The Complete (and Tentacular) History of Sci-Fi

Posted by Michael Sacco on Mar 13, 2011 in Fandom

Sci-Fi History

You may think you’re a sci-fi expert, but can you navigate this fittingly tentacular map of the history of the genre? Artist Ward Shelley created it for Places and Spaces: Mapping Science. Almost every important event or genre piece is here, though you may find that your pet series or favorite novel isn’t on there if you look hard enough. Click on the image for a super-huge version, well worth the few seconds to download. Read more…

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Keep a Fanboy Guessing With Your Very Own Sci-Fi Armory T-Shirt

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Nov 18, 2010 in Fandom

 Sci Fi Armory T-Shirt

ThinkGeek’s prepping for the holiday season with a ton of new merchandise, and I noticed this little gem amongst a slew of new products. It might not be the most attractive t-shirt I’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly one of the coolest. The Sci-Fi Armory, as they’re calling it, boasts an impressive array of weaponry from 1936’s Flash Gordon through 2009’s District 9. They manage to cover quite a bit, any fanboy can probably list off a few notable exceptions — BSG, Stargate, and Predator to name a few. Still, the fact that the shirt doesn’t outright list the origin of each weapon provides you with the opportunity to quiz your friends and family. Just don’t count on it winning your any dates. Read more…

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Men in Black III; Do We Honestly Need Another?

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Nov 16, 2010 in Cinema

Men In Black

I don’t have very fond memories of the Men in Black films. I’m not sure if it was the campy PG humor, saturation or excessive use of CG, but something about the films always left me wanting less. The first time around, it wasn’t because it was a terrible movie. In fact, I actually liked it until I had to watch it more than once. The sequel, on the other hand, was pretty terrible. Everything about it, save for the excessive CG, felt rushed — as if the producers couldn’t wait to capitalize on the oil they thought they struck. It would also seem that I’m not alone in my opinion. But why, then, would we need another sequel? Read more…

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Can We Please Feed SyFy Programming Execs to Sharktopus?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 27, 2010 in Horror, Television

Sharktopus

So I made the tragic mistake this weekend of starting to watch Sharktopus on the SyFy channel — and while I enjoyed laughing at the screen I somehow don’t think that’s the “executives” at the SyFy channel quite imagined that they were quickly transforming their network into the Comedy Channel. In case you missed Sharktopus was sort of a cross between Bay Watch and a low budget 50s horror film. The unintentional result of this combo is that you quickly find yourself rooting for Sharktopus instead of the boring superficial actors who seem even more boring than what you’d find in a bad soap opera. Read more…

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Will Military High School be the Next Big Manga Trend?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 5, 2010 in Comic Books

military high school joshi-kouhei

Could it be that maids are about to go out of style? Shown above is a promotional illustration for Military High School Joshi-Kouhei which will be a new manga series by Matsumoto Zirou in the monthly comic magazine Bunch. The series will harken back to the good old days of manga and anime and prominently feature sci fi themes in the tradition of Leiji Matsumoto (which I think is a good thing).

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BBC to Adapt Douglas Adams Book

Posted by Gia Manry on Aug 28, 2010 in Science

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency BBC Special!

No, it’s not yet another Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy— it’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency!

…What do you mean you don’t know anything about Dirk Gently? POSER! Read more…

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The Definitive Alex Raymond Collection

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Jul 27, 2010 in Comic Books

fg11_lg

With the recent passing of Al Williamson, I thought it might be nice to give another nod to one of the series that made him famous, Flash Gordon. Of course, I’m well aware that he didn’t have anything to do with Alex Raymond’s original Sunday strips, but they were indeed the inspiration needed to launch his storied career. IDW recently announced that those original Sunday strips will be completely remastered, alongside Jungle Jim, in a 12 x 16 inch “champagne” format. Read more…

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Containment: A Steampunk Sci Fi Alien Lego Landscape

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 16, 2010 in Hobbies and Collections

Containment project by Tyler Clites (Legohaulic) and Nannan Zhang (Nannan Z.).

Too often I see fanboys build amazing tributes to the imagination of others — but this rejects the original thing that made science fiction fandom so cool: It’s the idea that the fanboys who grow up reading something become the authors of the next generation of new things. So I was very happy to come across an original Lego creation called Containment which is the handy work of Tyler Clites (Legohaulic) and Nannan Zhang (Nannan Z.). Read more…

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Sci-Fi Airshow Pays Homage to Our Favorite Ships of the Line

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Jun 23, 2010 in Battlestar Galactica, Fandom

Battle Star Galactica Viper

We’ll probably never have the opportunity to travel back in time to visit the sets of our favorite Sci-Fi movies and TV shows. However, thanks  fanboys like Industrial Light and Magic’s Bill George — who, by the way, has a number of major film credits that including six Star Trek and two Star Wars films — many of the ships and models from those classic series have finally found a home of sorts. George has spent the last several years building a website, the Sci-Fi Airshow, which  preserves many of the vehicles and ships designed over the years using a combination of digital photography and  photoshop. In addition to some fantastic images, he provides semi-fictional accounts of the whereabouts of each ship since their Hollywood debut.  Some of the ships to have been featured include Battlestar Galactica’s Viper and transport shuttle, and 2001: A Space Odyssey’s Orion space plane. Check out the his site for more information, and if you’d like, you can follow his group on FacebookRead more…

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Mom Can I Please Have the Keys to the Flying Saucer?

Posted by Michael Pinto on May 1, 2010 in Pulp Fiction

Your Personal Flying Carpet: From an advertisement for America's Independent Electric Light and Power Companies from a April 1959 issue of Newsweek

This wonderful illustration is from a 1959 ad in Newsweek magazine for America’s Independent Electric Light and Power Companies. The headline for the ad is Your Personal “Flying Carpet” and the copy that follows sounds quite silly until you get to the last line which reminds me a great deal of the internet today: Read more…

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I’ll Miss the Amazing Visions of Dr. Robert McCall

Posted by Michael Pinto on Mar 2, 2010 in Cinema, Science

I was very saddened to hear that Dr. Robert McCall passed away as he was very much a hero of mine. I’ll never forget the first time I visited the Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. — along with being able to touch a piece of the moon and look at shopping mall full of aircraft and spaceships the first thing that hits you it the amazing larger than life mural by Robert McCall (an amazing gallery of his drawings that they house are here). Most of us have science fiction fanboys have grown up with McCall’s artwork without even knowing the artist. I think the first time McCall spoke to me was with his amazing work on the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. I was looking at this artwork as a child long after the film came out, but his paintings created a magical environment that you’d want to wander around and step inside: Read more…

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A Jupiter II That’s Ready for Take Off: Toy Fair 2010

Posted by Michael Pinto on Feb 15, 2010 in Hobbies and Collections, Television

Lost in Space Jupiter II 1/35th Scale Metal Prop Replica - fully finished and lit Moebius Models

If you’re a Lost in Space fanboy you’re going to like what Moebius Models: A fully finished and lit Jupiter II 1/35th scale metal prop replica. That’s right: If you’ve always wanted one of these amazing model kits but know that you’ll never ever have the time to build one Moebius Models will build it for you! Sadly you’ll have to wait until the 4th quarter of this year, but having seen the model up close I was drooling. Read more…

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Japanese Thunderbirds Miniatures: Toy Fair 2010

Posted by Michael Pinto on Feb 15, 2010 in Hobbies and Collections

Japanese Thunderbirds Miniature Models

The Japanese are crazy about the Gerry Anderson show Thunderbirds. This line of minitaures is imported into the United States by bcmini.com and I’ve got to say that the quality and beauty of these were amazing.

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Why George Lucas is More Original Than James Cameron

Posted by Michael Pinto on Feb 5, 2010 in Cinema

James Cameron and Geroge Lucas

Recently while a good friend was telling me about the advantages of seeing Avatar in 3D IMAX over just plain 3D I couldn’t help but mention how much I hated “the plot” of the film. My friend then challenged me that while the twists-and-turns of the Na’vi may have been overly predictable that in fact the first Star Wars film was just as telegraphed. Read more…

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Are Humans Biased To Thinking That Only Humanoids Are Intelligent?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 27, 2010 in Science

EinsteinI think an octopus is about as different as you can get from being a human — eight legs, lives underwater and a hard beak at the center. Yet this video shows clear evidence that they’re quite bright creatures who are quite capable of using tools. This makes me realize that as humans we might have a bias towards thinking that only humanoid creatures have intelligence — and often the worst offenders I see are science fiction films. Read more…

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Buck Rogers Accessories for Retro Styling Fanboys (or Fangurls)

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 11, 2009 in Comic Books, Hobbies and Collections

Buck Rogers swag produced by Retro-A-Go-Go

It’s amazing to think that Buck Rogers got started as a fictional character in an issue of Amazing Stories from over 90 years ago (August 1928 to be exact) — however Buck made his first huge mark as a comic strip series illustrated by John Flint Dille. Those old strips have a wonderfully quirky look to them, and the folks at Dark Horse have picked on this by introducing a line of swag which was designed by the folks at Retro-A-Go-Go. The collection goes on sale on February 24th, 2010 and includes a wide range of goodies including picture frames: Read more…

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Don Ivan Punchatz: The Realistic Look of Magic

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 29, 2009 in Pulp Fiction, Videogames

Don Ivan Punchatz: Illustrator of the first Doom package

If you came of age reading science fiction in the late 60s, 70s or 80s you may have come across the illustrations of Don Ivan Punchatz who sadly just passed away. Punchatz’s illustrations were best known in the fantasy and science fiction genres and graced quite a few paperbacks, although his work covered other genres and he even did a cover or two for Time magazine (which is as good as you can get). Videogame fanboys however might best know him for his package art for the original Doom game (shown above), although his paperback cover art for the Isaac Asimov Foundation triology was my first encounter with his artwork: Read more…

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Barbarella: The Silly, Sexy, and Sci Fi Side of the Sixties

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 10, 2009 in Cinema, Comic Books

Barbarella poster from the 60s

On this day in 1968 the French erotic science fiction film Barbarella was released in the United States. The film failed on pretty much every level as the critics hated it and it made no money at the box office, however thanks to the wonders of home video Barbarella became a cult hit in 1977 when it was re-released. Read more…

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Lost Planet 2: A World Worth Finding

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 27, 2009 in Videogames

This is the latest gameplay trailer for Lost Planet 2 which was shown at the Tokyo Game Show. The game is published by Capcom and looks amazing — after seeing this trailer I don’t have much of an idea what the gameplay is like, but the universe Jun Takeuchi and Kenji Oguro have created looks wonderfully rich in detail.

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Pandorum: Amnesia Meets Alien?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 22, 2009 in Cinema

Above is a featurette promoting the film Pandorum. Of course I’m a sucker for sci fi so any film with a spaceship goes to the top of my list, although being an old fanboy I’ve become cynical over the years anytime I see something that I think I’ve seen before. Pandorum looks like a number of other films I’ve seen on the surface but I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. So I guess this film goes on my “got to find out some more” list which is bad as it opens this week on September 25th.

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And Another Thing: I Really Miss Douglas Adams

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 14, 2009 in Pulp Fiction

And Another Thing...

I missed the announcement last year that there would be an authorized sixth book in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series: However recently I came across a link in the sci fi section of reddit simple titled Fucking Blasphemy… which got my attention. This new book is coming out in october this year and is by Eoin Colfer, and of course pretty much every serious fanboy has already condemned the series. Although I find myself with mixed feelings which are just a bit more complex than condemnation. For starters this book was authorized by Adams’s widow Jane Belson so you get the feeling that his family isn’t against it. Next I don’t think anyone is trying to hide the fact that book isn’t by Douglas Adams; in fact I suspect that the readers will be his hard core fans more so than the general public. Read more…

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A Century Ago Today: Le Voyage sur Jupiter Premieres in the United States

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 13, 2009 in Animation, Cinema

We like to think of sci fi films as something new, but the fact of the matter is that the genre is now over a century old. On this day in 1909 the French film Le Voyage sur Jupiter opened in the United States. Directed by Spanish filmmaker Segundo de Chomón in 1907 the movie is quite similar to Le voyage dans la lune from 1902 by Georges Méliès. Although to his credit Chomón was very good at special effects and shows off a few new tricks here. Read more…

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Sadly Worldcon Gets No Love from the Mass Media…

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 11, 2009 in Fandom

Above is author Neil Gaiman at the opening of Worldcon 2009 in Montreal. What’s a Worldcon you ask? Well for those of you not in the know Worldcon is the world science fiction convention which has been held every year since 1939 except during World War II (because most of the fanboys were being drafted). As someone who was active in fandom going back a bit I can tell you that once upon a time Worldcon was THE place where Hollywood would show their latest. Read more…

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Syd Mead: Happy Birthday to Our Favorite Visual Futurist

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 18, 2009 in Cinema, Design

Syd Mead got his start working working for the auto industry in the 60s.

On this day in 1933 visual futurist Syd Mead was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He started his career in 1959 working for Ford Motor Company, but for us fanboys our love affair with his work really starts 70s when he started to make the jump from slick looking industrial design to science fiction. His early film work in Hollywood includes credits on the film Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 2010, Tron, Aliens and even the comedy Short Circuit (yes that was his robot design!). However his triumph for me was his preproduction work on Blade Runner: Read more…

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