Klaatu Barada Nikto!
I honestly can’t believe they’re remaking The Day The Earth Stood Still. I really can’t.
Well, let me rephrase that: I can’t believe they’re remaking it so poorly. Oh. Wait. Yes, I can. I totally can. Ugh.
And Don Draper’s in it, ha ha! Awesome. According to the wikipedia article on the remake, Keanu only did it (he considers it to be a re-imagining, not a remake) because he was such a fan of the original as a kid and glad that they removed Klaatu’s “big stick” speech from the end. Color me surprised that Keanu is against the big stick.
I’m not going to talk about the film that much, because… well, if you haven’t seen the original, then I don’t know who you are and you’re probably not interested in this post anyways. Sucks to be you! But I will say that I’m sad to see that the remake, er, “re-imagining” didn’t bring over the original film’s anti-war (also, anti-nuclear) message, instead going for a much more “Hollywood PC-friendly” environmental preservation message.
The updates to Gort and the ship, which is now biological, are interesting (apropos of nothing, is it me or are Jennifer Connelly and Naomi Watts basically the same person now, just with different colored hair?) and as far as Klaatu is concerned, well, Keanu was probably born to play this part, big stick or not.
Every Friday, or thereabout, on the Counterforce tumblr, I share a few classic and sometimes not so classic sci fi stories that I’ve enjoyed over the years or am curious about or interested in. Stuff you should know about (if you don’t already)! And I figured that today that would do the same thing, but for realsies here at Counterforce, starting with:
Contact, released in 1997, directed by Robert, and based on the novel by Carl Sagan. I’ve always wanted to read the book, but sadly, never have. The movie, which I watched last week for the first time in years, still holds up (even with the cgi’d in Bill Clinton scenes) as both fun and smart, and nicely scratches by sci fi itch, and manages to deal with (in a not totally condescending way) matters of belief and faith in a higher power, whether that be the Christian Sky Bully or high advanced extraterrestial alien beings sending us messages from across the stars. Jodie Foster is excellent as always in her special Jodie Foster way (by now it’s no secret that I have a crush on Jodie Foster, right?)(Yes, I know, she probably doesn’t like me back) and even McConaughey’s decent in this film, but this is years before he perfected his bohemian hobo swerve. Also, I learned from Wikipedia that Sagan was paid a $2 million advance for the novel, the highest at the time for a then unwritten work.
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester.
Consider Her Ways by John Wyndham.
Freakangels, by Warren Ellis, free to read every week, and based on the notion of what Wyndham’s Midwich Cuckoos would be like when they grew up.
Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Stugatsky (download it here), which was the basis for Tarkovsky’s excellent Stalker, a film that is profoundly uneasy, beautiful, and luminous with sorrow.
The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson.
Singularity Sky by Charles Stross.
The Illuminatus! Trilogy and Grant Morrison talking about pop magic at DisinfoCon.
“Farewell To The Master,” the 1940 short story by Harry Bates that both iterations of The Day The Earth Stood Still are based on.
Robots show that brain activity is linked to time as well as space.
Prey by Michael Crichton.
K. Eric Drexler.
“The 23rd Psalm” in which Mr. Eko meets the monster for the first time.
A similar scene from Via Domus. And this is just one of the many reasons why I love Juliet on Lost.
Did magnetic field failure trigger mass extinction?
Fullerenes in popular culture.
Ecophagy. Grey goo!
There’s plenty of room at the bottom.
The Post-Modern Prometheus Of Politics!
Q: Is the new Star Trek movie a reimagining, remake, or a reboot? A: Time travel!
Unknown “structures” are tugging at the universe, scientists say. Dark Flow!
Cthulhu, black holes, and robots.
How time travel will work. Time travel for beginners. Time travel paradoxes.
“The Clock That Went Backward” by Edward Page Mitchell.
Time After Time by Nicholas Meyer.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The grandfather paradox. The predestination paradox. The ontological paradox.
“-All You Zombies-” by Robert Heinlein. (Mack, if you’re reading, that one’s for you, you big weird bastard)
But you can’t travel back in time, or so scientists say.
As She Climbed Across The Table and Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem.
Dr. Bloodmoney, or How We All Got Along After The Bomb by Phillip K. Dick.
Your Name Here, the pseudo-biopic of Dick just doesn’t look interesting to me. Not at all.
The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch by Dick, and of course, VALIS!
Scientists extract images directly from the brain.
The Invisibles, fiction suits, singularities, the supercontext, and the masturbatory sigil.
Raymond Kurzweil and Spiritual Machines. And Barack Obama.
Bruce Sterling and the buckyjunk, blobjects, spime, and slipstream.
Daniel Pinchbeck and Reality Sandwich.
The World Future Society.
Marco Sparks loves British sci fi.
Make these books into a movie right now!
Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke.
Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany.
“A Sound Of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury.
Friday and Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein.
International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day!
Sex and sexuality in science fiction.
Deep Blue and Deep Fritz.
I’d like to think that Skynet could totally kick Deus Ex Machina‘s sorry ass.
Sex with robots? But can you wait a bit before robohusbandry really becomes a thing?
How To Survive A Robot Uprising by Daniel Wilson.
Tonight is the year’s biggest full moon!