Voyager and A.I. criticism

Dear Sci-fi Online

In response to Alex Trimble's letter: I actually think he has a point. Admittedly it wouldn't be objective to praise Voyager for the sake of it, but I do believe specialist publications should review series from an initial standpoint of optimism and enthusiasm. If a show is found to be not to the site's taste perhaps it is better just not to review the series at all and spend more time on other shows! As a reader, If a series you like tends to get continual negative reviews there is a tendency to avoid that publication in future, as I have done with one particular high street mag which continually slated Voyager.

I did find your response to his letter to be the usual cliched "get a life" style comments given to sci-fi fans, which is perhaps a little bit cheeky coming from people who earn a living from the genre!

"Remember, Sci-Fi is not a way of life. It is a nice way to unwind, but there are other things out there which are more important and may we suggest that you try and find them. Life is for living and we suggest you give it a try."

Hmmm... I'd like to see your recommendations for more important things. Getting drunk? Going out clubbing? Religion? One man's meat is another man's poison. Watching sci-fi is life!

"As for your request for naked pictures, this is not that sort of site and we suggest you try and find yourself a girlfriend! If indeed you can find anyone who will put up with a sexist fanboy!"

How does having a girlfriend reduce your interest in wanting to see nude images? Many married men or men with girlfriends still take an interest in "specialist" material! While I found Alex's suggestion tacky (and perhaps ironic) I don't see how it makes him a sexist. Women sometimes enjoy this sort of stuff too!

I can understand how Alex's comments annoyed you but come on, there's no need to be so judgmental, we're all brothers in arms in our interest here.

[Incidentally] Ray Thompson makes quite an unforgivable error [in his A.I. video review]. The "ETs" are in fact highly evolved machines/robots. That's the point of the story! Human kind is replaced by machines, as stated by Gigolo Joe's speech about how human kind will one day be extinct and robots will take over. There is never any mention of aliens at all or indications they are aliens. The robots mention that David is their ancient ancestor. If they were aliens how could a robot be their ancestor?

Sorry if this sounds pedantic but if your reviewer doesn't understand the premise of the story I don't see how he can give an accurate review.


Mark C

Editor replies:

Thanks for your comments, Mark. You have certainly raised some interesting points and our staff our divided on your comments. Putting Mr Trimble's letter aside (for which we have received a lot of emails - the majority wanting to know his e-mail address so they can give him a piece of their mind) the majority of our staff did not pick up on the fact that the "ETs" in AI were highly evolved robots in the movie (including one who had read the original book and was already aware of this fact).

Whether this means that we are thick (we have 2 PhDs and 6 BAs between us) is questionable, and I think you'll find that the majority of people who saw this movie came to the same conclusion - they do look like your stereotypical aliens. Sure when you know this fact it makes much more sense and Ray tells me that he doesn't believe this was intentionally clever on the part of Mr Speilberg. More that, for once, the master storyteller slipped up.

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