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SF-LOVERS Digest V6 #104 [message #8111] Wed, 01 August 2012 01:49
Originally posted by: utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!sf-lovers
Article-I.D.: ucbvax.342
Posted: Wed Dec 15 04:56:02 1982
Received: Fri Dec 17 01:42:54 1982

>From SFL@SRI-CSL  Mon Dec 13 02:45:01 1982

SF-LOVERS Digest         Sunday, 12 Dec 1982      Volume 6 : Issue 104

Today's Topics:
    Books   - Finney's TIME AND AGAIN
    Authors - Varley
    T.V.    - Star Trek "We the people"
    Movies  - SW/TESB/ROTJ sabers, clones

Date: Friday, 10 December 1982  01:27-EST
From: KWH at MIT-MC
Subject: Time travel

"Time and Again" is by Jack Finney and is definitely worth reading-- 
While definiitely not "hard" science fiction, it is a pleasure to 



Date: Saturday, 11 December 1982  09:34-EST
From: Chuck Weinstock 
Subject: Time and Again

Time and Again was not by the actor Albert Finney, it was by the
author Jack Finney who also wrote the Invasion of the Body Snatchers.


Date: 10 Dec 82 22:25-PST
From: mclure at SRI-UNIX
Subject: why I don't like Varley's TITAN/WIZARD

In reply to duntemann.wbsd@parc-maxc's comments:

I don't see anything specifically bad about Varley's TITAN and WIZARD,
but that's just the problem.  Neither is there anything spectacular or
innovative.  Many times have we encountered the "living world" theme 
within SF and here it is again with a tiresome revenge plot thrown in 
for good measure, not to mention an unrealistic and boring earth 
mother and the usual cast of zany alien creatures populating the 
landscape in Gaea.

When you compare these two books with his shorts and previous novel, 
the former pale in comparison.  In the latter there's stuff that just 
hadn't been done before to any great degree in SF: casting off of 
stereotypical sex roles (the real purposes behind the frequent 
sex-changes his characters undergo), disorienting non-Earth 
environments forced into an Earth-like mode and yet still retaining a 
hint of non-familiarity, odd combinations of symbiont and human 
bodies, extremely sensitive attention to characterizations even in the
face of clearly different moral and social values, frequent use of 
realistic first-person female viewpoints, and so forth.

Varley's shorts and first novel evoke a sort of pastoral simplicity 
within an enormously complex technological framework.  For example, I 
was half-way through my first Varley story a couple years ago before I
realized that I wasn't even on Earth!  The depressive atmosphere of 
immensely superior and indifferent Invaders having ousted Man from 
Earth somehow appeals to me.  It means that Man must put up with harsh
environments and yet try to recreate something resembling his imagined
home world.  In essence, it is the ultimate challenge to his ability 
of adapting to different environments, one which Varley clearly sees 
as being not beyond the capability of Man.



Date: Saturday, 11 December 1982  16:58-EST
Subject: "We the people..."

I don't believe that this argument is actually going on.  If only from
Saturday morning cartoons (remember those?  About the bill whose 
greatest ambition is to become a law?  Conjunction junction?  There 
was one called "We the people..."), I would think everyone would 
  "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more
   perfect union, do ordain and establish this constitution..."

If the quote is to be believed, it's from the preamble of the 
Constitution of the United States.


Date: 9 Dec 82 0:54:07-PST (Thu)
From: decvax!microsof!jerryd at Ucb-C70
Subject: Stardates in ST

I recently spent some time wading through some old junk to dig out
some material I ordered in my (much) younger days from Star Trek
Enterprises (or was it Lincoln Enterprises?).  Having read all of the
recent discussion about stardates on the net, I decided to look them
up in my copy of "The Star Trek Guide", Third Revision, dated April
17, 1967.  (I remember ordering it as "The Star Trek Writer's Guide,"
but that's not what it says on the cover.)

The Guide says that stardates were invented to avoid having to mention
ST's century, thus averting arguments about the state of technology in
that century.  Stardates were supposed to maintain a constant 
progression in one story, with each decimal point representing one 
tenth (surprise!) of a day.  It further says that the writer didn't 
have to worry about progression with other scripts, and that
"Stardates are a mathematical formula which varies depending on
location in the galaxy, velocity of travel, and other factors, [and]
can vary widely from episode to episode."

I hope this settles discussion on the subject; however, I do remember 
that one of the ST books ("World of Star Trek", I think) mentions that
the first stories were filmed with ascending stardates, but when they 
weren't broadcast in filming order, the above double-talk was 


Date: 10-Dec-82  1:14:48 PST
Subject: Star Trek & Light Sabers

A few remarks on recent digests...

I'm glad somebody else thought to ask about Luke's light saber.  Those
two questions (did he lose his when he lost his hand, and where did
Vader get his if Luke's came from his father?) have been bothering me
ever since TESB first came out.  (Of course, the first question won't
bother me as long as Luke manages without it from now on -- hah! --
and the second won't bother me if Darth turns out not to be Luke's
father -- hah!)  Note that we don't actually see Luke with a saber in
the closing minutes of TESB; if he shows up with one in ROTJ, there'd
better be an explanation along with it!  (Don't you love empty

Nice of Nathan to remember the Star Trek ratings from Stevenson Hall;
I was part of the "Bridge Crew" that concocted them, and I think I
even made the ratings (and accompanying plot synopses) available to
SFL a year or so ago.  There were in fact two 5-star (max rating)
shows, one being Tribbles and the other being A Piece of the Action.
I think this tells us something, e.g., it's easier to do good comedy
than good drama.  The basic plot of APotA was so far-fetched that the
show would have been considered lousy if done seriously, but as a
comedy it fits right in, and all the essential aspects of the plot are
at least given an attempt at justification.  Tribbles doesn't even
require that much suspension of disbelief; the plot holds together and
all the different subplots and running gags blend with each other very

The City on the Edge of Forever, which many people have pointed to as
the best Trek ever, got "only" 4 1/2 stars on our 0-5 scale.  We all 
agree that it's an excellent show, but there's a basic flaw in the
plot, and in an essential element at that.  [SPOILER??]  The Guardian
is displaying Earth history, and Spock starts recording it at some
point.  Then McCoy goes through the portal, and history is changed,
and the "display" stops.  They get the Guardian to replay it, and Kirk
and Spock jump through.  Later, they look at the tricorder record to
compare "future" events on the two time-lines.  But HOW do they manage
to have a record of what the future is SUPPOSED to be, since McCoy
mucked it up before the Guardian got that far?  (It's also not clear
how they got the recording of the changed future, since they jumped
through before getting that far, but one can argue that they made the
recording and then jumped through on the third showing.)  Also, less
significantly, why couldn't they tell which recording was which?  Then
Spock would have known right away whether the "correct" future
required that Edith die, as soon as he saw her obituary.  There is a
final objection, namely that it seems odd that the events displayed by
the Guardian should include such details as Edith's obituary, but one
can hand-wave that by noting that her death was an important "cusp" in

        -- Don.


Date: 8 Dec 82 19:57:56-PST (Wed)
From: decvax!cwruecmp!honton at Ucb-C70
Subject: Darth Vader = Good Guy

  Its good to see that many people are taking my suggestion that Darth
is a good guy seriously.  However, I no longer believe in the clone

  There are two good reasons why it is colon (short for colonial.):

  First, the classic theme of independent, hardworking good guys being
threatened by the heavy evil central government makes good watching.

  Second, the two Star Wars films we have seen before, ( and previous 
films by Lucas,) are fantasy.  Not hard Science Fiction, but Fantasy.
Clones do not make good fantasy.  How do you explain this stuff to the
general population?

  Still, the turn around of Darth to a good guy, now that's fantasy!



Date: 9 Dec 82 17:32:50-PST (Thu)
From: harpo!eagle!mhtsa!alice!wookie at Ucb-C70
Subject: Star Wars  clone wars

While I think it is interesting that everone is taking the ancient
wars as the colon (short for colonial) wars I just thought I would
point out that in the book they are clearly referred to as the "clone
wars".  I think therefore we had better confine our extrapolations to
that fact.

                                        Keith Bauer
                                        Bell Labs Murray Hill
                                        White Tiger Racing


Date: 10 Dec 1982 at 1051-PST
Subject: Star Wars: Clones and such
From: chesley.tsca at SRI-TSC

        (1) Clones as we know them today (of course, anything is
possible in SF) don't spring up full-grown.  There is roughly a
generation of age between a person and his clone.  Luke could be a
        (2) We have a lot of father figures in SW, but a definite lack
of mothers.  Who was Luke's mother?  How did she die?  Did she?  Who
was the Princess's mother?  Ditto?  And, of course, are there any
mothers at all?
        (3) Are Jedi celibate?  Magicians and priests often are.  Is
this why they needed clones?  Is this why Luke and the Princess will
never get together?  (Side note: Han more follows the warrior model
than the magician model, and warriors are most definitely not
        (4) "The Clone Wars" is a very neutral phrase.  Was the war
against clones?  For them?  With them?  Started by them?  Etc.?
        (5) Maybe Han is the only non-clone in the known Universe,
which is why he's "Solo"... :-)



Date: 10 Dec 82 18:03:26-PST (Fri)
From: hplabs!hp-pcd!harold (Harold Noyes) at Ucb-C70
Subject: LUKE'S *FAILURE* - (nf)

As a Star Wars fan, here's my two cents worth--

When Luke went into the cave for his TEST, the being he was fighting 
was *NOT* Darth Vader.  Remember that when he had defeated the being, 
the face mask dissolved, revealing an image of *LUKE SKYWALKER*!

Why is this significant?  Is it significant?  Both are good questions.

Two items which I would like to throw out for consideration:

First, could Luke's failure in the cave have been his attempt to 
destroy his *dark* half rather than subdue it?  The idea that the evil
side of a person is vital to his ability to be courageous, 
strong-willed, and a leader has been presented many times in sci-fi 
(remember Capt. Kirk when he was divided into good and bad 'clones' by
the transporter?).

This includes the idea that the reason that Luke did not need his 
weapons while in the cave was because the conflict between the good 
and bad is an internal struggle.  It is person subjugating one side by
practising and perfecting the other.  It is fought within the confines
of the 'soul'.

The second item for consideration......

How did Luke's Dark Side get in there?  Is that cave the source of all
evil in the Universe?  And, as the Master Jedi, is Yoda the only being
who can keep those forces in check.

All of the above are thoughts for your consideration and not 
necessarily the personal beliefs of the author, disclaimer, 
disclaimer, etc., etc.  **NO FLAMES PLEASE**

                                   Forever Yours in the Force,



Date: 10 Dec 82 13:59:05-PST (Fri)
From: decvax!cwruecmp!ccc at Ucb-C70
Subject: Clone Wars in SW/ANH and SW/TESB

Lately there has been a lot of discussion about whether it is "clone 
wars" or "colon wars".  In both the book and the @i(official) script 
(as published in The Art of Star Wars), the spelling is "clone".  To 
me this would tend to indicate that that's how Lucas intended it.

                                Clayton Elwell


Date: 10 Dec 82 18:09:16-PST (Fri)
From: decvax!genradbo!wjh12!mjl at Ucb-C70
Subject: Re: Darth Vader = Good Guy

I'm afraid I still have one very good reason to believe it's "Clone
Wars" instead of the increasingly popular "Colon Wars".  In the
original novelization of Star Wars, the term "Clone Wars" is used
quite frequently.  Yes, I know novelizations are generally completely
different from the films on which they are based, and this one is no
exception.  But this one was written by George Lucas himself.  Sorry,
all you Colon fans...

                                        Matt Landau


Date: 10 Dec 82 23:54:56-PST (Fri)
From: decvax!genradbo!wjh12!clp at Ucb-C70
Subject: Re: Darth Vader = Good Guy

Come on everyone... didn't Lucas say "...remember the CLONE wars..."
in that
 interview?!? This is a decidable debate...
                             Charles Perkins


Date: 11 Dec 1982 (Saturday) 1732-EDT
From: SPEAR at Wharton-10 (Daniel Spear)
Subject: Clones of Luke's father

The whole suggestion that Darth Vader and the senior Skywalker were
clones arose from an attempt to take seemingly contradictory
statements by Darth Vader and OB1 and make them consistent.  I saw the
movies again last night, and don't believe that it is possible.  Darth
says, when Luke says, "He (OB1) told me you killed him (Luke's dad)",
"No.  I am your father..."  He specifically says that what OB1 says is
incorrect (or what Luke says OB1 says, which is pretty accurate (OB1
says, "A young Jedi, Darth Vader, ... betrayed and killed your
father.")).  Therefore, one of them must be lying.  I personally think
it was OB1.



Date: Friday, 10 Dec 1982 09:02:30-PST
From: RHEA::HARDY::GLASSER%Shasta at SU-Score
Subject: part 2

I stole the following from the USENET net.jokes newsgroup.  I thought
that SFL should see it.  I hope that the author does not mind.

				Daniel Glasser
				[USENET address ...!decvax!sultan!dag
				 no reliable ARPA address.]

From: decvax!sultan!decvax!genradbo!grkermit!markm
Newsgroups: net.jokes

					 Hitch Hikers Guide To The Net
					   Episode 2 - The Flamers

(The Infinity's scanners are showing the Flamer's ships approaching
fast.  Arnold Lint and Rod Perfect are franticly scurrying about.
Xaphod is trying to figure out how to fly the node, and Gillian is
fixing her makeup. Martin the android is off on a corner moping about
how he's too young to die.)

Xaphod:	This is the node Infinity, we are on a peaceful, although a
	bit mercenary, mission. Hold your fire.

(The commander of the Flamer's fleet appears on the screen. He
appears to be a normal human, except for a small silver halo stapled
to his head.)

Flamer:	I am Adolf Riteyus, commander of the Flaming Queen. You have
	violated Flaming space and must be blasted. You will be given
	a fair and drawn out hearing before you are found guilty.
Rod:	We didn't know this was Flaming space!
Adolf:	Ignorance is no excuse. Do you think that just
	because you don't know something you shouldn't be
	responsible for it? Why, if we didn't go around
	blasting people who thought they were innocent,
	there'd be no order. The whole power structure of
	the Net is based on the inalienable right to
	flame. He who flames the loudest and strongest
	will prevail, for he will have maintained purity
	of essence by not compromising his principles. It
	doesn't matter what one flames about, as long as
	one comes out a winner. Winning the argument for
	mandatory retroactive birth control is one of our
	greatest victories.  We Flamers always win because
	we never give up. No, things are either our way or
	they're WRONG.

[The "Hitch Hikers Guide to the Net" lists the Flamers as one of the
most argumentative races in the Net. History shows that the Flamers
went to war over the right to keep and bear tongue depressors. They
also had a violent and bloody discussion over the morality of Odor
Eaters. The only time the Flamers can be easily beaten in combat is
on Sunday mornings when they all watch evangelist shows, or during
Ronco "Mr. Microphone" commercials (their symbol of worship).]

Gillian:	What should we do?
Xaphod:	How 'bout evasive actions?
Marvin:	It won't help.
Rod:	Oh shut up!
Rod:	OK, evasive action!
Adolf:	Where do you come from?
Xaphod:	Not from around here.
Adolf:	Where are you headed?
Rod:	Left.
Gillian:	That's telling him?
Adolf:	What is your favorite color?
Arnold Lint:	My what?
Adolf:	Your favorite color!
Rod:	White!
Adolf:	What is the maximum warp speed of a ladened Swaldrel?
Xaphod:	Denebian or Rigelian?
Adolf:	I don't know that . . . all right, enough evading, if you
	don't surrender in the next five seconds I'll blast you right
	out of existance.
Rod:	Well, now what.
Adolf:	Five!
Arnold Lint:	What's this button do?
Adolf:	Four!
Xaphod:	That's the Illogical Drive. It propels the node on power from
	hard drugs and acid rock. It's kind of dangerous though.
Adolf:	Three!
Arnold Lint:	Should we try it?
Adolf:	Two!
Rod:	Well, lets not . . . Four!
Adolf:	Four!
Arnold Lint:	So this is it, we're all going to die.
Adolf:	Three!
Martin:	I warned you about this trip.
Adolf:	Two!
Xaphod:	All right, all right, engage the Illogical Drive!
Adolf:	One!

(Arnold Lint engages the Illogical drive. Images of the movie "Easy
Rider" float across the view port. "In-a-gadda-da-vida" starts coming
across the radio. The 12" CRT on Xaphod's shoulder starts scrolling
"Wow man, what a trip!". The scanners show that the Flamers couldn't
handle the sudden flood of sensory excitation and burst their brains.
This only made their reactions a bit slower though as the Flamer's
brain is remarkably small. The Infinity, charged up with Liquid Super
Duetrillium, was able to make warp speed and turn the corner before
the Highway patrol picked them up on radar. This was fortunate for it
meant that they wouldn't be caught by Spiny Norman, the 45 foot blue
hedgehog that had been following them.)

Gillian:	We made it.
Rod:	Yah, where are we Martin.
Martin:	We're way out man.
Xaphod:	Oh, he's useless now - it'll take a while before he comes
Arnold Lint:	At least he isn't so gloOmy.
Martin:	Nooo body knows, the trouble I've see . . . have any of you
	ever contemplated the death of a grain of salt? 

[The "Hitch Hikers Guide to the Net" points out that the life and
death of a grain of salt can have amazing importance in the course of
life on the Net.  On particular grain of salt (named Nigel) was
responsible for the overthrow of an entire government. Nigel gave his

                  . <- Nigel

life by falling into the barrel of a shotgun that was aimed that the
planets dictator. Thanks to lousy marksmanship on the part of the
rebels, only Nigel was able to hit the dictator. The rest of the buck
shot killed the dictator's pet salmon, Eric.  Nigel, however,
penetrated the dictators eye and eventually killed him 8 months later
just before a firing squad cut the dictator in two.]

Rod:	Shut Up!
Xaphod:	Well, lets get back on course.
Arnold Lint:	What are those?

(The scanners now show a dozen ships shaped like the number one
heading toward the Infinity.)

Xaphod:	Those are Singularan ships. They're worse than flamers!  
Rod: Oh yeah, they're worse than a visit from an insurance salesman. 
Gillian:They're normally mild mannered computer scientists. But
	when they get on the Net, they become endowed with a superhuman
	ability to talk about incredibly personal things, things they
	couldn't otherwise discuss. 
Arnold Lint:	Sounds awful.
Martin:	That's what I keep telling you.
Rod:	Shut up!
Xaphod:	If we don't get out of here fast, we'll end up
	debating which finger a divorced person should
	wear his or her ring on when going to homosexual
	orgies - or worse, have to go to a Pot Luck Dinner
	where all that the people do is talk.

	******************** End Of Part 2 ********************

Will the crew of the infinity avoid the clutches of the Singularans?
Or will they end up exchanging recipes for onion dip. For the answers
to these and several other amazingly unimportant questions . . . Tune
in next time . . .  same Net-time . . . same Net-channel.


End of SF-LOVERS Digest
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