Alderamin on the Sky is told as a history of a legendary tactician and general, who became great because he was lazy and had no interest in fighting. It is set in a very steampunk universe, with compressed air rifles and airships, and a technology base from around 1820 or so. It opens with our protagonist traveling with a childhood friend he is escorting on her journey to a military academy. They meet new friends on the ship they are sailing on, which runs into trouble leaving them stranded behind enemy lines. I was hooked by the end of the first episode, and every episode since has been better than the one before. We are up to the 4th episode, with a new episode popping up every Friday.
I had to share just one more, so here is Nerd HQ 2016: A Conversation with the Cast of Orphan Black, having A Conversation For A Cause. This particular gathering raised $4,000 for the charity, and everyone did an excellent job. Including the audience; the questions were quite thought provoking, and the answers positively inspired.
I have always been a Holmes fan, and Sherlock is the best there has ever been. So here are two offerings from this weekends Comic Con event, the new trailer, and the related gathering from Nerd HQ 2016 which benefited Operation Smile this year. The sessions of this project are referred to as A Conversation For A Cause, and it is exactly that. The format is a small intimate room at the San Diego New Children’s Museum, which seats a limited number of people, all of whom pay a noticeable (but not exorbitant) amount of money to attend. A small group of major players of some cult favorite show gather on stage, with another cult favorite actor from an unrelated property as the moderator. The folks on stage have a chat about the program they are involved in, then the moderator invites questions from the audience.
As near as I have been able to tell, 100% of the money raised by this series of events goes to the charity. The audience gets to have the kind of one-on-one experience with the show makers that used to be common several decades ago, when only us nerds and geeks even knew this kind of convention was happening, but which seems to have evaporated around the turn of the century. The participating actors, writers, and directors of these shows all get to contribute their time (and money; lots of them also make a contribution beyond their mere attendance), connect even more personally with their most loyal fans, and by doing so generate an impressive amount of revenue for the charity. As a person who was a member of the group who created the original Beg-A-Thon which was then used as the model all PBS radio and TV stations put into play to raise public awareness and money (crowdfunding decades before most people became aware that it was an option), I don’t see a downside to this project. The fact that they then make these sessions available to the general public (with or without editing, it could go either way but what I see makes me think without) is just yet another bonus as far as all us fans are concerned. Enjoy!
And the 3 new Han Solo movies; Games Radar has been doing an excellent job of covering the Sci-Fi scene since they picked up the SFX web site and added it to their online team. Click the first link to read about the trilogy of Han Solo movies, and check out the video for a quick run down of the con from the other week.
We have 5 movies to choose from this time around, 2 of which will be playing everywhere, the last 3 will be more limited. Nerve is not only first out of the gate with a release on Wednesday the 27th, but it also has a Pokemon Go tie in, I guess because the edge-of-your-seat story line just wasn’t enough. Jason Bourne is the other out-everywhere title, and like most spy books/movies it includes science fiction elements in its plot, premise, or gadgets, if you were wondering why I count them as genre.
In more limited release we get Monkey King: Hero Is Back, an animated fantasy starring Jackie Chan as the Monkey King. The last Monkey King movie Jackie Chan was in was the live action Forbidden Kingdom, and Jet Li got to play the famous demigod in that one. Both movies include the Monkey King’s release after 500 years from his prison of ice, a rather pivotal moment in his legend. League of Gods is based on the 16th-century Chinese novel Feng Shen Yan Yi, in which King Zhou becomes evil after a spirit disguised as one of his concubines twists his mind around. And finally the description of Dishoom sounds like a fantasy adventure premise to me: John and Varun go on a suicidal mission to rescue Jaqcueline, the princess, from her evil fiancé. Everybody’s already seen the trailers for the first two movies, here are the ones for the other three.
There is no actual genre I could find for western Movies and TV, but I will mention Hardcore Henry because it has such a unique visual style. Too bad they didn’t do it as VR. We did much better with Anime, where Arpeggio of Blue Steel brings the warships of the Fog into direct contact with the humans they isolate and attack. Log Horizon: Season 2, Collection 2 has the next dozen episodes about the trapped gamers, who are following up on some rumors about a potential way out while continuing their quest. When They Cry: Rei is the OVA collection with a few comedic episodes and a few more in keeping with the vibe of the main series, dark and chilling. One Piece: Season 8 Voyage 2 brings episodes 469 through 480 home (they are currently running episode 762, to put that in perspective). There are also a couple of shows being released in a S.A.V.E. edition, Date A Live: Season 1, and Code:Breaker; Complete Series.
SD Comic Con is better than Superbowl for movie trailers, so this week we will briefly skip the Saturday night music posts I normally do in honor of showing off a few of them. The first is from the next generation of the Potter franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the second Wonder Woman, and the third from Justice League, which seems to have no official web site quite yet. All three of those were Warner Bros. with the last 2 being DC Comics; we also get some from Marvel and Netflix, including Iron Fist and Luke Cage. There are a ton of other good ones as well, I will be fighting the urge to keep posting them, but I don’t know how well I will do with that.
We are only 3 episodes into the fall season, and already Taboo Tattoo has me looking forward to the new episode each Monday when I get home from work. The Tattoos are technology from an ancient civilization, each with a special power they give the wearer, a specific trigger that activates them, and a price they exact in return for the abilities they grant. The protagonist is a middle school kid who ended up being given his tattoo when he stepped in to defend a stranger from some street punks. He was promptly tracked down by a couple of American Army tattoo wielders. They had been tasked with locating a group of stolen tattoos and were hot on the heels of the man he had defended. There is also a psycho princess who just used her tattoo to murder her parents and take over the government of her island nation, as a stepping stone to world domination. She has agents with powers going to other countries to kill off the gifted and bring their tattoos back to equip her army. And that’s just in the first 2 episodes; it’s going to be a wild ride!
The MIT Technology Review just published it’s annual Sci-Fi collection 12 Tomorrows, based on stories in the Review of the latest scientific breakthroughs. The authors this year include Charles Stross, John Kessel, Nick Harkaway, Bruce Sterling, and an assortment of emerging writers, and you can get the publication as eZines or in limited edition hardcopy. Over the years this collection has achieved critical acclaim, both from genre publishing prozines like Locus Magazine and by having stories included in various Best Science Fiction Of The Year anthologies.