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50 Days on Earth (Robert B. Holland)

No aliens. No zombies.
Only man – and that was more than enough…

Em 2014 a Ficção científica estará de volta! Fique atento ao “Grifo Vermelho”…

Sci-fi, Ficção Científica, Portugal

Sci-fi, Ficção Científica, Portugal

Esclarecimento:

   Este livro irá estar disponível em 2014, apesar de ainda não haver uma data concreta para o lançamento. Essa é uma promessa pessoal que vos faço.

    Não temos qualquer contrato com uma editora, apesar de estarmos abertos a qualquer proposta de uma (a sério). No entanto, muitas procuram os “fast books” com condimentos das modas actuais e este livro não será nada disso… Também não temos acordos com blogs “mainstream” para uma futura divulgação. Não me parece que possamos ombrear com máquinas bem oleadas e em pleno funcionamento… Os poucos que tivermos para “marketing” serão entregues a quem nós sabemos que os irá realmente ler e opinar de forma isenta e competente.

    A nossa certeza é que iremos tentar trazer algo “diferente” para o mercado – esta frase deverá reflectir que a nossa preocupação não é quantitativa. Não será, certamente, um livro para agradar às massas. Mas pretende agradar a outros… A única incógnita prende-se precisamente com o nível de sucesso que teremos nesse objectivo qualitativo. Estará o “50 Days on Earth” à altura do desafio? Espero que sim.

Andreia Torres

Anúncios


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4 Things Science Fiction Needs to Bring Back

It’s tempting to look around at today’s literary scene, with its Twilight and its Fifty Shades of Grey, and wonder if we shouldn’t just flush the whole goddamn concept of written language down the toilet — maybe start again with some sort of hybrid colorwheel/odor system for communicating thoughts. Strangely, the one genre thriving in the swamp of modern literature seems to be science fiction. It’s kind of appropriate, actually: All of our crazy high technology has made publishing and distributing books about crazy high technology much more approachable and widespread than ever. But even the best works could stand to learn a little something from the past, so here are a few things that I miss about old science fiction, and would like to see come back.

Note: You know I’m probably going to whore the newest and final episode of my science fiction serial novel, Rx – Episode 3: Industry, up in this piece, right? This is something we authors must do. The price we pay for creative integrity is every single shred of our basic human dignity. Please, do not hate me, for it is pity you should truly feel. Pity for the sad creature that does stuff like this: If you want to check it out, the first episode is free on Amazon until midnight Pacific on August 17! And the complete collected edition of all three episodes is available now for only $4.99! Some scientists* have gone on public record as stating that Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity is the only certain cure for erectile dysfunction!

*Scientists may not be actual scientists or have ever said anything of the sort.

#4. The Optimism

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Neal Stephenson — who once wrote a book about a virtual-reality bushido master/pizza delivery man named Hiro Protagonist, but has since devoted his entire writing career to meta-history at the expense of all the world’s forests — has publicly bemoaned the rather dismal nature of modern science fiction. And he’s absolutely right: Sci-fi used to be about how awesome and wonderful the future could be; it used to be about big, stupid, bright, shiny ideas that could never happen — until they did.

The idea is that kids grew up reading about amazing stuff in science fiction, and then devoted their lives to science so they could one day make fiction a reality. That theory holds that we only have cellphones today because some kid watched Star Trek and couldn’t bear to live in a world without Communicators anymore. Since his only options were “suicide” or “science,” and he never learned to tie a proper noose, he went to college — and that’s why you can shoot birds at farm animals at red lights today.


And it only costs the safety and lives of your fellow drivers!

But even if that’s true, I don’t think the theory means that the sci-fi of yesteryear was all Fluffiness Augmenters and Snuggle Rays: When people talk about classic science fiction, they often refer to Orwell, Bradbury, Dick and Huxley — all of whom wrote brutal, merciless dystopian fiction. And there’s a reason for that: The negative stuff tends to stick with you, because as sad as it is, a slap in the face is more memorable than a good hug. But even if you’re writing a miserably dystopian piece of fiction — even if you’re writing a post-apocalyptic piece about a clone army of Mao Zedongs piloting a squadron of Rape-Bots into an orphanage — there’s a way to do it that doesn’t place the blame on technology.

Our most optimistic mainstream science fiction is doubtlessly Star Trek, but look at that universe: You can’t walk ten steps without tripping over a cruel intergalactic Godcube. It’s as full of strife, conflict and action as any dystopia — it’s just that science isn’t at fault in that world. Science is usually the solution, or at the very least, it’s neutrally awesome. You blast that arrogant Godcube with your phasers; or you reverse the shit out of that Q’s polarity; or you beam your crew out of that Klingon prison, replacing each member with an armed photon torpedo, so that when those filthy aliens get to hell, they can tell the bumpy-headed devil that Science sent them.

#3. Exploring the Future of Mankind, Instead of Navel-Gazing at Private Drama

I’ve said it before: One of the main advantages that science fiction has over other genres is its ability to use a ridiculous, far-flung future scenario to take an unflinching look at the present. Great sci-fi isn’t about a person; it’s about people. Often that means the plot is a little flat or some of the characters are a bit archetypal — but that’s OK. When you’re trying to pack a dense and interesting setting, a cutting societal metaphor and some compelling science all together into a single story, Sprint Laserkick’s hurt emotions are the first sheep to be culled. For example: I could not, to this day, name a single character from a Philip K. Dick novel apart from Deckard — and I only remember him because he was Harrison Ford at his Harrison Fordiest.


OK, maybe second Fordiest.

That’s not a knock on Dick: I love Dick (and no, I am not ashamed). It’s just that character didn’t matter in the slightest to Philip K. Dick — the guy spent his career slamming amphetamines in a shack while trying to dodge a giant mechanical head spying on him from the clouds, and still managed to knock out compelling science fiction novels at the rate of one a week. (If you’re not familiar with Philip K. Dick, I’m not being random; every single word of that biography was absolutely true. Go read his books.) Dick didn’t have time to painstakingly chronicle Maurice ManintheHighCastle’s emotions — because every minute he spent writing about Walter WeCanBuildYou’s fatherly abandonment issues was a minute the sky-head got closer, and the only thing that drove it away was plot twists. The dude had his priorities.


#1. Stop the Sky-Head. #2. Meth. #3. Literature.

Don’t get me wrong. Character-driven sci-fi pieces have their place, and they often make for the best stories, but sometimes they also lose what’s great about science fiction: the ability to take a look at what we’re all doing right now, as a species, through the harsh and objective lens of Martian robots. I’m not saying it’s impossible to work a compelling and complete character into a forward-thinking sci-fi book. I’m just saying that lately a lot of authors seem to be dipping their Serious Chocolate in my Goofy Sci-Fi Peanut Butter. Sure, that shit is delicious together, but sometimes a man doesn’t feel like a Reese’s — maybe he wanted to use that peanut butter to make a sandwich or something, and now there are little crumbs of solemnity all up in there. Not cool.

#2. Some Good Ol’ Fashioned Mindfuckery

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Twist endings and plot gimmicks are something I’ve personally bemoaned before, even — and especially — within the genre of science fiction. But that’s when the writers shoehorn them in there for no particular reason, or base the entire work on the existence of the twist. If there’s no merit to your book beyond the shocking revelation that your protagonist is his own murderer, then you’re just a literary M. Night Shyamalan and that makes your book, like, Mark Wahlberg or something.

Nobody wants to write a Mark Wahlberg, friend.

But if it’s done well, and carefully, the end of a good science fiction book can wrap up a plot logically, make whatever important point it’s trying to make, and still lay your mind gently down by the fire for some philosophical bonin’.


“Baby, I’m going to expand your concept of space-time so hard, your grandma will walk funny tomorrow.”

I mean, that’s why any author gets into the business: to screw their readers in their sweet, bootylicious brains. I can’t spoil my own book, and hell, it’s highly possible (even probable) that I’m closer to the Happening Axis than the Foundation Axis on the great Graph of Literature, but in the finale I at least try to put the moves on your brain. Maybe do that yawning arm thing and try to grab some of your brain’s side-boob — you know, just the classy, subtle stuff.

I know that, as a rule, it would be pretty stupid if every science fiction plot tried to blow your mind or include some shocking twist, but so few even make the attempt anymore. Did our science fiction writers just give up on messing with their readers? That’s awful. Somewhere, The Last Question is crying a solitary, disappointed tear. Because a good mindhump every once in a while can function like the hook in a pop song: It’s the thing that gets the rest of the work stuck in your head, and eventually forces you to drop everything else and analyze it — if only to get “Hey Mickey you’re so fine you’re so fine you blow my mind hey Mickey you’re so fine you’re so fi-” to stop playing on infinite loop before you eat a plasma grenade.

#1. The Sense of Fun

It seems like a little of the sense of fun has gone out of modern sci-fi in the name of more plausible futurism. Sure, we’re getting the most uncanny and believable future worlds yet, thanks to our increasing familiarity with the real technology around us, but it comes at the cost of absolutely ludicrous premises, lusty green women and ray guns that transform flesh into delicious Jell-O brand pudding. There used to be a secret kind of understanding between science fiction writers and their fans that, as soon as the reader picked up a sci-fi book, they were going to violently curb-stomp their sense of disbelief into a pile of bloody goo. And, in return, the authors would inundate their forebrains with fantastical alien breasts that go on rollicking high adventures throughout space and time.


Last time on The Adventures of Maxine Mammary, Bouncing Battlebreasts …

Golden Age science fiction was like your drunken ex-roommate from college: For the most part, you outgrew the guy and matured into a functional adult, but every once in a while he’d come to crash on your couch and, instead of chastising his life choices, you’d stuff some bail money in your sock and go out to shotgun beers from a flabbergasted policeman’s riot helmet with him. Maturity is a wonderful thing, but sometimes you just need to toss adulthood in the dumpster and go punch a guy in a Little Caesar costume. Obviously, we still get a few sci-fi books that acknowledge the importance of fun — Altered Carbon wanted to know what happens when you use people like floppy disks, so it threw plausible science right out of the car and never slowed down to see if it survived the fall. Ready Player One idly wondered what would happen if reality was World of Warcraft, and Redshirts didn’t even bother with worldbuilding — it straight up set itself in Star Trek, and then mercilessly ripped the whole thing apart from the inside like a literary facehugger, asking neither permission nor consent, and giving neither quarter nor fucks along the way.

As for me, my own book stars a murderous Abraham Lincoln, a punk girl with acid spit and an entire society based around getting high on time travel. If you can throw out the rules harder than that, then congratulations: You’re a hit anime show.

The relative success of books like these says that there’s still an audience willing to follow the most ridiculous premise you can slap on a space opera, just as long as you remember that having fun is fun. This is fiction! And science! Both of those things have proven time and again that they can do literally whatever the hell they want. And if either of them are any good, they also both have lasers, so what are you going to do to stop them, tough guy?

Yes, you get the occasional misstep: John Carter tried this tack, then super-jumped up its own asshole and disappeared from the box office forever — but that was mostly because the studios titled it like an accountant’s driver’s license and marketed it exclusively in the DMZ. Seriousness absolutely has a place in science fiction, but it can’t dominate: If you don’t take off your lab coat every once in a while and rescue a three-breasted Ladyborg from the clutches of the evil Spidereans, you’re never going to get invited to the Chrono-orgy.


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Contagem decrescente para o fim do mundo no segundo trailer da série de ficção científica ‘Helix’

Foi divulgado o novo trailer para a série de ficção científica “Helix”, revelando mais detalhes da série criada pelo argumentista Ronald D. Moore (“Battlestar Galactica”) e produzida pelo canal SyFy. A trama acompanha um grupo de cientistas convocados para controlar uma nova epidemia que se está a espalhar numa estação de pesquisa no Árctico. Mas chegando ao local, eles se deparam com algo muito mais aterrador.

Segundo a sinopse oficial:

“Helix é um thriller  sobre uma equipe de cientistas do  Centro  de Controle de Doenças que viaja  para uma unidade de pesquisa no Árctico para investigar um possível surto da doença, apenas para encontrar-se numa luta de vida e morte que pode ser a chave para a salvação da humanidade ou a ferramenta de aniquilação total. No entanto, a ameaça letal é apenas a ponta do iceberg e, à medida que o vírus evolui, a verdade aterrorizante começa a ser revelada.”

Billy Campbell (“The Killing, The 4400”) é Dr. Alan Farragut, líder do “Center for Disease Control’s Special Pathogens Branch” . Ele segue para o Ártico com a missão de investigar uma potencial  epidemia  numa remota Base no Árctico, onde ele encontra o  chefe da unidade, Dr. Hiroshi Hataki, interpretado por Hiroyuki Sanada (“Lost”). Charmoso e atencioso à primeira vista, Hataki pode ser algo sinistro.
O elenco também conta com Jeri Rian, Kyra Zargosky, Jordan Hayes, Catherine Lemieux, Marcos Ghanime entre outros.
A série com 13 episódios estréia nos EUA em 10 de janeiro no canal Syfy.


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Ten lessons modern science fiction films can learn from 2001: A Space Odyssey

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Being a fairly hardcore space nerd it’s my opinion that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the greatest science fiction film ever made. With good science fiction movies rather thin on the ground, I thought I’d look at the lessons2001 can teach modern filmmakers about how to make a great sci-fi film.

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1. It doesn’t need to be an action movie

Sure, explosions can be fun to watch, as can mech-suit battles. But it’s always disappointing when a promising plot devolves into a generic action movie.

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2. There are visionary sci-fi authors everywhere. Use them

Arthur C. Clarke’s short story ‘The Sentinal’ was the jumping off point for 2001, Clarke worked with Kubrick on the screenplay and wrote an accompanying novel at the same time. Clarke had brilliant ideas about what contact with alien life would be like, and what the future of computers would be. Kubrick took these concepts and wrapped them up in his unique vision. There are so many great authors in the science fiction genre these days that it’s almost criminal how under-utilised they are in science fiction cinema.

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3. Special effects aren’t the most exciting part of the movie

George Lucas once said that ‘special effects are a tool’ (many years later he became a special effects tool himself). While the look of the film has to be right, it shouldn’t be the sole reason for the film’s existence. Space effects can be very cheap and easy, and there are some model shots from 2001 that hold up to this day.

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4. Think about what our future may be like, don’t just make stuff up

One of the strengths of 2001 was that Kubrick and Clarke thought about and researched the future, rather than just imagining a new society. They thought about what the space program would look like and what life in a space-faring society would resemble. And sure, they may have been off by quite a few years, but their predictions about what a manned mission to Jupiter would look like could still come true.

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5. Accurate space scenes are more thrilling than inaccurate space scenes

The scene where Dave Bowman tries to rescue Frank Poole takes places in darkness and silence, and is still 100 times more thrilling than the opening space battle of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

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6. Aliens don’t need to be evil

Too often in Hollywood movies, we meet aliens with a similar desire for resources that we have, and a similar military structure, and war ensues. Or the aliens are horrific monsters that just want to kill everything. But surely a race of beings that have mastered interstellar travel are interested in more than just mining and warfare?

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7. In fact, aliens don’t even need to be understandable

They are aliens, so why can’t their motivations be just as alien as their appearance?

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8. The audience doesn’t need everything spelled out for them

2001 has one of the greatest endings of any film, an ending that is still talked about and debated almost half a century after it was initially released. While there is a clearer version of what happened in the 2001novel, the film is hugely ambiguous and leaves it up to the audience to interpret.

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9. Space is beautiful 

The opening moment of 2001 is an image of the sun rising over the Earth rising over the Moon. It’s silent, slow, and reveals the beauty and majesty of the universe around us.

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10. Science fiction stories can take a long time to unfold – that’s where the awe kicks in

2001 takes place at the ‘Dawn of Man’ and concludes with an idea about the next phase of evolution. The time span from the discovery of the monolith on the Moon to the conclusion of the Jupiter mission is years. Space is big, and evolution is slow. There’s no magic chamber that speeds things up, no warp drive that makes the distances in space seem negligible. And the result is that you get a sense of the age of the universe, what it means to grow as a species, and just how isolated astronauts can be when things go wrong.

So here’s hoping that Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity and Christopher Nolan’sInterstellar can live up the 2001 legacy.

in Momentum


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‘Helix’: Get a First Look at Ron Moore’s Syfy Drama

“The Killing’s” Billy Campbell stars in the 13-episode drama about a team of scientists from the CDC investigating a disease outbreak.

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Billy Campbell in “Helix”

Battlestar Galactica‘s Ron Moore returns to the small screen with Syfy’s Helix, his first series following the conclusion of prequel spinoffCaprica, and The Hollywood Reporter has the exclusive first-look at the drama.

Helix, which bypassed the traditional pilot stage and was picked up straight to series in March, centers on a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who travel to a high-tech research facility in the Arctic to investigate a possible disease outbreak. There, they find themselves in a terrifying life-and-death struggle that holds the key to mankind’s salvation or total annihilation.

STORY: Comic-Con: Syfy’s ‘Helix’ Sets Key Cast

The Killing‘s Billy Campbell stars as CDC pathologist Dr. Alan Farragut, who first and foremost is a man of science, having dedicated his life to understanding and containing infectious diseases.

Moore will executive produce the drama alongside Lynda Obst (Contact), Steven Maeda (Lost, The X-Files) and Cameron Porsandeh, who wrote the pilot script for the Sony Pictures Television entry.

The mastermind in charge of the top-secret research happening there will be played by Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine, Revenge, Lost). Walker, the estranged former wife of Campbell’s character, will be played by Kyra Zagorsky, while Balleseros, the U.S. military liaison to the CDC with a dangerous agenda of his own, will be played by Mark Ghanime.

Moore said at Comic-Con that the series launches with an outbreak and the CDC team learns that the “research that they’re involved in has both the potential to save humanity and destroy humanity.”

Helix premieres in 2014. Check out the first-look photos above, and below, and hit the comments with your thoughts. Will you watch?

 


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50 Sick and Disturbing Horror Movies

1 – Martyrs
2 – The New York Ripper
3 – Calvaire
4 – August Underground’s Mordum
5 – Dumplings
6 – Inside
7 – Ichi The Killer
8 – Faces of Death
9 – Strange Circus
10 – Nekromantik
11 – Irreversible
12 – Tokyo Gore Police
13 – Haute Tension
14 – Audition
15 – Men Behind the Sun (1988)
16 – Cannibal Ferox
17 – THE BUNNY GAME
18 – Three Extremes
19 – Braindead
20 – Anti-Christ
21 – Suicide Club
22 – Maniac
23 – Bloodsucking Freaks
25 – Philosophy of a Knife
26 – The Beyond
27 – Begotten
28 – A Serbian Tale
29 – Last House On The Left
30 – The Human Centipede
31 – Nekromantik 2
32 – Visitor Q
33 – Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
34 – I Spit on Your Grave
35 – Guinea Pig 2 – Flores De Carne E Sangue
36 – Cannibal Holocaust
37 – Murder-Set-Pieces
38 – The Exorcist
39 – Texas Chain Saw Massacre
40 – Evil Dead
41 – Aftermath
42 – Slaughtered Vomit Dolls
43 – Grotesque
44 – Pink Flamingos
45 – Thriller – A Cruel Picture
46 – Funny Games
47 – Zombie
48 – Nightmares In A Damaged Brain
49 – In My Skin
50 – House by the Cemetery


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Curtas por Andreia Torres: Floating Dragon

 

 

Floating Dragon – Um dos melhores trabalhos de Peter Straub sem dúvida — em contraste com Mr. X. um exercício de algum narcisismo exagerado. Um livro ( muito ) inteligente de horror sobrenatural em “grande escala”. Aqui tudo parece tecido com cuidado milimétrico e essa teia agarra-nos desde o primeiro instante. O ritmo… é adequado e as personagens são intrincadas e inesquecíveis, não sendo apenas figurantes “carne para canhão” – como geralmente acontece nos livros de contornos “body count”. A ideia de ser um calhamaço desaparece para quem suportar bem o peso dos artifícios necessários ao suspense. Imagine-se que até as personagens femininas são credíveis e isentas dos estribilhos habituais! Além do mais, este livro é realmente bizarro e arrepiante – sendo nestes aspectos até superior a King. Mas não direi mais para não ser spoiler! Prepare-se para sentir arrepios…