Young Einstein Is Serious Alternate History Hidden Behind a Campy Exterior

“It hit me like a ton of bricks one day. I remember having a cup of coffee and I went, ‘Well, look, there is a giant canvas in every little town everywhere around the world. And on this giant canvas there are 24 frames of image on that screen every second and it’s the most wonderful living art form.’” –Yahoo Serious, The New York Times, 1989

Okay, so, taking Young Einstein—ahem—seriously may, initially, seem like taking Plan 9 from Outer Space seriously. Roger Ebert gave this film one star, and seemed to begrudge it even this tiny reward. The movie is ridiculous: a fictive debut out of Australia from an art school reject; made on a shoestring budget; produced, starring, and directed by this same art school reject; and no script doctors or test audiences were employed in the making of this film as far as I can tell. It is, at best, a B-movie.

However, the auteur definitely took his subject matter seriously, and saw comedy and his film persona as a way of communicating something deep and powerful through what is a fundamentally goofy and campy lens.

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Seven Excellent Escapist Adventure Fantasy Books

It’s never a bad time for adventure fantasy, but I would posit that now is the best time for adventure fantasy.

Here are some of my favourites, hand-selected for escapism, intrigue, high density of swordfights, and sheer enjoyment. Ideal if you have a fire handy to curl up beside. (Surely I am not the only one with a persistent daydream of sitting in a huge wingback armchair before a crackling hearth?)

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Hold Your Breath for the Epic Shadow and Bone Trailer

The Shadow Fold is real, and it’s dark as hell. The first full trailer for Shadow and Bone, the Netflix series based on the books by Leigh Bardugo, is here, and it’s just as impressive and epic as anyone could have wished. It’s a perfect introduction to the series’ world, full of dark and light magic, mysterious powers, and the question of how a humble mapmaker has light for blood.

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HBO’s Time Traveler’s Wife Finds Its Stars in Rose Leslie and Theo James

In 2018, HBO won a bidding war for former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat’s adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife. Audrey Niffenegger’s novel had been adapted once before—into a movie starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams—but Moffat had been in love with the book for years; he wrote “The Girl in the Fireplace” in response to Niffenegger’s story. His adaptation has been chugging along behind the scenes, and now is one step closer to filming with the casting of Theo James (Divergent) as the time-traveling Henry, and Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones, pictured above) as Clare, who meets Henry over and over again at different points in time.

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5 SF Stories About Teleportation Systems Gone Awry

Some hundred years ago, visionary hydroelectric pioneer Adam Beck proposed a grand scheme for electrically powered trains that would service the transit needs of southern Ontario. Such is the blinding speed at which modern society moves that scarcely a century later, something akin to a much-reduced version of Beck’s proposal became reality in the form of Waterloo Region’s Ion Light Rail System. For the most part the Ion is perfectly functional, some curiously patron-hostile stops aside, but an unexpected emergent property of the system very quickly became apparent: Kitchener-Waterloo drivers are terrible at noticing train-sized objects. You’d think a massive, whale-sized object bearing down on your car would draw attention … but apparently not.

Anyone who has read A. J. Deutsch’s 1950 short, “A Subway Named Möbius” could have predicted that something unexpected would happen.

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The Fourth Season of The Handmaid’s Tale Arrives in April

The Handmaid’s Tale has long since left its source material behind. Margaret Atwood’s award-winning 1985 book explored life in the dystopian Gilead, a nation where women have no rights, and handmaids are forced to bear children for high-ranking men. The adaptation’s first season hewed fairly closely to the book, but the second and third seasons went in their own direction, expanding the world and the rebellion against Gilead—which looks to be in full swing in the trailer for season four.

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