2023 in science fiction: Gemini Rising [2013 American Science Fiction Film]

The Year 2023 in Science Fiction

Here’s how science fiction novels and movies imagined the year 2023. Science fiction vs reality: what actually happened?

Islands in the Net [1988 Cyberpunk Science-Fiction Novel]

“Islands in the Net” is a 1988 science fiction novel by Bruce Sterling (born April 14, 1954), a prominent figure in the cyberpunk genre. The novel is set from 2023 to 2025 and provides a vivid depiction of a world transformed by rapidly evolving technology, global interconnectedness, and shifting geopolitical landscapes.

The story follows the protagonist, Laura Webster, who works for a multinational corporation that handles data havens. These data havens provide secure data storage and communication services, operating outside of national regulations-a concept that was quite forward-thinking at the time of the novel’s publication.

Throughout the narrative, Laura and her family find themselves entangled in a series of global events that challenge their understanding of morality, legality, and the impact of technology on societal structures. The novel explores themes of terrorism, corporate power, and political activism, reflecting on the complexities of global governance and economic dependencies in a highly interconnected world.

“Islands in the Net” is celebrated for its prescient portrayal of the future, particularly in relation to the internet and its effects on global politics and the economy. Sterling envisions a world where the internet breaks down national boundaries, leading to both opportunities and challenges. The novel anticipates issues such as cyber warfare, the rise of non-state actors, and the struggles against the homogenizing forces of globalization.

Gemini Rising [2013 American Science Fiction Film]

“Gemini Rising,” also known to audiences as “Alien Rising,” is a captivating entry in the realm of science fiction cinema, directed by Dana Schroeder and released in 2013. This film assembles a talented cast including Lance Henriksen, Amy Hathaway, John Savage, Brian Krause, and Dave Vescio, to unravel a story that intertwines human ambition, alien life, and the blurred lines between right and wrong.

Set in the then near future of 2023, the movie kicks off with the discovery of an unidentified spacecraft in orbit around Neptune, marking the beginning of an investigation that would lead to astonishing findings. Among these is the existence of two distinct species of aliens: a smaller, more intellectually advanced species capable of telepathic control over a physically larger and more robust species. This dynamic poses profound questions about intelligence, power, and inter-species relationships, setting the stage for the movie’s deeper themes.

2023 in Science Fiction: Alien Rising Official Trailer. It is the story of an alien species that became victims of evil people.

The plot thickens as antagonistic forces within the film concoct a serum derived from the aliens’ telepathic abilities, aiming to harness this power for mind control. The serum becomes a commodity sold to a North Korean billionaire for a staggering $4 billion, illustrating the film’s commentary on the commodification of power and the ethical lines crossed in pursuit of dominance.

At the heart of “Gemini Rising” is Lisa, an ex-homeland security agent portrayed by Amy Hathaway, who emerges as the story’s moral compass. Faced with the cruelty inflicted upon the alien beings and the broader implications of the serum’s existence, Lisa takes a stand against the malevolent characters. Her journey is one of resilience, bravery, and compassion, leading to a climax where she not only frees the alien captives but also averts a greater disaster as the island facility is set to self-destruct.

The film concludes on a note of classic Hollywood optimism, with the aliens expressing their gratitude to Lisa before departing Earth, and Lisa herself being rescued. This resolution underscores themes of redemption, the possibility of peaceful coexistence with extraterrestrial life, and the enduring human spirit.

Beyond its plot, “Gemini Rising” explores the ethical dilemmas associated with technological advancement and the exploitation of the unknown. It poses critical questions about humanity’s readiness to face the moral challenges that come with encountering and interacting with beings from beyond our world. While the setting and circumstances may lean into the realm of fiction, the themes resonate with real-world discussions about responsibility, the nature of intelligence, and the potential consequences of unchecked ambition.

2023 in Science Fiction: Gemini Rising (Alien Rising) is the story of an alien species that became victims of evil people.
Gemini Rising (Alien Rising) is the story of an alien species that became victims of evil people.

The year 2023: what happened?

It is still beyond our technology to send humans to the orbit of the planet Neptune. Neptune is 30 astronomical units away from the Sun (1 astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and the Sun, which is about 150 million kilometers, 93 million miles, or 8 light minutes. So Neptune’s average distance from the Sun is 2.8 billion miles (4.5 billion kilometers) or 4 light hours.

Even if we could send humans into Neptune orbit, it would be way more expensive than 4 billion dollars, so the bad guys sold the technology to the evil billionaire actually for nothing.

Gunbuster [1988-1989 Japan Anime Series]

“Gunbuster,” also celebrated under its Japanese title “Aim for the Top!,” is a landmark original video animation (OVA) science-fiction anime series that captivated audiences between 1988 and 1989. Crafted with a blend of intense action, deep emotional storytelling, and groundbreaking animation techniques of its time, this series has etched a permanent mark on the anime landscape, influencing countless works that followed.

The narrative catapults us into a future where humanity is thrust into an interstellar conflict far beyond its wildest anticipations. In 2015, Earth encounters a formidable and relentless enemy known as the Uchuu Kaijuu, or Space Monsters, a race of enormous, insectoid aliens whose migration paths bring them ever closer to our world. Humanity’s response to this existential threat is both innovative and desperate: the development of battleships and a new breed of giant fighting robots, the RX-7s. These machines are not mere vehicles of war but advanced combat suits that become extensions of their pilots, demanding unparalleled skill and nerve to operate.

Central to the story is Noriko Takaya, a young, spirited student fighter pilot whose journey from uncertainty to heroism forms the emotional core of “Gunbuster.” Noriko, the daughter of a revered admiral lost in the early skirmishes against the Space Monsters, faces immense pressure and skepticism due to her seemingly underdeveloped piloting skills. Yet, her narrative is one of growth, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of excellence amidst the backdrop of cosmic war.

The year 2013 in science fiction: Gunbuster battle.

The year 2023 in “Gunbuster” is not just a time marker but a pivotal moment in humanity’s struggle for survival. Six years following the initial encounters with the alien threat, and affected by the relativistic effects of time dilation, Earth finds itself in a precarious position. The RX-7s, once the forefront of humanity’s defense, now serve as training units for the Gunbuster, a new weapon that epitomizes Earth’s technological and martial aspirations. Noriko’s selection as one of the Gunbuster pilots, against all odds, is a testament to her indomitable will and the unseen potential within those who dare to challenge the status quo.

“Gunbuster” is renowned for its detailed portrayal of space warfare, the psychological and physical demands placed on its young protagonists, and its exploration of the sacrifices inherent in battle. The anime delves deep into themes of duty, sacrifice, and the weight of legacy, all while presenting a visually spectacular and narratively engaging story of humanity’s fight against a seemingly unstoppable foe.

As the first true battle with the aliens unfolds, “Gunbuster” showcases the stark realization that humanity is vastly outmatched in terms of sheer numbers and raw power. This moment underscores the series’ exploration of human resilience, the spirit of defiance against insurmountable odds, and the poignant realities of war.


M. Özgür Nevres


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