Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

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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4 of the Most Loyal AI Around — Friday Four

Star Wars The Force Awakens R2-D2 AIWhile the idea of the machines rising up to get us is an ever popular one, it’s also not terribly likely in reality, if you ask me. I’ve got plenty of ways for you to avoid it. But what we end up overlooking in all these discussions about the AI rebellion are the hero’s loyal compatriots, those robots who would never even consider betraying humanity even when a position of power is offered to them on a silver platter. I mean, R2-D2 didn’t get a medal and he had to help Luke shoot down his old master! I think it’s time these stalwart machines received the honor they deserve, and so here are 4 robots whose devotion is truly inspirational.

This list has some spoilers in it, because, well… the best way to prove their loyalty is by getting destroyed.

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4 Sci-Fi Alien Holidays — Friday Four

Star Trek Voyager Alien HolidayIt might be Christmas Day here on Earth, but for our favorite characters out among the stars, Earthly holidays are far from the only ones. After all, these hundreds of alien species have to have their own alien holidays, right? It’s not like there’s a Klingon Santa out there… any more (I’m sure we can blame that on Duras, too). Some space travelers, like the Doctor, still make time for Christmas–even if we wish they wouldn’t. But for the rest, we’ve got these, 4 alien holidays from sci-fi.

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4 Times Our Hero Failed–Friday Four

Rodney WorriedIt’s hard to be the hero. People expect you to be perfect all the time, and that’s just not realistic. Sometimes our heroes let their emotions get the better of them, and they make a rash decision that ends up costing them. Or worse, the hero failed and it ends up costing someone else–and now they have to live with the guilt of their actions. Here are four cases where the hero arrived on the scene only to make things much, much worse in the end.

This obviously includes some spoilers, so I’ve just listed the episode titles as a spoiler warning; if you haven’t seen that episode, read on at your own risk! Can’t blame the heroes for that one.

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4 Suggestions for Prospective Cloners–Friday Four

Star Wars Clone troopers CloningThat’s a very interesting cloning machine you’ve built there. I know, I know, soon you’ll have that clone army complete, and you’ll show them–you’ll show all of them! But hey, why don’t we take a deep breath and think this through for a minute before you pull the lever? After all, you’ve put a lot of work into this thing. It’d be a shame to screw it all up now just because you were a little too impatient. And lucky you, I’ve got 4 suggestions that’ll help make sure these clones don’t come out like Bizarro.

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4 Awesome Ancient Alien Civilizations–Friday Four

Gallifrey Ancient CivilizationsTypically in our sci-fi confrontations, every alien race is pretty much on equal footing technologically, giving the appearance that they evolved more or less contemporaneously. But once in a while, we get glimpses of aliens that are much, much older than any others in the setting–our Precursors, typically, although whether they’re worthy of the title is often up for debate. These aliens have tech that’s practically equivalent to magic compared to what everyone else is wielding, and often times fighting over their leftovers is a major plot point. We rarely get to see them in their heyday, but when we do, they’re incredible. Here are 4 of these ancient alien civilizations, among the oldest in their settings, who really had some amazing abilities, some of whom remain a formidable presence to this day.

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4 of the Largest Shared Universes–Friday Four

All DoctorsIf you haven’t caught on by now,¬†I love the idea of shared universes. The real world is complex, with tons of stories going on at any given time–so why shouldn’t our fictional universes be the same? It seems like Hollywood has decided to look at things the same way as of late, because they’re really trying to put them to use everywhere (even when it really isn’t needed). But the shared universe isn’t a new concept, and some of them have been running for ages. Here we have 4 of the largest (and, not coincidentally, most are also longest-running) shared universes to grace our screens, as measured by hours of (canon) footage.

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4 Tips For A Smooth First Contact–Friday Four

Close EncountersFirst contact with an alien species is a tricky situation to deal with. When handled well, these aliens could become humanity’s greatest allies, helping us to take our place on the galactic stage. When handled poorly, humanity might wind up looking for a new home, if we’re particularly unlucky. And of course, that all assumes these aliens have shown up with peaceful intentions–there’s always the possibility that it’s a trick to take over slowly, or there’s cultural differences that can lead to major misunderstandings.

For the sake of this list, we’ll think of this as the aliens coming to us, but a lot of these points are just as effective in a Star Trek situation where we’ve gone out seeking new life and new civilizations.

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4 Must-Watch Cyberpunk Anime Series–Friday Four

Psycho Pass CyberpunkAs far as I’m concerned, there are pretty much two main kinds of sci-fi: space adventures and cyberpunk. Cyberpunk never had a big presence on TV, and I’ve covered most of the attempts at it by this point. They’ve ranged from very successful, like¬†Max Headroom, to far less so (TekWar) in terms of bringing it to life, but none of them have found much of an audience in the Western world. It’s rather bizarre, if you ask me; cyberpunk IS the fiction of the present, for all intents and purposes. But there is one place where cyberpunk thrived, a place intimately tied to the genre from its very origins–Japan. You can’t throw a rock in a cyberpunk dystopia without bouncing off a Neo Tokyo here or there. And a lot of classics of the genre come in the form of cyberpunk anime, so here are a few series that I feel are must-see.

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