October 2010 Archives

October 21, 2010

Sam Raimi To Direct The Day Of The Triffids

The news is that Sam Raimi wants to direct a Hollywood version of The Day Of The Triffids. I'm not sure how that will translate, one of the joys of the novel is how British it is.

Via Dave via AICN

100 Paintings Of Vintage Star Wars Action Figures

Artist Bwana Spoons has a one day exhibition of paintings he made of Star Wars characters. Well, to be precise, paintings of Star Wars action figures. That's pretty geeky. The flyer has his painting of Ackbar on it, looking all Ackbar-ry.

The exhibition is on:

 Saturday, November 20, 2010 10am - 5pm Pasadena Convention Center, 300 East Green Street, Pasadena CA 91101 

So bit of a trek for me, one for you LA types. 

October 19, 2010

Crazy High Budget SF Russian Pop Video

Via Europopped this is a bonkers Russian pop video with a budget high enough to construct space effects to beat Babylon 5. Odd music too.

Forget The Deadly Assassin, Doctor Who Is Immortal

It's one of those Pub Quiz facts: how many times can Doctor Who regenerate? The answer, from 1976 to yesterday was twelve. From today it's infinity. The Guardian has news of how this little retcon will be slipped into The Sarah Jane Adventures as a passing remark from The Doctor.

I can't quite decide whether this is RTD annoying fans, pleasing fans, or just a non-story. They were never going to stick to an arbitrary number that a writer in 1976 came up with were they?

Image of a Solar Eclipse Witnessed from Space

Via New Scientist. It doesn't look real but it's an image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

The First Men In The Moon, Tonight On BBC4

Tonight on BBC4 at 9pm is Mark Gatiss's adaptation of HG Wells' story The First Men In The Moon. The trailer looks pretty good, very styled and witty with Gatiss starring as well as writing the adaptation. All good. But why hidden away on BBC4? Surely this is Sunday night BBC1 fare? That's not Science Fiction aversion I see is it?

October 18, 2010

Monsters, Trailer And Featurette

I'm really looking forward to seeing Monsters directed by Gareth Edwards when it gets released in the UK on 3rd December. I hear that it's a low budget indie alien invasion romance road movie. Sounds great to me and I wasn't disappointed by the trailer, embedded below, which looks slick and cool.

Continue reading Monsters, Trailer And Featurette.

October 17, 2010

No Time Like the Present by Carol Emshwiller

This weeks Torque Control Short Story Club story is No Time Like the Present by Carol Emshwiller published in Lightspeed Magazine.

It's a story about a group of strangers who arrive in a town. They're different, but trying to fit in. The story is narrated by one of the town's children. Slowly the origins of the newcomers is revealed, actually without the title it would have taken longer to guess.

I enjoyed the story, I liked the voice of the first person narrative and I liked the slow guessing game about the newcomers. It's not a new idea, dealing with strangers and teenage isolation, but it was handled in an entertaining way that made it feel fresh. There's even the mandatory ambiguous ending, where the reader is left guessing what happened. 


(And made me want to read more issues of Lightspeed Magazine, which I've been meaning to do but haven't got around to.)

October 5, 2010

How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

The UK cover of How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe (published by Corvus) is a delightful array of small rayguns, from Flash Gordon to Star Wars. Hidden amongst the rayguns is a single dog. The font is Star Trek-y and pink. It's a lovely cover, but it lends one to think that perhaps the book is akin to The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, it really isn't.

Instead the story follows a time machine repair man, Charles Yu, who lives in his own time machine, dislocated from real time. Whatever real time is. At the beginning it feels like a Generation X story: trapped in a job, lack of social life, regrets. And yet at the same time there is weirdness intertwined, like the not real dog, and the visit to Luke Skywalker's sun, and the references to a Science Fictional universe. Also intertwined with the narrative are pages from the book How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe which provides advice and tips for a traveller. The whole things begins to feel a little recursive and odd, but enjoyably so.

I expected a fast paced plot to kick off at some point after the setup, but that doesn't happen, instead the book turns into something else: a poignant search for his father. Or rather on the surface it's a search for his father, there will be different interpretations of what the story eventually means, but I took it as a journey to let go of the past, a journey to accept and move on, to remember the good times, to lose the regret. I particularly loved memories of his childhood, and time spent with his father. 

There's plenty of Science Fictional talk and enough time travel mechanics to satisfy a Primer fan, with crazy tight looped recursion, but that's all just trimmings and plot devices to get to the core emotional story. At times, mainly in the second third of the novel, I felt the story dragging, and yet even in those moments there was some beautiful language, not flowery descriptions but words of truth and wisdom. The sort of lines I wanted to cut and paste and post as my thought for the day.

The book was definitely not what I expected, but I enjoyed it and now feel the need to flick back through it and search for my favourite lines.

A story that lingers delightfully in my mind.

October 3, 2010

Play The Last Starfighter

The Last Starfighter film stands large in the memory of my generation. Well, some of them. Those that wanted to be so good at playing an arcade game you got picked to fly a real spaceship. Awesome. And it had computer graphics! In a film!

You may have looked long and hard for that arcade machine, but it never really existed.

Until now....

Download The Last Starfighter, build a cabinet to put it in, then wait for the call to defend The Frontier from Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada. Death Blossom!

October 2, 2010

October's Ansible Is Online

Ansible 279, October 2010

October already?

October 1, 2010

Spielberg Casts British TV Actress In Mega Budget SF Series

Spielberg is creating a new Science Fiction TV series called Terra Nova and has cast Shelley Conn as Elizabeth Shannon, a housewife from the year 2149 who travels back in time to the era of the dinosaurs, in order to correct mistakes that have led the human species to the brink of extinction due to pollution and overdevelopment."

It sounds a bit like Jurassic Park, but with a time travelling plot. Bring on the paradoxes!

Shelley Conn has appeared in a whole raft of UK TV series including the recent Big Brother Zombie series, Dead Set. And now she's in alledgedly the most expensive TV series ever. 

Hopefully it will be good fun and the SF will be overt.