This article was originally a blog post, published Aug 7, 2007
In this searing heat, I can’t seem to sustain a consistent high-level thought. So today instead of sociopolitical analyses, you get more entertainment news dithering. I saw a slew of new movies this past week. Here’s the rundown:
The Simpsons – passable for kids and for non-longterm fans. For the rest of us, though, this was shallow disappointment.
Sunshine – looks great, sounds great; first 2/3 were really compelling. But it fell apart in the final 20 minutes. Ecch. Continue reading The Greatest Science Fiction Films
There’s a qualitative difference between American broadcast network TV programming and that offered by smaller cable stations. The networks (CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox) have larger budgets, much more viewers and command greater and more demanding advertisers. Because they are national and broad-based, they must also cater to a broader and less niched audience. Continue reading Save Jericho!
A long time ago, there was this great movie called Stargate, which surprised everyone by presenting a smart, well-acted, science-fiction adventure that was accessible to the slobbering masses. It successfully plumbed the tired old Erik von Daniken theories… you know, the ones about aliens visiting ancient cultures on Earth and helping our forebears to build such things as the Pyramids of Egypt (because, obviously, they were too dumb to do it without extraterrestrial help). Continue reading Review: Stargate Sg-1 – "The Ark of Truth"
For those who understand, I need not explain. But for those who still don’t, let me say it out loud: Doctor Who is the single most important character and phenomenon in the history of British science fiction, and possible the single most important and impactive character in all of science fiction. The Doctor is charm and adventure incarnate, a sort of James Bond for geeks and pacifists. That’s why any attempt to gleam off of the Doctor’s charm, universe or success is a dangerous proposition indeed, traditionally doomed to failure. Continue reading Review: The Sarah Jane Adventures
This article was originally a blog post on Deonandan.com, published Oct 7, 2007.
Today’s “SciFi Book of the Day” is Songs of Distant Earth by Arthur C Clarke (1986). Continue reading Review: "Songs of Distant Earth" by Arthur C. Clarke
When I first heard that one of my favourite TV shows of all time, Dr Who, was being spun off into an adult-themed modern show for a late night audience, a sort of “British X-Files”, I was quite excited. Then I heard that the man who brought Dr Who back from the dead, producer Russel T Davies, would be running the new show, and I despaired. Continue reading Review: Torchwood, midway through Season 2
This article was first published in the magazine Prairie Fire, then again in The Podium on April 21, 2000.
The accolades on the back of Vladimir Tasic’s Herbarium of Souls pronounce the Serbian-Canadian writer to be an avatar of the late Jorge Luis Borges and a wunderkind who melds the scholastic with both the mystic and the metaphysical. In truth, this collection of short stories bears a strong resemblance to Borges’s classic anthology Ficciones, though Tasic’s book falters in emotional scope and literary complexity – an unavoidable failure, given the legendary heights to which it aspires. Continue reading Review of Vladimir Tasic’s book, "Herbarium of Souls"
This article is reprinted from an original post on The Podium, published back in Jan 8, 2000.
For some years now, Charles Pellegrino has been one of my favourite science-fiction writers. His lack of fame is not easily understood, but I would suggest that it has something to do with his ability to straddle too many worlds at once: he is too reality-based to rank among the SF masters (Niven, Clarke, Asimov), and too technically oriented to cross into the mainstream lists. His closest mainstream parallel is Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, etc.). But Pellegrino’s encyclopaedic knowledge of history and many sciences transcends Crichton’s medical specialization and Hollywood sensibility. Reading Pellegrino’s books is more of an educational experience than a literary one. His novels are textbooks disguised as entertainment. Continue reading The Novels of Charles Pellegrino
This article was originally a blog post on Deonandia…
Well, I just finished watching the series finale of the longest running sci-fi show (10 years!) in American history, and certainly my favourite TV show for the past 6 years: Stargate SG-1. The show has declined in quality somewhat in the last 2-3 years. At one point, it was undeniably the smartest, most original bit of science fiction programming on mainstream US TV, and proudly featured a mostly Canadian cast and an entirely Canadian production team. In fact, its set has become somewhat of a tourist fixture in Vancouver, where the show was filmed for the duration of its run. Continue reading Review: Stargate Sg-1 Finale, “Unending”