Right after the Fourth of July might not be when I shop for Christmas ornaments, but somebody does, because that’s when Hallmark runs its Keepsake Ornament Premiere.
If the timing is for the convenience of retailers, there is also a certain logic in picking a spot on the calendar that is as far away as you can get from a date associated with Christmas trees. It’s plain some of these ornaments are intended for a Halloween or Thanksgiving tree, while others probably are destined never to decorate a tree at all but to remain pristine in their original wrapping on collectors’ shelves.
Although this first one has nothing to do with the Christmas season other than that’s when four of the Harry Potter movies came out, if you believe there’s an omniscient Santa Claus who knows when you’ve been bad or good, then this might work for you, too:
“There’s nothing hidden in your head the Sorting Hat can’t see…” Relive the Sorting Ceremony, one of the most eagerly anticipated traditions for first-year students at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This Christmas tree ornament features the famous Hogwarts Sorting Hat, which moves and says lines about each house: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff (battery-operated).
And Hallmark also caters to a sort of counter-Christmas clientele with these next two items.
Be sure to give Old Man Parker’s “major award” a glorious spot on the tree this year! With its lampshade fringe and fishnet stockings, this premium porcelain Christmas tree ornament will have you reminiscing about the hit holiday movie “A Christmas Story” all season long. Year dated 2021.
Spread the spirit of Halloween Town to even the smallest of Christmas trees with this miniature ornament. The stylized design features Sally holding one of her potion ingredient jars. For a spooktacular display, pair it with our coordinating Lil’ Jack and Lil’ Oogie Boogie mini ornaments (each sold separately).
Then, if you call yours a Halloween or Thanksgiving tree, Hallmark has you covered.
Make it a Halloween of legendary proportions when you display this cute ornament! The diorama-style jack-o’-lantern design features an adorable Bigfoot creature with its iconic pose wandering in front of a moonlit forest.
Yes, it’s hard to imagine a more sacred holiday memory than this —
Relive one of the most hilarious moments from “Friends” when you display this Christmas tree ornament. In an effort to cheer up Chandler, Monica wears a turkey on her head—complete with a fez and sunglasses. When you press the button to play the audio clip from the show, you’re sure to proclaim your love…just as Chandler did on that fateful Thanksgiving Day.
But it’s a complete mystery what occasion Hallmark thinks people are celebrating when they buy creeptastic ornaments like these two:
After her sister’s demise, the Wicked Witch of the West harbored villainous hope for getting her hands on the Ruby Slippers. Relive the climactic scene inside her castle as the Wicked Witch of the West demands that a frightened Dorothy turn over the enchanted footwear. Fans of the classic movie “The Wizard of Oz” will love adding this Christmas tree ornament to their collection.
And I think the most suitable tree for decorating with the next ornament would be something like Old Man Willow, who tried to turn the hobbits into mulch.
Considered one of the most powerful Disney villains, the dark and sinister Chernabog first reared its wicked head in the classic 1940 film “Fantasia.” Pay tribute to good versus evil with this striking likeness of the menacing character ferociously emerging from Bald Mountain with his giant wings extended. Insert the bulb of a standard miniature light string through the rubber grommet on the ornament to create a special lighting effect.
Otherwise there are literally dozens of Keepsake Ornaments that commemorate popular movies and TV shows.
If they’re serious about selling these, quit fooling around, call him “Baby Yoda.”
The legend continues with The Child named Grogu (often called “Baby Yoda” by fans) from the Disney+ original series The Mandalorian. This Christmas tree ornament features the mysterious Force-sensitive alien playing with a shifter knob—from Din Djarin’s ship, The Razor Crest—as he sits atop a Stormtrooper helmet from remnants of the Galactic Empire.
Ordinarily, when I see a robot it’s not my first response that “He needs a few square meals under his belt” like I do with this one:
Loyal to the Rebel Alliance, K-2SO carried the markings of his former programming as an Imperial security droid, allowing him to effectively infiltrate Imperial installations and outposts. Rebellion hero Cassian Andor undertook the difficult task of reformatting K-2SO’s personality, leaving him with a blunt disposition that cemented his place as a favorite character. Fans of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will love displaying this metal Christmas tree ornament of the versatile droid.
There are quite a few sci-fi TV shows with ornaments. There’s even an entire series of alternate-universe crew from Star Trek: TOS’ “Mirror, Mirror” episode, including the iconic Spock.
A striking departure from his prime-universe self, Spock’s discipline toward logic and science not only made him an inscrutable presence aboard the I.S.S. Enterprise but also led him to discern Captain Kirk’s most dangerous secret. Plug the ornament into Hallmark’s Keepsake Power Cord (sold separately) for constant illumination, then press the button to start a sound and light show based on the classic original Star Trek series episode “Mirror, Mirror.” Connect all of the Star Trek Storytellers ornaments—Captain James T. Kirk, Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, First Officer Spock and Ensign Pavel Chekov—and the U.S.S. Enterprise Tree Topper (each sold separately) to unlock additional interactive performances.
Likewise, many movies and other characters. I think it’s the inclusion of the comic book that I like best about this one.
Eighty years ago, “Man’s World” changed forever with the first appearance of Wonder Woman. This Christmas tree ornament celebrates the legacy of one of DC Comics’ most powerful and beloved Super Heroes—a steadfast symbol of truth, justice and equality—alongside cover art from the Wonder Woman No. 1 comic book.
Want to bet there are a couple of Filers who will soon own this item?
Originally constructed from a single enchanted stone in the shape of a giant Power Skull, Castle Grayskull protects the hidden power of the Universe and the secrets of Eternia. He-Man and his foes struggle to hold the mysterious, timeless powers of the mighty fortress. This Christmas tree ornament is a nostalgic tribute to “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” for fans of all ages.
In the end I admit that this ornament, which relates to no holiday and needs no tree to justify its existence, affords me so much amusement that if I’m not careful I’ll wind up owning it.
He’s not Sheldon Cooper, he’s The Flash! Relive the hilarious events as the gang dresses up like the Justice League of America for a New Year’s Eve costume party with this Christmas tree ornament. Press the button to play some of Sheldon’s phrases from that unforgettable episode of “The Big Bang Theory” (battery-operated).
Taylor Swift, whose cat Bombalurina is shown reclining and enjoying Catnip in the footage, announced the trailer had dropped Thursday — a day before it was scheduled to be released.
“I’m a cat now and somehow that was everything #Catsmovie” Swift tweeted.
Directed by Tom Hooper, the first trailer introduces a major cast which includes Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy, Idris Elba as Macavity and James Corden as Bustopher Jones.
The ceremony inducting Batman into the Comic-Con Museum Hall of Fame — the first fictional character to be awarded the honor — was the crowning moment of “The Gathering,” a special celebration that doubled as a preview of The Batman Experience, a pop-up exhibit in the Balboa Park location that will eventually become the physical home of the Comic-Con Museum running during this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and a fundraiser for the Museum.
Both “The Gathering” and The Batman Experience are part of DC and Warner Bros.’ wider celebration of the 80th anniversary of the release of Detective Comics No. 27, which introduced Batman to the world, a yearlong event that has already included events at South by Southwest and a USO tour featuring DC’s Lee and Batman comic book writer Tom King.
(6) PITTING HIMSELF AGAINST THE CHALLENGE. The second Ad
Astra trailer has dropped. Comes to theaters September 20.
Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.
What other authors wrote books with thematic similarities to the books of Andre Norton? Too bad that no one has ever asked me that question. Let’s pretend that someone has asked. Here are five suggestions.
“One of the main things that stands out about Kyoto Animation is the quality of the animation itself,” said Ian Wolf, an anime critic for Anime UK News. “It’s very viewer-friendly.”
The distinctive visual style and level of polish leads to a look that is instantly recognisable, Wolf said.
“The studio makes very little in the way that is controversial… little that is violent or sexual. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to attack it.”
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born July 18, 1911 — Hume Cronyn. Way back in the Forties, his first genre role was as Gerard in The Phantom of The Opera. Since then he’s appeared in such well-known films as Cocoon, Cocoon Returns and BatteriesNot Included along with the more obscure outing of Richard Burton’s Hamlet. (Died 2003.)
Born July 18, 1933 — Sydney Jay Mead. Industrial designer and concept artist, best known for his designs for Aliens, Blade Runner and Tron. Mead once said in Borrowing an idea from Los Angeles (NYT 20 July 2011) that “I’ve called science fiction ‘reality ahead of schedule.’” An eight-minute film on him, “2019: A Future Imagined” can be seen here.
Born July 18, 1938 — Paul Verhoeven, 81. Direction, screenwriter and producer. Responsible for RoboCop , Total Recall, Starship Troopers and the creepy Hollow Man. Mind this is the man who also did Basic Instinct and Showgirls.
Born July 18, 1943 — Charles Waugh,76. Anthologist and author, whose anthology work up to 2013 numbered over two hundred titles (!), mostly done with Martin H. Greenberg but a handful done with other co-editors as Greenberg died in 2011. Name a subject and there’s likely an anthology on that subject that he had a hand in. I have not read, nor do I have the very least desire, to read his two novels with Deepak Chopra.
Born July 18, 1952 — Deborah Teramis Christian, 67. She’s an author and game designer. has designed and edited role-playing game materials for Dungeons & Dragons such as Tales of the Outer Planes, Bestiary of Dragons and Giants, Dragon Dawn, and Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms. She also writes fiction under the name Deborah Teramis Christian with genre novel such as The Truthsayer’s Apprentice and her latest, Splintegrate.
Born July 18, 1967 — Paul Cornell, 52. Author of the Shadow Police series which is quite excellent as well as writing a lot of television scripts for Doctor Who, Primieval and Robin Hood. He was part of the regular panel of the SF Squeecast podcast which won two Hugo Awards for best fancast.
Born July 18, 1967 — Vin Diesel, 52. His first genre role was as the delightful voice of The Iron Giant. He next shows playing Riddick in Pitch Black, the first in The Chronicles of Riddick franchise. He’s Hugo Cornelius Toorop in Babylon A.D. and he’s the fascinating if enigmatic voice of Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy and other MCU films. He’s apparently in the next two Avatar films but I don’t see his role determined.
Born July 18, 1980 — Kristen Bell, 39. Veronica Mars. Genre, well not really, but a lot of y’all watch it. She also voiced Jade Wilson in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies which I highly recommend as it’s highly meta.
Born July 18, 1982 — Priyanka Chopra, 37. As Alex Parrish in Quantico, becoming the first South Asian to headline an American network drama series. Is it genre? Maybe, maybe not, though it could fit into a Strossian Dark State. Some of her work in her native India such as The Legend of Drona and Love Story 2050 is genre.
(10) COMICS SECTION.
Non Sequitur gets a good laugh by combining a UFO and a cave painter.
The audience got an early look at the new trailer, which debuted online Thursday morning. The presentation, taking place on Comic-Con’s preview night, is dubbed ScareDiego and is held off the San Diego Convention Center grounds, and unofficially kicks off the Con in terms of movie panels. The event, now in its third year, is growing and this year was held at the Spreckels Theatre with comedian and late night show host Conan O’Brien serving as moderator.
…Collins was the Command Module Pilot. While the Lunar Lander descended to the Moon’s surface, it was Collins’ task to remain with the Command Module in Lunar orbit….
Rather than making any attempt at a dispassionate, neutral history of the Apollo Program, Collins provides a very personal account, a Collins-eye view of the American path to the moon. It’s not a short process, which is why it takes 360 pages before Collins and his more well-known companions find themselves strapped into the largest, most powerful man-rated rocket to have been launched as of that date. Before that…
Starting on July 24, Oscar Mayer’s iconic 27-foot-long Wienermobile is available to book overnight on Airbnb. Seriously. This is not a drill.
True hot dog fans know that the Wienermobile has pretty much travelled all across the country, spreading positive vibes and love for, well, wieners. And until now, no one has been able to spend more than a few hours in the famous Oscar Mayer vehicle, which makes this overnight camp-out option kind of a big deal.
Per their press release, the hot dog distributer has confirmed that its Wienermobile will be available to those staying in the Chicago area between August 1-4. Just in time for Lollapalooza!
As if drones weren’t frightening enough, now they can be equipped with fire-spitting flamethrowers? Oh gawd.
Throwflame’s TF-19 WASP drone attachment is capable of shooting targets with flames from 25 feet away. Every gallon of fuel capacity will get you 100 seconds of firing time.
According to Throwflame, the TF-19 WASP is made from carbon fiber and designed for drones with a five-pound payload capacity or more. In the video above, the flamethrower is shown mounted to a DJI S1000 drone.
[Thanks to James Davis Nicoll, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Lis Riba, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Chip Hitchcock, Daniel Dern, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]
I’m going to be providing copious updates on my Facebook page, but if you’re not a Facebooker, I’ll do a summary after I get back. If you are a Facebooker, throw me a like. It’s my first SDCC, so I’m mostly going to be wandering around gawking at everything like an utter yokel.
I will be wearing my fabulous SDCC battle armor: a denim vest with the solar system embroidered on the back, to discourage me from buying more superfluous hoodies while giving me a place to display my collectable pins.
Dunn will also be carrying swag to distribute to her readers – don’t
(2) ONLY HUNDREDS OF SHOPPING DAYS TIL CHRISTMAS. During Hallmark’s
Keepsake Ornament Premiere Event from July 13-21, there will be “event
exclusive offers” on the Hogwarts Tree Topper and Harry Potter Collection. The
castle lights up and plays music. Ooh, ahh!
(3) STATION ELEVEN COMING TO MORE STATIONS. [Item by Olav Rokne.] Emily
St. John-Mandel’s award-winning post-apocalyptic novel Station Eleven is
getting a small-screen adaptation. The novel, which won the 2015 Arthur C.
Clarke award, follows a theatre troupe as they travel around the Great Lakes
some decades after a pandemic wiped out most of civilization. It’s an excellent
novel, though I have to admit that I find the author’s dismissal of science
fiction as a genre to be annoying (much like Ian MacEwan).
On Thursday, the world learned that Barbie is a Bowie fan.
With its release of a doll dressed as David Bowie’s glittering alter ego Ziggy Stardust, Mattel said it was celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Space Oddity,” released in 1969.
The new Barbie doll wears a body-hugging metallic “spacesuit,” calf-high red platform boots and silver earrings with dangling stars. Her dark red hair is slicked back like Ziggy Stardust’s, and daubed on her forehead is the golden circle he wore. Her nails are painted black.
It’s a notably androgynous look for a doll that epitomized the stereotypes of feminine appearance in its earlier iterations….
When astronaut Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon 50 years ago, it was a giant leap for functional fashion.
The spacesuit he wore was an unprecedented blend of technology and tailoring.
“The suit itself is an engineering marvel,” says Malcolm Collum, the chief conservator for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. “Every single thing on here is a specific function. It is engineered to the last little detail.”
Take the metal fittings that connect the helmet, air tubes and gloves. They’re brightly colored — for example, vivid red metal for the right glove, neon blue for the left. Patriotic, yes, but also exceptionally functional. That’s because NASA wanted to make sure that in all of the excitement of landing on the moon, Armstrong was able to easily connect his gear.
And that attention to detail is evident from helmet to toe. The stitching throughout is meticulous — much of it done by hand in 1969. The suit had to be tough, flexible and airtight. Armstrong’s life depended on a finely guided needle and thread.
But decades of being on display throughout the country took a toll. In 2006, Smithsonian technicians noticed Armstrong’s spacesuit was showing signs of age. So they removed it from the Air and Space Museum in Washington, moved it to a storage facility and laid it out in a drawer.
Collum and his team of technicians have had the job of getting Armstrong’s spacesuit standing tall and back on public view again.
Whatever catastrophe nature throws at us, people always seem to make it worse.
Not all of us. Some seek to help and not to hurt, to heal instead of destroy. Firefighters are just one example of a few good people trying to make a difference. I’m proud to call myself one. But, like I said, sometimes there are a few hateful assholes standing in our way.
The Smoke Eaters series is about firefighters versus newly-returned dragons, sure, but there are other big ideas at play. In the first book I talk about corrupt government using disasters for their own gain, and replacing first responders with robots. In Ash Kickers, it’s something much worse…
It’s hard to imagine all of the world’s land masses together as one supercontinent. Over 200 million years ago, however, that’s what Earth looked like. The breakup of Pangea was essentially the first step in the creation of the modern world….
Around 175 million years ago, as Pangea was violently being ripped apart, new rifts started opening on the ocean floor. Water-heavy slabs started falling in one after another, faster and farther down than they had before until the water began to evaporate entirely. With no water left, the end result was millions of years of water loss like the planet had never seen.
With ocean levels now rising due to man-made climate change, the idea of chucking all the water into the Earth’s mantle sounds tempting. No such luck, Karlsen says.
“While the deep water cycle can effectively change sea level over hundreds of millions to billions of years, climate change can change the sea level in zero to 100 years,” she says. “For comparison, the present-day sea level rise associated with climate change is about 0.1 inches (3.2 millimeters) a year. The sea level drop associated with the deep water cycle is about 1/10,000 of that.”
Valentina Cortese, an Italian film actress best known for her role as a fading, tippling movie diva in François Truffaut’s “Day for Night,” which earned her a 1975 Academy Award nomination and, remarkably, an apology from the winner, Ingrid Bergman, died on Wednesday in Milan. She was 96.
Denise Nickerson, the former child actress who played Violet Beauregarde in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, has died aged 62.
Nickerson’s family announced the news in a Facebook post that read: “She’s gone.”
In earlier updates on social media, her family said she had pneumonia and had experienced several seizures.
Nickerson – who was cast opposite Gene Wilder at the age of 13 – had previously survived a stroke in 2018.
(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
Born July 11, 1899 — E. B. White. Author of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, both of which are surely genre. (Died 1985.)
Born July 11, 1913 — Cordwainer Smith. Pen name of Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger. Most of his fiction was set in The Instrumentality of Mankind series which I know I’ve read once upon a time at in fragments. Both iBooks and Kindle are well stocked with his novels and short stories including Scanners Live in Vain, a most excellent novella. (Died 1966.)
Born July 11, 1920 — Yul Brynner. The Gunslinger in Westworld and its sequel Futureword. He would also play Carson, a human warrior in the post-apocalyptic The Ultimate Warrior. I don’t think we can consider The King and I genre… (Died 1985.)
Born July 11, 1925 — David Graham, 84. Early voice of the Daleks on Doctor Who, Dutch as The Daleks and The Dalek Invasion of Earth. He also provided a number of the voices on the Thunderbirds. And In the 1984 television Super Bowl advert filmed to introduce the Apple Macintosh computer, he played the role of Big Brother.
Born July 11, 1956 — Amitav Ghosh, 63. Author of the absolutely brilliant The Calcutta Chromosome: A Novel of Fevers, Delirium and Discovery. Really go read it and with we’ll discuss it over a cup of chai masala.
Born July 11, 1958 — Alan Gutierrez, 61. An artist and illustrator, specializing in SF and fantasy cover art. His first professional sale was to the now defunct semi-professional Fantasy Book in 1983. He then began producing work for Baen Books, Tor Books,Pequod Press and other publishers. He has also painted covers for Analog magazine, Aboriginal Science Fiction, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and other SF magazines.
Born July 11, 1959 — Richard James Bleiler, 60. Genres breed academics. One of them is this bibliographer of speculative, crime, and adventure fiction. Among his papers are “The Fantastic Pulp Fiction of Frank Belknap Long” which appeared in Gary Hoppenstand’s Pulp Fiction of the ’20S and ’30S and “Forgotten Giant: A Brief History of Adventure Magazine” which was published in Extrapolation: A Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Born July 11, 1972 — Leona Wisoker, 47. Green Man Reviewer and author of the excellent Children of the Desert series.
Born July 11, 1984 — Marie Lu, 35. Best known for her Legend trilogy, a dystopian and militarized future. Lionsgate has optioned it for a film. She’s also a novel in the DC Icons series, Batman: Nightwalker. And a YA series called the Young Elites.
(12) COMICS SECTION.
How do you like this selection of “Rejected Wizard of Oz Characters,” courtesy of The Argyle Sweater?
The Sahara might seem like one of Earth’s most lifeless regions today, but its fossils show it was once a vast seaway filled giant fish and some of the largest sea snakes the planet has ever seen.
From 100 million to 50 million years ago, a large seaway up to 160 feet deep covered much of West Africa, leaving behind lots of marine fossils, including vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, and microbes. Many of them were surprisingly large. It’s difficult to study this region due to harsh geopolitical and physical climates, so a group of scientists decided to compile and synthesize lots of existing research on the area
The Rage of Dragons, the debut epic from self-publishing success story Evan Winter, distinguishes itself by its setting, a fantasy world inspired by Africa, but truly impresses with its storytelling. It weaves a tale of determination, love, revenge, and war that is, at its core, the story of one young man who, even as he seeks to improve his life by learning the art of war, must grapple with deadly politics, powerful magic, and a threat that could destroy an entire civilization.
The Story Of The Hugos It seems odd to us that this is only the second time that Jo Walton has appeared on a Hugo Award ballot. It can be argued that several of her novels and non-fiction works warrant the recognition.
Her Informal History Of The Hugo Awards, based around the Tor.com blog posts of the same name that she wrote a couple of years ago, traces the history of the awards through their creation in 1953, through to the year 2000. True to its name, this is a subjective look at both the winners and the shortlists, livened with insight and personal anecdotes.
The book version adds significant material, additional essays and footnotes, as well as a curated set of comments from the blog. Walton has a deep and rich knowledge of science fiction and of fandom, and it shines through in essay after essay tackling controversies of years past, or years where she might disagree with the verdict of Hugo voters.
This is a work that we believe will have enduring value. In most years it would be a lock for the top of our Best Related Work ballots.
This is a lovely story about just what it says–ghost stories, not ghosts. Although ghosts definitely make an appearance, in the form of the narrator’s mother, who recently succumbed to Alzheimer’s. (The details of this ring scarily true, by the way.) This is another quiet story, but in this case, the still waters run deep, and the mother-daughter relationship depicted here is sad and beautiful.
Abbott by Saladin Ahmed, art by Sami Kivelä, colours by Jason Wordie, letters by Jim Campbell
A journalist fights racism and magic in 70s Detroit.
You can’t go past a good high concept, and Blaxploitation Call of Cthulhu is a pretty great high concept. What rapidly becomes apparent is that Ahmed has aspirations beyond kick ass action comics, and is engaging with more than the superficial trappings of blaxploitation. It starts with the setting – 70s Detroit in washed out colours, newspaper headlines, and near ubiquitous smoking. Everywhere we visit in the story we see divisions along race, gender and class, and the genius at work here is to carry these divisions over to the supernatural.
Something about Heinlein’s characters that eluded me when I was an idiot teen: some of his protagonists (in particular Rod from Tunnel in the Sky) were not necessarily the sharpest pencils in the box. They’re always good-hearted fellows, but also naive enough to justify folksy lecturing from mentors. This also allows readers to feel just a little superior to the fellow who, for example, can’t seem to work out that another character is a girl even after he wrestles with her, then partners up with her (leading a third party to inquire, “Rod…were you born that stupid? Or did you have to study?”).
At first glance, the starting gate at Emerald Downs racetrack looks relatively normal. But then the gates open and the race begins, and instead of thoroughbreds a mass of people bursts forth, running as fast as they can — while wearing oversized T-Rex costumes.
“The T-Rexes stand at the ready — and T-Rexes away!” track announcer Tom Harris yells, as prehistoric — and hilarious — chaos breaks out on the track.
At the wire, a dino named Regular Unleaded took the victory, holding off Rex Girlfriend by a tail.
[Thanks to Olav Rokne, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock,
Cat Eldridge, Daniel Dern, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Bonnie McDaniel,
Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes
to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]
One of the (pardon my use of the word) hallmarks of advancing age is remembering when Christmas merchandise wasn’t rolled out for sale until after some ever-shifting holiday (Thanksgiving? Halloween? Labor Day?) Well, forget that! In 2018, they ran the sneak peek of 2018 Keepsake Ornaments two days before the Fourth of July!
And what have they got in mind for sci-fi fans this year?
From Themyscira to your tree, Wonder Woman is ready to defend justice and promote peace in the name of all that is good. Proudly display this Christmas tree ornament that features the timeless heroine with her shield at the ready, a pose that recalls her advance into “No Man’s Land” on the frontlines of World War I and an epic battle against Ares, the God of War.
The latest result in machine intelligence, the HAL 9000—thought to be the most reliable computer ever made and incapable of error—served as the brain and central nervous system for the Discovery One ship’s ill-fated mission to Jupiter. Fans of “2001: A Space Odyssey” will want to bring home this special Christmas ornament that celebrates 50 years of the science-fiction masterpiece. Press the button to see the ornament light up as HAL says several memorable phrases.
With so many Harry Potter movies released toward the end of the year, there is a kind of resonance with the holiday. Harry Potter™ First Impressions Ornament With Sound. makes sure the association is not too pleasant. The sound track is Snape quizzing Harry about a bunch of things he doesn’t know and belittling his fame.
Nothing is going to get in the way of Clark Griswold’s fun, old-fashioned family Christmas! Fans of the hilarious holiday movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” can press the button on this Christmas tree ornament to relive the moment Clark’s big exterior decorating display finally comes to life. The ornament captures the image featured on the original movie poster with “Sparky” wrapped in a string of lights teetering on the roof of his house. Lights on the roofline illuminate when the button is pressed.