Monthly Archives: January 2016

Over the sea

OldNFO J.L. Curtis has a striking photo from a P-3 Orion:


That’s its shadow over a ship.

The fact that it’s a black-and-white photo doesn’t necessarily help guess the age. The Navy still uses them (big 70mm cameras) for clarity’s sake. And while that’s obviously not today’s mega-cruise liner, even if that is a passenger ship (which it almost certainly is not), there are still older ones somewhere out in the world.

It’s an intriguing photo, and I just had to borrow it.

Dueling history

Eric S. Raymond has a fascinating post on what killed the duel? He’s a firearms instructor, although best known for things digital.

I like that he used the phrase “honor had been satisfied.” It was an important concept. It always reminds me of the movie Things to Come (1936), which had a character saying it — not about a duel, but similarly offering a reason to back out of something dangerous.

I include it here for fellow writers who may be working on a period piece. It will give you the sense that there was more to the duel than simply being the quickest draw.

Welcome to the future: Blade Runner inception dates

Blade Runner (1982)

Happy birthday to Roy Batty!

You know Roy Batty even if you don’t know the name. He was the replicant played by Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner. His inception date is today, January 8th, 2016.

The other three main bad replicants were Daryl Hannah’s “Pris” (February 14, 2016), Joanna Cassidy’s “Zhora” (June 12, 2016) and Brion James’ “Leon” (April 10, 2017).

The movie itself takes place in November 2019, so you still have time to move out of L.A.

It’s too late for the book (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). That takes place in 1992, although it was quietly revised to 2021 by the publisher, probably out of concern that the reader would snicker. I hate when they do that.

The battle of Axanar begins with legal papers

I’ve been looking forward to seeing Star Trek: Axanar, a non-profit “amateur” production from Axanar Productions. (I’ve blogged about it before.)

(AXANAR Feature Film — “Vulcan Scene” w/Introduction: 4 minutes)

They’re being sued for copyright infringement. I hope they can straighten this out.

I can understand the lawsuit. There is a cost to Paramount. Diluting the franchise means that even dedicated fans will downgrade how much they spend on the original. The die-hard Trekkie who sees the movie thrice on opening week does that because it’s a special event. They still buy the DVD when they might otherwise get digital downloads because it’s part of their collection. But maybe they’ll see it twice on opening month instead of thrice on opening week. And they’ll buy the DVD when they get around to it.

Axanar has been promoted as “a feature quality production.” It’s got big name actors and a sizable budget.

It may seem like one more Trek shouldn’t hurt all that much, but we’re talking about one more Trek the same year, possibly just a month or two before or after their big feature. And a little bit of harm must cost something. Just one percent (to pull a number out of a hat) could mean millions of dollars.

On the other hand, what happens when Star Trek: Axanar turns out to be better than Star Trek: Beyond? At this point, there’s a reasonably good chance of that happening.

And consider this cosmic theory: there used to be a weird phenomenon where only the even-numbered Star Trek films were worth seeing. The odd-numbered ones were crap. Now, what if the fans are making so many movies, and timing them in such a way that Paramount never gets another even number?