Tag Archives: The Matrix

Science Fiction Today – Books

BBooks are still such an important part of not only how we get information, but how we get to experience all the various stories that people have to tell. At the same time the way that we read books has changed. The invention of the printing press made such a significant impact on just having access to reading and now we have the ability for anyone to have books.

This has made almost a different issue of the number of books that can be housed in one location. Libraries create a place to be able to borrow books instead of owning, but there is something about owning books that is really nice. Now we have all sorts of e-readers and tablets that can hold hundreds of books at one time and even add the ability to have interactive elements. This is already a huge step forward in how books are created and how we read. The question is how much further can and will this progress go?

No More Books

Now one option that is sometimes seen in science fiction is that there are no more books or at least books have become a rare commodity that only the rich have access to. Some of the problem with the physical books is that the use of paper does use a resource – and if we do not need to use paper to make and read books, then isn’t that better?

One option that you see is that the world begins to exist on a virtual plane. It is no longer about the physical presence, but plugging in and transporting yourself to a digital existence and that is where the books live. The other option is that somehow you can just upload the story into your mind and just know it, like in The Matrix. These all make the physical book an unnecessary luxury.

Digital Books

Now obviously we already have digital books, but that does not mean that this type of books will not have its own advancements. The option here is that maybe instead of a physical device that we carry, we have something under the skin or bracelets that allow us to act like we are holding a book even when we are not. There is no longer a physical screen, but some sort of a projection of a screen that we can see in some way, with Minority Report or Iron Man type interactive displays. Then add on the ability to search, scan, index, and be able to follow events between the various books and we can have a brand new experience for how to read a book.

The big thing is that the likely direction is that the number of physical books that exists in this world is going to be reduced – and more and more of the books will exist in a digital world.

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!

Jupiter Ascending Movie Review

This weekend we went to see Jupiter Ascending, something we were debating doing. In the end, all the reviews telling us the movie was terrible, you should see it made the difference!

I feel like reviewing the movie is pretty quick and easy for me. I did not find it as bad as some did. I definitely feel like the ideas – both story/world ideas and visual ideas – were much better than the character interaction and dialog. And maybe their biggest problem is how easy it is to compare to Guardians of the Galaxy – a movie which they could have come out before, but instead came out after. So Channing Tatum comes across as a poor-man’s Star Lord, rocket-skates and all.

I guess he knows how to rocket skate really well because he used to fly? Found on http://collider.com/jupiter-ascending-review/

I guess he knows how to rocket skate really well because he used to fly?
Found on http://collider.com/jupiter-ascending-review/

So I want to look more at two aspects of the film. One is the comparison to other science fiction, where I have found people comparing it to all sorts of other movies – but for me, there’s really only one main comparison. The other aspect I want to look at is the thing that I think could have made the film better – more characters! Maybe some spoilers to follow for Jupiter Ascending.

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All You Need is Kill – The Graphic Novel

All You Need is Kill - CoverHolly wrote a LitFlix of the movie Edge of Tomorrow yesterday, having read the book – All You Need is Kill – first. Well, I read the graphic novel, so I thought I would share my thoughts too!

My initial impression of the comic is that it doesn’t sound too different from the book. That means that I don’t have a lot to add over what Holly wrote. That also means that it was quite different from the movie!

For as short of a book as it is, the graphic novel was shorter. It’s a fun, quick read. I found it on Amazon and read it on my Kindle. I should note also that it came out just in May – so it was in place to marge the two, or at least to ride the wave of interest given that the movie was coming out. But it didn’t do that – it really was the book adaptation, not the movie adaptation.

So spoilers to follow, and I think I’m mostly going to let some of the panels speak for the graphic novel!

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The Greatest Movie Never Made – Jodorowsky’s Dune

When Holly and I were in Seattle, we got the chance to go see the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune. I didn’t know much about it, but it was about Dune, so I was there. I knew it was about an earlier attempt to make a Dune film, before the David Lynch version in the 80s. That was more than enough to go on.

So I did not know the director Jodorowsky, but he is an interesting dude. Not actually easy to describe. The movie describes him as, for instance, the man who created the midnight showing of the cult classic. And they go on to attribute a whole lot more to him, and to the film he tried to make in the early 1970s. Frank Herbert’s Dune.

The way I think it makes sense for me to move through this is to talk about Jodorowsky and the team he pulled together, about his Dune and the impact that it had on moviemaking, and then talk about the source material – Dune – of which I am such a fan. I suppose there will be spoilers for the documentary, but not many more than the trailer. I really recommend this documentary and if you get a chance to see it – and you love Dune and/or science fiction, do yourself a favor and check it out!

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Icons of Science Fiction at the EMP Museum

Rounding out our favorite exhibits at the EMP Museum was the Icons of Science Fiction. The Horror exhibit was centered around the types of monsters and evils in the horror stories. The Fantasy exhibit was centered around the archetypical characters of the genre. The Science Fiction exhibit was organized around big questions that science fiction asks.

Science Fiction is the Literature of Ideas

Walking into the exhibit you go through rays of light like you’re going through hyperspace or going to warp speed. From there, unlike the dark and horrible sounds of the Horror exhibit, or like the muted tones and forest decor of the Fantasy exhibit, it’s stark white, with bright colors, and clean. The areas are collected around books and themes, with the books shown, and quotes as well. I loved it.

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