messier object


normally i am not wild about TED

but still, I gotta post this:

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Oft, in that wickless chalet all begorn…

Holy moly, how did I miss this?  It’s a Cyberiad adventure game Google doodle! You are Trurl! Add! With the the machine so stupid, it thought that two and two was seven! Oscillate! With that cybernetic muse, the Electronic Bard!  Shoot! At the cubic planet! Construct! The machine that could create anything starting with the letter “N”!

This is a poem about a haircut! But lofty, nobel, tragic, timeless, full of love, treachery, retribution, quiet heroism in the face of certain doom! Six lines, cleverly rhymed, and every word beginning with the letter “s”!

Seduced, shaggy Samson snored.
She scissored short. Sorely shorn,
Soon shackled slave, Samson sighed,
Silently scheming,
Sightlessly seeking
Some savage, spectacular suicide.



do i ever need to update this
2011, November 14, 8:58 am
Filed under: future history, history, science fiction | Tags: , ,

anyways here’s a link for now: more TECHNOLOGY FOR YOUTH magazine covers!



WE HAVE TO GO BACK IN TIME
2011, September 27, 6:10 pm
Filed under: science fiction, teevee | Tags: , , , , ,

being a brief review of Terra Nova



more sovietanea!

Техник молодежи from 1962.

A cover for Technical Youth magazine!  If I had to guess, it’s the same artist who did the cover for the English-language edition of Efremov’s post-Stalin ur-SF Andromeda:

Andromeda, as published in George Hanna's translation for Foreign Language Publishing House, 1959. Pretty dull caption, huh?



ТАЙНА ЛЕТАЮЩИХ ДИСКОВ

Flying saucer fever, it would seem, hit the USSR too:

Mystery of the Flying Discs (1960), which are (apparently) showing up hovering over Moscow. Note the similarity to the classic "I Want to Believe"/Passaic streetlamp UFO!

Unfortunately, while I own this, I can’t actually read Russian well enough to tell you what’s going on in it.



paperback club, pt. 1

Okay, so I have started picking up a lot of good paperbacks since I started working at a used bookstore.  Case in point:

Ah, the famous EPCOT-drink mixer-psychedelic explosion sequence - who could ever forget?

I mean, obviously it’s showing its wear and tear, but as a piece of art it’s pretty undeniably cool, even now.

So for a little bit I’m going to post up the best ones I’ve found at a decent enough quality and maybe offer up a few thoughts on what makes them so good or, at least, what makes them so noteworthily of their time.



the first science fiction novel i remember reading

This eluded me for years, what it was called.  It wasn’t this edition, though, but a library edition of the original hardback with the blue cover – on the lower left.

The part I remembered best was the part where they fly around the space station on giant pogo sticks. And where they meet old people who grow huge in space. One of those is an exaggeration, but which? Also I really don't think it was dangerous at all. I mean, they sent a kid up there for a quiz-show prize.

Thanks, parochial school library’s lack of attention to weeding!  You made me what I am today, kinda.



wikipedia lacks a distinct article for the holler, which is to say hollow
2010, June 6, 1:35 am
Filed under: future history, science fiction | Tags: , ,

but it does have this:

ZootFly’s first development was Hollow. The game was never published. In Hollow, players would assume the role of an expelled US journalist named Tyler Kilmore, who, upon returning to the disco-totalitarian state of Centrope reunites with his fiancée and finds himself being arrested for her murder. The game would feature four distinct environments, ranging from a disco-totalitarian metropolis to a decaying underworld. Intriguingly, each mission in the game would end with a movie-style action sequence showing the player’s best moments.

Holy moly!



the post-war new world order strikes again!
post-war new world order map in fringe 2x16, "peter"

Look! Way in the back, behind John Noble's wig! There it is!

So, Fringe was actually good for once this week so I’ll cover that later but for now! Look! It’s the Post-War New World Order Map (even bigger for your desktop wallpaper needs here)!  I’m not sure why it pops up so often (it was in that Jonny Quest documentary, too) but my guess would be either 1) it looks official and secret, since it’s a bit like real life but not really 2) it’s free 3) there’s high-quality scans online and set dressers need some junk to fill space.

Still, weird that they’re using an alternate-reality map to document the alternate reality that’s supposed to be our reality except everything was invented by Leonard Nimoy as a surrogate for the messy process of the creation of new technology (just like Edison in For Want of a Nail) and also you can travel through dimensions and people turn into scorpions occasionally.  (In a show which, itself, is pretty obsessed with counterfactuality – Walter and Peter, the World Trade Center reveal, “President Kennedy,” some of the Olivia/dead agent boyfriend stuff S1 was getting into near the midpoint)  That is, a reality to which the alternate-reality map is, presumably, an alternate.  Sheesh.

Also, let’s take time to note Fringe’s new 1985 intro look – while the alternate intro has a long and atrocious history of denoting parallel universes in SF teevee over the past decade (‘sup, mirror universe episodes of Enterprise*) this is actually pretty decent at capturing/pointing out the somewhat goofy nature of the Fringe opening credits, along with its more obvious homages to the credits from The X-Files.  Plus it sorta looks like a cross between Look Around You and the Dharma initiation films from Lost, which is always nice.

*of course, this implies I thought the legitimate intros to Enterprise were good, which, well, who the heck would ever say that in the history of the world?