Ten reasons why ‘Forbidden Planet’ is still cool after 61 years

I watched Forbidden Planet the other day, for the first time in a very long while. And a lot of stuff sprang out at me that I’d forgotten, or which I’d maybe not noticed. Not seen it? It’s worth checking out. Sure, it was made in 1956 and has a kind of ‘American Modern’ feel … More Ten reasons why ‘Forbidden Planet’ is still cool after 61 years

Hollywood fifties sci-fi – a tribute to the golden age of cheesiness

Has anybody seen much 1950s-era Hollywood sci-fi? By 1950s I mean more than just 1950-59 (or 1951-60, depending on how you count) – I mean a mind-set that broadly kicked off at the end of the 1940s, which lasted at least until the early 1960s – and which spawned a whole era of amazingly silly … More Hollywood fifties sci-fi – a tribute to the golden age of cheesiness

In a Death Star showdown, my money’s on The Lexx

I discovered a cool ‘face off’ contest the other day between sci-fi spaceships. If you had to take on a Death Star, what ship from another TV show or movie would you use? The answers spanned the usual gamut from multiple Galactica-verse Battlestars to the Enterprise (various editions), and so forth. One of the most … More In a Death Star showdown, my money’s on The Lexx

I figure that Larry Niven’s aliens weren’t alien enough

As a teenager I remember being wowed by Larry Niven’s ‘known space’ stories, including his Ringworld novels. Looking back, though, I’m not so sure about his aliens. He had two main ones – the Puppeteers and the Kzin. At the time they were pretty cool. Up until the mid-1960s, most (good) aliens basically looked human, … More I figure that Larry Niven’s aliens weren’t alien enough

OK so what are your favourite SF movies?

These holidays I thought I’d share a list of my five favourite sci-fi movies. In no particular order they are: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – quintessential, thoughtful mid-twentieth century sci-fi with (mostly) proper physics. And a vision of a twenty-first century future that should have been… Forbidden Planet (1956) – one of the smartest … More OK so what are your favourite SF movies?

Humanity won’t ‘science the’ anything out of Mars while NASA’s plans are wrapped in corporate-speak

I’m going to have to go see The Martian. Apparently they get up to one of my favourite activities – ‘sciencing the shit’ out of things. The problems involved in actually getting to Mars are so huge that we’ll have to science the shit out of them, just to reach the place. If we ever try. … More Humanity won’t ‘science the’ anything out of Mars while NASA’s plans are wrapped in corporate-speak