Print Story Droids in the alley
Diary
By spacejack (Fri May 12, 2006 at 04:30:11 AM EST) Star Wars, bugs, comics (all tags)
Another drawing, bugs, Silver Surfer thoughts, earliest example of a 'holodeck' concept?


Walking home from work one night, I was once again surprised by the things people will leave unattended in this city.

Droids in the alley

I could've switched on one of those R4 units and told it to follow me home.

This drawing took a little longer than I would've liked. Due to all the colouring detail, it was getting into the ballpark of the time it would take to paint a small painting. I might have an easier time just switching over to ink so I'd have more magic-wandable areas to fill. Also, Photoshop needs a more sophisticated gradient tool.


On Wednesday, went with the Shawshack crew & friends to see a crazy installation at the Textile Museum, made up entirely of bugs. That was a fun and unexpected diversion, including the dinner after.

I was thinking that doing some more cartoons with other 'shack members would be fun, as they're still young, attractive and dress in interesting ways.


Finished reading the Essential Silver Surfer. Buscema's artwork is pretty awesome in that, particularly when he lets loose drawing Mephisto and his Hell-dimension or kingdom or whatever. This series was one where Stan Lee let his imagination run wild with youthful concepts of science and the metaphysical, and logic is all but abandoned.

Sadly however, having a whole title based on the idea that the hero is constantly misunderstood by earthlings (and vice-versa), the stories gradually descend into a grating routine. By the end it's "which guest-starring Marvel hero will misunderstand the Surfer's intentions this time so we can watch them fight for an entire issue?"

I thought the first few issues were the best. The origin story contained something of interest, considering that the series dates back to the late 60s: before becoming the Surfer, Norrin Radd reviews his planet's history using a device not unlike a holodeck. I wonder when the first instance of something like that in (science) fiction was?

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Droids in the alley | 29 comments (29 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
forgot to add: by spacejack (4.00 / 2) #1 Fri May 12, 2006 at 04:44:21 AM EST
a larger size if anyone wants it.

shawshack drawings by garlic (4.00 / 1) #2 Fri May 12, 2006 at 04:44:43 AM EST
I think I see where this is leading... spacejack's seduction of 256 through nude modeling.


probably not a good idea... by spacejack (4.00 / 1) #4 Fri May 12, 2006 at 04:49:05 AM EST
I hear a guy could get bitchslapped if he hits on 256.

[ Parent ]
it's all a matter of style by 256 (4.00 / 2) #22 Fri May 12, 2006 at 12:09:01 PM EST
i am hardly dangerous at all when approached properly.
---
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
[ Parent ]
Hey by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 3) #5 Fri May 12, 2006 at 04:57:32 AM EST
I'd pay for a nude painting of Misslake.

I mean, in the name of art and whatnot.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
The Veldt, off the top of my head by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #3 Fri May 12, 2006 at 04:44:51 AM EST
in Bradbury's The Illustrated Man, was published in 1951, features something akin to the holodeck.  And it's even online.


Bradbury is one of my favorite authors of all time by lm (4.00 / 3) #6 Fri May 12, 2006 at 05:32:19 AM EST
He had some definite misfires, but his handling of time travel in one of the vignettes in Dandelion Wine is the deftest that I've ever seen.

And most importantly, he understands that it is people that drives stories.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
I agree with you, lm. by calla (4.00 / 1) #28 Fri May 12, 2006 at 04:08:41 PM EST
Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and even the Martian Chronicles are fantastic.

I'm tickled to see you mention one of my all time faves!!!


[ Parent ]
I Think Mr. Ha's Got Your Answer by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 2) #11 Fri May 12, 2006 at 06:42:22 AM EST
I could find a 1928 reference to life-like, full-sized holograms that you could interact with (from Hamilton's Crashing Suns), but nothing like a full-room, fully-interactive thing until "The Veldt."

[ Parent ]
I'm a frightfully lazy reader by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #14 Fri May 12, 2006 at 07:21:06 AM EST
of books without pictures, but one of these days I should investigate some early 20th century sci-fi.

[ Parent ]
Bradbury's not early 20th century by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #18 Fri May 12, 2006 at 08:24:41 AM EST
he's mid. I do think you'd appreciate him, he can write very well.

To be honest, early 20th century science fiction is an aquired taste. Much of it is full of cliches, stock characters, wooden characterization, and flat prose. The ideas are grand, the rest can be lackluster.


[ Parent ]
yeah by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri May 12, 2006 at 09:47:44 AM EST
But I hadn't heard about Hamilton or Olaf Stapledon. I did read Farenheit 451 back in high school, and was actually thinking about the wall-sized TVs in that book when I wrote up my holodeck question. If memory serves, he also sort of predicted Sony walkmans in that, with those "seashells" people would put in their ears to listen to.

[ Parent ]
Stapledon is pretty good by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #21 Fri May 12, 2006 at 09:54:51 AM EST
and lots of his stuff is online.


[ Parent ]
Kind of an acquired taste though by Gully Foyle (2.00 / 0) #25 Fri May 12, 2006 at 01:38:47 PM EST
Star Maker is gorgeous, but I never did get the hang of Last and First Men.

[ Parent ]
For me, its E.E. Smith by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #27 Fri May 12, 2006 at 01:44:42 PM EST
last time I read him, when I was a teen, I found him very boring.


[ Parent ]
Early Sci-Fi may be hard to read, by calla (4.00 / 1) #29 Fri May 12, 2006 at 04:17:14 PM EST
but it's fascinating to see how the genre progresses.

I don't have the time to read much now, but when I was kid-less and working at the Ann Arbor District Library I dug deep into Sci-Fi works. Somewhere I have an annotated bibliography of all the books I read back then. (I had lots of free time at the Fiction Desk.)


[ Parent ]
To Be Honest. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #19 Fri May 12, 2006 at 09:12:04 AM EST
My familiarity with the genre is minimal. I wish I had suggestions for you, but I really just dip in and out of the genre when something looks interesting.

That said, a great source for early, turn of the century to the mid-20th century sci-fi stuff is the eccentric Bison Frontiers of Imagination Series from Unversity of Nebraska Press.

[ Parent ]
Does Descartes count? by lm (4.00 / 2) #7 Fri May 12, 2006 at 05:41:27 AM EST
What if reality as we know it does not exist but is being fed to us by a maelevolent demon intent on deceiving us presupposes something akin to a holodeck.

For that matter, the ancient Gnostic cosmogonies (and the Platonism they depend on) presupposes that we're living in a world that is a mere simulation of reality.

What the holodeck concept adds to these wonderings is the element of entertainment. Descartes and the Gnostics approached the question from the point of view of the holograms in the holodeck where most treatments in Star Trek and the like deal with the point of view of the user of the holodeck. This view can be retrofitted to the antecedent treatments, a demigod created a reality simulation for his own amusement, but the ancients and early moderns were more concerned about what it meant to be that creation than the impact the creation has on its creator. But even there, the logical conclusion of the Cartesian method is precisely to bring about something like a holodeck where every conceivable desire can be fulfilled with no material consequences.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
I had assumed it was predated by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri May 12, 2006 at 05:55:46 AM EST
by things like dreams, hallucinations, maybe magical spells, stepping through the looking glass and so on.

The way I was thinking about it, it should be defined as man-made technology - when did we first start thinking that we may someday build such a thing using science?

[ Parent ]
The line between science and magic is blurry by lm (4.00 / 1) #9 Fri May 12, 2006 at 06:14:06 AM EST
Especially in the world of science fiction. :)

Descartes, for example, held that humanity collectively was God, that there was no thing that science could not do. He argued that the only reason that a purely mechanical person was infeasible was as a matter of complexity. Consequently, when he speaks of an evil demon that is feeding false perceptions to a mind, we should  understand that he is speaking of something that he holds to be technologically possible.

It is also, perhaps, interesting to look at the root of the word technology. It comes from the Greek techne which speaks of art or craftmanship. It is a relatively modern distinction to split certain types of mysticism and magic out of technology. Alchemy, magic, certain types of spiritual practices can be argued to be no less disciplines of craft than engineering. This holds especially in the realm of sci-fi literature especially in the soft sci-fi and space opera genres.

Let's see how the ancient Gnostic paradigm, for example, holds up. The view is that true knowledge (episteme) of the nature of reality is what frees one from the artifice that is mistaken to be reality. That is the essentially the main theme of several Star Trek episodes involving the holodeck. (TNG episode where Professor Moriarity discovers the ship outside of the holodeck comes to mind.)


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Also, out of curiosity ... by lm (4.00 / 1) #12 Fri May 12, 2006 at 06:54:20 AM EST
... where you place The Mechanical Turk into things. Granted, this is an attempt to (fraudelantly) automate an actor rather than an environment, but I I don't think the leap from interfacing with an artificial agent to interfacing with an artificial environment is so large.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Not quite a holodeck... by Gully Foyle (4.00 / 2) #10 Fri May 12, 2006 at 06:22:14 AM EST
... but one of the civilisations in Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker (1937) destroys itself after inventing something that reads a lot like VR.

Heh, destroys itself... by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri May 12, 2006 at 07:22:45 AM EST
I never did think the crew of the Enterprise would get any work done with one of those things on board.

[ Parent ]
Excellent art by TPD (4.00 / 1) #13 Fri May 12, 2006 at 07:03:55 AM EST
as allways.

Holodeck: Not sure but I always thought it was a bit of a Danger room rip off.

why sit, when you can sit and swivel with The Ab-SwivellerTM

RE: R4s by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 2) #16 Fri May 12, 2006 at 07:45:18 AM EST
I never understood the attraction people have for those units. Outside of their target environment (ships and stations) their limited mobility renders them nearly useless.

Give me something with a little ground clearance!

--
You're no good to me dead. Even half-alive would be socially awkward. - Hugh MacLeod

Start putting these on cafepress by cam (4.00 / 1) #17 Fri May 12, 2006 at 08:15:33 AM EST
as posters.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

i hope this drawing bug... by 256 (4.00 / 3) #23 Fri May 12, 2006 at 12:11:50 PM EST
...doesn't stop biting you.

i'm really enjoying these scifi slipstream pieces. i mean, a lot.
---
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

Now there's a word by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #24 Fri May 12, 2006 at 01:34:29 PM EST
Slipstream! Can I use that?

[ Parent ]
i wish i could take credit by 256 (4.00 / 1) #26 Fri May 12, 2006 at 01:40:33 PM EST
better ask bruce sterling
---
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni
[ Parent ]
Droids in the alley | 29 comments (29 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback