The whole of Mars' surface was shaped by liquid water around four billion years ago, say scientists. Scientists with the best names possible for the job. [more inside]
Meet Messer Chups, whose main influences seem to be B-movies, sci fi, theremin, surf rock and Vincent Price. [more inside]
Fans of Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear please take note: they are designing some kind of iPhone App. [more inside]
Why are so many recent Young Adult novels set in nightmarish futuristic dystopias? Because they're just like high school. [more inside]
The Martians And Us a BBC documentary series on the history of British science fiction. Part 1 - 'From Apes To Aliens' (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) Part 2 - 'Trouble In Paradise' (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) Part 3 - The End Of The World As We Know It (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) [more inside]
"Sex and the City 2: a science fiction flick replete with fictional cartographies, temporal recursion, and a wanton, metro-biological god-being that exists both within and without of time and space. Oh, and magic shoes."
If Giovanni Ribisi’s character isn’t listed as “Pointlessly Gleeful Cunt” in the credits I will be so disappointed
Spike of Templar, AZ (Previously, Previously) tends to go on rants on twitter, now you can follow them.
Amari's video for their song Tiger is a voyage through some vintage 80's scifi.
Cult Radio A-Go-Go. "Our radio crew, including your hosts Terry & Tiffany, Cragg our drive-in movie gargoyle and Wicked Kitty, welcomes you to our world of exploration into the very bizarre genre of ultra rare B - pop culture in comedy, parody. horror, sci-fi, exploitation, sexploitation, T.V., Old Time Radio & drive-in movies! We are stationed at the abandoned drive-in near death valley where we are broadcasting our pirate internet radio signal to you, for the audio pop culture junkies needing a fix!" [more inside]
"For toDAY third of MAY twenty-TEN ManhatTEN reports mild spring-type weather under the Fuller Dome. Ditto on the General Technics Plaza. But Shalmaneser is a Micryogenic (R) computer bathed in liquid helium and it's cold in his vault." [more inside]
In an exclusive interview with MTV, Ridley Scott releases further details on his latest project: two 3D Alien prequels, which will have a non-Ripley female lead and focus on the story behind the first movie's "Space Jockey." [more inside]
In 1957, Frank Herbert was a journalist and writer of short stories, on his way to Florence, Oregon to do an article about the U. S. Department of Agriculture's attempts to control sand dunes that were shifting. The USDA was searching for something to stabilize the dunes, and they came upon European beach grass. Herbert's research was for an article tentatively titled "They Stopped The Moving Sands." The article was never completed, but his research of dune stabilization lead to larger ecological matters, and eventually the novel Dune. This year marks the 45th anniversary that novel. The world of dunes, both fictional and real, has changed quite a bit in the years. [more inside]
Pigs in Space appeared in over 30 Muppet Show episodes and spoofed contemporary science fiction television series. Most of them are now on YouTube or other video streaming sites. Links inside. [more inside]
Fine Structure: Ching raises one hand ahead of him and delivers a series of complex commands to the fabric of reality. [more inside]
"George Lucas made "Star Wars"; but it was the fans who turned it into a seemingly undying worldwide phenomenon. So I thought it appropriate to give them a prominent voice in the documentary." The People vs. George Lucas premiered at this year's SXSW. Official Site. FB page. More.
"He surely had an indispensable role in the morphing of suburbia into disturbia in the cultural imagination, the real conception underlying the pretend-naïveté about the Sheppertons of the city and the mind--not only in the simple and tediously scandalous fact of his living there but in the power of his depicted suburbs too." China Mieville reviews J. G. Ballard's posthumous collection of short fiction.
Star Wars Urban Photography Click "Work" then "The Dark Lens (Star Wars)" (It's a flash gallery, non-flash view of artist's photos) via)
The Jain's Death. A sci-fi webcomic by Patrick Farley.
He invented or popularized a startling array of the fundamental elements of film: the dissolve, the fade-in and fade-out, slow motion, fast motion, stop motion, double exposures and multiple exposures, miniatures, the in-camera matte, time-lapse photography, color film (albeit hand-painted), artificial film lighting, production sketches and storyboards, and the whole idea of narrative film.
By 1897, in a studio of his own design and construction – the first complete movie studio – his hand forged virtually everything on his screen. Norman McLaren writes, "He was not only his own producer, ideas man, script writer, but he was his own set-builder, scene painter, choreographer, deviser of mechanical contrivances, special effects man, costume designer, model maker, actor, multiple actor, editor and distributor." Also, his own cinematographer, and the inventor of cameras to suit his special conceptions. Not even auteur directors such as Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, and Stanley Kubrick would personally author so many aspects of their films."Inside: 57 films by Georges Méliès, the Grandfather of Visual Effects. [more inside]
Space: 1999 (1975-77) is a British sci-fi series, the last production of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson who were first recognized for their work in "Supermarionation." This series saw the end of the couple, with Sylvia Anderson leaving the show at the end of the first season. She was replaced by Fred Freiberger, who brought in some Star Trek sensibilities and attempted to cater the show more to the American action-adventure audience. A third season was planned but not produced, and left the series unfinished, ending on an episode that was "like bad Shakespeare, or worse, bad Star Trek." Fans still support the show in many forms, even creating a semi-official fan-produced mini-episode entitled Message from Moonbase Alpha to bring some completion to the series, which was shown on September 13, 1999 at the Breakaway: 1999 convention. Another group of fans has recently taken to updating the whole series, to bring Space:1999 into the future. [more inside]
"The constant undertone of the singing formed the theme that bound her mind together, no matter how many different things she might do at one time."
"The Gentle Seduction," by Marc Stiegler. A non-techie lives before, through, and after the Singularity. (via Reddit) [more inside]
The most expensive movie ever made, is getting its first reviews ... and so far the thumbs are mostly up. [more inside]
If you wouldn't like living that way (in the lowest status slot in the pecking order), you're doing it wrong.
Metafilter's Own Charlie Stross asks the question; " You, and a quarter of a million other folks, have embarked on a 1000-year voyage aboard a hollowed-out asteroid. What sort of governance and society do you think would be most comfortable, not to mention likely to survive the trip without civil war, famine, and reigns of terror?" engrossing commentary follows. (via)
Famous Monsters of Filmland, the legendary genre magazine edited by the late Forrest J Ackerman (previously), will be resurrected by comic publisher IDW.
No mere transcription can give the true flavor of the original printing of The Eye of Argon. It was mimeographed with stencils cut on an elite manual typewriter. Many letters were so faint as to be barely readable, others were overstruck, and some that were to be removed never got painted out with correction fluid. Usually, only one space separated sentences, while paragraphs were separated by a blank line and were indented ten spaces. Many words were grotesquely hyphenated. And there were illustrations - I cannot do them justice in mere words, but they were a match for the text.The Eye of Argon (prev.), long hailed as the worst sci-fi story ever written, is at last available online in all its original glory.
What's 51 years old and made of silicone with red food dye? The Blob, best known for it's work in The Blob, an independent film released in 1958, with Steve McQueen's second movie role (following Never Love a Stranger, which was released earlier that same year). The movie has been considered the definitive '50s film about a town that won't listen to the kids until it's too late (as noted in a review for the Criterion laserdisc release), with a super-catchy theme song (extended single version and b-side Saturday Night in Tiajuana) that was Burt Bacharach's third US hit song. (See more: theatrical trailer, full film on Veoh, full film as YouTube playlist) Times change, and so do monsters, and things got a bit wacky in the 1970s, with Beware! The Blob (aka Son of Blob; wiki, trailer, full film). The sequel played more to the slapstick comedy than the sci-fi/horror spectrum of things. Thirty years after the original, The Blob was remade in 1988 (wiki, trailer, full film), and is supposedly being re-created by Rob Zombie, though his statement about reviving The Blob without "the big red blobby thing" has people asking, then why remake The Blob? (previous blobby goodness) [more inside]
Stargate Universe ("SGU") premieres this evening in the US and Canada, on 10/6 in the UK and Ireland and in Australia on 10/9. Billed as "military scifi," the series is reportedly less campy than its predecessors and uses thematic elements which will seem familiar to Battlestar Galactica fans. Preview trailer. For US viewers, Hulu will be streaming the show a day after it airs. Reviews are mixed. Wikipedia.
In 1954, Harper's Magazine ran a story called the Jet-Propelled Couch (Part 2) about a government scientist who was forced to go into to treatment. His problem? He lived half his life on another planet:
“As I read about the adventures of Kirk Allen in these books the conviction began to grow on me that the stories were not only true to the very last detail but that they were about me. In some weird and inexplicable way I knew that what I was reading was my biography. Nothing in these books was unfamiliar to me: I recognized everything–the scenes, the people, the furnishings of rooms, the events, even the words that were spoken. My everyday life began to recede at this point. In fact, it became fiction–and, as it did, the books became my reality.”Ever since the story was published, sci-fi fans have attempted to discover who Kirk Allen really was. One theory is that it was cleverly disguised Cordwainer Smith, others think there may have been a government physicist named John Carter, and some think he might have been more than one patient. Either way, it's a great story. [via] [more inside]
The stories of now. An essay by Kim Stanley Robinson on the remarkable pool of SF talent currently working in the U.K.
King of an Endless Sky is a new graphic story by Teetering Bulb, AKA Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon. A new page every Thursday, published at Tor.com. [more inside]
Timelines: Time Travel in Popular Film and TV is a beautiful visualization of that most favored science fiction gimmick. For a more thorough, but less pretty, view of science fiction that messes with history, there is a chronology of when 1,800 different alternate history stories deviate from our own time line. Also, a brief look at the logic of time travel in science fiction, and how it should work.
In praise of the sci-fi corridor -- a geeky look at that staple of sci-fi movie sets - the corridor.
SciFi Wire lists 68 science fiction sights that can be found in the U.S. The sights include the "Ghostbusters headquarters," Captain Kirk's future birthplace, and Mothman museum.
Welcome to District 9. Director Neill Blomkamp turns his sci-fi short "Alive in Joburg" into a full-length feature film - examining xenophobia in an allegory of Apartheid, set in a slum recalling District 6 of Cape Town in South Africa.
Meanwhile in Hollywoodland, the trailer for James Cameron's much anticipated AVATAR debuted online yesterday and ... ooops! [more inside]
Harlan Ellison tears up the debate and J. Michael Straczynski speaks up on the topic. Oh, yeah there is also Herb Solow as well and his wife Yvonne (WTF) speaking on the subject "Science Fiction" over "SciFi". None of them saw SyFy coming back in 1997, that's for sure! (SLYT) [more inside]
Partake of the bread in the hands of Dr. Ronald Chevalier, author of all 10 Cyborg Harpy Trilogies. Allow him to irrigate your barren earth with fresh dreams. Learn the Art of Relaxating, or how to explode a creative atomic bomb inside your mind. Do not overlook the sublime excerpt from him upcoming Cyborg Harpies audiobook. [more inside]
John Anealio records songs inspired by science fiction and fantasy. Sing along about Cylons, Summer Glau (Firefly/Serenity), Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and about how "George R.R. Martin is not your bitch" (previously).
There's a new Tron movie coming out, and it promises to be kind of rad. In other news, the trailer seems to mash-up perfectly with Michael Jackson's Beat It. [more inside]
"Prisoners of Gravity was the most thoughtful and creative television program ever produced anywhere in the world about the literature of science fiction, and it was a substantial Canadian success story. In first-run, it was one of the most popular series on its originating network, TVOntario, lasting for five seasons and 139 installments." Here are a few of them, with more being added every now and then. [more inside]
28 years ago they came to Earth. Explore the world of District 9. Consider a career with Multi-National United. Find out about enhancing your math skills with DNA from outer space. Play the game. And learn the truth behind the lies.
Alien Nation is being revived for the SyFy channel by Tim Minear, whose previous credits include Firefly and Angel. [more inside]
The Brazen Android by William Douglas O'Connor, is a 19th century science fiction story based on the myth of the Brazen Head, a steam-powered head that told fortunes. It's available as an audio book from the Internet Archives. (Via)
Rules for Time Travelers [Spoiler? alert.]