Revolution and Dies the Fire

The new television show Revolution has people abuzz. This show posits a complete failure of electronics globally for some unknown reason. The show takes place fifteen years later, after people have had to adapt.

This is not a new concept. Steve Stirling (aka S. M. Stirling) is seven books into a series called the Emberverse, about “The Change.” Same concept. Stirling starts the series on day 1, where Revolution starts fifteen years after the fact and probably misses out on a lot of potential story.

While I’ve only read the first of Stirling’s novels, he did a pretty credible job of it. The change itself is hand-wavy and far off. The details of it do not come into play in the first book.

A premise like this, one that alters physical laws, must be handled very carefully. While I accept Stirling’s premise at face value, my suspension of disbelief is strained. I await details in the later volumes sitting on my bookshelf and withhold judgement on Stirling’s premise until I read those volumes.

Revolution, I fear, is going to be different. It’s going to be another “unobtainium.” Or worse, it’s going to be nothing, as the premise for LOST turned out to be.

If handled correctly, Revolution has the potential to become everything LOST threw away. Solid science fiction is so hard to find on television anymore, not that it was ever commonplace. (To be clear, I define Star Trek as science fantasy, not science fiction.)

Addendum: After watching the first 40 minutes of the first episode of Revolution, I’m disappointed but not surprised. It is vapid, depends on coincidence, and utterly unrealistic even ignoring the premise. Wasted opportunity. Sigh.

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