Sitting here, watching Cowboy Bebop on [adult swim] and realizing what an unfortunate story they did. It was great when I first saw it, but its been given another meaning due to events in history.
In Bebop, Earth is next to abandoned due to an accident which destroyed the Moon sending asteroids down on Earth. But, some people stay, and our heros find themselves there this episode. The story progresses with a nice space chase and one of our heros trapped in a decent into Earth's atmosphere. A crusty, old-fashioned mechanic from the surface comes to his rescue. And here is where it gets unfortunate.
It was really a great idea. The mechanic rescues our hero in a present day space shuttle. It was totally character appropriate, and also had the cool visual of seeing a space shuttle in a sci-fi context, alongside more futuristic ships. Really neat way to lend realism to the show. But, you may have guessed the problem by now.
The shuttle chosen made great symbolic sense as it was the first shuttle sent into space. Columbia. To make matters worse, the rescue leaves the Columbia with its heat-resistant tiles badly damaged, endangering re-entry. So much so, that the shuttle makes a crash landing. All great stuff at the time, but now a little uncomfortable. It reminds me of the scene in A.I. where they come upon the ruins of the World Trade Center in the flooded New York City. History, unfortunatly, has undermined these creative ideas. But, that's the price of science fiction grounded in reality. You have no guarentee of what the real future will bring. No one could have thought of NYC without the towers. No once could have thought of another shuttle falling to Earth in pieces. But, its something we need to allow for science fiction which seeks to bring a realism to the proceedings. The real future won't always agree, so we need to look at the story on their own and without the knowledge of what has come.
I was going to post some general housekeeping issues (including the beauty contest story), but I'm getting very tired and I just had to retype this damn post, so I think I'm gonna get myself some sleep.