scarfman: (Default)
After forty some years I've noticed that two pro-science writers made the head scientist one of the heroes' antagonists in The Mote In God's Eye.
scarfman: (heroes)

Here are cartoons from the fanfiction sketchbook website. Journal cartoons in a separate post. Cartoons may contain unmarked spoilers.

Featuring characters and/or images from DOCTOR WHO, THE MOTE IN GOD'S EYE, STAR TREK, and M*A*S*H. )

Thanks for reading.

My tweets

Oct. 8th, 2014 12:03 pm
scarfman: (Default)

My tweets

Aug. 2nd, 2014 12:02 pm
scarfman: (scarfman)
scarfman: (heroes)

Here are cartoons from the fanfiction sketchbook website since last Friday. Arthur, King of Time and Space cartoons in a separate post. Cartoons may contain unmarked spoilers.

Featuring characters and/or images from DOCTOR WHO, THE MOTE IN GOD'S EYE and STAR TREK. )

Thanks for reading.

scarfman: (heroes)

What I'd rather Peter Jackson did next is The Mote in God's Eye.

scarfman: (me)

At the message board for his webcomic Home on the Strange [livejournal.com profile] theferrett has started up The Open-Source Wishing Project. "That's right; we all know that as nerds, you've spent an inordinate amount of time trying to decide how to phrase your wish for when the genie comes. (Or when you stumble across that Ring of Three Wishes.) But what happens if you finally get your wish, then phrase it poorly and get Monkey's Pawed? ... So it is that I have posted eight common wish topics with their suggested wordings, and I request that anyone who feels like dissecting and improving the current wish branches go tweak them until they are so bulletproof that no omnipotent being could possibly misinterpret them."

Under the announcement in his LiveJournal I commented, "I've had mine memorized for years.

"I wish that, whenever I filled out the label on a blank piece of communication media - videotape, CD, box of typing paper - and initialed the label, and circled the initials, then that media would then contain the work described by the label, whether or not the work previously existed."

More than one of The Ferrett's LJ readers suggested a clause to guarantee that the work appears on the medium in a format that I and/or my machines can read, which is certainly a worthwhile innovation. I'm working on the wording.

The Ferrett suggested wording to guarantee that the whole work in question appear on the media. I responded, "Oughtn't I be able to control this at the user level? That is, with what the label is filled out to read? If I were to write on a videotape T*R*E*K II: The Wrath of Borelli and the trickster magic supplied only the main title, I ought to be able to write on another [attempt] - or add to this one - something like (full theatrical release; 119 mins) and solve that problem.

"It's a good idea, like [livejournal.com profile] tashiro's [Tashiro being the advocate of format specification who'd actually offered sample wording]. But I'm looking [for] a tradeoff here between how much I have to have already memorized in case the genie only gives me two minutes to think, and the built-in user-friendliness of the end spell. (Can you tell I took GUI Design this semester?)"

[livejournal.com profile] whipwreck suggested the wish verbage needs to specify magical licensure of any copyrighted works duplicated. I responded, "Um. As the clause whether or not it previouly existed - or the film title in my response to The Ferrett's response - may suggest, the things I'd do with this magic ability would tend more toward (allowing for the diversity of media) fanfiction. Bruce Timm animations of my existing fanfiction stories, home video of the high school plays I did in the 70s, the season finale of the sitcom I'd be doing right now if I was the tv actor I hoped and believed I'd be when I was seventeen, that sort of thing. Yes, I'd zap up the missing Doctor Who so I could return it to the BBC archives. Yes, I'd zap up tv crossovers I'd like to see. But the reason I covet this power isn't so that I could watch something I could almost as easily catch on cable or rent from Blockbuster. And I would have enough sense to show The Mote in God's Eye starring Jimmy Stewart and Audrey Hepburn to Jerry and Larry before I showed it at cons." At which point I was dragging The Ferrett's discussion away from its topic and began assembling this entry for my journal.

So here's the amended version as it stands now, subject to editing later than the date of this post:

I wish that, whenever I filled out the label on a blank piece of communication media - for example: videotape, CD, box of typing paper - and initialed the label, and circled the initials, then that media would then contain the work described by the label in whole, whether or not the work previously existed, in the standard language and format readable by me and by my reading device for that media respectively.

Also, since I brought it up: Who would you cast in The Mote in God's Eye? If you had this power would you, as I imply above I would, restrict yourself to actors who aren't using their likenesses themselves any more? Wouldn't Alan Alda have made a great Renner?

(This is what I spent today writing instead of tomorrow's AKOTAS. Perhaps The Ferrett's true purpose in this is to distract all his competition.)

scarfman: (Default)

I decided to test my assumption from the other day about The Gripping Hand, that I couldn't be the first person to the web with my question. I googled:

"glenda ruth" "jump shock"

In two pages of results all I got was the same two or four quotes over and over from sites reproducing the same review or blurb of the book - except for the first result on the first page. That was my own LJ entry.

I bet this entry comes second, now.

scarfman: (Default)

So I've mentioned I keep The Mote in God's Eye and its sequel The Gripping Hand on my desk at work so I can't be caught without something good to read. So today I was reading the passage in Mote when the ship returns to human space by hyperspace Jump and all our characters learn that Moties suffer much greater Jump shock than humans. And it reminded me of my observation of Hand that those human characters who identify more with Moties (most obviously Glenda Ruth, a human raised by Moties) are much more susceptible to Jump shock than other humans. This suggests that susceptibility to Jump shock is a psychological thing instead of a physiological thing, dunnit? Surely I'm not the only person who's ever noticed. No doubt there are lengthy threads on newsgroups and message boards I've never read, but has anyone ever asked Larry or Jerry about it? Prolly Jerry'd know better, since they worked in one of his universes, according to the 70s Galaxy article they wrote which I still have somewhere.

scarfman: (Default)
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences:
5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.



I'm at work, where I keep Niven and Pournelle's The Mote in God's Eye and their The Gripping Hand so I always have something good to read. If I have nothing else to read at lunchtime, I have a macro in Excel that creates a formula that picks a page at random from the range of both books. The Mote in God's Eye is in top at the moment.

Page 123 is just when MacArthur has taken the alien miner aboard and its ship has hared off on its own. The fifth full sentence is:

"Then that thing's on autopilot, would you both agree? But we didn't see him program it."

"We saw him practically rebuild the controls, Captain," Cargill said.

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