Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.
Do you read more or less over the holidays?
Comments this week:
“Well, it really depends. I read more if we spend the holiday at home or with my in-laws. But it’s way less if I spend it with my parents. They spend all year just reading, and when the kids are around they want to talk, talk and talk some more.” – Karen Burnham
“I daresay there is scarcely a more beautiful and satisfying thing than to be in your bed till the very late/early hours of the evening/morning on a holiday reading a nice book. Happy holidays to all.” – General X
Be sure to visit our front page and vote in this week’s poll about upcoming movies based on comic books?
Those of us of a certain age, which includes all of us here at the big SFS, remember the ‘classic’ SF movie Tron with at least some fondness. I managed to score the 20th Anniversary DVD edition for my birthday a couple of years back and introduced my kids to Tron, which they then proceeded to watch at least 5 times over the next two days.
Writer/director Steve Lisberger directed two more movies, Hot Pursuit and Slipstream, but nothing that approaches the cult status of Tron. But now, Tom’s Games has an interview with Lisberger where he details the new script he’s working on called Soul Code. The new movie isn’t a sequel, as Lisberger says Tron stopped pretty much at the end of the road, but Soul Code will deal with human interaction with advancing technology. Those of you who want to see more of the Tron story ought to find the PC game Tron 2.0, which is actually a really nice FPS in it’s own right, aside from continuing the story.
From what is in the article, Soul Code will deal with the discovery of the ability to ‘download’ people’s memories, presumably into a computer. Nothing really new to us in the SF community, but as far as SF movies go, I’m hard pressed to think of one that deal directly with this. Maybe the Lawnmower Man movies.
It’s a long article and I’m officially interested in the movie, which could be ready by late 2009, so set your alarms now.
Last week we showed you a bunch of science fiction TV episodes from Hulu. Today we’re going to bring you the next episode of one of the best, if shortest, science fiction shows ever produced. I’m talking about, of course, Firefly.
If you’ve never seen it before, now, and in the coming weeks, you’ll have the chance to see it right here. Hopefully you’ll be drawn in and become a raving browncoat like many of us. Or possibly you’ll be interested enough to purchase the box set of the DVDs so you can see it in it’s full glory on the television. In any event, after the break you can watch the second episode Whedon intended.
(See here for the first episode.)
SciFi Wire has been listing 2008 genre movies, though I’m not sure how some of these fall under the guise of sf/f (blame SciFi Wire, not me!)
- From 20th Century Fox: Jumper, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!, Shutter, Starship Dave, The Happening, and Babylon A.D..
- From Disney: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, WALL*E [w/ Pixar], South of the Border, Bolt, and Bedtime Stories
- From Paramount:Cloverfield, The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Ruins , Iron Man, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Kung Fu Panda , Nowhereland, Ghost Town, Madagascar: The Crate Escape, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Star Trek, and A Tale of Two Sisters.
- From Universal: The Incredible Hulk, Wanted, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Death Race, The Tale of Despereaux, and Doomsday.
- From Warner: One Missed Call, 10,000 B.C., Speed Racer, Get Smart, The Dark Knight, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Today is the birthday of Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek‘s Lt. Uhura). What better way to do a Friday YouTube than with Nichelle singing “Know What I Mean?” from her 1967 Down to Earth album?
Happy birthday, Nichelle! And what a coincidence…I got tasty-hasty pudding too, if you know what I mean, know what I mean…
This almost makes up for Shatner’s early singing career. Or not.
Slice of SciFi looks at The Science of Science Fiction:
Science Fiction involves buying into the premise of a scientific “reality” that often pushes, even shatters, the boundaries of what we know. As fans we accept this. As fans, we realize the vehicle need not be 100% feasible to transport us to good entertainment, with believable characters, and viable plots. I can buy into some things I know are not yet possible within our current understanding of science, and go with it for the sake of a well-told story.
What I find increasingly objectionable is the outright violation of science, as we know it. Humanity stands on the shoulders of countless individuals who painstakingly built the foundation for understanding the world around us. We owe them respect, not dismissal. Whatever premise we are asked to accept should build on this foundation, extrapolate it, even stretch it, but not tear it down for the sake of a “cool” visual.
I see it as a duty of the science fiction fan to hold sci-fi vehicles to a higher standard. Science is an important part of our lives, and reasonably good science should be the first requisite of “Science” Fiction. Instead, I see science casually tossed aside for the sake of a plot point, or worse, for the sake of presenting a special effect in lieu of a plot. The unintended consequence is that it makes “real” science seem mundane, boring, and lame.
Subterranean Press has just started posting the Winter 2008 issue of Subterranean Online. Here’s what available now, with more to come in the weeks ahead:
[via SF Scope]
Director Peter Berg confirmed that a new Dune movie is ready to go, and that the writer’s strike is the only thing holding it back. Presumably that means there’s no screenplay yet.
The question then becomes, do we really need yet another version of Dune? I like both David Lynch’s overproduced and overacted silver screen version and the Sci Fi Channel’s much lower budget miniseries. Both have their strength and weaknesses and both show just how difficult it is to adapt Dune for a visual medium without compromising the source work in some way. you simply can’t film the internal monologues without looking silly (I’m looking at you Kyle MacLachlan) and doing without forces you to find other ways to dispense the information.
And let’s not forget the SFX that will be needed to make this look really good. While ok for the movie, I felt the SFX were much better in the miniseries, at least enough to not get in the way. I’d think with today’s technology, it ought to at least look really good. In fact, I’d go in expecting to be knocked out. That means big $$$ to do it right.
What do you think, is this a good idea or just another example of Hollywood being bereft of ideas?
REVIEW SUMMARY: Futurama returns in a glorious tour de force! Rivaled by only such classics as Casablanca and To Kill a Mockingbird this seminal film is an instant ‘straight to DVD’ classic. Er, OK, I’m an admitted raving fanboy of the show, so this might not be an entirely unbiased review. That and a shout out to my new amphibian master, the Hypnotoad.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The Planet Express package company was ‘cancelled’ by the idiot executives at the ‘BOX Network’. However those folks are gone, and the company and crew are back once again delivering packages. That is, until they are scammed out of their personal information by a bunch of aliens using well known Internet scam techniques who then proceed to take over everything using the same mechanism, eventually scamming President Nixon’s head out of the Earth itself. Will the Planet Express crew be able to organize a rag tag fleet of rebels against a planet defended by a ring of solid gold Death Stars?
PROS: The show is back and doesn’t miss a beat; liberal bashing of the Fox Network for canceling the show, “Torgo powder – apply directly to the buttocks” homage to Manos: The Hands of Fate, Two fun singing numbers, time travel paradoxes, cameos voices by Al Gore, Coolio, Mark Hamil, appearances by favorites from the show, and lots and lots of Bender.
CONS: Fans of the show will love it. Fans of math too. And science. And this blog. And puppies and kittens. And air. If you don’t like those things, then maybe you won’t find it to be awesome beyond your ability to think straight. Coming, green master!
BOTTOM LINE: If you don’t already have your own copy, check your pulse and click the friggin’ link above and have one delivered to you by the fine folks at Amazon already! And no downloading a pirated version either – not if you want more comedy goodness.
We wrap our Christmas science fiction extravaganza of shows with the poster child for great science fiction killed too early by no nothing execs. I’m speaking, of course, about Firefly.
Below we present the original pilot episode as intended by Whedon, “Serenity”. Yes, all (almost) two hours.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the videos we’ve brought to you today. You can look for a more in-depth look at Hulu in the near future. For now, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Enjoy the rest of your day!
Hopefully our glimpse at the original Galactica put you in the mood for a little of the new Galactica, which, of course, Hulu has online. Unfortunately, this is one of the shows where there is a lack of episodes to choose from, with only 5 available. All from season 3.
So, if you’re one of the haters (looks at John), you may want to move on. Otherwise, we present the episode “Maelstrom”.