steven universe review - erin horakova
okay so this review of Steven Universe by Erin Horáková is utterly perfect and brilliant and I want to quote THE ENTIRE THING FOREVER, but in lieu of that, please enjoy this utterly merited dragging of Steven Moffat and his mangling of Dr Who:
We get fragmentary glimpses of what looks to have been a terrifying technological war on a mass scale, with heavy casualties. The details are particularly poignant. It’s never flagged up, but at one point we visit an old battlefield that’s thickly overgrown with a riot of strawberries, plants that fare well in sandy soil—the kind of soil you might get if a lot of rock-based lifeforms were destroyed on this spot a long time ago. Strawberries are the gem equivalent of poppies, which thrive in soil that’s been disturbed: this the gems’ Flanders Field.
I don’t particularly go in for military SF as such, but space-opera combat surely ought to be this thoughtful, as well as being fantastic and ambitious. If you’re going to use combat in your SFF, as part of the mechanic of its attraction (and there are decent philosophical reasons to ask whether you should, but), then at least be inventive and challenging and use your SFFnalness for something. When Doctor Who did the Time War under Davies (or in Who’s Extended Universe, which did the Time War earlier and with more conceptual ambition), we heard about weapons with names like the Cruciform and the Nightmare Child; there were allusions to a kind of unimaginable warfare that used time, minds and physics as battlegrounds. Imagine my disappointment when Moffat’s “The Day of the Doctor” just gave us—Halo combat. Are you kidding me right now? I know it’s hard to visually represent this stuff, but look, bloody Thor II managed guns that ripped holes in existence at least! This is the bare minimum of what I expect! Otherwise you’re just saying “I think so little of your intelligence and imagination that I don’t trust you to understand the basic-AF idea of war if it doesn’t look like Saving Private Ryan plus shiny lasers”.