Sci-Fi drought.

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Sci-Fi drought.

...Seriously. Where has all the awesome science fiction gone these days? Maybe it's just me, but t seems like it's been a way long time since any original sci-fi has been thrust into the world. Films, TV shows and books are mostly just about re-hashing popular franchises; the only medium to be regularly pumping-out new universes to explore is, well, video games (surprisingly enough).

Am I just missing the good stuff somehow? Or does anyone know of something big on the horizon for us sci-fi nuts?

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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:(

and i got a text message from someone yesterday stating that stargate atlantis was being canceled. Sad


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True that. The current

True that. Sad The current season will be the last, then a movie or two to close it up.  However, as soon as it finishes Stargate Universe is meant to be starting.  Problem being, SGU sounds like it's going to be a mesh of stargate and voyager.

 

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From my point of view,

From my point of view, Firefly and BSG were the two best Sci-Fi series in a long, long time, and Serenity was everything that Star Wars just couldn't be with Lucas at the helm.  (And it's worth pointing out that BSG isn't original.)

While I'm mentioning Star Wars, I would like to potentially throw a wrench into the works.  Just for shits and giggles, go to one of the sites that offers streaming video of every tv show in the last ten years, and look at the number of really bad attempts at sci-fi series.  There have been a LOT.

Just browsing through Netflix, I found a lot of gems from the last decade or so.  See how many you've seen:

Eureka

Carnivale

The Dresden Files

Jericho

Supernatural

The 4400

The 10th Kingdom

The Lost Room

Ghost Whisperer

Starship Troopers: Zephyr Campaign

Roughnecks: The Tophet Campaign

Roughnecks" Trackers

Dante's Cove

Taken

Eleventh Hour

Merlin: Special Edition

Jekyll

Roswell

Hex

Threshold

Farscape

The Mists of Avalon

Blade: The Series

Revelations

Robocop: Resurrection

Mutant X

Lexx

Point Pleasant

Robocop: Meltdown

Alien Planet

Miracles

Andromeda

The Invisible Man

Invasion

Alien Tracker

Crime Traveller

Total Recall 2070

 

I could go on, but these are just a sampling of TV series or made for TV movies.  A lot of them were original series, as far as I can tell.  I didn't even look at how many straight to DVD sci fi movies, or in-and-out theater releases there have been.  I suspect that Sci Fi just got lucky with two or three really great series in one decade, and that people have been writing it as much as ever.  I guess what I'm saying is that there really wasn't a "good old days" of sci fi tv or films.  There have always just been the occasional gems poking out of giant piles of shit.

Having said that, the mid to late 70s were a great time to be a movie sci fi fan.  Star Wars, Alien, Clockwork Orange, Soylent Green, Omega Man, Logan's Run, etc.  Lots of stuff going on in the 70s.  It's hard for me to admit that this was 30+ years ago, but there it is.  At any rate, I think most decades are lucky to have two or three great sci fi projects.  Beyond that, maybe it's asking too much for Hollywood to put out much more for such a select audience, when they can make a billion dollars by just putting the latest sex symbol in a period piece and having someone die tragically while two star-crossed lovers finally get together after a seemingly hopeless fight against the system.

 

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Clockwork Orange surely

Clockwork Orange surely wasn't sci fi, was it? It doesn't fit my definition.


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...I can't see how you would

...I can't see how you would define Clockwork Orange as anything BUT sci-fi... (what is it tonight with Kubric? I've been discussing his stuff all day!).

But, yeah, I agree - BSG and Firefly are, like, the pinnacle of modern sci-fi. But the latter isn't original, and the former was just a flash in the pan. Just a few blinks at how Star Wars was successful strictly because of Han Solo. Sticking out tongue

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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thingy wrote:However, as

thingy wrote:

However, as soon as it finishes Stargate Universe is meant to be starting.  Problem being, SGU sounds like it's going to be a mesh of stargate and voyager.

Wait... this was supposed to be a bad thing? o_O

 

 

And you should be glad Kevin, glad that hollywood isnt attempting to ruin more sci-fi franchises with crappy movies, even better that their not tampering with crappy franchises (ala Halo movie... which is coming -_-  )

 

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I hate to say it but the

I hate to say it but the last decade or so of Sci-Fi/Fantasy films and programming mostly leaves me cold. Firefly, BSG, Stargate and others have all been recommended to me, but I tune out pretty quick. I liked Carnivale and the Children of Dune mini-series (and I'd like Susan Sarandon to be thrown down a well for fucking up every scene she appeared in).  I think a great deal of the problem resides in the combined unholy residues of Steven Spielberg and Gene Roddenberry--both have (had) an approach that glories in the wonders and mysteries of the unknown, and that's bullshit.  The universe is a scary, dangerous place and it should be treated as such.  Larry Niven, Frank Herbert, Phillip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison and H bloody P bloody Love bloody Craft may have not written with a terribly good understanding of science, but they understood that part of the equation perfectly.  As far as I can tell, there are only three big mainstream filmmakers who can sufficiently convey otherwordly terror onscreen, and those are Stanley Kubrick, Terry Gilliam and Ridley Scott.  David Lynch may have had similar potential at one time, but his pompous douchiness never allowed him to sink to the level of the material (so he writes his own bad material).  I have high hopes for Christopher Nolan whenever he stops making Batman movies (am I a dick for being mostly unimpressed with The Dark Knight?--I really wanted to like it).

 

 

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Fascinating the way

Fascinating the way reactions to many of these 'iconic' productions can vary so widely.

I liked SG-1 generally - the best episodes I found truly inspiring. I have worked thru the whole 10 series via rented DVDs over recent months. Especially in season 9, I really liked their handling of religion and the evils that can arise when the religious impulses are exploited. There were a number of speeches made by the various main characters which had me really wanting to embrace them all and exclaim "Yes!!!".

Whereas I never got into the habit of watching Battlestar Galactica when it was broadcast on free-to-air here, so on the recommendation of friends I made a determination to catch it from the beginning when the Sci-Fi channel started on my satellite service. I was disappointed, and actually repelled by repeated allusions to Christianity by some of the characters. I persevered for a while, but gave up on it.

I really did enjoy Dark Knight.

I like much of Larry Niven's work very much, but some of his later stuff, including later follow-ups to The Mote in God's Eye, I think with co-author Jerry Pournelle, less than rivetting - one of them being one of the few Sci-Fi novels I gave up on without finishing.

Firefly, both series and feature, definitely enjoyed.

I enjoyed Carnevale, but I wouldn't consider it Sci-Fi - a dark fantasy, yes.

I can't get into all this vampire and zombie crap that seems to be popular now.

 

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Quote:The universe is a

Quote:

The universe is a scary, dangerous place and it should be treated as such.

*Looks around room*

Well, not so dangerous in this part of it...

 

I like Lovecraft as much as anybody. But the dude was a paranoid asshole, and it rubbed-off on his work; the notion that we should isolate ourselves from the ravages of the unknown seems a tad victorian to me.

 

Quote:
(am I a dick for being mostly unimpressed with The Dark Knight?...).

Yes, you really are. Sticking out tongue

 

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Quote:I can't get into all

Quote:
I can't get into all this vampire and zombie crap that seems to be popular now.

Well, if they did a good vampire movie, I'd probably like it.

You don't like Romero's stuff, though? Well... to be fair, I only like it on DVD, so I can just watch the juicy tidbits (the first 10 or so minutes of the Dawn of the Dead remake? Awesome).

 

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


BobSpence
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Kevin R Brown wrote:Quote:I

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Quote:
I can't get into all this vampire and zombie crap that seems to be popular now.

Well, if they did a good vampire movie, I'd probably like it.

You don't like Romero's stuff, though? Well... to be fair, I only like it on DVD, so I can just watch the juicy tidbits (the first 10 or so minutes of the Dawn of the Dead remake? Awesome).

 

Hmm... I maybe should have a peek. I've been so disappointed by a number of shows where zombies turned up that I have been reluctant to look at any with a hint of zombies. It requires some skill to handle the subject without reminding me of old cheap horror flicks.


 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Too much garbage out there

Yeah, there isn't much to hoot about on the new sci-fi front.  I really like The Dark Knight (just saw it last night) and didn't mind paying $10 to see it.   But the Mummy, well...all I can say about that little act of pecuniary purloining is 'they should have worn a mask.'  It's tough.  Too much crap, not enough gold, and you can never tell until someone else is brave enough to suffer for it first.  It's like playing the lottery...house always wins.  Sci-fi is in its doldrums, but then I think that movies are in general.  It's hard to come up with something original when your movie is the one that comes after the hundreds of thousands that have come before it. Every Saturday on SciFi Channel they play a block of similarly-themed flicks, and I think yesterday's theme was something like infestations or plagues...all of the movies are so similar at times you think you're still watching the previous one when the next one comes on.  And you'll always see remakes, and they'll mostly be bad; people can be short-sighted occasionally and will flock to see the current stars in whatever films they make if those stars are hot, not if it's good.  King Kong was a 3-hour-long joke, no matter how hot Naomi Watts is, and I cringed when I heard about the next remake...can you believe Conan?  Are we completely without boundaries here or what? 

 

But you know what?  This reinforces the reasons why I usually don't go to the movies or watch much TV...because, for the most part, they suck.  I refuse to pay first-run prices for second-rate films anymore.  At least with TV, I'm not paying extra for it and I can just turn it off without hearing a giant sucking sound coming from my wallet.

 

 

 

I have little poignant or anecdotal to share in this space, but I'm glad I wrote something that made someone like you waste their time reading it. HAVE SOME.


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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Quote:

The universe is a scary, dangerous place and it should be treated as such.

*Looks around room*

Well, not so dangerous in this part of it...

Well obviously not for you, Kevin.  I for one am absolutely petrified when I contemplate how you live. But to be serious, I'm once again standing by the idea that the universe is really fucking dangerous.

Quote:

I like Lovecraft as much as anybody. But the dude was a paranoid asshole, and it rubbed-off on his work; the notion that we should isolate ourselves from the ravages of the unknown seems a tad victorian to me.

As Robert Bloch noted in an introduction to a Lovecraft collection, you've got to look far and wide to find writers of note that aren't addicts or shut-ins or racists or assholes of some other species.  As for the Victorian thing, I'd point out that the Victorians were the folks who colonized Africa and stretched the tendrils of Empire into all corners of Asia.  What you're likely recognizing is his rabid Anglophilia and extraordinary (even for the times) racism.  

 

 

Quote:
(am I a dick for being mostly unimpressed with The Dark Knight?...).

Yes, you really are. Sticking out tongue

 

C'mon Kevin.  You and I both know you think I'm a dick for better reasons than that.  Not to open this too wide, I just felt that Bale phoned it it this time and I always reject the "he wasn't really dead!" trick as lazy writing.

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Quote:As for the Victorian

Quote:
As for the Victorian thing, I'd point out that the Victorians were the folks who colonized Africa and stretched the tendrils of Empire into all corners of Asia.

And then I'd go ahead and point-out that Victorians largely invented the vampire legends, based on isolationist superstition. Tales of men from exotic locales coming to infect their culture with their unclean blood, silver tongues and ravenous thirsts...

 

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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One of the reasons I love

One of the reasons I love this discussion is that there can be several good ways of answering the original question.  It's nice to have something to talk about that isn't obviously a right-wrong dichotomy.

Anyway, several thoughts:

* I'm deeply offended by how bad vampire movies have gotten in the last twenty years.  Dracula 3000?  Blade?  Dusk til Dawn?  Give me a bloody fucking break!  Vampires are supposed to be dark and mysterious and stealthy and viciously intelligent.  I can't stretch the bounds of my credulity enough to believe in giant vampire gangs, and it galls me to the core to see vampires as nothing more than "plucky ninjas" for vapid action thrillers.  Please, for the love of Bram Stoker, could we have something even remotely approaching a traditional vampire?

* I gotta go with the dirty ape about the scary nature of sci fi.  One of the reasons I could never get into STTNG was that the premise of a utopian human existence where war and poverty had been eliminated just wouldn't fly with my knowledge of human nature.  Alien is fucking fantastic sci fi.  Humans are evil fuckers, and the aliens, if anything, are at least honest about killing everything they see.  No back stabbing or manipulation here, thanks!

* Speaking of scary, that's why, despite thinking Charlton Heston is a total douche, I can't help but love the sci fi he starred in because it portrays a scary, inhospitable future, whether it's humans as slaves to apes or people eating people or whatever the hell happened to everybody in The Omega Man.  (I can't remember what kind of virus it was.  It's been a while since I watched it.)

* Ridley Scott gets kudos for Alien and Blade Runner.  (How is it that we've all neglected to mention Blade Runner?!  Only one of the greatest sci fi portrayals of a dark future ever!)  Even so, he is forever on my shit list for Legend.  Oh, and fuck Tom Cruise.

* As BSG goes, I side with the folks who think it is neither endorsing nor condemning religion.  I think the writers are just trying to portray humanity as still being bound to religion, even in the far distant future, for good or ill.  I think they're probably right.  If we make it to the far distant future, there will still be religion and superstition.

* In general, I can forgive a lot of fudging on actual science, if you just give me half a reason to believe it.  The FTL drive in BSG?  Fine.  Cylons being hard to detect?  I'll buy that, even though it would have to be stupid easy... either they have the same DNA or they don't... but I'm not going to nitpick...  What pisses me off in sci fi is fudging on human nature.  I get really pissy when you start telling me that humans worked together as a planet for a thousand years to build a certain super duper space thingy.  That's bullshit.  If you're going to invent something amazing, explain it in a way that makes sense within the context of humanity.  I want a good story within the genre of sci fi, not a sci fi plot that happens to have humans in it.

 

 

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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

...Seriously. Where has all the awesome science fiction gone these days? Maybe it's just me, but t seems like it's been a way long time since any original sci-fi has been thrust into the world. Films, TV shows and books are mostly just about re-hashing popular franchises; the only medium to be regularly pumping-out new universes to explore is, well, video games (surprisingly enough).

Am I just missing the good stuff somehow? Or does anyone know of something big on the horizon for us sci-fi nuts?

It's not just you, Kevin. I've noticed this as well. Re-hash is also dead on.

I keep hoping for something excellent...thought the new Batman was very good

but lacking in the depth and falling short of awesome.

 

For very, very, VERY OBVIOUS reasons I am now both looking forward to and simultaneously dreading (Dreading, with a capital D)... the September release of a film called "FIREPROOF" 

OK.... lemme say right off it's not sci-fi.

But I'm always interested to see the next film about (or dealing with) firefighters... for obvious reasons. So WHY am I dreading this one like never, ever before ????

Are you ready for this---

The movie will star---

Kirk Cameron

BLEEEEEEEECCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!

I will see it the first weekend it is out, so if you all never hear from me again just know I am either a) recuperating, b) committing the ultimate self-sacrifice, c) drinking like there's no tomorrow or d) all of the above.


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I agree that most SF

I agree that most SF nowadays sucks - as far as TV and movies anyway. Sliders a bit over a decade ago was a great idea but the stories were terrible. The Alien movies were great too - up until the last one. I tend not to like the vast majority of stuff that's popular with "geeks. "

By the way, Charleton Heston ****was**** a total douche - he died either this year or last.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


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Wonko wrote:Kevin R Brown

Wonko wrote:

Kevin R Brown wrote:

...Seriously. Where has all the awesome science fiction gone these days? Maybe it's just me, but t seems like it's been a way long time since any original sci-fi has been thrust into the world. Films, TV shows and books are mostly just about re-hashing popular franchises; the only medium to be regularly pumping-out new universes to explore is, well, video games (surprisingly enough).

Am I just missing the good stuff somehow? Or does anyone know of something big on the horizon for us sci-fi nuts?

It's not just you, Kevin. I've noticed this as well. Re-hash is also dead on.

I keep hoping for something excellent...thought the new Batman was very good

but lacking in the depth and falling short of awesome.

 

For very, very, VERY OBVIOUS reasons I am now both looking forward to and simultaneously dreading (Dreading, with a capital D)... the September release of a film called "FIREPROOF" 

OK.... lemme say right off it's not sci-fi.

But I'm always interested to see the next film about (or dealing with) firefighters... for obvious reasons. So WHY am I dreading this one like never, ever before ????

Are you ready for this---

The movie will star---

Kirk Cameron

BLEEEEEEEECCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!

I will see it the first weekend it is out, so if you all never hear from me again just know I am either a) recuperating, b) committing the ultimate self-sacrifice, c) drinking like there's no tomorrow or d) all of the above.

 

Maybe being 2nd bananna to a fucktard isn't paying off as well as he thought? He sucks. Don't waste your money, bittorrent it a few weeks after it's out or buy a bootleg for 5 bucks in the ghetto.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


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Quote:* I'm deeply offended

Quote:

* I'm deeply offended by how bad vampire movies have gotten in the last twenty years.  Dracula 3000?  Blade?  Dusk til Dawn?  Give me a bloody fucking break!  Vampires are supposed to be dark and mysterious and stealthy and viciously intelligent.  I can't stretch the bounds of my credulity enough to believe in giant vampire gangs, and it galls me to the core to see vampires as nothing more than "plucky ninjas" for vapid action thrillers.  Please, for the love of Bram Stoker, could we have something even remotely approaching a traditional vampire?

Totally agree.

I like Whedon - I think he writes excellent dialogue - but I don't think he's ever read Dracula. Bram's monster was scary in ways that didn't involve simple contrivances like blood splashing all over the screen or a face that suddenly grew klingon-esque ridges.

Quote:

* I gotta go with the dirty ape about the scary nature of sci fi.  One of the reasons I could never get into STTNG was that the premise of a utopian human existence where war and poverty had been eliminated just wouldn't fly with my knowledge of human nature.  Alien is fucking fantastic sci fi.  Humans are evil fuckers, and the aliens, if anything, are at least honest about killing everything they see.  No back stabbing or manipulation here, thanks!

I've got to defend Trek here. First, there are parts of the Trek-verse that are scary (See: TNG's borg; you get to see it again in First Contact, one of the modern Trek films I feel is worth watching still). Second, 'utopia' doesn't strike me as a correct view. We see all kinds of political struggle throughout the federation in nearly every incarnation of Trek (DS9 was really good at highlighting this. See: the Federation's endorsement of nasty biological warfare to wipe-out the Changelings in the Dominion War). Third... erm... how many discussion have we had about human altruism? And the fact that, as a general rule, humans have a tendency to walk the 'good' line?

Humans aren't 'evil fuckers'; sociopaths are the exception to the general rule. Yes, it's probably a bit of a stretch to suggest that somehow the Earth would just unify under a common cause one day - but it's also a bit of a stretch to suggest we could develop weaponry that simply makes matter disappear without a trace or engines that someone propel us faster than light. Sticking out tongue

Quote:

* In general, I can forgive a lot of fudging on actual science, if you just give me half a reason to believe it.  The FTL drive in BSG?  Fine.  Cylons being hard to detect?  I'll buy that, even though it would have to be stupid easy... either they have the same DNA or they don't... but I'm not going to nitpick...  What pisses me off in sci fi is fudging on human nature.  I get really pissy when you start telling me that humans worked together as a planet for a thousand years to build a certain super duper space thingy.  That's bullshit.  If you're going to invent something amazing, explain it in a way that makes sense within the context of humanity.  I want a good story within the genre of sci fi, not a sci fi plot that happens to have humans in it.

...So you're okay with physics being fudged, because that's not your field of study, but when psych gets fudged you get your back up about it? That seems a little silly to me.

 

 

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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DamnDirtyApe wrote:I hate to

DamnDirtyApe wrote:

I hate to say it but the last decade or so of Sci-Fi/Fantasy films and programming mostly leaves me cold. Firefly, BSG, Stargate and others have all been recommended to me, but I tune out pretty quick. I liked Carnivale and the Children of Dune mini-series (and I'd like Susan Sarandon to be thrown down a well for fucking up every scene she appeared in).  I think a great deal of the problem resides in the combined unholy residues of Steven Spielberg and Gene Roddenberry--both have (had) an approach that glories in the wonders and mysteries of the unknown, and that's bullshit.  The universe is a scary, dangerous place and it should be treated as such.  Larry Niven, Frank Herbert, Phillip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison and H bloody P bloody Love bloody Craft may have not written with a terribly good understanding of science, but they understood that part of the equation perfectly.  As far as I can tell, there are only three big mainstream filmmakers who can sufficiently convey otherwordly terror onscreen, and those are Stanley Kubrick, Terry Gilliam and Ridley Scott.  David Lynch may have had similar potential at one time, but his pompous douchiness never allowed him to sink to the level of the material (so he writes his own bad material).  I have high hopes for Christopher Nolan whenever he stops making Batman movies (am I a dick for being mostly unimpressed with The Dark Knight?--I really wanted to like it).

 

 

phillip k. dick was a fucking genius.  period.  same with frank herbert, though to a lesser degree.

i devoured lovecraft in high school but i just can't get into him anymore.  all his stories are basically the same and his characters are pure cardboard.  i guess i outgrew him.  same with tolkien.  sorry if that's blasphemy to anybody, but honestly, when you read lotr, do you really give a shit about frodo?  or anybody?  they're all nothing but archetypes.  same thing with randolph carter in lovecraft.  i think as a kid i was bowled over by the complexity of their respective mythologies, but there's just no heart.  it's like a colorful happy meal box with no 4-piece mcnuggets and the toy fuckin' sucks.

one guilty pleasure: i always loved kevin sorbo's hercules movies.  maybe these days i wouldn't but as a kid i was riveted.

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Hamby, I'm surprised you

Hamby, I'm surprised you forgot the most succesful Science Fiction movie Charleton Heston was it - it sucked though.

 

I never understood why Phillip K Dick was considered so good. The Man in The High Castle was one of the worst Alternative History stories I ever read - like a lot of bad AH it included way too much mystical shit. Harry Turtledove is the best SF writer alive.

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MattShizzle wrote:Hamby, I'm

MattShizzle wrote:

Hamby, I'm surprised you forgot the most succesful Science Fiction movie Charleton Heston was it - it sucked though.

 

I never understood why Phillip K Dick was considered so good. The Man in The High Castle was one of the worst Alternative History stories I ever read - like a lot of bad AH it included way too much mystical shit. Harry Turtledove is the best SF writer alive.

that "mystical shit" was zen, which is not mysticism at all.  it simultaneously showed the psychological infiltration of japanese culture and the cross-cultural human bond that was possible beneath all the fascist bullshit.

i read guns of the south and thought it fucking sucked.  afrikaners using a time machine to bring ak's to general lee seems like a lot more "mystical shit" than a little zen satori and using the i-ching. 

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Time Travel is definitely

Time Travel is definitely established as SF - though his AH is much better - he is great at it partly because he actually has a PhD in history. I read something else of Dick's and hated it. One of the other guys in the 20th Cent SF literature class I took in college felt the same - his way of puting it was "he was a dick."

Best series of HT is probably the World War series - The basis is on the South winning the Civil war (nothing to do with GOTS ) The US ends up joining the Central Powers and the Confederacy joins the Allies in WWI. The US/Germans win and a racist/fascist rises to power in the South (much like Hitler, though the holocaust is against blacks instead of Jews. ) The final book came out last year - the last 4 involved that universes 2nd world war. The first book took place in the 1880s and wasn' that great - the books came out 1 a year until this one - there were 11 total. I doubt there will be any more though. An interesting thing in it was the mormons ended up rebellious always and terrorists. The US and newly independant Quebec  also occupied Canada after WWI.

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Quote:Bram's monster was

Quote:
Bram's monster was scary in ways that didn't involve simple contrivances like blood splashing all over the screen or a face that suddenly grew klingon-esque ridges.

Exactly!  The best horror is accomplished by letting people's brains work against them.  If I watch a slasher, it's for comedy value or naked boobs, not for horror.  Contrary to popular Hollywood notion, horror is about what you don't show.  Vampires are for horror, not action thrillers.

Quote:
I've got to defend Trek here. First, there are parts of the Trek-verse that are scary (See: TNG's borg; you get to see it again in First Contact, one of the modern Trek films I feel is worth watching still).

How many seasons did it take before TNG got around to introducing the borg?  Before that, they were pretty much in line with the old Star Trek, which was pretty much a straight up moral allegory.  Not my thing.

Quote:
Second, 'utopia' doesn't strike me as a correct view. We see all kinds of political struggle throughout the federation in nearly every incarnation of Trek (DS9 was really good at highlighting this. See: the Federation's endorsement of nasty biological warfare to wipe-out the Changelings in the Dominion War).

I'm not saying they painted the human universe as being without conflict.  However, it's my opinion that when Picard says things like, "We humans used to be like you are.  We almost destroyed ourselves until we learned that we can work together to achieve greater goals and eliminate the worst evils from our nature," it's a good time to turn of the TV.

Quote:
Third... erm... how many discussion have we had about human altruism? And the fact that, as a general rule, humans have a tendency to walk the 'good' line?

I'm going to have to write a chapter about what I mean when I say humans are basically good.  Yes, they are basically good, but only within certain limits.  As I've often said, humans will not sacrifice their own livelihood for a benefit that is too far removed.  Witness:  We will take the shirt off of our own backs for our child, but we will bitch about illegal immigrants coming into the country and taking the jobs of "our people."  Can you imagine the uproar if congress proposed a tax of 10% on everyone's income, and announced that all of the revenue would go towards stabilizing the economy of Guam?  People are willing to be altruistic, but only as far as it is reasonably within the realm of reciprocal altruism.

We put up with taxes because we get things for our money.  We will sacrifice our own goals because our kids need shoes.  However, we will not sacrifice our own goals because someone ten generations from now will live in a better world.  (At least, we won't sacrifice very many of our goals.  We're willing to toss a few bottles into a recycling bin so that we can brag about how environmentally friendly we are, but then... doesn't that buy us status now?)

Quote:
...So you're okay with physics being fudged, because that's not your field of study, but when psych gets fudged you get your back up about it? That seems a little silly to me.

Seems reasonable to me.  I don't know enough to effectively refute the physics fudges, but I know more than enough to refute the psych ones.

 

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Good news and Bad news

Good news and Bad news Kevin...

 

Good news

I found out a Warhammer 40k movie is in the works

All CGI, no actual people. (good thing)

 

Bad news

I found out a Warhammer 40k movie is in the works

 

I'm throwing $500 down now, saying its gonna suck

 

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Hamby is going to have to

Hamby is going to have to explain how LEXX wasn't a good sci-fi show.  I loved LEXX...

Also, the lot of you can stop calling Star Wars sci-fi.  It's just in that section because 'trashy space cowboys adventures' doesn't have enough titles in it and people who like Star Wars want to be vindicated.  Star Wars sucks.

I miss good sci-fi shows.  There aren't any now and Hamby's list does show the many and varied, abysmal attempts.  How I crave to watch endless reruns of TNG and DSN and TOS and Voyager.  If I can't have anything new and good, I'm partial to living in the past.

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iwbiek wrote:phillip k. dick

iwbiek wrote:

phillip k. dick was a fucking genius.  period.  same with frank herbert, though to a lesser degree.

If you like Frank Herbert, you might enjoy Gene Wolfe, especially his Book of the New Sun. His use of language is similar to Herbert's, but I think his story is more interesting than Dune. (Not to say Dune is the only thing Herbert wrote. It's just the only thing most folks remember when they talk about Herbert.) Also, his characters are more interesting. It borders on fantasy, but so did Dune, so what the hell.

If you've tried Gene Wolfe and didn't like him, then never mind.

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Never read the book but the

Never read the book but the movie Dune sucked the cum out of a dead donkey's dick.


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Stuff that sucks: Star Wars,

Stuff that sucks: Star Wars, Star Trek, Lost In Space, anything longer than 25,000 words by Larry Niven (that is, anything that requires character development... or characters), anything at all by William Gibson, SF disguised as literature, literature disguised as SF, stupid fucking Anne McAffrey's stupid fucking dragon stories, and most of what Orson Scott Card produces.

Stuff that doesn't suck: most novels by Neil Gaiman (especially novels by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett), most novels by Tim Powers (especially those centering around beer), almost anything by John Varley, Gateway by Fred Pohl (one of the greatest SF novels of all time), and ice cream that contains pretzels. There's quite a bit of fantasy in there, as hard SF seems like a wasteland these days, with Greg Bear being one of the few hard SF writers left.

Movies that are highly underrated: Slither (the modern Tremors, and a darned good zombie movie, to boot), and... uhm.... well, I can't think of anything. All the SF for which I've held out hope have turned out to being gaseous mounds of fetid rank boring pretentious cheese (yeah, I'm looking at you, Sunshine, and your boring-assed friend The Fountain, too).

It's a sad state of affairs when some of the  best speculative fiction published in the last couple of decades are the Harry Potter books.

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Anyone interested in some

Anyone interested in some awesome FANTASY (I know it's not sci-fi) should look up Steven Erikson's The Malazan Book of the Fallen (author's homepage here).  It is by far the best fantasy conceived of and written to date, entirely rewriting the standards for fantasy series and essentially rewriting the basics of the genre a la Tolkein (only and obviously, much, much better).

nigelTheBold wrote:
It's a sad state of affairs when some of the  best speculative fiction published in the last couple of decades are the Harry Potter books.

See above for correction.  Harry Potter was thin and transparent at best.  I can point you to some of what actually is the best speculative fiction these days.

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Quote:Never read the book

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Never read the book but the movie Dune sucked the cum out of a dead donkey's dick.

The Dune series, IMHO, is the best sci fi series in the history of sci fi.  The movie only resembles the book in that some of the characters had the same names and there was a desert.  The movie is based ever so loosely on the first book.  There were six, and all but one were tremendously good.

 

 

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he's certainly not recent,

he's certainly not recent, he's not strictly sci fi or strictly fantasy or strictly anything: he's his own genre, and that man is jorge luis borges.  any of his short stories are killer and absolutely mind-fucking.  i highly recommend going out and buying a copy of his "complete fictions" (anthology published by penguin) and reading it cover to cover.  he has sooooo many imitators.

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Hambydammit

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Jekyll

Saw that one. AWESOME !


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nigelTheBold wrote:Stuff

nigelTheBold wrote:

Stuff that sucks:...and most of what Orson Scott Card produces.

Yes !!! Thanks, man. Thought it was just me.

nigelTheBold wrote:
Stuff that doesn't suck: most novels by Neil Gaiman (especially novels by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett)

Yes ! "Good Omens". Love that book.


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Just about everything by

Just about everything by Iain M Banks - nice tightly written hard SciFi in a complex well imagined setting. He also writes a series of harder to classify works as Iain Banks, not quite so sure about these, I've only read a couple.

In fantasy, one of my favourite authors is Stephen Donaldson - I read LOTR after reading his Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, and remember thinking of the Covenant series as a serious grown-up version of what LOTR was trying for. I actually enjoyed the movie verion of LOTR better than the books.

I have been waiting for the third volume of "The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" to be available before starting on the second book, but it looks like it and a fourth book may still be a few years off (from Wikipedia), so I'll probably start the second one after I finish what I am currently reading, "Black Jade", part of another fantasy series by another author I quite like, David Zindell.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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What does anyone here think

What does anyone here think of the wheel of time series?


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Jordan was apparently being

Jordan was apparently being paid by the word.

 

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star trek

that sucks cow balls, but the first & second seasons rocked then it was down hill...

on the upside theres gona be a new star trek game comming out and last I heard it was going to be based on mostly 2nd generation set some 50 years ahead of time and all that good stuff. the game is also rumered to be kind of simular to eve online,

here's a random website reporting on it

http://blog.wired.com/geekdad/2008/07/star-trek-onlin.html

P.S im new here so dont flame me for links just tell me cos no one reads those long things you have to read and understand.

now, the value of the game is... well were kind of evolving from TV into internet based entertainment, I for example like podcast and such where I can watch whatever I want without commercials and of course games.

and to lift your spirits my fellow atheist =)

http://atheistblogger.com/2008/02/15/101-atheist-quotes/

 


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Jordan was a great

Jordan was a great author...but he started dragging the story on and on... and now Brandon Sanderson has a Very tall order to fill to satisfy the fans. I had never heard of him b4 Jordan died but Harriet chose him herself so i think it may be descent.

I liked LOTR...but i liked the lost tales and Tolkien other books he published much more. So much was put into those other books that i can never put them down.

Currently Ive returned to one of my old (easy read) favorites. The Darksword series, and The DeathGate Series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

I have heard that Terry Pratchett is good, i just haven't been to the library or bought any books lately...

another author i figured i would share is George R.R. Martin (you have to really read to get into his books).

I never cared for any of the dune books after the first one and then after he died and his son took over the series i think really went into the crapper...

Prejudice is often no more than a lazy person's substitute for thinking - Aunt Tomee The more we sweat for peace the less we bleed for war - Vijaya Lakshmi Pandil|


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Pratchett is snarky, and an

Pratchett is snarky, and an easy read.  It's worth grabbing a couple of his books if you have a spare weekend.  It's not much work to read, and is lots of fun.

Small Gods is a really good place to start.  Powerful monotheist god loses followers, ends up incarnated in a tortoise.  Hard to beat that for a plot line.

 

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Hambydammit wrote:Jordan was

Hambydammit wrote:

Jordan was apparently being paid by the word.

 

 

Did you read the books(or one of them), and if so what did you think of them? huh?

Wish in one hand, shit in the other, see which one fills up first.


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well can you blame him for

well can you blame him for saying that... Jordan was doing okay at first (was supposed to only be a 7 book series) and now 11 books l8r (to be 12) we are still waiting for a book...and then each book is over 800 words some almost 1000 i mean come on... Plus some of the areas of the books Jordan does really long descriptions about scenery or about 1-2 characters that could probably be shorter... I'm not complaining but i know what hamby is saying...

on another note Sanderson said that Tor is going to have to probably create a new way of binding a book cuz "A Memory of Light" is going to be 2000+ pages... he hopes it wont come to that but....  >_<

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Hambydammit wrote:Jordan was

Hambydammit wrote:

Jordan was apparently being paid by the word.

 

And died. Fat bastard.  I mean it.  I didn't think an author could carry on like that for so many years and produce only 12 books (including the prequel novel) in a series.  I have never read so much filler in a single book than I have in all The Wheel of Time.  That said, I will read the last book, only to confirm my suspicions about the (hopeful) closure of a seriously drawn out and dragging plot.  Jordan was, however, a decent to good author.  Of course, I could say that about Melanie Rawn too...

 

BigUniverse wrote,

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Jello wrote:Hambydammit

Jello wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

Jordan was apparently being paid by the word.

 

Did you read the books(or one of them), and if so what did you think of them? huh?

They sucked.

I enjoyed the first one, and the second was okay. The plot was vaguely interesting. His characters started getting interesting by the end of the second book. And then... he started doing loop-de-loops. The plot started circling towards something, but never getting there. His writing started getting repititious, and I kept having the feeling that I'd read it all before.

By the time I read the fourth book, I realized he'd wasted an entirely decent idea on an attempt to out-Hubbard L. Ron Hubbard.

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I've only read the first two

I've only read the first two Wheel of Time books and decided to stop there.  I can already feel the story beginning to drag and I don't think I can face the punishment of it all...

 

I have to agree with folks on here and say that firefly is what a good "worlds of the outer rim" star wars story could be.  I loved firefly, even if it was short lived.

As far as vampires go - anyone seen 30 days of night?  It does circle round a vampire gang but it's still entertaining.

 

M

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Quote:Did you read the

Quote:
Did you read the books(or one of them), and if so what did you think of them? huh?

I found myself skimming until something interesting happened.  That was in the middle of the first book.  Without giving away any details for anyone who might actually enjoy things like this, as far as I could tell, Jordan fell into the trap of thinking that readers would want to know every idea he'd ever come up with for every character, whether it had to do with the plot or not.  Speaking of the plot, when I quit halfway through, I had no idea what the plot might be.  Something like the Lord of the Rings, but less focused, if you can imagine such a thing.

 

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Quote:I enjoyed the first

Quote:

I enjoyed the first one, and the second was okay. The plot was vaguely interesting. His characters started getting interesting by the end of the second book. And then... he started doing loop-de-loops. The plot started circling towards something, but never getting there. His writing started getting repititious, and I kept having the feeling that I'd read it all before.

By the time I read the fourth book, I realized he'd wasted an entirely decent idea on an attempt to out-Hubbard L. Ron Hubbard.

I guess maybe I was particularly inundated with fantasy when I read The Eye of the World, because I already felt like I'd read everything before.  This was right around the time when the Fellowship of the Ring was coming out in theaters, and I had just reread the whole LoTR trilogy.  At any rate, I couldn't find anything noteworthy about the characters.  No matter what I did, whenever the trollocs showed up, I thought of orcs.  Rand is singularly uninteresting.  What were there... seven or eight traveling companions?  I can't even remember more than two or three... Thom was one, I think...

Anyway, the girl I was dating at the time read them all, and I even got bored listening to her give me a ten minute synopsis of the later books.  Again, avoiding any details, by the time the big secret gets out in the open about one of the main characters, I was thinking, "Geez... it only took you 5,000 pages to get around to saying what we all knew in the first book."

 

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I started reading Jordan

I started reading Jordan when I was fourteen and I'll admit, I got absolutely hooked; I'm guessing high school and early college was the target audience.  I still point out that the fourth book had a great couple chapters in which Rand experienced the formative experiences of the Aiel people through the eyes of his ancestors and was able to see into the distant past of the world before all the male channelers went crazy.  In my opinion, it went straight downhill from there at breakneck speed.  I'd still like to know how the series ends, so whenever they put out the last book, hopefully some kind, dorky person will post a synopsis.  

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I got hooked on the Wheel of

I got hooked on the Wheel of Time, but I will agree they have progressively seemed to slow down, seemingly trying to introduce just enough plot twists or hints of future revelations to keep the readers hooked. One hassle I have had is that with the significant intervals between each new volume it became very hard to remember all the details of the story and various characters to work out the significance of  many events. I have resisted buying the second-last volume until at least the final one is released, so I once I get back into the story I can read straight thru to the finale.

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I don't understand how

I don't understand how anyone can think stargate sg-1 is excellent and Battlestar Galactica(current) is boring. I mean, I have watched about 35% of Sg-1 and 100% of Atlantis(I like Atlantis better), and they are entertaining, but nowhere near the emotional depths of BSG. The last two seasons of SG-1 with the edition of Farscape's Ben Browder and Claudia Black certainly improved the cast imo.

While I am on the subject Farscape is in the top 3 of best ever sci-fi tv shows hands down. The costumes, the overarching plot line, the bad guys, and the long drawn out hate-love affair that was actually done right make it a must see.

Kevin actually recommended Babylon 5 to me a while ago, and I just finished watching the seasons. Season 1 was almost total crap to be real....but the rest of the seasons actually had some good episodes and the classic "war to save mankind and the universe from the forces of evil" cliche. The problem with scifi like babylon 5, TNG, and stargate is that they are so formulaic. So many times you see an episode and you almost inevitably know verbatim what will take place because many of the themes of scifi have been rehashed to death.

A couple of shows the I would call nouveau Scifi like Invasion(canceled after one season), Terminator:The Sarah Connor Chronicles, HEROES, and Lost focus on creating characters that are believable and contain depth. They also contain one long term plot with interweaving subplots unfolding throughout. That distinction is for me, one of the main differences between realistic human drama and stand alone episode inanity. The investment is greater, but so is the reward if you actually watch the show chronologically.

Sidenote to Shizzle: Man seriously, Hamby is right ,Dune is really the creme de la creme of scifi literature. I have read four of the books, and they are all excellent so far. It is even the basis for Star Wars! Works inspired by DUNE The socio-cultural parallels to our current oil addiction is quite prescient as well. Lynch's version was interesting and stylistically impressive, but short on substance. The SCIFI channel's miniseries was accurate, yet a bit low budget and lacking in acting skills. The Children of Dune was actually surprisingly decent for a SCIFI channel movie. I can't wait for next year's new version, although I am setting my expectations low.

As for Charlton Heston, no one says you have to like him to appreciate Planet of the Apes and Soylent Green. He was a nut, but a scifi innovating actor. Tom Cruise is perhaps delusional in some respects, but he was hilarious in Tropic Thunder(off topic I know) and pretty damn good in Minority Report.

 

 

 

 

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda