Tag Archives: Peggy Kolm

MIND MELD: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers That Should Be on Earth’s “First Contact” Team

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

In the Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle novel Footfall, as it is clear that the aliens are coming, the U.S. Government whisks away a bunch of fantasy and SF writers to an undisclosed location to wargame and plot out strategies and ideas about what the aliens are like, what they want and how the Earth should deal with them.

I’ve always thought that was a brilliant conceit, and so my question for this week’s panelists is this:

Q: The Aliens are coming, and the Secretary-General of the UN, taking a page from Footfall, has decided to gather a group of F/SF writers and genre types together to form a brain trust to deal with the First Contact. Who should the Secretary-General invite? What skills do they bring to the table?
David Louis Edelman
David Louis Edelman is the John W Campbell nominated author of Infoquake, MultiReal and Geosynchron.

Clearly we need to have China Miéville on the first contact team, because he has shown a knack for imagining strange and improbable monsters and aliens. If the aliens intend to graft us onto household machinery as fascistic punishment for expressing our innate political freedoms, China’s got us covered.

We need Harrison Ford, because the aliens will recognize that he will shoot first. (You hear me, George Lucas? Even aliens from another galaxy know that HAN SHOT FIRST.)

We need Christopher Priest, since his recent rants have demonstrated that he will be immune to any rectal probes that the aliens will attempt to deploy on us.

We need Tom Cruise, because he already knows all about the Emperor Xenu and his plans for intergalactic conquest. You can’t get anything past those Scientologists.

We need Joss Whedon, because aliens will need to be put at ease with snappy human dialogue.

We need Nick Sagan, because the aliens will have already heard his voice from the Voyager spacecraft.

We need Cory Doctorow, in case the aliens have come to impose their draconian copyright laws and restrictive DRM software on us.

We need Sigourney Weaver in one of those walking cargo loader things, because the aliens will clearly recognize that you do not fuck with Sigourney Weaver in a walking cargo loader thing.

We need Stan Lee. because he is Stan Lee.

We need Ursula le Guin, because in addition to being a brilliant SF/F novelist with an unparalleled imagination and empathy for the human condition, she is actually an android/wizard/vampire/ninja capable of firing laser beams from her eyeballs, shooting acid from her fingertips and decapitating aliens at thirty paces by throwing pencils, which are not actually pencils but special CIA-designed precision-guided exploding ninja stars.

And we need Newt Gingrich, because the aliens will instantly recognize him as one of their own. And hopefully they’ll want him back.

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MIND MELD: SciFi TV Shows That Deserve A Remake (with Videos)

This week, we turned our attention to SciFi television when we asked our panelists this question:

Q: Which off-the-air science fiction television show deserves a remake? What changes would you make to update it?

Here’s how they responded…

A. Lee Martinez
A. Lee Martinez is a writer you probably haven’t heard of but really should have. He is the author of Gil’s All Fright Diner, In the Company of Ogres, A Nameless Witch, The Automatic Detective, Too Many Curses, Monster and the upcoming Divine Misfortune. He credits comic books and Godzilla movies as his biggest influences, and thinks that every story is better with a dash of ninja.

I thought long and hard on this one, and with so many great candidates, it wasn’t easy. Manimal? The Night Stalker? Misfits of Science? Century City? Oh, the delightful possibilities. How can one man make such a controversial decision? Well, after much soul searching, meditation, and hours of telepathic communion with my ancient Martian spirit guide (his name is Jack), I can only find one worthy answer.

Darkwing Duck.

How would I update this classic show? Good question. I probably wouldn’t change it much. I’d give it a more action oriented update that wouldn’t lose the humor of the original. Something like Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Fun, retro, and sharp. I’d also expand Darkwing’s universe to include more superheroes and villains. In addition to the classics such as Liquidator, Bushroot, and Megavolt, I’d introduce new characters. And of course, you could never go wrong with a Gizmoduck team up on a fairly regular basis. All of this would inevitably lead to my ultimate spinoff series:

Justice Ducks Unlimited.

But one step at a time…

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