What’s Up in Sci-Fi: Inside Rama, Passengers

Welcome back to What’s Up in Sci-Fi. This eighth issue 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. I have no doubt the format will change as I figure out what works and what doesn’t. This is by no means a comprehensive list of what’s happening, but it should whet your appetite!

Movie Tidbits

Coming Soon:

Passengers, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, is due to be released on December 21st. The movie is getting a fair amount of hype. It’s even going to be sent to the ISS so people can watch it in space. (Apparently this is a big deal. I do not see why.)

It looks interesting enough, and Lawrence and Pratt have delivered fantastically in the past, so I’m definitely curious to see this.

Watch the Passengers trailer here.




Trailers to Check Out:

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. It’s based on a comic book, looks fairly typical, and is due out in July of 2017. I highly recommend watching the trailer with your sound off, as the ‘music’ they’ve overlaid it with is mindbogglingly annoying.

Life. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhal, Life looks to be yet another example of humanity seeking to find a way to make itself out to be the hero, not the villain. Because, oooh, scary aliens. Maybe I’m just cynical, though.

Featured Vimeo Science Fiction Short

True Skin

This 6-minute video from H1 called “True Skin” is visually engaging, interesting, and overall very well done. Go check it out.

Featured Science Fiction Art: Inside Rama

Made by: James A. Ciomperlik. © Public Domain

This is a 3D rendering of the inside of the famous Rama spaceship in Rendezvous with Rama. I have to say, I think he nailed it. What about you?

Science Fiction Books

Interesting Looking New Releases:

Metro 2035: World War Three wiped out the humankind. The planet is empty now. Huge cities became dust and ashes. Railroads are being eaten by rust. Abandoned satellites hang lonely on the orbit. Radio is mute on all the frequencies.

The only survivors of the last war were those who made it into the gates of the Metro, the subway system of Moscow city. It’s there, hundreds of feet below the ground, in the vaults of what was constructed as the world’s largest air-raids shelter that people try to outlive the end of the days. It’s there that they created a new world for themselves.

The stations of Metro became city-states, and its citizens, torn apart by religions and ideologies are fighting for the now scarce commodities: air, water, and space. This tiny underground world can only remind humans of an immense world they once were the masters of.

It’s been twenty years past Doomsday, and yet the survivors refuse to give up. The most stubborn of them keep cherishing a dream: when the radiation level from nuclear bombings subsides, they will be able to return to the surface and have the life their parents once had.

But the most stubborn of the stubborn continues to search for other survivors in this huge emptiness that once was called Earth. His name is Artyom. He would give anything to lead his own people from the underground onto the surface.

And he will. | Buy on Amazon.

Culdesac – The war with no name rages on, setting the world on fire. Humanity faces extinction at the hands of the Colony, a race of intelligent ants seeking to overthrow the humans and establish a new order. To achieve this, the ants use their strange technology to transform the surface animals into highly evolved killing machines who rise up and murder their oppressors.
The bobcat Culdesac is among the fiercest warriors that the Colony’s experiment has produced. Driven by revenge, and notorious for his ability to hunt humans in the wild, Culdesac is the perfect leader of the Red Sphinx, an elite unit of feline assassins. With the humans in retreat, the Red Sphinx seizes control of the remote village of Milton. But holding the town soon becomes a bitter struggle of wills. While the humans threaten a massive counterattack, the townsfolk protect a dark secret that could tip the balance of the war. For the sadistic Culdesac, violence is the answer to everything. But this time, he’ll need more than his claws and his guns, for what he discovers in Milton will upend everything he believes, everything he fought for, and everything he left behind.
Buy on Amazon.



Ocean of Storms In the near future, political tensions between the United States and China are at an all-time high. Then a catastrophic explosion on the moon cleaves a vast gash in the lunar surface, and the massive electromagnetic pulse it unleashes obliterates Earth’s electrical infrastructure. To plumb the depths of the newly created lunar fissure and excavate the source of the power surge, the feuding nations are forced to cooperate on a high-risk mission to return mankind to the moon.
Now, a diverse, highly skilled ensemble of astronauts—and a pair of maverick archaeologists plucked from the Peruvian jungle—will brave conspiracy on Earth and disaster in space to make a shocking discovery. Buy on Amazon.

New-to-You (and with a 3.75+ rating on Goodreads)

Nick Cole
Goodreads: 3.86

HMH Books
Goodreads: 3.89

Henry Holt
Goodreads: 3.98


  • John Glenn, the first man to orbit the moon, died on December 8th, 2016. His orbiting of the earth was yet one more step in science fiction becoming real life.
  • Ursula Le Guin is getting the recognition she deserves in 2016, and in 2018 hopefully we’ll get to see the hour-long documentary “The Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Cards Against Humanity has partnered with science fiction writers to release a new Sci-Fi Card Pack. All proceeds go to Worldbuilders.
  • In a disturbing case of Sci-Fi to Real Life, it looks like China is implementing a social credit score. Dystopia! Dystopias everywhere!
  • Ozy has an interesting piece on the Father of Science Fiction (not Jules Verne or H.G. Wells), and how his quest for anonymity screwed his legacy over.
  • LA Review of Books makes some interesting claims about science fiction, including indicating that  “There are innumerable definitions, all of which flatly contradict each other”, but it’s article This is Science Fiction is well worth the read.
  • Have you seen any of these German science fiction films?
  • Hey, look, a science fiction writer from way back that wasn’t white! Jagadish Chandra Bose is someone you need to know about.
  • Tyson, the meat giant, is putting its money where it’s mouth is and seeking out new ways of getting protein into people via meatless meats. Definitely a step from sci-fi to real life?
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4 Responses to What’s Up in Sci-Fi: Inside Rama, Passengers

  1. Donna says:

    I’m not a fan of Lawrence but Passengers sounds nice! I never think of checking trailers, so my movie nights have been replaced. Metro 2035 sounds like something I’d enjoy too.

  2. I do like Lawrence and the movie sounds interesting indeed. I agree that Metro 2035 also looks very interesting. Going to check everything else. Thanks!

    • I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of Metro 2035 before. It seems like one of the hardest things about these weekly posts is finding out what books are actually coming out soon/already out, if they’re not from major publishers.

  3. Brian Bixby says:

    My own take on Ozy’s “Father of Science Fiction,” Edward Page Mitchell: https://sillyverse.com/2016/10/30/my-2016-horror-moldy-oldie-edward-page-mitchell-the-crystal-man/

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