Author Archives: Abi Sutherland

De Nieuwe Batavia: For Want of A Nail

One reason I’m behindhand on De Nieuwe Batavia posts here on N2S is that I feel like someone has already written what I was going to say next. And she’s also included interesting characters, a nicely symmetrical plot, and really … Continue reading

Posted in De Nieuwe Batavia | 11 Comments

Babylon 5: A Distant Star

When I was a kid, I dreamed of being an astronaut. I didn’t pursue it, which was fortunate—my tendency to motion sickness alone would have been enough to disqualify me. But what do you do if you have pursued a … Continue reading

Posted in Babylon 5 | 16 Comments

Babylon 5: The Geometry of Shadows

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. —Worstward Ho, Samuel Beckett You know the trope. Young Trainee goes to Hidden Monastery in the Mountains (or functional equivalent) to learn Obscure Art. There follows a montage … Continue reading

Posted in Babylon 5 | 24 Comments

De Nieuwe Batavia: Reduce

I recently cleaned out my T-shirt drawer, which had slowly gone from “full” to “overflowing”. What you see is the culled, tidied version. There are 41 T-shirts in there, 12 of which are black. Why do I own 12 black … Continue reading

Posted in De Nieuwe Batavia | 42 Comments

Worldbuilding

It might be useful, considering how much I discuss worldbuilding on this blog, to define exactly what I mean by the term. Why am I banging on about it? Why do I think it’s important, particularly for science fiction and … Continue reading

Posted in Allochthonia, De Nieuwe Batavia, Worldbuilding | 18 Comments

Babylon 5: Revelations

Ostensibly, this is an episode where Things Are Revealed1. I recall it being very effective at the time. But watching it again, knowing most of its secrets already, I found this episode interesting in other ways. For me, Babylon 5 … Continue reading

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Babylon 5: Points of Departure

Nothing’s the same any more. —Commander Jeffrey Sinclair The last line spoken in Chrysalis is the lament of anyone whose old certainties—some so solid they weren’t even identifiable as certainties—have passed away. It’s an excellent summing-up of the end of … Continue reading

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Typography and Languages Redux

The city of Amsterdam’s current publicity campaign is “I Amsterdam”, printed in black and red. There is a certain irony in using a pun-derived slogan in English to advertise a Dutch city. There is even more irony in then translating … Continue reading

Posted in Allochthonia | 11 Comments

Allochthonia: Typography

In the same way that a variety of languages gives texture to a world, so too does a variety of ways of writing within a single language. Typography, at least in the West, varies slowly over time. And this long … Continue reading

Posted in Allochthonia | 40 Comments

Babylon 5: Chrysalis

Babylon 5 came about by working on two different ideas for series. One was a vast, galaxy-spanning, huge show following the rise and fall of empires. The other show in the back of my head was about a small space … Continue reading

Posted in Babylon 5 | 16 Comments