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SyFy delcares it will bring Science Fiction back to Television


Television

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RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Freehold DM wrote:
Eureka, warehouse 13, and stargate cannot be ignored

I think 'thus the support' line is appropriate here. :-)

I thought I read that Syfy 'Farscaped' Eureka. Promised two more seasons, then only gave 'em one. And let's not talk about SGU's 'support'

Osirion

Darkwing Duck wrote:


What I actually said is that I suspect rare metal shortage will be an issue before oil shortage will be. I don't know what your definition of "shortly" is, but if you think that we will shortly have an economic collapse due to an oil shortage, okay.

We're already on the backend of the oil supply. Look at the push for oil sands. For every BTU used to extract useable oil we only get 3 BTUs back. Prices will only have one way to go and that's up.

I haven't watched the SyFy Channel since BSG went off the air.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Freehold DM wrote:
Eureka, warehouse 13, and stargate cannot be ignored

Personally, I can't consider Eureka or Warehouse 13 to be science fiction. They have no science involved. Warehouse 13 is entirely magic, and Eureka just disguises that magic with a technology shell. I enjoy both shows, and both have their place, but neither are what I'm looking for with science fiction.

In the same veing, I don't consider many stapples of the science fiction genre to actually be science fiction. Star Wars for example is more fanasy to me.

One of the big factors in science fiction for me is discussing how technology alters how people behave or act.

To anyone interested in a good science fiction story, I would recommend Planetes. Its an anime series about a guy who works in space junkyard collecting debree in Earth's atmosphere trying to get on the crew for the first manned trip to Jupiter.


An interesting perspective. I will have to check out planetes.

Qadira

Freehold DM wrote:
Eureka, warehouse 13, and stargate cannot be ignored

Speak for yourself. I've been ignoring Stargate in all its various incarnations for years.

I have light-hearted fun with Eureka and W13, but like it's already been said, they're not really sci-fi. I view them more as comedies. And honestly, until the whole Brazilian prostitute scandal I thought Micah and Pete had to be the two worst Secret Service agents in existence. Their bosses should have been glad to be rid of them.

Now Alphas is a show I really look forward to seeing again.

Contributor

He put a gun emplacement on the bridge? Where submarines or just about anything could take out the bridge supports? What sort of an idiot is he.

San Francisco has a great defensive set-up with the mouth of the bay. If you were going to put guns anywhere, you'd sensibly just re-use the gun emplacements from WWII.

And the US has gone medieval, huh? Fortunately I'm gaming tonight with the Prince of the Mists, so I think I'm set.


Caineach wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Eureka, warehouse 13, and stargate cannot be ignored

Personally, I can't consider Eureka or Warehouse 13 to be science fiction. They have no science involved. Warehouse 13 is entirely magic, and Eureka just disguises that magic with a technology shell. I enjoy both shows, and both have their place, but neither are what I'm looking for with science fiction.

In the same veing, I don't consider many stapples of the science fiction genre to actually be science fiction. Star Wars for example is more fanasy to me.

One of the big factors in science fiction for me is discussing how technology alters how people behave or act.

To anyone interested in a good science fiction story, I would recommend Planetes. Its an anime series about a guy who works in space junkyard collecting debree in Earth's atmosphere trying to get on the crew for the first manned trip to Jupiter.

Dude, just because it's not your cup o' tea, doesn't mean it's not sci-fi. Discussing how technology alters how people act and behave is a subgenre of one of the biggest and most abrangent genres of fiction. It appears in a lot of works (including Eureka, with Carter having to adapt to the super tech around him) but it rarely is a central theme.

In fact that is a central theme to Eureka. Maybe you meant that you prefer shows with a more hard science fiction?

Darkwing Duck wrote:
I'd like to see a serial where some of the best Internet filmmakers get more funding to create one-shot hour-long shows. Like Youtube meets American Idol.

This is an awesome idea. I would watch that.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
VM mercenario wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Eureka, warehouse 13, and stargate cannot be ignored

Personally, I can't consider Eureka or Warehouse 13 to be science fiction. They have no science involved. Warehouse 13 is entirely magic, and Eureka just disguises that magic with a technology shell. I enjoy both shows, and both have their place, but neither are what I'm looking for with science fiction.

In the same veing, I don't consider many stapples of the science fiction genre to actually be science fiction. Star Wars for example is more fanasy to me.

One of the big factors in science fiction for me is discussing how technology alters how people behave or act.

To anyone interested in a good science fiction story, I would recommend Planetes. Its an anime series about a guy who works in space junkyard collecting debree in Earth's atmosphere trying to get on the crew for the first manned trip to Jupiter.

Dude, just because it's not your cup o' tea, doesn't mean it's not sci-fi. Discussing how technology alters how people act and behave is a subgenre of one of the biggest and most abrangent genres of fiction. It appears in a lot of works (including Eureka, with Carter having to adapt to the super tech around him) but it rarely is a central theme.

In fact that is a central theme to Eureka. Maybe you meant that you prefer shows with a more hard science fiction?

I don't consider Eureka to be science fiction because there is no science. Not even made up science. Its all handwavium and unobtanium.

Like I said, I have watched and enjoy both shows. But I don't consider them science fiction. They have more in common with the fantasy genre than science fiction.

Compare them to something like Dollhouse, where they take a new technology, the ability to map, understand, and manipulate the brain, and they bring that technology through ethical considerations, at least 4 distinct uses, multiple exploitations, and show how different people react to this type of technology.


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Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I want the next installment of DUNE, blast you, channel with the goofy name!

Qadira

Would a Scifi series based on some Jules Vern be more appealing? Would you like to See Robur the Conqueror and his Giant Airship wage war on North America? The Followup Sequel Master of the World is a viable season two. SO at least two seasons if the series is shot BSG style where the previous episode progresses into the next in a steady time frame.


I remember watching the Vincent Price version of Master of the World long long time ago when I was a kid.

I would love to see a series of Vern's stuff made into TV serials.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I miss The Outer Limits.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
yellowdingo wrote:
Would a Scifi series based on some Jules Vern be more appealing? Would you like to See Robur the Conqueror and his Giant Airship wage war on North America? The Followup Sequel Master of the World is a viable season two. SO at least two seasons if the series is shot BSG style where the previous episode progresses into the next in a steady time frame.

I'm not that familiar with Vern other than passing references, so I just had to read the wiki pages on it.

Personally, no, these would not be better. While interesting, these stories are old, and speak to the hopes and dreams of the people in the time they were written. Lighter than air vehicles being replaced by helicopters and airplanes or submarines exploring the ocean's depths. I would prefer science fiction that speaks to current events and technology or events that may happen in our lifetime. Show me realistic space exploration or collonization. Show me how augmented reality can change my life.

Science fiction from the 70s and 80s predicted the internet, virtual reality, cyberware - things that are becoming a reality now. We should be writting the science fiction that predicts the 2020s-2030s and inspires us to make the next generation of technology.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would love to see a good cyberpunk show. Something just slightly in the future, not too crazy that is need a huge budget, but reflecting the corp control, etc... More Cyberpunk 2020 than shadowrun.


If you're going to go for a sliding-into-dissolution-not-with-a-bang-but-with-a-whimper type post apocalypse setting, you couldn't do better than a series based on Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents IMO. If you're going for a there-once was-a-mythical-land-called-the-madeinUSA setting, Carla Speed-McNeil's Finder is a pretty awesome comic.

I'm less interested in the Warlord of San Francisco's cannon than the social network required to keep it functional in a world with a medieval level of technology.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Caineach wrote:
Personally, I can't consider Eureka or Warehouse 13 to be science fiction. They have no science involved. Warehouse 13 is entirely magic, and Eureka just disguises that magic with a technology shell.

Kind of like Star Trek? :) Actually Trek will go as far to simply dispense magic now and then without trying to put a chrome and plastic shell on it. Every now and then I have to stifle an urge to bust out laughing when someone says Heisenberg Compensator.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Personally, I can't consider Eureka or Warehouse 13 to be science fiction. They have no science involved. Warehouse 13 is entirely magic, and Eureka just disguises that magic with a technology shell.
Kind of like Star Trek? :) Actually Trek will go as far to simply dispense magic now and then without trying to put a chrome and plastic shell on it. Every now and then I have to stifle an urge to bust out laughing when someone says Heisenberg Compensator.

Yes, but Star Trek wasn't about the tech. It was about space travel, exploration, cultural interaction, interstellar politics, and lots of other themes. Usually the tech provided a backdrop for other parts of the story. The actual science doesn't need to be any good for it to be science fiction (though preferably it is plausible given current knowlege), but the implications that such technology lead to need to be thought out. You don't need to tell me how a cloaking device works, but you do need to think about how such technology could be used, for instance by instigating an intergalactic war.

Warehouse 13 and Eureka never seem to actually bring the higher thought into the shows from what I can tell. Warehouse 13 stays at monster/magical toy of the week and almost never touches on how the existence of these things would actually affect society. Eureka I have seen less of, but I got a similar feeling from it.

Shadow Lodge

Caineach wrote:
Warehouse 13 and Eureka never seem to actually bring the higher thought into the shows from what I can tell. Warehouse 13 stays at monster/magical toy of the week and almost never touches on how the existence of these things would actually affect society.

Except it sort of does. It acknowledges that they by and large don't understand how these things work, and that society isn't ready for them...that's why they stick them in a huge warehouse in the middle of nowhere.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Re: Warehouse 13.

If anything I'd like to see someone touch on how Claudia can build these things. (Tesla grenade, her own Farnsworth, etc etc) I mean she's clearly a Son of Ether to use the M:tA term. But short of HG Wells, have we seen anyone else build these toys?

Edit: There is a 'science' in at least some of the magic items, in that they all work on perceptions of the original user. From the hypnotic chair to the shard of the Titanic to Jack Kirby's trunks, the "Warehouseverse" seems to function on a collective empathy. (MacArthur's pipe might make you a military genius for example, it's not going to let you fly.) The Warehouse(s) are also 'semi-magical' at least in the Clarke sense.

As for what Sci-fi I'd like to see, well done 'near future' Sci-fi (like 20 years off) That was one thing I liked about Dark Angel. Genetic engineering, adult stem cells, EMP, etc etc those things I enjoyed. The second season with the eugenic psionics not so much.


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Kthulhu wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Warehouse 13 and Eureka never seem to actually bring the higher thought into the shows from what I can tell. Warehouse 13 stays at monster/magical toy of the week and almost never touches on how the existence of these things would actually affect society.
Except it sort of does. It acknowledges that they by and large don't understand how these things work, and that society isn't ready for them...that's why they stick them in a huge warehouse in the middle of nowhere.

I find it has more in common with modern supernatural fantasy than science fiction in the way it handles things. I feel its trying to be a crossover, but that its themes don't fit the science fiction genre very well.

Continuing with Matt's line of thinking of 20 year tech:

Genetic Engineering
Stem cell research
EMP
Cybernetics
Communications - how does the cell phone or internet evolve in 20 years and what kind of revolutions in society can it make.
Augmented reality

I personally would like to see things not placed in a distopian future where corporations rule the world. Thats old hat.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Pan wrote:
I miss The Outer Limits.

So do I, but the Outer Limits was too cerebral for the American Science Fiction fan to get into, especially today when they want big boobs and bigger explosions as de rigor part of the mix.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Pan wrote:
I miss The Outer Limits.
So do I, but the Outer Limits was too cerebral for the American Science Fiction fan to get into, especially today when they want big boobs and bigger explosions as de rigor part of the mix.

Interesting comment since the first season had lots of boobs. (no complaints here :) ) It was on for 7 seasons which not even star trek can do anymore. It must just cost too much money to make a quality show anymore. The ones that do make it for years are awful. HBO or premium cable is our only hope for the return of a great science fiction program. Now that I think about it, Outer Limits launched on Showtime. keeping my fingers crossed.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:


As for what Sci-fi I'd like to see, well done 'near future' Sci-fi (like 20 years off) That was one thing I liked about Dark Angel. Genetic engineering, adult stem cells, EMP, etc etc those things I enjoyed. The second season with the eugenic psionics not so much.

Doing near-future SF well is a pain, because you don't know what's going to be invented in the next few years that'll completely wipe out your entire premise. Granted, this was written, but Charles Stross was talking about the problems he had writing "Halting State," a near-future police procedural. The book starts with a police report of a bank heist in an MMO. A couple of months before the book was released (so it's long since been written, edited, etc.), he sees a story about IBM getting a chunk of space in Second Life as a quid pro quo for doing some programming support for SL. The (virtual) real estate in question was on an island somewhere. That's right: IBM has a secret island headquarters in a virtual world.


The problem isn't that they fail to make sci-fi flicks. It's that the sci-fi flicks fail to be intellectually stimulating. The best sci-fi films/series looked to current discoveries in science at the time and asked "what if?" The current stuff has been so dumbed down that almost everyone can find at least one glaring plot hole in the premise of the film/series. Not to mention the acting. Good god, the acting.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The problem with Sci-fi I think, is that people want Battlestar Galactica effects, instead of Firefly Story. (My opinion on thoes two). Look at some of the crap out today.. Clash of the titans, transformers, the newest Three Muskateers etc. It is is big, has action, and good effect, people eat it up regardless how terrible the plot is. That stuff is too expensive to make though on a TV budget. It is also good for two hour eye candy, but no more. If you spend the money instead on wroters and editing and put together a great story, there is not much left for flash bang stuff. So instead we get ghost hunters, that make up show, in the Dark. Stuff that is really cheap, that is nothing but reality TV, with a sci fi wrapper. Thoes that watch it are the same people watching these shows on other channels, rather than sci-fi fans. The other type of things they make are real low budget disaster or monster movies. I know people watch these but I can't for the life of me guess why.

Qadira

Something relevant to modern life and the near future?

A Explorer puts down on the Moon to investigate those tunnels...and runs afoul of the King of the Moon People down in the dark underworld! CATEGORY: UNLIKELY.

After China buys up all of the US's Debts the Republicans decide they do not intend to pay back the Twelve Trillion dollars they owe their new Masters an economic collapse ensues in which a President is Assassinated for suggesting that Hawaii and her other Pacific Assets be traded to the Chinese to cut the debt by half. CATEGORY: LIKELY.


yellowdingo wrote:
Something relevant to modern life and the near future? A Explorer puts down on the Moon to investigate those tunnels...and runs afoul of the King of the Moon People down in the dark underworld!

Actually, have you read Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys? It's about about nine kinds of awesome, but wouldn't support a whole season's worth of episodes.

Qadira

A Scifi...with relevance to the modern world, enough story to sustain at least one season...and relatively unknown? OK

OUT OF THE SILENCE by ERLE COX:

PROLOGUE

There was a man seated at a table in what appeared to be a vast physical laboratory. On the table, which was littered with instruments and apparatus, stood a large glass tank in which a fish could be seen swimming. The silence was broken only by occasional movements of the man utterly absorbed in the work he was doing.
Of the many striking features of the room, the man himself was the most remarkable. Even seated, his unusual height was apparent. It was the face however that marked him as one apart. His hair was sparse, and beneath the high wide forehead were set cold grey penetrating eyes from which human emotion seemed absent. Beneath the thin straight nose was a mouth that formed a straight lipless line. Every feature down to the strong chin was clear cut and regular. It was a face that inspired a feeling of awe. Even in repose he seemed to radiate power.
Behind him, the further wall of the room was formed of one great window, set in a wall so thick that its low sill formed a seat.
Through it could be seen a broad valley through which a river flowed.
Beyond in the distant background stood a vast structure in the shape of a sphere, set on a cubical base.
Intent on his work, with his long slender fingers moving with delicate precision among the instruments before him, the man seemed oblivious to the entrance of a woman, who paused with an expression of surprise on her face when she saw him. For a moment she seemed about to speak, but with a faint smile and shrug of her shoulders she crossed the room and took her place at another table.
Any other but the man with the fish might well have been aroused by the presence of the newcomer. She was as exquisitely lovely and feminine as he was forbidding and masculine. Her long simple gown, caught at the waist by a pliant metal band made her appear taller than she was. As she crossed the room the grace of her movement seemed floating rather than walking. She was a figure of radiant youth and glorious beauty that could hold mankind spellbound.

For a few moments after she seated herself she looked speculatively at the man with the fish, then turning to her work, her hands moved among some mechanism before her. As she did so a large dark disc standing in front of the table glowed with a yellow light across which strange characters in rows began to move. Occasionally with a touch of her hand, she halted them to make a note, but for an hour she sat, with her eyes intent on the disc--until suddenly the silence was broken by the clear note of a bell. In response to a swift movement of her hand, the colour of the disc changed from yellow to blue, and was again covered with moving characters. Eagerly she watched until, on the second sound of the bell, she shut off the light.
Leaning back in her chair, a slow smile of amusement crossed her face as she looked over at the other table.
"How long will it take you to discover the utmost capabilities of that fish's brain, Andax?" she asked.
If the man heard, he gave no sign. The smile broke into a light laugh, and the woman turned slightly to a large screen beside her, beneath which, on its frame were several rows of light bulbs. Then she pulled over a small switch on the table.
Then her clear voice rang through the room with a note of command.
"General Call! By order of the High Council."
As she spoke the bulbs along the frame began to glow until all responded but one. She watched the dull bulb impatiently and repeated more emphatically.
"General Call! By order of the High Council." As she spoke the last bulb responded.
As it did so her voice rang out again, "General Call, Earani, director of the central geophysical station reports on behalf of the Council. Polar observation stations announce steady and progressive deflection from terrestrial stability. Last observation, 2.33 a.m., shows variation of 2,000 feet. Vast fissures are growing over both polar ice caps. Estimated duration of life on the planet, 43 days. First audible indications of disruption detected at general Station No. 7 at midnight last night. Council orders that until further instructions all work on the planet will go forward as usual. No exceptions will be granted."

"High Council Order No. 2. Volunteers are called to fill mortality wastage at polar stations at the probable rate of 100 per day. Volunteers will report at station No. 16 with full polar equipment. Order and report closes."
As the lights on the frame faded the woman pulled over another switch and spoke sharply--"Special call Station 11." As she spoke the screen glowed and on it appeared the figure of a young man.
"Name?" she demanded.
"Bardon," came the answer.
"Bardon the poet?"
"Yes."
"Explain 30 seconds' delay in answering a general call."
"I was writing a poem."
"You know the regulations, you are in charge of a station. You know the penalty?"
"Yes!"
"Report to your district executive committee at midday tomorrow. They will deal with you. I will send a relief." She switched off the light as she spoke and the figure vanished.
From across the room came a cold ironical voice--"Flat dereliction of duty, Earani. You should have turned the ray on him."
Earant laughed lightly.
"If anyone deserves the ray it is the man or woman who put a poet in charge of a general call station. Besides, since we will all be dead in 43 days I see no object in official executions."
"Still," Andax persisted, "the council's order said all work must go forward as usual."
There was a touch of hauteur in her voice as she replied.
"I exercise my official right of discretion. Anyone but one of your breed would know that one of Bardon's poems is worth the 43 days of life left to the planet."
There was a contemptuous "Humph!" from the fish table.
Earani laughed and imitated the "Humph!" perfectly.
"If it comes to dereliction of duty, Andax, how is it that I find you in my department and not in your own?"
"Those audible indications of disruption. Your department is insulated--mine is not."

Earani left her table and walked quietly to the window where she sat looking over the landscape.
"If I used my authority of the ray, does it occur to you, that you too, have made yourself liable to its application?"
"As always, you are right," Andax answered without looking around.
"Don't allow my feelings to violate your strict sense of duty."
"Get back to your fish, Andax," she retorted.
"You and it make a fine cold blooded pair."
The grating voice came back.
"I hold a theory that all of the ills that have beset humanity arise from a feminine influence that distracted the Creator when He was making the Universe."
"Judging by what women have suffered from men ever since, I should not be surprised if you were right."
"My fish has one charm, at any rate, that is denied your suffering sex."
"Flatterer!" she laughed, "Don't be shy and spoil the compliment by leaving it incomplete."
"The fish, dear lady, has the virtue of being inarticulate."
Earant looked at the bent figure and said slowly and with conviction.
"Somewhere in the world, my dear Andax, there must be a woman who does not realise the happiness she enjoys through your being a bachelor.
You can see our world end with the comforting thought that you have made at least one woman happy."
"Stars in heaven! How can a man work?" He stood up and walked over to her. Earani gazed out over the landscape disregarding his approach.
Andax towered over her.
"Listen Earani," he spoke abruptly and emphatically.
"There are 43 days left. More than time for the operation and recovery."
Without turning her head, Earani uttered a decisive "No."
As she spoke Marnia entered the laboratory, without speaking to the others she seated herself at Earani's table and read through the notes that Earani had made.
Andax took up the tale.
"But the whole thing is so simple. It could be done tonight."

She turned and looked up at him defiantly.
"When you first asked me two years ago to allow you to graft one lobe of your precious brother's brain onto mine, I refused, I have refused twenty times since. Do you imagine with but 43 days left I would submit to such an infliction. I don't wish to end life with a mind like yours or your brother's."
"You women!" he sniffed impatiently, "can't you see that what before was merely an experiment is now an imperative necessity."
"I can see no imperative necessity to gratify your wish to convert me into a feminine semi-Andax," she said derisively.
"Can't you realise that you will be chosen to occupy the third sphere?" he demanded.
"I?" Earani stood abruptly, facing him with amazement.
"Yes! You!" he retorted impatiently.
"Since one of the three must be a woman, the Council is left with no option."
"But," she exclaimed.
"The selectors recommended Marnia to the High Council."
Andax shrugged his shoulders.
"True! but the fool is in love. Do you imagine the council will allow one of the three to carry a sentimental complication into the new world?"
"But Marnia--" began Earani.
Marnia rose from the table, and walking towards them interrupted--"What about Marnia?"
Earani took her hand--"Andax says that you are not to be one of the three."
The girl smiled and said gently. "He is right, Earani. I could not bear to stay behind and leave Davos. I petitioned the Council. It is not officially announced, but I know they have agreed. Do you mind very much?"
"But I have heard nothing," protested Earani.
"I have only just heard myself," explained Marnia.
"I came to warn you, but Andax has forestalled me. How he knew, I don't know. The decision was made less than an hour ago."

There was a thin smile on Andax's lips as he said, "I knew nothing officially. But the fact was obvious."
"Pure Andaxian speculative philosophy," laughed Marnia.
"Well," sneered Andax, "seeing that you and Davos have done everything but announce your insensate infatuation by a general call, the deduction did not impose a great strain on my pure Andaxian speculative philosophy."
"But why me?" asked Earani helplessly.
"Because," Andax threw his arms wide, "the Creator and the Council in its wisdom only know why, they have insisted on choosing a woman to be one of the three."
"To clip your wings in the bright new world if there ever be one," taunted Marnia.
"But there are others!" exclaimed Earani.
"There must be others!"
There was a scarcely veiled sneer in the voice of Andax.
"A becoming modesty Earani. However, since you have done biology, geophysics, law, engineering and domestic science, you will do as well as another. Besides the selectors placed your name second on the list--drew them by lot I suppose."
Marnia put her arm fondly round Earani's waist.
"What a delightful companion he will be for you in the new world," she laughed merrily.
"You poor, gland-ridden automaton," his thin smile took the sting from the words. Then he turned abruptly to Earani.
"Well what about the operation now?"
"Now less than ever," she answered in a tone that closed the discussion. As she spoke she resumed her seat on the window ledge.
There was blistering contempt in Andax's voice.

"A woman and a fool, a useful fool I admit, but never anything else than a woman."
He turned and walked towards her table, as he did so Davos entered.
Marnia uttered a joyful "Davos!" and ran to meet him.
"You have heard? I am reprieved."
"Yes, I know, I know." Davos put his arm across her shoulder.
"We go together." Then turning to Andax he went on.
"I would not settle down to work, Andax, you and your fish will be parted almost immediately."
Earani who had been watching them from the window, broke in.
"What dreadful partings this calamity will cause. You had better kiss it, Andax."
Disregarding the taunt, Andax turned to Davos.
"You mean?"
Davos nodded his head.
"The High Council is in session. You and Earani are bound to be summoned almost at once. Your partner in the spheres, Mardon, has already been notified. His speed ship is due almost at any moment."
Davos, his arm still about Marnia's shoulders, walked with her towards Earani's table where they stood whispering together; Earani turned away gazing through the window at the distant sphere. Andax looked from one to the other with an expression between boredom and amusement.
Then with a gesture of impatience he barked at Davos.
"Perhaps, Davos, you can spare me a moment from the contemplation of the delights of an impending violent death with Marnia to supply me with some official information."
The three broke into laughter.

"One thing I admire in your breed," said Earani, "is its unfailing tact and consideration for the feelings of others."
Davos bowed to him ironically.
"Surely there is no information that a Davos can give an Andax?"
"Spare my humility," snapped Andax.
"Perhaps you can tell me if the allocation of the spheres has been decided."
Davos waved his hand in the direction of the sphere in the window.
"Yes, Earani goes to number one, you take number two, and Mardon will have number three."
"Hump!" Andax turned to Earani.
"This means that we will be sealed up almost immediately. The council will take no risks now that the time is so short." Then to Davos, "Have you heard anything?"
Davos paused before replying and looked speculatively at Earani.
She understood his hesitation.
"Don't worry about my feelings, Davos," she smiled.
"I am very interested and not very anxious."
"Well," replied Davos, "number one will be sealed tomorrow at midday. You go north tomorrow night, and Mardon leaves for number three this evening."
"Not losing any time now, are they?" commented Andax. Then abruptly to Davos.
"What is the estimate of you and your committee of geniuses? Have you finished wrangling and guessing yet?"
Davos shrugged his shoulders.
"The only wrangling in the committee was done by that delightful brother of yours, Andax. I sometimes feel convinced that his manners are worse than yours."
Andax snorted--"I'm not asking for fulsome flattery, but for information."

"Well, since you ask so nicely," replied Davos, "the committee is of the opinion after weighing every factor, that at least twenty seven million years must elapse before the planet is fit for intelligent human civilisation again."
Andax smiled across to the window.
"It seems, Earani, that we are about to enjoy quite a long rest."
"Yes," said the girl quietly, "but if we come through it will be worth it."
"Yes," Andax murmured.
"If!" For the moment he shed his arrogance.
"Scientifically, mathematically and theoretically, the plan is perfect."
"Well," broke in Marnia, "I don't envy either of you even if it does succeed."
"The only flaw is that the spheres may not stand the strain of the final smash," put in Davos.
"Stars in heaven," Andax exclaimed, his grey eyes flashing enthusiasm.
"It is worth a thousand times the risk. Think of the glory of having a new world to play with, and to mould how we wish."
Davos laughed as he replied.
"Anyway we have one advantage you two will not enjoy. It will be a unique experience to witness the final smash."
"A pity to miss it," Andax agreed grudgingly.
"But we cannot have both."
From the window Earani spoke.
"A flying courier has just landed at the door. The summons, I expect."
A moment later a courier in tight-fitting flying kit entered. He included the four in a general salute.
"By command of the High Council. Andax and Earani will wait on the Council without delay."

He bowed and retired.
Earani arose from her seat.
"Come with us, Marnia--to the door of the chamber, at least," and the four followed the courier.
It was a vast majestic hall in which the High Council sat on a raised dais at its further end. Down its centre from the entrance ran a wide carpeted passage. From this passage on either side rose galleries crowded with silent spectators. The President who occupied the central seat on the platform was a tall stately man with a calm and benevolent appearance. The four councillors who sat on either side of him were all advanced in years. Two of them were women.
There was an atmosphere of strained expectancy over the whole assemblage as the wide doors of the great chamber slowly unfolded. All eyes were turned on the little group they revealed that waited on the threshold.
The voice of the official rang through the Hall.
"Surrendering to the command of the High Council. I have the honour to present Andax, Earani and Mardon."
From an official at the foot of the dais came the command.
"Enter, Andax, Earani and Mardon and learn the will of the most honourable High Council."
As the three walked slowly down the long passage all of the spectators rose and remained standing until they paused, bowing before the dais.
Not until the murmur and rustle of the great gathering ceased after they had resumed their seats, did the President stand and come to the edge of the dais.
Looking down on the three, he spoke slowly and with profound earnestness.
"My children, it has pleased the creator of our planet to permit the destruction of all who dwell upon its surface. That moment, long foretold, is upon us. But in the hope that all of the achievements of our race for the happiness of humanity may not vanish utterly with them, we have resolved on an expedient whereby they may hand down the wisdom of our race to that, which, in the fullness of time, may follow us."

"On you three, my children, has fallen that grave and terrible trust. It may be, for our eyes are blinded to the outcome, that you face events beside which the death that shadows the planet will be a very small thing. We know none among us fears death. But, what the future holds for you, none may say. Therefore I charge you, if your hearts be not firm in their purpose, you may now retire from it in peace and honour, and with the goodwill of your fellows--none hindering or none blaming.
"Speak now, each one of you."
The voice of Andax echoed through the chamber.
"I take the trust upon me for the honour of the race."
Earani's clear sweet voice followed.
"And I for the love of humanity."
From Mardon came.
"I gladly and willingly accept the trust with which I am honoured."
A low whispering murmur that swept over the assembled throng was stilled by a motion of the President's hand.
Again he spoke.
"In the name of our race the High Council commends you and accepts the sacrifice.”
"My children, from this moment you surrender yourselves to the will of the High Council. I charge you in the knowledge that any deviation from the way of honour will call down upon you its own penalty of atonement, that you will carry out in all things the plans of our race in which you have been instructed. In the discharge of the trust you have assumed there must be no thought of self, and should the time come, there will be no swerving from the course laid down, nor any shrinking from the tasks, however terrible, to bring peace, wisdom and happiness to those who may follow us."
He paused.

"Kneel, my children!"
Quietly the three sank to their knees.
Looking down on them the President went on.
"Raise your hands and repeat after me my words.--I swear on the faith of my creator—upon the honour of my name--and by my loyalty to my fellowship of the race that is about to die--that I will never, by word or deed--betray the trust that is imposed upon me. I swear unwavering loyalty to my ideals, and to the two partners who share my trust--and for them, if need be, I will lay down my life."
So still was the hushed hall as the three voices followed that of the President, that it might have been empty.
The old man raised his hands in benediction over them.
"The blessing and love and the hopes of the dying race be upon you; may they make strong your hearts and purposes; and may you be guided in wisdom justice and honour in the days of your trust."
As he returned to his seat the three stood up, still facing the Council.
A woman councillor on the right of the President stood and addressed them, her voice trembling a little as she began.
"Earani, it is the will of the High Council that at noon tomorrow you surrender yourself at the sphere known as number one, and there you will be given oblivion.”
"Andax, by sunset tomorrow night you will leave for your post at number two sphere, and there surrender yourself to the district council.
"Mardon, within the hour you will depart for number three sphere where the Western Council awaits you--and may grace and strength go with you all," she added solemnly.
The three bowed to the Council, and turning passed down the passage between the silent throng that rose in their honour.

Outside the hall as the doors closed behind them Davos and Marnia hurried to meet the three in the hope that they would pass the evening with them. Mardon excused himself, pleading the order for his immediate departure.
"But you will come with us, Andax," begged Marnia.
He shook his head and came as near to laughter as Andax ever came.
"No, Marnia, No. You three go and indulge in an orgy of sentiment. I would spoil it.”
"But what will you do?" she asked anxiously.
"Go back to my fish, dear lady," and he went.

The Whole work can be found free on various websites...and even though it was written in 1919 it is very relevant to what is going on now and in the future.


None of this changes the basic human need to bring back Firefly.

Let the healing begin.


Xabulba, they did do a series based on Jules Verne back in 2000 (on SyFy). Not the best but had a few moments.

Secret Adventures of Jules Verne

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Pan wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Pan wrote:
I miss The Outer Limits.
So do I, but the Outer Limits was too cerebral for the American Science Fiction fan to get into, especially today when they want big boobs and bigger explosions as de rigor part of the mix.
Interesting comment since the first season had lots of boobs. (no complaints here :) ) It was on for 7 seasons which not even star trek can do anymore. It must just cost too much money to make a quality show anymore. The ones that do make it for years are awful. HBO or premium cable is our only hope for the return of a great science fiction program. Now that I think about it, Outer Limits launched on Showtime. keeping my fingers crossed.

I should be precise. When I was talking about Outer Limits I wasn't talking about the piece of trash that launched I think on UPN, and then recycled on Showtime. (although I did like the episode that had it's take on the Simms)

I'm talking about the real ORIGINAL Outer Limits made in the days of black and white which preceded the original Star Trek and made about the time of the Twilight Zone. That was the high water mark of American SF television. Although some Twilight Zones that were SF themed, were on the same level of quality.

Another more avuncular series of a varied genere was "One Step Beyond" hosted by avnucular John Newland Which went on a variety of tracks... usually about death. One show had a George Washington receiving premonitions about a succesful American Revolution... and the Civil War which would follow.


LazarX wrote:
Pan wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Pan wrote:
I miss The Outer Limits.
So do I, but the Outer Limits was too cerebral for the American Science Fiction fan to get into, especially today when they want big boobs and bigger explosions as de rigor part of the mix.
Interesting comment since the first season had lots of boobs. (no complaints here :) ) It was on for 7 seasons which not even star trek can do anymore. It must just cost too much money to make a quality show anymore. The ones that do make it for years are awful. HBO or premium cable is our only hope for the return of a great science fiction program. Now that I think about it, Outer Limits launched on Showtime. keeping my fingers crossed.

I should be precise. When I was talking about Outer Limits I wasn't talking about the piece of trash that launched I think on UPN, and then recycled on Showtime. (although I did like the episode that had it's take on the Simms)

I'm talking about the real ORIGINAL Outer Limits made in the days of black and white which preceded the original Star Trek and made about the time of the Twilight Zone. That was the high water mark of American SF television. Although some Twilight Zones that were SF themed, were on the same level of quality.

I thought you were, Lazar; I can't say whether I feel more old or more nerdy, but one conclusion in inescapable: I am an old nerd...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think kickstarter will be better than SyFy for reviving the genre

Osirion

Darkwing Duck wrote:
A couple of game settings that would make for cool shows are TORG, Shadowrun, and Alpha Centauri (the Civilization expansion). Shadowrun would be the cheapest, I suspect, and timely.

I would prefer to see shows based off a few good books: Neuromancer, The Night's Dawn Trilogy or the Otherland series.

All are excellent world settings for a long running science fiction series.


Pan wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Pan wrote:
I miss The Outer Limits.
So do I, but the Outer Limits was too cerebral for the American Science Fiction fan to get into, especially today when they want big boobs and bigger explosions as de rigor part of the mix.
Interesting comment since the first season had lots of boobs. (no complaints here :) ) It was on for 7 seasons which not even star trek can do anymore. It must just cost too much money to make a quality show anymore. The ones that do make it for years are awful. HBO or premium cable is our only hope for the return of a great science fiction program. Now that I think about it, Outer Limits launched on Showtime. keeping my fingers crossed.

There's were some awesomely boobtastic episodes with excellent special effects and above average stories. A fair amount of cheesecake and done right to boot. Loved the episodes that touched on earlier episodes in the series.


Wow. You are the only person I know that likes scifi and didn't like the series. But even you liked some eps by your own admission

Hitdice wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Pan wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Pan wrote:
I miss The Outer Limits.
So do I, but the Outer Limits was too cerebral for the American Science Fiction fan to get into, especially today when they want big boobs and bigger explosions as de rigor part of the mix.
Interesting comment since the first season had lots of boobs. (no complaints here :) ) It was on for 7 seasons which not even star trek can do anymore. It must just cost too much money to make a quality show anymore. The ones that do make it for years are awful. HBO or premium cable is our only hope for the return of a great science fiction program. Now that I think about it, Outer Limits launched on Showtime. keeping my fingers crossed.

I should be precise. When I was talking about Outer Limits I wasn't talking about the piece of trash that launched I think on UPN, and then recycled on Showtime. (although I did like the episode that had it's take on the Simms)

I'm talking about the real ORIGINAL Outer Limits made in the days of black and white which preceded the original Star Trek and made about the time of the Twilight Zone. That was the high water mark of American SF television. Although some Twilight Zones that were SF themed, were on the same level of quality.

I thought you were, Lazar; I can't say whether I feel more old or more nerdy, but one conclusion in inescapable: I am an old nerd...


Freehold DM wrote:
Wow. You are the only person I know that likes scifi and didn't like the series. But even you liked some eps by your own admission
Hitdice wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Pan wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Pan wrote:
I miss The Outer Limits.
So do I, but the Outer Limits was too cerebral for the American Science Fiction fan to get into, especially today when they want big boobs and bigger explosions as de rigor part of the mix.
Interesting comment since the first season had lots of boobs. (no complaints here :) ) It was on for 7 seasons which not even star trek can do anymore. It must just cost too much money to make a quality show anymore. The ones that do make it for years are awful. HBO or premium cable is our only hope for the return of a great science fiction program. Now that I think about it, Outer Limits launched on Showtime. keeping my fingers crossed.

I should be precise. When I was talking about Outer Limits I wasn't talking about the piece of trash that launched I think on UPN, and then recycled on Showtime. (although I did like the episode that had it's take on the Simms)

I'm talking about the real ORIGINAL Outer Limits made in the days of black and white which preceded the original Star Trek and made about the time of the Twilight Zone. That was the high water mark of American SF television. Although some Twilight Zones that were SF themed, were on the same level of quality.

I thought you were, Lazar; I can't say whether I feel more old or more nerdy, but one conclusion in inescapable: I am an old nerd...

Me? I liked the new series, it's just that I think of the original when people say the name to me. It had an episode written by Harlan Ellison, and he sued James Cameron over The Terminator because of it. That same episode was adapted into a comic!

It's sort of legendary, if only in my own mind.


No, not you, Lazar.

Hitdice wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Wow. You are the only person I know that likes scifi and didn't like the series. But even you liked some eps by your own admission
Hitdice wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Pan wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Pan wrote:
I miss The Outer Limits.
So do I, but the Outer Limits was too cerebral for the American Science Fiction fan to get into, especially today when they want big boobs and bigger explosions as de rigor part of the mix.
Interesting comment since the first season had lots of boobs. (no complaints here :) ) It was on for 7 seasons which not even star trek can do anymore. It must just cost too much money to make a quality show anymore. The ones that do make it for years are awful. HBO or premium cable is our only hope for the return of a great science fiction program. Now that I think about it, Outer Limits launched on Showtime. keeping my fingers crossed.

I should be precise. When I was talking about Outer Limits I wasn't talking about the piece of trash that launched I think on UPN, and then recycled on Showtime. (although I did like the episode that had it's take on the Simms)

I'm talking about the real ORIGINAL Outer Limits made in the days of black and white which preceded the original Star Trek and made about the time of the Twilight Zone. That was the high water mark of American SF television. Although some Twilight Zones that were SF themed, were on the same level of quality.

I thought you were, Lazar; I can't say whether I feel more old or more nerdy, but one conclusion in inescapable: I am an old nerd...

Me? I liked the new series, it's just that I think of the original when people say the name to me. It had an episode written by Harlan Ellison, and he sued James Cameron over The Terminator because of it. That same episode was adapted into a comic!

It's sort of legendary, if only in my own mind.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Hitdice wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Wow. You are the only person I know that likes scifi and didn't like the series. But even you liked some eps by your own admission
Hitdice wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Pan wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Pan wrote:
I miss The Outer Limits.
So do I, but the Outer Limits was too cerebral for the American Science Fiction fan to get into, especially today when they want big boobs and bigger explosions as de rigor part of the mix.
Interesting comment since the first season had lots of boobs. (no complaints here :) ) It was on for 7 seasons which not even star trek can do anymore. It must just cost too much money to make a quality show anymore. The ones that do make it for years are awful. HBO or premium cable is our only hope for the return of a great science fiction program. Now that I think about it, Outer Limits launched on Showtime. keeping my fingers crossed.

I should be precise. When I was talking about Outer Limits I wasn't talking about the piece of trash that launched I think on UPN, and then recycled on Showtime. (although I did like the episode that had it's take on the Simms)

I'm talking about the real ORIGINAL Outer Limits made in the days of black and white which preceded the original Star Trek and made about the time of the Twilight Zone. That was the high water mark of American SF television. Although some Twilight Zones that were SF themed, were on the same level of quality.

I thought you were, Lazar; I can't say whether I feel more old or more nerdy, but one conclusion in inescapable: I am an old nerd...

Me? I liked the new series, it's just that I think of the original when people say the name to me. It had an episode written by Harlan Ellison, and he sued James Cameron over The Terminator because of it. That same episode was adapted into a comic!

It's sort of legendary, if only in my own mind.

If I remember, Ellison promised to bring that character into an episode of Bablyon 5, but I'm not sure he ever got around to delivery.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
CapeCodRPGer wrote:
So everyone must walk? No one has bikes, horses, electric cars? Just saying.

Horses are expensive to upkeep. (just ask someone who owns one). Electric cars and modern bicycles assume that there is a robust industrial structure to manufacture and maintain them. Assuming that the transition from oil occured in a worst case scenario, (the one I expect to happen), civilisation most likely collapsed in a massive dieoff down to the oxplow level of subsistence.

So yes... lots of walking just like in midieval times.

I'm not surprised that SyFy would choose this route to go back into the science fiction trade, it's the kind of series that's relatively cheap to produce and plenty of pre-existing props to resuse.


Oil is used for three things: Fuel, Plastics, and lubrication.

Natural and Synthetic oil production can easily cover the lubrication void. So no issues there.

As for fuel: Bio-fuel is a dead end technology and most people know this by now. It too heavily competes with food production. BUT there ARE two other strong contenders to replace petroleum fuel those are Steam and Hydrogen Fuel Cells. Many military ships use steam (although they replaced the traditional boiler with a nuclear plant) so we know Steam is still viable as a shipping fuel. What few people know is that during Jimmy Carter's Fuel Crisis some crafty guy made a Steam powered Chevy Suburban SUV. It only went 60 mph but had a vastly superior range to a gas powered car it had slightly more pulling power than the gas version as well. In every other way it was the same as a gas powered Suburban. The car manufacturers bought the rights to it and buried the designs. But with NO oil you can bet your bottom dollar you would immediately see Steam Powered Ford's and Chevy's at least till the production for the much better hydrogen fuel cell caught up to global demand. Aviation would be the hardest hit if oil Suddenly vanished instead of slowly as would be more realistic. Since Steam and Fuel Cells don't work for the high output needed in aviation, You would see the end of the jet aircraft. Fuel cells can power propeller planes however and the richest people could ride on the new rocket powered planes.

Plastics would see the biggest change without oil. Since animal products are often the only alternative to plastic there would be crushing shortages in plastics. Recycling of plastics would become mandatory (it would probably be illegal not to recycle). And distribution of the reduced supplies of plastics would be prioritized I am guessing that medical use may very well end up as the last and only place you see plastics. Food service will switch back to the OLD way they packaged stuff (in cans and glass bottles). And wood or rubber will replace plastic in construction materials.

Will the world collapse? Nope. If the end of oil happened suddenly without warning then the global economies would collapse but the US would still be here and after we pull out of our depression we wouldn't look very much different.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

How do you make the steam? You need to heat the water, and to do that you are probably using a fossil fuel boiler. Similarly, with Hydrogen Fuel Cells you need to make the Hydrogen. To do that, you need fuel. There are 2 good methods, electrolosis of water or stripping hydrogen out of fossile fuels using catalysts. Electrolosis is an energy negative prosses, so at best it means you are using the Hydrogen as a battery - you still need to get the energy to do it from somewhere and that is currently from fossile fuel plants. Never mind that Hydrogen Fuel Cells require Platinum to work at reasonable temperatures.

For your packaging preditions, cans and glass bottles require lots of energy to produce. That energy comes from prodominetly fossil fuels. Plastics actually consume less fossil fuels than glass or aluminum - depending on how many times the aluminum has been recycled.

No. Before we run out of oil we will find a way of making synthetic fuels. Biofuel works. If we didn't subsidize corn so much, we could convert much less of our food supply towards fuels because more efficient crops would become more cost efficient. Nuclear will dominate the electricity market, allieviating much of the demand we currently have. From there we will be able to go towards electric cars, again reducing much of the demand. This will leave shipping with a significantly greater percentage of the biofuel.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

LazarX wrote:

Horses are expensive to upkeep. (just ask someone who owns one). Electric cars and modern bicycles assume that there is a robust industrial structure to manufacture and maintain them. Assuming that the transition from oil occured in a worst case scenario, (the one I expect to happen), civilisation most likely collapsed in a massive dieoff down to the oxplow level of subsistence.

So yes... lots of walking just like in midieval times.

I'm not surprised that SyFy would choose this route to go back into the science fiction trade, it's the kind of series that's relatively cheap to produce and plenty of pre-existing props to resuse.

Have you read 1634? I thought it was an interesting angle that they realized they couldn't maintain 20th century tech, but 19th century tech would be doable (in a 17th century world). Something like that would be interesting to see on the small screen.


Caineach I think the Steam Car ran on both gas or alcohol (or any flammable liquid) as a burner fuel to heat the water. But it got over 100 mpg so even if running on alcohol it wouldn't massively overtax the distribution system. And as you said Fuel cells are just a chemical battery system. But if you remove legislation protecting fossil fuel plants then you can easily run the electric grid on renewable sources.

PS: most fossil fuel plants are coal fired not oil fired. There would be tons of coal or natural gas fuel even after oil is used up.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I find it very hard to believe that the steam car was that efficient, since it would be running a less efficient engine on less powerful fuels.

We can't easily run our electric system on renewables.
Wind power is too sporatic, requires massive investment, and is only available in certain locations. Costs make it fairly impractical without massive government subsidies.
Solar requires huge energy investment, making it not energy positive for years, in addition to taking a long time recover monetary costs. Depending on where it is installed, solar may not produce more energy than it took to make for the entire lifetime of the device. In some areas it works great, but in many others it would be a waste. Now, some of the new research is improving this, but solar still has a long way to go before it can be adopted.
And before you say we should concentrate our production in one place that it is efficient and ship all the energy, keep in mind that distrobution losses are one of our biggest energy consumers in the country, and those increase drastically the farther you ship the energy.

Nuclear is the way to go. It is the only fuel source that can reliably produce the ammount of electricty we need.

Coal can be turned into a liquid fuel slightly more efficient than biofuels. The process has been arround for a while now, we just don't need to do it yet because it is not cost efficient compared to oil. When oil runs out, we will start converting coal into a liquid fuel to meet demand. This will reduce the time we have until coal is also used up, though I think that may be out of our lifetime.


Matthew Morris wrote:
LazarX wrote:

Horses are expensive to upkeep. (just ask someone who owns one). Electric cars and modern bicycles assume that there is a robust industrial structure to manufacture and maintain them. Assuming that the transition from oil occured in a worst case scenario, (the one I expect to happen), civilisation most likely collapsed in a massive dieoff down to the oxplow level of subsistence.

So yes... lots of walking just like in midieval times.

I'm not surprised that SyFy would choose this route to go back into the science fiction trade, it's the kind of series that's relatively cheap to produce and plenty of pre-existing props to resuse.

Have you read 1634? I thought it was an interesting angle that they realized they couldn't maintain 20th century tech, but 19th century tech would be doable (in a 17th century world). Something like that would be interesting to see on the small screen.

I've seen a few ads for the upcoming show,"Revolution". It would appear to be a post apocalyptic show set 15 years after the loss of all electric power everywhere, forever. Every time I see the promos of everyone running around with swords and crossbows I just want to shake the writers till they all get Shaken Writer Syndrome while shouting, "Gunpowder and electricity have nothing whatsoever to do with each other!"

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hitdice wrote:


I've seen a few ads for the upcoming show,"Revolution". It would appear to be a post apocalyptic show set 15 years after the loss of all electric power everywhere, forever. Every time I see the promos of everyone running around with swords and crossbows I just want to shake the writers till they all get Shaken Writer Syndrome while shouting, "Gunpowder and electricity have nothing whatsoever to do with each other!"

What drives me up the wall about those ads is the female lead's voiceover about how much she likes the grim meathook future*, and I can't help but think, "OK, there's no hormonal birth control, and medical technology is presumably pushed back to the times when women ran a significant risk of dying in childbirth (ameliorated somewhat by the still-extant knowledge base; lack of electricity doesn't impact people knowing about the germ theory of disease, etc.)...and you think this is a *good* thing?"

*Phrase copyright James D Nicoll. Used without permission.


Things is, a TV series that actually examined the trying to reverse engineer your way to a twentieth century lifestyle without electricity proposition might be pretty interesting. But then, those swords look awfully shiny for anything forged at home. :P


Caineach wrote:

I find it very hard to believe that the steam car was that efficient, since it would be running a less efficient engine on less powerful fuels.

We can't easily run our electric system on renewables.
Wind power is too sporatic, requires massive investment, and is only available in certain locations. Costs make it fairly impractical without massive government subsidies.
Solar requires huge energy investment, making it not energy positive for years, in addition to taking a long time recover monetary costs. Depending on where it is installed, solar may not produce more energy than it took to make for the entire lifetime of the device. In some areas it works great, but in many others it would be a waste. Now, some of the new research is improving this, but solar still has a long way to go before it can be adopted.
And before you say we should concentrate our production in one place that it is efficient and ship all the energy, keep in mind that distrobution losses are one of our biggest energy consumers in the country, and those increase drastically the farther you ship the energy.

Nuclear is the way to go. It is the only fuel source that can reliably produce the ammount of electricty we need.

Coal can be turned into a liquid fuel slightly more efficient than biofuels. The process has been arround for a while now, we just don't need to do it yet because it is not cost efficient compared to oil. When oil runs out, we will start converting coal into a liquid fuel to meet demand. This will reduce the time we have until coal is also used up, though I think that may be out of our lifetime.

I was unaware of the liquid coal thing... cool.

But I live in Michigan where fossil, nuclear, and wind battle for our consumer dollars. The wind already in place loses as much as 60% to 80% of it's produced wattage due to the power companies refusing to buy any more the the federal minimum they are required to buy. Wind could reliably be providing 33% to 50% of the national energy needs by itself if given the preferential treatment reserved for coal and atomic. And the solar/steam plants they want to build in the desserts or on the moon could supply all our power needs in surplus by themselves. Expensive, Yes, But what are you willing to pay for Zero pollution reliable power?

Nuclear is fine with two exceptions. The federal government prevents the nuclear waste from being reprocessed into usable byproducts leaving huge hazardous waste dumps. And in extreme catastrophes they are proven unsafe... just look at Japan.

BTW Turbines are one of the most efficient power generation devices so the steam car actually has a MORE efficient engine than the piston engine it replaces. It was a Popular Mechanics article so maybe they fudged a number or two but it sounded reliable. Actually if you still want to use gasoline a group of students at a university built a gasoline turbine engine that gets truly amazing mpg. Although I don't remember the exact numbers.

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