Futurismic - near-future science fiction and fact since 2001 Biology in Science Fiction why you shouldn’t bet on digital immortality Kenneth Hayworth has a vision. One day, right before his body gives out, he will be injected with a highly toxic soup of chemicals that will preserve him down to the cell. Then, his brain will be sliced into wafers as thin as tracing paper and a computer would map every one of this 100 billon or so neurons as well as how they have connected over the decades that he’s been alive. Finally, this vast map, his connectome, is uploaded to a big enough supercomputer and switched on to create a digital replica of him just as he was the instant before all the preceding events took place. One of the reason why Kurzweilian Singularitarians are so interested in AI is because they feel that once we’ll know what it takes to support a conscious mind in a computer, we’ll be one step closer to transferring human minds into the virtual realm. And there are more problems. [ illustration from the 2045 Initiative ]
4 Realizations That Will Ruin Science Fiction for You I love sci-fi like Captain Kirk loves befuddled green women in miniskirts: passionately and against all the laws of nature and man. When I say "passionately," I don't necessarily mean that I like to dress up at conventions or anything; I mean that I believe science fiction is one of the most important, relevant and often overlooked genres. How many times has science fiction altered, predicted or warned against the impending fate of humanity? From Fahrenheit 451 to Cat's Cradle to Neuromancer, sci-fi has proven again and again that it knows where we're going and what's going to happen when we get there. Yet we still marginalize and ignore it, stuffing it into that one cramped, shameful little section of the bookstore that always smells like a combination of Fritos and Raid. And when I say "against the laws of nature and man," I mean, dang -- you do not want to know what I do to my copy of Foundation. Like this, but y'know ... awful. #4. "General who's whatfighters are doing huh now?"
Why Science Fiction Movies Drive Me Nuts My friends (and especially my wife) all understand that I’m the wrong guy to take to a big budget science fiction movie. I will freely admit that this is the case. Every summer, as I sit down in one darkened cave after another to eat candy and watch some very expensive polygons interact with another bunch of very expensive polygons, I find myself swirling with a curious and unpleasant mix of emotions. Last week, we saw the latest Spider-Man reboot (I’m writing this in mid-summer of 2012), and as I left the cinema in quite a curmudgeonly mood, I thought I’d try and explain what I was feeling during and after the movie. First, of course, there is the feeling of engrossment. But close on the heels of that is a feeling of resentment. Finally there comes the ire. But although these spectacles look like movies, what they really are is opera – stylized, larger-than-life, highly symbolic work that is not meant to be understood literally.
A Vocabulary for Speaking about the Future Science fiction writers and fans are prone to lauding the predictive value of the genre, prompting weird questions like ‘‘How can you write science fiction today? Aren’t you worried that real science will overtake your novel before it’s published?’’ This question has a drooling idiot of a half-brother, the strange assertion that ‘‘science fiction is dead because the future is here.’’ Now, I will stipulate that science fiction writers often think that they’re predicting the future. I believe that in nearly every instance where science fiction has successfully ‘‘predicted’’ a turn of events, it’s more true to say that it has inspired that turn of events. Take away these trivial predictions and the number of genuine predictions – as opposed to inventions, such as Clarke’s geostationary orbits; or inspirations, such as Paul Krugman’s Foundation-inspired career in economics – from the literature underperforms a random-number generator. It’s not just science fiction writers.
Science Fiction's Greatest Failures (And How They Saved Us All) "At the time 'Fall Out' [the final episode] was first broadcast there were only three television channels available in the UK and the long-awaited final episode of the series had one of the largest ever viewing audiences seen until then for a television programme." - Wikipedia ( Yeah, I'm going to have to join a chorus, here: so far as I know, The Prisoner was a massive success in its native markets (Britain and Canada) and did fairly well elsewhere with the possible exception of the United States—where, if I recall correctly, it was initially picked up by CBS as a filler show. (It later earned its cult following here mostly through subsequent syndication to PBS affiliates—again, if I'm remembering correctly.) I think the show earned back its money. The sort-of-depending-who-you-asked predecessor to Prisoner*, Danger Man (Secret Agent) was a failure initially, but was revived, retooled and rebooted after the success of Dr.
How to Write a Killer Space Adventure Without Breaking the Speed of Light Me and Abraham, man. That dude knows what's up. Science fiction doesn't sell because it's largely fucking boring these days. These bros listed above are the purveyors of boring shit and they would like others to bring their stuff down to that same level of boring. You know where dynamic, interesting sci-fi is being written these days? As an aside to this rant, there's some beautiful epic fantasy being written in the romance space, too. I sometimes feel like the sci-fi genre has in the past ten years headed determinedly up its own ass, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.
Map of the Verse | FireflyShipWorks I couldn’t be more thrilled to (finally) announce (and reveal the big secret I’ve been hinting at for over a week) QMx’s most ambitious project to date: The Complete and Official Map of the Verse. Over two years in the making, the Map of the Verse measures 25 inches by 38 inches and is printed on both sides of a sheet of 65 lbs cover stock (believe me, we needed the space). It documents the names, positions, sizes, populations and other never-before-published details of the 215 terraformed planets and moons orbiting the five star systems that comprise The Verse of Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Serenity. The Map of the Verse encompasses every bit of information about the Verse we could lay our hands on. It not only includes all the worlds from the show and movie, but also extended canon from licensed products and even a few from popular fan fiction. We also considered the politics of The Verse in constructing the map. So, what do you think? ShareThis
10 Visual Motifs that American Science Fiction Borrowed from Anime A few notes. Cronenberg's "Scanners" is probably the original power-up movie. Dated: 1981 (7 years before "Akira" the movie and a year before "Akira" the manga), it ends in a slow-motion sequence of bursting veins, screaming, flaming energy, and exploding body parts which was adopted in Anime much later. John Woo is notable for his use of slow-motion and while not the originator, he's obviously the heaviest influence on the action genre — far more than anime. It's a little weird to point out that Ridley Scott created the dystopic neo-city visual aesthetic...and then turn around and give credit to the people who BORROWED FROM HIM. The "bolt of energy" was probably first used by Gene Roddenberry in Star Trek. A decent predecessor to the cyborg woman used in anime is Maria's doppelganger from Fritz Lang's Metropolis (complete with the signature "bob" haircut). But half of this article is accurate, so that's pretty good.
Ray « Mike's Meandering Mind I remember an interview a long time ago with Ray Bradbury. He told a story — and I may be remembering this badly — of seeing a show at a carnival. The showman pointed at him and said, “Live Forever!” He almost did. He died yesterday at 91. There has been a lot said about the man — his amazing combination of optimism and pessimism about the future; his ability to get to our deepest fears and our highest hopes, often at the same time. But, to me, the one thing that Bradbury was best at was evoking that feeling of youth — of recalling those endless summer days when you could run forever and feel the pure magic of being alive. “I want to see it all again. And later, before she jumps the time ship to stay in the past: “No, I just want to be inside. (And, in typical Bradbury fashion, one little boy is caught by the teacher and heart-breakingly unable to join his two companions in the past.) Tags: Books, Ray Bradbury, Science Fiction