Science Fiction Trivia

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ffutures
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Disembodied wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:57 am
ffutures wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:52 pm
Continuing the theme of time travel, let's have five examples of time travel with the intent to stop a HISTORICAL figure before they begin to do whatever makes them a historical figure. Not assassinate at a later date, and it must be a real historical figure, not someone fictional. This can include killing someone's parents before they're born, killing them as a child, changing things so that they do something different with their lives, etc
This is basically the plot of practically every episode of the not-very-good TV show Timeless - there's a bunch of baddies who are intent on rewriting history, for Reasons, and they're forever fiddling with recent historical events like the Hindenberg. Then the baddies turn out to be goodies, and the goodies are baddies, or vice-versa …
OK, that's one - four to go. And since this is a show that tampers with a very broad range of historical characters I'm going to say that it doesn't preclude any particular historical figure from being used, otherwise we'll never get another four answers.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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Slightly contentions, but Kate Atkinson's novel Life After Life has the protagonist attempt to kill Hitler before his rise to power, because of her foreknowledge of World War II. There is no physical time-travel involved - when she dies she gets reborn into the same life, and over a series of existences she builds up an awareness that she has lived through these events before. Although she herself doesn't travel through time, it could be argued that her memories - and to some extent her personality - do.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

Does that mean that it made it to a second series? Wikipedia page - oh, something recent. 2016.
until NBC canceled the series again
Always a good sign! OK, sometimes a good sign.
it aired in the UK on E4 every Wednesday at 9:00 pm. UK
Not a channel I often peruse, but I'll keep half an eyeball cocked for it. Any show that has a premise that "a history professor, a soldier and an engineer" and doesn't continue with "walked into a bar" needs some serious attention from an actual scriptwriter.
Disembodied wrote:There is no physical time-travel involved - when she dies she gets reborn into the same life, and over a series of existences she builds up an awareness that she has lived through these events before.
Groundhitler Day?
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

RockDoctor wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:07 pm
Groundhitler Day?
Sort of, except the protagonist lives until she dies, and then starts off from birth again. And the attempt to kill Hitler is only one episode, and not the whole story. It's an open question as to whether Life After Life is "science fiction"; it certainly wouldn't be shelved in the SF&F section of any bookshop (then again, neither would 1984, and it's a novel set in an imagined future where technology, combined with the scientific manipulation of language, plays a vital role in shaping the structure of the society).

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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Disembodied wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 11:58 am
RockDoctor wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:07 pm
Groundhitler Day?
it certainly wouldn't be shelved in the SF&F section of any bookshop (then again, neither would 1984,
"1984" - wasn't that relocated to the "Sociology Instruction Manuals" shelves a few years ago?
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Disembodied wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:01 pm
Slightly contentions, but Kate Atkinson's novel Life After Life has the protagonist attempt to kill Hitler before his rise to power, because of her foreknowledge of World War II. There is no physical time-travel involved - when she dies she gets reborn into the same life, and over a series of existences she builds up an awareness that she has lived through these events before. Although she herself doesn't travel through time, it could be argued that her memories - and to some extent her personality - do.
OK, that qualifies, I think - mental time travel makes as much sense as any other variety (e.g. very little). She's trying to pre-empt his rise to power and does so to the extent that he doesn't become chancellor, so I think it's OK. And it's a book I've never read, so have a meaningless bonus point!

Three to go!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Just a reminder that there are plenty of other important historical figures out there - scientists, religious leaders, criminals, etc. etc., it doesn't have to be all presidents and chancellors etc.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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In the short story "Mozart in Mirrorshades" by Lewis Shiner and Bruce Sterling, time-travellers head back to the eighteenth century to extract oil and other natural resources from the past (creating an alternate timeline in the process, so the time-travellers' present - known as "Realtime" - is unaffected). This is hugely disruptive to the eighteenth-century natives; one example is that the teenage Mozart, hearing recordings of the music he has yet to write, loses all interest in classical orchestral work and gets involved in writing rock music for Realtime instead.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Disembodied wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:18 pm
In the short story "Mozart in Mirrorshades" by Lewis Shiner and Bruce Sterling, time-travellers head back to the eighteenth century to extract oil and other natural resources from the past (creating an alternate timeline in the process, so the time-travellers' present - known as "Realtime" - is unaffected). This is hugely disruptive to the eighteenth-century natives; one example is that the teenage Mozart, hearing recordings of the music he has yet to write, loses all interest in classical orchestral work and gets involved in writing rock music for Realtime instead.
I'm going to have to turn this one down, because the time travellers presumably didn't do this with the aim of aborting Mozart's career - that's incidental to their goal of strip-mining the past. Sorry - still three to go.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

OK, a couple of clues

TMWMM - short story, 1958
P:TRoCC - novel, 1996

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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There was a 2000AD story, "Dr Dibworthy's Disappointing Day", where Dr Dibworthy invents a time-portal. He wants to see if history can be altered, so he starts off small and uses a flat-iron to brain an obscure Turkish diplomat in 1057 - but "nothing happens". "Nothing" continues to happen, even though he works his way through a variety of much more historically significant characters - e.g. dropping an anvil on King John before he signs Magna Carta …

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Disembodied wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:35 pm
There was a 2000AD story, "Dr Dibworthy's Disappointing Day", where Dr Dibworthy invents a time-portal. He wants to see if history can be altered, so he starts off small and uses a flat-iron to brain an obscure Turkish diplomat in 1057 - but "nothing happens". "Nothing" continues to happen, even though he works his way through a variety of much more historically significant characters - e.g. dropping an anvil on King John before he signs Magna Carta …

Image
Doctor Dibworthy definitely counts - I ought to have remembered that one but I didn't, so have a meaningless bonus point. As with Timeless, this takes in so many different historical figures that I will allow any of them again to keep this playable.

Two to go!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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I have just started reading William Gibson's Agency. It involves a future where people have the ability to communicate with, and influence, the past, to produce alternate timelines known as "stubs". One half of the story is set in an alternate 2017, where intervention from the future has (amongst other things) resulted in a 2016 Brexit vote for "Remain", and the election of Hillary Clinton as US President.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Disembodied wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:44 pm
I have just started reading William Gibson's Agency. It involves a future where people have the ability to communicate with, and influence, the past, to produce alternate timelines known as "stubs". One half of the story is set in an alternate 2017, where intervention from the future has (amongst other things) resulted in a 2016 Brexit vote for "Remain", and the election of Hillary Clinton as US President.
OK, stopping Brexit and Trump before they become all-devouring monsters more or less qualifies - a little iffy, but I'm inclined to accept it. One to go!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

ffutures wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:18 pm
OK, a couple of clues

TMWMM - short story, 1958
P:TRoCC - novel, 1996
Another clue

R - TV series episode, 2018 - extra hint, this involves a female historical figure.

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