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Was George R.R. Martin Partly Responsible For Chewbacca’s Iconic Look?

chewbaccaI’ll never understand why people are shocked when they find out one of their favorite things is just a slight rip off of something that came before. That’s how the world works, usually. And when that world is George Lucas’ Star Wars, it should surprise people even less. Stories have been circulating for years about how Chewbacca’s iconic design may have been inspired by a George R.R. Martin short story published in a July 1975 issue of Analog magazine. And it looks like those stories were right, at least in part.

When the brilliant artist Ralph McQuarrie first began designing Chewbacca, he looked like a bug-eyed alien that came from a planet populated by Salem’s Lot vampires, with a mouth perpetually open in shock. As McQuarrie put it, “George said he wanted Chewbacca to look like a lemur, so he had great big limpid eyes in some of my early sketches.”

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Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of December 2, 2013

As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s hitting shelves in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

AlienResearchAlien Research” by Gini Koch

When rumors of a new super-drug surface, the FBI comes to Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini for help. It becomes quickly apparent that the drug is merely the tip of a deadly iceberg and a much more insidious plan is underway involving Titan Security, Gaultier Enterprises, and YatesCorp.

As newly discovered A-Cs and hybrids begin to surface, each with expanded and deadly talents, more and more signs point to a new evil genius who’s using the A-Cs and their enemies both as guinea pigs. Then Area 51 and the Dulce Science Center go silent while Alpha Team, Airborne, and most of the worldwide A-C Security team are there for training. And if that’s not bad enough, Centaurion Division is hit with more bad, and deadly, news: Chernobog the Ultimate, isn’t a hacker myth, he’s a real person — and he’s on the bad guys’ side.

Now Kitty and company must find the real Dr. Feelgood and stop him or her before the latest version of Surcenthumain hits the streets and more people they love are harmed, or worse. But when the inconceivable happens, Kitty’s focused on two things only: reviving the ACE entity before their enemies realize Earth’s best protection isn’t actually active…and revenge.

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Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of October 8, 2013

As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s hitting shelves in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

BillionYearsAcross a Billion Years” by Robert Silverberg

Graduate student Tom Rice is thrilled to embark on his first deep-space archeological expedition. He is part of a team from Earth, venturing out in search of artifacts from a civilization that ruled the universe many millennia ago. Called the High Ones, the members of this long-gone society left tantalizing clues about their history and culture scattered throughout space. One such clue, a “message cube” containing footage of the ancient ones, is more interesting than all of the others combined. It seems to indicate that the High Ones aren’t extinct after all — and just like that, Tom Rice’s archeological mission has become an intergalactic manhunt, one filled with ever-increasing danger that will send the explorers hurtling headlong into the greatest adventure — and peril — of their lives.

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