The singularity of a black hole is a point of infinite mass, inasmuch as a layman is capable of understanding it. But what many fail to recognize is that infinite mass is also, essentially, infinite information. For what is information but mass, the arrangement of elementary particles in a certain way?

In this way, as a black hole grows, as it devours and compresses, it also is accumulating more information. Distorted, perhaps, by its consumption and compression below the event horizon, but information nonetheless.

One imagines that from such a cauldron of raw and seething matter and information, some sort of gestalt may–perhaps must–arise. One imagines a cold and calculated intellect arising, one nevertheless driven and bound by a primal need to consume more matter, more information. Not for any imperitive, not for any reason, but for its own sake, because that is how it must be.

Thinkers had toyed with this notion for a generation before it was put to the test. The surprising thing was not that they were right. Rather, the surprise lay in just how approachable and yet unfathomable the intelligence turned out to be.

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I hate remakes and reboots because they are generally marks of intellectual and creative bankruptcy. But it’s also possible to use the renewal they provide to improve on a flawed original or give an interesting concept a second go. So in the interest of full disclosure, here are some classics I wouldn’t mind seeing remade.

The Black Hole (1979)
Disney’s answer to Star Wars was to employ nearly every old-school effects technician in Hollywood to put together this brilliantly atmospheric but overlong and occasionally ridiculous transposition of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea to the event horizon of a black hole. The design of the main ship, a gothic masterpiece of glass and steel, has for my money never been equaled, but the ludicrous third act (which reimagines the black hole as a literal hell), overly cutesy robots designed to cash in on the R2-D2 market, and the extended portions of the film where people breathe in space make it deeply flawed. Imagine what a director with vision could do with the concept, especially if they added a more postmodern sensibility but kept the ship design.

Fantastic Voyage (1966)
A pioneering sci-fi adventure story (read the novelization by Isaac Asimov, it’s amazing) about a team of scientists and military men shrunk down to navigate within the human body to save a man’s life. Its setup is so perfect that it’s almost a trope, but the current film is rather antiquated in its special effects and sleekly 1960s aesthetic, and even more so in the cringe-inducing behavior of the chauvinistic male lead toward the only female character. The same basic setup could be the basis for a white-knuckle ride along the lines of Das Boot; anyone who ever rode on the sadly-defunct Disney World Body Wars ride (directed by Leonard Nimoy!) saw what possibilities there were for an update.

The Land That Time Forgot (1975)
With the 100th anniversary of the First World War upon us, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ daft masterpiece as adapted in the American International Pictures’ daft screen adaptation has never been more ripe for reinvention. What other movie can boast a U-Boat and dinosaurs, let alone combining them in an uneasy-allies story of Imperial Germans and castaway Georgian Brits trying to work together to escape an island overrun with bad special effects? Better special effects and a tighter screenplay could make this AIP cheapie a keeper.

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“You said the external hull had suffered catastrophic damage, and couldn’t be reliably identified through long range scans due to radiointerference from the black hole,” Cassowary said softly. “Are you sure about that?”

“I have the data right here,” said Burke.

“Are you sure about that?” Cassowary cried, the speaker in her suit’s helmet crackling.

“Yes, I’m sure,” Burke said, startled. “Simmons said that the time dilation this vessel experienced during its orbit has allowed some systems to stay online, but that the damage and interference made it impossible to identify. You were there.”

“I know,” said Cassowary. “He thought it was the result of a trip through a wormhole beyond the event horizon.”

“If you know, then why ask me? Why all the shouting?” Burke said.

Cassowary sank to her knees. “I was hoping that I’d made a mistake, that I’d overlooked something. But it’s all there in the computer.”

“We ought to be concentrating on reestablishing contact with the Perihelion and finding where Grant’s team went.”

“There’s no point!” moaned Cassowary. “This is a Helios-class exploration craft, and the chronometer has been running for three thousand years. Don’t you see. Burke? It’s our ship. It’s us. We just haven’t realized it yet.”

“Dr. Janssen’s device has proven very useful in the past.”

“But I still don’t understand how it’s possible,” Harmon protested. “I mean the theoretical problems alone, not to mention the practical points, would take decades-”

“Enough whining,” Fields snapped. “I’m telling you about how the Janssen Probability Thruster has been, not how it works!”

“All right, then,” Harmon sighed. “How has it been useful?”

“Well, the Modified Antimatter Configuration caused an explosion that threw debris over ten miles, killing hundreds including myself and the entire staff. So we scrubbed the experiment before it was ever run.”

“But how-” Harmon began.

Fields, clearly enjoying recounting the old war stories, ignored him. “Then there was the Diversified Positron Ionization fiasco. That created a black hole that consumed the Earth in a matter of hours, crushing every one of us into a quantum singularity. A tiny adjustment was all that experiment needed to be successful.”

“Still, I think-”

“And who could forget Electrical Osmosis? Sounded simple enough, but it duplicated a piece of lab equipment until it filled every micron of space in the universe! We scaled it back to one, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a major improvement.”