science fiction

Flavorwire Exclusive: Preview a Sci-Fi Murder Mystery from Russia’s Answer to Phillip K. Dick

Maybe you’ve heard of the Arkady and Boris Strugatsky — the Brothers Strugatsky — as the science-fiction authors of the novels behind Tarkovsky’s Stalker and Aleksei German’s Hard to Be a God. Or maybe you haven’t. In case of the latter, you can find an introduction, of sorts, here. But to enjoy the below excerpt, from the great sci-fi mystery novel The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn, you needn’t know that the Strugatsky Bros. are Russia’s answer to Theodore Sturgeon or Philip K. Dick. Nor do you need to know that their novels are enjoyed by contemporary novelists like Jeff VanderMeer and Jonathan Lethem. There isn’t much, in fact, that you need to know at all, except maybe how to read and laugh. … Read More

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Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘The Buried Giant’ and the Tyranny of Genre Fiction

Is Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel, The Buried Giant, a work of genre literature? Is Beowulf? In February, the author mortified genre fans everywhere by suggesting that the novel, which makes mention of she-dragons and ogres, is not a work of fantasy. “Will readers follow me into this?” Ishiguro wondered aloud for the New York Times. “Will they understand what I’m trying to do, or will they be prejudiced against the surface elements? Are they going to say this is fantasy?” … Read More

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Filthy, Squalid, Genius: Why It’s ‘Hard to Be a God’

Now in limited release, the science-fiction-fantasy feature Hard to Be a God is a carnival of human detritus — spiritual, physical, moral, political — unlike anything ever committed to film. The lifelong project of Aleksei German, who passed away in 2013, Hard to Be a God was completed by the director’s family (it apparently only required a bit of post-production work.) If you get the chance to see it in limited release, you should. Although, sooner or later, it will likely be screened more widely: it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a film this appetizingly poised at the interstice between genre-film, cult object, and auteur cinema. … Read More

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10 Science Fiction Illustrators You Should Know

We’ve been big fans of Swedish illustrator, animator, and graphic designer Kilian Eng for some time. Eng’s science fiction-inspired artworks are architectural, elegant, and punctuated with electrifying colors. They also channel the iconic illustrators from the past — especially French legend Moebius. It’s no wonder the artist’s monograph Object 5 has been out of print, but publisher Floating World Comics has reissued the book as a European album hardcover with 16 new pages of art. Eng’s style has us nostalgic for some of the sci-fi illustration greats we love. Here are ten you should know. … Read More

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An Orson Welles-Worthy Science Fiction Film Marathon

This year marks the centenary of Orson Welles’ birth, and celebrations are in full swing at New York’s Film Forum through February 3. The influential filmmaker enraptured audiences with his first feature at only 25 years old, 1941’s Citizen Kane — but the movie mogul also achieved tremendous success in theater, television, and radio. In one of his most famous broadcasts, 1938’s The War of the Worlds, Welles simulated an alien invasion on Earth, creating widespread panic, securing his fame one of the finest storytellers of the 20th century. In celebration of Welles’ 100th year, we’re looking to his dramatist roots and have compiled a science fiction movie marathon worthy of his War of the Worlds days. Add these movies to your Netflix and VOD queues. … Read More

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Watch the International Trailer for the Wachowskis’ ‘Jupiter Ascending’

The latest movie from the Wachowskis, Jupiter Ascending, was supposed to debut over the summer, but it got pushed back until… Read More

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Strange and Sexy Footwear Inspired by Vintage Sci-Fi Films

From Jane Fonda’s sexy space traveler in Barbarella to the Capitol couture featured in The Hunger Games, science fiction cinema has influenced fashion for decades. Eindhoven-based designer Mandy Roos, who we discovered on Moco Loco, has taken inspiration from old-school sci-fi films “and their imaginary visions of future, spaceships and unknown universes.” She uses futuristic materials like rubber, plastic, foam, and slime to style her wildly impractical, humorous, visionary footwear. The collection, Invasion Of The Foot Carrier, even sounds like a lost camp classic from the annals of 1960’s sci-fi. Take a closer look in our gallery. … Read More

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A Love Letter to the Modern World: On Emily St. John Mandel’s ‘Station Eleven’

Historically, prestigious prizes like the National Book Award are reserved for realist fiction, or at least historical fiction from a realist angle; and, for many of us, these books can make for dull reading. Thankfully, it appears that the tide is turning towards a wider variety of voices, settings — and genres. Most indicative of this turn is the recent success of Canadian author Emily St. John Mandel’s post-apocalyptic novel Station Eleven, which was shortlisted for the National Book Award in October. The winner will be announced on November 19. … Read More

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The Secret Truce in the Literary Genre Wars

Should young-adult, science fiction, and fantasy novels be considered works of literature? Is The Hunger Games a work of art? Does anyone care? Over the last couple of years, a handful of authors have pitched their tents in the no man’s land between “genre fiction” and “pure literature.” But the more intense the genre wars become, the more difficult it is to understand what it’s all about. Is it a question of what we should read? Is it a critical discussion about what counts as “literary quality” writing? Or is it a war of words over which books should be published? … Read More

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Nostalgia for the Future: William Gibson on ‘The Peripheral’ and His Legacy

For an author who is arguably our greatest speculist of techno-culture, William Gibson hasn’t been spending much time in the future. His last novel to be set in the future, in fact, was 1999’s All Tomorrow’s Parties. It’s a rather extraordinary and rare event, then, that Gibson has set his new novel, The Peripheral, in not one but two futures. … Read More

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