- In a highly urbanized future dominated by cybernetics and bioengineering, anti-hero Case is rescued from wretchedness and given back the ability to send his persona into the cyberspace of the world’s computer networks, where he must carry out a hazardous mission for an enigmatic employer. Name this William Gibson novel!
- The Air Force gave its full cooperation to the making of the 1951 classic The Thing (From Another World). True or False?
- What does the “C” in “Arthur C. Clarke” stand for?
- Who wrote the Venus Equilateral stories?
- What are bobbles?
- This is a collection of linked stories by Joanna Russ in which liberated women in different societies challenge the forces of oppression. It includes 1983 Hugo winner “Souls.” Name this collection!
- In this Larry Niven collection the title story (Hugo winner, 1967) is one of several in which Beowulf Shaeffer is blackmailed into taking on a dangerous mission in an exotic environment. Name it!
- He was killed by the Harkonnens shortly after taking possesion of Arrakis.
- By what more famous name do we know the author “Paul French”?
- What was the name of the son of “Charlie” from the film, Enemy Mine?
(Answers below the fold)
I heart Medium Large.
Their eggs must have been painful to lay.
Pysanky artist Nancy Sims made a special Dalek-themed egg for a friend’s birthday. [Insert obligatory "eggsterminate" joke here.] I’m particularly impressed that it’s a real egg instead of a sturdier wooden or plastic one.
You can see the construction details on her Flickr set.
The fifth annual MicroVisions art auction begins April 26. Proceeds benefit the Society of Illustrators’ student scholarship fund, and there are some lovely pieces available. Irene Gallo is posting them as they become available.
I really love the space cow.
(via Super Punch)
A few days ago the Pharyngula blog had a thoughtful post on the child-molestation meltdown currently wracking the Catholic church. In discussing the faithful’s attempts to protect guilty priests at the expense of their victims, it drew a parallel with Ursula K. Le Guin’s beautifully depressing short story, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas (which if you haven’t read, the text is here. Go read it right now. I’ll wait). It continued:
In the story, some few people reject the terms of the sacrifice, and this is where I have mixed feelings about it: they quietly leave the city, alone, to go somewhere else, somewhere they can’t even imagine. They are “the ones who walk away from Omelas,” after all. They are the ones who will not accept bliss if it’s founded on another’s pain.
But I don’t know, it doesn’t seem enough. The story seems to accept that there is an act that cannot be committed: that protest and tattling are not an option, that no one ever sees that there is a justice in bringing the oppressed to light and doing something. Or even questioning whether a child’s sacrifice is at all causal in bringing about their happiness. It’s a thoughtful story, but it needs a sequel, “The Ones Who Storm the Gates of Omelas”.
I (and many of the commenters on the site) thought that was a particularly moving idea and wanted to share it. As one of them commented, the willingness to give up one’s own life to save another’s is humanity’s greatest strength and most potent weapon.
I had planned to teach my robot right and wrong, but so far I’m pretty impressed with its choice of victims.
Help me Obi Wan Kenobi. You’re my only Never mind. Batman’s here.
Oh, anecdotal evidence. Look at you. Pretending you’re science. You’re just adorable.
I’m not trying to point the finger of blame at Hogwarts but what the fuck were the wizards doing 1939 through to 1945?
With all of these location-based social networking services, you’d be crazy not to try a little serial killing.
We are the people of the book. We love our books. We fill our houses with books. We treasure books we inherit from our parents, and we cherish the idea of passing those books on to our children. Indeed, how many of us started reading with a beloved book that belonged to one of our parents? We force worthy books on our friends, and we insist that they read them. We even feel a weird kinship for the people we see on buses or airplanes reading our books, the books that we claim. If anyone tries to take away our books–some oppressive government, some censor gone off the rails–we would defend them with everything that we have. We know our tribespeople when we visit their homes because every wall is lined with books. There are teetering piles of books beside the bed and on the floor; there are masses of swollen paperbacks in the bathroom. Our books are us. They are our outboard memory banks and they contain the moral, intellectual, and imaginative influences that make us the people we are today.
— Cory Doctorow, in a speech about DRM (This isn’t funny; I just really liked it)
This is deeply, deeply wonderful.
Doctor Octoroc has created a notional 8-bit video game based on Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Episode 1. I would play the hell out of this, and I’m sad it doesn’t actually exist.
A rather niche record was set yesterday when the shuttle launched: The most women in orbit at the same time. Three of the seven astronauts on Discovery are women, and there’s a woman on the International Space Station. The four are scheduled to rendezvous on Wednesday and will form “the largest gathering of women in space in history.”
Very cool, but I’m looking forward to the day when we don’t feel the need to keep track of that kind of thing any more.
Here’s a stylishly geeky way to decorate a bare wall: Artist Justin Van Genderen has created a series of “minimalist” travel posters advertising destinations in the Star Wars universe. They’re rather reminiscent of the sleek-looking travel advertisements of the early part of the last century.
These posters make me want to tour the Cloud City on Bespin and see Alderaan before it’s too late.