Tag Archives | Science Fiction

Eternal Life for the One Percent?

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”Benjamin Franklin

J Kent Messum

J Kent Messum

I used think that statement was true. Now I’m not so sure. It’s the first of those two so-called inevitabilities that troubles me in particular. Death is supposed to be the great equalizer, but humans are anything but equal in practice. Once we find a way around a balance, we will try to tip the scales. As soon as we find a cheat, it’s exploited. The objective of this has always been to greatly benefit a few to the detriment of many. If politics, business, religion, and history have taught us anything, it has taught us that.

When I started writing Husk a couple of years ago, there was a lot weighing on my mind. Repercussions of the 2008 Wall Street crash were being felt through almost every inch of life, and more than anyone wanted to admit.… Read the rest

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Four B-Grade Science Fiction Films in the Public Domain

Inspired by Open Culture’s new post, “The 5 Best Noir Films in the Public Domain,” I did a brief search to see which other films reside in the public domain.

Behold the wonder that is b-grade, public domain sci-fi.

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die

The Brain that Wouldn’t Die entered the public domain after American-International Pictures failed to add copyright information to the new title card.

Completed in 1959, the film was officially released in 1962. Directed by Joseph Green with an estimated budget of $62,000, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die follows a grief-stricken doctor who keeps his decapitated girlfriend’s head alive while he searches for a replacement body. The girlfriend, Jan Compton (Virginia Leith), is understandably pissed that the doctor won’t let her die. So, she communicates telepathically with a mutant locked in the laboratory, willing it to kill the doctor.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 covered The Brain That Wouldn’t Die in episode 513 and was the first film watched by Mike Nelson after he replaced Joel Robinson.… Read the rest

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Amazon Debuts Philip K. Dick’s ‘The Man in the High Castle’ Series by Ridley Scott

Hey Dick-Heads, are you excited for the The Man in the High Castle? Amazon Studios has released a new teaser in advance of the debut of the first two series episodes at San Diego Comic Con on July 10th (if you can’t get to San Diego, EW is going to stream the event live):

Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel, and executive produced by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), The Man in the High Castle explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States. Starring Rufus Sewell (John Adams), Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars) and Alexa Davalos (Mob City), the series results from the Amazon Studios one hour pilot, which you can access here if you subscribe to Amazon Prime.

Dick set The Man in the High Castle in 1962, fifteen years after the end of a fictional longer Second World War (1939–47).… Read the rest

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The Future According To Anime

It’s something of a truism that science fiction generally is a good predictor of our future (think of the inventions of Star Trek). Hopes and Fears suggests that we should also be looking to Japanese anime for hints of our future:

While Western audiences constantly look to science fiction to get a feel for what the future might look like, anime is often overlooked when they pull out their crystal balls. This is a shame because the talented forces behind one of the world’s most popular artforms have an extremely distinctive outlook on what is to come.

From robot pocket cat children’s shows to battling it out on Mars with the Judeo-Christian god, Japan’s authors and artists have looked to the future with awe, hope, nuclear world wars, horrible space aliens, and giant, highly destructive mecha (that also make for very marketable toys). It’s often bleak, terrifying or just strange, but it’s always awesome.

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The Culture Wars Invade Science Fiction

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Hugo Award. Photo by Shsilver (CC)

Sci Fi fans, are you pro or anti Puppies? Or if you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, the Wall Street Journal reports on the internecine war amongst science fiction aficionados over the Hugo Awards:

Theodore Beale had a big day when the nominations for science fiction’s annual Hugo Awards were announced last month: He received two nominations for his editing work, and nine stories and books from Castalia House, the tiny publisher where he is lead editor, won nominations.

Quite a feat, since Mr. Beale—better known in the science-fiction world by his pen name, Vox Day—is probably now the most despised man in science fiction. In 2013, he was expelled from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America after he used the group’s Twitter feed to link to his criticisms of a black female writer as an “ignorant half-savage.” He has called women’s rights “a disease” and homosexuality a “birth defect.”

So why are he and the Castalia House authors being honored?

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Dark Star: H. R. Giger’s World

07_HRGIGERSWORLD_Courtesy-Icarus-Films

Giger holding his first human skull. It was a gift from his father when Giger was only six. In the film, Giger explains that he would drag the skull down the street by a string.

One year ago this month, the iconic sci-fi artist, H.R. Giger, passed away. Undoubtedly his legacy will live on, not only as the creator of the Alien, but also as the preeminent producer of biomechanical art. Filmmaker Belinda Sallin’s Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World is a stunning tribute to the man and his work. Premiering only months after Giger passed away, the film explores the totality of Giger’s life and work in a way few documentaries are able to do. Unlike posthumous documentaries, Dark Star exists in a definitive and finite atmosphere starring the subject himself.

The film expertly encapsulates and immerses itself within the same, dark world that Giger and his work inhabited. Dark Star opens with a winding shot from high to low angles of Giger’s eccentric house.… Read the rest

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1906 Illustrations of H. G. Wells’ ‘The War of the Worlds’

Henrique Alvim Corrêa, a Brazilian artist who worked primarily in Belgium, specialized in military and science fiction illustration. In 1906, he illustrated a French translation of H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds. Corrêa’s illustrations were definitely ahead of their time. Their atmosphere and texture echo modern science fiction art. Unfortunately only 500 copies of this edition were ever produced, but Corrêa’s artworks are currently up for auction.

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War of the Worlds. Translated from English by Henry D. Davray. Illustrated by Alvim Corrêa.

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“How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later” by Philip K. Dick, 1978

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Philip k dick drawing” by Pete Welsch from Washington, DC, USA – Philip K Dick. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Via Deoxy.org

by Philip K. Dick 1978

First, before I begin to bore you with the usual sort of things science fiction writers say in speeches, let me bring you official greetings from Disneyland. I consider myself a spokesperson for Disneyland because I live just a few miles from it—and, as if that were not enough, I once had the honor of being interviewed there by Paris TV.

For several weeks after the interview, I was really ill and confined to bed. I think it was the whirling teacups that did it. Elizabeth Antebi, who was the producer of the film, wanted to have me whirling around in one of the giant teacups while discussing the rise of fascism with Norman Spinrad… an old friend of mine who writes excellent science fiction.… Read the rest

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