Tag Archives: movies

A Busy Day

It’s been quite the day. Busiest Saturday in a while. I spent a lot of time in the basement, and not so much time on my computer. Here’s what we achieved.

This morning, I recorded two videos, including one with a couple big announcements. I’m reaching another milestone and I’m starting a new video series. That video should be up tomorrow.

Later on, we took all of the bottles and cans to the bottle depot. It was my wife’s first time to visit one. What’s nice about doing that is that you get some money back.

And then, after dinner, my sister and I put together some furniture from IKEA in the basement. I spent most of the evening down there, and we haven’t completely finished. You see, my daughter wanted to help so much, but because of her age and lack of skills with tools, she couldn’t. She was upset about it. So, we’re going to let her push the drawers into the dresser tomorrow. At the same time, we watched several movies, including Big Hero 6, the Steve Jobs movie, and the old Peter Sellers Casino Royale, which was a James Bond movie, though not part of the regular series. Research shows that it was a comedy satire.

So, that was my busy Saturday. How was yours?

Galactic Density of Alien Life in Science Fiction

In science fiction, especially involving interstellar space travel, we often see aliens. Often, but not always. And this is something we wonder today. How many civilisations are there in space? How far are they from us? Will we ever encounter any alien civilisations on other planets?

In Star Trek, the population density of the galaxy is very high. Pretty much any star system with a planet in the Goldilocks zone has life and possibly a civilisation. Alpha Centauri has life, but not a native civilisation. Vulcan, Andor, and Tellar are all fairly close to Earth. Life is everywhere.

In the book that I’m reading now, Redemption Ark (Revelation Space), the galaxy is fairly empty. There have been civilisations, but they’re few and far between and happen at different times. But there’s a reason for it, and that’s explained in the book.

In my own Ariadne universe, I hint at other civilisations, but I don’t go into it so much, because all the action takes place on one planet. At least for now.

In these three, the mode of transportation is also different. In Star Trek, they have warp engines that take their ships out of normal space in a warp bubble, and propel that bubble through space many times the speed of light. No relativistic effects are experienced. In Revelation Space, the spacecraft are able to travel at nearly the speed of light, and there are major relativistic effects. But in Ariadne, I use a modified warp system that is unable to pass the speed of light. However, they use sleeper ships, so the effects of relativity are not felt, but the people also don’t age. In Star Trek, thanks to the form of propulsion, they are able to meet many different civilisations and visit many planets without any difficulties. In Revelation Space and Ariadne, the speeds are not enough to make regular interstellar travel practical.

I find that both kinds have their place in science fiction. I enjoy reading and watching science fiction that use either one. Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below.

The Best Novel to Movie Adaptations

Are you the kind of person who gets excited when one of your favourite books is being made into a movie? Or are you afraid that they’ll completely destroy your beloved story? Well, I say “yes” to both questions.

I compiled a short list of the novel to movie adaptations that I thought were well done. And they are:

  1. Lord of the Rings trilogy
  2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird
  4. Harry Potter series

I explained my choices in a video, which you can watch below.

What do you think are the best novel to movie adaptations? Let me know in the comments below.

Wonder Woman, Justice League, and Star Trek Discovery

San Diego Comic-Con has been giving some very interesting information in video form. I mean the DC Comics movies coming up.

First is the Wonder Woman movie, which has a very interesting looking trailer. Watch it below.

I’m really looking forward to this. Looks great! The other one is the Justice League movie. What they had available isn’t a trailer, but a collection of footage that they have available. And this is it:

But no Superman! (Please, no spoilers in the comments). However, it seems to be a bit more lighthearted than many of the more recent DC movies. I’m looking forward to see it, but I still need to see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

And finally, some Star Trek news! The new TV series will be called Star Trek Discovery, and they have some test footage of the new starship. You can see it here. It looks like it’s post Star Trek VI, but before Star Trek: The Next Generation. The U.S.S. Discovery features an older style saucer section with a Klingon-inspired stardrive section. Looks interesting. I’m intrigued. It sounds like it takes place during the time of peace between the Federation and the Klingons, and there’s some exchange in technology. I’ve heard some people speculating that it may have a cloaking device, so it takes place before the banning of cloaking technology by the Federation.

Let me know what looks interesting to you in the comments below!

Do You Read the Book First?

In this video, I talk about five book and movie pairings and how I experienced them. Which did I do first, read the book or watch the movie? I’ve done both. But which do I prefer? Find out!

I’m curious about your answer. I ask a question in this video near the end. Please leave a comment with your answer. Also, there’s a blooper!

Which Movie Should I Watch on Netflix?

I’ve already asked you about which TV series I should watch first on Netflix (Sherlock and The Walking Dead won that one). Now I want to ask you which movie I should watch first. It’s difficult to choose! So, take a moment and vote in this poll.

Without using spoilers, tell me why I should watch what you voted for in the comments below.

Authors Answer 80 – Inspiration From the Screen

Happy Friday the 13th! Unfortunately, our topic isn’t related to that, but there is a movie called Friday the 13th. We’re talking about movies and TV shows this week. Sometimes, we get our inspiration from reading, sometimes from life, but sometimes from movies and TV.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 80 – Are there any TV shows or movies that have influenced your writing?

Gregory S. Close

Basically anything I consume from any media has some sort of influence, positive or negative.  There are lessons to be learned about good and bad storytelling, characters, plot points etc. in anything from My Little Pony to Jessica Jones.  If I had to say what was the biggest single influence, I’d say that Star Wars fits that bill.  I saw it in the theaters when still pretty young, so it had a huge impact on me.

Elizabeth Rhodes

Funny this question comes up, because The Book of Eli was one of my favorite movies and was s big influence on my novel Jasper. It mostly contributed s certain setting and aesthetic. One of the stories I’m working on now might bear some resemblance to a fantasy series with its own highly rated TV show, but it’s actually more inspired by a video game (Dark Souls.)

Eric Wood

I don’t think so. Or at least not consciously. I just write whatever comes to mind. I typically don’t watch movies and TV that are in the same genre as my writing. Sons of Anarchy, Grey’s Anatomy, Blindspot, Game of Thrones and The Voice.

Allen Tiffany

Certainly “Star Trek” and Captain Kirk. Very powerful influences on me not only as a writer but also as an infantry officer in the Army. As to pure storytelling and character development, “Inception” and “Apocalypse Now” are both brilliant. “Inception” is a damn clever story that leaves you both intrigued and curious throughout. “Apocalypse Now” is stunning in every dimension. It is a tightly woven tale thick with symbolism, foreshadowing and complex themes, and it is a case study in presenting a “passive” character.  If you want to see an amazing review of the movie check out this strangely insightful video:

D. T. Nova

Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation, despite the fact that I haven’t written much involving space travel, since they were my introduction to some science fiction concepts and the first shows to make me think about a variety of other concepts (science fiction and otherwise).

I like Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s dialogue too much to think it hasn’t influenced the way I write dialogue to some degree.

The anime Full Metal Panic had a larger influence on my in-progress novel than I consciously realized while writing the first draft. (I haven’t actually read the novels it was based on due to the English translations being incredibly hard to find.)

As far as movies go, Star Wars’s influence is widespread and I’m no exception.

Paul B. Spence

Not that I can think of off-hand. I grew up with classic Star Trek, Space 1999, and Battlestar Galactica, as well as The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone. I’m sure those had some effect.

S. R. Carrillo

Not TV shows, but movies, definitely. I’ve always been drawn to darker movies like Donnie Darko and just about any Quentin Tarantino movie ever made haha. Quiet mirth. Caustic smirks. Lots of blood and sexual and murderous tension.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Um…are there any TV shows or movies that haven’t influenced my writing? Haha… Seriously though, I’m the kind of person who comes away from every new show or film (that I enjoyed, of course) with a hundred new ideas. I’ve been influenced by everything from Star Wars, to Buffy, to Doctor Who, to the Avengers, and everything in between. Watching something I love makes me want to write something similar. For instance, around the time that I decided to write Nowhere to Hide I’d been watching a lot of zombie movies with my husband (and subsequently reading several zombie books) and it made me think, “I could totally do this,” so I did!

H. Anthe Davis

I’ve written a few posts on my media influences, but some of my major ones have been Japanese manga and anime — particularly Berserk and Revolutionary Girl Utena.  I’ve always been impressed by how some of those creators can wrap psychological/horror themes in bright candy shells, which slowly dissolve as the story goes on until we’re right in the middle of all the madness.  Also, I started watching this stuff when I was a teen in the 90s, well before CGI could make really good fantastical landscapes/creatures; animation had no such restrictions, so I think I’ve absorbed a lot of the dramatic visuals from anime more than from any Western media.

Jean Davis

The one that comes to mind most is Farscape. I loved the character interactions and the way the different races were handled.

Jay Dee Archer

A lot of space-based science fiction has influenced me. The biggest is Star Trek and all its sequels. I’ve been a fan since the 80s, and I’ve always wanted to develop a universe with many planets. Of course, Ariadne is only on one planet, and little space travel happens, but it’s given me some ideas. For realism, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a big influence. I love realistic science fiction, and it’s what I want to write. Although it’s been years since I watched much anime, I would say that Macross is one show that influenced me, especially the Macross Plus series. But most recently, I watched Walking With Monsters, which is more of a documentary. That’s given me ideas related to worldbuilding, as has the short series Alien Planet.

How about you?

What TV series or movies have influenced you, whether it’s writing or the kind of fiction you like to read? Let us know in the comments below.