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David Arnold

Five Fictional Fathers Who Fell Cosmically Short

A few days ago, over breakfast, I mentioned to my eight-year-old that I was working on an essay about absent fathers in science fiction. He calmly took a bite of cereal, and said, “You mean like Darth Vader?” It’s a testament to my theory—that dads of SFF fall short with such lopsided regularity—that I hadn’t even considered the granddaddy of bad dads.

To be clear, this is not a literary critique. In fact, each work listed below is a personal favorite. This is simply one dad observing other (fictional) dads shirk their (fictional) responsibilities—whether by gallivanting across the universe, jumping into questionable holes, or accidentally tessering to the wrong f*#!ing planet—with fantastic efficiency.

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