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Through a Scanner Dorkily: Sci-Fi Blunders

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  • Wanderlust
    replied
    Originally posted by Governor of Rowe Island View Post
    Titan in 'The Sirens of Titan' is a temperate paradise (with a great view) - somewhat different from the reality!
    Hey Guv', thanks for bringing me back to this one. I believe a re-read is in order.

    “Rented a tent, a tent, a tent. Rented a tent, a tent, a tent.”

    Leave a comment:


  • Wanderlust
    replied
    Originally posted by UncleDes View Post
    Des
    Sorry to re-start an old thread, but after reading through, this hit like a nail in the head.

    Well, except for Dick and (yeah, the SF is debatable, to some) Vonnegut.
    Last edited by Wanderlust; 07-18-2010, 11:58 AM.

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  • Governor of Rowe Island
    replied
    Originally posted by Groakes View Post
    I seem to recall in Asimov's "Big Sun of Mercury" that they believed Mercury had one side continuously facing the sun...
    I think I remember that too, Groakes.

    Venus was always seemed a great place in the old SF stories. I always wanted to visit the one in Heinlein's 'Between Planets'. All steamy jungles and swamps. Stanley Weinbaum wrote of a similar version. Titan in 'The Sirens of Titan' is a temperate paradise (with a great view) - somewhat different from the reality!

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  • Wolfshead
    replied
    Des,

    One of the things I regret is that I came to B5 too late. I always liked the idea that JMS would get on the Net and actually answer questions about the show. After watching it there are a ton I would love to have asked but alas by then the run was done and he has moved on to other things. A site like this would be nice <G>

    herb

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  • UncleDes
    replied
    Originally posted by Wolfshead View Post
    Love Babylon 5, have the DVDs tho I didn't get into it until I saw it in rerun a few years back and have never delved into the written canon. It was written for people who think and, for the most part, avoided cute which a lot of Sf shows have trouble doing. It had its flaws, usually caused by actors deciding to leave the show but the usually found a way to keep the continuity problems to a minimum. IMHO the best Sf series out there.

    herb
    Agreed! Des

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  • Wolfshead
    replied
    Originally posted by UncleDes View Post
    What did you think of Babylon 5?

    Des
    Love Babylon 5, have the DVDs tho I didn't get into it until I saw it in rerun a few years back and have never delved into the written canon. It was written for people who think and, for the most part, avoided cute which a lot of Sf shows have trouble doing. It had its flaws, usually caused by actors deciding to leave the show but the usually found a way to keep the continuity problems to a minimum. IMHO the best Sf series out there.

    herb

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  • Groakes
    replied
    I seem to recall in Asimov's "Big Sun of Mercury" that they believed Mercury had one side continuously facing the sun...

    Leave a comment:


  • UncleDes
    replied
    Originally posted by In_Loos_Ptokai View Post
    but then I say that about practically every US SF and/or other film, TV show, and almost every book. I was blown away with "American Beauty", because I wasn't previously aware that US studios were capable of doing that sort of film. Written US SF gets a waiver, because they're not all Military SF, which I now regard as some sort of pernacious infectious meme.

    Swordfish was cringeworthy. Matrix was empty-headedly enjoyable. And there was that all-time anus horribilis of a fantasy film in thei eighties, with those metallic cyborgs and those one-eyed cyclopeans, and that plot that stopped me from trying my hand at wriitng fantasy out of a well-founded terror that anything i produced would be that ghastly ... It really is terrible how the US film industry insists on trying for Darwin-Award-worthy plots.
    What did you think of Babylon 5?

    Des

    Leave a comment:


  • In_Loos_Ptokai
    replied
    non est gustandum

    Originally posted by UncleDes View Post
    D-M this counts as a spoiler


    Des
    but then I say that about practically every US SF and/or other film, TV show, and almost every book. I was blown away with "American Beauty", because I wasn't previously aware that US studios were capable of doing that sort of film. Written US SF gets a waiver, because they're not all Military SF, which I now regard as some sort of pernacious infectious meme.

    Swordfish was cringeworthy. Matrix was empty-headedly enjoyable. And there was that all-time anus horribilis of a fantasy film in thei eighties, with those metallic cyborgs and those one-eyed cyclopeans, and that plot that stopped me from trying my hand at wriitng fantasy out of a well-founded terror that anything i produced would be that ghastly ... It really is terrible how the US film industry insists on trying for Darwin-Award-worthy plots.

    Leave a comment:


  • UncleDes
    replied
    Originally posted by Dorian-Hawkmoon View Post
    Not to mention the VISITORS TV series, where a girl was conceived in the intercourse between an human woman and an alien reptiloid...
    D-M this counts as a spoiler


    Des

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  • J-Sun
    replied
    The Cybermen, to the best of my knowledge, never did atatck the Earth in 1986. I waited up all of Dec. 31st, 1985, just to make sure I wouldn't miss that. Sadly, apparently I should have been at the South Pole.

    I'm still waiting on my subscription to the Karkus as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dorian-Hawkmoon
    replied
    Obviously you can't blame a SF writer for not having predicted the world Wide Web (with a few exceptions like James H Schmitz, also, who depicted a similar system) or the fall of the USSR ( how many "sovietic" agents, colonies, etc. in the far future, obviously on alternate Earths), or 9/11, and so on. You could as well blame Leigh Brackett for not having depicted Venus and Mars as we now know they are (Her alternative Venus and Mars are among the best in worldbuilding. I'd have loved her Venus)
    To me, the real blunders are:
    - Aliens identical to humans save a trifling detail or two;
    - Instant linguistic comprehension between beings of different planet, time and space without explicitly mentioned use of translators, babel-fishes or similar devices;
    - Ancient weapons or devices unused for millennia that function perfectly the moment they are activated ( As in dan Simmon's Endymion, when a portal unused for generations starts to function the moment Endymion operates it.Energy leakages, wheather decay aren't considered)
    and similar mistakes.Not to mention the VISITORS TV series, where a girl was conceived in the intercourse between an human woman and an alien reptiloid...
    Last edited by Dorian-Hawkmoon; 08-13-2008, 06:41 AM.

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  • Governor of Rowe Island
    replied
    I agree, DA, I see things like 2001, The Forever War, The Expendables series, etc, etc, as alternate futures/presents. They are what happened when things went slightly differently.

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  • Dead-Air
    replied
    Actually, and I don't think this takes away from the fun of this thread, but I don't believe the purpose of science fiction is to correctly predict the future. It's to explore possible futures, and it doesn't date a book like 1984 that what it predicted for 1984 hadn't completely occurred at that particular date. The warning is still very valid.

    There are books like Earth by David Brin that did an accurate job of predicting the Worldwide Web, but if you look for discrepancies in it, you will surely find many more than actual realities that came to be.

    The way I read science fiction books where the author has missed out on an important technological revolution, but still provided a strong story (say the use of "tape" for entertainment and education in C.J. Cherryh's Alliance/Union books) is to view it along the lines of one of Mike's alternate timestreams.

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  • UncleDes
    replied
    Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
    Presumably we're not talking about using an Apple Mac Powerbook to cripple an alien invasion fleet, right?
    No, Dave, that would be the "nuke the fridge" moment in an otherwise entertaining movie.

    Computers that still use punchcards or 'Winchester' hard disks are another thing altogether.
    Yeah. Steampunk is deliberately excluded here, as it reinterprets the past, not "wildly misjudges the future".

    Des

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