Science Fiction Trivia

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ffutures
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Skroderiders, in John Varley's A Fire Upon The Deep (1992). The riders are plantlike beings who would be immobile and have no long-term memory without the mechanical wheeled skrodes they use - basically neural-linked wheelchair things - which a forgotten benefactor gave their species several billion years earlier. This gift turns out to be not entirely a good thing...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Fire_Upon_the_Deep
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

ffutures wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:36 pm Skroderiders, in John Varley's A Fire Upon The Deep (1992). The riders are plantlike beings who would be immobile and have no long-term memory without the mechanical wheeled skrodes they use - basically neural-linked wheelchair things - which a forgotten benefactor gave their species several billion years earlier. This gift turns out to be not entirely a good thing...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Fire_Upon_the_Deep
I think you got your "V" writers mixed up: Vernor Vinge is the author, but yes, the Skroderiders would count. That's four!

https://vimeo.com/263896407
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Disembodied wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:50 pm
ffutures wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:36 pm Skroderiders, in John Varley's A Fire Upon The Deep (1992). The riders are plantlike beings who would be immobile and have no long-term memory without the mechanical wheeled skrodes they use - basically neural-linked wheelchair things - which a forgotten benefactor gave their species several billion years earlier. This gift turns out to be not entirely a good thing...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Fire_Upon_the_Deep
I think you got your "V" writers mixed up: Vernor Vinge is the author, but yes, the Skroderiders would count. That's four!

https://vimeo.com/263896407
Right, my bad - I went looking for Varley when I checked the book on my shelves, eventually remembered it was Vinge and found it, then forgot again when I typed the answer.

I have another, but I'd really prefer to give someone else a shot so I'll leave it a while...
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

ffutures wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:36 pm This gift turns out to be not entirely a good thing...
What a human-centric point of root!
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 »

on risk of winning the chalise...
Darleks...
Arthur: OK. Leave this to me. I'm British. I know how to queue.
OR i could go with
Arthur Dent: I always said there was something fundamentally wrong with the universe.
or simply
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

spud42 wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 12:21 pm on risk of winning the chalise...
Darleks...
I'm afraid the Daleks absolutely do count as cyborgs, even if they're slightly less obviously so than the Cybermen. I would also have accepted Ice Warriors from the Whoniverse too … but Daleks make five, and the chalice is yours!
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Yep, Daleks was going to be my next one if nobody else had come forward. Cybermen are very slightly iffy, depending on which origin story you use - they're mostly alien but the parallel world ones from New Who started out human. But they put in alien ones much later.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 »

sorry for the long hiatus. not been well.
ok so now to think of a question...

have we done symbiotic races? what i mean is a sentient race is small but uses a host.
the host must be willing. no forced partnerships. and ther has to be an up side for the host.

ok, 5 symbiotic races and what benefits the host gets.
i have one in the book i am reading. and can think of at least 1 more obvious one.
and no the bablefish doesnt count. its a benefit but i do not believe it is sentient.
Arthur: OK. Leave this to me. I'm British. I know how to queue.
OR i could go with
Arthur Dent: I always said there was something fundamentally wrong with the universe.
or simply
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

Sorry to hear that - I hope you're on the mend!

The low-hanging fruit here is the Trill/Trill symbiont from Star Trek. The Trill hosts gain the memories of previous hosts, as well as blending with the personality(ies) of the symbiont.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by cbr »

Grr there goes my first, fortunately the symbiont inspired me to a second one.

The symbiote(s) from spiderman ( strength, speed, longevity(?) )
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

The Hunter (otherwise unnamed) and its race from Hal Clement's Needle (1950) and sequel Through the Eye of a Needle (1978). The Hunter is an extraterrestrial cop who looks like a green jellyfish and lives inside a host, usually another sentient being. The host gains rapid healing and immunity to most diseases. It crash-lands on earth in hot pursuit of another of its race who has murdered their own host, and its host is killed in the crash. It eventually finds a sleeping human (a boy in his early teens) and stows away inside him, which is not good behaviour by its race's standards but it's pretty desperate. It eventually establishes communications with the host. Unfortunately the host has travelled several thousand miles to go to boarding school before this happens, so has to find an excuse to go home again. Once there they track down the murderer, force it out of the body it's hiding in, and eliminate it with extreme prejudice (and fire).

The sequel is set several years later, with the human protagonist of the first novel now an adult and suffering from severe immunological disorders because his passenger has been suppressing way too many immune reactions to stay with the host. The Hunter's species can fix this, the Hunter doesn't know how, so they have to try to make contact with its species. Who think that there is a murderer loose on Earth...
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Commander_X »

I guess the (even lower hanging fruit than the Trill) Tok'ra from Stargate SG1 would qualify: the hosts gain the (regular Goa'uld) advantages, as longer life, better health, symbiote's generational memories, with the convenient turn that the host _must_ be willing,
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

spud42 wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:32 pm have we done symbiotic races? what i mean is a sentient race is small but uses a host.
the host must be willing. no forced partnerships. and ther has to be an up side for the host.

ok, 5 symbiotic races and what benefits the host gets.
Get well soon. I'm sure there's a symbiont for that.
My €0.10 is the morel and the boy ("Gren"?) in Brian Aldiss' "Hothouse". The human gets increased intelligence, while the morel gains transport and access to new hosts.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 »

ok lets work through this..
Disembodied : Trill that is indeed the low hanging fruit i was expecting.. so thats 1

cbr: spiderman symbiote doesnt qualify as the host has to be willing not forced.
The beings now known on Earth simply as "Symbiotes" are a conquering, parasitic race which feed off the emotions of their hosts. They tend to force their hosts to perform spectacular and terrifying feats in order to feed off of the resulting rush of adrenaline (and possibly other hormones, such as phenethylamine). Eventually, these host beings would be completely sucked dry, exhausted by the constant stress and exertion, or simply die in a failed stunt.
so thats still 1

ffutures : tricky one but
It eventually finds a sleeping human (a boy in his early teens) and stows away inside him,
would indicate that at the time the host was not willing. so i think still 1.

commanderx : SG-1 Tok'ra also count as the host must be willing . so we now have 2

RockDoctor : another tricky one as concent does not appear to be involved
Gren is waylaid by a "morel", a sentient fungus which attaches itself to his head and forms a symbiotic relationship. After a power-struggle, Gren leaves the tribe with his girlfriend Poyly, also taken over by the morel.
the words taken over, attatched... not feeling "willing host" here.... still at 2.

any supporting evidence to suggest disqualified answer should be reconsidered will be taken into account..

3 to go
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

Well, my reading of "Hothouse" was that as the enhanced intelligence settled in and allowed Gren to be more successful in their literal struggle for survival, Gren becomes more accepting of the morel symbiont. Also later, Poyly, deliberately positions herself over their sleeping child so that the morel can divide and infect the child, which would grow up with the enhanced intelligence and not suffer the uncertainty about the symbiosis that both she and Gren got over themselves.
How does that aphorism go? "I enjoy paying my taxes, for with them I buy civilisation." Therefore, since most people suffer at least a pang of disquiet about symbiosis with the Dread Monsters Of The Revenue, nobody wants civilisation? And with whole genres of "art" dedicated to the "noble savage", Regency romanticism and the like, we want to regress to cess pits, annual typhoid epidemics, and an occasional riot to break the Spinning Jennys?

OK, maybe not in this audience. But it is a force in human society - wanting to reject the culture and technologies which our ancestors have forced us to live with.
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