Science-Fiction has a legacy of making introspective observations about humanity through the lens of fantastical entertainment. The hope is that my blog will be both thought-provoking and entertaining. It's about more than just aliens.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Untitled, originally uploaded by pipermaru81.

Hello from The littlest Woodson!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Not Loving the "Half-Season" Trend

Is it just me or is anyone else fed up with this "half-season" trend that has become the standard for science fiction on TV. This past half season of Eureka just F-L-E-W by and was much too short. As with Warehouse 13, Haven, and Doctor Who -- ESPECIALLY Doctor Who.

I accepted and understood that Syfy was being ridiculous about pretty much everything these days and that it was just going to be that way. But I was so dismayed to see that BBCA followed suit with Doctor Who, Being Human, and many other shows in their line-up. A show like Doctor Who is packed with so much information and timey-whimey, bendy-wendy, story line surprises that by half season, it feels like you are just starting to get into the story arch for the season. Then it stops.

I know the theory is to give a big cliff hanger and that will draw people into the next half of the season. The problem is, with most science fiction (and dramas as well), there is an over-arching story line that plays out throughout the entire length of 1 season (and usually a much more involved story arch that plays out throughout the course of the entire show). While the story arch for the entire show can be strung along from season to season with months-long breaks in between and still be followed, sometimes season-long story archs get hard to follow or remember with large gaps in between. Rather than leaving you on a semi-resolved cliff hanger, waiting for the last little bit of information or setting you up for the next big story line, it leaves you hanging off the edge of the mountain with no sense of resolution of anything and irritatingly, impatiently waiting for the rest of the story, NOT being set up for the next big anything.


Ok TV gods, it's time you took a listen. This is not acceptable. Listen to your viewers and start producing TV that they want to see, packaged the way they want to see it, and aired in a timely manner that allows flow and eb. This is not reality TV crap, it actually HAS a story to follow. Think about that the next time you decide that 7 episodes of a show are all that are necessary to be aired in any type of sequential order.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sci-Fi Site of the Day #2

I don't normally post 2 sites in 1 day but I came across this one and it was just TOO good. Hysterical! It is a site for registering yourself as a supernatural entity! Check it out and have fun! And for all you supernatural entities out there, registration is mandatory (and free!) :)

Supernatural Entity Registration

Sci-Fi Site of the Day

While this blog post is quite old it came up in today's StumbleUpon session and I loved it! So I am sharing. Please note that this is not my work. I have listed links and left the by-lines all intact so as to not misconstrue that I wrote it. So, that said, enjoy:

Chris Higgins
Wacky Sci-Fi “Laws”
by Chris Higgins - August 15, 2008 - 12:56 PM
Sci-Fi writers seem to enjoy coining Laws: adages bearing their own names that live on past their appearances in Sci-Fi stories. Here are five of my favorites, plus one bonus law (actually a Principle) from the world of cartoons.

1. Hanlon’s Razor (aka Hanlon’s Law)

Robert Heinlein“Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”Ascribed to various authors, including Robert Heinlein. (Or perhaps it was Napoleon, or another candidate.) This law’s name is also a take-off on Occam’s Razor.

2. Sturgeon’s Law

Theodore Sturgeon“Ninety percent of everything is crap.” This adage came after a less successful “first law” by Sturgeon, “Nothing is always absolutely so.” Read more on this bit of wisdom.

3. O’Toole’s Corollary of Finagle’s Law

Finagle’s Law is a variant of Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will — at the worst possible moment. It was popularized by John W. Campbell, Jr., editor of Astounding Science Fiction and Analog, as well as Larry Niven. But the much wackier O’Toole’s Corollary of Finagle’s Law is:
“The perversity of the Universe tends towards a maximum.”

4. Clarke’s Three Laws

Arthur C. ClarkeArthur C. Clarke postulated three laws over his illustrious career. The third is by far the most famous:
  • First law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  • Second law: The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  • Third law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

5. Asimov’s Laws of Robotics

Isaac AsimovForming the basis for Isaac Asimov’s fictional universe, these laws for robotic behavior have been the source of much Sci-Fi drama (I, Robot anyone?):
  • First law: A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  • Second law: A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  • Third law: A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
There’s also a Zeroth Law.

6. The Dilbert Principle

DilbertAlthough Scott Adams isn’t a Sci-Fi writer, his Dilbert Principle is worthy of an honorable mention: the most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage: management.. (See also: the Peter principle.)
If that’s not enough for you, check out Wikipedia’s list of eponymous laws. (I’m particularly fond ofHofstadter’s Law.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

80's Movies, Old Shows, & Reruns, O My!

Since everything that I enjoy watching seems to be getting cancelled these days, I have decided to start watching old sci-fi movies and shows that I have not yet seen; as well as watching endless re-runs of my favorites. So here's the run-down on what I've been watching lately and where...

V (1983 mini-series)
V: The Final Battle (1983 mini series)
V (1984 TV Series)
All 3 watched via DVR from Syfy's marathon over New Year's.

Doctor Who
Starting at the VERY beginning, via DVD from Netflix and some instant eps via Netflix as well.

Star Trek Movies I-V via Syfy & DVD

Masters of the Universe (1987) via Showtime

Re-runs of:

The X-Files, Doctor Who & Torchwood all 3 via BBCA Sci-Fi Daily
Stargate SG-1 & Stargate Atlantis both via Syfy
Buffy The Vampire Slayer via Chiller
Firefly via OVTV
Primevil via Netflix Instant & DVD
Merlin via Netflix Instant

So, that's the run-down right now. A dose of Syfy everyday keeps the psychiatrist away. ;)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sci-Fi Site of the Day

I am a huge user. I am always finding amazing sites and sharing them on Facebook and Twitter. So I decided to start a "Sci-Fi Site of the Day". I will try to make it daily but it may not happen EVERY day. If you have found a site you love, send me the link!!! Today's site is Shopped Sci-Fi. It's a tumblr blog and it has some amazing sci-fi art work on it! Check it out! Here is a preview:

What Kind of Fan Are You?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Let Your Geek Flag Fly

I change my ringtone about once a week. Gotta change things up, ya know? So I was trying to decide what to set as my ringtone for this week. I usually use theme songs from my favorite TV shows and movies. And, of course, they are typically science-fiction in genre.

So I was scrolling through, listening to each one, painstakingly attempting to make an impossible decision. First, I thought I wanted Stargate SG-1, for posterity's sake.

Then I decided I wanted to do more to help Save Caprica and use their theme song.

Then I thought I would go old school let my inner X-Phile out again.

Then I thought maybe I would show my support for a currently airing (not to mention fabulous) show, Fringe.

Finally, I settled on my all-time favorite science-fiction show. I decided to support The Doctor.

During my deliberation of the best possible choice, I was considering how well I would be able to hear each ringtone. Then it occurred to me that if it was loud enough for me to hear it well, others around me would hear it well, wherever I was, also. And then it hit me. I am going to be letting my geek flag fly! 

So follow the links in this post or google some yourself, or download them on your phones with whatever app you use, etc etc... but remember to choose well and use your phone to let your geek flag fly high!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

AT-AT jungle gym from a lost and golden age - Boing Boing

This has to be one of the coolest things I have ever seen. As the site indicates, it is probably completely un-safe in about 100 ways but it would totally be worth it! Plant the baby in cement and have fun! I want one -- NOW!

AT-AT jungle gym from a lost and golden age - Boing Boing

Friday, December 3, 2010

Star Trek 2: Kurtzman and Orci Have Broken The Story

The good news? If it's not limited to a "trilogy", it has the oppertunity to "go on forever" as Kurtzman states in the article. Good insights, SciFi Mafia! Thanks for sharing the interview. I, for one, am VERY excited about the next installment! I was thoroughly impressed with the ingenious way in which Kurtzman and Orci managed to "break the story", as it were. I hope that they are able to find the balance between creating a new Star Trek storyline and still honoring the original and it's legacy. Judging from the first film, I think they can. And, the one fabulous thing about science-fiction movies vs. science-fiction TV - once a movie is released, it can not be cancelled!! Thanks again SciFi Mafia for the post! Follow the link below to see the full article!

Star Trek 2: Kurtzman and Orci Have Broken The Story, Will Not Be Part of a Trilogy | SciFi Mafia

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

You're Kidding, Right? Right??

This will not be a long blog. Simply, this is a terrible, terrible idea and it is SO wrong in so many ways. I really hope that the "Buffy meets X-Files" description is an exaggeration. Personally, between this and the whole "New Buffy minus Joss" gossip, I woefully and regretfully think that someone needs to pull the trigger and end Buffy once and for all; for her own good.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Showrunner is Creating a BUFFY Meets X-FILES Companion Series | SciFi Mafia

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sci-Fi Lineup Loses 30 Percent Of Sweeps Audience |

Apparently AirlockAlpha (and the factual statistics) agree with me that science-fiction genre programming is in danger. We need to be making it clear that there are viewers out there. Television ratings do not accurately reflect who is watching our genre! Speak up folks!!

Sci-Fi Lineup Loses 30 Percent Of Sweeps Audience |

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More Caprica or More Than Caprica?

It's not just about Caprica. While I love the show and I would love to see it continue, the Save Caprica Campaign is about so much more. For most avid science-fiction fans, saving Caprica is about saving the science-fiction genre itself. Over the years, we have seen science-fiction shows come and go. And being a niche genre, we understand that it is par for the course. But lately it seems that most of our niche genre shows are dropping like flies. Since Syfy announced that they were cancelling Caprica we have seen Medium and Ghost Whisperer dropped by CBS, The Event pulled from NBC's line-up, and after the close of the summer TV season ABC announced the cancellation of The Gates. Now fans are concerned for the future of shows like FOX's Fringe and Syfy's Stargate: Universe.

I am by no means advocating that all of these were amazing, intelligent, or ground-breaking sci-fi series. Some of them were awful. And a few of them barely qualified as "sci-fi". However, we need to look past the shows individually and see the trend. All of the major networks, and a subsidiary network dedicated to the genre itself, have all dropped sci-fi programming at some point in this past year.

So where is the disconnect? Why are "reality" TV shows (and I use the phrase lightly) so much more popular that intelligent, thought-provoking dramas? I refuse to believe that the majority of the population are just mindless drones, content to watch drivel in place of entertainment that leads to thought, contemplation, and conversation.

I realize that not everyone is a science-fiction fan and for those truly not interested in the genre, I accept that. However I also know that there is a large enough science-fiction fan-base out there to support more than a handful of shows on 1-2 networks.

I would contend that it comes back to advertising. Advertisers want people to watch TV live. The types of programs that receive the highest number of live viewers are sports, news, and reality TV. People watch sporting events live, for obvious reasons. While some people DVR some news programs, most people watch news live, also for obvious reasons. Most people also watch reality TV live, especially if it is contest-based reality TV, in order to vote or be a part of the "live reality experience". Consequently, dramatic and comedy programming has a harder time retaining live viewers.

As discussed in my previous post, networks are not counting non-live viewers in their total viewer-ship numbers because they don't get the big advertising dollars for them.

Bottom line, the sci-fi genre struggles with a 2-fold problem of not only being a niche genre but also being lumped into a category of programming that many viewers record or stream to watch.

We need to make it clear to advertisers and networks alike that this is not acceptable. We want quality, intelligent, though-provoking entertainment. We want it supported, promoted, and properly aired. We don't care if ad companies don't like that we don't view it live. Their greed will not change our viewing habits.

Support the shows you love but don't feel like you have to view them live or lose them. Be vocal with the networks you watch and let them know that you are watching. The Nielsen box does not know all.

Monday, November 22, 2010

How Do You Watch TV?

There are a lot of different ways to watch TV these days. A short list would include cable companies, satellite providers, online providers, and streaming media. And even within those categories there are options such as DVR and VOD (video on demand). All of these options offer viewers the ability to watch what they want, when they want. But what happens when viewers' favorite shows are cancelled because their chosen method for viewing TV doesn't count in the Network's total viewership count (unless, of course, they happen to choose live viewing)? Seems insane, doesn't it? 

The fact is that DVR ratings, VOD ratings, and online ratings (such as Hulu) are not taken into consideration by most networks when they evaluate the successfulness of a program. While those ratings are counted and kept track of, they do not count those viewers when they determine the figures for total viewership of their programs. 

This is one of the major issues affecting the recent cancellation of Caprica from NBC-owned Syfy's line-up. This issue is also putting other smart, dramatic science-fiction shows at risk as well. Both Stargate Universe (Syfy) and Fringe (FOX) are concerned that they may not get renewed for another season if live viewership doesn't increase for the remainder of their current season. 

It seems ludicrous that viewers are being expected to change their viewing habits and the way(s) that they prefer to watch TV just to make their viewership count in the grand total. That would be like only accepting votes in an election if the ballot was completed in a red pen. Stupid, right?

So why, you may ask, would networks purposefully ignore large numbers of viewers when determining what of their programming is successful and what is not? The answer, as is the case for most things in life, is money. Advertisers pay bigger bucks to advertise during live TV airings than online, streaming, or VOD airings. The reason? These options only air a very few, very short ads during the program you view. Live TV is riddled with longer, more frequent ads. 

And as for DVR, most people skip the ads that get recorded with their program while viewing it. So live TV gets the most money for ads. Consequently, networks are only interested in viewers who are going to tune in to watch while the show is being aired live. The rest of us don't count.

I think this system is deeply flawed, for obvious reasons. The idea that we, as viewers, should alter the way that we prefer to enjoy our entertainment just to prevent the loss of the shows we enjoy is crazy. The bottom line is that WE are the ones with the money to spend... on cable, satellite, online subscriptions, streaming subscriptions, and all those products that greedy advertisers are trying to shove at us. So doesn't it make sense that we should be able to dictate what we want to see and HOW we want to see it? I think so.

We need to be more vocal. We need to make sure that both TV networks and advertisers know that this is not going to stand. They need to understand that we will not alter our viewing habits just to ensure that they line their pockets. They need to understand that if they continue to ignore what is an inevitably growing number of "not-live" viewers, they are not going to have any viewers left at all. We will not watch dumbed-down, mind numbing TV just because they take all of our other choices away.

Technology has changed the way we enjoy entertainment and media. The media industry, along with it's advertisers, need to adapt or go the way of the dinosaur.

The End.

Save Caprica Campaign