Originally posted by: utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!sf-lovers
Posted: Thu Dec 23 10:59:43 1982
Received: Fri Dec 24 06:23:22 1982
>From SFL@SRI-CSL Thu Dec 23 10:40:48 1982
Reply-To: SF-LOVERS at SRI-CSL
SF-LOVERS Digest Thursday, 23 Dec 1982 Volume 6 : Issue 115
Authors - Brunner's style
Themes - shrinking
Books - Bakka bookstore, Snyder's BLACK AND BLUE MAGIC
T.V. - Outer Limits, Kung Fu as SF?, Star Trek, Voyagers,
Secret Agent, Land of the Giants
Movies - E.T. vs The Day the Earth Stood Still, SW/TESB/ROTJ,
Conquest of Space
Date: 21 Dec 82 14:19:36-EST (Tue)
From: David Axler
Subject: John Brunner's style
In SFL 6:110, Mankins mentions the "collage style" used by John
Brunner in "The Sheep Look Up" and "Stand On Zanzibar" (it's also used
in "The Jagged Orbit", the middle book of this series. Literarily
speaking, this is an intentional steal on Brunner's part from the
classic "U.S.A." trilogy by John dos Passos, which uses the same
mechanisms to describe the Depression. Brunner's adaptation of this
device to sf is quite well done, by the way, but he's not the
Date: 17 Dec 82 14:15:37 EST (Fri)
From: Fred Blonder
A good shrinking story: ``A matter of Size'' by Harry Bates in
``Adventures in Time and Space''.
I'm not claiming that this is significant, but there are a few
similarities between E.T. and Klaatu (from ``The Day the Earth Stood
Still''). They both come to Earth, go into hiding, are befriended by a
human, sought out and eventually captured by government agents, die,
are revived and leave Earth after an emotional parting-scene. Granted,
there are even more things different about them, but the similarites
are interesting. Another point: if we assume that what Klaatu was
doing when he made that short speech inside his ship (``Klaatu imray
naruwat . . .'') was communicating with his home planet for help (Aha!
another similarity), and Gort used the same instrument after Patricia
Neal delivered Klaatu's message, then ``Klaatu barada nikto'' may just
mean ``Gort: phone home'' (i.e.: for instructions)
Date: 20 Dec 1982 1214-PST
From: CARROLL at USC-ISIF
The book Ronen Barzel is looking for is "Black and Blue Magic", by
Zilpha Keatley Snyder. * * *
In answer to Will Martin's query about "Conquest of Space":
This movie has shown at least half a dozen times in the Los Angeles
area in the last ten years, so it's not impossible to find, but
perhaps difficult. I think it was usually on during a weekday
The film deals with a flight to Mars to investigate the possibility
of colonization ( not clone-ization!). The ship departs from 'The
Wheel', the donut-style space station, and drops used fuel tanks
during the voyage. I think it was based on an actual design of the
time, and was pretty nice. A lot of the film dealt with interpersonal
character conflicts, tied into the mission ( I believe the rookie-son
accidentally kills the commander- father, so the loyal old-timer
There is quite a bit of scientific exposition in the film, but not
to the point of being boring. It is laced with action, for example as
the crew loses one member to a meteoroid swarm, and runs out of
drinking water just before it begins snowing on Mars. They wait for
proper juxtaposition of Earth and the red planet ( several months),
and then blast homeward, taking with them some flowers that had
actually grown in the Martian soil.
I think the film reflected some of the scientific thought of the
day. It was similar in many ways to Pal's "Destination Moon", being
entertaining as well as thought-provoking. * * *
There's a new station out in Anaheim, California, airing "Land of
the Giants" weekdays at 4, and "Secret Agent" on Saturdays. KDOC,
channel 56. * * *
Am I the only one who watches "Voyagers!" instead of "60 Minutes"?
Does anybody else enjoy this show? It's really quite fun. * * *
I submit that Rocket J. Squirrel is the 'other'. He can levitate
himself with ease, instantly decrypt secret messages, and mysteriously
appear in Bullwinkle's hat. He always relies on his own abilities
instead of weapons, and is small and cute like Yoda. You need not be
told what the 'J.' stands for.
Date: 21 Dec 82 14:12:14-EST (Tue)
From: David Axler
Subject: Bakka Address & Info
(Re: Newcomer's request for info on Bakka; SFL 107)
Bakka is one of the better sf bookstores, with a good selection
of new and used material from the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK.
They're located at 282 Queen St. West, Toronto M5V 2A1, Ontario,
Canada; phone: 416-596-8161. If you're on their mailing list, you
receive the "Bakka Bookie Sheet" every so often, which lists what new
items they've received, as well as stuff they expect to be
out-of-print in the near future. They do mail orders extremely
efficiently, and charge a minimal fee for postage and handling.
By the way, if you're planning to order stuff from them and live
in the US, place your order by phone and bill it to a major credit
card like Visa or Mastercharge. It turns out that the currency
exchange is then processed at the rate given to banks (= credit card
companies), which is several percent less than that which you'll pay
if you try to get a money order in Canadian currency. And, when you
read their prices, remember that (these days) the Canadian $ is worth
about $.85 US.
Some things worth picking up that you won't find elsewhere are
the group of anthologies edited by John Robert Columbo, an important
Canadian fan and literateur. His "Other Canadas" is a superb
collection of sf by Canadian writers, and his new "Windigo" is an
excellent anthology of stories on the title topic.
Date: 21 Dec 1982 0741-PST
From: First at SUMEX-AIM
Subject: OUTER LIMITS
WOLF 357, the Outer Limits episode referred to by John Krieger, points
out some of the basic problems with this series. Let me first say
that I think that Outer Limits was one of the best TV series ever, SF
or otherwise. Besides the SF themes, the photographic style and moody
set designs were more interesting and innovative than many films.
Anyway, the WOLF 357 episde, in which a scientist is growing a
microcosm of a world in his laboratory, had the potential of being an
excellent episde. The implication was that human -like evolution was
taking place on the planet surface and the scientist had the ability
to view the activities on the planet under a microscope, with the hope
of being able to see the Earth's future--a fascinating idea with its
obvious Pirandellian overtones (i.e. we could be in a similar
situation, under an alien's microscope). Unfortunately, the plot
digresses and eventually centers on this mysterious monster which
starts terrorizing the scientist and eventually is gotten rid of by
destroying the planet, at the moment when the evolutionary scale had
caught up to Earth. What a cop out! (Godzilla Ex Machina?!?) Many
episodes had similar problems, where interesting SF concepts are
overtaken by monsters. I believe the reason for this reflects the
continuing SF-LOVERS discussion about SF on TV--the show aired on
ABC-TV (still the sleaziest of the networks) and they required the
producers of Outer Limits to have a "monster a week". Within that
ridiculous constraint, it is to the producers' credit that the show
was a good as it was. My favorite episode: "Controlled Experiment",
with Carroll O'Connor as a martian spy doing a controlled experiment
to try to find out the underlying motivations behind violence
--no monsters in this one!
--Michael (FIRST@SUMEX-AIM, FIRST@NLM-MCS)
[I'm a long-time fan of Outer Limits and have collected 24 hours of
the best episodes on video-tape, uncut. I didn't save the episode you
mention, WOLF 357, because I didn't think it was very good. Yes, the
monster criticism is valid, but often the make-up was so amazing that
a monster-a-week could almost be forgiven. And often the quality of
the direction, atmosphere, and acting were very impressive. I've
always held the opinion that Outer Limits (at least the first season)
was second only in production quality to The Prisoner as speculative
video-fiction, and far ahead of Twlight Zone, Star Trek, etc.
Date: 20 Dec 1982 1827-PST
Subject: Kung Fu TV series as SF
From: Mike Leavitt
The last thing the list needs now is a new topic, but . . . . I wonder
if anyone has had the same reaction to the old David Carradine series
Kung Fu that I have.. I get the same kind of lift from watching old
episodes that I get from watching a few of the old STs, and I don't
exactly know why. Last week I saw a repeat that began to give me some
insight, in that Caine acted a bit more like a Superman than he
usually does, and I made that particular connection. There are very
definite echoes of some Van Vogt. Has anyone else had similar
Date: 19 Dec 1982 0856-PST
From: Henry W. Miller
Subject: Kirk, etc
Has anyone out there see William Shatner's new show, "T. J.
Well, it is another cop show, but Shatner pulls it off well..
He is an old vetren of the the force, (no, no, not that FORCE...) who
spends part of his time with the trainees. As a cop, he is a
no-nonsense type of guy. As a human being, he is full of foiables, as
are we all.
I like the show. At last Shatner has another outlet so
diaplay his true acting ability other than Star Trek remakes. (If you
don't believe the man can act, then you didn't see "The Wrath of
Kahn". It took me six times to see that movie before I didn't cry at
Interesting point: in one of the earlier episodes of "Hooker",
Vic Tayback, (Mel on "Alice", better known as JoJo Kracko in "A Piece
of the Action") made a guest appearance.
Now, if they could get Nimoy as a guest star. Wow BUT, What a
trip, if in addition to Nimoy, they got DeForrest Kelly, Jimmy Doohan,
Walter Koenig, George Takaei, Nichelle Nichols and Majel Barrett in a
show. Even playing bit parts, it would blow alot of folks away. It
would probably blow "Hooker" into the top 10 at least for a couple of
Hooker is alot like Kirk. Maybe that is why Shatner is so
good at playing "autocratic leaders". They both go by the book, until
it suits them to do otherwise.
It is truly a trip here i the Bay Area, watching Star Trek at
7:00 PM, then watching Hooker from 8:00 to 9:00. Same man, but 15
years later. Ya'know, he's not getting older; he's getting better.
[Supposedly Nimoy *will* guest star on a T.J. Hooker episode. They
showed a brief clip. He and Shatner will be antagonists. --Stuart]
Date: 14 Dec 82 12:58:20-PST (Tue)
From: harpo!ihnp4!ihuxx!marks at Ucb-C70
Subject: Re: The Emperor
I'm not surprised that the credits showed the Emperor played by
someone else. I seem to recall that Alec Guiness died sometime after
SW was filmed. Am I all wet or what?
Mark Beckner Bell Labs
Date: 14 Dec 82 16:54:19-PST (Tue)
From: harpo!npoiv!hou5f!hou5d!hou5a!hou5e!jjm at Ucb-C70
Subject: The Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back
The Emperor in TESB was played by an English actor
named Clive Reville (sp?).
I have seen him in other movies, so this is not
a fake name.
Despite a previous news item, Alec Guiness is not dead.
(Anyone who saw the recent TV movie "Smiley's People"
BTL - Holmdel
Date: 22 Dec 1982 (Wednesday) 2347-EDT
From: SPEAR at Wharton-10 (Daniel Spear)
Subject: Voice of the Emperor
Clive Revill (People were looking at me funny when they saw me take
notes at the movie theatre, but damned if I can remember that name.)
Date: 20 Dec 82 09:41:31 EST (Mon)
From: Craig Stanfill
Subject: Luke's Light Sabre
If Han Solo's attitude towards Light Sabres is indicitave of the
general sentiment towards the weapon, I expect Luke can pick one up at
a flea market or third hand junk shop for a few credits.
Date: 20 Dec 82 10:51:45 EST (Mon)
From: Rene Steiner
Subject: more decompression and luke's hand
1) Well, the problem of explosive decompression was solved once and
for all in 'Airplane II: the Sequel'. Kent McCord and the other guy
(sorry, don't remember his name) were sucked out of the airlock and
danced a last waltz together to the tune of 'Blue Danube'. Neither
looked exploded or messy in any way. So there you have it. Of course,
they also had air on the moon ...
2) I thought that Luke would be killed in RoTJ even before Lucas
mentioned 'the [one] survivor' of the second (current) trilogy. There
are elements of Norse mythology in the Star Wars movies. For instance,
in 'The Beowulf', Beowulf has three encounters with evil forces. The
first, with Grendel, he wins handily, and there is wide celebration.
The second, with Grendel's dam, he barely wins with outside help (the
sudden appearance of a magical sword). The third, with the dragon, he
barely kills with the help of his one faithful retainer, but he is
mortally wounded, and dies. Also, in the first, Grendel comes to his
world. He seeks out Grendel's dam in her world, and almost dies.
Anyway, Lucas seems to be in to mythological stories. There is also
Tyr, who lost his hand to the wolf Fenrir. Losing a hand sometimes
symbolizes losing one's humanity. Tolkien used mythology heavily in
his tragic stories - Morgoth and (I think) Beren, and of course Frodo
loses a finger. Also (one more) people who learn about themselves, who
become whole through their experiences, tend to die in the Heroic
Tradition. Boromir, Beowulf, and Frodo (who dies for all intents and
purposes), and Spock, and others (sorry, it's been over a year since
my Northern Mythology course - I don't remember all the characters -
any mythology buffs out there?). Anyway, the point of my rather
rambling discourse is that when the third movie comes out, there are
sure to be lots of mythological roots to be found in the trilogy (and
in the others as well). Anyway.
Date: 21 Dec 82 16:21:21 EST (Tue)
Subject: Light Saber Power Source.
The Light Saber is NOT powered by the force. In the book, Luke
examines the Light Saber Obi-Wan gives him and notes that the rating
on the power cell is the largest he has ever seen on a device this
Clearly the Light Saber needs batteries.
Date: 20 Dec 82 14:08:15 EST (Mon)
From: Rene Steiner
Subject: detection of good and evil in the Force
Ah, but Good CAN be detected - Darth Vader detected Obi-wan on the
Death Star ("I feel a presence in the force, someone I have not
detected since...." not an exact quote, but you get the idea.)
Date: 15 Dec 82 18:32:41-PST (Wed)
From: decvax!utzoo!watmath!bstempleton at Ucb-C70
Subject: Re: Food for thought...........TESB, the "other, etc.
I think the force is with Han Solo, too - although he's not the other.
I should point out however that Han did NOT hit Darth Vader in the
death star battle. He hit Vader's wingman, and that ship went out of
control and crashed into Vader's ship.
End of SF-LOVERS Digest