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Sep 22nd 2019 at 6:55:16 PM •••

Is there a similar trope for when the themes of a SF story have been outdated? Examples, much of early Heinlein's work refers to political and social themes that... aren't really active issues anymore, or which got settled?

Example #1: the whole free-love thing kinda ran aground on the Age of AIDS and antibiotic resistance, while polyamory has become just another keyword. Example #2: Lovecraft focused his horror on themes of racial contamination (now largely exiled to the fringes), "the truth of the cosmos might shatter human minds" (admittedly some of the early quantum-mechanics researchers kinda lost it, but we've gotten over it by now), and "might the real rulers of the universe see us as vermin?" (we're not too worried about that anymore, rather we're wondering why we haven't heard from anybody). More generally, the "humans uber alles" theme of much early 20th-century fiction looks kinda tacky these days.

ETC: OK, "Soviets in space" fall under The Great Politics Mess-Up.

Edited by MentalMouse42
Sep 9th 2018 at 2:37:03 PM •••

"The War Machines" is made of this, since it is about an extremely powerful computer in the Post Office Tower in the 1960s. The scientist who shows it to Dodo remarks "this may not be the biggest computer, but it is probably the most advanced", the computer is able to hypnotise people, it makes the humans build the most ridiculous Tin-Can Robot weapons, it has prominently mounted tape reels, someone describes it as 'a machine that can think!' as computers were a new concept, it makes tape grinding and spool noises and prints out ticker tape, and it also uses 60s beliefs of what the Internet would be like (being able to communicate with computers all over the world by literally calling them up with telephones)... even the non-standard title text is very, very dated. On the bright side, it does take place in 1960s London, so the theme is appropriate.

Is this really an example of zeerust if they have gone back in time to the 1960s?

Dec 31st 2013 at 2:13:43 PM •••

Some things I've removed from the page, while trying to clean up the Natter:


I'm note sure how this is an example. It's a parody of Ultraman.

  • Arguably, this is one of the reasons why Pern is essentially a Luddite planet in the first place—with AIVAS as the only example of "modern" technology on Pern (albeit 2500 years old), McCaffrey was able to avoid having a series with a helluva lot more Zeerust.
  • Also, one could argue that in All the Weyrs of Pern, AIVAS has the Pernese program in DOS because it's a "baby step." If you've never seen a computer before in your life, it may be easier to start with a simpler operating system. Since AIVAS appears to have encyclopedic knowledge of everything 20th-century on, it's actually not much of a stretch to say he would know DOS inside-out, even if that knowledge, in his home culture, is ridiculously academic and outdated.

Deleted because Examples Are Not Arguable and I'm not familiar with the Pern series, so I don't know how to fix it.

Edited by 75.83.225.194
Jan 8th 2013 at 12:14:04 PM •••

◦That was because chrome was needed for the war effort, so cars were sold with wooden fenders and you would get the metal parts later from the dealer. ■Err... which war was that, exactly? By the mid-to-late '50s the Korean War was over, and Vietnam was still a decade or so in the future.

I would erase this exchange for natter, but the troper made a good point.

Oct 1st 2012 at 4:10:45 PM •••

The laconic sounds like some shit Mr. Krabs would say. "What is today but yesterday's tomorrow?"

Edited by Glace1221 Hide/Show Replies
Nov 23rd 2012 at 5:30:23 PM •••

You've got krabs Mr. I'm from the future; I came back in time sailor to tell you not to pay that dock-hooker. Her rates are cheap cause she's replete with venereal disease.

While I was here I checked out this article. That image doesn't make any sense. In the future women clean our moon condos with bactayspray.

May 25th 2012 at 12:14:59 AM •••

A common theme is a matter of Size. The writers or artists forget that Technology seems to get Smaller with advancement. Though in my opinion maybe it shouldn't. OT me new-technology doesn't last as long as allo of Retro stuff, and I think the downsizing it part of it. Advertisers like saying "Look how small we've made it" but regardless of complexity or design Smaller is still in many ways easier to break.

Example My NES still works as fine as it ever did (Top Loader had the Blowing issue from day one) but my N64 and even NES are unreliable now.

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May 25th 2012 at 2:02:59 AM •••

Just a tip — while it's not forbidden to talk about tropes on the discussion pages, you're much more likely to actually get people to talk about them in the Trope Talk subforum. These discussion pages are used mainly for discussing examples.

Edited by LordGro
Mar 1st 2011 at 8:16:43 AM •••

"Zeerust" actually is a Dutch word, with literal meaning "rest at/near the sea", typically used for hotels, restaurants or homes for the elderly near the coast.

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