September 1, 2012 |
A few words in advance of tonight's "Doctor Who" premiere (Season 7, counting from the start of Russell Davies' 21st century reboot), of which I will tell you little specific, since nearly everything in a series whose every particular is a subject for study and debate among the growing faithful amounts to a spoiler. There have been the usual requests from on high not to reveal certain things, some of which have already been made public. But that real-world narrative, the one that exists between the show and its fans, is also subject to dramatic misdirection, and its elements of hide and seek are in their way as central to the game as what it happens within the confines of the series itself.
August 20, 2012 |
Scientists at Harvard Medical School have created the first-ever book to be written in DNA. And while that book is not exactly a potboiler -- it's "Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves in DNA" by George Church and Ed Regis -- there are 17 billion copies of it. How many books is 17 billion? More than "50 Shades of Grey," "Harry Potter," "The Da Vinci Code," "The Hunger Games," "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," the Bible and the works of Charles Dickens and the next hundred-plus most popular books in the world combined -- times three.
August 18, 2012 |
So how many people knew, when they sat in the theater or in front of their television sets to watch Charlton Heston in 1973's “Soylent Green,” that it was inspired by a novel by Harry Harrison? Harrison, who died this week at the age of 87 , was many things in his distinguishedsci-fi career - editor, illustrator, writer - and he was also a bit of the prophet because of his 1966 dystopian tale “Make Room! Make Room!” For me, the vision he created in that book - and its celluloid offspring “Soylent Green” (though Harrison, notes one early report of his death , thought the film only occasionally "bore a faint resemblance to the book")
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 2012
Harry Harrison Science fiction author's work inspired 'Soylent Green' Harry Harrison, 87, an author whose space-age spoofs delighted generations of science fiction fans, died Wednesday in southern England, according to his friend and fellow sci-fi writer Michael Carroll. Harrison was a prolific writer whose works included tongue-in-cheek intergalactic action romps and dystopian fantasies, with detours through children's stories and shambolic crime capers. He was best known for his "The Stainless Steel Rat" series, starring the free-spirited antihero Slippery Jim DiGriz, a quick-witted con man who travels the universe swindling humans, aliens and robots alike.
August 2, 2012 |
Do you remember "Total Recall," that sci-fiaction flick from the 1990s starring Arnold Schwarzeneger before his stint as governor? The filmmakers of the upcoming remake won't be disappointed if you don't recall it. Join The Times' Michelle Maltais and film writer John Horn for a chat at 11 a.m. Thursday about Sony 's $125-million reboot starring Colin Farrell , Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale . Like its predecessor, the film...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2012 |
Chris Marker, an enigmatic figure in French cinema who avoided publicity and was loath to screen his films yet was often ranked with countrymen Alain Resnais and Jean-Luc Godard as an avant-garde master, died at his home in Paris on Sunday, his 91st birthday. His death was confirmed by the French Culture Ministry, but the cause was not given. Marker, who worked well into his 80s, made more than two dozen films during a six-decade career. Known as a pioneer of the film essay, he was most admired for "La Jetee" (1962)
July 11, 2012 |
Starz continues to expand its genre cred with two new series the cable network announced for development. The first is a science fiction action thriller from "Spartacus" creator Steven S. DeKnight and the other is a gothic horror thriller from "Babylon 5" creator J. Michael Stracynski. "Incursion," the series from DeKnight, is set in the middle of an intergalactic battle between humans and an alien race. Each season follows a squad of soldiers on a different planet as they continue the war. According to Starz, the series is expected to feature "grittily realistic combat" and "darkly complex characters.
July 8, 2012 |
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")
July 8, 2012 |
2312 A Novel Kim Stanley Robinson Orbit: 576 pp., $25.99 As the author of the "Mars" trilogy, among other novels, Kim Stanley Robinson has established a superlative reputation for science fictional extrapolation. In his vibrant, often moving new novel, "2312," Robinson's extrapolation is hard-wired to a truly affecting personal love story. By the year of the book's title, humankind has (just barely) survived global warming, in part because of terra-forming technologies that have made possible the colonization of Mars, Mercury and Venus.
June 27, 2012 |
You can take Walter Mosley out of Los Angeles - in fact, Mosley did so himself, moving to New York decades ago - but you can't take L.A. out of Walter Mosley. The master of several genres keeps the city present, from his Easy Rawlins detective novels set in black postwar Los Angeles to the Greek-myths-in-South-Central elements in one of the two novellas in his latest volume. Mosley appeared to wrap it up with Rawlins in "Blonde Faith" in 2007, but five years later, he's found more for his most famous detective to do, just as Mosley has for himself.