Category Archives: Science Fiction

Trailer for “The Machine”

Trailers – The SyFy Channel has ordered a pilot for a new series “The Machine”. This will be a TV series based on the 2013 movie of the same name, the trailer for which is shown above.

The concept will be that the world is being transformed by the emergence of Artificial Intelligence. While we are not there yet, our society is in the process of being massively changed by the growing introduction of robots, AI and Automation. The series will show the struggle between the emergent AI and humanity.

This might be a good series if it makes it through to production.

A Brief Look at Some of the FX in”Rogue One”

In “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” one of the great scenes is the space battle between the Rebel Alliance over Scarif. Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) out did themselves in creating this sequence.

This is a short (0:58) video, but it does give an idea to what went into the sequence. I’ve seen the movie 4 times now and I think that this is one of the outstanding parts of the film. Certainly it centers on the destruction of Star Destroyers and the Shield Gate in a creative way.

More of “Pandora” at Disney World

Disney – Disney seems to be taking their Imagineering efforts to an entirely new level with the new land of “Pandora”, particularly with the flora of the fictitious world. “Pandora”, from the glimpses in the video above, looks to be visually stunning during the day. At night the effect will be amplified by some of the plants being bioluminescent.

One thing that seems to be different with “Pandora” is that Disney is attempting to immerse you in the world of Pandora. There appears to be a great deal of engineering effort that has gone into the animatronics for “Pandora”. For science fiction fans this will be a great experience.

I’m looking forward to exploring this alien world the next time I visit Disney World. It will be the closest we can get to visiting an exoplanet.

Behind the Scenes on “Rogue One”

Trailers – By now we have all see “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” at least once. I think I’ve seen it four times now.

This isn’t a trailer as much as it is a look behind the filming of the movie. While this short (2:56) video doesn’t really reveal much, it is a different look with a couple of brief scenes that I think got left on the cutting room floor.

In any case, if you like Star Wars you will want to see it.

“Star Wars” at Disney

Disney – Those who are fans or “Avatar” get their “Pandora Land” this May when an expansion is added to the Animal Kingdom. The big expansion will open in 2019 when the new Star Wars Lands open. Yes “Lands” – 14 acre expansions are under construction at both Disneyland and Disney World. A new glimpse (video above) was given at the Star Wars Celebration this past weekend at what is in the works.

The Disney World expansion is in Disney’s Hollywood Studios park. When I was there in January 2017 the construction was well underway. This expansion will include a Millennium Falcon that park guests can crew, as well as a rough and tumble village that is an outpost on the edge of the Unknown Regions of space. All sort of characters and strange creatures will be seen here. A good place to find the right ship for smuggling, or for those trying to stay below the radar of the First Order.

I think that these expansions will be a great hit once they open! I only hope that as the Star Wars saga continues to be told, the Lands will continue to expand over the years as well.

Trailer for “Phoenix Forgotten”

Trailers – This Science Fiction movie premiers April 21. This movie is shot in sound-footage-style (shaky camera, which I dislike and often makes me nauseous). The premise behind the movie is:

The three students decide to investigate the UFO sightings over Phoenix, Arizona and Sonora, Mexico in March of 1997. They vanish without a trace. Now, twenty years later, ‘lost’ video footage of their last hours has been found.

This could be interesting. It is hard to tell from the trailer. It could also be one of those movies where I would like to take some very large spikes and nail the photographer’s feet in place and give him a steady-cam.

Review of “The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred”

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Book Reviews – “The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Greg Egan (http://www.gregegan.net). Mr. Egan has published more than a dozen novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Mature Language. The story is set in the future with asteroids having been colonized.

The asteroids Vesta and Ceres are not close, but have a commerce program worked out where one sends large chunks of ice while the other sends large chunks of stone through space. These chunks of ‘cargo’ take about three years to traverse the space between the asteroids.

Some on Vesta ‘catch a ride’ on the cargo, traveling in a suspended state. They are desperate to leave the deteriorating conditions on Vesta. A traditional ferry vessel has left Vesta for Ceres. The Vesta government claims that there are “war criminals” on board. The new port director on Ceres, Anna, is faced with the decision of how to respond to Vesta demands that the ferry carrying nearly 800 passengers be turned away. Vesta has threatened the nearly 4000 escaping Vesta riding the cargo in route.

Thankfully this was a short read of just under 2 hours for the 70 page Science Fiction novella. While I liked the overall plot, I felt that I was dumped into the middle of a story. It also felt a little chaotic to me. In my opinion, this would have been a much better read if it had been expanded into a full novel. The cover art is OK, I guess it is supposed to represent the ferry. I think an image of a block of stone with a survival cocoon attached would have been better. I give this novella a 2.5 (rounded up to a 3) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).