305 posts tagged with sf.
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La bohème

What is actually happening with San Francisco rental prices?

From mefi's own urban planning, history, infrastructure, transit and walkability obsessed blogger, Eric Fischer. [more inside]
posted by latkes on May 17, 2016 - 68 comments

A crash course in the history of black science fiction.

42 black science fiction works that are important to your understanding of its history. Nisi Shawl has assembled a rich syllabus of novels and story collections, from 1859 to 2015. Some fantasy and horror along with the strictly science fictional.
posted by doctornemo on Mar 10, 2016 - 36 comments

"[C.E.] has been rejected by every single game publisher on the planet."

The story of Cosmic Encounter is about a flash of creative genius in the early seventies, followed by four decades of struggle to see that vision fully realised. Despite the rapturous critical acclaim Cosmic Encounter has accrued in the 39 years since its first publication, it has not been followed by commercial success. Indeed, the creators of the greatest boardgame in existence have never made a living off it. The making of Cosmic Encounter, the greatest boardgame in the galaxy
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Mar 9, 2016 - 43 comments

To erase the line between man and machine

Every Best Visual Effects Winner. Ex Machina [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 8, 2016 - 28 comments

Fan made beats Phantom

Darth Maul: Apprentice Making Of
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 7, 2016 - 44 comments

Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera

SF author (and Mefi's own) Charles Stross is thinking about the cliches in Space Opera and tries to put together a complete list of the hoary genre tropes that literary (no TV or movies) Space Opera is prone to.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 5, 2016 - 85 comments

"Aristocrat of Science Fiction"

"That's what Life Magazine calls GALAXY!" The Internet Archive presents the complete run of classic sf magazine Galaxy, from 1950 to 1980.

Previously on MetaFilter. (via HackerNews)
posted by doctornemo on Feb 28, 2016 - 10 comments

The Gilded Age, Henry George, the Land Value Tax and the Progressive Era

Kim-Mai Cutler: Nothing Like This Has Ever Happened Before - "San Francisco Bay Area poverty rates in all nine counties have increased in the last economic cycle, even with the Facebook and Twitter IPOs and private tech boom. The main transfer mechanism is land and housing costs, as rising rents and evictions push service and other low-wage workers to the brink. [Henry] George's solution was a single land tax that would replace all other government revenue sources. If an owner wanted to develop their property to make it more useful or productive, George argued that they should have the right to keep the value from those efforts. But increases in the value of underlying land were created by — and ultimately belonged to — the public at large." (previously: 1,2,3) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 19, 2016 - 33 comments

Tensions over private commuter shuttles in SF

The SFMTA is weighing an appeal that would dismantle the private commuter shuttle program, after the program was approved last November. Yesterday the board approved changes that would keep the program going for another year. [more inside]
posted by j.r on Feb 17, 2016 - 132 comments

Equality by Edward Bellamy

Equality [internet archive] was first published in 1897: "The story takes up immediately after the events of Looking Backward with the main characters from the first novel, Julian West, Doctor Leete, and his daughter Edith. West tells his nightmare of return to the 19th century to Edith, who is sympathetic. West's citizenship in the new America is recognized, and he goes to the bank to obtain his own account, or 'credit card', from which he can draw his equal share of the national product... " (previously 1,2) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 14, 2016 - 3 comments

afrofuturism from the past

The Princess Steel, W. E. B. Du Bois's recently-discovered SF story. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 7, 2016 - 7 comments

W A T E R D R O P

Waterdrop "Waterdrop" is a science fiction film about the second kind of close encounter with aliens. It is a tribute to the critically acclaimed Chinese science fiction novel "The Dark Forest"
posted by dhruva on Feb 6, 2016 - 18 comments

Magic+

Want a frozen pint of ice cream from your favorite artisanal creamery delivered by helicopter to your suite at the Burj Dubai at 11PM tonight? San Francisco startup Magic claims that they will arrange any request for $100 per hour, plus expenses.
posted by overeducated_alligator on Jan 6, 2016 - 97 comments

Bierce by way of 1 WTC

The Unsettling Arrival Of Speculative 9/11 Fiction [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 4, 2016 - 36 comments

Klytus, I'm bored. What play thing can you offer me today?

Gordon's Alive! The Untold Story Of Flash Gordon
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 4, 2016 - 90 comments

Memory, Law, and Recording

Sci-Fi Author (and Metafilter's own) Charlie Stross has an interesting thought experiment: Could you get to a technological society without the use of writing? And if so, what would that look like?
posted by The Whelk on Jan 3, 2016 - 58 comments

Sci Sci Fi

Scientists on their favourite science fiction
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 30, 2015 - 60 comments

Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy Short Fiction Recommendations Online

Where to Find the Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy Short Fiction Recommendations Online. As Hugo Nomination season approaches, everyone needs some help sifting through the huge volume of short fiction (novellas, novelettes, and short stories). Tor.com published a post about where to find the best online recommendations. It's worth a look.
posted by Greg Hullender on Dec 26, 2015 - 21 comments

Three SF Stories from 2015: Two Near Future and One Very Far

Martin L. Shoemaker's "Today I Am Paul" and Rich Larson's "Meshed" explore the emotional impact of technological developments within relatively familiar futures, and Caroline M. Yoachim's "Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World" draws on a wide variety of SF motifs to make the future a strange and sometimes poignant allegory for wonders of the past. Each story has been selected for an upcoming year's best SF anthology—either Rich Horton's or Neil Clarke's—and two received mention earlier this year from the unverified @gardnerdozois.
posted by Wobbuffet on Dec 20, 2015 - 6 comments

This place has changed a lot.

These photos are why I'm trapped in Tokyo forever now is an animated photo essay about ... some kind of Tokyo.
posted by grobstein on Nov 29, 2015 - 15 comments

Several Witty SF/F Stories from 2015--Some Humorous, Some Serious

Heather Lindsley's "Werewolf Loves Mermaid," Sunil Patel's "The Merger," and Emil Ostrovski's "Tragic Business" develop humorous situations from SF/F motifs: cryptid romance, intergalactic business negotiations, and the cycle of death and rebirth, respectively. Lincoln Michel's "Dark Air" combines common weird fiction / horror situations with a very dry, very dark sense of humor. Naomi Kritzer's "So Much Cooking" is a serious SF story about a grave possibility, but it brings the matter home via a witty parody of a cooking blog.
posted by Monsieur Caution on Nov 29, 2015 - 9 comments

You've been in my life so long, I can't remember anything else.

Alien 3's perfect shot [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 24, 2015 - 137 comments

"Women and cats will do as they please."

Blue Monday - a sci-fi short story by Laurie Penny for Motherboard all about cats, Internet videos, and emotional contagions.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 31, 2015 - 11 comments

A short story by Ellen Klages

In the House of the Seven Librarians [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Oct 19, 2015 - 7 comments

Grange Hill with Daleks

After teasing for hours on the official BBC Doctor Who twitter feed about #bigdoctorwhonews leading to a fever pitch of speculation re potential mega famous guests stars, new companion(s) or the recovery of lost episodes... it was finally announced that there will be a new spin-off YA series Class written by Patrick Ness centered around Coal Hill School in London
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 1, 2015 - 33 comments

The improvised note ... some weird territory of you and me

Sofia Samatar's "Skin Feeling" evokes "What it is to be encountered as a surface, to be constantly exposed as something you are not." Samatar is an English professor, an SFF writer, and a person of color engaged in diversity work on her campus, and among other things, her essay reflects on multiple incidents of indecent exposure, Charlie Parker's "Relaxin' at Camarillo" and the university housed in what was once the largest mental hospital in the world, the book On Being Included, and being made a symbol of diversity (a topic that fellow SFF writer Kate Elliott recently addressed as well). [Samatar link via Savage Minds and Elliott link via N. K. Jemisin.]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Sep 27, 2015 - 4 comments

C-3PO 4 Life

Star Wars actor Anthony Daniels on the new film and his life as C-3PO. Happy Force Friday.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 4, 2015 - 28 comments

Women geeking out about geeky women

Reclaiming the Nerdiverse [NSFW audio] is a fascinating hour-long discussion about women in science fiction and fantasy on the late night edition of the venerable BBC radio show Woman's Hour (podcast link). The host is Lauren Laverne, and her guests are author and game designer Naomi Alderman, journalist Helen Lewis, sociologist Linda Woodhead, fantasy novelist Zen Cho, and cosplayer and writer Lucy Saxon. The discussion takes in everything from 70s feminist writers to alpha/beta/omega slash fiction to cosplay etiquette to geek sexism. The Late Night Woman's Hour has been the topic of some discussion in Britain.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 3, 2015 - 33 comments

Crisis, Biopower, Finance: Speculative Fiction resists neoliberalism

"Like all cultural works, SF is situated in a political and economic context. In ours, people are noticing that whatever carrot of prosperity capitalism seems to offer, the stick is all they ever get. SF’s heightened focus on inequality is a sign that the ideological basis of our current social order may be undergoing a significant shift." From Jacobin: "Unequal Universes."
posted by MonkeyToes on Aug 17, 2015 - 33 comments

The Sci-Fi Corridor Archive

Screenshots of corridors from SF movies. [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Aug 11, 2015 - 35 comments

When Bicyclists Obey Traffic Laws...

Riders arrived at every stop sign in a single file, coming to a complete stop and filing through the intersection only once they were given the right-of-way. The law-abiding act of civil disobedience snarled traffic almost immediately. "The thing you say you want — every cyclist to stop at every stop sign — you really don't want that" [more inside]
posted by latkes on Aug 3, 2015 - 225 comments

The Tongueless Fish

"I’ve been infected by a parasite. I won’t tell you what because I don’t want you to search for it. By the time this reaches you it won’t matter much, anyway. In fact, I’m forbidding you right now from looking for anything or asking anyone. Apparently I have about twelve hours as myself. They won’t say what happens next, because it’s kind of unpredictable. There are lots of animals who’ve had it, but only two people. They won’t tell me." -- The Glad Hosts, a SF short story by Rebecca Campbell
posted by The Whelk on Aug 2, 2015 - 51 comments

Stars in His Pocket Like Grains of Sand

Science Fiction grandmaster Samuel R. Delaney interviewed by SF Signal, with a very long answer in part 2, and by The New Yorker where he talks about race, recent Hugo controversies being nothing new, and the past and future of science fiction.
posted by Artw on Jul 30, 2015 - 26 comments

the paradigmatic fantasy of the Age of Aquarius

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

Miles Kimball: Secular Humanism and Universalist Unitarianism

Teleotheism and the Purpose of Life - "Please give this sermon a try. I think it has much in it that will be of interest to a wide range of readers: philosophy, cosmology, evolutionary theory, and science fiction, as well as theology. And nothing in it depends on believing in God at all." Abstract: As an enlightened form of atheism, I turn to teleotheism. Teleotheism is the view that God comes at the end, not at the beginning, where I am defining “God” as “the greatest of all things that can come true.” In this view, the quest to discover what are the greatest things that are possible is of the utmost importance. The best of our religious heritage is just such an effort to discover the greatest things that are possible. (via; previously)
posted by kliuless on Jun 7, 2015 - 33 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

Because your mother doesn't work here

Are you a central San Francisco resident who is too busy to get your trash out to the curb on time once a week? Well your worries are over with TrashDay. Heck, maybe you're too busy for everything. No time to feed yourself because you need to lock down that seed round term sheet with your AngelList syndicate? Here Comes The Airplane.
posted by GuyZero on Jun 2, 2015 - 85 comments

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy Name give glory

Predator: Dark Ages Templar Knights are put to the ultimate challenge, to hunt The Predator. Testing not only their skills as fighters but also their faith. Kickstarter funded fan film. IMDB. Facebook page.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 1, 2015 - 72 comments

The free development of each is the condition of the war against all

Some Paths to the True Knowledge[*] - "Attention conservation notice: A 5000+ word attempt to provide real ancestors and support for an imaginary ideology I don't actually accept, drawing on fields in which I am in no way an expert. Contains long quotations from even-longer-dead writers, reckless extrapolation from arcane scientific theories, and an unwarranted tone of patiently explaining harsh, basic truths. Altogether, academic in one of the worst senses. Also, spoilers for several of MacLeod's novels, notably but not just The Cassini Division. Written for, and cross-posted to, Crooked Timber's seminar on MacLeod, where I will not be reading the comments."
posted by kliuless on May 19, 2015 - 12 comments

The Magic of Modern Living

"Unconventional Advice for the Discerning Reader" by Sophie Wereley and "The Practical Witch's Guide to Acquiring Real Estate" by A. C. Wise are recent fantasy short stories that offer handy tips from similar perspectives. "Pockets" by Amal El-Mohtar and "The Apartment Dweller's Bestiary" by Kij Johnson (who adds one beast in a comment) are recent stories that blend strangeness into everyday life with poignant results. All via @SpiralGalaxy and @SFFMicroReviews. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on May 9, 2015 - 4 comments

I said, hey, you’re good at combat and people need you here; why not go?

Many American, Canadian, and British military veterans opposed to the actions of ISIS in Iraq have been, individually, going over to fight with the Kurdish Peshmerga for some time now, bringing thousands of dollars of military gear and irreplaceable training. There have been so many of them fighting that the Peshmerga are now actively recruiting military veterans online. Not to be internet-outdone, military veterans have begun investigating forming units of their own to fight ISIS -including notable and controversial science-fiction author John Ringo, who suggested trying to crowdfund for 'a brigade of soldiers'. [more inside]
posted by corb on May 6, 2015 - 86 comments

Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month, 2015

Every April for the past several years, Fantasy Cafe has published a series of guest posts for Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month. This year, the article that generated the most discussion was "'I am ... ?': Representation of Mature Women in Fantasy" by Mieneke from A Fantastical Librarian, who asked, "So where are the older women in fantasy? Mature women who are the hero of their own story?" The many other guest posts this year offered an interesting range of questions, observations, and reflections--often by well-known names in the field. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on May 3, 2015 - 22 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

This time, we are the aliens.

Over a mere 22 episodes between 1994 and 1995, a rag tag group of adventurers, thrown together by a shadowy government conspiracy explored a strange new world, ruled by an underground government and populated with strange new creatures. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Apr 18, 2015 - 30 comments

Samuel Delaney reviews Star Wars

Samuel R. Delany's 1977 review of Star Wars.
posted by escabeche on Apr 11, 2015 - 96 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

"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

Some notable SF/F/H short fiction from 2014

Locus Magazine has published its 2014 Recommended Reading List. BestSF.net has given its Best SF Short Story Award for 2014. Tables of contents have been announced for The Year's Best Science Fiction, Thirty-Second Annual Collection edited by Gardner Dozois, Year's Best Weird Fiction, Volume Two edited by Kathe Koja and Michael Kelly, and The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Nine edited by Jonathan Strahan. And several writers have called out their favorite stories of the year too, e.g. Ken Liu, Carmen Maria Machado and Sofia Samatar, Usman Malik, and Fran Wilde, Michael R. Underwood, Tina Connolly, and Beth Cato. Quite a few of these short fiction selections from 2014 have been published online in full. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Feb 3, 2015 - 28 comments

Do not look directly into the eyes of the World Science Fiction Society.

Worldcon is the "world science fiction convention." It's been around in one way or another since 1939 and is typically hosted at a different existing convention every year. (The Hugo awards are voted on by Worldcon members.) Last year it was in London; this year in Spokane. To get the event hosted at your convention, there is an elaborate bidding process. There is a long tradition of hoax con bids (which sometimes take on a life of their own, as in this Westercon story). The latest in the tradition: Nightvale Worldcon. If you have further questions regarding the bid, please contact the Help Desk with your bloodstone. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on Jan 29, 2015 - 27 comments

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