Just over a week ago, I signed up to do The Eclectic Reader Challenge, 2015 and I sent out a heart-felt appeal for help finding a sci-fi book to meet one of the requirements. Alas, there was no response. So when I was out and about, I managed to find a magazine that I think will be of some assistance in my quest. While its focus is mostly on TV series and movies, many of those are based on books and so I’m gaining a broad overview of what is available. It’s called SciFiNow and what I bought is their Annual edition, featuring the best of 2014 and a feature they call, “The Best of Timewarp” where they take a retro look at “classics”. Now, what they cover isn’t strictly-speaking science fiction. They bill themselves as “a collection of the world’s best sci-fi, fantasy, and horror” so I have to be careful as the challenge is quite clear it’s to be sci-fi in space.
I don’t have cable so I’m not on top of the TV shows but I gather from the magazine there are lots of scifi/horror shows and they have quite a cult following. I was surprised to see “Game of Thrones” there (my boxed set of books is still in cellophane). I’m not sure which category it falls into; I didn’t think it was sci-fi but it sounds like at the end of season 3 it might be considered horror. (Apparently, quite a number of the cast got killed off.) There are interviews, lots of pictures, some hints about next season, and a Tarot Card Guide specific to the Game of Thrones. Sounds very exciting but probably not sci-fi.
There’s a section about a show called Orphan Black which has just completed its first season and its star, Tatiana Maslany, talks about the challenges of playing multiple characters, especially when they’re in the same scene. Next season? “It’s only going to get tougher!” Not sure what that implies!
Guardians of the Galaxy is touted as being “Marvel’s biggest risk to date” and “the biggest box office taking of the year”. Now this is sci-fi in space. This is about a team of super-hero thugs and misfits (one of whom is a machine gun-toting raccoon) who basically band together to fight evil because “they’ve never done it before”. There’s a run-down of the Guardians, as well as one of the “darker side” characters, and lots of solid information about Marvel and its “expanding” universe. Now I remember seeing the previews for this movie but they didn’t draw me in so I never went to see it.
Other articles include Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (which includes a True or False Ape Quiz) and The Lego Movie which they describe as being “the year’s most purely enjoyable movie”. Their article on Interstellar convinced me to go and see it — WOW! So glad I went. Check out my review here!
One of the sections I found truly intriguing was about a TV series which amounts to a prequel to the Alfred Hitchcock movie, Psycho. It’s called Bates Motel and takes us back to the childhood of Norman Bates and his penchant for taxidermy. (A shiver just ran down my spine.) Apparently, his father’s death was a case of “patricide with blender” and it seems that as the season closed, Norman might have just “brutally murdered his teacher, Miss Watson”. Hundreds of thousands of women wouldn’t take a shower for months after watching Psycho; I think women teachers will be double-locking their doors and windows.
The last section was what blew my mind. It’s their retro look at classics. They came up with a list of 5 scifi movies: Batman: the Movie; Ghostbusters; 2001: A Space Odyssey; Shaun of the Dead; Gremlins. I never saw any of them. Now, I may have seen at least part of Batman: the Movie on TV but I never even heard of Shaun of the Dead. However, when it comes to 2001: Space Odyssey, I hang my head in shame. I never saw it in the theatre, never read the book, never watched it on TV. That’s embarrassing! I think this might be the book for my Challenge.