science fiction

Star Trek Discovery is not the Star Trek We Need

1966 was a time of rebellion in America: The Civil Rights movement, the anti-Vietnam war movement, the Free Love movement, were all on the rise. People were pissed — at the government, at the establishment, at each other, and at the ‘other.’

Along came a TV show called Star Trek (now referred to as The Original Series, or just ToS). In the show, we had gotten past our differences, we had gotten past greed, we’d molded the establishment. We were out to make the known world a better place for everyone, and we were actively seeking out new members. It was a very positive, stabilizing message.

Fast forward to today.

READ MORE
(Spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery episodes 1&2; The Orville episodes 1-3)

The Fallacy of Comparing Modern Writers to the Golden Age of Sci Fi

There’s a conversation going on in my writer’s group about science fiction that I wanted to pull out and discuss with a larger, different audience.

In a nutshell, there’s a large contingence of up-and-coming or as-yet-unpublished writers who believe that the golden age of science fiction was in the 1980s or beyond, and that modern sci-fi isn’t as good.

It’s a conclusion that is hard to argue with, partially because the goalposts can be moved at any time. Still I feel compelled to make a case against this perspective, and I need more space to do so than would be allowed in that group.

So here we go.

READ ON

Review: Arrival (Minor Spoilers)

We saw Arrival (no “the” in the title) this past week, and while I loved it, there was a point that stuck with me - and it probably wasn’t the point that you’d think.

Things that I loved - that it was a slow film, that it gave you time to think about what you were seeing and experiencing. I loved that you don’t always get answers.

But… but… but… there was this nagging thing in the back of my mind. READ MORE (includes minor spoilers)

Keir Dullea's (Star)lost Opportunity

For a short time there, Keir Dullea was going to be the face of science fiction in the 1970s. After starring in 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968, Dullea went on to front an ambitious Canadian TV production, The Starlost - this was going to be the new Star Trek, the next big thing (four years before Star Wars), syndicated world-wide.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

The devolution of C-3P0

Star Wars (1977) introduced us to many interesting characters, among them a perhaps under-appreciated C-3P0. In the original trilogy, Threepio had agency. He had purpose, and he played a key role in bringing down the empire. Threepio doesn’t always make wise decisions, but he does keep the action moving forward (or at least keep up with it). He’s intelligent, articulate, the intellectual partner of R2-D2. He tells R2 what to do, gives directions (“Come on, R2, we’re going”) and takes initiative - talking his way past the guards in the security room of the Death Star.

So what went wrong?

Pages