I’ve revived the Scifinds.com domain to blog about short sci-fi films. It’s a work in progress http://t.co/CD9iwdK7Mp
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Don’t expect any Silmarillion movies any time soon because Peter Jackson doesn’t own the film rights.
You might think it to unwieldy a book to ever adapt for the screen, but what if it was a mini-series of some sort where different eras were plotted out into individual stories?
One fan is doing just that, imagining it as a three-season animated series. It’s watch it in a heartbeat. Check out his designs here: http://ow.ly/sQEWQ
Rumour has it that J.J. Abrams has finished his script for Star Wars: Episode VII.
Now the fans are wondering where it fits into the Star Wars Expanded Universe or whether said universe will even continue to exist after Disney finishes with it.
As the new owner of the franchise, it would appear that the years of accumulated post-Return of the Jedi stories would hinder how they move forward so it’s likely that a lot of that output will be thrown out as non-canon.
I stumbled across some links today about a 1970s-era science fiction show called Salvage-1 and was a bit surprised that I had never heard anything about it before. It even had a big name star attached to it, Andy Griffith and a goofy premise about a junkman who wanted to fly to the moon to salvage the junk left their by NASA astronauts.
All of the 18 episodes seem to be available on YouTube, including the pilot-movie.
For those of you who are already fans of the show, you surely are regular visitors to this website that is a clearing house on information about Salvage-1: http://ow.ly/sLIVp
You’ve got to give these folks marks for originality. They are telling the story of the popular science fiction movie Terminator 2 by using dialogue ripped from the pages of William Shakespeare.
I’m not sure why they are doing it other than they can, but, judging from the video sneak peek, they might just pull it off.
Get a taste of what they’re doing here: http://ow.ly/sLHPs
Many of us have only ever seen famous science fiction movies on our televisions. They certainly look great on some of those big-screen TVs, but seeing them larger than life in a movie theatre is a different experience.
In Canada, over the next few weeks, Cineplex is screening a series of movies during its Digital Film Festival. A number of notable genre films will be shown during that time, usually for only one or two screenings, so check your local schedules.
Some of the movies on the menu include:
- The Avengers
- Battlestar Galactica
- Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
- The Dark Knight
- Flash Gordon
- Logan’s Run
- Planet of the Apes
- Superman: The Movie
Details are available on Cineplex’s site: http://ow.ly/sJAZG
Just saw that a new website has been set up to promote L. Ron Hubbard book, Battlefield Earth. The news comes from a press release issued by Galaxy Press, a publishing firm set up to promote the works of Hubbard, founder of The Church of Scientology.
I’ve never seen the movie adaptation which, by all accounts, is a waste of celluloid, but I did read the book which is hardly a piece of literature, but was certainly readable if your tastes run to old-fashioned pulp adventure fiction.
I went on to attempt the 10-part Mission Earth series that Hubbard wrote, but gave up after two chapters. It was dreadful, and my standards are pretty low.
If you’re interested, the release is here: http://ow.ly/sJA5K
Newspapers and magazines have been cutting back on their book reviews for some time which means not a lot of science fiction gets noticed in mainstream publications.
The Toronto Star still has some capsule reviews every once in a while of notable books. Here are a few and some of them have Canadian connections. Amazingly, I actually own two of them : http://ow.ly/sHOxs
X-Files star Gillian Anderson has made an effort to distance herself from the genre that made her famous, but now she’s back as an author of a science fiction series for a new publishing imprint.
Actually, she’s co-writing the books with someone else so there’s no saying how much actual writing she’s doing, but her name will no doubt be twice as large as her co-author’s and she’ll probably do a lot more of the media appearances to promote the series.
As for the premise of the books, they are about Caitlin O’Hara, a child psychiatrist who is treating a young patient with problems are tied to a greater force in the universe. The truth is out there.
Get the deets at http://ow.ly/sCr0Z.
For the past 15 years, movie review site Rotten Tomatoes has been handing out Golden Tomatoes, awards based on a weighted voting system that looks at the number of positive and negative reviews it gets from various sources.
This year’s winner in the science fiction and fantasy category was The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Taking a look back at the previous years’ winners shows you that being big at the box office helps win this award so don’t expect any indie movies to win any time soon:
2011: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
2009: Star Trek
2008: Hellboy II: The Golden Army
2007: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
2006: Superman Returns
2005: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
2004: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Read about this year’s winner and the runners-up at http://ow.ly/svcE9/
If you thought drone warfare was scary, imagine what happens when the drones no longer have human operators and are making life-and-death decisions on their own.
All signs are pointing to a new arms race in killer robots and that has some forward thinkers very afraid.
Get the chilling details at http://ow.ly/sqlrg.
I’m still not sure what the purpose of the International Space Station is, but the Obama administration has continued funding it until at least 2024.
This coming from a president who cancelled the last president’s NASA-led mission to return astronauts to the moon. In other words, the extension is subject to being killed in future budgets.
Extending the space station’s life will, according to the press release, “allow us to maximize its potential, deliver critical benefits to our Nation and the world, and maintain American leadership in space.”
That still doesn’t tell me what the ISS is actually good for.
Get more details at http://ow.ly/sqjN7.
This BBC Timeline of the far future reminds me of Olaf Stapeldon’s science fiction novels. http://ow.ly/smT17
For every Hugh Howey and Amanda Hocking, there thousands of other aspiring science fiction authors hoping to strike it rich with self-published novels.
Some of those books are great, but most are unreadable. When The Guardian asked its readers to recommend good independent science fiction novels, they received more than 800 suggestions. After wading through them, the newspaper would only recommend five of them. Ouch.
Here’s a great overview of the indie sci-fi scene at http://ow.ly/smaM0, but the addition of recommendations from Howey are worth the price of admission.
Disney is taking firm control over its Star Wars investment. Not only has it cancelled The Clone Wars TV show and a never-aired animated comedy (which may be a small blessing), but it’s also saying bye bye to Dark Horse Comics.
Not coincidentally, Disney owns Marvel Comics so it only makes sense that they tap into that cash cow.
My local library has a ton of the Dark Horse Star Wars editions and they were very good so I, and many other fans, can only hope that Marvel comes close to matching their quality.
More details at http://ow.ly/siMlD.
Plenty of Star Wars fans love the bounty hunter Boba Fett, but until his back story was filled in through the prequels. comic books and novels, he seemed like a bit of a loser considering how quickly he is dispatched in Return of the Jedi.
Rumour has it that a solo Boba Fett film may be in the works, which gives you an idea of how Disney may be approaching the Star Wars universe. Sure, have another trilogy to fill out the original story, but develop those side characters as Marvel did for its comic book movies, and you can churn out multiple movies and watch the cash roll in.
Read the details at http://ow.ly/siejq.
I’m not sure what possessed a councilman in a North Carolina town to pen his resignation letter in Klingon, but he did.
The mayor’s response? “Live long and prosper.”
The New York Daily Times has the letter, in the original Klingon, and more details at http://ow.ly/sfRLQ.
For some Doctor Who fans, Matt Smith is the only Doctor they’ve ever known, so the arrival of Peter Capaldi has some mourning the loss.
It’s not unusual, but most of us get over it. Having lived through a few regenerations, I understand the feeling as does this writer on Tor.com who offers some advice on how to get over the loss and learn that life, and The Doctor, go on.
Read more at http://ow.ly/sfLWB.
Walter M. Miller Jr.’s classic novel A Canticle for Liebowitz is among the greatest works in the science fiction canon and I count it among my favourites.
I was thrilled to learn that a radio adaptation was made of the book. As much as I love reading, I love listening to old-time radio and will be eagerly consuming this gem from the Internet Archive.
Download your copy today at http://ow.ly/sfFJ8.
Could you imagine The Hobbit if the main character was a girl instead of the familiar male Bilbo? One mother began reading the story with a female protagonist to her young daughter after the girl insisted that Bilbo was, in fact, a girl.
The idea is interesting and the mother argues that it’s a worthwhile exercise considering that female characters are under-represented in these sorts of stories. Maybe so, but I’d prefer to stick to the gender that the author intended. Leave it to a modern author to create a classic children’s story to take on the patriarchy.
Read more at http://ow.ly/sfFf2.
I like this author’s attempt to determine how many people read science fiction.
He posted a simple question using Google surveys asking people if they read science fiction. Of the more than 500 people who replied, about a quarter replied that they did.
The survey had some other interesting findings. Who knows how statistically valid the methodology is, but it offers some food for thought. Read more at http://ow.ly/se0DP.
Probably the best evidence that time travel doesn’t exist is that we haven’t seen any time travellers yet. An infinite amount of them would have visited all moments of time by now and we’d surely have found some trace of their existence.
Researchers thought that if they scoured social media on the internet for signs of people accurately predicting the future, then they might detect time travellers.
They looked, but, not surprisingly, didn’t find any. In other more practical research news, we still don’t have a cure for cancer.
The time travel study can be found here: http://ow.ly/se0aE
As we turn the calendar to a new year, film fans look forward to a fresh crop of science fiction movies in 2014.
I’m not sure if I’d include the LEGO movie on the list, but Jupiter Ascending and Divergent look promising. I saw the trailers on the big screen when I took the family to watch the new Hobbit movie.
The latest Planet of the Apes should also be good, but I am wary about the Robocop reboot. I really liked the originals, despite their cheesiness.
What movies are you looking forward to in 2014?
Read more at http://ow.ly/se0R0.
Happy New Year….
(Weird. When I preview this in WordPress, it gives the date as:
Lazarus 7:00 pm on December 31, 1969
I’m not concerned that the time of day is off by 5 1/2 hours, it’s the 1969 that concerns me.
Mars One, a commercial venture that wants to have a colony on the Red Planet by 2025, was inundated with candidates who wanted to be settlers.
They’ve narrowed down the list to a mere 1,000 people, including a 30-year-old British Columbia woman, Marina Miral.
CTV news quoted her as saying: “It’s pretty much all I ever wanted to do since I was about 10 years old and I first discovered Star Trek.”
Colonizing Mars seems to something of an obsession of the rich with Elon Musk and Richard Branson both having Martian ambitions. No word on whether either of them are willing to leave their billions behind for a one-way ticket to Mars.
Read more here: http://ow.ly/sb5hR