Science Fiction Trivia

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Disembodied
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:32 pm

Malacandra wrote: It does. Are you able to elaborate before you chip in with your next question?
I've only ever read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas (and to be honest, I struggled with it a bit … too much information about how to calculate the volume of a cylinder, and my god did Nemo ever find something under the sea that he didn't eat?). But I gather that originally, Nemo was intended to be Polish, displaced by Russian imperialism - but for commercial reasons that was edited out of the final publication and his nationality is left deliberately vague. There are even a few reasons to believe that he might be Scottish, given that his name ties in with the motto of the Scottish crown, "Nemo me impune lacessit", a piece of advice reinforced by the incident where Nemo electrifies the outer hull of the Nautilus (the internal layout of the Nautilus is based on the interior of Inzievar House, in Fife, too).

But by the second book, Nemo identifies himself as Prince Dakkar, from India, driven from his home by the British in the aftermath of the 1857 Indian rebellion. My knowledge of this aspect of the character, though, comes from reading Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which is as worth reading as the terrible film spinoff is worth avoiding!

My question: in Michael Swanwick's Vacuum Flowers, what would one do with a Billy Bejesus?

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Malacandra » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:18 pm

"Nemo" just means "no-one" in Latin, so no particularly Scottish connection there. I could see you were quite well up on the subject from the fact that you gave the title as "20000 Leagues Under The Seas", which is a distinction few could draw.

The Mysterious Island is worth a read. Nemo is an off-screen mystery for most of the story, more reclusive than ever given that the story spans several years. That said, if the maths and edibility of sea life taxes you in the earlier work, Island will try your patience over the lengthy list of things that our heroes have to learn to farm, manufacture or construct. Still, it's agreeable in its way.

As to Billy Bejesus, I'll leave that to the floor for now. :)
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Cody » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:40 pm

... which is a distinction few could draw.
<grins> We're all very erudite here, you know. <chortles>

As for Verne's tale, it enchanted me as a kid of ten or so - read it several times.
I re-read again it a few years ago in a nice online edition - still pretty good.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Malacandra » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:10 pm

Cody wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:40 pm
... which is a distinction few could draw.
<grins> We're all very erudite here, you know. <chortles>

As for Verne's tale, it enchanted me as a kid of ten or so - read it several times.
I re-read again it a few years ago in a nice online edition - still pretty good.
Oh indeed. Here as in Robur, the Conqueror, Verne vastly overestimates the endurance of an electric battery, and commits a number of other scientific solecisms, but on the whole you can forgive him on account of the imaginative effort.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:23 am

Disembodied wrote: My question: in Michael Swanwick's Vacuum Flowers, what would one do with a Billy Bejesus?
A clue … they're small, round, and red, somewhere between 1 and 2 inches in diameter, and they cost around seven hours Kluster (so roughly a whole day's wages, in other words).

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:40 pm

Hum … no guesses yet, and I'm running out of clues that won't just give the answer away! It's maybe a bit obscure, and hard to google if you haven't read the book. I'll change the question, I think.

A Billy Bejesus is a type of shyapple - described in Vacuum Flowers as
mind alterers […] a shyapple can be prepared to do almost anything — to give you a skill, to make you mad, to bring you sanity. Some are prepared so they’ll negate themselves after a few hours, and others are … permanent.
A Billy Bejesus is pretty harmless: "eight hours looniness, and it deprograms itself". So the answer to the original question as to what you would do with a Billy Bejesus is, "eat it".

So. A new, although related, question: name four mind-altering substances, from four different science-fictional universes. These should be NON-ALCOHOLIC! (Otherwise it's too easy). I'll start off the list with the Billy Bejesus, so there are only three more to find:

1) Billy Bejesus (shyapple) - Michael Swanwick's Vacuum Flowers
2)
3)
4)

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Nite Owl » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:52 pm

1) Billy Bejesus (shyapple) - Michael Swanwick's Vacuum Flowers
2) Melange - Frank Herbert's Dune
3) Soma - Aldous Huxley's A Brave New World
4) Moloko Plus - Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:05 am

He shoots, he scores! Welcome to the game, Nite Owl: you win the chance to set the next question …

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Nite Owl » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:51 pm

Two Star Trek questions involving some Vulcan lore:

1. When greeted with the phrase "Live Long and Prosper" what should your verbal response be?

2. What does the acronym I.D.I.C. stand for?
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Malacandra » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:25 pm

Nite Owl wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:51 pm
Two Star Trek questions involving some Vulcan lore:

1. When greeted with the phrase "Live Long and Prosper" what should your verbal response be?

2. What does the acronym I.D.I.C. stand for?
1. Peace and long life

2. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Nite Owl » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:51 am

We have a Winner !!

Your turn to post the next challenge.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Malacandra » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:43 am

Okay...

In a certain book, by a certain author, interstellar travel is achieved by a means apparently bearing a connection to smoked fish. Book and author, please? :lol:
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Malacandra » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:35 pm

I would give you a clue, but it might prove to be a red herring. :lol:
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:36 am

I can think of one where the FTL mechanism is derived from cheese, but not herrings.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Malacandra » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:26 pm

ffutures wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:36 am
I can think of one where the FTL mechanism is derived from cheese, but not herrings.
Think of preserved herrings... English style.
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