History is a thing we make—in more senses than one. And from more directions.
This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by senior editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden.
In mainstream movies, if you want someone to play the quasi-love interest of a time traveler, your go-to person is always Rachel McAdams. She’s played the girlfriend of a time traveler in three films in just four years! But what does this kooky typecasting reveal about how culture sees women in time travel? And are there any other weird time-travel type-castings?
Coming from artist Madéleine Flores is the biggest plot-twist spoiler alert of all time: David Bowie is Harry Potter’s true father! We always thought James Potter was a little underdeveloped in the latter books, and now we know why: he was a ruse to hide the Bowie! We do wonder what house Bowie was sorted into, though. Was it Hufflepuff? Gryffindor? Viacom?
Your daily offsite links are are full of stardust, man. Highlights include:
Science fiction has a rough reputation for being written off as escapist entertainment and as such has always struggled with being taken seriously. But what’s so great about being taken seriously, anyway? Science fiction can be wonderful escapist entertainment and is occasionally at its best when not being serious. Comedy can be a close friend to sci-fi, and some films which have combined comedy with science fiction have often gone on to be some of the most beloved and watched movies in cultural memory.
Here are 10 of the greatest comedic science fiction films according to me. Like comedy itself, this list is by no means comprehensive, nor objective.
(Planet of Sound is a bi-weekly speculative fiction music feature.)
Last thing I remember is the freezing cold
Water reaching up just to swallow me whole
Ice in the rigging and the howling wind
Shock to my body as we tumbled in
How about being frozen?
Inspired by the exhumation of the ice-preserved body of John Torrington, Taylor gave us the first person narrative of a 19th century sailor not merely exhumed, but revived, in “The Frozen Man,” off his 1991 album New Moon Shine. In other words, the man the New York Times referred to as the “foremost contemporary composer of what you might call American lullabies” here offers a gentle, folksy song about primitive accidental cryonics.
In the climactic scene of the gripping dramatic dystopia film Sleeper, two freedom fighters posing as government cloners are attempting to thwart a complex procedure that will resurrect a nearly dead Orwellian figure known as “the Leader.” Though deft and cunning, these two masterminds eventually have their covers blown. After they claim to attempt to clone the Leader directly into his suit so that he will be “completely dressed” (a first in cloning!), the brainwashed agents of the draconian Leader are suddenly on to our heroes and an epic chase ensues. Luckily, these two vanguards of free will and humanity shrewdly hold hostage the only piece of genetic material remaining of the tyrannical Leader; the Leader’s nose. The film’s deeper themes on the notions of what society has lost in this twisted dark future are augmented and driven home by outrageous slapstick music, specifically a spirited jazz clarinet.
Nothing says dystopia like slapstick jazz clarinet. Did I mention the orgasmatron? Read on to discover the true pathos of Woody Allen’s Hugo-Award Winning science fiction dystopia, Sleeper.