East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Oh, frell!


Getting old is sometimes a cruel experience. I have just found out one of the TV series I liked the most when I was not-so-much-a-kid-anymore is today considered “obscure” and described as “one of the lesser known science fiction shows”.

It is really a weird sensation because I know that it’s been 17 years since the series was cancelled, but in this age of total recall it should not be a problem – you can get it in streaming, you can get the DVDs.
Is there really so much good new stuff that there is no time or interest for anything older than, say, five years?

This is not an idle question – I was told a few days ago that being a writer is a bad career choice because there’s so many good books that writing anything new is basically useless.
Why should someone read a new fantasy book when there’s The Lord of the Rings?
Why should anyone write a new science fiction book when there’s Neuromancer?
Why write a new horror book when there’s Pet Semetery?

It scares the fahrbot out of me, this way of thinking.
Why paint if we already have the Sistine Chapel?
Why make movies when we already have Citizen Kane?
Why climb a mountain if someone already did?
What’s the sense of writing songs in a world in which Don’t Stop Believing‘s readily available through iTunes?

I think this is the real mark of a dead civilization – the idea that everything worth doing’s already been done.
And I think I’ll use it in a story, sooner or later.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

10 thoughts on “Oh, frell!

  1. Farscape!

    Mmmmm., Claudia Black…………………


  2. What show are you talking about? I don’t recognize that picture.


    • Farscape, that ran from 1999 to 2002 as an 88 episodes series of SciFiChannel, and after cancellation was followed by a miniseries called Farscape: Peacemaker War.
      This was the original “series they cancelled and the fans raged”, well before Firefly or The Expanse.
      And a great, quirky, intelligent science fiction/space opera show it was.


  3. “And a great, quirky, intelligent science fiction/space opera show it was.”

    Yes it was.

    It was good to see Browder and Black get hired for Stargate a few years later.


    • Browder and Black had a great chemistry, but the whole ensemble cast of Farscape was excellent – including the puppets.
      There’s TV series going on now whose actors are by far less expressive than Pilot or Rygel.


  4. Man, that is a terrible way of thinking. Let’s extend it beyond ‘why bother writing…’, to ‘why bother getting up out of bed in the morning, someone else’s already done it today’. Unbelievable what people think.


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