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For Farscape fans in Chicagoland and the Great Lakes area.

Archive for June, 2008

National Rock, Paper, Scissors Competition – Las Vegas

June 28th, 2008 | Category: Farscape

Fans of Farscape have a special fondness for the game of Rock, Paper, and Scissors, ever since Commander John Crichton introduced the game to the Uncharted Territories.

Back on terra firma, the game is also taking off in a big way with the third annual national championship competition which just took place earlier this month in Las Vegas.  The International Herald Tribune writes a story about the championship, and you can see pictures from the event on the USARPS website.

By the way, you can also er…lend a hand…to the junior senator from Illinois and help him win his race by playing a game of Barack, Paper and Scissors on the USARPS website.

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Stuck on ourselves since 2002

June 28th, 2008 | Category: ChicagoScapers,Group history

The ChicagoScapers have a group motto, which is “You Can Be More”, but we often wonder if there isn’t a better one to be had.¬† We have several candidates which you can vote for on our Page of Interactivity.

Some of our lesser regarded choices include “Stuck On Ourselves Since 2002″, which references our inner arrogance.¬† To that end, I’ve begun creating a timeline of the major events in our group history.

We also have other lesser regarded slogans, but that is Another Post for Another Time.

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Oh, The Things You Can Find…

June 22nd, 2008 | Category: Farscape,Uncategorized

I was poking around on the web today, and found the blog of the guy who created the really cool Peacekeeper Wars trailer for SciFi.  Check it out:  Link

Unlike a lot of SciFi’s trailers for Farscape, I thought this one was well done.¬† The clips and the music both worked well to create tension and excitement — certainly among the fans, and probably among viewers unfamiliar with Farscape as well.¬† I especially liked the use of percussions for the music.¬† It is one of the rare instances where I thought SciFi’s trailer actually captured the essence of the show they were trying to advertise.

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Chicago-Style Pizza

June 21st, 2008 | Category: Chicagoland,Food

For those of us who don’t actually live in Chicago, but still want a little Chicago in our lives, Joe Pastry has a couple of posts up on how to make Chicago style pizza.

(He also has a series on bagels, too.¬† That’s for the New York in all of us.)

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Farscape Fan Fiction

June 21st, 2008 | Category: Uncategorized

What do I look for in Farscape fan fiction?

Primarily, I’m looking for a story about Farscape as it exists.¬† That is, I want those characters that were the stars of the original show to be the stars of the fan-fiction story.¬† I don’t want cross-overs with other shows, I don’t want alternate universes, and definitely no stories where these characters are secondary to other new characters.¬† (As Alton Brown, my favorite TV chef likes to say, that would be Another Show.)¬† I also don’t want the Farscape characters to act outside of their parameters.¬† This means, for example, NO Chiana/John romance, and no slash.¬† These things all may be interesting to someone, but they’re not Farscape, so they’re not particularly interesting to me.

That rules out quite a bit of fan fiction for me.

I also have other criteria.¬† For example, I don’t want stories with a lot of “angst”.¬† Angst, as an object of a story, is not very interesting.¬† To see a sad and brooding Aeryn or John moping around is actually pretty boring, and not very true to Farscape.¬† Unfortunately, lots of Farscape fan fiction seems to be about angst.¬†¬† While it is true that Farscape characters suffered through a lot of angst, this angst was never the primary object of the original stories -¬† well except for the one where Aeryn has to come to terms with TalynJohn’s death.¬† (And for me, that’s one of the least interesting episodes, despite all the great acting and set design in it.¬† I admit, it was a necessary episode for Aeryn to come to terms with her grief, and it certainly explored Aeryn’s relationship with her parents — or whatever you would call her complicated progenitors — but even so, I don’t usually go out of my way to watch this one.)¬† The angst in Farscape is always the by-product of the story and the characters actions and reactions within that story.¬† Fan-fiction that in anyway tries to make the angst the centerpiece of the story, even if somewhat briefly, always loses my attention.

[Indeed, I've come to quite dislike the term "angst" in reference to Farscape.  This is one of those terms that gets overused by fans.  It isn't the overuse that annoys me, but rather that those who use this term seem to do it as a sort of thoughtless shorthand that allows them to avoid having to be more precise.  The precise meaning of "Angst" is "a feeling of anxiety or apprehension often accompanied by depression".   As such, it is a word that could be used about some of the Farsape characters at some points in time, but it is nowhere nearly as universally applicable as some fans seem to believe.  One day I'll write a rant about annoying fandom cliches, but that, as they say, is Another Post.]

A lot of fan-fiction begins with either John or Aeryn musing, or pining, or reflecting on something.¬† It seems as if the writers (and their audience) wants to wallow in emotion.¬† Perhaps they do, but for me, Farscape is primarily an action story, and usually doesn’t dwell on the interior life of its characters.¬† That’s not to say we didn’t glimpse these characters occasionally feeling sad, reflective, or day-dreaming, but that was rarely the object of any Farscape story.¬† For example, in the first episode of the fourth season, we saw a Crichton that brooded about Aeryn, thought a lot about wormholes, and got drunk.¬† However, the object of the story wasn’t Crichton’s emotional life, but to see how Crichton reconnects with the rest of Moya’s crew after the previous season’s cliff-hanger, which had left him abandoned by everybody.

Indeed, only one character in Farscape afforded us any look inside one of Farscape’s characters, and that was when we saw Harvey.¬† The appearance of Harvey signalled that we were being given a glimpse inside John’s head.¬† However, Harvey was around for less than half of all the episodes, and his scenes were always relatively brief.¬† Most of the time we could only observe the characters’ actions and reactions.¬† It was from their actions that we would have to infer their thoughts.¬† The fact that often their thoughts would seem so clear is a testament to the quality of the acting, and to the directing (which includes staging, editing, lighting, music and so on.)¬† So when someone starts off their story by putting the reader inside a character, it actually isn’t all that true to Farscape, and I end up putting it into the trash bin.

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Nosferatu

June 17th, 2008 | Category: Uncategorized

I was re-watching Nerve and Hidden Memories (episodes 1.19 and 1.20), which is when Crichton first meets Scorpius.¬† I’ve seen this episode probably a hundred times, and wouldn’t you know it, I still saw something anew in it.¬† In this episode, Crichton refers to Scorpius as “Nosferatu”.¬† I remembered that Crichton also calls him by that name in the fourth season episode, Prayer (4.18).¬† I hadn’t recalled him doing that, and found this to be a nifty piece of symmetry.

It might also be instructive to view the images of Scorpius and Nosferatu side by side.¬† They’re both pretty creepy looking — with pale flesh, dead eyes, and spikey teeth.

Nosferatu Art Scorpius Photo

EEEEEEWWWW.

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Farscape is Like a Box of Chocolates…

June 16th, 2008 | Category: Uncategorized

….uh. No. It isn’t.

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