Category Archives: sci-fi

Under the Crescent Sun

“Sorry about the tea. I know it’s weak.” Marnie hustled among the dozen or so people, handing out plastic cups. “I’ve relied on my SmartKettle so long now that I’ve forgotten how to make it properly.”

A few nodded and smiled.

“I thought we could go around the room and introduce ourselves and just say why we’re here.” She said. “I’ll start. I’m Marnie, and I’m the one who put up those signs. I’m glad you could all solve my little puzzle. I didn’t want to make it too hard, but didn’t want Surveillance to realize there was a puzzle at all. Let’s hope they didn’t.” She laughed. No one else did.

She looked down at a young man sitting close to her and he took … Read the rest

Blade Runner Gets Re-Created, Shot for Shot, Using Only Microsoft Paint

Source:
Open Culture



Excerpt:
“Blade Runner came out in June 1982. Microsoft’s Paint came out in November 1985. Little could the designers of that rebranded version of ZSoft’s PC Paintbrush packaged in with Windows 1.0 know that the paths of their humble graphics application and that elaborate sci-fi cinematic vision would cross just over 30 years later. Surely nobody involved in either project could have imagined the form the intersection would take: MSP Blade Runner, a fan’s shot-by-shot Tumblr “remake” (and gentle parody) of the film using only Microsoft Paint, starting with the Ladd Company tree logo. Why make such a thing? “I like the idea of having a blog but basically feel as if I have very little to say about things, … Read the rest

How to Recognize a Dystopia: Watch an Animated Introduction to Dystopian Fiction

Source:
Open Culture



Excerpt:
“Literature and film can open up to the depth and immensity of social truths we find profoundly difficult, if not impossible, to articulate. If our political vocabulary is (as Oxford Dictionaries suggested in their word of the year) “post-truth,” it can seem like the only honest representations of reality are found in the imaginary. Amidst the violent upheavals of the last couple decades, for example, we have seen an explosion of the dystopian in film and literature, that venerable yet modern genre we use to explain our contemporary political conditions to ourselves. It has become common practice in serious debate to gesture toward the outsized cinematic scenarios of Snowpiercer, or The Hunger Games and Harry Potter series, as stand-ins … Read the rest

The 14-Hour Epic Film, Dune, That Alejandro Jodorowsky, Pink Floyd, Salvador Dalí, Moebius, Orson Welles & Mick Jagger Never Made

Source:
Open Culture



Excerpt:
“Frank Herbert, David Lynch, and Alejandro Jodorowsky surely all rank among the most imaginative creators of the second half of the twentieth century. It made sense to film producers to turn Herbert’s Dune into a movie, but they had a devil of a time finding the right director to bring that epic novel of the feudal interstellar future to the screen. Lynch, as all his fans know and most regret, wound up with the job, and soon after the botched result hit theaters in 1984, it made history as one of the all-time classic mismatches between filmmaker and project, and at $40 million, one of the most expensive. Lesson learned: don’t hire the director of Eraserhead to helm your … Read the rest

The Author Who Predicted Earth’s Bleak Future Is Back

Source:
Motherboard



Excerpt:
“Way back at the turn of the millennium, T.C. Boyle published a heartbreaking and horrifying novel about global warming, A Friend of the Earth (Viking; 2000). Swinging back and forth in time between 1989 and a climate-ravaged 2025, Friend follows protagonist Tyrone Tierwater from his eco-radical days in the west, to his elder years as he tends a rare animal zoo. As imagined by Boyle, the year 2025 is a cauldron of constant climate chaos worldwide, as too many humans battle over too few resources during extended droughts and endless rainstorms. Compared to A Friend of the Earth, Boyle’s new book, The Terranauts, is relatively tame when it comes to the subject of climate disruption. But then, it is set … Read the rest

Isaac Asimov Laments the “Cult of Ignorance” in the United States: A Short, Scathing Essay from 1980

Source:
Open Culture



Excerpt:
“Painting of Asimov on his throne by Rowena Morill, via Wikimedia Commons In 1980, scientist and writer Isaac Asimov argued in an essay that “there is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been.” That year, the Republican Party stood at the dawn of the Reagan Revolution, which initiated a decades-long conservative groundswell that many pundits say may finally come to an end in November. GOP strategist Steve Schmidt (who has been regretful about choosing Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate in 2008) recently pointed to what he called “intellectual rot” as a primary culprit, and a cult-like devotion to irrationality among a certain segment of the electorate. It’s a familiar contention. There … Read the rest

​The Jesus Singularity

Source:
Motherboard



Excerpt:
“For the second installment of our series exploring the future of human augmentation, we bring you a story by the Transhumanist Party’s presidential candidate (and occasional Motherboard columnist), Zoltan Istvan. Though he’s spent most of the last year traveling the nation in a coffin-shaped bus, spreading the gospel of immortality and H+, he’s no stranger to fiction. His novel, The Transhumanist Wager, is about the impact of evolving beyond this mortal coil. This story is even bolder. Enjoy the always provocative, always entertaining, Zoltan Istvan. -the editor. Paul Shuman’s phone rang. He struggled to open his eyes. ‘Who the hell is calling me in the middle of the night?’ he thought. He rolled out of bed and walked naked to … Read the rest