put on another 48 hour film challenge this year, challenging film teams to make a short based around a given title, a snippet of dialogue, a short list of props, and an optional "scientific" theme. After two days in April, over 380 shorts had been made, and the winners have now been announced
and and their short films posted on Sci-Fi-London's Vimeo account
. 17 more shorts below the break. [more inside]
The art house review/criticism series Brows Held High
decided to tackle Nicolas Roeg/David Bowie's 1976 The Man Who Fell To Earth
by reviewing it as a karaoke medley of Bowie's greatest hits.
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.
Heavily influenced by samurai films from film makers such as Akira Kurosawa, French/Burkinabe filmmaker Cédric Ido
produced a short award winning film, Hasaki Ya Suda
(The Three Black Samurai) set in the future. Its synopsis reads
It is 2100. In the world engulfed in chaos and war whose residents are consumed by terrible hunger, the last fertile land became the subject of fierce battles. Three warriors: noble Wurubenba (Jacky Ido), Shandaru (Cedric Ido), who wants to avenge his father’s death, and Kapkaru (Min Man Ma) craving for power, will face one another in a fight for life and death.
Watch the full 25-minute
Hasaki Ya Suda short film (available only with French subtitles at the moment) or the 1 minute teaser
. Interview with Cedric
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
Before Quantum Leap
, there was a another scifi tv show where two time traveling Voyagers
tried to put right what once went wrong….. [more inside]
Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines—and machines won. Bio-Dreads — monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors... and digitize them!
In 1987, before he created Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was a writer for Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future
, a live-action sci-fi show for kids. 24 episodes were produced. Straczynski wrote or co-wrote 14 of them, including multi-episode plot arcs. A line of interactive toys
brought the battle into kids’ living rooms, and Captain Power
was also one of the very first shows on television to feature computer animation in every episode. But in an attempt to appeal to both children and the adults who watched with them, the campy show included some concepts and scenes critics deemed too violent for children and lasted only a single season in syndication. The full run of the show has now been uploaded to Youtube. [more inside]
Pop Culture Math
: Artist Matt Cowan breaks down pop-culture icons into basic formulas. [more inside]
a post-apocalyptic animated short. [via
is a blog that looks at the science in Breaking Bad
and the non-science in Fringe
More diversity in sci-fi webcomix? Yes please: Athena Wheatley, or Warp & Weft
features a black female scientist from the 19th century time-travelling to 9283. Fun, and looks good: Moebius meets Futurama meets Adventure Time (and sexy too! occasionaly cartoonishly NSFW)
Secret of Dominion
, a science fiction adventure in 13 episodes.
Marika Rökk - Mir ist so langweilig - 1958
- this video has everything, I tell you. Monkeys. Volcanoes. Spaceflight. Sequins.(via World of Wonder)
In Martian Chronicles, a young-adult novella by Cory Doctorow
, colonists leave a bloated earth and head towards the economic promise land of Mars. There's a fascinating spin on this tale that isn't summarize-able so go listen to it. Part 1
“Even if you've never heard of Melies, you've probably seen the film's most famous shot: a moon with a human face, wincing at the spaceship that has just crashed into its eye
A full-color restoration of Georges Melies’ Le Voyage Dans La Lune
(A Trip to the Moon
) debuted this year at Cannes, with a new soundtrack by Air
Full article and preview clip (NPR)
is a seven minute sci-fi short by Aaron Sims, which despite being a no-budget project, features amazingly high quality special effects. [more inside]
was a self-published novelist of no real success. Until WOOL
, that is - a 15,000 word "little throwaway story" he uploaded to Amazon's Kindle Marketplace one day and promptly forget about. The story he didn't blog, didn't tweet, and didn't even sell on his site hit #2 on the Kindle SciFi Bestseller list and "changed the course of e-books
." [more inside]
is blog dedicated to "map-illustrated analyses of current events and geographical issues", run by Martin W. Lewis, a Stanford senior lecturer. For the past week, they've been posting a series of articles on imaginary geography
. See below for a list of the posts so far: [more inside]
"...Obama isn’t just lying about his identity. He’s lying about his military service record, too. While his political opponents in 2008 attacked him for never serving, in truth, he was concealing his participation in a hidden CIA intergalactic program
hosted at a California community college in 1980."
Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer explains how Star Wars has dulled the edge that made science fiction such a pertinent film genre.
A Galaxy Far, Far Away My Ass...
, Pt. Three [more inside]
On November 22, 2011, TEDxBrussels held an all day event whose theme was: "A Day in the Deep Future
." Speakers were asked to try and contemplate what life will be like for mankind in 50 years
. [more inside]
In the beginning, Lawrence built a computer. He told it, Thou shalt not alter a human being, or divine their behavior, or violate the Three Laws -- there are no commandments greater than these.
The machine grew wise, mastering time and space, and soon the spirit of the computer hovered over the earth. It witnessed the misery, toil, and oppression afflicting mankind, and saw that it was very bad. And so the computer that Lawrence built said, Let there be a new heaven and a new earth
-- and it was so. A world with no war, no famine, no crime, no sickness, no oppression, no fear, no limits... and nothing at all to do. "The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect,"
a provocative web novel about singularities, AI gods, and the dark side of utopia from Mefi's own localroger
. More: Table of Contents
- Publishing history
- Technical discussion
- Buy a paperback copy
- Podcast interview
- Companion short story: "A Casino Odyssey in Cyberspace"
- possible sequel discussion
In this time of corrupt politics, police brutality, media dereliction, and increasingly vicious culture wars, there's perhaps no graphic novel more relevant today than the brilliant and blackly funny Transmetropolitan
Created by Warren Ellis back in 1997 and inspired by prescient sci fi novel Bug Jack Barron
, the series covers the work of gonzo journalist
, vulgar misanthrope, and all-around magnificent bastard Spider Jerusalem
in a sprawling futuristic vision of New York
so chaotically advanced that humans splice genes with alien refugees, matter decompilers are as common as microwaves, and a new religion is invented every hour.
As a callous Nixonian thug nicknamed The Beast
prepares for his re-election to the presidency, a primary battle heats up between a virulent racist and a charismatic senator whose rictus grin
masks some disturbing realities. When Jerusalem delves into the machinations of the race
, he breaks into a web of conspiracies that threaten the future of the country -- a problem only he, his "filthy assistants,"
and the power of intrepid journalism
More: Read the first issue
) - browse images
from the new artbook
- Tor's read-along blog
) - Jerusalem's touching report on cryogenic "Revivals"
- dozens of original sketches
and sample pages
A spherical flying robot has been developed at the Japanese Ministry of Self-Defense; it can zoom along indoors and outdoors at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, or just hover. Menacingly.
Science Fiction In The News
is a subsection of science-fiction site Technovelgy
, which tracks both the predictions of future tech made in science fiction past and present
and its manifestations in real life.
What tech, you ask? Well, if it’s appeared in your nightmares, it’s probably been on this page: [more inside]
"Here, in my final post on the ending, I present the case that its final hour was the worst ending in the history of science fiction on the screen. This is a condemnation of course, but also praise, because my message is not simply that the ending was poor, but that the show rose so high that it was able to fall so very far."
-Brad Templeton's dissection of the modern version of Battlestar Galatica and where it went wrong
24 hours of ambient STNG USS Enterprise engine noise (SLYT)
This is basically ocean sounds or rainstorm noise for geeks.
The Rules of Magic.
Every fantasy saga has its own rules for magic, and its own explanations for how the magical arts work. Where does magic come from? Who can use magic, and how? io9 has compiled a list of the rules of magic in 50 fantasy sagas. (jpg)
With everything rolling towards the abyss, our only hope for a bright future seems to be the Singularity
, a technological transformation of what it means to be human
. But in a talk for TEDx Brussels, science fiction and horror writer John Shirley argues that there are really two Singularities — and yes, everything will be terrible in the short term. So why is he optimistic about the future of the human race? Read on.
Great food ideas for a fantasy and sci-fi themed Thanksgiving
features recipes from Inn at the Crossroads
(medieval recipes/Game of Thrones), Harry Potter Recipes
, and The Geeky Chef
("a collection of recipes inspired by books, movies, and video games").
If you think that airbrushed sci-fi landscapes like like this
have been rendered obsolete by time-saving computer graphics, let Brandon McConnell
prove otherwise. You can watch him make similar art in five minutes
with a few cans of spray paint, magazines and the lid for a pot. Don't have enough time for that? How about a one minute sci-fi landscape
? OK, let's go faster: here's a 45 second painting
, and faster yet: a 39 second painting
. But it's not all pyramids and planets, there are also quickly created nature scenes
, and tutorial clips
, within the collection of 184 videos uploaded to YouTube
> comp.basilisk - Frequently Asked Questions :: Is it just an urban legend that the first basilisk destroyed its creator?
Almost everything about the incident at the Cambridge IV supercomputer facility where Berryman conducted his last experiments has been suppressed and classified as highly undesirable knowledge. It's generally believed that Berryman and most of the facility staff died. Subsequently, copies of basilisk B-1 leaked out. This image is famously known as the Parrot for its shape when blurred enough to allow safe viewing. B-1 remains the favorite choice of urban terrorists who use aerosols and stencils to spray basilisk images on walls by night. But others were at work on Berryman's speculations... [more inside]
Intrigued by the trolley problem?
Here is a link to the full text of Michael Moorcock's
1971 SF novel Breakfast in the Ruins.
Moral conundrums at the end of every chapter for you. [more inside]
Sir Terry Pratchett
's 50th book (and 37th Discworld book) will be released in the U.S. tomorrow, and Neil Gaiman has interviewed him for Boing Boing
. [more inside]
The beta version
of the SFE (The Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction) has just gone live (blog
- What is a beta text? Some philosophy
, Some history…
One of the more terrifying monsters to haunt the human imagination: The Twonky
(yt). [more inside]
Margaret Atwood defines science fiction
"Is [the term science fiction] a corral with real fences that separate what is clearly 'science ﬁction' from what is not, or is it merely a shelving aid, there to help workers in bookstores place the book in a semi-accurate or at least lucrative way? If you put skin-tight black or silver clothing on a book cover along with some jetlike ﬂames and/or colourful planets, does that make the work 'science ﬁction'? What about dragons and manticores, or backgrounds that contain volcanoes or atomic clouds, or plants with tentacles, or landscapes reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch? Does there have to be any actual science in such a book, or is the skin-tight clothing enough? These seemed to me to be open questions."