Friday, September 14, 2007

North of No South

So: finished all of my work for the week and even got to take Friday off, so Karl and I went for a supposedly low-impact hike in the bottom part of Harriman State Park, just off of Seven Lakes Drive. I say 'supposedly' because we either misread the map or (Karl's conjecture) the map is old and a trail that was indicated as being 'not as well maintained' on the map when it had last been surveyed had, ceased being a trail altogether. So a little confusion and suddenly we're on the Orange Trail, and you know what that means: big rock promontories to scramble up and climb back down again. Thankfully, no scree. I hate scree.

Also, it was the longer way around, so what was planned as a leisurely two hour, two mile flat hike turned into a four hour, five mile hike over rough terrain. And since it was in the park's interior, actually achieving the top of the big rocks never rewarded you with any kind of view.

Did spend the time to come up with a new geek party game, which I need to refine the rules of, but the gist of it is to pick one (1) fantasy world you would like to live in and one (1) science-fiction world to live in. For example, would you rather be in Middle-Earth, Narnia or the Harry Potter 'universe,' on the fantasy side, and would you rather live in the Federation, Star Wars or Known Space (Larry Niven) 'universe' on the other side. Thus far, I've established that the field is wide-open - not multiple choice, that is, although the asker can prompt the askee with possibilities. It's also clear that for book or movie series that either cover a long chronology of events or refer to an earlier history (more common with fantasy than sci-fi), you have to choose which period you want to live in. You also need to delineate your reasons why you prefer world 'a' over world 'b.'

We thus far have learned that Karl wants to live in the Second Age of Middle-Earth, mostly because it's a time of relative peace and the magic is still upon the land. I found that I wanted to live in Narnia, most likely in the period between The Silver Chair and The Last Battle. Again, the land is at peace and the universe still exists. See, when the Narnia series ends, Narnia is destroyed and only true believers in Aslan/Christ are allowed to pass through into the Eternal Lands Over the Sea. I assure you, I'd be cast into whatever passes for a Lake of Fire in C.S. Lewis' allegorical theology. Better to live in a time before and die safely before all that. Of course, since the Narnian Judgement Day is an almost direct allegory of Judgement Day, you get resurrected and then cast into the Lake of Fire, so maybe it's a no-win situation for a Secular Jew in Narnia. I dunno.

I don't recall if we nailed down what our sci-i universes were. As noted above, the sci-fi universes are for the most part set only a few hundred years ion the future - leaving the future unknown and the past being pretty much our present - so you have to take the universe as-is. There are exceptions: Star Wars allows for a good ten thousand years of peaceful and prosperous galactic unity in before the events in the six movies, so anytime in there would be just fine. But Star Wars has never exactly provided any place that looks like you might want to live, either. Tatooine? Who wants to live in a fucking desert as a slave, farming water? Hoth, a planet-wide glacier? Coruscant, an Asimovian planet-wide city? Dagobah, a swamp? When the best you can do is a redwood forest full of semi-civilized pigmy ape-bears (Endor) or a planet that you have to share with a bunch of moronic underwater rastafarians (Naboo), you begin to realize why someone went to all that trouble to build a space-station that could blow up planets. It's sort of like the philosophy of finding out that there's nothing good on television and canceling your cable subscription.

Anyway, I'll get on solidifying the rules and conditions of the game and post again when I've done so.

And for the record, Bubba wants to live in an obscure video game from the early 90's called Land of Lords and for sci-fi, the Twilight Zone, because, and I quote, "My life is a little too predictable."

And it would have to have the Rod Serling narration and be In black and white, of course...



Anonymous said...

Not Land of was Lands of Lore! And I have decided on the world of Harry Potter by the way but from the beginnig of the series. Do the Jetsons count as Sci-fi? Just kidding.

Dave Kopperman said...

Right - I knew I was getting that name wrong.

And, sure: The Jetsons counts - as does Futurama.

The Flintstones is also acceptable, although in the fantasy category.