At long last the James Patterson book Maximum Ride is coming out as the Maximum Ride Movie to a limited number of theaters on Wednesday. The latest Tim Burton project, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, is on the big screen in wide release on Friday, another one I have been looking forward to for a while.
Humble Bundle is a great way to get some amazing deals on nerd-centric stuff and support charity at the same time. As an example, right at the moment their home page actually redirects you to their current Game Maker Bundle, with over $1,880 worth of software to let you create your own games and distribute them online, which you can pick up for less than $13. They don’t normally do that, but I think they got excited when even at such a low price they crossed the 2 million dollars in sales mark. That one is still going on for a day or two, but there is another deal you ought to check out: Sci-Fi by Real Scientists, with the charity being the Sci-Fi Givers Fund. That charity fund is one of several being run by the SFWA, and supports all the other funds, including the legal and health care funds, and their educational and grant system. If you are as addicted to reading as I am, this is an excellent way to help the independently employed authors (what, you never heard the expression “don’t quite your day job”?) keep doing what they are doing. The deal only runs for another week yet, until the morning of the 28th, and the e-books download to all the standard formats, so whatever computer or tablet you are running they will read just fine.
George R.R. Martin announced his shared superhero universe Wild Cards is coming to TV, and I cheered for a good 30 minutes. Melinda M. Snodgrass has been deeply involved with the project from the beginning as both a writer and an editor, and she will be an executive producer for the new TV show. UPC will be bringing it to the small screen, and since they have produced such shows as Mr. Robot, Killjoys, The Magicians, and 12 Monkeys, I have high hopes they will give Wild Cards the treatment it deserves. There are no guarantees, of course; back in 2011 I reported on their announcements about the Wild Card Movie that never got made. But perhaps if the show does as well as I expect it will we might get to see them on the big screen after all some day.
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.
The choices are Silly Fun and Scary Fun this time around. The silly is supplied by The Secret Life of Pets, an animated fantasy all abut what the pets get up to when the humans aren’t home, which seems to include a Lost Pet Army out to take revenge. The scary comes courtesy of the latest Steven King book to be turned into a movie, Cell. Myself, I am going for the silly this week.
The Legend of Tarzan will be on the big screen in a matter of hours, and I am looking forward to seeing how they did with this iteration of the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs franchise. I have noticed that VR has broken out into two separate camps, the passive (it plays and you watch it, turning your head to get your preferred viewpoint) and the interactive, where you get to make choices that change the experience by clicking on things as you go along. All the movie 360 modules I have seen fall into the passive camp, which makes sense since almost all of the movies I have seen have also been passive experiences. There are a few rare exceptions like Rocky Horror, where you attend the film with the dialog memorized and a bag full of props including toast and squirt guns and newspapers, but the mind boggles when trying to imagine how you would program those choices into a VR environment. Here are the first two passive Tarzan 360 segments, strap on your headsets and enjoy; and remember, it is early days yet for the film industries VR experimentation. I fully expect them to get interactive in no more than a decade, as they slowly figure out just what you can do in this kind of a story telling environment.