Tag Archives: humor

Great Whale Moments In SF History

Today is World Whale Day! As we use this day to think about how we can help out and appreciate our cetacean friends, I will take this opportunity to list all the whales that swam into our hearts via science fiction. So pour a glass of water, get out your copy of Songs of the Humpback Whale, and have a whale of a time perusing this list.

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Rorqual Maru, The Godwhale (1974)

Somewhat of a sequel to T.J. Bass’ Half Past Human, this novel is one of the earliest examples of “biopunk” a subgenre related to cyberpunk and steampunk but with biotechnology. Rorqual Maru (is that a cool name or what?) is the titular Godwhale, a cyborg/blue whale hybrid that helps the novel’s protagonist in his search for answers.

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The Leviathan, The Leviathan Trilogy (2009)

What if Britain & it’s allies used genetically modified animals to fight World War 1? Scott Westerfeld answers that question with the Leviathan, a giant airship made (literally) of a whale that can fly through the air (airwhale) thanks to a combination of animal genetics (because Darwin was able to crack the DNA code a century ahead of schedule). Whether you think this is ethical or not is up for debate.

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Orca, Batman

Introduced in Batman Issue #579 (2000)

Experiments with killer whale tissue turns marine biologist Dr. Grace Balin into Orca, one of Batman’s lesser known antagonists. More info on her here and here.

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Orka, Marvel Comics

First introduced in Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner #23 (1970). With the help of his psionic amplifier belt, fallen Atlantean soldier Orka has the powers of a killer whale and uses those powers to fight various heroes in the Marvel universe (so why is he blue?) Read more about him here and here.

The Whaladon, Star Wars: The Jedi Prince Series (1992-1993)

First introduced in The Glove of Darth Vader, Whaladons are a species of intelligent creatures in the Star Wars galaxy that our heroes fight to protect from poaching. Detractors of the kids-centered books will summarize the series as “The Rebel Alliance Saves the Whales”. But hey, they can’t be worse than Aftermath, right?

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(The one under Kenix Kil’s foot is a Herglic.)

Herglic, Star Wars Legends

These sentient, bipedal, water-based aliens are native to the planet Giju and have appeared in various SW comics and role playing games throughout the years. They made their first appearance in Dark Force Rising, the 2nd book in Timothy Zahn’s beloved Thrawn Trilogy. Because of their large size, it’s difficult for them to enter buildings and ships causing much embarrassment. Nevertheless they are peaceful, easygoing creatures. You can read more about them here.

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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

For all of Star Trek’s optimism, it seems illogical (no pun intended) that in the 23rd century humpback whales would be an extinct species. But they are and that’s bad for the crew of the Enterprise when they discover that a deadly probe is orbiting Earth. Spock comes to the conclusion that the “call” the probe sends matches the “songs” of humpback whales and will continue to wreak havoc until its call is answered. So the only solution is to go back in time to the 20th Century, capture some humpback whales, bring them forward in time to the 23rd Century and use them to respond to the probe’s signal. Not an easy task.

Didn’t they have a copy of Songs of the Humpback Whale on the Enterprise?

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Star Trek: Where Sea Meets Sky (1998)

Written by Jerry Oltion and part of The Captain’s Table Series. This is Captain Christopher Pike’s story. He and his crew encounter airwhales known as “titans” who, in Oltion’s words: “scooped hydrogen from the atmospheres of gas giants for food and laid their eggs on terrestrial planets.” Unfortunately this causes a lot of collateral damage to the inhabitants of the terrestrial planets so of course it’s up to the Enterprise to find a solution.

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Aiwha, Star Wars: Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones

Non-sentient cetacean creatures native to Kamino and Naboo, they can launch into the air from the sea. Their names are taken from the word “airwhale”. They were designed by Terryl Whitlatch though an early concept was made by Ralph McQuarrie for The Empire Strikes Back. You can learn more about them on Wookiepedia.

And now to conclude this list, here’s some pictures of space whales:

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And an air whale:

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10 Things Every Woke Geek Girl Should Ask On a First Date

Disclaimer: this is a parody. It was inspired by this article at Feminist Current which in turn is a parody of this ridiculous article at Everyday Feminism. After reading both, I decided to have a little fun and write one of my own. Don’t worry readers. I’m not drunk, I haven’t been abducted by aliens and I’m not turning into a Social Justice Armchair Warrior.

Enjoy.

As a woke geek girl, I keep close relationships with geeks and nerds of all sizes. They’re true accomplices in the fight against the average jock, stoner and hipster. If you’re not going to support science fiction, then we can’t be friends, let alone date. The fantastical is political.

Beyond the words, happiness and support that we receive from imaginary characters (which are, in all honesty, soul-feeding and essential), geek girls also date! But there are questions we have to ask before we get close to someone.

The following list of questions is applicable to all relationships – and certainly not just between Trekkies and Whovians.

1. Do You Believe Jedi Lives Matter?

Yes? Wonderful. Let’s start here. There are three categories that are non-negotiable to me: Jedi, Padawans and Masters. Not everyone understands how you can sit on the council and not be given the rank of Master, but anyone who doesn’t take the time to learn how the Jedi Order works isn’t going to care about how the Force affects me or people who have a higher midi-chlorean count than I do.

I don’t want to have to have laborious discussions where I have to prove to someone that Force sensitivity or Force immunity exists. If they are willing to learn and listen and make the space to decenter their Force immunity (if they have a low midi-chlorean count) that’s a good place to start.

2. What Are Your Thoughts on Hard Sci-Fi and Soft Sci-Fi?

The Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness is a tiny box and I wish it didn’t exist but it does. I wouldn’t want to be with anyone who is hard on soft sci-fi. One of the many elements to dismantling the Mohs scale is to abolish the limited understanding that we have about hard and soft science fiction. As a woke geek girl, it would be a betrayal of what I stand for.

3. How Do You Work to Dismantle the Rivalry Between Marvel and DC?

I’ve met Marvel fans (Marvfa) who hate DC fans. They say they love DC fans, but that love is conditional on not having their cinematic universe threatened in any way. And they love us as an Infinity Gauntlet, they love what DC fans have to offer, whether it is sex, food, love, free comics or money to spend on collectibles: they love us for what we can do for them, not because of who we are for ourselves. It is crucial for Marvfa men to learn how to decenter their love of Marvel in order for them to understand the DC Multiverse.

Beyond the New 52, does the person you are with understand Earths 1, 2 or 23? Are they willing to learn if they don’t? Walk away from anyone who thinks that Barry Allen is the only Flash.

4. What Are Your Thoughts on Cosplay?

You may scratch your head at this one but being pro-cosplayer is a necessary pillar of sticking it to the cool kids. I don’t mean pro-cosplayer in the sense where non-cosplayers reblog pictures of cosplayers on Tumblr or Instagram.

I mean the kind where we pass the mic to cosplayers because they know their experiences better than anyone who hasn’t ever engaged in cosplay, where you understand the labor of cosplayers, especially cosplayers who dress as Steampunks because their experience and knowledge is crucial to understanding geek fashion sense.

5. Are You a Supporter of the Metric System?

The metric system stands for meters of all sorts: centimeters, milimeters, kilometers and so on. I grew up with the standard (non-metric) system in the U.S. Before even understanding how to measure by inches and pounds, I understood that the U.S. was way behind the rest of the world in its approach to measuring things.

Eventually, I began to understand the terror, trauma and stress of having to convert inches to centimeters, simply because one nation refuses to step in line with the rest of the world. Being pro-metric system is not the same as being anti-standard system. I shouldn’t even have to express that, but being pro-metric and standard is one step closer to world peace and understanding.

6. What is Your Understanding of Cryptozoology?

Your date thinks Mothman is a hoax or a relic of the past? NO THANKS. A key part of X-Files fandom is having a complete understanding of how historical and current sightings of Mothman effected the lives of thousands of people, regardless of skeptics and naysayers refusing to believe.

7. Do You Think We Should Clone Dinosaurs?

Should we clone only the plant eaters to be safe? Should we also clone meat-eaters because they look cool? If we exclude one class of dinosaurs will that make us carn-exclusionary? How would that make other extinct/prehistoric animals feel if we only clone dinosaurs? These are important questions to ask yourself if you want to continue to date a woke geek girl.

8. Can Any Alien Be Illegal?

We live on a tiny planet, with land and water within a galaxy surrounded by a universe with an inconceivable number of other galaxies and planets. Yet here we dictate where we are and who is allowed to be where we are. It’s mind-boggling that planets are even a thing, so to call visitors from other planets “aliens” or “UFOs” is so inhumane and despicable.

Earthlings stole this planet, populated this planet, polluted this planet, pushed out, killed and domesticated animals and somehow they have the audacity to claim this planet is theirs and that green and grey non-Earthlings are the abductors? Miss me with that baloney.

9. Do You Support Klingons?

I can’t think of any other race of humanoids which has been vilified and lied about more than Klingons. I am not a Klingon, so I will stay in my space-lane, but I cannot imagine for a second claiming to be a woke geek girl if I didn’t stand in solidarity with my Klingon friends and family – especially after Star Trek Discovery.

Don’t waste your time and energy on dating someone who thinks Klingons are crafty and violent. Instead read the works of Kahless the Unforgettable, you baktag!

10. Does Your Allyship Include the Fair Folk?

As a human woman, again, I will stay on my garden path, but geek/nerd culture has to include a solid platform for the Fair Folk – and not just the ones with wings. If you have fairy/faery family or friends, please make the effort to listen and learn about their lives and experiences. Fairy folk are subject to traps and disbelief because humans lack empathy and just plain suck. Be mindful of others who mock fairies; that kind of cruelty is inexcusable.

On a date with someone who doesn’t believe in fairies? Walk away clapping your hands vigorously.

 

 

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