One more announcement for those in and around Nashville in October: PhreakNIC X will be held from October 20-22, 2006. Originally started as a "hacker convention," this con has grown to include all things of interest to technology-minded individuals, including science fiction and fantasy, gaming, anime, and other areas of popular culture. This year's theme is "Rights Under Attack," and the con schedule is packed with related speakers and events.
On Friday night I will give the following presentation:
On the eve of the series' twentieth anniversary, Amy H. Sturgis considers the first science fiction television series by J. Michael Straczynski (of later Babylon 5 fame). His dystopian vision of the year 2147 included cutting-edge depictions of virtual reality and articifial intelligence, and the series marked a first in the development of interactive television-viewer technology. It is ironic that a series about the fictional oppression of humanity would fall victim to a very real attack on rights, as Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future drew active opposition from both the political right and political left. Two decades later, the series remains impressive, not only for its considerable storytelling merits, but also for the warnings inherent in its ultimate cancellation.
Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
- Carl Sandburg, "Under the Harvest Moon"