lane flooded feet by that long wet summer:
[A True Relation of a Victory Neere Langport by Robert White, 1646, quoted in The Regimental History of Cromwell’s Army by Sir Charles Firth and Godfrey Davies, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1940]
At which point Whalley’s chaplain, Richard Baxter observed that Thomas Harrison “with a loud voice break forth into the praises of God with fluent expressions, as if he had been in a rapture.”
This was the same Harrison that Pepys saw hung, drawn and quartered in 1660, “looking as cheerful as any man could do in that condition”, so cheerful that he managed to box the ears of the executioner as he was disembowelled.
Whatever their faults – and there were many – Cromwell’s Ironsides were clearly a bunch of truly magnificent bastards. (Also – pro-Europeans; Cromwell proposed a political union with the republican Netherlands.)
Somewhat late to the thread, but I’m still laughing that Beale can watch a show with dragons and magic (etc) and complain that it’s the tactical deployment of cavalry that he finds not “realistic or historically plausible”.
Really? THAT’S where he draws the “historical plausibility” line? Does he know what show he’s tuned in?