Pixel Scroll 9/27/17 How Do You Get Down Off A Pixel? You Don’t, You Get Down Off A Scroll

(1) THUMBS UP. Good words: “Blade Runner 2049: The first reactions are in”.

“Good news!” tweeted Guardian scribe Jordan Hoffman. “Blade Runner 2049 is a terrific continuation and expansion of the orig[inal].”

Erik Davis from the movie site Fandango agreed, calling Denis Villeneuve’s film a “sci-fi masterpiece“.

“If you were worried, don’t be,” said Empire contributing editor Dan Jolin of the follow-up to Ridley Scott’s film.

(2) CONSPIRACY THEORY. The Wall Street Journal noticed a King Tut-like pattern among the companies shown in the original movie: “Science Affliction: Are Companies Cursed by Cameos in Blade Runner?” The story is behind a paywall, unfortunately.

The 1982 sci-fi classic is back with a splashy sequel but Atari, Pan Am, RCA and other companies featured in the futuristic original struggled in the real world

(3) SHAPE OF TREK TO COME. ScienceFiction.com points to the way: “‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Trailer Teases The Full Season”. BEWARE SPOILERS.

Given this somewhat unorthodox approach to their pilot, it’s only natural that they would want to give viewers a taste of what’s to come, a sense of what the show is actually going to be on a weekly basis, now that it’s underway. This is especially so given that CBS hopes to use ‘Discovery’ to drive interest in their streaming service, CBS All Access. To that end, the network has released a “what’s next?” trailer for the show’s first season


(4) UNBEARABLE. BBC review of “Goodbye Christopher Robin”, which “looks sweet on the surface, but is quite depressing – ‘a wolf in teddy bear clothing,’ writes Nicholas Barber.”

Goodbye Christopher Robin is a strange proposition. It’s a film that won’t attract many viewers who aren’t already fans of AA Milne’s classic Winnie-the-Pooh books, and yet its explicit purpose is to ensure that anyone who sees it will never enjoy those books in the same way again. Remember Saving Mr Banks? Remember how it suggested that PL Travers wrote Mary Poppins because she had an alcoholic father and a suicidal mother? Compared to Goodbye Christopher Robin, that was a feel-good treat for all the family.

(5) DEDICATED SPACE. The Marsh Collection covers both science fiction and Scientology: “SDSU Library Debuts New Science Fiction Room”.

The Edward E. Marsh Golden Age of Science Fiction Room will open on Thursday, Sept. 28, giving San Diego State University and the local community access to one of the most comprehensive collections of science fiction in the United States. The opening celebration begins at 2 p.m. on the first floor of the Love Library on the SDSU campus. Eventually, the Marsh Room will serve as the main point of contact between the community and SDSU’s Special Collections and University Archives, which is home to Marsh’s collection.

Marsh, who attended SDSU in the 1960s, spent 30 years assembling his $2.25 million collection of signed and inscribed first editions by science fiction greats, including Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. Included are the fiction and non-fiction writing of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology. Marsh gifted the entire collection to SDSU in 2013.

Donald Westbrook, who received a Ph.D. in religious studies from Claremont Graduate University in 2015, called the collection “a preeminent resource for scientology studies [which] continues to receive fuller academic attention as one of many American-born new religious movements.” His book about the Church of Scientology is due out next year from Oxford University Press.

Living history

The Marsh collection is a recent addition to SDSU’s Special Collections, a repository for more than 80,000 printed volumes, over 500 manuscript and archival collections, 800 linear feet of university records, plus numerous graphic and digital collections and ephemera.

[Gale Etschmaier, dean of the Library and Information Access] said relocating Special Collections to the library space in and around the Marsh Room will strengthen SDSU’s role as a source of “living history”—the documents, photos, letters, newspaper clippings and oral accounts that enable researchers to understand the past through their own critical senses rather than through another’s interpretation.

(6) MORE WOMEN ACCUSE KNOWLES. Indiewire reports that in the wake of allegations against the Ain’t It Cool News founder, more women have stepped forward with stories about their experiences: “Four More Women Accuse Harry Knowles of Sexual Assault and Harassment”.

Another film writer, who goes by the online handle “sick__66” and wishes to stay otherwise anonymous, alleges that as recently as this May, Knowles harassed her on Twitter. The Miami resident, 23, was first approached by Knowles online in April, after he followed her on the social media platform and reached out via Twitter direct messages. The two have never met in person.

Over the course of a month, the pair shared a friendly conversation over direct messages about film history, with Knowles frequently sharing stories of his career and connections. (IndieWire reviewed the full history of these messages.) In the messages, Knowles writes frequently about things he’s done over the course of his work, name-dropping such celebrities as Kevin Smith, Peter Jackson, and Guillermo del Toro. (At one point, he sent “sick__66” a link to his wedding invite video, noting that it was directed by Jackson.)

After a month of communicating, Knowles asked “sick__66” to come to Austin, to which she did not respond, deeming the interaction “creepy.” …

(7) WORKAROUNDS NEEDED. Jason Sanford asks “What happens to storytelling when the audience knows everything?” Stories of a certain type become harder to set up, though others must surely be easier to tell – what would they be?

We’re already seeing major changes in society from people having access to information through mobile devices. Paper maps and guides, which existed for thousands of years, are nearly extinct in some countries as people use their phones and GPS to navigate. Printed encyclopedias and dictionaries have also mostly disappeared, replaced by Wikipedia and other online resources. And social movements like the Arab Spring owed much of their power to the instantaneous sending of information between people by social media.

Those are merely the start of the changes we’ll see when every human has instant access to any information they desire. And one intriguing question I’ve been pondering is what this continual access to information will do to storytelling.

Here’s the issue: the vast majority of stories deal with an information gap between that story’s characters. This gap between what is known and not known by different characters helps create a story’s drama.

For example, in Romeo and Juliet a main character commits suicide because he believes his lover is dead. But what happens to that story when the characters can instantly find out they’re both alive?

Or what about Liam Neeson’s film Taken, where a father hunts for the people who kidnapped his daughter? What happens to that story when the father can instantly know the address where his daughter is being kept? Or his daughter can access an online database to learn of her kidnapper’s true nature when she first meets him?

(8) WRITTEN IN STONE. In “Did Ron Howard tweet out a Han Solo clue through Ralph McQuarrie’s art?”, SyFy Wire explains how the clue was solved and speculates about what it means for the Han Solo film.

Less than two hours later, one fan with an eagle eye named Paul Bateman recognized this carving and distressed ruin to be the language seen on a piece by the late Star Wars conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie, who inspired the aesthetic for what we all visualize as the world of Star Wars. Bateman, also a concept designer and art director, called McQuarrie one of his friends.

(9) BOARDING PARTY. News From ME’s Mark Evanier had a bad experience with an airline – not so unusual – but received a surprisingly frank answer when he complained, as he explains in “Fright Attendants” and “Fright Attendants: Part 2”.

What occurred is kind of difficult to explain but basically, one employee of the airline — a lady at the gate — told me something. A second employee — a flight attendant — told me something different during the boarding process. I said, “That’s not what I was told” and I repeated what the lady at the gate had told me and I even gave her name. The attendant accused me of…well, basically lying about her telling me that. “That’s contrary to our policies, sir,” she said. “No one would tell you that.” My traveling companion backed me up strongly and she was accused of being rude and suddenly this flight attendant was announcing that she had the power to have us both removed from the flight.

…The Customer Relations lady was totally with me and clearly frustrated. She said — and this is a quote — “When I fly now, I just do whatever they say, even when I know it’s wrong because you never know what’s going to set some of them off. If they somehow get it into their heads that you’re a threat to the flight, you’re in for a lot of trouble.”

This is a woman who works for this airline. She is in a position to receive and deal with complaints about flight attendants who misbehave. And she is afraid of the occasional flight attendant on that airline. She also told me that recently, they had two incidents where flight attendants ejected pilots’ wives.

Rhetorical Question: If you were a pilot and they thought maybe your wife was a threat to the safety of the flight, what does that say about you?

(10) ON WRY. Anatoly Belilovsky entertains with “Dear Editor” at the SFWA Blog. The story doesn’t lend itself to an excerpt, but his bio does —

Anatoly Belilovsky was born in a city that went through six or seven owners in the last century, all of whom used it to do a lot more than drive to church on Sundays; he is old enough to remember tanks rolling through it on their way to Czechoslovakia in 1968. After being traded to the US for a shipload of grain and a defector to be named later (courtesy of the Jackson-Vanik amendment), he learned English from Star Trek reruns and went on to become a pediatrician in an area of New York where English is only the fourth most commonly used language. He has neither cats nor dogs, but was admitted into SFWA in spite of this deficiency…


  • September 27, 1967  — My Mother, The Car begins to air in France. Unlike Jerry Lewis, the French did not find any deep, previously unappreciated cultural significance in this export.
  • September 27, 1979 — Buck Rogers in the 25th Century began its regular episodic run (after the telefilm) with a show titled “Planet of the Slave Girls.”
  • September 27, 1985The Twilight Zone returns to television with brand new episodes.

(12) ON THE ROAD AGAIN. Our literary cartographer, Camestros Felapton, discusses how the territory and the story interact in “The Plot Elements of Fantasy Maps”.

There is a new good article on fantasy maps at The Map Room Blog: http://www.maproomblog.com/2017/09/the-territory-is-not-the-map/ The point being that much of the discussion of fantasy maps is not the map as such but rather the implausible territories that they depict. Fair point. However, I wanted to loop back to the post I made on the simplified Middle Earth map. A successful fantasy geography requires the terrain to shape the story and The Lord of the Rings does this well. It matters to the story whether the characters are in forests or towns/villages or mountains.

Roads, paths trails

These imply places where the story covers a greater distance. Travel is either uneventful or involves encounters with others. Leaving the path implies not only danger but a shift from the main objective. They are also (random encounters aside) boring but may also imply more personal conversation between characters. Outside of fantasy, a road trip has its own conventions and expectation of bonding between travellers.

(13) DISH SERVED COLD. “Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Radio Telescope Suffers Hurricane Damage”, but not as much as first believed.

When Hurricane Maria raked Puerto Rico last week as a Category 4 storm, it cut off electricity and communications island-wide, including at the Arecibo Observatory, one of the world’s largest radio telescopes.

Initial reports, received via ham radio, indicated significant damage to some of the facility’s scientific instruments. But Nicholas White, a senior vice president at the Universities Space Research Association, which helps run the observatory, tells NPR that the latest information is that a secondary 40-foot dish, thought destroyed, is still intact: “There was some damage to it, but not a lot,” he says.

“So far, the only damage that’s confirmed is that one of the line feeds on the antenna for one of the radar systems was lost,” White says. That part was suspended high above the telescope’s main 1,000-foot dish, which lost some panels when it shook loose and fell down.

(14) UNUSUAL ANIMATION. NPR says “‘Loving Vincent’ Paints Van Gogh Into A Murder Mystery”. It would be hard to pay homage to Vincent Van Gogh with more fervor or devotion than filmmakers Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman bring to Loving Vincent, in which they’ve not only created thousands of new oil paintings in his style, but also made him the subject of a murder-mystery.

It begins in 1891, a year after Van Gogh died, when a postman discovers an undelivered letter the artist wrote to his brother Theo, and sends his very reluctant, very drunk son to deliver it — a task that will prove difficult. The postman’s son discovers that Theo died soon after Vincent did, and then tries to find others who knew him, realizing as he goes that the death that was said to be a suicide, may not have been so cut and dried.

All of this is about what you’d expect of a film — in this case an animated film — that means to make a mystery of Van Gogh’s suicide. But if you’re picturing “animation” in the Disney-drawn or Pixar-computerized senses of the word, you’ll need to think again. In Loving Vincent, it’s as if the paint has leapt directly from Van Gogh’s canvases to the screen, and then started moving.

(15) TROLLING FOR DOLLARS. Intellectual judo, using science against itself! “Rapper B.o.B. raising funds to check if Earth is flat”. But you know that check is going to bounce.

Spoiler: The Earth is not flat.

But US rapper B.o.B. is crowd-funding the launch of satellites to see if he can get some evidence to the contrary.

The rapper, whose real name is Bobby Ray Simmons Jr, has been a vocal proponent of the Flat Earth theory – the claim the Earth is, in fact, a disc and not spherical.

Some proponents of the Flat Earth theory claim NASA employees guard the edge of the world to prevent people falling off.

(16) THINGS THAT GO BUMP. Developing driverless cars based on traffic in India: “Could India’s crowded roads help us create better cars?”

“In 60 seconds you have to consider 70 options,” says my rickshaw driver Raju, leaning over his shoulder as we weave through traffic. We’re navigating the infamous congested streets of Bangalore, and he’s explaining the rules of the road.

Having lived in India for two-and-a-half years, I get what he means. Not an inch of the road is wasted – if there’s a gap, a scooter will fill it. Vehicles travel bumper to bumper. Overtaking is attempted as frequently as possible. Indicators and wing mirrors are optional extras. Most drivers seem to rely on the incessant honking of nearby vehicles – almost a form of echolocation.

But there is method to the madness. Drivers deftly navigate around manoeuvres that would lead to accidents in the UK, and offenders rarely elicit more than a mutter. They’ve adapted to predictable unpredictability.

(17) A BATTERY OF TESTS. “Why switching to fully electric cars will take time” – the BBC has the story.

…Other companies, including Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover and Honda have made similar pledges.

These are undoubtedly ambitious plans – but it is important to recognise their limitations.

They are not saying they will get rid of diesel or petrol cars completely. They are simply promising to make electrified versions of them available.

It is also important to recognise what “electrified” actually means.

It can, of course, refer to fully electric battery powered vehicles. But it can also be used to describe hybrids – and hybrids come in many forms

(18) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Don’t Say Velcro” is a pretty wild musical in which Velcro® protects its trademark!

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Edd Vick, Keith Kato, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Cat Eldridge, and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]

66 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/27/17 How Do You Get Down Off A Pixel? You Don’t, You Get Down Off A Scroll

  1. The place where they imprisoned Tom Paris definitely was a labour camp, cause that was a large part of what infuriated me. I do remember that the same actor was in that episode with Wesley Crusher at the Academy and always assumed he was the same character, though it’s telling that I don’t remember what he did or was supposed to have done, since it clearly wasn’t a big deal to me.

    I also wouldn’t mind the Federation having a harsh justice system and slave labour camps, if it wasn’t billed as a wonderful utopia. But the fact that the Federation is billed as an utopia, even though it clearly treats prisoners awfully, and that hardly anybody ever criticises that aspect (if anything, they criticise that the Federation seems to be some kind of post-capitalist and post-scarcity socialist system) tells you that this particular horribleness of the Federation is invisible to many Star Trek fans.

    Coincidentally, prisoners abuse is also an issue I feel very strongly about (I’ve been trying to write an SF prison break story for months now, but cannot, because it upsets me too much), so of course this is an aspect about the Federation that will set me off. Though come to think of it, there were many moments where I hated the Federation that had nothing to do with prisoner rights to the point that I wonder why it’s considered a utopia at all.

  2. Let’s not forget that Kirk was not court-martialed for abandoning a bunch of people- including a crew member- on an undeveloped world. And then there’s the comments Kirk makes about mental care before Van Gelder…

    But Next Generation especially had a weird, even creepy attitude toward psychology and social sciences. It’s one reason why I think it’s less progressive then people portray it as..

  3. @Cora

    Coincidentally, prisoners abuse is also an issue I feel very strongly about (I’ve been trying to write an SF prison break story for months now, but cannot, because it upsets me too much), so of course this is an aspect about the Federation that will set me off.

    Have you read Barry Longyear’s “The Castle of If”? it’s an SF prison break story that I remember as being very good.

    It’s interesting that Starfleet officers keep running into societies with worse prison systems than the Federation (Chief O’Brien runs into a particularly bad one in DS9).

  4. I guess its the “Tough Stand” that is also known from comics (the actions of most heroes wouldnt be deemed ethical if they happen in real life). Maybe thats why its overlooked. Its part of “Fantasy Land”. Or maybe nobody cares. Its not a deal breaker for me, but it weird.
    And since I studied education their view of schools (and psychology as noted) is off as well. I guess the more you know, the easier you spot flaws.

  5. @Cora: When I … read about the IMO overly harsh sentence given to a certain character, my initial thought was, “Okay, my suspicions have been confirmed. This is not Star Trek, but some overly grimdark new Battlestar Galactica wannabe. Because the Federation is supposed to be an enlightened egalitarian utopia and would never pass such an excessive sentence.”

    Wow. Well, that’s an opinion. I can’t say it’s an uninformed opinion because I don’t know how detailed a recap you read, but… it’s not the impression I got at all (apart from the visual thing Peer Sylvester mentioned, but I took that as a directorial decision to make the lighting look dramatic— not the writers saying that defendants literally aren’t allowed to see any faces in the court).

    This character has done extremely wrong things with extremely destructive consequences. She thought they were good ideas at first (and that was probably the least convincing part of the show for me; they did at least try to give her some personal reasons for thinking that, but still, Sarek, WTF?!)… but by the end she no longer does, to the extent that she describes herself as “the enemy.” And she wasn’t a random citizen but someone in a major position of authority, in charge of huge dangerous resources, who violently abused that power in a situation where she was standing in for the entire human race and all of its allies. If an institution like Starfleet can ever exist (and I realize that there have been arguments about whether Starfleet really makes sense for as long as there’s been Star Trek) then this kind of thing must never be allowed to happen, and if it does happen then the human race has to distance itself from that person in the strongest possible way.

    They’re not being “grimdark” by concluding that Starfleet would impose a harsh sentence; they’re taking a major character’s serious crimes seriously. It may be natural to see a final scene like that and read it as “protagonist is unjustly beaten down by the system” because we’ve seen so much fiction that starts out that way, but this isn’t that; Burnham did exactly what she’s convicted of, and she agrees with the court about how bad it was.

  6. Wait, wait! “This character has done extremely wrong things with extremely destructive consequences.”
    What she did was to try to shoot at the enemy (which didnt work) and nerve-pinch her superior. And neither because of evil intend, but because she genuine thought that would save the ship. She didnt kill anybody and she didnt help the enemy. So if that would be “our world” you would probably look at an honorable dicharge and 5 years tops. Not Life. A Life-sentence is incredible harsh and how would you top it for killers or traitors? And what does it mean for minor offences? Would you get 10 years for calling your superior a *beep*?
    This sentence shows that its a military society through and through, that does not believe in rehabilitation (hence “Life”) or “minor” offenses – everything is major here!

    That Burnham sees that way is bad enough – depression is no sign for guilt. I would also say in her favour that her captain went on a dangerous mission with her *after* the incident, which should proof that the victim measures things different then the federation.

    Now again: I love Star Trek and I liked Discovery and I do give the writers the benefit of the doubt, thinking it was more a decision for dramatic reasons. But I thought they overshot their target here by a mile.

  7. I think lots of things in the episode(s) were unclearly written, and that includes the chain of cause and effect in the war. But I think the way the characters see it, and the way the audience is meant to see it, is that a high-ranking military officer went rogue and ordered a preemptive attack (and assaulted a superior specifically in order to get a chance to do that). And not just any attack, but one that would be virtually guaranteed to restart a war that we’d been trying to avoid. Which then did happen, even though her specific plan was interrupted. It’s not hard to argue that her actions, by forcing the crew to focus on stopping this one officer, blocked any possible attempt to salvage the situation (like, by just leaving)… plus, unrealistic though it may be, we’ve been told on the show that another ship can detect when you’ve locked weapons on it, so from the Klingon point of view Starfleet was actively preparing an attack. And since she had seized control of the sole Federation ship on the scene, to any observer it would have seemed that the Federation’s policy is now an aggressive one of firing upon Klingons without warning.

    I’m the furthest thing from a strict law-and-order type, but if you’re going to put these massive destructive capabilities in the hands of people with some kind of command structure, I don’t see how something like this could be regarded as anything less than the most serious crime, or mitigated by “good” intentions; you might as well say that a police officer who plans to shoot a suspect and plant a gun on them should be forgiven if the officer sincerely believes that everyone in that neighborhood is dangerous (and if the officer’s plot failed so that it’s only attempted murder). It’s not about whether you can somehow “top that” for murder or treason. It’s saying that a violent abuse of authority by people who should know better is in a different way as dangerous to society as murder or treason.

    As for how any military on present-day Earth would handle a situation like that, I have no relevant experience (and am having trouble imagining what “a situation like that” would even be in the real world), but… “honorable discharge and 5 years tops”?????

  8. Back when I actually took a law course, the textbook had, as an example of why context is important, three different cases where the charge was ‘military guard caught asleep on duty’. Operating on my (admittedly possibly wrong) recollection:

    Case 1: guard on duty falls asleep while sitting at the gate to the training camp, and is caught by his immediate superior officer. Punishment is basically kitchen duty and being confined to barracks for a few days.

    Case 2: guard on duty falls asleep at a ceremonial guard position during a VIP visit and is spotted by the press. Punishment involves demotion and docking of pay, as well as black marks on the record that ensure never getting a public position like that again.

    Case 3: guard on duty falls asleep in a war zone and allows the enemy a sneak attack. Guard got shot by his own commanding officer.

  9. @Andrew

    Have you read Barry Longyear’s “The Castle of If”? it’s an SF prison break story that I remember as being very good.

    It’s interesting that Starfleet officers keep running into societies with worse prison systems than the Federation (Chief O’Brien runs into a particularly bad one in DS9).

    Thanks for the rec. Will have to check this out, especially since I liked what little I have read by Barry Longyear a lot.

    It’s true that I haven’t seen Star Trek Discovery yet, but I have read a lot of reviews and detailed recaps.

    Also, as I mentioned before, Peer and I come from a country where “life sentence” means 15 to 20 years. Even the Red Army Fraction terrorists were released after approx. 25 to 30 years. In order for a life sentence to actually mean locked up for life, you truly have to be Hannibal Lector, someone who continues to pose a danger to society even umpteen years later. And whatever Michael Burnham is, she’s not Hannibal Lector or even Rösner and Degowski, the Gladbeck hostage takers, who are still in prison almost thirty years after their crime.

    As for military misconduct, it’s difficult to say how courts would react because we haven’t had anything on this scale in a democratic Germany. Though police officers are generally aquitted for shootings or other actions that are dubious to clearly wrongful (which happens approx. every 10 years or so, i.e. it’s rare).

    Coincidentally, there is a play called “Terror” by writer Ferdinand von Schirach. The scenario is that a civilian passenger plane is hijacked and it is believed that terrorists intend to plunge the plane into a stadium that is full of people due to a major sports event. An air force officer shoots down the plane, killing everybody on board, and is put on trial. The play is basically a courtroom drama with the audience serving as the jury. At the end, the audience is asked to cast a ballot “guilty” or “not guilty”. German and other western audiences almost always aquit the air force officer, while Japanese audiences almost always vote for guilty.

    Here is a review for a US performance I found (though it altered many of the details): https://culturevulture.net/theater/terror-play-ferdinand-von-schirach/ Unfortunately, it does not say how the audience voted.

  10. 12) You left out one major environment: deserts. In a travel narrative, deserts have all kinds of meaning: a barrier forcing groups to travel in caravans, an uncaring, lethal test of endurance for people lost in them, where the most basic necessity water is scarce, and the sun is a merciless foe. Not to mention the triumph and mystery of time: think of the symbolism of a once populous and powerful kingdom, reduced to a few scattered ruins.

  11. Regarding Michael Burnham, based on what I’ve read, she is a deeply traumatised young woman who should probably have never been accepted into Starfleet in the first place, at least not without extensive therapy. Though considering that it seems no one expected to see the Klingons again anytime soon, Starfleet might be excused for accepting and promoting an officer with obvious Klingon issues.

  12. As for how any military on present-day Earth would handle a situation like that, I have no relevant experience (and am having trouble imagining what “a situation like that” would even be in the real world), but… “honorable discharge and 5 years tops”?????

    Sorry meant to write “dishonourable” Too many dis…
    In the end she commited assault. I dont know the US laws, but it would be a minor assault even, because she didnt use a weapon and she didnt do any more lasting damage. So in non-military courts its a minor assault and that has maximum 3 years here. So I actually topped it off.
    I justrchecked out this list: https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwj6xfLrr8zWAhUG1xoKHZ9IAUsQFgglMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FCategory%3APrisoners_sentenced_to_life_imprisonment_by_the_United_States_military&usg=AOvVaw03cFSTeecXOCc6-t5YwOtv
    And all of them are either war criminals, murderers or terrorists. You dont get Life for mutinity.
    Technically there was no war yet, when Barnham commited her crime, so it shouldnt be a war trial. But we know from “The Drumhead” that military tribunals in Star Trek Land are quite common.

  13. Rose Embolism on September 29, 2017 at 9:32 pm said:

    12) You left out one major environment: deserts.

    Good point – the focus with that one was Tolkienesque environments but I drifted a little. I guess Mordor counts as a desert.

    I’ll add it to the list because I’ve still got lakes and swamps as well (not to mention built environments).

  14. I think Mordor’s more of a wasteland than a desert. Parts of it lean toward arid, but it’s more a land ruined by misuse, bad magic and a crapton of volcanic ash than by a natural climate.

    In the next age, it’ll be perfect land for growing potatoes.

  15. @Cora: Thanks for the rec. Will have to check this out, especially since I liked what little I have read by Barry Longyear a lot.

    It’s in “It Came from Schenectady” http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?18781 along with several other stories of his that I like (I read most of the stories when they were originally published in Asimovs in the early 80s).

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