The Wrong Gadgets

Science Fiction is frequently accused of being a genre that’s too much about gadgets. I tend to think that we focus on the wrong gadgets, and that’s why that generalization is made.

Review: Leviathan Rising by Jonathan Green

Review:  Leviathan Rising Leviathan Rising in many ways  reminds me of older styles of Science Fiction.  It’s a story set in our near future.  Mankind has colonized Mars and set up stations asteroid belts, but so far has not left this solar system.  Their technology doesn’t allow them anything like hyperdrive and they don’t have […]

The Trouble With God Powers. (No, I’m not talking about realism.)

Among diehard science fiction fans, there is this argument that happens quite frequently.  Someone will mention how in a series, the protagonist used a stargate to jump from one point in the universe, and how they thought it was cool. Someone in the room with some knowledge of physics then says that this is impossible, […]

Number One at the Box Office, and Still a Failure.

The movies have changed a great deal in the last twenty years.  One of the most interesting changes is that it’s not that unusual anymore for someone to review the number one most seen movie in the country, and pronounce it a failure.  There is a simple reason for this; it’s because of special effects. […]

Atlanta Nights: A good, bad example.

Science Fiction authors have frequently felt that their genre was treated badly by publishers.  When PublishAmerica wrote on its own web site that [SF and fantasy writers] have no clue about what it is to write real-life stories, and how to find them a home, a group of those writers decided to do something about […]

William Gibson’s formulae for success: No rayguns.

Not long ago I started rereading the Moon is  a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein.  It’s an interesting book, but the thing that really struck me when I read it was the startling amount of exposition.  Exposition is the portion of the story that introduces important background information into the story.  Sometimes it takes the […]

Special Effects, then and now

  When Forbidden Planet came back out way back in 1956, it was on the cutting edge of animation, and lots of people were talking about how it showed things on film which hadn’t been seen before. It’s the story of how explorers find a man shipwrecked on his planet with his daughter for years.  […]

Fast Versus Slow Zombies

Lately there has been an unstoppable wave of zombies movies rampaging through the cinema, and lately even onto television.  Zombie movies are so well known that many of the new movies don’t even bother to bring up certain basic assumptions that they all have in common. For instance: Most attacks don’t harm them but a […]

When Hollywood Attacks!

There was no movie in 2012 that I looked forward to seeing more than Prometheus.  It was being produced by Ridley Scott, the same man who produced Alien and Blade Runner.  Unfortunately it wasn’t really experience I hoped for. There were a few things about the movie to like.  It had great special effects and […]

What SF Means To Me

I grew up watching and reading Science Fiction.  Some of it was actually old by the time I had already been born, but it had a natural appeal to me when I was young.  The idea of getting in a starship and flying to another world appealed to me. A lot of the movies I […]