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The Slice

Posts tagged: science fiction

How to make an ass of yourself

If someone reveals that she isn't altogether clear if something is a “Star Trek” reference or a “Star Wars” reference, act like this pop culture knowledge gap is a huge fricking deal.

Peering into the make-believe future

If warp drive is going to be developed in Montana, what futuristic technology should we expect to be invented in Idaho?

Back to the future

There isn't a fan club or an association of devotees.

At least not that I know about.

But for some longtime TV watchers, there are few program themes quite so beguiling as old sci-fi stories that depict life in the future — a future that, for us in 2011, was actually quite a few years ago.

Consider a terrific 1963 episode of “TheTwilight Zone” called “On Thursday We Leave for Home.”

It's about a weary contingent of settlers from Earth who tried to establish a colony on a planet in a solar system with two suns.

So when did they journey to this distant world? Answer: In the far-in-the-future year of 1991.

Of course, TV has no monoply on this. Didn't one of the “Terminator” movies forecast a specific date for the end of the world that in real life has come and gone?

And, of course, there is Orwell's “1984.”

The amusement value is part of the appeal of this dynamic. But perhaps there is more to it.

Any sci-fi fan can tell you that the future can be a scary place.

So any time we actually pass one of those imaginary milestones, it is further evidence that sometimes hope trumps fear.

And despite everything, we endure.

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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