Snapshots 82 Chicon IV

Here are 10 developments of interest to fans:

(1) A series of satirical movie posters answers the question — What If The Hunger Games Was Made By Famous Directors?

(In the Peter Jackson version, Orlando Bloom plays Katniss Everdeen…)

(2) Joseph Bentz’ new blog tells Why I Don’t Watch Movies Based On Books I Care About:

I have never seen The Lord of the Rings movies and probably never will. Whenever I have mentioned this to anyone, the most common response is, “But they’re so good.”

The fact that they’re good makes me want to see them even less.

Bentz worries that a movie will displace the memories of what he imagined while reading the text.

I understand that. For example, it’s impossible for me to reread Starship Troopers without first clearing my mind of the movie version’s ridiculous battle scenes of soldiers fighting in massed ranks like the troops at Waterloo.

(3) Remember:

Don’t judge a book by its cover, unless you think the cover is awesome.

Mark Titus, author of Don’t Put Me In Coach

(4) Shouldn’t Jack Kirby have made a lot more money off the work he did for Marvel? That’s why Alex Pappademas is troubled by a guilty conscience as he waits to interview Stan Lee, in “On the (surprisingly complicated) legacy of Stan Lee” posted at Grantland

I’m sitting in a hotel conference room waiting for Stan Lee. Outside, in the spring haze, other reporters and invited guests are enjoying what I’m sure is a really nice luncheon. Not me, man. I feel guilty about covering a Stan-centric meet-and-greet and contributing to the celebration of Stan as the lovable grandpa of the Marvel Universe, and so I’m taking a stand. Waiters come by my table with perfectly formed olives on little silver spoons and I say no thank you. Is anybody bringing Jack Kirby’s heirs perfectly formed olives on little silver spoons? I am reasonably sure that no one is.

(5) Imagine Harlan Ellison writing a comic book about a roller-skating, disco singer! Or don’t, because Marvel never offered him the job, certain Harlan wouldn’t accept their ridiculous terms. Jim Shooter takes you inside “The Debut of the Dazzler”

(6) A paralyzed woman wearing a bionic suit ran a marathon and David Klaus observes, “The technology isn’t yet at the level of Martin Caidin’s Steve Austin/The Six Million Dollar Man, but it shows how much progress we’ve made toward that. As someone who has worked in stroke/traumatic brain injury rehab and spinal/orthopedic rehab wards, this is literally a great stride forward.”

So how exactly was a woman paralyzed from the chest down able to finish a 26.2-mile race? Enter the ReWalk (see photo), a bionic suit invented by Israeli entrepreneur Amit Goffer. The suit functions as an exoskeleton of sorts and allows paraplegics to stand, walk and even climb stairs.

Wearers strap the suit to their legs and waist, use crutches for balance and don a four-pound backpack battery that powers the ReWalk. Buttons on the suit’s wrist straps allow the wearer to indicate whether they plan to stand, walk or climb stairs. Then motion sensors and an in-suit computer system combine to detect movements and weight shifts.

(7) Designed by nature as the appetizer course at caveman banquets, this undersized mammoth once roamed Crete:

Scientists can now add a ‘dwarf mammoth’ to the list of biological oxymorons that includes the jumbo shrimp and pygmy whale. Studies of fossils discovered last year on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea reveal that an extinct species once thought to be a diminutive elephant was actually the smallest mammoth known to have existed — which, as an adult, stood no taller than a modern newborn elephant.

(8) Here’s the real reason they are called “thunder lizards”

In a major new climate finding, researchers have calculated that dinosaur flatulence could have put enough methane into the atmosphere to warm the planet during the hot, wet Mesozoic era…

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, with as much as 25 times the climate-warming potential as carbon dioxide….

(9) Hunter S. Thompson was surprised that his account of the Kentucky Derby, an early foray into gonzo journalism, didn’t get him fired – and even more surprised when other writers praised the article. He told an interviewer:

It was like falling down an elevator shaft and landing in a pool full of mermaids.

(10) Now this is faannish! While in Seattle for a convention Tom Becker joined the throngs installing a totem pole near the Science Fiction Museum. Tom tells about it in Science Fiction/San Francisco #128 [PDF file]:

The totem pole… is in honor of John T. Williams, who was killed by a police officer because he was carrying a tool of his trade, a carving knife. The shooting was ruled unjustified. As part of a healing process, the city contributed space for working on a totem pole. Local tribes contributed their labor and donated the pole to the city ( And so the first totem pole went up in Seattle in over 100 years. And I’m proud to say I helped to raise it. That was me on one of the ropes, right behind Jerry Kaufman.

[Thanks for these links goes out to David Klaus and Joseph Bentz.]

4 thoughts on “Snapshots 82 Chicon IV

  1. Mike: “The throngs installed a totem poll?” What did they do, hang around the museum all day and count ballots all day? Were they being enlisted for Hugo election duty? Or were they hoping to install a totem POLE? Martin

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