QMX creates a gorgeous Serenity replica

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QMX has decided to torture me with a 1:124 scale replica of Serenity from Firefly, complete with lights, rotating engines, tiny figures that you can suggest positions for inside the ship, an articulated support armature and a light-up base.

SerenityAnd for less than $7,500 dollars!

To which my instant response was: SHUT UP AND TAKE MY—

pennies—oh.  Crap.

Have you been to the Sci-Fi Airshow?

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Cowboy BeBop: We need more sci-fi like this

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Cowboy BeBopWhat do an ex-cop with an artificial arm, an ex-hitman with a mean martial-arts gift, an amnesiac con artist with a gambling problem, a slightly wacko hacker and an artificially-intelligence-enhanced dog have in common?  These characters—Jet Black, Spike Spiegel, Faye Valentine, “Radical” Edward and Einstein the Welsh Corgi—all fly together on a ship called the BeBop, traveling about the occupied areas of the Solar System chasing down bounties in order to pay for their next meal.

On the surface, Cowboy BeBop looks like most sci-fi anime, with stylized characters, futuristic tech, spaceships and settlements on other planets; but not, as those settlements tend to look like third world countries, the ships look very used and ugly, billboards hang in space and the heroes are as likely to fight their bounties with fists as with guns.  And for a program about futuristic bounty hunters, an awful lot of strange and funny things that have nothing to do with bounties tend to happen to them… they’re not the most successful at their trade, and they eat a lot of cheap noodles for sustenance.  In other words, the crew of the BeBop seem a lot like normal people.

And maybe science fiction needs more people like them. Continue reading

A decade later, you still can’t take the sky from me

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Firefly (courtesy Mutant Enemy/20th Century Fox)

It seems like only a few years back that Joss Whedon gave us a new way to look at future fiction that resonated with a lot of people, weirded out a small but influential group of people, and was unseen by most people.

I am, of course, referring to Firefly, the futuristic retelling of America’s post-Civil-War period… cowboys in space.  At least, that was the prominent outer skin of the series; but as fans discovered, Firefly had more layers underneath than an onion from the seventh dimension.

Firefly presented us with a future that sounded more workable and believable than any future depicted by Star Trek, Stargate, Galactica or almost any other space-faring TV society: The future of the human race, having abandoned the used-up Earth of their ancestors, had discovered a single system of multiple-multiple planets and moons, giving them the chance to settle on and terraform each of them into worlds of their desire.  Like the development of the United States, some planets benefited from their available resources better than others, resulting in rich and beautiful cities on one planet, and desolate no-collar existence on another.  And after their own war of unification, the planets were settling into an uneasy alliance, while those who didn’t like the new order tried to eke out an existence on their own, away from authority figures and politics they didn’t appreciate. Continue reading