- Irony: Someone just sent me email spam plugging the spam control features of their Twitter client. *headdesk*
- Very cool! From @ThisIsTrue:
COOL pic: Mars Orbiter gets photo of Mars rover, including tire tracks.
- Kinda wanted to see Time Traveler’s Wife, but ad campaign & insistence that it’s not scifi are pushing me away. Low tomatometer not helping.
- Note to self: No more light chocolate syrup. 50% less calories/carbs doesn’t help if you have to use twice as much to match the flavor.
One of the events I made sure to hit at Comic-Con was the Flash Forward panel. Flash Forward is a new series launching on ABC this fall — you’ve probably seen ads for it — about what happens when everyone in the entire world blacks out for two minutes and has a vision of what they will be doing at a specific time in the future. This incident has two major consequences:
- Millions of people die, worldwide, in the space of moments. Cars and airplanes crash, people standing on staircases or ladders fall to their deaths, swimmers drown, etc.
- The survivors know exactly what they’ll be doing for a two-minute slice of time in the future…but they don’t necessarily know why.
It’s based on the novel Flashforward by Robert J Sawyer, which I reviewed at Speed Force last December. It’s a great book, and I highly recommend it. The focus seems to be different, though: the book follows the scientists whose experiment accidentally triggered the event, in which everyone sees visions of 21 years in the future. The TV show is following, to start with anyway, an FBI agent investigating the event.
So where the book is mostly philosophical science fiction, the show looks like a mix of action, mystery and drama.
Both have, as their major theme, a single question: If you knew what your future was going to be, what would you do? Would you try to change it? Would you try to make it happen? If you saw a future you wanted, would you slack off, confident that things would work out in the end, or would you put in extra effort knowing you’d succeed?
To start with, they brought out the producers of the show, had some discussion, then ran the first two acts of the pilot episode.
Read on for a write-up and photos from the panel. Continue reading
Earlier this month I read Robert J. Sawyer’s novel, Flashforward. It’s about what happens after, during a scientific experiment, the entire population of the world blacks out for two minutes and sees a vision of what they will be doing twenty years from now. It focuses on the question of free will, and looks at the different ways people might react to learning exactly what their future has in store.
Like most of Sawyer’s stuff, It’s a good, fast read that makes you think. It’s also been in the news lately, since ABC is developing it as a TV series to pick up the Lost audience as that show wraps up, and they’ve been announcing casting for the pilot.
I’ve posted a review of Flashforward at Speed Force (update: moved to Kelson Reviews Stuff).
I was thinking about the timeline of DC Comics’ Earth-51 (home to the Great Disaster in Countdown to Final Crisis) and trying to wrap my head around what the past and present might mean for a world that’s been created and destroyed twice in as many years, and realized that some of the time paradoxes make much more sense if you consider that there’s more than one kind of time.
Real-world time is, as you’d expect, the time that passes between when two stories are published. For example, it’s been 45 years since Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962).
In-story time is the time that passes within a story. So even though it’s been 70 years since Superman first appeared on the newsstand, it’s only been 10–15 years since his debut within the DC Universe.
The tension between these two leads to a strange, fluid take on time, which has its own issues.
But then you get into time travel and cosmic retcons, and in-story time can’t quite explain things. Continue reading