Tags: geekery

maggie mechanic

how you can tell i'm a huge science-fiction geek


My son showed me the palm of his hand, on which he'd drawn a picture in silver ink.  In the center, he'd drawn a star, and there were ten small lumpy circles crowded around it.

"This is a sun from another galaxy," he told me, "and it has ten planets."

He went on to describe how the sun gives off rainbow light and each planet gets hit with a different color on the spectrum, so there is a red planet, an orange planet, a yellow planet and so forth.

"Do you think any of these planets might have life on them?" I asked him.

His eyes lit up, and he breathed, "Every single one."

And -- my heart -- jumped!


After a lifetime of not caring about Doctor Who, I've fallen in love with the 21st-century incarnation(s) of the show.  Christopher Eccleston made it exciting; David Tennant kept it hilarious and gave it warmth.  I adore Rose and Captain Jack.  I agree with Jed's critique of how they handled Martha Jones, and it's a shame about Torchwood, but damn this show is a joyride. 

When fans used to talk about previous incarnations of Doctor Who, it always felt to me (having never seen it) like their fondness for the show must be based in nostalgia.  I figured they liked the kitsch of the hokey rubber alien suits, the old-fashioned sci-fi elements.  But I think I get it now, because this millenium's Doctor Who is doing for me what it did for them: leaving off the slick polished surfaces, this is raw speculative story for the sheer love of it.  A simple premise that freewheels us all over space and time, unencumbered by American studio process.  You can feel that freedom in the show, the way the episodes swing madly from one thing to the next in a universe with nearly infinite possibilities.  And the only consistent thing in the universe, the thread pulling it all together, is this wonderful character.  I love the show's exuberant queerness, and the way it throws open doors to the future while drawing on the past and decades of its own internal traditions.

I read a lot of science fiction and every now and then I burn out on the more spaceshippy end of it, but Doctor Who has reminded me of what a thrill it can be to play in those kinds of stories, rubber suits and all.


...There may be a few other clues as well.
in motion

mad geekery in san francisco

Pär is in San Francisco all this week at the Game Developers' Conference.  If anyone reading this is attending and would like to catch him there, he'll be the tall shaggy-haired Swedish man with the Three Rings crew.  When not at the conference, he'll be mostly working at the Three Rings office -- which may actually be worth visiting just to check out the gorgeously industrial-weird interiors, including custom-made squid desk, pirate desk, Cthulu desk, etc...