Sci-Fi Debate Club

If you’ve seen this week’s episode of my web series, then you know about my Sci-Fi Debate Club. If you missed it, take a look…

We didn’t plan it. We didn’t mean for it to happen. But when two of more nerds are gathered together, nerdy…geeky…dorky debates are bound to ensue! And yes… they can get rather heated at times. We nerds are passionate about our fandoms (to say the least.) But I think we can all agree that we are united in the way we love. We love with intensity. We love with all we have.

Here are some of the hottest debates (not all are science fiction related) in the nerd community…

#1 -Star Wars vs. Star Trek

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Photo from FuriousFanboys.com

Do you prefer a galaxy far, far away full of rebels and stormtroopers, blasters and lightsabers, the Dark side and the Light side. Or do you tend to lean towards the order of Starfleet. The uniforms, the space exploration, the strange new worlds and civilizations? Personally, I don’t like to choose. I grew up with both of them in my life from a very young age and have never known a time when there wasn’t something to look forward to in the world of one or both of them. That being said, Star Wars does hold an extra special place in my heart. I cried when I saw the newest trailer for The Force Awakens and none of the Star Trek’s have elicited quite that response. But I do love both world greatly.

#2 – Would sex with Superman kill Lois Lane?

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Photo from io9

Gotta admit that I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about this one. But I sorta think they’d find a way to make it work. Love will conquer all… even super powered nether regions.

#3 – Who’s the best Doctor?

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This is a case of…why choose? Although, if I really did have to pick between all of Doctors that have ever been, I’d definitely choose the tenth Doctor, played by the incomparable David Tennant. (I guess I chose after all!)

#4 – Mac vs. PC or Android

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This is more of a geeky tech debate. But it’s one that is had often and can get heated. Mac people are loyal and unswayed in their devotion to the apple. I used to be unflinchingly Mac oriented. And when it comes to computers, my loyalty stands. Now when it comes to phones…different story. 4 years ago when I finally upgraded to a smart phone, I was ready to take my place in the iPhone community, but alas, T-mobile did not carry iPhones at the time and that is the service my family uses. So I was forced to join the world of Samsung instead… and I’ve never looked back.

#5 – Bale vs. Keaton

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What this boils down to is more of a best-Batman-ever-debate. Contenders: Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Kevin Conroy, Christian Bale & Ben Affleck (I guess we still have to wait and see about that last one.) I’m firmly in the Kevin Conroy camp. For those of you not in the know, Conroy voiced Batman on the beloved Batman: The Animated Series from the 90’s. The same series that hosted Mark Hamill’s icon voicing of the Joker (another popular debate among nerds: Best Joker ever.) Keaton comes in as a solid second for me (Batman Returns is one of my faves…I love Pfeiffer’s Catwoman!)

#6 – Marvel vs. DC

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Photo from Kweeper.com

This is an issue where I really don’t want to take a stand. I could argue passionately for both. Though Marvel’s immersive world is just so unique and impressive right now. I grew up on the Batman and Superman animated series. And Superman has long been my favorite superhero of all time. Now as for favorite superhero team, I love The Avengers and I also really love X-Men. But my favorite villain is Harley Quinn. My imaginary superhero boyfriend is Captain America. But my imaginary best friend is Catwoman. See… I’m all over the place. I dip my toe in both pools and I just don’t wanna choose…so I won’t!

#7 – Game of Thrones vs. Lord of the Rings

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This is a no brainer for me. One is a pop culture phenomenon. The show that brought dragons to the mainstream audience. That’s an amazing feat, to be sure. But the other is a piece of classic literature. A set of beloved stories that a parent can pass down to their children. An epic tale of hope and fellowship. An author who inspired the other so much that he went and added R’s in his name for that very reason. Any other argument is made invalid by that fact alone. (mic dropped…Liz out!)

#8 – Pirates vs. Ninjas

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Photo from baconbag.com

Ok… we have to talk first about where and why and in what time period are these pirates fighting the ninjas. Are they allowed to bring their pistols to the sword fight?  Cause pirates fight dirty, while ninjas are all about tradition. Though my coworker just brought up a good point…the pirates would probably be inebriated for the fight. So there’s that.

#9 – Captain Kirk vs. Captain Picard

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There is a greater debate along these lines, who’s the best Starfleet Captain of all? Are you a Kirk fan? A Picard follower? Is it Captain Sisko that really gets you? Perhaps Janeway is the lady captain for you? Or maybe….nope that’s it! (Sorry Scott Bakula… I love you, but Enterprise doesn’t count.) Personally I’m a Captain Picard girl. I was a child of the 80’s and a preteen of the 90’s. And my parents l-l-loved Star Trek: The Next Generation. We used to watch it together all the time. So there’s a great deal of nostalgia and warm fuzzies attached to Jean-Luc. And while I really enjoy all the other Star Trek series as well and think they have stellar captains at the helm, it’s Picard for me!

#10 – Did Han shoot first?

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Artwork by Fitz Fitzpatrick

This one is less a debate and more of a sore spot for hardcore fans of Star Wars. See… here’s the story. Star Wars was released in 1977. Beautiful, iconic, practically perfect in every way! 20 years later, George Lucas remastered his masterpiece to include some new things. Including, but not limited to, the scene between Greedo and Han Solo in the Mos Eisley cantina. In the original, untainted version of Star Wars, Han shoots Greedo, killing him and thus ending their conversation. This gave Han a cold-blooded killer persona. One that the Maker did not intend for Han. So when the remastered editions came out, George took the chance to set the record straight and added CGI footage of Greedo shooting first, missing and then Han shooting and killing him afterwards. Fans were unhappy, to say the least (the very least.) In actuality, fans were pissed!! 20 years of believing something about their beloved hero only to have it changed? This isn’t the only thing about the remastered versions that would upset the fans. But George Lucas maintains that Greedo shot first, while fans insist the opposite. Han Solo himself (Harrison Ford) was asked about this nerd debate in a 2014 Reddit conversation. His response…”I don’t know and I don’t care.”

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At the end of the day, we all love and love hard. So what are your thoughts on these very important and pressing issues in the world of nerdy things? Let me know in the comments below!! Even if we disagree, I still love to hear about it!

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Surviving New York Comic Con

With only 2 days to go until the Javits Center opens it’s doors to nerds from all over the world, I thought I’d share a little wisdom I’ve learned from cons past.
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Tip#1: Walk the path less taken

Sure everyone wants to get into the big panels. The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Marvel, etc. But why not try some panels not attended by every nerd this side of the Mississippi? A few of my choices for the weekend include panels like:

Thursday’s Picks

60 Years of Bazooka Joe – 3:45pm in room 1A01. “The panel will expose the story behind the comics with a slideshow, jokes, fortunes, video clips and surprise giveaways for everyone in attendance!”

Women in Comics – 3:15pm in room 1A15. “This panel will cover all aspects of women in the comic book world: the creators, the mythos, the history and of course the superheroes.” I’ve attended this panel the past 2 years and it’s always worth going to.

Friday’s Picks

The Wheel of Time Turns & Epic Fantasy Remains Epic – 11am in room 1A17.  “…an absolutely epic panel on high fantasy. In order to complete your quest to conquer this realm, you must learn what sets epic fantasy apart from other works of literary swords and sorcery.” Plus this panel has Bioware writer and Star Wars novelist Drew Karpyshyn. So it’s a win, win.

Felicia Day and Geek & Sundry Presents! – 12:15am in room 1A22. “Learn more about what’s coming up for Geek & Sundry with Felicia Day!” Felicia Day has become a veritable princess of nerdom and it’s always worth finding out what she has brewing.

Saturday’s Picks

Fathers of the Dark Knight – 11am in room 1B02.  “Teaching artist Roberto William and a cast of talented teens have come together to tell the tale behind the creation of the Batman, his friends and foes.” This new play sounds really intriguing and will be opening in New York. Worth a look.

50 Years of Dr. Who – 11:15am in room 1A23. “TV’s longest running science fiction show celebrates it’s 50th anniversary in November and a panel of Experts celebrate our shared fandom.” The big 5-0 is approaching for Dr. who and for fans everywhere this panel is the perfect place to celebrate the show’s anniversary.

Sundays PIcks

It’s Morphin’ Time – 10:45am in room 1A22. “Get ready for a blast from the past because it’s Morphin’ Time! Check out the Power Rangers panel where Jason David Frank, Tommy the Green/White Ranger, is reunited with two old friends, Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy, or better known as the bullying duo of Angel Grove High, Bulk and Skull.”  It’s the freaking White Ranger. He was definitely a big time crush of mine in high school!!! Sounds amazing!

Warner Archive Presents: Almost Forgotten TV Heroes – 1:30pm in room 1A10. “With Smallville’s triumphant 10-season run still fresh in our memories and a certain Man of Steel soaring high in the cinema, Warner Archive think it’s worth a look at some lesser known super-shows.” I love a good superhero montage and this panel sounds like it will offer just that!

 

I love to walk the path less taken. I rarely go towards the Main Stage, because I can usually watch those panels later on YouTube. But at the less populated panels, I always learn about something new. And I always enjoy not scrambling for a seat as I enter the panel room. Give it a try. What less obvious panels will you be attending this weekend?

 

All quoted text comes directly from the NYCC website. Head here for more info.

Star Wars and Harry Potter

Before I write another word, Star Wars has always been and will always be my very favorite movies of all time. I know every line. And every time I watch any one of them my heart is immediately lightened. It’s nostalgia and joy and all manner of good things wrapped in a bow. Sort of the way you feel when you play with puppies. But with lighsabers thrown in. (Not thrown at the puppies. I hope that was clear!)

Now…I can confidentally say that Harry Potter is officially my second favorite set of movies. (LOTR is a very close third. Very close!) And let me just tell you why. I actually hadn’t seen either parts of The Deathly Hallows since they were in theaters.
And I just finished the whole series once again. Harry burdens my heart and makes me think. Harry presents simple concepts wrapped in riddles. Harry gives us Snape and Neville and Sirius and Luna. There is such a beauty in the series that just grabs my heart and holds on till the end. And each time I watch it I let myself forget all I know about it and I am taken on the ride all over again. And by the end I am knee deep in Kleenex every time.

Nothing can compare to Star Wars for me. It’s in a class all it’s own. Plus it has about 15 year of constant viewing on every other movie out there.But I truly believe nothing can quite compare to Harry Potter either. And that’s why it deserves second place on my favorite movies list. (Seriously…LOTR is really, really close behind!)

Read This: The Aylesford Skull

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If you’re like me, then perhaps you’d heard about the steampunk genre but didn’t know exactly what it was all about. Let me shed some light. Steampunk literature is a mixture of science fiction and fantasy set in the Victorian time period. With that in mind I dove into James P. Blaylock’s ‘Aylesford Skull.’

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This book begs to be read out loud and in a Brittish accent. The language is evocative and transports you into the world of Langdon St. Ives and his nemesis, Dr. Ignacio Narbondo. This book has murder and adventure. Kidnapping, mystery and mysticism.

After the famous Aylesford Skull is stolen by the nefarious Dr. Narbondo, Langston St. Ives begins to chase him from the country to the city in an effort to stop his plot.

To anyone who has never read steampunk literature, this is an excellent representation of the genre and a great place to start.

The Aylesford Skull’ is available as of Jan. 15th from Titan Books.

Clean watching

Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, The Chronices of Narnia, Lord of the Rings… all beloved sci-fi/ fantasy film/tv/books. And every single one almost completely devoid of salacious sex, drugs and harsh cursing. Is there such a thing to be found these days? It is rare to say the least.

Sure… there’s the occasional ‘Bloody ‘ell!’ Or a fondness for smoking a little longbottom leaf. But all in all these things are pretty safe for young minds. Which is why they are such beloved classics.

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I mean two of the longest running television shows are Dr. Who and Star Trek respectively. Dr. Who celebrates it’s 50th year this year. That is a long time to still  be going strong.

These series and movies and such, captivate us as children and we hold on to them forever after that. And it’s because they are appropriate for children and adults alike. Because of this, children are introduced to these things at a young age and are immediately hooked.

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I can’t tell you the first time I saw Star Wars or when my parents first read The Chronicles of Narnia to me.

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Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some Game of Thrones and The Matrix and so many other great R-rated things, but because we cannot experience these things as children, they will never quite have the kind of power that the others tend to. The kind of power that causes true and deep devotion. The power to be relevant 50 years ago and still relevant today.