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Three other classic British SF shows to check out

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl welcomes Echo Ishii, who is the author of Mr. Rumple and Mr. Grimm, as a guest blogger today.  Take it away Echo…

I am so excited to be blogging today at Everyday Fangirl. I’m Echo Ishii and I blog at Smart Girls Love Sci Fi, which focuses on SciFi Romance. My fellow bloggers are Charlee Allden and Riley. Each month we host interviews with authors, post book reviews, and do a Wednesday weekly round-up of Sci Fi romances.
I also do a column called SF Obscure twice a month on SF/Fantasy/Paranormal TV shows of the past. I started writing about them because many, people have fond memories of SF TV shows that influenced their love of the genre. Also, contrary to a common belief that SF is a ‘boy’ thing, I find that a lot of women follow SF shows, comics, and all aspects of fandom. My initial plan was to feature an actor in shows and intersperse it with reviews of more modern SF media. As I went along, I discovered that I loved revisiting old TV shows and watching them all the way through. I discovered forgotten gems (well, sometimes more duds than gems) and it’s become a real joy for me to do the SF Obscure column.

For today’s post I am going to talk about three other classic British SF shows that are worth checking out.

Blake’s 7: This is probably the least obscure of the bunch; however because it has not been licensed in a US DVD format (as far as I know) I am surprised at the number of people who have never heard of it. This is a shame. For those who have not seen Blake’s 7, it starts with a man named Roj Blake who had been brainwashed and slowly regains his memories of being a freedom fighter against the oppressive galactic government.. Once he regains his memories his is falsely framed for horrible crimes and condemned to a prison planet. On the way he meets his soon-to-be compatriots- Vila, Jenna,Gan, Avon- and they acquire an powerful AI ship, called the Liberator. They are later joined by a telepathic freedom fighter named Cally and head off with Blake’s plan of somehow overthrowing the Federation. Blake’s 7 has often been referred to as the anti-Star Trek. Instead of a Federation that unites we get one that oppresses; instead of a crew that works together we get random criminals, mercenaries, and traitors willing to sell each other out and constantly at odds; and there is no guarantee of a good ending to it all. Ignore the dated hairstyles, budget special effects, and occasional questionable plot lines-it’s overall good stuff. The final episode is a classic. Watch it all the way through.

Sapphire and Steel: It’s the story of two agents called Sapphire and Steel. It’s never quite clear what Sapphire and Steel really are. Not human, possibly alien, and perhaps not even corporeal and these bodies are merely hosts. In any event it is the job of these hosts to fix problems with time. Time travel? Not always and not exactly. In Sapphire and Steel time is a thing that can be broken into or messed around with or altered. There are things outside of time that can break in or cause harm. And sometimes time slips into other times and begins to overlap. Yes, it’s vague. And it’s strange, but it’s a wonderful show. What keeps it going is the fact that the stories are good and the acting is top notch. With a small budget and minimal effects it’s still an engaging story-that’s what good acting does. It starts slow. If you are used to fast-paced action this may not be the show for you. If you don’t mind slow, thoughtful show with almost a stage play style, Sapphire and Steel has some real mind treats.

Star Cops: This is very rare and very obscure. I lucked out in having someone else tell me about it and I am not sure it’s readily available. I mainly point it out because of its concept-a true, hard SF show about astronauts and the international space station. That’s not done often, and for that alone it may be worth finding. Star Cops is set in the future-2027- in which there are five permanent space stations surrounded the Earth, Moon, and Mars. Space travel is common, with governments and private enterprises exploring the Solar System. The International Space Police Force (ISPF) is given the job of handling criminal investigations that concerning the space stations. Most of the crimes concern industrial espionage, scientific hoaxes, rival space based tech corporations. It’s a neat show that dwells into the competing views of what space explorations means; the rivalry between companies and the large amount of money at stake; and just plain old human flaws.

I always welcome suggestions for shows to cover. My next post at Smart Girls is Thursday, March 3. Feel free to join in the conversation.

Echo Ishii loves talking about SF. She also enjoys all manner of SF Romance, space opera, and such. I frequently re-watch Babylon 5, Star Trek, and Blake’s 7. She is a Star Wars fan too. Her current SF/Paranormal watch list includes Continuum, Orphan Black, Penny Dreadful, and The Expanse. She has one published novella, M/M fantasy romance Mr. Rumpel and Mr. Grimm with more writing in the works.  You can follow her on Twitter: @mrsbookmark or Pinterest: @mrsbookmark as well.

Five Cities that inspired Union in Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Pippa Jay as a guest today to tell us about the five cities that inspired Union in her story, Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened.

Take it away Pippa…

Five Cities that inspired Union in Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened

Hi, I’m Pippa Jay, author of scifi and supernatural stories designed to engage the emotions. My latest release – Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened – is a near future YA dystopia…which is set in utopia. Confused yet? While the world has undergone a kind of apocalypse, the city in which it takes place is still a functioning, apparently perfect self-maintaining machine that continues to thrive despite the demise of most of its inhabitants. So I thought I’d take you on a short tour of the five scifi cities that helped inspire mine.

1. The Great City of the Exxilons (Doctor Who and Death to the Daleks). In this story, the city is a living, thinking, self-sustaining entity in its own rights, which has left the rest of the planet barren and its creators living as savage primitives. Draining all energy from its own world, and from any ship foolish enough to approach, it also defends itself with ‘roots’ capable of destroying even the Daleks. This is self-sufficiency gone a bit mad!

2. The Domed City (Logan’s Run). Here, the city is a utopia where a computer runs every aspect of its inhabitants’ lives, including reproduction. There’s just one catch in this paradise. In order to maintain equilibrium, everyone must die when they reach 30 years of age, and the computer follows this plan to extremes.

3. New York City, 2263 (The Fifth Element). My favourite element here is the little cleaning bots in Zorg’s office that emerge when he breaks a glass to demonstrate the circle of life.

4. The Ruins of Utopia in HG Wells’ The Time Machine (the 1960s film version). Unfortunately, the time travelling narrator speeds past the time of the cities into a post-apocalyptic paradise, where humans are at peace (almost catatonic because everything is provided for them and so the need or even desire to fight for more or achieve it through the use of intelligence and technology is replaced by apathy). The humans live in the remains of futuristic buildings and have no need to work for anything. The downside is the underground society of Morlocks who provide for their every and simple needs also harvest them for food!

5. Dark City. Though this isn’t a utopia as such (in fact it comes across as a rather dark dystopia), once again everything is provided and the inhabitants have no compulsion to venture outside the city, despite some very gruesome murders taking place. In fact, for the most part it doesn’t even seem to occur to them that there is an outside (in fact there isn’t – the entire city is an artificial construct out in space).

I hope you enjoyed your brief tour of these five very different and yet related scifi cities. Now, are you brave enough to step into mine?

Imagine waking up to find the world has ended, but unfortunately you’re not alone…

For Connor Innis, awakening from a year-long coma with no memories, no ability to move, and unable to speak was bad enough. Then he learns that a bioweapon set off a zombie apocalypse—for real—while he was sleeping, and the world he can’t even remember no longer exists.

Rehabilitation might be torture, but far worse awaits him outside. All too soon, the hospital Mentor declares him fit to leave with nothing to go home to except a city full of mindless, flesh-eating monsters. That is, until he forms a strange relationship with the one he nicknames ‘Zombie Girl’.


Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened is available at Amazon, Barnes & NobleiTunesOmnilit and Smashwords

For more information on Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened and other stories by Pippa Jay, you can check out this interview with her, visit her Web page or sign up for her no-spam newsletter! You can also stalk Pippa on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Wattpad

About Pippa Jay:

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 22 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa also regularly posts on these Blogs: Adventures in Scifi, Spacefreighters Lounge, Romancing the Genres and SFR Brigade.

Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the 2015 EPIC eBook awards, the 2015 RWA LERA Rebecca (2nd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place)

Everyday Fangirl Remembers James Horner


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I am very saddened by the news that James Horner passed away the other day in a plane crash. I believe he is one of the greatest film composers, next to John Williams, of our time. In addition, like John Williams, he had long standing collaborations with directors including Ron Howard and James Cameron. Some of the wonderful soundtracks he composed included An American Tail, Cocoon, Willow, Krull, Titanic, Avatar, The Rocketeer and my favorite of his Star Trek II The Wrath of Kahn. I was just thinking on the morning he passed away, when driving to work, that James Horner would be the perfect composer to take over the Star Wars sequel or anthology films because his style compliments the styling of John Williams.

To celebrate James Horner’s legacy, I am going to share with you my Top 5 favorite themes and tracks from his soundtrack scores.

1) Surprise Attack from Star Trek II The Wrath of Kahn

2) Willow’s Theme from Willow

3) Ride of the Firemares from Krull

4) Theme from Cocoon from Cocoon

5) Somewhere Out There from An American Tail

So which themes or tracks from James Horner soundtracks make your Top 5 list?

Fictional Role Models for Moms

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl celebrates Mother’s Day by welcoming guest blogger, author and GeekMom, Corrina Lawson.  She is going to share her favorite fictional role models for Moms.


  

 

Take it away Corrrina!


Fictional Role Models for Moms

In Avengers: Age of Ultron, one of the major characters turns out to be a father, while another bemoans the fact that he’ll never have the option of a normal life with a family.  That, along with Mother’s Daystarted me wondering how many Science/Fiction Fantasy stories feature a mother as a main character. The answer? 


Not nearly enough. 


It occurs to me that I’ve also been giving mothers the short end of the stick in my own superhero romance series, the Phoenix Institute. A father, Philip Drake, is the hero of Phoenix Legacy, but it wasn’t until book 4, Phoenix Inheritance, that I put a mother at the center of the story. It’s not surprising that this book, which features a hero and heroine fighting to save their son from an enhanced human, is also the most personal to me. 


So, in celebration of heroic moms everywhere, here are three of my favorite fictions mothers: 


  


1. Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan, Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series. How to describe Cordelia? Intelligent, passionate, honorable, tough beyond measure and complicated. She’s a Betan from a logical society where women are equal who’s thrust into the heart of Barrayar’s backward society where a women’s main function is to produce male heirs. 


Cordelia and Aral Vorkosigan desperately want to raise happy and healthy children together but, unfortunately, the dangers of Barrayar make that impossible. After reading Barrayar, you’ll never view shopping quite the same way again. 


  

2. Sarah Connor of the Terminator series. Sarah is perhaps the first character who comes to mind connected with kick-ass moms. Sarah’s “You’re termindated, fucker,” is an iconic moment in movies. She’s appeared in two films of the series, is in another upcoming one, and was the main character of a television series, The Sarah Conner Chronicles, played by Lena Headey. Incidentally, Headey can now be seen as another protective mother on HBO’s Game of Thrones, as Cersei Lannister, while Emilia Clarke, who plays the Mother of Dragons on Game of Thrones, is the new Sarah in Terminator: Genesys.


  

3. Amanda Waller, the head of the Suicide Squad, DC Comics. Waller isn’t usually thought of as a mother and more as the tough-minded, get-it-done head of the secret government agency to keep metahumans in check. But she’s a mother of five who suffered the deaths of two of her children and her husband, and she raised the other three children on her own. Recent DC reboots has changed ‘the Wall’ somewhat, making her younger, skinnier, and sexier. But the Wall doesn’t need any of these cosmetic changes. Any woman who can chew out Batman is a force of nature. 


Here’s hoping that Viola Davis does the Wall proud in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. 



Thank you Corrina!


Corrina’s latest novel, Phoenix Inheritance, which received a 4 star review from RT Book Review, is available at Amazon.com, BN.com and other retailers.



You can learn more about Corrina by checking out the following:


Twitter as @CorrinaLawson

 


#AtoZChallenge: Books in my TBR pile

#AtoZChallenge: Books on my TBR pile

  

I have lots of books in my TBR <To Be Read> pile. These are books that I bought, but for one reason or another have not started reading yet. Here is a peak at the most recent books that I have added to my TBR pile:

Butterflies, Flower by Yuki Yoshihara

 

Choko Kuze is the sensible daughter of a venerable family who went bankrupt. She joins a real estate company as an entry-level office worker, but her eccentric boss is harder on her than anyone else in the company! After hearing him inadvertently call her “milady,” she realizes he was the young servant boy she knew as a child. At work he’s a tyrant, but after hours he insists on treating her like a lady of the nobility. Is romance even possible for a couple locked in such a crazy role reversal?

Three Weeks With Lady X by Elosia James

  

Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized facade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia IndiaExquisite, headstrong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks. But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them. Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option. But there is only one thing that will make India his. The one thing Thorn can’t afford to lose–his fierce and lawless heart.


Star Wars: Rogue Squadron by Michael Stackpole

  

They are sleek, swift, and deadly. The are the X-wing fighters. And as the struggle rages across the vastness of space, the fearless men and women who pilot them risk both their lives and their machines. Their mission: to defend the Rebel Alliance against a still-powerful and battle-hardened Imperial foe in a last-ditch effort to control the stars! Its very name strikes fear into enemy hearts. So when Rebel hero Wedge Antilles rebuilds the legendary Rogue Squadron, he seeks out only the best — the most skilled, the most daring X-wing pilots. Through arduous training and dangerous missions, he weeds out the weak from the strong, assembling a group of hard-bitten warriors willing to fight, ready to die. Antilles knows the grim truth: that even with the best X-wing jockeys in the galaxy, many will not survive their near-suicidal missions. But when Rogue Squadron is ordered to assist in the assault on the heavily fortified Imperial stronghold of Black Moon, even the bravest must wonder if any at all will survive. . . . 

Shall We Dance by Chris Keniston

 

Success in the courtroom comes easily for J.P. Hartley, but not so much in his love life. Tired of superficial pretty faces, after a bitter loss in court all he wants is to unwind with his best friend and colleague Kimberly Anderson. That is, until a snazzy blonde forces him to face what—or who—has always been right in front of him.

Nebula Nights: Love Among The Stars

  

11 Sci-Fi Romances that’ll sweep you away!If you like your science fiction blazing with adventure and your space opera spiced with romance, this boxed set is for you. From first contact to battles for survival and love on war-torn planets, this collection from bestselling & award winning authors will leave you sighing with satisfaction 

 

Everyday Fangirl Convention Tips

  

It is now Spring and for many Fangirls and the Fanboys who support them, this means the beginning of the ‘con season’.  During the con season there are at least one or two fan related conventions almost every weekend.  

These conventions can vary in both size and in scope.  Some of the can be small, some can be big, some can include multiple fandoms or franchises, while others can focus on just one fandom or franchise.  No matter which of these conventions you plan on attending, if you are a newbie or a veteran attendee, these tips may be of help to you.

If you want to do it or buy it, then do not hesitate

There are plenty of opportunities and choices when attending a convention. Whether it’s attending a panel or special event, meeting a celebrity, or buying a piece of artwork, or collectible these opportunities may not come up again. Therefore, if you have the time or the money required, then do not hesitate or else you may regret it.


Best laid plans can be changed or interrupted

Many survival guides out there recommend that you plan before you go to the convention.  Planning is a great way to determine which panels or special events to attend. However, the best laid plans can be derailed due to crowds, changes in programming or any other unexpected circumstances.  Therefore, as part of your planning, include some contingency plans as well, just in case.  If Plan A does not work out, then Plans B, C or even D, may be just where you needed to be after all.


Bring extra clothes and accessories, epecially if you are cosplaying

Wearing fandom related clothes or dressing up as a favorite character can be really cool and enhance your overall convention experience. However, there can be times when an unexpected incident could happen to your clothes or outfit, such as food or drink being dropped into your lap.  Those types of incidents cannot be fixed quickly without having extra clothes or accessories with you.  If you have these items with you when these types of incidents happen, then you have a greater chance of correcting this quickly and getting back to the fun!


Breaks are a must, not an option

No matter how busy you are during the convention it is important that you get as many breaks as you can.  Even a couple of short breaks can help can keep you going longer.  Sitting down away from all the hustle and bustle, eating a snack, drinking some water or just talking with friends and other attendees can revitalize you and help you get ready for your next experience at the convention.


Bring Hand Sanitizer and Wipes

Either during or after a convention many people come down sick with what is commonly know as ‘con crud’.  The best may I found to help reduce the likelihood of coming down with something is to bring and use both hand sanitizer and wipes.  The use of both a hand sanitizer and wipes will help you reduce the possibility of coming into contact with bacteria or germs that can cause the ‘con crud’  In addition, using these may help prevent the spread of bacteria and germs to other attendees.  A win for everyone!

And last, but certainly not least…


Bring your patience, your manners and most of all your respect

Whether big or small, a convention is a great way to celebrate your fandom.  However, some attendees, especially those that are new to THAT con, may not be prepared for the size, the variety, the crowds or the long waits.  Even those that are prepared and have attended multiple times need to remember that there are plenty of others that may not be.  If attendees, both newbies and veterans, brought their patience, their manners and their respect, then everyone can have an awesome convention experience and go home happy!

Books, stories or series that influenced me

I have been challenged by few of my friends on Facebook to name 10 books that changed or influenced my life. However, I have so many books, stories and series that changed or influenced my life that I cannot possibly only name 10. Therefore, below is my attempt to limit this list to only the top books, stories or series that changed or influenced me throughout my life so far!

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

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This was actually one of my Mom’s favorites. It influenced her so much that she made a gift of this book to me as an adult. My Mom told me, when she gave me that gift, it was to remind me that there is always a silver lining no matter how dire things are. Now that she has passed away, this story is even more precious to me and will continue to remind me of her for years to come.

Poky Little Puppy A Little Golden Book

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This was a favorite story when I was in elementary school. I am not sure how it changed or influenced me, but I read and re-read this book so much that I wore the binding out and pages fell out of the book.

Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene

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I was first introduced to these stories in elementary school, by the school librarian. The first story of the series I read was The Hidden Staircase. These were first set of stories that I became obsessed with and just had to read!

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

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I first read an excerpt of this story in Middle School as part of an overall reading assignment in the textbook. However, it was the scene where Mr. Collins proposed to Elizabeth and her response to that proposal. The character of Elizabeth was just so powerful in that short scene that I just had to find out more about her and her life. It influenced me to seek out the novel and of course all of the other iterations and adaptations.

Once and Always by Judith McNaught

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This is my very first adult historical romance novel. The story, characters and the steamy romance scenes really caught my attention. For a long time, this is the historical romance story I used to measure all the other stories I read in the same genre!

LONG, TALL TEXANS SERIES by Diana Palmer

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This series has been a part of my life since 1988 and I mentioned that this was one of my favorite series before. I bought the first story in the series, Calhoun, with money that I earned working part time at a local Kmart store. I was so proud that I was able to not only read such an amazing story with great characters, but that I was able to buy it new with my own money!

Mallory-Anderson Series by Johnanna Lindsey

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This is another series that I have mentioned before and has been a part of my life for over 25 years. The first story in the series, Love Only Once, introduced my favorite male character, James Mallory, and I was NEVER the same since.

Legacy by Jayne Ann Krentz

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This is the first story that I found by one of my favorite authors, Jayne Anne Krentz. I found this at a used book store one Saturday afternoon. The book was so good that I went to find all her previous books. In addition, because all the other books were just as good as the first, Jayne Ann Krentz became a must read and buy author from that time on.

Flirting With Trouble by Cathie Linz

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This is my first signed book by the author! I met the author through an online Bulletin Board while I was in College. The members of the Bulletin Board decided to have a meet up in Cathie’s home town. Not only did I get to meet this amazing author and have this book signed, but it found a life long friend as well.

A Night In the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny

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This story is one that my husband and I re-listen to every year during the month of October for Halloween. Each time we listen to it, it feels like brand new all over again. In addition, we have the rare audio version of this story narrated by the author himself!

And, but definitely not least…

Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold

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I have mentioned this series before. Every single story in the Vorkosigan Saga constantly changes and influences me, even in small ways. However, if I had to choose one book from this amazing series to list it would be Shards of Honor!

#WorldCatDay: Favorite Anime Cats

In honor of #WorldCatDay today, I am sharing my list of favorite cats from anime stories.

Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service

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The Cat Bus from My Neighbor Totoro

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Luna and Artemis from Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal

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Kyo Sohma in his cat form, from Fruits Basket

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And of course the most famous anime cat and celebrating a 40 year Anniversary this year Hello Kitty!

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So how are you celebrating World Cat Day?

What cats are on your list?

Ultimate Mom in Romantic Science Fiction

There are so few Moms in Science Fiction, even this top 10 list added a Fantasy Mother. There are even fewer in Romantic Science Fiction. However, Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan from the Vorkosigan Saga written by Lois McMaster Bujold, stands out among them.

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Cover with Cordelia in the foreground

I am not the only one who believes this either. A recent blog article proclaims that Moms Can Have Their Own Adventures, Too using Cordelia as the example.

She’s an adventurer and a leader, and she has the uncanny ability to figure out how other people work and what they need and want. As a mother, she gives her son room to explore while still providing boundaries and a safety net.

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In the Omnibus Cordelia’s Honor, which combines Shards of Honor and the companion story, Barrayar into one volume, not only shows her growing romance with Aral, but also Cordelia in the first stages of motherhood.

What makes Cordelia the Ultimate Romantic Science Fiction Mom?

Throughout the saga whether they appear in the story or not, Aral and Cordelia are shown to still be very much in love with each other, even after 30 years. Now that is a romantic science fiction story that continues to live on even “off-stage”. In addition, Cordelia has continued to pass on, as a mother would, her outlook, concepts and philosophies in life and politics, not only to her offspring, but to EVERYONE she interacts with! These are established through quotes, many contributed to be influenced by Cordelia, used by various characters throughout the saga. Some examples of these are:

“Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”
“Let’s see what happens!”
“When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action.”

It is the continuing romance and her influence on the various characters, as a mother even when she is firmly “off-stage”, that establishes Cordelia as the Ultimate Romantic Science Fiction Mom, in my opinion.

Things I Have Learned from Doctor Who?

I recently saw this poster on Things I Have Learned From Doctor Who, which is available at amazon.com.

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Many of these can only be learned by watching Doctor Who including two of my favorites from Series 3:

Sometimes a Fob Watch is not a Fob Watch.

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Don’t Blink.

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However, another of my favorites from this poster can be learned from Back To The Future as well as Doctor Who:

The smallest change in time can have major repercussions

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Therefore, not everything ‘learned’ listed on this poster is exclusively related to Doctor Who!

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