Science Fiction Trivia

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Disembodied
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

There was a story called "TimeQuake" in the short-lived comic Starlord (it briefly resurfaced in 2000AD). One storyline involved the Droon (alien baddies from the 40th century) travelling back in time to 1917 and assassinating Lenin - changing Earth's history and allowing them to conquer the planet in the future. Fortunately, one of the agents of Time Control (the goodies) was, despite being a beautiful Asian woman, able to impersonate the dead Lenin (I think they had shape-shifting technology to be fair), lead the Bolshevik Revolution and save the future.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Disembodied wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:47 pm
There was a story called "TimeQuake" in the short-lived comic Starlord (it briefly resurfaced in 2000AD). One storyline involved the Droon (alien baddies from the 40th century) travelling back in time to 1917 and assassinating Lenin - changing Earth's history and allowing them to conquer the planet in the future. Fortunately, one of the agents of Time Control (the goodies) was, despite being a beautiful Asian woman, able to impersonate the dead Lenin (I think they had shape-shifting technology to be fair), lead the Bolshevik Revolution and save the future.
OK - that certainly counts, and you win the poisoned chalice - and a meaningless bonus point, since it's one I don't remember at all.

The three clues I gave

TMWMM - short story, 1958 - The Men Who Murdered Mohammed by Alfred Bester - Time traveller wants to prove that time travel works by eliminating Mohammed etc. Really doesn't work very well.

P:TRoCC - novel, 1996 - Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card
Multiple attempts to change Columbus' career
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastwatch ... r_Columbus

R - TV series episode, 2018 - Rosa, a Doctor Who episode
A time travelling racist tries to eliminate Rosa Parkes from history.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_(Doctor_Who)

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

Ah, right, there is that …

OK. Most SF tends towards the view that robots, computers etc. are coldly logical. So I want three examples please (down from the usual five, as I think this is maybe less common than some) of computers/robots/machine intelligences which hold, get, or otherwise honestly espouse some form of religious belief in a superior, and supernatural, being or state (note that this should not be confused with other people worshipping an AI as a god).

One example per author/universe.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Battlestar Galactica (the remake series) - the Cylons have a monotheistic religion, one of the reasons why they dislike the humans who are polytheistic.

https://en.battlestarwikiclone.org/wiki/Cylon_Religion

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

Disembodied wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:34 pm
Ah, right, there is that …

OK. Most SF tends towards the view that robots, computers etc. are coldly logical. So I want three examples please (down from the usual five, as I think this is maybe less common than some) of computers/robots/machine intelligences which hold, get, or otherwise honestly espouse some form of religious belief in a superior, and supernatural, being or state (note that this should not be confused with other people worshipping an AI as a god).
H2G2, when Zaphod is in the universe (created, IIRC in a drinks cabinet in the Maximagalon Publishing Corpse Head Orifice) prepared for his encounter with the Total Perspective Universe, the Frogstar guards, prison ships and the like clearly believe that Zaphod is "something special" when he comes out of the TPV with his ego un-shattered. Bolstered, even.

Just because they don't particularly like it, doesn't mean that it's not a religion.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Commander_X »

<checks the number of pages as compared with the "Screenshots" thread: good, we're still ahead :) >

The Geth in Mass Effect (original trilogy) -- an involuntarily created AI by the Quarians.
In Mass Effect 2 we get to enroll Legion, who describes a schism that happened into the Geth collective. Although not expressed in the dialogues, scenes in Mass Effect 1 on Feros lead to religious worship practices, while in the codex description of "the other" (heretics) faction we have the following:
Finally, there is the matter of Legion's word choice. The geth used the English word "heretics" to describe Saren's followers. Of the many words Legion could have chosen (nonconformists, dissenters, rebels, etc.), only the word "heretic" suggests a broadly accepted geth philosophy or religion, and that the actions of Saren's allies violated the orthodoxy.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

ffutures wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:40 pm
Battlestar Galactica (the remake series) - the Cylons have a monotheistic religion, one of the reasons why they dislike the humans who are polytheistic.
That's one, definitely.
RockDoctor wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:31 am
H2G2, when Zaphod is in the universe (created, IIRC in a drinks cabinet in the Maximagalon Publishing Corpse Head Orifice) prepared for his encounter with the Total Perspective Universe, the Frogstar guards, prison ships and the like clearly believe that Zaphod is "something special" when he comes out of the TPV with his ego un-shattered. Bolstered, even.

Just because they don't particularly like it, doesn't mean that it's not a religion.
I'll have to say no to this. Being surprised - even shocked - by Zaphod's unique ability to survive the TPV does not constitute a religion, or a religious belief.
Commander_X wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:47 am
The Geth in Mass Effect (original trilogy) -- an involuntarily created AI by the Quarians.
In Mass Effect 2 we get to enroll Legion, who describes a schism that happened into the Geth collective. Although not expressed in the dialogues, scenes in Mass Effect 1 on Feros lead to religious worship practices, while in the codex description of "the other" (heretics) faction we have the following:
OK, I can accept this. The "heretic" geth apparently worship the Reaper Nazara as a god. That makes two. One more takes the pot!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

Quick side question:

How many legs does a Martian Fighting Machine - from H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds - have? The Royal Mint's answer may surprise you:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/ ... new-2-coin

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

Disembodied wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:40 pm
How many legs does a Martian Fighting Machine - from H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds - have?
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Just remembered another - Isaac Asimov's anthology I, Robot includes the story Reason (1941), which is set aboard a power satellite where the robots that run it have decided to worship the machinery of the station, and dismiss the humans as irrelevant and a possible danger to their god. It turns out that their AI and the laws of robotics have made them do this to ensure that the power satellite runs correctly in conditions where a human operator might make mistake.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason_(short_story)

If that doesn't appeal, there's always Frederic Brown's very short story Pandora's Brain (1954)

https://calumchace.wordpress.com/favour ... ort-story/

Which shows the down-side of asking a computer a religious question.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

ffutures wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:38 pm
Just remembered another - Isaac Asimov's anthology I, Robot includes the story Reason (1941)
Yup, "Reason" fits the bill - back to you for the next question!

Some other examples include various robot religions from Futurama; the short story "Adam Robots", by Adam Roberts; and Bruce Sterling's short story "The Compassionate, the Digital", where every Turing-conscious AI spontaneously embraces Islam.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Back with me? OK...

Since Martians and The War of the Worlds were mentioned in passing in the last round, let's have five stories/films/whatever featuring PEACEFUL (or at least initially non-hostile until provoked) Martians. No two from the same universe / creator as usual.

E.g., if The War of the Worlds had been about peaceful contact with Martians, you would not be able to use anything from any other story by Wells.

Only one answer per comment please, unless you're offering an alternative and expect only one to be used.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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Red Planet Robert Heinlein. It represents the first appearance of Heinlein's idealized Martian elder race.
also used in Stranger in a Strange Land. It tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human who comes to Earth in early adulthood after being born on the planet Mars and raised by Martians, and explores his interaction with and eventual transformation of Terran culture.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

spud42 wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:13 pm
Red Planet Robert Heinlein. It represents the first appearance of Heinlein's idealized Martian elder race.
also used in Stranger in a Strange Land. It tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human who comes to Earth in early adulthood after being born on the planet Mars and raised by Martians, and explores his interaction with and eventual transformation of Terran culture.
OK, those are two of the stories I specifically had in mind but count as one answer. Four to go, and have a meaningless bonus point.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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In the steampunk RPG Space: 1889, Mars is inhabited by a number of different cultures. Some - e.g. the High Martians - will often attack humans (and pretty much everyone else), but first contact with the Canal and Hill Martians was at least non-hostile.

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