Sunday, August 26th, 2012 | cons, film and tv, photos, scifi, star trek | No Comments
This week’s photo was taken at the Fedcon in Düsseldorf, Germany in May this year.
A very entertaining actor, he suddenly left the stage and walked among the audience.
When he passed right by me I was quick enough with the camera to catch this picture :
The colours come from the stage lighting, I like the mood of the picture.
As an experiment it may be worth trying to convert this picture to black/white.
Sunday, May 9th, 2010 | cons, scifi | No Comments
Today I went to a small scifi convention in Copenhagen.
The DanCon is a one day convention with a single thread, all going on i one room. It is organised by one of the Danish Science fiction societies, Science Fiction Cirklen. Everything was going on in Danish.
The con opened with a very nice panel discussion on “Tendencies English language short stories”, with a few examples of authors old and new.
After lunch we had a very nice presentation on medical science of the future, seen in the light of Star Trek technology, quite entertaining with a few examples illustrating how far we have already come and where we are behind the ST tech. An interesting fact is that the “hypospray” of ST had already been invented and tested some years before the original series aired.
The rest of the afternoon we had a presentation of the older British comic strip “Dan Dare”, a presentation of Anime
The afternoon ended with a presentation of the classic scifi magazine Astounding (before Campbell), an interesting insight into the scifi of the 30′s.
I found that I might have a subject for a presentation on a following con, so I am afraid I may have some work to do until then.
All in all a very enjoyable day meeting scifi friends in Denmark.
Monday, October 19th, 2009 | authors, Babylon 5, film and tv, scifi, star trek | 2 Comments
Here is a comment I made to Charles Stross’ blog post about scifi genre TV.
I find his views rather extreme, though he has, in part retracted his “hate” of B5, and some of the comments he makes are actually a bit on the comical side. Read his post and judge for yourself. I think he makes some sweeping generalisations that do not hold water.
I will add more comments later (yes I have some comments on the irony of what he has posted)
As someone possibly more dated as you, Charlie, allow me a few comments on your post.
Apologies for the lengthy comment. If you feel the need, please feel free to edit for length. I will be posting on the subject in more detail on my own blog as well.
I met you and had a bit of a chat at the small con in Copenhagen a few months ago, so I was aware of your dislike of space opera. I am, however, a bit surprised at the strength of that dislike.
I, for one actually like space opera. That you do not is not a problem, we just have to agree to disagree on that.
Since you base the main part of your reasoning about the ST:TNG pilot and the of the Trek derivates, I will start there. You saw some of it and hated it. Then you continue :
- “Babylon Five? Ditto. Battlestar Galactica? Didn’t even bother turning on the TV. I HATE THEM ALL.” (my emphasis)
I see your main complaints as the following (here limited to ST, BSG abd B5, since you imply that they all have exactly the same flaws) :
- “Technobabble”. Agreed, my least favourite aspect of Star Trek. ([tech] the [tech], how awful). I think we can agree that it is most often used as Deus ex Machina in Star Trek.
- “…hit the reset switch at the end of every episode”
- “Sometimes they make at least a token gesture towards a developing story arc but it’s frequently pathetic”
All too true for the majority of Star Trek episodes, even though there are some gems where the technobabble is hardly present and not a part of “the resolution”. Example : “The Inner light” where we get the story of how humans dealt with the situation of a dying ecosphere of their planet (even if they did not survive, they were at least able to tell the story).
I find that none of the above points are true for B5 or BSG, though BSG’s arc seems to have been on hold for a season or two.
Babylon 5 has a planned 5 year overarcing story (with a number of sub-arcs), with excursions into the distant past and distant future, this can hardly be seen as “a token gesture”, even if the last two years had to be compressed into one season, making it truly a 4 year arc due to studio decisions. Not ideal, but the arc was, in general, completed. What came after, when the studio revised its decision is a bit of an afterthought, and filling in some blanks in the original story. Actually, B5 has the structure of a novel, it has just been presented in the audiovisual format.
The BSG ending twist is certainly not very original, it literally has the taste of Deus ex Machina.
- “The biggest weakness of the *entire genre* is this: the protagonists don’t tell us anything interesting about the human condition under science fictional circumstances.”
How can you make such a sweeping generalisation if you have not seen them ? In conjunction with the above statement of “hate them all” I fell that it would be akin to saying “20 years ago I met this [insert *ethnic identity* of choice]. He pissed me off to no end, so now I hate all [*ethnic identity*], – after all they are all the same”. I think we all know what this sounds like, and I doubt that was your intention.
Finally, here comes the biggest surprise for me :
- “….modern audiences want squids in space, with added lasers!”
WHAT !? You can not be serious ! … If this is not a massively sweeping generalisation, I do not know what is. I am glad not every TV viewer in the world sees that statement. Are you psychic (and did not tell us), since you seem to know what all of the TV audience wants ?
I should, however thank you, Charlie, since your post here has given me some input to an article comparing B5 and ST, you know, what it has in common and what not.
I have a few more things to say, but it is already a long comment, so that will have to wait.
Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 | Babylon 5, star trek, writing | No Comments
I have – slowly – started to write on an article – my thoughts on the comparison between Star Trek (all series and films) and Babylon 5 for the Danish Trekkies Magazine “Subspace”.
I will post some comments along the way
I have been off the net for a few days, so here is my entry on this : Majel Barrett was the widow of Gene Roddenberry of Star Trek fame, and passed away on December 18 at the age of 76. Her family was there with her. More details at the official homepage.
For me Star Trek was a breakthrough in Science Fiction on TV and gave rise to a new trend – stating social issues in SF on TV. Actually, it was, at the time, the only way of tackling issues as racism, discrimination etc in TV series, by disguising it as “alien versus human” encounters. Majel is best known by SF fans from a multitude of roles in the Star Trek universe, and a single beautiful role in Babylon 5.
While it is sad to see someone pass beyond the Rim we should also remember the things she gave to us , in Star Trek : “Number One” from the original pilot, Nurse Chapel from the original series, Lwaxana Troi in The Next Generation, and the computer voice in all the “new” series, and from Babylon 5 the Lady Morella, seer and a wife of the deceased Emperor of the Centauri Republic.
With Starstuff I will quote the wonderful line she was given by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski : “There is always choice. We say there is no choice only to comfort ourselves with the decision we have already made. If you understand that, there’s hope. If not ..” – Lady Morella, Babylon 5, »Point of no return«
Rest in peace Majel Barrett, and may you meet your Gene in a place where no shadows fall.
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- September 2011
- March 2011
- January 2011
- October 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- December 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- March 2008
- February 2008
- January 2008
- December 2007
- October 2007
- September 2007
- August 2007
- July 2007
- June 2007
- audio play
- Babylon 5
- comet outburst
- Doctor Who
- film and tv
- off topic
- solar energy
- star trek