athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)

During much of my childhood in the 1970s, KTLA in Los Angeles aired reruns of Star Trekon weekend afternoons ... unless it was baseball season.

The original run of Battlestar Galacticaaired on ABC, on Sunday nights ... where it was regularly yet unpredictably preempted by football. (The erratic schedule probably contirbuted to the poor ratings; the people who wantedto watch it never knew when it would acutally be on,and in those pre-Internet days, it was not uncommon to discover on Monday morning that the damned show had actually aired when it should have.)

Yesterday, during the Super Bowl ... I watched reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation, first on BBC America, then on NetFlix.

My inner child is content.

athelind: (Eye - VK)
On my morning commutes, I shift between the local jazz station, two different classic rock stations, and the news-weather-and-traffic station on the radio. A classical station or two will sometimes make its way into the mix, depending on my mood and how recently my mechanic has unplugged my battery and wiped my presets.

(Hush, you whippersnappers; I'll stop listening to the radio when they figure out how to cram traffic updates into podcasts.)

This eclectic morning mix has revealed a deep and hitherto unsuspected facet of my personality:

I can hear the William Tell Overture without thinking, "Hi Ho, Silver!"

I can hear Also Sprach Zarathustra without picturing black monoliths.

For the life of me, though, I cannot hear Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" without thinking of Watchmen; I grew up on top 40 stations in the '70s rather than any decent rock venues, and thus my first real exposure to the song was Moore and Gibbon's invocation in the climax of the miniseries. Zack Snyder's cinematic adaptation may have been uneven in its execution, but its translation of that scene was perhaps the high point.

I must confess, however, that while nothing can equal the classic Jimi Hendrix rendition as a rock anthem, I still harbor an affection for Bear McCreary's haunting interpretation for the rebooted Battlestar Galactica:





I would be honestly pleased if that version got the occasional radio airplay. It needs more love.


athelind: (Sci Fi)
All right. The last two entries have had far too high a quotient of Your Obedient Serpent Griping About Stuff He Doesn't Like, and I am trying to avoid that.

Let's start kicking around constructive ideas, shall we?

"Q-Space" is an old idea I had for RPG-friendly FTL. I originally came up with it ages ago, when I was playing CHAMPIONS, and applied the Hero System conceit of different "Combat" and "Non-Combat" speeds to FTL Flight, the only movement power that didn't have it. When I realized the sociopolitical ramifications of Slow-Then-Fast FTL, I kept the idea on file, and actually used it in a GURPS SPACE game -- that game ran about twenty years back, so this idea's been kicking around for a long time.


The basic idea is that there are different regimes where The Rules Are Different:
  • C-Space is the regime where the speed of light is "c": i.e., "normal spacetime".

  • K-Space is "Slow FTL": about a light-year per month, for extended travel.

    • Everything is conveniently scaled for swooping sci-fi FTL battles, and looks like Jack Kirby drew it.

    • Masses (ships and planets) appear proportionally larger

    • Distances appear smaller

  • Q-Space is "Fast FTL": multiple light-years per DAYS, maybe.


K-Space is discovered first, and is Good Enough To Scout and Colonize. Ships are sent out with colonists in cold sleep and crews awake and active, since K-Space is full of Space Wedgies. With months or years of travel time between inhabited worlds, colonial cultures develop in relative isolation, and a "spacer culture" develops unto itself.

After a few centuries, reliable access to Q-Space is developed -- and suddenly, these isolated cultures are all in each other's backyards.

They do not all get along.

To complicate matters, access to Q-Space finally increases Humanity's sphere of influence enough that we finally brush up against Galactic Culture -- and as far as we can tell, the Galactics don't care about our internal affairs; they consider the species the significant level of organization.

I love this idea, honestly. It's a simple, straightforward way to get a lot of radically diverse human cultures interacting closely.


athelind: (hoard potato)
This morning, [livejournal.com profile] leonard_arlotte said:

So I've seen commercials for Tomorrow People, but ain't watched it. I am left with a nagging question.

What's the difference between this show and Alphas?

I did see the commercial and think, "Oh look, another show about pretty people with super powers" ...



That's a pretty glib dismissal ... but it's not wrong.

I watched the first episode, and really, the big difference between the two shows is that I didn't want to immediately smack everybody in Alphas, protagonist and antagonist alike.

The big conflict in this show is "OH NOES NORMALS HATE US BECAUSE WE'RE BEAUTIFUL WE HAVE POWERS!!1!"

... just like every other Pretty People With Powers series in the last decade. Heroes, the 4400, Alphas ... even the X-Movies. Show after show after show, and it's all Maintaining the Masquerade so the Mundanes don't Molest the Metahumans. The protagonists only deal with two kinds of adversaries: Dark Conspiracies Who Want To Herd Them All Into Labs and/or "Cure" Them, and Bad People With Powers That Have The Exact Same Origin As Ours.

Assuming you can tell the protagonists from the antagonists, of course.

Moreover ... every single one of these shows characterizes the Pretty People With Powers as "The Next Evolutionary Step" that will "Drive Humanity To Extinction". It's not always just the paranoid norms who think so, either.*

I, for one, am bored with this. It's ... metahuman masturbation, is what it is. All the conflict centers around The Powers, and if you take The Powers away (as several interchangeable adversaries want to do), all the conflict vanishes.

It's like they think viewers aren't smart enough to handle a world that has more than one crazy thing going on at a time.

The sad part is that The Tomorrow People is a remake of a classic BBC series from the 1970s, the era that gave us Blake's 7, and Pertwee and Baker as Doctor Who.**

By contrast, take a look at what they threw at the original 1970s version of Tomorrow People. Aliens! Robots! Alien Robots!

Think the new series is going to touch that subplot where the Tomorrow People are in touch with the "Galactic Federation", who shepherd developing telepathic races as they "break out"?

I don't.

And that's a pity.


* To give Alphas its due, Professor X Dr. Rosen at least paid lip service to the idea that the Alphas were just exceptional humans at the skinny end of the bell curve ... but he was about the only person in the show who did, and even he didn't seem to buy it completely.
** Don't get pedantic with me. That's how they're listed in the credits.
athelind: (Sci Fi)
The Threepenny Space Opera: An Introduction

WARNING! TV TROPES!

This is the first in a series of posts under the head of The Threepenny Space Opera, in which Your Obedient Serpent bandies about ideas and concepts for science fiction RPG settings. These are primarily Notes To Myself, and the different concepts may or may not be compatible with each other in a single milieu.

I have been in a Star Wars Saga Edition game for the last four years, and, while I enjoy it a great deal, I confess that I enjoy it in spite of the setting, not because of it. It is hardly an original insight to assert that the Lucasian setting isn't "really" science fiction, but rather, fantasy with a thin veneer of technology; it has some truth to it, but that doesn't curtail my ability to enjoy a rip-roaring laser-adorned Hero's Journey.

If forced to pick a side when the line is drawn between Romanticism and Enlightenment, however, Your Obedient Serpent falls squarely in the latter camp.1 There are elements of Classic Space Opera that are Very Important To Your Obedient Serpent, and they can only be shoehorned into the Galaxy Far Far Away with great effort -- and are entirely absent from, say, Dark Heresy and many of the other starfaring settings offered to the RPG community.

I am rambling, which is nothing new. Let me therefore invoke that tool of PowerPoint abusers worldwide, and proffer a Bullet List:

  • I want a vision of a hopeful, optimistic future. Cautionary tales are an important part of the science fiction estate, but they aren't, contrary to Post-Modern thought, more "mature" or "sophisticated" or "valid". When all the visions of the future are dystopian, when the only message from tomorrow is "Beware", then where will we find the hope and inspiration to drive us forward?

  • I want to Explore Strange New Worlds. Even Star Trek: the Next Generation fell short on this one, keeping NCC-1701-D largely within the borders of the Federation, boldly staying where everyone had gone before; the movies, of course, abandon the notion of "exploration" entirely.

  • I want to Save the Day with SCIENCE!! I want a setting and a system where the Vulcan manning the sensors contributes as much to the adventure as the Dashing Space Pilot.

  • And on that note, I want a game that doesn't shy away from starships and space combat, while making sure that ALL the player characters can take active roles when the Space Pirates drop out of Netherspace, or the Negative Space Wedgie looms on the main screen. I want a game that's not afraid of starmaps, and where travel between the worlds is an opportunity, not an obstacle (or a quick screen-wipe).


There will be more forthcoming.


1 In the topsy-turvy backwards world of Literary Jargon, I am an unrealistic dreamer because I reject Romanticism.

athelind: (Ommm)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

What name would you give to your car or bicycle, and why?

My 2001 Saturn station wagon is named "Serenity", because she's gray and a little battered, and needs lots of attention, but she's also amazingly sturdy and soldiered on for months needing repairs that would have crippled a less resilient vehicle.

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me
Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain't comin' back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me
There's no place I can be
Since I found Serenity
But you can't take the sky from me...


(The whole "superficially pleasant and spiritual name that actually refers to a horrific, soul-scarring battle that destroyed the captain's faith and left him a bitter, surly, sarcastic bastard" aspect has nothing to do with anything. Nothing, I say.)


athelind: (Eye - VK)
[livejournal.com profile] normanrafferty pointed out this amazing video from Broken Bells.

It hearkens back to the Golden Age of MTV, when music videos were miniature movies that told stories—often science fiction stories. I think the opportunities of YouTube might bring that back.







athelind: (hoard potato)
Charles Stross explains why he's burned out on "Steampunk".

It boils down to "90% of Steampunk is crud", of course, and over at Futurismic, Paul Raven's commentary applies the inevitable and immortal coda to that clause.

I enjoyed both articles, and my superficial summary should not be construed as a dismissal; both Stross and Raven do provide some analysis of why Sturgeon's Ratio arises.*

Personally, I think that Stross's issues arise because, as a writer, he sees "Steampunk" primarily as a literary movement. In contrast, Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing tends to approach it more as a design aesthetic, applying the craftsmanship, materials and visual motifs of a bygone era to both wardrobe and cutting-edge technology.

I lean toward Doctorow's view: the current "Steampunk Movement" is connected to the Maker Movement. Steampunk's central defining elements are artifacts that imply a backstory. The literature that actually provides a backstory is a secondary effect. Science fiction writers and fans do love to follow such implications reductio ad asburdum, sometimes to good effect—but they often stretch a simple premise to its breaking point.

However, none of that is the main thrust of this post.

You see, inevitably, when discussions of this currently-trendy subgenre arise, there's always someone who fixates on the word used to describe it, insisting that it's neither "steam" (being more often wood, brass, and high-voltage Teslary) nor "punk".**

After reading this tedious protest one too many times, I hereby affix thumb to nose.

Steampunk is Punk because, as a design aesthetic, it's rebelling against mass production and homogenization by reintroducing the idea of hand-crafted artistry to technological artifacts.

Steampunk is STEAM because of a literary device known as synecdoche, in which part of something is used to refer to the whole thing. "Steam" is a concise shorthand for "Victorian Era Technology", because it was, in fact, the dominant and most distinctive technology of the era. Tesla and Edison, fine; Nemo's electric batteries, fine; Cavorite, if you must -- but it was the steam locomotive and the steam engine that reshaped the human landscape. Moreover, it's a technology that has by and large fallen out of use in the present day; by contrast, things like electricity are far more prevalent now than they were then.

Of course, once you discover that the original meaning of "punk" is neither "mohawked rocker" nor "small-time hood", but "prostitute" ... well, then, the whole "transformation of the subgenre into the current trendy cash cow for skeevy publishers looking to milk a quick buck" just makes it all the more appropriate. As Mr. Raven points out, the same thing happened to both the "rock" and the "cyber" variations on the theme.



*A quick look around suggests that the "second artist effect" that Unca Charlie cites may in fact be a new and elegant coinage for a principle that has been stammered about in genre analysis circles for decades. Has anyone else heard that turn of phrase ere now?
**No, it's not just you. Or you. Or any of the many of you who think this is personally aimed in your direction.
Cross-posted to KDDR.

athelind: (grognard)


I confess that I was a little disappointed when the new edition of Gamma World decided to use a collectible card model to implement random mutations. Gimmicky mechanics like that tend to keep a niche game limited to a niche market.

I was also a little dismayed when the game description included adjectives like "wacky" and "rollicking". On the day of its release, one of my store's regular customers, looked at the blurb on the box, and summed up exactly what I'd been thinking: "Aw, jeez. We always played it straight."

On the other claw ... one problem with the White Wolf version of the game was that they took it too seriously, downplaying the frankly comic-book super-power mutations of "classic" ΓW, trying to treat it as semi-hard SF.

And ... certainly, Back In The Day, we "played it straight" -- but only as "straight" as we played D&D. In those ancient days of yore, there was always a level of whimsy at the tabletop. A D&D adventure could include a Burma Shave sign or an encounter at Monty Python's Bridge of Doom, and it didn't derail the game or detract from the atmosphere. A game like Gamma World wasn't played so much "straight" as "deadpan", and surely, Gabe and Tycho's tale of a Funeral for a Deceased Laser fits perfectly with that style.

The new game uses D&D4 "as a foundation". I hope it's a solid foundation that leaves it essentially D&D-compatible; a huge chunk of the critters in any given Monster Manual fit a post-apocalyptic science-fantasy setting far better than they fit the Tolkien Bar Sinister motifs that the "traditional" D&D settings try to ape.

And, yes ... I'd love to be able to effortlessly treat one game as a supplement for the other, and run a setting with the mix of "sorcery and super-science" of Thundaar the Barbarian.


I have half-a-dozen entries with the "Gamma World" tag, but somehow, I've never managed to link any of them to Bigfella Machine's Mutant Bastards gallery. WotC really should have hired the Bigfella to create the look and feel for the new book.
athelind: (Sci Fi)

Plastic Antibodies Effective In Living Animals!



Natural antibodies are proteins that are shaped to wrap around the molecules of a dangerous substance. The body has to be exposed to the substance to learn how to make them, and the immune system responses involved in the process can contribute to the trauma. Thing like antivenom serums are currently made by injecting a large animal like a horse with the toxin, and then filtering their blood for the antibodies—these natural antibodies can sometimes induce reactions of their own.

This technique creates synthetic antibodies out of plastic, simply by molding the polymer around the molecules.

This is insanely brilliant, and could open huge doors in medical treatments.

It's also one of those Amazing Advances of the Future that slipped by most SF writers.

In a space opera setting, since these are biologically neutral, you could actually have antitoxins that would work on almost any species! Call Sector General!

I can so easily see a Plastic Antibody Synthesis rig as part of the onboard medical systems of KLDR-4077, or a transhuman/posthuman character like Charlotte; it seems especially well-suited to her "rebuilt to survive in a toxic world" theme.


Regular readers will note that I've added another new "column" to my Subject Headers: "Here's Your Effing Jetpack." Yes, it's the 21st Century, and no, we don't have all the wonderful Jetsons technology they promised us—but we have so much tech that hardly anyone did foresee. And we take most of it for granted, including the ones that make this post possible. There are enough net-tech sites out there that I won't bother making note of the latest Cupertino Tchotchke, but if something weird, wonderful, and off the wall strikes my eye—well, Here's Your Effing Jetpack.
athelind: (Sci Fi)
For years, I've been calling Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination/Tiger! Tiger!* "a forgotten cyberpunk classic from the '50s" and "more cyberpunk than cyberpunk".

I was even more correct than I thought: William Gibson, one of the progenitors of the Cyberpunk Movement, has just cited it as one of his favorite novels, going so far as to say "I doubt I’d have written without having read it."

Hunt it down, people.

It's still high on my list for Books That Oughta Be Movies.


*Tiger! Tiger! was the title of the first book publication, but it was originally serialized as the Stars My Destination, and, frankly, that's a far better title.
athelind: (green hills of earth)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

Do you believe there is other intelligent life in distant galaxies? If no, why not? If yes, do you believe this is something to be feared and avoided or actively sought out?*

This was yesterday's QOTD, and it's taken me until now to answer it.

I am entirely agnostic on this issue. I do not have sufficient data to make a reasonable case for either position—I can think of many reasonable-sounding arguments, but they all come down to unfounded assumptions at one point or another.

Since I'm militantly agnostic on several questions that other people find all-important, this isn't surprising. I'm simply being consistent.

I once read something that asserted that "belief" derived from old Germanic roots that mean "prefer" or ""desire". The etymology is dubious, but the principle is sound: when people say that they "believe" something, I've found that, by and large, they're really asserting that they would prefer that it were true, that the world worked in such-and-such a fashion.**

To my great surprise, I found that, upon examination, I don't have any real preference for either position. I really am agnostic.

If extraterrestrial intelligence exists, then, wow! That's wonderful! Look at all of these new people to meet! All of these new perspectives to learn! All of these new cultures to discover!

If ETI doesn't exist, if we're the only conscious, tool-using species at this particular epoch—or if we're the first and only such species to ever emerge—then we and our progeny can, if technology and physics will ever allow, expand to the stars without barriers or hesitation or White Liberal Guilt Prime Directives. It's ours. All ours.

And that has its bright spots, as well.


*I am going to arrogantly assume that "distant galaxies" is, as is so often the case, Astronomically Illiterate Shorthand for "other star systems".
**I will now irritate a vocal portion of my audience by opining that the contrapositive often holds, as well.

athelind: (Warning: Motivation Hazard)
The single biggest reason I've avoided e-books is comfort.

Most PDF e-books are formatted in a portrait layout—tall and skinny. Most computer screens are oriented landscape-wise—short and wide, and these days, even wider.

Those PDF e-books tend to be set up to print on standard printer paper (Letter in the US, A4 in, well, on Planet Earth), and most people find it uncomfortable to read a paragraph after paragraph of 7-inch-plus lines—so the books are often presented in a two-column format.

This means that, unless you have a huge screen that can actually display a full page at readable font sizes, you're constantly paging up and down on the same page to follow the text. I don't know about you, but I find that Adobe Reader gets cranky and glitchy when it has to redraw a page over and over, particularly one with complex graphics.

Thus, e-books are profoundly uncomfortable for me. I find myself scrunching, my brain certain that I can see the parts of the page obscured by the screen bezel if I just get the right angle. More, I like to curl up with a novel; it's one way of getting away from a desk. Of course, now I have a laptop, but still: the limited screen-height is both uncomfortable and taxes the software.

Yesterday, I had opportunity to suggest the works of novelist, blogger and copyright activist Cory Doctorow* to someone looking for "more modern" references for a Cyberpunk game setting. Mr. Doctorow, as mentioned, is a copyright activist, and has released all of his novels freely, in a variety of formats, under a Creative Commons license that expressly allows his audience to reformat, remix, and redistribute the contents, so long as they do so freely.

The PDFs on Mr. Doctorow's site are formatted in two-column portrait layout.

However, he also has plain text and straight HTML files available.

Yesterday, I downloaded the HTML version of Makers. I read the first few pages in FireFox, but decided that the lack of pagination and bookmarks would make it difficult to find my place if I put it down and came back to it later.

OpenOffice, the open-source application suite that's the default office application on nearly every Linux distribution, can distill PDFs with the press of a single button, and reads HTML flawlessly.

I opened the Makers HTML file, set the page layout to landscape, fiddled with the margins, knocked up the font size, and then, realizing that this was my copy and I could do whatever I wanted with it, reset the text font from Times New Roman to the more elegant and readable Genitum.

This turned a 299-page file into 705 pages, but since each "page" was a tidy, legible screenfull, what of it?

I curled up on the couch and spent the evening reading.

In fact, I was up until 1 AM, and almost finished the book.

I have discovered e-books are entirely readable—if I can format them to my preferences and comfort zone. This, of course, requires that I have access to HTML, or, less-ideally, ASCII text versions of the document.

Such as those found on Project gutenberg or The Baen Free Library.

... you know, the goal for this week was to reduce my online distractions.


*Yes, [livejournal.com profile] cpxbrex, I know. He's hopelessly bourgeoisie, writing about middle-class characters caught up in middle-class concerns for a middle-class target audience, and if identifying with that target audience and those characters because of my own hopelessly middle-class upbringing compromises my integrity as a socialist, I apologize.
athelind: (coyote laughs)
The other day, I came home to find a note on the door from the local utility company, warning me that on Thursday, 18 Feb 2010, there would be two scheduled power outages for foir maintenance: one from 9:00-9:30 AM, and another from 2:30-3:00 PM.

On waking up this morning, I started to turn on the computer, and realized that it was 8:30. I decided, instead, to leave it turned off, and just curl up with a book until the first outage had come and gone.

At 2:20, having read the whole day without interruption, I went off to an appointment. When I returned at 4:40, all the clocks were still functioning happily, with nary a blink to be seen.

Neither scheduled outage occured as scheduled.

Needless to say, there was Stuff I Could Have Been Doing Today -- not just on the computer; I needed to get laundry done, as well.

I refuse to acknowledge that this is a subversion of my Lenten refutation of procrastination, however. The book in question is Neal Stephenson's Anathem, a 900-page doorstopper that I've renewed twice, but heretofore had only read about 140 pages. I'm now on p. 422 -- so I did something I've been putting off for more than six weeks, even if it wasn't what I'd planned.


athelind: (Default)
The other day, I came home to find a note on the door from the local utility company, warning me that on Thursday, 18 Feb 2010, there would be two scheduled power outages for foir maintenance: one from 9:00-9:30 AM, and another from 2:30-3:00 PM.

On waking up this morning, I started to turn on the computer, and realized that it was 8:30. I decided, instead, to leave it turned off, and just curl up with a book until the first outage had come and gone.

At 2:20, having read the whole day without interruption, I went off to an appointment. When I returned at 4:40, all the clocks were still functioning happily, with nary a blink to be seen.

Neither scheduled outage occured as scheduled.

Needless to say, there was Stuff I Could Have Been Doing Today -- not just on the computer; I needed to get laundry done, as well.

I refuse to acknowledge that this is a subversion of my Lenten refutation of procrastination, however. The book in question is Neal Stephenson's Anathem, a 900-page doorstopper that I've renewed twice, but heretofore had only read about 140 pages. I'm now on p. 422 -- so I did something I've been putting off for more than six weeks, even if it wasn't what I'd planned.


athelind: (Eye - VK)
[livejournal.com profile] quelonzia and I sat down to watch our recording of the premiere of V last night.

Fans of the original series will not be disappointed: it was completely faithful to the original.

The acting was wooden, the scripting was heavy-handed, the motivations were weak, the characters were unlikable, and the glaring Plot Stupidity of the original was wholly intact.

We didn't get past the first half-hour.

Pity. I had high hopes, considering the cast was packed with veterans of some of the best SF shows of the last decade.

Now I'm kind of nostalgic for the first couple of seasons of Earth: Final Conflict.


athelind: (Eye - VK)
[livejournal.com profile] quelonzia and I sat down to watch our recording of the premiere of V last night.

Fans of the original series will not be disappointed: it was completely faithful to the original.

The acting was wooden, the scripting was heavy-handed, the motivations were weak, the characters were unlikable, and the glaring Plot Stupidity of the original was wholly intact.

We didn't get past the first half-hour.

Pity. I had high hopes, considering the cast was packed with veterans of some of the best SF shows of the last decade.

Now I'm kind of nostalgic for the first couple of seasons of Earth: Final Conflict.


athelind: (Eye of the Sky God)
Before this day is done, I felt I should acknowledge the anniversary of that unimaginable catastrophe that we all remember so clearly. Who doesn't remember where they were, what they were doing when they first heard the news, ten years ago today?



Here's to the brave men and women of Moonbase Alpha, wherever they might be.


athelind: (Eye of the Sky God)
Before this day is done, I felt I should acknowledge the anniversary of that unimaginable catastrophe that we all remember so clearly. Who doesn't remember where they were, what they were doing when they first heard the news, ten years ago today?



Here's to the brave men and women of Moonbase Alpha, wherever they might be.


athelind: (Sci Fi)
I've spent the day being melancholy about the Apollo 11 launch, which happened when I was 5. So I come home from work, and what do I find on my Friends list, courtesy of the [livejournal.com profile] retro_future community?



The cover to my very favorite book from childhood.

Please keep me away from any mention of Major Matt Mason or the Colorforms Outer Space Men for the next 72 hours or so, or I'm just gonna curl up into a Schwartzchild Radius of nostalgia and never be heard from again.


Those of you participating in [livejournal.com profile] tealfox and [livejournal.com profile] rikoshi's Star Wars Saga game this weekend who read the linked review will see a particular irony in this particular book impinging on my consciousness at this particular juncture.
athelind: (Default)
I've spent the day being melancholy about the Apollo 11 launch, which happened when I was 5. So I come home from work, and what do I find on my Friends list, courtesy of the [livejournal.com profile] retro_future community?



The cover to my very favorite book from childhood.

Please keep me away from any mention of Major Matt Mason or the Colorforms Outer Space Men for the next 72 hours or so, or I'm just gonna curl up into a Schwartzchild Radius of nostalgia and never be heard from again.


Those of you participating in [livejournal.com profile] tealfox and [livejournal.com profile] rikoshi's Star Wars Saga game this weekend who read the linked review will see a particular irony in this particular book impinging on my consciousness at this particular juncture.
athelind: (Sci Fi)
Almost every library I've patronized in the last four decades has used the same basic set of icons to delineate the various genre ghettos: a skull for mysteries, a stylized atom or a rocket ship surrounded by "atomic" rings for SF, and so forth. Most of them even seem to use the same company, with red ink on yellow stickers.



Why can't I find these icons on the web? I find several places selling library genre stickers, but not the classic old red-on-yellow designs.

I know they're OUT there -- I see them at my local library all the time, on brand new books.
athelind: (Default)
Almost every library I've patronized in the last four decades has used the same basic set of icons to delineate the various genre ghettos: a skull for mysteries, a stylized atom or a rocket ship surrounded by "atomic" rings for SF, and so forth. Most of them even seem to use the same company, with red ink on yellow stickers.



Why can't I find these icons on the web? I find several places selling library genre stickers, but not the classic old red-on-yellow designs.

I know they're OUT there -- I see them at my local library all the time, on brand new books.

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