Letters of Comment

Milt Stevens writes:

Dear Jean and Christopher,

While reading SF/SF #162, I found myself thinking about Aleph. Aleph is defined as the first transfinite integer. It is the one that is more than you need. It is the one that is more than you can imagine. It is the one that is TOO DAMNED MANY.

Christopher writes: Aleph is the number one, which is the first integer, the first prime number and is the title of a Three Dog Night song. Aleph is also the first letter of many Semitic abjads, where there is an alphabet that does not have any vowel symbols.

At one time, I thought the ultimate sci fi kluge movie would be Planet of the Sequels. Then I realized I was mistaken. Planet of the Sequels would be followed by Return to the Planet of the Sequels, Beneath the Return of Planet of the Sequels, Tax Accountants Beneath the Planet of the Sequels, et cetera ad infinitum. Now I realize the ultimate sci fi kluge movie will be Reboot of the Planet of the Sequels.

As far as Planet movies, the “Planet of the Apes” series can be said to be the progenitor of the franchise movie. It had comics and toys well before “Star Wars,” “Superman,” the Marvel movies and the like.

So what do I think about reboots really. Screaming and frothing at the mouth doesn’t entirely express it. Running away isn’t a bad idea. Complete disdain has its points. Maybe I will just ignore them and hope they eventually go where the colorized movies went.

To each their own. Sometimes a good movie can be done better, like “The Maltese Falcon.”

I hadn’t known there was a Xena convention in Burbank or a Star Wars convention in Anaheim. I mentioned that at LASFS, and nobody there had heard of those cons either. I don’t think I’d fit in at such a con. The attendees would probably perceive me as a novelty zombie who shambled through the con in search of something New. I wouldn’t eat a brain that had less than 51% original content. Being offered recycled sludge and a place in line just wouldn’t do it for me.

Hopefully you won’t be bitten by a zombie. An argument can be made that there are no original stories anymore since something is always similar to other stories using genres, tropes and well-recognized plot elements (boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back).

I have grave doubts about people who stand in line for four hours voluntarily. Years ago, most males had been in the military at one time or another. In the military, you do a lot of standing in line. There is this think called the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). It say s (approximately) those who do not stand in line when they are told to stand in line may be shot. So you stand in line and develop a lifetime aversion to standing in line.

People still stand in line for lengthy periods of time to go on rides at amusement parks, get the latest iPhone, etc. It really depends on what the personal payoff is.

There are places in this world where guys line up in front of brothels. I’ve never tried it myself but I can be sure of one thing. They aren’t going to have an esthetically pleasing experience.

I don’t think they are going to be looking at art.

Yours truly,

Milt Stevens

Lloyd Penny writes:

Dear Jean, Christopher and Tom:

Welcome back to SF/SF, and thank you for issue 162. Comments do follow, plus some personal update.

Looks like you’ve had an extremely busy year so far. We haven’t done so badly ourselves, for a change.

Christopher writes: We have been busy and you get to read all about it. We are also going to our fifth wedding this year. We went to Hugo Award winner Christopher Garcia’s wedding, SF/SF writer Espana Sherrif’s wedding, a wedding of two of our friends on Memorial Day weekend and my sister’s wedding down in Galveston, Texas. We were able to visit Johnson Space Center in Houston while we were there. My best friend will be getting married in the end of October, and we have a trip to New York to see George Takei in the musical “Alegiance.”

No movies for us…we’ve never been comics readers, and it seems most movies that are released these days are DC or Marvel properties. We continue to enjoy Murdoch Mysteries, and have gotten our hands on all episodes of the various Farm series from the BBC.

There are a few movies that you might like. I have heard great things about “The Martian” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is coming out in December. I think also “Mr. Holmes” with Ian McKellan might be worth a watch. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is also a good movie you can enjoy without needing to know superheroes. I have never heard of “The Farm.”

My loc…I’ve just passed my first full year at my job, and the same with Yvonne, and we have been the beneficiaries of such stability. Our latest convention was a steampunk one, this year’s Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition. We purchased the big ticket, the Patron’s Pass, and so we had tea with Professor Elemental, took a paddlewheel ride with the good folks of Steam-Powered Giraffe, and had an amazing dinner with Abney Park, plus spent three days of wonderful steampunk fun within the confines of Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, just across the Niagara River from Youngstown, New York. Our Murdoch Mysteries event was a ton of fun, too. Yvonne’s appearance in Murdoch Mysteries is a walk-through in the background, but she is quite easily seen. She also appears with an elderly man having to move back as the title character comes cycling into the center square of the town. She appears in the last two episodes of Season 6.

I am glad to hear that things have stabilized for you and you can enjoy life more. I have seen Professor Elemental in concert twice and talked to him personally. He is very nice. He was wearing a Union Jack sport coat the last time I saw him. I have also seen Abney Park in concert about 3 years ago. The one group that I had to miss was Steam-Powered Giraffe when I was in Germany for work. The Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition sounds nice, especially with the wonderful nature backdrop.

Even though I am not a comics reader, I did read online that Superman may be rebooted as a comic book, with someone other than Clark Kent behind the big red S? Is radical change to the background story the only way to make comic titles appealing to future generations?

DC Comics did a huge reboot of their entire line of superhero comics back in 2011. It was called the New 52 as they were publishing 52 new titles. It changed the origins of a lot of the heroes along with the costumes as well. The outfit used in “The Man of Steel” is based on the new Superman uniform. Part of the change is to bring in new readers as well as allow the writers to create new stories without the 20+ year continuity from the last reboot called “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” They did change Batman after the New 52 retool from Bruce Wayne (who became Batman in the New 52) to Commissioner Gordon in the storyline. The most recent comics still feature Clark Kent/Kal-El as the Man of Steel.

There’s been so many cast reunions lately…they must be lucrative to do, but it may also be an indication of how difficult it is to resume a regular acting career once you’ve enjoyed an popular iconic role on a popular iconic show.

Cast reunions are nothing new. There are plenty of specials where casts get together for a TV movie or interview. I think a lot of them happen because it is an anniversary of a beloved movie or television show and people want to have their nostalgia need fulfilled.

Hope your Hallowe’en is a blast! This past weekend, we went to a Hallowe’en-themed craft show, and we pulled out the costumes a little early. Our favorite bar may be having a Hallowe’en party too, so we won’t be staying at home this year! Two conventions will finish up the year for us, and one of them is the Canadian National convention, and we are both nominated for an Aurora Award. Wish us luck!

Good luck.

Done for now…take care. Today is our own Thanksgiving Day, so a big dinner is planned for later. We hope your own Thanksgiving is a wonderful time, and I hope there might be one more issue before the end of the year. If not, have a great Christmas, and a hopeful and enjoyable 2016.

Yours, Lloyd Penney.


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