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SF-LOVERS Digest V6 #118 [message #8119] Wed, 01 August 2012 01:49
Originally posted by: utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!sf-lovers
Article-I.D.: ucbvax.529
Posted: Tue Dec 28 06:49:13 1982
Received: Wed Dec 29 04:15:42 1982

>From SFL@SRI-CSL  Tue Dec 28 06:39:46 1982

SF-LOVERS Digest         Tuesday, 28 Dec 1982     Volume 6 : Issue 118

Today's Topics:
    Books   - J. Lieber's BEYOND REJECTION
    Query   - F. Lieber's doings
    Misc    - Harper's attack
    Movies  - The Dark Cystal, SW/TESB/ROTJ

Date: 17 Dec 82 16:33:58-PST (Fri)
From: decvax!yale-com!brunix!rb at Ucb-C70
Subject: Re: misc.

I read BEYOND REJECTION a while back.  It's entertaining, but nothing 
stupendous.  I didn't find it very mind-expanding.



Date: 23 Dec 82 10:12:38-PST (Thu)
From: decvax!utzoo!utcsrgv!kramer at Ucb-C70
Subject: Fritz Lieber

Does any one know what, if anything, Fritz Lieber has been writing


Date: 17 Dec 82 9:48:00-PST (Fri)
From: harpo!ihnp4!ixn5c!inuxc!pur-ee!CSvax.Pucc-H.Physics.retief at
From: Ucb-C70
Subject: Re: SF attacked in December Harper"s magazine

  Mr. Arny Klein is most obviously a BIG jerk and I doubt he has ever
read a complete SF book (instead of reading the inside jacket.)  There
really isn't much to flame about, because anyone who has read SF can
easily see that Mr. Klein a big mouth and, surely, has big shoes to
stick in it.


Date: 17 Dec 82 18:04:46-PST (Fri)
From: harpo!floyd!trb at Ucb-C70
Subject: Re: SF attacked in December Harper"s magazine

It is with great fear that I post this message, but I have always let 
my feelings on non-asinine issues be known, so...

I find the childish reactions (over this medium) to the Harpers
article laughable.  If the guy was accurate then he was accurate.  If
he was inaccurate then he was inaccurate.  But SF fandom must rear its
macho head in defense of the wrongs (right or wrong) that this fellow
has committed.

I am not an SF fanatic, and I am not a Harpers reader.  I have read a 
small bit of SF, and I have found the classic works satisfying and the
trash disappointing.  I see that there are many SF fans who chew
through SF pulp as though it was their sole subsistence.  I see people
involved in SF who appear every bit as addicted to it as others are
addicted to drugs and alcohol.

I'm not saying that all SF is trash, but I AM saying that much SF is 
trash, much of any literary genre is trash.  Trouble is that the
really hungry SF fiends buy and defend this trash, and when someone
attacks the mass of SF work as a whole, they get offended, rather than
either recognizing the attacker as ignorant or separating the wheat
from the chaff.

[Here it comes...]  I have met SF fans who seemed to have no
connection to the real world.  I find that sad.

My God.  I fully expect to have three-headed monsters from outer space
burning effigies on my lawn by morning; that's the price I gotta pay.

        Andy Tannenbaum Bell Labs Whippany, NJ (201) 386-6491


Date: 19 Dec 82 11:17:26-PST (Sun)
From: harpo!npoiv!alice!mhtsa!eagle!mhuxt!mhuxi!macrev at Ucb-C70
Subject: Thoughts on trb, Harper's, and SF

Andy makes some good points -- I doubt that he'll get many flames, but
who knows (looked out at your front lawn lately, Andy?).  But he's not
telling most of us anything we haven't already thought through many
times.  Most SF IS something less than literature (I hesitate to say
trash -- it's no more trash than most of the other popular fiction on
the racks).  And maybe our response to the Harper's article was more
than it deserved.  But why is it that of all the popular genres, SF is
the one usually singled out for attacks like the one in Harper's?
When was the last time any of you saw mysteries, or westerns, or spy
thrillers taken to task?

Science fiction is a type of popular fiction, no more, no less.  
People usually read for pleasure and exscape, and their choice of
genre is a personal one.  In other words, what I read is my business
-- why should it bother someone else?  Go ahead and read your
westerns, but don't thumb your nose at my science fiction.

I've been reading SF for twenty-five years.  I began by "chewing
through SF pulp," as I'm sure a lot of others did.  As SF became more
and more popular, its quality began to suffer (my opinion).  Now I'm a
more careful reader, and as often as not I'll come away from a
bookstore with something other than SF -- for example, I just finished
John Irving's "Hotel New Hampshire."  My point here is that I believe
most of us who read and enjoy SF have both feet firmly planted on this

This leads me to what I consider an important distinction.  There are
SF "readers," and there are SF "fans."  I have to state here that this
is a personal opinion, and I expect flames.  Readers are those who
have strong feelings about what SF is and should be, and who select
their reading carefully.  SF fans are those who cling to the "popular"
bandwagon, adopting as their own everything given the "SF" label by
people who don't know what SF is.  Fans engage in endless discussions
of movies like Star Wars and Star Trek II.  They have "tribbles" in a
prominent place on their desk.  I have to compare fans to those people
who buy the latest in ski wear and hang around the ski lodges without 
ever putting on a pair of skis.

I like net.sf-lovers, and I tune in every chance I get.  The SW 
discussions don't bother me -- I can always type "n," and I do so 
regularly.  I WOULD like to see more reviews of books, and more 
discussion of SF as a literary genre.  Maybe I can start some now.
There were three SF novels on the NY Times best seller list last week.
Anybody know what they were?  Any reviews?


Date: 19 Dec 82 3:32:12-PST (Sun)
From: harpo!ihnp4!ihuxr!cjh at Ucb-C70
Subject: RE:Harpers

My response to people who don't like what I read or do is a general
"Why should I care what YOU think ?".  If they have a good (logical)
reason then I'll consider it, if not (just their personal opinion)
then I tell them to use 20 cents and call someone who cares. If
someone doesn't think (a relative term) science fiction is worth while
because they possibly don't understand it, they should consider the
average person who doesn't know anything about computers and considers
users manuals a waste of time.
                C . J. Holzwarth


Date: 21 Dec 82 11:38:51-PST (Tue)
From: decvax!genradbo!mitccc!jmturn at Ucb-C70
Subject: Re: SF attacked in December Harper"s magazine

Of course most SF is trash. Sturgeon's Law states that 90% of
*anything* is trash. What is so irritating about the Harper's article
is not that the author says "Some SF is trash", but "All SF is trash".
If he had said "All 19th century Victorian novels are trash", I'd be
just as mad (and I hate 19th century Victorian novels!)

This kind of violent outlash has an unfortunate progression.
   1) X is trash
   2) People who read trash are stupid
   3) People who read X are stupid
   4) People who are stupid...etc

Therefore, I make the following statement: Harper's is trash!



Date: 22 Dec 82 7:28:08-PST (Wed)
From: decvax!decwrl!sun!megatest!fortune!wdl1!jrb at Ucb-C70
Subject: Re: SF attacked in December Harper"s magazine

Remember Sturgeon's Law:
        1.  90% of Science Fiction is shit
        2.  90% of everything is shit

Still true to-day (although I'm sometimes inclined to think its more
like 95%).

                                John R Blaker


Date: 24 Dec 82 22:35:37-PST (Fri)
From: hplabs!intelqa!omsvax!bc at Ucb-C70
Subject: Praise for "The Dark Crystal"

I've heard in the last few days that The Dark Crystal is not getting 
good promotion because the distributer doesn't know how to promote it,
and reviewers are giving it lukewarm (at best) reviews because they 
don't know how to categorize it.  So I thought I would proselytize for
the movie a little, hoping that a word of mouth campaign of promotion 
would bring some people into the theaters, and help pay back the 
people who made this movie.

If its not obvious already, I'll spell it out:


If you enjoy puppetry, fantasy, or visual beauty in movies, I think 
you will agree with me.  If you go into the theater expecting comedy, 
the Muppets, or Disney cuteness, you will be disappointed however.  
The Dark Crystal is not a children's story (though my two sons 
thoroughly enjoyed it, and want to see it again) nor is it sword and 
sorcery of the Mighty Thews the Barbarian school.  It is a 
Tolkienesque fantasy, with a good bit of violence (not very graphic, 
but violence nonetheless), without a single human character.  As far 
as I could see, there wasn't a single animal or sentient creature in
the movie which was not a puppet of some sort, and it seemed that most
of the plants were puppets too.

The movie is a masterpiece of technique, as one might expect of Jim 
Hensen's puppeteers, and Industrial Light and Magic's special effects 
wizards (the term fits well here).  Moreover, it is visually striking,
thanks largely to Brian Froud's overall design, and one of the best 
jobs of color coordination I have seen in a movie.  The plot is stock:
the quest to find and use the magical item which will end the reign of
evil; nonetheless, the story carried my interest, and the ending, 
though not a vast surprise, was satisfying.

A word of advice: don't wait for The Dark Crystal to get to a cheap 
theater with a small screen, or for the cable TV systems to pick it 
up.  See it in wide screen, while the distribution prints are still in
good shape.  The visuals are worth it.

                                Bruce Cohen


Date: 13 Dec 82 10:37:43-PST (Mon)
From: teklabs!tektronix!rich at Ucb-C70
Subject: Light Sabers

   What's with all this "where does he get his LS" stuff? Surely, in a
society that can produce blasters and Death Stars, making a simple 
light saber can be no trick. Granted, they "are rare." Big deal.
Swords are not all that common in a society that uses M16s in battle,
so why are we debating that Darth can't have a LS if Luke has his
   Note the color of the light, also. OB1's and Luke's have this
really "pure" blue-white color, while DV's is a very evil dirty red.
Does this imply that the light saber is a mirror of the soul, or
simply that DV's was made at a different time or place than the
                                                         Rich Amber


Date: 20 Dec 82 14:24:01-PST (Mon)
From: decvax!utzoo!laura at Ucb-C70
Subject: Re: SW-IV & -V

        I went and saw SW4 and SW5 again too.  LUCAS is UNFAIR to
WOOKIES and WOMEN!!  There are no female fighter-pilots, or Jedi, or
officers of the Empire or even (as far as we know) storm troopers.
The rebels had one female communications officer in TESB, though.  In
the triumphant procession at the end of SW Chewie, Han, and Luke march
up in front of the rebel assembly ...  but only Han and Luke receive
medals.  Drat!  Is it against the Chewie's religion to wear anything
besides that silver ammo-belt? (which may not even be an ammo belt?).
Oh I forgot -- you get one shot of what is probably shoes on Chewie in

        I have finally discovered why I *much prefer* SW to TESB
(contrary to popular opinion).  In SW the characters are often
impetuous and conceited, but in TESB, even with time to think they act

        Consider.  Luke is in a cave with an abomknable snowman, miles
and miles away from the base, and night is falling.  What would you
do?  Start *walking* home?  or kill the snow beast (or drive him away)
with your light saber, and stay sheltered in the warm cave until
morning?  I know what *I* would do....

        Han has survived a night outdoors on Hoth-moon.  Now he wants
to go out and check on the robot-droid-probe.  Does he take a
spacecraft which have now been fixed to work under cold conditions?
As far as we know, he and Chewie walk -- though they may have taken
Tauntauns.  Why?  Couldnt Chewie fit into a spacefighter?  Are
robot-droid-probes sensitive to electronic equipment?

        Doesnt Darth Vader know that you never put all your prisoners
together so they can comfort each other, regain morale, and plan how
to escape?  He knew about solitary confinement in SW -- why has he
forgotten in TESB?

        Questions: Luke draws his saber first every time he faces
Vader, incl- uding in the cave.  Anybody know whether Vader or OB1
draws first in their great battle?  I forgot to look.  How does R2D2
go down stairs?  Why does Luke throw the food stick which he wont let
Yoda eat into the swamp?  What does the princess do her hair with
after days of torture while in Solitary confinement?

                                                Laura Creighton


Date: 19 Dec 82 16:16:30-PST (Sun)
From: harpo!ihnp4!larry at Ucb-C70
Subject: Luke Strikes First?

        In an earlier article, somebdy thought that in both "major" 
battles between Luke and Darth, that Luke started the attack.  This is
wrong.  In the cave, Luke ignites his lightsaber first, but only holds
in in front of him -Darth makes the first lunge.  HOWEVER in the
carbon freezing chamber, Luke definitely does make the first move.
The "restarts" of this fight have: Darth with light saber drawn, but
instead "throws" things at Luke; and Darth almost surprising Luke with
the 1st blow.

        Some "other" thoughts: The Star Wars flicks are fantasy and 
basically follow a generic good-guys vs. pirates "swashbuckler".  The 
movies are (for the most part) aimed at the "young" (pre-teen to early
teen) audience.  Based on this, OB-1 can NOT have lied and Darth MUST 
have lied -- Darth is NOT Luke's dad.  (I'll bend somewhat that Darth 
maybe a clone, but I doubt it) Also based on these ideas, I doubt that
Leia will have ANYBODIES baby (to be the "other").

        With the whole Star Wars being a triology of triolgies, what
are the 1st and 3rd tri's about??  Well, I recall an interview with
Lucas somewhat after SW4-ANH is a big hit.  In it he spoke of the next
flick (SW5-TESB), but more important, he mentions that the original
idea for episode 4 was supposed to play of the 'droids more!  It
wasn't until the "studio empire" told him that he had to punch up the
human parts (or no flick) that Luke (and the others) became major
characters.  Now since Lucas can call all the shots, I'll bet that the
overall 9 movies are about Artoo and Seepio.  (clever the way Lucas
pick their model-numbers so that they "sound" like names! --[[ OB-1??

        One more thought on "the other" -- who or whatever it may be
-- it doesn't HAVE to be Jedi.  Remember, Yoda tells Luke that the
future is "difficult to tell... clouded by emotions".  I suspect that
there really won't be any new characters (not major ones at least),
but that the "other" hope will be Leia's love for Luke.  Luke is
obviously taken in by her from the first time Artoo projects her
image.  Poor confused Leia in episode's 4 & 5 has been balancing
between Luke and Han.  In RotJ, I think she'll realy pick one --Luke.
Han will really turn out to be "Mr SOLO" --and not want to settle
down.  (that or else some other beauty will turn his head)


                        Larry Marek


Date: 20 Dec 82 9:55:37-PST (Mon)
From: decvax!utzoo!utcsrgv!perelgut at Ucb-C70
Subject: SW-IV & -V

   Well, you people convinced me to go back and see episodes IV and V
again.  Some interesting things have been missed or mis-stated.
    1) Darth Vader kills lots of people.  He starts by picking up
       the commander of Leia's ship (the opening scenes) by the neck
       and shaking him until he is dead.  Not particularly nice.  He
       also kills lots of people by using the Force to strangle them.
    2) OB-1 is definitely called OB-1.  It seems that the future
       has slurred the 1 to sound more like Wan, but the more cultured
       types (such as old Ben himself) speak clearly enough.
    3) Nobody mentioned that Luke's uncle's name was Owen (O-1).
       also says this fairly clearly at least twice.
    4) When Ben says Vader murdered Luke's father, I got the
       feeling he was speaking in a metaphysical sense.  Vader (the
       dark side) won out over Skywalker (the better side).  Thus
       Vader "murdered" Luke's father.
    5) There is some resemblence between the emperor and Ben but
       the credits list them as different actors.
    6) Leia is a little slut who obviously wants Luke, Han, and
    7) Luke's light saber is very likely gone, although he could
       have used the Force to call it back to him.
   Here is some wild speculation.  I am not at all convinced that Luke
will be an all around good-guy for the next movie.  Although it goes
against shlock American film-making practices, Luke could very well
become a baddie.  I wouldn't be surprised to see Vader/Skywalker and
Luke take on the Emperor and then take over the Galaxy.  Perhaps Vader
might even die in the encounter.  But the "other" will win out in the
   One more thought before I go.  Did anyone else notice that none of 
the good guys ever got hit by the laser blasts.  At least not
seriously.  However, R2D2 stood in the line of fire more often without
suffering any real damages.  It (he?) only got caught a couple of time
and usually it was "fortuitous happenstance" since it advanced R2D2
toward his current goals.  R2D2 also circumvented every security
system set up and talked freely with all other computers.  If all R2
units had that capability the Galaxy would be controlled by 'droids,
or unscrupulous 'droid owners.
    --- Stephen Perelgut ---


Date: 21 Dec 82 8:03:58-PST (Tue)
From: harpo!ihnp4!larry at Ucb-C70
Subject: Darth vs OB-1

    I watched episode 4 last nite.  Some interesting points from the
Darth vs OB-1 light saber battle.  First OB-1 seems to almost
"stumble" upon Darth.  Darth is standing there blocking the way with
his light saber ignited, OB-1 turns his on (in one of the best effects
parts of the movie) --then OB-1 makes the first lunge!!  As the fight
goes on, it becomes obvious that OB-1 is manuvering the fight to
distract the other guards so the Luke, Liea, & Han can escape.  OB-1's
final words still haunt me tho-- "You can't win Darth.  Even if you
strike me down, I'll become more powerful than you can ever imagine"
So far, all the transcended OB-1 has done is whisper into Luke's ear.
Doesn't sound very powerful to me.  I suspect OB-1 to have a bigger
roll in RotJ.

        Larry Marek


Date: 17 Dec 82 12:15:01-PST (Fri)
From: decvax!yale-com!brunix!jah at Ucb-C70
Subject: Re: re: light saber

The light saber may well be the only weapon that can stop a well
trained jedi.  Remember what happened when Darth was shot at close
range from a blaster? (make that "with a blaster") He simply catches
the "bullets."


Date: 18 Dec 82 18:29:13-PST (Sat)
From: harpo!npoiv!alice!sjb at Ucb-C70
Subject: Light Sabers

I think the fact that Darth's saber is red and Luke's and Ben's are
blue/white is a VERY strong hint that the sabers ARE powered by the
force.  Hell, just because there's an on button doesn't mean it's not
powered by the force.  After all, if it was powered by the force and
there were no button, it would be on ALL THE TIME!  Now, I don't know
about you, but I sure don't want that thing on and bouncing up and
down while I am running (or even walking)!  Nice way to amputate your
own leg.  What does this all mean?  If the light saber is powered by
the force, then Han sure has the force with him, leading to Han as the


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