The Wrath of Khan

“How do you feel, Jim?”   Did you ever read a book or watch a movie as a kid and think, “Hot diggity, that was great!”, only to leave it for a long time, get some grey in your hair (seven hairs exactly), and then come back to that movie you loved as a kid…

What does Mars tell us in The Martian?

This post contains spoilers. Imagine this: you are stranded on a distant planet without water, food, internet access, your smartphone, or even other humans. What crosses your mind first? Of course, you want to survive. Maybe your goal is to find a way to reconnect with the Earth, or perhaps you’d prefer to settle down…

The Women of Star Wars: Part Two

Be sure to check out the first part of this article, which covers Beru Mars, Mon Mothma, and the slave girls on Tatooine. Shmi Skywalker Hoo boy. A Virgin Mary joke here is way too obvious, but suffice it to say, there’s a reason why Phantom Menace is considered to be the absolute worst of…

Music of the Spheres: Sci-Fi Soundtracks and the Classical Tradition

There has always been a connection between space and music despite their differences. Long before the space opera genre rose to prominence, space and music were both viewed as conveyors of awe and mystery, respective wonders of the natural and human worlds. Early medieval musical and academic theory considered music to be a science more…

The Women of Star Wars: Part One

Space opera is a fascinating sub-genre of speculative fiction—part science fiction, part Western, and all action. Star Wars is undoubtedly the most famous example of the space opera—rightly so, as it’s fantastic. I’m unabashedly critical of movies, but every time I get to the last thirty minutes of Empire all I can think is, “This…

More Societal Quirks of Widespread Cryonics and its Contemporary Status

*Scroll down/ click here to read part 1 of this blog* Lois McMaster Bujold’s novel Cryoburn discusses a number of social issues that arise in a society in which cryogenic preservation is commonplace. While driving around Kibou-daini, the planet on which the novel takes place, one of Miles’s retainers notices a discomfiting sign that advertises…

Politics and Popsicles: The Social Effects of Cryogenic Preservation

Humanity has always been fascinated by the idea of resurrecting the dead. In classics like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, human resurrection moved from the realm of myth to that of science fiction thanks to the advent of electricity and the industrial revolution. One increasingly prevalent method of facilitating resurrection in sci-fi is cryonics. Though a common…

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Peace in Their Time “No peace in our time,” growls the war-mongering renegade Klingon General Chang (Christopher Plummer) as he fires on the USS Enterprise. But peace in our time is what Star Trek VI is all about. When the legendary Leonard Nimoy approached director Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek II) with a proposal for a…

Barbarella: Space Angels and other “Great Ideas”

Science fiction is marvelous: from the machinations and imaginative grandeur of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series to the quip-y, flashy action of J.J. Abrams’ incarnation of Star Trek, the genre continues to ever evolve. However, as most must, it has also gone through phases of cringe worthy atrocity. Before the 1970s, most science fiction tended to…

An Anatomy of Space Operas

Space operas are arguably the quintessential form of science fiction. With stories that feature alien species, artificial intelligence, advanced technology, and large-scale wars, space operas are in fact what most people think of when they hear the words ‘science fiction’. Growing out of the Western fiction and sea adventure narrative traditions, space operas have always…