Social Commentary in Science Fiction: Mockingjay

I know I have already written a post on The Hunger Games but here I want to write specifically about the final book/film where everything changes and the story is brought to a satisfactory conclusion (well, for some). Though it follows the same theme of celebrity culture, there are other elements that make this final chapter interesting in its own right. Continue reading “Social Commentary in Science Fiction: Mockingjay”

The Chances of Anything Coming from Mars: Thoughts on War of the Worlds

Do you “believe” in life on other planets? I don’t but only because – in this case – “belief” is irrelevant. People used to believe that this planet was the centre of the solar system. The fact that this hypothesis was violently enforced does not make it true. What matters is the evidence and the logical deductions. Granted, we have limited evidence about life on other planets and what evidence we do have is disputed. Continue reading “The Chances of Anything Coming from Mars: Thoughts on War of the Worlds”

Anti SciFi Snobbery is Still a Thing

Sadly, and despite that the genre is far more mainstream today than it has ever been, crossing age and gender and social class divides, people still misunderstand and misrepresent what it is. I am in a book reading group on Facebook. Most of the members are middle aged women and most of the books discussed are what most would consider books targeted exactly at that demographic – romance, strained relationships, misery lit (books about overcoming abuse etc). Continue reading “Anti SciFi Snobbery is Still a Thing”

Making History with the Pluto Fly By

Source: NASA

 It’s not very often these days we feel that a planetary fly-by really makes history, but today is a little different. This is the first high-res image ever to be beamed back from the furthest reaches of our Solar System. As the New Horizons probe has got closer and closer, the images have gone from blurry to showing us some outstanding features. Continue reading “Making History with the Pluto Fly By”

BSG The Plan is Beautifully Poetic

I saw Battlestar Galactica: The Plan for the first time just the other day. I didn’t expect much, so was pleasantly surprised by just how it all interweaves so nicely and ties up the loose ends – what happened to Miss Godfrey. To whom was Caprica6 speaking just before the attack? How much did Boomer really know about her Cylon nature? What were the Final Five doing when the attacks began and how did they get into the fleet? What sparked the withdrawal from the colonies and what started the Cylon civil war?

Continue reading “BSG The Plan is Beautifully Poetic”

State of Science Fiction Today

MG Mason:

Great post on the state of scifi from Rosie Oliver. If you’re a scifi purist, you really need to read her blog.

Originally posted on Rosie Oliver:

I have been saying for some time now that publishers are publishing what they know has sold well in the past and therefore likely to sell well in the future. Damien Walter has taken this analysis a step further. See here. Basically what he is saying that in the fantasy sector the multi-volume series has dominated the market place to the detriment of single standalone novels. He’s calling them mega novels, a good description me thinks. The consequence? Well we get the same universe and main characters. We always hear about people writing trilogies, some of which extend into a longer series. There are less new ideas coming to market. It’s worse than the reader having less choice. The reader will not see the fantasy genre progress in interesting ways. There is a spillover into science fiction. Ann Leckie’s novels, for instance, are part of a trilogy. Alastair Reynolds…

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Black Mirror: White Christmas

I realise I am coming to this very late with a sort of review of the Christmas special, but Charlie Brooker’s weird “mind f*ck” series, of which there have been two seasons of three episodes each, led into what was one of the best pieces of television of Christmas 2014. Continue reading “Black Mirror: White Christmas”

The Black Storm (Trooper) in a Teacup

If you recognise him, consider yourself a sci-fi nerd with good observation. He played the lead character in the horror-comedy Attack the Block.

Sorry about that truly terrible pun, but I must confess to being genuinely perplexed when I heard about the #blackstormtrooper controversy this morning. I had to dig around to find out just what people were complaining about. My first thought when I saw the trailer last week was “ooh, he’s wearing Stormtrooper armour”, my second was “I recognise him”, my third “is that Tatooine?”, my fourth “I wonder what’s startled him?”
Continue reading “The Black Storm (Trooper) in a Teacup”