A serial narrative is a story broken up across time, delivered in pieces rather than as a whole. Battlestar Galactica, the television series launched in 2004, is typical of a serial narrative: it has an overall narrative arc which stretches across four seasons, but, as is common for serials, especially in film and television, each episode has its own beginning, middle and end, so in effect we have many smaller stories making up a larger narrative. But these do not make up the entire tale of the Battlestar Galactica, not by a long shot. The recent TV series is itself an episode in a series of series, which extends into film, books, comics, games and webisodes, the whole of which is part of still larger traditions of science fiction, genre and religion. In fact, it is almost impossible to establish the limits of the story Battlestar Galactica, a serial within a series of series.
Now that I have ripped up the book, I hand it back to you whole. I told you all writing is fiction, now I tell you all fiction is real. A magic trick!
As all of you know, magic tricks are fake. Alas, how we regret learning that the magic trick which put us into ecstasies of delight was false. Our father teaches us the important lesson that the magician was performing tricks to entertain us. We do not believe our dad until he shows us how the trick was done, and then we realize begrudgingly that the magician was a liar. Yet we hold out the hope that the next magician will have some real power. We watch carefully trying to catch him at his tricks, but we hope, nevertheless, oh how we hope, to find one trick that cannot be figured out. We wait for the day when there will be magic, real magic! We are ready at any moment to believe.