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Trek to the Future!

Recently, while doing some research on various fictional methods of time travel, I came across the following (rather creepy) fact: the time travel used by the Borg sphere in Star Trek: First Contact looks almost exactly like that used by the DeLorean in Back to the Future. For a comparison, see 2:40 - 2:54 of this video for the Borg version, and 1:05 - 1:08 of this one for Doc's. Furthermore, both Captain Picard & Commander Riker immediately recognize that the use of "chronometric particles" is to create said time vortex, implying that the technology is at least somewhat well-known in 24th-century Human society.

It seems a not unreasonable assumption, then, that there are similar scientific principles underlying both techniques, but is it a case of parallel technological evolution, or something more sinister?

Horror! Drama! Fanfic!Collapse )Horror! Drama! Fanfic!Collapse )

Interestingly, there's one other indication that Star Trek is the future for Doc and Marty and their families. In the Next Generation episode "Sub Rosa", a scene in a graveyard indicates that the planet Caldos II had at least one resident named McFly, and we know from the Back to the Future: The Animated Series episode "Solar Sailors" that at least one member of  the McFly family takes to the stars not to long after the events of First Contact. It's a tenuous connection, but one worth exploring, I think.

And c'mon, "Where we're going, we don't need roads" is the perfect motto for a starship dedication plaque.

The Team is Coming

Which team, you ask? The A-Team, of course!

First of all, movie news. Yes, after all these years we're finally getting an "A-Team" movie. And it looks amazing! But don't take my word for it - first go watch the previews and character sketches on YouTube. Back? Good. You may also want to check out a howlingly hilarious analysis of the main trailer by swordznsorcery, which is located here.

I do have a couple of reservations of a nit-pickity nature, the biggest being:
Warning: Hollywood Goofed!Collapse )

In non-film related news, I may have uncovered a crossover reference for the show. While poking around the ateamcanon community, I noted that Murdock's vet friend from "Bounty" (I think it was "Bounty", anyways) is listed as living in Bedford Falls, California. Now, a cursory Googling brings up the information that there is no actual town called Bedford Falls, only the setting of the classic film It's A Wonderful Life.  Interestingly, although the general consensus seems to be that the movie is set in New York State, it was actually filmed in - surprise, surprise - California.  Does Kelly Stevens live in the same town as George Bailey's decedents? We may never know for sure, but if I ever return to fan-ficing with the Mirror Universe A-Team, they're definitely going to find Ms. Stevens living in Pottersville.

Oh, yes,  and speaking of fanfic - Chapter 3 of "L.A. After Midnight".

Curiously Convenient Convergence

It is a particularly gratifying thing when you read or watch one work, and it gives an immediate insight on another. What? You want an example? OK, then.

Recently I finished reading a novel entitled A Night in the Lonesome October, by Roger Zelazny. In addition to being a highly entertaining mashup of various archetypes and famous faces in its own right - amusingly, Sherlock Holmes (the Great Detective) and Dracula (the Count) are on the same side, for once - the general plot of the story sheds an interesting light on one of my favorite Neil Gaiman short stories, A Study in Emerald (which, incidentally, can be read for free in a gorgeous and completely legitimate PDF file here). In Lonesome October, on every Halloween where there is a full moon, certain people are drawn to a certain place where the space-time continuum is particularly thin, allowing the usual suspects of Lovecraftian horror to be drawn through. Some of the gathered, the "Openers" are there to cause this, while the "Closers" are there to prevent it. While it is obvious that the Closers have (up til now!) been victorious, it is equally clear that in the alternate universe of A Study in Emerald, at some point the Openers prevailed.

Oddly, the results were less apocalyptic than everybody was expecting. Even so, both stories are quite good - especially Study, the twist at the end is simply mind-blowing.

Oh, Shaenon, You Tease

As the fans of Shaenon Garrity's webcomics Skin Horse and Narbonic are keenly aware, the current SH arc ("Brave Little Toasters") has been hinting, what with it's unionizing appliances and mysterious mad scientists, at an explicit crossover* with Narbonic for the last couple of weeks.

These hopes were seemingly dashed at the beginning of this week, when the mad scientist turned out not to be Wolf Madblood or Dr. Narbon (the older one), but the neverbeforeseen Tigerlily Jones. And then, just as we were adjusting, what do we find out?

Tigerlily Jones has at least one Personality Sprite.

I'm calling this one, "Crossover Plausible".

*I'm sure everybody's been assuming it's an implicit crossover since day one.

Pulp's Not Dead!

(And neither am I, but that's neither here nor there.)

So, anyway, I just finished reading Hunt At the Well of Eternity, the first in a series of Adventure-Pulp revival novels. They're credited as being written by the main character, adventurer Gabriel Hunt; this article notes that this is a nom de plume adapted by the various writers (it also pretty much admits the main crossover reference I noted in the book: in chapter 14, when about to engage in a bullwhip-duel-to-the-death (!), Gabriel mentions that "when I was a boy . . . An old friend of my father's" taught him to use the bullwhip. Given that his father is then stated to be a Classics professor, well, I wonder who this friend could be . . . ).

But the inclusion of the Man with the Hat just goes to show that the various minds behind this series really do care about things like being true to the genre (as well as writing a really fun story), and I for one applaud their efforts. Hunt At the Well of Eternity certainly compares in quality to, say, some of Clive Cussler's better "Dirk Pitt" novels, and I daresay that fans of the latter should consider giving the former a try. And, speaking of Pitt, I really should work up a post about him someday - after all, there was that one book that included James Bond as a minor antagonist . . .
So I was doing a bit of reading on Wikipedia recently, and happened across the article for the Xenomorph, the monstrous antagonist of the Alien and Alien Vs. Predator films. Imagine my surprise when I read that the ultimate origin of the creature, visually at least, was a piece of art by H. R. Giger entitled Necronom IV and presented in a 1977 book entitled, well, Necronomicon.

Cut for That Which Man Was Not Meant To KnowCollapse )

So, can we start gibbering yet?

Once is Happenstance . . .

. . . twice is coincidence, but three times is pretty much ironclad proof when it comes to connecting two different media franchises. For example, the more I investigate, the more I find that indicates that Star Trek is the future of one of the Batman continuities (or, perhaps, that some form of the Batman mythos lies in Star Trek's past):

First Clue: Shared Surnames. Amanda Grayson - Spock's mother. Richard Grayson - Gotham City's second most experienced vigilante, Coincidence? . . . yeah, probably, but it's a start.

Second Clue: The Holmes Connection.
Hey, in three hundred years a half-human Vulcan can rack up quite a few famous ancestors. And, of course, despite what would seem to be a massive timeline problem, Sherlock Holmes once met Batman, too, and not even at the very beginning of the latter's career.

Third Clue: The Clincher. Gotham City was shown to be a real Sol-system city in an episode of Deep Space Nine. No, really.

Shoutout Quote of the Day

"'And we used to have a giant mechanical spider,' I said, leading Molly through the exhibits. 'We confiscated it from some American mad genius, back in the Wild West. Not entirely sure what happened to it. I think it ran away.'"
 - Edwin Drood, Daemons Are Forever by Simon R. Green

You know, for being one of if not the most mainstream cinematic example of steampunk of the past decade, (my gosh, has it been that long?) Wild Wild West gets very little respect. Yes, it's cheesy, but it's a fun cheesy. Maybe I just have a higher tolerance than average for certain kinds of films, but I find it baffling.

Some Quick Points

A few things that weren't quite substantive enough for their own post -

- Some time ago, I mentioned British fantasy author Simon R. Green, and wondered whether he makes a habit of peppering his works with shout-outs and cameos. The answer, it appears, is yes - I just finished his first Secret Histories book (The Man With the Golden Torc) and noticed, amongst others, a "Time Agent whose latest regeneration had gone terribly wrong" in a hospital for the extremely bizarre. Though I doubt it was the Doctor himself, it's almost certainly one of his species. Poor fellow.

- Another fantasy author from Great Britain, Sir Terry Pratchett, notes in his novel Nation that the character Cookie picked up his habit of sailing around in a coffin from "a harpooner [he] met while . . . working on the whalers," specifically a ship with a captain "crazy as a spoon." The fact that Nation takes place in an alternate universe diminishes the awesomeness of this reference not at all.

- Finally, on the fanfic front: work on the last chapter of L.A. After Midnight has advanced to the "rewrite" phase, so hopefully that'll be finished up sooner rather than later. In the meanwhile, I wrote a quick Angel/Narbonic drabble for the Twisting the Hellmouth "To Boldly Go" challenge. Since it's short, I have decided to post it here, as well:
Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to KnowCollapse )

(Disclaimer: Angel and Gunn belong to Joss Whedon; Narbonic and Mell belong to Shaenon Garrity.)

Dracula Lives

Recently, I managed to acquire and read the third (and so far final, although a fourth is supposedly forthcoming) book in Kim Newman's 'Anno Dracula' series, Judgment of Tears. Newman's work, in my opinion, sets the bar for crossovers of any kind - both with the sheer variety of references he crams into his stories (I'm not even going to bother trying to enumerate them, there's a pretty exhaustive list here) and the skill with which he interweaves them to create his alternative-historical world.

There are excellent examples spread throughout all three books (Anno Dracula, The Bloody Red Baron, and Judgment of Tears), of course, but I have to admit the one I was most looking forward to is the appearance in Judgment of a certain operative of the Diogenes Club (replacing MI6, note) named Bond . . . Hamish Bond. It did not disappoint - Bond's appearances are full of brilliant bits, from the oblique references to Bond's past foes, to the twisting of the Right Hand Cat trope, to the hilarious reference to Bond's many film portrayals, to the fact that the chapters written from Bond's point of view seem to me to be written in a Fleming pastiche. Really, though, the entire series is a fantastically fun piece of literature, especially if you don't mind some horror in your urban fantasy.

Addendum: This is also the series I mentioned before that (in the short story The Other Side of Midnight) includes a hilarious send-up of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in the form of a teen-aged scourge of the undead named . . . Barbara Dahl Winters. Yes, you read that right - the Anno Dracula-verse's version of Buffy is named Barbie Dahl. Of course, one might expect that having a Vampire Slayer wandering about in a series with vampire protagonists would be a recipe for tragedy and drama as well as comedy . . . and one would be right. Suffice to say, The Other Side of Midnight is well worth hunting down (try the Vampire Sextet short story collection).

As, indeed, is the entire series. The rumor is that book four, Johnny Alucard, is mostly finished, and I for one will be quite thrilled when it arrives.