If you are looking for something to read, one of the best series ever written is Wild Cards, a Superhero shared-universe where around 40 authors have contributed to the mosaic novels and short stories. It started in 1986, when George R.R. Martin and Melinda M. Snodgrass came up with the concept of Superpowers and horrible mutations and a lot of folks who just plain died when exposed to an Alien Xenovirus. That was meant to rid the Earth of Humans while leaving all our stuff intact so the aliens could take over the planet without destroying it in a war, but it didn’t quite work out the way they had planned. The stories are written by some of the best Science Fiction authors on the planet (there are too many to list, and I didn’t want to leave anyone out, so I gave the link so you could see for yourself), each of whom has created one or more characters. While it is difficult to pick a favorite with so many wonderful characters in the books, if I had to name just one it would be Roger Zelazny’s < href="http://www.wildcardsworld.com/characters/the-sleeper/">Croyd, The Sleeper. 24 books have already been published and there are two more in the pipe, one ready for release. And because that isn’t enough, the long-awaited TV series is finally in production; George can’t be directly involved with that due to his exclusive contract with HBO for Game of Thrones, so Melinda is heading up that project. This is one of the trailers for High Stakes, the 11th book in the series, updated to include mention of the TV series.
James Patterson’s bestselling YA book series Maximum Ride made the transition to movie format, but it didn’t play anywhere near me; now I get a chance to see it as they release it to DVD. The animated film Storks may be the best bet this time around, good silly fun from the studio that did The Lego Movie. There are also a couple of documentaries that look interesting, Oasis: Supersonic being about the rise, reign, and implosion of the band, while Hitchcock/Truffaut is all about the 1962 week long meeting those two had when they dissected the film industry.
Anime has an unusual release either this week or next, depending on which web site you believe: Attack on Titan 20 Special Edition w/DVD is a manga/graphic novel that included a DVD with an anime episode not released anywhere else. Owarimonogatari 2 is only 6 episodes long, being the second half of the season, but it does tell the complete Shinobu Mail story arc. Finally Shakugan No Shana S: OVA Series is now available in a S.A.V.E. edition, but considering it only contains four 23 minute episodes being able to pick it up for just under $20 doesn’t seem like much of a deal.
This weekend we finally get to hit the theater for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the next generation story of the Harry Potter series, and yes, that does mean its by J. K. Rowling. If you need more information than that, you are obviously just visiting this planet, and didn’t do your research before you arrived. We also get Officer Downe this weekend based on the graphic novel of the same name, unless the production company comes to its senses and opts for a different release date.
The film worth checking out this Friday is Arrival, told from the viewpoint of the linguist who is recruited by the military to assist in translating the aliens communications. I will be in the theater for this one! As far as I know this may be the first ever Ted Chiang story to be turned into a movie, in this case the short story: “Story of Your Life”. Ted has won four Nebula awards, four Hugo awards, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, four Locus awards, and a boatload of other top honors in the Sci-Fi universe. The story had a very small scope, if what I have seen of the trailer is any indication Hollywood may have grabbed that ball and run with it in directions the author never intended, but I am still looking forward to seeing what his first outing on the silver screen may have brought about.
And remember, next Monday the 14th is the Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks presentation in theaters across the US! The lost episode when Hartnel regenerated into Troughton; sadly only the audio survived, so they animated the video.
Goro Miyazaki created an Anime version of Astrid Lindgren’s fantasy novel Ronja the Robber’s Daughter, and Amazon has picked it up for their Amazon Prime streaming service. Gillian Anderson will be narrating the story for them, and as a fan of all things Studio Ghibli I am looking forward to watching it. My only question now is when it will be available; they only finished dubbing the English audio in the last week or two, and searching the US and UK Amazon sites reveals no information.
This could be what it would look like if Studio Ghibli made a version of Legend of Zelda, and if that ever happened I would be in the theater on opening day! It was created by fan artist/animator/gamer
Matt Vince in the UK. Thanks to Tor Online for the heads up on this one.