Sunday, February 11, 2007

Minor Amusments

Sean Young in "BLADE RUNNER"
I know, I know -- everyone disapproves of smokers, smoking and all things tobacconary but ... who can resist that wonderful scene in BLADE RUNNER (featured on this page) of Sean Young wreathed in sinuous coils of fume? I was reminded of that vision when I read this piece, by Nandini Mehta in the current issue of OUTLOOK. Holding her elegant hand up against the tide of today's Anti-Smoking fanatics, she makes a coolly reasoned and unapologetic case for being pro-choice(i.e., she's not championing cigarettes or smokers but the notion of being liberal in all dimensions, including this). I'm not a smoker coz I wheeze and snuffle but ... I used to smoke, a long time ago, and I enjoyed it for what it was. I never had a major habit (never bought my own ciggies!) but I still regret that it's a bad habit, bad all around -- for general health, for the environment, for social relations (viz. the food v/s tobacco debate in low-income families) -- because ASIDE from being bad ... it's soooo coooool. *sigh*

Onward, onward. Here's a tiny amusement for all those of you who play BOUNCE on your NOKIA phones -- a nifty little cheat: once you've launched the game, key-in the numbers: 787898. Your bouncer will be rendered immortal until you exit that session.

Neat, huh?

OH! -- while on the subject of SF(BLADE RUNNER, i.e.), here's an absolutely superlative list of what might be dubbed nanofiction, SF branch courtesy my friend Anvar, from WIRED mag.

6-word Sci-fi

Wired magazine asked dozens of its favorite auteurs to put their words to paper. Sure, Arthur C Clarke refused to trim his: God said, 'Cancel Program GENESIS.' The universe ceased to exist., but some of the rest were concise masterpieces. Random specimens:

Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket.
- William Shatner

Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?
- Eileen Gunn

Longed for him. Got him. Shit.
- Margaret Atwood

From torched skyscrapers, men grew wings.
- Gregory Maguire

Epitaph: Foolish humans, never escaped Earth.
- Vernor Vinge

It cost too much, staying human.
- Bruce Sterling

Kirby had never eaten toes before.
- Kevin Smith

To save humankind he died again.
- Ben Bova

Tick tock tick tock tick tick.
- Neal Stephenson

Wasted day. Wasted life. Dessert, please.
- Steven Meretzky

Epitaph: He shouldn't have fed it.
- Brian Herbert

Nevertheless, he tried a third time.
- James P. Blaylock

Lost, then found. Too bad.
- Graeme Gibson

Cyborg seeks egg donor, object ___.
- David Brin

Death postponed. Metastasized cells got organized.
- David Brin

Osama’s time machine: President Gore concerned.
- Charles Stross

Will this do (lazy writer asked)?
- Ken MacLeod

Salinger story: three koans in fountain.
- Howard Waldrop

The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.
- Orson Scott Card

Finally, he had no more words.
- Gregory Maguire

Broken heart, 45, WLTM disabled man.
- Mark Millar

He read his obituary with confusion.
- Steven Meretzky

Time traveler's thought: "What's the password?"
- Steven Meretzk

Leia: "Baby's yours." Luke: "Bad news…"
- Steven Meretzky

Parallel universe. Bush, destitute, joins army.
- Steven Meretzky

There were only six words left.
- Gregory Maguire

Dorothy: "Fuck it, I'll stay here."
- Steven Meretzky


vague_hit said...

i love steven meretzky. and i love that he's listed as one of the best science fiction authors ever, without having written a single book, only computer games..

Marginalien said...

-- well, he made it to THIS list! Which computer games did he write?? Okay, okay, I'll Google him ...

Marginalien said...

OMG -- THAT Steven Meretzky!!! YOW! Inventor of the game that destroyed my life (the HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy Infocom game) and turned me into (a) a game-fiend (b) which led me to MYST (c) which led me to The STARSHIP TITANIC and thence, due to the web-site connected with SST, internet chatting and ... ahh ... (d) my life was forever changed!

Wow. I am SO impressed.

Marginalien said...

Here's a link to the Beeb's interview with him:

vague_hit said...

hah he destroyed my life too :) and he also led me to h2g2 which led me to you way back when... how bizarre.
my favourite game he did was actually planetfall though. i never did play through all of starship titanic, i wish i had.