Getting to a lot of blogging late these days, so many of you have probably already seen these. Still, it doesn't hurt for those who, like me, have been suffering through poor interwebs service.
Over at Screen Gems, George R. R. Martin discusses why the 1955 science fiction classic Forbidden Planet is his all-time favorite movie. (Then again, why wouldn't it be?) He describes seeing it as an eight-year-old in Baytown, New Jersey, and it remains at the top of his list of all-times favorite science fiction movies, which also includes Aliens, Blade Runner, Alien, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Road Warrior, Dark Star, The War of the Worlds (1953), The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951), and The Empire Strikes Back.
It was amazing... At that time the big difference between science fiction in print and in movies was that science-fiction films were stupid. But Forbidden Planet got much of it right ... the special effects were state-of-the-art for the time. Robby the Robot was incredible. I've seen it over 100 times since.
Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google, and author of The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business, discusses when computers will pass the Turing test.
Over at DailyKos, Mark Sumner provides a review of Iain Banks's (sans the M.) final novel The Quarry.
Anyone who has seen the films like The Big Chill will instantly be familiar with the basic structure of this novel. A small group of former university pals, now 40ish, get together for a long weekend of reminiscing, arguing, indulging in drugs, and fumbling toward sex at the home of one of their members. It's a chance to see how they've grown, how they've grown apart, and to look back wistfully at missed opportunities. The group includes the expected mix: a couple who have become wealthy and successful in business, a frustrated writer who has trouble squaring her convictions with her life, a would-be politician, a couple of idealists turned cynics, and the half-baked tag end of the group, still rolling in a haze of drugs unbroken since their days together in university. Sifting through the characters of Chill or Peter's Friends, you can do a good job of mentally casting each role.
Derek Austin Johnson has lived most of his life in the Lone Star State. A member of the Turkey City Writer's Workshop, his work has appeared in The Horror Zine, Tell-Tale Press, Skull Fragments: A Skelos Sampler, Rick Klaw's Rayguns Over Texas!, Nova Express, Moving Pictures, Her Majesty's Secret Servant, and Revolution SF. His film column "Watching the Future" appeared each month at Hugo Award-winning SF Signal.
He lives in Central Texas.