When slackers rule the Earth: an adventure 30 years in the making.
There’s something magical that happens when you find all of your responsibilities absolved for a day: the joys of summer vacations spent fritting away time with no care; a canceled class replaced with a sunny day in a park; snow blanketing the world and burying work; school and transit in a gentle, yet firm, suggestion of “nope.” These are examples on a page, but nothing can convey that feeling save through art, and no film does it better than Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
“Darwyn always made me feel like when he was talking to me, he was 100% focused on me.
It's because he was...he was like this with everyone. It was his superpower.
To live in that moment and give it his all.
His art was a physical version of this. It's why his art reached so many people.
He was speaking directly to you and giving you every bit of himself. I'm going to miss you, man.”
- Shannon Eric Denton (Writer/Artist, Spectrum, Fleshdigger)
I grew up a Star Trek fan. Star Wars wasn’t on my radar until I saw a Millennium Falcon toy at my friend’s house. I was intrigued, as it had none of the sleek lines and graceful architecture I saw in a Constitution or Galaxy-class vessel, but it didn’t stick. I then saw the movies, later on the USA network. I thought they were good, like nothing I had ever seen before, but it still didn’t stick. Then, my mom bought me Assault on Selonia, the second book in the Correllian Trilogy featuring the young Solo Children, Thrackan Sal-Solo, and Mara Jade, alongside all the film’s heroes. Leia had a lightsaber. This was a world that entranced and fascinated me, and since I had read the middle book, I, of course, went to find the first and third, and thus it stuck: I was a Star Wars fan.
My immediate family is made up of introverts and geeks, but somehow I never was fully exposed to Star Wars (or Star Trek for that matter) as a child. I occasionally saw bits and pieces at friends’ houses, but it never grabbed my young imagination. (Frankly, I was convinced it was a very long, very dull movie.) As I grew older, I simply dismissed the original trilogy as something "not for me: . . . until Star Wars: A New Hope was re-released in theaters in 1997.
Decades after the release of Ridley Scott’s legendary space horror film, Alien, the lone survivor of the commercial towing vessel Nostromo, Ellen Ripley (and her portrayal by the enormous talented actress Sigourney Weaver), continues to powerfully influence the depiction of women in the science fiction genre. Easily ranking as one of the most iconic and well-developed cinematic heroes of our time, Ripley’s endurance as a pop culture figure and feminist symbol stems from the grace and depth of the four ambitious films the character appeared in and continues to impact today’s genre heroines, be it on the silver screen, television, video games, or a multitude of other mediums.
Early cinema fair often turned to literature for inspiration and source material. The space horror genre is no different; its roots can be traced back to early 20th century science fiction writers such as H.G. Wells (The War of the Worlds, 1898) and Robert Potter (The Germ Growers, 1892), featuring alien invasion storylines. As films grew in popularity, filmmakers were looking past the reality shorts that defined the medium, realizing that this new format could be used to tell stories that entertained.
I’ve always wanted to travel in space. I’m talking serious interstellar travel to destinations at the far reaches of our universe. This desire is fueled by a completely unrealistic expectation that these journeys would be filled with Hubble photo gallery vistas or at least have the feel of the Star Trek: The Next Generation opening title sequence.
While the financial success of The Hunger Games franchise, as well as its undeniable cultural impact across the globe, has it made it a hit with readers and movie-goers everywhere, many of my fellow peers in Geekdom still seem hesitant to embrace the series for the important, powerful, and well-crafted sci-fi epic it truly is. Featuring a captivating and relatable heroine, a complex and fascinating post-apocalyptic society, and an undeniably powerful message regarding where we are now, as a people, and where the future, and our own actions, may take us, The Hunger Games novels and films are exactly the type of intelligent and engaging material sci-fi fan and self-described geeks regularly seek out. Yet, much like Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer before it, The Hunger Games has suffered from the prejudices of those who have little to no knowledge of the series and view it as something it is most certainly not: a poorly written, ultra-soapy YA romance resembling Twilight with bows and arrows.