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SF-LOVERS Digest V6 #89 [message #8096] Wed, 01 August 2012 01:49
Originally posted by: utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!sf-lovers
Article-I.D.: ucbvax.131
Posted: Sat Nov 27 00:11:09 1982
Received: Wed Dec  1 05:06:09 1982

>From SFL@SRI-CSL  Fri Nov 26 23:26:00 1982

SF-LOVERS Digest        Saturday, 27 Nov 1982      Volume 6 : Issue 89

Today's Topics:
    Books  - Wolf's "Book of the New Sun", Harrison's "The
	     Stainless Steel Rat for President"
    Radio  - Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz
    Themes - shrinking
    Query  - decompression
    Movies - thumbs down on "The Last Unicorn", Star Trek and planet names
    T.V.   - Spock's father
    Music  - themes from Rollerball, country and western SF

Date: 26-Nov-82 09:41:13-PST (Fri)
From: INGVAX.kalash@Berkeley (Joe Kalash)
Subject: Book of the New Sun

        Actually, the third book is Sword of the Lictor, and the forth
book is Citadel of the Autarch. Both are only out in hardcover, and
they are getting nothing except rave reviews.



Date: 26-Nov-82 10:36:30 PST (Friday)
From: Sapsford at PARC-MAXC
Subject: Re: SF-LOVERS Digest   V6 #88

I am sure that the Moderator will get zillions of these notes, but ...
the 3rd book in the "Book of the New Sun" series is "The Sword of the
Lictor", with "The Citadel of the Autarch" being the 4th and "last"
book (I quote last because the rumor is that there will be a 5th book,
using the same world as the "New Sun" books, but not directly in the
series - I guess it is Wolfe's "Majipoor Chronicles").  Supposedly
Timescape will release "The Sword of the Lictor" in paperback in Jan.
'83.  All four books are currently available from the Science Fiction
Book Club.


Date: 26 Nov 1982 2216-EST
From: John Redford 
Subject: Gene Wolfe's "Book of the New Sun"

The third book in the series is "The Sword of the Lictor", and not
"The Citadel of the Autaurch", as was previously reported.  TCotA is
the fourth (and last) book.  "The Sword of the Lictor" is out in
hardback, and should be out in paperback in a matter of weeks; I saw a
sample cover for it in the Science Fantasy bookstore in Cambridge.  I
recommend it.  Our torturer-hero, Severian, is once again forced to
flee for committing the crime of mercy.  He loses his second love,
meets his first (in monstrous form), and confronts aliens
("cacogens"), a king and a giant.  Like a lot of Wolfe's words, 
"lictor" sounds made-up, but isn't.  It means "a Roman officer who
bears the fasces as the insignia of his office", i.e. an enforcer.


Date: 26 November 1982 20:04-EST
From: Charles F. Von Rospach 
Subject: "The Stainless Steel Rat for President"

I got a copy through the SF book club. It wasn't bad, but I don't 
think it was quite up to old SSR books. Still worth the money, though.


Date: Friday, 26 Nov 1982 10:15-PST
Subject: A Canticle for Leibowitz
From: Tim Mann 

"A Canticle for Leibowitz" is currently airing on KCSM in San Mateo
(CA), on Sunday nights.  I think two episodes have been broadcast so
far, out of a total of 15.



Date: 26 Nov 1982 1219-CST
Subject: Decompression

     In regards to the recent questions on explosive decommpression,
one of the things that would not happen is the bends.  The bends are
caused when nitrogen in the bloodstream is not given an ample period
of time to difuse out.  However, nitrogen is not normally found in the
bloodstream and only enters when the body is under pressure, such as
that caused by 33 feet of seawater (1 atm.).  So unless you went from
breathing normal air under pressure to zero pressure, you would not
get the bends.

    I 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 be much the worse for wear.


Date: 26 Nov 1982 2248-EST
From: John Redford 
Subject: thumbs down on "The Last Unicorn"

Anyone who has read the book "The Last Unicorn" by Peter Beagle is
going to be disappointed in the movie.  All of Beagle's songs have
been replaced by some pop pap from Jimmy Webb, and a lot of good
scenes have been cut out altogether.  A lot of the book's charm was in
its balance between the mundane and the magical: when a prince and a
princess go out hunting unicorn, the princess sings a lovely little
song and swings a golden bridle to lure in the beast, while the bored
prince reads a magazine.  The animators left out the mundane parts and
didn't portray magic very well.  There are some good parts; the
poetry-mad butterfly was done well, and the Red Bull was appropriately
fierce.  But the characters generally lacked expression, and the
landscapes were insipid.
     Movies have so much more bandwidth than books that you would
expect that a lot more detail would come across to a viewer than to a
reader.  That was certainly true in the Star Wars movies.  They were
full of little details that were never remarked upon or emphasized,
but nonetheless gave you the feeling that this was a real, lived-in
world.  But in this movie, and in other attempts like "The Lord of the
Rings", the visual version is much duller and narrower than the print
one.  It takes a powerful artistic vision to surpass a reader's

John Redford


Date: 26 November 1982  13:21-EST (Friday)
From: The One and Only Mijjil {Matthew J Lecin} 
Subject: re: trek trivia
Reply-to: Lecin@Rutgers

Gav the Tellerite was the one found dead stuffed up a Jeffries' Tube.
An alien DISGUISED as an Andorian was the actual culprit.



Date: 26 Nov 1982 1235-PST
From: Henry W. Miller 
Subject: Spock's father

        Although it was not explicitly stated, it was implied very
strongly that Spock's father was suffering the Vulcan equivalent of a
heart attack while the Telerite was being attacked.  It was probably
the Orion disguised as the Andorian who did the foul deed.  Although
the technique was Vulcan, it is not inconceivable that other races
might have had access to the knowledge.

        This brings up a trivia point about Spock's father.  We know
that Mark Leonard, a very talented actor, played both Spock's father,
and also the Romulan Commander in "Balance of Terror", but he also
played (under heavy makeup) the Klingon Commander in ST:TMP.



Date: 26 Nov 1982 (Friday) 1547-EDT
From: SPEAR at Wharton-10 (Daniel Spear)
Subject: ST-WOK and planet names

Presumably, when approaching a new solar system looking for a given
planet, you don't start in the middle and count all the planets
outward until you reach the one you're looking for.  You look up in
your star charts, find the latest recorded distance of that planet
from its star, and look for the nearest hunk of rock that distance
away.  Now, it does seem improbable that an explosion would pull a
planet toward the source, but it could have pushed at an odd angle
(they don't line up, you know) such that the net result was to end up 
further away, even perhaps close to the orbital distance of the
offending planet.
        What I want to know is how a planet can spontaneously blow up.



Date: Friday, 26 November 1982, 21:36-EST
From: Dave Goodine 
Subject: SF-LOVERS Digest   V6 #88

In reply to the digest entry:

    Date: 23 Nov 82 21:15:09-PST (Tue)
    From: harpo!floyd!cmcl2!philabs!sdcsvax!sdchema!will at Ucb-C70
    Subject: Re: re: trek trivia

    Ah, yes, I remember, alien being
    was found dead in a service tube on the
    ship.  But I'm not sure...was it Spock's
    father?  It seems to me that he was accused
    but we all know he was innocent...who did

    (i.e., was it Spock's father that killed him?)

It wasn't Spock's father that killed him, but a spy posing as an
ambassador. I forget the name of the race(some random
stellar-name-root with a TIAN ending), but they were blue skinned,
white haired humanoids with curved antennae. (The impostor hid a
communicator device in his left antenna.) The assasin's ship then
attacked the Enterprise and severely wounded it. Kirk, sitting to
the occasion, played dead(shutting down all power consumption
except phasers and waited until the ship came close enough(it was
very fast when it attacked (something like warp 11))...  (usual
all-bad-guys-killed (spy commits suicide) ending...).



Date: Friday, 26 Nov 1982 12:23-PST
Subject: Theme from Rollerball
From: David Kaelbling 

The theme from Rollerball is Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony.

        David Kaelbling


Date: Friday, 26 Nov 1982 14:19-PST
Subject: Shrinking Alice & Rollerball
From: Paul Asente 

Recently it was stated that Alice experienced shrinking/growing while 
she was through the looking glass.  While many of the things she found
on the other side were unusually large (gnats, wasps, and chesspieces,
for example) Alice herself always remained her normal size.

Albinoni's Adagio did occur in "Rollerball," I believe during the part
where the party guests are enjoying themselves by going around blowing
up trees.  The Toccata and Fugue also occurs as theme music, and 
various other baroque pieces show up as organ music during the 
rollerball games.


Date: 26 Nov 1982 2123-MST
From: JW-Peterson at UTAH-20 (John W. Peterson)
Subject: Shrinking storys...

"Stuart Little" (by E.B. White) is another children's story dealing
with the subject- in this case an intelligent mouse born to human
parents.  I think a film of it was also made.



Date: 24 Nov 1982 1406-PST
From: Lynn Gold 
Subject: C & W SF (yee-HAW!)

There exists a country and western song called "The Cool Green Hills 
of Earth".  I don't know who does it, but for those of you in the New
York area (other than North Jersey, notably Rutgers) who have never
heard the song, there is a woman who goes by the air name Alice Leroy
on WVHC (89.7FM) who does a country show called "Western Star" every
Saturday morning (unless something has changed recently) somewhere
between 10AM and 2PM (it's only an hour long) who closes her show each
week with this song.



Date: 26 Nov 82 01:04:28 EST  (Fri)
From: Chris Torek 
Subject: !!!SPOILER!!! Chalker's The Four Lords of the Diamond - !!!SPOILER!!!

Yep, I've read the first three of the Four Lords of the Diamond,
and all 5 of the three Well World stories.  That's right, all 5 of
the three: the second and third BOOKS are the second STORY, and the
fourth and fifth books are the third story.  I liked all that I
read, but then I'm an "LE" (likes everything).  Chalker has good
plots and new ideas for his books.

About the Four Lords of the Diamond:

The first book is titled "Lilith: A Snake in the Grass".  In it we
are introduced to the basic situation.  The military of the
civlized worlds (known as the Confedaracy) has been penetrated by
an alien robot, which has stolen all of their military secrets.
Nothing more is known about the aliens and the government wants
information, immediately.  The robot has been traced back to the
Warden Diamond, which is a disaster.  The Warden Diamond is a
stellar system with four inhabitable planets, by the names of
Lilith, Cerberus, Charon, and Medusa.  They were discovered and
named by a scout named Halden Warden 200 years ago; he described
them as follows:

[Pause while I go get the third book as a reference]

"Charon", came the first report.  "Looks like hell."

"Lilith", he continued.  "Anything that pretty's got to have a
snake in it."

"Cerberus", he named the third.  "Looks like a real dog."

And, finally, "Medusa.  Anybody who lives here would have to have
rocks in his head."

The coordinates followed, along with a code confirming that Warden
had done remote but no direct exploration -- that is, he hadn't
landed -- and a final code, "ZZ," which filled them with some fear.
It meant that there was something very odd about the place, so
approach with extreme caution.

[End quotation]

[General background, and "Lilith: A Snake in the Grass"]

Indeed, there was reason for caution, as they found out six months
after the initial exploration team landed on Lilith, and had been
to all three of the other worlds.  A microorganism that originated
on Lilith had infected the team, and they had then carried it out
to the other three worlds.  This organism had different effects on
each planet, due to different conditions.  On Lilith, nothing not
organic in nature or originally from the planet was broken down by
the little beasties.  So six months after arriving, the scientists
watched their shuttles, clothing, tools, etc. disintegrate.

Later the people remaining on Lilith discovered that some of them
had picked up a new ability from their hosts.  Somehow, they could
communicate with their Wardens (as the microorganisms came to be
called) and their Wardens could subseqently affect others.  Using
this power they could reshape objects or inflict pain or pleasure
in others.

It was also discovered that no one infected with the Warden
organism was able to leave the Warden system.  The organism
attached itself to the very DNA of the cell, and after a certain
distance from the sun the thing died (if you can call it that;
Wardens are only a handful of atoms).  This unfortunately led to
the painful death of the person.

So the Confederacy was faced with an impossibility.  They had to
get a good agent into the Warden system, into the established
heirarchy, and then to report back.  The only trouble was, once
they got a good agent in, being a good agent, he would realize that
he no longer needed the Confederacy; why should he work for them?
They got him into the mess!  And with what he knew about the inner
workings of the Confederacy they would kill him as soon as he
finished his mission!  (Agents were normally "wiped" between
missions, their memories stored in a computer.)  His only chance
was to become the "top dog": one of the Four Lords.

The solution was to use the Merton Process.  This involved copying
the mind of a person into another body.  Only about one in twenty
"imprints" worked, but they had plenty of bodies; they would
destroy the minds of the criminals who would have been sent to the
Warden Diamond for safekeeping.  (The Confederacy hated to waste
their most creative citizens; ordinary criminals were just
retrained but the brilliant ones were sent to the Warden Diamond.
This should give you an idea of what the inhabitants were like.)
In the bodies of four different people, the agent they selected
would be transported to each of the four planets.  With a tiny
quasi-organic transmitter implanted in his/her brain, the copy
would relay his/her experiences back to the agent, who would be
safe on a ship elsewhere in the Warden system.

The first report the agent received came from Lilith.  His copy, in
the body of Cal Tremon, had arrived on the paradise planet, and
been put to work by a sadistic overseer.  But a little while later
Tremon's power began to manifest...

No more, or I'll take away some of the fun.

["Cerberus: A Wolf in the Fold"]

Cerberus was a watery world, whose only "land" turned out to be the
tops of tall underwater trees.  However, its Wardens had a very
different effect from those of Lilith.  Technology could and did
exist there, at nearly the same level of the Confederacy.  Here was
where the raw materials from the other worlds was processed and
sold, both to the planets of the Warden Diamond and to the

The agent was sent here in the body of Quin Zhang.  The ability
provided by the Warden organism was somewhat unique: people on
Cerberus swapped minds as a matter of course.  (This is what led to
the Merton Process in the first place.)

["Charon: A Dragon at the Gate"]

Charon was a jungle.  But on Charon, magic works!  The Wardens have
the ability to "convince" other Wardens that something is some way.
While in reality the object or person that has been magicked does
not change, all of the inhabitants of Charon believe that it has,
so in effect, it has changed.  Furthermore, in living things, the
change slowly becomes permanent, as the Wardens produce subtle
changes in the body of the affected being.

Well, I hope that's not too long.  If there's more interest I'll
reread my Well World collection and send in something on it too.


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