TV Recommends: Saturday 6th September to Friday 12th

In these days of downloads and Netflix it’s easy to miss out on some of the good stuff on the regular box, especially when you have to weed through so many freeview / cable channels. So we thought we’d best start sending a weekly recommend of the fantastical and thought provoking for your consideration…

We take as read that we all know we can check the movie channels if we’ve got them (so not included) and that after 12 on a school night the chances are no one’s quite so fussed. To avoid needless repetition we’ve put the more regular daily showings on Pick TV, the Horror Channel and SyFy at the bottom.

Enjoy and if we’re missing anything let us know!

Day Date Time Programme / Film More Channel Ep. Note Type
Saturday 6th
1.00 pm
Star Trek: First Contact
N/A
Film 4
N/A
SF
Solomon Kane
3.00 pm
The Golden Child
N/A
Film 4
N/A
Fantasy
7.30 pm
Doctor Who
Robot of Sherwood
BBC1
3/12
SF
10.05 pm
Solomon Kane
N/A
C4
N/A
Fantasy
11.20
Repo Men
N/A
Film 4
N/A
SF
2.00 am
Spaced
N/A
London Live
S1 E1
Comedy Awesomeness
Sunday 7th
9.00 pm
RED
N/A
Film 4
N/A
Comic Adaptation
RED
11.00 pm
Black Books
N/A
London Live
S3 E4
Comedy
11.10 pm
Police Story 3: Supercop
Jackie Chan
Film 4
N/A
Martial Arts
Monday 8th
8.30 pm
Panorama
War of the Tunnels – Hamas’ network of tunnels from Gaza into Israeli territory
BBC1
N/A
Current Affairs
Dune
9 pm
The 100
N/A
E4
S1 E10
SF
9 pm
Kingdom of Heaven
N/A
Film 4
N/A
Medieval
9 pm
Dune
N/A
Horror Channel
N/A
SF
10 pm
Under the Dome
N/A
C5
S2 E3
SF
11 pm
Cracker
The Big Crunch 3 of 3
ITV3
N/A
Psychological Drama
Tuesday 9th
6.50 pm
Star Trek: First Contact
N/A
Film 4
N/A
SF
American Pie
9 pm
American Pie
N/A
ITV2
N/A
Comedy
10.00 pm
Misfits
N/A
London Live
S3 E3 & 4
Dark Humour / SF
11.00
Cracker
Men Should Weep
ITV3
1 of 3
Psychological Drama
Wednesday 10th
9.00 pm
Horizon
Ebola
BBC2
N/A
Current Affairs
Cracker
9.00 pm
The Matrix Reloaded
N/A
ITV2
N/A
SF
9.00 pm
Knowing
N/A
Film 4
N/A
SF
9.00 pm
An American Werewolf in Paris
N/A
Horror Channel
N/A
Horror
11.05
Cracker
Men Should Weep
ITV3
2 of 3
Psychological Drama
Thursday 11th
10.00
Black Books
N/A
London Live
S3 E4
Comedy
The Thing
10.30
Spaced
N/A
London Live
S1 E2
Comedy Awesomeness
11.15
Betty Blue
N/A
Film 4
N/A
French / Adult
11.35
Cracker
Men Should Weep
ITV3
3 of 3
Psychological Drama
11.40
The Thing
N/A
ITV4
N/A
Horror / SF
Friday 12th
9.00
The Matrix Revolutions
N/A
ITV2
N/A
SF
Repo Men
9.00
Black Books
N/A
London Live
S3 E5
Comedy
11.20
Repo Men
N/A
Film 4
N/A
SF
11.35
Cracker
Brotherly Love
ITV3
1 of 3
Psychological Drama

 

If you like your Stargate you’ll find Pick has Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate: SG1 on weekdays at 7 and 8pm, with a bigger SFF night on Tuesday with those shows followed by Sinbad and Revolution.

SyFy is currently showing on weeknights from 6/7pm: Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: The Next Generation (season 7 in both cases), followed by Defiance and our personal favourite Firefly (in case you don’t own the box set like the rest of us!). Firefly is replaced by Robot Chicken: Star Wars from Friday.

Also on Syfy there’s a Saturday multi-episode omnibus of Buffy Season 1 from 11am, and the same for Defiance on Sunday.

You can also catch highlights from the original run of Doctor Who on the Horror Channel at 7.50pm, this week with Terry Nation’s Planet of the Daleks (ft Jon Pertwee) and the Masque of Mandragora from Wednesday (with the inimitable Tom Baker), double episodes daily.

 

The Greatest Creations of Fantastical Fiction Part 6

Blade Runner 1.1

In which we explore a gloriously dystopian LA, the most sublime of the sublime of weapons in space opera, Gray Hulks, heroic child-proxies, and quantum-locked Assassins… (If you haven’t read the earlier entries you can find Part 1 herePart 2 herePart 3 herePart 4 here and Part 5 here…)

Los Angeles

Los Angeles * Setting * Blade Runner * Ridley Scott

The sprawl of LA in the year 2019: the opening scene of Blade Runner. Blade Runner 1Blade Runner 2
Industrial flame plumes against the darkness of city and night, the restrained, isolated strike of lightning. Aerodyne “spinners”, patrolling police-craft, come and go, beaming suspicious light wherever they journey. In the foreground are skyscraping edifices, in the background the domineering corporate ziggurat of the Tyrell Building projecting light into the sky: Look on ye might and despair.

It’s all a play of dark and light, a thematic spectacle continued as we descend past the gigantic digital ghost of a geisha and into the rain spattered streetscape. Read the rest of this entry »

Alternative Stuff to do in London in Early September…

Copied from the London Events page for your convenience – what’s happening in London Town between now and mid-September…

Don’t forget – Half Price tickets through Carabas / Pop Up Screens for the latter’s showings Fight Club on Friday 5th September!

Enjoy

 

Wednesday 3rd September FILM MORE LONDON: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK The Scoop, Southbank [FREE]
FC1 Friday 5th September – FILM: POP UP SCREENS: FIGHT CLUB *** HALF-PRICE TICKETS THROUGH CARABAS! *** – Manor House Gardens, Lewisham
Friday 5th September FILM THE LUNA CINEMA: GRAVITY Kew Gardens
Friday 5th to Sunday 7th September FILM POP UP SCREENS: LEWISHAM WEEKEND TICKET Manor House Gardens, Lewisham
Saturday 6th September FILM POP UP SCREENS: MOULIN ROUGE! Manor House Gardens, Lewisham
Sunday 7th September FILM POP UP SCREENS: AMERICAN BEAUTY Manor House Gardens, Lewisham
Tuesday 9th September FILM NOMAD CINEMA: THE MATRIX Brompton Cemetery (profits to charity)
Tuesday 9th September FILM THE LUNA CINEMA: AMERICAN HUSTLE Battersea Park
Wednesday 10th September FILM NOMAD CINEMA: THE DARK KNIGHT Brompton Cemetery – SOLD OUT
Wednesday 10th September FILM THE LUNA CINEMA: LABYRINTH Battersea Park
Wednesday 10th September FILM MORE LONDON: THE TRUMAN SHOW The Scoop, Southbank [FREE]
Thursday 11th September FILM THE LUNA CINEMA: DJANGO UNCHAINED Battersea Park
Friday 12th September FILM POP UP SCREENS: HEATHERS Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th September FILM POP UP SCREENS: HAMMERSMITH WEEKEND TICKET Ravenscourt Park Park, Hammersmith
Saturday 13th September FILM POP UP SCREENS: PULP FICTION Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith

 

The Greatest Creations of Fantastical Fiction Part 5

(In which we indulge ourselves with warped halflings, perhaps the greatest lesser known post-apocalyptic setting, demonic currency, space opera super-ordinance, and they amongst whom ‘There can be only one’)  

If you haven’t read the earlier entries you can find Part 1 herePart 2 herePart 3 here and Part 4 here.

 

Gollum

Gollum / Smeaghol * Antagonist * The Hobbit / Lord of the Rings * JRR Tolkien

‘Suddenly up came Gollum and whispered and hissed: “Bless us and splash us, my precioussss! I guess it’s a choice feast; at least a tasty morsel it’d make us, gollum!” And when he said gollum he made a horrible swallowing in his throat. That is how he got his name, though he always called himself ‘my precious.’’- The Hobbit Gollum 1

Gollum stands alone and apart in both book and film as something truly special, and it would seem unworthy to try and dissemble him here so we’ll mostly let Tolkien’s words speak for themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Bank Holiday Treats and things to do for the rest of August!

Copied from the London Events page for your convenience – what’s happening in London Town between now and the end of August…

Don’t forget – Half Price tickets through Carabas / Pop Up Screens for the latter’s showings of Blade (Friday 29th August) and Fight Club (next month – Friday 5th September)

Enjoy!

 

AUGUST

Thursday 21st to Monday 25th August FILM FRIGHTFEST Vue West End Cinema, Leicester Square
Friday 22nd August FILM POP UP SCREENS: THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW Morden Hall Park, Morden
Friday 22nd August FILM NOMAD CINEMA: LABYRINTH (profits to charity) Bushy Park
Friday 22nd to Monday 25th August FILM POP UP SCREENS: MORDEN WEEKEND TICKET Morden Hall Park, Morden
Saturday 23rd August SPECIAL Last day of CAMDEN BEACH – [FREE] – See 26th July above or click the link for more details The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1
Monday 25th August FILM POP UP SCREENS: THE HANGOVER Morden Hall Park, Morden
Thursday 28th August FILM LONGITUDE PUNK’D SCI-FI SCREENINGS: CITY OF LOST CHILDREN Royal Observatory Greenwich
Thursday 28th August – FILM: BFI SCREENING: THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE – (Part of the BFI’s blockbuster Sci-fi Days of Fear and Wonder project) Open air screening at the British Museum Open air screening at the British Museum
Blade Friday 29th August – FILM: POP UP SCREENS: BLADE *** HALF-PRICE TICKETS THROUGH CARABAS! *** Bishop’s Park, Fulham
Friday 29th August FILM POP UP SCREENS: BLADE Bishop’s Park, Fulham
Friday 29th August FILM BFI SCREENING: MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH  – (Part of the BFI’s blockbuster Sci-fi Days of Fear and Wonder project) Open air screening at the British Museum
Friday 29th to Sunday 31st August FILM POP UP SCREENS: FULHAM WEEKEND TICKET Bishop’s Park, Fulham
Saturday 30th August FILM NOMAD CINEMA: E.T. (profits to charity) Bushy Park
Flash and Vultan Saturday 30th August – FILM: BFI SCREENING: FLASH GORDON – (Part of the BFI’s blockbuster Sci-fi Days of Fear and Wonder project) Open air screening at the British Museum [MARQUIS’ SPECIAL RECOMMEND!]
Sunday 31st August FILM POP UP SCREENS: BACK TO THE FUTURE Bishop’s Park, Fulham

 

 

LonCon3 – The whole Con, miscellanea therein and the final curtain thereof…

Note to self – try not to have a big birthday next time World Con comes to London! But what a weekend…

Fantastic four / five days wandering between the ‘fan village’, the Exhibits Hall, and then the panels I could make (see previous posts) – and also sitting in the boulevard and writing bits up. Didn’t have time to finish in the exhibits unfortunately but had an absolute blast. Here’s a bit of a run down of particular bits around the Con over the whole weekend, and also the unfortunately inevitable end of the LonCon3 – a wonderful place and time for the duration.

Here’s Hugh Norwood’s Angst-Lesspork, a tribute to a certain city of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Hm, is that (bottom-right) a certain librarian of the Unseen University?

From the guide: Angst-Lesspork is a small model railway that draws its inspiration from and is a tribute to the Discworld books of Terry Pratchett and in particular the greatest city on the Circle Sea, Ankh-Morpork. The scene is urban with a tidal river to the front. Buildings are predominately timber-framed. Although superficially a Victorian/Edwardian townscape, many characters and architectural features give clues to the layout’s true identity. Angst-Lesspork appears with the kind permission of Sir Terry Pratchett – and pre-dates Raising Steam by a couple of years…

Other bits around was the art exhibition, other displays, dealers, and fan tables including the bids for future World Cons. Absolutely smashing stuff…

Had a fab time at the Titan Books party on Friday – hadn’t even realised there was a Tor and Jo Fletcher birthday party happening just around the corner!There’s revellers behind and aside the displays but a fine sample of science fictional works from their growing book list. Mind Kim Newman is the star of the show and gets a display to himself (bottom-right)…

Fantastic time throughout but all good things and all that… I attended the closing ceremony on Sunday which was packed.

After a review of the video that won London World Con this year, showing a montage of alien invasion and the science fictional destruction of our capital, the Chairs of LonCon3 – Alice Lawson and Steve Cooper – emerge to deliver the closing speeches. There were presentations to the guests of honour including, sadly in absentia, the dear departed Iain M Banks, to whom the Chair’s had pledged that he’d be guest of honour regardless of anything in his final days. It was a very touching moment with those who knew him well being deeply moved.

Iain M Banks 1954 - 2013

Iain M Banks
1954 – 2013

On a brighter note there was a song to sing given someone in the audience had their birthday that day, someone who’d been present at the first LonCon: Brian Aldiss.

Finally the Chairs performed the formal duty of closing the 72nd World Science Fiction convention with the pronouncement and banging of the wooden hammer, then passing it to Sally Hall, the Chair of Sasquan, the next host of World Con.

And from there, well the bar was still open and the remainder of us – of which there were many – gathered in the fan village for drinks and chat and last celebrations. The photos below are very much of that, the first three being of kids who’d acquired bubble wrap and were joined by more and adults besides to make sure that if LonCon3 hadn’t ended with the sort of big bang that would guarantee an apocalypse for London, there were certainly many little ones happening at the same time.

Which was just how we ended it.

Fantastic long weekend of celebrating the fantastical and the science fictional and massive thanks and kudos to all the organisers and volunteers who made it such an amazing convention.

Tim

 

Destroying London! From LonCon3 and beyond…

Capital cities tend to get destroyed in Science Fiction – they represent the country and it’s civilization as a whole. So they’re natural targets of aliens [substitute fantastical antagonist as applicable] and the evil genius authors who guide their attack.

The University of Liverpool had the simplest of exhibits up at LonCon3, A4 printouts with pictures on a display board, but if you’re talking destroying London, our capital, and my home city, then you’ve got me at ‘The Destruction of London’.

From the guide: Drawing upon the prophecies of medieval astrologers and soothsayers to modern science fiction and fantasy (Richard Jefferies, George Griffiths, H G Wells, John Wyndham, Doctor Who), this display will look at some of the imaginative and sinister ways the destruction of London has been imagined. 

We start off around 1524 when there was a Europe-wide panic due to astrologers forecasting downpours and floods on the 1st February. The Thames was meant to have burst its banks and drowned the whole city. 20,000 Londoners fled – but not a drop fell. The embarrassed astrologers (like any good apocalyptic doomsayers thwarted by reality) issued a statement saying that they really meant 1624. Then comes a poem by Horace Smith, a friend of Percy Bysshe Shelley (who helped to manage his finances). The two agreed to submit poems (sonnets) to the Examiner having been inspired by Diodorus Siculus (Book 1, Chapter 47) which is on Ozymandias – Shelley’s of course became better known but I was very pleased to discover Mr Smith’s contribution of the same name, printed February 1, 1818 a week later in the Examiner.

IN Egypt’s sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desart knows:—
“I am great OZYMANDIAS,” saith the stone,
“The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
“The wonders of my hand.”— The City’s gone,—
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.

We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro’ the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

Wonderful.
Battle of Dorking Hartmann the Anarchist The Sleeper Awakes
 Next we’re off to 1871 and Chesney’s ‘The Battle of Dorking’ (kicking off the invasion genre and an important precursor to science fiction) and other fictional invasions of London including Hartmann the Anarchist, before we move on to HG Wells’ and his dystopian future-London setting of The Sleeper Awakes.
Then there’s the sidestep into gaseous fog threats across the decades, in William DeLisle Hay’s The Doom of the Great City 1880 and Conan-Doyle’s The Poison Belt (1913), before we start to see familiar images from screens small and large and we’re up to date and looking forward to seeing what the next destruction of London will look like. daleks-london
  And on that subject, just across the way is this fantastic diorama by Nick Cobb of a post-apocalyptic Peckham, circa it’s car park and cinema; you can see more of this epic work on Nick’s Flickr page

London is an awesome place. London will still be awesome post-apocalypse – just rather more… apocalyptic.

Again big cities tend to get destroyed in science fiction. Their remnants show scale. The scale of disaster and the scale of what has been lost.

Great stuff.

 

The Hugo Awards 2014!

Media update from LonCon3 – The winners of this years Hugo Awards!

Best Novel: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit US / Orbit UK)

Best Novella: Equoid” by Charles Stross (Tor.com, 09-2013)

Best Novelette: The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal (maryrobinettekowal.com / Tor.com, 09-2013)

Best Short Story: The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” by John Chu (Tor.com, 02-2013)

Best Related Work: We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative” by Kameron Hurley (A Dribble of Ink)

Best Graphic Story: Time” by Randall Munroe (xkcd)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): Gravity written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Esperanto Filmoj; Heyday Films; Warner Bros.)


Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): 
Game of Thrones: “The Rains of Castamere” written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, directed by David Nutter (HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)


Best Editor – Short Form: 
Ellen Datlow


Best Editor – Long Form: 
Ginjer Buchanan


Best Professional Artist: 
Julie Dillon


Best Semiprozine: 
Lightspeed Magazine edited by John Joseph Adams, Rich Horton, and Stefan Rudnicki


Best Fanzine: 
A Dribble of Ink edited by Aidan Moher


Best Fancast: 
SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester


Best Fan Writer: 
Kameron Hurley


Best Fan Artist: 
Sarah Webb


The John W. Campbell Award 
for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2012 or 2013, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award): Sofia Samatar

Ancillary Justice

Time

Time by Randall Munroe

Rains of Castamere

Rains of Castamere

Ginjer_Buchanan_at_NY_Comic_Con_2011-2

Ginjer Buchanan

Julie Dillon

Julie Dillon

A Dribble of Ink

SF Signal Podcast

SF Signal Podcast

Hunter by Sarah Webb

Hunter by Sarah Webb

The 2014 Hugo Award winners were announced at a ceremony held at Loncon 3 on Sunday evening, 17 August 2014 in London. The ceremony was hosted by Justina Robson and Geoff Ryman and broadcast live via Ustream with additional live text coverage via CoverItLive.

 

LonCon3 – 1939 Retro Hugo Award Winners

Lovely idea – LonCon3, where this years Hugo Awards will be announced on Sunday, hosted a Retro Hugo Awards Ceremony for the year 1939. Here’s the results from their media release:  

1939 Retro Hugo Award Winners

LONDON, 14 August 2014 – Loncon 3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention being held at London ExCeL from 14-18 August, is delighted to announce the 1939 Retro Hugo Award Winners. 1,307 valid ballots were received and counted in the final ballot. The full statistics for the nominating and final ballots are available from the Loncon 3 web site.

sword-in-the-stone

Best Novel: The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White (Collins)

Best Novella: “Who Goes There?” by Don A Stuart [John W. Campbell] (Astounding Science-Fiction, August 1938)
Best Novelette: “Rule 18” by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1938)
Best Short Story: “How We Went to Mars” by Arthur C. Clarke (Amateur Science Stories, March 1938) War of the Worlds Orson Wells
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Written by Howard Koch & Anne Froelick, directed by Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater on the Air, CBS)
Weird_Tales_December_1937 Cover by Virgil Finlay Best Editor – Short Form: John W. Campbell
Best Professional Artist: Virgil Finlay
Best Fanzine: Imagination! edited by Forrest J Ackerman, Morojo, and T. Bruce Yerke Imagination
Best Fan Writer: Ray Bradbury

The 1939 Retro Hugo Award winners were announced at a ceremony held at Loncon 3 on Thursday evening, 14 August 2014 in London. The ceremony was hosted by Mary Robinette Kowal and Rob Shearman and broadcast live via Ustream.

The following other awards were also made:

Siegel and Schuster The First Fandom Hall of Fame Award was presented to John Clute.
First Fandom Posthumous Hall of Fame Awards were presented to John “Ted” Carnell and Walter H. Gillings.
The Sam Moskowitz Archive Awards was presented to Mike Ashley.
The Forrest J Ackerman Big Heart Award was presented to Vincent Docherty.
A special Committee Award, decided by the Loncon 3 committee rather than being voted on by the membership, was awarded to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in recognition of the first published appearance of Superman.

LonCon3! – Arrival at Excel, 5pm

A few days ago I was confirmed as having a press pass and, after recovering from a ‘Carabas presents: ALTERNATIVE DRINKS‘ night have made my way down to the great LonCon3!

Staff have been absolutely fabulous – a wonderful and busy few days ahead.

Here’s a few shots of the first hall which is half devoted to already campaigning for which country / city will host a future LonCon – and this one’s only just started! On arrival...
Particularly liked Beijing / China’s display with these banners of the Transformer’s leaders rendered in traditional Chinese art… Apparently you bring the banners together for their protective influence:Like would you really mess with a teamed-up Optimus Prime and Megatron coming at you with Cybertronian kung-fu?

Love it.

Back soon with more…

 

Tim

 

 

The Greatest Creations of Fantastical Fiction Part 4

(In which we dabble with coherent blades of energy, Hollywood monsters of Chinese folklore, the worst witch (for her enemies), god-like automatons, and the space craft that makes the rest look like the cardboard boxes you pretended to fly to space in as kids…)

 

If you haven’t read the earlier entries you can find Part 1 herePart 2 here and Part 3 here.

 

Lightsaber

Type: Weapon * From: Star Wars * Creator: George Lucas

Luke Skywalker Quite seriously you couldn’t not include this “elegant weapon for a more civilised age” in an article on this subject and very little needs be said. There were precedents in fiction and if George Lucas hadn’t incorporated a sword of coherent energy into the original and subsequent Star Wars films someone else would have used it; it was a creation that was always waiting to be born both in written word and on the big screen.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Greatest Creations of Fantastical Fiction Part 3

(In which we examine demons of fire and shadow, out-of-place police boxes, a thing from outer space, a floating city and freaky modern day fairy tale inventions…)

 

If you haven’t read the earlier entries you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

 

The Balrog

Type: Creature / Antagonist * From: Lord of the Rings * Creator: JRR Tolkien

Tolkien populated Middle Earth with cannily developed races of myth and legend – goblins, dwarves, elves, dragons, but he didn’t stop there. Orcs, whether understood as a larger race of goblins, the warped descendents of elves or their own thing, were one creation and the race has entered fantasy fiction and game without heed of whether they ever were part of our shared mythological heritage to become the ubiquitous henchmen and cannon fodder they are today. But the Balrog amonsgt Tolkien’s creations, for all it likewise finds its roots in legend, partaking in its case of elements of imagined demons, stands apart.

Facing down the Balrog

Read the rest of this entry »

BLADE and FIGHT CLUB – Special Half Price ticket offer!

Blade Fancy enjoying the kick-ass action of Wesley Snipes as the titular vampire hunter of BLADE and / or the awesome modern cult classic FIGHT CLUB in the open summer air of a London Park?

POP-UP SCREENS are kindly providing HALF PRICE tickets for us and for you for their showings of these – just click on the links below and get them before they go!

FC1

Normally £10, £5 + booking through the links:

Blade: http://www.wegottickets.com/sct/hSgDpf53c6 – Friday 29th August, Bishop’s Park, Fulham 

Fight Club: http://www.wegottickets.com/sct/2hEytWCjvr – Friday 5th September, Manor House Gardens, Lewisham

 

You can see more showings from Pop-up Screens on their Carabas Profile Page…

 

Might even see you there in the park or at the beer stand!

Tim

 

The Greatest Creations of Fantastical Fiction Part 2

(In which we look at warrior bears, the most secret of secret bases, a wizard that makes Gandalf look like a lightweight, an anthropomorphized aspect of nightmare, and quite possibly the most awesome adversaries of all time…)

If you haven’t already you can read Part 1 here.

 

Panserbjorn – Armoured Bears

Type: Race * From: His Dark Materials * Creator: Philip Pullman

The notion of armoured bears is probably enough to warrant inclusion in its own right, but what Philip Pullman does with his creation ensures they’re in without question.

So you’ve created an alternate world which you can populate with exciting creations. No holds barred. Anything goes as long as it’s cool. Anthropomorphised animals were hardly new of course: the Ninja Turtles were well established in the public consciousness by then, and talking animals of varying degrees of humanization are a staple of stories for younger children. But it had never been done like this.

This was a fantastical world that was inherently linked to our own, an alternate reality where physical evolution took non-hominid species on their own journey to consciousness (evolution and consciousness being essential themes of the series), bipedal locomotion, and manual dexterity. Anyway, thematic rationale in place, Pullman goes to town on it. Panserbjorn

Bears – warrior bears. Sounds good. Bears have claws and teeth and are damn strong – but these guys ought to have something more. Okay so they have their own craft expertise, that of metalwork. So let’s give them armour.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Greatest Creations of Fantastical Fiction Part 1

(In which we talk of Gentlemen, Mandalorian combat fashion, Otherworldly maternal figures, far-future deities, and the young lady you get to meet at the end…)

The tinterwebs are full of Top 10’s, 20’s, and more of spaceships, weapons, monsters, and guys good and bad – this isn’t one of those – and it’s not ‘as voted for’ either. Neither is this best film, book, TV series.

This is about those individual things that make you stand up and go: ‘What the…’, ‘No way,’ and ‘Hell yes!’ all at the same time; that leap out from page or screen, that could have made another book or film all the greater were it to have debuted in there instead.

It’s like refined imagination and, for the aspiring creator, bottled inspiration where the inherent genius blasts aside the erstwhile jealousy that you didn’t come up with the idea yourself. Instead you can stare at it in wonder with everyone else (and perhaps try and work out what makes it tick and whether there’s any way of back-engineering the damn thing).

So here it is, in posts of five and in no particular order: the obvious and the famous with the overlooked and tucked away, conveyances spatial and dimensional, offences exotic and inevitable, heroes, villains, and in abundance (perhaps tellingly) antiheroes, and beasties, McGuffins, and all the rest.

Agree or disagree – and as much as I’ve tried to maintain an objective mindset opinion plays a part (totally correct opinion of course!) – but feel free to send thoughts on these and the omissions you perceive as we run through.

Here’s to the sublime: to the mind-blowing, the gob-smacking and the jaw-dropping (and sometimes the pants-wetting) – to The Greatest Creations in Fantastical Fiction.

 

The Gentlemen

Type: Antagonist * From: Buffy The Vampire Slayer * Creator: Joss Whedon

After Buffy had hit the big time, with particular acclaim quite rightly been paid to the dialogue, Joss Whedon did what the greats do: write an episode empty of speech. What emerged was one of the greatest episodes of any series – Hush – and one of the greatest supernatural antagonists of all time.

The Gentlemen There’s no one thing that makes these ghoulish fae creatures so gorgeously freakish: it’s an ensemble grotesquery. The hairless, bone-taut, paste-white skin is just the beginning. Their teeth, though with metallic glints, are essentially human – it’s that rictus grin that does it. That combined with eyes that are almost obscene are terrifying enough, forming a permanent expression of sickening glee at their intent which is nothing less than butchery; they’re going to cut out your heart.

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An Introduction to Carabas: Not Geek – Just Awesome

The late 80’s (Basically 1988):

The legend that was and that became, Alan Moore, creates Watchmen. The legend that became Neil Gaiman launches The Sandman. With Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol and Animal Man, and Shade, Swamp Thing and Hellblazer alongside, DC shake the comic-reading world with their ground-breaking mature readers line which became the Vertigo imprint in the early 90’s.

Vertigo - Montage Peter David was redefining what could be achieved in mainstream comics while British post-punk counterculture magazine Deadline launched bringing – amongst others – Hewlett and Martin’s anarchic drug-fueled stream-of-consciousness Tank Girl strip to the game. Tank Girl

Much beloved and sadly missed writer Iain (M) Banks had Consider Phlebas – the first of his mind-blowing Culture series – under his belt along with Read the rest of this entry »