Category Archives: science fiction

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 266 (or Wedding “Clashers”)


While serving as a groomsman at the wedding of a long-time friend, casual conversation with your fellow groomsman evolved into an elaborate, comedic brainstorming session of hypothetical wedding plans for your future possible nuptials.  Ideas put forth included the following elements: a luche libre mask, a Klingon bat’leth, a bouncy castle, chimpanzees, a multilingual officiant who speaks High Valyrian, and Danzig songs.

To the chagrin of your significant other, part of you finds the Klingon bat’leth idea intriguing and the Danzig music an interesting choice for the reception.

 

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 265 (or Temporal agents and the displacement fields they rode in on…)


While discussing your thoughts on the Spierig brothers’ time travel film Predestination, starring Ethan Hawke, you talked about how it was not quite the “temporal policeman catching criminals” film the trailer made it out to be, due to headache-inducing plot twists you predicted 45 minutes prior to their revelation in the film.

You also repeatedly expressed a determination toward finding and reading the Robert Heinlein story “All You Zombies” upon which the film is based, in order to verify the origin of the aforementioned twists.

To which your significant other replied, “So essentially, you were hoping for a feature length version of Time Trax?”

“Would that have been too much to ask?” you responded, adding, “It’s not like I was expecting a Timecop remake. At least Time Trax had some panache… and an artificial intelligence computer assistant disguised as a credit card.”

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 264 (or Christmas gifts and time travel)


Your favorite gift received during the holiday season involved DVDs of Time Trax, a 1990s television series about a time traveling lawman, which you hadn’t seen in twenty years.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 256 (or “I’m your biggest fan….”)


Now that Stephen King has joined Twitter, part of you wants to just tweet the man all day as if he was your pen pal. 

However, you know that this is an ill-advised course of action, as it is fueled by nerd-guided admiration for an author’s body of work rather than an invitation to annoy Stephen King with constant tweets not unlike the following:

“When are you going to be on Sons of Anarchy again?” or “What’s your favorite pizza topping?”

Having read Misery, you can appreciate the need for boundaries between author and reader, especially if the roles were reversed.

You did tweet him once to welcome him to Twitter and a second time to ask if he was aware that NBC’s Revolution makes a lot of references to his works. After all, they just aired an episode titled “Captain Trips” about an outbreak.

Does that remind anybody of anything King related?

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 255 (or “The Secret Life of an Antarctic Golem”)


You anxiously await the upcoming holiday so that you might entertain (though most likely annoy) your relatives with tales of your fictional creation, Guraknok the Christmas Golem.

Such tales involve an ancient golem traveling from his Antarctic lair each Christmas in order to challenge those whom he deems worthy to a dangerous game of riddles… the price of which begins with the seizing of meat products and presents.

You’ve also begun thinking of a larger, revised origin tale in which Guraknok was created from a disgruntled elf who had been dismissed from Santa’s workshop for failing to meet minimum production quotas.

After an unsuccessful attempt to establish a competing Christmas operation, the elf spends his remaining years learning dark magic, which culminates in the creation of the immortal Guraknok in an effort to take revenge on Santa Claus.

Guraknok the Christmas Golem exists to question Santa’s judgment on who is naughty and nice by utilizing a statistical algorithm to generate a sampling every year of people Guraknok will challenge in order to judge whether or not those who were given or denied gifts deserved that fate.

He may give gifts or take them away (and your meat products)… but do not try and test him yourself or you may end up being taken back with him to Antarctica, via his teleportation ring powered by elvish blood, where you will spend eternity working on Guraknok’s secret goal of opening Antartica’s first IKEA franchise so that he might one day retire and live his immortal life on a beach in the Bahamas.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 252 (or “Not your daddy’s Robocop…”)


Upon seeing the trailer for the upcoming Robocop film, starring Joel Kinnaman of AMC’s crime drama The Killing, you are struck by one thing while sitting in that movie theater. It is not that this looks like it has a chance of being a fresh, inventive take on this tale (if the almost robot-ninja way Robocop looks and moves doesn’t ruin it). Nor is it the interesting cast that includes Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, and Gary Oldman.

No… you are struck silent by the stupefying question that a grown man seated behind you asks another, as a moment of quiet descends in the theater once the trailer ends.

The question: “Is that a remake?”

And with that, I present the trailer…


How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 251 (or “Netflix, you don’t know me as well as you think!”)


You have recently begun using the interactive recommendation program called “Max” on your Netflix streaming account, which suggests titles to watch by way of a programmed series of pithy voice-over prompts, saying things like, “I think you’ll really like this one,” or “Do you trust me?”

However, your interactions with this program have been frustrating, and have caused a few strange looks from those who have entered the room in time to hear you yelling things at your television, not unlike the following:

“Way to go genius! Why in the hell would I want to watch that person’s second stand-up comedy special since I just selected ‘Not Interested’ when you suggested his first stand-up special five seconds ago?”

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 250 (or birthdays and blinking palms…)


As your thirtieth birthday approaches, you find yourself feeling grateful that you don’t live in the society depicted in the 1976 science fiction film Logan’s Run, in which all people living in a hermetically-sealed dome structure in the future, must all undergo “renewal” through a process called Carousel when reaching thirty years old.  A person’s age is visible via a crystal in the palm of the hand, which blinks red at the age of renewal.

Those who try to avoid renewal are called “Runners,” who are hunted down by a special police force, each member of which is called a “Sandman.”

Behold the sobering spectacle of Carousel…

Followed by the Sandmen in action.

In an alternate universe: Event 19 (or “Less carbonite required”)


In an alternate universe, the actor Peter Dinklage (best known as “The Half Man,” Tyrion Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones) was born decades earlier, allowing him to beat out Harrison Ford for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode IV.

Not only does Dinklage successfully pull off the role due to genuine “leading man” qualities, but his physical stature lends itself to combat-related scenes in which he rides Chewbacca piggyback style, while shooting his blaster.  This also occurs in Empire Strikes Back in the scenes with a dissembled C-3PO strapped to the Wookiees’s back in Cloud City, on the planet Bespin.

Harrison Ford still became a household name in the Indiana Jones films, though the fourth film in that franchise was never made.

In an alternate universe: Event 18 (or “Hey, kid… read the fine print.”)


In an alternate universe, the much-beloved story, Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus, which was Francis P. Church’s response to a girl’s 1897 query to the The New York Sun concerning the existence of Santa Claus, did not gain popularity as a Christmas classic.  This was caused by the much darker tone in Church’s alternate universe response, which was titled, Hey, Virginia, Just Who The Hell Have You Been Talking to, Young Lady?

In an alternate universe: Event 7


In an alternate universe, you did not find the movie trailer for the Footloose remake downright horrible, yet tragically funny because it was never made in the first place.  Instead, the money was used to produce a Broadway play of the Bill Murray/ Richard Dreyfuss comedy What About Bob?, which went on to become the highest-grossing show in Broadway history.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 92


Not only does your idea of a “fun Thursday night” consist of pizza and streaming episodes of the 1970s horror/ science fiction television series Night Gallery on HULU, but the nearly uncontrollable laughter that you experienced upon watching the segment entitled “The Nature of the Enemy” in Season 1, Episode 3, actually wakes your sleeping dog.

What could be so funny as to provoke such a response? Two words, folks: Moon mice.

That’s right…  there is an actual segment in this series in which a near-future (as of the 1970s) mission to the moon that is originally supposed to build a “moon base” for NASA, ends up requiring a rescue team to try and find them, as they have gone missing shortly after a garbled transmission claims that they were “under attack”.  The rescue team finds no signs that the original group of astronauts are still alive.  The team transmits a video feed that shows the wreckage of one of the crafts from the previous mission, as well as a huge platform structure that the “attacked” astronauts apparently constructed from the moon base materials some time after their transmission, but just as the rescue team discovers this platform, they too seem to be attacked by something.

Just after a NASA engineer makes an off-hand comment that the structure resembles a giant mousetrap, the video transmission, which is still functioning, reveals “the enemy”… a gargantuan freaking mouse on the surface of the moon.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 91


Your idea of turning to a “self-help” book is to read a Kurt Vonnegut novel, the validity of which is exemplified from the following line taken from his novel, Cat’s Cradle:

“Live by the harmless untruths that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.”

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 89


Your first instinct when trying to offer condolescences to someone suffering a personal loss is to point out the following:

“If you stop to think about it, the person you miss is actually alive, well, and prospering by your side… it’s just occuring in an alternate universe.”

You decide against verbalizing that sentiment as few people have, historically, taken such a statement with the warm intent in which it would be offered.

 

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 87


Your oldest friend posts a message on a social media site concerning the prevention of their credit card’s fraudulent use in Ecuador by some unknown brigand, thanks to successful identity theft protection monitoring by their credit card company.  This message states how relieved they are, at this outcome.

Rather than simply reply with a short, trite comment saying some form of reassurance or congratulations on a potential crisis being averted, you decide to post a lengthy response in which you postulate a theory that the mysterious person who attempted to use their card, might actually be their future-self, who has traveled back in time to the present in order to save an Ecuadorian woman who is the future mother to a messianic offspring responsible for saving the human race.

You then accuse your friend of actually hindering the successful completion of their future-self’s mission by allowing the credit card company to intercede. Finally, you do offer them congratulations on being the possible father of the yet-to-be-conceived child, and then reassure them that they can alter the timeline to correct this error in judgment when their present-self later becomes the time traveler.  You conclude by mentioning the role of temporal paradoxes and multiverse theory in how this correction might be accomplished.

Having completely minimized the seriousness of your friend’s original message, and successfully injected unrequested humor into the situation, you submit your post.  You then wait for your friend’s amused and yet annoyed/ flabbergasted response.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 85


While doing work at home, you realize that you have been silently mouthing entire scenes of dialogue from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which is playing on a television in the next room.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 81


The main reason you watch the Syfy original series Haven is to catch Stephen King multiverse Easter eggs (hidden references), secretly hoping for as many Dark Tower references as possible. You also think the shows’ chosen depiction of Pennywise the Dancing Clown in his brief appearance was rather lame and disappointing.

In an alternate universe: Event 6


In an alternate universe, politicians in the United States are elected through competition in a specialized academic decathlon, followed by a Medievil-style melee complete with swords.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 78


You have gotten into multiple arguments over the years regarding Star Wars, in which you have stressed the disregard for the laws of physics evident in the technology depicted in the films, as well as argued that the films should be considered “science fantasy” rather than “science fiction.”

In an alternate universe: Event 5


In an alternate universe, the first man who ever rose up to declare, “God has decreed that I should become your ruler and be called a king,” was considered by most people to be out of his mind. Therefore, the idea of kings and divine right never caught on.