A narrative RPG with a card battling system and a queer-friendly science fiction vibe. Explore, grow up, and fall in love. The choices you make and skills you master over ten years will determine the course of your life and the survival of your colony. [more inside]
Awesome 1963 Czech scifi film directed by Jindrich Polák about a spaceship crew bound for Alpha Centauri, based on an early Stanislaw Lem novella. It's been called an influence on 2001 (we know Kubrick saw it) and Star Trek. It includes eerie encounters with alien spacecraft, fantastic sets and costumes, a wonderful experimental electro-acoustic score by Zdeněk Liška (who later scored Jan Svankmeyer shorts), and the 2nd best outer space dance scene ever, complete with casual drug-sniffing. Available in a beautiful 2016 restoration from Second Run DVD with neat extras, and currently up at YouTube. [more inside]
A sly, deadpan Canadian comedy about a team of non-astronauts sent into isolation in a desert on Earth because their personalities match the members of an actual ongoing Mars mission that's having interpersonal conflicts. The earthbound team is tasked with mirroring the real astronauts' behavior and coming up with solutions to the Martian team's psychological problems. 100% on RT with 9 reviews, free on Tubi and other options, mostly in French with English subtitles.
Thousands of them have lived underground. They've lived there so long, there are only legends about people living anywhere else. Such a life requires rules. Strict rules. There are things that must not be discussed. Like going outside. Never mention you might like going outside. Wool is book one in the Silo series, a TV adaptation of which on Apple TV just completed its first season.
[TRAILER] Shareen and Claire, a lesbian couple living on Staten Island, find themselves ensnared in a vast conspiracy involving a ghost ship of nuclear refuse, ominous television commercials, and deadly cat food. [more inside]
A disgraced Ranger takes command of an old, possibly haunted, ship on an escort mission that encounters deadly peril from a new enemy civilization. [more inside]
Intellectual engineers Aaron (Shane Carruth) and Abe (David Sullivan) build and sell error-checking technology with the help of their friends Robert (Casey Gooden) and Phillip (Anand Upadhyaya). But when Aaron and Abe accidentally invent what they think is a time machine, Abe builds a version capable of transporting a human and puts the device to the test. As the two friends obsess over their creation, they discover the dark consequences of their actions. [more inside]
In an alternative 1990s, lonely Wyrm grieves his recently-deceased older brother, and struggles to complete a unique school requirement in which students wear electronic collars that detach only upon engaging in their first kiss, with little help from his distant parents. Expanded from a 2017 short film; available to watch on Hulu and several other streaming services. Heavily reminiscent of Napoleon Dynamite, but more melancholy. Written and directed by Christopher Winterbauer. Includes a short Rhea Seehorn appearance.
The Peripheral: Jackpot Books Included Season 1, Ep 4
Flynne's health takes a turn. Wilf visits Flynne in Clanton, deepening their relationship. [more inside]
Legendary Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear embarks on an intergalactic adventure alongside a group of ambitious recruits and his robot companion Sox.
Russian Doll: Full Season Two Season 2, Ep 0
Russian Doll returns after three years. [more inside]
On a post-apocalyptic Earth, a robot, built to protect the life of his dying creator's beloved dog, learns about life, love, friendship, and what it means to be human. (Apple TV +)
It's been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend. One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered. But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how. They're going to need to ask it a lot.
Babylon 5: Intersections In Real Time Rewatch Season 4, Ep 18
John Sheridan is interrogated in his prison cell. Will he sign a confession? And what will happen to him if he doesn’t? “The truth is sometimes what you believe it to be and sometimes what you decide it to be. My task is to make you... decide to believe differently.” [more inside]
Babylon 5: The Face of the Enemy Rewatch Season 4, Ep 17
The battle to free Earth from the Clark regime continues. Sheridan attempts to rescue his father. Garibaldi commits a betrayal and learns some devastating truths. “I think the last guy got thirty pieces of silver for the same job.” [more inside]
Babylon 5: The Exercise of Vital Powers Rewatch Season 4, Ep 16
Garibaldi journeys to Mars to meet his secretive employer at last. Meanwhile, Dr. Franklin and Lyta continue trying to free the Shadow-implanted telepaths. [more inside]
The latest in Martha Wells's stellar Murderbot series, novella-length Fugitive Telemetry, is out. [more inside]
Written by Neal Stephenson and published in 1999. Two groups of characters, one from the late thirties and forties and one in the then present-day ~1999 (a few who are descendants of the earlier group) involve themselves with codes, codebreaking, and Axis war gold, among other things. [more inside]
In 1983, a cosmonaut is involved in an incident in space and crash-lands back to the Soviet Union. A nervy psychiatrist (Oksana Akinshina, Lilya 4-ever) is recruited to help him recover from his amnesia about the incident in this sci-fi horror movie. [more inside]
Humanity clings to life on January--a colonized planet divided between permanently frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Two cities, built long ago in the meager temperate zone, serve as the last bastions of civilization--but life inside them is just as dangerous as the uninhabitable wastelands outside. Sophie, a young student from the wrong side of Xiosphant city, is exiled into the dark after being part of a failed revolution. But she survives--with the help of a mysterious savior from beneath the ice.
In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind. [more inside]
I just went through the book posts for the last three months. There's lots of books I'm considering reading, and one book I read a while ago but don't remember well enough to do deep insightful commentary. In order to get more synchronicity on this, does anyone want to start a book club? Or even a couple in different genres? I would love a romance, science fiction, fantasy and/or nonfiction book club.
A teenage girl and her father travel to a remote alien moon, aiming to strike it rich. They've secured a contract to harvest a large deposit of the elusive gems hidden in the depths of the moon's toxic forest. But there are others roving the wilderness and the job quickly devolves into a fight to survive. Forced to contend not only with the forest's other ruthless inhabitants, but with her own ...
From the same studio that produced Richard Viktorov’s diptych Moscow-Cassiopeia / Adolescents in the Universe comes this second teen-themed sci-fi adventure, in which three youngsters have to take command of a space flight when their adult captain comes down sick and is forced to quarantine himself. [more inside]
Interstellar expedition equipped by "pioneers"(soviet scouts) travels to Alpha Kassiopea after receiving a distress signal and finds a planet run entirely to the ends of making its inhabitants happy. Unexpected difficulties, however, ensued. [more inside]
A young student develops an interstellar engine that can reach near light speed and seeks to take a team of teens on a mission to Cassiopeia to check out the origins of a radio signal emanating from near the star. The mission requires teens as it is expected to take 50 years to complete. [more inside]
Babylon 5: No Surrender, No Retreat Season 4, Ep 15
Sheridan and B5 try to free Proxima III. Londo and G'Kar try something new. "So from now on, I guess the operational phrase is 'trust no one'." "No. Trust Ivanova; trust yourself. Anybody else -- shoot 'em!" [more inside]
Lovelace was once merely a ship's artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who's determined to help her learn and grow.
A feminist Guardians of the Galaxy—a smart, swashbuckling, wildly imaginative adventure of a rag-tag team of brilliant misfits, dangerous renegades, and enhanced outlaws in a war-torn future. [more inside]
It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more. Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue. What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…
Shuos Jedao is awake.... and nothing is as he remembers. In his mind he’s a teenager, a cadet—a nobody. But he finds himself in the body of an old man, a general controlling the elite forces of the hexarchate, and the most feared—and reviled—man in the galaxy. Hexarch Nirai Kujen orders Jedao to reconquer the fractured hexarchate on his behalf even though Jedao has no memory of ever being a soldier, let alone a general. Surely a knack for video games doesn't qualify you to take charge of an army? Soon Jedao learns the situation is even worse. The Kel soldiers under his command may be compelled to obey him, but they hate him thanks to a massacre he can't remember committing. Kujen's friendliness can't hide the fact that he's a tyrant. And what's worse, Jedao and Kujen are being hunted by an enemy who knows more about Jedao and his crimes than he does himself..
The multiple Eisner Award-winning series returns with a spacefaring adventure about fake news and genuine terror. Warning: Feelings. Collects SAGA #49-54 [more inside]
Babylon 5: Moments of Transition Season 4, Ep 14
The Minbari Civil War ends. Garibaldi and Edgars continue their relationship. Lyta makes a painful decision. "Well, there is just no delicate way to say this. [a pause] I want your body." [more inside]
The mind-bending, time-warping adventure from Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang continues, as intrepid newspaper deliverer Tiffany is launched from the prehistoric past into the year 2000! In this harrowing version of our past, Y2K was even more of a cataclysm than experts feared, and the only person who can save the future is a 12-year-old girl from 1988. (Issues 16 - 20), colors by Matt Wilson.
Babylon 5: Rumors, Bargains and Lies Season 4, Ep 13
Neroon and Delenn meet to try to end the civil war breaking out on Minbar, at great cost to Lennier... Sheridan, with Londo and G'kar's support, tries to get the League of Non-Aligned Worlds to accept a White Star patrol. "Ambassador, there are so many things in the universe that are and so many things that aren't. If I were to take the time to deny all the things that aren't, we'd be here for centuries, wouldn't we?" [more inside]
Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse.
Babylon 5: Conflicts of Interest Season 4, Ep 12
The conflict between Sheridan and Garibaldi escalates, as Garibaldi takes on a client: smuggling an old acquaintance through B5. Meanwhile, Sheridan negotiates with Londo and G'kar, and Ivanova descends to Epsilon III. "But only Zathras have no one to talk to. No one manages poor Zathras, you see. So Zathras talks to dirt. Or to walls, or talks to ceilings. But dirt is closer. Dirt is used to everyone walking on it. Just like Zathras. But we have come to like it. It is our role. It is our destiny in the universe. So, you see, sometimes dirt has insects in it. And Zathras likes insects. Not so good for conversation, but much protein for diet." [more inside]
On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process. Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too.
Creeper, a scrappy young teen, is done living on the streets of New Orleans. Instead, she wants to soar, and her sights are set on securing passage aboard the smuggler airship Midnight Robber. Her ticket: earning Captain Ann-Marie’s trust using a secret about a kidnapped Haitian scientist and a mysterious weapon he calls The Black God’s Drums.
An Android, Jane 57821, attempts to break free from the constraints of a totalitarian society that forcibly makes Jane comply with its homophobic beliefs. [more inside]
In 2267, Earth has just begun to recover from worldwide ecological disasters. Minh is part of the generation that first moved back up to the surface of the Earth from the underground hells, to reclaim humanity's ancestral habitat. She's spent her entire life restoring river ecosystems, but lately the kind of long-term restoration projects Minh works on have been stalled due to the invention of time travel. When she gets the opportunity take a team to 2000 BC to survey the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, she jumps at the chance to uncover the secrets of the shadowy think tank that controls time travel technology.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy meets the joy and glamour of Eurovision in Catherynne M. Valente's science fiction spectacle, where sentient races compete for glory in a galactic musical contest…and the stakes are as high as the fate of planet Earth.
Babylon 5: Lines of Communication Season 4, Ep 11
Marcus and Franklin address a bombing on Mars. Ivanova is given a new task. Delenn investigates strange attacks... "John! It pleases me that you care for what I have become... But never forget who I was, what I am, and what I can do." [more inside]
All of the novelettes (stories between 7,500 and 17,500 words) that were nominated for a Hugo this year. [more inside]
Babylon 5: Racing Mars Season 4, Ep 10
Franklin and Marcus arrive on Mars. Garibaldi and Sheridan have a confrontation. "There isn't much chance of me winning this argument, is there?" "None whatsoever; I never give up when I'm right. Your only option is to surrender." [more inside]
Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appearance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.
Babylon 5: Atonement Season 4, Ep 9
Delenn goes to Minbar to discuss her relationship with Sheridan, and is tested. Franklin and Marcus go to Mars to contact the rebels there. "I cannot have an aide who will not look up. You will be forever walking into things." [more inside]
2019 Hugo Nominee for Best Graphic Story: A webcomic where a ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together. Two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love―only to learn the pain of loss. [more inside]
A discussion of the shorts stories nominated for a Hugo this year [more inside]
Babylon 5: The Illusion of Truth Season 4, Ep 8
Garibaldi starts his new career. ISN is now effectively the Clark government's propaganda arm. For reasons that beggar belief, Sheridan lets an ISN crew onto the station, believing the staff can outsmart the editors. Sheridan is incredibly wrong. [responding to allegations that Ivanova threatened to throw a journalist out of an airlock] "I'm shocked! Shocked and dismayed... May I remind you that we are short on supplies here? We can't afford to take perfectly good clothing and throw it out into space! Always take the jacket off first—I've told you that before! Sorry. She meant to say, 'stripped naked and thrown out of an airlock'. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused." [more inside]