Science Fiction

Tab Dump August, Part 1: Books that Change Kids Worlds

Looks like I have a lot of tabs open in Chrome. First up: books!

Another list of 100 books, but this time the books are those that influenced us as kids. I’ve read a lot of books on the list, but not all changed my world. These did, to one extent or another:

  • “The Phantom Tollbooth,” by Norton Juster
  • “Charlotte’s Web,” by E. B. White
  • “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” by Judy Blume
  • “A Wrinkle in Time,” by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The “Nancy Drew” books, by Carolyn Keene
  • “Jacob Have I Loved,” by Katherine Paterson
  • “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak
  • Aesop’s Fables
  • “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” by Roald Dahl
  • “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” by Shel Silverstein
  • “Ramona Quimby, Age 8,” by Beverly Cleary
  • The dictionary

Most of these books I loved, but actually, I hated the dictionary. I never was able to convince my parents that it is awfully hard to look up a word when you don’t know how to spell it. My kids are lucky – they can just ask Google.

Other books on the list influenced me as an adult (e.g. the U.S. Constitution) while others I liked, even loved, but they didn’t “change my world.” And there are many important books missing from this list – The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, for example. And there are no comic books, either, like Chris Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men.

Time and other Relative Desserts in Space

From Derspatchel – a TARDIS cake. Not only is it gorgeous, it’s bigger on the inside. Deliciously awesome.

Advances in bad design

The Most Epic FAILs in Star Wars Design – from questionable droids to poor evolutionary choices.

“Yes, we can afford slapstick oil and tasers, but we’ll never get a 30-cent voice chip past accounting. That’s just madness.”

So maybe not all of the details in Star Wars were completely thought out, but what about other SciFi worlds? “Star Trek fans,” the author warns, “don’t get smug: I’m going after it next.” Ah, yes, the universe which brought us the “butt-sensing” workstations which can tell the difference between when someone is working at a station as opposed to merely sitting on one. Come to think of it, that’s actually pretty good design

Mother’s Day links

None of which have much to do with Mother’s Day at all.

H1N1 may be nasty, but parasites are still a global problem. They can be hugely problematic for humans — and a complete nightmare for the rest of the animal kingdom (warning: do not read while trying to eat).

Is that whiskey really as old as the seller claims? One way to find out is to check for nuclear fall out. If you find it in a whiskey which was supposed to have been bottled in 1850, the seller is lying.

The new Trek movie briefly touches on torture, but the torture is Hollywood-style and the movie doesn’t have much to say about it. TNG’s take on torture, on the other hand, was far more nuanced (not to mention prescient).

Oprah tells her audience about a coupon for free KFC chicken and causes a lot of headaches for libraries. How does that work?

The return of Blake’s 7! For realz! Well, maybe.

So the BBC reports Blake’s 7 is poised for Sky comeback. Good news? Maybe, but this is a show which has been on the brink of revival before.

The Daily Mail ran a “where are they now” piece, but I don’t think the writer has ever seen the show:

Casting has yet to begin for the three main parts of rugged leader Blake, played in the original by Gareth Thomas, his brooding sidekick Avon, played by Paul Darrow, and beautiful but deadly Servalan, originally played by Jacqueline Pearce.

“Sidekick”. If you ask Avon, Blake is the sidekick.

Thanks Jason and Ann for the heads up!

A bit busy

But I still wanted to make sure you all saw Star Wars According to a 3-Year-Old.

10 Doctors (take 20 aspirin and call me in my next life)

Our power went out last night, so yesterday was the first day I didn’t post in more than a month. And we lost part of the season finale of Torchwood, too. While I try to locate a copy, I’ll read The 10 Doctors, a cute, very long, and still unfinished fanfic comic featuring all of the Doctors, most of the companions, nearly every single major enemy, and a huge cast of secondary characters I’d totally forgotten about (does anyone remember the Meddling Monk?). Also the Rani.

Last chance

Tomorrow in Oak Park there will be a huge Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Release Party. My book is being sent via Amazon. Will I be able to finish before learning any spoilers?

Good bye, Obnoxious, Rude, and Arrogant Computer

The voice of ORAC has died (second best character on Blake’s 7).

Stars Wars: Where Are They Now?

Just in case you were wondering. Or hadn’t watched any movies since Return of the Jedi.