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Popular works of art and entertainment in Sol space in 2563, including both pop culture and new classics.
After the Millennial period of fairly unfettered content creation, a new ethos took hold in the minds of human content creators. Most post-Millennial creators are very concerned with the messages delivered by their works, almost to the extent of Millennial children's media producers. This results in most high-budget multi-person creations having a decidedly moralistic bent, something encouraged by the state's media apparati, which still fund many of the most popular Sol-made projects.
The forms of media popularly enjoyed by the people of 2563 include classics such as music, literature, and television, as well as new forms of art such as VR and various forms of multimedia. In general, television and new media is still controlled by major studios and streaming distribution channels, but publishers and record companies were widely considered obsolete even by the early 2100s. Taking their place are various quality-control critics, in recent days assisted by drone intelligence, who weed through the absolute glut of content for the diamonds in the coal vein. Media critics of this variety often use their homespun popularity to spring themselves into a career with full-blown news operations.
- 1 Television
- 1.1 General Broadcast
- 1.1.1 Game of Drones
- 1.1.2 Third Rock From The Sun
- 1.1.3 Quo'Kabek
- 1.1.4 Knights of the Fallen Star
- 1.1.5 Go Go ERT Rangers!
- 1.1.6 The Brothers of Wisdom
- 1.1.7 Soldiers of the Yearlong War
- 1.1.8 Interstellar Diplomacy
- 1.1.9 The Inventor's Marvelous Mechanical Maidens
- 1.1.10 Petit Yuusha Jossen Temonila!
- 1.1.11 Captain Cutie’s Chance Capers
- 1.1.12 A Pilgrimage to Red Island
- 1.1.13 Gundam
- 1.2 Vir Local Television
- 1.1 General Broadcast
- 2 Sports
- 3 Music
- 4 Literature
- 5 Games
Game of Drones
A highly complicated and satirical tale of murder and betrayal following several drone lines in a fictional, drone-run universe. Most of the actors are actually positronic. Actual A-class drones generally regard it as lacking nuance and bioconservatives frequently protest the social ills of presenting drones in this inaccurate fashion.
Third Rock From The Sun
A popular Unathi sitcom about humanity, pushed into production shortly after the First Contact War and running continuously since. The portrayals of humans in Third Rock are often regarded as offensive caricatures, but the show sees wide syndication in Skrellian space as well and is often critically acclaimed... by non-humans.
Skrell political drama set in a major city state. While incredibly nuanced, the subtleties of skrell politics are absolutely impenetrable to alien viewers. The titular character struggles with maintaining balance between castes. Very dense. The costume design is atrocious.
Knights of the Fallen Star
A show about a small carrier during the Contact War. The three main characters are fighter pilots, with the captain and bridge crew being major secondary characters. The SCV Fallen Star is an older ship, not as advanced as others in the fleet, but skill, luck, and human diligence they make it through the war against the vile Hegemony. Noted for making historical liberties with set design and historical events, injecting the crew into historical battles and making them pivotal. The fandom has a friendly rivalry with fans of Soldiers of the Yearlong War, another historical drama.
Often banned on systems that border the Hegemony to prevent the worsining of tensions, underground distribution remains extremely popular.
Go Go ERT Rangers!
A Nanotrasen-sponsored children's show about the exploits of a fictional ERT team based out of an ambigious Nanotrasen residential station. They fight fictional monsters such as giant space carp, and only with the power of friendship, phoron, and NT products can they save the day!
The show is essentially Nanotrasen propaganda designed to highlight their public-facing products and services, with them portrayed as utopian and the heros of the setting and some companies presented in a negative light. As such, the show is poorly distributed outside of Nanotrasen streaming services.
The Brothers of Wisdom
An action fiction series that chronicles the adventures and exploits of the Brothers of Wisdom, an enigmatic trio whose ongoing mission is to seek out and destroy machines and devices of war and tyranny, including any and all knowledge pertaining to them. They campaign throughout time across the known galaxy against a multitude of adversaries that ranges from superweapons and black ops projects to weaponized viruses and genetic monstrosities, all the while championing the pursuit of knowledge for the benefit of all, wisdom, identified as the means to a sound and just mind, and justice.
With new episodes still popping up on a bi-weekly basis, the series has a growing fanbase throughout most Human systems, Tajaran space and, to a far lesser extent, Unathi systems along the SolGov-Hegemony border. Each of the Brothers; Deft Brother, Dear Brother and Deep Brother, have their own dedicated followings amongst fans that are capable of detailing the personalities, unique traits and different suit designs each individual Brother possesses.
Despite first being 'discovered' a little over a decade ago by an Exonet analytic, nobody has claimed ownership of the series. This, coupled with the exceptionally detailed and staggeringly accurate -according to experts and those 'in the know'- settings and the usage of current or historical governments, corporations and other groups in factual locations has led to multiple theories, the cornerstone of them all claiming that the series is more than just the work of fiction.
Soldiers of the Yearlong War
The most popular anime of 2525 and still widely popular. Set in a stylized version of the early 2400’s, SYW follows the doomed romance of two soldiers on opposite sides of the titular Yearlong War, a conflict between SolGov and a rebellious splinter state called the Confederacy of Man. The uniform of the Confederate heroine, Yoshiko Kakabuchi, is now an iconic item at cons around the galaxy, while the uniform of the SolGov heroine, Paz Tetsuyuki, has fared less well, as it is more-or-less identical to the existing SolGov uniform.
A harem anime. The human protagonist has a love interest from just about every sapient species, including an A-class drone, a Khepri colony, and incredibly enough a Dionaea gestalt. They live on a ship and have to stop a comically evil human government from banning interspecies love (in a B-plot most episodes don't bother touching on). Its approach to xeno sexuality mostly boils down to "ignore all differences between xenos and humans", an approach with effectiveness varying from "okay" in the case of the Tajaran to "horribly" in the case of the Dionaea. The drone, YaYo-E, is a common "waifu" among the unwashed and pathetic.
The Inventor's Marvelous Mechanical Maidens
A dark magical girl anime, in many ways considered a Millennial throwback. The protagonist, Fi Kajiwara, is a drone of ambiguous intelligence who attempts to understand humanity and her place in it, all the while burning away her feelings to fight against dark monsters called Hubris. The ending is widely considered a tearjerker. Bioconservative attempts to ban the series have been met with strong resistance by its many fans.
Petit Yuusha Jossen Temonila!
A critically acclaimed series from one of the oldest Lunar studios, Petit Yuusha has been running on and off for nearly 40 seasons. While at its core a fairly standard adventure series with magical boy trappings, the visual design of each season is distinct, avant-garde, and frequently imitated. It has a massive cast of characters, leading to a huge influx of amature cosplayers-- the show's distinctive monocolor dresses, coats, and occasionally jumpsuits are an easy find and often visible near convention sites.
Captain Cutie’s Chance Capers
Widely known as a cheesy magical girl anime, though fans tend to violently dispute the notion. Airing three seasons between 2554 and 2555 CE, it follows a shunned researcher as she finds a magical artifact, opens a rift to an ill-defined ‘multiverse’, and tries to defend the rift from interdimensional invaders while maintaining a normal life. The tone is hard to pin down, with surprisingly hard-hitting losses and interpersonal issues being portrayed in between Captain Cutie’s dramatic over-the-top posing, wisecracks and fighting style.
The show is also known for its progressive undertones; Captain Cutie consistently tries to reason with, respect, and make alliances with the interdimensional beings, who are portrayed as coming from wildly different societies. Notable characters include Cutie’s best friend, a positronic researcher; a Tajaran magical ninja; a Skrell security consultant; and an interdimensional magical princess portrayed as a mass of writhing triangular fractals obscured by a shifting humanoid hologram.
A Pilgrimage to Red Island
Perhaps the most infamous of Karan Singh's works, A Pilgrimage to Red Island is a seinen anime set on Mars about a thousand years after a plague wiped out most of Sol civilization, having regressed into a loosely-defined equivalent of the European Middle Ages when the events of the anime begin, with the main protagonist - a sellsword named Fulk - going on a journey across Mars to find self-enlightenment and escape his inner demons while cutting through the horrifying fauna and ensuring the survival of both himself and his squabbling companions. Infamous for its ultraviolent action scenes with frequent gore and grotesque assailants, the work has received some calls to have it banned, though it is still well-received for its gripping drama and top-quality animation.
They never stopped making Gundam. It is now considered a shared classic for all of humanity, and gathering around a roaring fire to watch the newest series in late December is an important tradition in many families.
Vir Local Television
Vir News Network
An Oculum Broadcast general-interest news programme with round-the-clock coverage of local and international affairs, with particular focus on stories relevant to Vir. While more niche subjects tend to be covered by Oculum's smaller networks, VNN dedicates a remarkable portion of their coverage to sapient-interest stories. Their lynchpin news segments are (sometimes distractingly) sponsored by Cheesie Honkers brand snackfoods.
West Sif Wakeup
A morning talk show and light news broadcast in line with New Reykjavik local time, but rather incongruously broadcast throughout the system to surprising popularity. Somewhat infamous for its willingness to invite "controversial" guests, and then engage them in inane conversation for an entire segment without acknowledging a thing. Their strict "No politics" policy has raised eyebrows but is considered ideal for its intended early morning timeslot.
Chat With Sally
A product of the NanoTrasen marketing department, almost identical shows are broadcast in systems across SCG space - right down to the drone host "Sally" who is programmed as a gregarious and inoffensive older woman. What the show lacks in apparent personality, it makes up for in its producers' willingness to pay for some of the most high-profile guests in the galaxy. Notoriously bold in its promotion of the NanoTrasen brand, who are outwardly presented as merely a sponsor. The show's ubiquity around the galaxy yet subtly regionalized sets and outfitting have been described as "creepy" and "disorienting" - the show's producers prefer "familiar."
A sport popularized by the late 24th century's material science boom, Sabremachy is an outgrowth of various martial arts, such as kendo and fencing. Sabremachs compete with various pre-gunpowder weapons, redesigned and reforged to take advantage of modern physics and technology. Plasteel arming swords, phoroplastic katanas, and pressed carbon pikes are all on the table, baring only a limitation on the number of moving parts in the final product. The public spectacle of Sabremachy comes as much from the creation and exhibition of these unique weapons as it does from having armed contestants beat each other with them.
Sabremachy has of late split into two leagues-- the Traditional League protects contestants from harm with energy shields, counts touches to establish victory, and strictly regulates prosthetics. The Upstream League, by contrast, features fully cyberized combatants and also features similarly crafted armor designs as part of the competition. Matches in the Upstream League are carried out until a contestant is completely disabled by combat damage and tend to be longer and far more brutal than their Traditional counterparts.
A k-pop throwback that proved to be unexpectedly popular among the teens and tweens. Frequently accused of being talentless hacks who coast by on their bisexual sex appeal, enthusiasts insist that detractors just "don't understand".
The Dying of the Embers
A rock opera about the sapient millieu during the heat death of the universe. Incredibly tragic. Musically inspired, the indie band of the same name responsible for the production is now mostly remembered for an incident where the Unathi drummer and the human frontman got in a fight leading to the frontman losing his hand.
Those That Saw Through Time
A science-fiction novel by first-time author Gren Meruann, Those That Saw Through Time concerns itself with the discovery in the year 3100 of a species of insect-like aliens who see with tachyons, instead of light, giving them a profoundly different relationship with the very concept of causality from the rest of the sapient milieu. The resulting story touches on a number of topics, from spirituality to the ethicality of continued human expansion to what it is best known for: a lengthy meditation on the difficulty of integrating truly alien viewpoints into an existing society, and the tensions that will always exist in a pan-species empire. This is considered a reaction, albeit a century or so delayed, to the Positronic Civil Rights Movement, and is often taught in this light at public schools. Upon first being published, some readers became convinced that Meruann had personally met Those That Saw Through Time, a theory which Meruann stated was "missing the point entirely."
A Treatise on the Calculus of True and Righteous Aesthetic: A Novel in Four Parts and One Intermission
This work, usually called "The Treatise" by human scholars, is a foundational work of Skrellian literature and is considered to be one of the best existing samples of High Skrellian in human space. Unfortunately, being a foundational work of Skrellian literature makes The Treatise incredibly difficult to translate. Scholars estimate that the average passage in The Treatise references eight other works of literature, two political movements, and one historical figure. Of the four parts and one intermission, only about a third of the first part has been translated with any degree of completeness. Scholars are still unable to conclusively state what the book is actually about.
The largest VR MMO currently available, this game stretches across multiple systems and features a wide open fantasy world, with a variety of different racial options. The game even as a small population of dedicated Skrell players and a small population of Unathi who were drawn to the idea of being able to fight things without worry. The game has accumulated a large amount of roleplayers, who claimed sections of the game world for themselves, and later developed a complex system of internal politics that generate extraordinary stories that draw outsiders into the game. However, one might find that they're more likely to just end up hitting rocks with pickaxes most of the time. A common destroyer of Exonet bandwidth throughout SolGov.
Call of Battle: Fahron Initiative, a series.
An anti-Unathi propaganda game that became such a hit that it sparked numerous sequels and remakes, as well as gaining a cult following even after the Unathi war. Most Unathi find it hilarious, and they dominate the top 5 e-sports teams for the game.
An extremely racist indie game made about six months after humanity were made aware of Teshari. Nobody on the development team had ever met a Teshari. It was a hit with certain crowd and it made enough money for numerous improvements to be made, and later a proper mobile game. It's still extremely racist.
A turn-based grand strategy game set on Qerr'balak, where the player plays as the ruler of a City-State. True to its Skrellian origin, the game has a very low focus on military, while the economic and diplomatic sides of the game have an extraordinary amount of detail put into it. Borders are, more often than not, paid for or talked over rather than established through violence. The player also has the ability to manage the development of their City-State's caste system in response to alien immigration, mixed-caste Skrell, and robotics, although the Qerr-Katish remain static. Positronics can fill any caste (except, of course, Qerr-Katish), even if the caste is already occupied, or even entirely disregarded as people. The game is fairly popular among groups of Humans, Raskinta-Katish, and young Qerr-Katish. Also popular is the "God of War" mod, created by a human development team, that significantly increases the role of the military in the game. Most Skrell find this absolutely gauche.
Eunoia: Hope Network
A VRMMO, and a sequel to a decades-old MMO simply called Eunoia that few people even remember. It's set in a magical space-opera world that's soft science fiction even by the standards of 2563, where technology is seamlessly integrated with flashy spellcasting into a bright, clean, neon aesthetic. In it, a flotilla of colony ships have arrived in a new galaxy using a speculative FTL drive, seeking to locate new garden worlds.
Players are thrust into the role of explorers, fighting hostile wildlife, scouting new procedurally-generated sites, and acting as the flotilla's first line of defense. The colony ships serve as peaceful towns or "hub worlds", while most adventuring takes place during planetside missions or exploration of mysterious alien derelicts.
The most notable aspect of the game is that no mechanical distinction is made between PCs and NPCs. NPCs show very robust social skills, and the limited, controlled environment of the game can make them seem quite clever. Even experienced players are sometimes surprised to discover that the person they've been adventuring with isn't a real human, an illusion enhanced by the game's immersive roleplaying culture. As most NPCs do not respawn like players do, some players become fiercely protective of their favorite personalities.
It seems obvious that a B-class intelligence, at minimum, must be controlling the NPCs' interactions with players. Theories run rampant on why, ranging from "social experiment" to "testing environment for conversational AI".