Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit (banazir) wrote,
Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit

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A Frooglepoopillion Points of Light: The Next SF Franchise

I want a new drug
One that won’t spill
One that don’t cost too much
Or come in a pill

I want a new drug
One that won’t go away
One that won’t keep me up all night
One that won’t make me sleep all day

One that won’t make me nervous
Wondering what to do
One that makes me feel like I feel when I’m with you
When I’m alone with you
    -Huey Lewis and the News

I debated with whether to call this entry "Episode IV: A New Franchise" or "I Want A New Space Opera" following Tripitaka's musical riff, but settled upon the above.

So, following on the heels of Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings, and The Chronicles of Narnia, and on the Star Wars saga, what shall we have for the next science fiction and fantasy franchise?

  • Warmed-over shoggoths? I can hear the voice-over now... "From director Joel Schumacher1... [beat] Since before the dawn of civilization, mankind has trembled in fear of a nameless horror. [chanting natives] Worshipped by the ancients... sought by the daring and foolhardy [Daniel Jackson shot of tweedy-looking scholar dusting off Ye Olde Necronomicon] dreaded by all... For millenia, it has slumbered... dreaming below the depths of the tranquil sea [said sea explodes in catastrophic disturbance, ships falling away] Its awakening [people screaming, fleeing, going mad] is the beginning of the end [lots of helicopters, fighters, etc. heading out to the coast, where something is battering destroyers and the like] of the Age of Man... H.P. Lovecraft's Call of Cthulhu. [THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED]"

  • The rebirth of the Federation? What happened post-Nemesis? Does anyone still care?

  • Shall we try for a more accessible Babylon 5? A less formulaic Deep Space Nine? A Voyager or Enterprise that doesn't have viewers throwing items at the inanities on screen for seasons on end? A Farscape that doesn't remind too many would-be-fans of its Henson Muppet roots? An Earth: Final Conflict or Andromeda that isn't just a vehicle for a famous name? A Dark Angel or Tekwar that has not only grit and cyberpunky technology but a deeper message? A Forever Knight or Highlander that caters to a broader audience? A Dark Skies or Firefly that doesn't get canned by the Senior Partnerslower planar beings in suits after half a season?
    (Yay, I've managed to raise the ire of just about everybuddy with that one!)

Please note: I'm not saying it has to be an existing work, or even an existing genre. In fact, I'm suggesting that perhaps it's high time a new one was established.

1 In case it wasn't clear, I was kidding. I really have nothing against Schumacher save a couple of bat-nipples. (Not my bat-nipples! Oh, never mind!) Say, who's that director that Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News is always bashing?

A completely new direction! I'm for that.

Here's the #teunc conversation that spawned this entry:

[20:39:12] banazir: We need a new franchise
[20:39:16] banazir: one that isn't rooted in pulp
[20:39:22] <Tripitaka>: Totally Gnu?
[20:39:23] gondhir: lik, a McDonalds franchise?
[20:39:28] banazir: One that people really want to live in
[20:39:36] banazir: Something that stokes the ideals of a generation
[20:39:39] <Tripitaka>: #I want a new 'chise#
[20:39:42] banazir: A Mythology for Amerika!
[20:39:43] * gondhir dknot think Tolkien's ME is rooted in pulp
[20:39:47] <Tripitaka>: #One that don't come from pulp#
[20:39:52] banazir: No, it isn't
[20:39:57] <Tripitaka>: #One that don't sell me freedom fries#
[20:39:58] banazir: But it's come
[20:40:04] banazir: and seen the light of silver screen
[20:40:05] gondhir: and been pulpified?
[20:40:08] banazir: and inspired millions
[20:40:10] <Tripitaka>: #When I stop in for a #
[20:40:15] <Tripitaka>: #Big Gulp#
[20:40:24] banazir: Don't you think that it's reached *A* height of popularity if not THE height?
[20:40:38] gondhir: and the depths of commercialism?
[20:40:42] banazir: Both
[20:40:49] banazir: So, what's next?
[20:40:53] banazir: After Narnia, that is
[20:41:03] <Tripitaka>: Tolkien's work stopped being a mythology for England
[20:41:07] <Tripitaka>: About 1920
[20:41:12] banazir: I predict that if Ender's Game is true to the book, it will not be exceedingly popular
[20:41:15] gondhir: well, I've been running my car orf the power I've gained by hooking a generator to Tolkien's corpse

Tripitaka and I went on to discuss space opera, space western (cf. Firefly), the star patrol in the tradition of E.E. "Doc" Smith and the Doctor Who and Star Trek franchises, and even retro-futurism. From "Eddore vs. Arisia" to Julian May's Galactic Milieu Trilogy, the fast-aging genre, sometimes pulpy, often serial and always eagerly awaited by some imaginative kid, is perhaps due for a comeback. I shan't say more for fear of letting the cat out of the bag, but if you really want to know, 3p may have a job for you!

BTW, this month's primary tagline, "Adventures of the Retro-Futuristic Space Patrol", replaces "Ani Skywalker and the Planet of Fire", and originates from the above discussion. The secondary one, "What New Rabbitry is This?", reeplace "Eternal Moonshine of the Spockless Mind", a hobbit-see, hobbit-do imitation of yodge's) originates from queenmidalah's post in baaaaabyanimals.

ETA, 12:40 CST Sat 25 Jun 2005: In other news - another fortnight, another bunch of computer problems.

Thanks to all who have helped with previous ones, which I posted on:

Here's a wee bit of an update:

And now, the new problems:

We Card: memory card readers

My HP PSC 1350 All-in-One has a CF/SDRAM/Memory Stick reader, but I haven't been able to get it to actually mount cards as removable storage devices in Windows, which leads me to believe that it can only print from them. Does anyone know whether this is definitely the case?

If so, will I need to buy a separate multi-reader drive? I don't mind doing so; I'm just tired of opening my PC cases to put in more drives.

Fool of Cups: CUPS setup

Still no love with the print services on Telperion. Who here is familiar with CUPS, again? I just need to take a couple of hours and get it done. At the moment, though, this problem is confabulated with the lack of X Windows on Telperion (my Debian box).

Banazir versus the Echthroi - A Wibble in Time: stacking Ethernet hubs

What are your thoughts on stacking of hubs? I understand that collisions tend to ramp up, but I am no networking whiz. Those of you who are: is it actually necessary have a 16-port switch for home use or can one get by with just a couple of 8-port hubs? For purposes of this question, suppose that I have 3-5 wireless systems taking DHCP addresses from my NAT server (NetBSD) via an 11mbps 802.11b access point (Buffalo AirStation).


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