Does anybody remember Gerry Anderson’s Stingray – the marionette-and-sci-fi show that preceded Thunderbirds. It was a bit before my time, but I picked it up on TV repeats when I was a kid. I haven’t seen much of it since, but I remember it having the design and style of the James Bond movies of … More The awesome retro-future of… Stingray!
The other day I discovered somebody has remade Thunderbirds. Not the Weta remake. Another one – old school and old style, using the ‘Supermarionation’ techniques pioneered by Gerry Anderson and his team fifty years ago. I’m kind of late to the party: it’s a project by Stephen le Riviere that sprang from a book and … More Thunderbirds lives again – 1965 style
It must be about twenty years since I encountered a CD burner labelled (wait for it) “Smart and friendly”. Back then the art of burning CD’s was sufficiently arcane and difficult that even the hardware manufacturers had to pitch their wares as “smart”. It wasn’t, of course – it was a dumb piece of hardware … More True AI and why it’ll ignore us
The revelation a while back that Winston Churchill had written a paper on aliens isn’t too surprising. The great statesman was literate, erudite, deeply interested in history and the sciences, and knew many of the key figures in the British scientific community. What he had to say was very much in line with the thinking … More Are we so arrogant to suppose aliens will be like us?
Years ago I spent a lot of time with friends playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons™. You know, the game where you rolled dice and looked up a table in a hardback book to find out what happened. After a hard day’s adventuring, slaying orcs, trolls, goblins and so forth the characters would retire for a … More Drinking in the REAL Green Dragon inn, and how it led to the Gods in Twilight
A few years ago, when I was staying with relatives in the Netherlands, we decided to spend a few days in Paris – three countries and many hundreds of kilometres away. There were all sorts of ways of doing it, including by driving. Or we could have spent a lot of time driving to Schiphol, … More Why trains are sometimes faster than air travel
I am a great fan of science fiction that’s plausible enough to be ‘scientific’, but which doesn’t take the ‘science’ so far as to be boring. In the miniseries that launched the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica a decade or so ago, Galactica took a direct hit from a nuke and survived with near-undiminished fighting capacity. Is … More Sci-fi writing tricks: balancing drama with plausibility