Science Fiction

GNC

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Seriously, though, if you want jump in at the deep end with PKD and get a terrific plot to go with it, Valis isn't the place to start, try The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, one of the most mindbending books ever written. It's also a bit scary in a "this author is losing his mind and I can totally see what he means" way.
 
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Seriously, though, if you want jump in at the deep end with PKD and get a terrific plot to go with it, Valis isn't the place to start, try The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, one of the most mindbending books ever written. It's also a bit scary in a "this author is losing his mind and I can totally see what he means" way.
Clans of The Alphane Moon would also be a good book to start with.

War between Earth and insectoid-dominated Alpha III ended over a decade ago. (According to the novel, "Alphane" refers to the nearest star to our own system, Alpha Centauri). Some years after the end of hostilities, Earth intends to secure its now independent colony in the Alphane system, Alpha III M2. As a former satellite-based global psychiatric institution for colonists on other Alphane system worlds unable to cope with the stresses of colonisation, the inhabitants of Alpha III M2 have lived peacefully for years. But, under the pretence of a medical mission, Earth intends to take their colony back.

Against this background, Chuck Rittersdorf and his wife Mary are separating. Although they think they are going their separate ways, they soon find themselves together again on Alpha III M2. Mary travels there through government work, Chuck sees it as a chance to kill Mary using his remote control simulacrum. Along the way he is guided by his Ganymedean slime mold neighbour Lord Running Clam and Mary finds herself manipulated by the Alphane sympathiser, comedian Bunny Hentman.

On Alpha III M2, psychiatric diagnostic groups have differentiated themselves into caste-like pseudo-ethnicities. The inhabitants have formed seven clans:

The Pares are people suffering from paranoia. They function as the statesman class. The Pare representative to the supreme council is Gabriel Baines, and their settlement is called Adolfville (named after Adolf Hitler). It is located within the northern sector of Alpha III M2, and is heavily fortified. This is where the supreme council building is, a stone, six-story-high building, the largest one in Adolfville.

The Manses are suffering from mania. They are the most active class, the warrior class. The Mans representative is Howard Straw. The Mans settlement is Da Vinci Heights. It is characterized as diverse but disordered, without aesthetic unity, "a hodgepodge of incomplete projects, started out but never finished." Also, this is where Alpha III M2's television transmitter is. There is supposed to be tension between them and the Pares, with the Manses constantly trying to stage a coup d'état.

The Skitzes are the ones suffering from schizophrenia. They correspond to the poet class, with some of them being religious visionaries. The Skitz delegate to the bi-annual get-together at Adolfville is Omar Diamond. The Skitz town is named Joan d’Arc, "poor materially, but rich in eternal values."

The Heebs consist of people suffering from hebephrenia (disorganized schizophrenia). Their settlement is Gandhitown. To the other clans, they are useful only for manual labour. Their representative is Jacob Simion. Gandhitown looks like "an inhabited garbage dump of cardboard dwellings." Like the Skitzes, some of the Heebs are religious visionaries as well; but they are inclined to produce ascetic saints, whereas the schizophrenics produce dogmatists. An example is "the famous Heeb saint, Ignatz Ledebur, who radiated spirituality as he wandered from town to town, spreading the warmth of his harmless Heeb personality." Another notable Heeb character is Sarah Apostoles; she together with Omar Diamond and Ignatz Ledebur form "the so-called Holy Triumvirate."

The Polys suffer from polymorphic schizophrenia. Annette Golding is the Poly delegate to the supreme council and their settlement is called Hamlet Hamlet. They are the creative members of society, producing new ideas. The children from every clan on Alpha III M2 were born Polys, went to their common, central school as Polys, did not become differentiated until perhaps their tenth or eleventh year. Some never became differentiated, though, hinting that, perhaps, some of them do not actually have mental disorders at all.

The Ob-Coms are the ones with obsessive-compulsive disorder, their delegate is Ingred Hibbler. The name of their location is not given. They are the clerks and office holders of the society, the ritualistic functionaries, with no original ideas. Their conservatism balances the radical quality of the Polys and gives the society stability.

The Deps are suffering from clinical depression. Their representative to the supreme council is Dino Watters and the name of their town is Cotton Mather Estates, where they live "in endless dark gloom.”
 

Swifty

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A cool fan edit of the 2029 scenes from The Terminator using footage from both 1 and 2 ..

 

Swifty

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Nearly 5 minutes of the new ALIEN reboot .. I'm not impressed to be honest ..

 

Yithian

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I'm currently halfway through 2001: A Space Odyssey (HAL has just dispatched Poole) and it's good.

The pace has been slightly stately, but I'm down with the separate sections from different periods of time and there have been far fewer cringe-worthy mispredictions of the present day than I feared.

And before you ask--implausible though it may seem--I've never seen the film.
 
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“There’s Too Much Reality”: On Jack Womack’s “Random Acts of Senseless Violence”
By Ron Hogan
FEBRUARY 22, 2017

THERE’S A PASSAGE in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Talewhere she describes the “catastrophe” that led to the creation of the theocratic Republic of Gilead, “when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.”:

That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.

People had been citing that passage on social media throughout the 2016 presidential election campaign, but it seemed to take on a particular urgency with readers immediately after Donald Trump’s victory, no doubt spurred by the hyperevangelical worldview of the new vice president, Mike Pence. There was also a rumor that made the rounds in the weeks just before the election, perhaps meant to reconcile the obvious differences between what evangelical Christians profess to believe about morality and the well-known behavior of Donald Trump; evangelical leaders, the rumor went, were praying that Trump would win and die, paving the way for Pence to establish their earthly kingdom. I don’t imagine, however, that very many people who worried aloud that “the United States is turning into The Handmaid’s Tale” were consciously thinking of that rumor. Frankly, the enduring popularity of Atwood’s novel and the buzz about the forthcoming TV adaptation were enough to keep that scene fresh in the public imagination.

There’s another vision of American catastrophe that I’ve been thinking about since last fall, though, from Jack Womack’s Random Acts of Senseless Violence, which was published in the United States in 1994 (having first appeared in the United Kingdom the previous year). It’s a powerful novel about a young girl struggling to hang on to her sense of self as her world deteriorates into chaos at both the macro and the micro levels, and like so many dystopian visions, it feels more relevant now than ever.

The novel begins on February 15, as Lola Hart writes the first entry in the diary she’s just received for her 12th birthday. Lola’s family lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, at 86th Street near Park Avenue. Her mother is a former professor of 20th-century literature who has just been laid off from NYU, while her father is a screenwriter who has sold a few television scripts but hasn’t been selling much of anything lately. The diary isn’t Lola’s only present; she’s also finally getting her own bedroom, after years of sharing with her little sister, Cheryl (affectionately known as “Boob”). “It’s not a new room but the maid’s old room,” Lola explains. “We had to let her go but I don’t know where she went.” Inez was nice, Lola says, but “she never said much […] because her English wasn’t very good.” It’s a stray detail that Lola records innocently but which hints at the troubles brewing under the surface. It immediately raises a red flag about the Harts’ financial situation, of course, but there’s another ominous hint about how things stand just a few pages later: “I don’t like Los Angeles or Chicago,” Lola writes. “They’re horrible places and I’m glad they’re burning down.” ...

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article...ck-womacks-random-acts-of-senseless-violence/
 
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FIVE BOOKS ABOUT…
New York Burning: Five Books About the Collapse of New York City

Corey J. White
Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:00pm 1 comment Favorite This

New York City is massive, varied, vibrant, beautiful and ugly, and when you’re on the streets of Manhattan as a wide-eyed tourist, you can feel the city thrumming around you. It’s arguably the capital of the world, and has had to bounce back from devastating storms, floods, fires, terrorist attacks, and more. Perhaps this is part of the reason why authors continue to treat the city so harshly in their fiction: no writer wants to be outdone by reality. Below are five books which feature New York City in various stages of collapse.




Random Acts of Senseless Violence by Jack Womack ...

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story presents an unapologetically dystopian future and a clever satire on Western society’s rampant consumerism, ubiquitous surveillance, and obsession with youth. In the book, America is broke, and even with financial support (read: a buyout) from the Chinese government, the nation is on the brink of a catastrophic breakdown.

Super Sad depicts the largely one-sided relationship between Lenny Abramov and Eunice Park. Lenny is thirty-nine years old, and desperate to take advantage of the life-extension technology peddled by his employer. Eunice Park is twenty-four, and the very definition of a Millennial—obsessed with social media and pop culture, with a degree that will likely never lead to any sort of career.

Lenny is hopelessly in love with Eunice, but the younger woman treats him with kind curiosity and a gentle sort of disdain. As Lenny’s dream of eternal life slips further from his grasp, the great American experiment experiences another devastating collapse that might just spell the end of his and Eunice’s sad love story. Whilst the book focusses on the relationships, dreams, and neuroses of its main characters, the societal collapse happening in the background is frightening precisely because of how likely it seems. ...

http://www.tor.com/2017/02/27/new-york-burning-five-books-about-the-collapse-of-new-york-city/
 
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Revenger is a great novel, has some of the structure of both a Victorian young lady's memoir and Golden Age Sf but is also a great Space Opera in the inimitable Reynolds style.

Relics of the Ancient Past: Q&A with Author Alastair Reynolds on 'Revenger'
By Sarah Lewin, Staff Writer | February 28, 2017 07:00am ET

Two young women join a dangerous expedition combing through the rubble left behind from countless past solar system civilizations in "Revenger" (Orbit, 2017), the latest book by prolific science-fiction writer Alastair Reynolds. The book was released today (Feb. 28) in the United States.

Although Reynolds is known for his hard science fiction and space opera, "Revenger" takes on a more fantastical tone, featuring space pirate protagonists and inscrutable alien technology. Space.com talked with Reynolds about how the book developed, the constellation of tiny solar system worlds he depicted (and its inspiration) and what the future might hold for human space colonization. [Best Space Books and Sci-Fi: A Space.com Reading List]

Space.com: How is "Revenger" different from your other science-fiction stories?

Alastair Reynolds:
"Revenger" is my 14th or 15th novel, depending on how you count them. I had written a lot of science fiction over the years that's very — I suppose you could say is quite strongly grounded in semiserious speculation about physics and cosmology and engineering and space travel, because I have a background in space science. For "Revenger," I wanted to do something that was a little bit looser, that was more in the direction of science fantasy.

It's very, very far future, it deals with a cast of characters that don't fully understand the rules that govern their universe: They have some theories, but they're not entirely sure about how some things work and why things behave the way they do. And they're living in a culture where — they're human, or humanoid, but there've been many, many previous civilizations that have come and gone, and every time one of these civilizations comes and goes, they leave behind relics and technologies and artifacts that stick around for millions of years, and they can be found and reutilized by the characters in the book. But they don't always quite understand what they're using, or the dangers. It's a pick-and-mix culture that lives off the relics and detritus of past civilizations.

The technology that the humans have direct access to is never that advanced; it approaches the level of wireless sets and early radar — maybe some television — but it never goes beyond that. Although they're doing space exploration, it's all very perilous, because the ships are only held together by spit and prayer.

Space.com: How did that setting come together with the space pirate adventure story?

Reynolds: About 10 years ago, I started writing little notes to myself about a possible future project which would involve teams of explorers who have this occupation where they have a limited amount of time to break into some sort of alien structure or artifact — where they have to get in quickly, get the treasure, but they're not really sure how long they've got inside before the doors shut again. It's a sort of "Indiana Jones"-type scenario where you've got to raid the tomb and then get out quickly. I thought that could be fun … but I couldn't quite find the right way into the story. ...

http://www.space.com/35852-alastair..._medium=social&utm_campaign=2016twitterdlvrit
 

OneWingedBird

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I does look like they've based it heavily on the geisha / sexbots in GITS: Innocence. With luck, we still get the jumpscare and scream when the face flips open :eek:
 
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Event Horizon – Women in Science Fiction – International Women’s Day 8th March 2017


Women in Science Fiction
Celebrating International Women’s Day
Gerda Stevenson
Katy Lennon
Laura Lam
Tracy S. Rosenberg
+ music from Shona Brown

&

DJ Katy Rainbow

7.30pm, 8th March
The Banshee Labyrinth
29 Niddry Street
Edinburgh
www.thebansheelabyrinth.com

and featuring the world famous Shoreline Raffle.

“Welcome fellow travellers, to our Event Horizon.
Rest your weary bones, we’re only just beginning.”
 

Naughty_Felid

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Event Horizon – Women in Science Fiction – International Women’s Day 8th March 2017


Women in Science Fiction
Celebrating International Women’s Day
Gerda Stevenson
Katy Lennon
Laura Lam
Tracy S. Rosenberg
+ music from Shona Brown

&

DJ Katy Rainbow

7.30pm, 8th March
The Banshee Labyrinth
29 Niddry Street
Edinburgh
www.thebansheelabyrinth.com


and featuring the world famous Shoreline Raffle.

“Welcome fellow travellers, to our Event Horizon.
Rest your weary bones, we’re only just beginning.”
I've never heard of any of them.
 

sherbetbizarre

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Filmmaker and writer Adam Scovell delights in remixing and reworking the photographic techniques and film stock of the past to disturbing new ends. In his latest work, a trailer for a nonexistent 70s TV series of J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise, he captures the novel’s atmosphere with brutal relish. Here he talks about Ballard’s impact on the television of that era.

http://www.4thestate.co.uk/2017/03/a-cathode-ray-high-rise/
 
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Dystopian dreams: how feminist science fiction predicted the future
From Mary Shelley to Margaret Atwood, feminist science fiction writers have imagined other ways of living that prompt us to ask, could we do things differently?
by Naomi Alderman Saturday 25 March 2017 08.00 GMT

Margaret Atwood’s evergreen dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale is about to become a television drama. Published in 1985, it couldn’t feel more fresh or more timely, dealing as it does with reproductive rights, with the sudden accession to power of a theocracy in the United States, with the demonisation of imagined, pantomime villain “Islamic fanatics”. But then, feminist science fiction does tend to feel fresh – its authors have a habit of looking beyond their particular historical moment, analysing the root causes, suggesting how they might be, if not solved, then at least changed.

Where does the story of feminist science fiction begin? There are so many possible starting points: Margaret Cavendish’s 1666 book The Blazing World, about an empress of a utopian kingdom; one could point convincingly to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as an exploration of how men could “give birth” and what might happen if they did; one could recall the 1905 story “Sultana’s Dream” by Begum Rokeya, about a gender-reversed India in which it’s the men who are kept in purdah.

And perhaps one of the starting points was here: on 29 August 1911, a 50-year-old man, a member of the Yahi group of the Native American Yana people, walked out of the forest near Oroville, California, and was captured by the local sheriff. He was known at the time and popularised in the press as “the last wild Indian”.

He called himself “Ishi” – a word in the Yahi language that means simply “man”. He was the very last of his people, and had been living in the wilderness alone, travelling to places he remembered from the time when his tribe had flourished, in the hope of finding some remnant of those he’d grown up with. When he realised they were truly all gone, when a series of forest fires meant he was close to starvation, he allowed himself to be found and taken in.

Knowing that he was the last surviving Yahi, Ishi was desperate to communicate some of the culture that would be entirely lost when he was gone. He ended up living with the director of the museum of anthropology at the University of California, Alfred Kroeber. He taught Kroeber as much as he could: demonstrated the skills of flint-knapping, explained his language, told the stories of his people one last time so they could be written down and preserved. He was particularly fond of children, Kroeber recorded. Ishi died in 1916, of tuberculosis. After his death, Alfred’s wife, Theodora, wrote a remarkable book about him, Ishi in Two Worlds, which relays as much of the Yahi culture as the anthropologists were able to record, and talks about Ishi’s own accounts of his life. To read it is to touch an intricate and beautiful civilisation that is now entirely gone, a place that can only be momentarily resurrected by an imaginative act, as unreachable as an alien world.

And the link with feminist science fiction? Theodora and Alfred Kroeber’s daughter was Ursula Le Guin, the science fiction author. Her novel The Left Hand of Darkness was published in 1969, at the start of the revolutionary women’s movement, and was one of the earliest pieces of feminist SF. It is about a man from Earth who travels to the planet Gethen, where the people have no fixed gender. He is by turns fascinated, appalled and deeply, sickeningly lonely. Everyone’s “normality” is someone else’s wilderness. ...

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2...feminist-science-fiction-predicted-the-future
 
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I recommend Liu’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy and Folding Beijing, by Hao Jingfang.

Science fiction’s new golden age in China: what it means to the authors, many female, leading the way

Recent Hugo Awards for Liu Cixin and Hao Jingfang have shone spotlight on new generation of Chinese sci-fi writers; we talked to some about their hopes and the deeper meaning of their works at a recent Hong Kong conference

The science-fiction genre in China was little known before Liu Cixin was honoured with the Hugo Award for best novel in 2015 for The Three-Body Problem. The first book in Liu’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy, it tells of an alien invasion during the Cultural Revolution and has sold more than a million copies in China alone. The English translation was recommended by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to members of his book club, and praised by former US president Barack Obama as “wildly imaginative, really interesting”.

Last year, Liu’s compatriot Hao Jingfang earned a Hugo Award for Folding Beijing, in which the city is divided into zones, each with a different number of hours in the day.

Liu has been nominated for another Hugo Award this year, for the final episode in his trilogy, Death’s End.

The two winning books are now being adapted for the big screen in China, marking a turning point for Chinese sci-fi and potentially expanding the genre’s exposure globally.

Some 104 original sci-fi titles were published in China in 2016, compared to 75 the previous year, and 461 novelettes were released last year.

Author Regina Wang Kanyu, 27, a long-time sci-fi fan, has witnessed its growth in recent years. “It’s the golden age of Chinese science fiction,” she says. ...

http://www.scmp.com/culture/books/a...al&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
 

GNC

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Anyone in the UK watch the start of The Handmaid's Tale last night? Pretty good, much better than the 90s film, really got the suffocating paranoia of the novel right. Presumably Elisabeth Moss took the role because it reminds her of life under Scientology? It's brought out the best in her, best I've seen her since the glory days of Mad Men. Anyone across the Atlantic know if the quality keeps up?
 
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Putting this here as it's SF/Horror. The trilogy its based on is top class Vampire/Post Apocalypse fiction.

THE PASSAGE TV SERIES FINDS ITS CAST FOR JUSTIN CRONIN’S VAMPIRE EPIC
The Ridley Scott-produced TV series based on The Passage casts up

It’s been a little while since we last heard anything from the Ridley Scott-produced TV series based on Justin Cronin’s epic vampire apocalypse trilogy The Passage, but Fox is moving ahead, and quickly.

Variety reports that the cast has been set for the pilot, which will shoot this month in Atlanta, written by Friday Night Lights veteran Liz Heldens and directed by Marcos Siega (True Blood, Dexter, The Vampire Diaries, Blindspot). War For The Planet Of The Apes‘ Matt Reeves is also on board as an executive producer. ...

https://www.scifinow.co.uk/news/the...nds-its-cast-for-justin-cronins-vampire-epic/
 

sherbetbizarre

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Robert Heinlein's Bizarre Fan Mail Response Letter

When Kevin "Wired" Kelly worked with the Whole Earth Catalog, he happened to receive a piece of mail from renowned scifi author Robert Heinlein. Apparently Kelly had mailed Heinlein, and in response he got this bizarre form letter that Heinlein sent to all his correspondents. The author would simply check the appropriate box in answer and mail it off. What's great about the letter is that some of the boxes refer to extremely granular things, like references to obscure articles about science in long-gone publications.
https://io9.gizmodo.com/5048215/robert-heinleins-bizarre-fan-mail-response-letter

 
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