Sunday, November 1, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Image by commorancy via FlickrDang, i haven't posted in a while. Well thats over now. I been reading and playing SF as well as
getting through school.
Halo ODST: A fine game and an honorable part of the series. Its music, setting, and scenery are by far the most intriguing. Especially New Mombasa at night, amazing. I particularly liked the use of the upgraded weapons. The smg finally has a reason to be used and the scoped pistol is a godsend for halo vets. Basically, it was Bungie's artistic view of their Halo universe. There were clear connections to post apocalyptic city atmosphere a la Left 4 Dead and Bioshock. Sadly, the obvious attempt ruins the originality of the Halo universe and only fails to add any variable to the "rampant, abandoned, automatic city of the future" formula. Regardless, the game has its moments of shear awesome action, specifically the various "Defend this position" scenarios.
Next, as a retro consideration, i recently replayed some of Pikmin, Nintendo's original rts. What a perfect blend of sci fi this little treasure is. It has the urgency (only 30 days of life support), personality (the stranded captain Olimar misses his family) and world building (the entire alternate reality of Earth and its Pikmin based ecosystem) Awesome game, awesome world. An SF video game at its finest.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Image by Roscoe Van Damme via FlickrYes, i saw this diabolical movie. Though i do not completely understand the title the implications of free will and a dark, seedy British future hit home. I was particularly impressed with the film's close connection to Beethoven's music. It was well made and particularly creepy/humorous at times. The concept of the milk bar was the best part of the sci-fi world. In addition, I enjoyed variety of characters and interesting narrative dialect. It was a solid movie worthy of any gathering.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Image via WikipediaI was away for the extended weekend on a camping trip/canoe voyage in Errol, New Hampshire. Quite a grand time, i bonded with my friends and saw some amazing stuff. The centerpiece of the trip was canoeing down to Lake Umbagog, spending the night at a remote campsite, then packing up and head down river.
The point being that all the natural, eerie wilderness brings back distinct memories from the short stories of H.P. Lovecraft. Specifically, Whisperer in the Darkness which takes place in a remote cabin in NH. To actually be in a similar area, especially the lake in the morning, with fog rising in ethereal strands, makes that story much more compelling.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
It is scary, hands down. The entire concept of doublethink is the single most twisted form of mental capacity capable in humans. And not only were the explanations about the eternal power of the Party scary but also the methods of transforming Winston into an automaton.
In truth, I felt a deep catharsis during the final third of the book. The slow destruction of Winston's humanity until he was a ghastly, gray skeleton then the party "rebuilt" him back to a healthy and "sane" individual. His undivided love for big brother a final, terrifying revelation in the mind of a western reader.
Orwell accomplished in writing a tragedy about not one man, but a species, and the message it leaves purges the readers. I was prepared at any moment for Goldstein or some rebel leader to break in an save the day but such fantasies never came. There was no way out until eventually; 2+2= 5
Image by lungstruck
Two points of consideration and contemplation i have are:
Was Winston's mother still alive? Could she have been the women washing the clothes outside Charrington's house?
And what is the relationship between Big Brother and Winston considering that Winston is an actual biological big brother?
Monday, August 17, 2009
Image by arycogre via FlickrI saw it last weekend. I loved it. Star Trek from last may was a great mainstream sci-fi epic but District 9 holds the keystone in real science fiction so far for 2009 (and better than any sci fi i can remember from 08 and 07)
To begin, the actual setting of that was the slums of Johannesburg. Absolutely breathtaking and disgusting. The corrugated tin walls, crushed cardboard boxes, scraps of beef, and general dustiness took science fiction to a whole new domain. Even the space ship was a giant's step away from the classic sleek design. Instead, the exterior consisted of canisters , piping and matte steel plating.
Next, the film style. Part documentary, military log, security camera collection, and action sequences.
And the Prawns, stunning. Their chitinous exoskeletons caked with paint and filth was stunning. Their movement was a mix of hominid and extra terrestrial. Not to forget their eyes of course, clearly the gateway to connect with the human audience.
I feel that the movie will be a neo classic, on the shelf with Blade Runner as an intriguing look at humanity through the magic of science fiction.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Image via WikipediaSummer is still going strong.
Right now im playing Bioshock and reading starship trooper (Robert Heinlen)
The Starship Trooper is great. Right now im reading about boot camp. the writing is tough and gritty. Like most sci fi of that era, there is little description of the equipment and setting allowing a for personal imagination to create a futuristic boot camp.
Bioshock now, that is a beast of a game. Do i dare call it the ultimate steam punk story and setting? I will, because it takes the cake in all categories. The quests are extraordinaryly gruesome and original , gameplay is seemingly clunky compared to other FPS shooters but logically real, weapons and powerups vivid and rustic, and the city: Rapture, Unbelievable. The immense scale of Ryan's dream is brought to life in a way unseen since the first 3D video games.
Image via Wikipedia
Friday, July 31, 2009
District 9, August 19th
A UFO has landed, but its aliens desire refuge, not domination. The government put them into ghettos, but tensions rise. This movie will have some great satire on immigration and diversity. Still with a strong message, the action looks gritty, much of the dialogue supposed to be improvised, And the aliens, called Prawns, look amazing in CG.
Gamer, September 4th
I don't know that much but I guess it is based on an idea similar to the movie Death Race. People on death row are put on sport for entertainment, of course, with a title like Gamer the catch to the battles are that they contenders are controlled by other people, much like a video game.
Avatar, December 18th
Completely 3-D, Avatar takes place on the planet Pandora. Its going to set the bar for all future science fiction films, and perhaps pave the way for 3-D CG.
Sherlock Homes, December 25th
Too awesome to ignore. This remake of humanity's greatest detective should involve witty humor and an interesting new take on both Holmes, and his foil, Watson.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Image by fdecomite via FlickrSo its not science fiction but there were some great exhibits and models that were based of science. One great one was an exhibit called Mathematica, coolest stuff ever. All models and examples of the oddities in the world of math. The winner was the mobius ring, a 3D object that has one edge and one side! Other stuff includes an exhibit on black holes and a model of a Naboo fighter. So great!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Image via WikipediaAh, the fourth of july, it was a fine weekend and surprisingly sunny. Who can forget Independence Day? Fight for humanity!
The fourth of July is such a pure holiday, and has a distinct sci-fi flare to it. All the rockets, sparkling lights, a united people make the 4th a prime time for science fiction fans to get outside.
Now for some business: The foundation series.
I'm on the third book of the original trilogy, Second Foundation. I have a problem that is quite rare in the world of literature, figuring out who the hell i should be rooting for. Honestly, the Mule seemed to be galactic enemy number one, but now these psychologists are pretty demented and controlling. I do not like their philosophy of producing the proper galactic leaders while the first foundation creates the physical structure of the new empire. There is a corrupt aura around those who expect to lead the world. I hope i figure out my protagonist soon but nevertheless, Asimov is a genius.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Image via WikipediaWell i finished Half-Life Episode 2. I think it was the best game, the story was basic but the encounters and terrain was top-notch and original.
I playing more Fallout 3 now, it is great as well. I forgot how well bethesda makes its games interesting and immersing. For example, i was in this robot repair center. I read a memo on a computer from his friend, telling him to watch out for the robots and that he had some spare pulse grenades in a box under his desk. he hid the key behind his computer. So i use this random bit of information and walk around the office to another desk. Sure enough there is a locked box at the bottom and i find the key behind the old computer. That is pure gaming right there, if only other companies had the same creativity.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Image via WikipediaHey folks. I finished The Illustrated Man a few days ago. An instant classic in my opinion. My favorite story was The City followed by Zero Hour.
Now I'm reading the second book in Asimov's Foundation series Foundation and the Empire. Its awesome. I forgot how well Asimov writes about politics and intrigue.
And in my video gaming life; I picked up Starcraft again. Its fun, no doubt about that. I am terrible though slowly getting better. I play zerg and my favorite strategies are hydralisk and lurker armies. Currently im playing the zerg campaign. Its much different from online but still enjoyable to defeat AI written over 10 years ago.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Image by Matt Brett via FlickrIs much creepier.
In the picture >
That's a zombine. Combination Combine soldier and zombie... Very scary to fight hordes of the things in abandoned subway plazas.
In other news. I'm reading Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man. I like it, very simple but gripping short stories. My summer of sci-fi keeps getting better
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Image by stefan2904 via FlickrAh its so cool, the citadel is an amazing, creative final level.
The organic gravity gun is a brilliant final addition. And when you are in the transport rail hangers, the scripted visuals are awesome... And whats up with G-man? Is he perhaps the creepiest character in video game history?
Image via Wikipedia
So basically, the game rocked. The best parts include the atmosphere of City 17, the eery streets of Ravenholm, the antlion mechanics, vortigaunts, the voice acting, the simple but intense scripted sequences and of course, the man of the hour, Gorden Freeman.
Now on to episode 1 and 2 (the orange box is the best)
Monday, June 15, 2009
Image via WikipediaSo im some 10 hrs into Half-Life 2 on the 360. It rocks, the enemies get harder and the environment has become ultra chaotic. I have all the weapons (i think) so its just a matter of picking the right one for each encounter and laying waste to the waves of enemies. Its interesting that there seem to be two types of enemies. The humans that protect the citadel, and the aliens (who come from the other dimension of xen if im correct?). The universe that valve creates is very original and keeps me entertained and intrigued.
In addition, i must recommend this web-comic. Rather short but very funny for the nerds and geeks among us.
Monday, June 8, 2009
I picked up The Orange Box by Valve for my 360 during exam week. Best choice in a while. I beat portal in one sitting, and the advanced levels the next morning. It is incredibly funny and creative. Its going up there with Tetris and World of Goo as a top puzzle game. Speaking of Tetris, i also beat that game on my gameboy, specifically mode b, speed of 9, level 5. The easter eggs at the end include a minuture folk band playing Tchaikovskey's Trepak and then a random U.S. space shuttle launching into orbit. It felt good.
Now i'm on to half-life 2.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
- Alien Raiders, we saw the premiere to this "straight to DVD", low budget movie and it was great. Even with minimal computer graphics the suspense was riveting. The story took place in a super market were special agents try to snuff out the hostages who have been infested with alien eggs.
- Logan's Run, based off the book by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, Logan's Run is a dystopian escape story. The protagonists Logan and Jessica escape from their automated city and try to find the Sanctuary in the world outside. The classic, futuristic city had some really amazing models for the time and the character interaction was really clever.
- Repo Man, reportedly a cult classic, I got my first taste of this ingenious film. This was awesome, the constant subplots and background humor makes it worthy to be watched again and again. Based around a young man (the name evades my thoughts) who reluctantly joins a repossession agency and subsequently gets thrown into the world of the Repo Man. This was the jewel of the night and really had some great wry humor along with intense "city street" dialogue.