Fred Saberhagen boasts not only an exceptionally cool authorial moniker but also stands as a luminary in science fiction, chiefly owing to his creation of one of the genre’s most mysterious, notorious, and impactful adversaries—The Berserkers.
A prolific American science fiction and fantasy writer, Fred Saberhagen (1930-2007) left an indelible mark on the genre. His notable contributions include the renowned “Berserker” series, featuring self-replicating robotic warships with a singular mission to annihilate all life in the cosmos. Additionally, Saberhagen reimagined the classic vampire archetype in a contemporary context with his “Dracula” series, introducing the iconic character of Dracula. Renowned for his imaginative storytelling and inventive approaches to traditional science fiction and fantasy themes, Saberhagen’s legacy endures.
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Cinema, as a medium, has undergone a remarkable evolution since its inception, with various genres adapting and transforming over time to capture the ever-changing tastes and sensibilities of audiences. One of the most dynamic and enduring is the action genre, having matured into a multifaceted cinematic realm that explores complex themes, character development, and innovative storytelling techniques. As visual entertainment, the action genre has continuously evolved, reflecting the shifting cultural, and societal dynamics involving thrills and violence on the screen. Within this evolution, certain individuals have left an indelible mark on specific genres, forever altering the trajectory of filmmaking. One such luminary is the iconic Jean-Paul Belmondo, whose charismatic presence and groundbreaking performances have left an enduring influence on the action genre, including stunt work, car chases, and martial arts in cinema.
Continue reading “The Belmondo Effect”
It could sound like a clique stating my first ever science fiction read was Isaac Asimov back in the late ’70s, but this may have been unavoidable. This guy was an iconic American writer and professor who dominated the genre for half a century. He even boasted he was the “Best Science Writer” backed up by none other than Arthur C. Clarke. They actually had made an agreement with each other, negotiated as they shared a cab in New York, the so-called “Clarke–Asimov Treaty of Park Avenue”.
The treaty stipulated that Asimov would always proclaim Clarke as the greatest science fiction writer in the world, with himself as runner-up, and Clarke would similarly proclaim Asimov as the best science writer, with himself as runner-up.
Continue reading “The Asimov Cosmos”
Historiography (or Historiology) is a term that refers to the study of historical writing and its methods of interpretation. In science fiction, historiography plays a significant role in exploring the complexities of the past, present and future of a story.
Continue reading “Panology of Science Fiction: H”
Why is Russell Crowe not in the upcoming Ridley Scott Gladiator movie? As Paramount and Scott Free prepare for the new venture into the world of ancient Rome once again, with a late 2024 release, it seems that they’ve settled on making this a sequel.
Maximus Decimus Meridius meets his end at the end of the original 2000 epic historical drama film after the general is betrayed by the new Emperor Commodus, has his family killed, and is forced into slavery. After serving in the gladiatorial arena, and getting his revenge on Commodus, Maximus succumbs to his wounds and dies a hero.
Continue reading “The Iberian”
There are many benefits to writing short stories. Writers do it to practice and develop their style of storytelling, and it also allows them to explore singular ideas, concepts and themes. The narratives are easy to control, the outcomes have less room for error, and you can get your story out quickly.
Continue reading “The Conglomeroid Cocktail Party”
Of all the tropes, the ‘Last of a Kind’ concept is one of that rare theme, plot and character devices that has evolved into mythical existence with one perfect master stroke. Richard Matheson’s classic vampire novel towers over them all. ‘I Am Legend (1954)’ is an ingenious hybrid of two previous classics, such as Mary Shelley’s ‘The Last Man (1826)’ and Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula (1897)’. Vampirism and plague, a combination that captures the definitive pretext for a last man alive narrative, grounding the myth of the supernatural with the reality of pathogens.
Matheson also deploys another trope in the finale of the story, one that is more devastating in its social commentary. The vampires, the pandemic, and the last man on Earth are just the setup for the novella’s central message, and it’s the one element shunned by all the film adaptations to date.
Continue reading “The Omega Legend”
The golden age is over.
Works of art are no longer produced to quench a bored populace, who thirst for the type of content that frees them from their mundane lives, enhancing their outlook on life with fascinating stories, old and new, inspiring them to understand their lives and the world they live in.
Post-2016, works of art have degenerated into force-fed garbage that nobody wants, needs or trusts anymore. Deranged by political agenda or succumbing to incompetence, producers still want your money but aren’t willing or capable of delivering what the consumer wants.
Continue reading “Gods of Wokeness”
All artists are influenced by the previous generation of artists. Westerns were part of John Carpenter’s cinematic diet growing up. John Ford, and Howard Hawks, these filmmakers were shaping cinema at the time, stamping out a movie language that would become the standard for anyone wishing the tell a story using cinema.
A fan of horror and science fiction movies such as The Thing from Another World and Forbidden Planet, John Carpenter defined another set of standards for a new generation of filmmakers. The modern horror genre is partly his offspring. Like his predecessors, Carpenter mastered the long game, building the tension until the big payoff.
Nowadays, it’s clear that motion pictures have devolved somewhat. Big-budget Hollywood blockbusters lack most of the qualities that gave movies from the past the greatness they deservedly earned. Nowadays, even B-grade movies are more pathetic than ever. Low-budget productions are missing the mark completely.
It’s as if the current batch of filmmakers has stopped learning from the best.
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Now that this sad shit-show of a saga is over, the only thing we have left, is the thought, ‘what if they did a decent sequel trilogy with a coherent story without the political rape that Disney inflicted upon this series?’. How hard was it to produce something that remotely resembles a Star Wars story?
Apart from the visuals, there are three fundamental flaws with Episodes 7, 8 and 9. The visual effects and art design are the trilogy’s best asset, but sometimes they do act against the films. The entire narrative seems to be built around these great visuals. And then, to make things unbearable, the cluttering of the SFX is overdone, almost to the point of ridiculousness.
Continue reading “Star Wars: A Lost Hope”