“Babylon’s Song” Short-Listed to the Final 2017 Vogel Award Ballot

Woelf Dietrich’s novella, which appears in our book Interspecies, is on the final ballot for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards, one of New Zealand’s top prizes for speculative fiction. You may remember that we announced his initial nomination at the end of February, but that was no guarantee of making the final ballot. We couldn’t …read in detail

The Surreal Pandemonium​ Violence and Collapse of Civilization in “High-Rise”

Class warfare reigns in the 1970s styled London high-rise where Doctor Laing (Tom Hiddleston) lives. High-Rise (2015), based on the novel of the same title by famed science fiction author JG Ballard, portrays a surreal, dystopian vision of mayhem and violence compartmentalized into the space of one building. Through Laing, we observe the building’s occupants: …read in detail

Scientist’s Undeniable Proof of an Afterlife Leads to Mass Suicides in Netflix’s “The Discovery”

If you think that premise sounds depressing or even melodramatic, you’d be right. But despite the nonsensical suicide concept, the film presents some great science-fiction-worthy ideas–which makes viewing this crawling, moody movie even more disappointing. The Discovery is a slow dance, a science fiction tease with the pacing of something like Shane Carruth’s Primer (2004) and …read in detail

Alien the Audiobook Novelization Satisfies on Many Levels

Alan Dean Foster’s novelization of the classic movie, Ridley Scott’s Alien, is an excellent reproduction, especially enjoyable in audiobook form. Peter Guinness’s voice is the perfect match for this gritty, sci-fi tension cooker. The audiobook novelization stays faithful to every important facet of the movie while adding critical internal dialogue and details required by the novel …read in detail

Last Chance to Nominate For Vogel Awards

The deadline is quickly approaching for Vogel Award vote nominations, and this week is your last chance to contribute. In February, I was thrilled to announce that our very own Woelf Dietrich was nominated and placed on the long list for his story “Babylon’s Song,” which appears in Interspecies. But to get short-listed for the final …read in detail

Mr. Robot: The Best Portrayal of Hackers Ever (Season 1)

Before Mr. Robot’s season one, dramatizing what hackers do was always a problem for film and TV. How do you make a guy typing on a computer console riveting? Past solutions include making the graphics of the actual hacking fantastical (Hackers, Swordfish), thus taking artistic license. Mr. Robot takes no such shortcuts, and the result is …read in detail

Stranger Things: The Return of Kids on an Epic Mission (Season 1)

The eighties kids-on-a-mission epic is back, only in TV streaming form on Netflix. This retro-stylized supernatural, sci-fi, horror, monster series openly salutes The Goonies and E. T.,  achieving something like what JJ Abrahams attempted with Super 8, but reaching far beyond. The novel-like form of streaming allows Stranger Things to take its time and unravel the …read in detail

Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand Nominates “Babylon’s Song” for Sir Julius Vogel Award in the Best Novella Category

Awards and award nominations are precarious things for authors. Most of us don’t work or write or imagine fiction for the glorious prospect of plaques and trophies. And we often work under the auspices of receiving little to no recognition for what we do. Yet what writer hasn’t dreamed of winning an award for his …read in detail

Star Trek Beyond’s Action Fest Ejects Characters And Story

Star Trek Beyond is a rip-roaring, action-packed adventure blockbuster, sporting dizzying camera movement. The vibrating shakey-cam style paired with quick cuts came at you fast and furious and made the action difficult to follow at times. The quiet Trek moments of reflection and problem-solving were short or non-existent. And I missed the humorous short-hand of character …read in detail