As promised, Scalzi goes after Star Trek’s design failures.

For a given value of ‘little.’ A taste:

In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, a Voyager space probe gets sucked into a black hole and survives (GAAAAH), and is discovered by denizens of a machine planet who think the logical thing to do is to take a bus-size machine with the processing power of a couple of Speak and Spells and upgrade it to a spaceship the size of small moon, wrap that in an energy field the size of a solar system, and then send it merrily on its way. This is like you assisting a brain-damaged raccoon trapped on a suburban traffic island by giving him Ecuador.

(Via Fark Geek) They get better. No discussion of modified tachyon bursts, but the Star Trek holodeck gets its nod.


  • I’m glad you brought this up. I’ve been wondering about all the 1,000-foot chasms with no guardrails inside the spaceships and docking stations in “Star Trek””Star Wars.” Weren’t the random pounding thingies that blocked a passage in “Galaxy Quest” an homage to that kind of poverty of imagination of writers?

    Also, the environments are all so ugly! Although I do have an explanation for that one — in these fantasies gay people are missing from the future.

    I remember seeing Whoopi Goldberg on “Oprah” years and years ago moaning about how great it felt for her to see Uhura and feel like there would be black people in the future. I felt sorry about that for exactly the length of time it took me to get to, “Wait a minute! Where are the gay people in the future in Star Trek?” How come we lost out in the diversity sweepstakes? “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is still going strong in “Star Trek”?

    (Drat! Now I have to look and see if there’s a niche for gay sci fi.)

  • Ed Driscoll says:

    Matt Jefferies Weeps…

    Having previously skewered the lack of logic in Star Wars’ technology, “John Scalzi’s Guide to Epic SciFi Design FAILs – Star Trek Edition” boldly goes where no man has gone before; demolishing the crack design teams of t…

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