Originally posted by: utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!sf-lovers
Posted: Wed Dec 1 00:55:39 1982
Received: Thu Dec 2 04:40:41 1982
>From SFL@SRI-CSL Wed Dec 1 00:32:15 1982
Reply-To: SF-LOVERS at SRI-CSL
SF-LOVERS Digest Wednesday, 1 Dec 1982 Volume 6 : Issue 93
Books - Gilliand's * from Rosinante, Vinge's Refugees from
Heaven's Belt, Childhood's End spoiler, Adams' HHGttG,
Chalker's Diamond & Wellworld series, Wolfe's Book of the
New Sun series
Queries - decompression, minimal spacesuits
Themes - shrinking
T.V. - HHGttG, favorite Star Trek episodes
Movies - Star Trek, Revenge of the Jedi trailer, the Other in
Star Wars / TESB
Date: 30 Nov 1982 18:31:11 EST (Tuesday)
From: David Mankins
Subject: * from Rosinante
This weekend I read three excellent books, all by Alexis A.
Gilliland: "Revolution from Rosninante," "Long Shot for Rosinante,"
and "The Pirates of Rosinante."
Mundito (little world) Rosinante is an O'Neill space colony orbiting
the asteroid Rosinante, constructed by the government of the North
American Union. Of the two planned companion munditos, Don Quixote is
destroyed in a labor dispute over back pay, and Sancho Panza is
The three books tell the story of how Rosinante becomes independent,
and then how it takes on the Japanese Navy in an undeclared, bloodless
The heroes of this book are Engineers (plus one plucky strategist and
a computer prone to prophecy and Humphrey Bogart imitations). They
think nothing of building a 20 kilometer long, solar-mirror pumped gas
laser in a pinch (but then, they're used to building 7km-in-diameter,
50km-long habitats and they still have the equipment lying around).
These books are also about politics, they're sort of Allen Drury
novels in the sky. Fortunately, they don't suffer the liability that
Drury's or Pournelle's novels do--the villains are painted in shades
of grey, not swaths of black, and have believable motives, and aren't
simply Evil. Some of the villains aren't even villains, and some of
the heroes just happen to be on the right side. In other words, just
like real people.
Any way, if you're looking for some Space Fiction, with space ships
and places to go in them, these books are pretty good.
Date: 30 Nov 1982 18:53:08 EST (Tuesday)
From: David Mankins
Subject: Joan D. Vinge's 'Refugees from Heaven Belt'
Heaven Belt is the perfect planetary system for space colonists: one
gigantic asteroid-belt, with a single gas-giant. With all those
asteroids you don't have to dig very deep to get all the minerals you
But, what happens when you have a civil war?
On a planet, like Earth, if you have a war that blows you back to the
stone-age, well, tough. But you'll live.
In space, where EVERYTHING is manufactured--even your air and
water--you can't afford to get blown back to the 20th Century, let
alone the stone age, or everybody dies.
That's the point of ``Outcasts of Heaven Belt'' by Joan D. Vinge.
It's a story about a ship sent to Heaven Belt by people on a colonized
world (called Morningside), hoping to do some trading with the people
of the fabulously-rich Heaven Belt system. When they get there, they
find that, due to a civil war (the "reasons" for which are never
explained) some 30 years ago, the system has been deteriorating,
things going unrepaired, etc. The resources of the system are being
exhausted simply trying to keep things running.
When the ship from Morningside arrives, the rival powers of the
Demarchy and the Grand Harmony are each desperate to get ahold of it,
and use it to keep their people alive just a little longer. The
people on the ship, who have lost most of their number in the initial
attack by the Grand Harmony, just want to go home. In order to return
home, the people on the ship have to refuel, which means contact, and
the danger of capture.
But they also can't leave the system, with its hundreds of thousands
of people, to die.
Date: 29 Nov 82 20:30:14 EST (Mon)
From: Fred Blonder
Subject: Re: Decompression
From: CMP.TAYLOR at UTEXAS-20
It seems to me that if you kept your mouth shut, you should be
able to survive zero atomosphere for about 30 seconds.
I suspect that if you opened your mouth that the lungs would
much the worse for wear.
I doubt that keeping your mouth shut is what you want. For one thing,
how would you close your nose, and if you didn't, what good would
closing your mouth do?
The navy trains submarine crewmembers for emergency underwater
evacuation by having them enter a deep water tank, through an airlock
at the bottom, and float to the surface with the aid of a life
preserver or some such device. As they drift toward the surface they
must continually expell air from their lungs to avoid injury.
The pressure change they go through in this exercise is several
atmospheres. I'm not sure what kind of injury you would suffer from
attempting to hold a mere one atmosphere in your lungs. On the other
hand, if you let all the air out of your lungs you might run the
danger of having your lungs collapse. Probably the ``right'' thing to
do is to retain just a little air in your lungs.
Date: 30 Nov 1982 6:38:15 CST (Tuesday)
From: Mike Meyer
Subject: Minimal spacesuits
The perfect (and minimal) spacesuit is, of course, none at all.
Therefore, ent, as that rder to determine how often and how much life
support has to be provided to keep you alive in a vacuum. There have
been various stories that use this idea. In particular, `Forever
Enemy' by Howard L. Myers in the December '70 Analog describes the
adventures of a person who . His own life-support system includes a
gas converter in his throat, a stomach balloon, builtin radio, and
(interstellar) transport system. There is a story (sorry, no
author/title) that opens with an attack force of people so outfitted
materializing above a planet. I like that image...
A more interesting question than what a perfect spacesuit is is how
close can we come to the above system in the next couple ofdecades?
Date: 30 Nov 82 20:29:34 EST (Tue)
From: Fred Blonder
Subject: Re: explosive decompression
From: LFeinberg.es at PARC-MAXC
Clarke has written a short story involving the process of a
who must go unprotected into space for a short time. . . .
effects of the zero pressure didn't seem to be as much a
as the direct exposure to sunlight.
I also read that story (title unknown). It concerned a dormitory
compartment for the construction crew working on a partially completed
space station. They wake up one ``morning'' to find that they are in
zero gravity and realize the compartment must have seperated from the
rotating space station. Being sensible types, since they have no
space suits in the compartment, they don't open any of the doors which
normally lead to adjoining compartments. Meanwhile, the others at the
station notice what has happened, rush out to rescue them, and
communicate with them by banging on the compartment walls in morse
code (or some such primitive means) to tell them when they have a
spaceship with an open airlock door lined up as best they can with a
What about other forms of radiation in open space?
Date: 30 Nov 1982 8:18:35 EST (Tuesday)
From: Drew M. Powles
Subject: childhood's end...possibly a spoiler
to Don Voreck: correction on the correction of your correction ,etc.
Read your book again.......They do not leave in spaceships. The
centaur creatures leave the earth after they have done their part:
somehow allowing the Overmind (correct name?) to influence the
children. The earth is destroyed as the children are raised to a
higher plane to join the Overmind (hence Childhood's End.....the end
of the Childhood of the Human Race) All the adults have long since
died out, but one lone human adult who had stowed away in a centaur
spaceship and then returned with very little of his relative time
passing because of the time affects of the centaur method of space
travel describes the destruction of the earth and the raising of the
children to the Overmind over a communication device to the centaurs
as they leave the earth (bit of a long sentence there, i'm afraid).
as i said, take a look at it again, closely.
Date: 30 Nov 1982 1542-EST
From: Stephen R Balzac
Gulliver's travels might be considered examples of shrinking
and growing, although in a metaphorical sense, when Gulliver goes to
Lilliput and Brobdingnag.
Also, there is a series of books about the "Micronauts". I
have never read any, but they do seem to involve shrinking.
Date: 30 Nov 1982 18:26:25 EST (Tuesday)
From: David Mankins
Subject: good news for HHGttG fans
Good news, Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy fans, Douglas Adams, in
an interview this evening on ``All things considered'' revealed that,
after he finished the second book (``Restaraunt at the end of the
universe'' he swore on the souls of his many ancestors that he would
not write a third HHG book. Now that he's finished the third book,
he's swearing on the souls of the ancestors of many of his friends
that he won't write a fourth, but, he hasn't started on it yet....
Date: 30 Nov 82 17:28:22-EST (Tue)
From: David Axler
Subject: Shrinking in HHGttG
As usual, HHGttG takes a standard sf cliche (the aliens who are
deadly, but tiny), and warps it beautifully into its plot. It's not
really 'shrinking', but it's still well done: The episode (inserted
as Arthur is being led into the bowels of Magrathea by Slartibartfast)
I refer to is that dealing with the war between the V'l'hurg and the
G'gugvunt [sp?], caused by Arthur's line "I've been having problems
with my lifestyle lately" being sucked through a wormhole in space.
When the combatants recognize that it's actually due to an ape
descendant that they're fighting, they combine their fleets and send
them off to destroy Earth. Alas, on arrival the entire fleet is
swallowed by a dog!
The TV version of this scene, by the way, has the battle set up
as an arcade game -- a very nice touch.
Date: 30 Nov 82 17:47:30-EST (Tue)
From: David Axler
Subject: Miscellaneous Comments
1) "The Citadel of the Autaurch" is not really "currently available"
from the sf book club. They announced it for their November
selection, but this mailing had gone out before the publisher and
author announced a 2-3 month delay because Wolfe wanted to make some
revisions. So, we'll see when it actually appears...
2) I think the "Mushroom Planet" books were written by Eleanor Estes
Cameron, who also wrote "The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek,"
another fine kids sf book.
3) I've enjoyed Jack Chalker's 'Well World' and 'Diamond' series,
though he's far from being a perfect writer. His ideas are, quite
often, a few steps ahead of his technique, especially in the realm of
characterization. In some ways, his stuff is pure "Golden Age" sf,
though leavened a bit by contemporary mores and a greater interest in
the 'soft' sciences. By the way, many (tho' not all) of the various
hexes in the 'Well World' have names which are very definitely
anagrams of those of major sf authors and/or characters; they're fun
to check out.
4) SF in different media: I think it's important to note that, with
the possible exception of some forms of visual media, almost all sf
that isn't in written form really starts out that way, and is then
translated. Movies, radio plays, and the like all have scripts, from
which the director/cast/producer/etc. must develop the visual
possibilities. Many illustrations, esp. if they're directly connected
with the publishing industry (books/mags), are also related to a piece
of text. [And, when they're not, the authors often get annoyed;
e.g.Donald Kingsbury's ire about the fact that the cover to "Courtship
Rite" did not show tattoos that were anything like those described in
Much of the translation is dependent on the work of the "special
effects artists," of whom little has been said in sfl. Overall,
they're an impressive crew. The best source of info for what's going
on in that field, by the way, is not 'Cinefantastique,' but rather a
lesser-known magazine, 'Cinefex,' which does some superb reporting.
Of course, both have a similar problem -- they're dependent
(symbiotically?) on what the various studios will provide them in
terms of illustrations and prints; this does, though, provide the
studios with extra publicity.
Date: 29 Nov 82 19:58:06 EST (Mon)
From: Fred Blonder
Subject: Re: ST2WOK; inconsistencies
From: Reed B. Powell
CETI-ALPHI START SYSTEM:
They land on Planet #5, but think it is #6. Why?
. . . the explosion would indeed . . . have shifted the
orbit of at least #5 . . . This certainly would have been
noted by astronomers SOMEWHERE.
According to the book, CA-5 and CA-6 were a binary planet. The
explosion of CA-6 would have a tremendous effect on CA-5 in this case.
Also according to the book, the only previous missions to the Ceti
Alpha system were the Enterprise's visit (which was kept secret to
prevent anyone from trying to rescue Khan), and an unreliable robot
probe some 100 years earlier, so the Reliant's crew wouldn't have
known for certain what to expect. But then, why did Checkov forget
about Khan? Was it because he wasn't in the ``space seed'' episode and
so never knew in the first place?
I am annoyed at movies which require you to read the book to get the
full story. This just means that the movie can't stand on its own.
Date: Tuesday, 30 November 1982 12:16-EST
From: Vince Fuller
Subject: Best ST episode
Didn't this episode ("City on the Edge of Forever") win a Hugo award?
I agree that it was one of the best episodes - it has many of the
aspects of a good SF/Trek plot (some room for speculation, paradoxes,
and a touch of humor) and seems to be very "together". Still, my vote
for favorite episode goes to "Mirror, Mirror" (a Hugo award nominee,
but not a winner) which I thought was interested since it showed an
interesting alternative look at what the Federation (Empire) and all
of its constituents could have been. Well, I like both time travel and
alternate world SF, so both of these rate high on my list.
Date: 30 Nov 1982 1538-EST
From: Stephen R Balzac
Subject: Favorite ST episode
My favorite ST episode is a toss-up between Trouble with
Tribbles, A Piece of the Action, Balance of Terror, and the City at
the Edge of Forever, in no particular order. This list is also likely
to increase or decrease withour warning depending on my mood when I
see a particular episode.
Date: 30 November 1982 23:42-EST
From: Charles F. Von Rospach
Subject: Best ST episode
That is City on the Edge of Forever, Written by Harlan Ellison. The
original script won him a hugo, and is much superior to the (very well
done indeed) story that made it to tv.
Date: 1 Dec 1982 (Wednesday) 0022-EDT
From: KENNEA at Wharton-10 (Richard Kenneally)
Subject: "...out of stone knives and bear skins!"
"The City on the Edge of Forever" is a good choice for best ST
episode. It won one award (HUGO?) and was the only award winning ST
episode if memory serves me. One of my favorites was discussed
earlier--"Journey to Babel". The ambassador was Gav, a Tellerite. He
was killed by Thelev, an Orion surgically altered to resemble the
antenna bearing Andorians. Thelev used the ancient Vulcan method of
neckbreaking known as Tal-Shaya (sp?) to put the blame on Spock's
father. I enjoyed this one for the aliens and the background into
Spock's family. I also liked "Menagerie", loved the Horta, and
enjoyed meeting Jack the Ripper. Worst goes to "The Omega Glory" with
"Miri" (remember seeing the North American continent on another
planet?) a close second. My favorite scene of all I think was the
look on the US Air Force security guard when he was beamed aboard the
Enterprise and given chicken soup.
[The Nicholls encyclopedia gives the following information about Star
Dramatic presentation 1967 - The Menagerie
Dramatic presentation 1968 - City on the Edge of Forever
Additionally the latter won the Writers' Guild of America award for
outstanding script 1967-68. -- Stuart]
Date: 30 November 1982 0533-EST
From: Don Provan at CMU-10A
Subject: raging movie notes
has everyone forgotten so soon that we never *see* spock's body after
the farewell with kirk? why's everyone so sure it's in that photon
torpedo shell? (by the way, that "coffin that has the same shape as a
photon torpedo" has "photon torpedo" written on the side.)
i've been sure that Luke and Leia are brother and sister since seeing
SWII for the first time. it *has* to be, because there's no other way
out of the love triangle without Luke "losing" Leia, something that
just can't fit into the SW genre. just because Leia thinks of that
deceased gentleman on the deseased planet as her father doesn't mean
he is actually her flesh and blood father. i've always hoped that
Leia would be seen going through jedi training, but i guess i was just
dreaming that she'd be the "other".
in the recent discussion, an interesting possibility occured to me:
does anyone out there think that Vadar may be won back away from the
evil side of the force? if anyone could do it, his talented son might
be able to do it.
that reminds me, i can't imagine them doing anything anywhere near as
complex as having Vadar lie about being Luke's father. it would take
most of SWIII to explain why he felt the need to lie. i can't come up
with a single other example of someone lying anywhere in the first two
movies, so i can't imagine such a big lie *and* a lie that is
essential to the plot.
my turn to mouth off....
Date: 29 Nov 82 12:27:14-PST (Mon)
From: decvax!cwruecmp!krm at Ucb-C70
I have asked several of my friends why yoda wasn't involved in the war
or the current struggle. The most common opinion is that Yoda was a
*teacher* of the jedi and not a jedi himself. Yoda would not and
could not fight Vader.
Date: 30 Nov 1982 09:51:45-EST
From: mclean at NRL-CSS (John McLean)
Subject: the other
If Vadar and Luke unite to fight the emperor, could Vadar actually be
the other? Also, I would like some clarification, if possible, of the
CLONE wars. I've seen reference to these in earlier digests, but was
never sure what to make of it. In SW1 I heard reference to what I
thought were COLON (rhymes with 'cologne') wars. I assumed that
'colon' was short for 'colonial'. What is the evidence that the war
actually involved clones?
Date: 30-Nov-82 13:24:58-PST (Tue)
Subject: ROTJ trailer
Would someone who has seen the trailer for Revenge of the Jedi care
to share their impressions with me? Is it worth seeing independent of
another viewing of Empire? How long is it? How
informative/interesting? I'm thinking of going but not sure if it's
worth going just for that.
Mail your opinions to me (upstill@UCBVAX) or to the group.
Date: 30 Nov 82 19:25:39-EST (Tue)
From: Gene Spafford
Subject: Star Wars, or, Cloning Around
I haven't seen it mentioned yet, so was I hallucinating when I noticed
that Obi-Wan and the emperor looked exactly the same? I even think
their voices were similar. If you look closely you may notice that
the emperor had a hood over the upper part of his face, but the
similarity was most striking (to me).
If we think in terms of clones then we might speculate that Luke's
father and Darth are clones, the Emperor and ObiWan are clones, and
maybe Luke or Yoda have a clone out there.
My officemate suggests that Yoda is really Luke's father and the last
hope of the Jedi is the mother. Of course, what will really happen is
that Leia will marry Chewbacca (she loves those hairy, strong types),
Bobba Fett will sell Han to Baskin and Robbins as the flavor of the
month, Lando will suddenly discover he is the only black person in the
galaxy (have you seen any others outside of the ones who died in fight
scenes?) and take the Millenium Falcon to search for his roots, Luke
takes Yoda on the road as a fake ventriloquist act, R2D2 and C3PO run
off with waring blenders (met them at a robot fraternity mixer), Darth
has a change of heart (done at an Aamco shop) and becomes a hood
ornament on a Jawa pimpmobile, and the emperor becomes a benevolent
dictator after he learns to use the power of the force --- gently but
effectively --- on his problem constipation. The rebel forces,
finding themselves without intelligent, effective leadership (like our
country nowadays) will fly off in search of another movie and
eventually be destroyed in random encounters with the Gallactica, the
Enterprise, and the Jupiter II.
There, does that leave any loose ends?
Date: 29 Nov 82 19:22:08-PST (Mon)
From: harpo!npoiv!alice!rabbit!wildman at Ucb-C70
Subject: The OTHER, again.
I have also, usually to great laughter at my expense, proposed that
Boba Fett was, if not the OTHER, at least a real good guy. Consider.
1) Boba Fett DOES backtalk Vader. He is the ONLY character, other
than Luke and Obewan, who gets away with it, and the ONLY ONE who gets
away whole. Furthermore, Vader agrees with Fett in much the same
manner that the soldier in SWIV agrees with Obewan, which seems to
mean that Fett somehow managed to dominate/charm Vader into the
particular action. Why he saved Solo, then, is not clear, I must
2) In all of the (2 so far) movies, the treatment of the character,
as far as music and cinematography, has indicated the goodness/badness
of the character. Fett, when taking off with Solo, flies off into a
beautiful sunset, gracefully, with his ugly ship sillhouetted (sp,
yes, I know) against the sunset so that it looks actually nice, and
with HEROIC music, NOT heavy music. Seems a BIt strange. (This is
what actually first caught my attention)
3) BF is mentioned as the person who can always find the man.
Interesting, but not conclusive.
4) We already know that Leia has some sensitivity to the force, so
her detection of a TRAINED and DESPERATE Luke doesn't make me that
5) When the disturbance in in the force is strong, Leia, Luke, and
Fett are withing touching distance. Hmmmm. Colletively they can
control Sharra, perhaps???
Why don't we all wait until next April and see for ourselves?
P.S. Wasn't the quote "The Jedi does not CRAVE revenge." I have
certainly gotten things that I do NOT crave.
Date: 1 Dec 1982 (Wednesday) 0025-EDT
From: KENNEA at Wharton-10 (Richard Kenneally)
Subject: another other
Emperor: "The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi."
Are we so sure he meant Luke's dad?
Just a thought.
Date: 30 Nov 1982 1527-EST
From: Stephen R Balzac
The solution to everything is indeed in clones:
1) Obi-wan fought in the clone wars. With a slight twist of
pronunciation his name becomes, as everyone has been
writing it, Ob1. Perhaps there are more Ob's?
2) Luke's father fought in the clone wars. However he was
killed by Vader, who later claims to be Luke's father.
Solution: Vader is a clone of Luke's dad who managed to
kill the original. This way both statements are true:
Ob1's that Vader killed Luke's dad, and Vader's that he
is Luke's dad.
3) The other could easily be Boba-Fet. He wears armor from
the clone wars, which dates him. He has never missed a
kill (before Luke) which could indicate that the force is
strong in him. He was able to mask himself (if the force
is indeed strong in him) from Vader, which not even Ob1
could do. Remember, Boba-Fet stood only a few feet from
Vader, and Vader never felt anything. This could mean
either that Boba-Fet has nothing to do with the force, or
that he is so powerful that no one can tell it if he
doesn't want them to. Of course Boba-Fet did miss Luke.
This could be explained by the Force being stong in Luke,
but on the other hand, Boba-Fet had him at point blank
range. It may be that Boba-Fet wanted to miss, not
wanting to kill his son: Boba-Fet being, of course, yet
another clone of Luke's father.
4) There may be more clones of Ob1 running around, too.
After all, the hologram of the emperor looked awfully
[This seems to be the most realistic explanation of the Star Wars/TESB
mystery I've seen. Anyone care to try and punch holes in it? --Stuart]
End of SF-LOVERS Digest