Monday, May 30, 2011


Alright, I'm going to get this out of the way up front: Here's a link to the website.
Don't let the quality of the site fool you, though: Artemis is totally awesome!
Artemis is a video game in which players take on the roles of various bridge officers on a starship. In this way, it resembles but is legally distinct from Star Trek. As a video game, it's a bit unusual in a few ways. For starters, it's a fully cooperative PC game, and as far as I know it's the only one. It's also best played by several people together in the same room. Sure, lots of people enjoy their LAN parties, but here we have a game whose experience is clearly best that way. There are five bridge stations, and up to six can play, including a captain to command the others. While this might sound a bit lame, the captaining thing actually improves the crew's survivability, since it turns what could otherwise turn into a big shouting match into an orderly system of advising the captain and taking orders. And, of course, a projector is recommended for the main screen.
I started out thinking that I'd just go on and on about it, but I realize that, for anyone who hasn't played it or seen it played, most of what I would say wouldn't make any sense. I'd suggest buying a copy BECAUSE IT'S AWESOME and also because each copy has a "bridge license" which is enough to put it on five computers, for all five bridge stations. I also recommend rocking violently from side to side whenever the ship is hit. ;)

Sudden Short Story 11

"They call it Z'ha'dum because, if you go there, then you will die."
"I know. I fully expect that I will die someday, but I still wish to go."
"You don't have to die. You could stay here. We have the technology to --"
"I don't want to live forever. That is why people go to Z'ha'dum."
"They go because they think that there is something better there. But, how do you expect to live a better life with so much less of it? You won't make it past 200, even if you're lucky."
"It is precisely because there is less of it that I can enjoy it even more. I wonder if, in all of your years, you will ever understand that, even as you grow and change."
"Are you sure that you wouldn't rather --"
"You won't change my mind. Now, transport me to the planet that they call Z'ha'dum."
"... very well"

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Questions Raised by "The Curse of the Black Spot"

WARNING: The following post may contain spoilers for the Doctor Who episode "The Curse of the Black Spot" (S06E03).
NOTE: For this post, I will refer to the "Siren" interdimensional alien doctor thing as the "emergency medical hologram".

1. Why did the emergency medical hologram take men who had mere nicks and cuts? They're not life-threatening, and what sort of triage system involves blasting people across the deck of a ship just to get the guy with a scratch?
2. For that matter, why couldn't the men who had been cut be released? The emergency medical hologram can figure out that some humans in our dimension use paired rings to indicate marriage which, in some of our legal systems, authorizes the spouse to make medical decisions, but even after acquiring several DNA samples it can't figure out blood clotting?
3. Isn't Rory made of plastic? I wasn't sure, after season 5, whether the Rory that we were seeing was the plastic Roman or the regular human, what with time travel, paradoxes, the destruction and rebirth of our universe, the rewind, etc., but a certain conversation in "The Day of the Moon" basically told us that this Rory is the plastic one. That being said, would he even have DNA? I'm not sure on the details, but...
4. Isn't Rory made of plastic? That is, would he bleed if cut? Would a cut even be an issue? Moreover...
5. Isn't Rory made of plastic? Is drowning really an issue for him? Even if his lung cavities filled with water, does he really need the almost constant supply of oxygen that we do? Couldn't we just drain him and make him all better? I mean, at this point, does being one of those plastic people (whose proper Doctor Who title escapes me at the moment) do anything besides giving one eternal youth and making one functionally immortal?
6. And what sort of name is "Rory", anyway? This isn't specific to the episode, but it's apparently "Rory" and not "Roary", which just seems a bit silly to me. :P