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"Sci fi pet peeve" Topic

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1,537 hits since 25 Feb 2017
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Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 12:49 p.m. PST

Lazy sci fi guns!

Being a Gunfreak. I hate when I watch a sci fi series and they just use normal guns.

Half ruined the whole of firefly for me.

And seval episodes of stargate one of my favourite series) in one particular nasty episode. The transplanted human population used garands and AKs (even tho last contact with earth was some 5-10 000 years ago. )

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 12:56 p.m. PST

Well, to be fair a well maintained gun lasts a long time

The M1907 Styer (so called because it was adopted in 1907) was the first semi-automatic pistol used by a major power when Austria-Hungary adopted it for their cavalry in 1907, and they are still around; in fact they still make ammo for it

And a well maintained Avomat alashnikova will last almost forever

I actually liked the Firefly combo of old and new – horse-drawn wagons carrying goods to the spaceport

Although I have to agree with Gunfreak that the props guys were probably not thinking quite that deeply when they decided which guns to use (i.e. "where is the easiest to find crate of guns in the prop warehouse?")

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 1:23 p.m. PST

Well even if I gave firefly the benefits that it is possible that some guns lasted a long time (tho they don't act like their real world counterparts do)

It's still at odds with the mythos of the series. The mythos says the world ended up being dominated by American and China. Yet a lot of the guns are SA80s. It's obvious that they choose that guns because apperantly all bulpup guns are sci fi'y (even tho that design is almost as old as modern guns them self) but it would be better if they used Chinese guns (that also are of that design)

Vigilant25 Feb 2017 1:25 p.m. PST

Most likely they are thinking about how much money they have to spend and what has priority, not whether or not a few gun nuts will get their knickers in a knot.

Mardaddy Inactive Member25 Feb 2017 1:27 p.m. PST

The story, writing and interaction of the character personalities on Firefly overcomes my gun snobbishness about it.

I DID notice early on in the series that those handguns did not make the normal, distinctive sounds handguns make when fires – so some sound engineering has gone into it to give a more sci-fi-y audible.

TNE230025 Feb 2017 1:29 p.m. PST

Internet Movie Firearms Data Base


Jim Selzer Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 1:39 p.m. PST

I hate time travel more but old tech slug throwers are probably more reliable than hi tech laser/blasters etc

Personal logo Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 1:44 p.m. PST

Coming from a governmental point of view- if I had lasers and great guns I'd make sure my subjects, uh, citizens, couldn't get their hands on them, forcing them to use projectile weapons.

emckinney25 Feb 2017 2:05 p.m. PST


The complete answer to the "Why?" of Firefly.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 2:19 p.m. PST

The big problem with slug throwers is wandering the galaxy hoping to find someone who can make you a crate of ammo….

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 2:22 p.m. PST

Hmm. I'm with Ed. Given how the government worked in that series, I can see some bureaucrat decreeing that nothing made after Date X was allowed off-planet.

For that matter,our own beloved government's thinking that any weapon a century old is an antique and so to be disregarded is starting to catch up with it. A hundred year old Renault FT is an antique. A hundred year old Colt M1911 not so much. I understand rebuilt Martini-Henries escape British firearms restrictions.

Mister Tibbles25 Feb 2017 3:15 p.m. PST

All the blasters in the Star Wars movies are modified real guns underneath, firing blanks. Is that ok?

Zephyr125 Feb 2017 3:49 p.m. PST

Blank blaster bolts? No wonder those Stormtroopers couldn't hit anything! ;-)

Vigilant has it right, it's the show's budget that often determines the guns they rent (usually the cheapest. ;-)

And maybe the Firefly 'verse has 3D printers that can form items (like guns) in metal, so it's just a matter of downloading the file of your preference to make your gun. (Pretty sure word would be around which 3D files make the most reliable guns.)

thorr666 Inactive Member25 Feb 2017 3:59 p.m. PST

We still use designs 100-150 years old, there visual appealing and will probably be around another couple of hundred years at least

TNE230025 Feb 2017 4:27 p.m. PST

it's the show's budget that often determines the guns they rent…

teenagers from outer space 1959
imdb: link

The filmmaker was on such a tight budget that the film's ultimate weapon, the "focusing disintegrator", was actually a Hubley's Atomic Disintegrator toy cap gun, bought for a dime, with a flashbulb added as a beam. (In some scenes the words "Hubley's" can clearly be seen embossed on the side of the gun.) Atomic Disintegrators can be bought today on eBay for upwards of $300. USD

Mako11 Inactive Member25 Feb 2017 5:10 p.m. PST

Yep, "elite" Imperial Stormtroopers who can't hit the broadside of a barn with their high-tech laser pistols and blasters, and are easily defeated by a small teddy bear, militia.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 5:17 p.m. PST

Firefly was meant to be a sort of SciFi Western, so any anachronistic weapons are easily explained.

Sargonarhes25 Feb 2017 5:31 p.m. PST

I think this is where anime and some video games rock, it's animated cheap sci-fi guns. Sure some designs make no sense, but they look high tech.

My pet peeve with sci-fi is the lack of powered armor. They have all these other advances, energy weapons, shields, FTL travel, artificial gravity, robots and AIs. But most of them seem to have been unable to figure how to give their soldiers a higher probability of survival by putting them in a powered armored suit.

Lion in the Stars25 Feb 2017 7:10 p.m. PST

Given how hard/expensive it was to build the "Jacket" props for the All You Need Is Kill movie, I suspect that it's a matter of budget as to why we usually don't see powered armor. Or at least not any bulky Starship Troopers suits.

Graycat Inactive Member25 Feb 2017 7:33 p.m. PST

Hmm, note Honor Harrington uses a M1911 .45. It saves her ass in one book because it doesn't register as a 'powered weapon.'

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 8:06 p.m. PST

My pet peeve with powered armor is why the hell is there a meat bag inside?

Dynaman878925 Feb 2017 8:20 p.m. PST

If Teenagers from Outer Space bugs you then the wham-o air-blasters in Santa Claus Conquers the Martians should send you right over the edge!


Or if not that – the mustache

Hafen von Schlockenberg Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member25 Feb 2017 8:29 p.m. PST

My roommate and I had a couple of those,back in the day. Used to waste hours blowing out candles. Wonder what the guy upstairs thought all the popping was. . .

Mako11 Inactive Member26 Feb 2017 12:53 a.m. PST

Can you imagine losing to the teddy bear militia?

Vader will NOT be pleased.

Better to die in a fight with teddy bears than to survive, or escape, and then incur his wrath, I suspect.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2017 2:49 a.m. PST

Another pet peeve. Not a single movie or show have actually shown energy weapons to be effective at all.
We all know the mighty blasters are useless. And while the phasers in star trek is the perfect multi tools. It's a useless weapon. They literally have people dodge the beem at times
Give me a HK416 and I'll take out 50 star fleet security people no problem.

Sargonarhes26 Feb 2017 5:18 a.m. PST

Or how many times have phasers been disabled by some other plot device like an EMP field. Take a good old mechanical firearm with you, let's see those aliens disable that.

Dynaman878926 Feb 2017 6:03 a.m. PST

> Take a good old mechanical firearm with you, let's see those aliens disable that.

You need to watch more scifi! Tons and tons of examples out there.

TNE230026 Feb 2017 6:58 a.m. PST

Santa Clause Conquers the Martians
watched it just last week!

got a kick out of the Air Blaster
had got one for my 5th birthday

Lion in the Stars26 Feb 2017 7:39 a.m. PST

My pet peeve with powered armor is why the hell is there a meat bag inside?

Burnside's Law: the Audience doesn't care about a computer, no matter how humanlike it is.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2017 8:30 a.m. PST

Hey! The teddy bear militia was fighting on its home turf. Better commanders than General Veers have lost to irregulars who knew the territory and couldn't rotate home because they WERE home.

If those Disney/Star Wars/whoever had the rights this week people would sell more than one model of Ewok every time they change the scale, I'd build an army.

Jamesonsafari Inactive Member26 Feb 2017 10:11 a.m. PST

Don't really care about the guns. When Malcolm Renolds readies his big antique looking pistol there is an electric whine, so I figure it is more modern than it looks. It's also a lot of visual short hand.

I hate time travel.
I hate everyone still living like us when society has been scattered around the stars for a few centuries
I hate aliens behaving like some kind of human society

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa26 Feb 2017 10:43 a.m. PST

Lack of internal consistancy or where the author / script writer just abandons any sense of reason / logic to railroad their narrative along. On the edge of gone, is a current example of stuff I find annoying. So we can build a generational starship but can't stop a comet? Also the 100, somehow an orbiting spacestation seemed to have forgotten everything about the observation of Earth from space there was to know among other issues.

Also I'm more than happy with science fantasy, but stuff with a hard'ish edge that then makes the kind of errors that would be avoided by reading the relavent wikipedia article.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2017 1:34 p.m. PST

My peeves include :

1) Whenever the apocalypse strikes, the ability to tailor clothing by hand probably drops below that of the stone age. Suddenly it's all rags made by rough stitching postage-stamp size pieces of fabric.

2) When aliens invade the planet the US army almost goes into close combat with anything they have, trucks, Humvees and M1 tanks all shooting at aliens ten yards away with guys shooting their rifles and handguns from the cupola of their tanks.

3) No matter the size of the alien or even if it looks heavily armoured, soldiers will keep shooting it with their rifles and personal weapons even if doesn't seem to have any effect at all.

4) The aliens, monsters, mutants, zombies are a clear and present danger about to hit a major city or urban area, but the military and the government seem fixated on the idea of keeping it a secret until CNN reporters who are wondering what's happening are eaten alive on TV and everyone panics.

5) Salvation always comes from an everyman outsider, not the scientists who have been looking at the subject for decades. They always are perpetually stumped when the alien they have kept on ice all this time suddenly comes alive.

6) The rich and powerful always hoard all the good tech for themselves and leave everyone else to live in a pre-electricity society for no good reason other than being elitist dicks. Never heard of capitalism ?

7) What's wrong with the people who greenlight designs for a movie ? They always seem to pick the one that is tonally completely off, especially when they show what could have been in the DVD extras.

8) Computers that become sentient gain the power of telekinesis, able to move objects and cables totally lacking any motive capabilities.

9) Space is like your home town, only smaller and just as easy to get around.

10) Scientists, and other highly trained individuals who just do random things, panic at the drop of a hat or are given skills that have no correlation with their primary job. Especially the highest acclaimed scientist in her field on the entire planet happens to be a 22-year old supermodel, who can out-sneak and beat up a ninja clan.

Echoco Inactive Member26 Feb 2017 1:38 p.m. PST

Babylon 5 had good standard issue energy/plasma guns.
PPG I think it was called.

Covert Walrus26 Feb 2017 2:02 p.m. PST

@ Lion In The Stars :"Burnside's Law: the Audience doesn't care about a computer, no matter how humanlike it is." I'd take issue with that – as would R2D2, Robbie, Robert from RUBBER, HAL 2000 . . .

@ Mardaddy, true enough. You do have to give them credit for showing the characters cleaning their weapons though :)

@ Echoco, yes for Pulsed Plasma Gun. Used because it was lightweight, easy to recharge and could kill a living creature but wouldn't penetrate a ship's hull.

Legion 426 Feb 2017 4:58 p.m. PST

2) When aliens invade the planet the US army almost goes into close combat with anything they have, trucks, Humvees and M1 tanks all shooting at aliens ten yards away with guys shooting their rifles and handguns from the cupola of their tanks.

They must have been playing too much 40K before the invasion.

Sargonarhes26 Feb 2017 6:28 p.m. PST

Echoco, see Garibaldi's Murphy's Laws of Combat. The PPG or Phased Plasma Gun actually stands for Pitifully Puny Gun. Although yeah, I liked the PPG too.

Reading the English version of the novel Legend of Galactic Heroes, they don't spend much time talking about the weapons. Just that their particle beams and if you shoot one with Seffii particles in your area you're blown up. So they go into hand to hand with axes, why? Because marines in an armored powered suit need something with impact.
No it might not make much sense, but it's cool none the less.

Another peeve is an laser sword weapon which is technically more advance and powerful than the blasters every one else is carrying, is still called an ancient weapon.

goragrad27 Feb 2017 3:18 a.m. PST

Frankly my biggest peeve is the fact that in so many of the TV series and films it the aliens are humanoid no matter how different their appearance thy not only apparently have sex in the same fashion as humans (possibly with minor quirks), but can interbreed.

Presumably they all ascribe to some sort of Panspermia theory of the origin of Life in the Universe…

Mako11 Inactive Member27 Feb 2017 5:58 a.m. PST

Some of the District 9 weapons were very interesting.

Tacitus28 Feb 2017 10:19 a.m. PST

A star trek episode tackled the reason why so many alien species are humanoid, so I'm okay with it. Now if only they could answer Picard's baldness…

Covert Walrus28 Feb 2017 1:35 p.m. PST

@ Tacitus, yes! Good reference :) ( Though it flies in the face of canon as intelligent life evolved from many sources once, then was destroyed during the Slaver War which came *after* the Seeding Event mentioned here.)

To quote the Klingon captain on learning why humanoids predominate;"That's all? If she were not dead, I would kill her."

Zephyr128 Feb 2017 3:25 p.m. PST

"Now if only they could answer Picard's baldness…"

Picard tried using tribbles as a hair substitution, but the quadrotriticale used to feed them kept sliding off his smooth head, so they wouldn't stay in place. Earlier attempts at gluing tribbles in place were quite disastrous…


John Treadaway28 Feb 2017 3:35 p.m. PST

The worst I ever saw was an '80s episode of Doctor who where some folks carried hot glue guns – and not even painted: just orange and blue Bostik guns. Horrible…

The PPGs in B5 were great

Louie N01 Mar 2017 4:34 p.m. PST

This is less in movies than in Sci-fi vehicle miniature designs.

The conflict between Weapon Space, crew, space, motive system, and Engine.

Usually one of those is missing.

tnjrp02 Mar 2017 3:18 a.m. PST

My pet peeve is well known: prevalence to the point of exclusivity of humanoid aliens. Luckily this gets only really bad in visual scifi and miniature gaming, neither of which are exactly known to be on the cutting edge of science fiction anyway.

Sure, the former medium needs some leeway due to the expenses issue (unless we're talking animation and video games) and the entrepreneurs of the latter industry have come up with excuses of their own. And there are even scientists who argue for the case of "the only possible sophont is an almost-human sophont (with maybe a funny skintone or a bumpy forehead)", but then again there are those who argue against it too so this last is kinda a moot point.

tkdguy05 Mar 2017 6:22 p.m. PST

Twenty or thirty years ago, I would have hated the whole slugthrowers in space idea. Nowadays, I much prefer it. I based my SF game on Firefly and the Battlestar Galactica reboot. Ditto the no aliens trope. I've become more comfortable with humans only. Tastes change.

chromedog10 Mar 2017 4:35 p.m. PST

quote: Now if only they could answer Picard's baldness… /quote

They had serious rules about genemodding in ST – both Picard's MPB AND his cardiac defect (which is why he has an artificial heart) could both have been "fixed" by genetic tinkering in utero (but I think the flipside expression of the gene that gives MPB does early greying instead – so instead of chrome-dome captain, we'd have got "silver fox" captain?)

Norman D Landings Inactive Member17 Mar 2017 3:13 a.m. PST

'Logan's Run' had an interesting take on 'retro' firearms – the standard-issue Sandman's sidearm was purposely engineered to resemble a SAA.

It was meant to visually suggest the values of a (poorly-understood) bygone era.
All the advanced tech was in the ammo. The 'cylinder' was a pop-out six-round clip containing explosive, incapacitant gas, drug dart, razor-edged fragmentation, monofilament net, and homing rounds.

That was in the original novellas.
The movie and subsequent tv show opted, disappointingly, for generic blasters, which the fluff describes as 'particle cannons'.

awalesII17 Mar 2017 8:25 a.m. PST

"cardiac defect (which is why he has an artificial heart)"

i thought he got stabbed while at the academy over a girl?

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