Tor.com content by

Lindsay Ellis

Fox Mulder and the Problem of the Romantic Conspiracy Theorist

There’s this thing called the “Twenty Year Rule” that pertains to collective cultural nostalgia, and if one is to give credence to this idea, then the recent resurgence of interest in The X-Files comes as no surprise. IDW Publishing has been running a well-received comic adaptation over the last several years, and just a few weeks ago Fox confirmed that they’re in talks to reboot the series, original cast and everything. And the nerdosphere rejoiced! Are you excited? I’m kind of excited! Kind of.

Okay, “mixed feelings” is more the appropriate descriptor.

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The Best Sci-Fi Adventure You Didn’t Read in 2014 — Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye

Wait, come back! I promise this doesn’t involve Mark Wahlberg hate-chugging a Bud Light.

I have a friend whom I’d turned onto IDW Publishing’s Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye a few weeks ago, and she immediately began recommending it to her other friends. While writing this article, I asked her how she was wording these recommendations, and she responded, “Oh man, I just started this great comic, aliens on a big old mission after this huge war ends and they Voyager themselves and the characters are amazing and it’s funny and heartbreaking and…. it’s Transformers.”

That last part tends to be where most people lose interest.

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The Death of Adulthood in American Culture: Nerd Culture Edition

When Pokémon XY was released, my Twitter list exploded with excitement. Who wanted to trade? What was your battle team of choice, and how did you choose to balance out your team’s skills? What goofy names are you giving your Pokémon?

My Twitter list does not consist of children and teenagers, by the by. These were adults, all spreading the gospel of the pocket monster. Granted, I deal with a lot of gaming and nerd culture videographers and bloggers so it wasn’t too shocking, but it wasn’t just them; people who had nothing to do with gaming—successful authors, bloggers, film critics—all playing this game, discussing the trading of their digital beasties and posting share codes. But the remarkable thing to me was the lack of shame in these adult consumers. They weren’t consuming their children’s media in secret, the way a fifth grader in the 90’s might have hidden away to indulge in watching some Power Rangers despite knowing they were “too old” for it (I may or may not be speaking from experience), but rather they were sharing in a community, enjoying it openly and shamelessly.

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How The Market for YA Adaptations Killed The Giver

Full disclosure: I was expecting the film adaptation of The Giver to be garbage. Though I was thrilled at the prospect of Jeff Bridges in the nominal lead, the second they cast a 24-year-old Hayden Christensen-alike as Jonas I promptly and irrevocably abandoned all hope (Jonas is twelve, guys. He’s twelve!). I won’t say I was pleased that, in the end, it wasn’t garbage. It was more of a sand-rash of a movie, if you will—irritating but it isn’t exactly going to ruin your day, and hey, at least you got out of the house.

But one thing that did live up to my expectations was that the changes made to the material to make it more marketable as a movie would be changes for the worse. The filmmakers took this quiet, contemplative coming-of-age story and reshaped it for a market it simply wasn’t designed for.

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