Thursday, August 6, 2009
Belated and Truncated EOTWQ
This is daft; the 'Spill week ends on a Wednesday, if not a Tuesday, and yet we're still twiddling our thumbs waiting for the questions. I hope these are better than nothing; only three of them, as I'm still trying to get some work done and haven't had time to think of any more; I just hope you appreciate the self-sacrifice, since it's nearly time for the new theme and so this post will rapidly disappear down the page under the usual music postings, with scarcely any comments...
(1) There’s a short story by the great SF writer Alfred Bester called ‘Hobson’s Choice’, set in what’s left of the US following a nuclear war, in which a minor government official notices a mysterious rise in the population emanating from the most devastated and irradiated part of the country. He investigates, and discovers that, some time in the distant future, time travel is being used as a psychiatric tool, transporting social misfits to the era when (they are convinced) they should have been born and so will be happy; part of the irony, and the explanation of the population rise, is that some of them are convinced that a post-nuclear US is the utopia they seek. The man is told that he can’t remain and reveal what’s going on, so is offered the choice of being transported to any era he chooses to live out the rest of his days. What would your choice be, and why? The story is highly recommended, by the way.
(2) If you’ll excuse a bit of gratuitous trumpet-blowing and self-satisfaction, I’ve just heard that I’ve been awarded a grant to support a research project on a subject I think is completely fascinating and important (though the reaction of one neighbour was words to the effect of “you’re doing that with my taxes???”). Given unlimited resources and a supply of research assistants eager to do your bidding, what great unanswered question or unsolved mystery would you wish to investigate?
(3) One of the GU blogs this week was about the feeling that everyone is now sick to the back (and so less pointy) teeth of vampires, especially soppy Twilight-style vampires. The only reason I mention this is that reference was made to Ultraviolet - if you don’t know it, a fantastic TV series that appeared on Channel 4 in the late 1990s starring a younger Jack Davenport and the blonde woman from Pride and Prejudice, offering a brilliantly edgy and disturbing take on the whole vampire thing. One series, six episodes, any number of loose ends left hanging; I would give my eye teeth, and any number of other TV series, and even the last two series of Buffy, for there to be a sequel. For what novel, film, TV series or other work of art would you desperately want to know what happened next?