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Diana Dru Botsford

Originally published at Diana Dru Botsford. You can comment here or there.

The paperback edition for The Drift comes out on Wednesday and if that’s not reason enough to celebrate…

In the spirit of turkeys, stuffing, sweet potatoes (and a few glasses of scotch thrown in for good measure),  Stargate Atlantis Legacy novelist Melissa Scott and I have put our collective skulls together to provide you with a bit of ‘what-if’ — a few rounds of email between the Stargate Atlantis team (brought to you by Melissa) and  the SG-1 team (and General Jack O’Neill, of course!) brought to you by… me.  (and yep, if you’ve read the books, there’s a few chestnuts… Or I should say “Easter Eggs” in these emails).

Below you’ll find Teal’c's not-so-happy response to a rather terse email from SGA team member Ronon Dex which you can read over on Melissa’s site.

To: j.oneill@hs.pentagon.af.mil
From: teal.c@sgc.af.smil.mil
Subject: FW: RE: Requested Copy of Mission Report on P2V-772

O’Neill.

At your request, I obtained what can only be defined as a preliminary report from Ronon Dex in regards to the Atlantis expedition’s encounters with the Wraith. While I admire the former Wraith Runner’s fighting skills, this report provides little intelligence regarding the enemy in question. I must regrettably ask for your assistance if we are to better understand this foe.

===

To: john.sheppard@atlantis.af.smil.mil
From: j.oneill@hs.pentagon.af.mil

Subject: RE: Requested Copy of Mission Report on P2V-772

Sheppard,

Sounds like someone’s got a team member who doesn’t wanna play nice and share. What’s the deal? Do you want a one-way ticket back to Earth? Even with the chair gone, I’m sure McMurdo wouldn’t mind another warm body around.  Especially one who just happens to have that damned ATA gene.  They’d love your help poking around the lower levels at the Antarctic outpost. Plenty of doohickeys down there. Trust me, I know.

Either get Teal’ what he wants or pack your bags. Don’t forget your fleece.

Next up:  Read Sam Carter & Daniel Jackson’s replies to Rodney McKay.

A shout out to Matt Lathrom for his awesome coding genius.

 
 
Diana Dru Botsford
19 November 2012 @ 07:13 pm

Originally published at Diana Dru Botsford. You can comment here or there.

Further absurdness ensues in our celebration of The Drift‘s release to paperback and the completion the Stargate Atlantis Legacy series from Melissa Scott & Jo Graham.  This next round  kicks off with none other than Rodney McKay.  Read McKay’s emails and then come back here for Col. Carter and Daniel Jackson’s replies…

To: rodney.mckay@atlantis.af.smil.mil
From: sam.carter@hammond.af.smil.mil
CC: daniel.jackson@sgc.af.smil.mil
Subject: RE: Ascension

Really up to my eyeballs at the moment, Rodney. Just ask Daniel, I’m sure he forgives you.

After years of squirreling around, I’ve managed to make a half-way decent computer model of the Ancients’ photon emitter. You know, the one we found on Yu’s planet. Can’t wait to finish rendering the model this weekend, oh and…

If Daniel isn’t up for an ascension pow-wow, you could always ask General O’Neill.

Or maybe that’s not such a hot idea. What exactly is going on out there?

===

To: rodney.mckay@atlantis.af.smil.mil
From: daniel.jackson@sgc.af.smil.mil
CC: sam.carter@hammond.af.smil.mil

Subject: RE: Ascension

Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend talking to Jack about Ascension — he’s not too keen on sharing what happened during his brief encounter. He did, however, make it clear that ‘fooling around’ behind the Others backs can get a rogue Ascended Being in trouble… Or cause trouble.  I’m never quite sure with Jack – he’s not exactly an open book.

Look, Rodney — whatever is going on, you need to let us help you. I’d offer to come to Atlantis, but my plate’s full. Can you come here?

===

To: residentgeniusofatlantis@gmail.com
From: scarter85@gmail.com

Subject: Ascending

>>>>I know you’re wondering how I got this email

Just… don’t do it again. Ever. I’m a click away from shipping you a carton of lemons.

 

A shout out to Matt Lathrom for his awesome coding genius.

 
 
Diana Dru Botsford
18 November 2012 @ 05:16 pm

Originally published at Diana Dru Botsford. You can comment here or there.

Author/blogger Heidi Ruby Miller recently interviewed me for PICK SIX QUESTIONS author archive.  If you’re at all curious about my creative process, have a gander.

Remember that old adage, “You wanna write, you gotta read?”

For all you writers and readers out there, consider making Heidi’s blog a daily pit stop.   It’s a great clearinghouse of interviews with speculative fiction authors from Alan Dean Foster to Vincent Zandri (bestselling author of The Remains, The Innocent, Godchild, and Moonlight Falls).   Everyone cobbles together their own process in the end, but there’s great insight to be had in exploring the thought processes behind other writers.  Heidi keeps it simple by giving the author the chance to answer 6 out of 15 questions — some insightful, others more lighthearted.

Heidi is a fellow alum from the Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction program.  She’s authored several works including travel and writing craft books as well as two SF/Space Opera novels so far – Ambasadora and its prequel, Greenshift (yep, expect to see MUCH MORE from her in the months and years to come and not just in the SF genre).

From Heidi’s bio on Amazon:
Heidi Ruby Miller believes the relationship is as important as the adventure so she’s been writing sexy Science Fiction and Thrillers since 2005. She loves high-heeled shoes, action movies, Chanel, loud music, and video games. Heidi also teaches creative writing at Seton Hill University, where she graduated from their renowned Writing Popular Fiction Graduate Program the same month she appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The multi-award winning writing guide Many Genres, One Craft, which she co-edited with Michael A. Arnzen, is based on the Seton Hill program and was named #5 in The Writer magazine’s Ten Most Terrific Writing Books of 2011. Heidi’s first novel of the popular Ambasadora series was her thesis at Seton Hill.

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Diana Dru Botsford
12 November 2012 @ 09:06 pm

Originally published at Diana Dru Botsford. You can comment here or there.

Short, but very sweet:

EPILOGUE – the science fiction web series created and produced with Missouri State University this past year has been nominated for two International Academy of Web Television Awards!  Congratulations to our Makeup FX Designer, Nathan Shelton, and our Composer, Tyler Durham, for an extraordinary job well done.   The competition was fierce with 473 web series submitted for consideration including works by Bryan Singer (yes, that Bryan Singer) and the ubiquitous writer/producer Jane Espenson (Buffy, BSG, Warehouse 13, Once Upon A Time).

If you haven’t had a chance to watch Epilogue – there’s no time like the present.   Here’s the series’ concept in a nutshell:

When a modern world-wide plague becomes resistant to all cures, time-travelers must seek answers in a legendary 14th century rural French village known for its immunity to the original Bubonic Plague. The team gets more than they’ve bargained for when the inevitable twists of time travel force them into discovering the modern plague’s origins… ending in an unexpected confrontation to prevent humanity’s extinction.

And for those of you who like to hit that play button once and watch all… We’ve compiled a playlist of all six episodes.  Grab the popcorn, sit back, and enjoy our IAMTV-nominated series… EPILOGUE:

 

 
 
Diana Dru Botsford
01 November 2012 @ 09:43 am

Originally published at Diana Dru Botsford. You can comment here or there.

Read the opening pages of Stargate’s latest novel:  THE DRIFT.

Where in the World is the Ancient Outpost?

Lord Yu's Dragon Guard at Antarctica's Ferrar Glacier

Dragon Guard Huang Sun Tzu at Antarctica’s Ferrar Glacier

It’s a tricky thing – setting a science fiction novel in an actual existing location on Earth.  It’s even trickier when you place your novel in one of the most alien regions of Earth.  Add on to that the weight of working with pre-existing material (in this case, the entire Stargate franchise) and the task becomes daunting.

But who doesn’t love a good challenge?

As writers, one of the first things we must help the reader to do is suspend disbelief.  It’s one thing to do that on an alien planet.  It’s a completely different kettle of fish when the story takes place on Earth in a real setting (in this case, Antarctica).  And forget helping the reader suspend disbelief — I’m the kind of writer who needs to build my story on realities in such a way that (other than the Stargate technology) could be possible.   Using facts, bending them, pushing them, exploring their very edges of possibility…  Isn’t that what storytelling is about?  My ultimate goal is to give the reader a sense of wonder, but in order to do that, I need to have it myself.

I knew I wanted to do another SG-1 book that explored what happened to the Antarctic weapons platform AFTER the Stargate Atlantis pilot.  Operating the chair required two things:  1) High level clearance, and, 2) the Ancient genetic markers needed to activate the alien technology.  Most folks who fit that criteria left on the Atlantis expedition.  Where would our government (in the fictional world of the franchise) replacements?  Since Jack had repeatedly demonstrated his aptitude to Ancient technology, wouldn’t the president and General Hammond want him involved in training those replacements?    Out of this was born the primary setting for The Drift and yet, I knew I needed more.  A source of antagonism.  A threat.  And a way to further the spirit of the franchise and its ability to weave threads from through-out the series into a new tapestry with each and every story.

When I completed work on SG-1: Four Dragons, I knew there was more story to tell.   The thorn I’d created in SG-1′s side — otherwise known as Huang Sun Tzu, a cloned descendant of Sun Tzu and devoted Dragon Guard for System Lord Yu — didn’t just take a cargo ship to Earth and set up shop as a Chinese ambassador to the U.S.  As Sam rightly theorized in Four Dragons, he had to have come through the Antarctic Stargate.

Okay, that’s a good start, but how the hell did he get from the coldest, driest, most desolate location on Earth to China?  He couldn’t just walk there.  How would he survive?  What would he eat?  Where would he take shelter?  (How he entered the Chinese Diplomatic Corp is a blog post for another day).   More importantly, if I wanted The Drift to explore his struggles upon exiting the Antarctic gate, wouldn’t I need to know WHERE in Antarctica that gate (and the Ancient outpost) were located?   Easier said than done.

FINDING THE ANCIENT OUTPOST began with a review of what breadcrumbs had been dropped throughout the series.   The first time we discover a tie between Antarctica, the Ancients, and the Stargates appeared early on in Season One:

Walter pinpoints Sam & Jack’s location.
From SG-1 “Solititudes”
Image copyright – MGM-TV

From Stargate SG-1 “Solitudes”
written by Brad Wright

WALTER: We got it! Antarctica!  The timing of the event is to the second, including the event that Dr. Jackson experienced a few hours ago!

HAMMOND: Latitude and longitude?

WALTER: Yes Sir! It’s only about 50 miles out of McMurdo!

Okay – that doesn’t sound hard, does it?   Then I looked up McMurdo:

  • McMurdo is a research station, not a military base.  Yes, it receives military support.  Yes, it is American-run, but the National Science Foundation is in charge.  Not the Air Force.  (The Antarctic Treaty prohibits militarization)
  • McMurdo is actually not on the continent’s mainland.  Located at 77 degrees 51 minutes S, 166 degrees 40 minutes E, is the largest Antarctic station. McMurdo is built on the bare volcanic rock of Hut Point Peninsula on Ross Island between the Ross Sea and McMurdo Sound.
  • While McMurdo Sound is most definitely frozen over in the winter months, it doesn’t stay that way.  As we learn with later breadcrumbs (Lost City, SGA’s Rising), the Ancient outpost is some 200 feet (or more — depending on the episode) down within the ice.  So clearly, the outpost couldn’t be “in” the sound.
So where was it?
The next crumb dropped by Stargate‘s writing team (Brad Wright, Robert Cooper, etc.) came in the sixth season.  ”Frozen“ investigates the discovery of an Ancient woman frozen in the ice in Antarctica near where they found the Stargate.  There’s even some nice exterior shots of the research base.  Only problem is:  Those are shots of the Amundsen-Scott Research Station which is located 850 miles away from McMurdo.  I know, I know.  It’s fiction, but still!  I was determined to pinpoint the location of the outpost if for no other reason than to make sure that the chapters covering Huang’s struggles to survive in Antarctica had a feeling of legitimacy to them.
Happily, the next breadcrumb supplied an image of inspiration.    In season seven’s “Lost City,”  Jack O’Neill (and the Ancient Repository) uses the team’s cargo ship to drill an entry-way down into the Ancient Outpost.   See the mountains in the background?  Notice the flat ice.  If we take away the possibility of this being McMurdo Sound (or the Ross Sea), that leaves a few possibilities.  Narrow it down to being 50 miles away from McMurdo Station and there’s only one conclusion:
THE FERRAR GLACIER
Here’s Wikipedia’s definition of a glacier for those unfamiliar:
A large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation (melting and sublimation) over many years, often centuries. At least 0.1 km2 in area and 50 m thick, but often much larger, a glacier slowly deforms and flows due to stresses induced by its weight. Crevasses, seracs, and other distinguishing features of a glacier are due to its flow. Another consequence of glacier flow is the transport of rock and debris abraded from its substrate and resultant landforms like cirques and moraines. Glaciers form on land, often elevated, and are distinct from the much thinner sea ice and lake ice that form on the surface of bodies of water.

And here’s a map of the region to give you a sense of distance and location:
Finding the location was just the beginning.  Now that I “knew” where to place the outpost, the next thing to do was to figure out what resources would have been available to Huang in the 1950s.  That meant food, shelter, and eventually… civilization.  There’s a logic to my madness in his finding all three and I’ll post more on that in a few days.  Suffice it to say, the Ancients weren’t the only litterbugs.  Our early Antarctic explorers (Scott, Shackleton, and others) left behind quite a few goodies that helped Huang survive.
 
 
Diana Dru Botsford

Originally published at Diana Dru Botsford. You can comment here or there.

If you missed October 19th’s interview with O’Donahue’s Pub,  no worries.  The Pub guys archived our talk and you can find it below.  After all,  October 19th isn’t just a date, it’s a state of mind… Or at least that’s what Community‘s Troy & Abed tell us.

The Pub gang were a great bunch (their weekly shows cover the gamut from music to movies to web series to television).  In this 25 minute interview, we talked about Epilogue, Stargate SG-1 (and my Antarctic research experiences in preparation for writing The Drift), Star Trek, and even Inspector Gadget.  Since they broadcasted via Ustream, O’Donahue’s also shared the trailer for Epilogue.  And in case you’re wondering, yep – we also chatted about the web series’ place in the grand scheme of the time travel trope.

Take a listen – my interview starts at 1 hour and 5 minutes in – runs for 25 minutes:

Video streaming by Ustream

 

If you haven’t had a chance to watch Epilogue yet, what are you waiting for?  It’s a mind bender.  Deliberately.   We took time travel and turned it on its head.  There’s no easy shortcuts and plenty of risks in this 6-part SF web series.

And in case you’re wondering, the following ‘chestnut’ from Epilogue was definitely an Easter Egg for Stargate SG-1: The Drift.

Thanks to Roger Earehart (one of Epilogue‘s writer/producers (and whose work I never tire of reading!) for setting up the O’Donahue’s Pub interview.

 
 
Diana Dru Botsford
18 October 2012 @ 09:14 pm

Originally published at Diana Dru Botsford. You can comment here or there.

Coming Soon

Fandemonium Publishers will be releasing The Drift on/around the end of October.   Set in season 8 shortly after the events of the episode Avatar, the book serves as a sequel to Four Dragons.   The Drift is also is a bit of a prequel, providing an in-depth account of survival in Antarctica in 1950s.   Many of the Antarctic sequences were inspired by the great polar explorers Roald Amundsen, Robert F. Scott, and Ernest Shackleton whose Herculean efforts to reach ‘the end of the axis upon which this great round ball turns’ continue to inform and inspire humanity at every turn.

Truth and lies…
With Earth’s Ancient weapons chair at the center of an international dispute, Dr. Daniel Jackson is sent to Antarctica to sooth diplomatic tensions. Meanwhile, General Jack O’Neill reluctantly takes charge of a radical new weapons chair training program.

But when a natural disaster hits Antarctica, the future of the Ancient outpost – and of Earth itself – is thrown into jeopardy. Yet again, Earth’s fate lies in the hands of SG-1, but this time the team is lost and powerless to help.

Trapped within a strange reality, SG-1 encounter old friends and enemies as they struggle to escape and stop the Ancient cataclysm that’s threatening to destroy the planet.

Stargate SG-1: The Drift picks up one year after the events of  Stargate SG-1′s Four Dragons,  exploring how General Jack O’Neill and his flagship team’s lives have been shaped by alien technologies–both Ancient and Goa’uld in design.  In preparation for writing this novel, author Diana Dru Botsford journeyed to Antarctica in order to provide the reader with as much detail as possible so that they could experience the coldest, driest, and yet most powerful place on Earth.

Read More About This Book:

 
 
Diana Dru Botsford
09 October 2012 @ 07:50 am

Originally published at Diana Dru Botsford. You can comment here or there.

Merlin the Border Collie
May 17, 2000 – October 6, 2012
Photograph by Ryan McGinley

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive.  ~Gilda Radner

There’s an upside and a downside to the solitude of writing.  The writer needs peace, a space to arrange their thoughts, and the willingness to plunge down deep inside those thoughts for story. Equal parts thrilling and terrifying, having the right companion nestled at your feet can make all the difference in the world.  For the past 12 years, my companion was a magnificent creature known as Merlin the Border Collie.  A Disney character come to life, a shadow through my daily routine, a soul who stayed by my side unconditionally as I wrestled with writing, but also with life and it’s challenges.

Merlin was a very special soul.

On Saturday, we had to make the painful decision to say goodbye.  He’d developed cancer and while we had hoped he had time left, the pain had become too much, too quickly.  For the past few days, I have searched for ways to express my feelings about his loss, and I come up wanting each and every time.   And I think that’s the point.  For those who have had a special dog in their lives, they’ll understand.  The bond between dog and human exists on a level that goes beyond words.  There is a spiritual tie that is inexplicable and yet very real.

Twelve years ago, Merlin’s mom: our first border collie — Jodie — had a litter of pups.  Our plan had been to find all of them good homes.  We had absolutely no intention of keeping any of them.  That is, until one night when I went into my then 11 year-old daughter’s bedroom to tuck her in for the night and discovered that something was moving under her blanket.  With a smile that no parent can deny, she pulled back her covers and revealed one of the then three-month old pups wagging his tail in that fierce way only a puppy can do.  It was the first born of the litter.  Bigger, far whiter than his brothers and sisters, this little guy lifted his big brown eyes up to meet me and that was it.  I didn’t even need to hear Ariana’s “Can we keep him, Mom?”

I was hooked.

Jodie passed away two years ago.  A beautiful, regal dog loved by all.   Whip-smart with an earnest yet obsessive need to play (her tail wagging so hard that I’m still convinced we missed the mark on creating a form of unlimited energy!), she was devoted to my husband and deeply loved in return by us all.  But it was her son, Merlin, who snuck his way into my heart from the start.  A bit neurotic, yes.  Hated thunderstorms, lived to chase cows as well as any ball good enough to grace our backyard… The truth is, Merlin loved to love.   Anyone.  Students would come over to use our farm to shoot films and he would make it his personal mission to greet each and every one of them as if they were the most important person on the planet.   Our youngest cat, Bastet, was a year older than him and watched him be born.  He considered her his nanny, loved her unconditionally, and tolerated — no, begged! — for her daily ministrations.

I’ve had several dogs before Merlin.  Great dogs and I miss each and every one of them, but Merlin was special.  I mentioned above that he was like a Disney character come to life.   I’d come home exhausted and wrung out from a long day teaching, ready to collapse.  Some times, to be honest, a little fed up — either because of work or just life’s general frustrations.  Merlin knew me better than I know myself.  He knew that what I really needed was fresh air and another round of kick the ball.  Those moments, late at night under the stars, watching my beautiful puppy run free, grounded me.   Reminded me to enjoy life as it comes. To savor each moment.  To thank life, the universe and everything.

I suspect part of what has made it so difficult to say goodbye to my friend is the fact that he was born here — in the house.  He has been an unequivocally key part of what defines home for our family.  Every word I’ve written, every story I’ve devised, every book I’ve completed,  has been with my 70-pound furry friend nestled at my feet.   The dearest of friends, he will be missed for his cheerfulness, his ability to teach me the necessity of play, and most of all…

For his devout companionship.

Sleep well in Elysium, old friend.  While the words “thank you” don’t begin to express how grateful we were to have you in our lives, I think you knew the rest.

 

 
 
Diana Dru Botsford

Originally published at Diana Dru Botsford. You can comment here or there.

Star Trek: TNG - RascalsFriend and media tie-in novelist Keith DeCandido writes a biting yet entertaining STAR TREK: NEXT GENERATION rewatch over at Tor.com.  I say ‘biting’ because let’s face it:  The series is painfully dated. I can’t even watch an episode from the first few years, it’s so stilted (and yet, Deep Space 9 remains one of my all time favorite series – SF or otherwise).  Yesterday, I got an email from Keith entitled, “Hope You Forgive Me.”   Turns out, his latest target was the episode “Rascals” based off the spec script that I co-wrote with my dad, Ward Botsford (Original Title: “Maker of Dreams”).  Keith hated the episode and before you can even begin to nod your head in agreement…

So do I.  Other than the children and, yes, the Ferengi, the episode barely resembles what we had submitted.  ”Maker of Dreams” was a darker story — an exploration of Picard’s attitudes toward children (deriving from an horrific event on the Stargazer) with a side of Guinan re-uniting with a fellow outcast from her devastated homeland.

Oh, and there was NO TRANSPORTER accident in our version, either.  None.  Nada.  Zip.

Screenwriter John August was recently interviewed about the radical changes between his version of DARK SHADOWS and the Johnny Depp comedy released this past year.  When asked how much of his work was represented in the final cut, August said,

“Not a lot.  Dark Shadows, when it came to me, it was before Twilight had come out and before True Blood.  They said, ‘Let’s make a big gothic, vampire drama.’  I pitched that and I wrote a Godfather-like saga of the Collins family and Barnabas was at the center of it all.  I was really happy with it and it looked like it was going to happen,” August continued. “Other movies came first, other things happened first. Twilight and True Blood came out and, suddenly, vampires were everywhere. I understood the instinct of, ‘Let’s not make it a drama, let’s make it a comedy,’ but that wasn’t the movie I set out to write. It was frustrating, but that’s the nature of screenwriting. You’re building a movie that may not end up shooting.”

Between my days as a VP of Family Programming and my life as a screenwriting professor, I’ve read a few scripts.  Make that a few THOUSAND, at the very least.

I’ve read great scripts.  I’ve read bad ones.   I’ve read poorly executed scripts where the core idea was terrific, but would need a ton of work.  I’ve also read scripts that were so perfect, so ready for camera, that it would be criminal to touch one word for fear that the heart of the story would be wrecked.

And yet, story revisions are the name of the game.  Networks and studios have notes.  Producers get caught up in a concept, but miss the forest for the trees.  Re-writers apply whatever changes are requested because really, what other choice do they have?

There’s an old joke in Hollywood:  A spec script focusing on two nuns in Idaho gets passed around a studio.   Everyone reads it.  It’s good, maybe not great, but it ain’t bad either.  The core story line is honest, filled with profound moments, and the theme resonates.  Huge potential, just maybe not quite “there” yet.The studio (or network or television series writer’s room) is running thin on material.  They need a good script.   So they buy this one.  Sure, it might need some tweaks.  That’s what rewrites are for, right?   But then everyone involved decides the script needs their two cents.   Between all the different opinions, those two cents add up and oftentimes, the original story, the HEART of the story, gets lost.  More often than not, the story transforms from being about 2 nuns in Idaho to … and I kid you not… 2 cops in New York City.

Which is exactly what happened with the spec script my dad and I wrote.   What was meant to have genuine heart became a joke and while Starlog Magazine listed it as the TWELFTH BEST EPISODE of the series, I openly cringed when I watched the episode’s premiere.  Repeatedly.

But hey, it was Star Trek.  I started writing Trek stories at six years of age when I was old enough to use my dad’s typewriter so as much as it might frustrate the crap out of me, there’s no denying that I appreciate being an itty bitty part of the franchise’s history.    Okay, we didn’t get to tell the story we wanted to tell, but neither did those two nuns, and you can forget a dark, gothic Dark Shadows ever happening.

Except in your imagination.  Picasso once said, “Everything you can imagine is real.”    In my imagination,  Riker becomes a kid, not Picard.  Jean-Luc is stuck in a turbolift onboard the Stargazer with six children suffering from fatal wounds, and Guinan learns a valuable lesson in embracing the past while moving ahead.

Which is exactly what I’ve done.  ”Ahead Warp Two… Engage.”

 

 
 
Diana Dru Botsford

Originally published at Diana Dru Botsford. You can comment here or there.

The Two Ways Science Fiction Is Slowly Destroying Itself | Giant Freakin Robot.

Time Travel Is Just An Excuse

Time Travel used to be the most surefire of science fiction premises. It gave us brilliant movies like Back to the FutureThe Terminator, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Things started going south when Hollywood noticed how much money those time travel movies were making and wrongly assumed it was because of time travel, not great writing and directing. So they began working to insert time travel into all manner of ill-fitting vehicles, but that’s not what really killed it. Things really went wrong when time travel stopped being an actual premise and became more of an excuse.

For the most part, I’d agree with this. What happened to the sense of wonder that SF should impart? Whether that wonder is positive (Trek, SG, 2001) or negative (Prometheus, Inception, BSG), SF should inspire us to look beyond ourselves. On the time travel front, I agree wholeheartedly and it’s why EPILOGUE broke away from the traditional and made time travel come at a cost.

To quote Brandon Vescovo, Epilogue’s production documentarian:

[EPILOGUE] has consequences, and the script asks questions about the nature of time itself. It’s more than just a plot device.

Otherwise, why not just climb in a phone booth?

Watch the series and decide for yourself – did Epilogue break out of the current SF Time Travel rut or could we have gone further?

Epilogue: “The Past is Prologue” (Episode 1) from Epilogue the Web Series on Vimeo.

Epilogue: “Bad Trip” (Episode 2) from Epilogue the Web Series on Vimeo.