Gravity Lens Archive September 3 - 22 2004
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Wednesday, September 22
A moment of silence, please, for Russ Meyer, followed by some swank psych-rock.

Boing Boing tells us of old secret Russian plans to build a military base on the moon. This goes well with U.S. plans to nuke the moon. I smell a Bond film...

The Doctors Are In: Doctor Zarkov, Doctor Phibes, Doctor Graves, Doctor Doom, Doctor Octopus, Doctor Spectrum, Doctor Light, Doctor Midnite, Doctor Fate, Doctor Strange, Doctor Strangefate, Doctor Strangelove, Doctor Druid, Doctor Zin, Doctor Spektor, Doctor Mist, Doctor Demonicus, Doctor Evil, the other Doctor Evil, Doctor Shrinker, Doctor Fun, Doctor McCoy, Doctor Crusher, Doctor Bashir, The Doctor, The Doctor, the Doctor, Doctor Franklin, Doctor Zoidberg, Doctor Hibbert, Doctor Nick Riviera, Doctor Faustus, the other Doctor Faustus, Doctor Hartley, Doctor Teeth, Doctor Bob, Doctor Love, Doctor Music, Doctor Detroit, Doctor Bong, and Doctor Pain.

Tuesday, September 21
Here's My Little Pony as a Borg. Borg assimilation is a popular Photoshop theme. Here's Bill Gates, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Have a nice day.

SciFi Weekly has posted part two of it's Fall TV Overview.

Monday, September 20
Thinking About Space:
Jeff Foust of Space Review looks at recent space elevator discussions.
Karen Lurie of Wired reports on what Mars-bound astronauts might eat.
Internet pioneer Vint Cerf discusses how the web might extend into space at BBC News.

Metafilter linked to this glorious 1954 photo of what the home computer of 2004 would be.
(Yes, it's Photoshopped to all hell, but I miss those wall-sized computers of yesteryear.)

Sunday, September 19
Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. While you're at it, learn how to talk like a pilgrim, talk like a cop, and talk like a Soprano family member.

Saturday, September 18
Neil Gaiman informs us that BBC Comics have posted some of Alan Moore and Alan Davies classic D.R. & Quinch comics. Meanwhile, "Moot" on the Gravity Lens comment board links to this archive of Marvel Bullpen Bulletins from the '60s and '70s.

Friday, September 17
You're listening to Radio Free Klingon.

In the future, people will live on Mars, you'll control your computer with your nose, mobile devices will be powered by spinach, your DNA will suggest what you should be eating, your doctor will be a robot, and software "agents" will control increasingly complex aspects of technology.

NASA may have discovered something sorta kinda like a ringworld. Well, not really. But it's a nice plug for Larry Niven's latest book.

Comic Book Stuff: UGO Comics talks to John Byrne about True Brit.
Newsarama talks to Steve Skroce and previews his art for Doc Frankenstein.
Seattle Weekly profiles comic publisher Fantagraphics.

Thursday, September 16
What can I say? Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, and Alan Moore as Lego people.

With Sky Captain coming out tomorrow, let us slip the surly bonds of Earth and fly with some famous aviators: Sky King, the Boy Aviators, Tom Swift, Captain Midnight, Tailspin Tommy, Airboy, Valkyrie, the Aeroplane Boys, G-8 and his Battle Aces, the Sky Buddies, Bill Barnes, Our Young Aeroplane Scouts, Flyin' Jenny, the Blackhawks, Enemy Ace, Steve Canyon, Biggles, Captain Mitch Ross, Pappy Boyington (based on the real Pappy Boyington), Waldo Pepper, Mitchell Gant, Maj. T.J. 'King' Kong, the Red Baron and Snoopy. My favorite pilots are Jim Backus in It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Telly Savalas in Capricorn One.
Your homework is to listen to Sky Pilot by The Animals, recite John Gillespie Magee's High Flight, and check out this great gallery of fantasy planes.
And since Sky Captain also features an intrepid reporter, here's Lois Lane, Carl Kolchak, Roland Hedley, Edison Carter, Robert Bratenahl, Tom Tucker, Kent Brockman, and Ted Baxter, as well as lists of fictional newspapers and TV stations.

Wednesday, September 15
Playboy is going to do a pictorial of Raelian women. I expect features about other cults, religions, secret societies and insane asylums to follow shortly.

Astronomy Picture of the Day has a really cool shot of Hurricane Ivan as seen from the International Space Station.

An article in Australian IT tells about self-cleaning windows, nanoscale housekeeping, and other amenities of the home of the future. I look forward to domestic automation, but I'd rather see more homes like the Monsanto House, or the place from Sleeper.

Here's another great link from SF Signal: the Sci Fi Hall of Shame, a hysterical tribute to actors in bad science roles.

Tuesday, September 14
Assorted Items: Sci Fi Weekly has part one of their Fall Sci Fi TV Preview.
Newsarama reports on the overdue return of Mike Grell's Jon Sable: Freelance.
SF Signal links to The Google Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy Cliches.

It's the Science Fiction Cops: Here on Earth there's Robocop, Judge Dredd, and Mobile Police Patlabor. The Katar Hol Hawkman was a policeman from Thanagar. The Barry Allen Flash was a police scientist. Philip K. Dick gave us retired cop Rick Deckard as well as the Pre-Crime Division. There's also more obscure examples, like the police from Tek War and the robotic comedy Holmes & Yo-Yo.
In space you've got Space Patrol, Space Precinct (and its predecessor Space Police), the Star Cops, and Gort form The Day The Earth Stood Still, Cordwainer Smith gave us the Scanners. E. E. "Doc" Smith gave us the Lensmen. You've got the Green Lantern Corps, and before them the Manhunters. There's also the Darkstars.

Monday, September 13.
Blogospherics: Exclamation Mark links to the Atomic Rockets of the Space Patrol, which features a sweet spacesuit section.
Boing Boing points to the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition.
Grow-A-Brain wants to gaze deeply into this fractal hypnosis movie.

The moon went out of orbit five (thanks Mark) years ago today.

Weird Science: Here's a GPS directed belt that vibrates to tell you which way to go.
New Scientist reports on the brilliant idea of renaming all the animals. has a new feature called Spacebox, touted as "The Best, Worst, and Weirdest Music Inspired by Space."

Sunday, September 12
More space probe strangeness as Pioneers 10 and 11 may be experiencing the effect of dark matter beyond the solar system.

No wormholes, no temporal anomalies, just time machines: H.G. Wells' seminal time machine spawned a number of variations. There are time machines you walk through, like the Time Tunnel and the Guardian of Forever. Some require acceleration, like the DeLorean and the Time Sled. A few look like other things, like the TARDIS and Bill & Ted's phone booth. Doctor Doom has a time platform, Hourman (III) has a timeship, The Legion of Superheroes have time bubbles, The Invisibles have a Timesuit, and Mr. Peabody has the Wayback Machine. In the future the Federation has a fleet of Timeships, like the Aeon.
Here's TV Acres' list of time travellers and their devices. Here's pages for the Time Travel Institute and The Nation Chrononautics and Time Administration.
And have you ever noticed that there are a LOT of temporal anomalies out there?
UPDATE: Fred reminds me that Harlan Ellison gave us the Time Mirror.

Saturday, September 11
There's a new Team America trailer.

Recommended Readin': At Locus John Shirley talks to six SF writers about our social future.
George Dvorsky at Better Humans chimes in on the importance of Blade Runner.
James Randi looks at warnings about the dangers of  "unorganized water" among other subjects in his weekly column.
In the meantime, it's safe to teach Darwin in Serbia again...

Friday, September 10
Assorted Items: Film Threat links to this teaser site for a live action Gigantor film.
Newsarama talks to Mike Baron about his new book The Detonator.
And big thanks to Senses Working Overtime for the link and the kind words about Lens.

Coudal links to this three minute film (WMV) of costumed anime festival-goers explaining who they are dressed as and what their powers are. Funniest thing I've seen this week.

Thursday, September 9
In reading about the crash of the Genesis space probe yesterday I couldn't help but remember stories about disastrous probe missions. The first one that leaps to mind is The Andromeda Strain. The Thunderbirds had to rescue a Sun Probe once. There was the Venusian Probe episode of Six Million Dollar Man,  the Space: 1999 episode Voyager's Return, and the Star Trek: Voyager episode Friendship One. Probes were also a big factor in the films Yog, The Monster from Beyond Space and It Conquered the World, which featured the greatest alien ever. I'm sure I'm forgetting some.
Update: Mark on the comment board reminds me of V'Ger and Nomad.

I once knew a robot who swallowed a fly...

SF Signal links to two articles of note: A Globe & Mail piece that asks "Is Science Fiction Finished?" and a NY Times story about the slow death of Star Trek. Regular readers know I am all in favor of putting a quick and merciful end to the franchise so we can move onto something new.

Wednesday, September 8
Incoming Signals links to Green Arrow's Blog.

Oh Captain! My Captain!: Captain Video, Captain Midnight, Captain Future, Captain Nemo, Captain Kirk, Captain Picard, Captain Harlock, Captain Action, Captain Scarlet, Captain Beefheart, Captain Sensible, Captain Fantastic, Captain Jack, Captain Trips, Captain Lou Albano, Captain Marvel, the other Captain Marvel, Captain Atom, Captain Thunder, Captain America, Captain Britain, Captain Canada, Captain Canuck, Captain Euro, Captain Carrot, Captain Caveman, Captain Kangaroo, Captain Blood, Captain Ahab, Captain Queeg, Captain Hook, Captain Stubing, Captain Underpants, Captain Ribman, Captain Obvious, Captain Morgan, Captain Condom, Captain & Tennille, and Cap'n Crunch.
Yes, I'm aware there was yet another Captain Marvel.

Here's a list of The Most Famous Ships that Never Were.

Tuesday, September 7
Bruce Sterling takes us inside the unfathomable superhuman future after the "singularity" over at Wired.

Assorted Items: Godzilla's now starring in a Japanese Honda ad.
Eye of the Goof links to the Land of the Lost 80s Music.
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is back on BBC Radio 4 with adaptations of the later books. Much of the original cast is back as well.

Diplomatic Solutions: Diplomacy tends to be sometimes overlooked in science fiction. Here's the Region One Alien Ambassador Corps and the Martian Embassy. The Klingons have both an embassy and an Imperial Diplomatic Corps online. Shows about aliens living among us, like Earth: Final Conflict and Alien Nation, had a lot of diplomatic undertones. The remake of Battlestar Galactica began with a diplomatic ambush. All of these stand in the shadow of Babylon 5, where many of the major characters are ambassadors. People also forget that Wonder Woman was originally the ambassador of the Amazons.
We can take comfort in the fact that The Raelians want to build an alien embassy...

Recommended Readin': SciFi Weekly interviews author Larry Niven.
Sam Harris dissects the myth of religious moderation in his new book. looks at 100 people who made a difference in space exploration.
Keith Lockitch of the Ayn Rand Institute tallies the death toll of environmentalism.

Monday, September 6
The Mondolithic Image of the Week is the imposing Mademoiselle Chose.

My time at Noreascon is wrapped. I am exhausted but grinning. Big thanks to Bob Eggleton for leading a tour through the mind-boggling Retro Art Exhibit, where the original paintings of many classic book and magazine covers were displayed. Congrats to Randall Ensley, who nabbed a ribbon for his creepy picture Final Frontier. He also pointed me in the direction of the amazing preview art for Joe DeVito's upcoming Kong: King of Skull Island project. Also kudos to James Hughes, who spend endless hours manning the World Transhumanist table and selling neat bumper stickers. He's also about to release a book about our technological future called Citizen Cyborg, which you should all buy.

While I was gone the Blogospherics continued: Exclamation Mark links to this nice Ray Harryhausen appreciation site that includes a heart-breaking index of unfinished projects.
The Cartoonist sends us to study The Rules of Dueling.
Grow-A-Brain points to the very cool Russian Tank Museum.
Geekpress found this strange site where Spiderman reviews crayons.

Sunday, September 5
Recommended Readin': Steve Carroll of The Age looks at philosophy's recent popularity.
Simon Smith of Better Humans chimes in on the war on drugs.
Michael Belfiore of New Scientist examines the near-term future of space tourism.
Dave Barry tells us about the letters he doesn't print.

Taking a brief breather from frantic Noreascon activities. Jennifer and I spent Saturday hiking around the colossal innards of the Hynes Convention Center absorbing all manner of SF related madness. We also stumbled quite serendipitously into the line for a Neil Gaiman autograph. Big thanks to Colleen Doran for tolerating my stammering and grinning like a fanboy while she rendered a magnificent space shuttle in silver pen on the matte-black endpaper of my oft-read copy of Orbiter and letting me peruse advance pages from the upcoming Stealth Tribes (pdf). Ms. Doran has quite a bit of her original art for sale at reasonable prices. If you all love me you'll buy it for me.
Also thanks to Randall Ensley for the signed copy of his magnificent work, and for telling Jennifer there was free food. Finally thanks to Dave for the coffee.
And the Hugo Award winners are in.
As great and wonderful as the weekend has been so far I cannot help but seethe with petty jealousy that SF Signal landed an interview with author John C. Wright.
Once more into the breach...

Friday, September 3
This week the Hartford Advocate reports on what could be the last porn theater.

Library Journal has a piece on why people read (and keep reading) science fiction. I for one do it because everything else bores me to tears.
On that note, Noreascon 4 has started and I shall be in Boston for most of the weekend. I was there for part of Thursday, and got to spend a few minutes with the very talented Karl Kofoed, creator of Galactic Geographic, which inspired my own Visions of Xenolympus.
Postings may be thin for the next few days, but judging by the recent weekend hit-counts that won't affect most of you. Slackers. For the rest, there's a great blog of the convention as it is going on that you can check out.

Oh, and belated thanks to Grow A Brain for the birthday e-card. Laugh, ya bastards.

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