Tag Archives | SciFi

“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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It’s a sci-fi trope, but are “beings of pure energy” really possible?

“Beings of pure energy” are oft-used tropes in sci-fi. They have no physical bodies, tend to be “enlightened,” and transcend time and space. But, is this transcendent state possible? Xaq Rzetelny at Ars Technica investigates:

If you’ve experienced science fiction in any of its many forms, chances are you’ve encountered “energy beings.” Unlike the other aliens in sci-fi, they have no ‘physical’ bodies but rather exist as beings of pure energy. They’re usually able to flit about the Universe at will and often demonstrate great abilities befitting their advanced, ultra-evolved state.

They are also typically portrayed as more powerful, more enlightened, and possessing a deeper understanding of the universe. It’s almost a given in most science fiction that sufficiently advanced civilizations will eventually develop this way. Converting themselves into beings of pure energy seems like the ultimate stage in the development of any civilization. It’s a ubiquitous trope—as if “pure energy” is our own mass cultural idea of humankind’s far future.

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Colin Batty’s Sci-Fi Reimagining of 19th Century Portraits

From peculiarum.com

“Hooked on Fishing” from peculiarum.com

From Colin Batty’s website:

Colin Batty is an artist from Manchester, England. He has worked on countless cool projects including Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks, [!!!] the Oscar nominated short The Sandman, Eddie Murphy’s The PJ’s, and many, many more. He sculpted the original Halcyon model kits of the Alien, the Predator, and the Queen Alien. He also has designed and sculpted for Critterbox toys. Colin has contributed to Freakybuttrue and the Peculiarium for many years and graces this site with his amazing work.

Batty has countless sci-fi portraits for sale (starting at $4) as either prints or originals. Here are some of my favorites:

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Breaking Up the Narrative: the 2015 Philip K. Dick Film Festival

FilmFestivalDaniel Abella is the founder and director behind the Philip K. Dick International Film Festival, which just held its third annual event this January at Tribeca Cinemas, NYC. I spoke with him about Philip K. Dick’s ongoing, reality-bending influence on cinematic expression.

J: What compelled you to start a Philip K. Dick film festival?

D: I have been a big fan of Philip K. Dick since learning he was compared to Jorge Luis Borges by Ursula LeGuin. After reading VALIS, Ubik and The Divine Invasion, I found a writer of great depth approaching some modern day philosophers. Philip K. Dick represents a distinctive voice that speaks of a bygone era in science fiction where humanity is prized and valued. My first film feature The Final Equation(1) was inspired by Philip K Dick’s mind bending 2-3-74 experience of meeting an alien intelligence he called VALIS. Based upon the good reception of the film it occurred to me that other filmmakers may want a forum to express their ideas and stories.… Read the rest

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William Gibson interview: time travel, virtual reality, and his new book

William Gibson (CC by-sa 2.0)

William Gibson (CC by-sa 2.0)

via The Verge:

Our geography is dissolving into the digital.

Science fiction author William Gibson’s work, from cyberpunk classic Neuromancer to his more recent, less overtly futuristic novels, is usually more concerned with smart cultural analysis than plotting the mechanics of new technology. Gibson has given us a lens to see everything from high fashion to virtual reality, coining the term “cyberspace” to refer to what would soon become a ubiquitous computer network in the real world (“And they won’t let me forget it,” he quipped after being introduced with that factoid in the TV show Wild Palms.)

But time travel is one of the most mechanical genres around — not necessarily in scientific rationale, but in the rigorous attempt to fit together pieces of the past, present, and future without leaving loose ends or, at worst, unresolved paradoxes. And Gibson’s latest novel, The Peripheral, fits at least a few of its tropes.

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The Replicator Is Still Sci-Fi, But Here’s A Start

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via Gizmodo:

The dream of the Replicator-a machine that can create or copy any object-has mesmerized us ever since Star Trek used one to conjure a glass of water out of thin air. Yet, like so much other sci-fi tech invented by show business, it’s always been just out of reach. The 3D printer company XYZ Printing wants to change that.

What Is It?

XYZ is a one-year-old Taiwanese company that has found a niche in offering 3D printers at bargain-basement prices ($500 for a one-color model). But today, the company is launching its ambitious next step: The Da Vinci 1.0 AiO-or All-in-One. For $800, you get the bones of XYZ’s Da Vinci 1.0 model 3D printer, which prints one color of ABS or PLA filament on a bed that can fit objects up to 6 inches by 6 inches. But in addition to the printer, the AiO includes laser scanner at its base that lets it record and digitize objects as well as print them.

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UFO Skeptics: Are Geeks Divided?

Columbia Pictures

Columbia Pictures

Henry Hanks reports on an apparent disconnect between sci-fi geeks and belief in UFOs and other unexplained phenomena, at CNN’s GeekOut blog:

I was surprised, leading up to this weekend’s top grossing movie, “Men in Black 3,” that paranormal phenomena such as UFOs, the Roswell Incident and, yes, the mysterious Men in Black themselves were conspicuously missing from the zeitgeist.

When the popular sci-fi franchise launched 15 years ago, it was all anyone could talk about. The first “MIB,” along with “Independence Day,” “The X Files” and “Roswell,” brought aliens and government cover-ups their biggest pop culture moment in a generation…

The divide between some science fiction fans and paranormal believers is very real and hard to bridge, according to Timothy Green Beckley, author of “Mystery of the Men in Black: The UFO Silencers.”

“Science fiction and UFO people as a rule do not mix,” he said.

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CERN Scientists Trap ‘Antimatter’ Hydrogen Atoms For The First Time

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ALPHA experiment at CERN

Has science fiction finally started to become science? From Daily Mail:

It was once used to propel Captain Kirk across the stars.

Now scientists say they have captured a sample of real-life antimatter for the first time. In an astonishing breakthrough, a team of British and international physicists were able to ‘trap’ 38 atoms of anti-hydrogen in a laboratory for a fraction of a second.

While the experiment is unlikely to lead to the warp engines, anti-matter drives or the faster than light travel of Star Trek, it could shed light on the nature and origins of the Universe.

Antimatter is the mirror of ordinary matter. Normal atoms are made up of positively-charged nuclei orbited by negatively-charged electrons.
However, their antimatter counterparts are the wrong way round. They have negative nuclei and positively-charged electrons.

Continues at Daily Mail

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