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The Bionic Wiki

The Bionic Wiki is a collaborative project to create the most comprehensive information database for the Bionic universe as presented in the 1970's science-fiction, action-adventure series, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Sep 17, 2012 - 43 comments

Space-Time Origami Engine of Dreams

In 1994, theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre proposed a scheme for virtual faster than light travel using a real-world analog to the familiar science fiction trope known as "Warp Drive." The basic premise exploited certain space-time warping effects predicted by General Relativity to fold space-time, theoretically allowing a specially designed space craft to reach distant destinations effectively at FTL speeds without actually having to accelerate to light speed or beyond at all. There was, however, at least one major problem with the proposal: The math suggested it would require as much energy as the mass of the planet Jupiter to power the thing. But according to newer calculations based on a modified version of Alcubierre's original proposal, warp speed travel may now theoretically be within reach (warning: eyeball-gouging Space.com link), requiring drastically less energy than originally thought. Of course, not everyone's convinced there's anything to see here. And even so, prohibitive energy input requirements may not be the only serious challenge facing the development of real-world warp drive technology, so don't go packing your bags for that long overdue vacation to Risa just yet.
posted by saulgoodman on Sep 17, 2012 - 73 comments

"If you’re not getting it wrong really a lot when you’re creating imaginary futures, then you’re just not doing it enough."

Wired talks to William Gibson: on Why Sci-Fi Writers Are (Thankfully) Almost Always Wrong, on Twitter, Antique Watches and Internet Obsessions, and and on Punk Rock, Internet Memes, and ‘Gangnam Style’.
posted by Artw on Sep 15, 2012 - 55 comments

Creeper, no creeping!

Three conventions compared in the great geek sexism debate.
posted by Artw on Sep 10, 2012 - 316 comments

A talk by writer Warren Ellis

How to See the Future.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 9, 2012 - 36 comments

Target: NuWho

What if New Who had Target Novelisations just like the old Doctor Who?
posted by Artw on Sep 7, 2012 - 58 comments

Time for Teletubbies: Resistance is Futile

Time for Teletubbies: Radical Utopian Fiction - how the BBC children's show reveals our posthuman future.
posted by Artw on Sep 5, 2012 - 27 comments

Dozens of planets and hundreds of moons

HTML5 Map of the Firefly 'Verse
posted by Artw on Sep 4, 2012 - 78 comments

South Wales, and Beyond the Infinite

What I wrote was unquestionably fiction — was fantasy. Among Others has magic and fairies. But I was writing fantasy about a science fiction reader who had a lot of the same things happen to her that happened to me. It’s set at the end of 1979 and the beginning of 1980, and it’s about a fifteen year old just when I was fifteen, and from a family like mine and in the time and place and context where I was. I was using a lot of my own experience and memories. But this is Mori, not me, and she lives in a world where magic is real. Jo Walton, who as editor for tor.com revisisted the Hugos 1953-2000, now has one of her own, taking home the 2012 Best Novel Award for Among Others. Other winners include Kij Johnson for her Novella The Man who Bridged the Mist (excerpt) and io9 regular Charlie Jane Anders for her novellete Six Months, Three Days. The Best Graphic Story award went to the webcomic Digger by Ursula Vernon. E Lily Yu took home the Bets New Writer award (technically not a Hugo) and was also nominated for her short story The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees. A couple of TV shows you have heard of also got awards. Links to many of the nominated stories here.
posted by Artw on Sep 3, 2012 - 51 comments

The Drowned World

J.G. Ballard and the alchemy of memory
posted by Artw on Sep 1, 2012 - 24 comments

John Barnes hates snark

Snark is the universal solvent of cultural conversation. Someone mentions Hemingway; you mention cross-dressing, drinking, and short choppy sentences. Not only did you not have to read Hemingway, you have one-upped the other person by not having read it; you know more about it than they do because you know the important thing, that Hemingway doesn't need to be read. Star Wars has a plot straight out of a comic book, the indescribable beauty of an athlete's best moment is just ritualized combat, any given religion is a collection of three or fewer especially silly-sounding superstitions, all academic subjects are useless hazing intended to keep the wrong people from being hired, all peace protestors are just trying to get on television and soldiers are all unemployed hillbillies whose masculinity feels threatened so they've enlisted for a chance to commit war crimes. Occupy Wall Street is rebels without a clue (itself a plagiarized phrase), the Tea Party is scared old people, and nothing in the wide world matters compared to the general wonderfulness of the observer. [Some 3700 words from a science fiction writer deriding and analyzing the emptiness of snark as a rhetorical mode. Might need to click through Blogger's NSFW warning, though it's just text.]
posted by cgc373 on Aug 31, 2012 - 114 comments

Magic realism: not fantasy. Sorry.

Magic realism: not fantasy. Sorry.
posted by shivohum on Aug 27, 2012 - 136 comments

W.D. Richter's "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension"

... Buckaroo Banzai is paradoxically decades ahead of its time and yet completely of its time; it’s profoundly a movie by, for, and of geeks and nerds at a time before geek/nerd culture was mainstreamed, and a movie whose pre-CG special effects and pre-Computer Age production design were an essential part of its good-natured enthusiasm. What at the time was a hip, modern take on classic SF is now, almost thirty years later, almost indistinguishable from the SF cinema that inspired it in terms of the appeal to modern viewers: the charmingly old-fashioned special effects, and the comparatively innocent earnestness of its tone. - Danny Bowes [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 19, 2012 - 119 comments

Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea

Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea. Desolation and the Sublime on a Distant Planet. Mars-inspired artwork, commisioned by NASA, by Kahn & Selesnick (previously). [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 18, 2012 - 11 comments

Throw shit at the fan

"Last week, I graduated from the 2012 Clarion Writer’s Workshop. And everything people tell you about it is true—it’s incredible, it’s transformative, it will make you into the writer you were meant to be, it builds unbreakable bonds with a ton of other brilliant writers. AND you’ll be devastated when it’s over. As I attempt to process my grief at Clarion’s end, I thought I would transcribe the copious notes that I took during the course of those six weeks." Clarion 2012: Every Brilliant Piece of Writing Advice (via jscalzi)
posted by Artw on Aug 14, 2012 - 98 comments

Zeppelin Vs Pterodactyl

100 Wonderful and Terrible Movies that never Existed
posted by Artw on Aug 10, 2012 - 66 comments

"Like POOF: diamond. All day long."

The PBS Idea Channel takes a look at how Minecraft can be a useful simulation for what life could be like in a post-scarcity economy where technology like Makerbots has become common. [slyt]
posted by quin on Aug 10, 2012 - 32 comments

“You’re maybe going to take this journey with me for a spell, People aren’t stones.”

"... That’s the way with epiphanies: You can’t know in advance what they’ll be. Even me. I can see them coming, but I can’t understand something until I understand it.”
T he man who can see the future has a date with the woman who can see many possible futures.
posted by divabat on Aug 9, 2012 - 21 comments

Nuke me, baby

Homebuilding a 474mm tall model of "Robocain" from 1990's Robocop 2, complete with a working head. Clips of Robocain and the other Robocop prototypes from the movie. All photos from the project. Bonus music link: Front Line Assembly performing the Robocop 2 sampling Mindphaser live.
posted by Artw on Aug 8, 2012 - 20 comments

Impossible Dreams

Impossible Dreams וידאו קסם "A sci-fi romance. Based on the Hugo award winning story 'Impossible Dreams' by Tim Pratt. Hebrew with English subtitles." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 7, 2012 - 24 comments

The Modern Prometheus

Comics artist Frazer Irving adapts Mary Shelly's Frankenstein in hauntingly beautiful black and white: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.
posted by Artw on Aug 2, 2012 - 11 comments

District of Wonders

In need of a regular dose of audio short fiction, whether it's horror, crime, or pulp fantasy? Welcome to the District of Wonders, a collection of podcasts spun off from the award winning StarShipSofa (previously, previosly).
posted by Artw on Jul 27, 2012 - 9 comments

CLOUD ATLAS

A six minute trailer has been released for the film adaptation of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, directed by Tom Tykwer and The Wachowskis. [previously]
posted by brundlefly on Jul 26, 2012 - 106 comments

Predicting is hard. Especially the future

What Isaac Asimov thought 2012 would be like: "Assuming we haven't destroyed ourselves in a nuclear war, there will be 8-10 billion of us on this planet—and widespread hunger. These troubles can be traced back to President Ronald Reagan who smiled and waved too much." [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 24, 2012 - 138 comments

A Golden Galaxy of Science Fiction

The Library of America recently started an online companion to their 1950s Science Fiction Golden Era collection which includes cover art, interviews with authors and articles by writers on the genre. Previous link on LOA
posted by Isadorady on Jul 22, 2012 - 7 comments

Live Retro Sci-Fi Radio Comic Book Stage Show

"In a genre of its own—Live-Action Graphic Novel—The Intergalactic Nemesis saga is a hilarious, uplifting adventure of heroes-by-circumstance overcoming impossible odds. But the telling is what makes the experience of The Intergalactic Nemesis so incredibly unique: while three actors, one Foley artist, and one keyboardist perform all the voices, sound effects and music, more than 1,250 hand-drawn, full-color, hi-res, blow-your-mind comic-book images blast from the screen, all performed live." [more inside]
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing on Jul 22, 2012 - 9 comments

Zakalwe enfranchised;

Guardian Book Club: Use of Weapons by Iain M Banks, Week one: John Mullan discusses the twist [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 21, 2012 - 50 comments

"Because we’re a smaller outfit, we can take some risks—find authors and manuscripts that are trying to move the genre forward."

ChiZine Publications (CZP) is an independent Toronto-based book publisher that is single-handedly changing the face of genre fiction in Canada. Though CZP was founded just four years ago and put out just twelve books per year, they are responsible for four of the six nominees for the the 2012 Best Novel Prix Aurora (Canada's highest honour in genre fiction). CZP grew out of the self-styled "dark fiction" 'zine The Chiaroscuro which has been publishing free genre fiction online since 1997. Their most recent release is David Nickle's tale of cold war psionic operatives gone rogue, Rasputin's Bastards.
posted by 256 on Jul 19, 2012 - 6 comments

Solaris, A New Opera

Solaris, a new opera by German composer Detlev Glanert, to a libretto by Reinhard Palm based on the novel (previously) by Stanislaw Lem (previously), has its world premiere today at the Festspielhaus, Bregenz. [More inside] [more inside]
posted by Eyebeams on Jul 18, 2012 - 8 comments

From Solaris to the Zone

Through a spasm of serendipity whose mechanism I cannot begin to fathom, two inarguable masterpieces of Eastern European science fiction - Solaris by Stanislaw Lem and Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky - have recently been accorded fresh translations. In this posting I would like to briefly consider the virtues of these new versions [...] [more inside]
posted by smcg on Jul 11, 2012 - 51 comments

I’ve got a very bad feeling about this...

The 7 best behind-the-scenes Star Wars photos. (More photos here, and here.)
posted by Artw on Jul 11, 2012 - 55 comments

THE GLOAMING

THE GLOAMING. [SLVimeo, possibly NSFW, via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 29, 2012 - 32 comments

The Viable Zombie

“[...] it took more than a dozen calls to work out the details of her zombie contagion. “After about the 17th time,” says McGuire, “I called and said, ‘If I did this, this, this, this, this, this and this, could I raise the dead?’ And got, ‘Don’t … don’t do that.’ And at that point, I knew I had a viable virus.”
posted by batmonkey on Jun 27, 2012 - 70 comments

STAR WOLF, or, he tried to kill me with a forklift!

スターウルフ, "Star Wolf," was a half-hour sci-fi TV show produced and aired in Japan in 1978. (TV Tropes page -- addiction warning) It had somewhat cheesy special effects, understandable being a TV series made just one year after Star Wars, but it made up for it with style, energy, and ACTION PACKED MUSIC.

American viewers will know it best as the show ripped apart and reassembled into two Fugitive Alien movies by Sandy Frank Productions, then shown on two memorable episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. (Episodes on YouTube: Fugitive Alien, its sequel.) Although the Japanese show got at least two seasons (the second under the title Space Hero Star Wolf), only the first four episodes appear to exist on the internet. Here they are: One - Two - Three - Four. (There are no subtitles, but you should be able to figure out what is going on if you've seen the MST episode.) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jun 27, 2012 - 26 comments

Belated Happy Birthday, Murray Leinster

Murray Leinster wrote more than fifteen hundred works of speculative fiction. Technovelgy notes the science fiction tropes and devices that he invented, as well as other writers. Chee!
posted by winna on Jun 22, 2012 - 18 comments

Great NYTtimes article on Philip K. Dick

The fish pendant, on Philip K. Dick’s account, began to emit a golden ray of light, and Dick suddenly experienced what he called anamnesis: the direct perception by the mind of a metaphysical reality.
posted by xammerboy on May 21, 2012 - 109 comments

"The beauty of [science fiction] is—the whole point of it is—that humans are the same."

Each morning at 9am for the next two weeks, (Mefi's Own) scifi and fantasy author John Scalzi will be chatting with musician Jonathan Coulton about one of his science fiction songs -- a different song each morning, -- in a daily podcast over at Tor.com called Journey to Planet JoCo. Series index. On May 29th, they'll be premiering a brand new, previously unheard Coulton song.
posted by zarq on May 17, 2012 - 3 comments

Player of Games

Iain M. Banks talks about his favorite games.
posted by Artw on May 9, 2012 - 72 comments

Hook Up Your Slurry Tube And Chow Down

io9 asks the question: When and Why did Science Fiction drop the ubiquitous "Dinner in a pill" device?
posted by The Whelk on May 7, 2012 - 95 comments

Women's lib... in space!

Star Maidens was an obscure and pretty much forgotten British/German low budget (they borrowed sets from Space 1999 ) science fiction televsion series from 1975... On the planet Medusa where the women (naturally all hot) rule over the men, two of the later inferior species escape (including Gareth 'Blake' Thomas!) to the 'paradise' of Earth [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 4, 2012 - 13 comments

V'Ger is that which seeks the Creator

In 2273, after having been thought lost in a black hole, Voyager 6 returned to Federation space as V'Ger, the massive and menacing spaceship at the heart of Star Trek: The Motion Picture... Designing the Living Machine - concept art for V'Ger, Redesigning the Walk to V’Ger, The Lighting and Photography of Star Trek's "V'ger", working on the interior of V'ger, V'ger External View, V'Ger - Spock Mindmeld Model Piece (scroll way down) (may contain Darth Vader and Miss Piggy), animating the "V'ger Probe", V'ger rear view.
posted by Artw on May 3, 2012 - 41 comments

Future tech

20 best designs in sci-fi movies
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 3, 2012 - 110 comments

Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element"

Beanplating on The Fifth Element from architecture students at the University of Waterloo. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Apr 25, 2012 - 198 comments

Spoiler Warning: He did.

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, great-grandson of African nobleman and military strategist Abram Petrovich Gannibal, is well known for the tremendous influence his writings have had on both Russian and American literature. What is somewhat less known is that Pushkin, a notorious firebrand, fought in a total of twenty-nine duels in his youth.

Imagine how different the world would be if he had died as a result of one of them.
posted by 256 on Apr 20, 2012 - 46 comments

Tribes: Ascend: free-to-play fps with a twist

Tribes: Ascend is a class-based sci-fi first-person shooter, and the successor to the much-loved Tribes series of games. What makes it unique is that there are no hitscan weapons, and players are able to jetpack, and frictionlessly glide (ski) over terrain. It is free to download for Windows as of April 12th, and so far the reception has been overwhelmingly positive.
posted by paradoxflow on Apr 14, 2012 - 43 comments

Style is the bomb

Pyrkon Dance 2012 (Youtube, Vimeo) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 14, 2012 - 10 comments

2012 Hugo Award Nominees announced

The nominees for the 2012 Hugo Award were announced over the weekend. Nominees include Metafilter's own jscalzi (who will also be the host for this year's Hugo Awards ceremony) for the beginning of his epic fantasy trilogy April Fool's joke The Shadow War of the Night Dragons, Book One: The Dead City (Prologue). One record being set this year is Mira Grant's - aka Seanan McGuire's - nominations: she is the first woman to have four Hugo nominations in a single year. [more inside]
posted by rmd1023 on Apr 9, 2012 - 85 comments

"By the way, it's not in the goddamed cat and it's not in Newt, either. I would never be that cruel."

James Cameron's responses to Aliens critics.
posted by Artw on Apr 2, 2012 - 127 comments

"Science fiction is, after all, the art of extrapolation." ~ Michael Dirda

Daily Science Fiction: Original Science Fiction and Fantasy every weekday. Welcome to Daily Science Fiction, an online magazine of science fiction short stories. We publish "science fiction" in the broad sense of the word: This includes sci-fi, fantasy, slipstream—whatever you'd likely find in the science fiction section of your local bookstore. Our stories are mostly short short fiction each Monday through Thursday, hopefully the right length to read on a coffee break, over lunch, or as a bedtime tale. Friday's weekend stories are longer.
posted by Fizz on Apr 2, 2012 - 18 comments

See you at the party, Richter

The newly released trailer for Total Recall (2012) shows a Quaid quite conspicously not getting his ass to Mars. It could all have been different, as many versions of Total Recall 2 have been in the works over the years. Meanwhile is the Robocop remake anything but total recall? And has the American action movie gone kablooey?
posted by Artw on Apr 1, 2012 - 236 comments

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