What better way to start 2021 then by watching a 6-hour kabuki interpretation of the classic post-apocalyptic fantasy-scifi Nausicäa of the Valley of Wind (風の谷のナウシカ)?
Courtesy of BS-NHK (which split the broadcast into two 3-hour parts).
If you think you know the story based on the Studio Ghibli anime, guess again. Go read the manga. One of the greatest SF stories of all time. Even 6 hours doesn’t even come close to capturing its complex intensity.
It had been rumored for decades that the mask the killer Michael Myers wore in the Halloween films was in fact based on Shatner’s face. Not just his face, but specifically a Captain Kirk death mask created for Star Trek. As it turns out, the anecdote is very true.
Yup. In an interview, Shatner even talked about wearing amask of his own face for trick or treating.
Although the book Er Ist Weider Da (Translated into English as “Look Who’s Back,” although literally it should be “He’s here again”) was published in 2012, the German language movie released in 2015, Netflix picked it up in early 2016, I just now stumbled across this movie over the weekend. Probably an algorithmic thing (don’t ask).
Normally, I blog about either family history or science/science fiction. But in this case, let’s just call it science fictiony-historical satire with a dark edge.
It’s good. Scarily good. Hysterically funny in parts. Deeply, darkly disturbing in many others.
And completely misunderstood by most reviewers. Especially the ones writing only in English. Continue Reading
Chinese science fiction has been up and coming for a while now. The work of Liu Cixin, for example, earned the author (or translator, not sure which) a Hugo Award. (I reviewed and found the Three-Body Solution to be full of interesting ideas but bogged down with poorly written dialogue, unexpected shifts in voice and style, stereotypes, and two-dimensional characters.)
And, of course, China is about to (re)discover itself as a major player on the world stage. Complete with the “only our civilization can save humanity” trope, a.k.a., just like the US.
When I first started writing the kernel of what ultimately became Adam’s Stepsons, the multiple/mixed genre story The General in His Labyrinth had just been published, by Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
I’d been searching for character names, desperate not to have them all sounding like the people I knew at the time (i.e., white guys in my rural hometown).
So “Marquez” sounded like a great name. I had a general in the story. General Marquez fit. Why not. Continue Reading