Tag Archives: Interstellar

Throwback Thursday – The Science Fiction Film Trifecta (2014)

This week on Comparative Opinions we’ll be talking about “Hollywood Fatigue”… more on that on the podcast! But thinking through movies, and Hollywood, and originality, I was reminded of this post I ran on my now mostly defunct personal blog. And about how there were some great movies I was incredibly excited about and excited by just a couple of years ago, and that’s without including several other excellent movies that year! I still think 2014 was a remarkable year for movies, and it wasn’t that long ago so things aren’t long gone from that. But without further ado, my contenders for the Science Fiction Film Trifecta of 2014.

Noah PosterI have been putting thought into doing more in terms of Science Fiction lately. More than anything, I’ve been thinking about doing more with my idea of Science Fiction Today. The idea being, take today’s problems, consider them in a Science Fiction setting, and consider whether we can be working on a solution to a problem in that way. I explained it all in more detail on Comparative Geeks.

This whole line of thought is where I started blogging from. My initial question on my Tumblr was, what would it be like for our presidential candidates (and other politicians) to present their beliefs in a Science Fictional sort of way – to say what they think the future would really look like if we followed their beliefs and plans into the future. I was contemplating writing it myself, but everything I thought of seemed like a Dystopia…

So this brings me around to the title. And some of my thinking is, maybe Science Fiction is doing alright on its own. Maybe it doesn’t need me championing the way it considers and explains the world. Maybe the big ideas I think are important are being shared with the public on a broader scale. My thoughts for this are based on three movies this year, each very different from each other, and all from big-name directors presenting big ideas. So read on for some of my thoughts on NoahLucy, and Interstellar!

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Science Fiction Today – Food (Again)

Holly already wrote about Food for a Science Fiction Today post, but with trying to introduce solid foods to the Geek Baby, it’s a topic that’s certainly on our minds. Holly talked about how we might run into problems with the crops, like in Interstellar. Or else, how we might be able to artificially generate food – like in The Fifth Element.

I think to get to where I want to talk about those, we have to talk about where we are today with food. Which is to say, we’ve gotten pretty far away from the origins of food, the growing of food. Because of that, would we accept a food substitute like in the video? 

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Science Fiction Today – Robots

RBecause of the bizarre order in which we have written my A to Z posts this year, this happens to be the last one that I am writing! That means this is being written after all my thoughts have gone into the other posts, and after many of the great conversations we’ve had.

There’s also maybe not a better topic for me to be closing out on and to have time to think about. When we think about possible futures, one thing that comes up a lot is inequality. Whether that’s financial inequality seen with corporations or money; or political inequalities like with queens or the Justice System; unequal health care or access thereof; or how about a post that’s begging to be linked to like my gender one… in any and all of these, and more, we can see how the world could turn (more) to inequality in the future.

What alternative do we have? In what sort of future could we maybe, just maybe, all live a somewhat utopian life with a decent amount of equality? Well… how about a future where everyone has a robot? We’re already moving towards some robotic things – whether it’s a Roomba cleaning up, or a driverless car. What if robots did all the hard work for us – and we all got to live lives of leisure and luxury?

Do Androids Dream of Science Fiction Today Posts?

In the interest of word count, how about some images?

One of the common problems that we run into with robots in Science Fiction is we reach a point where the robots are lifelike. Humanlike. Conscious. Have secrets – have dreams. Have souls?

And if they do – are they slaves then?

One thing I loved about Interstellar was the robots. There were robots built for utility, not for looking human.

Yet even in Interstellar, by the end, the robots are some of their closest friends…

I Want to Show You Something… Beautiful

Then of course, there’s the other thing that happens in robot – and especially artificial intelligence – stories. The robots decide, for whatever reason, that we the humans are the problem. That we are our own problem, that the number one risk to humans is other humans.

The upcoming version of this is going to be Ultron, in the new Avengers movie. However, we have a lot of history in this world at this point – and I think that Ultron will be using all their failings and faults against them, rhetorically at least. I hope they hit some new territory with this story type.

One of my favorites, though, is Dune. In Dune, it’s millennia after the war with machines. And it doesn’t take time to explain this war, really; it’s just a known fact of the past. It’s the idea there will always have been a war with the machines. What mattered was what the future looked like after that.

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, and also part of our occasional series on Science Fiction Today. You can read an explanation of both here. We are striving to keep these posts short, and know that we have not covered every example or angle – plenty of room for discussion!

Science Fiction Today – Food

FFood has gone from something that we had to seek out, to something we cultivated, and now is becoming something we create. Continually questions get raised about where the food we eat actually comes from and whether we really recognize all the chemicals that we are adding to our food. There has even been discussion of being able to use 3D printers for food.

Food supply can often be either a main issue or a side issue in science fiction stories because food is a vital part of keeping a society alive. Some of the problems I can see is usually in the examples of the future either there is a food crisis or we have switched to entirely created food and “all natural” is a luxury.

Food Crisis

The food crisis scenarios are ones where the food sources that we have are either drying up or just not enough to support the growing population. This can be seen in movies such as Interstellar or books like The Wind Up Girl. In both of these situations an infection of our food source begins to destroy crops and the world cannot find a way to fix the problem.

An infection of the world’s food source is not the only potential problem that could happen – there is also the fact that the world population keeps growing beyond the real limits of what the food source can actually hold, but we keep finding a way to supplement it. In many of these situations it is just about finding a way to get people some kind of nutrition, but often it is not enough.

Created Food

When I talk about created food I am thinking of things such as the replicator in Star Trek or the scene in Fifth Element where they put in a small pill in a machine and out comes a whole chicken. This is a situation where there is no food crisis because we have figured out a way to generate food. The big problem I can see with this is that there would still be pockets of natural food, but it is either by people farming for themselves (like Picard’s family) or a luxury paid for by the rich.

There are a lot of people, even in today’s society, who talk about not wanting to put unnatural things into their body. I don’t know how people would react to food that just creates itself! There is a distrust of things that are viewed as artificial and I cannot imagine that generated food would not be completely artificial. But it does also contribute to the option of the population just continuing to grow.

There are trade-offs to being able to create a never-ending food supply and being able to just have the population keep growing. At the same time down the road will we discover that some of our choices about what we put into our food have actually created other complications?

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, and also part of our occasional series on Science Fiction Today. You can read an explanation of both here. We are striving to keep these posts short, and know that we have not covered every example or angle – plenty of room for discussion!

Interstellar Movie Review

One of the things I was most excited for this year was Interstellar, the new movie from Christopher Nolan that’s been taking theaters – particularly IMAX ones – by storm. It’s not in theaters much longer if it still is, I imagine, so I’m writing about it a bit late to talk you into going to see it. Probably if you were going to see it in theaters, you have.

We only had so much time after this came out and before we went to Australia, so we decided to see Interstellar when we were there, after checking to make sure it was opening there. There and all over! And, clocking in close to three hours, we decided to do it in style. So while going to the largest IMAX in the southern hemisphere might have been cool, we instead tried out what in Australia has come to be called Gold Class: dinner and a movie. In style!

So I’ll talk a bit about our experience in Gold Class, and then about some of the things I loved in Interstellar. Because if I was just writing a post about how awesome Interstellar was, it would be really short. Like, I could do it here. Interstellar was awesome. It lived up to and exceeded all my expectations. It’s a masterful piece of Science Fiction. If I had to give it a place in film history, it would be as the film that was better than and replaced 2001: A Space Odyssey in our collective understanding. Done!

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