Kir Bulychev died today.
.) Those of us familiar with Russian sci-fi will always remember him for such masterpieces as Poselok
(Those Who Survive) and a famous children's series Devochka s Zemli
(The Girl from Planet Earth). More than just a writer, he was a profuse translator, East Asian researcher, and playwright. Over ten films were produced from his books and scripts. Almost all works are online in Russian
, but I could find no online translations.
posted by azazello
on Sep 5, 2003 -
William Gibson now on William Gibson then. Yep, that is indeed me, though nothing I'm saying there, at such painful length, is even remotely genuine. They were offering $500 for someone to monologue about the summer of lurve, etc., and I was (1) somewhat articulate, and (2) wanted desperately to get my ass out of Yorkville ... $500 was serious money
posted by delmoi
on May 1, 2003 -
Is there no spoon?
The Warner Bros Matrix site
is home to a series of scholarly essays inspired by the film (last updated 3/20/03). I mean, sure, the film offers some "whoa dude" moments regarding technology, perception, and vinyl pants, but I was surprised to find it an interesting launching point for discussions about freedom
, and Plato's Cave
as well. Being a philosophy layman, I can't vouch for their quality with any authority, but if you know the movies inside and out, as I apparently do (god help me) you might find the essays interesting.* *for the next 15 agonizing days, anyway
posted by scarabic
on Apr 30, 2003 -
Multi Genre Star Ship Comparison?
"This site is intended to allow science fiction fans to get an impression of the true scale of their favorite science fiction spacecraft by being able to campare ships accross genres, as well as being able to compare them with contemporary objects with which they are probably familiar." Someone has spare time...
posted by Spoon
on Apr 10, 2003 -
50 Most Significant Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books.
Not sure what their criteria was, but this is a nice list. Lots of obvious, gotta-be-on-such-a-list choices, but also some surprises that should have people buying some books they might not have thought of before. (The URL is rather cumbersome, but that's the only one I could find).
posted by sassone
on Mar 5, 2003 -
is "an interactive hard science space opera, a joint effort in science fiction worldbuilding and a forum for cutting edge science fiction ideas".
posted by signal
on Jan 3, 2003 -
Alternate universes may exist besides our own in some ghostly manner. Various science-fiction series explore parallel universes
, but what do serious physicists think? Hugh Everett III's doctoral thesis outlines a controversial theory in which the universe at every instant branches into countless parallel worlds
. Physicist Andrei Linde's theory of self-reproducing universes
implies that new universes are being created all the time through a budding process. Stephen Hawking's quantum cosmology
also suggests the possibility of other universes connected by wormholes. Some scientists feel that the famous photon double slit experiments
proves the existence of parallel universes in which a photon from one universe interacts with a photon from another. Black hole theory suggests that black holes may be portals to parallel universes
Science-fiction stories about parallel universes always delight the mind. Two of my favorite SF novels on parallel universes are Heinlein's Job
and Number of the Beast
. Several others intrigue me, such as The Neoreality Series
, and Parallelities
. Science books on the subject include a famous book
by David Deutsch.
Do you have any favorite books on parallel universes or parallel realities, fiction or nonfiction?
What do you think? No doubt, scientists and science-fiction authors
will continue to explore the concept in the decades to come.
posted by Morphic
on Oct 21, 2002 -
What is the AniMatrix?
A direct-to-video release of 9 animated shorts (comic book style, pure CGI, etc) by 7 directors looks at possible visions of the world pre-Matrix. Looks like it could be an interesting collection.
posted by mathowie
on Sep 5, 2002 -
Leon Sergeivitch Termen
, born in Russia and later a US resident, is best known as the inventor of The Theremin
, the first real electronic instrument. The Theremin is played by standing and wavings one's hands
. It was used to give a futuristic sound to classic sci-fi films
and still looks plenty sci-fi when played
[quicktime clip] and the music it produces is strange and beautiful
himself ended up getting kidnapped by Soviet agents and sent to a Siberian prison camp. After his release, he continued to work for the KGB, creating one of the first "bugs" -- then used to eavesdrop on the American Embassy. He was mostly unaware of the fate of his eponymous instrument. Meanwhile, his former lover, Clara Rockmore
, went on to try and change the thermin from novelty to serious instrument, she even had her own unique playing style
(heard in the real player clip above). Want to play? build your own
, or download your own
, and join the whole odd subculture
posted by malphigian
on Aug 11, 2002 -
is often seen as the first modern horror writer, and maybe the best. His stories
tend to follow a certain formula: a protagonist investigates strange events and is drawn into ancient horrors and madness. Lovecraft himself seems to have been deeply freaked out by the ocean, and evil from the deeps is another common theme
Anyone who has seen The Deep
episode of the BBC's Blue Planet is well on their way to feeling as Lovecraft did. And recently, strange artifacts
and strange sounds
have arisen from the deeps.
Are you Afraid? Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wagh'nagl fhtagn!
posted by malphigian
on Jun 14, 2002 -
"This is a war, and we are soldiers."
The first teaser for "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions" has hit the web (QT only). Is this the movie that is going to break the Spider-Man/Star Wars Episode 2 records? Do the fans want/need a sequel? Can they possibly top the "cool fight scene" quotient of the last movie?
posted by Grum
on May 15, 2002 -
Lucas: Powerful reteller of myth - or galactic gasbag?
Salon has a scathing review of Lucas' claim that the basis of the Star Wars saga is in "man's oldest stories" and that he was guided by Joseph Campbell.
"With 'Star Wars' I consciously set about to re-create myths and the classic mythological motifs," Lucas says. "I wanted to use those motifs to deal with issues that exist today."
Hogwash, says author Steven Hart. Star Wars is based not on "The Odyssey" or the "Upanishads", but on Asimov, Heinlen, Herbert and other 20th century S.F.
posted by rshah21
on Apr 10, 2002 -
A Few Words About Jack Vance. Gersen entered a hall with a floor of immaculate white glass tiles. On one hand was the display wall, characteristic of middle-class European homes; here hung a panel intricately inlaid with wood, bone and shell: Lenka workmanship from Nowhere, one of the Concourse planets; a set of perfume points from Pamfile; a rectangle of polished and perforated obsidian; and one of the so-called "supplication slabs"* from Lupus 23II.
* The nonhuman natives of Peninsula 4A, Lupus 23II, devote the greater part of their lives to the working of these slabs, which apparently have a religious significance. Twice each year, at the solstices, two hundred and twenty-four microscopically exact slabs are placed aboard a ceremonial barge, which is then allowed to drift out upon the ocean. The Lupus Salvage Company maintains a ship just over the horizon from peninsula 4A. As soon as the raft has drifted out of sight of land, it is recovered, the slabs are removed, exported and sold as objets d'art.
(Not for season ticket holders to The Short Attention Span Theater
posted by y2karl
on Apr 10, 2002 -
Attack Of The 50ft. Website!
How do you kill a monster that never sleeps?! The monster created by atoms gone wild! All New! Thrills! Shock! Suspense! For your own good, we urge you not to see it alone! See the ghastly ghouls in flaming color! The greatest collection of classic science fiction and horror poster art on the net! Now showing in a browser near you.
This website has not been rated.
posted by riffola
on Apr 9, 2002 -
Cosmos Patrol: Star Trek for Communists
In the late 60s, the Soviets copied the TV show Star Trek
and used it as propaganda and entertainment. Set in the 23rd Century, the 400 galaxy-exploring crewmembers are led by a handsome Commander with a coldly logical First Officer. Ensign Chekhov assists as they encounter alien life forms and embrace them as brothers.
posted by stevis
on Jan 12, 2002 -
A veritable potpourri of je ne sais quoi
: so, I'm just dinkin' around, looking things up from my wish list, compiled before I got online at home,
tonight's quest was 'Virgil Finlay
and I back into
this incredible virtual theme park devoted to the greatest living American science fiction author
(that lifted straight from my show's
, ahem, links
page, that), imo--no humble here and now--and it's got starcharts of the Oikumene
...gee, did I say it was a French site? And Rpgs and on and on and on...You 'could her nipples be any harder?'
Klingon forehead hair splitting color TV babies have no idea: the technology does not exist to take his work to screen. The man is the premiere prose stylist of the genre and this concept has merit, I tells ya...
posted by y2karl
on Oct 2, 2001 -
An interesting structure (gimmick? excuse?) for short fiction and essays
-- The current topic is Aluminum -- "The roll of Alcoa is in the kitchen, in the drawer by the sink. Go get it. Now. Cover your head entirely, using all of the roll just to be safe. Be sure it's loose enough so you can breathe. Leave a tiny slit to see through, about as wide as a line of type on your computer monitor.
Lean your head forward, close to the CRT, so you can read these words, a line at a time. Are you ready? Good.
Now let's talk about the dangers of exposure to computer monitors. "
posted by fpatrick
on Sep 6, 2001 -
Towel Day -- tribute to Douglas Adams
Here's an idea for those of you who want to show some sort of public sympathy for Douglas Adams. This site is proposing May 25th be "Towel Day" - carry a towel prominently and use it as a talking point for discussing Adams with people. I can't decide if this is lame or cool, so you tell me. (via FARK
posted by briank
on May 16, 2001 -
Let it rest, already!
Star Trek series is going into casting, with filming to begin in May for a release in Autumn 2001. From the character descriptions it looks like it's basically a remake of the original series. I think they've run out of ideas. (Link via GeekPress
posted by Steven Den Beste
on Mar 5, 2001 -
"I get this strange burning sensation when I riot."
The Pentagon wants to produce a crowd-dispersal weapon that sends electromagnetic waves up to 700 yards, making people in its wake feel like their skin has been stuck in a microwave. Supposedly there are no side effects. (The NY Times' coverage
has a photo of the device strapped to a Humvee.) One of these could really come in handy on the morning commute.
posted by werty
on Mar 2, 2001 -
is the first movie Web site that ever made me eager to see a movie I haven't heard a thing about. It won't open in the US till March, but it looks awfully clever, and I'm always up for a good short-term-memory-loss revenge thriller. And it's a site whose all-Flash version is better than the HTML version - another rarity. Also, the domain name is pretty clever - the movie's name spelled backwards, which turns out to be thematically and structurally appropriate to the movie.
posted by nicwolff
on Dec 21, 2000 -
Dark Angel is a rip-off of Heinlein's Friday,
which I completely agree with. Cameron has been successfully sued by Harlon Ellison before for blatantly ripping off his ideas. Then again the sci-fi word is a static world of either super-humans/machines/aliens/time-trave/alternate dimensions.
posted by skallas
on Oct 19, 2000 -
"Babylon" brothers and sisters,
a fan has collected, archived and portaled a large collection of postings (Usenet and other forms) on writing, SF and TV work by J. Michael Straczynski, the "Babylon 5" creator-executive producer, also a longtime SF writer and, if you are as old as I am, you may remember him as the Scripts columnist for Writer's Digest. They're not ordered chronologically or topically, so they read more like random postcards from the volcano. But there's plenty of writing advice here and some nuggets of TV gossip dropped along the road.
posted by jhiggy
on Oct 5, 2000 -