My 10 favorite SF Movie Quotes

Inspired by the (somewhat lame) list of 100 best movie quotes from Premiere (were they even trying?) that I found via a thread on the Agony Booth‘s forums, and in the spirit of my prior top ten list, I decided to compile a top-ten of SF movie quotes.

1. Take your stinking paws off of me, you damned dirty ape! – Planet of the Apes
2. It’s alive! – Frankenstien
3. Wake up, time to die. – Blade Runner
4. Use the force, Luke. – Star Wars
5. Soylent Green is people! – Soylent Green
6. Gort! Klaatu barada nikto! – The Day the Earth Stood Still
7. E.T. phone home. – E.T. the Extraterrestrial (BTW, isn’t that title redundant?)
8. Kaaaaaaaaaaaahn! – Star Trek II: Wrath of Kahn (IMHO: best of the movie franchise)
9. Open the pod bay doors, HAL. – 2001: a Space Odyssey
10. Nuke’em from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure. – Aliens

(honorable mention)

11. Want to play a game? – War Games


Well, I’ve just come back from the hospital. I’ll not go into the gory details, just suffice to say that it involved things bleeding that shouldn’t be bleeding, and doctors inserting probes in places probes should not be inserted. I’m still a little wonky from Demorol and lack of sleep, so don’t be suprised if the project counters don’t move for a while.

We’re Number 4!

This news story about job satisfaction reveals that even though people seem to hate their jobs in general, authors rank in the top 10 as far as job satisfaction goes- number four, between physical therapists and special education teachers. It’s also interesting to note that it is the most narcissistic profession in the top five. I mean, being a writer is right up there with clergy and firefighters. BTW- if you want to avoid the bottom ten, avoid food service and retail.

Setting Transplant Complete. . .

Well, almost. I have re-written the first half of the novel with the exception of a couple of scenes I’m relocating. Interesting exercise, and using an actual historical period did a lot to open up the novel— despite the fact that the physical setting is fairly constrained, the addition of a subplot about the rivalry between Frederick II of the Holy Roman Empire and Pope Gregory IX, and their twin patronage of the Teutonic Order, goes a long way toward giving a sense of the wider world. It also gave me the one teeth-gnashing villain in the book, and— surprise— he is not a German crusader. (No, not a pagan either.)

The technopeasants are grabbing torches and pitchforks!

Q: What is the best way to inflame and alienate the the SF blogosphere?

A: Call everyone who publishes their work on the internet a webscab (don’t pick it, it may become infected)

Check out the blogstorm Dr. Hendrix has started, here, and here, and here,

oh, here‘s one,

or here. . .

maybe here too. . .

and April 23 is International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day

ADDENDUM: The webscab comment has infected non-SF blogs.

I’m a scab?

Came across this bizarre rant by the current VP of SFWA:

I’m also opposed to the increasing presence in our organization of webscabs, who post their creations on the net for free. A scab is someone who works for less than union wages or on non-union terms; more broadly, a scab is someone who feathers his own nest and advances his own career by undercutting the efforts of his fellow workers to gain better pay and working conditions for all. Webscabs claim they’re just posting their books for free in an attempt to market and publicize them, but to my mind they’re undercutting those of us who aren’t giving it away for free and are trying to get publishers to pay a better wage for our hard work. –Dr. Howard V. Hendrix


It is amazing how one mind can synthesize the absolute worst elements of left-wing pseudo morality and right-wing authoritarianism, and combine it with a false analogy that manages to insult a long history of people actually dying to try to receive bare subsistence wages in 19th and early 20th century industrial sweatshops. Yeah, I’m stealing food out of starving children’s mouths by posting on an effing-Blog. This guy is so reactionary, he probably is upset at the impact movable type has had on penmanship. It is hard for me to figure out how you could cram more bad ideas on economics, markets, technology, individual liberty and intellectual property rights in such a small space.

Did I mention he is the current VP of SFWA?

Halfway Point

Well, its April 15 and I didn’t crack 60K, I’m about 10000 words short. The good news is that I’ve reached 50K words, so I’m at the nominal halfway point. Even better is the fact that I’ve just about got the setting changed, I’ve only got about 10000 words left in the original draft that need to be rewritten. Which means, since I started the rewrite at 40K words, I’ve added 10K of new material while I’ve been rewriting. I’m really happy with the changes so far, the milieu is a lot richer than it would have been otherwise.

Just Because I Could do it

You should know (and if you follow this blog, you do) that the SF Signal Blog maintains a listing of SF authors who blog. Most of these blogs have an RSS feed posted on the page as well. Now a few days ago I ran across the new feature of YahooPipes, a geek toy to manipulate, slice, dice, merge and otherwise play with feeds from various sources. Now I got the silly idea, what if it’s possible to consolidate all those author blog feeds into one massive stream? So with a side-trip to Feed43 to scrape the feed urls off of the page, I came up with the following “pipe”: SF Signal Author Blogs

Warning! Subscribing to this feed is the digital equivalent of drinking from a fire-hose.

ADDENDUM: I wasn’t kidding about the fire-hose, the volume of items was causing both Yahoo and Feed43 problems (come on, I was only trying to merge 100+ RSS feeds, what’s the problem?)
I did some tweaking (including splitting the source into five separate pipes feeding the main one) and added a parameter to ratchet down on the volume. Should be a little more stable now.

The saga continues

You may have noticed the Wolfbreed counter slowing down. (Only about 5000 words since the last post) This isn’t because I’ve slacked off… I just found the proper period in which to set my story, and I’m in the midst of re-writing. I can’t really put off the re-write, because of the way I work. While I’ve written some novels non-linearly, I’m most comfortable growing a story from the beginning, and making a discontinuous jump from one setting to the other in the middle of a draft just wouldn’t work for me. Not to mention I would more than likely in that case cram exposition into the latter part of the novel that rightly belongs in the first two or three chapters. (i.e. by 40K words in, the reader better have a good feeling for the setting, or I’ve screwed up royally.)

Oh, you’re probably curious where I chose to set it; Wolfbreed is now set in the mid-13th century in the beginning of the Baltic Crusades where the Teutonic Order is busy wiping pagan Prussia off the map. Don’t be embarrassed if you’re unfamiliar with the period. Most medieval history in English glosses over this bloody decades-long period of history something like this; “In 1225 Conrad of Masovia requested aid from the Teutonic Knights in Prussia. By 1291, after subjugating the population and turning Prussia into a monastic state directly under the authority of the Pope, the Teutonic Knights used it as a base of operations to launch attacks against pagan Lithuania.”

Still Cranking

Hit 40,000 words on Wolfbreed yesterday.

I have noticed one thing, writing this fast, I’ve managed to overshoot some creative decisions. I’ve decided that I want to change the setting. I have a more or less generic fantasy background right now, but a good ways in it came to me that since there’s only one main fantasy element in the story (and from the title you can probably guess what it is) it would be more effective to relocate the story to some appropriate historical setting.

This shouldn’t be as terrifying as it sounds, as the story itself is very tightly focused on a small area and a small group of characters. And I’ve also done much more drastic rewrites… Omega Game, for instance, was written in first person to start with, and turned into a third-person multiple viewpoint in the final version. I actually wrote a VBA script to change the point-of-view in large segments of the novel…

So my current goal is to hit the 60K mark by tax day.