Posts Tagged ‘sci-fi’

From my earliest days, I have always been fascinated with exploration.  While that does include physical exploration, it is not the whole of it.  I am as much intrigued by the concept of it, the history of it, the future of it.

Lets put this in perspective.  There has been talk about the prospects of a manned trip to or colony on Mars.  For the later, it is pretty much a one way trip.  Chances are you will be there for a minimum of many years.  If asked I wouldn’t hesitate to say yes – though my fiancée may have words to me about that.

The prospect of being the first to step anywhere that no one has been before, to boldly go, to explore new worlds and lands, that appeals to me.  Whether it be the sailing the seas during the Age of Exploration, or colonising an alien planet, I would have loved to have been there and done it.  Sadly it seems I live in a period of time where there isn’t much left to explore – yet.  We’ve explored most of Earth and haven’t quite managed to make it to the next step.

It does also influence my gaming choices – I prefer games where exploration and building are at the heart of it, going out into new lands, finding new things nad places.  Games like Civisilation, Master of Orion, The Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect (mostly the first one though), Age of Empires, Total War and ones of a similar ilk.

And it does heavily influence my writing as well.  That is largely why I write – so that I can explore strange new worlds, to go places that haven’t been visited before, except in my mind, and to share them with other people.  That is what exploration is all about, going new places and sharing what you have discovered.  And fantasy and sci-fi are two of the best genres to do that in.

And maybe, someday when I’m old and they have found a way to visit alien planets, I may even get to step foot on somewhere new and see sights no one has seen before me.

Blink

Posted: June 19, 2010 in General
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Last night my sister had one of her friends around – she is here to help celebrate my sister’s surprise birthday before my sister heads overseas for a couple of years. Before she leaves she is working her way through my Doctor Who collection and her friend and I got her to watch the awarding winning Blink, one of the best episodes of New Who around, and the first time we get to see the nightmare fuel Weeping Angels. And here is the Tv Tropes page on Blink for the episode in all its trope goodness.

She had seen the two-parter with the Weeping Angels from the fifth seasons and Matt Smith’s Doctor and said she had dreamed about the Weeping Angels after part one. No idea what Blink has done to her given it is a far, far worse bit of nightmare fuel. You have to love Steven Moffat for that – he really knows how to write those kind of episodes.

Apart from the Weeping Angles, the episode features one of the best bets of a wibbly wobbly timey wimey time loop event that has appeared in a TV show. Best leave if to The Doctor to explain it.

If I’ve scarred her dreams for life, I’ve done my job as a big brother.

The rather silly little sequel to the rather silly little short story Ray and His Human has been completed and posted for your amusement.

Ray was meant to be a one off short story but I liked it enough to write a sequel – and maybe more will make an appearance in the future.

In this one Ray the snarky, sarcastic robot has his work cut out trying to keep his accident prone human master Brian out of danger, but it isn’t helped with stolen warships, crash landings and seven alien princesses – and yes, they are green skinned.

Have finished off another rough draft, this time for a sequel to the rather silly little sci-fi short story Ray and his Human, called Ray and the Alien Princesses. And yes, they are green. As normal things go wrong for Brian and it is up to the snarky, sarcastic android Ray to save the day. The rewrite will be done at some stage, though not exactly sure when it will make its appearance.

So now I’ve got a new short story finished, what is next on the agenda of writing?

In addition to that I will also be trying to finish off the second story of non-serious sci-fi setting featuring the the slightly sarcastic android Ray and his somewhat naive master – and a bevy of green alien princesses. I did mention it was not serious, right?

I found, in the recess of my old computer, another sci-fi short story from some years back – and not light hearted at all like Ray’s one is. It will require some tidying up and adapting to some new ideas I’ve had before it is ready.

And then there is the next story for Nhaqosa the minotaur, a steampunk short story introducing Sir Richard Hammerman – gentleman adventure – and his friends, another tale of the mythical hero Cahuac, a children’s story I’m working on for my niece and nephews, a new one with Professor Halir and Harry Ban in the gunpowder fantasy setting and various other ideas. Oh, and somewhere in that working on the novel.

It is a full time job – just with no pay.

Even though I knew Mass Effect 2 was being released just around the corner (as in just over a week now), I hadn’t been paying it all that much attention.  I enjoyed Mass Effect 1 and am planning on getting the sequel, but as matters stand at the moment, I’m going to have to wait until it comes down in price to be able to afford it.   So there wasn’t much point in looking at it too much or I’d just torture myself.

But something I did stumble across (and alas had me looking into the game more than was good for me) was the following video showing who is doing voice acting in the sequel.

Martin Sheen.
Tricia “Number Six” Helfer
Michael “Colonel Tigh” Hogan
Carrie-Anne “Trinity” Moss
Michael “Worf” Dorn

And Adam “Jayne Cobb” Baldwin. No one knows yet what part his character plays, or if you can have them as a team member, but if they are you know I’m going to have them permanently on roster. Teaming up with Jayne Cobb? You betcha.

And here is the trailer for the game.

One of the interesting things about ME2 is that you can import saves from ME1 and events that transpired in it affect the ME2 game. A character dies in ME1? They aren’t around in ME2. The choices you make at the end of ME1? They carry over – so the council may be dead or alive.

Only two of the six original team members are available to team up with again – Tali and Garrus. Its a shame that Wrex can’t be a team member, but given what can happen in ME1 with him, you can see why.

In preparation for when the game does come out, I am working on a couple of saves, getting them set up perfectly to export over.

Playing the game again makes me want to work on some SF stories again one of these days. Many years back I came up with a SF setting that I have planned to write in for some time, but it has always been far down the list of things to do. Maybe one of these years I’ll get back to it.

…poking around in old files on an old computer.

I ran across two short stories I write many, many years ago, one sci-fi, one fantasy. As it happens both came out of games I used to play.

I’m going to rewrite them both now that my writing has improved a little and hope to have them posted up for all to see in the next week or two.

I went to the movies yesterday. I had been tossing up whether to go or not – it had been a while since I last went and I should have really been writing. But in the end I went.

I ended up seeing Transformers 2. The first one had been decent, but not great, and I was hoping the second would be as well. Parts were – the parts with giant robots thrashing it out. The rest, well, it was filled with far too much juvenile humour, stupid plot and useless characters. But enough about that.

As I was watching I got thinking about writing. Yeah, even when I was taking time off the old brain never stops. In this time a completely new idea was sparked, in part inspired by fragments of the movie and in part from another story I’d recently come across.

What was odd is it is really a genre I’d never considered before. Or genres. The concept covers a few genres – part sci-fi, part action-thriller, part military-adventure and even part horror. The plot has been unfolding itself before me fairly rapidly.

Whether I use it or not is another question. I should probably write down the ideas that are spawning in my fevered imagination just in case…

It appears that today, June 23rd, has been named SF/F Writers’ Day, as I discovered in this post by Alan Baxter. I’m with Alan on the placement of the apostrophe for the title. 🙂

So for all of us writers of sci-fi and fantasy out there, have a great writing day.

This Looks Great

Posted: April 11, 2009 in General
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It is often hard to judge a movie by a preview.  Sometimes the only good bits are in the preview and the rest of the movie is terrible.

The most recent preview of the upcoming Terminator Salvation movie, the forth in the series, certainly looks very very good.  Hopefully the rest of the movie is just as good.

Sam Worthington, who plays Marcus Wright, is an Aussie, and one you’ll be seeing a lot more of.  Besides the role in this movie, he has the lead in another Sci-Fi movie coming out later on, Avatar.  He was recommended for the role in Terminator Salvation by James Cameron, who directed him in Avatar, (though Avatar is coming out after Terminator).

Terminator 2 is one of my favourite movies, a real ‘guilty pleasure.’  The Terminator movies, along with a few other Sci-Fi influences (notably 2000 AD’s Rogue Trooper) were to play a large part in a sci-fi setting I created many years ago to write in, and specifically a colony world that had descended into rampant warfare, where crippled soldiers were sent back into the frey after being heavily ‘cybered’ up.  One of these days I plan to return to it, but for now I shall enjoy T4 when it comes out.