We deviate from our normally scheduled programming to give you a brief look back at this year in Sci-Fi.
The Year’s Sci-Fi Movies (For Reasons Both Good and Bad)
Well, it’s been an interesting year for Sci-Fi. Not necessarily a good one, but interesting nonetheless.
We’ll get the obvious out of the way and give Star Wars: The Last Jedi it’s inevitable mention. The Last Jedi, released on December 15th, has polarized crowds. The talk on Twitter has been amusing, to say the least. Personally, we’re both of the ‘meh’ crowd when it comes to the movie, so we won’t be watching it for review. We’ll leave that to any hardcore fans of the series that would like to do a guest post.
And then there was Blade Runner 2049. The excitement, the build-up, the tease…and the shart that it amounted to. The Telegraph had a fairly on point article on why it did as poorly as it did. Another movie we chose not to watch. For me (LG) it was simply that after reading the original book and watching the first movie, I had no bloody interest in watching it. And I (GK) having never seen the original or read the book was equally indifferent.
Keeping up with our backwards run, we come to Valerian. Now, we actually did watch Valerian (though we didn’t review it on the site because it wasn’t worth the energy it took to write the review up. Someone (not me) said that it would have been better as a silent movie, and that couldn’t have been said better. Gorgeous movie to watch, horrible everything else.
Alien: Covenant – Hey, look, one we actually bothered to work up a review for! (It wasn’t positive.) Prometheus was better, Fassbender was wasted on this script, and why in the world would you attempt what was essentially a reboot of the first film anyways? No. No no no no no.
That other Superhero movie: The Justice League. We actually watched this, but declined to write up a review for it since every other line would essentially be objectifying Jason Momoa. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t nearly as bad as people made it out to be, I enjoyed it more than any Marvel movie out recently, and I really just want to lick that man from navel to…well, yeah. See why I didn’t write up a review?
And it was at this point that I realized how many science fiction movies were released this year. Good Sweet Cthulhu. Okay, this is long and I am lazy, so here’s an even shorter version.
Ghost in the Shell – BOO! Hisss! , Kong: Skull Island – YAY!, War for the Planet of the Apes – Good, The Dark Tower – I don’t care what you say, I liked it, Transformers: The Last Knight – Er… dude, why didn’t they stop after one?, Wonder Woman – YES YES YES YES YES! Logan – Zzzzz, Power Rangers –Awesome,GK) !, Geostorm – Leave the bad syfy movies to Syfy, please , Guardians – apparently they made a different Guardians movie this year. Who knew?, Life – Boo! Hiss!, Flatliners – Should have been flatlined before it ever hit theatres , and…
I’m done with talking about mass market releases, so now I’m going to take a minute to talk about the indie small-budget films that were surprisingly good.
Atomica – starring Dominic Monaghan, Sarah Habel, and Tom Sizemore was surprisingly entertaining. REALIVE starring Tom Hughes was actually produced in 2016, but only got released in the USA in 2017. I’m giving it a mention here because it was a breath-taking film. I absolutely loved it!
That is all.
Two books a month, one indie and one traditional, that stood out to us during 2017.
Traditional: Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga Vol 8 comes out on December 27th, and that’s pretty much the highlight of this month.
Indie: I got nothin’, sorry!
Traditional: Andy Weir released his sophomore novel, Artemis, which was essentially Mark Watney with boobs involved in a ridiculous heist.
Indie: Terry Tyler released Patient Zero, which is one of the strongest short story collections that I’ve read.
Traditional: David Walton released The Genius Plague which scared the ever-lovin fungus out of me.
Indie: J. Scott Coatsworth released The Stark Divide, which on top of just outright being a solid sci-fi story, also has the bonus of featuring LGBTQ+ characters.
Traditional: Peter Cawdron released Retrograde, which helped me out of a bit of a reading slump I was in!
Indie: Susan Kuchinskas released The Chimera Catalyst, which features one of the most believable near-future world I’ve ever read.
Traditional: Joshua Williams released the first volume of Frostbite, which was an amazing sci-fi graphic novel that I couldn’t look away from.
Indie: Dennis E. Taylor wrapped up the We Are Bob series with the final book of the trilogy, All These Worlds, and nailed it.
Traditional: Markus Sakey released Afterlife, which completely blew me away and raised the bar on what I expect from this author so, so much higher.
Indie: David Meredith released Aaru, which, even though I didn’t really click with, still regularly pops into my head, so that says something!
Traditional: Neal Stephenson and Nicole Gallard released The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O, which I will never read, but looks interesting enough.
Indie: Peter Bailey released Kings of this World, which is the best bloody sci-fi novel I’ve read this year, so you need to go read it pronto.
Traditional: Ariel S. Winter released Barren Cove which was something I don’t regret reading because it’s good to expand your horizons, but I never would have voluntarily picked up.
Indie: I…apparently just read indie horror for this month. Sorry!
Traditional: Gwyneth Jones released Proof of Concept which was so packed with information and thought-provoking stuff that it felt like six hundred pages instead of 176! I loved it!
Indie: Mathew Isaac Sobin released The Last Machine in the Solar System which still regularly pops up on my lists (mainly because of that ending!)
Traditional: AdriAnne Strickland released Shadow Run which almost lost me in the beginning but I ended up really liking! (And its LGBTQ+ friendly!)
Traditional: Elan Mastai released All of Our Wrong Todays, which definitely should have beat out Artemis in the Goodreads Choice Awards because it was the much better novel. No contest.
Indie: Felicity Harley released The Burning Years which is a good one for people that might be completely new to cli-fi.
Traditional: On the last day of January, Mur Lafferty gave us the fantastic Six Wakes.
Indie: D.J. Cockurn released Caresaway which is a novella that examines psychopathy in an interesting way.
There were lots more releases, of course, but these were the key ones from each month for us personally!
Sci-Fi Television Shows of 2017
Westworld: Season Two
Black Mirror: Season Four
Future Man: Season One
Dimension 404: Season One
The Handmaid’s Tale: Season One (I was hesitant to add this as it is dystopian but I’m not sure where the sci-fi comes in)
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return – Season One
Sci-Fi on the Web
Some best of lists for you!
Barnes and Noble: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2017
Syfy Wire: The 10 Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books of 2017
Rotten Tomatoes: Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
FilmSchoolRejects: The 17 Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy Films of 2017
Paste Magazine: The 25 Best Comic Books of 2017