Friday, December 26, 2014

Professional Left Podcast #264

Introduced once again by Kevin's sweet promo video, which you should definitely spam everywhere.
"Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime."
-- Ernest Hemingway

Da' money goes here:

Science Fiction University Questions (No Googlesies):
1.  In which science fiction short story is Santa Claus really a James Bond-like secret agent?  Who was the author of the story and what was the name of at least one villain from the story. (Bonus point for knowing the greeting between employees of Santa's workshop)

2.  What 1964 Christmas SF movie disaster is always a fan favorite at conventions.  [Hint:  Pia Zedora]

3.  What dystopian science fiction movie is conspicuously set in the lead up to Christmas?

4.  In a Ray Bradbury short story, a young boy's parents are worried that travel regulations will make their son's Christmas suck.  But the young boy gets a most unexpected Christmas present.  What is the name of the story and what present does the boy receive?

5.  In an Arthur C. Clarke short story, a Jesuit priest's faith is sorely tested by a tragic discovery.  What is the name of the story and what does the priest discover?

6.  Had the internet existed in 1978 when this successful film franchise spawned one of the most universally hated holiday specials of all time, it might have doomed the career of Bea Arthur among others.  What was the film franchise and what was the name of the fictional holiday the awful, awful show purported to celebrate?

7.  What famous writer of science fiction (including the rarely seen "A Carol for Another Christmas") was born on Christmas Day?

8.  What science fiction movie is centered around the need to protect the miraculous pregnancy of an unwed mother from a violent world.

9.  In what tv series do Desmond and Penny finally connect via telephone on Christmas Eve?

10.  What author contracted with Scribner's for 12 years to produce a new "juvenile" novel each year for the Christmas season?   


Strider said...

The hell?! No one is going to know the answers to these questions except for the "Star Wars Christmas Special"! I can be obscure, too: What was the name of the Star Wars sequel illegally obtained and broadcast by SCTV president and owner Guy Caballero?

Buttermilk Sky said...

2. "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians." 7. Rod Serling

I look forward to learning the rest.

Anonymous said...

1. No clue, though it sounds fun!
2. "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians".
3. Logan's Run is the one I'm thinking of, though I'm sure there are others.
4. I'm kicking myself because I should know that one.
5. Awww shit - I can give you the plot, but I'm not sure on the title. Anyway, turns out that our civilization discovers that a highly advanced and to all appearances admirable culture existed on a planet in a (relatively) nearby solar system, but was wiped out when the planet's star went nova. That star? "The Star" (of Bethlehem).
6. Star Wars, of course, and "Star Day".
7 - 10. No clue.

Anonymous said...

As for Charles Murray:

Neo Tuxedo said...

While completely naked, Strider spouted the following:

The hell?! No one is going to know the answers to these questions except for the "Star Wars Christmas Special"!

I beg to differ. The only ones I couldn't answer from my own knowledge were 3, 9, and the villain's identity from 1. In other words, we control the world as long as there is the flying battleship Balrog.

dahlgren said...

1) Santa Claus versus S.P.I.D.E.R by Harlan Ellison Ronald Reagan and George Wallace are two of the villains
2) Santa Claus v the Martians?
3) Blade Runner?
4) I'm traveling and without any of my Bradbury short story collections If I read through them, that wouldn't be googling right?
5) The Hugo winning "The Star" God killed a bunch of aliens to make the star of Bethlehem happen
6) I know it is Star Wars and famously horrible I've never seen it
7) Wild guess: Ted Sturgeon
8) Children of Men I think based on the book by PD James (right author?) Common enough SF trope, Greybeard by Brian Aldiss or the background underlying "Houston, Houston Do You Read?" by Tiptree
9) Not the Big Bang! Sounds British
10) Heinlein Oddly enough I read Citizen of the Galaxy as my traditonal old-time ST Christmas Eve read (usually read Verne or Wells)

Probably not a passing grade but I'm sure others can do better?

preznit said...

I got "Nomad," does that mean I'm off slightly and need to self destruct? ;}