WildWalker
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Re: Science Fiction

Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:39 pm

I like some Sci Fi,

I'll start with the big 2, Star Wars and Star Trek. The 1977 Star Wars (so book 4) was amazing, but it went downhill from there, nuff said.

Star Trek, it's okay, the Original series is goofy, but fun. Enterprise was good, but at times silly. Voyager I liked but Enterprise was the best of the bunch.

Nothing tops the remake of Battlestar Galactica, it explored humanity, religion, war etc in ways never really seen before, especially in Sci Fi.

Star Gate, didn't really watch the first series, but I did like Atlantis and SGU at lot. Original film was good, I like alternative creation theories to the normal biblical stuff.

Oh yeah, clone wars,

Was liking the remakes of V, shame they stopped.

As far as films go, there have been some really great films, too many to mention really.

I'd like to throw in some games as well, as a few have film title tie ins. So all the Star Wars space games from the 90's (Tie Fighter, X-Wing etc) never really liked the run around on planets shooting storm troopers ones much.

Wing Commander (the intro to WC3 with Mark Hamil was cinematic genius for its time, a 20 minute intro to a game that was a movie, awesome)

Currently watching Fringe, Eureka, Grimm, Walking Dead and Alkatraz.

Alan.

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MadHorseman
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Re: Science Fiction

Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:29 pm

Sadly have had to sell my collection when we moved countries, but managed to hang on to Pratchett & Peanuts.

A few names I had - Piers Anthony before Xanth, Harry Harrison (for a good laugh at times), Ray Bradbury and many many others.  A few unfinished - "Barefoot in the Head" being one.

Sigh,  never mind.

Andre_P
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Re: Science Fiction

Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:50 pm


JamesH said:


Anyone mentioned Silent Running yet?


Yes I think in the first few replies.

Ok to prove the level of geekyness : In my very first job the company was going to throw out three ADM 3A terminals. One was completely dead, one had a Z key cap missing and the other was perfect.

Sooo I recovered at two of them and labelled the one with the capless Z key Huey, the perfect one Dewey and bid farewell to Louie as I couldn't fix it.

Eventually they went to a good home and I like to think they are somewhere still silently running.

Kernel
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Re: Science Fiction

Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:38 pm

Nice to see so many replies to this post

RipSnorter
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Re: Science Fiction

Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:08 pm

Saw a couple of films a couple of decades ago that I remember quite fondly, I wonder if anyone else knows of them...

One was a 'post apocolypse' type which stared a very young Don Johnson called (if I remember it correctly) A Boy And His Dog.

Another is a film which I think was one of George Lucas' very early films called THX1138.

As for books... Iain M. Banks' Culture books contain some really interesting ideas.

Can't beat Hitch Hickers for a classic read for Dads and Sons.

The 'realness' of the physics and science in AC Clarkes books is good for me too.

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SN
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Re: Science Fiction

Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:14 pm

RipSnorter said:


Saw a couple of films a couple of decades ago that I remember quite fondly, I wonder if anyone else knows of them...

One was a 'post apocolypse' type which stared a very young Don Johnson called (if I remember it correctly) A Boy And His Dog.

Another is a film which I think was one of George Lucas' very early films called THX1138.

As for books... Iain M. Banks' Culture books contain some really interesting ideas.

Can't beat Hitch Hickers for a classic read for Dads and Sons.

The 'realness' of the physics and science in AC Clarkes books is good for me too.


I started reading 2001 on my Kindle App yesterday.  Got to the bit where there is a description of something called a Newspad - recognised it instantly as an iPad - but this was written nearly 50 years ago.  Apparently Samsung used the film sequence of this part of the story in its defence of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 against Apple in court



Arthur C Clarke was a total genius and quite rightly puts Jobs right in his place as racketeer
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johnbeetem
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Re: Science Fiction

Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:53 pm

RipSnorter said:

Another is a film which I think was one of George Lucas' very early films called THX 1138.
Great film -- I saw it when it first came out.  I particularly like the scene where THX 1138 talks to the diety OMM 0910, which answers his comments exactly like an Eliza program.  Great use of BART under construction as a futuristic set.

I haven't seen the DVD, and I have misgivings since it has new material and I didn't like the new material in Star Wars.  It's like going back and tinkering with history, or Leonardo deciding to touch up the Mona Lisa.

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riffraff
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Re: Science Fiction

Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:24 pm

@WildWalker

BSG was some of the best script writing and acting I've ever seen on the small screen.

Edward James Olmos rocks.

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riffraff
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Re: Science Fiction

Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:14 am

I'm just really disappointed in the state of Sci-Fi cinema and television these days.

There have been so many starts with great potential but writers these days just aren't up to the task of creating a universe and balancing the human element of stories with the wow factor of hard science. They start out with a burst of energy, but then peter out as if the writers are confused or have simply lost interest.

"Sci-Fi" Channel changed its name to "SyFy" and is no longer willing to invest in anything exceptional, they'd rather have sausage with lots of filler than steak. "Ghost Hunters" is more palatable to them. You'll never see another BSG. Caprica was a bomb, know one involved seemed to know where the story was going, and it seems like every attempt to capitalize on the success of the original BSG has met with failure. Eureka is going off air after this season, and that's the last of the shows from their millennial lineup.

There was much ballyhoo about CGI set shows and how they were going to revolutionize sci-fi television by reducing production costs, but the lack of sophistication there leaves the action limited to talking heads. Even with dramatic camera angles, they look a lot like the low budget TV dramas from the '60's. Not to mention that what they saved in set production could have been invested in hiring decent writers, but they fail in that area too. So long "SGU" and "Sanctuary".

What's left? Sorry guys, "GH" and "GHI" and "Being Human" aren't gonna cut it for me.

"Terra Nova" got canceled. Wow... a big American network got interested in producing a big budget sci-fi series. "Gonna be the next 'LOST'!"  Ummmm... not gonna cry over that one. Plot was a meandering mess. It's sad when that much money is invested in a series and everyone forgets what day it's on. Fringe is the only marginally intelligent offering now, but I can feel the life bleeding out of the scripts.

Have not seen it yet, but have read many reviews of Disney's "John Carter" that say it's a disaster. Shame... I know ERB is a little outdated, but you'd think as wildly entertaining as those stories are, even today, that something of the original grandeur would have shown through... "dear old Woola".

Even my wife, who is not much of a sci-fi fan loved the reboot of Dr. Who! Sad to say, we don't get a whole lot of it over here lately. Cable provider didn't have BBC America, so missed most of Torchwood. Saw some episodes streaming from a Chinese pirate site (caught a nasty Trojan from closing a pop-under add there). "TW - Miracle Day" was interesting, but moved too slowly.

Will we see another "2001"? Another "Alien"? I'd settle for another "Silent Running". But what I'd really like to see is something visionary... Guess I'll be waiting a while. :/

raptor49
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Re: Science Fiction

Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:20 am

Good to hear you like sci-fi, I love it too. So today is a good day, because The Hunger Games is just out and it looks good and may be a block buster movie, Can't wait to go see it.

This link takes you to a trailer of the movie. Hope it lives up to the books.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....S9a5V9ODuY

raptor49
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Re: Science Fiction

Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:20 am

Sorry double post.

Good to hear you like sci-fi, I love it too. So today is a good day, because The Hunger Games is just out and it looks good and may be a block buster movie, Can't wait to go see it.

This link takes you to a trailer of the movie. Hope it lives up to the books.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....S9a5V9ODuY

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johnbeetem
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Re: Science Fiction

Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:00 am

riFFraFF said:

There was much ballyhoo about CGI set shows and how they were going to revolutionize sci-fi television by reducing production costs, but the lack of sophistication there leaves the action limited to talking heads.
I really dislike CGI.  IMO it looks less realistic than the classic SF films, such as 2001 which I believe introduced bumpy spacecraft models.  I recently saw Hugo -- it was entertaining but IMO pales in comparison to watching actual films by Méliès, which were incredibly inventive and humorous.  The tricks of an expert magician and enthusiasm of a born showman easily outperform CGI.

One of my favorite SF films growing up was Westworld -- great plot and writing, and simple but highly effective special effects.  I loved the control room scenes with gratuitous PDP-8 assembly language on computer monitors.  Yul Brynner was terrific, especially the saloon scene near the beginning.  They must have had a much bigger budget for Futureworld -- it was terrible.

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riffraff
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Re: Science Fiction

Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:17 am

I won"t say that all CGI is bad, but these lowbudget green-screen productions get annoying. You end up with two heads talking superimposed over a blurry backdro and it looks like an early daytime drama.

JustThisGuy
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Re: Science Fiction

Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:13 am

One 'green screen' movie that I really liked was The Warrior's Way aka Laundry Warrior. The physical sets are minimal but well done and the backdrops are, to me, beautifully done. Good story, good acting and action. It's not scifi tho.

Anyone like Moon?
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MadHorseman
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Re: Science Fiction

Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:44 am

Best "B" movie:-

Tremors?

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riffraff
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Re: Science Fiction

Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:27 pm

JustThisGuy said:

Anyone like Moon?
Plot was stolen from a short story I wrote when I was in high school.

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SN
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Re: Science Fiction

Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:12 pm

Tremors was indeed a B Movie of some note.

A good few years ago there was a feature on uk tv to find the worst movie of all and the infamous Plan 9 From Outer Space won hands down - a truly laughably poor movie.
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Hiro
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Re: Science Fiction

Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:22 am

Surprised to see very little mention of William Gibson and Bruce Sterling here. Maybe they aren't in the same league as the greats but both write exceptionally good modern science/tech fiction.  The sort of stuff i would expect Pi fans to enjoy, perhaps a bit "Bubblegum Fiction" for some people but i like it.

Look out for Gibson's Spawn Trilogy (Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive) and Sterlings Heavy Weather and as mentioned by a previous poster The Difference Engine which they co-wrote.

Also expected to see more mention of John Wyndham and i don't think anyone has mentioned the classic 1984 yet. Talking of Wyndham did anyone see the awful remake of The Day of the Triffids the other year? The shot of Eddie Izzard walking out of the crashed plane looking exactly like a cartoon character would look in the same circumstances. Trouser legs torn, covered in soot etc.  but basically unhurt because he had locked himself in the toilet with a stack of inflatable life rafts just before the plane destroyed half of London. I suppose it was worth watching just to see what a mess they had made of it.

JustThisGuy
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Re: Science Fiction

Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:53 am

I've just been informed of 'Towel Day'. How marvelous!

In anticipation let me give you a taste of the Eagles' Journey of the Sorcerer.
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Chromatix
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Re: Science Fiction

Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:31 am

Living in this small corner of the world, I can't let this thread go without mentioning Star Wreck and Iron Sky.

The early incarnations of Star Wreck – a parody of Star Trek if you couldn't tell – are fairly bad, as you would expect from a bunch of teenagers joking around, but in a good way.  The final episode, however, is a feature-length film (crossing the Star Trek and Babylon Five universes with much lampooning) with production and direction values better than some Hollywood releases.

And then Iron Sky is the same set of people doing their first serious, "big" budget effort, using experienced actors.  It's still definitely in comedy genre, but dark comedy – and it is science fiction.  I mean…  space Nazis.  How much more awesome an antagonist could you have?

Another often-overlooked subgenre of science fiction is "alternative history" fiction.  Harry Turtledove is famous for this – he asks questions like "what if space lizards had invaded in the middle of WW2?" and then proceeds to make entire series of novels about the inevitable consequences.  NB: the space lizards don't have FTL travel, which is actually a plot feature – they are surprised and eventually undone by humans' unexpectedly fast technological development and inventiveness.

Finally, some of the better user-made campaigns for Freespace 2 basically fall into the category of "interactive fiction".  Play the original game (or the SCP/HLP enhanced versions) to get the background (and the skills needed to complete the stories), then play Derelict, and Blue Planet, and then perhaps the Just Another Day series for some light relief.  You will lose many hours to it, but it's time well spent.
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dognosh
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Re: Science Fiction

Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:42 am

JamesH said:


JustThisGuy said:


RE: HGTTG Movie -

I was so looking forward to Alan Rickman's turn as Marvin! The movie was blah and it felt like the director never let Rickman out of the starting gate. I was disappointed. Love the books. After all, I'm just this guy, ya know?

District 9, Primer, (I can't believe no one has mentioned this one) Pi, Serenity & Firefly (watch them every couple of months).

I second Philip K Dick, any and all the books. Forget Minority Report the Movie (Too much Spielberg, not enough Dick).

Iain Banks is a current favorite. Dan Simmons' Hyperion and Endymion books. Anything Azimov or Heinlein, The Kim Stanley Robinson's book "Variable Star" channels RAH quite well.

Don't get me started on Sci-Fi. I've been reading it since Tom Swift Jr..

Edit: punctuation.


Anything Heinlein? Even "The Number Of the Beast", which, in my view, was bloody awful. I only read it to the end to see whether it got better. It never did! Truly, stunning, woefully awful.

IMHO.


I read the number of the beast 3 times, but everytime I got lost in the last 50 pages

dognosh
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Re: Science Fiction

Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:03 am

Greatest Sci-Fi book : The forever war, by haldeman

Greatest Sci-Fi book to movie wish : the above

Greatest Sci-Fi book to movie anticipation : Rendevous with Rama, by Clarke, looks like it is in the making

Biggest disappointment from book to movie Adaptation: Battlefield Earth, by Hubbard(of scientology fame) , book 85% , movie total utter tripe(I gave it 1 on IMDB as they don"t allow a 0 !!!)

Best Sci-Fi movie : Blade Runner(Do Android"s Dream of Electric Sheep?) and Alien(the atmosphere is superb!!!)

Best looking Sci-Fi movie of 2012 : PROMETHEUS  ob=av3n

Best concept :Larry Niven and Ringworld (what an amazing concept !) and Robert L. Forward and Dragon"s Egg(surface of neutron star inhabited by living beings) quote :"Dragon"s Egg is a neutron star with a surface gravity 67 billion times that of Earth"

Funniest writer : Harry Harrison , the funniest Sci-Fi writer ever !

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Re: Science Fiction

Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:25 am

Ahh, Dragons Egg. Been trying to remember the name of that for years. Thanks.

Prometheus does look pretty good.
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dognosh
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Re: Science Fiction

Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:41 am

JamesH said:


Ahh, Dragons Egg. Been trying to remember the name of that for years. Thanks.

Prometheus does look pretty good.


James, have you noticed how the clever ones use Youtube,twitter and Facebook to build anticipation by releasing titbits like pre-trailers, clips, graphics, interviews and regular on set updates ?(like you guys too lol) , the slight interest in Prometheus is now building in to a frenzy(14 million views of both trailers),just hope it is like most of scott's work and not a disappointment. Also "The Hobbit" is doing the same

p.s. Last week an interview was released regarding Prometheus, was very good !!!

quote(ish): "Are you going to surprise us like you did in Alien and John Hurt?" Ridley Scott :"you bet !!!"

Interview :http://www.prometheusnews.net/.....ndelof-qa/

JustThisGuy
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Re: Science Fiction

Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:26 pm

I apologize but... Alien is not so much scifi as a horror flick set in space. I mean these guys were just intergalactic truckers on a lonely stretch of road. I liked Alien, it gave me the heebeejeebees and Ripley is to die for, but scifi? Not so much. For scifi watch Dark Star, Dan O'Bannon's early comedy complete with space surfing and supercilious intelligent bombs.

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