TUESDAY TUNE: “Monsters” by Abby

Here’s a video for “Monsters” by Abby, made by Pooya Abbasian, who describes the video like this: “This is the story of Abby, an isolated girl who has been submerged in the world of her own turmoil and paranoia, where the line between reality and nightmare is growing thinner and thinner.”

I really like the grainy, black-and-white look of this video. Very atmospheric, fitting the tone of the song itself.

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PleaseDontSuck, pleaseDontSuck, pleaseDontSuck…

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“Pacific Rim” CES Trailer

Because you can never have enough of monsters vs. robots…

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The trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s new film Pacific Rim has hit the streets. It’d officially called “Pacific Rim” but I have a feeling it will simply be known as Monsters vs. Robots.

The plot has been briefly described as:

When an alien attack threatens the Earth’s existence, giant robots piloted by humans are deployed to fight off the menace.

And really, what more needs to be said?
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Teaser Trailer: Monsters University

James L. Sutter is the author of the novel Death’s Heretic, which Barnes & Noble ranked #3 on its list of the Best Fantasy Releases of 2011, as well as the co-creator of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game campaign setting. His short stories have appeared in such publications as Escape Pod, Starship Sofa, Apex Magazine, and the #1 Amazon bestseller Machine of Death, and his anthology Before They Were Giants pairs the first published stories of SF luminaries with new interviews and writing advice from the authors themselves. In addition, James has written numerous roleplaying game supplements and is the Fiction Editor for Paizo Publishing. For more information, check out jameslsutter.com or follow him on twitter at @jameslsutter.

Rejecting Creationism: Building Better Monsters Through Evolution

Creationism is a hot topic these days. There are constantly fights over whether it should be taught in schools, debates within religions about whether or not creationism can incorporate the idea of evolution, and so on. Yet whether you believe in creationism as literal truth or not, there’s one angle you may not have considered.

Creationism is a crappy way to design monsters.

I don’t just mean for science fiction, either–since science fiction has science right in the name, it’s hardly surprising that readers of that genre are going to expect any aliens and monsters they run across to conform to the principles of evolution. Yet even in fantasy–perhaps especially in fantasy–a little evolutionary theory can go a long way toward making your monsters and setting more interesting and engaging for the reader or player.
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FILM REVIEW: Monsters (2010)

REVIEW SUMMARY: A unique blend of science fiction and cinema vérité techniques featuring interesting, sympathetic characters. Easily one of the best science fiction movies of the past two years.

RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A photojournalist must escort his boss’s daughter through the Central American jungle, which, six years after a space probe crashed, has become a No Man’s Land of alien flora and fauna.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Low key, understated use of effects; telling details of how alien invasion has been incorporated into everyday life; smart, strong script and direction from Gareth Edwards; strong, sympathetic performances from leads Whitney Able and Scoot McNairy.

CONS: One or two minor plot holes that don’t quite make sense; a bit of alien biology that probably could have been explained a little better.

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