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Lemuel

I think I'm done with science fiction

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I just got done watching Knowing, the Nicolas Cage movie billed as a mystery concerning prophecies of disasters. The film ends with ...

... the destruction of the Earth -- in a most impressive spectacle of digital effects -- and the transplantation of children to a verdant and undeveloped alien world.

I recently watched the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, in which an alien arrives on Earth to warn Mankind to stop its evil plundering ways, lest the aliens pass judgment and destroy all of civilization. Predictably ...

... Mankind is spared, but only after all technology is destroyed, forcing Man to return to a pre-industrial existence.

Despite its many flaws, I was a fan of Battlestar Galactica, which ended with ...

... the ragtag fleet reaching a prehistoric Earth, and deciding to abandon their technology in order to start anew -- an ending made cheesier with a scene in modern Times Square, in which a pair of "angelic" characters comment that Mankind is headed once again towards a suicidal collapse with our "commercialism".

Even Wall-E, made by the same team that brought us the marvelous The Incredibles ...

... dramatizes a world trashed by consumption, and abandoned by Man, who lives aboard a spacecraft in a state of lazy, robot-pampered delerium.

And it's not just the movies. Science fiction novels regularly feature variations of anti-Man, anti-progress, anti-technology, anti-civilization messages. You can't find a sci-fi novel on the shelves whose premise doesn't involve:

A. an inevitable environmental cataclysm,

B. the mystic "singularity", or

C. transhumanism, in which Man is basically no longer Man.

Where is Buck Rogers? Where is Flash Gordon? Or Luke Skywalker? Where are the heroes who triumph over evil? Why must every technology manifest the destruction or enslavement of Man? Why must every superhero be filled with angst and flaws in order to be plausible? Why must the only "positive" visions of the future involve people living in some saccharin socialist utopia, a la Star Trek?

I've been a fan of science fiction since I understood what it was. I enjoyed grand ideas, and reality-challenging premises. I liked heroes that won against unimaginable odds. I liked technology, and visions of a future liberated from many of the irrational ills that plague or culture. Even after I developed a value system, I was able to overlook a lot of what I disapproved of in science fiction because there was always something that could excite my imagination.

No more, it seems. Every book disgusts me, every movie disappoints, and I'm finding less and less to enjoy in science fiction. Perhaps I'm not reading/watching the right things. Perhaps I've finally outgrown the genre. Perhaps Knowing was just so bad I don't want anything more to remind me of it.

I'm sure there's a point in here somewhere, but I'm just too disappointed right now to articulate it.

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To be fair, transhumanism isn't about man not being man. It's about man developing beyond genetic determinism, beyond simply being a genetically enhanced version of a chimpanzee or a orangutan. It's about freeing the spirit of man from the constraints of earthly biology.

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I haven't seen all the films you mentioned, but I know what you mean. It's all anti-science fiction.

transhumanism, in which Man is basically no longer Man

Besides its name, what's bad about transhumanism? It's about improving humankind beyond any limitations that would make one's life worse, like our animal condition.

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Quit giving those cruds in Hollywood your money.

As for SF you should have seen the "new wave" crap that came out in the 1960s and 1970s. Stream of consciousness twaddle, and the stream was yellow to boot. You think it's bad now?

I'd suggest a subscription to Analog; their stuff seems pretty positive even if not O-ist.

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If you want good, visual SF you'll find it on TV. Start with Stargate SG-1, the entire show is about Air Force personnel defending the Earth from parasitic aliens. The spin-off, Stargate Atlantis, wasn't as good but it's worth the time. In both shows a strong motivation is in acquiring and developing technology to better fight the aliens with.

Even the many Trek shows were better, overall, than the handful of Trek movies. When you ahve to produce hundreds of episodes, a few are bound to be good.

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There is lots of good old SF out there. You just have to go back to the era of "Have Spacesuit Will Travel" (Heinlein), "Earthblood" (Laumer?) or "Bio of a Space Tyrant" (Anthony) to find it. :rolleyes:

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There is lots of good old SF out there. You just have to go back to the era of "Have Spacesuit Will Travel" (Heinlein), "Earthblood" (Laumer?) or "Bio of a Space Tyrant" (Anthony) to find it. :rolleyes:

The problem is that many of those older books are out of print. The solution is to get them either trhough private sellers in Amazon (never tried it), or from second-hand shops. Fortunately the net is very helpful. I do recommend Powells (http://www.powells.com), I've bought plenty of books through them and I'm perfectly satisified (note, not all books are in good condition, but the site does tell you the condition they are in). For a while they even had free shipping to Mexico.

I've found some real treasures there, like all of Asimov's Black Widower books, Cliff Simak's works, del Rey's stories, even a collection of stories by The Man himself, John W. Campbell Jr. They also sell new books.

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Don't give up yet on Sci-Fi literature; not until you've tried out the Scots writer Iain M. Banks, and the 8 or so books he's published in the past 15 years.

A completely fresh, highly imaginative approach to the genre.

I can't recommend him enough then to say I think he has surpassed even Asimov and Heinlein; doubtful? Try him and see!

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If you want good, visual SF you'll find it on TV. Start with Stargate SG-1, the entire show is about Air Force personnel defending the Earth from parasitic aliens. The spin-off, Stargate Atlantis, wasn't as good but it's worth the time. In both shows a strong motivation is in acquiring and developing technology to better fight the aliens with.

Yes! SG-1 rules!

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I've been a fan of science fiction since I understood what it was. I enjoyed grand ideas, and reality-challenging premises. I liked heroes that won against unimaginable odds. I liked technology, and visions of a future liberated from many of the irrational ills that plague or culture. Even after I developed a value system, I was able to overlook a lot of what I disapproved of in science fiction because there was always something that could excite my imagination.

Three kinds of new media are available at most public libraries or online:

  1. Podcasts with new fiction, and fan discussion of heroic shows.
  2. Recorded books, including all the golden oldies such as Heinlein.
  3. PDF books, available online or through your local library.

Yes, most recent scifi is ersatz Frankenstein, and it shows they haven't even read that book. But there are better alternatives if you think outside the box. You might even attend a scifi convention to find better sources.

If I find a place where I can get more time and peace to write, I will be contributing to the heroic line of fiction as well. If you're so disappointed, why not try your hand at writing scifi yourself?

Stay Focused,

<Φ>aj

Edited by aristotlejones

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Yes! SG-1 rules!

You have all the archetypes of old: the grandfatherly general, the wise-cracking colonel, the nerdy scientist, the noble alien and the geeky engineer. It helps the engineer is hot (I'm told the scientist is also hot, but I'm in no position to judge).

But there's more than that. The characters enjoy their frequent explorations. Yes, they're under a terrible threat, but they have fun exploring other worlds and finding new people and things. They act exactly how'd you expect peopel to act if they suddenly discovered a cheap and easy way to travel to other worlds.

The dialogue and pacing are excellent, too.

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Watch Star Trek and the movies, period. There is no better sci-fi out there, in my mind.

Keep in mind that Gene Roddenberry was in the Air Force so there was inevitable military influence on Star Trek. The starships are essentially military starships, even if their primary mission is exploration. Also, he became a much smaller part of Star Trek starting with TNG and he had passed on when DS9 and Voyager aired.

Nonetheless, Star Trek has almost always praised technology and mocked Rousseauian philosophy. One episode of Deep Space 9 comes to mind called "Paradise" in which the station captain, Sisko, and several other crew members crash land on a planet where another Starfleet vessel had crashed many years ago. It turns out that the crew of the previously crashed ship have adopted a no-technology approach to life, all because of one woman's guidance and her treatises on her philosophy (hey wait, isn't that book technology?). Sisko is immediately disgusted by her, and there's a very entertaining conflict between these two leaders. Meanwhile, Chief O'Brian, the engineer of DS9, is trying to figure out a way off the planet. There's a mysterious dampening field that prevents all electronic devices from working. He finds what's emitting the field and destroys it.

The episode ends with Sisko, O'Brian and the others beaming up, but the "community" of ex-Starfleet officers decides to stay. The last shot, however, is of all the children of the village looking on as Sisko and the others beam up even while all the adults have already left the scene.

There are many other great anti-religious, anti-anti-technology, and anti-government episodes of Star Trek. Yes, it falters on occasion, but that's only because there are 700 episodes written by countless hundreds of writers. There's no way you can ensure uniformity of philosophy across so many episodes and writers.

I'll give another great example. One episode of Voyager starts off with a race of aliens we've never seen before. We're thrown straight into their world and never see the Voyager crew until midway into the episode. Anyway, these aliens have a highly regulated scientific community - essentially a government science council that dictates what is truth and what isn't. Yet there is one archeologist whose theory goes against all accepted "fact," proposing that their race is actually from the same planet that this newly discovered race, humans, also comes from. Long story short, this alien race evolved from a particular species of dinosaur, built massive starships and left Earth, but have long since forgotten their origins. The scientist is maligned and threatened with imprisonment unless he immediately repudiates his theory. Somehow one of the Voyager crew who was sent out on some short mission is found by this scientist, who is now on the run from his government. Chakotay convinces him that his only option is to stand up for what he knows to be the truth and face his oppressors. The episode ends with an awesome speech by Chakotay about the oppression of the individual by the government and the obfuscation of truth by dogma, etc.

I could go on, but in short, watch Star Trek. All incarnations thereof.

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I feel another synopsis is in order to really prove my case.

"Who Watches the Watchers," a 3rd season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, starts off with a "duck-blind" Federation observation mission of an alien civilization that looks oddly similar to the Vulcans. It turns out they are indeed related, but split off at some point and are currently living in an age roughly equal to Earth's Renaissance in terms of technological prowess. Anyway, one curious girl - the daughter of the resident astronomer in this particular village - witnesses the "duck-blind" go horribly wrong when a power surge kills all the scientists and disables their hologram projector. They are now visible to this entire civilization. The father goes up first and is electrocuted, so the Enterprise is forced to beam him up even if it means risking cultural contamination. When the father awakes unexpectedly in sickbay, he is so amazed by the Enterprise's technology that he believes them to be Gods, even though his civilization long abandoned their belief in all mysticism centuries ago. All that remains are folk tales that no one believes, but the human's technology is so advanced he has no other way of comprehending it. In order to return him and save some crew members who end up being held captive as "sacrifices to the God, Captain Picard," Picard himself goes down to the planet and teaches the people that he is no God - he is just far more advanced technologically. He makes a comment earlier in the episode about how he absolutely refuses to let them believe he's a God, because he doesn't want to send them back to the Dark Ages, reversing all the intellectual progress they have made (he actually says all of this).

Anyway, yet another great episode of Star Trek.

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I have another suggestion. There's a Japanese anime called "Cowboy Bebop," set in the near future where humans have invented a way of traveling about the solar system called the "gate system." People have colonized all the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and also have colonies on Mars, Venus, and various asteroids.

Governments no longer have the power to control the criminal element, so bounty hunters, or "Cowboys," have stepped in to reap a profit. The show follows a rag-tag group of Cowboys as they track down bounties, learn moral lessons, and confront their respective pasts. Spike and Jet form the original duo, Spike being a former member of a large criminal organization much like a mafia, and Jet being an ex-police officer. Eventually they run into Faye Valentine, a gambler-extraordinaire and femme fatale, Ein, a hyper-intelligent Corgi "data dog," and Ed, a child prodigy and infamous hacker.

The show is full of Film Noir, Cowboy Western, and other American themes and plots. The music, composed by Yoko Kanno, is some of the best Jazz music ever composed. It's more than just music for a show, but so good that you can just sit down and listen to it.

In short, it's a very entertaining sci-fi, film noir, etc. show with very optimistic and sometimes even Capitalistic themes.

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I think you are just looking at Hollywood sci-fi. That is your problem. Hollywood ruins everything they touch.

Read everything by Heinlein, Niven. and Pournelle.

When you are done with them, in several years, you might look at Weber and Ringo.

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Watch Star Trek and the movies, period. There is no better sci-fi out there, in my mind.

"Spock's Brain"

Sorry. I couldn't resist and I had to establish my Trekkie credentials. So:

There's a lot of good Trek eps out there, in all the series (perhaps even in Enterprise, who knows?) Try "Whispers" in DS9 for a thorough treatment of a paranoid cospiracy theorist who wind up being dead on (no pun intended), "Frame Of Mind" in TNG for a look into how the perceptions of reality can be altered and what happanes then, "The Best of Both Worlds" for a study in the nature of comand while a big enemy ravages the Starfleet, etc etc etc.

But the Trek ideal is a fantasy version of third-way socialism ("third-way" because it's not called socialism explicitly). Not to mention the incessant technobabble even when none is called for (particularly when none is called for), or when it's so easy to see through it you need an industrial-size crane to suspend your disbelief from.

As to the movies: 2, 4, 6, Generations and First Contact. Everything else, as the old SNL Scottish store-keeper had it, is crap (I reserve judgement on the new movie, which I've yet to see).

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"The Best of Both Worlds" is also great for the introduction of the Borg, possibly the best portrayal of the single-minded "Collective" bent on conquering all other beings.

The frequency of technobabble is really overrated. It really took hold in Voyager, but before that it was much less frequent than people think.

You're pretty much right about the movies, although I would add that 3, The Search for Spock, is also very good. Yes there's some mysticism, so what, but TSFS really captures the relationship between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy the best of any of the movies. Insurrection and Nemesis can be skipped, but the new movie is truly awesome and it took me back to what Star Trek is all about.

As for the socialism...I don't know, I find it very hard to come down one way or another. In many episodes money is used, yet in other it is explicitly said that it has been abandoned. It's the result of writers contradicting each other. I say just bite your lip and forget about it altogether because in the entirety of Star Trek it really is a minor, irrelevant point that comes up at most a handful of times.

Edited by Krattle

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"The Best of Both Worlds" is also great for the introduction of the Borg, possibly the best portrayal of the single-minded "Collective" bent on conquering all other beings.

Yes, the Borg were a great, evil enemy, and their collective ways could have been well-used to prove all sorts of philosophical points. Alas, the Borg were, to put it bluntly, emasculated over the course of Voyager and were completely done for as villains in Enterprise.

As all Trekkies know, in TNG we learned the Borg come from the Delta Quadrant, where Voyager winds up getting lost. So why did they decide to make it a "we'll be forever looking for the way home" show rather than a "well, we're lost and stranded here and we'll never go home, but we have a chance to organize this area of the galaxy to effectively fight the Borg" show? That was a terrible way to loose an opportunity.

The frequency of technobabble is really overrated. It really took hold in Voyager, but before that it was much less frequent than people think.

There was one ep, a pretty good one at that, where they find a new element with the biggest atomic number yet. That's fine. However they then determined the element was produced as a by-product of the decay of dead alien bodies. Now, the bigger an element's atomic number, the more protons it has (electrons, too, but that's not relevant), meaning the larger its nucleus is, meaning it also has a large number of neutrons. The natural element with the biggest atomic number is Uranium at 92, which gives it 92 protons and between 143 and 146 neutrons depending on the isotope (U235 and U238). All elements beyond Uranium are created either as byproducts of Uranium fission (through neutron absorption among other means) or as a result of nuclear explosions (either fission or fusion).

Now, to think the common chemical reactions produced by biological decay can result in a super-heavy element, without any radiation at all, is ridiculous. And anyone who has flunked any kind of physics or chemistry course would realize this at once.

That's horrible use of technobabble, and completely unnecessary. After all, they could have found some odd, unprecedented organic molecule. I'd buy that as a result of decaying dead alien bodies.

Insurrection and Nemesis can be skipped,

Insurrection and Nemesis ought to be buried where no one will ever run the risk of even looking at them, much less watching them. But of course nothing is as bad as ST V.

As for the socialism...I don't know, I find it very hard to come down one way or another. In many episodes money is used, yet in other it is explicitly said that it has been abandoned. It's the result of writers contradicting each other.

Roddenberry made a number of blunders setting up the Trek universe. His edict that there is no money in the Federation was fatal. Even communism required money to stumble along. The idea there should be no conflict between the main characters only gave us the "alien takes over starfleet officer" plot device. But removing money, and the latter writers' efforts to undo it in some way, gave us the Ferengi as a cheap caricature of Capitalism.

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Watch Star Trek and the movies, period. There is no better sci-fi out there, in my mind.

There's a sign somewhere in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory complex that states:

Never apply a Trek solution to a Babylon Five scale problem.

In B5, there is no reset button at the end of each episode. Characters are forced to confront the consequences of their actions, and sometimes survive to learn moral lessons. Also each episode is just one facet of the entire holographic story that takes five years to reveal...that's called a plot...

And so it begins...

<Φ>aj

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Lol, yes indeed, here it comes.

Babylon 5 was unique in that it was preconceived as a story arc. That was never the case with any Star Trek show, except for the last few seasons of DS9, which, even then, were only partially a story arc. Star Trek: Enterprise tried something similar with the 3rd season Xindi arc, but that only lasted a season, not a whole series. The 4th season tried very small-scale, 3 episode long story arcs. Again, nothing on the scale of Babylon 5. BUT, that does not mean I judge one method of story-telling as inherently better than another. Plot does NOT equal 5 year long story arc. Plot just means a series of actions that logically follow from a conflict between two or more people. There's nothing that says a plot has to be long; it can be very short and still be VERY entertaining. Not to mention, maybe some people don't want to spend the time to watch 5 years of shows just to get the whole of it. Personally I prefer stand-alone episodes because the writer is forced to be more concise. That is nothing more than my preference, though, because there is nothing wrong with either mode of story-telling.

Star Trek was always meant to be viewed in stand-alone episodes, never as an arc. Sometimes one episode would reference a previous one, but only rarely, and it was almost always anecdotal. Therefore, I find it unreasonable to criticize Star Trek negatively for something it never set out to do. I would also not go as far as to imply that the stories are more "moral" because the characters have to face the consequences of their decisions. They had to do that all the time in Trek, too. In short, I find nothing inherently wrong with a reset-button episode because it is a necessary way of telling a time-travel story in a TV format based on stand-alone episodes. A story arc has its own limitations on the range of story-telling, and a stand-alone episode format has its own limitations as well. For instance, it can't tell a very, very long story.

And don't tell me Babylon 5 steered clear of ALL reset-buttons. Babylon 4, anyone? As far as I remember that was a very blatant "reset."

Edited by Krattle

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I would also not go as far as to imply that the stories are more "moral" because the characters have to face the consequences of their decisions. They had to do that all the time in Trek, too.

They did? When? Where? Inquiring minds want to know.

In short, I find nothing inherently wrong with a reset-button episode because it is a necessary way of telling a time-travel story in a TV format based on stand-alone episodes.

But the Trek Reset Buttion™ didn't involve only time travel stories. It involved pretty much every episode of note. Remember the nanites, the Binars and Minuet? Worf could blatantly disobey orders, be warned of a court martial, and it was all forgotten even before the episode ended.

And don't tell me Babylon 5 steered clear of ALL reset-buttons. Babylon 4, anyone? As far as I remember that was a very blatant "reset."

How was that a reset button? The subplot involving Babylon 4 is told in two parts. There are some inconsistencies regarding Zathras, but he's not exactly a consistent character himself. Other than that it's eprfectly consistent and it delivers a stunning surprise at the end (or not, if you watched the re-tooled version of the pilot ep).

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It's spelled Bynar, but that episode was not a reset button. They solved a problem using their wits...I don't see how that's a reset button.

You are quite unfairly applying the fan-created term "reset button episode" to normal episodes that involve people solving problems and thus resolving a conflict. That's called resolving a conflict, like fixing the Bynar central computer. They didn't "un-do" anything that was done in another time. Reset button ONLY refers to episodes that involve catastrophic events which are then completely un-done by the end of the episode, almost always by means of time travel or sending a message back in time, and usually no one remembers what happened.

Here is the list of "reset button episodes" from Memory Alpha.

1. No one remembers

...but they may experience déjà vu, receive messages from the other timeline, or even, as in Benjamin Sisko's case, remember it all but keeping it to himself.

* Cause and Effect (TNG) (Enterprise D gets caught in time loop along with the 100+ year old Soyuz-class vessel and situation is resolved by sending a message back in time a few days to alert Data which solution he must choose to save the ship).

* The Visitor (DS9) (Ben Sisko dies in horrible accident and we see Jake Sisko become a successful writer. He is working on a device to go back and prevent the accident).

* Time and Again (VOY) (Harry finds himself back on contemporaneous Earth as an engineer and finds out that some mysterious alien race brought him there. He gets them to send him back to Voyager).

* Year of Hell and Year of Hell, Part II (VOY) (Voyager is destroyed in clash with Krenim Imperium and Janeway reverses it by destroying the Krenim Time Ship that started the entire mess).

* Timeless (VOY) (Experiment with slipstream warp goes wrong, Voyager crashes, all die except Harry who was ahead of Voyager in the Delta Flyer. He takes the Doctor and 7 of 9 from the crash site and works to reverse everything by sending messages back in time o stop the experiment).

* Twilight (ENT) (Enterprise never completes its mission in the Expanse, Earth is destroyed, Xindi win, and remaining humans seek refuge. In the end, Archer resets everything by blowing up the Enterprise thereby eradicating the amnesia-inducing organisms in his brain).

[edit] 2. Only one or a few remembers

...and has to deal with the non-understanding of a whole Universe.

* Yesteryear (TAS)

* Yesterday's Enterprise (TNG) (Enterprise C comes through time portal into a militarized universe where Enterprise D is a warship. They have to return the Enterprise C to the regular universe to reverse what was done).

* Non Sequitur (VOY)

[edit] 3. Entire ship crew remember

...and may ask themselves why they remember people who never existed.

* Children of Time (DS9)

* E² (ENT)

* Storm Front and Storm Front, Part II (ENT)

* Star Trek: First Contact (Borg go back in time to assimilate Earth, Enterprise E must go back to prevent it from happening. Technically the "reset button" is not really used in this movie).

The whole point of Star Trek is that people solve problems with their wits, and have to face the consequences of their decisions should they be wrong. Janeway has to face the consequences of her decision to terminate the lifeform Tuvix in order to bring Tuvok and Neelix back into existence. She knows she's killing a sentient being, but that she'll be letting Tuvok and Neelix die if she doesn't. The crew of the Enterprise D have to face the consequences of their decision to send the Borg drone Hugh back to the Collective even though he had become an individual capable of rational thought. Rather, it was Hugh's decision to do so in order to save the Enterprise D from certain assimilation when the Borg returned. Janeway has to face the consequences of her decision to destroy the Caretaker Array and thus leave Voyager stranded in the Delta Quadrant. That's the whole premise of Voyager. Chakotay has to face the consequences of trusting Seska and bringing her onboard Voyager even though she was actually a Cardassian spy and she defected to the Kazon to help capture Voyager for their cause. That's a story arc that follows two entire seasons. There's an entire episode in Voyager about Paris facing the consequences of some horrible decision he made on an ocean planet that killed a lot of people. In the DS9 episode, "Our Man Bashir," where Julien Bashir is playing a James Bond-esque figure in a Holosuite program, he is constantly faced with the decision whether to kill his crewmembers or not. You see, a Runabout exploded when it was sabotaged and the only way to save the crewmembers - Worf, O'Brien, Sisko, Dax, and Kira - they had to store their brain patterns on station memory. Their physical forms were stored in the holodeck. So if Julien kills one of the holodeck characters, he will kill one of his friends.

Don't make a stupid statement just to get my hackles up that Star Trek never has episodes about people facing the consequences of their decisions. I could go on for days about episodes involving tough choices that don't always result in the best of outcomes for the main characters. There are only 12 ACTUAL reset button episodes, out of more than 700 episodes total. The plurality of them are in Voyager, with Enterprise being the next most frequent perpetrator. TNG has only 2 actual reset button episode.

Again, you are using the term far to broadly and purely for the sake of getting my hackles up. When an episode involves an conflict that is resolved at the end of an episode, that doesn't constitute a "reset button episode." That just constitutes a conflict being resolved. Reset button has to be a catastrophic event that is un-done at the end of an episode, namely the destruction of the Hero Ship, by means of time travel. The number of reset button episodes centering on time travel are: 12 out of 12. All of them take place either in an alternate reality, a mix of two realities, or past and future-present in the normal reality.

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You don't seem to be understanding the gist of my argument, probably because, again, you just want to irritate me.

Babylon 5 was written, from the beginning, to be a 5 year story arc. If you know, going in, that you are going to write a show like that, then you HAVE to make all past decisions have repercussions in the future.

Star Trek series were always written as a string of stand-alone episodes, each one preceding the next, but since each episode was a self contained story it was not necessary for decisions in one to have an affect on another episode. Because it just wouldn't make sense. Do you follow? Let me give an example.

In one episode of TNG, they tell a story about a sentient hologram - Moriarty - who learns he's a hologram and that he's onboard a Starship. That episode is resolved and the go on to the next one. I don't know what the next one is, but let's say it's about Klingons. Some Klingons come to the ship and Worf is put in a quandary about staying in Starfleet or going to live with his own race. The previous episode has NO BEARING on the next episode because the stories are totally unrelated. It is not possible for the decisions in the previous episode to have an affect on the next one because the two episodes are not part of a story arc involving the same characters, events, and conflicts. They are two entirely separate conflicts involving entirely separate sets of characters happening at entirely different times. Now do you understand?

In DS9, when they introduced the Dominion as the main enemy, each episode involving them would affect the next episode involving the Dominion. BECAUSE THEY ARE RELATED. It wouldn't make sense, however, for a stand-alone episode about the Ferengi to affect an episode about the Dominion. That's the nature of a stand-alone episode. A self-contained conflict that is set up and resolved within the space of 1 hour. It's not a conflict set up in 1 hour and resolved over 5 years. That's Babylon 5. That's its unique story-telling device. It is neither better or worse than the stand-alone episode, just different. It has its own advantages and drawbacks, just like a stand-alone episode has its own.

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It's spelled Bynar, but that episode was not a reset button. They solved a problem using their wits...I don't see how that's a reset button.

Yes, but they went to the trouble of indtroducing a new, interesting species which never again apepared on Trek. While Minuet was used again, once, she didn't even get lines on the second go round.

Ok, so call it the "Memory Hole" rather than the Reset Button™

* Cause and Effect (TNG) (Enterprise D gets caught in time loop along with the 100+ year old Soyuz-class vessel and situation is resolved by sending a message back in time a few days to alert Data which solution he must choose to save the ship).

That's not a Reset Button™ ep. The Enterprise faced a problem, being caught in a time loop, the crew solved it and they were all rpefectly aware of what had happened, even if they dind't retain memories of each turn of the loop. They even figure out how much time passed in the Galaxy while they were stuck in the loop.

The whole point of Star Trek is that people solve problems with their wits, and have to face the consequences of their decisions should they be wrong. Janeway has to face the consequences of her decision to terminate the lifeform Tuvix in order to bring Tuvok and Neelix back into existence.

Yeah, the Tuvix ep presented an interesting dilemma. However we 1) never, ever heard from anyone about Tuvix ever again and 2) we dind't even hear from anyone regarding their feelings once Tuvok and Neelix were restored. That's a Reset Button™ : we go on exactly as we did before. Same with the ep where Kes was fertile for the single time in her life, or when they reach an undertsanding with Species 8472 (who never even name themselves!), when Wesley gets in trouble at the Academy for some idiotically risky stunt, when Deana gave virgin birth, when Deana nearly got into an arranged marriage, when O'Brian spends virtual years in prison and is so traumatized he can abrely fit back into his life, but we never hear of it again the rest fo the series' run, etc etc etc.

Don't make a stupid statement just to get my hackles up that Star Trek never has episodes about people facing the consequences of their decisions.

Aren't you old enough by now to know the one stupid statement regarding Trek? it startes with "Get" and ends with an "e." I wouldn't say it.

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