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Tempered Steele

Laura and Remington face a ten million dollar lawsuit when the high-tech alarm system they install in a millionaire’s home fails to prevent a robbery. – from the DVD case

8/10

I love the way this episode opens. Steele is on a “date” keeping a young lady busy and away from any action while Laura and Murphy do the real work. Only, they finished and he kept living the high life, racking up charges. So they cut off his credit line, forcing his date to pay for everything. But everyone still thanks Steele, rather than the person who’s actually paying. It’s a sign of the times that today’s climate it would be denounced as being incredibly sexist. It was mildly sexist at the time, but was played for laughs so got a pass.

The following scene has Steele bursting in on Laura in a motel room as she’s trying to get the goods on someone. He classically fouls things up, giving a scene where the suspect recognizes him and runs out the door. Laura gives chase in a button down shirt and panties. I can only imagine this was pushing the envelope of decency on prime time TV in 1982. It was titillating to 10 year old me.

RS 1_2a

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License To Steele

While protecting millions in jewels, Laura is approached by a dashing and mysterious man who claims to be special agent intent on protecting those same jewels. – from the DVD case.

 

9/10

The pilot episode to introduce us to all the main characters from season 1. This is an episode that I was never able to view until years later on reruns. Somehow I had missed everything but the very end chase through the airport when it originally aired. And when it ran again later in the year I missed it again, much to my chagrin.

Many of the title sequence images and clips were taken from this episode. We get to see Laura and Murphy providing security for some expensive jewels. And Steele, posing as someone else, staking out the transport of the jewels so he can steal them. Brosnan comes across very sophisticated, handsome and dresses smartly. Later he poses as Steele, unbeknownst to Laura and Murphy. Zimbalist is smart, elegant and beautiful as ever. While Murphy is competent and apparently provides the muscle.

RS 1_1a

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Remington Steele

Growing up in the ’80’s I watched a lot of TV. One of my favorite shows as a child was Remington Steele. Starring Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist, it was awash with classic movie references, many of which I actually understood, humor and mystery. The 1980’s were awash in detective/crime fighting shows. Today we’d probably refer to some of these as “Cozies”There was Magnum P.I., Simon & Simon, Mike Hammer, Murder She Wrote, Stingray, etc. But Remington Steele was my favorite.

I bought the first, second and third seasons over a decade ago, but held off on the fourth/fifth combined set because I remembered the last couple of seasons being rather weak. Eventually I did pick it up, mostly just to complete the set. For me, the first season was the best, with the most iconic episodes.

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It’s a Tribal thing

I see Manchester United’s bus was attacked by West Ham fans as it tried to get into the stadium. Rioting sports fans is nothing new. In fact England is somewhat notorious for its ‘(soccer)football hooligans’.

It happens here in the States and Canada as well. Last year at a Monday Night Football a Vikings fan was beaten by some 49ers fans.

In the late ’80’s and early ’90’s there were high school teams that refused to use the locker rooms at a couple of the schools located on tribal lands (cough, New Town, cough, cough) due to safety concerns. The teams would arrive on the bus in their gear, play the game, and then go from the field/court to the waiting bus outside and drive off. While I didn’t see it personally, I heard that at least once someone was shooting at one of the buses as it rolled out of town (I think that was in Parshall).

The thing is, this bad behavior isn’t necessarily a racial or ethnic thing, despite protestations otherwise. It’s a Tribal thing. But not as in ‘their just a bunch of uncivilized indians’, but rather who or what you identify with. It’s people who identify with Team X and attacking the symbolism of the ‘Other’. It’s also usually conducted by younger people, in their teens and twenties. Usually this is limited to vocal taunting and gestures, but occasionally we’ll see it make news headlines when it becomes physical.

Fandom isn’t necessarily geographic in nature either. Though local areas generally are more supportive of a team, you will frequently find fans of that team in far flung places as well.

A couple of years ago I attended a MN Vikings game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis with my Father-in-Law and Brother-in-Law. None of us is a Vikings fan. But after attending a couple of Chiefs games in KC because my Brother-in-Law is a Chiefs fan, my Father-in-Law wanted us to see a NY Jets game as well. The couple sitting next to us were Viking fans, as could be expected. But they weren’t from Minnesota. No, they flew in from New York City to watch the Vikings play. They didn’t even have any ties to the MN area.

In today’s world, at least in the US, we often choose our tribe rather than being born into it. Sometimes that tribe is the local one, sometimes not. Sometimes it’s loyalty to the team, sometimes it’s loyalty to a particular player. But once we’ve made that choice we can sometimes become overly passionate about it and lose focus on being good people. Attacking someone or something because they are perceived as ‘Other’ isn’t limited to sports either. Anything with fans falls into this same trap, though it might not always be physical in nature. Though sometimes it goes beyond mere heckling to harassment and even libel/defamation (See Sad Puppies 3 where several ‘news’ organizations had to retract ‘articles’ regarding Larry Correia).

Continue reading “It’s a Tribal thing”

Over inflated much?

So,  a certain author is having kittens over the fact her work ended up on the Sad Puppies IV list. How much of a delusional narcissist are you that you don’t want the wrong people liking what you’ve written? I mean really, if you don’t want people to recommend your writing I suppose they can take you up on that offer and review your work in the context that only the right people dare read it. God forbid it end up on a list that you think is a ‘slate’. For a writer, you don’t seem to know definitions very well. Here, let me help you out on that.

slate.jpg

Well, lookee there. A ‘slate’ is “a list of candidates for nomination or election”. Damn woman, YOU ARE ON A FUCKING SLATE! Hell, you’re on multiple slates. A slate is just a damn list.


EDIT (3-21-16 1911 hrs): The Locus Awards is very much a ‘slate’ of the type she is fearful of. They even used to tout it. “The Locus Awards are presented to winners of Locus Magazine‘s annual readers’ poll, which was established in the early ’70s specifically to provide recommendations and suggestions to Hugo Awards voters.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110612174115/http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/Locus.html


 

Not having read the nominated work I popped over to Amazon to see what it’s like. One of the things that struck me was the suggested retail price of her novella. Both the hard cover and the eBook have the same recommended price.

Overpriced

$40? For a short, 144 page story? Not only no, but mother-fucking-hell-no! I would hesitate to purchase a leather bound copy of something that I actually like for that price. Your publisher is as delusional as you are if you think many people are going to pay full price for a short work like that.

Let’s break this down for easy comprehension. Miss Valente, you have an over inflated ego to think that you can control whether some people like your writing or not. And your publisher is apparently delusional if it thinks it will sell many copies of a novella at such an over inflated price. Get over yourselves before you both end up on the welfare line.

Preliminary Analysis part 2

Here is some of the Amazon Sales rank data and charts off of it. I would have preferred getting numbers on actual books sold, but I don’t see a way to get that info. So I’m going off of Amazon’s Kindle (eBook) paid sales rankings. As those rankings just give a sort of snapshot in time, I’ve taken a look at them a few times and will likely look a couple of more times to get more data points as the rankings seem rather volatile. I took a quick look at Barnes & Noble’s rankings as well and ended up throwing all of that out as there were many more works that B&N didn’t have available than Amazon. I chose to took at eBooks since I can fairly well say those are still ‘in print’ and wouldn’t have to go searching through multiples of old, out of print copies trying to determine which one would be the best to use, or trying to average out all the multiples. There are a few that aren’t listed (I believe CJ Cherryh has reclaimed the rights to many of her novels and has them for sale on her own site).

In general I would expect recent years to out perform past years. That does appear to be the trend when looking at the Mean and Median Sales Rank of all nominations from about the turn of the century onward, though there are some outliers. The winners generally are still best sellers and outperform the average nominee, though there are quite a few years where a non-winning book, or books, are selling much better than the winner.

Harry Potter is still kicking ass in sales. The two Harry Potter books in the list (Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire) are easily the best selling of all the nominees, and are the only ones in the top 100 of Kindle sales. The recent TV series based off The Man in the High Castle has brought that up to just outside of the top 200. The dramatization of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones is keeping sales of those up as well. I think my biggest surprise is Corey’s Leviathan Wakes being in the top 1000.

The Mean Sales Rank of all nominations (1959-2015):     178,567

The Median Sales Rank of all nominations (1959-2015):    83,408

The Mean Sales rank of all winners (1953-2015):                  50,771

The Median Sales Rank of all Winners (1953-2015):             27,496 Continue reading “Preliminary Analysis part 2”

Preliminary Analysis part 1

The other day there was a discussion over at MadGeniusClub that ended up with a little discussion about the Hugos and the quality and sales of such nominated works. I indicated to Camestrosfelapton that I would look into his claims that recent Hugo Nominations by the Sad Puppies were not up to snuff. As sales data are taking longer than I’d like collect and tabulate, this project (I believe I bit off more than I can comfortably chew) will be released for viewing later.

For the moment I have some preliminary figures regarding the public’s ratings of the nominations. Ultimately I would have preferred to get all of my figures at one moment in time, but as that’s not possible and I don’t expect these numbers to change much, I’ll give you a taste of what I’ve gathered from GoodReads.


The Hugo Best Novel category 1953-2015

Mean Average of all nominations:     3.88

Median Average of all nominations: 3.88

Mean Average of Winners:                   3.96

Median Average of Winners:                3.98 Continue reading “Preliminary Analysis part 1”

Scalzi And Who’s A Jerk

Well done fisking. I guess Scalzi is just reinforcing the rule that SJWs always lie.

The Arts Mechanical

I hate to call ANYBODY a liar.  I  would like to believe that they may be mistaken. Or not have a knowledge about the facts.  Or willfully blind.  Outright lying?  Not usually. That especially goes for authors.  There was a time not too long ago when I held Authors in rather high esteem.  I still do for most.  For some though, like Mr. Scalzi that’s been rather eroded.  Especially when I see stuff like this:
http://whatever.scalzi.com/2015/08/24/being-a-jerk-about-the-hugos-not-as-effective-a-strategy-as-you-might-think/

He starts out saying that the puppies acted like jerks.  As if somehow the puppies created a world wide media smear campaign to smear the clique that ran world cons.  Or pressure authors to withdraw their nominations.  Or derided fans who nominated the “wrong books” as “wrong fans.”  The puppies did all that?  Actually no.  That was Scalzi and his friends.

His primary complaint is that the puppies created slate.  He’s all angry about that.  As…

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It’s All About The Bling

Sarah sums it up right here, in it barest, most minimalist form. This is what SP3 is about.

“…it’s a genre worth saving.

And saving doesn’t speak to going back to the past, but to porting the same enthusiasm and life to present day sf.”

According To Hoyt

So, let’s suppose there was an award that no longer meant increased circulation for the book that sported the little seal on the cover: how far would you be willing to fight to preserve the right to have the award given to the people you wanted/to have the chance at the award yourself? If you were, that is, someone who played by the rules of the “in” group, the writers and publishers we’ll call “the old establishment”?

I am making a leap here, as I’m not sure the Hugo no longer boosts print runs at all.  I know it no longer boosts them as it used to, because the Hugo used to be d*mn big noise, when I came into the field.  The hierarchy when I came in, as told to me by older and more scarred pros was as follows: The Hugo meant an increase in circulation; the Nebula…

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