Phive

June 21, 2017

Greenings Thirders

We’re been out in the Oort cloud trying to figure out which of the pieces of rock out there will take out your planet.  We have not found it yet but we’re pretty sure it’s there.  While we were out there we did find an ion trail.  We followed it, said hi to ion and then continued on with our search.  You would say this is like looking for a needle in a haystack.  But only if your hay was interstellar emptiness and your needle was a planet killer.  Not a very apt analogy on your part.  But, then, you are like that.  Not apt we mean.  Not the haystack or needle thing.  Just, never mind.  We’ll move on.  Next month we probe Uranus.

Alien Morning, Rick Wilber, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-3290-5, $25.99, 300 pgs.

This is a book about aliens and, hey, we think we know these guys.  Finally.  After all this time a species we recognize although they are from the other side of the traackst nebula.  This is a first contact report, or could be or might be.  We need evidence that you are nalien morningot just making shit up all the time.  This is about a guy and his brother who get pulled into being representatives of the S’hudonni (not their real names).  This goes well for one brother but not for the other.  One becomes a deranged terrorist and the other an apparent tool of alien invaders.  We’ll let you figure out which one gets the happy ending.  This is actually quite well done and, we believe, based on the writings of Zuun Tzooo, who famously said “The best victory is waiting for your enemies to boil from radiation while you snack.”  Or something like that.  We are not military academics so some of the finer points of this stuff eludes us.  Any cases, you will enjoy this one if you like to learn about first contact situations.  We know a lot about first contact as well as close encounters of all kinds and we enjoyed it.  You would enjoy it even if you’ve never been probed.  Probably.

The Bear and the Nightingale, Katherine Arden, Del Rey, ISBN 978-1-101-88593-2, $27.00, 323 pgs.

This is one of your fairy tales which means it is allegorical and symbolic all at the same time.  This one is inbear and nightingale Russia, or the old Russia, before the Putins took control and enacted their 500 year empire.  Wait, has that happened yet?  Yes, yes, we see that it has so no need for us to worry about giving things away.  This is basically about the conflict between the old and the new and, as is often the case with you people, religion is driving things.  Truly, you will be much happier once you……wait, that has not happened yet so no more from us.  In any cases, Vasilisa, a young woman sees the old and is scorned for it by those who believe that only the new can save them.  Well, in this case that is not the truth and by casting aside the old they are putting themselves in peril.  This is also about the move from dirt roots to star roots and the loss that involves.  Truly, in space there is no dirt.  But you have many journeys to go before you understand that and many of them will involve exactly the conflict laid out here.  This is very well done and we enjoyed every word except for the final two.  You will do the same no doubt.  For sure.

Radiate, C. A Higgins, ISBN 978-0-553-9448-1, $27.00, 317 pgs.

Everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  Even things that last just a particle of a cycle have these things.  Some would try to extoll the virtues of beginnings while others would try to convince you that endings are the best.  We prefer the totality of a thing.  We can not explain those who believe that the middle is the place to be.  We enjoyeradiated the first offering of Higgins and we did wonder at the middle work, noting then that it appeared a bit fluffy, like ice cream with more air content than necessary.  Now that we have finished the ending we have to say, meh.  We watched two galaxies come together once and we came away with the same feeling; great fanfare, a few collisions and gravitational warping but, in the end, just a lot of stuff moving through space.  We felt that way with this offering.  Much motion but to what end?  We also struggled a bit with the time displacement.  Give us an interesting premise and give it to us straight we say.  The more you fancy about with the format the more we wonder whether you are doing so due to weak content.  This does move the story along to an end point but by the time we got there we were just happy it was over and cared little for those caught up in the movement.  We believe your time can better be served in other spaces and we have come to regret that ours was not.  Spa Fon indeed!

Luna: Wolf Moon, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-7553-7, $27.99, 382 pgs.

Let us end on a high note, albeit we are stuck in the middle and one always wonders (see above).  This is the second book in this series.  We are not sure how many there may be.  No one may know this.  So, it is hard to judge whether it is a middle or a beginning Lunamiddle, or an end that will lead to side efforts.  This is about your moon, or Luna, as none of you call it, preferring instead to just use a descriptor, although you do call it The Moon as if it were the king of moons somehow.  In any hows, we liked this one.  It’s about people on your moon, different factions, sort of like if the mafia had developed a space program and gotten to the moon first.  Each faction is doing its own thing although since it is the moon, they are all dependent on each other, at least until one decides that they are not.  This is a complicated one and we enjoyed it for that.  Because there are humans involved, things inevitably go horribly wrong.  And that’s the tale here.  We liked it, almost all of us.  We are sure you will like it too.  We can’t say if there are more of these coming.  Maybe yes, maybe no.  Live in the now and just enjoy.

Well, your moon, The Moon, has swung through it’s cycles once more and you’ve just wasted part of it here.  Will you never learn?  We’re off to Neptune and perhaps to the Twilight Zone as they are pretty close to each other.  Until then try to stay out of trouble.  Ha.  We made a funny.


Fore

June 3, 2017

Greenings Thirders

We have recently been spending time closer in to your star.  We thought we had detected a perturbence in the force and wanted to confirm our sighting.  Turns out it was nothing more than the Xarbed taking their GGlGGlG for a drink.  The Xarbed have developed a biomechanical transwarp engine that lives and needs to replenish itself by sipping at solar coronas every so often.  Sure it takes some time off the life of the star but most species do not outlast their star to begin with so it’s not that big an issue.  And, at the rate you guys are going, we could open a filling station for GGlGGlGs and still have plenty of star stuff left.  We used to be concerned about telling you things like this but we have noted that you ignore everything not related to your immediate needs so we’re putting our concerns to the side for now.  Perhaps you’ll change but more likely this system will be just one more place where a potentially intelligent species could have developed.

The Family Plot, Cherie Priest, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-7824-8, $25.99, 365 pgs.

Certainly one of the things that we study are your units of habitation, how you develop your offspring, and the inter-relationship of beings that share genetic components.  Hey, wait, you are going to say, those are three things.  Yes, we know but we used the connective to tie them all together into a single mass which makes them one thing.  Anyway, we got involved in this telling of a family business that sells used house things.  They get their used things when people no longer want them and decide to sell them off.  In this case it is a house full of stuff.  Not the contents but the familyplothouse full itself—the wood, the lights, the wainscoting (we had to look that one up), the doors and windows, the stairways, and all of the rest of it.  Unfortunately, in this case, the house also contains a few spirits.  In charge of this demolition is Dahlia Dutton and a small crew of family, close family and others.  No sooner than they arrive than they start having strange encounters.  These encounters get stranger and more personal as time goes on until everything comes to a head during a big storm.  We liked it although we have yet to see any proof of these spirits that you all seem to believe in.  We’re not sure if they are metaphors or allegories or something else because no known species believes in life after ending.   Get it yourself and enjoy it as well.

Starcraft Evolution, Timothy Zahn, Del Rey, ISBN 978-0-425-28473-5, $28.00, 355 pgs.

Okay, so this is a history based on a game that apparently has no purpose other than to tie up large amounts of band-width on your computer systems.  But, hey, what else would you do with itstarcraft?  It’s not like you are seriously trying to figure out fusion or develop hydrogen power converters.  Anyhow, this is about the savage Zerg, the Protoss (who are like elves) and humans.  We have never heard of the Zerg or the Protoss (it’s almost like you are making this stuff up) but it is a big universe.  We’re just not sure how you know of species we do not.  So, the Humans and Protoss join up to meet the Zerg who have discovered how to do something wonderful. However Zerg do not trust humans who do not trust Protoss who do not trust Zerg and so what should take five minutes instead involves fighting and munitions and treachery and explosions.  You can tell this is related to your species, right?  We found it interesting albeit in a linear, ducks in a row kind of way.  If you have spent bandwith in the past you will probably enjoy.

The Night Ocean, Paul La Farge, ISBN 978-1-101-98108-5, $27.00, 389 pgs.

This one leaves us wondering.  It is, essentially, a fiction of the truth.  We know that, lately, this may seem commonplace, but it was not when this was produced.  Thenight ocean key person in this story is H. P. Lovecraft although he does not tell the story.  No, the story is told by one Marina Willet, the wife of one Charlie Willett, who has become fascinated with H. P. Lovecraft and has disappeared.  Her attempts to find him and to unravel what might have happened to him are what make this up.  And, we are assured, the facts of the matter are indeed the facts of the matter.  We wanted to go through this because of the relationship of Lovecraft to the Dark Ones.  And, since they refused to talk about him, we decided to see if he would talk about them.  Him being dead did stymie us for a bit but then we found this, which we enjoyed.   If you find yourself stymied then perhaps you should also find this.  Or maybe you just want to know more about Robert Barlow.

The Skill of Our Hands, Steven Brust and Skyler White, Tor, ISBN 978-0-7653-8288-7, $25.99, 348 pgs.

We liked this, let us say right up front so there will be no misconceptions.  This is about your present day, could be yesterday, could be tomorrow although tomorrow would technically be the future and we did not see much future in this but definitely a lot of the skill of our handstoday.  In any case, there is this group of humans who are immortal, although they are immortal in an odd kind of way that involves taking over the existing body and spirit of other humans who kind of volunteer for this.  But that does not matter so much as that they have a kind of long range plan to do good—at least as they define good, which is always the problem, right?  How that actually plays out of course is interesting and this is what makes up the body of this work.  We find the premise wonderful and interesting and fascinating and while we think we would enjoy more in this vein this one may just have been enough.  You should definitely get your own copy.  This Brust fellow is worth following and while White is new to us he may be worth following too.  Best of all no robots so Klaarg enjoyed it as well.  Oh, and this is a second book.  We did not read the first and seemed to have no trouble getting to the end but you should know this.

Once again you’ve ruined another cycle reading this.  About this, your President would tweet—Sad!  We  will say no more.  And now we are off to the outer limits just because we can.  We control the vertical.  We control the horizontal.  Well, the navigator does, more precisely, but let’s not quibble.

 


Two

March 27, 2017

Greenings Thirders

Welcome to the eyes of March.  We understand they are smiling.  We’re not sure why.  This is one of those periods that is just packed full of cultural significance.  There are murders, parades, ashes, green beer, bunnies, cross hangings, little  people with pots of gold, resurrections, and lots of chocolate eggs.  We honestly have no idea how all these things are connected although we are sure they are.  Sometimes we wish you would just go back to the old festivals as things were much easier to understand then.  The other thing is that, evidently, this period comes in like a liar and goes out on the lam.  While that sort of makes sense we don’t see the social relevance.   Frankly, we are looking forward to April, a time period where you celebrate weather and what it does.

Killing Pretty, Richard Kadrey, Harper Voyager, ISBN 978-0-06-23731-06, $25.99, 387 pgs.

We’ve noticed a trend in that your species spends a great deal of time writing about hell and other places where you believe you will be sent to be punished for leading a less than pure life while actually on the planet.  And, yet, the lives you lead while on the planet are not even close to adhering to the tenets that would keep you from being sent to such places.  And no one killing prettyembodies this more than Sandman Slim, an individual who was cast into hell, fought in the hellish arena, killed to get out, killed once out, killed until he became the ruler of Hell, killed to get out of that, killed one of the manifestations of Gods, possibly killed Elder Gods, and definitely killed any number of vampires, ghouls, ghosts, demons, witches, warlocks, and assorted bad guys, including a few insurance salesmen.   We like Sandman Slim.  We think he is the best thing to come to civilization since the quantum disintegrator.  And remember, just because we say a thing does not mean it can be a thing.  Think of Romulan Ale.  The only thing better than the Sandman are his friends and he seems to have a lot of them and most of them are not human. We’ve been to LA a few times but never when the stuff that is going on in these books seems to be taking place.  Still, we like it as well.  We’d say more but that would be telling.  Go out and buy yourself a copy or two.  You will thank us.

The Perdition Score, Richard Kadrey, Harper Voyager. ISBN 978-0-06-237326-7, $25.99, 375 pgs.

Okay, we’re telling.  This is more in the way of Sandman Slim.  This time though he’s got Angels perditionon his hands.  And not happy Angels but the pissed off kind.  We’ve never seen an Angel although we are pretty sure we’ve come through Heaven once or twice on the way here.   So, this is a complicated one, involving, black liquid, powerful sorcerers, goons, a group that bets on everything, insurance for the dead or about to be dead, vampires, and personal intrigue related to romance.  We still liked it.  This Kadrey fellow, who looks like he just barely missed the cut in a hell’s angels movie, has a way with words.  We’re not sure we’re believing that he’s had all these experiences though.  We believe that he is conflating his own and many other’s experiences and labeling than all as Sandman Slim’s.  This is fine. Less people to keep track of.  Especially since so many of them die.  We enjoyed the whole thing and would like to have more.  We think you will agree.

Cold Welcome, Elizabeth Moon, Del Rey, ISBN 978-1-10-18873-18, $28.00, 431 pgs.

You write about a lot of planetary systems we have never heard of.  Sure you call things funny names but we’ve been checking the star positions and there’s not much there where you say things should be.  Maybe you are just off.  It does not take much we understand.  Any hows,cold this is all about the planet Slotter Key (see what we mean by the name thing?) Slotter Key is the home of the Vattas.  This is important because Space-fleet commander Kylar Varra is returning home to do some family business.  Unfortunately, she is sold out and the shuttle she is on crashes into the cold ocean near a continent that is uninhabited for apparently mythical reasons.  She survives, along with most of the crew and passengers of the shuttle and manages to make landfall.  But, the question is, are those who set up her crash still with her?  And what about the secret base they discover?  Sure, it keeps them alive but those who built it could return at any moment. And, while she is a commander, she is a space commander and not necessarily a land commander.  The intrigue all plays out as the group tries to stay alive in the hostile environment.  We liked it.  We like most of this Moon person’s work.  You will probably like it too.

A Night Without Stars, Peter Hamilton, Del Rey, ISBN 978-0-345-54722-4, $32.00, 702 pgs.

Hey, there are a lot of pages in this one.  Purely on a page per penny cost ratio it’s a steal.  Of course if you steal it the ratio goes way down.  This is a novel of the Commonwealth.  No, not Massachusetts, but the one in space. It was a while before we figured this out for ourselves so we give you this now so you won’t have to go through the wondering.  The Commonwealth is evidently a big place.  And yet it is a place we are not familiar with.  But, the universe is large night without starsand we have not seen all of it.  The action this time is set on the planet of Bienvenido.  Not that it matters since everyone who finds a planet gives it a different name.  Except for the Zilph who just number everything.  Somehow, this planet, which has been inside the Void, has been expelled and is now roaming the universe on its own.  This has not changed the conflict between the two inhabitants of the planet however—the humans and the Faller.  The Faller are trying to get rid of the humans and can mimic pretty much any living organic creature, which comes in handy when you are trying to infiltrate a species.  The humans do what they do best—destroy things.  Into all of this comes a baby.  But not a normal baby.  This baby grows at an incredible rate and contains much of the knowledge of the Commonwealth.  The humans who have her believe she will lead them to victory against the Fallers.  The humans fighting the Fallers believe she must be destroyed as she endangers their way of life. Since she is human, more or less, the Fallers want her dead.   Just another day on Bienvenido evidently.  We have liked this Commonwealth stuff and would like to see Hamilton’s original notes so we could go visit a lot of these places.  You probably would like that too.  In the meantime you can read about it and yearn.

The Final Day, William R. Forstchen, Forge, ISBN 978-0-7653-7673-2, $36.99, 348 pgs.

The world is a mess thanks to an EMP that has laid waste to most of the elthe final dayectronics on the planet.  Initially we scoffed at this since any race soon out of the electronic box learns to protect against this very thing since if you don’t any wandering electromagnetic space whale can burp in your vicinity and take you right out.  But, we discovered that all of your electronics are not shielded in any way.  Oh well.  This is obviously a cautionary history since we can travel the planet and see that none of this is actually happening.  That being the case we forgive the few things that did not really ring true to us.  Then again a lot of your behavior does not really ring true so who are we to say anything about that.  We enjoyed the premise and we think it is a foreboding warning about a potential future for you.  A grim future.  Just the kind you seem to enjoy.  It is also a follow up on a previous work that detailed the immediate effect of the aftermath of the EMP.  We liked that one too.

 


Greenings (again) Earthers

March 7, 2011
Actress Milla Jovovich participating in a pane...

Image via Wikipedia

We are here once more to report on our findings after a thorough review of your video records, or, as thorough as we could manage after Klaarg’s run in with an electronic parking meter that he thought was a uni-wheeled utility robot, which made him late with the pizza. I suppose also that we need to reconvert our titling as so few of your records exist on video anymore. We should probably swap over to utilizing the phrase digital record but we do so love tape and film, no matter what James Cameron or George Lucas say.

In any point, we were discussing–Klaarg, Hmmmenmmmenefra, Decarlo (don’t ask), and myself–your penchant for trying to envision a deeper and darker future for yourself. Your pundits call this a post apocalyptic shadow. We call it a lack of vision or, simply, a species wide depression. We think, perhaps, that you are beginning to actually see how limited you are as a species and you are not encouraged by it. Thus, all of these post apocalyptic films that are dark, depressing and, essentially, expressing your special suicide. Wait, because we know some of you will misread the previous sentence we need to expand. We do not mean special as in different or nice, but special as in, related to species. Put the emphasis on the first e and make it long. Okay, now that we have gotten that out of the way perhaps you can explain to us why, in all of your apocalyptic movies, the first thing your species seems to do, post apocalyptically speaking, is destroy what little useful stuff actually remains?

We think there may actually be some kind of religious aspect to this but we can’t really explore that vein due to the loss of Bla’haauggh, our religious mythologist, who stepped into the sonic shower and turned the setting to dust instead of exfoliate. We have fond memories of Bla’haauggh and see him whenever we go to a zero gravity state (It’s really hard to get all the dust out of the mother ship, no matter how hard you try and it’s not like Klaarg will let us let loose a Roomba).

So, here we are, with a pile of somewhat dusty DVDs that we’ve viewed and studied in order to get some glimpse into why you do the things you do. Luckily we got a good bunch this time and learned a lot. For example, in “Resident Evil: Afterlife we learned that it’s not a good idea to let big corporations run things–at least on Earth, since Interstellar Trans runs pretty much everything to do with bi-dimensional, extra-solar voyaging from our end of the universe. But, we are talking of you and not us. In this documentary we learn that your phrasing of being a corporate drone might be truer than we had thought since many of the corporate employees in this video were not just drone like but downright zombie like. Sure, Milla Jovovich does her best to lighten things up but remember we are dealing with a plague of zombies so how much lighter can things get? Still, she tries. Perhaps she should shower more?

Monsters Special Edition + Digital Copy [Blu-ray] is not so much about monsters as it is about how silly you Earthers get when you take a simple idea and let it run away with you. In this video we are supposed to believe that one of your own spacecraft returned to your planet and somehow scattered alien life across a large part of Mexico which, in an oddly prescient review of the whole Arizona mess, caused Americans to build a huge wall between the two countries. Well, we have to tell you, alien life does not just fall from the sky willy nilly. Nor does any self respecting sentient just jump onto the first probe that comes along. You have a lot to learn.

As we mentioned earlier, and as we mention again because we know of your tiny ability to retain information in a linear form, we lost our religious mythologist so we have been making do as best we can. Hmmmenmmmenefra has been filling in admirably we must admit but we still wonder what gaps there might exist in the knowledge that a sustenance provocator who was formerly an interstellar radio manipulator (he lost his calling when everyone switched to cable) brings to the effort. Still, when all you have is an ex-communicator you go with it. So, while we are sure there is meaning that we are missing we are also sure that none of that is here. Consider what we gleaned, for example, from The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu. We found your Cthulhu religion very reminiscent of the slithering overlords of sector A3B. The main difference being that the sentients in that sector did not survive the worship demands put upon them while you, as a species, still seems pretty oblivious. Ah well, perhaps ignorance is bliss.

We had more to say. We almost always do. But, if we put it all in one report they would expect us back sooner and we’re afraid we might miss something really important. You will produce something really important as a species sooner or later, won’t you? Do it soon or we’ll miss it. Thanks. And when in doubt send Spooze.


Where in the World is Klaarg?

November 21, 2010
Cover of "Not of This Earth"

Cover of Not of This Earth

We have received many missives from you Earthers asking about Klaarg’s whereabouts and all wondering the same thing–where in the world is he? We hate to inform you that Klaarg is not in the world at all. Nor is he on it. We know we have told you all this in the past but we figure you have simply all acted as Earthers and the moment you received the information you became interested in something else and promptly forgot it. So, we will inform you once more. Klaarg is navigator. He holds a certificate from the academy and while many of us wonder exactly how that happened, the fact remains that he has one.  So, he spends a great deal of time with the mothership. We are not quite sure what he is doing there, but, then, so long as he knows what buttons to push when we need to get from here to there who are we to complain?

Needful to say, Klaarg spends a lot of time fusioning here and warping there. We imagine he would spend more time with us if he had not lost the manual to the mothership. It’s a Mark IV, and while much of it is automated you still have to remember what to push, when to push it, and what all the numbers on all those readouts mean. It’s a lot easier with the manual. But, we don’t have one anymore. We think it was lost in the video disk fusing event that occurred one of your solar cycles ago. Klaarg was behind it all. We told him that the particle accelerator was not a good substitute for the microwave for making popcorn but he had to try anyway. Frankly, we are not sure what we actually had to eject into the sun that day but we believe it contained the full set of Highlander dvd’s, 29.5 ounces of cheesy popcorn, 2 sets of 3D glasses (the good ones with multiple and variable eye slots), a goldfish, 2 linear feet of Osmodium, a pear in a partridge tree, and, evidently, the manual to the mothership. There was also 35.6 ounces of additional matter, and we will probably never know exactly what it was. Could have been dark matter for all we know.

So, Klaarg is not here.  However, if you are missing a robot then he was probably there. He hates them you know.

He did leave this report on a batch of videos he watched the last time he was out and about. Or, as you Canadian humans say, oot and aboot. Yes, indeed, we are learning another human language. Eh?

Not Of This Earth (1988)(Roger Corman’s Cult Classics) is an example of why we find you Earthers so amusing. So, explain to us why this Roger Corman would take the time to actually remake a movie that he had already made–and do it just as poorly? Sure, it has your Traci Lords in it and an alien whom we don’t really recognize but then we do not know everyone, and some small amount of humor, but this is like stepping in dog poop. Sure, it’s amusing the first time but not enough to bear repeating.  In any case, Lords is a nurse who gets a job taking care of an old human who turns out to be a blood drinking alien.  Why you think aliens want your blood is besides us.  With all that you ingest it is pretty toxic stuff.

For our second entry, we are again confused. “Highlander (Director’s Cut) [Blu-ray] is another example of your duplicity. This is the director’s cut, and yet it is pretty much the same as the non-director’s cut. Same idea: there can be only one, except when there are more than one; same silly notion that even in modern times you should be slicing people up with big knives instead of using the fusion weapons that your deity gave you; and somehow everyone pretty much just ignores the collateral damage that is occurring all about. We are pretty sure that if we landed the mothership on one of your buildings you would be upset about it, or at least notice.  Maybe not, you do spend a great deal of time looking inward.

And yet, again, you try to confuse us. This is “V: The Complete First Season and yet it is not since the complete first season was a decade earlier in 2001. And, yet again, you are recreating your history. Why are you showing this invasion all over again. They came once and they were not that interesting. They helped control the rodent problem for a short while and then you managed to get them to leave. Why dvd them coming again? It is almost as if you Earthers think that you can re-imagine yourselves to a better present. It can’t be done. Have we not had the time discussion with you? Perhaps you were not listening.

Lastly, and finally, a film that we can relate to. “Altered States We are big fans of altered states, what with our being amorphously transcellular. So, we watched this with interest. We watched four times in a row. We could not help ourselves. We kept losing consciousness. While the concepts are interesting and the acting is good, the pacing is tediously slow. We begin to wonder whether the title had more to do with the director’s frame of mind than the movie content. We will never know most likely as you humans have probably reinvented that particular story a couple of dozens of times by now.

So, that’s it.  Until next time, keep your robots indoors because Klaarg is out there.


Welcomings for Inputs

September 14, 2010
Teddy bears lifted to 30,085 metres above sea ...

Image via Wikipedia

If we had known that so many of you would have responded to our previous report we might have taken more care to not say as much as we did. Too many instants have passed since then and the laws of temporal dynamics forbid us from rectifying it. Klaarg is still on probation for the last time we broke those laws and, even though we are stuck way out here in the spiral arm and probably safe from any interventions, we do not feel it is worth it to take a chance. They are out there you know. So, since we can not return in time to take another stance let us instead work to resolve some of your Earther issues.
*First, we know nothing about black helicopters. We have a Mark IV mothership and use the shuttles when we need transport. We would not even know which buttons to push to close the doors of these black helicopters never mind find the ones to make them move.
*Second, we thank all of you who volunteered for probing but we are finished with that arm of our research. We were only allowed to probe a very specific number of Earthers as part of our studies and those had to be limited to very specific parameters concerning intelligence and geography. So, please, read our communication membranes: No New Probing.
*Third, we need to remind you that we know nothing of robots.  We can not tell you about robots from your future, robots from your past, robots who may have been vice presidents, or robots that are currently working in the fashion industry and need to be stopped.  Klaarg would like us to remind you that the only good robot is a non-existent robot.
*Fourth, we know nothing about Area 51.  We did spend some time in Area 52, which was nice and kind of vacationey, and we did spend a few hours at District 9, and two days in Section 11, subsection 4, but this Area 51 you continually yammer about is unknown to us.  Fifth, we are here to study human behavior and not affect human behavior.  It is part of the extra-solar policies to  personnel, sort of a main directive if you will.  And it is a real one, not like that silly thing in those Star Trek Diaries where they blather on and on for twenty minutes about how important it is and then immediately turn around a break it with no consequences.  Trust us, there are serious consequences when you interfere with primitive civilizations.  And we should know.

In any case, now that we have fixed you all about this, we can move on to more important issues.  Videos we have watched!!

We have always been huge fans of planetary bombardment and collision.  So, when we saw Starcrash we knew we had to watch it. We were disappointed on a number of levels. First, there were no stars crashing, or even careening, just some woman in a skin-tight space suit cavorting with a fuzzy haired man and a robot. (And boy was Klaarg upset about that. It took us two days to get him to come out of the pre-sentient storage bay.) We are also pretty sure that bikinis in space are a bad idea. Then again, you Earthers really know nothing of space so you will perhaps find this out for yourself, assuming you survive the coming ice age.

No sooner did we get Klaarg seated and full of popcorn than we put in Bladerunner. Who knew that when they spoke of replicants they meant robots. We’re not sure where Klaarg went this time and we think it might be best to wait until we are finished with movie night to go look for him as he will not be a happy camper. In any case, to return to our work, we found this documentary somewhat fascinating. We believe we have seen it before but we were captivated anyway. We liked the way you continue to see your future as dark and despairing, albeit most of you seemed to have survived the cataclysms. We are also beginning to think that your fascination with robots is as unhealthy as Klaarg’s fear of them. Why do you constantly envision futures that are so full of them–and usually they are going wrong? Either learn to build good robots or just utilize genetic manipulation.

We, like many of you we bet, just love a good prison movie. This is why we picked up Convict 762. Unfortunately, the way we get our videos precludes their coming to us in boxes or cases so we almost never get a visual clue about what we are about to watch. This is usually a good thing since most of your movie documentaries are really not all that well done and your marketing ability often surpasses your creative ability. We mention this because Klaarg had managed to stuff himself into the research arena and heard us talking about the title and managed to actually do a subliminal authenticity search based on the name and thus managed to see the box cover–which, much to our embarrassment and chagrin–contained a cyborg, or, as Klaarg likes to scream out, a ROBOT! We just hope we have nowhere to go for the next month or so because Klaarg is the navigator and we think it will take him that long to come out of hiding. The movie was also pretty bad, a bunch of Earther young women flying around space, making bad choices and ending up on a penal colony, looking for rocket fuel. We think they though the penal colony meant something else. It is the only real answer for why they would go there. After a bunch of other bad decisions, due mostly, we think, to bad writing and lack of imagination, and a lot of deaths, one of the young woman manages to leave the colony with two penals aboard and everyone is happy. Or are they? It is unclear exactly what is going on at the end even though it involved a robot and that usually bodes ill for organics in your future imaginings.

Well, we have to go and look for Klaarg. We don’t expect to find him but he gets really upset if we don’t look. Until next time we remind you that Spooze is best served at room temperature, unless, of course, you are from a vulcan planet, in which case you should refrigerate.


November in June, Turkeys for all

June 21, 2010

We are turning over the log to Mummphm this time. He needs the experience and we have to keep him out of the shuttle for a while. It’s going to take days to remove all that cheese from the intake manifolds. Who knows what he was thinking?

Your month of November doesn’t really have much going for it unless you like turkey. And no need to tell us that it is your month of June. We travel using wormholes and it plays havoc with our calendars, not to mention our watches. Time is just a construct to be pushed anyway. But, wait, you don’t know that yet. Back to November which has either just been (assuming you think the glass to be half full) or is about to be (assuming you think the glass half empty), or, if you are exactly a half way kind of entity, both. But we digress. November follows the major US holiday of Halloween. It’s cold. It’s windy. It’s full of turkeys. It’s the start of holiday decorations and shopping. It’s one of the longer months to spell. It celebrates the death of big birds. The food of the month is mostly odd colored stuff–purple, orange and brown. It presents us with one of the major ironies as we wrestle with comprehending the brief history of one of your superpowers, the USA. Here is what we have learned so far. Without the Indians, the Pilgrims would not have survived. By surviving, the Pilgrims brought on the genocide of the Indians. This has led to the word Tryptophan being repeated close to a gazillion times in a four day period. Frankly, we agree with Ben Franklin that the month is symbolized by the perfect animal, the turkey. But let us move to things we better understand–your DVD historical records And, speaking of such, let’s take a look at what’s lurking out there.

It’s the Great Bird of the Galaxy!

Sometimes you sit in your blind and wait and wait and wait and nary a gobbler comes passing through. Other times you’ve barely had time for your butt to get wet when the big bird presents itself.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Watch Kirk emote the Enterprise across the galaxy. Watch Spock raise his eyebrow. Watch Mr. Scott build an entire interociter from just pocket lint and a rubber band. Watch Mr. Sulu eye Uhura. Buy this now and you get the director’s restored version where he puts back in the 35 minutes of space footage thought to be too boring. Yikes, another 35 minutes of boring space footage?? This on top of two hours of boring other footage in what is little more than a rip off of one of the television episodes? And they thought we wouldn’t notice? Load the photon torpedoes we’re being hailed by space turkeys.

It’s a known fact that turkeys replicate. That’s right, replicate. If they mated then genetics would come into play and make better turkeys. And I’m not talking about bigger butterballs. An excellent case in point is “Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday The 13th”, which attempts to spoof not only every recent horror flick but every recent flick combined. This total lack of focus and utter reliance on sex jokes drives the few redeeming qualities the film had right from your frontal lobes. Klaarg liked it though.

And before you go thinking that all turkeys are tom turkeys let me present to you– Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. If you discount the lousy writing, the crappy directing, the negligible acting and plot holes so big you could fly turkeys through them you’ve got a pretty good film here. Sick with the game and leave this bird alone, it spent too much time out in the sun.

Wait, Lara Croft, Ronald Ashcroft, I see a connection. That would explain why The Astounding She-Monster, shares so many of the apparent values and production qualities. Actually it’s the other way around since this flick came out in 1958. Not a bad watch purely for old time’s sake, like when you’re with your buds talking about how good the turkey was two years ago.

You can always tell a real turkey by how little time it spends in view of the public. Turkeys are shy, retiring creatures and avoid people like the plague. Planet Of The Apes, the remade one, is an excellent example of this. So bad it lasted but days in the theaters and minutes in the second run houses it now comes to roost on your DVD player. Don’t let it roost very long.

Classics – or should we say…leftovers?

So, what’s a droog to do after loading up on all that tryptophan? Steal a car? Look for rival gangs to beat up? Break into a few houses and contemplate stuffing the occupants? How about all of the above, but only if you’re Alex or one of his friends from “A Clockwork Orange”. A classic masterpiece which, while a bit slow and dated now, still shows you how movies should be made. Not a feather in sight.

He’s alien and he’s come to Earth to…well, we’re not really sure. The guvment wants to kill him, science wants to study him and the ladies they just swoon at his gaze. “The Cosmic Man”, pretty much fills the bill if you’re looking for really old turkey. This one was moldy the day it got released so fair warning if you try to watch it now.

Turkeys are big birds that look kind of neat and taste really bland. “Willow”, shares these characteristics. Visually stunning, with great locations and some fine special effects, but all wrapped around a story that is not only old hat but nothing special to begin with.

SFTV – Dinners, reheated in our atomic powered microwave.

Must everything turn to turkey? Must all turkey turn to poison? Must all poison be bad for you? Unfortunately a resounding yes to all of the above. Check out the pre-turkey episodes of “Farscape”. “Durka Returns” and “A Human Reaction” are the episodes presented here. Excellent stuff, but be warned, there’s a turkey lurking in the not to far future.

At some point there are just too many of these things flying by and you just have to sit back in amazement. The “X-Files” is a great example of that. This is the complete fourth season. Like you need more X-files. Like the first three years, never mind the first three episodes, didn’t pretty much play out the storylines. There is the occasional interesting episode tucked in here amongst the dark and white meat, sort of like finding the giblets. Will Scully? Will Muldar? Will the smoking man? Who the hell cares?

“Plan 9 From Outer Space,” or, how to not make movies. This one contains all the things you should never, ever do when making a film. The biggest turkey of the bunch.

Just to show that even science fiction writers love turkey, “Project Moon Base”, which was co-written by Robert Heinlein rears it’s ugly head. Two space babes get stranded on the lunar surface. Will they survive?? Jesus, what were you thinking, Bob?

Anime – Even Giant Robots can’t talk with their mouths full.

I hate to say it but of the 740 or so DVDs released in November of…we forget but we think there were some 0’s and 2’s in it, there wasn’t a single Anime one worth looking at. Actually there were incredibly few to look at period. Guess those giant mumblers know it’s best to hide when the big birds come out to play.