New thoughts on new Who

The thirteenth Doctor, season 11, where to start?

The crushing disappointment that leads to almost suspicion concerning the motives of the BBC? The sheer nastiness of the head-rearing of the more unpleasant fans? The viewing figures that are widely varied depending on who is reporting them?
The taking over of official reporting by a personality who obviously finds classic Who so mind numbingly slow, that with breathtaking insouciance announces that she watches it at 1 1/2 speed, seemingly ignorant to the fact that this feels like a slap in the face to a lot of us, making this fan, at least, feel like a sad old geek for the first time ever?Read the rest

Mortal Engines

Who could resist a film about roving cities devouring each other in a dystopian future? Almost two decades after Philip Reeve published the first of his quartet, it’s arrived on the big screen courtesy Peter Jackson and the creative crew in New Zealand.

It’s pretty much non-stop action, with glorious opening scenes of London chasing and devouring a smaller city. … Read the rest

A movie can blow things up spectacularly

Ewart Shaw reviews Mortal Engines

 

“…Othello: And O you mortal engines whose rude throats
Th’immortal Jove’s dread clamors counterfeit..”
— Othello, III.ii.352

 

Mortal Engines based on the book by Philip Reeve, produced by Peter Jackson, evidently flopped badly at the box office. A film with an excellent pedigree may end up losing squillions. I loved it. I want the DVD when it comes out.… Read the rest

Loveless

A look at a brilliantly bleak russian film Jennifer rates as one of the year’s best.

Apparently the title of this Russian film comes closer to ‘Non Love’ than ‘Loveless’. There is absolutely not one speck of love. The beginning is arrestingly bleak: slow shots of a snow-covered river bank with piercingly clashing splinters of music. When will we see some life?… Read the rest

Aelita, Queen of Mars

Jennifer looks at a classic Russian SF film…

Aelita, Queen of Mars (1924) is billed as being the first Russian science fiction film. It was directed by Yakov Protazanov. A silent film, it was screened in Melbourne recently, thanks to the Australian National Film and Sound Archive, with a new musical score presented live by The Spheres, who are an experimental AV ensemble who explore the conflux of sound art, post rock and silent cinematics.… Read the rest

Ladies in Black

Jennifer recalls Sydney in the 1960s

A Melbourne-dweller, I visited Sydney – a family holiday – in 1960. My mother had worked there during the war and she enjoyed showing us around. We went to Coogee Beach on a tram and ate lunch at a Repin’s Coffee Lounge. So, I remember the Sydney of 1959, depicted fondly by Bruce Beresford in his recently released film, Ladies in Black.… Read the rest

Rediscovering old loves

Critical Mass is an Adelaide-based SF discussion group that continues to meet after many, many years of existence. For a long time it was based around a volunteer speaker each month, and some of the best talks I’ve had the opportunity to listen to come from those guest speakers. I will always remember John Foyster’s awe-inspiring demolition of one page from Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, Zoran’s introduction to the Thomas Carnacki books, and Julliette’s discussion of Mary Sue in fan fiction.… Read the rest

Crowdsourcing and SF Projects

A few years ago, a colleague and I had the cunning plan of supporting a new crowdfunded project every two weeks. We’d get cool stuff, it wouldn’t cost too much, and we could support creators – in particular, in my case, those involved in SF projects. I don’t know if she ended up continuing with the project, but looking back on my own activities it seems that I’ve managed to keep the desired average right where we’d planned, so that’s something.Read the rest

AI and the Trolley Problem

One of the delights of SF is that it often raises interesting philosophical questions; as Adam discovered, this is even true of the short story form…

In the Trolley Problem it is proposed that you are standing by a lever next to tram tracks. The lever controls a switch through which you can change the path of the tram (if this was set in Adelaide it would be less of a dilemma, as here it is impossible for a tram to turn right).… Read the rest

Trip to Peters

Part Three of Roman’s report on the trip to the Finnish Worldcon, wherein he visits the Winter Palace and catches up with various fannish types back in London. [Note: click on small images to view full sized]

It was Tuesday morning of the 15th 
of August that I checked out of my Helsinki hotel and walked the four blocks to Central Station, arriving at 11am, in time to change some currency, grab some breakfast, and board the 11:40 Allegro train to St Petersburg.… Read the rest

Issue Three: The Stone Giant Now Out!

Running a little late, we’re pleased to announce the third issue of The Wild Goose is now available.

Grab it at wild-goose.net/issue/issue3/

Recently, Adam’s been busy marking, while I swanned off to Melbourne to enjoy the 50th anniversary celebrations of ANZAPA.

We’ve got two excellent pieces this issue: David Grigg re-visits the Alien Trilogy (the three films from Ridley Scott), and Stu Blair looks at the 50th anniversary of Star Trek!… Read the rest

The Brutal Banality of Survival

The North Water by Ian McGuire
 

Do not read this book if you are squeamish about graphic descriptions of violence, blood, gore and truly horrible men. There are murders, betrayals, seal clubbing, whale slaughter and many other grisly activities, all described in vivid detail. The characters, all men, are violent, self seeking, venal and thoroughly obnoxious.

The story is about an army surgeon in the late 19th century who, down on his luck, joins an ill-fated whaler going into the arctic ice.

Read the rest

What is it, to be Human?

Dianne DeBellis Reviews season one of  Westworld

I think it is futile to attempt to summarise this show but here goes.
At the most basic level, it is about a theme park where the ‘hosts’ are computerised human simulacra and the ‘guests’ pay loads of money to act as they please, all be it in a Wild West setting, without consequences.… Read the rest

A look at the Alien

This issue’s theme seems to have developed as a look at the Alien. Not only do we have David Grigg’s excellent piece revisiting the Alien movies as a Trilogy from Ridley Scott, but several other contributors are looking at the alien and what makes us human.

David Grigg has also just published his new SF novel, The Fallen Sun. You can find out more about it at his website, https://www.rightword.com.au/writing/

His collections of short stories are also available from his website.… Read the rest