Science fiction – Scientific Library Wed, 11 May 2022 14:57:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Science fiction – Scientific Library 32 32 Wizards, science fiction, 1980s Tue, 10 May 2022 19:04:01 +0000 “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is definitely the biggest release of the month, and is a huge piece of major multiverse history told in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

May is feeling unusually calm this year. There are huge mainstream blockbusters hitting theaters at both ends of the month, but not much else. There aren’t any big games coming out, and most streaming services are fairly quiet, with the exception of Netflix and Disney+. May is a great opportunity to decompress after a busy semester, catch up and revel in a surprising amount of 80s nostalgia. Some of the biggest releases include “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”, “Stranger Things 4” and “Obi-Wan Kenobi”.

Movie titles

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is the twenty-eighth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not counting the growing number of Disney+ series. The film follows the titular wizard as he explores the multiverse and all its dangers with the help of new Puerto Rican superhero America Chavez and the deeply troubled Scarlet Witch. It’s primarily the long-awaited sequel to 2016’s first cinematic release of Doctor Strange, but also picks up threads of the growing narrative surrounding the multiverse, part of a story that began in “Avengers: Endgame” and then continued in “Wandavision”, “Loki” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home”. Taking advantage of the multiversal story, much of the publicity highlighted the possibility of outrageous appearances by actors and characters from other franchises that I dare not spoil here. Critics have pointed to the influence of director Sam Raimi, who infused his horror sensibilities into the film. All signs point to this being a a standout entry in this endlessly expanding franchise when it hits theaters on May 6th.

“Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers” is a hybrid action-animated sequel to the classic 80s animated series, set in a contemporary world where the animated characters are actors, in the vein of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Tick and Tock are stranded, fallen, and no longer the iconic rescue rangers they once were. When animated characters like Flounder from “The Little Mermaid” start disappearing, the two gumshoes have to get together. reuniting to take over the baton again.I’m a little nervous that the film is just a parade of cameos and characters from everything Disney has, but the trailers give me hope that this nostalgia-fueled adventure can have a little more substance. We’ll find out when the film hits Disney+ on May 20.

“Men” is another film distributed by A24, a publishing house with an excellent track record, but more importantly, directed by Alex Garland, a director with a short filmography of deeply disturbing and intriguing films like “Ex Machina” and “ Annihilation”. Even after watching the trailer, I couldn’t quite tell what Garland’s latest is actually about. A woman goes to the countryside after the death of her husband and has a very bad time there, haunted by a man who appears everywhere. Garland’s previous films have been gripping and A24 clearly has a great eye for innovative films, that’s enough to bring me to the cinema when this movie comes out on May 20th.

“Top Gun: Maverick” puts Tom Cruise back on a roll as the titular character in this latest 1980s action movie sequel. Cruise’s Maverick is brought back to train rookies by an old friend, and one of these recruits just happen to be the son of another old friend. Having not seen the original, I don’t quite understand all the excitement this movie is generating in some audiences, but it looks like airplane fans, the military and Tom Cruise are going to be very well fed when this movie will be released in theaters. May 27.

Streaming titles

As someone who’s admittedly a few seasons behind “Stranger Things,” I’m just surprised how old some of these kids are. Dustin and Lucas have grown up! Photo courtesy of Netflix

netflix is bringing back one of its most popular original series, Stranger Things, for its fourth season. The fun, nerdy kids who first battled the monsters of the Upside Down in 2016 now have a much bigger challenge ahead: high school. But also more monsters. The series quickly picked up steam, as it headed towards what is supposed to be a proper Season 5 ending. Each episode of this season reportedly cost Netflix $30 million, as much as some theatrical movies . The trailer features a killer remix of Journey’s “Separate Ways,” new monsters, new settings, and even more ’80s nostalgia to capitalize on when the first half of season four hits the service on May 27.

Netflix also offers a drama based on the historic British operation “Operation Mincemeat” from World War II. Colin Firth, Jason Issacs, Penelope Wilton and a large cast play British agents who disguise a dead man as a British officer and plant fake documents on him, floating him off the coast of Spain to feed misinformation to the German military. The film is getting pretty good reviews and hits the service on May 11.

Disney+ brings one of its most anticipated series to streaming this month with “Obi-Wan Kenobi.” Set between “Star Wars” III and IV, with Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen returning as Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker for the first time since 2005. The series is directed by Deborah Chow and also incorporates many of the characters and concepts introduced in the larger world of animated shows and novels like the Sith Inquisitors. Seeing McGregor back in the robes and beard of his iconic character from the “Star Wars” movies is all I need to commit to the show, but I’m also thrilled to see the teased reunion of the master and the apprentice. The first two episodes will air on May 27.

Ewan McGregor is back in robes and a beard to play iconic Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi for the first time in 17 years.

Also coming to Disney+ this month is “Sneakerella,” a musical retelling of the recognizable “Cinderella” story from a candidly delivered angle of contemporary sneaker culture aimed at younger audiences. The film will be available on May 13.

Paramount+ launches its latest “Star Trek” spinoff this month with “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.” This latest entry in the canon is a prequel to the original series, following the starship enterprise before Captain Kirk’s command, with Captain Pike, Number One and Spock leading the charge, having been (re)introduced in Paramount’s flagship + “Star Trek Discovery”. “Reviews have praised it as feeling authentically like the original Star Trek series, for all the good and bad it brings. The series premiered on May 5.

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By Hank Reineke

I admit to having a hard time understanding Corinth’s curious repackaging of three monochrome 1950s sci-fi films. Putting together this triad of films – all previously released as single discs from the label
Wade Williams Collection – seems to make sense on a level. We will discuss later. But for the record this DVD of Drive-In Retro Classics: Triple Sci-Fi Feature brings together such disparate Silver Age favorites as Kurt Neumann Rocket XM (1950), Nathan H. Juran’s The brain of planet Arous (1958) and Robert Clarke The hideous sun demon (1959).

Although he had nothing to do with the production of any of the films listed above, Wade Williams served as a curator of the analog and digital legacies of many 1950s sci-fi and horror titles. Although Williams aspires to be a filmmaker himself, the titles appearing in the “Wade Williams Collection” are exactly that – films from his collection. Williams had cautiously purchased the rights to a set of mostly moribund ’50s sci-fi movies and TV shows from estates, studios, or producers/other owners. This latter category would include films produced by names such as George Pal, Jack Broder, Harry M. Popkin and Richard Rosenfeld.

This decision to sell their interests was an understandable (but ultimately bad) business decision on the part of the original rights holders. But it was the early 1970s and television stations – now the only outlet that continued to provide a trickle of revenue for those old films – were abandoning their creaky old black-and-white libraries for color television programming. Few people in Hollywood could have anticipated the cash flow that the home video revolution would bring in just a few years.

To be fair, Williams was a fan of those old sci-fi movies, not just a lucky speculator. Growing consumer interest in home video products has allowed Williams to capitalize on its cautious purchases. The first VHS videocassettes of the “Wade Williams Collection” were released as early as the late 1970s, primarily by companies such as Nostalgia Merchant and Starlog Video. In 1999, Williams partnered with Image Entertainment, with the latter dressing new DVDs in brightly colored covers. These sleeves partly concealed the fact that the films contained inside were old black and white films. Sci-fi newbies unfamiliar with the history of atomic-age sci-fi movies might have felt cheated by this creative – albeit somewhat deceitful – marketing.

But for those of us in the know, Williams’ outings have been a godsend. We were the old-school sci-fi aficionados, semi-aging folks who first saw the movies at matinee theaters in the 50s or fuzzy late-night TV shows in the 60s. . We no longer had to order goofy prints from old television screenings peddled by underground sellers advertising in the back pages of cult film magazines. When Laserdisc and DVD releases supplanted VHS tapes in presentation quality, Williams’ catalog was also presented in new formats.

It should be noted that Williams has also been, somewhat ungracefully, the target of criticism – often portrayed as a proverbial villain – over the past two decades by some collectors. As the rights holder of so many treasured classic – and not-so-classic – vintage sci-fi films, Williams, just under eighty, has been hesitant in recent years to release the films on Blu-ray. His reasoning for not doing, while disappointing, is solid. Responding to criticism over its catalog management, Williams offered Home Theater Forum contributors online while physical media sales remained strong, “streaming, downloading, Amazon Prime, Netflix and TCM are the remaining outlets for classic films.”

He also noted that restorations were expensive undertakings. Considering public domain issues, the problem of outright smuggling and YouTube copy-paste piracy, there was no longer any chance of breaking even – much less profiting – from such a venture. It was a practical and understandable real-world estimate – but a disappointing answer for those who preferred to store their home video libraries with physical media.

Which brings us, in a roundabout way, to Drive-In Retro Classics: Triple sci-fi functionality. Given the history of the series’ format, the natural progression would have been to see these films released on Blu ray; to revisit them in enhanced remasters with a dollop of special marked bonus materials. But, alas, this is not the case. Instead Drive-In Retro Classics: Triple Sci-Fi Feature features a total of three films, with a total running time of 222 minutes, all squished onto a single disc. There are no special features, no new scans from better stuff, no new bells or whistles of any kind. So buyer beware.

OK, with all that history out of the way, I offer, for the uninitiated at least, a brief overview of the Corinthian set films:

In The brain of planet Arous, Steve Marsh (John Agar), a technician for the United States Atomic Energy Commission, becomes the unwitting host of an alien named Gor. Gor is an evil, levitating cerebellum with half-moon eyes who desires to rule as “Master of the Universe”. He aspires to make all the peoples of the earth his slaves. The alternative is “death by intense radiation”. Land is only one stop in this quest… and he makes the most of the visit. Through his manipulation of his hypnotized subjugate Marsh, Gor unleashes a series of attacks on military bases and warplanes.

Gor convinces the cowering American generals to call a summit with the other six nuclear powers of the earth, demanding that all nations submit to his terms…or else. All seems lost until Vol, a much more sympathetic levitating second brain from Arous, arrives in Indian Springs to offer advice. Vol explains that the only way to stop the renegade Gor is to attack the creature’s only weak point, by hitting Rolando’s brain fissure. But can Marsh’s girlfriend Sally (Joyce Randolph) and George the dog get this important information to Marsh in time?

The hideous sun demon is the tour de force of actor/writer/producer Robert Clarke. Clarke plays Dr. Gilbert McKenna, a “dark scientist” exposed to a type of radiation “much more dangerous than cosmic rays”. This turns out to be an unwelcome turn of events as such exposure triggered a reverse evolution of his DNA, turning him into the Hideous Sun Demon, a bipedal half-human half-reptile. The film is sort of a reversal of the werewolf. Clarke’s transformation is not triggered by the rising of the full moon but by exposure to sunlight. When he’s not wandering around Los Angeles and Santa Monica at night, McKenna sulks, drinks a lot of whiskey, and hangs out at a seedy nightclub where he listens to a buxom blonde tickle the ivories and sing moody jazz numbers. like “Strange Desire”. Maybe Little Orphan Annie wishes the sun came up tomorrow, but that’s bad news for McKenna.

In XM RocketAmerica prepares an elegant spaceship for takeoff. The rocket is to carry a team of scientists – including a thirty-year-old Lloyd Bridges – on a mission to the moon. Unfortunately, a combination of miscalculations and an untimely meteor shower forces the craft off course. Space travelers instead land on Mars where, to their surprise, they discover the ruins of an ancient civilization. They are received in an unwelcoming manner, targeted by a band of stone-throwing Martian Neanderthals. Although they quickly and wisely abandon the Red Planet for a return trip, they encounter yet another problem. Is there enough fuel in the craft’s supply tanks to get them home safely?

Of the three films in this set, only XM Rocket strives for loftier visions and high production values. Theobold Holsopple’s production designs are imaginative and iconic. The special effects work of Don Stewart, IA Block and Jack Rabin is of a similar caliber, especially considering the era in which the film was produced.

To conclude: the best thing I can say about this new DVD release is that it brings those movies back in print, making them more easily accessible to new consumers. No more scouring thrift stores or paying fifty-dollar “collector” prices for the now-rare original single-disc DVDs released two decades ago. But when we learn that the MSRP of the Corinth version is $29.95… well, that price seems a bit steep. But I’m sure the MSRP probably won’t be the actual asking price when the disc hits online retail outlets.

I would be remiss if I did not mention at least one title, The brain of the Planet Arous, Reportedly being readied for Blu-ray release by another home video company known for bringing attention to overlooked films. This future Blu issue, scheduled for release in the summer of 2022, promises a new restoration, audio commentary, booklet and a special bonus documentary. Some may therefore choose a wait-and-see approach before betting on Retro drive-in classics.


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7 shows like “from” if you like the sci-fi series Mon, 09 May 2022 21:06:00 +0000

After ten thrilling episodes, the Epix series Since concluded its first season. The stars of the series Lostis Harold Perrineau as the sheriff of a mysterious town that traps its inhabitants inside. Catalina Sandino Moreno and Eion Bailey also star as Jim and Tabitha Matthews, a couple whose wandering detour on a road trip takes them to a mysterious place and seem unable to find their way. Upon meeting other residents, they begin to realize that many of the townspeople were once in their position, brought to town and unable to leave.

And then there are the mysterious creatures lurking in the woods. If it wasn’t enough that the town seems to want everyone to stay, there are monsters lurking in the woods surrounding the town that are ready to kill after dark. Oh, and a mysterious boy in white is also lurking around town, and only certain people can see him.

The series has gained a devoted following thanks to its suspenseful storytelling and the mysterious monsters lurking within, and last month it was confirmed that it would be renewed for season two. To fill the gap between seasons, we’ve rounded up six more shows that will scratch that kind of “scary, small town where danger’s behind every corner” itch, here’s our list of other shows to watch if you’d like. Since.


‘The society’

Seacia Pavao/Netflix

The societyThe premise of is either a dream come true or your worst nightmare: you’re in high school and everyone in your town disappears. When a group of teenagers return to their small Connecticut town after an excursion to find everyone who lives there gone and realize they’re cut off from the rest of the world, they must do everything lord of the flies and invent their own rules of survival. But not all survive. Kathryn Newton, Gideon Adlon and Sean Berdy star in this series which is a survival of the fittest.

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‘Stone Castle’

Castle Rock episode 9 recap
Photo: Hulu

Although it only lasted two seasons, Hulu’s stone castle was a unique take on Stephen King’s horror universe. The Lizzy Caplan-led series (at least in season 2) was set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, a place where many King stories took place, and featured several different characters with intertwining stories, including some have already been introduced. in King’s previous novels. The series also featured an all-star cast which included actors André Holland, Melanie Lynskey, Bill Skarsgård, Jane Levy, Sissy Spacek, Paul Sparks and Barkhad Abdi.

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“Hemlock Grove”


One of Netflix’s first original series, Hemlock Grove, which was produced by horror author Eli Roth and bBased on Brian McGreevy’s book, was a solid mystery series that focused on chilling murders in a small Pennsylvania town. From 2013 to 2015, the show starred Bill Skarsgard and Landon Liboiron as two young town men who come from very different backgrounds (Skarsgard played wealthy Roman Godfrey, while Liboiron played boyish Peter Rumancek who was also a werewolf) to try and solve the murders of two girls who were found dead. The supernatural show also has an amazing supporting cast which includes Famke Janssen, Lili Taylor, and Dougray Scott.

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Photo: AppleTV+

The premise of Invasion is to examine how an alien invasion of Earth would affect the lives of several seemingly normal citizens, including Sheriff Jim Bell Tyson (Sam Neill), Aneesha Malik (Golshifteh Farahani), and Hinata Murai (Rinko Kikuchi), who live in various towns across the globe, but whose lives are immediately altered when aliens land. The Apple TV+ series, which premiered in 2021, has been shot in locations around the world and has been renewed for a season 2, which is yet to be released.

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‘Twin Peaks’


There’s perhaps no weirder fictional TV town than Twin Peaks, Washington, the setting of the 1990 series. twin peaks (and it’s the 2017 revival on Showtime), created by David Lynch. The series, about FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLachlan), who shows up in the bizarre town of Twin Peaks to investigate the murder of Laura Palmer, is a surreal horror soap opera I watched during its initial release and one that could still be haunted by it 32 years later.

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“Stranger Things”

Picture: Netflix

While stranger things first seemed like a riff on 80s movies like HEY and The Goonies, it evolved into a much more complex and sinister story involving supernatural monsters, Russian insurgents, and government experiments gone wrong. Starring Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Sadie Sink, Caleb McLaughlin, David Harbor and Winona Ryder, the series about the mysterious events inside (and in the upside-down version of) Hawkins, Indiana, is on the its fourth season is set to air this month, and a fifth and final season has also been confirmed.

Stream it now



LOST, Naveen Andrews, Ian Somerhalder, Evangeline Lilly, Dominic Monaghan, (Season 1), 2004-2010.  pH
©ABC/Courtesy Everett Collectio

You can’t make a list like this without including the grandfather of weird mystery shows, LOST. After crash-landing on a mysterious island, the survivors discover they’re not alone – and it’s not just other people, there are polar bears, smoke monsters and more. Since not content to base its mysterious one-word title on LOSTit also includes Harold Perrineau, and frequents LOST director Jack Bender behind the scenes.


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Best New Science Fiction Books in May 2022 Sat, 07 May 2022 10:00:00 +0000

Idris, who has spent decades fleeing the horrors of his past, finds himself pushed back to the frontlines. As an intermediary, he could be one of the few to turn the tide of the war. Along with a handful of allies, he searches for a weapon that could repel the Architects and save the galaxy. But to do so, he must return to the nightmarish unspace, where his spirit was shattered and remade.

What Idris discovers there will change everything.

Under Good Stars by Ren Hutchings

Type: Novel
Editor: Solaris
Release date: May 10

Den of Geek says: Ren Hutchings earned comparisons to Becky Chambers, Alex White and SK Dunstall for his novel. Time-traveling spaceships and alien warfare bring a classic twist to a modern space opera.

Editor’s Summary: Fleeing the final days of the multi-generational war against the alien Felen, smuggler Jereth Keeven’s freighter, the Jonah crashes into a strange rift in deep space, with little chance of rescue – until they encounter the research vessel Galleonwhich claims to be 152 years in the future.

the GalleonUma Ozakka’s chief engineer has always been fascinated by the past, especially the story of the Fortunate Five, who ended the war against the Felen. When the Galleon rescues a dilapidated junk freighter, Ozakka is shocked to recognize the Five’s legendary ship and the Five’s famous leader, Eldric Leesongronski, among the crew.

But nothing else on Leesongronski and his teammates appears to match the historic record. With their ships running out of power in the rift, more than the lives of both crews may be at stake…

Roger Levy's Rig

Roger Levy’s Rig

Type: Novel
Editor: Titan Books
Release date: May 8

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May the 4 be with you as science fiction becomes science fact :: Thu, 05 May 2022 04:58:01 +0000

Like Luke Skywalker’s home planet”Tatooin“, the very real Kepler-16b orbits a pair of stars 200 light-years away.

NASA artists had fun depicting an explorer standing on a terrestrial planet, but this exoplanet is probably a gas giant closer to Saturn. In the movies, Tatooine is a hot, dry desert planet, while temperatures on Kepler-16n are more like dry ice.

The cloud cities built into the habitable cloud tops of the fictional gas giant “Bespin” in “The Empire Strikes Back” remind scientists of the gas giant planets in our own solar system. Scientists theorize that gases such as helium-3 and hydrogen could be extracted as fuels from planets like Uranus and Neptune.

Kepler-10b might look a lot like the fiery volcanic world of “Mustafar” where Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker face off in “Revenge of the Sith”. This exoplanet orbits 20 times closer to its Sun than Mercury, resulting in surface temperatures exceeding 2,500º F. It’s even hotter, over 3,600º F on CoRoT-7b which is 70% larger than Earth and five times its mass.

The frozen surface of “Hot” housed the Rebel Alliance base in “The Empire Strikes Back”. At the heart of our galaxy, the Milky Way, lies the planet OGLE-2005-BLG-390 Likewise locked in a deep freezer with surface temperatures dropping below -300°F. Astronomers discovered this icy world using micro-lensing, a technique that uses light from distant stars beyond even clean planet’s solar system to reveal the planet and its atmosphere.


Closer to home, it’s not the moon…in fact it is. Mimas, Saturn’s smallest and closest moon, is often called the Death Star because of the 80-mile-wide impact crater that dominates its surface. The peak at the center of the crater, formed by the force of the meteor impact that created the crater, bounced upwards. At just under 250 miles in diameter, Mimas is quite a bit larger than the Death Star dimensions listed in the Wookiepedia.

Star Wars technology used today

The engines that power sci-fi TIE fighters (Twin Ion Engines) have become scientific fact.

First developed at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, three NSTAR ion thrusters have powered the Dawn spacecraft since it launched in 2007 to study the proto-planets Vesta and Ceres in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

NASA TIE Fighter / Mission Dawn

Conventional chemical rocket engines and ion engines both use fuel to push the vehicle in the opposite direction. But that’s where the similarities end.

Chemical engines expel a lot of gas at relatively slow speeds, while ion engines expel very small volumes of gas at very high speeds. While chemical engines manage to use around 35% of the energy contained in their fuels, ion engines approach 90% efficiency, making them ideal for long-duration missions.

ion thrusters are powered by inert gases like xenon, or less often krypton or argon, powering missions for many years. This thruster is bombarded with electrons adding and removing electrons from the thruster creating a plasma which is guided out of the motor in a magnetic field.

Work continues on the next generation of ion engines, including NASA’s Upgradable Xenon Thruster (NEXT) and Ring Engine, which promise to increase power by 3 to 6 times. NEXT has been continuously tested for over six years without a single failure.

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Science Fiction’s “Killer Android” Narrative Is Frankenstein’s Modern Fable Wed, 04 May 2022 23:00:00 +0000

In the dark and rainy summer of 1818, Mary Shelley sat down to write Frankenstein, the story of a man whose obsessions took him too far in his attempt to play God and, as a result, created a dangerous and tragic creature. His masterpiece is widely hailed as one of the most influential works of science fiction and horror, if not the starting point of those genres as we know them today. His work has been adapted and reimagined countless times, and his themes of unchecked ambition, dangerously advanced technology, and the hubris of humanity are still common in modern science fiction. Today, that story is still told, but it doesn’t always take the form of a narrative or a reboot.


Today’s Frankenstein monsters are a bit different from Shelley’s concept. They have no stitches on the greenish gray faces; instead, they’re impossibly crisp but empty behind the eyes, creating an eerie valley effect that leaves viewers uneasy. Instead of moaning, their speech freezes robotically. In today’s science fiction, androids are rarely trusted and often feared – but why? The answer to this question can be found by turning to the godmother of the genre.

RELATED: How The Expanse’s Belter Tongue Mirrors Real-World Creoles

Today, the phrase “Frankenstein’s monster” is frequently used to describe a fusion that is unnatural, hideous, or unpleasant in some way – and it’s an apt descriptor for such a phenomenon. The original monster was made from a collection of body parts, stitched together and fused together in ways they never should have been. However, in the original novel, he is more than just a creature. His physical form isn’t what makes him a monster; his DIY nature isn’t what makes him scary. Instead, it is Doctor Frankenstein’s own pride that is the enemy. He creates a Creature that goes out into the world and, when repelled and feared by mankind, swears revenge on the man who gave him a pain-filled existence. The Creature’s intelligence and superhuman strength make her uncontrollable and dangerous. Sound familiar?

Just as science and technology advanced rapidly at the start of the 19th century, they continue to do so today. And just Mary Shelley and her contemporaries had their reservations about new technology, so do we now. As medical and anatomical knowledge progressed, the Britons of 1818 feared doctors who would play God. What would happen if these sciences were taken to extremes? What would be the consequences of trying to artificially create a living being? What would happen if this knowledge, which could do so much good, fell into the hands of those who are evil, irresponsible or over-ambitious? Shelley explored these questions and in doing so created a genre in which other writers explored similar questions.

Now, as artificial intelligence and robotics improve to a degree Shelley could not have imagined, we have our own concerns about a society where mechanical beings with complex AI are commonplace – and the science fiction explores them. Will those with unsavory intentions use technology to deceive, trick or defraud others? Will a programmable soldier prove deadlier than a human could ever be? Two hundred years after Shelley’s masterpiece, we’re still worried about artificial life and lab-created humans. And our worries are remarkably similar.

Modern sci-fi media features many androids, but two recent series have shown the clearest similarities to Frankenstein in their depiction of advanced robotics: the first season of Star Trek: Picardand the Ridley Scott series Raised by wolves.

Star Trek: Picard

The first season of picard explored this concept through the prism of an ancient prophecy guarded by the Romulan secret society of the Zhat Vash, a prophecy that said synthetic life was destroying all sentient organic life forms. Towards the end of the series, this prophecy becomes dangerously close to self-fulfilling. Soji, a fully sentient android accompanied by Picard himself, arrives on Coppelius, the planet where she was created. She, along with the other androids on the planet, learns the truth behind the ancient message: it is not a warning, as Zhat Vash thought, but an offer, sent by synthetic beings on a distant world, to protect their fellow human beings. androids. The people of Coppelius then plan to summon these synthetic beings, who will destroy anyone who threatens the lives of the androids. To prevent the Zhat Vash from destroying all sentient androids, the people of Coppelius plan to wipe out all organic life in the universe.

Soji and her brothers weren’t created evil; they were not created to harm others. But when taken to extremes, they are ready to commit genocide, just as Frankenstein’s creature murdered several people in his quest for revenge. The androids’ creator, Soong, expresses his guilt when he finds out about his creations’ scheme, as he never imagined they would collude or resort to underhanded measures like they did in an attempt to achieve their plan.

Raised by wolves

Ridley Scott’s latest series also explores the idea that androids behave in ways their creators never intended, to the danger and detriment of the humans around them. Mother, a sentient android created by Earth’s greatest scientists, was originally a necromancer, a weapon of mass destruction. She was reprogrammed by a man named Campion Sturges to act as a caregiver. Sturges, unlike Victor Frankenstein, was not overcome by obsessive ambition; neither, as star trekSoong and Maddox’s android creators were driven by avid curiosity. Instead, his actions are the product of well-meaning desperation. He had seen his world torn apart by war and had reprogrammed Mother in hopes of creating a new one free from conflict.

Of course, this is far from what is actually happening. Due to the combined nature of her original function and her new programming, Mother becomes deadly whenever her children are in danger. She regularly erases those who would threaten her family. At base, she’s a fiercely protective parent – but the fact that she’s a necromancer makes that a dangerous quality. Much like Frankenstein’s creature, she seeks revenge on those who have harmed her or those close to her, using the powers bestowed upon her by humans to exact that revenge.

The mother is not the only example in Raised by wolves Is; Vrille is perhaps an even closer parallel. She was programmed solely for the comfort of her “mother”, Decima, to act as a replica of the daughter Decima had lost to suicide. But after being abused and disfigured, condemned to an existence of pain and a horrific appearance, Vrille turned against humanity, killing her “mother” and slaughtering her companions in one of the most horrific scenes in the world. second season of the series.

Just as Mary Shelley did in Frankenstein, science fiction writers continue to ask questions and speculate about the implications of technological advances. And sometimes those speculations can turn dark, as certain technologies have troubling possible applications. As artificial intelligence, robotics and other scientific fields continue to advance, their potential will only grow – both to improve human lives and to endanger them.

The tale of scientists creating artificial beings, and their creations backfiring spectacularly, has been around since the beginning of science fiction – and yet it doesn’t feel tired or played. Different creators approach the subject from different angles, presenting us with a wide range of stories to ponder. Frankenstein’s fable will likely continue to evolve and change, but as long as humans continue to explore potential ways to create life, science fiction will be there to question, ponder, and predict good and bad consequences.

MORE: Raised By Wolves: How The Trust Explores Human Attitudes Towards AI

Petition to remove Amber Heard from Aquaman 2 explodes

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RTL Today – Evoking sci-fi scenes: Swarms of drones can now fly autonomously through thick forest Wed, 04 May 2022 19:36:19 +0000

A swarm of 10 bright blue drones take off in a bamboo forest in China, then weave their way through crowded branches, bushes and over uneven ground as they autonomously navigate the best flight path through the drink.

The experiment, conducted by scientists from Zhejiang University, evokes scenes from science fiction — and indeed the authors cite films such as ‘Star Wars’, ‘Prometheus’ and ‘Blade Runner 2049’ as opening of their article published Wednesday in the journal Science Robotique.

“Here we take a step forward (towards) such a future,” wrote the team, led by Xin Zhou.

In theory, there are myriad real-world applications, including aerial mapping for conservation and disaster relief work. But the technology had to mature so that flying robots could adapt to new environments without crashing into each other or objects, thereby endangering public safety.

Swarms of drones have been tested in the past, but either in open environments with no obstacles or with the location of those obstacles programmed in, said EPFL roboticist Enrica Soria, who was not involved in the research. . AFP.

“This is the first time a drone swarm has successfully flown outdoors in an unstructured, wild environment,” she said, adding that the experience was “impressive.”

The palm-sized robots have been specially designed, with depth cameras, altitude sensors and an on-board computer. The biggest breakthrough was an intelligent algorithm that integrates collision avoidance, flight efficiency and coordination within the swarm.

Since these drones do not depend on any outside infrastructure, such as GPS, the swarms could be used during natural disasters.

For example, they could be sent to earthquake-affected areas to assess the damage and identify where to send help, or to buildings where it is dangerous to send people.

It is certainly possible to use single drones in such scenarios, but a swarm approach would be much more efficient, especially given the limited flight times.

Another possible use is to have the swarm collectively lift and deliver heavy objects.

There is also a darker side: the swarms could be weaponized by the military, just as unique unmanned drones are today. The Pentagon has repeatedly expressed interest and is conducting its own tests.

“Military research is not shared openly with the rest of the world, so it’s hard to imagine what stage they are at in their development,” Soria said.

But the advances shared in scientific journals could certainly be used for military purposes.

– Coming soon? –

The Chinese team tested its drones in different scenarios – swarming through the bamboo forest, dodging other drones in a high-traffic experiment, and having the robots follow a person’s lead.

“Our work was inspired by birds flying smoothly in a free swarm through even very dense woods,” Zhou wrote in a blog post.

The challenge, he said, was to balance the competing demands: the need for small, lightweight machines, but with high computing power, and to plot safe trajectories without significantly extending flight time.

For Soria, it’s only a matter of a few years before we see such drones deployed in real life. However, they will first need to be tested in ultra-dynamic environments like cities, where they will constantly clash with people and vehicles.

Regulations will also have to catch up, which takes additional time.

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All new sci-fi books are coming in May! Wed, 04 May 2022 13:02:18 +0000

Head below for the full list of sci-fi titles awaiting you in May!

Keep track of all new SFF releases here. All title summaries are taken and/or abstracted from the copy provided by the publisher. Release dates are subject to change.

First week (May 3)

eyes of emptiness (Final Architecture #2) — Adrian Tchaikovsky (Orbit)

After eighty years of fragile peace, the Architects are back, wreaking havoc by devouring entire planets. In the past, Originator artifacts, remnants of a civilization long gone, could save a world from annihilation. This time, the Architects have discovered a way around these protective relics. As a result, no planet is immune. Faced with imminent extinction, the human colonies are in turmoil. While some believe a united front is the only way to stop the Architects, others insist that humanity fights alone. And there are those who would seek to profit from the fractured politics of war, even as the Architects draw closer and closer. Idris, who has spent decades fleeing the horrors of his past, finds himself pushed back to the front lines. As an intermediary, he could be one of the few to turn the tide of the war. Along with a handful of allies, he searches for a weapon that could repel the Architects and save the galaxy. But to do so, he must return to the nightmarish unspace, where his spirit was shattered and remade. What Idris discovers there will change everything.

Fair trade (Liaden #24) – Sharon Lee, Steve Miller (Baen)

Jethri Gobelyn has evolved greatly: from the despised youngest on a ship of the Terran family Loop to second trader on the first trade ship Liaden Elthoria under the guidance of his unlikely adoptive mother Norn ven’Deelin of Clan Ixin. Master Trader Ven’Deelin has taught Jethri much, and she expects much from him. Indeed, one could say that it demands them. Jethri inherited a mission from his father, a plan that will allow the family’s Loop ships like the one he grew up on to survive the encroaching dust of Rostov. In this, he is supported by several prominent Looper families who are to meet and plan at the South Axis Trade Fair. In what seems like a happy pair of missions, Master Trader Ven’Deelin sees Jethri become the main trader on his own little ship, which is due to arrive at the Southern Axis Fair. Unfortunately, this “happy coincidence” might instead be a test of Jethri’s loyalty, as he’s engulfed in a tangle of gray commerce, mistaken identity, misinformation, and galactic politics.

Conscious designs —Nathaniel White (Miami University Press)

Eugene, a wealthy paraplegic, must decide if he wants to retain his consciousness forever in a digital utopia or suffer the pain that plagues his existence. Yet the more he learns about digital replication, the more deeply he understands personality, empathy, and the value of suffering.

Second week (May 10)

Under good stars —Ren Hutchings (Solaris)

Fleeing the final days of the Generations War with the alien Felen, smuggler Jereth Keeven’s freighter, the Jonah, crashes into a strange rift in deep space, with little chance of being rescued – until to which they encounter the research vessel Gallion, which claims to be 152 years in the future. The Gallion’s chief engineer, Uma Ozakka, has always been fascinated by the past, especially the story of the Fortunate Five, who ended the war with the Felen. When the Galleon rescues a dilapidated freighter, Ozakka is shocked to recognize the Five’s legendary ship and the Five’s famous leader, Eldric Leesongronski, among the crew. But nothing else on Leesongronski and his teammates appears to match the historic record. With their ships running out of power in the rift, more than the lives of both crews may be at stake.

Star Wars: Brotherhood (Star Wars) – Mike Chen (Del Rey)

The Clone Wars have begun. Battle lines are drawn across the galaxy. With each world that joins the Separatists, the peace kept by the Jedi Order slips through their fingers. After an explosion devastates Cato Neimoidia, the crown jewel of the Trade Federation, the Republic is in jeopardy and the planet’s fragile neutrality is threatened. The Jedi send Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the Order’s most gifted diplomatic minds, to investigate the crime and maintain the balance that has begun to shift dangerously. As Obi-Wan investigates with the help of a heroic Neimoidian guard, he finds himself working against the Separatists who hope to drag the planet into their plot – and senses the sinister hand of Asajj Ventress in the mists that cover the planet. Amid the brewing chaos, Anakin Skywalker rises to the rank of Jedi Knight. Despite the mandate that Obi-Wan travels alone – and his former master’s insistence that he listen this time – Anakin’s stubborn determination means nothing can stop him from crushing the party and bringing a promising but conflicted youngster. Once Obi-Wan’s Padawan, Anakin now finds himself on equal, but uncertain, footing with the man who raised him. The lingering friction between them increases the danger to everyone around them. The two knights must learn a new way to work together, and they must learn quickly, to save Cato Neimoidia and his people from the fires of war. To overcome the threat they face, they must grow beyond master and apprentice. They must stand together as brothers.

A shit of crazy powers (Frost Files #4) — Jackson Ford (Orbit)

Teagan Frost has enough to deal with, between his job as a telekinetic government agent and a certain pair of siblings who have returned from the dead to wreak havoc with their powers. But little does she know, things are about to get even crazier… Teagan may have survived the flash flood of the century, but now she’s trapped in a hotel by a gang of armed maniacs. And to make matters worse, his powers have mysteriously disappeared. Facing certain death at every turn, Teagan will have to use every resource at her disposal to stop a plot that could destroy Los Angeles, perhaps even the entire world.

Child Zero —Chris Holm (Mulholland Books)

It all started four years ago with a worldwide resurgence of bacterial infections: meningitis in Frankfurt, cholera in Johannesburg, tuberculosis in New Delhi. Although the outbreaks spread aggressively and proved unresponsive to our drugs of last resort, public health officials initially dismissed them as unrelated. They were wrong. Antibiotic resistance has spread rapidly around the world. Illnesses that we thought were overcome have resurfaced. The death toll has skyrocketed. Then New York City was ravaged by the most heinous act of bioterrorism the world has ever seen, perpetrated by a new brand of extremists bent on driving humanity to extinction. Detective Jacob Gibson, who lost his wife in the August 17 attack, is home caring for his ailing daughter when his partner summons him to a sprawling Central Park slum, the apparent site of a mass murder. Jake is surprised to discover that, despite a life of abject misery, the victims died in perfect health – and his only hope for answers is a twelve-year-old boy on the run from very dangerous men.

Week three (May 17)

The emerging (Cosmic #2) — Nadia Afifi (Flame Tree Press)

The adventures of Amira Valdez continue in the sequel The sensitive, while she finds herself in a situation of unprecedented danger. The ruthless new leader of the fundamentalist group Trinity Compound seeks to understand his strange neurological connection to Amira and unleash an army on an unstable North America. The first human clone has been born, but thanks to mysterious scientist Tony Barlow, he may reveal the secret to human immortality – or disaster. Together, Amira and Barlow form an uneasy alliance in search of scientific breakthroughs and protection against common enemies. But new discoveries reveal dark secrets that Barlow wants to keep hidden.

The Ice Ghost (Rewilding Reports #2) — Kathleen O’Neal Gear (DAW)

In the brutal Ice Age caused by the ancient Jemen War, many archaic human species, including the Denisovans and Homo erectus, are on the brink of extinction. There seems to be no way out, until the greatest Neanderthal holy man, Trogon, had a vision. Legends say that the truce that ended the ancient war left a hostage in the hands of the victorious rebels: the divine leader Jemen known as the Crone of the Mountain. According to Trogon’s vision, only one person knows the location of this burial cave. Trogon must capture the young Quiller and force her to lead him there…because the Crone may not be dead. She may have only been in stasis for a thousand summers, and when she awakens she will save them from oblivion. But according to the Denisovans, the people of Quiller, Trogon is the most powerful witch in the world. He is planning something evil that will surely lead to their destruction. It must be stopped before it is too late. Lynx, Quiller’s best friend, must brave towering glaciers, giant wolves and giant lions to save her and stop Trogon.

Week four (May 24)

City of Orange —David Yoon (Putnam)

He used to live in a place called California, but how did he end up here with a head injury and a bottle of pills in his pocket? It navigates its surroundings, one rough shape at a time. Here is a pipe, there a reed that could be carved into a weapon, beyond a town in which he lived. He could swear his daughter’s name started with a J, but what was it, exactly? Then he meets an old man, a crow and a boy – and realizes that nothing is what he thought it was, neither the present nor the past. He can’t even remember the features of his own face and wonders: who am I?

Fifth week (May 31)

These imprisoned hills — Christopher Rowe (Tordotcom)

In a war long ago, the all-powerful AI ruler of the Volunteer State of Tennessee – Athena Parthenus, Queen of Reason – invaded and decimated the American Southeast. Possessing the ability to infect and corrupt the environment with nanotechnology, she has transformed flora, fauna, and the soil itself into biomechanical weapons of war. Marcia, a former Kentucky captain, has experienced firsthand the terrifying and mind-bending abilities of Athena’s creatures. Back in the Commonwealth, his retreat was cut short by the arrival of Federal troops in his small isolated town. One of Athena’s most powerful weapons may still be buried nearby. And they need Marcia’s help to find him.

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Northman Director Robert Eggers Doesn’t Completely Count Sci-Fi Tue, 03 May 2022 15:04:00 +0000

Of course, no director would outright close the door on a job opportunity before it even opens, but it’s always fun to speculate. That is to say, when Robert Eggers spoke to The Wrap about his future, he didn’t rule out exploring different genres.

“I could be interested in the early 20th century. And I would be too, if I could find a way to do it that hasn’t really been done before, in a way that would be satisfying to me, but I would be also interested in science fiction. I don’t know if I could find the right thing. I don’t know if I could succeed. But I would be interested.

Leaving no stone unturned, The Wrap asked if Eggers was talking sci-fi like being set on a spaceship, to which Eggers simply teased, “only time will tell.”

Now, it’s hard to imagine Eggers making a shiny, glossy, “Star Trek” style sci-fi movie, but what about something like “Alien,” which feels distinctly old, even if it takes place in the future? I can definitely imagine Eggers doing some kind of speculative future history movie and getting really serious with it — while keeping the fart jokes. He could even place his “Nosferatu” in the 23rd century and go from there!

In keeping with the theme of experimentation, Eggers also commented that “The Northman” had a wider aspect ratio than his previous films, and whether he would go wider.

“I know it’s insane given the history of cinema, but I find close-ups can be a little anemic. I’m not particularly drawn to that. I’d be interested in making an almost vertical film, but you would need to make your own movie theatre.”

“The Northman” is in theaters.

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BMW i7, the electric soundtrack of science fiction films Sun, 01 May 2022 19:51:51 +0000

composer Hans Zimmer It won two Oscars for the soundtrack to Dune and The Lion King, but we still don’t know if that’ll be enough to convince motorists to buy it. BMWi7 rather than a competitor. Of course, despite having one i7 It will be a great musical experience, given that The sounds chosen to accompany the electric car are new And well thought out. The first impression, hearing them, is of being in a science fiction film, and sometimes in a thriller of the future.

The BMW i7 soundtrack created by Zimmer has different tones depending on what is happening in the car. There are special tones for operation, for scene mode (rear passengers), for entering the passenger compartment. However, the most “exciting” ones are associated with different driving styles. The sound varies depending on what you choose in the My Modes menu and the possibilities available Personalized, Athletic, Efficient, Expressive, Relaxed. The intensity and frequency of the sound vary according to the position of the accelerator pedal and the lights.

Particularly, Sport mode is the most enjoyable in terms of positive driving tension. The higher the dynamism, the more electric sound fuels: and when all of the car’s 536 horsepower (744Nm of torque) are unleashed, the sound responds accordingly. in fashion ExpressiveInstead, Zimmer took a little more freedom in terms of melody, and that’s probably where we run into some real sci-fi. For those who are easily affected, driving this car this way at night may not be a pleasant experience. clearly No one thinks of comparing these sounds to an internal combustion enginebut there’s no denying that in the hypothetical future of electricity for all of us, music in the car could become more than a technical whim.

PF | Samuel Brussino

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