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Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson
New York City, New York, USA
March 25
Fordham University
Paul Levinson's The Silk Code won the 2000 Locus Award for Best First Novel. He has since published Borrowed Tides (2001), The Consciousness Plague (2002), The Pixel Eye (2003), The Plot To Save Socrates (2006), Unburning Alexandria (2013), and Chronica (2014) - the last three known as the "Sierra Waters trilogy". His science fiction and mystery short stories have been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, Edgar, and Sturgeon Awards. His eight nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), Cellphone (2004), New New Media (2009, 2013) have been the subject of major articles in the New York Times, Wired, the Christian Science Monitor, and have been translated into twelve languages. Paul Levinson has appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" (Fox News), "The CBS Evening News," the “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” (PBS), “Nightline” (ABC), and numerous national and international TV and radio programs. His 1972 album, Twice Upon a Rhyme, was re-issued in 2010. He reviews the best of television in his blog, and was listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education's "Top 10 Academic Twitterers" in 2009. Paul Levinson is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City


Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 27, 2009 11:41PM

Love Cylon Style: 'Since I Died in Your Arms'

Rate: 7 Flag

The most tender of the final Battlestar Galactica episodes thus far - but laced with a powerful wind-up punch ...

Just what you'd expect, come to think of it, in a story starring Sharon "Boomer" Valeri. She tells Tyrol that she's thought of him every night "since I died in your arms". She's in the brig now, about to be sent off with Six to stand trial, over her collaboration with Cavil. She takes Tyrol via projected illusion to a beautiful place, where they live, in love, and just for deep good measure have a teenage daughter...

It's all reminiscent of the place Kirk is inhabiting in that Star Trek movie in which he meets Picard ... and it's just as falsely convincingly real. And all the more effective for inhabitants of the sunless Galactica world...

Back on which, Tyrol gets Boomer out of the brig - he's desperate, his plea to President Laura fell on deaf ears. (But she'll soon get hers.) Boomer knocks out Athena, makes love to Helo (well, a little more rough than that), and ... steals Hera. It's apparently all in Cavil's plan - Boomer was sent back to Galactica to get Hera.

One good result of this is that it may have killed Laura. I'm sorry to say I'm not the least bit sorry to see her go - with the exception of the time she went wild against the mutiny, she's been a boring, deadening character this year.

Meanwhile, Starbuck has a lengthy interlude with a piano player, who turned out to be her father, who somehow had taught Starbuck how to play the Dylanesque Cylon theme when she was a girl. Does this mean she's a Cylon? Not necessarily ...

But what is the case is that Boomer's blast into the faster-than-light speed, so close to Galactica, may have put the ship over the non-reparable edge ... unless that organic resin can start kicking in.

See also: Battlestar Galactica, Final 1: Dee, Ellen, and Starbuck ... Final 2: Baby and Mutiny Make Three ... Final 3: Galactica Alamo! ... Final 4: Shout-Outs to Lampkin, Lee, Tyrol ... Final 5: (Almost) All Explained ... Final 6. The Necessity of Hyrbrid


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It was riveting. And so was Grace Park . . . what a babe!
Did Boomer's ship blast into hyperspace, or did it get blasted into smithereens by the Vipers that were out after it? I thought that was what happened and that was when it hit the Galactica.

Going to look over on some SciFi forums now. I was totally confused by this episode.
Yup - the recap at says the ship jumped to FTL just outside Galactica, and that was what ripped the hull to shreds. So Boomer has Hera and is taking her - somewhere.

I keep thinking of that Bobby Darin song "Somewhere, Beyond the Sea." It's popped to mind ever since the episode when Saul walked into the water back on Earth and remembered about Ellen. I still wonder how this story can possibly end. In the back of my mind, it seems the future (in that universe) belongs to the cylons, not the humans.
I've always said that the Galactica can't possibly survive the series because if it does, it's destined to be a museum or something, which we all know can't happen.

Boomer's dream world creeped me out from the beginning, but I'm not sure I like this development with her. Or, more, with Tyrol. What did he think he was doing? The only place she had to go was back to Cavil, and if she really had rebelled against him she was going to have to take back something useful to get herself back in, so I can't figure out what he *expected* to happen. Maybe I'm missing something.
Did anyone notice that the cover art of Deliride Thrace's said something about an Opera House. Hint. Hint. Starbuck father taught her the Watchtower song? Also, Hera said the notes were stars.

My take: This was not the right earth and that Hera' drew a start chart where another habitable planet exists. The 13'th cylon could be Starbuck's father Delride, the corrupted cylon Daniel Ellen spoke of. The Cavil Cylons are coming back, and there is really going to be a Reckoning.
"The 13'th cylon could be Starbuck's father Delride, the corrupted cylon Daniel Ellen spoke of. The Cavil Cylons are coming back, and there is really going to be a Reckoning."

So maybe there is going to be hell to pay. Over and over again. I think there is a new Resurrection facility somewhere; the 13 tribe cylons even spoke to Ellen about rebuilding one just after she resurrected, and there might have been time before she returned to Galactica. Or - maybe that's what they are building on Galactica.

It's so much fun to speculate on this series.

I also think the Kara Thrace father arc may be setting up the new BSG movie that is in the works, as well as the prequel series Caprica. Oops - are both of those still in the works? Who ever knows with SciFi.
So many of the most-intelligent people I know are infatuated with this show. I've never watched it. Perhaps I should. What is a particularly thunderous episode you'd recommend, the episode you deem most likely to warrant viewing the rest?
The "died in your arms" line struck me too.

We're not really dealing with "toasters" here. The Cylons are what are known as "posthumans" in science fiction circles. They're dealing with many of the issues we do, but many of the ground rules have changed. The "eternal verities" of traditional drama aren't as eternal as they once were.

I felt an increasing feeling of dread throughout the episode. I love this show for its lack of comfortable bullshit, but it is getting to be a bit much. I find myself hoping that the Deus ex Machina "Ship of Lights" of the first Galactica series would show up and give us some hope.

Of course, in the new Galactica, the powerful, saintly beings of the Ship of Lights would be fucked up too.
If they can bring it all together, I will be amazed and happy. They seem to be taking too much time, though. The whole politics/mutiny story could have been a single episode and I think they took too much time with this story as well. I really liked Earthwirehead's blog on this season. Even though I'm not as cynical as he is.

I think I agree with the idea that Hera wrote out a star chart to someplace. Perhaps a habitable world the original 5 had seen on the way to the 12 colonies. Somehow Starbuck's father encoded it into the Dylan song he taught her.

Alas, I forgot there are going to be further series/movies. I fear we will have to wait for them to get any real answers.