Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Short Time Periods, Briefly

Last year, I expressed the hope that there'd be a live album derived from the Alison Moyet tour of that time. The good news, in brief, is that there is.

"minutes and seconds live" is just a CD when all's said and done, of course, well put-together and clear on the ear but not the same as being there. Still, it preserves the interesting rearrangements of some of Moyet's classic songs, and it's a decent memento of an excellent tour. Recommended to those to whom that means something.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Time is Relative (I Guess)

Gosh, Christopher Nolan really, really wants to have made 2001: A Space Odyssey, doesn't he?

It's difficult to say much about Interstellar without either giving away large parts of the plot or going on at similar length to the two-and-three-quarter-hour movie, neither of which I'm much inclined to do here, but I'm not certain that there was one moment during that time when I wasn't asking myself which other movie this frame was borrowing from, and usually the answer was easy. (Okay. towards the end, there was a scene where I was just trying to remember which SF novel cover the image was based on.) And I'm really not a movie geek, at all. It wasn't always Kubrick's creation - actually, that point of reference didn't become blatant until some was into the movie - but Nolan's naked adoration for 2001 was clearly what made Interstellar happen. He then inflated the result into a love letter to a whole bunch of SF movies. However, he replaced Kubrick and Clarke's sometimes desperate scrabbling for the numinous with a lot of rather more Hollywood-conventional explanation, most of it unconvincing.

But I'll leave it to other people to break down the flaky astrophysics, highly dubious planetology, inexplicable spaceship design, and protracted sentimentality. The fact remains that "If you're going to steal, steal from the best" remains a pretty sound rule to live by. I don't know how much it helped that I saw this movie in a cinema with a 35mm projector - I'm really not a movie geek - and maybe IMAX would make it even better, but anyway, I'm not begrudging those three hours of my life. Sometimes, you just have to go along for the ride.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Expand, Contract (44)

Oops, I almost forgot to note - I had a fairly substantial article in last month's Pyramid, entitled "Dungeons of Mars" - the subject matter being crossing dungeon fantasy over with planetary romance.

And on a more substantial note - while one of my short Transhuman Space supplements moves through the production process towards publication, I've just signed a contract for another.