Look. I want to write about deep stuff. I really do. But I’m afraid this entry is going to be, Things That Drive Me Crazy About Science Fiction.
I can accept the premise of an alien invasion, plague, or nuclear disaster, but I just cannot accept any of the following:
Plot: A mysterious disease has rendered all human eggs infertile. Finally scientists make a breakthrough, and have 100 healthy embryos ready for implantation. The government decides to have a “lottery” and give any fertile woman the chance to be implanted.
What would actually happen: Threatened with the die-off of the human race, the government would pick the 100 healthiest women in the country, and lock them up in a hospital for 9 months under restraints and 24 hour observation. There would not be some touchy-feely ‘lottery,’ and they wouldn’t be worried about their poll numbers because we’d already be under Martial Law.
Y: The Last Man
On a similar “death of the human race” theme, in Y: The Last Man, a guy named Yorick finds himself the only living human male after a horrible plague kills off all men. Even though members of the government know he’s alive, he’s allowed to go off on some crazy dangerous adventure with only a stone butch assassin for company.
What would actually happen: A government official finds the last surviving man? Yorick would be locked up in an underground bunker faster than you can say Jack Robinson, and he would spend the rest of the graphic novel giving semen samples while under armed guard. (Not a very riveting graphic novel, mind you.)
The Last Ship
The Plot: A mysterious plague wipes out lots of people, but one military ship is spared because they were in Antarctica at the time. They have to go back into “hot zones” to get supplies, and they wear protective suits when they’re inside buildings, because the very deadly, very bad virus is airborne. But once they walk outside – still just a few dozen feet from the dead bodies with all the very deadly, very bad germs on them – they immediately take off their suits because there is no “air” outside, or something.
What would actually happen: These guys would die, because it turns out you can also catch an airborne virus when you’re outside! So the series would end after the 2nd episode.
The Plot: A cyborg rebellion has set off a nuclear apocalypse and killed almost all humans. A small band of survivors escapes on star ships. Later, a few survivors return back to their ruined homeworld, Caprica.
The problem: Caprica has just suffered a nuclear holocaust, but somehow most of the planet is still covered in lush, verdant greenery . . . that looks suspiciously like Vancouver, Canada.
The Plot: A group of young teenage felons is sent to Earth to report if the planet is habitable 100 years after a nuclear holocaust.
The problem: Earth has just suffered a nuclear holocaust, but somehow but most of the planet is still covered in lush, verdant greenery . . . that looks suspiciously like Vancouver, Canada.
The Plot: Researchers have discovered a “Stargate,” which is a portal between worlds. Every episode they travel to a different planet.
The problem: In spite of the incalculable amount of variety in the universe, 70% of the planets they go to are covered in lush, verdant greenery….and the planets look just like…well, you get the drift.
The Plot: Humanity lives in the future, where they travel the stars.
The problem: In spite of technological advances that include space travel, teleportation, and so forth, humanity chooses to wear universally unflattering one-piece outfits with no discernable way to go to the bathroom.