Tag Archives | Science Fiction

Announcing the Sploid Short Film Festival

As Disinfo’s 5am Film Series has been mildly successful, I thought readers would be interested in Sploid’s Short Film Festival. They’re still accepting submissions (until Oct. 31) and viewers can vote by liking the films on YouTube.

For more information on this, go here.

As of this post, here are the films that are currently showing (at least one of these has been featured here).


Zerogon is a lonely creature, from a lonely planet, who becomes abducted into the false allure of a computer generated world.

Directed by John Mattiuzzi and Joshua Planz.

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The FBI was Afraid that Ray Bradbury was Spreading Communism Through Science Fiction


According to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI was worried that Ray Bradbury was spreading communist ideals through his writings. They were particularly concerned about The Martian Chronicles because of the “repeated theme that earthmen are despoilers and not developers.” Even more ludicrous, FBI informant Martin Berkeley called science fiction a “lucrative field for the introduction of Communist ideology.”

JPat Brown via MuckRock:

Bradbury’s membership in the Screen Writer’s Guild, as well as his vocal opposition to McCarthyism, drew particular attention. FBI informant Martin Berkeley – notorious for his role as the House Un-American Activities Committee’s “number one friendly witness” – drew a portrait of Bradbury as pinko boogeyman:


After noting that science fiction “may be lucrative field for the introduction of Communist ideology,” Berkeley goes on to declare the entire field of science fiction writers as a veritable fifth column, intent on crippling America before her enemies.

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The Visit: An Alien Encounter

The Visita mockumentary, documents various government agencies as they try to deal with Earth’s first alien encounter. The film originally premiered at Sundance 2015 and is officially releasing on Vimeo today.


“This film documents an event that has never taken place – man’s first encounter with intelligent life from space.” The film explores a first contact scenario, beginning with the simplest of questions: Why are you here?

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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

1991 Hugo award (with variant base).jpg

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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