Links (2018-06-04)

Site Note

As I mentioned in the May summation, I’ve added The Year’s Best Military & Adventure SF, Volume 4 to “Expanded Collated Contents of the Year’s Bests (2017 Stories, Links).”

Humor

History

Science/Technology

Computers/Robots

Biology/Chemistry

Space/Physics

Science Fiction

Special Link

  • Black Gate » Announcing the Black Gate Book Club: Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh. With all my other reading, I probably won’t be able to participate but encourage others to do so if they can. It’s an interesting idea with an excellent start (Cherryh is awesome and Downbelow is great but it took two tries for me to realize that and it isn’t the easiest thing to get into for many people). I will follow the comments, at least. (It doesn’t seem to have happened this Monday but maybe it will tomorrow or next Monday.)

General

  • We Lost Control a Long Time Ago – From Earth to the Stars. Sue Burke, who published a good story in the May/June Asimov’s, contributes a good piece to the Asimov’s blog. I don’t like the idea that SF is condemned to be a Cassandra or that humanity is necessarily destined to be “out of control” (though we certainly are at the moment) but this was an interesting, powerful, and not utterly bleak piece.
  • Black Gate » A Classic Without the Quotation Marks: Rogue Moon. Be warned that, without maybe being terminally spoilery, it gives away a little too much for my comfort but I can’t resist linking to anything promoting Budrys and/or Rogue Moon. It also gets in a little about Who? and his reviewing and so forth.
  • Black Gate » With a (Black) Gat: Some Har[d]boiled Anthologies. Some of this is in Mount TBR (which dwarfs Everest) . And, okay, it’s not SF but I’m an SF fan and it interested me and you’re presumably an SF fan and perhaps it will interest you.
  • Becoming an Expert in a Micro-Expertise – Auxiliary Memory. James Wallace Harris is going for his Ph.D. in Literature, Science Fiction, Magazines, 1926-76. It’s also about Zen and the art of knowledge bonsai. A beautifully crafted small, calm tree of knowledge beats a million-miles-an-hour mess of mere information. And I certainly treasure his field, too.
  • Blog 11 | Jack McDevitt | Science Fiction. Jack McDevitt with some wise words on what fiction should do and what style really ought to be.

Birthday Reviews

Visual Media

  • “Solo: A Star Wars Story” falls short with $83.3M at box office | | The News Headline. (I actually got this from the CBS website but their video “autoplay” infuriates me (I disable javascript to prevent it, but it’s a pain) and I don’t want to inflict it on others, so I found another link.) I don’t understand why this movie made even a penny. No Harrison Ford? No Han Solo. (I haven’t seen the Star Trek reboots, either.) And, while I did pay to see Rogue One and did enjoy it, I’m sick of prequels in principle. One thing many don’t seem to be considering, though, is that some of this movie’s problem may have nothing to do with the movie itself or an abstract “fatigue” but could instead derive from the specific problems of The Last Jedi: people were turned off by it, so this one suffers.
  • What Makes a Great Parody? – SuperversiveSF. I came across this link at madab.info (thanks to whoever put Featured Futures on there, by the way) and, as someone who loves Airplane, This Is Spinal Tap, Princess Bride, GalaxyQuest, etc. (and, in books, Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers), all of which seem like the second or third of the article’s three types to me, I thought this was an interesting article. Also, I don’t know anime from Adam but, while I didn’t think it was as good as the author did, I watched and enjoyed SAO Abridged. Not knowing the original, I can’t say, but that doesn’t seem to me so much a “parody” as simply a “reboot” unless you’re taking “parody” to mean literally “to sing beside” as opposed to “to make fun of.”
  • Phineas & Ferb Star Wars: A Reminder that Disney Isn’t Star Wars’ Problem, it’s Kathleen Kennedy, Rian Johnson, and JJ Abrams | Cirsova. To wrap back around to Star Wars, the previous link led to this one. I was unhappy with The Last Jedi for different reasons than this author (and still think Disney is part of the problem) but I’ll grant that this animated pseudo-Star Wars special does sound structurally better and the video clips (especially the second) were amusing.

Tunes

And to wrap back around and around to Spinal Tap, “Derek Smalls” released a solo album recently and talks about it as only one of the Tap can: “Derek Smalls On New Solo Album: ‘I Didn’t Want To Wait Any Longer’ For Spinal Tap Reunion – Blabbermouth.net.” And, for a taste of a classic tune:

Spinal Tap – “Tonight I’m Gonna to Rock You Tonight”

But, in all seriousness, here’s one of my favorite songs:

Golden Earring – “Radar Love”

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