“Hyperspace” shows how science can inform science fiction

Welcome back to Pop Lexicon, The A.V. Club’s series with Kory Stamper, Merriam-Webster lexicographer and editor, where she reveals the origins of America’s favorite colloquialisms. Today, Kory explains not only how science can inform science fiction, but how science fiction can influence scientific discovery, starting…

Star Trek writer accurately predicted smartphones, also accurately predicted how fucking annoying they would be

Tech writers have been playing the tech prediction game—usually pretty poorly—for as long as people have been attaching sticks to rocks, and then getting jealous because someone else’s stick-and-rock was sleeker and had a nicer case. Among all this talk of microprocessors—or the laughable notion of a computer that…

What's something from science-fiction that you wish really existed? 

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…

Black Mirror beams into a familiar nightmare as season 4 begins

“USS Callister” isn’t really about Star Trek. Oh sure, it has the trappings. There’s a ship crewed with people in colorful outfits, a paternalistic white guy captain, a fair amount of sci-fi jargon. The episode’s ultimate villain (aforementioned white male captain) gives a speech at one point outlining the ideals of …

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Saru hears the music on an in-tune Star Trek: Discovery

I’ve spent so much time in these reviews talking about the ways that Discovery isn’t Star Trek (or at least, it isn’t what I would typically expect from Star Trek) that I might as well spend column space this week saying what the show does get right. It’s a very specific thing, but it’s important, and while “Si Vis…

Another episode with too much Star Trek, not enough Discovery  

The problem isn’t that Star Trek: Discovery is terrible. It’s not. It’s not great; it’s not even consistently good. But it’s not the worst, and if this wasn’t a Star Trek show, I think I’d be more inclined to be favorable toward it. “Lethe” has some decent emotional beats, particularly in Burnham’s storyline. And…

An old new face returns on a not terrible Star Trek: Discovery

Anyone disappointed by Star Trek: Discovery’s grim/dark view of the future past will likely leave “Choose Your Pain” still disappointed. The episode continues the trend of stark conflicts, bad vibes, and interpersonal squabbling. Even the introduction of one of the original Star Trek’s most memorably campy creations…

A cluttered Star Trek: Discovery fails to make its case

With the prologue officially over and Star Trek: Discovery well under way, “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry” has got a lot riding on it. Beginnings pose their own set of challenges, but at least they have the benefit of built in urgency and structural need. Michael Burnham’s journey from First Officer…