Of Stone, and Space, and Celebrations

Our cover this issue is one of the two guardians at the entrance to the Helsinki Central Train Station, caught up close by Roman during his trip to the 2017 Worldcon.
Appropriate enough, as we also look at what it means to be human and alien in this issue.
And, of course, we’re fond of a nice bit of Art Deco.

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Editorial

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.

Articles

Flight to HEL

Roman Orszanski

Part 2 of Roman’s report on the trip to the Finnish Worldcon, wherein he catches up with various fannish types and some unexpected encounters

Tuesday in Helsinki: Aug 8th

I caught the 11am flight with FinnAir to Helsinki, then the train to Central station, and a short walk to the hotel I was staying at, the Original Soros Presidentii. It had been recommended by Alan Stewart, and several other Melbourne fans (Perry, Robyn, Rose) were staying there, as were Spike and Tom. Claire and Mark were at a nearby hotel overlooking the station square.

An investigation into pop culture fandom

Stu Blair

Stuart A Blair wrote about competing Star Trek shows in the first issue; this time he has a look at the sub-cultures of fans that dedicate their lives to the celebration of their favourite hero.

2016 marked anniversary celebrations for a lot of the classic pop culture TV shows that many of us have grown up watching as adolescents or have discovered via re-runs or on DVD. Like the countless thousands of fans around our world, we have continued to follow the adventures of our heroes and villains; their evolution through comic book serials, books, gaming, and for a chosen few, up on the big screen in the form of motion pictures.

The 1960s spawned what we refer to now as the classic era for popular culture; it was the era of social and cultural change that was developing at a pace even it could not keep up with. Cultural revolutions, political change, and war were forming new opinions and dividing society around the world, and television was the teacher for a new generation. Teenagers were now taking advice from Patty Duke and That GirlArchie and Betty and Veronica and following their lead on how to handle peer group pressure, love, and breakups, albeit in thirty-minute time slots!

Reviews

The Brutal Banality of Survival

Dianne DeBellis

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. Also on board are a crew of thieving, lying, hardened sailors; a gang of all that is worst in humanity. Amongst them is a cold killer who makes the rest look like upstanding citizens.

What is it, to be Human?

Dianne DeBellis

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. Apparently what most guests want to do is rape and murder. The corporation that builds the hosts and runs the park provides an intertwining narrative. Apparently all the corporation wants is money and power. This is a rather depressing view of contemporary humanity.

Stories that ask the question what it is to be human seem to be occupying movie and TV producers at the moment as it has SF writers since the early 20th century. Asimov, PK Dick, Metropolis, Blade Runner, I Robot, A-I and that TV show from Sweden, remade in Britain, Humans, — even Doctor Who — are all precursors to Westworld, as is, of course, the original movie.

Watt: a gem

Roman Orszanski

Roman was in Melbourne recently to catch one of the offerings at the Melbourne Arts Festival.

“Watt” was the second of Beckett’s novels in English, written while he and his partner were on the run from the Nazis in France. He wrote it as a way to stay sane in the face of the trauma of war.

This hour-long production, adapted and performed by Irish actor Barry McGovern, is a mesmeric delight. McGovern appears on a sparse stage, as a narrator who tells of Watt’s train journey to a remote town, where he enters the service of a Mr Knott.

The Promised Neverland (2016 – )

Adam Jenkins

Written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu, The Promised Neverland (Yakusoku no Nebārando) is a weekly manga series published by Shonen Jump. The series has climbed rapidly in the popularity rankings, and is now regarded as one of the most popular of the Weekly Shonen Jump mangas

Rampage (2018)

Adam Jenkins

I’ve been playing video games since the Atari VCS first hit the market and watching movies for even longer. I still spend way too much time on both. However, the combination of the two has not proven to be quite as appealing as I might have hoped.

The problem is, (with a few significant exceptions), video games aren’t noted for providing great cinematic plots. Some do – Mass Effect and Final Fantasy VII spring to mind – but that’s not typically their primary concern. The plot and backstory is normally in place in order to provide context and justification to the game play, rather than to tell a story in their own right.

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes (2018)

Adam Jenkins

Every week there’s only one TV series which brings everyone in our house into the same room (technically, what this actually means is that it draws my son away from his computer, but it is the same end result) – My Hero Academia (also known as Boku no Hīrō Akademia). We’ve been watching it almost every week since it first aired. We’ve read the manga, purchased the toys, followed the spinoffs and now we’ve seen the movie. We’ve even sold fan art at AvCon. Thus I’m probably not the most unbiased of reviewers. That said, I’ve love to talk about the movie, so here we go.

Opinion

Heard on the Grapevine…

Roman Orszanski

We’ve got a few comments from readers of the first two issues

The first to respond was Swajax Johnson, who enjoyed Chris Pyman’s article about a female Doctor


colophon

This is an electric wild-goose production. This fanzine is (c) 2018 by the editors, Adam Jenkins and Roman Orszanski. Copyright reverts to the contributors upon publication. Issues will first appear on wild-goose.net, to be followed in due course by a downloadable issue for local viewing.
Contact the editors via email: editors@wild-goose.net

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