Tough Trivia, 6/21/21

2001_A_Space_Odyssey_(1968)Tough Trivia: We all like to be unique (although when I was younger, I thought it would be cool to have a number after my name, like Ian Randal Strock XII). Rulers, however, frequently come with numbers, like Queen Elizabeth II, or her father King George VI. How many British monarchs can you name who had unique names (not simply the first, like Elizabeth I or George I, but actual only-one-person-used-this-name)? (For the purposes of this question, we’re tracking back from the current Queen of the United Kingdom, through the earlier Acts of Union in 1707, and before that the Kings (and Queens) of England, tracking all the way back to the first King of the Anglo-Saxons (starting in about the year 886). Or, the easier version of the question: how many of them had unique names, and when did the most recent rule?


Friday’s question was: Science fiction writers often like to attach dates to stories (and especially titles), to make the stories seem more futuristic, or more imminent. Sometimes, it’s just a date in the future; other times, it’s a date that may have some specific meaning. And sometimes, we laugh when the “far future date” passes without the rest of the story coming true. (George Lucas avoided this potential difficulty by setting Star Wars “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.”) How many of these dates can you name?

DuckDodgersThe answers are:

2001: A Space Odyssey. And then 2010: Odyssey Two.

George Orwell’s Big Brother is in the novel 1984 (named by reversing the digits in the year the book was written, 1948).

In Star Trek: First Contact, the Borg travel in time in an attempt to assimilate Earth before first contact with the Vulcans, which takes place on April 5, 2063.

The Moon is blasted out of Earth’s orbit in Space: 1999.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (in the original novella, it was the year 2419; in the 1979 television series, it was 2491).

Duck Dodgers in the 24 ½th Century

Planet of the Apes, as Taylor is evacuating the crashed spaceship, the chronometer says it is November 25, 3978.

Escape from New York: the island of Manhattan has been turned into a maximum-security prison in the year 1997.

Paris in the 20th Century (written in 1863, first published in 1994, the novel was set in the year 1960).

The Time Machine stopped in the year A.D. 802,701, and then returned to the undated present.

The lunar inhabitants declared their independence from Earth on July 4, 2076, consciously echoing the American Revolution, in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Back to the Future: Marty traveled from 1985 to 1955, and then back to a modified 1985.

Back to the Future 2: Doc took Marty from 1985 to 2015. Then they traveled back to an alternate 1985, and then to 1955.

Back to the Future 3: Marty traveled from 1955 to rescue Doc in 1885, and then returned to 1985, where the time machine was destroyed.


Ian’s Tough Trivia is a daily feature of this blog (Monday’s category is History; Tuesday is Arts; Wednesday is Science; Thursday is Entertainment; and Friday is Grab Bag). Each day, I post a tough question, as well as the answer to the previous day’s question. Simply comment on this post with your answer. I’ll approve the comments after the next question is posted. Sure, you can probably find the answers by searching the web, but what’s the fun in that?

And if you’ve got a favorite trivia question—or even just a topic for which you’d like to see a question—let me know! Reader participation is warmly encouraged.

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