Because of Star Trek’s influence, facial hair has become a trope for SF, signalling the divide between worlds. Apophis and Teal’C appear with the evil twin goatee in Stargate-SG1. Cameron Mitchel, later in Stargate, points out that his suddenly appearing twin doesn’t have a beard, therefore he can’t come from the evil twin universe. Oops, he was wrong. Cam’s doppelganger obviously shaved before heading through the Gate…
Maybe it’s something about trust, in a culture that prizes a clean shaven face, the lack of beard is somehow more honest. Facial hair makes a man less pure and more edgy. I have nothing against beards, by the way. Grissom in CSI and as always the facially hirsute Wolverine are my two favourite bearded men.
Why am I wondering about beards and parallel worlds? I’m in writing and research mode for a short story about a heroine who can cross the barriers that separates realities. And I got side tracked into beards. Bad me. I also had to butt heads with quantum mechanics too.
Here comes the science bit…
The many-worlds interpretation is a fairly elegant idea. Instead of a particle entering a state of superposition–taking all options open to it in this world–the universe splits, breaking up into as many realities as dictated by the options presented. The new realities would be identical to each other, save for the difference of the path chosen. For example, Schrodinger’s cat would end up alive in one world and dead in another. The observer would split too, only seeing one outcome. With this theory, all possible realities co-exist.
Though it’s never been explained how all of the above promotes the retention of the evil goatee.
I only have my Star Trek and Stargate examples. Can you think of anymore? Farscape must have tackled it!
*No beards were shaved in the writing of this post.
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.
AT THE SORCERER’S COMMAND and DARK DEALINGS coming soon