(Kenya, 2011; 07:46), The Day They Came
(Nigeria, 2013; 03:59), The Tale of How
(South Africa, 2006; 04:28; previously
), Alive in Joburg
(South Africa, 2006; 06:22; previously
(South Africa, 2010; 30:34; trailer
alt. link), Evolve
(Egypt, 2014; 24:17), Mwansa the Great
(Zambia, 2011; 23:11; two trailers
as alt. links), and Pumzi
(Kenya, 2009; 21:51): eight short works of SF/fantasy via The Skiffy and Fanty Show
, a blog "trying to delve into the secrets of the making of Movie Monsters," presents Subterranean Terror
, an in depth look at the creature effects of the greatest Precambrian sandworm horror-comedy franchise of all time
. [more inside]
S.F. inventor hopes to dress for success with 1-piece suit
Local developer Jesse Herzog has solved a problem most of us didn’t know we had. It’s kind of a trend with him. Simply put, Herzog has created an alternative to the tired old hoodie-and-jeans look that permeates the lofts and startups of San Francisco techie culture. It is — wait for it — the "suitsy." The suitsy is a pair of dress pants, a nice white shirt and jacket ... all sewn together. You step into it like a pair of mechanic’s coveralls, zip up the hidden zipper, and voila — you’re dressed for success.
You know how people say it’s a fine line between genius and crazy?
Kubrick wanted to film it, but couldn't get the option - so chose second-best for 2001. It is an epic novel of hope and wonder that ends with the destruction of humanity and the Earth. It could only have been written by a Brit living in the heady mix of progress and failing Empire that suffused the post-war UK. It has cardboard characters and meandering intermissions, mysticism and hard SF: in short, it's one of the best things Arthur Clarke ever wrote and a true classic of the genre.
Now, sixty years after it first appeared, Childhood's End
is finally set for our screens. [more inside]
How do you say controversial in your Terran language?
The top 40 space movies, as decreed by the Telegraph
You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts
is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials
, heartbreaking eulogies
, and agonizing run-ins with fascists
) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting
science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed
2006 novel Blindsight [full text]
-- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room
, the Philosophical Zombie
, Chernoff faces
, and the myriad quirks and blind spots
that haunt the human mind.
's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew
, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism
), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section
, tomorrow will see the release of
Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website]
, the long-delayed
"sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
MIND MELD: Food in Science Fiction versus Fantasy
This week we asked about Food and Drink in SF. Food and Drink in science fiction sometimes seems limited to replicator requests for Earl Grey tea and Soylent green discs. Why doesn’t do as much food as Fantasy? Does Fantasy lend itself more to food than Science fiction? Why? This is what they had to say… [more inside]
today finished a top 50 countdown of short SF/fantasy podcast fiction: 50-41
. The Parsec Awards
for SF podcasts honor many other stories annually, as well as related non-fiction, comedy, and music: 2014 nominees
; and 2006
. And since 2012, the Hugo Award nominees for Best Fancast
have been two-time winner SF Squeecast!
, plus The Coode Street Podcast
, Galactic Suburbia
, SF Signal
, The Skiffy and Fanty Show
, Tea and Jeopardy
, and The Writer and The Critic
with the popular Writing Excuses
podcast often appearing in another category. [more inside]
The Pulp Magazines Project
is an open-access digital archive of all-fiction pulp magazines from 1896-1946
, such as The Argosy
, Amazing Stories
, and Weird Tales
. In addition to the archive, it features a cover gallery
, a collection of articles and contextual material
(including "So What is Pulp?
", publisher index card files
, and an office dummy
), and links to dozens of related or similar resources
such as the Speculative Fiction Collection at Virginia Tech
, the Anarchist Periodicals archive at Pitzer College
, and the Digital Dada Library
The SFMTA has published excerpts of their photo archives
from donated collections, spanning the post-1906 earthquake period all the way up to modern times. [more inside]
Some Musings on Diversity in SF
by Vandana Singh
: "The best speculative fiction, like travel, does that to you – it takes you to strange places, from which vantage point you can no longer take your home for granted. It renders the familiar strange, and the strange becomes, for the duration of the story, the norm. The reversal of the gaze, the journey in the shoes of the Other, is one of the great promises of speculative fiction. " (Previously
Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga discuss
writing the Star Trek: The Next Generation
series finale. [more inside]
O Human Star
, an ongoing webcomic by Blue Delliquanti
, is a near-future science fiction family drama about robots, relationships, identity and finding a place for oneself in the world. [more inside]
" Martinez is a toy-animating
super hero created by Seanan McGuire
, a.k.a. Mira Grant
. Over the past six years, McGuire's "Velveteen vs.
" story cycle
has been released gradually on LiveJournal
, achieving a dedicated following thanks to the story's overall emotional complexity. As fantasy author Tanya Huff
has written, "Velveteen is about a young woman who fights crime in a pair of rabbit ears in much the same way Buffy was about a girl who killed vampires. That being, not so much." [more inside]
SF/F legend Connie Willis pours a preview of a near-future version of the story of backstage back-stabbing, " All About Eve" with "All About Emily
" for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
Last week, a publication based in New York
that is called “New York,” asked the question, “Is San Francisco New York?
A publication based in San Francisco answered
, quite resolutely, “No.
R.I.P. Lucius Shepard
On March 18th, Science Fiction Literature lost one of it's best short story writers, Lucius Shepard [more inside]
Legendary science fiction editor Gardner Dozois once said that the job of a science fiction writer was to notice the car and the movie theater and anticipate the drive-in – and then go on to predict the sexual revolution. I love that quote, because it highlights the key role of SF in examining the social consequences of technology – and because it shows how limited our social imaginations are. Today, we might ask the SF writer to also predict how convincing the nation’s teenagers to carry a piece of government-issued photo ID (a driver’s license) as a precondition for participating in the sexual revolution set the stage for the database nation
, the idea that people are the sort of thing that you count and account for, with the kind of precision that the NSA is now understood to bring to the problem.
An Alderson Disk
is a science fiction megastructure imagined first by scientist Dan Alderson
. It's a solid disk that is thousands of kilometers thick, with a circumference equal to the orbit of Mars or Jupiter. The habitable zone
would be on both sides of the disk and would be millions of times the surface area of the Earth. Not much theoretical work has been done on its feasibility, but some
. Missile Gap, by MeFi's own Charles Stross, which won the Locus readers' award for best novella of 2006, features a 1960s Earth transposed to an Alderson disk and is available for free on the publisher's website
"In 'Somebody Will' I wanted to get across why I see sci-fi and fantasy fandom as a more positive, productive world than many of the hobbies and communities common in our culture. [...] The hardest part of the piece is singing it to the end without crying."
Wayside Creations' surprisingly high-budget, on location shot Fallout New Vegas fan-series returns with: Nuka Break Season 2
! (Full episode playlist
). Rejoin Twig the Vault-Dweller, Ben The Ghoul , Scarlet The Escaped Slave and the Mysterious Ranger as they deal with the explosive aftermath of Season 1.
(Nuka Break Previously
, Wayside Creations previously
On the Lovecraftian Mode
- Gord Sellar on why he writes lovecraftian fiction. Elizabeth Bear
on the same question. I. N. J. Culbard on adapting Lovecraft
"In Advanced Readings in D&D
, Tor.com writers Tim Callahan and Mordicai Knode take a look at Gary Gygax’s favorite authors
and reread one per week, in an effort to explore the origins of Dungeons & Dragons and see which of these sometimes-famous, sometimes-obscure authors are worth rereading today." [more inside]
Starships were meant to fly
), also called Firing Range
, is a Soviet short film from 1977. It concerns a tank that is able to read the brain impulses of enemy soldiers, and the man who designed it. The generals have great plans for this tank, but the designer, and the tank, have other plans. [more inside]
In a not too distant future, societies of all countries come to rely on an intricate network of artificial intelligence devices designed to bring efficacy to man's life. Yet, man continues to devour himself in useless wars. A strong political hierarchy now divides all powers into three factions, and A.I. devices rapidly gain ground as efficiency becomes a priority.
As social revolts grow worse everyday, authorities seek ways to control their citizens. They decide to carry out a series of tests that will determine not only whether some crucial powers can be transferred to non human entities, but also whether man is ready to yield those powers.
The world has become a cell for all man and women, who withstand and endure their lives, rather than living them. Machines might have found a solution. From now on, you are set free. [more inside]
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's Agent of Change and Fledgling are now available as free downloads
. Starting points in the Liaden Universe
, a space opera series notable for its romance elements
and convoluted publication history
, their particular sequences (among others) in the same setting take noticeably different approaches
to common themes such as complicated manners, familial obligations, and meeting a soulmate. Not to mention humanoid turtles. And occasional cats. [more inside]
In the weeks since LoneStarCon 3
(the 71st annual World Science Fiction Convention
) took place, videos of just a few events have appeared online: the complete Hugo Awards ceremony
; the WSFS business meetings
; Brandon Sanderson's video AMA
; a clip of a Dalek
wandering the exhibition hall. The pocket program listing the schedule of public events
offers further insight into what went on. And many attendees have posted their written
/recorded personal reactions
. A selection of the programmed content itself might be evoked with an old-school smorgasbord of links. [more inside]
The Hunt's Donuts Story Hunt’s Donuts was a thorn in the side of the police at the heart of a neighborhood that has always been a thorn in the side of the police. . [more inside]
In the pre-podcast days of 1999, the then Sci-Fi Channel website worked with the Seeing Ear Theater and Bablyon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski to produce a series of Twilight Zone-inspired radio stories called "City Of Dreams" along with a cast that included Steve Buscemi, Tim Curry, Kevin Conway, and John Turturro. 13 episodes were planned, but only 8 got produced, and with the decline of Real Player and the Seeing Ear Theater, the episodes were thought to be lost to the mists of internet history.
Until someone uploaded all of them to Youtube.
(each episode about 30 min, link goes to the first video for the episode)
The Damned Are Playing At Godzilla's Tonight!
. Rolling Thunder
.The Friends Of Jackie Clay
. The Tolling Of The Hour
. Night Calls
. Samuel Becket, Your Ride Is Here
. The Alpha And Omega Of David Wells
. MSCD 00121J [more inside]
"I started the World SF Blog in February of 2009
– a century in Internet time! – partly as an excuse to promote my then-forthcoming anthology of international speculative fiction, The Apex Book of World SF – but mostly out of what can only be described as an ideological drive, a desire to highlight and promote voices seldom heard in genre fiction... The change I have seen in the four years of the blog is heartening. In a way, I have decided to stop now because the blog has fulfilled everything I ever wanted it to, and so much more." - Lavie Tidhar. The World SF Blog leaves behind 61 short stories and a serialized novella
by authors from 33 countries, plus exclusive interviews
, articles, guest posts and round tables
(on WP.com where it's likely to stay up for a while)
Inseminoid Academic criticism of Inseminoid has concentrated on the film's treatment of the female sex and female sexualities in the context of corruption by an alien source. In addition to its depiction of the abject Sandy, who is rendered a distorted Other in the aftermath of her unnatural impregnation, the film has been seen to incorporate a clash between the patriarchal and the maternal towards its climax, as the would-be-mother eliminates her former friends one by one. [more inside]
Into the Light
Humanity has paused on Jones Street near the summit of Russian Hill in San Francisco. Tourists, businessmen, café workers, the homeless – all seem to have taken a collective breather at this steepest of places, a city peak where stairs are carved into the sidewalks so people don't topple. Only one person keeps climbing, and he's talking, too; he's saying that you can't stop here, that if you just keep pushing, you'll see things no one else will see, that Macondray Lane is just over the hill and that it's the most magical place in all of San Francisco, but you'll never see it if you don't keep pushing, you'll never see Macondray Lane unless you really know how to look.