533 posts tagged with SciFi.
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Evil! -- one seemed to see it everywhere

This is the way the world ends: not with a bang but a bronchial spasm. That is, at least, according to William Delisle Hay’s 1880 novella The Doom of the Great City. It imagines the entire population of London choked to death under a soot-filled fog. The story is told by the event’s lone survivor sixty years later as he recalls “the greatest calamity that perhaps this earth has ever witnessed” at what was, for Hay’s first readers, the distant future date of 1942. -- Brett Beasley in the Public Domain review on one of the first modern urban apocalypse stories.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 2, 2015 - 8 comments

In a universe at a slightly different frequency

In a universe at a slightly different frequency than ours there was an alternate Hugo Ballot. Below the fold are links to the authors and works: [more inside]
posted by ladyriffraff on Sep 19, 2015 - 27 comments

I guess this was a show about some aliens?

"Right around the time I first joined the cast of Under the Dome, I was smoking a bowl with the Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey."-a review of sorts of the final episode and series of the American tv show.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 15, 2015 - 38 comments

Sam Sweetmilk ep. 1 & part one of ep. 2

Here is the first episode of Sam Sweetmilk. A funny/serious sci-fi cartoon, you know, like those that are all the rage these days, extra words. There is currently only one episode (and part of it is an animatic), but a second is nearing completion! Part one.
posted by JHarris on Sep 3, 2015 - 3 comments

Can Raging White Guys Succeed in Hijacking Sci-Fi’s Biggest Awards?

The Hugo Award process has always been hackable, There was just never anyone narcissistic enough to hack it. [more inside]
posted by AGameOfMoans on Aug 21, 2015 - 860 comments

"Don't threaten me with a dead fish"

"Hollywood brings glitz, glamour and big budgets to movie-making; France has avant-garde artistry. But what about Britain? Looking at our selection of the 75 greatest British movies of the past century, you'll find that Britain excels at genres you'd expect (kitchen sink and period drama, class-obsessed satire) and plenty you wouldn't (strange sci-fi, blood-freezing contemporary horror). Here are the essential home-grown films to watch, listed in the order they were made..." [SLTelegraph]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 14, 2015 - 63 comments

And the Winner is... Heart of Gold!

The fastest ships in the universe. All universes, sci-fi and otherwise, that is.
posted by Melismata on Jul 19, 2015 - 66 comments

The weird worlds of African sci-fi

African sci-fi features all manner of weird and outlandish things, from crime-fighting robots to technological dystopias. But could they be closer to predicting the future than they realise?

posted by infini on Jul 10, 2015 - 24 comments

But they didn't call it "MANT!"

The Vulture came up with a trailer for Marvel's upcoming Ant-Man film as a '50s-style horror picture -- complete with narration by the great Vincent Price! (Ant-Man previously, previously) [more inside]
posted by Gelatin on Jul 8, 2015 - 2 comments

the paradigmatic fantasy of the Age of Aquarius

Dune, 50 years on
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 3, 2015 - 100 comments

Saga of the Sagas

This years proposed Worldcon rule changes included one introducing a new Hugo Award, for Best Saga:

A work of science fiction or fantasy appearing in multiple volumes and consisting of at least 400,000 words of which the latest part was published in the previous calendar year.

Initially the new award was coupled with the removal of an old one: Best Novellete. This raised some objections and that part of the proposal was removed. What would the winners of Best Saga Award look like? Brandon Kempner tries modeling it based on The Locus Awards and Goodreads.
posted by Artw on Jun 24, 2015 - 93 comments

{Matrix reference}

You might have seen this image floating around, if you frequent the likes of Tumblr. One of many simple speculative choice pictures - here's eight pills that give you superpowers, which one would you take?

Well, Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex decided to do a write-up about how each choice might go. And how they might go wrong.
posted by kafziel on Jun 7, 2015 - 91 comments

There’s only one class of people who don’t like escape

"It’s very nice to have my story go out there, and if it’s in a different form, I want the thing to mutate slightly." Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro discuss genre, escapism, copyright and how stories expand over time at The New Statesman. (via io9)
posted by thecaddy on Jun 5, 2015 - 22 comments

Who are you?

Answer the following questions in any language(s), formats, or paradigmatic expressions with which you are comfortable. Videographers are available for those most comfortable in physical languages. If you need further support to fully actualize your responses, do not hesitate to ask the Proctor for any materials or mediums you require. When you have finished, virtually or physically attach all answers to this questionnaire.
"Application for the Delegation of First Contact: Questionnaire Part B," a short story by Kathrin Köhler. Additionally: Köhler on the inspirations and influences for this piece.
posted by mixedmetaphors on May 26, 2015 - 12 comments

Sucker Punch: The Music Video

Just how many Sci-Fi / Action movie references are in Taylor Swift's new video "Bad Blood"? IO9 attempts to make a tally of them all.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on May 18, 2015 - 81 comments

It is time we demonstrated the full power of this styling station.

The LEGO Friends series has received a lot of criticism (previously) since it was released over three years ago, but as any fan of LEGO will tell you: Parts is Parts. And it's what you do with them that makes the difference. To Wit: The LEGO Friends Death Star. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on May 5, 2015 - 20 comments

Where No Freak or Geek Has Gone Before

Other Space: A sci-fi workplace comedy created by Paul Feig. Featuring Milana Vayntraub (a.k.a. the lady from the AT&T ad), Karan Soni (a.k.a. the dude from the AT&T ad), and Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu from MST3K.
posted by Cash4Lead on Apr 25, 2015 - 27 comments

2015 Hugo Nominees Announced

The 2015 Hugo Nominees have been announced. Notably, authors from Brad R. Torgensen's "Sad Puppies" slate have successfully secured all of the nominations for both the Novella and Novellette categories, a result which is bound to cause significant discussion.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Apr 4, 2015 - 2489 comments

"We see the Universe as a machine."

Sundays is a beautiful science fiction short film by Dutch director Mischa Rozema of PostPanic Pictures for roughly $50000. The film was also intended to be a concept pitch for a feature, and it worked as intended, sparking a bidding war between Hollywood studios.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 1, 2015 - 40 comments

CBS brings you ....SUSPENSE!

Suspense was a thriller-style radio drama that ran on CBS from 1942 to 1962 and is widely considered to be one of the greatest Old Time Radio (or "Golden Age Of Radio") series and model for "The Twilight Zone". In addition to theme music by Bernard Herrmann and scripts by leading mystery authors of the day, Suspense also featured a stunning roll call of big-name Hollywood stars, often playing against type or in more lurid material then the movie studios would allow. While nearly all 947 episodes are available online (exhaustively comprehensive previously) the sheer number of episodes can be daunting. Old Time Radio Review is halfway through the series with a convenient rating system to finding the best - why not enjoy these Youtube versions of a few episodes starring Judy Garland, Lucille Ball, Robert Taylor, Orson Wells, Agnes Moorehead (again), Cary Grant, and more
posted by The Whelk on Mar 12, 2015 - 31 comments

Did you like 'Starlost'?

Rocket Boy was a short-lived Canadian TV series. Starring Dave Thomas, Ron James, and an assortment of Thomas' SCTV comrades. Sadly, the series is not displayable on the internet. [more inside]
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon on Mar 7, 2015 - 9 comments

"Being a grown-up is highly overrated"

Never Give Up, Never Surrender: Cosplay After 40
My name is Phaedra Cook, I am 46 years old and I’m a cosplayer. That sounds like some kind of intro to a confession at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, doesn’t it? There are certain types of people who would like me to have a sense of shame about my hobby, but that’s not going to happen.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Mar 5, 2015 - 43 comments

The Starlost

It could have been the greatest television show ever. Conceived by Harlan Ellison. Ben Bova acting as technical advisor. Special effects genius Douglas Trumbull was on board. Scripts and storylines had been contracted from Phillip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, Frank Herbert, Joanna Russ, Thomas M. Disch, Alexei Panshin and A.E. van Vogt. Keir Dullea starred. (Dave from 2001: A Space Odyssey). Guest stars: John "Baltar" Colicos (Battlestar Galactica), Walter Koenig (Star Trek) and Barry Morse (Space:1999). And then it all fell apart. In all, 16 deliciously terrible episodes of The Starlost were made. Was it the worst science fiction series ever? Watch and decide for yourself! [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 19, 2015 - 119 comments

Indigenous Science Fiction narratives

This was the official inauguration of indigenous futurism. The movement is in part about speaking back to the SF genre, which has long used indigenous subjects as the foils to stories of white space explorers hungry to conquer new worlds. Given these continuously re-hashed narratives of “the final frontier,” it is no coincidence that western science fiction developed during a time of imperial and capitalist expansion. Science/speculative fiction author Nalo Hopkinson, known for her use of creole languages and Caribbean oral stories in her works, writes that people of color engaging with SF “take the meme of colonizing the natives and, from the experience of the colonizee, critique it, pervert it, fuck with it, with irony, with anger, with humor and also, with love and respect for the genre of science fiction that makes it possible to think about new ways of doing things.”

posted by infini on Feb 11, 2015 - 18 comments

How To Tell If You Are In A Soft Science Fiction Novel

Racism no longer exists now that all of humanity has banded together to speak English, vote democratically, adhere to 20th-century American social standards, and battle alien intruders in a thinly veiled metaphor for anti-immigration sentiment.
By Mallory Ortberg. [slthetoast]
posted by cthuljew on Jan 30, 2015 - 171 comments


Greg Egan's Orthogonal Trilogy is perhaps the ultimate in hard sci-fi world building: starting by simply "changing a minus sign to a plus sign in a simple equation that governs the geometry of space-time", Mr Egan then derived, from first principles, how light, matter, energy, motion, gravity and time would work in this alternate universe. The result is 80,000 words on his web site describing the physics and cosmology of the universe (minor spoilers) and three novels: The Clockwork Rocket (extract), The Eternal Flame (extract) and The Arrows of Time (extract) [more inside]
posted by memebake on Jan 13, 2015 - 53 comments

Ensign Mary Amethyst Star Enobi Aiko Archer Picard Janeway Sue

The "Ensign Sue" Saga has finally come to an end. It began as a Star Trek parody with chibi-styled Kirk, Spock and the New Enterprise Crew facing the challenge of the ultimate Mary Sue under the title "Ensign Sue Must Die" (SPOILERS FOLLOW, BUT HEY, YOU SHOULDN'T BE TAKING THIS SERIOUSLY) which she does, but Mary Sues don't really die, they multiply, and so there was "Ensign Two: The Wrath of Sue", which begins with a meeting with a Doctor from Another Fictional Franchise and soon, they're bouncing around other alternate realities with familiar characters, leading to the usual downbeat 2nd movie ending and the inevitable "Ensign³: Crisis of Infinite Sues (Because Everything's a Trilogy Now)", with a climactic battle of cute cartoon forms of more pop culture icons than Lemon Demon's Ultimate Showdown. Come for the inside jokes, stay for more regenerations than authorized by the BBC.
posted by oneswellfoop on Jan 9, 2015 - 12 comments

Future so bright

Yes, yes—We live in the Gibsonian tomorrow, the grim meathook future, the ever-weirder cyberpunk dystopia. But it won't be that way forever. Well, it might get weirder. But good-weird. To that end, the latest anthology from The Sockdolager, You Gotta Wear Shades, contains an astonishing seven tales of brighter futures. Because we happen to think things are in fact gonna get better.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 1, 2015 - 25 comments

1964 Chevy Malibu

The Weirdest Things You Never Knew About The Making Of Repo Man
posted by Artw on Dec 19, 2014 - 70 comments

What are you doing here? ... Physician, heal thyself.

The first 15 mins of all the episodes of classic Doctor Who at the same time. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 8, 2014 - 12 comments

I'm going to punch Cardassia out of orbit. Hold my calls.

Shamus Young reviews Star Trek. (Almost) all of it. [more inside]
posted by lharmon on Dec 5, 2014 - 32 comments

"The Culture represents the place we might hope to get to"

The long-term optimism comes from the the fact that no matter how bad things seem and how idiotically and cruelly we behave. . . well, we've got this far, despite it all, and there are more people on the planet than ever before, and more people living good, productive, relatively happy lives than ever before, and—providing we aren't terminally stupid, or unlucky enough to get clobbered by something we have no control over, like a big meteorite or a gamma ray buster or whatever—we'll solve a lot of problems just by sticking around and doing what we do; developing, progressing, improving, adapting. And possibly by inventing AIs that are smarter and more decent than we are, which will help us get some sort of perspective on ourselves, at the very least. We might just stumble our way blindly, unthinkingly into utopia, in other words, muddling through despite ourselves.
In 2010 Jude Roberts interviewed Iain M. Banks for her PhD. Banks discusses his utopia, The Culture, which he created in a series of science fiction novels.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 19, 2014 - 71 comments

"Tomorrow's news today"

Why We Terraformed a New Home for Future Fiction: "Science fiction is an extremely powerful tool. Not for predicting the future, but for clarifying our present. We want to see that happening not just in monthly magazines, but on Reddit, Digg, and Facebook. We want fiction to be part of your feed." Vice has launched its new site for short-form science fiction, Terraform, with new stories by Bruce Sterling, Cory Doctorow, and "exciting newcomers."
posted by jbickers on Nov 18, 2014 - 20 comments

Nature Special: Futures, adding some fiction into science, once a week

What does the future hold? Is there life beyond the stars? Will artificial intelligence take over the world? Is time travel possible? All of these questions and more are addressed every week in Futures, Nature's science-fiction column. Featuring short stories from established authors and those just beginning their writing career, Futures presents an eclectic view of what may come to pass.... Prepare to be amazed, amused, stimulated and even outraged … That's the blurb from Nature's Futures online archive, with almost 400 short stories (under 1,000 words) to browse, and one new story added each week. If that is a daunting list to face, you can check out SF2 Concatenation's selection of the very best of the SF short stories from the journal Nature, with about 30 top picks as PDFs, instead of the web pages on Nature.com
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 16, 2014 - 6 comments

Looking at Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" series.

Isaac Asimov's Foundation: The little idea that became science fiction's biggest series [SPOILERS] (io9)
On the planet Terminus, a group of academics struggles to survive as the Galactic Empire crumbles. With no weapons, all they can rely on are the predictions of a dead genius named Hari Seldon. That's right — it's time to discuss Isaac Asimov's Foundation!

Welcome to Foundation Week, a Blogging the Hugos special event. In 1983, Isaac Asimov won the Hugo Award for Best Novel for Foundation's Edge, in which he revisited his groundbreaking Foundation mythos for the first time in over thirty years. Because the Foundation series is such classic, quintessential, and beloved science fiction — the original stories won their own unique Hugo for Best All-Time Series in 1966, and influenced artists from Douglas Adams to George Lucas — Josh Wimmer and Alasdair Wilkins will be discussing each of the seven books between today and Sunday. We begin with Foundation, published in 1951.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 13, 2014 - 87 comments

Where stray or personal thoughts have intruded, you may delete them.

"Black Box," a futuristic spy story by Jennifer Egan. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Oct 31, 2014 - 13 comments

100 Scifi-Themed Songs, best or not

io9 has come up with a surprisingly good list of 100 science-fiction-themed songs. The comments are actually pretty great, with a lot more songs. There's rap, heavy metal, folk, polka, you name it. Still missing: more coverage of songs in languages other than English. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on Oct 24, 2014 - 100 comments

Let Me Tell You About Homestuck

5 years.
7,000 pages.
13,000 panels.
700,000 words. [Approximately the length of the Bible.]
Over 3 hours of animation.
Over 23 hours of soundtrack.
15 separate games, in 3 unique styles.

PBS once called Homestuck the "Ulysses of the Internet". Its author, Andrew Hussie — who resembles Joyce in his impishness, stylistic maximalism, and fondness for disturbing smut — calls it "a story I've tried to make as much a pure expression of its medium as possible". It has become a cultural phenomenon, inspiring proms and dominating Amazon makeup reviews. But most importantly, it's a rollicking good read, equal parts slapstick and epic, bildungsroman and cultural commentary.

What on earth about it makes its fans so overly zealous? And how the hell does one start the daunting process of reading Homestuck? If you're even the remotest bit curious about this Internet phenomenon, the following is a teensy-weensy introduction to just what makes Homestuck so terrific. [more inside]
posted by rorgy on Oct 16, 2014 - 231 comments

When Science Fiction Grew Up

How renegade sci-fi writers of the 1960s paved the way for today's blending of literary and genre fiction [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 15, 2014 - 34 comments

Groots, Black Widows, and Every Johnny Depp

The Very Best Cosplay and Outfits from NY Comic-Con 2014
posted by The Whelk on Oct 13, 2014 - 69 comments

Star Trek Fact Check

Sifting through decades of publications, oral history and archival records, Michael Kmet sets the record straight on numerous aspects Star Trek: TOS production history lore. Was "Spock's Brain" originally conceived as a comedy episode? Did Roddenberry write the lyrics to the theme song as a cash grab? Which of the Mercury Seven did Roddenberry try to get as guest stars? [more inside]
posted by audi alteram partem on Oct 13, 2014 - 12 comments

Broke into the wrong goddamn rec room, didn't ya you bastard!?

Monster Legacy, 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]
posted by brundlefly on Sep 29, 2014 - 32 comments


From the ever-fertile brain of Ben Cooper (aka Radical Face, half of Electric President) and pals comes Clone, a musical-visual story in six acts, posted weekly starting today. Act I: The Laboratory.
posted by FelliniBlank on Sep 23, 2014 - 2 comments


SIMILO. "2065. The entire planet is hit by the effects of climate change. One of the few places that remain habitable is Antarctica, where corporations have built private cities. Hebe and Ciro get back together again. She is looking for love. He is searching for his own identity." [NSFW, Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 21, 2014 - 9 comments

What if Dean Martin got shrunken down and put inside Jerry Lewis?

Max Landis comments on 1987's Innerspace trailer. [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 19, 2014 - 22 comments

Future Politics

Future Politics (PDF link) is a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign class by Jake Bowers on the political theory of science fiction and a great recommended reading and discussion list for the rest of us.

How can imagining the future help us understand the present? How does considering the future help us think critically about politics today?...The future hopes and imaginings of past political thinkers do not include either enough detail or enough information about our rapidly changing technological, social, political, and economic landscape to provide us with enough practice to confidently confront the future as citizens as it happens to us. Science fiction allows us a much more detailed view of life in alternative futures, and the writers that we choose to read here tend to think seriously and logically about how current cutting edge technology might have social and political ramifications — however, science fiction authors are also mostly working on a narrative and thus may skim over core concepts that ought to organize our thinking about politics and society. Thus, we read both together in order to practice a kind of theoretically informed futurism (which is not the same as prediction or forecasting, but is more like the practice of confronting the unexpected).
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Sep 17, 2014 - 4 comments

#5½: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss... YEEEAAH..."

"10 Lessons From Real-Life Revolutions That Fictional Dystopias Ignore"...because sometimes the biggest problems with Science Fiction is less 'getting the Science wrong' and more 'getting the Social Science wrong'.
posted by oneswellfoop on Sep 15, 2014 - 30 comments

Cinderhella Lives!

In 2004 Joseph Kahn directed the hyper-kinetic, poorly reviewed motorcycle action movie Torque. It was Kahn's directorial debut, and though he was tapped for (one of many) failed Neuromancer adaptations, he devoted the next six years to a largely self financed project: the horror-comedy farce Detention. Noted cultural critic Steven Shaviro discusses in this essay why Detention, despite also being reviewed negatively, is one of his favorite movies of the decade. Shaviro's review contains major spoilers for the plot, and it's probably best to go into the movie blind. A brief non-spoiler synopsis is available below the jump. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Sep 15, 2014 - 25 comments

15 years after we lost the moon...

With Saturday being the 15th anniversary of the tragic departure of the Moon from Earth orbit, it's a good time to visit The Boneyard, home to all the disassembled remains of the Eagles used in the Space 1999 series. [more inside]
posted by happyroach on Sep 14, 2014 - 32 comments


Entangled. "Forced to care for her catatonic lover Malcolm after a secret quantum experiment goes awry, Erin is determined to uncover the cause of his condition — even at the risk of her own life. This riveting contemporary science-fiction story, from one of the writers of Orphan Black, bridges alternate dimensions as it explores how far a person will go for someone they love." From the TIFF 2014 festival.
posted by homunculus on Sep 14, 2014 - 6 comments

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