The Amoiete Spectrum Helix of Vitus-Gray-Balianus B celebrate the “Twice Darkness” – a dual lunar eclipse of the sun – with a grand fireworks display. SciFiMix Art “Colours of the Helix”, inspired by Dan Simmons’ Rise of Endymion.
The Amoiete Spectrum Helix are a race of peaceful human inhabitants on the planet of Vitus-Gray-Balianus B. They live in communities of small adobe cottages, and wear simple robes in hues that match the color of their homes.
The people of Vitus-Gray-Balianus B derive their cultural origins, and their name, from an epic philosophical “symphony-holo-poem” by the renowned poet Halpul Amoiete. In this holographic masterpiece, poet Amoiete used colors of the rainbow (the spectrum) to signify different human virtues. White represented intellectual purity and physical love; red for the passion of art, courage, and political conviction; blue represented the introspective nature of music, math, and art; green represented resonance with technology and nature; and ebony represented human mysteries. In this same manner, the Spectrum Helix clothe themselves and paint their homes, making sure their society reflects the full-colour rainbow of Halpul Amoiete’s song. (Caution – Spoilers Ahead!) (more…)
What does Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse tell us about our notions of self? Image Source: Dollhouse, “Hollow Men.” Copyright Fox.
The premise of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse begins simply enough. Rossum Corporation, a mega biotech firm, has developed the technology to “imprint” a person with the personality of another. To further their research (and make a profit at the same time), Rossum creates the Dollhouse – an organization that rents imprinted people, known as “Dolls” or “Actives”, to the highest bidder. These Dolls are generally volunteers, people escaping from their past, who sign a five-year contract to Rossum. Their memories are wiped and stored, leaving them in an “Inactive” blank slate for the new personalities. At the end of the five year period, the volunteers’ original memories are imprinted back into their bodies, and these former Dolls live out the rest of their lives, richer than ever.
Dollhouse starts with the generic fantasies. Clients rent out dolls for their own sexual desires or other strange fetishes. As the two-season series continues, however, the darker side of the Dollhouse presents itself. After all, Dollhouse technology presents infinite possibilities beyond sexual fantasy play – it can mean the rise of the super soldier, the hope of resurrection, and the consequent evils of immortality. But at the same time, Dollhouse begs a fundamental question. If we can imprint an entire artificial self on another human being, what does this mean about the concept of self – the very concept of a soul? Does the original outweigh the imprint – or are both equally human beings, necessitating our respect and protection? If so, is Topher’s last act one of mercy or genocide?
Various science fiction shows and books have addressed this subject of the self before, from Star Trek to Neuromancer to Dune. Let’s take a look at how the Dollhouse narrative compares to these previous works, and addresses the concept of self. (Caution – Spoilers Ahead!)