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

Flight to HEL

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.… Read the rest

An investigation into pop culture fandom

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.… Read the rest

Watt: a gem

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.… Read the rest

Rampage (2018)

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.Read the rest

Ridley Scott’s Alien movies — an appreciation

When David commented that the three Ridley Scott Alien movies made a fine trilogy, Roman suggested he might like to expound further.

I first saw Ridley Scott’s movie Alien in London in 1979,
not long after it was released. We were on our way back home from the Worldcon, which had been held in Brighton that year. Filling in time before we had to head to the airport, we went to see the movie, which had been talked about a good deal at the convention.… Read the rest

Tweaking the design

Roman: As we mentioned last issue, one of the reasons we’re producing an online ’zine is to experiment with the possibilities of time-based media. Adam’s article this issue includes some videos of robots in action, and I’ve added a snippet of acrobatic Angels from Womadelaide.

We’re pleased to have some more pieces from Lynelle Howell and David Faber this issue, and a fairly lengthy article from longtime fan Leigh Edmonds.… Read the rest

Red Sparrow: the Book.

I thought I’d read the novel before seeing the film. (Red Sparrow is just the first novel in a trilogy)

This novel is by an ex CIA agent, so we would presume the spycraft is accurately described. There’s an interesting touch: whenever some dish is mentioned in the text, there’s a recipe at the end of the chapter, should the reader wish to try and replicate the dish.… Read the rest

Will the Sparrow fall?

Red Sparrow (2017)
Director Francis Lawrence
Starring Jennifer Lawrence

This may well be the best Hollywood propaganda film made since Hitchcock’s North By North-West during the First Cold War. It comes as no surprise then that it’s based on a 2013 novel by former CIA operative Jason Mathews. Spies never retire so they say, and as a writer Mathews would appear to vindicate this saying.… Read the rest

Impressions

Colours of Impressionism:
Masterpieces from the Musee D’Orsay
Art Gallery of South Australia
North Terrace Adelaide
Open until 29/7/2018

It is something of a cultural miracle that we in Adelaide are privileged to view these paintings from Paris. As the title suggests, the exhibition is aesthetically colour co-ordinated. Descriptive panels inform visitors about the colour theories and science and the critical interpretations which swirled around the Impressionist school of painters, so called polemically by critic Louis Leroy (1812-1885) after the title of a painting exhibited in 1874 of an impression of sunrise by Claude Monet.… Read the rest

Salvation

Salvation, a US science fiction thriller TV series filmed in Canada, is a surprisingly enjoyable yet odd show. It starts with Liam Cole (played by Charlie Rowe), an MIT student who discovers an asteroid that is due to collide with the earth, creating an extinction-level event that will destroy all of humanity.… Read the rest