A Geek With Guns

Views from a geek gun nut

Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

The Kurian Invasion Begins

Several people I know were reporting sightings of aliens in the Como area of St. Paul last night. Normally I’m just as skeptical as the next guy but when I put it all together it makes sense. Think about it for a second; we’re experiencing massive natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and tornadoes during a time of economic downturn. That must mean the Kurian invasion has begun!

It’s been nice knowing all of you but I’m off to the Ozarks to jump start the resistance.

* I really need more opportunities to make Vampire Earth references on this blog.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 29, 2011 at 1:30 pm

The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught is Out Today

The Lost Fleet is one of my favorite new science fiction series. Quite some time ago I did a brief review/overview that hardly did the series justice but I’m not good at doing such articles without also giving away spoilers which would just make reading the series less entertaining.

Last year The Lost Fleet series was concluded in the book Victorious but fortunately Jack Campbell (actually the pen name for author John G. Hemry) announced two split off series; Beyond the Frontier and The Phoenix Star. Dreadnaught is the first in the Beyond the Frontier series which will follow the continuing story of The Lost Fleet’s main character John Geary.

My advice, get a copy.

Written by Christopher Burg

April 26, 2011 at 10:00 am

Science Fiction and Libertarianism

I love science fiction and I am a hardcore libertarian. I’ve noticed that many science fiction novels contain very libertarian ideals which may be part of what attracted me to science fiction or libertarianism (I haven’t a clue which one came first honestly, maybe they just went hand in hand).

Well I’m not the only one to notice such a connection as Jeff Riggenbach has a great article up today on the Mises Daily. I also need to get a copy of The Weapon Shops of Isher as I really like the idea behind the following technology:

And what about McAllister — the reporter from the mid-20th-century American Midwest? Well, as I mentioned, he found himself living 7,000 years in the future, on an Earth ruled by a single monarchical government; the Empire of Isher it was called. And scattered throughout this empire were what the imperial citizens knew, simply, as “the Weapon Shops.” They were everywhere — in major cities and in small towns. And, even by the standards of the time in which they flourished, they were equipped with amazing technology.

Their front doors would not admit any government employee. Anyone else could enter freely and buy a high-quality energy weapon that could be used only defensively.

Emphasis mine. Where can I get one of these amazing doors that bars government employees from entering but will allow anybody else through? This may be the greatest technological device I’ve ever heard of! Hell I’ll take a dozen right now.

Things like this are probably the reason I love science fiction so much.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Vampire Earth: March in Country Out Today

Speaking of birthdays I think I just received one of the most awesome gifts ever. Today is the release date of Vampire Earth: March in Country. I already have it downloaded on my Kindle and expect to be completely worthless for the next few days while I read through it. Do yourself a favor and go pick up a copy for your own bookshelf or electronic reading device.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 4, 2011 at 10:30 am

Tron: Legacy

I saw Tron: Legacy at the IMAX on Saturday. To sum up the movie I can say it kicks major amounts of ass. Even if you haven’t seen the first film there is a lot to like in the new movie. It kicks all sorts of ass and frankly you really just need to go watch it. Legacy does a great job of having throwbacks to the original movie without being reliant on the nostalgia factor.

Oh and apparently the movie is in 3D. Being a man without any depth perception I wouldn’t have known this except for the fact that if I didn’t wear the glasses they gave us I the movie would be really blurry.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 20, 2010 at 10:00 am

I Have a Simpler Explanation

Apparently Syfylus channel has canceled the new Battlestar Galactica prequel, Caprica, and somebody wrote up a long discussion on why it was done. Mostly the post is about the eminent extinction of cable television companies due to competition.

I have a simpler explanation of why Caprica was canceled. It’s the same reason Stargate Universe will probably (hopefully) be canceled in a short while, it’s not very good.

I admit that I’ve watched every episode of Stargate Universe so far and I honestly can’t tell you why. Out of the episodes released so far I think there were two that I enjoyed. I can’t say the same for Caprica because unlike Stargate Universe, I have no prior love for the Battlestar Galactica series. I really liked Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis which is probably why I keep watching Universe (hoping the entire series so far was a big joke and it will revert to a classic Stargate series… a man can dream right?). I tried watching two episodes of Caprica and frankly they were damned boring. Both were great examples of nothing happening.

The ultimate problem these series have is the lack of exploration. Science fiction has always been about exploring new ideas and concepts. If you read any science fiction novel there is generally a huge “what if” scenario going on. What if humans coexisted with aliens? What if time travel was possible? What if humans created sentient robots? The list goes on. The problem with prequel and sequel series is you are already familiar with the universe the series falls in. Once you’re familiar with the universe there is a lot less exploration that will be done as the major rules have already been described.

Stargate Atlantis was able to great a new sense of exploration by moving everything to another galaxy and introducing a new enemy species, the Wraith. The Wraith were completely different and separate from the previous alien bad guys, the Goa’uld. This gave whole new avenues for exploration and discovery. Stargate Universe on other hand just threw a ton of people onto a ship they can’t control and slowly (gruelingly slow) unveil little pieces here and there. Hell in the two and a half seasons they’ve introduced two alien species which we’ve not heard much of since.

Capria is in the same boat. We already know the Cylons are bad guys and there was a war brewing between the humans and the robots. What can you possibly do in a prequel to that? Everybody already knows the outcome is going to be war and thus you really leave little in the form of exploration. There aren’t going to be any real “what ifs.”

Good television shows can survive on network television. Although I never liked it and can’t consider it good we can look a Lost as an example. How long did that series go? How many people tuned in to watch it? It was damned popular. Why? I really have no idea honestly, I found it a confusing mess. But there was a sense of discovery and exploration. Nobody knew what the Hell the island was nor why a fucking polar bear was hanging out on it, but you tuned in hoping to find the answer.

If television producers want to create good science fiction shows they need original ideas and things to explore. Once those two things are accomplished the foundation is ready and a show can be built upon it.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 28, 2010 at 9:30 am

Science Fiction Spaceships

Linoge over at Walls of the City made a topic near and dear to my heart, a top 10 list of science fiction spaceships. I have some knowledge in the field of science fiction so I figure I might as well join in the fun (read steal his idea). As a ground rule I will not select any ships Linoge has and I will not select two ships from the same series (just to keep it interesting). So here a top 10 list of spaceships from yours truly:

  1. Shadow Vessel: Much like Linoge I chose a ship from Babylon 5 for my top one. Why? Because Babylon 5 is the best damned science fiction series that has even been on television. The Shadows are a race billions of years old. Being that old means two things; you’re cranky and you have kick ass technology. The ships used by the Shadows are large, black, spidery looking craft. Part of the thing I like about them most is their unique design. The other things I like about their ships are the fact they are heavily armed, heavily armored, and use a living being as a central processing unit because the Shadow are dicks like that. They also materialize out of nowhere and disappear into nothing making them a bitch to target and shoot.
  2. The Alliance battle cruiser Dauntless: I’ve mentioned The Lost Fleet series before. It’s hands down one of my favorite science fiction series. The series does a great job of bringing up the ideas of fighting large navel battles in space along with the tactics and technologies needed to do so. Dauntless is the ship the main character of the story spends a huge majority of his time on. There isn’t anything special or fancy about the ship except for the fact it’s carrying a key piece of cargo that can be used to win the war for the Alliance (the good guys). Dauntless is heavily armed while remaining maneuverable and has all the awesomeness of a futuristic star ship.
  3. The Lexx: What’s not to like about a giant living ship that can blow up planets as easily as you can blink your eyes? The Lexx’s sole reason for existing is to destroy planets, that’s it. Of course the ship is also incredibly stupid and takes any given orders in their most literal sense.
  4. USS Daedalus: The USS Daedalus was the second star ship built by humans in Stargate SG-1. The ship is a combination of human and Asgard technology. For those you who haven’t seen Stargate the Asgard are the generic “gray” alien but instead of being anal probing bastard they’re actually pretty decent folk. The Daedalus comes equipped with 32 railguns, a good load of missiles, and some naquadria enhanced nuclear warheads making it a virtual death machine. Late in the series the ship also gets equipped with Asgard kill-everything beams. Yes I like high firepower as you can tell and the Daedalus manages to have that and look awesome at the same time.
  5. Union Class Dropship: What’s more terrifying than a drop ship armed to the teeth? A drop ship armed to the teeth and transporting 12 BattleMechs. The Union class dropship is one of many dropships in the BattleTech universe, it just happens to be the most memorable for me. The only purpose of a dropship is to get your 50 foot tall heavily armed walking robots from an orbiting spaceship to the ground. The Union class does this while also managing to be a heavily artillery piece to boot. Death from above baby!
  6. GTF Hercules Mark II: In Decent Freespace 2 many of the ships from the first game got some upgrades. The Hercules Mark II was one of those and ends up being your primary workhorse throughout the game. Although not the most maneuverability craft in the Glactic Terran Fleet the Hercules was heavily armed and armored. Its heavy shields generally made up for it’s lack of quick movement. It works pretty well for sending those Shivan bastards back to their little part of space.
  7. SA-43 Endo/Exo Atmospheric “Hammerhead” Fighter: I too am one of the people on a relatively short list who have seen Space: Above and Beyond. The Hammerhead was the main fighter used by the humans to blast those Chiggers out of our sector of space. Hammerheads are maneuverable on their won as they have thrusters the can propel them in almost any direction but also mount their laser cannons on rotatable turrets. This makes flying one direction and shooting in another very practical. These maneuverable little bastards were great for the one season they graced our television screens.
  8. GDI Kodiak: In Command and Conquer Tiberian Sun the Kodiak served as your command and control ship. Although having no demonstrated armaments the Kodiak does have the ability to fly inside and outside of Earth’s atmosphere. The only real advantage it presents is the ability to rapidly get to a battle zone but it looks awesome while doing it. I guess the fact that you can use it to call down orbital ion cannon strikes does mean it has some form of offensive capabilities. It should also be noted that the Kodiak appears in the new Battlestar Galactica series as a refuge ship for a brief scene.
  9. VF-1 Valkyrie Veritech Fighter: One of the best ways to get a giant walking robot from one point to another is by putting it on a giant dropship. A more expedient way of getting said walking robot from one point to another is by having it transform into a jet and fly you there. The VF-1 Valkyrie was the first veritech, a class of craft capable of transforming from a walking robot to a fighter jet-like craft. The craft is powered by an internal reactor making it capable of flying both in atmosphere and out in space. The Valkyrie carries a machine gun as well as a bank of good old fashion missiles.
  10. Rama: Last but most certainly not least we have Rama. The first space craft designated Rama by the human race was a giant cylindrical craft that did a flyby of Earth. Although apparently dead the Rama craft was a self-contained world. The environment was built on the inside of the cylinder and used rotational gravity to keep creates from flying off into other sections of the ship. Rama was not a hostile craft and contained no weapons but was certainly interesting to read about as astronauts from Earth explored the inside of the massive beast.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 28, 2010 at 9:00 am