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Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from nonsense

Posted by Kunal on September 23, 2008

Heroes started its 3rd season this week and I have mixed feelings after watching it. I didn’t like the second season as much as the first season and the new one doesn’t look promising after the first show. I think the problem is that the plot is growing more and more convoluted. Heroes has one character who can freeze time and travel back and forth in time, as well as two other characters who are all-powerful (they absorb the powers of everyone else). As you can imagine, this is just a recipe for non-sequiters and inanities. Time travel is itself full of very interesting possibilities and in my opinion, the Back to the Future series deals with the cause-effect conundrums quite well. The writers for Heroes have just gone amuck with all the super powers.

Even Harry Potter, a series that I admire very much, had its share of problems as the series grew. I wrote about it briefly in the past.


4 Responses to “Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from nonsense”

  1. Kunal said

    To some extent, this is kinda unavoidable, because you can never imagine a (currently) impossible world perfectly. There is always some detail you overlook, some inconsistency that nerdy sci-fi fans catch. The frequency of such stuff increases the longer your story runs. Inanity is also similarly hard to avoid if you stretch the series out enough. The way such stories work best, IMO, are as allegories. The Foundation series, eg, is full of inanity, stuff that is extremely unlikely to happen, logical inconsistency and obsolete future technology. It still works though, as an allegory to real-world politics and psychology.

  2. The previous comment was by me. Apologies, I never remember to do the polite thing and sign off with my full name on the blog, to avoid confusion with our host ;)

  3. Kunal said

    True. It is unavoidable in science fiction. Some writers do it better than the others. There will be logical inconsistencies and WTFs, but a good scifi series will not make them so obvious. In this particular case, the writers of Heroes are stretching it a bit too much IMHO.

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