August 30th, 2011

goblinization

EXTERMINATE.



You know, it occurs to me that besides having a plunger on the front of it, the Daleks are the most plausible alien race in popular Science Fiction. I mean, there isn't a lot of competition-- most popular Science Fiction tilts more toward Space Opera than Hard SF, & that is fine, no judgement. I get that G'Kar & Londo Mollari aren't meant to be scientifically viable species, they are meant to tell stories. Chewbacca is not a piece of speculative biology. That isn't a flaw, & neither is the "forehead of the week" school of Star Trek. That being said, well...the Daleks do make a certain kind of sense, despite the fact that Doctor Who is even more of a deconstructed Science Fiction narrative. I mean, squid-blobs inside heavily modified mecha? Meat that acts in the world solely through technological proxies? I'd buy it. The aliens grown utterly reliant & interwoven with their technology, yeah, you've got it. & the shape even makes sense, that flipped over ice cream cone. Great for high gravity, all that. It is precisely because it doesn't look super fancy that it becomes plausible. I will grant that the inability to go up stairs is a bit of a problem, I'll give you that-- & rockets aren't much of a solution, at least not in terms of plausibility. So that is a strike against them, their means of mobility. They are, basically, in Culture terms, an "Aggressive Hegemonizing Swarm." Replicate until you are the only things left. A stupid biological imperative but again, a plausible one. So yes. For all that the Daleks might seem goofy on first glance...well, they would, because things that are plausible often don't have all the bells & whistles that melodrama insists the "bad guys" have.
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