Posts Tagged ‘Scifi’

PODCAST:

S4E8P – Preview Episode (Screamers)

SUBJECT MATTER:

“Second Variety (1953)” by Philip K. Dick (short story)

“In the aftermath of a devastating nuclear war between the United Nations and the Soviet Union, sophisticated robots nicknamed “claws” are created to destroy what remains of human life. Left to their own devices, however, the claws develop robots of their own. II-V, the second variety, remains unknown to the few humans left on Earth. Or does it? (from Goodreads.com)

“Jon’s World (1954)” by Philip K. Dick (short story) ++ bonus story++

“An expedition back in time shall get hold of the papers written by Schonerman for his artificial brains that were responsible for the success of the Claws described in Second Variety, but this time to the betterment of civilization. (from ISFDB.com)

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“Screamers (1995)” by Christian Duguay (Peter Weller) (movie)

“A rebel commander (Peter Weller, Robocop, 1987) must protect his outpost from the programmed weapons that are mutating into killers of all human life.” (from Amazon.com)

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

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PODCAST:

S4E7M – Metropolis (silent film)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we go off the rails and head straight for the weeds. This proves to the longest episode yet for No Deodorant In Outer Space. I am joined once again by former co-host and original founding member of NDIOS, James Rauch a/k/a Beam, as well as a new guest, amateur historian and genre fan, Richard Bacon. We discuss one of science fiction’s earliest depictions on the screen while enjoying libations and sitting around a crackling bonfire near a soybean field. 

For the most part, Beam did not think this movie was fun to watch as it wasn’t a talkie. That said, he did find that the film made him think about the world he’s living in, and how it compared with the world in which the film was created. In that sense, Beam felt the film was artistically successful.  Ryan found the movie just short of perfection, and was profoundly impressed with the attention to detail that the director brought to life. Ryan and Beam disagreed with the amount of melodrama depicted during the course of the film. Rich explained that reading the book added a lot to the viewing experience, and he expressed that silent films are their own medium which should be considered on its own merits as a separate film category. Rich also felt the imagery he watched would stay with him for a long time despite any shortcomings in the content.

A lot of history was discussed during our recording. This film was created after World War I during the lead up to World Word II, so there was a lot to think about there. The director made a lasting impact in the film industry worth noting, and the film itself had a life of its own due to a somewhat recent found footage discovery and restoration process. We got into all this and more during our critique which lasted well into the night. We also got into the beer. 

Things got pretty interesting, a little repetitive, slightly weird, somber serious, and perhaps even silly by the end. All told, however, this rather long episode was a fairly thorough review worthy of the film’s epic and ambitious aspirations. Please enjoy our drunken babbling! We (probably) did!

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN MOVIE REVIEWS:

“Metropolis (1927)” by Fritz Lang (Alfred Abel) (silent film)

Ryan: 4 1/2 Stars “…A bombastic production complemented by subtle silent performances made with painstaking and innovative attention to detail, that come together in a glorious twentieth century fable which changed film forever…

Beam: 3 Stars “…“Well, I guess if you like movies where there is no talking…I mean if you went back in time like a hundred years and tried to film something and create some sort of artistic imagery, you imagine the complicated nature of that–this movie, it was transcendent in that regard…

Rich: 5 Stars “…A visual masterpiece. It is a scifi classic, and it is something that everyone should see certainly select portions of, if not the whole thing…

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

Rotwang admiring his mechanical hand while Maria the Robot looks on.

During our discussion we talked about the fascinating restoration of the film. A documentary on this process called “Voyage to Metropolis” directed by Artem Demenok can be found as a playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLioOe7PCjX1Tze5-sj31_7e0mXei1oY8O. The official Kino Lorber website has more on the production, resurrection, and restoration of this amazing work: https://www.kinolorber.com/sites/metropolis/restoration.html#rest.

American filmmaker, William Friedkin, interviewed Fritz Lang back in 1974. During this interview Lang recounted his infamous tale of fleeing Germany after being asked by the Nazi’s to make films for them. That interview, which was mentioned on the show can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=or0j1mY_rug&feature=youtu.be. Fritz Lang was a larger than life personality and was notorious in Hollywood for being difficult. A video from Renegade Cut recounts “The Eight Most Insane Direction Decisions by Fritz Lang,” which is found here: https://youtu.be/4m0e4f7W7cE.

Rich compared this silent film story telling as being akin to traditional Japanese Kabuki Theater. It’s interesting to note that this form of dramatic story telling gained popularity in the Yoshiwara, a red-light district of what would later become Tokyo. Both the author and director utilized this place name for a night club in Metropolis. This is a web article on the Yoshiwara connection with Metropolis: https://documents.uow.edu.au/~morgan/metrov1.htm. Also, here is an an UNESCO article on Kabuki Theater which contains audio and video components demonstrating the art and providing a brief explanation: https://documents.uow.edu.au/~morgan/metrov1.htm.

The influence of Metropolis is still evident today. Rich mentioned that the gloved mechanical hand of Rotwang in the film influenced the use of the glove by the title character in Stanley Kubrick‘s 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Shmoop’s did an article relating to this: https://www.shmoop.com/dr-strangelove/mechanical-arm-symbol.html. The metal act Sepultura named their thirteenth studio album from a quote in Metropolis: “The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart.” The pop singer Madonna‘s hit song “Express Yourself” was influenced by the movie and also included a direct quote at the end of the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsVcUzP_O_8. Lastly, the famous rock band Queen designed their music video for the song “Radio Gaga” mimicking and utilizing actual elements from the movie version of Metropolis. Check it out:

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E7B – Metropolis (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we dissect the hybrid tie-in book “Metropolis,” made in conjunction and simultaneous creation with its filmatic counterpart. This episode was recorded on the edges of agriculture and industry with a warming heart-fire of human ingenuity crackling in the background for added ambiance. I am joined by former co-host and original founding member of NDIOS, James Rauch a/k/a Beam, as well as a new guest, amateur historian and genre fan, Richard Bacon.   

All three of us generally found this book to be a laborious read. Our discussion focused heavily on the plethora of different story themes the author crammed into this relatively short work. Both Rich and Beam cited the historical context in which the work was created, however the class struggles inherent in the book that might have been exemplary of the author’s contemporary time seemed to be too buried to provide much insight. Rich ultimately felt that a revenge plot ran strongest through the book, which was the only thing he could grab onto solidly. Ryan saw familial relationships and conflicts put up against the artifice of machine as the central conflict. Beam struggled to finish the book and just didn’t like it, but thought it had cultural importance and influence. 

The episode runs longer than usual, but this otherwise difficult book provided great fodder for debate and discussion. Enjoy the ambiance of the bonfire and grumblings of civilization purring in the distance as my comrades and I imbibe spirits and pontificate on the ambitious meanderings of this lesser known twin origin piece for one of science fiction’s earliest efforts on the screen.

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“Metropolis (1925)” by Thea von Harbou (book)

Ryan: 3 Stars “…A romanticized class struggle colored by religious and occult mythology with implacable villains full of old world venom and heroes in glorious melodrama – all set in the vast mechanized metropolis, a city dug as deep in the ground as it towers in the skies…

Beam: 2 Stars “…Melodrama…it was a very over dramatic almost theatrical book in a lot of ways…the style of the writing, the verbosity of it was almost intimidating to me…I didn’t really enjoy reading it…

Rich: 1 1/2 Stars “…Rotwang wants vengeance on the two men who stole the love of his life. One stole her heart. The other stole her life…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

Rich felt that one of the author’s strengths was her ability to invoke images in the mind with her writing. Strangely enough this reminded him of well known comic writer, Mike Mignola, who’s eponymous character, Hellboy, is also set in a similar era as this work. Rich vehemently recommended that any and all check out this comic author’s work.

Though not acknowledged during the recording, Rich also managed to slip various references from the Simpsons into the episode. Here is Homer’s Simpson’s famous Bee Monologue from Season 6, Episode 2 “Lisa’s Rival, ” part of which got snuck in at some point: https://youtu.be/97M1X13XvOk.

During the episode we mentioned that the marriage of Thea von Harbou began and ended with affairs. Unfortunately, the director’s first wife caught the author and him in the act and took her own life as a result.–or did she? A website exploring “The Mysterious Death of Lisa Rosenthal,” which Ryan mentioned during the podcast can be found here: http://www.williamahearn.com/lisa.html. This same website contains the reference Ryan also mentioned about Thea having confusing decorating tastes hanging on her wall at home at the time of her death with alleged depictions of both Ganhdi and Hitler: http://www.williamahearn.com/thea.html.

One of the various myth/occult references the author used in this narrative, the Seal of Solomon,  or the Star of David, or the Pentagram was brought up in our previous podcast reviews of the cult-based works: “The Devil Rides Out (Black Magic #1) (1934)” by Dennis Wheatley (book) and “The Devil Rides Out (1968)” by Terence Fisher (Christopher Lee) (film).

Lastly, Ryan also cited a eview of this work from a Marxist perspective. That video “Metropolis – Marxist Theory”  by Renegade Cut can be found here: https://youtu.be/DJjbfaEtPN0.

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E7P – Preview Episode (Metropolis)

SUBJECT MATTER:

“Metropolis (1925)” by Thea von Harbou (book)

Metropolis is a 1925 novel by the German writer Thea von Harbou. The story is set in 2026 in a technologically advanced city, which is sustained by the existence of an underground society of labourers. The son of one of the city’s founders falls in love with a girl from the underground society as the two societies begin to clash due to the lack of a unifying force. The novel was the basis for Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis. (from Wikipedia.com)

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“Metropolis (1927)” by Fritz Lang (Alfred Abel) (silent film)

“The most influential of all silent films, this astounding new version of Fritz Lang’s visionary masterpiece includes 25 minutes of newly-discovered, digitally restored footage and Gottfried Huppertz’s magnificent original score – the closest version ever seen since the film’s 1927 Berlin premiere. METROPOLIS takes place in 2026, when the populace is divided between workers who must live in the dark underground and the rich who enjoy a futuristic city of splendor. The tense balance of these two societies is realized through images that are among the most famous of the 20th century, many of which presage such sci-fi landmarks as 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and BLADE RUNNER. Lavish and spectacular, with elaborate sets and modern science fiction style, Metropolis stands today as the crowning achievement of the German silent cinema.” (from Amazon.com)

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E5M – The Screwfly Solution (TV episode)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we get into an earnest discussion about this campy, pseudo-80’s-style visual adaptation of our subject science fiction horror story. I am joined again by Erika Doyle (artist: https://doyleaudiovisual.wixsite.com/erikaestefaniadoyle) and Amanda Andros (playwright: https://www.instagram.com/scribblergrll/).

While Erika thought that the nudity was done well she found the acting lacking and the level of gore morbidly humorous. Amanda thought that the way the violence was depicted undercut the disturbing nature of the tale. Ryan pointed out that the story was developed mostly from epistolary sources, and that despite this it was translated pretty decently on screen and very close to the source material.

Everyone seemed to feel that while b-style camp and dark humor was not in and of itself problematic, the way in which it was utilized here detracted from the deeper themes which the author explored in the original short story. This, as Ryan mentioned, despite the director and screenwriter being well-accomplished with their previous efforts.

Take a listen as we laugh and reflect on this well-intentioned, but over-the-top take on a horrific story!

-Ryan

 

 

WRITTEN MOVIE REVIEWS:

“The Screwfly Solution (2006)” by Joe Dante for “Masters of Horror” (Jason Priestley) (TV episode)

Ryan: 2 1/2 Stars “…A creepy adaption of a science fiction horror tale. which manages to focus and update the storyline while remaining still faithful to the original narrative…

Erika: 2.13 Stars “…It was really a lot of blood…it was kind of funny and the acting was terrible…

Amanda: 2 Stars “…there were subtle differences in the storyline, but overall it was extremely horrifying, but also a bit low budget in its representation…

 

 

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

On the show we talked about director Joe Date’s collaborative web-series “Trailers from Hell,” which invites industry insiders (such as other famous directors) to provide commentary about existing movie trailers. It’s a sort of curation site that aims to provide some discerning guidance to modern audiences about the ever increasing back catalog of film content that has been developed over the years. Below are some links to content from this site regarding movies that Joe Dante worked on very early in his career as either an editor or director and while still under the tutelage of Hollywood’s famous b-movie producer Roger Corman. Check it out:

 

Another podcast mentioned by Ryan which discussed this work and pointed out the feminine aspects of the depiction of the aliens is: “Greetings from the Mirror” – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/greetings-from-the-mirror-zone/id1294039118?mt=2&i=1000394970628. Also, the story written by James Tiptree, Jr., that Ryan couldn’t remember the name for was: “The Women Men Don’t See” The novelette was nominated for a nebula award before it was revealed that James Tiptree, Jr. was actually a woman, and she withdrew the work from the ballot: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Women_Men_Don’t_See.

 

Lastly, below is a picture of Erika painting a mural in Chicago for which she was commissioned. Fun fact: Her helper is frequent show guest and theme writer (her husband) John Doyle a/k/a Dole.

 

 

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E5B – The Screwfly Solution (short story)*

SHOW NOTES:

Wherein we discuss the intriguing and tragic life of this fascinating author and her unique perspective and influence on the speculative fiction genre exploring traditional themes of classic scifi with a voice all her own. I am joined by Erika Doyle (artist: https://doyleaudiovisual.wixsite.com/erikaestefaniadoyle) and Amanda Andros (playwright: https://www.instagram.com/scribblergrll/) marking the first occasion when the women folk outnumber the men folk on this podcast.

Issues of gender and femicide which are the subject of this narrative were delved into with detail. Ryan marked the hopeless tone that resolved in tragic revelation at the conclusion as a sort of warning tale for keeping perspective in the face of crises. Erika pointed out the various political and religious themes present which made this story feel relevant even today many years after it was written. Amanda found the horror presented disturbing, but done purposefully and thoughtfully. All agreed that this short story was a frightening take on violence and vulnerability that was written with a many-layered and multi-faceted masterful hand.

Listen in on this episode’s riveting conversation about an author who was far ahead of her time and her award-winning story of science fiction horror!

-Ryan

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

“The Screwfly Solution (1977)” by Raccoona Sheldon a/k/a James Tiptree, Jr. a/k/a Alice Sheldon (short story)

Ryan: 4 1/2 Stars “…An epistolary narrative unraveled with increasing tension as terror reigns abomination with insect horror…

Erika: 4.93 Stars “…I found a lot of humor…but it was kind of grotesque. Like morbid humor…Her prose was fantastic…

Amanda: 4 1/2 Stars “…I found it highly disturbing. I was able to get through that and see a microcosm of society and current events that are going on in the story, now. I think the author is brilliant in the writing…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

 

During this episode we mentioned a recent biography on the author’s life published in 2015. This work entitled “James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon” can be found here (Kindle Edition): https://www.amazon.com/James-Tiptree-Jr-Double-Sheldon-ebook/dp/B00R17JHTA/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1529293741&sr=1-3&keywords=James+Tiptree. The biographer, Julie Phillips, was interviewed on both a podcast and video regarding her research. Those episodes were on the following programs: “Imaginary Worlds Podcast” (Episode: The Mysterious James Tiptree): https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/imaginary-worlds/id916273527?mt=2&i=1000337434574; and: “UO Today with Julie Phillips” (video): https://youtu.be/hnruglIT2VA. Another podcast mentioned on this episode that gave a thorough and informative overview of the author’s life based on a reading of the biography was: Galactic Suburbia Spoilerific – James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips – Podcast – https://galactisuburbia.podbean.com/e/episode-125-spoilerific-james-tiptree-jr/.

Also of interest on this topic is an NPR article by Stephen Burt “Author, Feminist, Pioneer: The Unlikely Queen Of Sci-Fi” which can be found here: https://www.npr.org/2013/08/11/193476887/author-feminist-pioneer-the-unlikely-queen-of-sci-fi.

This author has an award based on her. The James Tiptree, Jr. award is “An award encouraging the exploration & expansion of gender.” More information on that and its past winners can be found at their website: https://tiptree.org/.

At least four of the stories written in the author’s anthology “Her Smoke Rose Up Forever” are available to listen to FREE in podcast audio format at highly reputable online science fiction magazines including the subject of this episode. Continue the adventure here:

The author, whose name Ryan couldn’t recall, and who was responsible for bringing about the Science Fiction New Wave movement which started in the United Kingdom before it came to the United States was Michael Moorcock. Here is a photo of the book which Ryan was reading around that time about that author’s most famous main character:

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Elric the morose albino sorcerer of Melniboné must bear his reluctant crown to protect those few things he treasures against the fading bright of his might-ridden empire, which continually pits his aspirations toward a greater moral clarity against compromises of ill circumstance. The conflicts come fast and the words faster as forces of supernatural and family alike threaten Elric’s tenuous personal health as well as his cumbersome grip on power. Meet the Eternal Champion and squeeze through the many planes of existence as he tumbles through the Multiverse. #ElricofMelnibone by #MichaelMoorcock a definitive collection by #Gollancz #orionbooks #Elric #elricofmelniboné #theeternalchampion #eternalchampion #melnibone #melniboné #moorcock #themichaelmoorcockcollection #multiverse #amreading #fantasy #fantasybooks #swordandsorcery #book #literature #bookselfie #instabook #bookstagram #booksofig #lovebird #instapet #petsofinstagram #pets #birdsofinstagram #booksofinsta

A post shared by Ryan Sean O'Reilly (@ryanseanoreilly) on

 

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

PODCAST:

S4E5P – Preview Episode (The Screwfly Solution)

SUBJECT MATTER:

“The Screwfly Solution (1977)” by Raccoona Sheldon a/k/a James Tiptree, Jr. a/k/a Alice Sheldon (short story)

Her Smoke Rose Up Forever collects eighteen brilliant short stories from a luminary of the science-fiction genre, James Tiptree, Jr. This updated edition is the quintessential Tiptree collection and contains revisions from the author’s original notes. Tiptree’s fiction reflects the darkly complex world its author inhabited: exploring the alien among us; the unreliability of perception; love, sex, and death; and humanity’s place in a vast, cold universe. (from Amazon.com)

“”The Screwfly Solution” is a 1977 science fiction short story by Raccoona Sheldon, a pen name for psychologist Alice Sheldon, who was better known by her other nom de plume, James Tiptree, Jr. It received the Nebula Award for Best Novelette, and has been adapted into a television film. The title refers to the sterile insect technique, a technique of eradicating the population of screwflies by the release of large amounts of sterilized males that would compete with fertile males, thus reducing the native population more with each generation this is done. This story concerns a similar distortion of human sexuality with disastrous results.” (from Wikipedia.com)

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“The Screwfly Solution (2006)” by Joe Dante for “Masters of Horror” (Jason Priestley) (TV episode)

“The second season of the anthology series, Masters of Horror, brings a stellar lineup of directors and thirteen new one-hour films.”  (from Amazon.com)

Season II – Episode 7. “The Screwfly Solution” – “It begins with a terrifying rash of isolated homicides Around the world, normal male sexual urges have suddenly transformed into violent rage. Now a pair of scientists (Jason Priestley and Elliott Gould) are in a desperate race against time to figure out how – and why – the war between the sexes has turned murderous. Is a mysterious virus making every red-blooded man a potential lady-killer? Kerry Norton (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) costars in this graphic and provocative shocker written by Sam Hamm (BATMAN, HOMECOMING) from the award-winning short story by James Tiptree Jr.” (from Amazon.com)

 

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Listen to this full-cast audio version of the short story FREE here: http://pseudopod.org/2014/08/22/pseudopod-400-the-screwfly-solution/

“The Screwfly Solution (August 22, 2014)” by Pseudopod – Episode 400 (podcast)

Narrators: Tina Connolly, Eric Luke, Matt Franklin, Anna Schwind, Mat Weller, Rish Outfield, George Hrab and Jairus Durnett – Host: Alasdair Stuart  – Audio Producer: Graeme Dunlop

“The Screwfly Solution” first appeared in the June 1977 issue of Analog, won the Nebula award for Novelette in 1978 and has been reprinted multiple times since then… It is being podcast with the permission of Jeffrey D. Smith and the Virginia Kidd Agency, Inc..” (from Pseudopod.org)

“You’ve found the world’s premier horror fiction podcast. For over a decade, Pseudopod has been bringing you the best short horror in audio form, to take with you anywhere. We pay our authors professional rates for original fiction and we reach more people every week than any other short fiction horror market.”  (from Pseudopod.org)

 

* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.