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<     Episode 940: A Man, a Scan, a Plan: Alpanacsanama!     >

Episode 940: A Man, a Scan, a Plan: Alpanacsanama!


There is a science fiction aesthetic known as raygun gothic, which is essentially "The World of Tomorrow!" as imagined by writers who are now so far in the past that their ideas of the future look antiquated to our modern eyes. Which is not all that long ago.

Science fiction from the 1950s definitely counts. Science fiction from the 1960s almost certainly counts. Science fiction from the 1970s, in many cases, probably counts as well. And even some science fiction from the 1980s counts. Just look at that scanner Han is holding. Your iPhone or Android phone almost certainly has a thousand times the processing power. At least. The thing Han is holding probably has valves in it.

Not that this is a bad thing. A galaxy-spanning science fiction game with giant computers the size of a building processing hundreds of calculations every second on clacking relays and outputting data on punched cards would be awesome. You'd have a Morse operator on the bridge of your rocket ship for communications, and who knows, probably signal flags as a backup. And a robot with rubber arms shouting, "Danger! Danger!" at the drop of a hat.


Han: Right. I get off the won-ton and look for tracks.
GM: Haven't we already—
Han: This time I use my scanner!
GM: Scanner? Okay, good. You see a faint life signal 120 metres east.
Han: Any tracks?
GM: Uh, no.
Han: Damn. Well, I'll go ask whoever that is if they've seen Luke's tracks.

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Published: Tuesday, 24 September, 2013; 03:11:01 PDT.
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