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December 04, 2008

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I am sick.

Just saying.

Sick sick sick sick sick.

I hope you're feeling better soon!

I'm sorry about that, Susan. My best wishes for a prompt recovery.

Marilee... So I've heard. I'm about halfway thru the book and I like it, but I have some problems about it. I'll elaborate later.

AJ... In case you're interested, tomorrow night Turner Classic Movies is showing 1958's From the Earth to the Moon. It is extremely freely adapted from Jules Verne's novel, but it's interesting in a cheesy kind of way. It has Joseph Cotten as the inventor whom General Grant begs to destroy all knowledge of his atomic explosive. Instead he decides to use it to propel a rocket to the Moon, where he plans to more safely test the whole thing.

Susan: Better better better better better!

Serge, and and SciFi has a Twilight Zone marathon Wednesday through Thursday!

Marilee... Indeed. I hope they show episode The Last Hunt, and all the episodes with Jack Klugman, such as In Praise of Pip I love Klugman.

Serge, Sandra McDonald reviews The Forever War on her LJ and James reviews her review on his LJ.

Scifi has a list. That's for Wednesday, click on 1 Jan on the calendar below to get Thursday.

(following Marilee's links)

Wow, it's been a long time since I read The Forever War. I think I reserve judgment on the issue discussed until/unless I reread.

Marilee... McDonald's thread got quite a few comments, eh? It's been decades since I read the book and I probably am unlikely to ever re-read it, if only because there are too many books I've never read. Still, I wonder what Haldeman would have to say about that.

Thanks for the Twilight Zone schedule. I figured they'd post a schedule, but had not looked at SciFi's site yet. I see that tomorrow's list has "One for the Angels".

Serge, thank you for thinking of me, but I don't have cable. I think that one *might* be on DVD, though, so I ought to go looking for it.

Have you seen the trailers for Tim Burton's 9 yet? It has a weird sort of steampunk vibe to it. It's not coming out until 09/09/09 though :(

AJ... I had not heard of that Tim Burton movie. What is it about? As for its being released on 09/09/09... Who told him that was my birthday?

Serge, the truth is that Tim Burton has been stalking you all along!

Anyway, the movie is about little ragdoll straw men that live in the ruins of society. Or something. It looks crazily awesome. There's all sorts of killer robots running around. The trailer is on www.quicktime.com

It was based on a 10 minute animated short. If you like the trailer, I'll get my hubby to give me the link to the short.

I hadn't read The Forever War in a long time, either, until we read it for bookgroup a couple years ago, so now I remember it. Haldeman commented on James' LJ; I didn't read all of the comments on Sandra's.

Serge, a magic birthday! But I'll be 54 before you are!

AJ... Wow.

Marilee... When again is your magic birthday?

Serge: I'll assume that "Wow" was directed at the awesomeness of 9, so here's the link to the short: link.

I love that the movie kept the exact same aesthetic as the short.

AJ... That is indeed what my "wow" was about. I just posted about it on my blog, with a link to yours. Like I say in my log, this may be the thing that'll make me forgive Tim Burton for Planet of the Apes.

Susan the link fairy has gone by and made AJ's URL a live link for ease of use and made an obvious link to Serge's own blog post so it's easy for us to go visit him there.

Everyone knows they can use the "a=href" html coding in comments to make live links, right?

Sorry Susan, I'm really bad at HTML! I always forget how to do an href.

My many thanks to Tinkerb... I mean... Susan the link fairy. I know how to set them up, but I just didn't think about it.

I am happy to go through and make the links; I just wanted people to know they had the option. I'm attempting to make a habit of visiting the blogs of my regular commenters and leaving a comment now and then, though all my good intentions tend to collapse under the pressure of the total lack of time in my life.

Susan... You don't need to. Just keep putting up with my bad jokes on Rixo.

Serge, I don't have a magic birthday because the day and month of mine are different numbers. But I know you're hinting at my birthday, so I'll be 54 on 3/10.

I may not post enough to count as a regular, but if anyone's interested in my bookshelves, there's a picture here.

Mary Aileen,
Wow, your bookshelves look so neat and organized! I am envious.

Mary Aileen... I just looked at the photo and the first thought that struck was that it's very organized and neat, and I see that Susan had the same reaction. I am awed.

Mary Aileen, I hope that someday, I have that many pretty, tidy bookcases.

I took my book picture on Weds, but I haven't pulled it off of my camera yet.

I probably won't get around to the bookshelf post until sometime next week; I haven't even photographed my own yet and I'm still sneaking in backdated catchup posts from all the drafts I am determined to clear out for the new year.

Their neatness was a temporary state, right after moving into my current apartment and setting them up. After that, they got much messier until I gave in and bought yet another to handle the overflow. They also have lots of beanie babies and other tchotchkes on the empty ledges in front of the books.

I emailed my bookshelf pictures to Susan earlier today. My bedroom isn't big enough to get a picture of all of them at once.

My non-F&SF bookshelves accumulate tchotchkes, including several miniature stuffed sheep and an old carburetor. The F&SF shelves are too full for accessories.

Susan... Several miniature stuffed sheep and an old carburetor? Kinky. By the way, is this one of your sheep?

Ah, the ends of mine have stuff like minature folding screens and so forth, so there's room for new books. The bookcase on the far right in the first picture has only anthologies and then a shelf of fan stuff (the notebooks are from every con) and then we go down to non-SF stuff in the bottom two shelves. Of course, the books on top of the shelves, and the small bookcase under the window, are all to-be-read, so there clearly isn't room for all of them and I'll have to make decisions. This is where I need a pocket of space.

Serge,
Omigod! Actually, it is, though it's not on a bookshelf at the moment I don't think. I'll check when I get home.

I am fascinated by how the mike shadows make a giant purple dot in my neckline in that photo.

Susan... I quite like that photo - and the caption I put below it. Do you remember when we met at the Los Angeles worldcon in 2006? At some point, I asked if you'd been at the Boston worldcon 2 years before and, before you could answer, a lightbulb went up in my head and I recognized you as that con's masquerade emcee.

Marilee... I also see you've got your laptop up on some kind of device so the display is at the right height

I just noticed that one, from Dec 22, thus the delay. As for what the device is... I bolted 2 L-shaped heavy-duty metal braces to form a U-shape. I did this twice. I then bolted the 2 U's together with straight braces. I then tilted the whole assemblage on its side. That way I could push the external keyboard under the laptop if it was in the way and I needed more space.

Serge,
Oh yes. And that happens to me all the time in fandom. People stare at me and say I look familiar from somewhere, and the first thing I say is "did you go to the Noreascon masquerade?" Usually it's my voice that really makes the connection; apparently it's very distinctive. (Though right now I sound like a crow, I'm so hoarse from a week of coughing.)

Susan... You do have a distinctive voice, and I mean that in a very good way. In the case of our 2006 encounter, it's your face, more specifically your eyes, that had me go waitaminnit.

Oh, Serge is handy, too! Seriously, that's a good device.

Marilee... Thanks. I don't remember how I came up with that idea. It's just one of those little things that remind me I'm not stupid.

AJ... Interested in a Girl Genius corset? Alas it doesn't come for a GG tool belt.

Serge:
My two immediate thoughts on looking at that picture were:

1. She's got the corset shape, length, and above/below waist proportions wrong.
2. Wow, Agatha has major-league implants.

(What this boils down to is: unless you've got sizable breast implants, you won't look like that in that corset.)

Susan... unless you've got sizable breast implants, you won't look like that in that corset

I guess I'll have to skip that idea then because I'd look really strange, even with minor leagues breast implants.

:-)

Serge: Cool corset, but not for me. I'm not a fan of the red!

Now, I really want to see someone do a costume out of Agatha's dress in the holiday Cinderella storyline!

Is this the thread where we were talking about steampunk magazine, too? I can't remember. Anyway, as of yesterday, Steampunk Magazine's Facebook fan page has been completely taken over by The Willows! It still says "Steampunk Magazine" at the top, but all of the info is about The Willows. I am investigating...

AJ,
Do you have a link to a picture of the outfit from that storyline?

I'm reminded that I re-read The Case of the Wavy Black Dagger and note the following (spoilers!):

1. Although it's not a legal requirement, by convention every collection of Sherlock Holmes stories must contain one story where he solves the case without leaving his rooms. These cases tend to be trivial, and the stories slight. This is a very slight story, but no slighter than others I've read (including Conan Doyle stories if I remember correctly)

2. Of course, this is where it immediately goes wrong; Holmes isn't in his rooms, he's in New York for some reason (is it explained? Somehow the book has vanished into a huge pile of books, socks and CDs thin air just when I need it)

3. The problem with gur jbzna-jub-vf-n-zngpu-sbe-Ubyzrf character is there's already one in canon and she appeared in the previous story Tiger Tiger which is much better rira vs Ubyzrf vfa'g va vg.

So while I appreciate what he's done there, I agree that it is a failure.

Susan... I presume that AJ was referring to Cinderella's outfit as it looked before she pushed a button that made it go Spoing!. In that case, here is a link.

AJ... Speaking of The Willows, I thought I had bought a retro-active subscription that started at the beginning of 2008, but that was a few weeks ago and nothing has shown up yet. Maybe I didn't push the 'purchase' button. I'll have to look thru my email archive.

Well, that's the clank's outfit. Agatha is in her regular outfit.

Well, that's one truly amazing costume, but it makes her breasts look even creepier. Apparently they're on stalks. If I didn't know Foglio was married I'd wonder if he'd ever seen a naked woman. As it is, I guess it disappoints me that the visual message is that nerd girls are hot...if they look like centerfolds with breast implants. The odds of me nominating him for a Best Artist Hugo get lower and lower every time I look at GG!

I expect someone will do that costume at a con somewhere (ComiCon being the best bet). If I had fair enough skin to wear a red wig I'd be tempted myself.

Neil,
You lost me; where was this story?

So I read the "Cinderella" storyline. Nice stuff; I liked it better than any other GG I've read so far. Does she have two boyfriends in the normal storyline?

I could do either the fairy godmother costume or the lavender stepsister one; both of those are color schemes that work for me.

Susan... The Cinderella was just the cast taking a break from the regular plot. As for how many boyfriends Agatha has... She doesn't have any, but plenty of young men become her friends. and when one of them is killed, her reaction is not pretty, as can be seen here.

Susan... I could do either the fairy godmother costume or the lavender stepsister one

A most excellent idea.

Too bad...a poly character would be interesting.

There's still room in the plot for Agatha to decide she wants to keep both nice young men, but as the three of them are the respective sole heirs of three powerful families it's unlikely to happen if only for political reasons.

Susan, Neil's comment is a late addition to a conversation that occurred on page 2 of this thread and concerned a story from the anthology Shadows over Baker Street.

Ah! Susan, looking back, you read A Study In Emerald in Fragile Things rather than the Holmes/Cthulhu crossover anthology Shadows Over Baker Street. At the time we originally discussed this I couldn't recall The Case of the Wavy Black Dagger (often happens with mediocre short fiction).

Anyway, I see what Perry was trying to do, but feel he fell short of his target, which is slightly different to AJ's opinion.

Well Neil, I have to admit that prior to Shadows Over Baker Street I'd never actually read any Holmes, so I was viewing it purely as an outsider, without the knowledge of what the author was attempting to do.

AJ ...I'd never actually read any Holmes...

At it's best, Holmes solving a case without leaving his rooms (or, if he's being rude, without even leaving his chair) is an underlining of Holmes as the World's Greatest Detective. When it's not at it's best he seems even more smug and self-satisfied than usual at solving what 21st century audiences see as either fairly tivial (as the plot has been recycled for over a hundred years so we've been exposed to it in books, films, TV and on the radio* so many many times) or just bizarre.

Also: Yikes! No Holmes!

I started reading Holmes because of Saberhagen and Star Trek and read the entire oeuvre in one rather intense weekend when I was a teenager. I mostly haven't revisited it since, though I keep meaning to.

Susan... I started reading Holmes because of Saberhagen and Star Trek

Hmmm... Would the latter be because of the NextGen holodeck episode, with Data as Holmes? As for myself, I've read many of the Doyle stories, but not the whole canon. There are the movies, of course. Rupert Everett was interesting as a rather languid Holmes, but my favorites are Nicol Williamson in 1977's The 7-percent Solution, and Christopher Plummer in 1979's Murder by Decree. Oh, and, yes, I liked 1986's Young Sherlock Holmes.

Serge:
Nope! I was hoping to be maddeningly cryptic with that comment and appear to have at least temporarily succeeded. :) I suspect it won't last.

Curses! Will you at least tell me if your 'Star Trek' reference is to the original series only?

Serge:
No, it isn't.

So it's not ST-TOS. It could have been ST-TNG, which originally aired when you were a teenager, which is when you started reading Holmes. Except that you said it wasn't because of ST-TNG. On second thought, what you said was deny that the holodeck episode with Data as Holmes was what led you to the Doyle stories. I think there were references to Sherlock in the holodeck episodes where Picard pretended to be a Sam Spade detective. Is that it?

Serge,
Think outside the box!

Susan... Think outside the box!

Hmmm. The Borg ships are boxy, and could be said - if one were willing to stretch facts - to be the Federation's equivalent of the Beserkers. Thus the Borg could have led you to reading about the Beserkers, which might have led you to Saberhagen's other works, some of which I think involved Holmes.

Not even close, eh?

Susan, both of the princes are interested in Agatha, but she's not nuts enough to go for romance when she needs to fix the castle and make it obey her again. As Paul says, no matter who decides on the relationship, it's likely to be political.

Serge:
Nope! You're still thinking inside the box.

Marilee:
They could just have hot steamypunkness! (I have now passed those Steamypunk 'zines on to Sor, and eagerly await her reaction.)

Susan... How about some clues Prettypleasewithsugaronit? :-)

Serge:
I gave you some great clues! You must think like Holmes!

I watched almost none of Next Gen; that was after I'd pretty must stopped watching television.

Time for some brain-wracking then. As for NextGen, it did not stop me from watching any television, but I gave up on ST-TNG itself after 2 years. Count me in as not a fan of those characters. I was more a DS9 person.

Saberhagen wrote Vampire novels and one of them had Holmes in (assuming we can believe the title "The Holmes-Dracula File")

I can't make Star Trek fit in my solution box.

Neil has it for the Saberhagen half of things. I loved The Holmes-Dracula File (the untold case of the Giant Rat of Sumatra) as well as The Dracula Tape, which was Saberhagen's first in the series. Unfortunately I felt the quality tailed off dramatically after the third book.

Didn't I mention Saberhagen's Holmes? Oh well. I shall accept my defeat gracefully.

I found a link to some awesome steampunk animation on Kaja Foglio's site: A Gentlemen's Duel. I could have done without the blimp-like bosom, but the machine are awesome.

You must think like Holmes!

Hmm... either someone is lying or something completely wacky is about to occur. Best avoid the cocaine and just stick to the pipe.

No, it's not helping.

Neil: I know, I've led a deprived life! I'm sure I'll get to Holmes eventually as I go through my "Things I should have read, but strangely have not" list.

Susan: Going way back to your comment about a poly comics character, Angela in Punch an' Pie is poly-ish. I say "ish" because when she was a secondary character in Queen of Wands she was self-described as poly, but she really hasn't acted such in PnP. Regardless, both comics are pretty good, but not steampunk or fantasy, unfortunately.

In the case of Girl Genius, one could certainly try to make the case that it might be politically advantageous to have all three major families joined in one marriage. But I have a feeling that we'll have a standard love triangle instead, perhaps with one beau dying and saving the heroine from having to make a difficult choice.

Serge,
What's killing me is that you already named the key part of the solution but you have missed the connection!

Serge,
They lost me in the first fifteen seconds with the woman wearing the modern evening gown while the men are in quasi-historic costume. Her breasts are somewhat more convincing than Agatha's, though; at least they look like they're properly attached for when she pops right out of the top of that dress.

Her breasts are somewhat more convincing than Agatha's, though...

Although all the characters are of unusual shapes, it looks like they've got a real human skeleton and muscle model in the animation.

Also I must say: A Lady present! At a duel! In addition, that's why one should duel at dawn, so there is no chance of the affair going on so long as to be interrupted by afternoon tea.

Is Phil Foglio aiming for something like Anastacia in this music video (the costume with the corset 00:22-00:30, not the jerkin at the start)?

Susan... One could suggest that this is set in an alternate reality where women's fashion followed a different path. Why not, if gentlemen fight duels using giant exoskelettons? But, like I said in my original comment, the woman's character was a massively jarring false note.

Still in steampunk... How about the League of S.T.E.A.M., which specializes in supernatural troublesome ectoplasmic apparitional management?

Serge, Crackitus Potts from the League of S.T.E.A.M "moderated" the steampunk meet-and-greet at Comic Con this past Summer. They seem like a really great group, friendly, innovative, and with a good sense of humor.

Did you ever figure out what was up with your subscription to The Willows? I am not at all happy with them right now. I checked the Steampunk Magazine (henceforth SPM because I'm tired and lazy) Facebook page, and it's still all Willowed-out, and they deleted my comment asking what had happened! And apparently the comments of other people, because there was a comment about the missing comments >.> I checked both their website and SPM's site, blog, and forums, and there's no mention of it.

However, two notes of interest... SPM is undergoing a change in editorial staff. The original editor was Margaret Killjoy, and Susan, you will especially be interested in the fact that the new editor is referring to Killjoy as "Magpie" and "he" which would definitely support your supposition that she is in fact not a woman.

Susan! I'm sorry! I broke the italics this time!

AJ... I just looked at my PayPal account and they did get the payment, at the end of November. Two months does sound like a more than reasonable amount to wait before asking them if there is any problem. I'll do that later today. I hope I won't be disappointed.

Oops... HTML problem, which seems to have started with AJ.

"It's not my fault!"
- Han Solo

The HTML fairy (who wears a fabulous hat) has fixed things. :)

Susan... We have only the word of the HTML fairy that she wears a fabulous hat. We still await the visual evidence.

AJ... You're a Magic Woman. You asked me about The Willows, about which I was becoming quite dubious, and what do I see upon coming home? A package with the magazine's 6 issues for 2008.

Now, maybe if you ask me about that promotion I'm also dubious about...

"There's no such thing as the HTML fairy Mandy"

"Then who fixes the internet when it's broken?"

As for Holmes, that may be a cultural or gender difference; when I was younger grown ups would often suggest Sherlock Holmes to read; he solved crimes, but did so without excessive violence and using his intellect, whilst remaining a gentleman. If it weren't for the cocaine he's quite a good role model.

Screenwriter John Rogers has another point of view buried in the questions and answers of this post (which may be spoilerish for his current TV series Leverage)

John Watson is a twenty-six year old combat hard-ass with mujhadeen shrapnel buried in his leg (or shoulder, depending on the story), not some foppish f*ckwit with a bowler hat. Sherlock Holmes is your substance-abusing perpetual grad student solving cases for the London underworld/working class that the cops won't touch.

Neil... I beg to differ. The HTML fairy is real. It's Santa Codes who isn't.

Neil... I wonder how the upcoming Holmes movie will handle Watson. Having Robert Downey Jr ("Who?" Susan asks) already is an indication that this won't be a traditional interpretation of that character, so... That being said, I rather liked Robert Duvall as Watson in The Seven-Percent Solution: he was a quiet man, but when Jeremy Kemp's Evil Kraut character insults Sigmund Freud, Watson immediately steps in and is ready to have a boxing match.

Neil,
I can't recall anyone suggesting anything for me to read past the age of nine or so. Suggestions probably seemed superfluous, since all that was necessary to get me to read something was to leave it in my path. I was burning through two or three novels a day as a teenager. In the case of the Holmes stuff it was easy, since my parents had a gigantic volume that had all the stories in it printed in very small type on near-translucent paper. I now own a more user-friendly multivolume set.

The attraction for me aside from the general "it's words on paper!" thing was identification with Holmes' incredibly low boredom threshold and need for constant intellectual stimulation. I can easily see the attraction to cocaine, which is one reason I've never so much as considered any street drug outside a medical setting.

This is one reason I rarely watch television. Even though I multitask (knitting chainmail or sewing) it gets aggravating because I often need so little attention for the television that I'd like to read a book as well and don't have enough hands to do so while crafting. I carry a book with me while driving to read at stoplights.

Serge,
There you go again not making connections... :)

Neil,
Interesting take on Holmes, and certainly I'd love to see it done on screen. I was also intrigued by a link in that post to Who writer Stephen Moffat's plans for a modern-era Holmes.

Susan... I can't recall anyone suggesting anything for me to read past the age of nine or so.

I don't think anyone ever suggested to me anything to read. In fact, I ws more likely to be told I was spending too much time reading.

As for not making connections... There probably is a misleading trick to your words, as it must be in a riddle, but I am at a loss. May I ask you to say the riddle again?

AJ,
S/he could be transsexual, I suppose, and in transition. I'm gaping in disbelief that anyone with ambitions of writing erotica would adopt the surname "Killjoy" as a pseudonym!

Serge,
The remaining part of the riddle is the Star Trek-Holmes connection, and you're sitting right on top of the solution without figuring it out. I am amused.

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