Doctor Who: The Aztecs

The episode “The Aztecs” brings religion to the foreground once again. The travelers find themselves in ancient South America among the Aztecs, and Barbara is mistaken for a goddess. When she learns that they are planning to offer a human sacrifice, she decides to try to persuade the people that the rains will come with [Read More...]

Torchwood: Invisible Eugene, Out of Time, and the Soul of Sci-Fi

The ninth episode of the first season of Torchwood, “Invisible Eugene,” is full of poignant double entendres and symbolism. The title itself reflects the life of an individual who, after failing in a math competition, was abandoned by his father and ignored by most people as he followed a trajectory that involved entering into possession [Read More...]

How To Make My Spidey-Scar Sense a Disturbance in the Time Vortex

This has been around for a while, but since Bob Cargill shared it and said that it would tick me off four times over, I figured I had best mention it… In other somewhat related news, Chris Brady and Bob Cargill are working on a project called Sacred Techs. Mason uses Doctor Who to reflect [Read More...]

Longing for Magic and Miracle (Is Science Fiction Simply Fantasy?)

A question to which I keep returning is whether science fiction is fundamentally different than fantasy. Both have worlds very different than our own, battles between good and evil, monsters, heroes, and usually even energy weapons of some sort. Obviously the difference is that there is at least a pretense of scientific basis in science [Read More...]

Epic Storytelling from the Bible to Star Wars

While searching for a recording of “O Fortuna” from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana I came across this video which brings together scenes from across the various six Star Wars films to that musical accompaniment, connecting the early and later in a pretty effective way. The look on Obi Wan Kenobi’s face in the first Star [Read More...]

What Captain Picard Always Orders at Chinese Restaurants

Via Blastr (If you don’t get it immediately, look at the sign on the wall behind him). [Read more...]

Iowa as Trekkie-Detector

If you mention Iowa to the average person, particularly at the moment, and they will probably think of this… If you mention Iowa to a Trekkie, the first thing that they will probably think of is this… HT Marc Cortez for the second image. [Read more...]

Is the Bible Better in the Original Klingon?

IO9′s article on dramatic works that should be performed in sci-fi languages reminded me of an activity I did once in a class on religion and sci-fi, getting students to “translate” (in actual fact, imagine they are explaining) a passage from the Bible or other Scriptures to someone from another planet. It provides an interesting [Read More...]

Reasons to Buy Religion and Science Fiction: It Makes A Great Birthday Present

Remember the scene in Star Trek: The Motion Picture where Spock gives Kirk a copy of Religion and Science Fiction for his birthday? Neither do I. But if he had given him Religion and Science Fiction instead of A Tale of Two Cities, then it is just possible that the chapter on good and evil [Read More...]

Reasons To Buy Religion and Science Fiction: It’s All The Rage With Aliens Mistaken for Ancient Greek Gods

I know that the 40% discount coupon I shared might seem like a good enough reason to go ahead and order yourself a copy of the book which was just released, Religion and Science Fiction. But die-hard fans of science fiction sometimes need a geekier form of motivation. And so I am planning on blogging [Read More...]

Mystical Pregnancies and Other Sci-Fi Tropes Around the Blogosphere

TheoFantastique and Political Jesus shared a video as well as some links related to a classic trope in both religion and sci-fi: the impregnation of a woman with a child from another world: Elsewhere in the realm of sci-fi, Rod of Alexandria also posted a farcical account of the most famous time lord bringing the [Read More...]


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