Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

What Could Have Been: 4 Unproduced Star Trek Episodes

Unproduced Star Trek EpisodesWhile RetroPhaseShift’s focus is heavy on shows that didn’t make it so far, even sci-fi fans’ favorite shows, lasting several seasons, can have episodes that just never got produced, for whatever reason. Budget, practicality, or even the unfortunate demise of a character’s actor can all put the brakes on a script everyone was waiting to see. You’d think that with 7 seasons each, Star Trek‘s TNG-era spinoffs would’ve covered just about everything one could possibly want to say, and yet unproduced Star Trek episodes are definitely out there. Since we’ve already got a whole article dedicated to an undeveloped season of Enterprise episodes, I figured that this week, we’ll take a look at one episode from each of the other four shows and consider what could have been if these shows had been made.

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4 Cyborg Enhancements to Handle With Caution–Friday Four

Doctor who CyThere’s a lot to be said for cybernetics–they allow the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the handicapped to walk once more (sometimes even as superheroes!). Such enhancements can be extremely impressive, sometimes offering vast improvements over your average human’s capabilities. But let’s not be chopping off limbs as an excuse to go full cyborg just yet; just as often, there’s a high cost associated with obtaining cybernetically enhanced strength or senses. We have to consider exactly what it is you’re giving up: your ability to touch, perhaps… or even your very personality. Here are four dangers commonly faced by those who’ve chased after the perfect blend of man and machine, to offer you a chance to avoid them.

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4 Excerpts from the Mecha Piloting Guide–Friday Four

G Gundam AMERICACongratulations on being selected for the Giant Robot Piloting Program! I assume this means you’re a 15-year-old Japanese boy, but I guess you don’t have to be. One thing they might not teach you in the program, though, is that nothing takes as much work to keep running as a giant mech. The humanoid form doesn’t leave a lot of room for complex machinery, and scaling that up to 50 feet tall doesn’t help quite as much as you’d expect. And that’s without considering all the missiles, guns, laser swords, jetpacks and other add-ons these Mecha have to be able to swap out at a moment’s notice. All this is left up to the unsung heroes, the Giant Mecha mechanics (not to be confused with giant Mecha-Mechanics, which are a totally different and much more confusing issue), who have to get these things up and running after every city-destroying slugfest they take part in. So what I’ve got here are a few pro tips to help ease the burden on our intrepid robo-engineers and keep your giant robots in fighting shape.

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4 Methods to Take Out the Master Computer–Friday Four

Tron Master Control ProgramWelcome to the automatic society. We all knew that machines were going to take our places in the workforce, however gradually, doing the work that we humans didn’t want to do. The list of what we didn’t want to do kept growing, though, and soon the computers were doing jobs that no one ever expected them to–like running the world, for example. It’s quite a bit different from the Robot Revolt–we gladly handed over the reins. For some people, it’s a paradise, where no one has to do anything they don’t want to do. Their days are free to be filled with fun and joy, spending all their time on friends, family, and entertainment.

Others, however, view the machine with suspicion… have we sacrificed something innately human for a life of luxury? Are people losing their drive and curiosity, becoming complacent with the status our civilization has reached? Does mankind die not with a nuclear bang, as we once feared, but a slow whimper as we become so distracted by what we’ve built that we cease looking outward?

Not if you have anything to say about it. It’s time to free human civilization from this pampered tyranny–time to take out the Master Computer that rules this land.

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What Could Have Been: The What-Ifs of The Arcology–Friday Four

The ArcologySomething different comes our way this week–as I’m running low on TV shows I can actually scrape up some research on, I thought it might interest some of my newfound readers to learn the alternate paths the story of my novel, The Arcology, could have taken. It went through a lot of revisions, some of them radically different. It seemed like a better way to present this was in the list format, so why not do it that way? I swear I’m not just trying to kill 3 birds with one stone…

Buckle in as we move through some possible versions of The Arcology and I give a bit of an idea as to why I didn’t go with them.

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4 of the Coolest Cyberpunk Clubs–Friday Four

Dafk Punk TronCyberpunk these days is often heavy on the aesthetics–there’s a look to the whole genre that’s often considered crucial (and sometimes that’s one of the only things separating it from the present). What better way to showcase that style than by going to the local night club, one of the most obviously fashionable places around? While most of our heroes aren’t exactly the types to party in a cyberpunk club, their story will usually find a way to get them in the door, looking for a bad guy, or an informant, or hacker. Of course, these are way cooler than any place you or I have ever seen: lavishly decorated, crowded yet spacious, and playing some really loud (often really awesome) music.

Here are 4 of these hippest places to be, pulled straight from the dystopian cities in which they thrive.

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4 Ways to Conceal Your Immortality–Friday Four

Jack ImmortalWho wants to live forever? Some people don’t get a choice… and it looks like you’re one of them. Being “blessed” with immortality comes with all kinds of crazy problems that normal people wouldn’t have to deal with. Like making you a local curiosity, at best, or being studied, poked and prodded (or worse) by scientists who want to find out just how you’ve done it at worst. If you’re lucky enough to have been granted eternal youth as well, then people are going to catch on sooner or later. If not, well, you have a whole basket of other problems to worry about…

No, what’s best for you is to take this secret to your grave–so to speak, anyway. And to help you with that, here are 4 potential options to help you keep out of the public eye and live a quiet, normal (if exceedingly long) life.

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4 Tips to Protect Yourself from The Conspiracy–Friday Four

The_Truth_Is_Out_There_tagline[1]The truth is out there… but there are a lot of people who don’t want you to know it. Who’s in on it? Aliens, the government, the corporations, the rich and powerful, or maybe all of the above. Whether they’re ancient or recent, they’re all the same at their core–conspiracies. You’ve found out about them, and that makes you the target now, because we both know they’re not going to risk being exposed. They’ll stop at nothing, but all’s not lost; there are still ways to keep yourself safe. I’ve got 4 tips here to help you fend off the conspiracy and maybe, just maybe, expose the truth.

Spoiler alert: tinfoil hats won’t save you this time.

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4 Ways to Prove You’re Trapped in a Simulation–Friday Four

Star Trek Holodeck SimulationAre you sure the world around you is real? You probably said yes, but are you really sure? What if you’re just trapped in a fabricated reality, completely unaware of what’s happened to you? If you’re a high ranking official, or someone with secret knowledge, then this is a constant threat, but it could be something as stupid as pissing off the wrong guy that’s landed you in this predicament. It happens more often than you think, and the mere idea is enough to drive some to madness; but fear not, because I’m here to help. Or maybe this article was planted in the simulation by your friends on the outside, but either way, here are 4 methods to prove whether or not you’re stuck in a world of illusion.

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4 Alien Species of Earthly Origin–Friday Four

Voth EarthOne of the more interesting ways to introduce “alien” creatures into a science fiction world is to reveal that these apparent extraterrestrials are a lot more… terrestrial… than you’d think at first glance. Earth is an ancient planet, with 4.5 billion years checked off already, and that’s a tantalizing prospect for a writer. After all, who’s to say there wasn’t a civilization present for the early days of Earth, so long ago that no trace remains? There are a lot of human civilizations that have been lost to the ages as it is, so the thought of a nonhuman one disappearing isn’t exactly outlandish. From a scientific perspective, there are plenty of reasons to think there wasn’t one–no sign of resources having been extracted from the Earth prior to us, for example–but we can always fudge this for the sake of the story. That being said, here are four alien species who are a lot less alien than you might guess.

Spoiler warning–the reveal that these aliens are actually from Earth is sometimes a plot twist, so proceed with caution.

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