Science Fiction

Science Fiction
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Claudia Christian, who played Ivanova on B5, and me I can occasionally be found at the MSFC on Friday nights if I can't think of anything better to do.

Science fiction has long been an interest of mine. Doctor Who was a very enjoyable part of my entertainment as a kid, and later entries in the flimsy sets and terrible special effects end of the genre, such as Blake's 7, were still entertaining. Even today, with the special Rowan Atkinson starred in for Comic Relief in the UK, Dr Who remains great fun.

Babylon 5 was good while it lasted, but it's gone and not much is replacing it. To check out more about the local net-connected B5 loonies, look at the aus.sf.babylon5 home page.

A few authors manage to combine humour into some fairly excellent, if silly, science fiction. Douglas Adams (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) and Robert Asprin (Myth series) come particularly to mind in this category.

There is more and more science fiction appearing on the big screen, but that doesn't mean quality, it seems. "Event Horizon" was a good example of the "Let's rehash an old theme, set it in space, and call it science fiction" school of film making.

Even when a movie is really good entertainment, there's a big tendency for film makers to put in too much, or too little, gee-whizzery. Take "Lost In Space" for example. The circuit boards that we see in some of the cute pieces of technology they use look like they were ripped out of a $5 toy from the Reject Shop! Really tacky representation of the future. Similarly, even now, the technology of air combat is such that dogfights, in the traditional sense, do not exist. The concept that future space battles might be fought with fighter ships at visual distances is preposterous. ... but it looks good and gives the special effects people something to do.

I've enjoyed a few science fiction conventions in the last few years, among them: Swancon 21, over Easter, 1996,
Parliament of Dreams,
LACon III, the 1996 Worldcon in Anaheim,
Conspiracy '97,
RebelCon '97,
LoneStarCon II, the 1997 Worldcon in San Antonio,
Swancon 23, over the Anzac Day weekend, 1998,
Thylacon 2, the 1998 Aussie Natcon,
Swancon 24, over Easter, 1999,
Telefantastique 2, in London in July, 1999,
Aussiecon 3, the 1999 Worldcon here in Melbourne,
Swancon 25, over Easter, 2000,
Swancon 26, over Easter, 2001,
Swancon 28, over Easter, 2003,
Continuum, in July, 2003,
GenghisCon 3, in January, 2004,
Redemption 05, in February, 2005,
and Continuum 3, in July, 2005.

It is unfortunate that while some hotels give convention-goers a very good deal, many hotels, especially in Australia, don't.

Of course, the most strident fans are Trekkies, so for things that should get right up their noses, check out the now defunct James T. Kirk Singalong Page!

Why Babylon 5 is Better than Sex
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