Pixel Scroll 9/23/18 We Can Pixel It For You Scrollsale

(1) EXTRAPOLATION. At WIRED, The Geeks Guide to the Galaxy podcast asks Peter F. Hamilton “How Would Teleportation Change Society?”

Hamilton envisions a future in which teleportation portals are used for garbage disposal, irrigation, and carbon sequestration, and in which the now-useless bridges and highways have been converted into parks and shopping centers. He also predicts that cheap teleportation would spell the end of the hotel business.

“If it takes two minutes to walk from where I am [in England] to America, what do I need a hotel for?” he says. “There are still fabulous resorts and places like that, but the idea of a businessman needing a hotel for the night? No, that’s gone.”

Teleportation might also allow humanity to easily explore the galaxy. Hamilton’s interstellar starships are propelled forward by exhaust channeled through a portal. “You have one part of the portal that you just drop into the sun, and the other half is the rocket engine on the starship,” he says. “No need for any antimatter or fusion or anything.”

Sounds like a recipe for mass unemployment!

(2) STAYIN’ ALIVE. Here’s somebody else who’s looking for work. We learn from The Late Late Show with James Corden that Predator is desperate for new acting roles:

With “The Predator” now out in theaters, the franchise’s famed antagonist, whose name is Howard, is ready for a new chapter. With new headshots and a positive attitude, Howard jumps into the Hollywood grind in search of the next great role.


(3) REMEMBER TO SQUEE. Edmund Schluessel wrote up “Fantasticon 2018 in Copenhagen”. (He wants you to know this event was distinct from the Fantasticon SF convention which took place in Indiana this same weekend.)

…The audience at Fantasticon was consistently among the nicest I’ve encountered. One of the program items I made a point of seeing on Saturday was a talk led by the dauphines of Swedisn and Danish fandom, Fia Karlsson and Sanna Bo Claummarch respectively, titled Come with me if you want to squee! whose thesis was, simply, there should be no guilty pleasures: we should feel free to enjoy what we enjoy, and break down barriers of “you can’t like this because you’re a girl, or boy, or too old, or to young” and so on.

And this is something we need to keep reminding ourselves of because those barriers are continually being reconstructed for us. Now that I am A Published Author people can read what I write in an “official” way; but part and parcel of that is that the publisher and Amazon will both try to quantify me like census takers because that’s as indivisible and fundamental a component of marketing books as carbon is a component of sugar, and we authors and fans are complicit too when we try to promote the work by putting it in a familiar context (“you like young adult romances with aliens, right?”). We owe it to ourselves as writers and fans to break down the barriers even as we take part in building them up through how we present our work.

(4) A SAGA OF THE MEXICANX INITIATIVE. Hector Gonzalez has posted two more entries in his account of  Worldcon 76.

I started thinking something showing my traditions as well as the new lessons I’ve learnt in the US. The choice was simple: gorditas, a Mexican specialty of stuffed fried masa dough. I opted for a smaller version of these, around the size of a mason jar mouth. There would be two versions, one for meat eaters, another one for vegans. The meat option would be filled with carnitas estilo Michoacan, using my grandmother’s recipe but adapting it to a modern technique called sous vide. With it you cook the food at a constant temperature to assure more tender and intense flavors. The vegan version would be vegan carnitas, made with mushrooms, using sous vide too.

Now, the science fiction angle. The easiest way would be playing with my specialty: salsas. I opted for making 7 salsas, each spicier than the previous one. The first one that came to my mind was Soylent Verde, because it was an easy pun. My dear Aussie friend Paul CZ came up with a couple of the other names: Picard de Gallo?—?Make It Salsa happened while eating BBQ, while Obi Juan Chipotle was sent over Messenger later that same day.

I though I had everything under wraps and the plan would go without a hitch. However, I tend to think on worst case scenarios when cooking. “If this fails, which is your plan B?” I started thinking about options. I was assured by Diane that I would get help in the kitchen but even with an extra pair of hands, catering for over 100 person could be daunting.

(5) A GOLDEN AGE. M M Owen, in ”Our Age of Horror” on Aeon, interviews Joe Hill, Ramsey Campbell, and Daid J Skal to discuss why horror remains so popular.  Plus he begins his piece by discussing Ray Bradbury’s 1955 story “The Next in Line.” which he thinks is one of the great horror stories of the 20th century.

Our present era is one in which the heart of culture is blowing hard upon a coal of fear, and the fascination is everywhere. By popular consent, horror has been experiencing what critics feel obliged to label a ‘golden age’. In terms of ticket sales, 2017 was the biggest year in the history of horror cinema, and in 2018, Hereditary and A Quiet Place have been record-breaking successes. In both the United States and the United Kingdom, sales of horror literature are up year over year – an uptick that industry folk partly attribute to the wild popularity of Netflix’s Stranger Things (2016-). And the success isn’t merely commercial. Traditionally a rather maligned genre, these days horror is basking in the glow of critical respectability. As The New York Times remarked this June, horror ‘has never been more bankable and celebrated than it is right now’.

As any historian of the genre will tell you, horror has had previous golden ages. Perhaps ours is just a random quirk of popular taste. But perhaps not. Perhaps we are intoxicated by horror today because the genre is serving a function that others aren’t. Can’t. Horror’s roots run deep, but they twist themselves into forms very modern. The imagination’s conversion of fear into art offers a dark and piercing mirror.


  • September 23, 1846 — Planet Neptune was discovered.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and JJ.]

  • Born September 23, 1908 – Wilmar H. Shiras, Writer. Also wrote under the name Jane Howes. Her most famous piece was In Hiding, a novella which was published by John W. Campbell, Jr. in Astounding Science Fiction in November 1948 – eventually to be included in the The Science Fiction Hall of Fame novella anthology — and widely assumed to be the inspiration for The Uncanny X-Men that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby would release 15 years later.
  • Born September 23, 1920 – Richard Wilson, Writer and Archivist. Though a genre writer who garnered several Nebula and Hugo nominations, I’m going to argue that his major contribution to the field was collecting the papers of many SFF writers for Syracuse University’s George Arents Research Library. As Wiki notes, ‘the collection eventually included manuscripts, galley proofs, magazines, correspondence and art donated by Piers Anthony, Hal Clement, Keith Laumer, Larry Niven, Frederik Pohl and others, including Wilson himself.’ I wonder if that means Niven’s Ringworld artwork is there…
  • Born September 23, 1936 – Edgar L. Chapman, 82, Scholar and Critic. I’m fascinated by genre academics. This one is a specialist on Philip José Farmer – not exclusively, but that’s his main area of interest. So let’s look at some of what he’s published: From Rebellious Rationalist to Mythmaker and Mystic: The Religious Quest of Philip José Farmer, The Magic Labyrinth of Philip Jose Farmer, The Fabulous Riverworld, and On Philip Farmer.
  • Born September 23, 1956 – Peter David, 62, Writer. Despite my general aversion to works based on media series, I’m going to single out his Babylon 5 work as most excellent. Among his fiction work of a non-media undertaking, his Modern Arthur series is very good as is his quite silly Sir Apropos of Nothing series. Let’s by no means overlook his very, very impressive work in comics covering series such as Doctor Who, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Aquaman, Super-Girl, and Young Justice. He has won a number of Awards including an  Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist Team with Dale Keown for The Incredible Hulk.
  • Born September 23, 1957 – Rosalind Chao, 61, Actor. Perhaps best known to genre fans as the botanist Keiko Ishikawa O’Brien from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, she grew up working part-time in her parents’ restaurant near Disneyland. Her early genre appearances include guest roles in episodes of the TV series The Amazing Spider-Man and Beauty and the Beast and the TV miniseries Intruders. She appeared in the 2003 version of Freaky Friday, and has a role in the upcoming live-action movie version of Disney’s Mulan.
  • Born September 23, 1967 – Justine Larbalestier, 51, Writer, Editor, and Critic. An Australian author of fiction whose novels have won Andre Norton, Carl Brandon, and Aurealis Awards, she is probably best known for her comprehensive scholarly work The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction which was a Hugo, Locus, and Aurealis finalist. Her Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century, an anthology of SFF stories and critical essays by women, won The William Atheling Jr. Award.
  • Born September 23, 1975 – Katrina Browne, 43, Actor. A New Zealander who has appeared in numerous genre properties including The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Young Hercules, Power Rangers DinoThunder, and Power Rangers Ninja Storm.


  • In this Over the Hedge, we find out Alexa has limits on what it can do to affect your Kurma.

(9) TRUE CONFESSIONS. J.W. Ocker kicked off the Halloween season  by watching the 1983 Disney/Ray Bradbury flick Something Wicked This Way Comes. Oh, and by the way….

For whatever stupid, random twists that the universe throws at this planet to keep itself entertained, I happen to own the head of Will Halloway. Like, the actual physical prop. It’s from the scene where he and Jim are running from the carnival at night and come full stop at a small guillotine that beheads a version of Will right in front of them. The severed head prop was created by Rob Schiffer, a famous Disney make-up artist who was responsible for turning Jonathan Winters into a pumpkin in the Halloween Hall of Fame show and a dog into a monster in the original Tim Burton short Frankenweenie. He also worked on such properties as The Black Hole, TRON, and Escape to Witch Mountain, as well as movies for other production houses. I mean, he did the makeup on everything from The Wizard of Oz to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

(10) NPR AND COMICSGATE. NPR’s investigative reporting show Reveal devoted an episode to explaining #ComicsGate: “Never Meet Your (Super) Heroes”. Because of my bad hearing I haven’t listened myself, however, person who emailed me the link says a feature of the show is a Rolling Stone reporter interviewing Vox Day, publisher of the comics referenced in the following blurb —

There’s a new battlefield in the culture wars: comic books. The alt-right now has gotten in the business, led by a buxom, Confederate flag-waving superhero named Rebel and a white vigilante who turns immigrants over to ICE.

(11) DOLLARGATE. Whatever else #ComicsGate is, Vox Day and Jon Del Arroz hope it’s a revenue stream. However, one of Day’s moves has offended some people and made both VD and JDA objects of social media scorn. Castalia House apologist Bounding Into Comics tries to run interference for them in “Let’s Not Turn #Comicsgate into #Dramagate”.

With coordinated attacks coming from all sides, it’s more critical than ever that #Comicsgate members keep their eye on the prize and don’t turn into #dramaqueens who favor sniping and infighting over solidarity. Sadly, for those supporting this consumer revolt in the name of good comic books, and for the high profile figures within it, recent history may not be on our side.

On September 3rd, 2018, Alt-Hero publisher Vox Day announced his prospective Comicsgate imprint right here on Bounding Into Comics, and it would be an insult to diarrhea to say that the Comicsgate community understandably lost their crap in response. Whether Vox Day was trying to do something he deemed to be positive for the movement, or he was just trying to co-opt it a la Sad Puppies…or both, is mostly irrelevant; the fallout from his move was quite real, particularly when it came to author and occasional BIC contributor Jon Del Arroz.

Over the course of 24 hours, Del Arroz, whose Sci-Fi and comic book work are both published by Day’s imprints, was not only taken to task for his friendship with Day, but he would see some of his sociopolitical positions erroneously conflated with Day’s. When the accused makes it crystal clear that they disagree with someone else’s specific politics and yet they are still being taken to the woodshed for them, it’s a pretty clear case of reactionary outrage….

(12) RECOVERING FROM A FORMER GOOD IDEA. BBC reports: “France removes toxic tyres from failed reef project”.

Teams of divers are painstakingly lifting an artificial reef made of tens of thousands of old car tyres from the seafloor south of France, after it was found to spread pollution from toxic chemicals.

The operation is costing well over a million euros ($1.1m; £898,000) and is part-funded by the tyre manufacturer Michelin as well as the French state.

The divers are supported by a boat with lifting equipment.

Fish had been avoiding the area.

(13) LEGO PORG. SYFY Wire has made note that you will soon be able to buy your own Porg; some assembly required (“LEGO just brought a life-size Porg to Earth”).

By now, we’ve seen just about all the Porg merch in this galaxy—Porg shirts, Porg Funko pops (of course), Porg bobbleheads, furry animatronic Porgs, a borderline terrifying Chewbacca and Porg backpack, and now a life-size LEGO Porg.

Yes, this is for real, and it’s one Porg that Chewie can’t slow-roast over a fire.

The LEGO kit lists for $69.99 and is listed on the company’s site as “Coming Soon on Oct 1 2018”. Features of the kit, per LEGO, are:

  • Features authentic detailing, an opening mouth and flapping wings.
  • Also includes a display stand with decorative fact plaque and an extra porg mini build.
  • Porg without stand stands over 7” (19cm) high.
  • Display stand measures approx. 2” (6cm) high and 1” (3cm) deep, and over 4” (11cm) wide.
  • Relive fun porg adventures from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

(14) DISNEY STREAMING. Variety has a report (“Loki, Scarlet Witch to Get TV Series on Disney Streaming Service”) that the as-yet unnamed Disney streaming service will have exclusive content from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Disney is enlisting Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as the company prepares to launch its upcoming streaming service. The entertainment giant is in early development on an ambitious plan for a number of limited series centered on popular characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. These series will likely include shows centered on Loki and the Scarlet Witch, along with other beloved superheroes who have yet to appear in their own standalone movies.

Marvel and Disney had no comment.

There’s an important distinction from other Marvel small screen efforts, however. The actors who portrayed these heroes and villains in the Avengers films and their spin-offs, such as Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen, are expected to play them in the streaming shows. Moreover, though sources close to the production are staying mum on the cost of the programming, the budgets are expected to be hefty rivaling those of a major studio productions. Each series is expected to include six to eight episodes. Marvel Studios will produce the shows and Kevin Feige, the guru of all things MCU, is expected to take a hands-on role in their development.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, John A Arkansawyer, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories,, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

60 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/23/18 We Can Pixel It For You Scrollsale

  1. 1) I haven’t listened to the podcast, but I’m somewhat surprised that the Wired article doesn’t mention Niven’s teleport booth universe, which raised most of the issues mentioned in the article back in the 1960s and 1970s. Perhaps Hamilton mentioned Niven in the podcast and those quotes weren’t mentioned in the article? (I see one of the commenters (not me!) mentioned Niven).

  2. @Andrew
    The stepping disks, too. (Also the idea that elevation changes affect the energy needed.)

  3. @Andrew: I remember Niven talking about flash mobs (and about benefits such as a small-scale relative of Hamilton’s suggestion, teleporting air away from a closed chamber to provide vacuum distillation of salt water), but not explicitly about hotels vanishing or easy rocket drives (not surprising given Niven’s fascination with the Bussard ramjet). I’d have said that the flash mob was first problem caused; Niven didn’t even think of disease transmission, despite Bester raising that issue in The Stars My Destination. Can you point to major changes that Niven specifically suggested?

    @8: speaking of unforeseen side effects — apparently Alexa did the slowing gradually, so as to avoid the effects Wells described in “The Man Who Could Work Miracles”.

  4. 1) He seems to be assuming that teleportation will be extremely cheap, which seems unlikely given the large amounts of energy needed. Depending on the price, hotels might still be cheaper. Also, I find it hard to accept that the device could survive being dropped into the sun. Plus, wouldn’t it needs maintenance and repairs?

  5. 1) Another example: The Stars My Destination, where Bester considers a large number of consequences of a society where teleportation is common and basic to so many of their ways.

    I am looking forward to living in the Post Scarcity Age. (Frankly, it can’t come soon enough.)

    Thanks for linking to these. It’s gripping reading. I’ve never attempted to cater food for 100+ people. I get sweaty palms just thinking about it.

    Title Credit, woohoo!

  7. That Reveal podcast cast serious doubt on whether the money Vox raised via crowd funding for his comics was legitimate. Contributions were often in large chunks in a way atypical for crowd funding.

  8. LEGO PORG) I thought that Disney has released more versions of these than Kirk had triibbles which a quick Amazon search indeed confirmed this morning. Most of of the plushie variety but they’re certainly full sized so Disney is stretching the truth more than a bit in claiming this is the first such porg released. Ahhhh marketing.

  9. 1) On road infrastructure being abandoned in an era of teleportation, one of Niven’s shorts was called All the bridges rusting.

    Niven tried to deal with issues of energy and momentum in teleportation – Hamilton’s “drop one end into the Sun” drive is just magic.Niven does build interstellar transporters, and a railgun with a transporter at each end to accelerate probes up to interstellar speeds by cycling the probe through the gun may times.

    My favourite teleporter as spacedrive is Bob Shaw’s in Who goes here?. You can only teleport things 100 meters distance, so the ships are 100 meters long with a transmitter at one end and a receiver at the other. The ship moves by instantly transporting itself one ships length ahead every jump, and then jumping very often.

  10. I only caught a bit of the Reveal episode when it was broadcast on the radio. Might have to listen to the podcast in full.

    1) Hamilton’s new novel is sitting in my app awaiting my Great October Expedition road trip starting late this week and the next two weeks.

    Philip Jose Farmer’s Tiers verse also uses a lot of gates and teleportation.

    Also, there are some rather cleverly diabolical Grimstooth’s traps that use teleporters to make PCs lives a living hell.

  11. My favorite implementation of teleportation remains that in the computer game Portal (where you often have to use momentum to solve puzzles — put one portal at the bottom of a pit, the other on the wall behind you, jump into the pit and pick up enough velocity to come out of the portal on the wall with enough momentum to fly over the pit you just jumped into, e.g.).

  12. Scroll if you want to
    Scroll around the world
    Scroll if you want to
    Without wings without wheels.
    Scroll if you want to
    Scroll around the world
    Scroll if you want to
    With teleportation scrolling’s free

  13. We can scroll if we want to
    You can leave your files behind
    ‘Cause your files don’t scroll
    And if they don’t scroll, well they’re
    No files of mine

    Safe to scroll
    Is it safe to scroll?
    Safe to scroll
    Yes it’s safe to scroll
    The Safety Scroll

  14. I think Milton Rothman did an essay about powering starships with wormholes for Asimov’s back in 1980.

  15. 1) Dan Simmons’ Hyperion and Endymion novels include use of “farcasters” – essentially teleportation portals. They were ubiquitous enough that houses were built with each room on a different planet, the only way to get from planet to orbit, etc. When Bad Things Happen and the farcaster network is shut down it causes a tremendous amount of chaos, suffering and destruction – people stuck in one part of their house which is now scores of light years away from the rest of the house and their family. People on the 250th floor of a building which had portals instead of elevators or stairs. And so on.

    11) I find it amusing that the various subspecies of *puppies still believe there is any meaningful difference between them, or between *puppies and GamerGate, ComicsGate, etc. Internally to the *puppy ‘verse those distinctions may be meaningful, but from the POV of the rational world they are all one undifferentiated, congealed mass. If e.g. the JDAs of the world don’t want to be lumped in with the VDs of the world, it is up to them to meaningfully distinguish themselves. It is not up to non-bigots to put in the mental and emotional labor to try to distinguish subtle variations in patterns of bigots.

  16. particularly when it came to author and occasional BIC contributor Jon Del Arroz.

    Not a typo per se, but I think the original source meant “BS contributor“

    @Matthew Johnson, IanP applause! A scroll is born!

  17. 1) A few more teleportations cites:
    Theodore Sturgeon’s GRANNY WON’T KNIT
    Steven Gould’s JUMPER series (inc the movie made very-somewhat from the 1st vol; there’s apparently also a season or two of videos (? on YouTube?) of one of the later books)
    Lots of ‘porters in comic books, natch. E.g. Qubit, in Mark Waid’s IRREDEEMABLE (available collected in 10 trade paperbacks). Not to mention Marvel’s X-people Nightcrawler (“bamf!”), Jack Kirby’s New Gods’ Boom Tube tech…

  18. @Kip W: You can’t always scroll what you want…

    But sometimes you pixel what you need.

  19. @bookworm1398: is it necessary that teleportation require lots of energy? Most methods discussed appear to involve some sort of portaling rather than a scan-and-transmit as in Star Trek, which means the energy need could be trivial — cf @P J Evans’s comment about energy shuffling when a teleport involves an elevation change. Note that Niven had this being necessary for any change of vector, not just elevation, and thought the energy cost trivial enough that the momentum could simply be wasted in throwing around a huge floating mass rather than needing to be stored or coupled to other transmissions.

    @Paul Weimer: if that’s Peter Hamilton, I will be interested in your reaction; I’ve sort of gone off him after some particularly blatant sexism.

  20. @Daniel P Dern

    Illyana used to teleport via her realm in Limbo, especially popping into the hell dimension and then back out where she wanted to be.

  21. DexFarkin on September 24, 2018 at 12:46 pm said:

    Illyana used to teleport via her realm in Limbo, especially popping into the hell dimension and then back out where she wanted to be.

    Yeah, well that’s a pretty low bar 🙂

  22. @ Chip. Well, this is imaginary technology, but conceptually using basic physics principles, I would say that transporting a mass (starting from rest) from one place to another will take energy and the faster you transport it the more energy it will take. So if you are travelling 100X faster than a train, it should require at least 10x the energy (not 100x because you can avoid friction or reduce energy conversion loss.) But I can’t see how it would be less.
    Now suppose you are ‘folding’ space somehow so you are not passing through the intermediate distance. This is even more imaginary technology but isn’t it more logical to assume that something this complicated would require a ton of energy than to assume it would require little?
    In the history of mankind, more technological use has meant more energy use. A lot of sci-fi writers want to ignore that and pretend that their magitech device won’t have any energy cost so they don’t have to think about the economics of the device. But that’s simply not realistic. That’s why I drive to work instead of flying; its not because the technology for flying is not good enough, but because defying gravity is costs much more than staying on the ground and always will.
    Anyway, this item just reminded me of one of my pet peeves.

  23. bookworm1398 on September 24, 2018 at 2:22 pm said:

    @ Chip. Well, this is imaginary technology, but conceptually using basic physics principles, I would say that transporting a mass (starting from rest) from one place to another will take energy and the faster you transport it the more energy it will take. So if you are travelling 100X faster than a train, it should require at least 10x the energy (not 100x because you can avoid friction or reduce energy conversion loss.)

    This reminds me of the “runcible” teleporters used in Neil Asher’s Polity novels. The first novel concerns the investigation of the sabotage of a runcible’s energy buffer, which led to a person teleporting from one planet to another becoming a 30 megaton explosion at the receiving end. (Excerpt.)

  24. The use of portals in the video game particularly bugs me precisely because it follows an intuitive notion of physics and ignores what we know about real physics. In the real world, momentum is a vector quantity: it has not just size but direction, and you can’t just arbitrarily change that direction in the way that the video game wants you to. There’s this thing called the Law of Conservation of Momentum….

  25. @bookworm1398: Technology can also make leaps, or even steady progress, that reduce the energy-per-step requirement. Consider, if we used either of your rules, that the laptop on which I’m typing this would probably need all of the output of a respectable power station — if we do a vaguely-linear extrapolation from computers of some generations before. And I used “portaling” rather than “folding” deliberately; I grant that forcing proximity between two widely-separated points in space could require a huge amount of energy to distort 3-dimensional space — but if we’re going to posit teleportation at all, why not treat the cloth-folding demo of A Wrinkle in Time as, at best, a metaphor for stepping into and out of a higher-dimension space? (No, I’m not trying to make mathematical sense; I never got nearly that far in math.) cf Nourse’s The Universe Between, which explicitly involved (as it turned out) stepping into a space in which stepping out somewhere else in ~plain space was a matter more of orientation than of displacement.

  26. @David Goldfarb: ISTM that you’re assuming the portals should work as Niven posits, needing momentum eaters to balance 3D-space vector changes. (Note that he doesn’t say how Here and There get connected; I suspect he was just trying to show he’d scienced the s**t out of the idea.) I suppose this is vaguely plausible for Niven, since IIRC people simply stand on a platform and wind up elsewhere (on Earth — I forget how stepping disks are used). However, “–And He Built a Crooked House” argues that 4D space need not topologically match 3D space — Teal runs straight ahead through 4 rooms and winds up back where he was — so ISTM that anything that you step through, throw objects through, etc. could be declared to go through a fold such that the motion vectors in and out are matched wrt the portal rather than the origin.

  27. @Darren —

    This reminds me of the “runcible” teleporters used in Neil Asher’s Polity novels.

    Runcible? Seriously? Gee, now I really have to read those. 😉

    “They dined on mince and slices of quince,
    which they ate with a runcible spoon.”

  28. @Contrarius: That is one of the pieces of quote from Asher’s Polity that I recognise. Just bear in mind that The Polity is the grimy, dark relative of The Culture, and if that is contrary to what you are OK with, you are likely to bounce hard off them.

  29. @Ingvar —

    Nah, nah, I’m a survivor of Donaldson’s Gap series and Hawkins’s The Library at Mount Char, amongst others. I don’t tend to like outright horror, but grime and grim I can deal with. But thanks for the warning!

    (Incidentally, The Owl and the Pussycat was one of my favorite “books” when I was a kid. I had the thing memorized. 🙂 )

  30. The Polity isn’t horror–it is like if all the Culture novels followed Special Curcumstances. One of the enemy species is somewhat like the Affront, and the Protomolecule from The Expanse is more or less lifted straight from Jain nodes in the Polity books.

  31. Contrarius, I know The Owl And The Pussycat by heart, too. And Jabberwocky. In fact, I know tunes for both of them… (Jabberwocky scans to “Greensleeves”, but I know a distinct tune for it as well.)

  32. Contrarius, I found several dozen versions on You-Tube, NONE of which are the version I know. My best attempt at transcription follow, in the key of C because frankly that’s easiest for me to pick out on the online piano. I’m just giving the first verse and chorus; scansion in other verses requires putting a few extra syllables in, which are indicated by either parentheses, or, when I’ve broken a word with a hyphen like “to” written “to-o” or “they” written “the-ey”, it’s a glide across the two notes.

    4/4 time. Notes in lower case are eighth notes; note in upper case are quarter notes. Upper case in italics is a dotted half note.

    One beat (two eight note) pickup to beat 1. Measures are indicated by |, half-measures by / – match them up with the lyrics. (I put in half-measure to make it easier to match up).

    (oh) The | Owl and the / Pussy-cat | went to-o / sea in a |

    c d | E e e / E d e | F f g / G g f |

    beautiful / pea-green | boat, The-ey |

    e d C / D D | C c d |

    took some / honey, and | plenty of / money, wrapped |

    E E / E d e | F f g / G g f |

    up in a / five-pound | note. The |

    E d c / D D | C c g |

    Owl looked / up to the | stars a-a / bove, and (he) |

    A G / G c c | A g f / G g g |

    sang to a / small gu-i | tar, o-o |

    A g g / E d c | D c d |

    lovely / Pussy! O | Pussy, my / love, what a |

    E E / E d e | F f g / G g f |

    Beautiful / Pussy you | are, (pickup to next verse…)

    e d C / D d d | C ( c d )

  33. Wow, now that’s dedication! 🙂

    And now I’ll have to go waste some time over at Youtube…. 😉

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