SF-LOVERS Digest V3 #132

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May 25, 1981, 11:59:34 PM5/25/81

SF-LOVERS AM Digest Tuesday, 26 May 1981 Volume 3 : Issue 132

Today's Topics:
SF Lovers - Film Buff Digest,
SF Books - Earthsea Trilogy & Dark is Rising & Cyber SF,
SF Movies - Outland, SF Topics - Children's TV
(Rocky and Bullwinkle and Jay Ward productions and Jetsons) &
Physics Today (Moons of Jupiter and Anti-Sugar)

Date: 20-May-81 1:49:54 PDT (Wednesday)
From: Hamilton.ES at PARC-MAXC
Subject: Re: FILM-BUFFS list

At the instigation of Michael First, and with the aid and advice of
Chris Stacy, Jim McGrath, Ted Anderson, and others, I have set up the
necessary mailboxes and distribution lists to support (1) FILM-BUFFS
Digest and (2) FILM-BUFFS-REVIEWS, which will distribute movie reviews
from the wire services.

Yours truly will act as moderator. As Michael has indicated, the
Digest's scope will include "general discussions about current films
(mini-reviews, interesting tid-bits, etc.), queries, film convention
info, general airing of opinions and anything else pertaining to
cinema." I would add that, while the focus will doubtless be on
current cinema, historical discussion on actors, directors, genres,
periods, etc. will be most welcome.

What FILM-BUFFS Digest should NOT be:

(a) a trivia contest (although honest queries are welcome)
(b) long-winded articles from the general press (that's what
(c) long discussions about science fiction/ fantasy films (that
should remain in SF-Lovers), EXCEPT perhaps discussions of purely
cinematic arcana regarding special effects, etc.

Anyone wishing to receive the digest or the reviews should send a msg
to FILM-BUFFS-REQUEST @ MIT-AI. Be sure to specify whether you want
the Digest, the Reviews, or both. [Xerox people only: to get the
Digest, add yourself directly to FILM-BUFFS-LIST^.ES using Maintain.
To get the Reviews, add yourself to FILM-BUFFS-REVIEWS^.ES.
Film-buffs-list^.es was initialized with the contents of Movie^.pa,
but Film-buffs-reviews will not be so initialized.]

To contribute to the digest: send mail to FILM-BUFFS @ MIT-AI [or
FILM-BUFFS.ES @ PARC-MAXC, if that is more convenient].



Date: 24 May 1981 1658-PDT
Subject: Garner, LeGuin, Cooper

Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea Trilogy was \not/ originally marketed
for children. A Wizard of Earthsea was out as an Ace science fiction
special years before it caught on as a children's book and was issued
in hardback for kids. The second book in the series, The Tombs of
Atuan, was originally published in Analog or F&SF. By the way, \it/
won a Newberry award, because A Wizard deserved the award but it was
too late to give it one (because as I just said, it took a few years
for people to realize what a great children's book it is). This is
unfortunately typical of the Newberry awards: authors often don't win
the award for their best book. (I think The Tombs is the weakest of
the three books). The Earthsea books are among my favorite children's
books, fantasy books, and just plain books.
I agree wholeheartedly with your praise for Garner's books.
I, too, didn't read them until I was older and liked them very much,
especially The Owl Service and The Weirdstone of Brisingamen.
Have you read the Green Knowe books by L.M. Boston? How about
the Weathermongers books by Dickinson?
Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising series: as usual, the best in
the series is really the second book, The Dark is Rising, but the
Newberry went to the fifth book. The books are very well written and
many of the scenes are quite gripping. I think the series has
tremendous potential but falls short for several reasons. First of
all, the magic fails to have rules. (For comparison, see Leguin,
McKillip, etc.) In the second book, the main character reads the
"Book of Grammarye", which contains all the magic tricks he will use.
But we never learn anything about the book or its structure. It is
just a bag of trick he can reach into when he is in a tough spot....
Supposedly important "rules" concerning the light and the dark (paths
for instance) are taught to him and never appear again in the series.
Second, Cooper completely subverts the primacy of the Light/Dark
conflict (which is the foundation of the plot) by introducing the
so-called High Magic, which is superior to both Light and Dark and
from whose standpoint the other two are symmetric. Third, the
symbolism doesn't quite work. It is not inconsistent, but doesn't
stir up much profundity, either. Fourth, I find it hard to sympathize
with characters who erase portions of other people's minds. This
ends/means morality is often unconvincing, and Cooper makes a big
thing about what suffering Will must be going through because he is
erasing other people's memories.
In spite of the above criticisms, I certainly recommend the
series to fantasy enthusiasts.
good reading,


Date: 25 May 1981 1001-PDT
From: First@SUMEX-AIM
Subject: Outland comment and Jay Ward Comment

I just saw "Outland" last night and I agree wholeheartedly with
Vincent Canby's review in the \Times/--this film is an example of pure
escapist entertainment. I think Gene Siskel and several SF-er's have
missed the point--I do not think it is fair to discuss this film in
terms of sociological implications or even plot logic. This film is
NOT Sci-FI. Like Alien, its charm is the transposition of film genres
into a single slick amalgam. The plot is almost identical to High
Noon. The film works because of the observed parallels between a
mining colony on the frontier of Earth colonization and Western towns
on the frontier of the Wild West. The common theme of these Westerns
is that of a loner--out on his own, trying to come to terms with the
lawlessness around him and handling it on his own terms. This is a
theme which has been very popular in American films, because it
expresses some of the central ideas upon which America was
established--the importance of individuality and self-determination.
"Outland" is just an updating of this type of film, carrying over the
same types of values and even plot logic. I felt that the production
values in this film were marvelous--the set design was imaginative and
exciting, SPFX were smooth and relatively seamless. In all, a very
satisfying evening of escapism and cinematic fireworks. I think if
you go into the film with these expectations, you will not be
Does anybody remember another Jay Ward production, "George of the
Jungle", a Rocky and Bullwinkle type of production which also included
"SUPERCHICKEN" and "Tom Swift" segments--all were quite
tongue-in-cheek and superb. Or Dudly-Do-right? If one ever ventures
into LA, there is a store called the "Dudley-Do-right Emporium" (on
Sunset Blvd, near La Cienega, I think--better look it up). (Actually,
I haven't been there since summer '79, so it might not be there
anymore--anybody in LA know?) Well anyway, they sold all manner of
Jay Ward memorabilia, including T-Shirts, dolls, and cartoon
storyboards--which were quite fascinating. I think Jay Ward might
even have hung around in this shop. Does anybody know what happened
to Jay Ward?



Date: 24 May 1981 1846-PDT
Subject: Rocky and Bullwinkle

What is Frostbite Falls? (I remember the Fractured Fairy
Tales -- they were \very/ funny).


Date: 24 May 1981 1855-PDT (Sunday)
From: Lauren at UCLA-SECURITY (Lauren Weinstein)
Subject: Rocky and Bullwinkle

Shame on you! Rocky and Bullwinkle LIVED in Frostbite Falls
(Minnesota). Rather chilly.



Date: 25 May 1981 13:43-EDT
From: J. Noel Chiappa <JNC at MIT-MC>
Subject: Rocky&Bullwinkle & R.R.

These two are still great favorites at MIT; the local weekend
movie types (LSC) get them for shorts very often. They have done up
the long R&B series with the Dumb Ray, etc. They may not have
excellent animation, but the inside political jokes are fascinating. I
remember several 'Hubert' jokes whose form I don't remember. I too
regret the inability to collect these as I would books.


Date: 25 May 1981 1428-PDT (Monday)
From: Lauren at UCLA-SECURITY (Lauren Weinstein)
Subject: Rocky and Bullwinkle

I stand by my previous statements about the Derby and the Moonmen
until documented evidence to the contrary is presented. Chuckle.



Date: 25 May 1981 11:14:09-PDT
From: Cory.cc-06 at Berkeley
Subject: Robots ...

An interesting robot in "Robots have no tails" By Henry

Many robots of all shapes and sizes in "The Reproductive
System" or "Mechasm" by Sladek.


Date: 21 May 1981 2241-EDT
From: KJB at MIT-DMS (Kevin J. Burnett)
Subject: Children's TV

I sure do remember back then when I used to see all of those programs
like The Jetsons etc. I also remember about Aqua boy.. That
whatever-it-was in the last digest (5/21) was correct to my knowledge
too. (I should know; I am only 14, so it wasn't really that long ago
compared to some of you) -Kevin


Date: 25 May 1981 06:18:43-PDT
From: decvax!duke!unc!smb at Berkeley
Subject: SF lovers and the Moons of Jupiter

The name of the Arthur Clarke story IS "Jupiter Five", and it appears
in "Reach for Tomorrow". A character is deliberately tossed towards
Jupiter to scare his companion, who is warned that a body falling from
that orbit towards the planet would reach atmosphere in about 1.5
hours. They deliberately omitted to mention that the body would have
to be at rest with respect to Jupiter; as is, his orbit would
intersect Jupiter Five's fairly soon. Clarke claims that it took 20
or 30 pages of orbital calculations to write the story.

Another description of the orbital mechanics of the Jovian system is
by Pournelle, in a column in the late lamented Galaxy magazine. It
was written shortly before the fly-bys that detected the immense
radiation fields around Jupiter, which (as he later wrote) ruined his
hypothesis: that in terms of delta-V necessary to move among them, a
culture based on Jupiter's moons was far more viable than (Niven's)
"Belter" culture -- it turns out that the asteroids are generally
closer to Earth (energetically speaking) than they are to each other.

There is also some discussion, albeit on a lower level, in Asimov's
(writing as Paul French) "Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter" -- a


Date: 21 May 1981 16:11:59-EDT
From: cjh at CCA-UNIX (Chip Hitchcock)
Subject: receptors

Perhaps there's a true bio hacker out there who can give more
precise info, but it is my understanding that taste (and to a large
extent smell, which is commonly considered to contribute detail to
taste through the sinuses) is dependent on the chemical components of
each substance reacting with a substance-specific receptor. Just how
specific the receptors are is quite variable; consider that most
hexose sugars taste sweet (though "milk sugar" (lactose?) is bitter
enough to be used to cut heroin, and even two similar types like
glucose and fructose produce significantly different strengths of
response) and even sugar alcohols (e.g., hexols (such as mannitol and
sorbitol) instead of aldo- or keto-pentols) taste sweet although
bacteria can't consume them as efficiently.
I would expect that, if the mirror image response to the rotgut
exists when the consumer is reversed, it should also work when the
drink is reversed. Consider someone trying to put a left hand into a
right-handed glove; if either the glove or the hand is replaced with
its reverse you'll get a gloved hand. Obviously this doesn't work if
the person specifically wants this glove on hir left hand---unless you
push heesh or the glove through the reverser, in which case either the
glove will fit or heesh'll \\think// it fits, which would work just as
well. This should work in any case of a stereospecific on-off


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