Film critics were not kind when A.I. Artificial Intelligence was released in 2001. A.I. was directed by Steven Spielberg but originated from, and was made with, Stanley Kubrick, up until his death in 1999. A lot of reviewers accordinly blamed Spielberg for pretty much everything they disliked about the film, notably its final 30 minutes [...]
Entries Tagged as 'sf'
May 8th, 2016 · 1 Comment
December 17th, 2015 · No Comments
I’ve been a fan of Philip Reeve after reading his thrilling Mortal Engines quartet. Strictly speaking, Philip Reeve is a young adult SF/fantasy author, but I found this series to be more imaginative and darker than many other ‘adult’ novels. A lot of his other books have been for younger children, but when I heard [...]
December 1st, 2015 · No Comments
Spoilers abound for the entire plot of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora
I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy changed my life. I was 14 and reading plenty of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov when I idly flipped through our monthly book club brochure. They usually didn’t have any science [...]
October 29th, 2014 · No Comments
I was fortunate enough to catch a screening of Interstellar tonight, courtesy of BAFTA. Christopher Nolan surprised the audience by introducing the movie with a few words, comparing-but-not-comparing it with 2001.
It’s not as good as 2001 – but you could say that about almost any movie. Is it a great movie, though? No. Is it [...]
October 22nd, 2014 · No Comments
Next month, the BFI is releasing a new digital transfer of 2001. I will be there.
Quite apart from the fact that even a big TV can’t replicate the ultra-widescreen experience required to properly appreciate 2001, I think that most normal people – myself included – are incapable of paying sufficient attention to the movie unless [...]
February 6th, 2012 · 10 Comments
After reading Christopher Priest’s The Islanders, I was immediately compelled to figure out exactly what was going on in the story (similar to what I tried with Iain Banks’ Transition). Of course, The Islanders is even more deliberately ambiguous and dreamlike than Transition, and so I’m acutely aware that trying to unknot the plot is [...]
September 25th, 2011 · 5 Comments
I was disappointed.
When I heard about Reamde’s premise of hackers, spies, and gold mining in a massive multiplayer online game called T’Rain, I had the same worried feeling that I had when I heard about Anathem’s monasteries – that Neal Stephenson was venturing away from the sort of adventure/SF capers I enjoyed best. However, I [...]
February 8th, 2011 · 1 Comment
Last year, I listened to a programme on Radio 4 called A History of the World in 100 Objects. It took 25 hours, or 1500 minutes.
In the show, the BBC and the British Museum attempted to describe the entire span of human history through 100 objects – from a 2 million year-old Olduvai stone cutting [...]
September 26th, 2009 · 42 Comments
Iain Banks’ latest novel, Transition, is perhaps his strongest work in recent years, straddling his science fiction persona (Iain M Banks) and his non-genre, non-M persona (Iain Banks). For me, it combined his fantastic world-building imagination that we see in his Culture novels with the more rooted nature of his traditional novels – with a [...]
October 6th, 2008 · 9 Comments
A lot of people are criticising Neal Stephenson’s new novel, Anathem, for containing vast quantities of invented words. Instead of mobile phones, he has jeejahs; for video, he has speely; for church, he has ark; and so on.
I had been warned about these beforehand, and yet I still became irritated during the first couple of [...]