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SF-LOVERS Digest V6 #114 [message #8116] Wed, 01 August 2012 01:49
Anonymous
Karma:
Originally posted by: utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!sf-lovers
Article-I.D.: ucbvax.468
Posted: Wed Dec 22 05:06:12 1982
Received: Thu Dec 23 01:53:19 1982

>From SFL@SRI-CSL  Wed Dec 22 05:02:04 1982
Reply-To: SF-LOVERS at SRI-CSL
To: SF-LOVERS@SRI-CSL


SF-LOVERS Digest        Wednesday, 22 Dec 1982    Volume 6 : Issue 114

Today's Topics:
    Books    - J. Lieber's BEYOND REJECTION, Crowley's LITTLE, BIG,
	       Chalker's Nathan Brazil in WELL-WORLD, Anthony's
	       NIGHT MARE
    Movies   - SW/TESB/ROTJ the Other, The Dark Crystal
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 20 Dec 82 18:45:54 EST  (Mon)
From: Fred Blonder 
Subject: Re:  ``Beyond Rejection'' by Lieber

  From: KRIEGER 

  For those interested in the idea of sex change, et. al., a good
  selection to peruse might be BEYOND REJECTION by Lieber . . .
  I know little about the book except that I have looked at it
  quickly in the bookstore, and read an excerpt . . .

I thought this book was rather poor. The central theme of the book is
the hero(ine) trying to find out who murdered him in his previous
incarnation.  At the end of the book (s)he (and the reader) discovers
that the murder and murderer are part of an elaborate hallucination
arranged to assist him/her in getting accustomed to a new (i.e.:
female) body. After revealing this, the author doesn't bother to
explain how the previous incarnation actually did die.

[Part of the plot sounds suspiciously like the Varley story "The
Phantom of Kansas". --Stuart]

------------------------------

Date: Monday, 20 Dec 1982 20:23-PST
Subject: "Little, Big"
From: obrien at RAND-UNIX

        I just finished reading John Crowley's book "Little, Big",
which I understand was last year's National Fantasy Award winner.  I
was extremely impressed.  This book exhibits a command of language and
mood that (Gene Wolfe aside) I haven't seen since Peake's
"Gormenghast" trilogy.  Highly recommended.

------------------------------

Date: 15 Dec 82 10:17:52-PST (Wed)
From: decvax!sultan!dag at Ucb-C70
Subject: Re: Nathan Brazil's Death Toll

In reply to the comment that Nathan Brazil had topped anyone else in 
death toll:

=~ Nathan Brazil did not "kill" all of the non-wellworld inhabitants.
He altered (eliminated) the equation in which they existed.  This did 
not eliminate their souls, though.  When the well was repaired and the
equations re-established, the souls found themselves in new 
exsistances.  I believe that they even remembered what they had been 
previously.  This was done in order to prevent the universe from being
irrevocably destroyed.  Even with this in mind, he was reluctant to do
it, whereas Tarkin and Vader enjoyed (or seemed to enjoy) what they
were up to.  You don't see Vader running away from those who want him
to destroy the rebel alliance.  ~=

Consider though, one "other" that has not been mentioned...  Gypsy!
He shows all of the important attributes of a Jedi.  Like Obie-Wan he 
is able to make others forget that he is there and make them do things
they would otherwise not do.  I will not say what his connection is
with the universe so as not to spoil it for those who have not yet
read the Chalker "Wellworld" series, but it is much the same as the
force.  And he already knows Obie!

                                        Just entering my 2.8 cents
worth,

                                        Daniel Glasser
                                        ...!decvax!sultan!dag

------------------------------

Date: 21 Dec 1982 (Tuesday) 1658-EDT
From: SPEAR at Wharton-10 (Daniel Spear)
Subject: Review - "Night Mare" by Piers Anthony

        "Night Mare" is the new Xanth novel by Piers Anthony.  It is
the second Xanth novel to be put out in the last several months (sort
of gives you an idea of the effort involved in write one).  Like the
previous, "Ogre, Ogre," "Night Mare" uses a character which had a
minor role in a previous novel as its main character.  It is Mare
Imbrium, a night mare introduced in Ogre, Ogre.  Unlike the previous,
the story is something that people familiar with Xanth are instantly
interested in.  Mind you, I liked Ogre, Ogre, but the story used
mostly unfamiliar characters involved in a quest that no one (no
readers) really cared about.  Night Mare concerns the newest invasion
of Xanth, the Next Wave.
        Night Mare will certainly appeal to anyone who has read and 
enjoyed the other 5 books of the Magic of Xanth trilogy.  It includes 
almost every character in the other books, and presents them in
favorable, enjoyable lights.  (Finally, come back all the way from
book 2, Bink actually gets to do stuff!)  I think it also will appeal
to people who have not read the other books.  Night Mare is simply a
good, if simplistic, story, with a nasty bad guy and lots of heroics
and mysteries and a happy ending.  The basic story line, without
giving away much, involves the NextWave of Mundanes, attacking Xanth.
The Good King Trent is taken by a mysterious ailment, and Xanth, left
without a ruler, turns to Good King Dor, who is struck by the same
ailment, and Xanth, left without a ruler, turns to Good King Zombie
Master, who is ...  In fact, not only do most old characters appear,
most of them become king at some point.  Regardless, I will reveal no
more.
        There are two major qualities found in all Xanth novels, those
being bad puns and sexism (in fact the latter is pretty common in all 
Anthony books).  They both exist in Night Mare.  There are references
to a mountain pass made by the misstep of a huge giant named Faux,
called the Faux Pass.  A drink with a strong kick (literally) called
Boot Rear.  And so on.  In fact, a couple times characters state that,
"Xanth is built on puns," which is an interesting sort of meta-comment
to see.  Feminism takes some major steps in Xanth, if not in the
authors mind, with the virtual recognition of equal rights for women,
including amongst editorial comments by the author like, "of course
women are always helpless in the presence of a virile male."
        All in all an amusing book, totally without redeeming social 
value, but who really cares.

                                        Dan

------------------------------

Date: 20 Dec 1982 (Monday) 0037-EDT
From: SPEAR at Wharton-10 (Daniel Spear)
Subject: The Other (revealed)

This is my first, last, and (obviously) only entry on this topic.  It 
became crystal clear to me tonight who the Other must be.  Lucasfilms 
has said that the Other will be someone who has not had a big part so
far in the series.  They also say that Lando Calrissian (sp?) has a
much more important role in the new movie.  Draw any parallels there?
Making Lando the other would also answer people (to some extent) who 
accuse SW of being racist (i.e. that there are no other black people 
in the movies/universe).  There might not be many, but the ones that 
are around are good.  (An off-the-wall suggestion:  Vader wiped out 
most of the Jedi.  Might this explain the low occurance of blacks?)

                                No more Other from me,

                                        Dan

------------------------------

From: healy.pa @ PARC-MAXC
Date: 21-Dec-82  1:13:08 PST
Subject: Re: SF-LOVERS Digest   V6 #112


I must agree with many of you who have seen the SFL Digest go by @ 300
baud that this can be time consuming.  Perhaps because this is the
first time I have read it at home that rate doesn't repel me too much
I have the inertia to respond.  Dark Crystal (the movie) I intend to
see during the holidays.  I expect to enjoy it immensely despite trhe
review that preceeded this message.  Have we all become so
sophisticated that we cannot enjoyh a good story??  Or good effects \
. . . I for one would vote for a seperate dl. for star wars and one
for star trek and leave sf lovers alone.  I need something between
space dl and reality.  NASA isn't it. . . NYTimes isn't it. . .  I
always thought we were, but we are becoming redundant.  Lets hear from
some other neophytes out there who have good intentions and new inputs
but no goforitness.  Remember...computers don't think, they act on
impulse.

Clark Healy @PARC MAXC

------------------------------

Date: 21 Dec 1982 (Tuesday) 0739-EDT
From: KENNEA at Wharton-10 (Richard Kenneally)
Subject: A favorable opinion


I have been disappointed by the terrible reviews given to The Dark
Crystal, particularly the NYT review.  Granted, the dinner scene
reminded me of some fraternity banquets I've attended, and the Skesis
were thoroughly hideous.  However, they certainly aren't worse than
arms being cut off by various light sabres, and I doubt that many
children will be up late with Dark Crystal nightmares.  The kids I
know come up with much better excuses to stay up late.

I truly enjoyed the movie.  It was an excellent attempt at muppet-like
animation on a grand scale.  I'll admit that it certainly lacked a 
Lucas, but the plot was not that far below the other fantasy and SF 
movies we spend so many hours talking about.  What it didn't lack was 
imagination in creating a world and the many interesting critters in 
that world.  The land-striders were wonderfully weird, as was the 
scene in the forest where we are treated to something similar to the
Star Wars bar scene.  As far as the way the Podlings carried on, ever
been to a Polish wedding?

One problem I did note was the inability to make eyes "track."  ET and
Yoda weren't subjected to quite so many facial close-ups as were the
Gelflings.  Eyes and mouths are still a large problem for Henson and
his followers to solve.

When you go to see The Dark Crystal, don't expect much deep,
philosophical meaning, just enjoy.

-]Rick

------------------------------

Date: 21 Dec 1982 08:32 CST
From: Johnston.DLOS at PARC-MAXC
Subject: Re: Review: The Dark Crystal

I question whether Richard Freedman actually saw the movie.  I caught
it this past weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I didn't WANT to see
Kermit--I wanted to see fantasy, and Kermit is a little too cutesy,
although I like him in his place.  My big problem is the quote:
"Aughra, a mad astronomer with detachable eyes, shows Jen and Kira
around his mechanized planetarium, and the Skeksis' roachlike warriors
pursue them as they ride their long-legged Landstriders."  Well,
first-off, Aughra is a woman (even has nipples showing through), and
Jen didn't meet Kira until after the Skeksis creatures had destroyed
Aughra's home.  Then the finally got onto the landstriders well after
the encounter with Aughra.  I feel this isn't a review--it's a cheap
income for no effort.

Rick

------------------------------

Date: 21 December 1982 20:42-EST
From: Steven A. Swernofsky 
Subject: The Dark Crystal

I thought to send this review from Newsweek because it is so succinct.

``The Gelflings Vs. the Skeksis'' [Newsweek, Dec. 27, 1982]

  It takes some optical adjustment to sort out the strange beasties 
that populate @i(The Dark Crystal.)  They include: the Skeksis 
(villainous and vulturelike creatures, with bad table manners); the 
Mystics (gentile, wise and droopily decrepit, with armadillo tails); 
the Garthim (the Skeksis' militia, a metallic mix of beetle and crab);
the Podlings (button-faced ethnic types, clearly derived from happy 
but oppressed southern European peasant stock); Aughra (a one-eyed hag
who's into astronomy, fierce but benevolent); Fizzgig (a 
scene-stealing canine, Toto with extra teeth); the fleet Landstriders 
(towering catfish on stilts), and most important, Jen and Kira, the 
Gelflings (immediately identifiable by their humanoid features as our 
hero and heroine: he looks like Dondi and Bruce Lee reconstituted as a
12-year-old elf, she like Mia Farrow after too much plastic surgery).

  Welcome to Jim Henson's world of wonders, a fantasy pastiche without
a single human in it.  Henson and his gifted designer, Brian Froud (of
``Faeries'' fame), run some wild visions across the screen, but even 
young kids will quickly recognize the story line as a meltdown of
every Mythic Quest from the Greeks to Tolkien to George Lucas.
There's an ancient prophecy to be fulfilled and a young hero armed
with a magical crystal shard who must journey to a dark castle where,
at the time of the Great Conjunction, he must save a divided, dying
world.  Tots of a tender age may be nightmare-prone from this
encounter: the reptilian Skeksis, who drain and drink the vital fluids
of their victims, don't behave like Muppets, though Henson and
codirector Frank Oz make sure that no permanent harm befalls the good
guys.  What grown-ups will make of this depends on your susceptibility
to the genre.  As drama, ``The Dark Crystal'' comes fully alive only
at its rousing climax, and it's hampered by the Ken Doll blandness of
our hero.  As a bestiary, however, it is bountiful--a prodigious and
amusing parade of things that do much more than go bump in the night.

David Ansen [Newsweek reviewer]

------------------------------

Date: 22 December 1982 01:18-EST
From: Steven A. Swernofsky 
Subject: The Dark Crystal  (movie)

I watched The Dark Crystal last Friday, its release date in the L.A.  
area.  The Muppets are interesting, and nice to watch (yes, even the
bad guys), but the story leaves much to be desired.  The plot is too
simple, too contrived, too haphazard.  The Gelflings (the only
humanoids and presumably the hero and heroine) are silly and hard to
identify with.  If you're into fantasy movies in a big way, or you're
really interested by good animation, see this movie.  Otherwise, you
may be in for a slight disappointment, as it's too thin to make a
story worth repeating.

-- Steve

------------------------------

End of SF-LOVERS Digest
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