Black Hole silhouetted against the Milky Way Fall 2009 ASTR 2030 Homepage

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 movies Fall 2009 ASTR 2030 Black Holes: Black Hole Books, Movies

Here is a list of works of science fiction, including novels, short stories, movies, and TV episodes, that supposedly, in some way or other, involve a black hole or wormhole. The list has been compiled to a large extent by previous generations of students. In most cases the black hole or wormhole is incidental to the plot, but there are a few cases where it is at least somewhat central.

You can win yourself up to 2% extra credit by advising me of any science fiction novel or short story, or movie or TV episode, that involves Black Holes or Wormholes, and that is not listed here.

Please note that stories or movies merely involving time travel (like Time Machine or Back To The Future) don't count. Moreover texts, monographs, documentaries, or other works of non-science-fiction on Black Holes do not count.

To gain the full extra credit, you must name a specific novel, short story, movie or episode (not a general series like Deep Space 9), you must have read the story or seen the movie yourself, and you must include a short review of the story/movie (don't forget the quotes rule). Preferably you should provide a link to a place on the web where further information about the story/movie can be found.

To be considered for extra credit, you must make your submission no later than in class on Tuesday Dec 8, the Tuesday of the last week of classes.

Rating Title Comments
ASTR 2030 Fall 2009 Entries
  Lloyd in space: Caution Wormhole Season 1: episode 4 (2001) Lloyd and his class are on a field trip. Lloyd and his friend Eddy discover a wormhole in a dumpster that transfers them to a place where the other students believe they are trapped in a well, where the exit to the wormhole lies. Lloyd and Eddy decide to trick the class into believing they are down there while hiding in the dumpster. They talk through the wormhole, taking advantage of the situation and getting things such as free pizza. Hilarity ensues. Ages 8-13.
– Garrett “Jake” Goldman
  Movie: Star Trek (2009) I thought the movie was great. It gave sufficient background on the characters (Spock and Kirk) such that one did not have to be a follower of the TV Series or have any prior knowledge about Star Trek in general to enjoy the movie (case in point: I have never watched any other Star Trek film or episode of the series, and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie :).

The specific reference to a “black hole” is in the scene where “The Romulans drop a 'red matter' bomb into the hole made by the drill. It triggers the formation of a black hole, which collapses the planet and wipes out the Vulcans.” (previous sentence from Bad Astronomy's Review of the Science of 'Star Trek').

Further information about this movie can be found on IMDb.
– Joe Chan

  Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder (2009) Futurama's creators decided to release 4 new movies (each forming a continuous narrative, but each divided into 4 episodes for showing on TV) after their series had been canceled. The last movie is “Into the Wild Green Yonder”. In this movie, the Wongs decide to build an enormous space golf course. At the end of the course sits a wormhole which will eat the golfer's ball, forcing them to buy another game. However, at the 18th hole stands an obstacle; an asteroid, booming with extraterrestrial life, right in the way of the ball's path to the hole. In order to remove the asteroid, they decide to blow it up. Leela joins a group of women bent on stopping the Wongs from succeeding. The feminist group's radical behavior eventually puts Leela on a most wanted list. A large ceremony is held in order to view the massive explosion. Fry, having recently joined the “Legion of Mad Fellows” is secretly trying to prevent the explosion as well, knowing that the asteroid is actually the last egg in existence of a creature called the Encyclopod. He forms a very close relationship with Mr. Wong in order to try and prevent it at the ceremony. However, he is unable to tell anyone about his plan, including Leela. A mysterious force, called the “Dark One”, is able to read anyone's mind except for Fry's. Were Fry to tell anyone, the Dark One would kill Fry in order to stop him. At the ceremony, Leela arrives and tries to stop Fry by taking the detonator away from him. Unable to tell Leela what he is actually doing, Fry pleads with her to trust him. Eventually she does and, having had proper incubation time, the Violet Dwarf system, of which the asteroid is a member, creates a sperm, which flies into the asteroid. From the asteroid emerges the Encyclopod, an enormous creature that contains a biosphere with two of each animal ever in existence. Fry and Leela, now both being wanted fugitives, escape in the Planet Express Ship. They fly through the gold course, towards the 18th hole. As they near the wormhole, the Professor says that it could take them trillions of lightyears away, without anyway of knowing if a return was possible. Everyone agrees to go for it, and just before they reach the worm hole, Fry and Leela confess their love for each other and kiss just as they enter the worm hole.

More information at IMDb.
– Hugh Hartigan

  Fooly Cooly (TV series) Fooly Cooly is a six episode long anime series that makes only a little bit of sense. In the first episode, “The vespa girl” (Haruko) hits Naota in the head with a gas powered blue vintage Rickenbacker 4001 right-handed reverse strung electric bass guitar. Later that night, a robot (Canti) and a huge robot hand come out of Naota's head locked in an epic duel. Canti then eats Naota, turns into a cannon, and shoots Naota in the form of an energy ball at the robot hand to kill it. This kind of stuff continues through the whole series.

Throughout the rest of the series, many more things come out of people's heads including more evil robots, cat ears, and guitars. The whole idea behind getting things out of people's heads is described in episode four. “[They] use the left brain and right brain's distinct thought process to open up an interdimensional channel capable of pulling things through, sometimes from light-years away, in an instant. But you can't just use anyone's head; you have to find the right one.” (Commander Amarao episode 4)

The only way to understand this show is to watch it, and even that doesn't help much.

youtube link.
– Michael Odbert

  TV Series: Martian Successor Nadesico, Season 1, Episode 11 It's the future in this anime series. Kursk, Russia has been occupied by the Joskian Lizards. The good guys have the Nadesico, a gravity-blast cannon, which in this episode is hired to take out a revolutionary weapon that has been constructed by the enemy in Kursk, called the Walking Stick. The Walking Stick, which is referred to as a “gravity wave rail gun,” generates “micro black holes” and shoots them at those who come close to it. However, unlike in a plot that eventually plans to go somewhere, the Walking Stick is not defending something else but rather simply itself. Other teams have been hired to take it out but were “never seen again.” Upon approaching, the Nadesico aircraft is detected and partially hit with a stream of black liquid that looks like oil. This is in fact the black hole coming out of a cannon, and luckily it mainly hits the mountain the Nadesico aircraft is hiding behind. Mysteriously, the mountain appears for the most part unharmed and there is no black hole in sight. The Nadesico suffers a damaged left wing and is forced to crash land.

In response to both the Walking Stick's excellent air defense and the writers' inability to produce any more plot involving black holes, the Nadesico crew plan to attack the Walking Stick by ground and blow it up with mines. The catch: they only have one hour. The newly appointed “ground captain”, Akotski, is the handsome, funny-guy stock character that would most likely be played by Matthew McConaughey in a Nadesico feature film. He consoles his worried crew by saying, “If we all work together, I'm sure we can succeed.” The team embarks through thick forests towards the Walking Stick, night having already come and the hour seemingly up. The team confirms that the time is up by stopping to have a campfire, the lyrics “just us friends” being sung in the background. Finally, in the midst of a surprise tank attack on the campfire, the commander radios the crew to tell them they're out of time. The call includes a memorable quote that attempts to fill every gap in the plot and explain the theory behind the black holes:

Commander: “The first black hole dissipated after leaving earth's atmosphere resulting in little residual damage. I'm sure the next one will dissipate within the earth's atmosphere. Our enemies aren't fools, they have less to lose than we do. The next black hole will swallow this entire area and saturate what's left with lethal gamma rays.”

The commander informs the rest of the people at HQ that she is “registering a massive gravitron fluctuation building around the Walking Stick,” and that it will fire soon. Putting aside the fact that a Gravitron is an amusement park ride, the crew panics and realizes that something must be done. They decide to storm the Walking Stick and defeat it right before it shoots another “micro black hole.”

More information on the series from IMDb
– Quinn Brown

  2010: The Year We make Contact (1984) “2010: The Year We make Contact” is a 1980's sci-fi flick that is set nine years after the failed Discovery mission from 2001: a Space Odyssey. The film starts with the US and the Soviet Union investigating the mysterious disappearance/deaths of five astronauts that disappeared while investigating Jupiter. One of the main characters, Dr. Heywood Floyd, feels responsible for the lost mission and recruits his two friends to go investigate Jupiter and the monolith near Jupiter that is expected to have caused the disappearance. Floyd is bothered by David Bowman's (captain from 2001) last quote “my god it's full of stars!” which hints to the existence of a black hole. The ship Discovery is found, but weird problems such as explosions keep happening, as if to hint to stay away from Jupiter and its moon Europa. The crew discovers that a huge black hole has changed David Bowman into a god-like figure. The black hole then disappears and reappears on Jupiter, where it grows larger, consuming Jupiter. The computer Hal (also from 2001) sacrifices itself to save the crew and send them back to earth before the black hole consumes them as well. At the end of the movie the black hole somehow gains enough energy and heat to become a star, which heats Europa enough to sustain jungle life.

Rotten Tomatoes
– Lindsay Mullineaux

  Star Trek Voyager: Season Five, Episode 10, “Counterpoint” In this episode, the crew is forced to travel through the space of a species called the Devore. During the journey, they are routinely inspected for contraband, which according to the Devore are telepaths. Before the beginning of the episode, the Federation crew decided to assist a group of refugee telepaths flee Devore space and escape through a nearby wormhole. Unfortunately the wormhole opens intermittently and does not stay in one place, so the majority of the episode is spent trying to predict the next opening of the wormhole. Captain Janeway finally uncovers the key to determining the next location of the wormhole isn't simply a mathematical formula, but rather in a subspace counterpoint, similar to a background counterpoint found in classical music. After ultimately fooling the Devore inspectors, Janeway and her crew are able to aid the escape of the telepaths and ultimately leave Devore space unharmed.

– Matt Ground

  Stargate SG1 Season 10 “The Pegasus Project” (2007) This episode of Stargate features a black hole in several ways. First they place a Stargate near the accretion disk of a black hole to use the energy released by the black hole to power the Stargate. Then they use this energy to dial from the Pegasus galaxy back to the Milky Way galaxy. Using nuclear weapons they attempt to jump the wormhole from one gate to an adjacent supergate to prevent the Ori from sending more ships to the Milky Way galaxy. In the process the nuclear bomb attract a Wraith ship to the black hole. To escape from the Wraith ship Sg-1 uses the black hole to sling shot themselves away from the enemy ship quickly.

GateWorld (Stargate website)
– BJ Michaeli

  Season premier of Stargate Universe “Air (Part 1)” 2009 Oct 2 The premise of the show was that a group of people from planetary base Icarus are attacked and forced to evacuate via the stargate system. A stargate is a portal into a wormhole that links two seperate gates, creating a link by which people can travel quickly and efficiently through space. Different planets and locations have a unique address, which is dialed and connected to in order to create the wormhole. In this instance, the stargate was used as a last option for survival. They dialed the address and hoped for the best because, due to circumstances, they had no idea where they had linked to. They ended up being sent to Destiny, an abandoned Ancient starship across the universe from Earth. Over the course of the season, the problem at hand for Destiny's new crew is to figure out how to get home. The main feature of the series, harnessed wormholes or Stargates, is an interesting concept and allows for some creative scenarios for future episodes. I would definitely suggest this series to anybody interested in the sci-fi/space genre.

Stargate website
– William Cox

  Transformers (The Animated Series), Episode 71, The Killing Jar, Part 3 of 3, (1986) Ultra Magnus and his allies attempt to rescue their compatriots from a Quientesson scientist. While successful in doing so, they accidentally send the ship on a course for a black hole. The ship is sucked inside the black hole and is transported to a “negative universe” where all the colors are shifted. The crew of the ship is unharmed, but remains trapped inside the hole. Their only means of escape is of course the “white hole”. They run the risk of being crushed by this “white hole” but the heroes escaped unharmed as always.

– Sean Faulk

  Transformers Season 3, Episode 6, The Killing Jar, (1986) An alien of the race of the Quintissons tricks many Transformer characters into entering onto his ship where he then keeps them as prisoner for specimens. His plan is to conduct scientific experiments on the various characters for his own personal data and knowledge. The female human character Marissa manages to free herself from the captivity and sparks an electron storm around the ship. When the ship emerges from the confusion of the electron storm, they realize that the ship is irreversibly heading towards a black hole. They get sucked into the black hole and end up in a parallel universe that they term a “negative universe.” They work together to fix the ship and reverse through the white hole.

“The stars seem so at peace from a distance, but up close they're so troubled.”

Alien captor: “Black hole is a star that has collapsed in on itself becoming so dense neither matter or light can escape its gravity.”

– Caleb Nelson

  “The Jaunt,” short story by Stephen King The Jaunt is a short story within Stephen King's book “The Skeleton Crew.” It's a futuristic tale about a family with two young children who are “jaunting” (a method of instantaneous travel) for their first time. The father in this tale explains to his children the history of how jaunting was developed. An impoverished scientist several hundred years earlier managed to create sustainable wormholes, more or less. The only catch was that if one was awake for their journey through the wormhole they experienced “complications:“ a time infinitum. Although the father failed to mention this to his children, the few persons that had experienced this time infinitum went insane and died horrible deaths upon reaching the other side of the wormhole.

The climax of this story is that the man's son, after hearing his fathers tale, decided out of curiosity to hold his breath while the attendants were administering the gas to knock him out. The family arrived at their new destination only to find that the boy had gone through the wormhole while conscious, and had gone insane. He rips out his own eyes while screaming, “Longer than you think dad!, longer than you think!”.

Wikipedia – Netia Ingram

  “The Krone Experiment,” novel by J. Craig Wheeler (1988), now also a movie The Soviets' ship, Kiev, is damaged. They suspect that the Americans are responsible. Other mysterious accidents keep happening, plaguing United States and Soviet military units. Eventually, scientists figure out that the weird occurrences are produced by mini black holes, which holes appear to originate from a machine at CERN. The mini black holes are growing as they orbit through the Earth, threatening the Earth and civilization. How can mankind avoid complete destruction?

– Dustin Eckes

  TV Series: Venture Bros, Season 2, Episode 6, “Victor. Echo. November” The episode focuses on a series of mishaps and ruined dates between the main characters, all taking place in the same restaurant. Henchmen 24 and 21 are nearby at the bar. 24 asks 21 how the villain Phantom Limb floats. 21 describes how a time machine malfunctioned and created a mini-black hole which sucked in “Phantom Limb's” limbs.

Venture Bros Wiki
– Daniel Fettig

  “Land of the Lost” (2009) The movie itself was absolutely funky — I wasn't expecting it to be great, but Will Ferrel usually has a few good moments in all of his ridiculous films.

The movie revolves around Dr. Rick Marshall, Physicist/Paleontologist who creates a “tachyon amplifier” machine that creates a wormhole to another dimension of existence, “where all timelines converge.” When Dr. Marshall and his team of incompetent scientists/friends first step through the time warp, we see a scene where they fly through a vortex spinning and stretching. They get dropped into a desert where they observe two ancient hominids trying to kill a third. The third is rescued by the group and joins them in their quest. In this new land, the protagonists are faced with the task of saving all of humanity by destroying a group of lizard-men who plan to take over the universe and destroy Earth, and then to return home. They must find the tachyon amplifier before the lizard men do. However, a giant T-Rex is constantly in the way of their plans to succeed. An interesting scene is one where our protagonists stumble upon a vast desert area littered with various random objects that somehow have gotten there through other wormholes in the world.

– Matias Moreno-Bunge

  TV Movie: The Black Hole (2006) This was hands down the worst movie I saw in 2006. It has such a promising title, but robs you in every way. The acting is horrendous, the plot is terrible, and the special effects remind me of my 5th grade Art class. It felt like my soul was being tortured by the devil, as I sat through two hours of mindless hell. I would not recommend this movie to anyone, unless you are a vegetable. The plot of the movie is about a research experiment that goes wrong. It creates a black hole that unleashes a electric monster who steals electricity and kills anyone who tries to stop him. The black hole is also slowly engulfing the planet.

– Zane Lanter

  Space Jam (1996) While Michael Jordan is out golfing with his friends, he hits his drive onto the green and the ball mysteriously travels across the green into the hole. When he goes to retrieve his ball, he is sucked through a warm hole that curves space and time and comes out in Looneyland. There he meets all of the famous looney tunes and learns of their plight to either be enslaved by aliens or beat them in a basketball game.

Despite possessing an immaculate sound track, there are many flaws in the movie Space Jam. In general I like the movie, but I think it's obvious to any discerning critic that this film needs more Charles Barkley. Also, all of the scenes involving Michael's family are entirely forgettable.

– Werth Roddy

  Space Chimps (2008) The space chimp program is selected to explore a wormhole that appeared in space to see if life can survive after going through it. They think they're doing a very important mission, but to most the space chimp program is a joke. This is thanks to Ham III, the descendant of the original space chimp, Ham I. It's up to the space chimps to prove their worth as they go through the wormhole, but they get trapped on the other side thanks to Zartog, the evil dictator alien who is using Earth technology to enslave his race. The chimps have to get back through the wormhole and to Earth to complete their mission.

Space Chimps website
– Cullen Kavoussi

  Superman: The Animated Series. Season 3 Episode 6 “Absolute Power” In this exciting episode of Superman: The Animated Series, our hero Superman is sent out by the people of Earth in his spaceship to investigate a black hole that has recently been discovered “less than six light years from Earth.” In his opening monologue, Superman describes a black hole as “a collapsed star so dense that not even light can escape from its gravitational pull.” Superman observes some meteors being pulled into the black hole and they appear to be stretched lengthwise by the hole's tidal forces before exploding into a twinkle of light at the hole's horizon. Superman offers no commentary on exactly what he is witnessing but we will assume that he is as puzzled as the viewer as to the physical mechanism that causes matter to explode into energy and light at the hole's horizon. At any rate, Superman witnesses a ship being pulled towards the black hole and rescues it and returns its passengers to their home planet ... where he makes a terrible discovery!

The peaceful aliens' home planet has been taken over by two other super-people who are ruling the planet like Gods. These evil super-people are also apparently communists because at one point they declare that they have reorganized the planet's labor structure so that there is “a job for everyone according to his abilities and our needs,” with “cooperation instead of competition.” Their being communists makes them extra evil, so that the viewer does not feel bad about their eventual fate. Inevitably Superman fights the evil super-people for some reason and they subdue him and strap him to a rocket that they intend to shoot into the black hole. Superman escapes with the help of some of the oppressed aliens, and turns the tide on the communists. Ultimately it is they who fall into the black hole, in a swirling mass like water going down a drain. I give the episode 3 out of 5 stars, despite the questionable science, for featuring communists being shot into a black hole.

– Karl Hoffman

  Halloweentown II In this movie, the main character, Marney, is trying to get back to the “mortal“ world. When she sees the “portal” that they are about to enter she says, “You know, that looks just like Stephen Hawking's description of a non-stellar black hole.” She then goes on to explain to her friend, Luke, that theoretially black holes can accelerate time. So, if they enter the black hole, they can travel back to the mortal world. The enter the portal, and travel through time back to the 1600s. Luke worries that they are never going to make it home, since they started so far back in time. But as luck would have it, Marney sees a black hole far off to the left of them. The enter this black hole, and accelerate fiercly. “What if this black hole theory, say, doesn't work?!” asks Luke. But sure enough it works, and Marney and Luke find themselves back in the mortal world just in the knick of time.

YouTube. The black hole part starts at about 1min and goes till 2min 45sec. The second part starts at 3min 56sec - 4min 16sec. The last part starts at 5min 15sec and goes to about 5min 30sec.
– Ann McGrath

  Dark Matter (2008) At the beginning of the film, we are introduced to the protagonist Liu Xing, who is a prominent student at Beijing University in China. He travels to the US to join a cosmology research group under his scientific icon Professor Jake Reiser. As an eager student, Liu Xing goes above and beyond to impress Professor Reiser, and introduces his thoughts on dark matter. He proves that 99% of the universe is dark matter (including black holes), and hopes that he can determine the components of dark matter using mathematics. His goals are to win the Nobel Prize for his theories on the universe and to marry a blond-haired blue-eyed American girl. Throughout the story Liu Xing is in a double bind between bringing honor to his family and trying to adjust to the cultural differences he must face in America. Although Liu Xing is completely capable, Professor Reiser suppresses his innovative research ideas because they are a threat to his own career and accomplishments. Poor Liu is left in a very frustrated and emotionally unstable state of mind. I highly recommend watching this movie not only for the stimulating plotline, but also for its interesting study of the universe.

New York Times review
– Margaux Hansberry

  House of Suns (2008), novel by Alastair Reynolds This science fiction novel was enormously well received. It prominently features wormholes. The story is set 6.4 million years in the future, with humans spread out through the Milky Way galaxy. While the plot is somewhat convoluted, it centers on two robots, Cadence and Cascade, who are trying to linl a wormhole to Andromeda. There is resistance from other robots, but Cascade is able to sneak the wormhole through to Andromeda. Reynolds makes a respectable effort to employ credible science in his novel. When Campion and Purslane are reunited in the novel's conclusion, a hundred thousand years have passed, yet it is described to feel as if only days had gone by.

Onion's A.V. Club
– James Evans

  Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey Bill and Ted are back, along with their telephone booth (complete with transportation via wormhole!) in this sequel to the highly popular “Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.” This time, Bill and Ted wind up dead and must use their telephone booth to transport to Heaven, Hell, alternate dimensions, and the hardware store in order to save the day from their evil robotic twins.

– Kristin Laase

  S. Darko (2009) This is the sequal to the movie “Donnie Darko.” Donnie has been dead now for 7 years, and his younger sister Samantha Darko has been depressed ever since. She decides to move to California, but gets stuck in Utah, in some podunk town where a meteor shower is supposed to have killed a crazy man. When he doesn't die, it leads to the death of Samantha's friend, then Samantha, then her love-interest, not to mention the prediction that the world is going to end in 17 days... until the crazy man pulls a Donnie Darko and jumps into a Black Hole that appears in a second meteor shower, transporting him back in time to the exact moment where he had escaped death, and chooses this time to sacrifice himself so the world and the protagonists could survive.

– Nicolas Quartermaine-Bragg

  “Ender's Game,” novel by Orson Scott Card The book starts out following a young boy, who has an incredibly high IQ, who is being followed by the government. He is taken from his family to go up into space to the place where the government trains young children to be excellent military leaders in their war against their Bug-like adversaries. He excels here and becomes the youngest boy ever to command his own squad in 3D battle simulations. Before he knows it he is graduating early and is sent to a secret base where he continues training with someone that he thought was dead. General Rackham, who was the genius behind the victory against the last alien invasion is there to train him. Ender wonders how this is possible, as the last war was over 100 years ago and Rackham isn't very old. It turns out that The government decided to keep him at close to the speed of light for an extended period of time so that he could train the next military leader of Earth when the time came. So for the hundred years that passed for everyone on Earth, only a few passed for him, severe time dilation occurred for this to happen to him. Ender continues to train in battle simulations that get increasingly harder. He finally gets to his final exam where it is his small fleet against an armada of the enemy ships protecting their home planet. He somehow manages to get their new secret weapon to the planet and activate it. The weapon starts a chain reaction, destroying the planet and the enemy fleet. Everyone around him starts celebrating. He then finds out that the simulations were actually real, and he just killed off the last of the enemy. he also realized that he is responsible for the genocide of an entire race. Horrified, he becomes sick and falls into a coma. Once he awakes, his sister tells him that he cannot go back to Earth because his talents would be coveted by the military leaders and would probably start wars. Ender and his sister board a colonization craft that heads out into previously Bugger infested space to try and start a new colony. Their ship goes close to the speed of light, and while their journey only lasts a few years for them, on Earth a few decades have passed, again showing the principles of special relativity and time dilation and how it would work if we did have ships that could travel close to the speed of light.

Google books
– Mason Rubin

  “Star Trek: Countdown,” trade paperback by Robert Lyons This was an interesting collection of comics that was meant to be the Prequel to the Star Trek Movie (2009). It starts out in the old Star Trek Universe, in the future when Jean-Luc Picard is an Ambassador to Vulcan. Spock is the ambassador to the Romulans and he is trying to convince them to ask the Vulcans for help in stopping a star in their sector from going supernova. They refuse. Spock goes to Vulcan to ask for help anyway, but the politics take too long and the star goes supernova and destroys Romulus and threatens to destroy the galaxy. Nero is one of the few Romulans that survive the destruction of the home world. He told the Vulcans that he would hold them responsible for Romulus if they did not help. He blames the destruction on Vulcans and mainly on Spock. Spock is able to take a ship and stop the supernova, which turns it into a black hole. Nero's ship and Spock's ship are sucked in and are flung back in time.

The graphic novel was left as a cliff hanger. It give a lot of back story to the movie and it gives more meaning to the movie. This is a really thrilling story that you just cant set down and after you finish it then you feel compelled to see the Star Trek movie even if you have seen it already. It was also nice to read what happens to the characters of Star Trek Next Generation.

&ndash John Stewart

  “The Borderland of Sol” by Larry Niven The Borderland of Sol is part of a series of short stores called Known Space, and is the fifth in the series. Known Space follows the happenings of Beowulf Shaffer, a “crashlander” from the planet of We Made It. He frequently deals with human characters and “Pieseron's Puppeteers,” intelligent life forms.

In this episode, Beowulf Shaffer is attempting to return to earth. Instead, he is stuck on the planet of Jinx for months. He eventually runs into an old friend of his, Carlos Wu. The two reminisce, and Beowulf tells Carlos of his conundrum, that he is stuck on Jinx and desperately wants to return to Earth to see his lover. Carlos tells Beowulf that he has a ride to the Sol system, with the Bureau of Alien affairs, designed to keep relations between earth and Alien nations safe. Beowulf is granted passage by the captain, because of his expertise with Pierson's Puppeteers. It is then that one of the conflicts is introduced, that many ships have been mysteriously disappearing near the Sol system. Most of the journey is uneventful, but when they near Sol, their ship bucks, shakes, and groans from some hidden turbulence and suddenly falls out of hyper drive. They find that the entire hyper drive unit is missing, completely vanished from the ship. Beowulf requests information that might help him figure out the source of the disturbance. After much political red-tape, he finally gets information that he needs and begins to ponder the bizarre recent events. He and Carlos are perplexed to the source of the disturbance and the disappearance of the hyper drive motor. After contacting an astronomer by the name of Dr. Forward, they are invited to his station to await a ferry to earth. After much deliberation, Carlos and Beowulf decide to go to Forward Station, even though the source of the disturbance to be near the “Forward Station.” Once on Forward Station, they learn of Dr. Forward's new contraption: The Grabber. It's a huge arm and bucket contraption that can manipulate ultra dense masses to produce gravitational waves. They are eventually knocked unconscious by Dr. Forward after they realize he is the villain. Dr. Forward had taken a quantum black hole, and used the Grabber to feed a neutronium sphere into it. It created a black hole with a tremendous charge, yet could be moved from place to place due to its ultra-density and his Grabber arm. They eventually are engaged in a struggle with Dr. Forward, and the black hole eventually gets loose. The black hole starts to break the station apart, and the Forward Station starts to disintegrate. Carlos and Beowulf are tied to a pillar and are saved from falling in. Dr. Forward, in a last ditch effort, traps the black hole with the Grabber but falls in right before it is fully trapped. By some turn of events, the ride Beowulf and Carlos were waiting for shows up in the nick of time and they are rescued to earth. As they escape, they see the Forward Station and its asteroid consumed in a big blast of light.

Author's website &ndash Uday Reddy

ASTR 2030 Fall 2006 Entries
  Book: The Fall of Reach, by Eric Nylund (New York: Random House 2001). In Eric Nylund's novel "The Fall of Reach", based on the popular Halo video game franchise for the Xbox, there are many references to astronomical phenomenon. One of these is a black hole that served as sort of a data time capsule, capturing a "pulse-laser transmission" in its entirety for something on the order of one hundred thousand years. The direct reference is found on page 234 and is as follows;
"There is a black hole located approximately forty thousand light-years from the Sigma Octanus System. An extremely powerful pulse-laser transmission back-scattered the matter in the accretion disk-essentially trapped this signal as this matter accelerated towards the speed of light. From our perspective, according to special relativity, this essentially froze the residue of this information on the event horizon."
This is spoken by the A.I. Cortana to Dr. Catherine Elizabeth Halsey in reference to data broadcast by a long-dead alien civilization, The Forerunners.

There is some discussion on the game's official forums discussing the information Cortana presents here.
– Colin Reynolds

  Power Rangers S.P.D episode: "Wormhole" The Rangers are forced to create a wormhole to travel back into the year 2004 in order to fight the three monsters Mora has created and sent to attack the previous Power Rangers. Using the worm hole they are able to stop the ploy. Its a fine episode full of excitement and poorly costumed villains, not to mention the original and well thought out names such as "the green monster."

I think that it is safe to say that the only good that has come out of the thirteenth season of this poor poor beaten up show is this opportunity for extra credit in ASTR 2030.
– Blaine Pellicore

  Stargate, second season: "A Matter of Time" One of my favorite of this series, this episode involves a team on a world that recently had its sun turn into a blackhole (not that they'd survive the explosion anyways) and they try to use the Stargate to get home. Unfortunately when they activate their gate, the stranded team is unable to get through the gate before the wormhole closes on its own due to the time dilation. When the earth gate opens up to the planet in an effort to see what went wrong, the gate is unable to be shutdown because the time difference on both sides of the gate is phenominal and it begins to draw energy from the blackhole itself. The time dilation slowly spreads from Cheyenne Mountain across some of Colorado before scientists in Washington (who have been working for weeks on the problem –even though the mountain has only experienced less than a day) decide to direct a large explosion at the wormhole to hopefully force the wormhole to jump to another gate, allowing them to safely shut it down.

Summary courtesy of
– Zachary Adams

  Stargate SG-1, season 9: "The Ripple Effect" The Stargate team arrives back to the SGC from their mission earlier than expected, and shortly after are greeted by dozens of versions of themselves. The multiple other teams are there because one version of the Stargate team used a black hole to interfere with a worm hole to go to another dimension to steal a part for the ship, which is breaking down in their reality. After failed attempts to bring the other teams back to their own dimensions, the original team decides to take the ship "Prometheus" to stop the black hole.

– Margot Smith

  Futurama, Volume 4, Episode 12: "The Route of All Evil" While only playing a minor footnote to the overall storyline, Qbert and Dwight are forced to assault an alien after being picked on in science class. The class is building miniature black holes. The bully makes fun of the two boys and then throws their lunches into their project compressing them to nothing more than a single point of matter. This is just a launching off point for the rest of the story in which the two boys must become more responsible.
– Kurt Fox
  The Void (2001) A movie about microscopic black holes, particle accelerators, and a self-absorbed, insane, money-driven engineer.

A physics teacher named Eva gains access to a lab with the help of her former lover, Steven, in order to look up Filadyne Corporation's latest project. She realizes that the head of Filadyne, Thomas Abernathy, is planning to create a microscopic sized black hole using a particle accelerator in hopes of creating a new energy source. Unfortunately, he has tried this before, in Luxembourg, and ended up killing a lot of people, including Eva's father. She realizes there is a mathematical mistake that Abernathy made and the black hole created will be unstable – either it will "suck up" the Earth or fall to the core and then explode. Unable to convince Abernathy of his oversight, she convinces Steven and another friend, Lazarus, to help stop Abernathy by sabotaging his experiment, but what begins as a science fiction movie quickly turns into a horror film as people, starting with Lazarus, are killed by Filadyne associates in order to prevent them from getting in the way. In the end, both Eva and Steven end up trapped at the lab while attempting to stop the experiment, and the microscopic black hole is created. The black hole quickly grows in size, "devouring" everything in the lab room, including a couple of scientists, and the entire facility begins to collapse as it is "sucked up" by the black hole. Eva and Steven make it out alive in the end, but I believe Abernathy and just about everyone else is either "devoured" or killed in the explosion, which wipes out a large radius surrounding the facility.

The idea of the film was rather intriguing, until it took a horror twist. Unfortunately, the science wasn't good and this became another "black hole gobbling up everything in sight" movie. It was more fun to laugh at than anything.
– J. Elin Deeb

  Stark Trek The Next Generation, Season 6, Episode 25: "Timescape" Temporal aliens end up fracturing time. This happens because the aliens normally nurture their young in a quantum singularity. The aliens found a Romulan vessel, which uses an artificial quantum singularity as its main power generator. The artificial singularity caused all time in the region to fracture into thousands, if not more, distortions. In some distortions time progresses faster than normal, some slower.

Four officers –Picard, Data, Troi, and La Forge –discover the catastrophe while it unfolds, as it were. The Enterprise is in the middle of rescuing the disabled Romulan vessel, and both vessels are caught in the middle of a huge temporal distortion, inside which time is slowed to an indistinguishable halt. The officers are capable of resuming time as normal, but not without resulting in the destruction of the Enterprise.

The viewers do actually get to see the Enterprise explode before Picard’s eyes. He handles it with remarkable composure. He is rather surprised, however, when the explosion suddenly reverses itself.

The crew’s solution, is to make time go backwards, not forwards. Then they can intervene and prevent the incident from occurring. One of the temporal aliens intervenes and botches the entire plan, but as usual Picard experiences a fit of creative genius and all is well. This is not the only episode to say that the Romulans use artificial quantum singularities for power. However, it is never said how they create an artificial singularity, what an artificial singularity IS, how they harness its power, or how they would deal with the disastrous consequences of containing a quantum singularity inside their ship. If it were a quantum singularity, the same as in a black hole, I would imagine the Romulans would use such a thing as a weapon, but the possibility is never mentioned.

– David Leiserson

  Futurama, Season 3 (2001): "Time Keeps On Slipping" In this episode, the Professor steals time chronatons from a distant nebula to grow a super-mutant group of basketball players to defeat the Harlem Globetrotters, who have challenged Earth to a game of basketball. Oh boy, now that’s an exhibition! The super-mutants fail to defeat the Globetrotters, and the Earthling mutants looks like a bunch of chumps. (And rightfully so, might I add. Team Earth had a guy that could dunk from half court. Seriously.) What could be worse than this humiliation? But yes, things get worse. When the Professor took the time cronatons from the distant nebula, it created continually worsening jumps in time. Well, that does not happen where I come from, but in the story it happens, and it is about to lead to the destruction of civilization. Luckly, the Professor and the Globetrotters, who also just happen to be brilliant scientists, come up with a plan in which they create an implosion which turns the time nebula into a black hole. This causes all the chronatons to get sucked into the black hole, saving mankind.

Aahhhhhh. When will we finally learn to see the Globetrotters not just as a bunch of cheats who play the same half-witted yokels every game, but as they really are: easy prey for cartoon sitcoms?

– Spencer Van Buskirk

  Madeleine L'Engle "A Wrinkle in Time" (1962) The main character of this novel is Meg, a thirteen year old girl who lives with her family in an old house. Her mother and her father are both scientists. However, her father has been mysteriously missing for about a year on some sort of government mission, and the family has had no contact with him. Charles Wallace, Meg's super intelligent little brother, makes friends with some strange neighbors named Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which, who live a short distance from their house. It turns out that these women are actually very old beings from another planet, with the power of being able to change their form at will. They have come to Earth to get the kids and take them to their father, who is trapped on another planet being controlled by an evil force. These three "Mrs. W's" use a technique they call "tesseract." The children go to see their father, and together they fight the evil IT, a very powerful telepathic device designed to eradicate individuality. Meg ends up defeating the IT with love, because IT cannot love. After the defeat, the "Mrs. W's" tesseract the children and their father back to Earth where the family is reunited.

Wikipedia: Tesseract states:
"In [A Wrinkle in Time, L'Engle] uses the tesseract as a portal, a doorway which you can pass through and emerge far away from the starting point, as if the two distant points were brought together at one intersection (at the tesseract doorway) by the folding of space-time, enabling near-instantaneous transportation (though this description more closely matches a wormhole)."

– Kayla Berg

 2 stars The Acorna series of books, by Anne McCaffrey The Acorna books by Anne McCaffrey can be a fun read. Or at least the earlier ones are – later on the plot becomes rather repetitive.

Acorna is an alien girl with some special abilities, who is stranded on earth, and is struggling to find her people. Later in the series, she has found her people but must save them from another alien race bent on their destruction. Throughout the series Acorna and her friends make use of wormholes for quick travel and to shortcut across the galaxy. While this use of wormholes is not an integral part of the plot, it still helps the book's storyline move along. Wormhole and space travel are more important in Acorna's People, Acorna's Quest, and Acorna's World than in the other Acorna books. Since time dilation does not exist in the Acorna books, the highest rating I can give them would be 2 stars out of 5.

More information on the Acorna books.
– Sara Remke

  TV Show "Animaniacs", Season one, Episode two, Original air date September 14, 1993: "Cookies for Einstein" Yakko, Wakko and Dot are selling cookies door-to-door in Bern, Switzerland, in 1905. The last home they visit is that of Albert Einstein, who is struggling with developing special relativity. The Warner siblings irritate Einstein and give him trouble, bouncing around the room and playing, singing and laughing. Eventually, however, Wakko picks up a piece of chalk during a song and writes the word "acme" on the blackboard, but he writes it backwards, so it reads "emca." The comment is made that Wakko's "a" looks like a "2," and Einstein becomes speechless as he approaches the blackboard and draws an equal sign between the "e" and the "m." The board then reads "e=mca," or, because of the a's similarity to a 2, the board reads "e=mc2." Thus Einstein –with a little help from the Warner siblings –develops his infamous equation, and he and the Warner siblings win the Nobel Prize. Web summary
– Christopher Zabka
  Book: Signal to Noise and A Signal Shattered, by Eric Nylund First I would like to say Eric Nylund is one of my favorite writers and I would recommend any of his books to anyone interested in science fiction.

Signal to Noise is a book about technology, business, conspiracy, and betrayal. The main character ‘Jack’ finds a signal in the background noise in the universe and tracks it back to a ‘being’ named Wheeler. They begin their business with a simple trade. After some trading Jack finds himself with an object that allows him to travel great distances in the blink of an eye. It turns out that this teleporting device uses the rotational power of celestial bodies to transport him.

Signal to Noise is the first book in the series. In the second book, A Signal Shattered, Jack visits the black hole at the center of our galaxy, and he uses some of its power to make copies of himself and send them across the galaxy. I suggest you go read the book to find out why he does that, and what happens.

Go here to find out more about Eric Nylund and his books.
– Michael Beach

  Heroes On NBC's new hit show Heroes, each of the main characters live seemingly normal lives until they discover that they have super-powers.

On the pilot episode of Heroes, "Genesis", one of the characters, Hiro, finds that he has the ability to teleport. At the end of this episode we see Hiro on a subway train in Japan. As Hiro closes his eyes and begins his teleportation from Japan to New York City, we see the digital clock behind him on the train accelerating extremely fast forward in time. However, from Hiro's perspective, time is continuing normally. Shortly thereafter, we see Hiro appear in New York City.

In the second episode, "Don't Look Back", Hiro is a victim of a case of mistaken identity after he is found by the police at a crime scene. While in police custody, Hiro explains to an officer that he is able to manipulate the space-time continuum. In order to try and absolve himself, Hiro calls his friend in Japan who he says can attest to the police that he was in Japan just a day ago. His friend, much to Hiro's dismay, informs the police officer that he has been looking for Hiro for over three weeks. This scene reveals that some time dilation occurs when Hiro teleports.

Heroes, though only two episodes into its existence, has already proven to be an entertaining and intriguing show filled with interesting characters and a mysterious serial-killer villain. Thus far the episodes have led viewers to infer that all of the characters possessing super powers are interconnected, though we are still left to wonder what that connection may be.

Additional general information on the series can be found on NBC's website or at the Heroes fansite.
– Cameron MacConomy

  Futurama: Love and Rocket (2002) Fry is still in love with Leela, and sends her Valentine hearts to tell her how he feels. Meanwhile the ship, Planet Express Ship, is love-sick over robot Bender who just broke up with her. The ship turns off artificial gravity, and the shipment of hearts turns over and spills everywhere. Leela has to turn off the computer as in 2001 Space Odyssey. To get rid of the hearts they dump them into a quasar where they go into orbit and eventually are pulled into the quasar giving off a "romantic glow that all the galaxy can see."
– Charles Dalton
  The Science of Sleep (2006) I recently went to the movies with my friends. We planned on seeing "The Science of Sleep", a film by the same man, Michel Gondry, how made "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". As expected, the movies was intense and fascinating. I never expected to hear a statement about black holes in a movie that relates to the human psyche and love. So I was thrilled when Stephanie, the heroine, states that "It is impossible to watch someone fall into a black hole because the gravity stretches them, and they appear to move slower and slower to the black hole until they freeze on the horizon.'' Sadly, that was the only mention of black holes in the film.

The film centers around a boy named Stephane who as he enters his mid 20s is struggling to decipher real life from his dreams. His dreams are vivid and outstanding. When Stephane enters his dream sequences, the style of film changes from live action to a beautiful form of clay-mation with felt, cardboard and paper. Stephane falls in love with the beautiful Stephanie, and tries to understand his relationship with her both in and out of his elaborate dreams. The movie is unique and brilliant. I won't give away all the details, but whether or not you like black holes, I highly recommend this movie if you are looking to expand your own mind. Movie website.
– Emily Stanczyk

  Futurama: "A Flight to Remember..." (1999). Originally aired on 26 September 1999. In this show, the whole crew gets to go on a luxery cruise on a space ship called "Titanic." Fry is pretending to date Leela so that her ex-boyfriend Captain Zapp Brannigan won't try to win her over again. Fry is also pretending to be Amy's boyfriend so that her parents won't bother her anymore. This causes some issues. Meanwhile Bender falls in love with a rich countess robot. Captain (Leela's ex) decides to change course into an asteroid field. The asteroids are destroying the ship, so the captain changes course into an empty region of space, which is the home of a black hole. The ship is torn apart as it gets sucked in and all the passengers escape before it is sucked into the black hole.

I found this episode one of the better Futuramas. The paradoy of the movie Titanic lasted throughout the episode and was pretty funny. Not much scientific detail was mentioned about the black hole, but the viewers did not see the ship freeze at the horizon; it just disappeared. Also the crew was able to escape right before the end of the ship hit the horizon, and it is doubtful that the escape pod could move at the speed of light.

Synopsis; another synopsis.
– Jenna Maggin

  "Deja Vu" (2006) After a terrorist attack, a team is brought in by the Federal Government with a device they claim can view the past exactly four days before their current point in time and watch it like a streaming video. They use this device to try to track the terrorist or discover his identity, and they watch a woman who had become entangled in the attack. Denzel's character finds out he can influence the video stream in such a way that the individual they are watching reacts, and he demands an explanation. He is told that the device is actually capable of folding spacetime back onto itself, forming a contained Einstein-Rosen bridge which gives them access to things already passed. There is a subtle debate between the traditionalist view that even if you could change how things happen, you can't change what ultimately happens and the more "radical" multiverse theory. The blackout throughout the east coast and Canada a few years back? Powering their device, which looks like a gigantic turbine without the blades, uses such a power surge that it knocks out the power in the entire costal area. Can Denzel change the past and stop the attack? Could he even go back himself? Although only theoretically possible, it's an interesting look at the powers of science and the nature of time and space, Hollywood style.

Synopsis courtesy of IMDb.
– Marc White


The movie Deja Vu is about an ATF agent Doug Carlin who investigates a crime that involves a ferry that is blown up by a terrorist. Carlin is invited to join an "elite" group of members to try and find the terrorist, and to find the killer of a women related to the crime. The elite group happens to have a wormhole generator that views the world 4 days and 6 hours previously. Carlin goes into the wormhole, and saves the day. The movie makes little attempt at scientific accuracy. One somewhat realistic feature is that when Carlin goes through the wormhole, he appears "dead" on arrival and requires reviving. Death is indeed a feature of realistic black holes.

– Daniel Lee

  Doctor Who, Series 2: "The Impossible Planet" As the blue police box resolves itself into existence after skipping through the mists of time and space, the Doctor and his trusty companion Rose discover that they are somewhere inside a rather dank closet located in a giant mining facility. After the normal bit of blundering about and snooping, the two run into a ragtag crew of miners from Earth who are amazed to come across other humanoids. The crew reveals that the planet they are on, dubbed "The Pit," is situated almost directly beneath a giant black hole. The mystery deepens as the crew explains that some ancient civilization had manufactured some process that constantly emits an antigravity field, leaving the planet impervious to peril, and also making it a perfect site to observe this black hole at close range.

The mission of the mining operation, and thusly the doctor, is to uncover exactly how this is possible, and to learn about the nature of such a civilization that could control such forces. As the mining operation continues, and the story line unfolds, disaster strikes. An ancient alien prisoner is awakened at the bottom of the mines and begins to manipulate the crew via telepathy. This creature identifies itself as the Satan or Devil of every religion throughout the history of the time, and it is revealed that, after a lengthy war, he was imprisoned on the planet to keep the universe safe. Dealing with this foe requires the Doctor to use all of his cunning and genius to keep this beast from escaping and bringing doom to the universe. Soon the Doctor realizes the planet is placed close to the black hole for a reason, so that it will automatically devour the planet (and everyone on it) if the prisoner is ever set free.

More information.
– Peter Cammarota

  Star Trek The Next Generation Season 4 Episode 14: "Clues" The crew of the Enterprise is en route to investigate a planet when the ship passes through an uncharted wormhole. The crew, excluding Commander Data, are rendered unconscious and lose all short term memories.

Missing from the crew's memories is an encounter with a xenophobic race of aliens whose territory the Enterprise had inadvertantly invaded. Captain Picard asks Data how long the crew was unconscious, and Data replies 30 seconds. When the crew begins to notice discrepancies with this short length of time, Data blames the wormhole as the cause. But the discrepancies keep piling up, and Picard and the others become convinced that Data is lying. Eventually Picard insists on a reason for Data's lies, and he is stunned to learn that it was he that gave Data the order to conceal the true nature of events.

In the end, Picard and his crew learn what really happened, and Picard is then forced into on the spot negotiations with the alien race. In classic Star Trek form, Picard prevents a war, Data remains enigmatic, and the crew resorts to complex calculations to explain apparent time dilation discrepancies.

To find out more, go to and follow the links to TNG season four, episode 188.
– Kevin Ratzlaff

  Made for TV movie: The Black Hole (2006) This movie is about as bad as the 1979 Disney movie of the same name. The black hole is created when a science experiment goes awry. The action takes place in St. Louis, and in one scene the St. Louis arch is sucked into the black hole. Later, an alien that feeds off electricity is unleashed, The army has to get involved, and they carry guns –to fight a black hole? About the only thing remotely realistic about the movie is when someone says "It's a black hole, not even light can escape".

Official movie site -Dylan Trussell

 3 stars Donnie Darko Intense movie about teenage angst, whose climactic end features a wormhole that darkens the skies over Donnie Darko's house, and changes everything.

Donnie Darko, the protagonist, is a troubled and schizophrenic teenager who sleep walks into some very strange situations. On one late night walk, Donnie meets Frank the giant bunny, who informs Donnie that there are 28 days left until the world ends. Frank also tells Donnie about time travel. While Donnie is out, a mysterious jet engine falls on to the Darkos' house. Donnie encounters harsh conflicts on his journey to understand Frank and to overcome his problems. Finally, on the day that the world is going to end, the sky splits in two, and there above is a wormhole. Donnie drives his car into the wormhole, and is transported back to the moment that the jet engine crashes through his house, killing him and thereby saving his girlfriend Gretchen from her fate.

The plot is based on the fiction "Cellar Door", a real book by Roberta Sparrow. In this book she states that artifacts can move through wormholes, allowing time travel. She explains that the "Tangent Universe" on the other side of the wormhole was created by the jet engine.
– Molly Mclaughlin

  Sliders Season 1 Episode 1 In the pilot of this science fiction series, a brilliant physics student is attempting to develop an anti-gravity device when he accidentially creates a stable wormhole. The student decides to have his professor of physics and his female friend join him in the journey. Along the way the hole becomes too big and sucks in an innocent bystander along for the adventure. The drama begins when they misuse a weird timer device and end up in a world not of their own (one in which the Soviet Union won the cold war). The show continues until they open up another wormhole, but alas it does not return them home. Instead, the show continues as an odyssey of sorts with the characters desperately attempting to get home.
– Bobby O'Mara
 3 stars Donnie Darko Intense movie about teenage angst, whose climactic end features a wormhole that darkens the skies over Donnie Darko's house, and changes everything.

Donnie Darko, the protagonist, is a troubled and schizophrenic teenager who sleep walks into some very strange situations. On one late night walk, Donnie meets Frank the giant bunny, who informs Donnie that there are 28 days left until the world ends. Frank also tells Donnie about time travel. While Donnie is out, a mysterious jet engine falls on to the Darkos' house. Donnie encounters harsh conflicts on his journey to understand Frank and to overcome his problems. Finally, on the day that the world is going to end, the sky splits in two, and there above is a wormhole. Donnie drives his car into the wormhole, and is transported back to the moment that the jet engine crashes through his house, killing him and thereby saving his girlfriend Gretchen from her fate.

The plot is based on the fiction "Cellar Door", a real book by Roberta Sparrow. In this book she states that artifacts can move through wormholes, allowing time travel. She explains that the "Tangent Universe" on the other side of the wormhole was created by the jet engine.
– Molly Mclaughlin

  Short Story: Bubbles, by David Brin In this story, Serena, a huge galaxy-traversing starship made by a long forgottten race, finds herself marooned between galaxies. She was built to relay care packages to isolated pockets of sentient life, and just as she was about to tunnel into a wormhole that will take her from Spiral Galaxy 998612a to some other telephone-number-named galaxy, something goes wrong. Serena ends up marooned someplace between galaxies, and stumbles upon a hulking mass of technology known as The Coward. The Coward has been so named because he is too terrified to enter "the navel of creation", a gigantic black hole at the center of the Universe. Some dialogue is exchanged, and Serena jumps in, leaving the Coward to contemplate what may have happened to Serena.

"Bubbles" was published in "Otherness", a collection of short stories. A brief description can be found at David Brin's My Story Collections.
– Corey Auringer

ASTR 2030 Spring 2005 Entries
  The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2006) Arthur Dent wakes up one morning to find that his house is about to be demolished, his best friend Ford Perfect is an alien from another planet, and that Earth is about to be demolished to make way for a hyperspace highway. Minuets later Arthur and Ford have hitchhiked a ride on the demolisher's space craft and are on an adventure across the galaxy. While there are no black holes in this movie, hyperspace travel has been made possible by the "Infinite Improbability Drive" that allows the crew to bridge hyperspace. The one small problem with this type of travel is that it is impossible to predict where or even what species you will be when you emerge out of hyperspace (without the correct coordinates that is) and there is a normalization period that must take place for things to return to normal. General relativity seems to play no part in this comical science fiction movie (especially time dilation) but overall is a very funny movie with an interesting take on how to hitchhike the galaxy through the inner threads of hyperspace. More information and synopsis.
– Kate Guthrie
  Book: Singularity, By William Sleator An odd book that tells the tale of two brothers (twins) that stay at their dead uncle's house and discover the secret of his "playhouse" in the back. The playhouse turns out to be the exit end of a black hole. This "white hole" speeds up time within the playhouse for observers outside. After a fight one twin desides to age himself a year by "living" in the playhouse while the other sleeps. An interesting book with odd twists and an odder idea behind it. Review.
– Cassidy Strode
  The Outer Limits Season Five: "Deja Vu" A government scientist had just finished developing a new kind of technology to aide the military/government with rapid transportation. The technology involves opening up a controllable wormhole and transporting someone or something to another destination, and then exiting the wormhole when they get there. Of course, everything doesn't go as planned, and our scientist loses control of the wormhole machine. Instead of functioning properly and transporting from place to place, it starts to go back in time. Conveniently, the scientist is transported to the day before his machine went haywire. He starts trying to warn everyone about the malfunctions to come, but doesn't have much luck. Each time he fails to prevent the experiment from going wrong, he is transported back again and again. However, also each time, the scientist finds himself appearing with less and less time to try to end the madness. Time is running out! As tge story progresses, he finds out that not one, but two people have their own plans for his device, and that they were the cause of the malfunctions. The scientist does fix everything in the end though.

The show is on the SciFi Channel if that is any hint on its popularity these days.

– Kevin Keeling
  Wing Commander (1999) The movie takes place in the year 2654 and is about a war in space between the Erath confederation and an evil race called the Kilrathi. Only the Earth confederation is at a major disadvantage because the Kilrathi race has discovered a device that allows them to jump through worm holes and black holes. Upon going through and reaching the point of singularity they are able to travel back in time and arrive behind enemy lines. The only hope is the power of a fearless wing commander and his team of squadron fighters. The movie talks about black holes and worm holes throughout. Review.
– Eric Rodriguez
  The Ultimate Weapon of MEGAS XLR This black hole story comes from the new Cartoon network show MEGAS XLR. M.E.G.A.S. stands for Mechanical Earth Guardian Attack System. It was developed in the year 3037 to protect earth. But before its systems were fully functional, earth was attacked. In order to save earth's only chance for a counter attack, MEGAS was sent to the past to later be recovered, fixed and brought back to the future for combat. MEGAS ended up in a New Jersey junkyard in 1970. The Mech was eventually found by Coop, the chubby but loveable hero of the story. Coop takes MEGAS, takes off the rust and adds his own modifications like a Playstation controller for the combat control and a hotrod for a head.

So now to introduce the main characters. Coop is the driver of MEGAS. Even with his modifications, he is not completely aware of all of MEGAS' capabilities. The person who is aware of all MEGAS functions is Kiva, MEGAS' creator. The smart red head from the future built the machine but is unaware of how to drive it. Then there is Jamie, Coop's good friend and co-pilot. Jamie is the typical side-kick. These three travel around, train on MEGAS and attract the attention of galactic friends and foes.

In episode 5 of season two, titled S-Force S.O.S., Coop is locked in a battle with undefeatable Galactus. Coop, nearing defeat, stumbles upon MEGAS' ultimate weapon. After ignoring the warning from Kiva, Coop decides to fire revealing that the ultimate weapon is a black hole. A singularity is shot sucking in the villain, but as a side effect, everything else is getting sucked in too. MEGAS clings to a pipe as the crew tries to figure out how to disable the hole. Kiva created the weapon as a last resort; she was never expecting to stop the weapon. The quick thinking Coop then fires another singularity right next to the 1st black hole. The two singularities then cancel each other out and the universe is saved once again.

– Jason Duong
 1.5 stars Blackstar (1981) Astronaut John Blackstar has a run-in with a black hole while traveling on his ship, and is transported to the planet "Sagar". Here he is rescued by a race of creatures called "Trobbits". Our hero soon learns that these peaceful creatures are living under the oppressive power of the Overlord, who possesses half of an extremely powerful sword. Blackstar has the other half. The citizens of Sagar wish to see an end to their oppressive society. Blackstar, of course, aids their endeavor, and along the way befriends a dragon, named Warlock, and a shape-shifter named Klone.

This animated series is full of adventure and conflict, and the lasting friendships formed between John Blackstar and his companions. Even though a children's animated series, it could do with more character development.

Though the series premiered as recently as the 1980s, CBS refused to allow the main character to be black, claiming that the public was not ready for this.

The show, in its entirety, lasted one season, and only 13 episodes. Synopsis.
– Jaime Martinez

  The Simpson's: "Don't Fear the Roofer" This episode features an appearance by Stephen Hawking, who suggests that a small black hole in front of Homer might explain why Bart could not see who Homer was talking to. The black hole absorbed all the light from the main Homer was talking to. Synopsis.
– Craig Campbell
ASTR 2030 Fall 2003 Entries
  Futurama (the space comedy brought to you by Matt Groenig, creator of the Simpsons): "Roswell That Ends Well" (2001) Involves the crew of the show entering a black hole and being sent back in time because Fry put metal into the ship's microwave. Originally aired on December 9, 2001. Synopsis.
 4 stars Ben Hillman "That Pesky Toaster" (1995, Hyperion Books for Children, New York) A book, not a movie. A gorgeously illustrated story about a dysfunctional toaster that swallows bread and disgorges not toast but a galaxy that the farmer's wife whacks with her broom into a black hole that hides in a pie that farmer Gus eats and ...
  The Giant Spider Invasion (1975) A mysterious object comes crashing to Earth on a farm in Northern Wisconsin. A host of spiders hatch out of crystal geodes. A "NASA scientist" identifies the object as a black hole feeding energy to the spiders. The spiders quickly overrun everything and then produce a spider the size of an entire house which rampages through town. Synopsis.
  Star Trek TNG: "The Price" (1989) This Episode begins with an advanced civilization auctioning off the only known "stable" wormhole in the universe. Several different delegations, including the United Federation of Planets (to which the Enterprise belongs), attempt to outbid each other for control of the wormhole. The wormhole appears every 242 minutes or so, and they compare the reliability of its appearing to that of the geyser Old Faithful back on earth. But Geordi and Data later discover that the wormhole spits you out at a "random" location on the other side, where it is unstable and collapses. When they travel through the wormhole they see a lot of psychedelic lights. From outside, the wormhole goes from being a black point in space to a bright flash, and a big purple bubble-shaped tunnel.
– Eliot Armstrong
First aired 1989 November 26. Synopsis
  Timeline (2003) Timeline is about an archaeological team who study under their Yale professor, Billy Connolly. They are all really into their work and into the past. Somehow the professor finds out about some time travel machine that is being built, and he travels back in time, but gets stuck there. The team wants to go back in time to rescue him, but are scared, and ask many questions. David Thewlis, head of International Technology Corp, knows everything about time travel, and tells them how simple it is to go through a wormhole. He wants them to go back in time so badly, he doesn't tell them that it's not actually that safe. The last man to come back through was all distorted and even his veins and body parts weren't lined up anymore. Most of the team decide to go through the wormhole. On the other side they find themselves in the Hundred Years War, and many of them are quickly killed. The movie wasn't filled with the best acting or the most intense action scenes, but it did have a good ending, and the movie pulled everything together nicely at the conclusion. One man, Gerard Butler, ends up staying back in the 14th century, having decided to make his own history after falling in love with Lady Claire, played by the beautiful Anna Friel.
– Shannon Von Eschen
 2.5 stars South Park Season 4 Episode 12: "The 4th Grade" In this episode of South Park the main characters are tired of being in 4th grade so they decide they want to go back in time to 3rd grade. To do this they ask the help of the Star Trek geeks down the street to help them make a time machine. The geeks talk about time travel and say there are two theories of time travel, the Spock theory which says that a slingshot around the sun could create a wormhole, and the Lieutenant Commander Data theory which says that a magnetic vibration could create a rip in the spacetime continuum. They decide that Timmy's wheelchair would be good for making the required inertia device. When Timmy tries to use the wheelchair to go through the wormhole, which supposedly should open for 4.2 seconds, he instead accelerates through the classroom wall, and goes on a hectic ride. Just when the wheelchair is about to explode, Timmy travels back in time. But he overshoots 3rd grade, and finds himself among the dinosaurs. Back in school, the other kids try to make a new time machine with a duck and a microwave. The new machine successfully produces a wormhole, but the kids decide they don't want to travel back in time. Instead, Timmy reappears out of the wormhole, having had his great adventure through time.
– Jacob Hansen
 3 stars Ren and Stimpy Season 1 Episode 6: Black Hole (1992) In this episode, Ren and Stimpy start out aboard a space ship that is being sucked into "the hideous vortex of a black hole" (quote, Ren). They get thrown into another universe, minus their spaceship. They are "the first cat and dog to pass through the black hole and live to tell the tale" (Ren). The universe is like another planet where the clouds change from baseballs to chickens to toasters. Ren and Stimpy are subject to many weird mutations like splitting in two, eyes merging, and heads ballooning. They trek to a mysterious mountain, which turns out to be a huge pile of stinky left socks. Apparently "this is where all the missing left socks in the universe go" (Ren). They must then get to the "trans-dimensional gateway" so that they are not trapped in the new universe forever. They try to board a bus departing the black hole for Jersey City, but they don't have exact change, and are kicked off. In order to leave the black hole, they decide to implode themselves. End of story. Originally aired 1992 Feb 23.
– Emily Kramer


Tim-May Game. Help Timmy negotiate various obstacles, including time warps.

 1.5 stars The Tick Season 2 Episode 24: The Tick vs. The Big Nothing (1996) A race of aliens, The Heys, plans to destroy the Universe by throwing a black hole into another black hole. Another race, The Whats, kidnap The Tick to try to stop them. Originally aired 1996 Feb 3. Synopsis
  40 days and 40 nights (2002) Josh Hartnet's ceiling forms into a black hole every time he has sex. Synopsis.
  Singularity –the universe, part 1 by mfx An artist's animation of a black hole at the center of a galaxy, with music.

Go to, and click on download (to the bottom right of the picture). It's a windows executable, but it runs fine under linux with wine (Wine Is Not an Emulator).

  Bobo's Star, by Glenn Chandler, reprinted in "Science Fiction Stories (Red Hot Reads)" by Karin Littlewood (2004) This children's story concerns a boy (Bobo) and his science experiment. Somehow he gets his hands on a Star Genesis Kit and creates a "pet" star in a protected, tough glass case, complete with an airlock via which Bobo can scoop sand into the vacuum, "feeding" his star in order to sustain itself. After feeding his star too enthusiastically, it finally undergoes a metamorphosis long after it should have burned out peacefully: it begins to collapse. When this fledgling black hole finally breaks out of its protected case, Bobo's uncle and a tray of tea cakes –along with half of Bobo's room – are the first to be gobbled up; Bobo himself only has time to imagine the headline "BOY DESTROYS UNIVERSE" before he is obliterated too. – Johann Greffrath
 3 stars 2001 Read the book before you watch the film, otherwise you won't have a clue what happened.
 4 stars Contact Beautifully crafted film, better I think than Carl Sagan's original book. Kip Thorne consulted on the wormhole, but in the end the director could not wait for a scientific rendering, and instead chose an artistic and dramatic rendering. There's a momentary glimpse of an exquisite galaxy.
 3.5 stars Stargate The classic film featuring a sequence passing through a wormhole. The special effect sequence looks a bit like a screensaver compared to more recent offerings, but it was groundbreaking for its time.
 3.5 stars Supernova Great film with some gratuitous astrophysics. Some lovely glimpses of a massive star accreting on to a black hole, but the sequences last only moments, presumably to disguise the fact that the view is just a still painting. There are two nice one-minute sequences where the spaceship looks like it's probably supposed to be passing through some kind of wormhole or spacewarp. The film is vague about what is actually happening. The climax is spectacular. The DVD offers an alternative ending which depicts the beginning of the destruction of the Universe, as a wave of supernovae marches through the Galaxy.
 3.5 stars The One "There is not one Universe, but many, a Multiverse" intones the opening sequence, with delicious graphics to accompany. Our action hero, Jet Li, exists as a copy in each. If one copy is killed, then his strength is shared amongst the remaining copies. So it is that one rogue copy decides to kill all his other selves, so as to become the all powerful, The One. Li transports between Universes using a wormhole machine, and the wormhole sequences are quite fun. A feature of the transport is that the transporting person gets torn to bits en route, but is reassembled on landing.
 4 stars Walt Disney's The Black Hole A truly awful movie, with annoying music, dreadful dialogue, clichéd characters, and laughable special effects. It gets 4 stars because it's perfect for teaching about what not to do.
 1.5 stars Event Horizon A horror movie. The bit on the wormhole is short and a bit disappointing. The title is the name of the spaceship.
 3 stars Planet of The Apes (2001) Our hero reaches the Planet of the Apes through what appears to be some kind of wormhole through space and time, although the comments on the DVD by the Director and the Special Effects guy suggest they weren't thinking about wormholes or black holes at all.
 3 stars Lost in Space (The 1998 movie) A movie remake based on the old TV series. The family visits a planet where a future version of the son has devised a time machine that looks a bit like a churning wormhole.
 3 stars The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (Special Edition) (1984) The opening scene has Buckaroo Banzai accelerate a rocket car (no computer graphics here) across the salt flats, press the dimension button and pass right through a solid mountain, with special effects that were wizzy for the time.
 2 stars Galaxy Quest Brandon says "Well, the Protector got super-accelerated coming out of the black hole, and it, like, nailed the atmosphere at Mach 15, which, you guys know, is pretty unstable, obviously, so we're gonna help Laredo guide it on the vox ultra-frequency carrier and use Roman candles for visual confirmation." A black hole appears briefly and unspectacularly as a way to get home.
 1.5 stars Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure The telephone booth transports via some goofy kind of a wormhole.
 1.5 stars Austin Powers 2, 3 The wormhole that transports across spacetime is a rotating psychedelic disk. Deliberately intended to be a dreadful take off, like the rest of the movie.
 NR Treasure Planet Have't seen it, but apparently there's scenes involving travel into a black hole. A memorable quote: "Do active galactic nuclei have superluminous jets!"
 3 stars Time Bandits The 1981 movie featured three former Pythons (Cleese, Gilliam, and Palin) and Sean Connery in a fairly disjointed story about a child who gets mixed up with some midget-thieves. The bandits steal not only across continents, but across the spacetime continuum. The dwarves were God's helpers when he was creating the universe, and they claim that while God was working out all the important intangibles like good and evil, the dwarves actually created all the stars, planets, and matter in the universe. Naturally, the six tiny men only had a week to do it all, so there were a few places they just sorta slapped some duct tape across it and called it good enough. The holes in the spacetime continuum have been there ever since. The dwarves eventually tire of toiling for God, and decide to go on a crime spree across space and time. Granted, in the movie, the "holes" are never referred to as "black holes," and they are localized as a black doorway in an alley that come and go in a few seconds, in which case they certainly don't devour any of the matter around them, but they could still definitely be considered mini-black holes. But what it lacks in scientific accuracy, this movie personifies the famous Stephen Wright quote, "Black Holes are where God divided by zero."
– Billy Gooch
 NR Sailor Moon Super S: Black Dream Hole  
 2 stars Sphere A spooky sphere at the bottom of the ocean does weird things. Scary, but not really much about black holes there.
 NR Terminator 2 Great movie, with spectacular special effects. Involves time travel, but not really black holes or wormholes.
 NR Flight of the Navigator Have not seen it.
 NR Barbie and the Sensations: Rockin' Back to Earth I have not been able to see this, but I am promised that Barbie and her rock group go through some kind of black hole or wormhole.
 NR Gojira tai Megagirasu: Jii Shômetsu Sakusen A Japanese godzilla movie. One of Tokyo's defense mechanism's is the "dimension tide" a weapon that creates artificial black holes.
 NR Tron Haven't seen it, but someone thought there might have been a black hole in there.
 NR Soundgarden, Blackhole sun A song.
 NR Quantum Leap Haven't seen it.
 NR The White Hole Haven't seen it.
 NR Any Nova or Discovery documentary involving black holes  
 NR Hyperspace A documentary in which an artist's impression of a wormhole makes a brief appearance that is neither very scientific nor very spectacular.
 NR The Philadelphia Experiment One of those documentaries about weird happenings, here the transportation of the USS Philadelphia by some kind of plasma warp, that turn out to be hoaxes.
TV Episodes
 4 stars Andromeda "Under the Night" (the first episode of the series) A world war with the Nietzscheans wipes out the entire human race, except for our hero captain Hunt, who escapes into a black hole, where he stays frozen on the horizon for 300 years before being pulled off the horizon by a salvage ship. Great for discussion in class, because of the way it mixes good physics with bad.
 4 stars Simpsons. Treehouse of Horror episode VI Superbly irreverent.
 2.5 stars Farscape Season 1, Vol. 1 –Premiere/I, E.T. In the first episode, our hero astronaut accelerates an experimental craft to unheard of speed, skips off the atmosphere, and finds himself transported through a time tunnel to another part of the Universe.
 0.5 stars Space: 1999 set 1 A slow, awful episode from the 1970s series. The low grade special effects remind you how far things have come in the computer age. Don't bother.
 0.5 stars Sliders Awful. There's a kind of wormhole thing, usually just off camera, through which the cast leaps at the beginning and end of each episode to take them to another time and place.
 NR Cowboy Bebop –Session 4: Gateway Shuffle ?
 NR Space Above & Beyond. Ray Butts Starship ripped apart by tidal forces. Dogfight in and around BH. Pilot dies while listening to Johnny Cash's "I walk the line".
 NR Invader Zim: Room with a Moose Haven't seen it.
 NR South Park. Starvin Marvin in Space Haven't seen it.
Red Dwarf
 NR Series 3: Backwards  
 NR Series 3: Marooned  
 NR Series 4: White Hole  
 NR Series 4: Dimension Jump  
Star Trek
 NR Star Trek. Eye of the Needle  
 NR Star Trek I, The Motion Picture The cast go through a wormhole created by their malfunctioning warp drive. The actors' faces all distort and their voices get slower and slower until they break free.
 NR Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home  
Star Trek TNG
 NR First Contact  
Star Trek Deep Space Nine
 NR Emissary (the first season two-part introduction) The cast discover the wormhole for the first time. There are lots of shots of the wormhole opening and people passing through it. In later episodes the wormhole becomes commonplace, and people just enter one side and exit the other.
 NR The Prince  
 NR The Naked Now  
Star Trek Voyager
 NR Gravity  
 NR Parallax  
 NR Tomorrow Is Yesterday  
Star Trek Enterprise
 2 stars Singularity The cast experiences strange warp effects as they pass through the accretion disk of a black hole. The graphics of the nebulous and rocky accretion disk are beautiful, though we never actually see the black hole or get close to it.

 Black Hole silhouetted against the Milky Way Fall 2009 ASTR 2030 Homepage

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Updated 2009 Dec 12