Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for seven months and change ago. It’s the end
of the spring semester, when I get an email from a former student and friend
who invited me to see Neil DeGrasse Tyson, live. I kind of geeked out at the
offer. The guy is one of my heroes. I will meet him in person and thank him for
all the work he’s done not just in science, but in education, and, well, the
opposing forces are mythologically based, an interesting blend of the faerie
and Norse mythology. The fae—as they are also known—hold a summer and winter
court, which informs on the seasons of the series.
courts are each ruled by a queen, popularized by Shakespeare’s plays A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet. In these we meet Queen
Titania of the summer court, and a reference to Queen Maab, the sovereign of
the winter court. These two courts struggle with one another for ascendancy,
but it’s always inevitable that one gives way to another as the seasons
Nikki,” I said. It didn’t freak me out to invite her into the office, anymore.
The fact that I didn’t freak out was beginning to freak me out, but that was
invitation popped the invisible bubble of the consecration, and Nikki walked
in. She took off her sable coat, hanging it on my tree in the corner with my
hats. She wore a dark green blouse and pencil skirt over hose and heels. She
looked like she was there for business. She sat down in one of the two chairs
in front of my desk, and looked at me.
reflecting on the criticisms I gave to my beloved science fiction shows. I
stand by them. It would be easy to berate myself for taking it too
seriously—it’s all fiction, after all, right?—but the thing is, that in doing
my research, I’ve discovered something important. I’ve entertained a lot of
weird ideas for my own sci fi. Some of which had to be shot down because it
simply wasn’t feasible. But almost always when that was the case, I would learn
about something else that was more feasible, and had more story potential along
secret that George R. R. Martin examined several religions and mythologies when
creating his world in the series A Song
of Ice and Fire—and the Game of
Thrones HBO series. What is fascinating is how he blended these particulars
together, and use them in plain sight to enrich the series.
timeship glided effortlessly back through the hours. There’s no hurry. Torin thought.
Plenty of time. Besides, what good is it being able to travel in time until
you’ve decided when you want to be?
“What if we
make Mona Lisa a redhead?” Pau’lo said.
his head. “What are we, twelve? Come on. We need to be able to do better than
revisiting various sci-fi franchises, and I’ve noticed a common thread in many
of them: alcohol. Cultures of the future, and even alien races, love their
booze. I don’t personally indulge, but I find it fascinating. Not about their
love for it, but by the impracticality of it.
For one thing, almost always, the
booze is still stored in nicely fragile glassware. Given the frequency with
which the space-faring vessels are struck by explosions and energy blasts which
repeatedly throws the crew across the room, this adds up to a lot of broken
glass and loss of product. Why are they not stored in metal bottles (props to
Klingon Bloodwine for doing this)?
And while it’s possible that these
are futuristic materials, I don’t buy into it. Unless it’s specifically stated,
then it’s ordinary glass, especially because nearly every one of these
franchises has a moment where the glassware is broken in dramatic fashion. But,
okay, it’s a maybe.
Now, the big one are the stills.
Battlestar Galactica and Stargate Universe both feature stills. For BSG, it’s a
very poorly guarded secret, but it seems to be tolerated. For SGU, it’s
actively encouraged. Given the dire straits both shows face, that of being
stranded and low on supplies, this doesn’t make sense. Creating alcohol uses up
a lot of otherwise serviceable food in order to make a little bit of booze. This
doesn’t even account for the energy used up. Moreover, where are they getting
the fermenting bacteria?
I know, too much thinking about
this stuff. But I think these stills are more about capturing the feel of
rebellion that Prohibition America represented. The rules say no alcohol, so no
alcohol. The enterprising (no pun) American would simply make his own, sticking
it to the Man. But, practically speaking, it makes more sense for a spaceship
simply to load up on booze at a nearby port then to try and make it themselves.
Of course this rules out both BSG and SGU, but shouldn’t that be part of the
drama? Why do they make mention of not having coffee (or coffee ground from
algae) but still have plenty of alcohol? I think those offer more interesting
plotlines than the stills do.
This is it,
the end of the worlds as we know them. Despite all of Odin’s efforts (and there
are more covered in some of the heroic sagas), Ragnarok will arrive. Loki, of
course, is the primary mover and shaker, here, who breaks free from his bonds,
causing earthquakes and other destruction. Next comes Fenrir, with more of the
same. All of this destruction isn’t just in Asgard, but throughout all of the
nine worlds, particularly Midgard, AKA Earth.
awkwardly, trying to figure out what to do with her hands while the sound
technician wordlessly adjusted the boom microphone in front of her.
three, two, one,” the man in the sound booth said.
welcome to Science Talk. This is Linda Heinz, your host. We’ve got a good show
lined up for all of you, today. We’ve got Duncan Thomas, an astrophysics
professor from Columbia, who will explain how the Tyson deep space array is
able to capture not just images of other stars, but allow us to peer back to
the origins of the universe in ways that the James Webb telescope could only
dream of. But before we get to Professor Thomas, we have here Dr. Nina Elsbeth who
works for ISA’s Extra Solar Conditions Group. Welcome, Doctor.”
my critique of sci-fi shows, I’ve gone back to Battlestar Galactica, the reboot. The two-part arc of how the Galactica
loses and regains its water is what I’m looking at here. In the first episode,
“Water” a bomb blows one of the water tanks, spilling the water into space.
looms on the horizon of Norse mythology at every turn. The story of Fenrir is
not done, even after his chaining. We’ll even set the scene.
took the hand of Tyr. Though noble Tyr willingly sacrificed his hand to chain
the monster, the gods retreated. Fenrir lashed about trying to break the silken
band. The earth did tremble, and the band quivered, but its strength proved the
greater. In fear, the gods retreated. There, on the peak, did Fenrir calm
himself, hunter’s eyes did narrow on the last of the gods. “Flee from me,
Aesir. I will bide your time, and in the end of days will I break my chain and
have my revenge.”
Jane Hutchins contemplated the steps that led her to command of the station,
wondering if she had offended the stars or celestials in some way that she
ended up in a dead-end command. Four Winds Station carried a certain amount of
prestige, certainly, but it was the prestige of a dead career. Since Jump
drives were invented, there was less demand for a sailing fleet, and the
station to service that fleet.