"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)

"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
September 19 is the last post for this blog. Thanks to all my readers!

Friday, April 5, 2013

5 April 2013

Hayley Atwell b. 1982

Ms. Atwell best known work in genre films is in Captain America: The First Avenger.

Never to be forgotten
Yesterday, Roger Ebert died at the age of 70 from cancer. He is best known as a film critic and more recently as a very effective user of social media, especially Twitter. These things do not make him an icon in science fiction or fantasy, but reading his obituaries I discovered his first writing was a self published sci-fi fan magazine called Stymie. He also had some sci-fi stories published, including The Molecules of Titan, which is available online courtesy of The New Yorker.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Roger Ebert, from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.

Never to be Forgotten

The comic book artist Carmine Infantino died yesterday at the age of 87. His best known characters created were Batgirl and the modern version of The Flash, whose alter ego was Barry Allen. For a time he was the editorial director at DC Comics and pulled off the coup of getting Jack Kirby to leave Marvel to create new characters and books on his own.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Carmine Infantino, from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.

Prediction: Winston glanced across the hall. In the corresponding cubicle on the other side a small, precise-looking, dark-chinned man named Tillotson was working steadily away, with a folded newspaper on his knee and his mouth very close to the mouthpiece of the speakwrite. He had the air of trying to keep what he was saying a secret between himself and the telescreen.

Predictor: George Orwell in 1984, published 1949

Reality: Orwell is not a technologically savvy writer, but the speakwrite and the telescreen are two of his predictions of new inventions. The speakwrite did not exist in the 1980s, but machines that turn dictation into text exist today.  One of the manufacturers actually sells a product under the name SpeakWrite. Orwell definitely gets points for this one.

And then there's the telescreen, the TV that is looking back at you. Ho, ho, ho, what tommyrot!  No one would ever allow such a thing to be put in their own home!

That last paragraph was written on a computer connected to the Internet.

Mine doesn't have a webcam, but many do. It's not literally watching me 24/7, but whenever any of us goes online, and huge numbers of people do so voluntarily every day, information about our location, our interests, things we might be interested in buying, etc. becomes available to a lot of people. We aren't living in East Germany, thank Odin, Vishnu and the little baby Jebus, but a lot of popular technology today makes finding our whereabouts much easier than it used to be.

Literally interpreted, I wouldn't give Orwell a passing grade for the telescreen. But looking at 2013 instead of 1984 and considering it metaphorically, he was definitely on the right track.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

In a book not written for laughs, George Orwell makes a joke of a prediction. Considered literally, it's a complete bust, but as a metaphor... this guy was great with metaphors. 

Join me then... IN THE FUTURE!

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