Avatar and Me (and Literally Everyone Else)

If you’ve been a longtime reader/listener here (the hidden part of this site stretches back nearly ten years), you may remember that the conceit of The Battle Beyond Planet X was a defense of the science-fiction genre as more valuable than however I perceived it being perceived. Of course, you look at the ten highest-grossing movies of every year, and more often than not, they’re science-fiction. Superheroes, dinosaurs, space war – science-fiction may just be the least marginalized of marginalized genres (still waiting on that Oscar). This is a perfect reflection of my relationship with the movie and soon-to-be-franchise Avatar, which just so happens to be sitting atop that list of highest-grossers. It is at once a universal experience and one very personal.

Ep. 100 – The Final Battle: Visions of Planet X

2016 saw the 30th anniversary of the video-game Metroid, and the franchise it spawned. Most of the hullaballoo came from Metroid fans upset at Nintendo for basically ignoring it, as they had not for Mario and Zelda. Metroid was one of the original three, before it was supplanted by literally everything else, but even the smallest of the major Nintendo brands is a huge deal, so I too shall tip my hat in recognition, about as effectively as Nintendo itself, as we may come to discover.

Asking Asimov How to Talk to Girls

The Battle Beyond Planet X, like all criticism is, in some way, autobiographical. It is this way because that is easy. They say write “what you know,” and I say, “Okay, but next time be careful what you ask of me.” Criticism is the science of the self, it is raising my right hand in proud self-respect and then slowly dipping down toward my equator. All roads lead here, and my standing at the crossroads between our world and theirs seems to be driven by an anxiety best summed up by this heretofore unanswered question: why do I always want to play the girl in the video-game?

If Section 9 was Real, Would the World Be a Better Place?

Section 9 is a counterterrorist organization, but operates under the flag of Public Security. Although not explicitly voiced in the series, I see the team as policing more than violent criminals, but in fact, the culture that enables the violent criminals. Does this depiction of futuristic law enforcement have resonance with regards to our own future? How do we make that transition from the primal darkness we’re mired in now to that better tomorrow? Because we are imperfect, and need to be corrected.

Future Soldiers: A Survey of Military Science-Fiction

“Fiction is a tool of the imaginative process. Fiction allows us to imagine the details of reality-as-it-might happen in order to understand potential consequences of decisions that we need, or might need, to make. It helps us imagine how current trends might play out or how new innovations might have an impact. As a tool, fiction is cousin to war-gaming. It creates opportunities to play out potential scenarios and prepare for them.”

Rape of the Natural World: The Complete Jurassic Park

And now we’re going back, how far we going back? 1993. In reality, this is a story that begins with Jurassic Park, the story called Harrison Chute. I tried to talk about the whole series over a year ago, or should I say just the film series, and I didn’t get that far, even. So, in a coordinated effort to close all the loops on The Battle Beyond Planet X, leaving absolutely no stone unturned, in consideration of the creepy crawlies in the darkness underneath, it’s time to discuss the Complete Jurassic Park, which shall be maintained through until 2018.