HAPPY HALLOWEEN: The Darkest Hour is science fiction horror movie filmed at the Academy of Science Plaza, in Moscow, Russia. This terrifying(ly bad) film has teenagers fighting space aliens. There's lots of of cheesy looking 3D computer graphics too. Bad movies aren't just from Hollywood anymore.
CELEBRITY SCIFI: Kim Kardashian's younger sisters, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, have a dystopian science fiction novel on Amazon. The Keeping Up with the Kardashians celebrity models' ghostwritten book is called Rebels: City of Indra: The story of Lex and Livia. The reviews are not good. Maybe if they added some pictures...
THIS WEEKEND: The huge Los Angeles Convention Center (1201 South Figueroa Street) is the site. Elvira (Cassandra Peterson), the mistress of the dark, will be there. So will Kevin Smith (Comic Book Men, Silent Bob of Jay and Silent Bob), and plenty of other celebrities, near-celebrities, wannabes, and what-have-you.
Find more info on the Comikaze Facebook page.
SURVEY SAYS: Market research has revealed that 55% of books (scifi and otherwise) published for the YA (called juvenile back in the day) market are purchased by buyers over the age of 18. In some cases, older adults are buying books for young adult readers. However, a significant portion of YA books wind up being read by people in the 20 to 60 year old range. Those grown-up readers/purchasers should be included in the marketing strategies of writers and publishers. Because I say so.
NO KIDDING: Threshold Entertainment the Tetris Company have issued a press release announcing their plans for releasing an "epic" live action motion picture based on the old video game Tetris. The movie will purportedly be science fictiony, although no plot, director, screenwriter, actress, or actor has been announced for the project yet. Can Pachingo the Movie be far behind?
MINIMAL REWRITE NEEDED: Duckbilled Dinosaur Looked Like Jar Jar Binks. I wonder if Rachel Swirsky can win a 2014 Nebula Award for best short story with this?
GET PUBLISHED FAST: Amazon is rolling out a new way for writers to get their work discovered and published, with the help and participation of readers. The system, called Kindle Scout, allows authors to present new unpublished (50,000 words plus) books to the universe of Amazon readers. Readers browse the new book offerings and can the nominate up to three books at a time for Amazon to consider for award. Amazon states that, "Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing." Not too shabby, eh? Click Kindle Scout for details.
OLD BUT NEW: The SyFy channel has traveled back to 1995 and announced a new science fiction time travel series entitled 12 Monkeys. Yes, that Terry Gilliam 12 Monkeys movie. Except without Bruce Willis. Or Brad Pitt. Still has the deadly disease though.
CAT-ASTROPHE: Harvard's Naomi Oreskes, who appears to be an elderly woman intensely concerned with the impact of Global Warming on cats, has written her very first science fiction short story entitled The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future. It's about the impact of Global Warming on cats, how they will die from Global Warming heat waves in 2023, and other bad stuff. Apparently western civilization will then collapse from the resultant feline shortage. Her writings have been previously featured in Al Gore's science fiction movie An Inconvenient Truth.
CORN COMPETITION: In Christoper Nolan's upcoming movie Interstellar, an angry Gaia and rising corn prices drive mankind from Earth in search of a new planet. In Simon Phillips' upcoming movie The Last Scout, destructive wars drive mankind from Earth in search of a new planet. Watch the Vimeo preview trailer below for a look/see at the second film.
VERY OLD SCHOOL SCIFI: Garrett Putnam Serviss was an American science fiction writer who wrote in the early 20th Century. All of his works have passed into the public domain, and a number of them can be found through Google Books. The full text of a 1911 edition of one of his novels, A Columbus of Space, dealing with the exploration of space and a visit to Venus through the use of an atomic balloon, is on Google Books. Written in a style reminiscent of Jules Verne, the novel's adventurers encounter a race of semi-civilized gorilla-like Venusians, as well as beautiful mind-reading Amazon women. You can read the novel at the link given above.
CLI-FI: Salon has a new Global Warming screed entitled The rise of climate fiction: When literature takes on global warming and devastating droughts. Salon warmly (pardon the pun) notes the increased use of Global Warming in science fiction. Oddly, the magazine/ezine fails to note the contributions of the two most prominent scaremongers in the climate fiction (cli-fi) field today; Michael Mann and Al Gore.
LOOK OUT RACHEL SWIRSKY: The きまぐれ人工知能プロジェクト作家ですのよ (Artificial Intelligence Short-Short Writing Project) may soon be giving writing awards to computers. The Hoshi award, named after the late short-story master Shinichi Hoshi, is now open to both people and artificial-intelligence programs. The AIs couldn't do any worse than some of the humanoids currently infesting scifi.
BEYOND DYSTOPIA: Barack Obama is dedicated to destroying America's space exploration programs. However, his desire for a dystopian future does not mean that man will not reach the stars, only that other nations will likely forge mankind's future in space. The European Space Agency, in collaboration with Platige Image, has created a short science fiction film revolving around a future in which the Rosetta Mission, a robotic space probe studying the 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko comet, opens new possibilties for terraforming other planets. The video features Aidan Gillen (Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish of the Game of Thrones television series).
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Steven Tinel is an old school science fiction fan & blogger.
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