Farscape : Green Eyed Monster

August 23, 2014 in Farscape by Firebird

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When Talyn is swallowed by a giant space creature, a Budong, Crais’s neural connection to Talyn malfunctions, and he asks Aeryn to accept the ‘Hand of Friendship’ to help him control the hybrid gunship. Warily avoiding the Budong in a Transport Pod, Stark and Rygel come up with a way for Talyn to escape, but Crichton’s jealousy complicates the plan…

Synopsis

“That’s no moon …. that’s a Budong”

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You’d think from the description above that it’s Crichton’s jealousy that’s the big problem but really it’s Talyn who is trying to remove a rival for Aeryn. He’s now controlling Crais as much as the other way around and he’s getting more and more unstable. In the end Aeryn does choose Crichton and Talyn relents but you’ve got to think that the Leviathan warship hybrid experiment isn’t working out too well.

The Rygel and Stark team-up continues to be entertaining.

LonCon3 – Day 5

August 18, 2014 in Uncategorized by Firebird

When I got back to my room on Sunday night and read The Pigeon Post #11 I found a little note saying that the Library in the fan village was basically going begging. Free books?! Oh my! So naturally my first port of call on day 5 was the fan village. Seems Orion/Gollancz really didn’t want to take any books home so I’m afraid I got a little bit carried away.

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I decided to weigh my new books, the freebees and the two I’d purchased and the total was 21.5lb (9.75Kg). Luckily I had friends in the dealers’ area who let me leave the books and my new painting with them while I went off to catch two last things before 2pm. A panel “The Bugs Are Coming Back” and a talk “Science Fact and Science Fiction”. After that it really was time to go so I said my goodbyes and staggered off to the DLR and the journey home.

Goodbye LonCon3, it was fun!

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Star Trek : The Way To Eden

August 18, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid

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This week’s classic Star Trek episode is The Way to Eden. A group of space hippies steal a spaceship and try to find the mythical planet of Eden. The Enterprise intercepts the ship and beams the hippies on board. The group is led by Doctor Sevrin a once great scientist who has gone insane. Also in the group is the son of the Catuallan ambassador which is in a delicate relationship with the Federation and Starfleet orders Kirk to handle the group with kid gloves not wishing to cause a problem. After finding out that Sevrin is a carrier of a deadly disease Kirk has him quarantined. His followers distract the crew with a jam session (Yeah I know) and free Sevrin who then takes over auxiliary control and sets course for a planet that Spock after doing some research believes to be Eden. Eden also happens to be in Romulan space.

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Upon arriving at the planet Sevrin activates a sonic weapon to immobilize the crew. Sevrin and his followers escape to the planet in a shuttle craft and Kirk deactivates the sonic weapon before it can kill the crew. Spock scans the planet and finds no evidence of animal life on the planet. Upon beaming down to the planet the landing party finds Adam dead and that the planets plant life has high levels of acid and the fruit is deadly. Eden is no paradise. The remaining hippies are rescued from the shuttlecraft but Sevrin in his insane state refuses to believe that Eden is deadly and escapes from the landing party climbs a tree and eats some of the deadly fruit killing himself.

This was not one of the best episodes and it just seems that somebody decided that they needed to do a hippie episode. This is another of those episodes in which the backgrounds of the characters and the planets are more interesting and would have made for a better episode especially Doctor Sevrin. How can they give him those ears and say he is a scientist in acoustics then not explain it or his background further. I think focusing more on his background story and what lead him to this point could have been more interesting. Catualla is another of those alien worlds I wish we could have actually seen.

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Seems Chekov takes Kirk’s place in getting the girl of the week. Actually Irina was supposed to be Joanna Doctor McCoy’s daughter in the original script and Kirk was supposed to take his usual spot in falling in love with the girl of the week. The episode was rewritten so much that D.C. Fontana who penned the original draft requested that they use her pseudonym “Michael Richards” in the credits.

I like the re-mastered Aurora nice little ship.

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Why drag the Aurora with the tractor beam till it explodes when they could easily get closer and stop it.

Lieutenant Palmer from The Doomsday Machine on communications.

The re-mastered space shots in this one are really cool too bad the episode isn’t as good.

Herbert Herbert Herbert oh shut up.

Why do they all have a hardboiled eggs on their shirts?

Pavel Andreievich Chekov well at least we get Chekov’s full name here.

Can we just hit the annoying space hippies with Phaser stun and be done with it? Oh right the one is an ambassadors son.

Okay we get it Sevrin is insane but I wish we would have gotten to know the character before this episode and why he became insane that seems like a much more interesting story.

The Vulcan harp is really a cool prop.

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Way to go Chekov give up the ships secrets to the pretty girl.

I keep thinking Irina is going to say new-clear-ar wessels.

What is it with you any way Chekov?

They came up with twenty third century hippie slang.

That’s got to be the lamest red shirt guarding Sevrin that he was so easily dispatched.

I guess Eden had to be in Romulan space to make this episode at least a little dramatic.

Nice re-mastered shot of Eden with the double moon.

I really wish some Romulans would have appeared it would have made this episode watchable.

Chekov is always the one who gets injured. Walter Koenig has that great scream.

The dead guy’s finger moved. Oops.

Galileo II nice touch now Galileo Seven that was a great episode.

I don’t think any red shirts were killed in this episode just stunned. The one guarding Sevrin should have been killed for zoning out so easily to the music.

LonCon3 – Day 4

August 17, 2014 in Uncategorized by Firebird

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Rather than kicking off with a panel at 10am today I went to the art show to place a bid and then took a look at the creepy crawlies and generally pootled around for an hour.

11am “Reluctant, or Just Not Interested?” focused on kids who can read but don’t want to and came up with plenty of reasons why but no good solutions.

Heading back over to the dealer/art show area I sat in the fan village and was lured over to the bandstand for a reading of “The Last Moonicorn” (a tale of dark whimsy, and pies, by Christopher Graeme). A story in rhyme which is probably about as weird as you’re imagining. It’s not been published yet and although he’d like it to be illustrated the first version probably won’t be. The words certainly conjured up loads of images in my head, I hope he finds someone with the skill to do it justice because it would be a great kids’ book.

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1:30 was one of those annoying slots when there were three panels on at the same time that I’d like to have seen. Not getting there early enough to queue means that the decision was made for me, “I can’t do that, Dave: Artificial intelligence, imagination and fear” and “The Wrong Apocalypse” were both full, so “Secrecy in Science” it was.

At 3 I went to “You Don’t Like Me When I’m Angry” but honestly I was hoping for the panel described in the programme, not the panelists telling us about their personal anger issues so that one I left early and decided to see if I’d won the painting I’d bid on.

BTW this is the nearest you’re going to get to a photo of me, I was inside the TARDIS (I hope the others on my friend’s camera were better, I moved the bear down to floor level and a kid came over to high-five him).

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The sharp eyed may spot that this is not the TARDIS that I photographed on day 1. LonCon3 has TWO TARDISes (or just TARDIS? definitely not TARDI because it’s not a latin word, TARDISes sounds right).

Getting back on track OMG … another queue. First a medium sized queue that moved, and then a longer queue that did not, or at least did not most of the time. I finally escaped at 6pm! The painting was worth it though.

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Another case of multiple panels, and again (thanks to the queueing) I was too late for a seat in “These Are Not the Elves You’re Looking For” or “Botanical Conquistadors”. So I took my painting back to the hotel, returned to the Excel and feeling a little light-headed decided that food was probably a very good idea. Then a little more killing time before the Hugo Awards Ceremony.

What can I say, the Retro Hugos had spoiled me. By comparison the 2014 ones were … dull. No band, no Martian invasion, very little fun. I expected more. Anyway, incase you’re interested here are the results.

John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer – Sofia Samatar

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Best Fan Artist – Sarah Webb
Best Fan Writer – Kameron Hurley
Best Fancast – SF Signal Podcast by Patrick Hester
Best Fanzine – “A Dribble of Ink” edited by Aidan Moher
Best Semiprozine – Lightspeed Magazine – John Joseph Adams, Rich Horton, and Stefan Rudnicki
Best Professional Artist – Julie Dillon
Best Editor (Long Form) – Ginjer Buchanan
Best Editor (Short Form) – Ellen Datlow
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) – Game of Thrones: The Rains of Castamere
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) – Gravity
Best Graphic Story – “Time” by Randall Munroe
Best Related Work – “We Have Always Fought” by Kameron Hurley
Best Short Story – “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” by John Chu
Best Novelette – “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal
Best Novella – “Equoid” by Charles Stross
Best Novel – “Ancillary Justice” by Ann Leckie

You can see the full stats for the Hugo votes HERE (PDF file).

I was seriously relieved that the novel and movie that I did NOT want to see win, didn’t win, but more than a little concerned that one got second place. I know Sci Fi and Fantasy can be argued to include fairy tails but a Disney Princess movie, SERIOUSLY?!

Oh and what the heck, David Tennant was at the Hugo Awards?!

In slightly related news my Dr Who/Dr Seuss mash-up t-shirt got a lot of smiles and a few comments through the day (it took a while before I figured out why total strangers kept smiling at me).

And so another day ends and back to my room.

Quatermass: Quatermass II

August 17, 2014 in Cult TV, Guest Blogs by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Hevy782

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Following the success of The Quatermass Experiment and the launch of the ITV Network in the UK, the BBC commissioned Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale to write a sequel to his previous adult sci-fi thriller. Quatermass had already broken onto the big screen earlier that year with the release of Hammer’s movie adaptation of The Quatermass Experiment (titled The Creeping Unkown in the US) in August 1955. Inspired by the contemporary fears of secret research facilities set up by the Ministry of Defence, Kneale set to work writing the six part thriller which would once again captivate audiences and empty the streets. The story sees the title character, Professor Bernard Quatermass, investigating into strange meteorites which are hollow and appear to of been manufactured. His investigations lead him to a strange industrial plant where he is ordered away by guards. Irritated by all the official secrets surrounding the plant, Quatermass once again faces the threat of an alien invasion and must find out what’s happening in the plant before it’s too late.

With a bigger budget to work with, this story was able to do much more location work than the last one, which also means much less done live in studio and therefor less tiring work for the actors. Unlike the last one the whole of this story was telerecorded (so they could be repeated the following Monday night) which means we have the all six parts available to us this time round. Reginald Tate, was set to reprise the role of Quatermass in this sequel but just weeks before location filming was scheduled to start a tragedy happened. He had collapsed and died at the age of 58 which lead to a necessary recast of the role at short notice, with actor John Robinson filling in the big shoes left by Tate. Alongside Robinson was Hugh Griffith as Quatermass’s chief assistant, Doctor Leo Pugh, and Monica Grey as Quatermass’s daughter, Paula. Monica had to learn Griffith’s lines as well as her own as he (like Robinson) was having trouble learning the technical dialogue so if need be she could assist him if anything went wrong during the live performance. Rounding off the main cast John Stone as Johnny Dillon, a captain in the army and fiancée to Paula Quatermass. Finally for the casting side of things we have something that may be of interest to some cult TV fans, actor Roger Delgado appears here a journalist who helps Quatermass investigate into the industrial plant. Delgado would later find fame in Doctor Who as the first actor to play the villainous Master opposite Jon Pertwee as the Doctor.

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Here we begin the spoiler free section of the review, so those of you who have not seen it yet can read this with no risk of having major plot points spoiled for them. Now as far as atmosphere goes, this story’s got a lot of it. Without going into detail, the most atmospheric scenes are the ones within the plant and you really do get the feeling of isolation and that there is evil all around you. There is a very mature story line in this, even more so than the last one and there are some scenes which are not for the faint of heart. Not necessarily because of the visuals (although there is some good stuff in that department) but because of the implications and the places you imagination runs to with the material it’s given here. The plot is solid and in true Nigel Kneale style has lots of mystery in it that makes you want to know more. However, it does fall apart a bit in the last part which feels out of place and sags a lot. It is nevertheless enjoyable but doesn’t live up to the expectations created by the first five parts. As for performances, John Robinson does a good job as Quatermass despite often being accused by critics not learning the technical lines properly. While seemingly a bit out-of-place next to other actors to of played the role, Robinson sells it as the same character in his performance and comes across as undeniably the same character that Tate played. The other actors do their bit but the only real standout performances from the supporting cast are Hugh Griffith and Roger Delgado, although arguably I’m bias because I like him so much in Doctor Who.

Now we move deep into spoiler territory so if you’re nervous about spoilers then you have been warned. So probably the best place to start would be what are probably the two most horrific scenes. The first of which is when Ward stumbles out of the dome covered in corrosive slime. It’s probably the most visually horrific of the two made all the more effective simply by it being in black-and-white. The second of these is not nearly as visual but far more sickening. I am of course referring to the men being used to clog up the gas pipes. Just the thought of this make your mind go mad with different gruesome thoughts and the execution is perfect. It really is far more effective not showing it as it leaves your mind to fill in the blanks and they often come up with even worse ideas. Also aided by black-and-white as you can see a liquid dripping down but because there’s no colour you can’t tell what it is until the characters on screen confirm your worst thoughts that it is blood. Moving onto the plot I must say that it’s a solid one but falls to bits during the last episode. I do like the genre of political thrillers and it’s got that going strong throughout the first half of this serial. The cliff-hanger to episode two really sums up that side of it. The cliff-hanger to episode one is also a particularly strong one and the follow up to it with the men from the plant coming along to take him away is suitably creepy and obviously playing of the very contemporary (and slightly more American) idea of servants of the government taking people away from their family and friends, and then when they return there’s something different about them. Finishing off by discussing the ending, I think it’s rather poor in comparison to what had come before it and it is one of the few things I feel that the Hammer movie version did better. The twist with Leo being possessed was good but the rest was too rushed I’m afraid and just lacked the impact it should’ve had.

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Overall, it’s an amazing story and from episodes one to five it really is one of the best things ever shown on television. Episode six, while not leaving up to the exceptions of the first five, is still good enough to watch and the whole thing is defiantly worth a look for anyone interested in sci-fi. As for where I’d put this story, it may just be my second favourite of the four. What beat it? Well we’ll take a look at that one next time with the review of the TV version of Quatermass and the Pit, one of the few things truly worthy of being called a classic.

LonCon3 – Day 3

August 16, 2014 in Uncategorized by Firebird

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After a better night’s sleep, on account of being too tired to notice where I was sleeping, I set out for Day 3. Session 1 at 10am was “Sense of Wonder in Children’s SF”. Between the panel members and other people attending I came out with a LONG list of authors to check out for Youngling. Result!

Unfortunately by the time I got to suite 15 all the seats were filled for “Moving Shelves: Famous Adult Writers Who Have Written YA” so a leisurely stroll downstairs, stopping off to buy a sound activated tribble, got me to “Fresh Perspectives: Comic Books for Young People” with time spare. I now have another handy list of possibilities.

1:30 saw me back upstairs for the “Girl Scientists” panel and then I took a panel break to look around the art show. Unfortunately I can’t show you anything as photography is strictly forbidden but outside it was OK to take snaps of the amazing Wasp Factory … sculpture I guess you’d call it? or totally awesome object of wonder.

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Click on the images for a full sized view and marvel at the teeny tiny skeletal fairies! I love this thing and wish I could take it home.

Sitting by the fan village green I wasn’t expecting a melee (you thought I was going to say Spanish Inquisition didn’t you?), but the Society for Creative Anachronism turned up and that’s just what there was.

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And then “Bridging the Gap: Genre and the Mainsteam” was another interesting panel providing food for thought. I left a little early to be back at the dealers’ area before it closed as I’d arranged to go out to dinner with some friends. We got back just in time for the Masquerade to actually start. Watching people with passes taking photos of all the entries afterwards was *not* much fun and I joined the exodus before the winners were announced so you’ll need to look elsewhere for that info and photos. And so at 9:30 I had a quick look around the fan village and then set off back to my hotel.

Tomorrow, more panels, more stuff and the big question. Will I spend a stack of cash on some original art? There’s this really gorgeous painting of a dragon which I am sorely tempted by.

Farscape : Thanks for Sharing

August 16, 2014 in Farscape by Firebird

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Crichton has been duplicated into two identical Crichtons. Moya’s crew, trying to buy a healing agent for the injured gunship Talyn, becomes embroiled in a planet’s deadly politics. Meanwhile, Aeryn discovers that her own mother, Xhalax Sun, is leading the Peacekeeper Retrieval Squad sent to recapture Talyn.

Synopsis

The two Crichtons are not happy, both convinced that he is the real one and the other a duplicate, but there really is no way to tell them apart.

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The aliens of the week are basically human looking but unpleasant enough anyway.

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And Xhalax Sun, oh yes she is going to be a problem. By the end we discover that she was behind the contamination of the healing agent purchased for Talyn. Her shape shifting employee also killed Rinic Sarova, took her place then killed the planet’s ruler Rinic Pralanoth so it could fire on Moya and Talyn.

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It’s going to be an interesting family reunion since Aeryn is determined that she will kill Xhalax if she has to to protect Talyn.

At the end of the episode the crew is split between the two ships. D’Argo, Chiana, Jool and one Crichton on Moya while the other Critchton, Stark and Rygel join Aeryn and Crais on Talyn. Naturally Moya Crichton is not happy about this arrangement but there can be no contact between the two ships until the danger from the Peacekeeper Retrieval Squad is over.

LonCon3 – Day 2

August 15, 2014 in Uncategorized by Firebird

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Propelled by a 4 shot latte (coffee shop purchased as the hotel only had a nasty little vending machine) I started my day of panels at 10am with “The Science of Discworld” presented by Prof. Ian Stewart. I have to confess up front that despite having read all the Discworld novels I’d never actually picked up the Science of books because I’d been rather put off by similarly titled works attached to other franchises. It seems I was too hasty and after this talk will definitely be buying the first one as soon as I get home.

At 11am I was one of the lucky ones to get in to “Sherlock Holmes and Science Fiction”. The Excel Centre is serious about fire regs and how many people can be in a room so if you don’t have a seat you have to leave the room. I honestly had no idea there were *that* many cross-overs, mash-ups and appearances of Sherlock Holmes in Sci Fi titles. Really, MASSES! The trick will be to pick out the 10% from the inevitable Sturgeon’s law 90%.

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Midday saw me down at the Auditorium for the BIS “SKYLON and the spaceflight of the future”. Wow that took me back, I remember when Hotol was the great hope for reusable launch vehicles, but Skylon looks good and the technology in the Sabre engines is pretty darned impressive! Just before that presentation we were introduced to cosmonaut Anatoly Artsebarsky, which was kinda cool.

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Next was back upstairs for a lively talk by Tori Herridge from the NHM “How to Make a Dwarf Mammoth”. Some interesting science and OMG what I wouldn’t give to have a pet dwarf mammoth, the cuteness factor of the babies is off the charts, a foot tall? How adorable would that be, and the adults only 3 foot? Sadly I will just have to file dwarf mammoth along with Leaellynasaura as impossible pets unless I can find a time machine.

3pm and on to “Missing – Believed Wiped” hosted by the BFI. A short description of the process of recovering lost material was followed by clips from some recent examples. Object Z, a couple of episodes of Out of the Unknown, Moonbase 3, Adam Adamant Lives!, the 1965 TV version of 1984, a BBC3 (the satirical show not the channel) spoof of War Game and a very strange little advert from the early 60s featuring Nicholas Parsons (don’t ask, it was just weird!).

That session actually finished before the scheduled time rather than having to be cut short like almost everything else so I went in search of food before planning on another BIS talk. But having wolfed down a pasty I spotted a familiar face and, well that was that. I ended up in the Dealers’ room saying hi to old friends and then I hung around and did a spot of shopping (a second hand book and a couple of t-shirts) before the room was closed at 6pm.

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Back to the panels and I was too late for a seat at “Mining Magic”. Plan B, another BIS talk caused me to zone out a bit so I settled down to wait for “The Girl Who Waited” a panel on the lack of female protagonists in time-travel stories. I came away with the impression that this subject might not have been though through very well and the gender inequality doesn’t seem to be any worse than in Sci Fi movies and TV in general. There was also some unwarranted negativity about River Song which seemed to me to miss the central point that we see her character in reverse order so *of course* she goes from being cool and kick ass to ‘just’ a nutter who wants to kill The Doctor. She developed over time, it’s just we didn’t see it that way around. Anyway, it’s rather put me off any more gender panels. They were mostly saying the same things that we all know already and rather preaching to the choir and not even in an entertaining way. I’d rather hear new things.

8pm and I went to a panel on “The Press vs Science”. If you read many stories about science in the mainstream media you’ll probably already get what the problems are and nobody could really come up with any viable solutions.

9pm rolled around and I decided that I was just too tired to enjoy “The Human Future and Galactic Society” and so headed back to my hotel room to write this blog and then hit the hay.

LonCon3 – Day 1 and Retro Hugos

August 14, 2014 in Uncategorized by Firebird

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If you’ve been following the #LonCon3 tag on twitter you’ve probably seen a lot of people tweeting from the queue for registration. Yes, it was a long wait, I missed the opening ceremony, but hey, that’s the way it goes sometimes.

I tweeted the one friend I knew was going to be there but she was in a panel so I had a little bit of a look around the Exhibits Hall to kill time. The dealers were a bit of a disappointment really but on the plus side I know I’m not going to be spending lots of money. Maybe a cute t-shirt for Youngling and I might pick up some second hand books.

The Hawaiian Dalek deserves a mention.

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After that met with the friend and we had a long chat, catching up on who’s been doing what. Then we both went to a panel, Doctor Who: Fandom for the Whole Family. Some interesting observations and anecdotes but before the end I started to worry about checking in to my hotel so left a bit early when the subject seemed to be wandering a bit.

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Got back, grabbed something to eat and then caught the second half of Why Aliens are Cool Again and then The Fermi Paradox in Light of the Kepler Mission. I have to say that only Dr Helen Fraser seemed keen on throwing that particular light on the subject, but again there were interesting points made and I’ll definitely be trying to make it to some more of the Science Panels. That took me to 8pm and so on to the Retro Hugos.

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The whole thing was really very fun. The conceit was that we were all attending a live radio show at the 1939 WoldCon in New York and the two presenters (Mary Robinette Kowal and Rob Sherman) were time travellers (her arriving by DeLorean and him hitching a lift in the TARDIS). The music was provided by the Brideshead Ballroom Stompers and they were excellent! Really setting the mood. We also had some reports of a Martian invasion interspersed with the awards, but never fear, they were defeated by the Con Crud.

Before the Hugos there were a few other awards included. The First Fandom Hall of Fame Award went to John Clute with two further Posthumous awards to John “ted” Carnell and Walter H. Gillings. The Sam Moskowitz Archive Award went to Mike Ashley and the Forrest J Ackerman Big Heart Award went to Vincent Docherty.

The first Hugo sort of wasn’t. Due to a technicality a Hugo requires that there are multiple nominees and in the best graphic story (comics) category there was only one nominee. So they gave a Special Committee award instead, to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in recognition of the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics #1.

The main awards were as follows:

Best Fan Writer – Ray Bradbury
Best Fanzine – Imagination! edited by Forrest J Ackerman, Morojo and T. Brue Yerke
Best Professional Artist – Virgil Finlay
Best Editor (Short Form) – John W. Campbell
Best Dramatic Presentation (short Form) – The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. Written by Howard Koch & Anne Froelick, directed by Orson Welles (Mercury Theater on the Air, CBS)
Best Short Story – “How We Went to Mars” by Arthur C. Clarke
Best Novelette – “Rule 18″ by Clifford D. Simak
Best Novella – “Who Goes There?” by Don A Stuart (really John W. Campbell)
Best Novel – The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White

After that I could have checked out some of the parties, there was a Dr Who one which might have been fun but I have to admit that I was starting to wilt and there was this blog to write so I retired to my hotel room.

Tomorrow, a bunch more panels and a more careful study of the dealers’ tables.

Star Trek : Requiem For Methuselah

August 11, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid

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This week’s classic Star Trek episode is Requiem for Methuselah. The Enterprise crew is infected with the deadly Rigelian fever. The only cure Ryetalyn is found on planet Holberg 917G. Kirk Spock and McCoy beam down to the planet to get the Ryetalyn as time runs out for the crew. Once on the planet they find that it is not uninhabited. A man named Flint lives there along with his robot M-4. At first Flint demands that they leave but changes his mind and has M-4 gather the Ryetalyn.

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Flint invites Kirk Spock and McCoy to his home. Arriving at Flint’s home Spock discovers unknown works from many of Earth’s greatest musicians and artists. M-4 returns with the Ryetalyn. Kirk prepares to return to the ship but Flint offers to refine the Ryetalyn into antidote claiming that M-4 can process it faster. Flint then introduces Kirk to Rayna his ward who is highly intelligent and beautiful. Kirk being Kirk immediately falls in love with Rayna causing Flint to become jealous and M-4 nearly kills Kirk.

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M-4 finishes the refining process but McCoy finds a contaminant in the drug rendering it useless. Flint apologizes for the attack on Kirk and for the contaminated drug. He has M-4 gather more Ryetalyn and says he will personally see to the refining process. All the while Kirk and Spock realize that Flint wants them to stay longer on the planet and when he is not forthcoming with the antidote they begin to search the house. They eventually find a room which contains other versions of Rayna she is in fact an android.

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Flint arrives and reveals his other secret the reason for all the unknown works of Earth greatest artists is because he in fact has been those artists. Flint is immortal and has live many lives throughout history. Flint has created Rayna so as to have an equally immortal companion. Flint was using Kirk to stir Rayna’s emotions and now that it has worked Flint prepares to put Kirk and the Enterprise in suspended animation for a thousand years to keep his secret but Rayna enters and hears what Flint is doing and forces him to release the ship. Flint and Kirk begin a fight over Rayna which overwhelms her new emotions and she shuts down. Flint allows Kirk Spock and McCoy to leave and the plague is cured. McCoy reports that due to leaving Earth Flint has begun to die and will now live out a normal lifespan. McCoy and Spock report to Kirk’s cabin to find him asleep McCoy wishes Kirk could forget the events of the past few days. After McCoy leaves Spock using Vulcan mind meld places his hand on Kirk and tells him “Forget.”

This episode starts out very good. The Enterprise is in the grips of an epidemic. They need to find the antidote quickly because who knows how many red shirts would die. They find the element they need on a barren world only to discover the mysterious Flint.

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Flint is an interesting character. The concept of an immortal being has been kicked around a lot in Trek and I think Flint is the most unique. He isn’t some energy being moving from host to host or an all-powerful omnipotent being such as Trelane or the Q in The Next Generation. He is just someone who for whatever reason has live countless lives. It does make for an interesting question of how to deal with an eternity of happiness and loss.

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Then the episode just sort of veers off into another of the Kirk falling in love with the girl or in this case android of the week. What are the chance it’s Kirk who shows up on Flint’s planet if this was Star Wars I’d say the force works in mysterious ways. They really did go to that well once too often. No wonder McCoy was like “What is it with you anyway” in Star Trek VI. It does eventually pan out though as Rayna not being able to deal with her emotions sort of mirrors Flint’s attempt to eliminate his feelings of loss throughout the centuries. Plus Kirk’s struggle of leaving behind yet another lost love. Again.

A couple of quick notes. You can see that M-4 is obviously reused parts of Nomad. I wonder why they went with M-4 as it is so close to Dystrom’s M-5 computer from the Ultimate Computer there are a lot of other letters. We don’t see any red shirts die in the episode itself but I assume that some of them were the ones that died of the fever in the opening log entry.