The highest voted question was Was there ever any actual Spaceballs merchandise? asked by Rober Columbia and answered by Henning Kockerbeck.
The question with the highest voted answer was Why was the Balrog beneath Moria? asked by Shade and answered by Yaroslav Kornachevskyi.
The question with the most views was Is Harry Potter the only student with glasses? asked by Shade and answered by TheLethalCarrot.
The most controversial post seems to be question seems to be Who designed the Emperor’s chair from “Return of the Jedi”? with 11 up-votes and 8 down-votes.
Altruism is on the decline, with only 2075 rep awarded over 17 bounties.
The first quarter of 2021 saw the start of SFF.SE’s topic challenge program, with three topic challenges completed during this quarter: Isaac Asimov, Hal Clement, and Cornelia Funke.
- The first one produced five questions from four distinct users (Clara Diaz Sanchez, Rand al’Thor, therxv, SuperCreff). My favourite was When was the origin of the “Nightfall” quotation found?, where I awarded a bounty to Ubik’s answer.
- The second one produced five questions from two distinct users (Rand al’Thor, cometaryorbit). My favourite was What is the significance of Hal Clement’s comment about “Pancake in the Sky”?, where I awarded a bounty to Clara Diaz Sanchez’s answer.
- The third one produced six questions from three distinct users (Skooba, Mithical, Rand al’Thor). I chose to promote Where is the setting of the start of Dragon Rider? by offering a bounty for fez’s answer.
New user ferjsoto42yahoocom posted a number of questions and answers about Lewis Carroll’s Alice books during March 2021. Most of them were heavily downvoted, for some reason, but I enjoyed learning interesting things from some deep Q&A about a classic of fantasy literature which has been under-appreciated on this site. Favourites include:
Are there linguistic reasons for the Dormouse to be treated like a piece of furniture in ‘Wonderland?’ and Are there linguistic reasons for the Dormouse to think himself a bat in A Mad Tea-Party? (who knew there was so much multilingual and dialectal wordplay about the simple dormouse?)
Does Pat the gardener correctly identify what he sees in the window as a giant Arum flower in ‘Underground’ (and Wonderland’)? (seems like a silly question at first glance, but the answer shows a surprising amount of evidence for a double meaning here)
Who locked the door to the garden(s) in Underground and Wonderland, after Alice had unlocked it with the golden key? (seems at first glance to be a minor unimportant point, but the answer shows that Carroll himself considered it important enough to rewrite and clarify in a later version of the story)
Is there evidence in Carroll’s text to show the Devil as a character in Wonderland’? (an unexpected literary/historical connection indicating possible references to an innocuous character as the Devil)
Why are there so many references to, or instances of, rotational motion in Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland? (a question about a recurring motif which is still unanswered)
I found it very sad that so many interesting Q&A were so poorly received on this site. The SFF community has historically had something of an aversion to self-answers, although they’re explicitly allowed by policy, but surely this is an excellent way for an expert in a particular work of sci-fi/fantasy to share their interesting knowledge with us?
I quite liked this one. Like my Matrix animals answer, it required a deep dive into the Harry Potter films and a frame-by-frame (if you’ll excuse the pun) analysis of the characters who appear in the backgrounds.
It also had some great answers (from TheLethalCarrot and MBEllis) that focused on the books and the video games.