Science Fiction Trivia

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:39 pm

Disembodied wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:00 am
Charles Stross's novella "Concrete Jungle" involves the rollout of the SCORPION STARE project, a special upgrade to the UK's CCTV system to help counter unusual threats … it's a system which needs two cameras operating simultaneously.
Yeah, well, maybe, but ...
The CCTV system is automated monitoring, very little involvement from the operators - few of the cameras even have PTZ (pan, tilt and zoom). While the SCORPION STARE aspect is neutrino-induced fusion of carbon to silicon resulting in production of heat and a certain stiffening of the target's joints - a WMD (Weapon of Monster Destruction) rather than an imaging technique.

So much SF has ubiquitous imaging monitoring (I think of the spray-on "web cameras" of Puppeteer technology in the latter parts of the Ringworld Trilogy-in-too-many-volumes), but for actual <i>targeted</i> photography as an important plot element, the series only contains the photograph of the Ringworld as "a loop of baby blue ribbon around a lightbulb - but the light is a star", which is used to hook the protagonists into the expedition. And that one isn't even credited to a named scout.

I thought I had one there ... but no. There was someone who fell into a vat of photographic chemicals - and I thought it was Rorschach (Watchmen), but no. Some other comic book universe which I've forgotten.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:46 pm

Disembodied wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:00 am
Charles Stross's novella "Concrete Jungle" involves the rollout of the SCORPION STARE project, a special upgrade to the UK's CCTV system to help counter unusual threats … it's a system which needs two cameras operating simultaneously.
I'm going to give disembodied a point for the Scorpion Stare system, because I prompted for it and because it has multiple versions including a phone with a 3D camera and special software that's used more directly, like a hand gun. It's actually pretty important in one of the later Laundry books - I won't say which one - because it's one of the factors responsible for blowing that world's equivalent of the Statute of Secrecy in a quirky little "never happen in a million years" coincidence that is pretty much inevitable given the nature of the Laundryverse.

I don't think I want to go with the Ringworld photo; as you say, it could just as well have been a verbal report or a vague rumour, or some other sort of plot hook, that gets the characters involved.

One to go!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:32 am

William Gibson's short story "The Gernsback Continuum", set in the 1980s, features a professional photographer who is given an assignment to take pictures of "futuristic" architecture from the 1930s. Pursuing these faded examples of "raygun gothic", the photographer starts to hallucinate scenes from Golden Age SF, and begins to find himself slipping into an alternate, imaginary America that never happened.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures » Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:58 pm

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:32 am
William Gibson's short story "The Gernsback Continuum", set in the 1980s, features a professional photographer who is given an assignment to take pictures of "futuristic" architecture from the 1930s. Pursuing these faded examples of "raygun gothic", the photographer starts to hallucinate scenes from Golden Age SF, and begins to find himself slipping into an alternate, imaginary America that never happened.
And we have a winner! Your turn!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:20 pm

OK: let's have five SF crossovers - examples where something or someone from one SF universe appears in another, however fleetingly. It can be as part of the plot, or as a homage, in-joke or Easter egg. Oolite is excluded from this, as many OXPs use ships from film and TV.

The universes should be completely separate, and ideally from different authors/studios … the crew of Deep Space 9 crossing over with the Star Trek: TOS "Trouble With Tribbles" episode doesn't count, for example; not would any of the crossovers of characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:14 pm

OK, the big one in comics is the Amalgam-verse, an official crossover between the DC and Marvel universes in which characters are fusions with characteristics of equivalents in both universes. e.g. Doctor Strangefate (Strange + Fate), and Super-Soldier (a Superman/Captain America cross).

And Star Trek has a Known Space crossover - one episode of the animated series is The Slaver Weapon, based on Larry Niven's The Soft Weapon, and bringing Kzinti into the Trek universe, which is why there are Kzinti fleets in the Star Fleet Battles war game etc.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:41 am

The DC-Marvel Amalgam-verse, and the Star Trek-Known Space mashup are both good examples of main-plot-type crossovers.

Three to go!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:16 pm

would Bill the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison qualify? the whole thing is a reference and piss take of many authors.. primarily Heinleins starship troopers.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:30 pm

spud42 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:16 pm
would Bill the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison qualify?
Only if you can give an example of a direct crossover, i.e. a character (or ship, or object, etc.) from another fictional universe appearing as itself in the book.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:39 pm

spud42 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:16 pm
would Bill the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison qualify? the whole thing is a reference and piss take of many authors.. primarily Heinleins starship troopers.
I've always considered the Stainless Steel Rat himself, Slippery Jim diGriz to have been modelled somewhat as a pastiche of James Bond and Q.
Joe Haldeman's "Forever War" universe was, of course, a deliberate schtick on the rampant militarism of so much of Heinein's output, "Starship Troopers" in particular, but I don't think there was a particular character that crossed over.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:48 pm

Yes, pastiche is not what I'm looking for here. For example: Galaxy Quest is a pastiche of Star Trek, not a crossover. if William Shatner appeared in Galaxy Quest, in character as Captain Kirk, that would be a crossover.

There is one example I can think of which began as a homage/in-joke, but which ended up inspiring a slew of official spinoffs …

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Grindalf » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:58 pm

C3PO and R2D2 were referenced in Indiana jones
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:31 pm

Grindalf wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:58 pm
C3PO and R2D2 were referenced in Indiana jones
Ha! That's a new one to me … but that definitely counts, yes. Two to go.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:03 pm

Well, another obvious one is Aliens Vs Predator - film, game, etc.

later = re the Indiana Jones thing, just looked this up, and apparently there are also Easter eggs for the Indiana Jones films in Star Wars - for example, the box used for the Ark of the Covenant is in the trash compactor in A New Hope!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:03 am

ffutures wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:03 pm
Well, another obvious one is Aliens Vs Predator - film, game, etc.
Yup, that was the one I hinted at above … beginning with the xenomorph skull in the Predators' trophy cabinet in Predator 2 (although that was possibly predated by the original Black Horse comic - still counts as a crossover, though).
ffutures wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:03 pm
later = re the Indiana Jones thing, just looked this up, and apparently there are also Easter eggs for the Indiana Jones films in Star Wars - for example, the box used for the Ark of the Covenant is in the trash compactor in A New Hope!
Really? How would that work? A New Hope came out in 1977, and Raiders of the Lost Ark came out in 1981. Can you source this? If so, that makes two crossovers, and the kipper is yours …

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