I, Rocket: What We Learned About Stubby in 2012

The Tor.com mascot Stubby the Rocket is a mysterious creature. It is at times sheltering and nurturing and at times impulsive and devil-may-care. It’s also dodgy about what it reveals about itself, communicating mainly through the little biographical squibs at the bottom of its posts.

Last year, during our 3rd birthday we tallied up what Stubby had revealed that year. Today marks the 4th year anniversary of Tor.com’s inception and now we return to our beloved rocket’s rantings to see if the veil has parted any farther. Join us below.

The task was not easy. Stubby has been chatty this year, contributing 880 posts since July 2011. Here are the most revealing statements.

Stubby’s Defining Qualities?

  • Stubby rockets into the weekend like a flying reptile taking a vacation from extinction.
  • Stubby is the voice of reason in a universe of near-rhymes.
  • Stubby just had the most awesome seizure watching that.
  • You can’t bind Stubby, even in the darkness.
  • Stubby has cobbled together a homebrew set-up from spare fusion reactor parts. The beer tastes like exploded stars.
  • Stubby has a “Kermit arms” button but has never pressed it before.
  • Stubby the Rocket’s patronus is Stubby the Rocket.
  • Stubby is a Ravenclaw forevermore.
  • Stubby the Rocket is like the wind through the trees of the cosmos.
  • Stubby thinks life’s a rocket. Fire the rockets!
  • Stubby is faster than a speeding bullet because Stubby’s a freaking rocket for crying out loud.
  • Stubby is here to tell you rockets dream of electric people.
  • When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable is probably a giant f***ing rocket.

Stubby Has a Very High Opinion of Itself

  • Stubby doesn’t think about the “there is no try” stuff too much because Stubby is such a massive success at everything it does.
  • Perhaps you’ve seen Stubby in a dream more real than life? Add that to the pile!
  • Stubby the Rocket is still cooler than everyone, if only because Stubby is a rocket and you are not.
  • Stubby knows there is one Rocket to rule them all: Stubby.
  • Stubby will never know what being inside joy feels like. Because being inside of joy is like being inside Stubby the Rocket.
  • Stubby would rather fall on its needlenose than accept defeat.
  • Stubby’s storybook titled The Little Rocket That Could contains the refrain; “I know I can, I know I can, because I just did.”
  • Stubby doesn’t know what the next wave of YA will be, but thinks it will probably be about thoughtful rockets.
  • Just because Stubby is a rocket doesn’t mean Stubby isn’t the best-dressed rocket there is.
  • Stubby is perfectly understood by all, yet never says anything out loud.

The Secret History of Stubby’s Secret History

  • Stubby went by the name of Agent D’artagnan way before it was cool and before Dumas was even born.
  • Stubby took care of Earth’s second moon a long time ago.
  • Stubby was originally built during World War II, with each rivet lovingly bolted by a cadre of Rosies.
  • Stubby the Rocket meets its younger self from time to time and reports that Stubby has and always will be Stubby.
  • Stubby knows for sure there is something more out there. It owes it at least 5 grand.
  • Stubby once had a position in a research laboratory as the experiment gone awry.
  • Stubby once beat the Universe in high-stakes Texas Hold ‘Em, but felt bad and let the Universe keep all of its chips.
  • Stubby was responsible for bringing Ziggy down to Earth. You’re welcome.
  • Stubby is descended from the Tor Shipyards circa 5502, or 1952, or not. Something like that. It’s hard to tell because the dedication plaque is dirty and also all the time travel.
  • Stubby tends to meet its former incarnations at parties.
  • Stubby used to look like Seaquest DSV before it grew up and started dressing itself better.
  • Stubby is definitely depicted somewhere in the Book of Kells, but won’t tell you where.
  • Stubby knows the moon is ours because it, well, that would be telling.
  • Stubby once raced itself around the sun but only one Stubby emerged. Did other Stubby go back in time? You tell Stubby.
  • The quote over Stubby’s crib reads, “Lando Calrissian and poor Chewbacca never returned from this awful place.”
  • Stubby stole Sean Connery’s Scottish brogue, then beat him at arm wrestling. Now they’re best friends.
  • Stubby is pretty sure you’ll never see Stubby’s high school yearbook.
  • If you’ll excuse Stubby it has to go call its mother the shipyard right now.
  • Stubby can’t even bear to tell you about the Joss Whedon Doctor Who episode starring Michael Caine that was never filmed.
  • Stubby has been knighted in seven different dimensions.
  • Stubby can’t eat fire but can eat black holes, if anyone’s asking.
  • Stubby was born this way, which is the way that all rockets are born.
  • Stubby has an old videotape of itself from the 1970s using chemical rockets to blast off. So embarrassing!
  • Stubby has a bunch of moons of Pluto in its cargo hold and drops one off every year now.
  • Stubby saw Mark Twain there, crying.
  • Stubby hopes that someday Sherlock will solve The Mystery of the Belligerent Rocket.

Stubby Never Got Over That One Relationship

  • Stubby regularly hurls comets at this one moon it thinks is cute.
  • Stubby don’t wanna close its eyes, don’t wanna fall asleep cuz it’ll miss you baby.
  • Stubby the Rocket is the voice and mascot of Tor.com. She said no.
  • Stubby the Rocket is going to eat Kryptonite noodles and drink Princess Bride wine and then it is probably going to do something the cosmos will regret.
  • Stubby’s not drunk, you are. Where are its keys?
  • Stubby likes lightsabers, but not as much as Stubby likes Lucky Charms mixed with Beef Eater.
  • Stubby the Rocket used to have a little mini-rocket attached to it, but Jacqueline never really loved Stubby.
  • Stubby the Rocket will never fall in love again.
  • Stubby is also looking for a new companion. Must be clean, well-adjusted, and fine with flying too close to black holes.

Stubby Can Be Sweet

  • Stubby salutes Atlantis and all the space shuttles.
  • Stubby always helps the children who come to Stubby for help.
  • Stubby wants to know what kind of wine everyone is having.
  • Stubby wants you to know that thoughts are rockets, but rockets are also rockets.
  • Stubby is sorry about having to hose you earlier, but you were kind of out of control.

Stubby Can Get Very Dark

  • Stubby once had a suggestion box, but it caused too many deaths.
  • Stubby wonders if there’s any location in Westeros that doesn’t look like someone already killed themselves there.
  • Stubby knows if you’ve been naughty or nice and is in your house right now.
  • Stubby is dressed up as your computer right now and you don’t even know it.
  • Stubby is the fire in which you burn.
  • Stubby hopes your clothes soil in the depths of your hamper over a thousand years.
  • Stubby wants to know why daddy isn’t getting on the boat. Daddy? Why aren’t you getting on the boat, daddy?
  • All work and no play make Stubby a dull rocket.
  • All work and no play make Stubby a dull rocket.
  • All work and no play make Stubby a dull rocket.
  • All work and no play make Stubby a dull rocket.
  • All work and
  • Stubby is right behind you.

Stubby Has a Complex Relationship with Star Trek

  • The only reason Stubby survived the explosion of Praxis is because of Captain Sulu.
  • Stubby looks to the Enterprise as a cherished father figure.
  • Stubby thinks Riker should have been named “Numero Uno.”
  • Stubby once had a crewmember that sounded like George Takei and refused to say “Oh my.” So frustrating.
  • Stubby lost a lot of money betting on that mud-fight between Jean-Luc and his brother.
  • Stubby tends not to listen to Worf all that often, either. It’s nothing personal! He’s just wrong and loud a lot.
  • Stubby is really really glad it offloaded Barclay when it had the chance.
  • In terms of funny Shatner videos, Stubby can do this all day.
  • Stubby wants to come into conflict with the Enterprise but it’s just too gosh darned cute.
  • Stubby wishes people would stop asking when it’s going to regenerate into Stubby the Rocket-A.
  • Stubby was once nominated for Outstanding Amount of Cardboard Stand-ups of Star Trek Characters In Its Cargo Hold.

Stubby Seems to be a Cat Person Rocket

  • Stubby has cats. A lot of cats.
  • Stubby wants to scritch all the widdle heads of all the space cats.
  • Stubby the Rocket loves kitties but is on the fence about Thundercats.
  • Stubby doesn’t have a dog. And the name of Stubby’s cat is a secret.
  • Stubby the Rocket has six cats all named Jones, all positioned at key airlocks to keep bad aliens out. (Most of them are napping.)

Perhaps the greatest thing about Stubby the Rocket is that the more we find out, the less we know. And the free rocket rides.


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