My house is a disaster zone. The nuclear bunker that was my bathroom–and yay for the builders in the 30s for deciding to waterproof the room with concrete–is a shell of itself. I have a bath in the bath position. Not plumbed in, but it’s obvious the room with only one right angle in it (yes, it’s a seriously weird shape) has some purpose now. <–The house is Edwardian. Bathroom space was still a sort of…afterthought.
So, how does this fit in with SF? Well, I’m glad you asked, because for a time there, I was feeling kind of Star Trek.
I mean, where to they go? The most I’ve seen, especially in TNG is a sink. And that’s not a pleasant image.
(Kirk does find a toilet in Star Trek V – not to be used in space dock though…)
Babylon 5 tackled the toilet problem head on. The memory of Sheridan and Garibaldi having a discussion at a urinal, whilst they squicked out at the toileting habits of the Pak’ma’ra, stuck in my head. Stargate SG-1 had characters disappearing into toilets, maybe once or twice over ten years, but yay for admitting for bodily function! SGA, I can’t remember any incidences. Did the Ancients evolve past the need…? SG Universe I couldn’t watch long enough to care…
I wonder why it bothers us so much in SF? Other genres don’t have the toilet front and centre–and isn’t that a lovely image . You don’t worry in contemporaries, or police dramas, or historicals. Maybe it’s the obvious. We already know the routine for the past and the present. The future of bathrooms is still being mapped out.
Maybe we’re the same as John Spartan in Demolition Man. We have yet to find out what those three bloody sea shells are for.
Can you remember any SF toilets? The hunt continues…
Kim Knox brews sex, magic, darkness and technology in a little corner of North West England. She writes erotic science fiction and fantasy romance for Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Cleis Press and others.
SYNTHETIC DREAMS and BITTER HARVEST are available now from Carina Press.