Sci-Fi Biweekly Bulletin: Downsizing or The Queen of All Crows?

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The name might be different, but the content is exactly what you’ve come to expect, with a bit more personality (read: snark) than we might previously have shown). There will be puns, gifs, snark, bluntly spoken truth, and moderate amounts of fangirling over the science fiction books and movies that are making their way around us in these two weeks.

Your Sci-Fi Pun:

If the Silver Surfer and Iron Man team up, they’d be alloys.

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Science Fiction Movies

Well, to be blunt, the science fiction game is not strong for the beginning for 2018. You have the choice of… Well, you only have two choices if you’re a die-hard sci-fi fan. The first is to go pay too much to watch Matt “I think we need to give some credit to the guys who don’t sexually abuse women and stop all this fussing” Damon in the movie Downsizing. The other is to just stay home and watch movies that might actually have decent acting and lots of sci-fi fun in them.*

Movie cover for Downsizing

Written by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor , and directed by Alexander Payne, Downsizing is “A social satire in which a man realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself to five inches tall, allowing him to live in wealth and splendor.”  Because, yeah, no one can predict how that’s going to go.

Personally, we recommend staying home but as you are all fine, grown-up folks capable of making your decisions, we’ve included the trailer (not that you haven’t already seen it elsewhere) so you can see for yourself whether it looks like it’s going to be worth paying money to see.

 

*  Unless you are lucky enough to live in Los Angeles and New York, where there will be premiere screenings of Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel

Surge of Power 2

Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel Hits Theaters

Cinema’s First Out Gay Superhero Faces His Greatest Challenge

Hollywood Legends Face Off in a New Star-Packed Adventure

Nationwide Rollout Begins in January 2018

“A must-see for fans of the TV Avengers, the Fantastic Four

and the Hulk” — Buzzfeed

“Packed with fun, stars and a message” — Huffington Post

Los Angeles, CA – Surge of Power Enterprises is proud to announce the theatrical debut of the long-anticipated sequel to the groundbreaking and lighthearted superhero movie “Surge of Power: The Stuff of Heroes.”  “Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel” will begin with weeklong runs in Los Angeles and New York before fighting crime in additional cities.

Creator Vincent J. Roth returns to the cape-clad title role of Surge, cinema’s first out gay superhero.  Roth is joined by a star-studded cast representing the forces of good and evil including “Star Trek” alums Nichelle Nichols and Robert Picardo, comedian Bruce Vilanch, “SuperFriends!” Shannon Farnon, Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts, The Exorcist‘s Linda Blair, “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” star Gil Gerard and the original Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno.  The award-winning film has screened at festivals and conventions across the globe, taking home prizes for Best Comedy, Best Villain, Best Special Effects and Most Inspirational Lead Character.

Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel will open January 5 in Los Angeles, expand to New York on January 19 and continue nationwide.  Roth will introduce the screenings on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of each opening.

Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel Synopsis

Surge’s nemesis, the Metal Master, is out of jail and trying to reconcile with his estranged parents (Blair, Gerard) and tempted to continue a life of crime by Augur (Roberts), archnemesis of the wise Omen (Nichols, Picardo).  Augur sends Metal Master to Las Vegas for mysterious crystals.  Needing more crime fighting help, Surge activates the artificial intelligence in the Surgemobile (Vilanch, Farnon). Augur emerges from the shadows back in Big City, causing Omen to step into the fray, which alerts The Council, a supervillain cabal bent on world domination.  Facing more enemies than ever before, Surge must do whatever it takes to save mankind.

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Science Fiction Books

 

Book cover for The Queen of All Crows

The Queen of All Crows  – Rod Duncan – Publication Date: Jan 2nd, 2018

Only one woman can stop the world from descending into endless war.

The year is 2012. The nations of the world are bound together in an alliance of collective security, overseen by the International Patent Office.

When airships start disappearing in the middle of the Atlantic, the Patent Office is desperate to discover what has happened. Forbidden to operate beyond the territorial waters of member nations, they send spies to investigate in secret.

One of those spies is Elizabeth Barnabus. She must overcome her dislike of the controlling Patent Office, disguise herself as a man, and take to the sea in search of the floating nation of pirates who threaten the world order

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Book cover for A Conspiracy of Stars

A Conspiracy of Stars – Olivia A Cole – Publication Date: Jan 2nd, 2018

Octavia has only ever had one goal: to follow in the footsteps of her parents and become a prestigious whitecoat, one of the scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. The secrets of the jungle’s exotic plants and animals are protected fiercely in the labs by the Council of N’Terra, so when the rules suddenly change, allowing students inside, Octavia should be overjoyed.

But something isn’t right. The newly elected leader of the Council has some extremist views about the way he believes N’Terra should be run, and he’s influencing others to follow him. When Octavia witnesses one of the Faloii—the indigenous people of Faloiv—attacked in front of her in the dark of night, she knows the Council is hiding something. They are living in separate worlds on a shared planet, and their fragile peace may soon turn into an all-out war.

With the help of Rondo, a quiet boy in class with a skill for hacking, and her inquisitive best friend, Alma, Octavia is set on a collision course to discover the secrets behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family.

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Doctor Benjamin Franklins Dream America

Dr Benjamin Franklin’s Dream America – Damien Lincoln Ober – Publication Date: Jan 2nd, 2018

It is 1777, in a colonial America where the internet, social media, and ubiquitous electronic communications are fully woven into the fabric of society. Hours after a top-secret Congressional sub-committee uploads the Articles of Confederation, a mysterious internet plague breaks loose in the cloud, killing any user who accesses a networked device. Seven in ten Americans are dead, the internet is abandoned. Seizing the moment, the British take control of New York and Philadelphia, scattering what little remains of the rebellion. Just when all seems lost, George Washington reappears from off-the-grid to pin the British army at Yorktown. Independence is won, but with the countryside in ruins and internet commerce impossible, the former colonies teeter on the brink of collapse. Meeting in secret, a faction of the Founding Fathers code a new error-proof operating system designed to stabilize the cloud and ensure everlasting American prosperity. Not everyone is happy with the new format. Believing the draconian regulations of the new OS a betrayal of the hard-fought revolution, Thomas Jefferson organizes a feisty, small-government opposition to fight the overreach of Washington’s Federalist administration. Their most valuable weapon is Doctor Benjamin Franklin’s Dream America, a new open-source social networking portal which will revolutionize representative government, return power to the people, and make Congress and the Presidency irrelevant . . .

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Also releasing between Jan 1 and Jan 13th

The Cackle of Cthulhu by Alex Shvartsman – Jan 2

Cat Zero by Jennifer L. Rohn – Jan 2

Cobra Traitor (Cobra Rebellion #3) by Timothy Zahn – Jan 2

Emergence by C.J. Cherry – Jan 2

Superman Adventures Vol 4 by Mark Millar – Jan 2

The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson – Jan 2

Cry Your Way Home by Angelica Damien Walters – Jan 2

Black Hammer, Vol 2: The Event by Jeff Lemire – Jan 9

The Revenant Express (Newbury and Hobbes #5) – Jan 9

Deadland 2: Immortal by Paul Mannering – Jan 9

Thunderhead (Arc of Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman – Jan 9

The Lost Plot (Invisible Library #4) by Genevieve Cogman – Jan 9

Points of Impact (Frontlines #6)  by Marko Kloos – Jan 9

Sinless (Eye of the Beholder #1) by Sarah Tarkoff – Jan 9

Dark State: A Novel of the Merchant Princes Multiverse by Charles Stross- Jan 9

 

Goodreads Science Fiction Giveaways

Book cover for Gift from the Stars Book cover for All Systems Down

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Science Fiction Trivia

My Favorite X-Files Episodes – Season Three

Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose – This is a great, great episode starring Peter Boyle. Sad, sweet and funny at the same time. This would certainly make my top ten list of X-Files episodes. What he tells Mulder is just teasing him (I hope!) but it makes me wonder about his revelation to Scully. Particularly in relation to a later episode.

2Shy – A bit of a clunky warning of the dangers of online dating. It also has some very good acting and it makes you feel such sympathy for the poor omen he’s luring in to nosh on.

Oubliette – Fantastic acting and I loved the story. Lucy is not overly ‘good’ and is terrified to help, which I would think would be a more natural reaction. Some of the scenes are truly creepy and tense. The only fly in the ointment is Scully. She seems insanely hard-headed, even for her. Example: Even she should scientifically recognize that it is impossible for Lucy to have been been in two places at once. But, to support her theory of Lucy’s involvement that would be the only explanation.

Revelations – One of the few where Scully actually does believe (even though, surprise, Mulder doesn’t) and the episode is a very good, solid one.

War of the Coprophages – A funny, oogy episode. I hate bugs. I also noticed something rather funny in this episode. In almost every Scully scene she seems to be eating something. Well, most scenes. Thankfully not at the end.

Syzygy – This is kind of a weird one. Gruesome yet darkly humorous. It’s also rather fun to see Mulder and Scully uncharacteristically  bitching at each other through the whole episode.

Jose Chung’s: From Outer Space – This episode is hilarious from the different points of view from the people involved. Especially the guest appearances of Jesse Ventura and Alex Trebek as the Men in Black. There’s also a great scene near the end, involving a visit from Mulder where he gives a speech that perfectly encapsulates his character.

Avatar – The mythology in this one is a bit loose but I love the focus on Skinner. Scully, however, seems rather too willing to believe in Skinner’s guilt. Which seems a bit strange after everything he has done for them up until this point.

Quagmire – A fun mix of the Loch Ness monster and Lake Placid. I have to admit that I like the lighthearted ones quite a lot. Especially when they get ‘stranded’.

Wetwired – An excellent episode. Scully is so levelheaded that it was interesting to see her paranoid and off-kilter. One thing that I have always liked about the show are the interactions between Scully and her mother. They’re very realistic.

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Hey! Hey you! You’re probably thinking you could do this better, right?

Well, get off your ass and prove it. Apply to join the Temple of Coolthulhu.

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Sci-Fi on the Web

Can an algorithym make you write better? One author decided to try it out and see what happened. The results were a bit iffy.  (www.cb.ca.)

Shipping the Angel and Demon in Good Omens won’t Make it Canon according to Neal.   (sf.com)

Stanley Bing, author of Immortal Life, talks candidly about how Sci-Fi can save us from the Silicon Valley Overlords (Forbes)

   Ada Palmer talks exquisitely about she goes into the softer side of science fiction such as the sociological impacts. (Scientific American)

and finally, if you like Andy Weir, you might want to read about his interview with Triton.  (Triton)

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We deliver unto you a GIF to make your travels away from us easier.

The maiden aunt's about to get anted!

 

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