(In)Sense8

Spoilers.  Duh.   When Caitlin Sweet, Mistress of the Character-Based Narrative, complains that a TV show wallows too much in characterization— worse, that it needs more science— you know a screenwriter somewhere has seriously missed the boat. Over the weekend we binged on this Sense8 show everyone’s been raving about, curled up on Big Green […]

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Intellectual Fortitude

In 1971, barely into my teens, I went to a movie with my dad: The Andromeda Strain, based on Michael Crichton’s bestseller, and one of the more faithful adaptations of an SF novel put to film. It’s not a perfect movie. Even back then I could see it wasn’t great on character development. There was […]

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“Humans”? They Weren’t Kidding.

Spoilers.  Duh. So that was Humans. Eight hours of carefully-arced, understated British narrative about robots: an AMC/Channel 4 coproduction that’s netted Channel 4 its biggest audiences in over two decades. What great casting. What fine acting. What nice production values. What a great little bit of subtext as William Hurt and his android, both well […]

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Spock the Impaler: A Belated Retrospective on Vulcan Ethics.

When I first wrote these words, the Internet was alive with the death of Leonard Nimoy. I couldn’t post them here, because Nowa Fantastyka got them first (or at least, an abridged version thereof), and there were exclusivity windows to consider. As I revisit these words, though, Nimoy remains dead, and the implications of his […]

Sweet Justice. (And puppets.)

Today’s opening act is a left-over I forgot to include in that last post: a bit of flesh sculpture I was not allowed to show off in “Pones & Bones” because it would have risked  spoiling a yet-to-be-aired episode of “Hannibal”. That episode recently aired, though, so the embargo is lifted. Behold: the hoofed, flayed, […]

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By & About

Me, that is. In reference to a couple of essays that have gone live over the past 24 hours. * I haven’t had a lot contact with the good folks over at The Canadian Science Fiction Review— I don’t even know why they call themselves “Æ”, now that I think of it— but over the […]

A Mirror.

Spoiler Warning: pretty much this whole post, if you haven’t yet seen Ex Machina. Then again, even if you haven’t seen Ex Machina, some of you might want to be spoiled. I know I would. So. In the wake of that slurry o’sewage that was Age of Ultron, how does Ex Machina stack up? I […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 39 Comments

AI. eh-eye.

I had such hopes for this post. I was going to compare the two big AI movies that came out over the past few weeks. I was going to celebrate the ways in which a common theme could be explored through bombast vs. introspection, through Socratic dialog vs. the more wisecracky kind. I wasn’t expecting […]

Posted in: ink on art by Peter Watts 93 Comments

Gendering Nemo.

With Special Opening Act, Tony Smith! What do Dune, The Road, Blindsight, Anathem, and I Am Legend all have in common? Together, they comprise The Five Worst SF Books EVER, as compiled by my buddy, Tony Smith over at Starship Sofa. Of course, this is hardly the first time Blindsight has been so honored— but […]

And they call it… Puppy Love…

“It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.” —Martha Graham, as cited by Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany in today’s NY Times.   So as […]

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