Mar 25 2010

"That sounds like science fiction." "You live in a spaceship." "So?"

, Writing , ,

Author John Scalzi wrote an interesting piece over on's site about how cool (or uncool) it would be to live in some of the various worlds.  Keeping his format, let's extend this some...

The rules: Movies only, I know there are a lot of worlds in books and such, but he has limited himself to movies (and let's say TV too just for yucks) so that's where we can start.

Star Wars, Star Trek, The Matrix and Serenity are taken.  You are welcome to grade them yourself, but do it in a way that expands on his arguments not just naysays them.


You live in a feudal society with trade guilds that control interplanetary trade and travel.  Technology is plentiful with the exception of robots (damn you AIs) but you have Mentats and region galore.

Pros: Even though you are more or less tied to a noble house and your daily existence is dependant on the whims of your benefactors, life is pretty good.  Work hard, doa good job and you might be taken care of well into your old age.

Cons: Your "benefactors" could be psychotic madmen, religious zealots, or power-mad despots.  And if you don't like who you get stuck with, you can't change your mind.

Overall Grade: D+ If you get lucky it's good, but otherwise it sucks.



Few people get to see the worlds out there in space, most of them are stuck on an ecologically ruined Earth living in overcrowded, miserable slums.  There are a few perks in that tech is cheap and there are always ways to go off-world if you want it bad enough.  If you have ambition, there seem to be no limits.

Pros: Life is cheap and as a result ambition is king.  If you want it bad enough you can get it.  It might involve killing someone or selling your own body parts (but those can be replaced).

Cons: The ecology is ruined andeveryone is a downer most of the time.  Anything you get that might put you ahead is up for grabs by someone else who wants it more.

Overall Grade: C  This is a tough world cupcake. If you want to coast this isn't going to work out for you.


The Fifth Element

Aliens, Ancient Visitors, Galactic-level threats and virtually magical technology.  Flying cars (yay!) and super-cities. What more could you ask for? Even the worst of society have a place to live and ways to survive thanks to matter-conversion technology.  You want more, you can get it by working for it. Listen to Ruby Rod or just eat chinese food delivered to your window.

Pros:  Lots of toys, lots of people, and lots of things to see and do. It won't all make sense, but it is all there. Unlimited potential.

Cons: The paperwork will kill you, literally. Police have (almost) unfettered rights and they are armed and stupid.  Make sure your multi-pass is up to date or you might get fragged by accident.

Overall Grade:  B- As long as you stay ahead of the beaurocracy it is smooth sailing.


Any more?  Alien, Predator, Avatar, Battlestar, Flash Gordon, Gatttica, Evangelion?  The floor is yours.