Pixel Scroll 12/8 When Blogs Collide

(1) ROBOTS FLASH. At the Barnes & Noble blog they’re “Introducing the 12 Days of Robot Christmas” — 12 Days of Flash Fiction from Angry Robot Authors (plus eBook discounts). Posted so far —

Still to come — Adam Rakunas (12/9), Marianne de Pierres (12/10), Peter McLean (12/11) , Carrie Patel (12/14), Ferrett Steinmetz (12/15), Peter Tieryas (12/16), Rod Duncan (12/17), and Matthew De Abaitua (12/18)

Matt Hill’s installment “The New Tradition” begins with a strong hook –

Every Christmas Eve since the biological attack, they let me visit Nan to see what was left of her.

(2) LANSDALE. Joe R. Lansdale will be honored with the 2015 Raymond Chandler Award at Courmayeur during the Noir in Festival to be held December 8-13.

With over forty novels and hundreds of stories to his credit, Lansdale is perhaps the most prolific and brilliant writer working in the noir genre today. With models such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Mark Twain and Jack London, but also the science fiction of Ray Bradbury and Fredric Brown, as well as comic strips, B movies and “pulp” fiction, Lansdale´s novels are a blend of his jaded sense of humor, unbridled imagination and an unsparing description of reality in its most ruthless, violent and absurd incarnations. His books include The Drive-In and The Drive-In 2, Mucho Mojo, Two-Bear Mambo, Bad Chili, Rumble Tumble, Edge of Dark Water, Devil Red, The Bottoms (winner of an Edgar Award in 2001), Bubba Ho-Tep, and Hap & Leonard.

At Courmayeur, Lansdale will be presenting his latest novel, Honky Tonk Samurai (published in Italian by Einaudi): a new investigative romp featuring the popular characters Hap Collins and Leonard Pine.

The Raymond Chandler Award is a lifetime achievement award. Past winners include sf/f/h writer J.G. Ballard (1995), and Michael Connelly, Scott Turow and John le Carré,

(3) COMPANION ISSUES. James Whitbrook tells how he deals with post-traumatic television series stress in his confessional “The Exact Moment When Doctor Who Taught Me to Never Trust Television Again” at io9.

And being an idiot teen, it was shocking enough to basically make myself vow to never be hurt by television again. Oh, teen James. TV drama basically exists to hurt us on an emotional level, you silly fool. But it kickstarted a habit I still have to this day—if I’m invested in a television series, be it Doctor Who or anything else, I keep up with all the behind the scenes info I can. I go as far as to hunt out spoilers, just to see what’s happening or if people are leaving a show, so I can prepare myself. If I’m binge-watching a show and find myself liking a certain character, I absent-mindedly Google them on my phone to find out if they inevitably die or leave the series before it ends. It infuriates my friends and family, but it’s a force of habit for myself now.

(4) Alamo Drafthouse will host a movie-watching endurance contest in Austin — Star Wars : The Marathon Awakens.

Starting promptly at 4 AM, December 17th, the seven pre-selected fans will take their seats at Alamo’s South Lamar venue to view the first six STAR WARS films in sequential order. Following the close of the initial marathon they will then participate in an endless, round-the-clock screening of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS until one final fan is left to claim their mantle of inter-galactic super fan supremacy….

For a chance to be chosen as one of the seven lucky participants in STAR WARS: THE MARATHON AWAKENS, fans need to show the Alamo Drafthouse their Jedi devotion on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the #AlamoJedi hashtag. Tattoos, toy collections, cosplay, Hoth haiku — whatever he or she feels shows their ultimate dedication to STAR WARS should be posted to sway the votes of the Alamo’s Jedi Council.

Rules are a requirement for every budding Jedi and STAR WARS: THE MARATHON AWAKENS is no exception. Participants will be given breaks between movies to stretch their legs and channel their inner Force. Sleeping, illegal drugs and talking & texting during the movies (of course) will result in disqualification and a swift trip to the Sarlacc Pit. However, for those strong enough to persevere, intergalactic immortality awaits.

(5) EDELMAN REVISITS 1974. Scott Edelman’s first Worldcon was Discon II in 1974. He has posted scans of the event schedule.

So which of these programming items did I choose to attend?

Well, there was no way I was going to miss Isaac Asimov and Harlan Ellison hurling insults at each other across a crowded ballroom, or the screening of a rough cut of A Boy and His Dog, or Roger Zelazny’s Guest of Honor speech, or the Hugo banquet and ceremony. Or endless wandering through the dealers room, where I picked up several items I still own to this day.

Sadly, of many panels I remember little. A women in science fiction panel featuring Susan Wood, Katherine Kurtz, and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro? A panel on the problems facing today’s (well, 1974’s) science fiction magazines, with Jim Baen, Ben Bova, Ed Ferman, and Ted White? How I wish there was audio or video of those for us to relive those presentations today!

(6) TRAILER FORECAST. ScreenRant has learned the Star Trek Beyond trailer will premiere with Star Wars 7.

THR is reporting that Star Trek Beyond‘s first trailer will be attached to The Force Awakens in theaters – though, of course, it’s far from the only 2016 tentpole that is expected to hitch a ride aboard the Star Wars train. Indeed, both the recently-unveiled Captain America: Civil War teaser trailer and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s third theatrical preview are both likely candidates to be shown before The Force Awakens. Furthermore, it’s been reported in the past that the first X-Men: Apocalypse trailer will make its debut on the big screen with co-writer/director J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars feature, as might also be true for another 20th Century Fox project – Roland Emmerich’s alien invasion sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence.

(7) SCULL ANALYZES TOLKIEN BIOS. Christina Scull assays the field in “Tolkien Biographies Continued, Part One” on Too Many Books and Never Enough.

Christina writes: In the Reader’s Guide volume of our J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide Wayne and I devoted nearly seven pages to a review of biographies of Tolkien which had appeared to date (2006). Carpenter’s of course was, and remains, the standard life, and the source upon which most subsequent biographers of Tolkien have relied to a great extent. The major exceptions, in terms of new research, are John Garth in Tolkien and the Great War and ourselves in the Companion and Guide, but a few others have made notable contributions to the literature. Diana Pavlac Glyer in The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community (2007) has a worthwhile discussion of the importance of the Inklings to Tolkien. Andrew H. Morton has produced two studies (the first in association with John Hayes) centred on Tolkien’s Aunt Jane Neave: Tolkien’s Gedling 1914: The Birth of a Legend (2008) and Tolkien’s Bag End: Threshold to Adventure (2009). Phil Mathison has filled in some details about Tolkien’s life during the First World War in Tolkien in East Yorkshire 1917–1918 (2012). And Arne Zettersten in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Double Worlds and Creative Process: Language and Life by Arne Zettersten (2011, previously published in Swedish in 2008) recalls his meetings and conversations with Tolkien in the latter’s final years (although Zettersten refers to correspondence, no quotations are given) and usefully discusses Tolkien’s academic work on the ‘AB language’.

(8) A ROAD NOT TAKEN. The actor’s daughter told the Guardian that “Toshiro Mifune turned down Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader Roles” when George Lucas was casting the original Star Wars movie.

The star of Rashomon and Seven Samurai was approached by George Lucas to appear in his 1977 sci-fi adventure, but the two couldn’t strike a deal, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“I heard from my father that he was offered the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi, but he was concerned about how the film would look and that it would cheapen the image of samurai, on which George Lucas had based a lot of the character and fighting style,” said Mika.

The plot of Star Wars was loosely based on The Hidden Fortress, a 1958 film that Mifune starred in for director and frequent collaborator Akira Kurosawa.

“At the time, sci-fi movies still looked quite cheap as the effects were not advanced and he had a lot of samurai pride,” Mika said. “So then, there was talk about him taking the Darth Vader role as his face would be covered, but in the end he turned that down too.”

Other actors who turned down roles in the film include Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Burt Reynolds, Robert De Niro and James Caan.

(9) BRACKETT SMACK. Christopher M. Chupik volunteers his previously unsuspected ability to identify deserving feminist icons in “To Tower Against The Sky”.

Despite being an inspiration to such writers as Ray Bradbury, Michael Moorcock and E. C. Tubb, Brackett seems to have fallen into a curious limbo. Feminists like to invoke her name in lists of female SF authors, but there seems to be a curious reluctance to speak of the woman or her work. A female writer who held her own in a male-dominated field long before the women’s liberation movement would seem to be the kind of role model modern feminists would want to celebrate, right?

Wrong. Nowadays, she’s mostly known for having written the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back, very little of which made it to the screen. And this is often portrayed as the crowning achievement of her career….

And here, I suspect, we come to the real reason the feminists have marginalized Brackett: she was a conservative.

I had to dig a bit to confirm this. I had a suspicion based on her work that her opinions were not quite in tune with modern leftist orthodoxy. Brackett, along with her husband Edmond Hamilton, were signatories to the pro-Vietnam War petition that appeared in the June 1968 issue of Galaxy. Combine that with her disinterest in feminism, and it becomes very clear why Brackett has been allowed to drift towards obscurity

(10) THEY TOLD DISNEY NO THANKS. The Hollywood Reporter says “Plans for Unfinished Disney Park in St. Louis Up for Auction”  — by Profiles in History, on Thursday.

In the 1960s, Disney drew up plans for an indoor theme park in downtown St. Louis before giving up in a dispute over money and turning attention to Florida.

Imagine packing up the kids and heading for that dream vacation to a Disney theme park … in St. Louis.

It almost happened a half-century ago when Disney drew up plans for an indoor theme park in downtown St. Louis before giving up in a dispute over money and turning its attention to Florida. St. Louis’ loss was the Orlando area’s gain: Walt Disney World became one of the world’s top tourist attractions.

St. Louis can only lament what might have been….

On Thursday, one of the few remnants of the park goes on the auction block — 13 pages of 1963 blueprints spelling out plans for “Walt Disney’s Riverfront Square” in St. Louis. The Calabasas, Calif.-based company Profiles in History is offering up the blueprints as part of its “Animation and Disneyana” auction

(11) CANDIDATES FOR MST3K. Now that Mystery Science Theater 3000 has successfully crowdfunded a string of new episodes, the crew will have to pick some bad flicks to abuse. CNET’s Danny Gallagher helpfully names “7 movie turkeys the new MST3K needs to tackle”.

Any movie buff knows there are still plenty of bad movies out there that deserve to get the MST3K treatment. Here are seven of those stinkers.

  1. “Yor, the Hunter from the Future”

…The people who made this dud don’t seem sure what genre they want it to be. “Yor” starts as a prehistoric adventure movie, but it morphs into science fiction when UFOs and technological warfare are shoved into the plot. They should have called this one, “Yor, the Warrior from…Squirrel!”

(12) A POLITICAL COMMENT. Apparently having a nose isn’t enough to recommend him — J.K. Rowling tweeted Tuesday that Donald Trump is worse than Lord Voldemort.

Rowling’s tweet came after Trump called for preventing all Muslims from entering the United States.

(13) FOUNDING A CON. Lou J. Berger and Quincy J. Allen’s We Are ALL Science Fiction theme will be embodied by a convention bearing the same name, to be held November 4-6, 2016 in Ocean Shores, WA.

Put on by an all-fan, all-volunteer, non-profit group made up of fans with decades of experience in con running and attending (from all over the globe), our first annual convention will feature award-winning authors Mike Resnick, Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Jody Lynn Nye, and many others, including Hugo nominee Jennifer Brozek, Anna Korra’ti, Raven Oak, with other guests such as Scott Hungerford (Games), Marvel comic artist (and fine artist) Jeffrey Veregge, Musical guest Dara Korra’ti of Crime & the Forces of Evil, Tor editor Beth Meacham, and actor Drew Hobson (Voice of Marcus, State of Decay).  We hope to be an international fan destination as we add more speakers and guests in the coming months!

An Indiegogo appeal to pay the expenses has raised $25 of its $9,000 goal in the first 23 hours.

(14) THE FOUNDERS’ CODE. The We Are ALL Science Fiction Code of Conduct announced by Lou J. Berger and Quincy J. Allen is:

#WeAreALLSF is open to all comers, no exceptions, no exclusions, and in this place we treat everyone with respect, even if we disagree with them.

There is one rule: If you don’t have something nice to say, then say it someplace else. Lou and I will be rather draconian in removing those who can’t follow such a simple rule.

That is our one code of conduct.

(15) THE PAST THROUGH PHOTOSHOP. artworkofarmies’ collection “Images may not be historically accurate” improves WWII-era photos by adding science fictional references.

View post on imgur.com

(16) RETRO MOVES FORWARD. Von Dimpleheimer, our correspondent from 1940, has made progress with his due diligence for Volume 5 of Retro-Hugo eligible stories.

I went back and double and triple checked all the previous stories and the ones that would be in Volume Five and I found another mistake. In 1950, Nelson Bond made a fix-up novel of the Lancelot Biggs stories and did renew the copyright of that book in 1977. I removed “Lancelot Biggs Cooks a Pirate” from Volume One and uploaded the new version. I actually knew about the book and remember checking for a renewal, but just missed it somehow.

I cut the Lancelot Biggs stories from Volume Five and I am sure the remaining stories are public domain, but I’ll quintuple check them before I send you the links later this week.

On the plus side, all this checking led me to the fact that “Russell Storm” was actually Robert Moore Williams and I now have two more of his stories for future volumes.

(16) FAVORITE 2015 FANTASY. Stephanie Bugis’ list of “Favorite Fantasy Novels from 2015” leads off with a book by Aliette de Bodard.

 

  1. The House of Shattered Wings, by Aliette de Bodard. Rich, immersive, gorgeous dark fantasy with fallen angels and Vietnamese Immortals, set in a magically post-apocalyptic version of twentieth-century Paris. I read the whole thing on my overnight plane ride back from America to the UK this summer and was so absorbed, I didn’t even mind the lost sleep! You can read my full Goodreads review here.

(17) STOCK THE SHELVES. Melissa Gilbert’s post “Read Like a Writer” at Magical Words takes inspiration from several Stephen King quotes.

I am going to start with the first quotation: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”

I cannot express how much truth there is to these statements. Writing is hard work, contrary to the romanticized ideal of a guy with a beret sitting in a Parisian coffee shop daydreaming about the next bestseller. Being a writer is sitting at the keyboard and pushing keys in rapid succession trying to convey into words the sometimes jumbled picture that is floating around in your brain. It’s living off Snickers bars for a while because you have a deadline and no time to cook actual food. It’s reading in the bathroom instead of Facebooking because you need to finish that next chapter. It’s lugging a book or forty with you in your suitcase when you go on vacation so that you don’t run out of things to read. It’s typing with your thumbs on your smartphone while waiting for the elevator or while commuting on the train so you can get your thousand words in that day. It’s talking to people when you get stuck. It’s staring at the blank page in abject fear that no ideas will come. Writing isn’t easy. Okay, maybe it is. Let me rephrase. GOOD writing isn’t easy. But some things (like reading) can help to make it pleasurable.

(18) ONE’S THE LIMIT. Madeleine E. Robins advocates limiting a character’s advantages over others in “A Rule of One” at Book View Café.

I have this theory. Or maybe it’s just an idea. It’s about the advantages you give your characters. And how many advantages you can give them without distracting from the story or making them unbearable.

Advantages? Beauty is one, and very common; but there’s also intelligence, skill, charm, grace, wit, fortune, discernment, athletic ability, good birth, kind parents, a person who encourages them to follow their dreams, etc. All of these things are wonderful. But most people don’t get to have them all. And if you write a character who does get them all, it’s sort of cheating.

This is particularly important in writing historical fiction, or fantasy set in an historically inspired context (it works for SF too, but to keep things simple I’m limiting my scope). It is easy, and tempting, to create a character who is ahead of her/his time: “You fools, feudalism is doomed! Let us storm the castle and demand the birth of democracy!” A reader may want to sympathize with a character who partakes of our sensibilities more than he does of those of his time, but some writers leave out any clue as to where that vision came from.

(19) RED MARS. According to io9, a live-action adaptation of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars is coming to Spike TV.

J. Michael Straczinski and Game of Throne’s Vince Gerardis are executive producing, and believe it or not, Spike TV has ordered it “straight-to-series” without a pilot.

(20) SELDES OBIT. Editor and literary agent Timothy Seldes died December 5 reports Newsday. He was 88.

Raised in New York City and a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, Seldes grew up around words, ideas and the performing arts. He was the brother of Tony-winning actress Marian Seldes, son of the drama critic and author Gilbert Seldes and nephew of the pioneering press critic George Seldes. He spent much of his editing career at the Doubleday house, where he rose to managing editor and authors included [Richard] Wright and Isaac Asimov.

(21) TWITTER. Your tweetage may vary. Ann Leckie’s certainly does, as she explains in “Me and Twitter”.

Now, I do look at my mentions, and not infrequently reply to those in some way. I do enjoy doing that. But every now and then, someone will turn up in my mentions in some way that’s very clearly designed to get my attention in a particular way–the tweeter wants me to notice their book, or asks explicitly that I follow them back (and they’re not someone I already know). I’m going to be honest, this irritates me. No offense, right? They’re obviously using Twitter as a promotional tool, where I’m using it to hang with people. This is mostly fine with me, in the abstract, I’ve got no problem with publicity or promotion. In the concrete and specific, I’d suggest that approaching promotion on Twitter as largely a question of amassing a lot of followers who you can then tweet to about your book is, perhaps, not as effective as you imagine it might be. I’ll also suggest that, if you want to engage the interest of someone with a lot of twitter followers, whose retweets or conversations with you might bring you the visibility you’re after, you might want to do your research about who that person is and why they have those followers, and not try to engage them with generic questions, let alone passive-aggressive tweets meant to guilt or provoke that person into replying or following back. But, you know, it’s your call, your life, your Twitter feed. And I’m totally okay with using the block and mute buttons whenever it seems convenient. (That would be the way the “react badly” mentioned in the tweets above usually manifests itself.)

(22) DRAWING TO A PAIR OF VONNEGUTS. Ginger Strand’s biography The Brothers Vonnegut is receiving mixed reviews, though all the critics say it’s interesting.

Katy Waldman on Slate finds some of connections discovered by the author “immensely satisfying.”

The Brothers Vonnegut, with its perfect-storm-of-concepts subtitle “Science and Fiction in the House of Magic,” focuses on Bernard and Kurt Vonnegut during the late ’40s and ’50s, when both were involved in the glittering ascent of General Electric during the postwar prosperity boom. Bernard, an MIT graduate and model elder son, researches at the company’s prestigious science lab. Kurt, having survived the Western Front (where he saw the firebombing of Dresden firsthand), takes a job as a PR flack, issuing zingy press releases about GE’s latest innovations.

Ben Jackson at the Guardian concludes:

[Kurt] didn’t hold out much hope for us: in Fates Worse than Death he wrote: “My guess is that … we really will blow up everything by and by”. No doubt Strand is right to locate the origin of many of his concerns in his time at GE, and there is certainly a lot to be said for her interesting book, but Kurt Vonnegut had more on his mind than the weather.

Jeff Milo at Paste Magazine is the most enthusiastic:

The benefits of The Brothers Vonnegut are threefold, starting with Strand’s insights into the professional and domestic lives of these two brothers, both equally strong-willed in their works despite their fields being worlds apart. Strand also draws attention to the vital support these brothers received from their wives, Lois Bowler with Bernard and Jane Marie Cox (Kurt’s first wife). More than that, though, these women are able to substantially enter into the narrative’s insightful spotlight, rather than being merely supportive backdrops for the brothers.

(23) RAMPAGE ON RECORD. Jim Mowatt’s run to Save the Rhino made the Cambridge News.

Mowatt in Cambridge News

(24) PLUTO ON CAMERA. NASA has released a video composed of the sharpest views of Pluto obtained by its New Horizons spacecraft during its flyby in July.

[Thanks to Von Dimpleheimer, Alan Baumler, David K.M. Klaus, JJ, Andrew Porter, Hampus Eckerman, Cat Eldridge, Rob Thornton, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z.]

301 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/8 When Blogs Collide

  1. @Stevie:

    You know, despite knowing Whittaker’s A Song for Erik and I Don’t Believe in ‘If’ Anymore for over thirty years, and knowing of the former’s being a rendition of Kipling’s If for at least twenty-five… the possibility never occurred to me that the ‘If’ in the latter’s title might have anything to do with the Kipling poem.

    Going to have to think on this.

    Regarding Kipling in general, I did know a disturbing number of people back in the 1980s whose first real exposure to Kipling was probably the fact that he wrote ‘The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer’, a.k.a. the Iron Ring Ceremony for Canadian Engineering students. My favourite line from that was the reference to ‘the perversity of inanimate objects’… yeah, Kipling believed in Murphy’s Law decades before it ever was called that.

  2. I’m not a professional birdologist, so this is off the cuff, but I don’t think their mouth/tongue structure would allow the to eat anything solid, at least anything much bigger than a gnat.

  3. To quote one online source, “some authorities think of hummingbirds as insectivorous birds that happen to also eat plant nectar. ”

    Or to put it another way, gnats like nectar and are high in protein.

  4. Cassy B., if you’re not sure what your niece is into, consider non-project-specific art supplies — f.i., the really big box of crayons with all the colors, and/or an oversized watercolor set, plus a roll of paper.

  5. With regard to Niece:

    I’m getting her “Trash This Journal” and two Klutz craft books; one for stencils (with pens and sticker-paper), and one for making clay charms (with clay, clay-molding tools, and charm bracelet).

    I’m hoping that Books You Do Something With or To will appeal.

    Heartfelt thanks, again, for all the suggestions and recommendations! I honestly think you guys may have saved me from becoming “That Aunt <grimace>”.

  6. Cassy B: Sounds good. Those sorts of things were what I got to open on Christmas Eve as the One Early Present at that age. Kept me from exploding those last 24 hours before the big morning, and let Mom get last-minute things done.

  7. Darren, that’s an amazing photo!

    And yes, hummers eat a lot of gnats and tiny insects–they have to have protein to feed their offspring, so they do a lot of insect catching while raising young.

    Turning the tables, there are several insects in North America that can eat hummingbirds–Chinese mantises can, and the two biggest species of Cannibalfly will try, though only the giant Beelzebub Bee-Eater (it’s from Texas!) has been observed to succeed.

    There’s a fascinating paper floating around indicating that female hummingbirds will engage in–for lack of a better term–nectar based prostitution, trading sex for access to food sources in the territories of males. They’re complex little beasties.

  8. hummers eat a lot of gnats and tiny insects

    They do it all year round, actually, but especially when momma’s feeding chicks.
    There’s a flood control channel down the street from me, with a bridge, and I can watch hummers fly-catching in the channel from the bridge, looking down at them.

  9. I once heard an ornithologist interviewed about hummingbirds on NPR or some similar platform. “If they could speak English, probably 90% of what they say would be obscenities. Maybe 95%.”

    They are beautiful and attitudinal little creatures, and I’m so glad I live somewhere that in December I can be walking to the bus stop and hear hummers in the trees cussing each other out. And the midair dogfights… ohhh, the dogfights. “Mine! Mine! Mine!” VROOM.

  10. RedWombat on December 10, 2015 at 8:04 pm said:
    Darren, that’s an amazing photo!

    And yes, hummers eat a lot of gnats and tiny insects–they have to have protein to feed their offspring, so they do a lot of insect catching while raising young.

    Turning the tables, there are several insects in North America that can eat hummingbirds–Chinese mantises can, and the two biggest species of Cannibalfly will try, though only the giant Beelzebub Bee-Eater (it’s from Texas!) has been observed to succeed.

    Cripes, that’s a scary looking fly.

    By the way, you seem to have done something remarkable — named something with zero presence on Wikipedia!

    There’s no page for that monster, no mention of it anywhere.

  11. I’ve seen photos of groups of hummingbirds gathered (apparently) peacefully around feeders, but in my experience it is always one at a time, and I only see two briefly as one chases another the heck away. The most I’ve ever seen at one time at my feeder has been a chain of three chasing each other away. And those split-second flybys are nearly impossible to photograph, even when you are waiting for them.

    I have one photo (that I wish was higher quality) of a hummer pausing at one of my Sarracenia. I always assumed that it was attracted by the red color, but now I’m wondering if hummers may use pitcher plants as snack bars…

  12. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET

    Nomination rules

    1. No specific rules in what is defined as Science Fiction. That is up to the nominators.

    2. Animated movies are accepted.

    3. TV-movies are accepted.

    4. Minimum length of a movie to be accepted is one hour.

    5. Movies should have first been shown to a wider audience at least 2014.

    6. Do not let the fact that a list has already been created hinder you from naming a movie that is already on it.

    7. You are not restricted in the number of movies you may nominate.

    8. If you think there is a special reason a movie should be included, apart from being good, please name it.

    Nominations will go on for approximately 48 hours, then I will create a new consolidated list consisting of a mix of your recommendations and mine. You will then have an additional 48 hours to argue and bicker on how you are shocked, SHOCKED, that I missed an obvious candidate that serveral of you named. Then I will finalize the list and 1-2 days after that voting will begin.

    No Bonus Bracket this time as I expect the list of SF Movies to be much longer than the one for Fantasy Movies.

  13. LIST OF SCIENCE FICTION MOVIES

    That a movie is on this list does not mean that it is sure that it will be on the final ballot. If there is a movie that you really think should be part of the brackets, be sure to name it in your comments. And of course any movie not on this list can be nominated.

    If enough calls are made for several movies in a series, they will be put on this list for the series as a whole.

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
    2001 (1968)
    Akira (1988)
    Alien (1979)
    Aliens (1986)
    Alphaville (1965)
    Avatar (2009)
    Back To The Future (1985)
    Barbarella (1968)
    Battle Royale (2000)
    Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure (1989)
    Bladerunner (1982)
    Brazil (1985)
    Capricorn One (1977)
    Children of Men (2006)
    Clockwork Orange (1971)
    Close Encounter of the First Kind (1977)
    Cloud Atlas (2012)
    Cocoon (1985)
    Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)
    Cowboy Bebop (1998)
    Cube (1997)
    Dark City (1998)
    Deathrace 2000 (1975)
    Delicatessen (1991)
    District 9 (2009)
    Donnie Darko (2001)
    Dune (1984)
    Enemy Mine (1985)
    Escape From New York (1981)
    Escaflowne (2000)
    ET (1982)
    Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
    Evangerion shin gekijôban: Ha (2009)
    Event Horizon (1997)
    Fantastic Planet (1973)
    Fantastic Voyage (1966)
    Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
    Flesh Gordon (1974)
    Galaxy Quest (1999)
    Gattaca (1997)
    Ghost In The Shell (1997)
    Godzilla (1954)
    Gravity (2013)
    Guardians of The Galaxy (2014)
    Idiocracy (2006)
    Independence Day (1996)
    Innerspace (1987)
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
    Jurassic Park (1993)
    Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)
    Liquid Sky (1982)
    Mad Max: Road Warrior (1981)
    Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
    Mars Attacks! (1996)
    Matrix (1999)
    Men in Black (1997)
    Metropolis (1927)
    Minority Report (2002)
    Monster vs Aliens (2009)
    Moonraker (1979)
    Pitch Black (2000)
    Planet of the Apes (1968)
    Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
    Primer (2004)
    Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
    Rollerball (1975)
    Robocop (1987)
    Repo Man (1984)
    Sexmission (Seksmisja) (1984)
    Serenity (2005)
    Slaughterhouse V (1972)
    Solaris (1972)
    Soylent Green (1973)
    Stalker (1979)
    Starman (1984)
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    Star Wars (1977)
    Stepford Wives (1975)
    Strange Days (1995)
    The 10th Victim (1965)
    The Andromeda Strain (1971)
    The City of Lost Children (1995)
    The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
    The Fifth Element (1997)
    The Fly (1986)
    The Hidden (1987)
    The Hunger Games (2012)
    The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
    The Illustrated Man (1969)
    The Iron Giant (1999)
    The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
    The Man with Two Brains (1983)
    The Quiet Earth (1985)
    The Road (2009)
    The Terminator (1984)
    The Thing (1982)
    The Truman Show (1998)
    The Time Travelers Wife (2009)
    They Live (1988)
    Timecrimes (2007)
    Total Recall (1990)
    Treasure Planet (2002)
    Tron (1982)
    Twelve Monkeys (1995)
    WALL-E (2008)
    Wargames (1983)
    Westworld (1973)
    Videodrome (1983)
    Young Frankenstein (1974)
    Jin-Rô – The Wolf Brigade (1999)

  14. Please forgive my confusion. Could you please clarify what

    Movies should have first been shown to a wider audience at least 2014.

    means?

    My first assumption was that this was only for very recent movies, but the hypothetical list seejms to not bear that out.

  15. Alien (1979)
    Aliens (1986)
    Blade Runner (1982)
    Capricorn One (1977)
    Dark City (1998)
    District 9 (2009)
    Escape From New York (1981)
    The Fifth Element (1997)
    Galaxy Quest (1999)
    Gattaca (1997)
    Mars Attacks! (1996)
    Planet of the Apes (1968)
    Serenity (2005)
    Starman (1984)
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    Star Wars (1977)
    The Terminator (1984)
    Tron (1982)
    Twelve Monkeys (1995)
    Wargames (1983)
    Westworld (1973)

    I’d pick The Running Man (1987) over Total Recall.

    Flesh Gordon (1974)
    Surely you mean Flash Gordon (1980) and not its XXX-rated counterpart?

  16. Peace Is My Middle Name:

    I mean that movies from 2015 are not eligible. Also, that only movies that have been shown to a wider audience are eligible.

  17. JJ: I prefer Flesh Gordon to Flash Gordon. I would never place the latter on a list of favourites, but I have seen Flesh Gordon at least 10 times. 😉

  18. This is just those that aren’t on your list, @Hampus. I’ll pick out the ones from your list subsequently. Be warned – I may nominate the entire thing!

    Patlabor 2 (1993)
    Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
    Equilibrium (2002)
    The Abyss (1983)
    Moon (2009)
    Sunshine (2007)
    A Scanner Darkly (2006)
    Looper (2012)
    Attack the Block (2011)
    Inception (2010)
    Upstream Color (2013)

  19. It looks like Flesh Gordon’s final release was only rated R (though originally X, and with an uncut, ahem, version available).

    My noms, mostly from the Hampus list ‘cuz I’m tired.

    Back to the Future
    Bladerunner
    Dark City
    E.T.
    Galaxy Quest
    Guardians of the Galaxy
    Independence Day
    Jurassic Park
    Matrix
    Star Wars
    The Empire Strikes Back
    The Hidden
    The Terminator
    The Terminator 2
    The Truman Show (this is SF?! I’d say no)
    Tron

    ETA thanks to @JJ:
    Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
    The Abyss

  20. Oh hey, I’ll fifth this one:
    Moon (2009)

    And
    Predestination (2014)
    if you consider it widely-enough seen now, given that it showed at Sasquan.

  21. > “If enough calls are made for several movies in a series, they will be put on this list for the series as a whole.”

    I have to put in that I’m not in favor of this. I think it gives an unfair disadvantage to movies in series like Star Trek and Alien which varied greatly in quality, and an unfair advantage to movies in series which were consistently high-quality, since it allows an apples-to-oranges comparison of a series to a single film.

  22. From the list, I would vote for:

    Alien (1979)
    Aliens (1986) — only this one if the alternative is putting more than one film in the franchise together
    Alphaville (1965)
    Brazil (1985)
    Clockwork Orange (1971)
    Delicatessen (1991)
    Donnie Darko (2001)
    Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
    Galaxy Quest (1999)
    Ghost In The Shell (1997)
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
    Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
    Metropolis (1927)
    Minority Report (2002)
    Solaris (1972)
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    Star Wars (1977)
    The City of Lost Children (1995)
    The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
    The Iron Giant (1999)
    The Terminator (1984)
    Tron (1982)
    Twelve Monkeys (1995)
    WALL-E (2008)
    Young Frankenstein (1974)

  23. Kyra: I do believe what you say is true. Alien and Aliens are two very different creatures, as are Terminator and Terminator 2. I will think more about this one.

    Please nominate movies individually and not as a series.

  24. And some votes not from the list:

    The Abyss (theatrical release, not the director’s cut)
    Catching Fire (only this one preferentially above multiple works in the series)
    Coherence
    The Empire Strikes Back (only this one preferentially above multiple works in the series)
    Forbidden Planet
    Her
    Inception
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
    Logan’s Run
    Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
    Sleeper
    Solaris (2002)
    Star Trek IV (only this one preferentially above multiple works in the series)
    Star Trek: First Contact
    Under the Skin

  25. 2001 (1968)
    Alien (1979)
    Back To The Future (1985)
    Bladerunner (1982)
    Contact
    Dark City (1998)
    Fantastic Voyage (1966)
    Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
    Galaxy Quest (1999)
    Ghost In The Shell (1997)
    Guardians of The Galaxy (2014)
    Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem
    Macross: Do You Remember Love
    Moon (2009)
    Planet of the Apes (1968)
    Serenity (2005)
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    Star Wars (1977)
    The City of Lost Children (1995)
    The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
    The Fifth Element (1997)
    The Terminator (1984)
    Tron (1982)
    WALL-E (2008)

  26. THX-1138
    Terminator 2
    Aliens
    The Man Who Fell to Earth
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    A Clockwork Orange
    Millennium Actress
    Mad Max: Fury Road
    Edward Scissorhands
    Time Bandits
    Life of Brian
    Memento

  27. Seconded:

    2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    Brazil (1985)
    Dark City (1998)
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
    Fantastic Planet (1973)
    Galaxy Quest (1999)
    Gattaca (1997)
    Metropolis (1927)
    Moon (2009)
    Planet of the Apes (1968)
    Primer (2004)
    The Running Man (1987)
    A Scanner Darkly (2006)
    Sleeper (1973)
    Stalker (1979)
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    Star Wars (1977)
    Tron (1982)
    Twelve Monkeys (1995)
    Young Frankenstein (1974)

    Nominated:

    The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)
    Eden Log (2007)
    The Zero Theorem [AKA Live. Die. Repeat.] (2014)
    eXistenZ (1999)
    Flash Gordon (1980)
    Flatland The Film (2007)
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
    Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)
    Paprika (2006)
    Mr. Nobody (2009)
    Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)
    The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
    Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
    Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)
    The Zero Theorem (2013)

    Best part of the bracket so far is that when browsing a list of SF movies to jog my memory, I discovered that these two existed:
    Je t’aime, je t’aime (1968) SF from the director of Celine and Julie Go Boating
    Test pilota Pirxa (1979) from stories by Lem

    And this looks interesting:
    Coherence (2013)

  28. 3rded, 4thd, … (N+1)thd for Forbidden Planet (1956)
    Five Million Years to Earth/Quatermass and the Pit (1967)
    The Hidden (1997)
    Mysterious Island (1961)
    Pitch Black (2000)

  29. Hampus: You’ve got Mad Max: Fury Road on your list. If your cutoff is 2014, I don’t believe it should be there.

    Oh my goodness. Almost all of my DVD/Blu-ray collection is SF. So this is going to be LONG, folks.

    Avatar
    Alien
    Aliens
    Blade Runner
    The Hunger Games
    I Am Legend
    Independence Day (Yeah, I know it’s cheesy and jingoistic. But Will Smith’s wisecracking and Jeff Goldblum…)
    Jurassic Park (The original. Accept no “World”-ly substitutes.)
    The Book of Eli
    Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (Actually my favorite of the series, until Fury Road came along.)
    The Matrix
    The Prestige
    Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    Serenity
    Stargate
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
    Star Trek III: The Search For Spock
    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (A proper sendoff indeed for the original crew.)
    Star Wars
    The Empire Strikes Back
    The Terminator
    Terminator 2: Judgment Day (If there’s to be just one in the series, let it be this one. This is one of my favorite movies ever.)
    They Live (RIP Roddy Piper.)
    Hell Comes to Frogtown (Probably nobody’s heard of this; Roddy Piper starred in it prior to They Live. It’s ridiculous and campy as heck, but it holds a soft spot for me because of its star.)
    Tremors
    Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman!)
    Waterworld (Hey, I like this. So sue me. 😛 )
    The Running Man
    Solaris (George Clooney version)
    Underworld
    V for Vendetta
    Logan’s Run
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    TV Movie: The Day After
    TV Movie: Testament (Although it did later have a theatrical release, as I recall.)
    The Truman Show

    Seconded from others and/or Hampus’s list:

    Children of Men
    Gattaca
    Galaxy Quest
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    ET: The Extra-Terrestrial
    Planet of the Apes (original)
    WarGames
    The Fly (1986)
    Strange Days
    Soylent Green
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
    Escape From New York
    Men In Black

    (Hampus, thank you for tackling this. I expect you’re going to get a LOT more wails and teeth-gnashing with this one.)

  30. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. (I know it’s not SF as usually imagined, but it is fantastical.)

  31. Attack the Block
    Solaris (Tarkovsky)
    Star Trek: Wrath of Khan
    Forbidden Planet
    The Brother from Another Planet
    Repoman
    Quatermass and the Pit (movie version)
    The Incredible Shrinking Man
    Alien
    Aliens
    Tremors
    20 thousand leagues under the Sea (Mason, Douglas etc)
    Soylent Green
    Shaun of the Dead
    Jurrasic Park
    Brazil
    Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
    Twelve Monkeys
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (I can’t decide which version)

  32. These are the movies in Hampus’ list that I’m adding my vote to:

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
    2001 (1968)
    Alien (1979)
    Aliens (1986)
    Avatar (2009)
    Back To The Future (1985)
    Bladerunner (1982)
    Brazil (1985)
    Clockwork Orange (1971)
    Close Encounter of the First Kind (1977)
    Cocoon (1985)
    Dune (1984)
    ET (1982)
    Fantastic Planet (1973)
    Fantastic Voyage (1966)
    Galaxy Quest (1999)
    Godzilla (1954)
    Gravity (2013)
    Guardians of The Galaxy (2014)
    Independence Day (1996)
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
    Jurassic Park
    Mad Max: Road Warrior (1981)
    Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
    Mars Attacks! (1996)
    Matrix (1999)
    Men in Black (1997)
    Metropolis (1927)
    Planet of the Apes (1968)
    Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
    Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
    Rollerball (1975)
    Robocop (1987)
    Serenity (2005)
    Slaughterhouse V (1972)
    Soylent Green (1973)
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    Star Wars (1977)
    Stepford Wives (1975)
    The Andromeda Strain (1971)
    The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
    The Fifth Element (1997)
    The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
    The Illustrated Man (1969)
    The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
    The Terminator (1984)
    The Thing (1982)
    Total Recall (1990)
    WALL-E (2008)
    Westworld (1973)
    Young Frankenstein (1974)

    Here are additional movies I’m nominating:*

    1984 (1956)
    Cloverfield (2008)
    Forbidden Planet (1956)
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
    Mad Max franchise, esp 1 (1979)
    On the Beach (1959)
    Super 8 (2011)
    The Blob (1958)
    The Fly (1958)
    The Invisible Man (1933)
    The Thing [from Another World] (1951)**
    The War of the Worlds (1953)
    Them! (1954)***

    * Some of these are just me being a completeist and remembering some awful movies from childhood that stuck with me. :^}

    ** This is the original movie adaptation of “Who Goes There?” It’s only female character was treated somewhat better than the norm. She was snarky, bantered with the men and actually gave the men the solution of how to kill the eponymous star. Growing up I always remembered that she almost got to be a heroine! Us wimmins sometimes had to survive on scraps of encouragement in olden times.
    ;-]

    *** My husband saw them filming the sequence where they go into the culverts under Los Angeles.

  33. Thanks, @Kyra, I’d forgotten these two. @Hampus, I’d like to add:

    Star Trek IV
    Star Trek: First Contact

    And how did I miss this on @Hampus’s list:

    Avatar

    Also, I was trying to remember the name of this movie yesterday; based on what some folks are listing, I figure this counts? @Hampus may I please add:

    Next (I’m not a big Nick Cage fan, and he’s a bit of a creepster here, but it’s really a great movie overall IMHO)

    I look forward to voting against a couple of least-favorite-movies I see being nominated. 😉 ‘Cuz I’m mean like that.

  34. Wings of Honneamise (An exercise in worldbuilding equalled only by The Dark Crystal. If you’re going to name one animated movie, make it this one!)
    Paprika
    Moon
    Airplane II: The Sequel
    Flash Gordon
    Tron
    Hancock

    …for an overlap of exactly 1 with Hampus’s list. I expect to be doing a lot of whining over the next couple weeks.

  35. I was on the fence about Hancock because I really liked a lot of it, but the explanation and ending didn’t work for me at all. Can I vote for some of a movie? 😉

  36. From the list:
    Back to the Future
    Galaxy Quest
    Wrath of Khan
    Star Wars
    Terminator
    ET
    Total Recall
    Young Frankenstein

    From others suggestions, or myself:
    Running Man
    Mysterious Island
    The Prestige
    King Kong (1933)
    Up

    I haven’t seen anyone nominating these, but just in case, I want to cast preemptive votes against:
    Plan 9 from Outer Space
    Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
    Disney’s The Black Hole (aka It Sucks)

  37. FROM THE LIST:
    Bladerunner (1982)
    Brazil (1985)
    Cocoon (1985)
    Dark City (1998)
    Guardians of The Galaxy (2014)
    Liquid Sky (1982)
    Mad Max: Road Warrior (1981)
    Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
    Matrix (1999)
    Metropolis (1927)
    Planet of the Apes (1968)
    Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
    Serenity (2005)
    Slaughterhouse V (1972)
    The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
    Treasure Planet (2002)

    ADDITIONS – BACK ME UP HERE, PEOPLE:
    Time After Time (1979) – For a long time, my favorite SF movie. Good acting, decent script, fun premise. “My latest article was about…free love!” “Free love! I haven’t heard about that since high school!”
    Solaris (2002) – Shut up. I liked it.
    Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) – Ah the sheer pitiless bitterness of those early Apes movies. It makes up for all their flaws.
    The Omega Man (1971) – We need a 70s dystopia featuring Charlton Heston and I like this better than the options on the main list. This one really scared me, and I thought the interracial romance was handled with a clear eye on the social context.
    Nausicaå of the Valley of the Wind (1984) – Obviously SF, and wonderful.
    Spider-Man 2 (2004) – The best Spider-Man movie. I tend to credit the resonances in the script to Chabon, but who knows.
    Iron Man (2008) – This is a landmark movie. It wasn’t the first great superhero movie, but it was the first one where the filmmakers said, “No apologies. We like this stuff, and you will too.” And the cast was brilliant, an ensemble of stars playing together like a tight repertory troupe.

  38. …And a couple more, after perusing my DVD shelf:

    Summer Wars (If P. G. Wodehouse had written cyberpunk…)
    Spy Hard

  39. Just remembered there are multiple Flash Gordons. I am of course voting for the 1980 one with Queen.

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