MT VOID 05/06/16 -- Vol. 34, No. 44, Whole Number 1909

MT VOID 05/06/16 -- Vol. 34, No. 44, Whole Number 1909

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Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society 05/06/16 -- Vol. 34, No. 44, Whole Number 1909

Table of Contents

      Co-Editor: Mark Leeper, Co-Editor: Evelyn Leeper, Back issues at All material is copyrighted by author unless otherwise noted. All comments sent or posted will be assumed authorized for inclusion unless otherwise noted. To subscribe, send mail to To unsubscribe, send mail to

Fiction (comments by Mark R. Leeper):

I am watching THE RAZOR'S EDGE based on the novel by Somerset Maugham. The hero has earned great wisdom and it serves him well. It is so frustrating. It works so well for him. That is how I know it is fiction. I have tried to be the "great wise man" thing three or four times and it has *never* worked for me. [-mrl]

Hugo Award News (comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):

In what appears to be a new annual tradition, two finalists have announced their withdrawal from the Hugo ballot. Thomas A. Mays (nominated for the short story "The Commuter") and John O'Neill (for the fanzine "Black Gate) have declined their nominations. The Hugo Administrator has not yet responded; given that they had originally accepted the nominations. Mays said that he had known he was on the "Rapid Puppies" slate when he accepted, but withdrew when he realized the slate had swept the category. O'Neill must also have initially accepted; it is not clear what made him change his mind. While it is the case that the Fanzine category was also swept by the RP slate, at least two of the finalists are nominees that could (and had) been nominated on their own. [-ecl]

Do Mathematicians Live in a Fantasy World? (comments by Mark R. Leeper):

I frequently find that people have strange ideas about mathematics and mathematicians. They feel that there is something otherworldly about mathematics and the people who do it. It is thought that people who get involved in mathematics problems are off in some Cloud-Cuckoo Land. I have been told by a woman who worked in a bank (a mother of a co-worker) that mathematicians had lost touch with humanity. I have to say the mathematicians I have met generally love what they are doing and are open to the humanities. At Stanford's mathematics department the professors would get together and play recorder music in the quad. (That is the musical instrument "recorder" not the electronic device.) Someone who works in a bank is much more likely to be divorced from humanity. But what I have always assumed that people of a mathematical frame of mind have a better idea of reality than most people.

I remember back during Desert Storm I was discussing then-current events with a friend. I told my friend that it was still possible that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, the so-called WMDs. My friend told me, no it had been proved that Hussein had no WMDs. This struck me as odd since it is very difficult (though in some cases not impossible) to prove a negative. How was it proved I asked. Well, the strongest believers that Hussein had WMDs had presented their case and it had been proven to be unconvincing. But that is not a proof, I objected. "Yes it is," my friend insisted. He said he had been trained as a lawyer and in a court of law that constitutes proof. Ouch. Suddenly it became clear to me how someone can be proven guilty of a crime and twenty years later the same person can be exonerated of that crime.

This was a different definition of proof than I was used to in my training in math. It is a very rare circumstance that something is accepted as proven true and later found to be false. In mathematics if a proposition is proven to be true, it will just not later be proven false. With very few exceptions, when a conjecture is proven true it stays true. (I seem to remember that there was at one time an intended proof of the Four-Color Theorem that later was shown to be faulty.)

Back in March 2001 the Afghan Taliban had been threatening to dynamite two huge Buddha statues. The world press was covering the event very closely

I commented on this in the VOID and said that much of their motive probably was to shock people so they would get attention. I said that they were using the press to get free publicity. The best thing the press could do would be to just not cover the incident. One of my readers--an ex-newspaper-man--indignantly said that it is ALWAYS better to have press coverage of what was going on. As what he called "proof" he described three incidents in which (he claimed) it was better to have press coverage. My response was that I could not verify his facts, but even so, three examples was nowhere near proving a proposition.

Examples do not prove a proposition, I told him. As an instance from mathematics I can give plenty of examples of odd integers that are primes. That still does not prove that all odd integers are prime. His response was that we were not talking about mathematics here. We were talking about the "real world." Somehow that was supposed to make his reasoning sound more accurate. It seems to me that if you want to be right in what you say about the real world, you need to do the mathematical sort of reasoning.

As an aside I was reminded of this disagreement when recently there was a discussion of ISIS militants who are suspected of trying to obtain materials to build a dirty nuclear bomb. They had contact with someone who worked in a nuclear power plant, raising fears that the nuclear worker might be helping them obtain material to build the bomb. The expert on the radio, a specialist in nuclear security, did not consider this a danger. He said after all that there were easier places to get the nuclear materials. And he revealed two such sources as examples. That struck me as being indiscreet. Frankly, I did not doubt his point and I would have felt a good deal better if his easy sources of dangerous materials were not announced so openly on the radio.

Incidentally, one disadvantage (or perhaps advantage) of being a mathematician is that it seems to sometimes be an exemption from jury duty, because a mathematician is expected to think logically and probably differently from the way a lawyer thinks. A lawyer does not want to have to think like a mathematician if there is a mathematician on the jury.

But I think what all this says is that there is some way that mathematicians think that is not like other people think. Not trying to prove by example and not trying to prove by someone's failure to disprove are just requisites of thinking with a logical rigor that should apply to all fields. [-mrl]

THE CURSE OF SLEEPING BEAUTY (film review by Mark R. Leeper):

CAPSULE: In a really different and creative horror film three worlds come together in an old mansion that seems to bring together our world with a world of demons and a third where the story of Sleeping Beauty is working itself out. A modern man inherits the mansion and the curse that goes along with it. The curse draws him into a Grimm's fairy tale and a world of horror. Pearry Reginald Teo directs a script he co-wrote with Josh Nadler. This is a fantasy/horror film that is at least as original and audacious as any horror film I have seen this year. Rating: +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

You may remember the story of the Grimms' fairy tale "Sleeping Beauty" if not from the Brothers Grimm than from the Disney animated cartoon adaption of the story. (There are actually several other versions.) Princess Briar Rose pricks her finger on a spinning wheel spindle and falls into an apparently endless coma-like sleep. There she remains until rescued by a handsome prince who kisses her and awakens her back to life. THE CURSE OF SLEEPING BEAUTY has (among other things) yet another pass at the story. But it is just a part of the horror existing here. Thomas Kaiser (played by Ethan Peck) inherits an old mansion that has been in his family for decades. But it is the home of a curse on the family that goes back something like nine centuries.

Under the title curse, Thomas must keep at bay the demons who haunt the castle first in his dreams and later in more corporeal form. And he must search for Briar Rose the beauty he sees appearing asleep in his own dreams. Somehow he seems to be at the nexus of at least three worlds, one in the modern 21st century, another in the world of Grimms' fairy tales, and another in the dark threatening world more grim than the grimmest of Brothers Grimms' fairy tales. Well, fairy tales and horror have always had a close connection. The story starts a little slow, but soon shakes that off. One problem with the film is that there are characters talking in strange voices that are a little hard to understand. This complicates deciphering the end of the story.

One of the real heroes of the film is production designer Alessandro Marvelli who gives us an extremely spooky yet artistic house with statues and mannequins: things that are human or maybe just not quite. It just adds to a palpable chill. The fairy tale lands are presented almost poetically like scenes from picture books.

One thing that stands out to anyone educated in STEM fields: we have a computer whiz doing work on data found. He says his current software re-uses logarithms that were used for a previous project. Apparently nobody present knew a logarithm from an algorithm. Mixing a fairy tale with what is mostly a horror film is an audacious approach, but the script does not give the story time to flesh out the two fantasy worlds. Still, the film is a fresh idea in a genre where too many ideas are overused and stale. I rate THE CURSE OF SLEEPING BEAUTY a +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10. THE CURSE OF SLEEPING BEAUTY will be in theaters on May 13th and on VOD and iTunes on May 17th.

Film Credits:

What others are saying:


AURORA by Kim Stanley Robinson (copyright 2015 Orbit, 2015 Hachette Audio, $12.99, 16 hrs. 55 min., narrated by Ali Ahn) (excerpt from the Duel Fish Codices: an audiobook review by Joe Karpierz):

Mankind has a fascination with travelling to the stars and settling other planets. The desire to do this is a natural extension of historical explorers and settlers: the "discovery" and exploration of America, the settling of the old west, the manned expeditions to the moon and the unmanned exploration of Mars and the outer solar system. But we seem to have reached out limit. The laws of physics tell us we can't travel faster than light, so exploration of other solar systems is out of reach.

Of course, science fiction writers have found ways of travelling to other stars and distant galaxies for decades now. Most of those methods are either impossible (faster than light travel) or beyond our knowledge (wormholes, for example). One way that writers have gotten humanity to the stars is via the generational starship; put a bunch of travellers on a starship designed to last a very long time, let them have families and live their lives as normally as they can until they get to their destination, then settle the planet and voila, humanity has expanded into the galaxy. There are any number of novels that have variations on this story, but in the end, humanity gets there and survives.

Kim Stanley Robinson's latest novel AURORA is a generational starship novel, but it's different from any other I've read. AURORA starts out with the ship just a few years away from its destination, Tau Ceti. The ship is showing signs of wear, and it will have some trouble making it there according to the ship's chief engineer Devi. As planetfall gets near, we follow the life of Devi's daughter Freya as she grows up and discovers what it means to live on a generational starship. We learn, through Devi's eyes, as well as the eyes of Ship, the story's narrator, that failures are occurring all over the ship, happening faster than they can be repaired. And they are not just mechanical problems; there are biological, sociological, and environmental issues. Eventually the ship reaches the Tau Ceti system, and a moon is selected for settlement. Not long after, things go wrong--very wrong. How the travelers deal with the problems that arose as a result of landing on that particular moon is really the meat of the book

AURORA certainly is a generational starship story, but it's like none I've read before. Robinson is sending a message with this book, and it's not a pleasant one, especially for a race of people that want to leave the womb and go to the stars. The message is that it's very hard to do, probably impossible. The traditional generational starship story usual is one that has a positive ending--humanity travels great distances, gets where it wants to go, lands on a planet, and settles the planet. Then of course you have the endless sequels that tell what happens to those settlers. But hold that thought for a moment.

Robinson has made it very clear in interviews, articles, and other books he's written that infodumps are essential to a science fiction story, even at the expense of characterization which has become so important, especially in modern day science fiction. The first half or so of the book develops Freya's character so that we understand her actions later on. The second half of the book is almost devoid of the same kinds of characterization. Character interactions, when there are any, are used to allow Robinson to go into high infodump mode. And the message of all that infodumping is that travel to the stars is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Robinson is not afraid to tell us, in something excruciating detail, how the universe works and how it really is working against you.

Robinson is telling us that no matter how much planning is done for a long range interstellar mission, it's not all going to go the way the plan says it's going to go. There will be mechanical failures: Things will break, unexpectedly wear out, or just not work the way they are expected to. Some bacteria will creep in somehow, somewhere, and kill the crops and animals that the settlers are depending on for food. People will become unhappy with their situation. Those volunteers that left the solar system six generations prior to the start of the story were okay with being thrown into the unknown. Those that were born into it on the trip didn't ask for their situation--it was thrust upon them. They don't like mandated population control, or the biome in which they live. When pressed for a decision after the incident on the moon they landed on arose, there was dissension and disagreement as to how to handle it, and violence resulted--just like back on Earth. It's not clear that makeshift solutions to unforeseen problems will work as there is no precedent.

There is more, much more, but I could be venturing into spoiler territory if I go too much further. It seems that what Robinson is telling us is that maybe, just maybe, we ought to take care of the planet we have, because it's going to be difficult to leave and go elsewhere. The unknown may be exhilarating and exciting, but it can also be terrifying (there, I've managed to say something about the latter part of the book without actually spoiling anything). We don't know it all, we can't know it all, and we can't plan for it all.

With regard to sequels, I think Robinson has been somewhat sneaky with AURORA. Unless you blink and therefore miss it, AURORA takes place in the same universe as 2312 (which may be in the same universe as his award winning Mars trilogy). There are a few references to things that we know about from 2312 that put this story in that setting. If you squint a bit I suppose, then, that you could call this a sequel to 2312. However, it also seems clear that if he wants to, Robinson can write a sequel to AURORA based on the events surrounding the events that occurred at Tau Ceti. It would be interesting to read that book if it ever comes about.

AURORA is a fine novel, one of the best, along with NEMESIS GAMES, that I read from 2015, and in my opinion is superior to 2312. You may not like what it is telling you, but it certainly is a fascinating and different look at the generational starship story.

Ali Ahn is an adequate narrator for the book, and she fits because AURORA is narrated by Ship, who has a female persona. An awful generalization, but one that I'm going to make because it suits the situation, is that there is one type of bad narrator, one type of good narrator, and then there's the adequate type of narrator. The bad one is the one that jars you out of the story for any number of reasons. A narrator should allow you to immerse yourself into the story without kicking you out of it. It's hard to describe the best kind of narrator (but I'll try anyway), which would be one that gets the characters right, the voices right, and brings emotion to the work. Ali Ahn is the adequate kind of narrator--the one you don't notice one way or another, who does not kick you out of the story but doesn't knock it out of the park, either. Whether that is actually good or not is up to the listener, but that works for me, and that's what Ali Ahn brought to AURORA. [-jak]

Space X to Mars (comments by Gregory Frederick):

Space X plans to launch an unmanned Dragon capsule to Mars by 2018. They will use the new Falcon Heavy rocket which is basically, three Falcon 9 rockets attached together. The Mars bound Dragon capsule can land on Mars using its Drago retro-rockets and landing struts. This Dragon capsule could carry humans to Mars someday also though it does not have much living space. I would guess they could attach an inflatable living module to the Dragon to add space. [-gf]

Mark replies:

I guess NdT sort of shamed them into it:


THE INVISIBLE MAN (letter of comment by Gary McGath):

In response to Mark's comments on INVISIBLE MAN APPEARS in the 04/29/16 issue of the MT VOID, Gary McGath writes:

That reminds me that there was once an announcement on TV: "Because of the following special program, THE INVISIBLE MAN will not be seen tonight." [-gmg]

Retro Hugo Finalists Availability (comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):

Last week we included the list of finalists for the Hugo and Retro Hugo Awards. If you are a member of MidAmeriCon II, you will probably get "The Packet": a file with electronic versions of many/most of the fiction nominees. If you are not a member, or if you prefer your Retro reading more ... well ... retro, here are places to find hard-copies (given that the original publications are all pretty much unavailable). You may be able to get some at your library or through inter-library loan. Otherwise Amazon,, or are good places to start.

As I noted last week, Heinlein's collection THE PAST THROUGH TOMORROW covers five of his stories. THE GREAT SCIENCE FICTION STORIES, VOLUME 2 (1940) (DAW Books, edited by Asimov & Greenberg) has another three: "It" by Theodore Sturgeon, "Strange Playfellow" (a.k.a. "Robbie") by Isaac Asimov, and "Farewell to the Master" by Harry Bates. But this volume is a bit more expensive than the other sources for these stories listed below.

"Available" for out-of-print books means there are reasonably priced used copies available.

- Gray Lensman by E. E. "Doc" Smith (out of print, but available)
- The Ill-Made Knight by T. H. White (the third part of THE ONCE 
    AND FUTURE KING) (in print in mass market)
- Kallocain by Karin Boye (online free at 
    ; also available in 
    hard copy)
- The Reign of Wizardry by Jack Williamson (out of print, but 
- Slan by A. E. Van Vogt (in print in trade paperback and ebook; 
    also available)

- "Coventry" by Robert A. Heinlein (in Heinlein's collection 
    THE PAST THROUGH TOMORROW) (out of print, but available)
- "If This Goes On..." by Robert A. Heinlein (in Heinlein's 
    collection THE PAST THROUGH TOMORROW) (out of print, but 
- "Magic, Inc." by Robert A. Heinlein (in Heinlein's WALDO & 
    MAGIC) (in trade paperback and ebook; also available used)
- "The Mathematics of Magic" by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher 
    Pratt (part of THE INCOMPLETE ENCHANTER) (out of print, but 
- "The Roaring Trumpet" by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt 
    (part of THE INCOMPLETE ENCHANTER) (out of print, but 

- "Blowups Happen" by Robert A. Heinlein (in Heinlein's 
    collection THE PAST THROUGH TOMORROW) (out of print, but 
- "Darker Than You Think" by Jack Williamson (online free as 
    a PDF, MOBI, etc., of the original magazine at 
- "Farewell to the Master" by Harry Bates (in Healy & McComas's 
    ADVENTURES IN TIME AND SPACE)  (out of print, but available)
- "It!" by Theodore Sturgeon (in NOT WITHOUT SORCERY and also in 
    WITHOUT SORCERY) (out of print, but available)
- "The Roads Must Roll" by Robert A. Heinlein (in Heinlein's 
    collection THE PAST THROUGH TOMORROW) (out of print, but 

Short Story:
- "Martian Quest" by Leigh Brackett (online free at 
- "Requiem" by Robert A. Heinlein (in Heinlein's collection THE 
    PAST THROUGH TOMORROW) (out of print, but available)
- "Robbie" by Isaac Asimov (in I, ROBOT) (in print in mass market)
- "The Stellar Legion" by Leigh Brackett (online free at 
- "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" by Jorge Luis Borges (and in 
    translation in FICCIONES [tr. Alastair Reid], in LABYRINTHS 
    [tr. James E. Irby], and in COLLECTED FICTIONS [tr. Andrew 
    Hurley]) (some are in print; all are available reasonably 
    priced)  There is no consensus on which translation is 
    the best; some would name a fourth, Norman Thomas di 
    Giovanni's, available at  
    A comparison of the first paragraph in the original and in 
    each translation is available at 

Dramatic Presentation (Long):
- DR. CYCLOPS (DVD, Netflix)
- FANTASIA (DVD, Netflix)
The hard one to find is ONE MILLION B.C., which has never been 
released on DVD and is not available from Netflix.  (Do *not* 
confuse this with ONE MILLION YEARS B.C., a 1967 Hammer film with 
Raquel Welch.)

Dramatic Presentation (Short):
- The Adventures of Superman: "The Baby from Krypton" (a radio show 
    available at )
- Looney Tunes: "You Ought to Be in Pictures" (available on YouTube 
    at )
- Merrie Melodies: "A Wild Hare" (available on YouTube at 
- PINOCCHIO (DVD, netflix)

(Some of the films available elsewhere are also on YouTube.  I 
cannot speak to the copyright status of the films on YouTube.)

This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):

THIRD-CLASS TICKET by Heather Wood (ISBN 978-0-14-009527-6) is an example of why online booksellers will never replace bookstores and book sales. I found this book in the Cranbury Bookworm, and "found" is the right word. I was not looking for it, did not in fact even know of its existence, but there it was, sitting on the "New Arrivals" shelf. (This is my favorite place to look, because it is such a grab-bag of topics.) There is no equivalent serendipity in shopping online. Whatever browsing capabilities Amazon and others have is incredibly primitive. "You May Also Be Interested In" suggestions often seem completely random. Even if they are not, you cannot sample the book the way you can in a bookstore. Oh, there may be a "Look Inside" on Amazon, but it shows you the pages it wants to show you. You cannot flip through it, pick several pages at random to read, perhaps check the index. And buying used books online is a total crapshoot vis-a-vis condition, because so many booksellers have no idea of what "Very Good" or "Like New" means. (Hint: An ex-library book with markings and labels is not "Like New".)

So I continue to browse physical book sales, and find books like this. It is the true story of a village which in 1969 was given a strange legacy by its wealthy landowner: a seven-month trip around India to all the famous holy and scenic spots so they would know more about their country. The first group were forty-four village elders, but there was to be a new group every year until everyone in the village had made the trip (or as long as the money lasted). This is the story of that first group. (We really only get to know about a dozen of them.)

The book is wonderful, but the major problem I have is that the author "was fortunate enough to share part of their trip" (according to the blurb). But how did she manage to cover the entire trip in such detail, down to conversations two people had at night when everyone else was sleeping? (And why does she herself never appear, unless she is the foreign girl that the travelers seem to keep meeting, as some readers suggest?) The author's note suggests that this was written in large part from accounts told her by the villagers, and that in fact some details have been changed to protect people's privacy. Still, I often get the feeling I would get when reading one of those biographies for children or young adults which have all sorts of supposed verbatim conversation between famous people of history ("Then Washington turned to Madison and said, "I will do everything in my power to help this man."). Quite often in these biographies the language is suspiciously modern; at least in THIRD-CLASS TICKET I do not get that feeling. But when we start getting the inner thoughts of one of the characters who has begun to have mental problems and for whom there is no opportunity to have related these thoughts to anyone else, then I have to conclude that there is some embellishment going on.

(The fact that only fourteen of the villagers seem to have "speaking parts" or be mentioned by name is another indication that this is not a strict account. Think of it more as a docu-drama.)

I recently watched the Kenneth Branagh version of TWELFTH NIGHT (as shown on Thames Television), and it served to remind me of the problems in this (and indeed in other plays of Shakespeare).

One problem is the romantic inconstancy of the hero. At the beginning, Orsino is madly in love with Olivia; at the end he fairly quickly transfers his affections to Viola. Olivia is madly in love with Viola, but apparently cannot tell the difference between her and Sebastian. Even granting they look fairly similar, they are two different people. The whole thing reminds me of Lucy Steele's transference of affections from Edward Ferrars to Edward's brother Robert in Jane Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, but in that book Lucy is supposed to be a gold-digger and this change of heart is an example of her low, scheming character. Shakespeare seemingly has Orsino retain his good character. And Olivia seems content to be married to Sebastian, even though she was completely deceived as to who he was when she married him. (At least Jacob was upset when he discovered he had married Leah instead of Rachel.) For that matter, Romeo starts ROMEO AND JULIET madly in love with Rosaline, but rapidly turns to Juliet (without ever speaking to her!) and drops the first one.

And while we are talking about ROMEO AND JULIET, what is with the friar? Romeo, whom he knows was madly in love with Rosaline, now swears he is in love with Juliet, whom he just met the previous evening. After a brief lecture about inconstancy, the friar agrees to marry The two of them, in spite of 1) the briefness of their courtship, 2) the fact that Juliet is only thirteen, and 3) the fact that her father has not given his approval, indeed, has not even been consulted, and would almost certainly disapprove. And why? Because it might end the feud between the families. And he even says that he is performing the wedding only for this reason, and (presumably) not because Romeo and Juliet are in love.

And then he comes up with this bizarre plan, involving a sleeping potion that makes Juliet appear dead for forty-two hours. Okay, they did not embalm people (quickly or otherwise), but the friar is definitely assuming that the family won't bury her or seal her in a casket in that time. Why doesn't he just sneak her out of Verona to be with Romeo in Mantua?

This shows up in other plays as well, although often there is some attempt at justification. In A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, at least there is a love potion one can blame for the characters' changes of heart. In HAMLET, Gertrude transfers her affections seemingly quickly to Claudius, although there is some indication here that this may have been part of the cause of Hamlet's father's death. It has been commented that the most "constant" couple in Shakespeare may be Lord and Lady Macbeth.

It is true that Shakespeare often has his characters talk about constancy. In TWELFTH NIGHT, Viola (as Cesario) berates Orsino for claiming that men love more deeply and constantly than women (although both he and Olivia are inconstant in this); Juliet tells Romeo to "swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon," with the implication that Romeo might conceivably be inconstant (which of course he is).

Another problem is that with changing times, much of the difficulty in the mistaken relationships is blunted. When Olivia was taken with Viola when Viola was dressed a man, audiences now may find themselves thinking that while the fact that Viola does not love Olivia is an obstacle, the fact that Viola is a woman does not seem as much a problem as it was to Shakespeare's audience. Similarly, if Orsino loves Viola when he finds out she is a woman, today's audiences may wonder why there was no indication of this before.

Of course, all this would make Olivia's transference of affection less explicable/forgivable--in the play, she cannot marry Cesario (Viola), so Sebastian is a "reasonable" second choice. Today, her reaction to Viola's revelation could as easily be the same as Osgood Fielding III's to Jerry/Geraldine's in SOME LIKE IT HOT: "Well, nobody's perfect."

The flip side of this is that the idea that a woman can successfully disguise herself as a man, and vice versa, is perhaps less problematic now than then. Even without surgery or drugs, we now accept that there are people with fairly androgynous features. I would love to see a (film) version of TWELFTH NIGHT with someone such as Eddie Redmayne in the roles of Viola and Sebastian. (I specify "film version," because clearly for the scenes where both are on stage some special effects would be necessary, either traditional split-screen or CGI manipulation.)

(I am reminded of someone's Usenet post about SOUTH PACIFIC. When she first saw it, she could not figure out what Nellie Forbush was so upset about with Emil de Becque's children. Eventually she twigged to the fact that Nellie cared that the children were "mixed-race" (which now is more likely to be expressed as "bi-racial"). I won't say that this has entirely disappeared, but these days it is much less an issue, and would have to be made more explicit in a play for people to "get it.". (In Puccini's MADAME BUTTERFLY, the marriage between Pinkerton and Butterfly is considered not quite a "real" marriage, but the idea that their son would not be accepted by his fiancee does not seem to arise.)

I got TWELFTH NIGHT as part of a two-disc set, the other half being ROMEO AND JULIET. Having just watched SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, I cannot help but wonder if these two were paired because they are the two plays most referenced in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, albeit incredibly anachronistically. ROMEO AND JULIET is usually dated to 1595, and TWELFTH NIGHT to 1601. Yet at the end of ROMEO AND JULIET the Queen asks for a play for Twelfth Night within the year, and Wessex seems to have tobacco plantations in Virginia at least ten years before Jamestown was even founded. [-ecl]

                                          Mark Leeper
Quote of the Week:
          Never drink water because of the disgusting things that 
          fish do in it. 
                                          --W. C. Fields

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