"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)

"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
September 19 is the last post for this blog. Thanks to all my readers!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

30 May 2013


Duncan Jones b. 1971
Mark Sheppard b. 1964
Colm Meaney b. 1953
Michael Piller b. 1948 died 11/1/2005

Jones is a director, Source Code and Moon his best known genre work. Sheppard is an actor and played recurring roles on Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse.  Piller did a lot of writing for the Star Trek franchise and Meaney gets the picture slot for being the best known of all these guys.

Condolences to the family and friends of Piller, who died so young and many happy returns of the day to Jones, Sheppard and Meaney.

Prediction: 30 May 1887: Julian West falls into a coma, only to waken in the year 2000

Predictor: Edward Bellamy, in his 1888 novel Looking Backward:2000-1887

Reality: Unlike Rip Van Winkle who awakens with a long beard, West goes into a kind of suspended animation and wakes with no atrophy or aging whatsoever. If you want to know why this is so, I'll put it in the comments since it's technically a spoiler.

I waited until this day to mention Bellamy because it was the first exact date in his book. It is a hugely influential work and we will soon have predictions from books that were considered "answer novels" to this from several writers. Both Jack London and H.G. Wells acknowledge being influenced by Bellamy and several of the predictions of John Elfreth Watkins sound very much like descriptions from Bellamy's writing. Likewise, some pictures from the French and German postcards depict ideas found in this novel.

Without giving too much away, Bellamy envisions a socialist utopia but really does not discuss any struggles that would have had to take place to bring this paradise about. Almost all books influenced by his make the understandable artistic decision of actually having a plot, something Looking Backward lacks. We will actual predictions from the book later in the year.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE! 

We interrupt our regular Friday postcards with two names that have been known to make grown men shudder and wince in pain... Gerry and Sylvia Anderson!

You thought you could avoid them, that they were gone forever, didn't you? Foolish human.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!


  1. Jones's father, of course, has had a long sf-related career, especially if you count 1984 as genre-related.

  2. And you don't count Moon as better known (though not better ticket sales) than Source Code among the genre??

  3. I note that the Moon is still in orbit around our planet.

  4. Ken: I hadn't seen Moon. I've added it to the post.

    ZR: I get your reference and that horror is yet to come, but they had an earlier live action show that was arguably worse.

    And the Bellamy spoiler: It was all just a dream.

    What? You thought the writers from Dallas made that up with no help?

  5. but they had an earlier live action show that was arguably worse.

    Oh, I sure know that. Looking forward to the harshness.

    They always had cool ships tho. I am a sucker for the hardware, and the Eagles were almost-realistic (I once tried to build a detailed model of one with interiors, and there was no way for the interior sets to fit into the exteriors. And no room left for fuel and such. But hey, they weren't the first, or the last, scifi show to have those problems. In fact, Star Trek Into Derpness has ridiculous mismatch of interiors and exteriors, unless the Enterprise is also a TARDIS).

    1. Gosh, you knw Hollywood needs to hire me to help them figure out these continuity/ set issues. Call me, Abrams!

  6. i have to stick up for the andersons. gerry anderson's 'supermarionation' epics are still popular today in certain circles. if your personal esthetic accepts the old batman tv series, shows like thunderbirds, fireball xl5, supercar, and captain scarlet should certainly qualify. in fact the marionettes as 'actors' were much less wooden than the characters of several more well known movies and tv franchises.

    re: sf predictions i commend to your attention david brin, especially his novels 'earth' and 'existence'. 'existence is relatively new, but has already generated a hit or two, and 'earth' has many predictions have already or now seem likely to come true.

    there is a partial predictions registry with predictions classified as confirmed, disproven, likely, or unlikely given current knowledge at


    you may also be interested in technovelgy, a site that collects sf predictions and devices at


    finally, it might be fun to see some of the wildly wrong predictions about computers, e.g. several of heinlein's predicted computers (ternary arithmetic ftw?, having to hand enter logarithms from a book?), and the computers in the venus equilateral stories that are programmed by a machinist cutting custom cams.

    1. Clem, thanks for stopping by! So many great references, just what I need in the break during semesters.

      As for sticking up for Gerry and Sylvia, I do still have a soft spot for some of the animation, most notably Supercar. As you can see, Neil Gaiman has fond memories as well. But he shares my opinion of the live action shows, UFO and Space:1999.



Traveler! Have you news... FROM THE FUTURE?