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  • in reply to: Top 10 Cult Sci Fi Movies of all time #76730

    💡 The (very) old grey cells are finally kicking in. What about Repo Man? I saw this movie in 1985 and managed to get a copy last week. The dialog is classic:
    “What did this? Gas, napalm?”
    “It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes”

    “You ever feel as if your mind had started to erode?”

    “Good evening, Otto. This is Agent Rogersz. I’m going to ask you a few questions. Since time is short and you may lie, I’m going to have to torture you. But I want you to know, it isn’t personal.”

    “Duke, let’s go do some crimes.”
    “Yeah. Let’s go get sushi and not pay.”

    I love the deliberate lack of product placement: cans with “Drink” or “Beer” on them and Otto eating out of a can labelled “Food”.

    I could go on but that would be obsessive.

    in reply to: Top 10 Cult Sci Fi Movies of all time #76726

    Oh bugger, I forgot Tank Girl (so bad, it’s good).

    Told you my brain was mush.

    in reply to: Top 10 Cult Sci Fi Movies of all time #76725

    To add to the aforementioned films I would like:
    1) The Hidden (1987)
    2) Galaxina (some of my favorite one liners are in here)
    3) The Abyss (is this a cult movie?)
    4) Aeon Flux (Cult classic of the future)

    to be thrown into the mix.

    There are so many other but my brain is mush tonight.

    in reply to: recent musical discoveries you’ve made….. #76653

    those nice people at dell

    Going off topic a bit but I hate to see large corporations forcing their choice of products on the buyer. I have been buying Dells since 1998. They have changed a bit since then going the way of Sony and other mass market suppliers by chanelling you down the ‘one click installation route (remember Packard Bell? I still have nightmares). My current Inspiron arrived with such an installation but I use Sofos and dislike McAfee with a passion. I ended up extracting the operating system from the backup partition doing a reinstallation of only what I wanted.

    As a suggestion, if you uninstall McAfee, delete any folders left over for McAfee and Quicktime, then use a registry cleaner to remove any references to McAfee and Quicktime from the registry. The reinstallation of Quicktime should then work. You can do this by hand but if you are not 100% confident, get some help, just not from PC World but that’s another story. 👿 Hope this helps. Good Luck.

    in reply to: recent musical discoveries you’ve made….. #76644

    Currently touring the UK are Hayseed Dixie (get the wordplay?). If you get a chance, check them out, especially if you enjoy your favorite rock anthems rearranged in the bluegrass style. There is a video of their rendition of Ace of Spades on the website http://www.hayseed-dixie.com/. Their album “Let
    There Be Rockgrass” is a revelation.

    If you like your rock off the wall then seek out The Sawdoctors, an Irish band with a very cutting sense of humour. Oh dear, how many puns can one fit into one sentence? I need to lie down again.

    in reply to: Where do you live? #75789

    Hmmm, the sights on my Pin Gun must be off, it landed in a deserted street in the wrong county. My little community was not recognised so I entered the nearest group of dwellings of any size, aimed and fired. My shot ricocheted of the town, skimmed over the river and burried itself outside a cement factory. Must reload an try again.

    in reply to: The Journalist and The Mercenary #75275

    ❓ There seems to be an anomolie in the time / space continuum. I have made 2 posts to this thread but they not been registered on the home page. Hmmmmmm. maybe this time ……….

    in reply to: The Journalist and The Mercenary #75292

    The door chime was soft but persistent, pulling the journalist out of a very deep sleep. She never was very good first thing in the morning but add a couple of bottles of wine at least forty-eight hours without sleep and a major culture shock; this was not a good way to start the day. The door chimed again, she sat up, her mouth felt as if she had slept with someone’s big toe in it, her hair felt like coconut matting. The bedroom was small and sparsely furnished. There was a door through to the washing facilities and one to the cabin’s living area. All the furniture seemed to be moulded out of the same material as in the bar. She noticed, somewhat apprehensively, that she was not touching the bed; she was suspended some millimetres above it and held her form perfectly. No wonder it was so comfortable. She swung her legs over the side and stood up, the bed melted back into the floor. She was still wearing the same clothes she had on when she began this bizarre adventure and she realised she had no recollection of ever getting to her quarters. There were the Arcturans, there was some dancing, some turquoise coloured drinks and then a haze. Again the door chimed. She walked through to the main living area. There was a desk area with a computer terminal and the few personal effects she had brought with her. A rectangular porthole displayed a myriad of stars showing that they were no longer under the power of the Compression Drive. Just how long had she been asleep? A sofa and two armchairs eased out of the floor as she entered.

    “Yes?” She queried in the general direction of the door. It obediently slid open and Cat entered. She looked the journalist up and down and her lip curled in distaste.
    “I’m to take you to the bridge.” She snarled without greetings or preamble and turned to leave.
    “Wait!” Cat turned. “I need to wash and change.” Cat sniffed the air and her features screwed as if encountering a bad smell, she motioned to the washroom at the back of the little bedroom with a small impatient gesture. The journalist took a step then turned on an impulse as she remembered a conversation last night, and faced Cat. “You don’t like me, do you? Cat paused for a moment, her sightless visor fixed directly at the journalist. She began to feel as if she had made a mistake, her heart thumped in her chest.
    “No.” Cat said finally, a small smile betrayed her enjoyment of the other’s discomfort.
    “Why not?” She had started this conversation; she might as well see it through. She did not trust Cat but she had to find out the reason for her animosity.
    “You are responsible for the death of Star.”
    “No,” she was horrified at the suggestion, “that’s not …..” she saw Cat’s jaw muscles tighten, and her teeth showed in a wicked grin, the journalist went white, she felt sick. She could not live her life having to watch every word in case she said the wrong thing. She had made the biggest mistake of her life forcing herself on this crew and there was no way out. There was so much that was new and strange to her: where even to be accused of lying was considered dishonourable and would end in the death of the liar or the accuser, where she was regarded as the alien, where her thoughts and emotions were on show to anyone who cared to look. How did she ever dare to hope she could fit in here? Once again, she felt the great gulf between herself and her new surroundings. She felt small powerless and a long way from home only this time the mercenary was not here to bolster her only this alien who, she felt, would prefer to break her neck. She hit rock bottom. This needed to end now. She made a radical decision to call Cat’s bluff and stared her straight in the visor. “If I called you a liar now, would you kill me?”
    “Without hesitation.” The reply was instant and without emotion.
    “Would it be quick?” The journalist trembled, wrong decision.
    “I must formally challenge you to withdraw the accusation, prove it or defend it. If you withdrew it you would lose all honour in the eyes of the crew and you would become invisible to them, the rest would be up to you.”
    “That would be a course of action, yes. I would suggest putting on a weapon, taking off the locator badge you were given and take a walk. The sentinels would fry you before you got fifty paces. You can borrow mine.” She held out her hand, which contained a small device. It was as jet-black, not much bigger than her hand, delicately shaped with a short stubby barrel. It had no apparent moving parts but its purpose was obvious.
    “You are enjoying this, aren’t you?”
    “Yes. If you could prove it then my life would be forfeit to you. If you cannot prove it but still stand by the accusation then you must choose to defend it. You would be dead before you saw me move.” She raised her right hand and to emphasise the point, razor sharp claws extended about two centimetres from the end of her slender fingers. All colour drained from the journalist’s face; fear gripped her insides and twisted them in knots. She was on the edge now and it was too late to turn back.
    “Would that satisfy your grief at the loss of your friend?”
    “No, that will always remain her honour would be satisfied.” Tears rolled down her cheeks and she looked straight into Cat’s featureless visor. She was near to hysteria with fear.
    “Then do it,” she sobbed, “but please believe me when I say that I had no intention of putting any of you in that situation. I had no idea what was being planned. Star was the most beautiful and loyal person I have ever met but I had no idea she would sacrifice herself in such a way. I am so sorry.” She paused and drew in a very deep breath, possibly her last. “Cat, I am not responsible for Star’s death which makes you mmmmm!” In a move faster than lightning Cat had placed a small, delicate hand firmly over the journalist’s mouth and pushed her roughly against a wall. They stood for a long moment, their faces millimetres apart and the journalist’s eyes, wide with fear, reflected back at her in a distorted image.
    “Never,” Cat hissed, “speak of this again.” and kissed her on the cheek. She removed her hand and sat down in a relaxed posture on the sofa. “I suggest you get ready. Would you like some breakfast? I believe that is the customary first meal of the day of your culture.” She finished lightly. The journalist’s mind reeled and ricocheted around her head. She staggered into the shower cubicle, vomited heavily into what she assumed to be a toilet bowl and collapsed on the floor sobbing.

    This is getting you nowhere. The thought pricked the back of the journalist’s mind some minutes later through the emotional chaos. You have just faced down the single most dangerous person you have ever met, and won. Did you win, or did you just survive? If you won, what was the prize? She sat up and hugged her knees to her chest. Her mind played back the scene again and again, trying to piece together what had happened. An image of herself lying on the floor with Cat stood over her body with those claws dripping red came unbidden to her mind. She managed to reach the toilet bowl just in time and retched heavily. Yes, she had won and the prize it seemed was to have gained the trust of a potentially and dangerous enemy. The crisis was over, now what? A shower, yes, a shower would be good. At least she would have a few minutes to think; once again she had proved herself ill equipped for this life but she had survived one major crisis, a number of small crises and her first shipboard party. She had survived each situation and learned valuable lessons but if this much can happen in the short time she had been aboard, what lay ahead for her?

    She rose to her feet and investigated the bathroom; the mental turmoil had abated somewhat but still troubled her. It was a simple cubicle with no trimmings or trappings. The facilities, as with all other furniture, moulded from the same material as the floor. The toilet bowl still bore witness to her recent distress but there was no apparent means of erasing the evidence. As she contemplated this simple problem the bowl melted into the floor. There was a pause of a few seconds and it oozed out again, completely clean and ready for use.

    She disrobed; there was nowhere to hang her clothes so she dumped them unceremoniously on the bedroom floor. There were no apparent controls in the shower cubicle but she had noticed that the ship seemed to anticipate her needs so she stood expectantly. There was no water but she felt an agreeable tingle all over her body, light danced around her and she felt herself suspended by an unseen force. After no more than thirty seconds the feeling subsided and she felt totally refreshed, her hair felt perfectly conditioned and there was not a hint of odour.

    On entering her bedroom, she noticed that her clothes had disappeared but hanging from the wall was a yellow jumpsuit with matching shin length boots. The jumpsuit had a diagonal opening from the neck at the right shoulder to the left waist and was at least three sizes too big and over a metre too long, the boots were similarly oversized. This is some sort of practical joke or initiation ceremony, she thought to her self. Ok, I’ll play along. She climbed in. At the bottom of the opening she found a small hard bubble in the material. Pulling this bubble up closed the opening until it reached the shoulder where it matched exactly with the beading around the neck. The suit suddenly shrunk, not skin tight but enough to hold the body shape. The boots reacted in a similar fashion. She admired her self in the mirror. Ok, so yellow was not her colour but not a bad all the same.

    Just then a smell caught her nostrils, familiar, tantalising, no she was dreaming! Eggs and bacon! She ran to the living area; Cat was sat nonchalantly at a table which had since appeared, replacing the sofa and chairs. On the table was a full breakfast of eggs, bacon, tomato and fried bread. There was a steaming pot of tea, the unmistakable aroma of Earl Grey, toast, jam and a jug of fresh orange juice. The smell was divine.

    “Please sit,” Cat indicated a spare chair, “I hope this is correct; I did not have much time to research the ritual.” Cat was grinning broadly in obvious pleasure at the journalist’s reaction.
    “It’s perfect. Thank you.” She suddenly realised that she had not eaten anything for over two days tucked in with abandon. Cat watched. “Please eat with me.”
    “No thank you. Please do not be offended, my dietary requirements are different to yours.” This was not the same person who only a few minutes ago had offered to shred the journalist’s body with as much pleasure.

    The journalist pushed the empty plate away and nursed a cup of tea. She needed some answers and her recent victory and a full stomach gave her courage.
    “Would you really have used those on me?” she indicated Cat’s hands, the claws retracted now and almost invisible. Cat contemplated her hands; the claws slid out then back again unnerving the journalist.
    “No,” said Cat, “they are a relic from my ancestry and it is considered barbaric to use them as weapons. It is normally considered vulgar to display them in public, I apologise.”
    “I suppose they are the reason he calls you Cat.” Cat cocked her head to one side and contemplated her hands.
    “He has problems pronouncing names in other tongues.” She shrugged.
    “I get the impression that our recent argument was orchestrated and I was manoeuvred into it.” She was not angry; the thought had crossed her mind in the shower. No matter what her journalistic training taught her about finding the truth, self preservation should have stopped her offering herself as a sacrifice.
    “Yes, again I must apologise to you. I used a technique on you to stimulate your actions and to act on your thoughts and fears that you would have normally suppressed.”
    “Your motives are unclear and I needed to know.”
    “That’s the second time someone has said that to me in two days. Could you not have just asked me?”
    “No, I have had enough dealings with humans to know they never say what they think. I had to make you say what you really thought.”
    “Did you really believe me to be responsible for Star’s death?”
    “Do you still believe so?”
    “I believe you played no part in the situation that led to her death. May I try some of this?” She indicated the orange juice.
    “Of course.” A clean glass appeared through the table. Cat poured a measure, sniffed and sipped.
    “Pleasant if a little bland for my taste, faintly reminiscent of a fruit from my world.” She finished a little wistfully.

    The subject had been tactfully changed so the journalist erred on the side of caution and did not press further. “Can I ask about your visor? You are the only crew member I have seen with one.”
    “My home world was covered in immense forests: the trees grew over a thousand metres tall and over one hundred metres in diameter with branches wide enough to drive vehicles along. My people lived in the forests and made homes in the trees. We lived in almost perpetual darkness. I wear this visor because even the light in this cabin would hurt my eyes, to look on your sun with out protection would blind me instantly.”
    “Ahh,” the journalist was satisfied, “now I understand. Trees a kilometre high: that must be a sight to see. I would like to visit your world.”
    Cat put her glass down and appeared to contemplate it for some time. Eventually she looked up. “I said that my home was covered by forests. That is because my home no longer exists. If fact I am the only one of my race left.” Deep emotions made the words tremble slightly. The journalist looked across the table startled. First the Arcturans and now Cat and before joining the ship she had heard Star’s story. Was this whole crew made up of the remnants of dead races?

    Cat ended her revere by gracefully flowing to her feet. The journalist felt like a newborn foal or deer against this person: all gangly legs and no balance. Every movement she made was unhurried, perfect, and precise with all the grace of a ballerina. Could this be the product of living in kilometre high trees? The journalist mused. One slip and you are road kill.
    “We must go. We are expected on the bridge.” The journalist grabbed her notebook and pencil from the desk area and followed her to the door, which slid open. Behind them the table, chairs and the remnants of breakfast melted into the floor.

    The corridor stretched for hundreds of metres in each direction with no obvious points of reference and was wide enough to accommodate at least tem people walking abreast. Instinctively the journalist took a mental note of the symbols on the door of her cabin, which were made up of two columns consisting of dots and horizontal lines. She assumed it was some sort of numbering system but had nothing to base it on. This was a big ship and she would hate to get lost trying to find her cabin again. She still had no recollection of getting there in the first place. She could feel the floor tugging at her feet each time took a step. As they walked the floor gently pulled them forward. It was like a cross between skating and water skiing only there was no wake or mark in the floor behind them. They were now moving at a fast run although they were only walking at a leisurely stroll. They passed the occasional crewmember but the floor smoothly traced them a safe course without breaking speed. She held back an urge to cling onto Cat in fright and tried to imitate her nonchalant manner.

    Their progress began to slow until they arrived at a bank of twenty doors, one of which slid open on their approach. Inside was a cubicle some two metres square with a column of buttons and symbols by the door. A lift! Finally, something the journalist could understand. Quick, check the floor numbers. Cat pushed button ‘dot’. Deck number one? The journalist jotted down the symbols from her door then started noting the symbols on the lift’s panel. Underneath was deck ‘dot dot’ then deck ‘dot dot dot’. Aha, a pattern was forming. Then there was a line, a line with a dot above, a line with two dots. The doors opening interrupted her concentration; she did not even feel the lift move. They stepped out into a long anteroom some thirty metres wide and at least fifty metres long. Each wall was lined with doors and the ceiling appeared open to the void showing a panorama of stars. The end wall had only one door this is where they headed. The room was deserted and took seconds to cross as the floor assisted their progress. The door slid open as they approached.

    Beyond the door was a parabolic room at least another hundred metres long and the same at its base. It was built on two levels. They had entered on the top level that consisted of a platform, where they were now stood, and a mezzanine floor that followed the curve of the wall. The wall was lined with instruments and high backed chairs, some occupied but many not. The chairs, unlike those in the bar, were permanent pieces of furniture but glided silently an effortlessly as the crew went about their business. In fact the whole room had a different feel to the rest of the ship; the floor was metallic rather than the substance that made up the living areas. The ceiling was domed and completely transparent; the journalist was beginning to feel a little agoraphobic. The level below was also lined with stations but they were mostly deserted. The floor was dominated by a single circular plinth with a holographic display of stars hovering above. The mercenary was stood thoughtfully contemplating the display. He looked up at them a waved for them to join him then went back to studying the hologram.

    Cat indicated an area of the platform with no guardrail and walked towards in and the journalist followed. Without pausing Cat walked straight off the edge. The journalist gasped and rushed forward to see Cat, five metres below, walking towards the mercenary with not a hair out of place. They both looked at the journalist and waited. Cat may have the reflexes of, well, a cat, the journalist thought to her self, but I am not going to risk my neck on a jump like that and she looked around for some stairs or lift. She found none. The other two were stood waiting; the mercenary with a look of amusement and Cat’s stance indicated irritation. The journalist could feel herself blushing furiously. The mercenary touched Cat’s shoulder and nodded towards the stranded journalist. With a head movement that indicated a ‘tut’, she strode forward. At the foot of the platform she rose quickly into the air until she was on a level with the platform and strode off without breaking step. In a single fluid movement she turned round, put a hand into the small of the back of the wide eyed journalist and propelled her off the edge. The journalist closed her eyes and screamed until she realised she was now standing on the lower level and the eyes of everyone on both levels were on her. She flushed furiously with a mixture of embarrassment and anger.
    “Don’t ever do that again!” She hissed furiously at Cat, who cocked her head to one side.
    “To survive, you must learn trust. If we are to trust you, you must first trust us.”
    “Next time, at least warn me before pushing me off a ledge.” Cat smiled with her small pointed teeth and walked over to the mercenary. The journalist stomped behind still blushing.

    “We have reached the out edge of the solar system and it is now safe to begin the next stage of the journey.” The mercenary said, without greeting or looking away from the holographic display. “I thought you might like a front row seat and we can continue out chat. How’s your head by the way?” The journalist contemplated this: she had woken up floating above a bed that she had no idea how she got to, manoeuvred into a deadly confrontation with an alien with two inch claws, been offered a full English breakfast that had materialised out of the floor, and pushed of a five metre ledge. All that considered, her head was coping, just. The mercenary’s mouth twitched in amusement. “I meant that Arcturan spirit can have some odd side effects on the unprepared and the Arcturan you went off with had a huge smile on his face when I saw him in Engineering earlier.”
    “As I said: ‘unexpected side effects.’”
    “But I never, couldn’t have … did I? I still had my clothes on!”
    “He said you were the best …”
    “Stop it!” The journalist was frantic.
    “… story teller he had met for some time.”
    “Story teller?”
    “Yes, the Arcturans have no concept of journalism; story telling is the closest they can relate to. Apparently you were giving a vivid account of your life from birth right up to the moment you passed out. He had some difficulty with your turn of phrase and the translator has difficulty with colloquiums so I had to explain that the boy you met on holiday did not actually steal any fruit from you.” There was that momentary twinkle that passed for mirth and then it was gone.
    “Everyone seems to be having fun at my expense today.” The journalist said, a little petulantly.
    “Come,” Cat butted in, “it’s nearly time.” And headed for the upper level, the others followed.

    They left the bridge and took a lift that opened up at the back of the bar. The bar was already more crowded than it had been for The Departure and more were arriving every second. The three moved towards the front and the panoramic view of the void. The mercenary indicated a suitable spot and a table and three chairs oozed from the floor. As they sat an attendant deposited a glass of vodka for the mercenary, a bottle of wine with glass for the journalist and a glass of a brown pungent liquid with the consistency of tree sap for Cat.

    The journalist’s mind was bursting with new questions and she made to speak but the mercenary raised a hand to cut her off. The fusion engines had been shut down and the RAM scoop had been retrieved. The ship now rode the magnetic fields of the universe again, not dissimilar to a sailing ship using the tides and winds to propel itself.

    “Now we are comfortable, I have news that will lighten your day.” His eyes had softened and a smile played over his lips as he spoke. This, for the mercenary, was akin to jumping for joy. “Star has been revived!”
    “What!” The journalist was stunned, emotions played over Cat’s features as she regarded the mercenary silently.
    “Her heart has been repaired and is now beating and she is breathing. However,” he cautioned, “there is still serious brain damage because it took us too long to get her out but she has the best we have repairing her synapses. It will still be some weeks before we know for certain.” A single tear rolled down Cat’s cheek from under her visor. The journalist wanted to throw her arms around her in comfort. The look Cat shot her and the set of her jaw put paid to that thought and she took a long swallow of wine.

    “Hyperspace entry in one minute, drive is charged, all stations have reported ready.” A disembodied voice cut through the silence. “Hyperspace entry in 30 seconds, drive is discharging, entry point creation started.” Ahead a blood red tear appeared and began to grow rapidly. The tear lengthened and widened, the edge was now a jagged maelstrom of energy with discharges flashing every colour of the rainbow as the universe fought with the ship to end this assault on its very fabric. The centre of the maelstrom was pure nothing, no stars, lights or colours of any kind. The ship rushed on. “Hyperspace entry in 4, 3, 2, 1…” The assembled throng cheered and the band of energy holding the two universes apart flashed past mere metres from the ships hull. “Hyperspace drive shutdown, entry complete.” The voice concluded. The entry point had closed behind them. The absolute blackness outside seemed to ooze round the edges of the windows and encroach on the space inside the ship. Suddenly the bar seemed small and claustrophobic. Many of the crew looked uncomfortable, a few even on the verge of a panic attack. The journalist was one of the latter, even Cat’s unflappable mask had slipped a little and her glass was suddenly empty. It was like a huge blind spot that you could not focus on and was at the edge of your vision where ever you looked. She felt that the whole universe was compressing into this nothingness and she was having difficulty breathing. After a short delay the windows polarised and became opaque. All the ships external ports would now remain opaque until it was time to rejoin normal space. The oppressive atmosphere ended and the crew returned to chatting. The ritual now complete some got up and left. Their seats and tables melted back into the floor as they walked away, some more unsteadily than others.

    “Why do they do that?” The experience had shaken the journalist: she had finished two glasses of wine in quick succession and was trembling visibly.
    “Bravado mostly. I suppose it’s partially my fault, I instigated the departing ritual, I used to come here alone and eventually others joined me and it grew from there. There is no need for the windows to be transparent during entry, they want to feel what the first pioneers of hyperspace travel felt; although they know it is only for a few seconds. You will never get used to it, it’s just as disturbing the hundredth time as it was the first.”

    “Also,” he continued, “hyperspace travel is still very dangerous. As someone once said, ‘travelling through hyperspace aint like dusting crops, kid.’” He put on a bad American accent for the quote. “You are using a enough energy to rip a small planet apart, and tearing a hole between two realities. One miscalculation or failure and this ship is toast. I suppose it’s nice to see it coming. Would you take a blindfold to face a firing squad? I wouldn’t.”

    Trying to grapple with ideas well beyond her comprehension she probed further. “We discussed last time that travelling faster than light only existed in science fiction so what are we doing this time?”
    “We have simply gone somewhere that operates under a different set of rules from our own universe.”
    “Explain that to me, in simple language.”
    “Ok, we have four means of travel on this ship, the designers were pure scientists who put all their knowledge and expertise into it without the constraint of budgets or governments and that includes the engines, weaponry, defence measures and crew facilities. We can out manoeuvre, out run, out gun just and shrug off more damage than just about anything in the galaxy and still have a three course dinner and cocktails.” The journalist smiled appropriately at the mercenary’s humour. “Two engines are for normal travel, one uses the natural magnetic fields that occur everywhere, not particularly fast but highly manoeuvrable, for such a bulky vessel. The second is the fusion drive, uses hydrogen for fuel: light the blue touch paper and stand back. The other two are for interstellar travel.”

    “The Compression Drive, we have talked about already. The hyperspace drive tears a hole between two realities. Basically we fly into a reality where the laws of physics are different. I never took Quantum Physics at school but as far as I understand it, in hyperspace we do not exist as a three dimensional object, we are spread out like oil on water and if left unchecked will eventually touch all corners of the universe. The trick is to find an ‘anchor point’ where you what to end up, create an exit point and pull your scattered molecules to that point and out into normal space again. As I said, this takes massive amounts of energy and you never enter hyperspace unless you have enough to get back out again.” Not for the first time, a wave of vertigo swept over the journalist. Too much, too fast and no time to assimilate the information.

    “How long do we spend in hyperspace?” The question was logical but delivered with a degree of apprehension.
    “About five months in hyperspace and another month under full Compression Drive.”
    “Where are we going?”
    “My dear, we are going to introduce you to the Hunab Ku, the Galactic Centre, and the birthplace of all things. You are to meet the oldest and most venerable beings in the galaxy. Cheers!” He raised his glass to the journalist in salute, put his head back and poured the contents down his throat.

    in reply to: The Journalist and The Mercenary #75265

    I tried playing a variety of music to keep the creative juces flowing (Pink Floyd, Yes, Anouk, Sheryl Crow, Judie Tzuke, Gustav Holst) but I always ended up listening to the music and writing nothing. Now I prefer as close to silence as I can manage, traffic and neighbours willing.

    Anyway, fashionably late, here is episode 3. It has been heaviliy edited and the flashback sequences have been removed along with the bad language. This is still a final draft because there are still sections and ideas that I am not happy with and need some work. However, please enjoy.

    in reply to: The Journalist and The Mercenary #75230

    Chapter 3 rolled to a logical conclusion a couple of days ago and is a marathon. I had a severe case of writer’s block where I could not get her out of the bathroom for days (all will become clear). I took a literary laxative (4 large export quality vodkas) and the subsequent deluge would not stop! Chapters 1 & 2 have gone through some significant rewrites so C3 references conversations and situations not in the versions posted here. I am going to have to edit C3 ‘for the web’ but I will post Monday evening (GMT).

    I am glad people are enjoying. 😀

    in reply to: Transcripts Theft #75212

    Maybe prevention is better than cure:


    in reply to: Stone Burner as sf/sci-fi über weapon?? #75203

    All these posts focus on what creates the biggest bang, be that explosion or implosion. For me it is not bang per buck but cause and after effect that creates the ultimate weapon. This has to be the small lump of metal that was dropped out of hyperspace in Juggernaut by A E van Vogt.

    This metal had qualities that made it workable, for a time, but then became indestructable and when brought into contact with other metals it passed those qualities on. To cut a short stroy even shorter: tanks and aircraft made of the metal were unstoppable but the metal found its way into the armory and shells and bombs stopped exploding, the enemy’s metal store was contaminated so also became imune. Eventually there was only one metal on the whole planet. End of war, all war, and industry and …….

    This story appeared in Astounding in 1944. No I am not that old, I have The Best of A E van Vogt. I took it as a moral such as “be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.”

    in reply to: Scottie is Dead! #75170

    It’s worse than that! He’s dead, Jim! 🙁

    in reply to: Beer vs Lager #75053

    Ah Belgium beers i think it great that you have a specific glass for a specific beer. .

    Qwak is served in a bulb (like a small yard of ale) in a wooden scafold to stop it falling over. Trapist beers tend top be served in stemmed glasses with wide tops. Yes I spent many oblivious nights ‘working’ in belgium and Holland

    My story is the time I left a job in Amsterdam and before I returned to the UK we spent a night a Cafe Belgique, just off Damraak, drinking Qwak, I would hate to guess at quantities. About 2am I decided to do back to my apartment but had lost my sense of direction so I phoned my wife in the UK to anouce that I was lost and could she direct me. We exchanged a few expletives and she kindly helped me to a taxi rank using her superior sense of direction and recolection of Amsterdam. Rather than have the taxi take me to my apartment I asked him to take me to my car, which I had no hope to driving with any degree of safety. On arrival at my car I found a second taxi driver to follow us in my car (a UK right hand drive) back to my apartment. We then drove to my apartment witrh me shouting from to the driver behind where to find the controls.

    I then got up at 7am to do a full day’s work before driving to Roterdam to catch the ferry home. Try doing that on British beer!

    in reply to: Beer vs Lager #75050

    However, 7th_Dizbuster, I must take issue with you on the American beer remark, good sir. Ah hell, we deserve that I guess 😀 .

    I humbly beg forgiveness for the remark 😳 😀 . I have not spent much time in the US but I was only ever offered Bud or Miller. I would feel my back teeth floating before tasting anything or feeling any effect. I never got a chance to sample proper local brews. I am sure anyone visiting the UK and being fed Carling Black Label would have the same opinion of British lagers. (all Brits nod heads sagely)

    Check out http://www.camra.org.uk for the best of british ales

    in reply to: Beer vs Lager #75045

    The problem with so called ‘lagers’ is that no one knows how to brew, store or serve them properly in the UK. I cannot believe no one has mentioned the 2 homes of beer (Germany and Belgium). In Germany it HAS to be a good Hefeweizen – a great summer beer or a good pilnzner that takes 7 minute to pour (dry and refreshing). Belgium? Well there is nothing else to do there so take your pick:
    Qwak (8%) dark and sweet don’t expect to get home unaided
    Duval (9%) drink at your peril
    Satan (8%) a rip of Duval BTW
    Chimay Triple (7%) light colour but not in taste, made by monks, or in deed any of the trappist beers.

    Holland has to be Grolsh or Amstel. Hoegarten is nice on a summer’s evening.

    In the UK it’s Old Cantankerous if I can get it or Lancaster Bomber or Spitfire. Black sheep is also good.

    In the US? Sorry guys, you must try harder.

    in reply to: The Journalist and The Mercenary #75016

    Yowza, 7th, are you sure you don’t write professionally? Me thinks I smell someone who is at least published if not more.

    I appreciate the praise but I am 100% amateur and this is my first attempt at creative writing since school (a long time ago). I have made my first mistake though: Arcturus is actually a red giant incapable of sustaining habitable planets. 😳 Oops. Xi Sigma 5 looks like a better option, I may need to rewrite although it does not roll off the tongue like Arcturus.

    The second part of Chapter II is almost ready and involves a second flashback to the mid 80s. I did not post the first flashback but the second is more Sci-fi orientated. I will probably post next week.

    in reply to: The Journalist and The Mercenary #75000

    Chapter II part I is now in rough draft and posted here. What’s missing is a flashback to the mid 1980’s to introduce a yuppie character with no loyalty to anyone but him self who subsequently looses all his family in a train crash in which he is critically injured. Yup, it’s the mercenary. Now on with the sci-fi

    I am not fully happy with this yet, it seems a bit tacky in places so any suggestions would be apreciated. Planet names are place holders as well.


    The Moon was now behind them and the ship was well clear of the gravity wells created by the planet and its satellite. The fusion engines had accelerated the ship to a cruising speed of around 200 000Km/s or 66% of the speed of light. Theoretically, the ship could be powered to close to the speed of light but as the ship accelerated it required more power to overcome the resistance and drag caused by a 2000m diameter RAM scoop and the law of diminishing returns took over.

    An party atmosphere continued to grow in the bar and all eyes turned to the void in front as the fusion engines were throttled back and the RAM scoop reduced to a mere one hundred kilometre radius. The lights in the bar dimmed enough to accentuate the void outside. The mercenary looked up at faced the front of the craft.
    “Do you like firework displays?” he asked, “Because you are going to love this!” His face lit up in a rare moment of simple joy, this was his universe and he loved showing it off.
    “What’s happening?”
    “They’re about to kick in the Compression Drive.” She looked puzzled. “We can’t, correction we shouldn’t, jump to hyperspace inside a solar system. It is a very violent act and the effect can be felt for tens of thousands of miles. In a crowded system a badly planned entry or exit can cause havoc. It would take about eight days to clear the solar system using the main RAIR drive; with the Compression Drive we can do it in one without breaking a sweat.”
    “We are going faster than light?” The journalist asked in anticipation, her stomach lurched in a mixture of excitement and apprehension.
    “Travelling faster than light is impossible,” the mercenary corrected, “but we can bend the rules a bit.” The journalist looked confused. “Watch, I will explain later.” He indicated the front view. She followed his direction where millions of specks of light filled her vision, not just white as on first glance but subtle yellows, reds and blues, all steady with no atmosphere to distort the view. Lying over the black velvet were deep magentas and purples of distant dust clouds picked out be the rapidly retreating sun. She wondered at the beauty and majesty of the greatest act of creation and destruction being enacted before her. How many of those distant points of light still exist? Which ones had died long ago? How many are too new for their light to have reached them yet? How many contained inhabited planets? The eternal question that had kept writers and scientists arguing for years and she was going to find out. She was no trained astronaut or scientist; she was a television journalist and minor celebrity, yet here she was, embarking on the adventure only dreamed about by science-fiction addicts. She suddenly felt how inadequate her journalistic training was to describe what she saw. “I never knew that there could be so many stars and so many colours. Even space is not just black. I could look at that all day.” It was a lame comment, not worthy of moment but she had to say something. The mercenary gave a half smile and sipped his vodka.

    She mused idly at the world she had left behind: since man had understood what the stars were, many had imagined and written stories about life on other planets, many others strove to prove that the human race was alone in the universe, or at least out of reach of any other sentient race. A few weeks ago all speculation had ended at the arrival of a two mile long spaceship. There could be no secrecy, no cover-up, no ‘weather balloon’ explanations; it could be seen in orbit, in detail, with the simplest of telescopes. At night it was the brightest object in the sky. The single most momentous moment in human history had happened and to cap it all, the most important occupant was human. He had come to deliver a message and now he was leaving, never to return, but now the ship had two humans on board. They had left the planet in an uproar, politicians were pointing fingers at each other and denying everything, others were trying to prove it was all a hoax or was a mass hallucination, the whole of the USA was now under marshal law and the mercenary’s closest friend was dead. The message had been delivered, their future was now up to them, she had chosen her future and it did not include banal new reports, endless chat shows, cocktail parties, the inevitable obscurity that goes with being a minor celebrity and dreaming of retiring in Spain.

    Without warning a jolt ran through her body, startling her out of her reverie, not a physical discomfort, more like the feeling you get when you have suddenly remembered something important when it is too late. She winced as her stomach momentarily tightened and turned to lead and her heart seemed to stop for a long second. All the stars turned shades of blue then streaked back on all sides of the ship like millions of copper meteor trails of varying brightness and thickness. As each trail came level with the ship, the blue faded through the colours of the rainbow to red as it passed behind.

    “Wow, that’s incredible!” Her sudden discomfort passed and forgotten, the journalist jumped up and ran to the widow to watch the streaks disappear to red behind the ship like a small child watching the passing scenery on a speeding train. The assembled crew toasted the void, as was the custom, and returned their attention inside. Some groups got up and joined other groups. Table and chair configurations changed to accommodate the movement. There would be no further developments for some hours so the assembled crew got down to some serious partying. In one corner musical instruments were produced and songs were raised in strange tongues. Some danced, some clapped to the rhythm, some just leaned back to enjoy the spectacle, either inside or outside the ship. The mercenary smiled and turned his attention back to his vodka.

    After a while the journalist returned to the table, a puzzled look on her face.
    “I thought you said that we cannot travel faster than light.” She accused.
    “We are not travelling faster than light.” The mercenary replied flippantly. The wine had dulled her senses a little and quickened her temper; she did not like being fobbed off and her journalistic training took over. He raised a finger in remonstration and a rebuke was forming on her lips, the Doppler Effect she had read about in a magazine somewhere, was clearly visible outside. She saw his face turn to stone and felt the icy blast of his stare as he caught her intent. She pulled herself up, she had witnessed the result of the mercenary being called liar before. She swallowed hard, sweat beaded over her top lip. What she would normally use as a throwaway line or as a challenge to have something explained to her was tantamount to calling the mercenary a liar and could, in her new life, have more serious and lasting consequences. Star, lying somewhere in the bowels of this huge craft with a hole through her chest and heart was testimony to that. She felt sick and turned away. The mercenary remained silent and impassive. She gathered her shattered wits and thoughts together.
    “How can it look like we are travelling faster than light,” she nodded outside, “but you say that it is impossible? You did say you would explain later.” She finished lightly but still shaking. Good recovery, she congratulated herself, just be more careful next time.
    “Yes you should.” Said the mercenary quietly. The journalist looked at him, startled. “The Compression Drive,” he continued without apology or explanation, “as the name suggests, compresses a corridor of space for us to travel through. Rather like all the atmosphere in this room being compressed into a gas cylinder; same volume of gas but less space to move through.”
    She nodded understanding but clearly did not. “Inside the cylinder we are travelling at less than light speed,” he continued, “but outside it looks like we are going faster than light. Imagine a very long, speeding train and you riding a motor cycle very fast through it. You are only doing one hundred kilometres per hour but the train is going at two hundred. The net result is that you are travelling at three hundred kilometres an hour.”

    Light dawned; she remembered a similar conversation with an old boyfriend at three in the morning after drinking far too much wine. The boyfriend did not last much after the wine was finished but somehow the conversation reared up from her sub conscious. “Just like Warp Drive on Star Trek!” She interjected. The mercenary winced visibly.

    “However, compressing or warping space, if you insist,” he corrected him self acidly, “is all straight forward but you still need forward motion so we still need to have the RAIR drive lit to push us through.” The journalist looked puzzled, he indicated his vodka glass. “How can I move this glass from one end of the table to another?” She shrugged and pushed at the glass tentatively with one finger. “Just so, now no matter what I do here,” he waved his hands in front of the glass, “it will not move unless you push it. The Compression Drive just manipulates space, it does not cause motion. Now do you understand?” The journalist nodded. Not quite like Star Trek then. “No.” Said the mercenary.
    “I thought you said that was rude and unforgivable.”
    “The wine is making you lose some control, you are starting to babble.”

    “What are they singing about.” she hastily changed the subject to shift the focus away from herself.
    “In remembrance of happier times:” he replied, “lost loves, dancing naked in the moonlight, swimming in bottomless azure lakes under a clear rose coloured sky, remembered friends, family. Simple pleasures they can no longer enjoy.”
    “Happier times, are they not happy?”
    “They are the last of the Arcturans, their planet was devastated by a war they never asked for or played any part in. They occupied Arcturus 2, a beautiful planet with an abundance of natural resources and perfect climate; you would term it a paradise. Although they had a complex civilisation, their culture was to live with the land rather than from it. They had developed highly efficient forms of energy production including orbiting solar panels and had no need to burn their world to fuel their industry so there was very little pollution. Unfortunately, they had two neighbouring planets in the same system, Arcturus 1 and Arcturus 3. Arcturus 1 was closer to the sun and that much hotter and arid, Arcturus 3 was further out and colder. Both Arcturus 1 and Arcturus 3 were rapidly running out of their natural fuels and polluting their atmospheres. They regarded their neighbour with a high degree of jealousy. Both planets attempted to annex their neighbour for their own consumption. There was a long and bloody war using some weapons that should never have been invented. The peaceful Arcturans had no means of self defence and just got caught in the crossfire. Eventually the atmosphere became so poisoned and the water polluted by the by-products of war and biological agents that the whole planet became useless as a commodity but the warring factions still carried on. We picked up a desperate plea for help but arrived too late to make a difference. By the time we made orbit there was only a few small communities high in the mountains with no more than a few thousand left and most of those were in a terminal condition.”
    The Journalist was aghast. “What did you do?”
    “The only thing we could: we evaluated the situation to asses which of the warring parties was the aggressor then blew the crap out of anything that flew and carried a weapon, both in orbit and in the atmosphere. We ended that war in less than two rotations of that planet. The ground troops would die off eventually without food, clean water, breathable air and protection from all the poisons they had inflicted on this world.”
    “Revenge?” The journalist was startled, “That does not sit well on you.”
    “No, we were furious at the stupidity of it all but revenge is not our way, not even on behalf of another. We were there to protect the true inhabitants against aggression; even though it was a futile gesture on our part it did feel good. For good measure we visited both Arcturus 1 and Arcturus 3 and took out any orbiting military ships or space docks we found and left warnings of dire consequences if any vessel were to find its way to Arcturus 2 in the future. An empty threat but satisfying none the less.”

    “We gave what help we could to the survivors but most were beyond even the resources of this ship. The small party you see over there asked to join us in an attempt to save their race. It was their payment for our help.” The journalist looked puzzled. “We are mercenaries when all said and done. Their planet was dying and will be uninhabitable for many hundreds of years but they want their children to return home eventually and they are wonderful engineers. The arrangement works well for both of us. After a while, if we find a planet they can live on undisturbed until they can go home again, they will be free to leave.”

    An unbidden tear streaked the journalist’s cheek, how could a whole race be destroyed because of another’s greed? Then she remembered Earth’s less than exemplary history: the Aztecs, the American Indian, the African pygmies, all decimated because of greed, stupidity and arrogance. She turned her attention back to the mercenary who had just had his vodka refreshed.

    “So, the train crashed what happened next?”

    in reply to: patent pending #74944

    I just got back from a long trip, and yet again I wish the remote control cars were in use. I understand that this idea got de-railed (so to speak) when the expense of installing all the control track along the sides of every road was fully understood.

    They are half way there with the new Citroen C5. Ok, it’s not self correcting but if you cross a lane marker above a certian speed without indicating the seat vibrates the apropriate butt cheek to alert you. The system looks for white lines that exists on all European motorways on the left, right and centre. Of course: no line = big bang.

    Now if they could only ………

    in reply to: Writing Aids – What’s your favorite #74888

    Anybody else get fixated on letters in their writing???

    I’m very fond of names that start with M.

    Not exactly a letter but I have a fixation with eyes, see my Chapter I Part I entry. Everything seems to focus on the main characters’ eyes. Still I suppose “his butt was drawing her in ..” doesn’t quite work and neither does “Without visible breasts to convey emotion she looked like a cobra preparing to strike.”

    in reply to: Writing Aids – What’s your favorite #74881

    I’m finally getting it regular again

    I am glad to hear the high fibre diet is starting to work. If only the creative juices were as easy to free up. Good luck!!

    in reply to: Wish me luck! #74880

    Have no idea what those tests are but sounds scary!!!

    Light speed intro to the English education system

    GCSE: up to 8 subjects taken at 16, the lowest legal age for leaving school, after 3 years study
    AS level: new exam, relatively speaking, 4 subjects taken at 17 after 1 year of study in 6th form. Some polotition thought it would be a good idea to break up a 2 year course and give everyone another exam to stress over. 👿
    A level: Final exam, 3 subjects, 1 final year of study in 6th form at 18.

    P level: this is not a true exam but a measure of how many parties you can cram in from July to September before you start University. 8)

    Scotland has it’s own exam system. Any Scots out there care to enlighten the universe on the Scotish system?

    in reply to: You Might Be A Redneck Jedi If……. #74878

    Apologies to Mr Geezer for the plagiarism but “You know you are a Chav Jedi when….

    Your Jedi robe is in burberry and has a hoodie with built in baseball cap

    You have ever used your Light Saber to give yourself a tattoo.

    You think the best use of your light saber for teaching your bird a lesson.

    Your X-Wing has low profile landing struts and oversized exhaust ports

    There is a 24 inch sub-woofer in the back of your landspeeder

    You have furry dice hanging from the rear view mirror of your landspeeder

    You have no tastebuds due to over indulgence in hyperspeed food

    You can find no grammatical errors in the way Yoda talks

    You want matching white stormtrooper outfits for you and your bird

    You can levitate yourself using a force from within, but not THE FORCE

    There is always a Ford X-Wing MkII blocks in your front garden.

    You ever lost a hand during a light-saber fight because you had to readjust your bling.

    The worst part of spending time on Dagoba is no McD.

    Wookies are offended by your dress sense.

    You have ever used the force to get yourself another beer so you didn’t have to wait for a commercial.

    You have ever used a light-sabre to open a non-twist-off bottle of beer.

    Your father has ever said to you, “‘Ere son get the f*** over to the dark side…it’ll look good with your gold, init”

    You have ever had your R-2 unit use its self-defense electro-shock thingy wake your bird up because you fancy a roll.

    in reply to: Wish me luck! #74876

    Son 1.0 is also starting his AS levels this week so a heartfelt ‘good luck’ from one who sees it from the other side, although you are probably sitting in an exam room now wishing you were elsewhere. Just remember, the GCSE is only a stepping stone to the AS level which is only a stepping stone to the A level which is only a stepping stone to the degree: each one becomes redundant after the next.

    Personally I would like to thank the pond slime that thought it would be a good idea to stick this pointless exam in the way of our students. Pile on the pressure, why don’t you.

    Sorry, non sci-fi gripe over, back to the book.

    in reply to: What do you want to read (Insperation required) #74741

    I have a rough draft of chapter 1 ready which I am going to post here for comments. This is the first piece of creative writing (other than my tax forms) that I have done for nearly 30 years so I need to be loaded on vodka before pushing that [Submit] button. 😳

    Just need to shake of the final effects from the dodgy aardvark burger that laid me low last week, then I can drink alcohol again.

    in reply to: What do you want to read (Insperation required) #74712

    So just write my little padawan!!! Write!!! (insert evil laughter here)

    I am just recovering from a severe attack of Denobian Swamp Fever brought on by a dodgy aardvark burger in my local hostelry which has turned half my brain to mush and sautéed the other half to serve as the main course of a dinner party to all its friends.

    I expect to be back on track next week after strict regime of of hot oil massages and vodka inhalers over the weekend.

    in reply to: Was Star Trek 1 That Bad? #74693

    The Wrath of Khan brought back the ST ethos, examination of humanity, the wonders of discovery, and revisited mistakes of the past.

    You for got to close with “… and blow the sh1t out of them.”

    ST:TMP was a beautifully made film which veered more towards TNG stye story telling. Pickard would elect to have a conference and discuss diferences to find a solution whereas the original Kirk would release a broadside of photon torpedoes then talk about his angst later.

    My verdict
    TMP – excellent film, good story well told. Lots of things to think about.
    TWoK – excellent ‘shoot em up’, oh if those effects had been available during the series.
    The Rest – steadilly downhill from there. The whales were fun, light entertainment. Uhura dancing seductivly on a sand dune – oh please!

    in reply to: Writing Aids – What’s your favorite #74668

    Oh dear, have I started something?

    I am an IT consultant by trade / profession, I have planned and installed systems for UK government departments, utilities and industry. I constantly preach about organisation and planning but I have got to admit my own system is a MESS. I am doing all my writing on my trusty 5 year old laptop (built like a Russian tank and just as fast) and all my ideas and notes are either in my head of on Post-it Notes. I have got to get it together!

    in reply to: What do you want to read (Insperation required) #74667

    No problem with the dreaming, that where the ideas came from in the first place but I have been searching for a solid foundation for the dreams to anchor to.

    As kokopelli succinctly pointed out: I can’t spell to save my life so the typewriter is a non starter, I have a duty to save the trees! 😆 plus, chaper 1 has been though 2 rewirites already.

    I am hoping to post the rough draft of Chapter 1 in the Original Fiction section and open it up for comments. All I need is just a little more vodka before I push the ‘submit’ button. 😳

    in reply to: Red Planet #74666

    Found this:
    any use?

    I have also been using this :
    as research for my book. No mention of the aerospike engine but some interesting stuff on other propulsion systems.

    Hmmm, you got me thinking now…….

    Happy cruising!

    in reply to: Which Fantasy/Sci Fi Character Are You? #74572

    Well that’s a surprise 😯 apparently I am G’kar
    “Ceaselessly struggling for a well-deserved redemption, you carefully arrange your alliances and energies.”

    I think that means I will get my own way what ever it takes. 😈

    Main differences between me and G’kar:
    he is at least 0.25m taller than me
    I have 2 eyes
    I have a better complexion

    in reply to: Missed Dr Who but saw the wedding :/ #74570

    Although the episode was complete bollocks, there were some definitely good bits in it – mostly involving ‘spooks’. I think if I was young, I would have needed to wear nappies again. The story, of course, was shite.

    Are we still talking about the wedding?

    in reply to: Is it wrong? #74569

    That other Claudia from Babylon 5 isn’t too bad either, but I’m pretty indecisive with her. I’d often wonder, Is she really hot or not???

    If you have ever seen her in The Hidden then there would be no doubt in your mind – backless red dress, leopard skin coat and a huge automatic weapon! 😈 Oh, and don’t forget the pole dancing sequence 8)

    in reply to: The Montage Method of Film Production #74568

    I forgot to warn about the spoiler.

    That’s OK, I don’t thing anyone could ‘spoil’ that movie! 😆

    in reply to: Spaceships… #74560

    I tend to go for the ugly / utilitarian look rather than sleek design work. Star Trek ships are too clean and contrived for me
    Earth Force destroyer – B5
    Nostromo – Alien
    X Wing and Y Wing fighters – Star Wars
    The original Battlestar Galactica
    Eagle – Space 1999
    Hammerhead – Space: Above and Beyond
    Event Horizon
    The drilling rig (streaching a point, I know) – The Abyss
    Sador’s ship – Battle Beyond the Stars
    I do like Nestor’s ship from the same film too plus ‘they’ have the coolest quote of the whole movie:
    Nestor “It takes 4 to run the ship”
    Cowboy “Why are there 5 of you?”
    Nestor “We always carry a spare.”

    I am sure I will think of more after I hit the ‘submit’ button

    in reply to: The Montage Method of Film Production #74559

    That’s the one! 💡 Thanks 😀

    in reply to: Will Smith: The Acceptable Face of Asimov? #74265

    I have just spent the rest of the morning in a quiet room listening to the Firefly theme tune, sandwiched between life-size posters of Zev and Xev. I feel sooo much better now. 😉

    in reply to: The end of space based TV Scifi? #73991

    And you thought the BSG- TOS fans were pissed off!

    I think BSG-TOS defiantly bears remaking. I am a sucker for space operas and loved it when it came out. It was an excellent concept but the constant use and reuse of the same set of action sequences for battle sequences grated on my nerves after a while. Buck Rogers suffered from the same malaise and had a higher ‘Cheese Rating’ (another Glen A Larson production). I have not seen the new series yet (no satellite or cable) but I can’t wait.

    Talking of Buck in the 25th ………. remake of a remake?

    Going off the subject a little but continuing on from the ‘reuse of sequences’ line, I remember a film that where all the space sequences were made up from other films clipped together. Anyone remember it? I will start a new thread for this one.

    in reply to: making of alien vs. predator #73984

    PS: saw it on terrestrial TV so at least I lost no money. 8)

    in reply to: making of alien vs. predator #73983

    Absolute pants! Almost as watchable as Mortal Kombat but does not have Kylie Minogue’s bum in it.

    … so the human and predator walk off into the sunset hand in hand and promise to ‘do lunch sometime’. Then, surprise surprise, out pops an alien form the dead pred’s tum. Never saw that one coming.


    in reply to: The end of space based TV Scifi? #73982

    There is always an interest in remakes and with the Star Trek Universe going into prequels, how would the assembled throng think of a remake of Star Trek TOS using today’s special effect techniques?

    I could see some significant changes to the storylines though: fewer micro skirts for the female crew and no soft focus on Yeoman Rand and Nurse Chapel. I could see some of the old storylines needing a big rethink like Harry Mudd but the idea could tie up Enterprise to TOS to TSG et al as well as to the films. At the moment there is a big disjoint between all the components and not just in FX quality.

    I am one of the REALLY OLD sad geezers and remember watching the original pilot (before Kirk) and being absolutely gob-smacked. There was no other topic of conversation at school the following day. I would welcome a sympathetic makeover of the original classic.

    Who would be Kirk and Spok?

    in reply to: What Does That Last Chevron Do? #73910

    The ‘official’ answer I have found at http://www.mgmuk.com/stargate-sg1/home/faq/

    is as follows:
    How many chevrons are on the Stargate?
    The Stargate contains nine chevrons. Although the gate has nine chevrons, typically only seven of these are used when dialing from a gate. In the episode The Fifth Race, an eighth chevron was activated (thanks to the Asgard) and Carter noted, “The extra chevron must add a new distance calculation to the existing points, like a different area code.” So far, the eighth chevron has been used only once (on the Earth Stargate), and the purpose or function of the ninth chevron is still unknown.

    So there you go. Any speculations?

    in reply to: What Does That Last Chevron Do? #73909

    Correct me if I am wrong but in the original film they only used 7 chevrons: 2×3 for X, Y, Z co-ordinates and the 7th for the point of origin. It seems to me that there has been a couple of upgrades added in the meantime for extra functionality. If this keeps up they will need a complete hardware upgrade to handle all the new software, maybe it will have to be delivered in 2 rings. 😀

    in reply to: Stupid Product Placements #73848

    The obious one in I Robot is of course US Robotics. How much more obvoius can you get?

    On the other side of the argument, (or am I just very naive?) the use of known brands can add a sense or realism to a Sci-fi setting giving the audience a feeling of connection with the story that you cannot get otherwise. Would not work in Lexx though or Farscape.

    I could see things going too far; what if the processor from Terminator had been picked up by Microsoft instead of the fictional Skynet?

    in reply to: That Show Sux! #73820

    First off I have to say I enjoy all Sci-fi both good and bad although I could never get on with Alien Nation (cop show with latex) or Earth: Final Conflict. I have to agree with Logan, the final series of Buck Rogers was absolute garbage and Buffy went of past its ‘sell by’ date.

    Movies and shows that are so bad they are good: Plan 9 from Outer Space (of course), Tank Girl, Galaxina and Dark Star, UFO. They don’t make ’em like that any more! 😀

    Anyone remember V? I enjoyed it at the time but it has a major cheese factor to it now and the second series should have been put out of its misery before being inflicted on the public.

    in reply to: Favorite Hoiliday Specials & Music #73715

    The Morcambe and Wise Christmas Special is required viewing for any self respecting Brit. Their comic genius still shines after all these years, and not a swear word in sight. Second up is the Bond Movie on Boxing Day. I am gutted because there isn’t one this year. What am I going to do after Boxing Day lunch! I will have to resort to the video collection and choose my own. However we are getting the full original Star Wars triolgy this year. Nice one! OK, so everyone have the gold Video set and the DVD special edition but WHO CARES! 😀

    Last year I was contracted to an electricity company and they gave me an office over a huge warehouse. The guys in the warehouse had the local radio station playing all day and if I hear Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody, Do They Know It’s Christmas or Wizard’s Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day, I shall ‘go Alien’.

    Have a hyperspatial Christmas and remember; moderation is for whimps but only a prat drinks and drives.

    in reply to: Adaptations…… #73696

    I joined this site just so I could add my thoughts to this discussion:

    My wife and I read all 6 of the Thomas Conenant books in 1987, 1 after the other. As I finished one, my wife started it. We found them both fasinating and uncomfortable. TC never wins (even when he does), he has no control over his destiny and even gives anti-heroes a bad name, Riddik is a pure white saint compared to TC. We were so affected by the series that we have never read them since. Also, as mentioned before, he is a leper with physical deformaties and a MAJOR chip on his shoulder. Not a Hollywood Hero by any definition

    There is no way in any universe that Hollywood could do justice to such a dark and complicated story. There are no happy endings, no love, no one liners and no heroes. Only pain, lonliness, betrayal and death. Am I being too melodramatic? TLOTR was a superbe one off that I don’t think will be emulated anytime soon.

    On the flip side of that, it did get me thinking about what WOULD make a superb of epics; how about The Many-Colored Land books by Julian May? That is one series I have read again and again.

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