This is Sci-Fi is a sampling of science fiction news across the mediums. From movies to books, to real life, and any bits in between that I can think of to list. This is by no means a comprehensive list of what’s happening, but it should whet your appetite!
Science Fiction Movies
Sci-Fi Movie Suggestion of the Week:
Starship Troopers was released in 1997 and is a movie that you can either watch at face value, or delve a bit deeper into it. Personally, I watch it for the cheese, and nothing but the cheese, so help me bug. Its based on the Robert Heinlein novel by the same name. Lots of gigantic bugs, lots of bad lines, and if Casper Van Dien floats your boat, you’ll be extreeeeeeeeeemely happy.
Synopsis: Humans in a fascistic, militaristic future do battle with giant alien bugs in a fight for survival.
Opening this week (March 17th)
Atomica Synopsis: In the near future, when communications go offline at a remote nuclear power plant isolated in the desert, a young safety inspector, Abby Dixon, is forced to fly out to bring them back online. Once inside the facility, mysterious clues and strange behaviors cause Abby to have doubts about the sanity, and perhaps identities, of the two employees onsite.
Side Note: My review for this movie will be coming out on Monday. I watched it a couple weeks ago and it was very well done, absent of cheese, and interesting. I’d definitely recommend it.
They Call Me Jeeg Synopsis: Enzo, a lonely and misanthropic small time crook, uses the superpowers gained after falling in the Tiber river to chase down a crazy gangster called “The gypsy”.
Featured Science Fiction Art
Just generally a well-done drawing that caught my eye.
Science Fiction Books
New York 2140: A new vision of the future of New York City in the 22nd century, a flooded, but vibrant metropolis, from Kim Stanley Robinson, the New York Times bestselling author of science fiction masterworks such as the Mars trilogy, 2312, and Aurora.
The waters rose, submerging New York City. But the residents adapted and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been. Though changed forever. Every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island.
Through the eyes of the varied inhabitants of one building, Kim Stanley Robinson shows us how one of our great cities will change with the rising tides.
Pilot X: What would happen if a time traveler lived in a world where time could not easily be changed and if it was changed, it might destroy everything but himself?
Pilot X just wants to fly a time ship. Specifically the Verity. But the Guardians of Alenda, rulers of his people, throw him in the middle of a time war. When he makes peace they don’t seem pleased. In fact, his own people treat him like the enemy. – Goodreads
The Return: During a live television broadcast on the night of a lunar eclipse, renowned astrophysicist Andrew Leland is suddenly lifted into the sky by a giant spacecraft and taken away for all to see. Six years later, he turns up, wandering in a South American desert, denying ever having been abducted and disappearing from the public eye.
Meanwhile, he inspires legions of cultish devotees, including a young physics graduate student named Shawn Ferris who is obsessed with finding out what really happened to him. When Shawn finally tracks Leland down, he discovers that he’s been on the run for years, continuously hunted by a secret organization that has pursued him across multiple continents, determined to force him into revealing what he knows.
Shawn soon joins Leland on the run. Though Leland is at first reluctant to reveal anything, Shawn will soon learn the truth about his abduction, the real reason for his return, and will find himself caught up in a global conspiracy that puts more than just one planet in danger.- Amazon — Amazon | B&N
The Sci-Fi Zone: Science Fiction Songs
I was listening to my player in the car the other day and got to thinking just how many songs have a sci-fi theme to them. So, here is my list of the top sci-fi songs. They are in no certain order. I’m starting with Rush’s 2112 simply because it has the longest explanation to it. So let’s rock on with our bad selves!
- 2112 – Rush – The song is set in the year 2112. In the year 2062 several planets came under control of the Red Star of the Solar Federation. The story of the song is told through an unnamed Protagonist’s point of view. The peace and happiness of their ‘utopia’ is meely an illusion as everything is controlled by the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx.
I. Overture: The song is made up of several different movements. Overture is mainly instrumental with a sung “and the meek shall inherit the earth” at the end.
II. The Temples of Syrinx: The Priests of the Temple control every aspect of the population “we’ve taken care of everything, the words you hear, the songs you sing, the pictures that give pleasure to your eyes”. They do this with the help of “our great computers, fill our hallowed halls”. Their ‘equality’ is illusory.
III. Discovery: The Protagonist finds an old guitar in a cave behind a waterfall. He teaches himself how to tune and play it. He can’t wait to show it to the Priests, thinking they will be amazed and pleased with his discovery.
IV. Presentation: The Protagonist performs before the Priests but they are not as pleased as he’d hoped they’d be. They dismiss the guitar as “another toy which helped destroy the elder race of man”.The Protagonist tries to convince them otherwise “listen to my music, hear what it can do, there’s something here that’s strong as life, I know that it will reach you”. They crush the guitar and dismiss the Protagonist.
V. Oracle: The Dream: The Protagonist wanders hme and has a vision that he at first passes off as a dream, yet it seems so vivid and real. An oracle shows him what life was like before the Solar Federation took over. A society where individuality and creativity flourished. He also learns that the “elder race of men” was not destroyed but “left our planets long ago” intending to return home and “tear the Temples down”.
VI. Soliloquy: The Protagonist returns to his cave to brood and think. His spirit and soul are oppressed, thinking of the bland life under the Solar Federation. The movement ends as the Protagonist takes his own life.
VII. Grand Finale: The closing movement is an instrumental with the Solar Federation being attacked and conquered by an unknown entity. It closes with the words – “Attention all planets under the Solar Federation: We Have Assumed Control”. And that, friends, is the end of the song. In the actual song the unknown entity is ambiguous as to whom is taking control and what their intentions are. However, in a later interview, Peart (songwriter) states that he intended it to be a good ending. The attacking entity is the elder race of men returning and successfully deposing the Solar Federation.
- Children of the Sun – Billy Thorpe – Benevolent aliens, The Children of the Sun, take the people of Earth aboard their spaceship and into space with them.
- In the Year 2525 – Zager and Evans – A song about the future and possible repercussions of the advances of technology. For a song written in 1969 it’s predictions are scarily accurate.
- Godzilla – Blue Oyster Cult – It’s Godzilla. What more can I say? Godzilla’s awesome. The only thing I’ll add is if they do another movie…Less people, more Godzilla bad-assery!
“Oh no! There goes Tokyo! Go, go Godzilla! History shows again and again, how nature points up the folly of men.”
- Twilight Zone – Rush – Yup, Rush is back again. This time with a song about (you guessed it) one of my favorite shows of all time – The Twilight Zone.
“A pleasant-faced man steps up to greet you. He smiles and says he’s pleased to meet you. Beneath his hat the strangeness lies. Take it off, he’s got three eyes. Truth is false and logic lost, now the fourth dimension is crossed.”
“You have entered the Twilight Zone. beyond this world strange things are known. Use the key, unlock the door, see what your fate might have in store.”
- Endgame – Megadeth – A very bleak look at one of many possible futures for this world. You can always count on Megadeth for a good dose of Dystopia.
“Attention! Attention! All citizens are ordered to report to their
District detention centers!
Do not return to your homes,
Do not contact anyone!
Do not use any cellular or G-P-S devices!
Surrender all weapons at once!
Attention! This way to the camps!”
- Blood Gulch Blues – Trocadero – I tried not to include theme songs from shows but this (and the one below) are just too excellent to ignore. So, I give you Blood Gulch Blues, theme song of Red vs. Blue.
Roses are red
And violets are blue.
One day we’ll cruise down Blood Gulch avenue
It’s red versus red
and blue versus blue
It’s I against I
and me against you…
- Theme from the X-Files – I don’t really think this one needs much introduction or explanation.
- Iron Man – Black Sabbath – A man who traveled through time to save the future of mankind and was forgotten and discarded by those who sent him. And now he wants revenge.
- The Great Unknown – Iron Maiden – I hate to do another dystopic song but the title fits so perfectly with the world as it is right now and hey, you can never go wrong with Maiden.
So, those are my choices. If you have any other suggestions I’d love to hear them! I’m always on the look out for new music. – GracieKat
Science Fiction on the Web
- Here’s a Kim Stanley Robinson interview from SierraClub.
- Film School Rejects article on The Future of Food will make you laugh, or grimace. Or both.
- 34th Street’s post on Why I’m Tired of Science Fiction Films will resonate with a lot of readers, I’m sure.
- Here are the 2016 Anlab Readers Awards Finalists.
- PopularMechanics has an interesting read on The Art and Science of Making a Believable Sci-Fi Spaceship.
- Like sci-fi that deals with climate change? Then check out So You Want to Read Cli-Fi on Unbound Worlds.
- Becky Chambers has a great piece on Tor.com called My Alien Family: Writing Across Cultures in Science Fiction.
Science Fiction Book Club Meeting!!
Do you Dare to Discuss Science Fiction? It’s not too late to join us, right here on Sci-Fi & Scary, on March 22nd at 7 PM EST when we discuss Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin Kiernan.
Agents of Dreamland is 4 bucks on Amazon, and its less than 125 pages long, so it’s a very quick read. Feel free to register for the forums (it’s free!) and join us for an hour-long discussion on the book. I can tell you right now that opinions on the book are very mixed amongst the group that’s agreed to participate already, so it’s definitely going to be interesting!!