Battlestar Galactica executive producer Ronald D. Moore barred the BS technobabble that made so much of every show after the original Star Trek series aired.
That’s what allowed the epic space opera to come through.
And the guy he hired to keep the show honest has written a book about it:
Grazier – whose new book The Science of Battlestar Galactica finally puts geeks out of their misery by explaining the “hows”, “whys”, and “what ifs” – is blunt in explaining BSG’s success. BSG, he says, was not a technology show.This formula worked. BSG became a cult and critical hit. BSG was the first ever sci-fi show to earn a prestigious Peabody Award for its treatment of contemporary subjects. It won over fans of the 1970s original who were initially suspicious of Moore’s plans for their beloved show, and BSG secured a rarity for any TV sci-fi creation: the nodding approval of members of the science community.
A red plastic, mock up of a PADD from Start Trek: Deep Space Nine is up for sale, via the folks at Beverly Hills-based Profiles in History. The type on the screen is a decal.
Still, it might be all yours, for about the price of an Apple iPad:
1485. Large Red Federation Starfleet PADD from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. (Paramount-TV, 1993-99) Red cast resin with decal graphics. On the view screen is a summary of the statement of principles of the “New Essentialists Movement.” Seen in the episode, “Let He Who is Without Sin,” being handled by Michael Dorn “Worf” and Terry Farrell “Jadzia Dax”. Measures 8 in. x 10 in. $400 – $600
In France, science fiction writers “are not regarded as something on the level of a janitor,” says sci-fi god, Philip K. Dick (The Man in the High Castle, Valis, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) in this 1977 video. Dick says that without the money and spiritual support he received in France, he might not have lasted in the business.
From Necromancer, this writeup of the fascinating interview:
“A trio of videos comprising an interview with Philip K. Dick in 1977 at a sci-fi convention in France on the contrasting perceptions of science fiction in the US and France…”
My piece this week about a new novel, by one of the world’s leading cryptographers:
Either Ari Juels is living an amazing double life or he really does have the imagination to make it as a novelist.
Juels, chief scientist at RSA Laboratories in Bedford, is best known for highlighting the vulnerability of radio frequency identification technology, or RFID, through his technical articles.
But in his first work of fiction, “Tetraktys,’’ Juels, 39, adds more than a measure of James Bond and Jack Ryan to his expositions on ciphers and factoring. The novel, scheduled for release this summer by Emerald Bay Books, adds Juels to the handful of security specialists using fiction to hash out potential security hacking scenarios for coming years.
It’s completely mental, but I feel an uncontrollable impulse to bid.
Now that Battlestar Galactica is finished, there are plenty of props hanging around doing nothing but collecting dust and NBC/Universal have decided to auction them off. The variety of items on offer is simply staggering, ranging from medals and rank insignia, to rocket launchers and flight helmets. You can even buy currency and letters, should such things tickle your fancy.
Smarter than your average carbon-based life form. Photo: Stanford U.
The Sci-Fi Channel blog says that autonomous choppers developed at Standford University are teaching each other to fly better than a human pilot.
The announcement embraces two common subtexts in media coverage of robotic technologies: that robots will soon be our betters, and that they can be trustworthy as they carry out their benign missions overhead.
Stanford says “there is interest in using autonomous helicopters to search for land mines in war-torn areas or to map out the hot spots of California wildfires in real time.”
That kind of language is the military’s way of easing robot killing machines into our consciences. The choppers will follow the Predator into the killing business soon enough.