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ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2013 | By Tracy Brown
Math was not British author Matt Haig 's favorite subject growing up. In his newest novel, “The Humans,” an alien race known as Vonnadorians murder a math professor to prevent people on Earth from gaining more mathematical knowledge than is deemed safe for the universe. In other words, pursuing math can kill you. The novel revolves around a nameless Vonnadorian narrator who has been sent to Earth disguised as Cambridge math professor Andrew Martin. While trying to determine who need to be assassinated for the greater good, he discovers music, poetry and peanut-butter sandwiches - making him question whether humans are as violent and dangerous as he has been warned.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Before he loved anything else, Jean-Luc Godard loved genre: He famously dedicated his first feature film, "Breathless," to Monogram Pictures, one of the monarchs of Poverty Row B-picture production. But as "Breathless" demonstrated, Godard never did anything straight up. He did genre his own playful way, and never more so than in 1965's "Alphaville," a film that was part science fiction, part hard-boiled adventure, and all Godard. Playing for a week at the Nuart in West Los Angeles in a sharp new digital restoration, "Alphaville" is more than quintessential Godard.
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BUSINESS
November 27, 2011 | Michael Hiltzik
Plot outline for a Philip K. Dick story: Hollywood buys film rights to obscure short story by famous author. Makes movie. Movie makes money. Producers then claim they never needed to buy rights in the first place. Demand their money back. Emblematic Philip K. Dick story elements: Attempt to turn back time and murkiness of reality. Extra mind-bending plot twist: Author of original story is named Philip K. Dick. As Laura Dick Coelho, one of the late author's daughters, told me: "Everything in the Philip K. Dick world is complicated.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
The PBS television series " American Masters" will debut its profile of Alice Walker on Feb. 7, shortly before the author's 70th birthday. While Walker has written novels, poetry and nonfiction, she is best known for her novel "The Color Purple. " Published in 1983, it won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and was made into the film directed by Steven Spielberg. Danny Glover, one of the stars of that film, appears in the documentary about Walker and its preview, above.
BOOKS
January 10, 1993 | JAMES SALLIS, Sallis' latest novel is "The Long-Legged Fly." A translation of Raymond Queneau's "Saint Glinglin" is due in June; a new novel, "Moth," in August
THE COLLECTED STORIES OF ROBERT SILVERBERG Volume 1: Secret Sharers by Robert Silverberg (Bantam Books: $25 cloth, $12.50 paper; 546 pp. ) Bob Silverberg has been a very busy man for a long time now, his prolificacy often obscuring the fact that he has all along, while cranking out porno novels, children's books and a variety of potboilers, also produced some of the most engaging, original science fiction being written.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
A book that transmits the emotions of its story to the reader with glowing lights, sensors and actuators that can inflate a vest to cause the constriction of fear. It's called "Sensory Fiction," made by Felix Heibeck, Alexis Hope, Julie Legault -- and it's just one of the projects at MIT Media Lab's Science Fiction to Science Fabrication class. According to its syllabus , the class "combines the analysis of classic and modern science fiction texts and films with physical fabrication or code-based interpretations of the technologies they depict.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2009 | Dennis McLellan
Philip Jose Farmer was working for a steel and wire company in Peoria, Ill., and writing part time in 1952 when he stirred up the science-fiction world with his first published sci-fi tale, a controversial novella that appeared in the magazine Startling Stories. "The Lovers," a story in which a male earthling has a sexual relationship with an alien female, broke the taboo against depicting sex in the genre.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 8, 2012 | By Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times
If you love inventive storytelling but you're not a fan of the George R.R. Martin school of fantasy, worry not. Publishers are offering some of the best new books in fantasy's cousin genre, science fiction, for your reading pleasure during the summer: Railsea A Novel China Miéville Ballantine: 431 pp., $18 The last time China Miéville ("Embassytown," "Kraken") ventured into YA territory, it was to give readers a vision of England's capital and of its strange mirror-image, a place described by that book's title as "Un Lun Dun. " Now, in his latest, "Railsea," a book ostensibly for the YA crowd but billed by the publisher as a novel for all ages, Miéville gives us another strange mirror-image: This time, it's his variation on that classic American novel "Moby-Dick" by Herman Melville (and "Miéville" is just a keypad slip away from typing "Melville")
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
A book that transmits the emotions of its story to the reader with glowing lights, sensors and actuators that can inflate a vest to cause the constriction of fear. It's called "Sensory Fiction," made by Felix Heibeck, Alexis Hope, Julie Legault -- and it's just one of the projects at MIT Media Lab's Science Fiction to Science Fabrication class. According to its syllabus , the class "combines the analysis of classic and modern science fiction texts and films with physical fabrication or code-based interpretations of the technologies they depict.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 3, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Frederik Pohl, one of the great science fiction authors and editors of the late 20th century, died Monday, his family announced on his website. He was 93. Pohl was known as a dark humorist and satirist in novels such as "The Space Merchants" (1953) and "Gladiator-at-Law" (1955), both written with frequent collaborator C.M. Kornbluth, and the short story "The Gold at Starbow's End" (1972). His long career included writing novels and short stories, editing, and being a literary agent for science fiction writers.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2013 | By Tracy Brown
Math was not British author Matt Haig 's favorite subject growing up. In his newest novel, “The Humans,” an alien race known as Vonnadorians murder a math professor to prevent people on Earth from gaining more mathematical knowledge than is deemed safe for the universe. In other words, pursuing math can kill you. The novel revolves around a nameless Vonnadorian narrator who has been sent to Earth disguised as Cambridge math professor Andrew Martin. While trying to determine who need to be assassinated for the greater good, he discovers music, poetry and peanut-butter sandwiches - making him question whether humans are as violent and dangerous as he has been warned.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2013 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
In one of writer Richard Matheson's last novels, when a radio psychologist complains that the woman his wife had just turned away from their door was "terribly disturbed," his wife retorts, "Aren't we all?" That question was central in Matheson's imagination, where the line between normal and out of this world was frighteningly fine. His stories and novels - including "I Am Legend" and "The Shrinking Man" - take place in the so-called real world, but the inexplicable abounds. The dark space under a couch is a passageway to an alien realm, a truck on a lonely road is possessed by evil, a telephone rings with a dead man's voice.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 24, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
Science fiction writer Richard Matheson passed away Sunday at age 87. Novelist and writer for film and television, Matheson had a long and storied career that saw him influence multiple generations of writers working in a broad cross-section of genre storytelling. Author Stephen King famously declared Matheson his greatest influence as a writer A broad range of films has been adapted from his works. His novel "I Am Legend" alone provided the basis for the 2007 Will Smith movie of the same name but also 1971's "The Omega Man" with Charlton Heston and 1964's "The Last Man on Earth" with Vincent Price.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 2, 2013
Omens A Cainsville Novel Kelley Armstrong Dutton, $26.95 The first book of the "Otherworld" author's new series mixes mystery and fantasy as Olivia Taylor Jones discovers that she is the adopted daughter of convicted serial killers; she looks for the truth in the mysterious town of Cainsville, Ill. (August) The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic Emily Croy Barker Pamela Dorman/Viking, $27.95 Grad student Nora Fischer is suffering from writer's block on her dissertation when she walks through a portal into a glamorous fantasy world - until events take a turn for the worst and Nora must learn magic to survive.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2013 | By Rebecca Trounson, Los Angeles Times
Jack Vance, who penned his first short stories while serving in the U.S. Merchant Marine in the 1940s and became a prolific, award-winning author of elaborate works of science fiction, fantasy and mystery, has died. He was 96. Vance died Sunday at his home in Oakland of what his son John Holbrook Vance II described as complications of old age. "Everything just finally caught up with him," his son said. Among his best-known works was "The Dying Earth," a collection of linked fantasy stories first published in 1950 that told of life on the planet in the far distant future, with a weak sun ever in danger of burning out. Complete with heroic quests and magical duels, it is considered to have influenced many more recent fantasy writers, including "Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin, and was later expanded into several novels.
BUSINESS
May 22, 2013 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
When producers of the upcoming science fiction movie "After Earth" wanted to create an image of what the planet might look like 1,000 years in the future, location manager Dow Griffith knew just the place. He immediately thought of the mystical redwood forests in Northern California where his parents had taken him on a camping trip as a child. "I wanted to be able to evoke that sense of what the Earth would be like a thousand years after man has left, and I always felt that these enormous trees would say that in one shot," Griffith said in an interview from his Santa Monica home.
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