Tor.com content by

Emily Asher-Perrin

5 Books That Get Ruined If You Take Away a Key Piece of Technology

Once the new tech stops being shiny…what then are you left with? Cory Doctorow’s new book Walkaway is all about living in that post-shininess era of technology. What do you keep? What do you allow to fade? And what can be used to truly create a better future?

Walkaway narrows down to see what technological advance truly holds everything together, but Doctorow isn’t the only one who understands that our lives, and the stories they create, tend to hang on a single piece of tech. Here are just a few premises that are casually, irrevocably destroyed when you remove a vital piece of helpful, fictional technology.

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The “True Nature of the Force” is Way More Complicated Than You Think

This is an updated version of an article that ran in 2012.

It started off pretty simple—there was a young man who wanted to become an agent of good, like his father before him. He would use a mystical energy known as “the Force” to become powerful enough to defeat darkness. Once he did, the universe would be restored to its balanced state, freedom would spread throughout the galaxy, and all would be well.

But you know what? Balance is not good triumphing over evil. Balance is balance. The seesaw doesn’t tip in either direction here, so… what does that mean for Star Wars? Well for one, it may be time to reevaluate everything that we know—or think we know—about the nature of that galaxy far, far away. And the given the questions raised by the final words in The Last Jedi’s trailer, those questions are more pressing than ever.

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David Lynch’s Dune is What You Get When You Build a Science Fictional World With No Interest in Science Fiction

There were many attempts to get Dune to the screen on the wave of its popularity. The version that finally came through was David Lynch’s 1984 film, made after both Alejandro Jodorowsky and Ridley Scott tried their hands at the project and ran short on funding and dedication respectively. Lynch was asked to direct and write the screenplay with no knowledge of the book and no particular interest in science fiction.

You can see where this was all destined to go wrong, can’t you?

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Series: Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune

Doctor Who Reaches Way Back to Its Roots for Season 10 Premiere

Doctor Who is always a new show. Every couple of years it transmutes itself into something new and different, and every time fans wonder if they will like that something. So there’s no way to predict with utter surety whether or not the collective fandom will enjoy the new road. Some will. Some won’t.

That said, season ten’s premiere feels like a homecoming—in more ways than one.

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Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune: Dune, Part Twenty

One Emperor enters! A different Emperor leaves!

It is the final countdown for Dune! The last section of the book!

Index to the reread can be located here! And don’t forget this is a reread, which means that any and all of these posts will contain spoilers for all of Frank Herbert’s Dune series. If you’re not caught up, keep that in mind.

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Series: Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune

Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune: Dune, Part Nineteen

This week we’re going to wake up from a three week coma and let the Emperor know we’re alive and kicking! Also, we’re the Kwisatz Haderach. You know, the super special person.

Index to the reread can be located here! And don’t forget this is a reread, which means that any and all of these posts will contain spoilers for all of Frank Herbert’s Dune series. If you’re not caught up, keep that in mind.

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Series: Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune

New Doctor Who Costar Bill Potts Will Be First Full-Time Gay Companion

And no, I don’t mean that she will be gay full-time (as opposed to clocking out at the end of the day). Doctor Who fans know well that the Doctor has had adventures with queer companions before–both Jack Harkness and River Song fall under the spectrum of pan or omnisexual–but Bill Potts, the upcoming companion to be played by Pearl Mackie, has been revealed as the first full-time TARDIS pal who happens to be gay.

At least, so far as we know. (Turlough, I’m looking at you.)

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What’s in a Reboot? How 1998’s Lost in Space Prepared Me for the Onslaught of the Future

Before you say anything—Yes, I have watched the original Lost in Space television show. Yes, it is kinda weird because I was born decades after its premiere. Yes, I did enjoy it. Yes, I am obsessed with stories featuring kids who have friendships with robots, and queer codified villains. I also learned that John Williams had written the theme song, which was a very high recommendation in my kid playbook.

The 1998 reboot came along and also swept me off my feet for a brief period of time. (I was very young, shh.) But looking back on the film now—awkward as it was—it’s strange to realize how much I learned from it.

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Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune: Dune, Part Eighteen

This week we might get murdered by an old family friend… or that old family friend might play us a pretty song! It really could go either way, though. You know how it is.

Index to the reread can be located here! And don’t forget this is a reread, which means that any and all of these posts will contain spoilers for all of Frank Herbert’s Dune series. If you’re not caught up, keep that in mind.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading Frank Herbert’s Dune