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Science Fiction Thursday: 'Star Wars', 'Red Mars', 'The Culture', and More 'Star Wars'

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | January 22, 2015 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | January 22, 2015 |

Because Wotan and Freya can’t handle it, SciFi falls to Thursday.

George Lucas is still giving interviews about Strange Music, that film he’s making for little girls because obviously Star Wars is only for boys, and strangely he’s still getting questions about Star Wars. I’d have thought Howard the Duck would come up at least once in a while since that’s what happened last time he tried to move on from Star Wars and personally took control of a film as a vanity project. Says the Lucas about how he sold Disney an entire pile of ideas for use in the upcoming Star Wars 7:

“The ones that I sold to Disney, they came up to the decision that they didn’t really want to do those. So they made up their own. So it’s not the ones that I originally wrote.”

I’d feel sorry for him except that I will never forgive him for the prequels, even though they did give us Darths and Droids. I mean, so that’s some silver lining, but I’ll still take my bitterness to my grave because the emperor has already won, and I was nobody’s only hope anyway.

(source: Cinema Blend)

And in other Star Wars news, one of the greatest things on the Internet this week is this music video created by Lindsey Stirling and Peter Hollens: a medley of Star Wars themes played completely with a single violin and some a capella work. If I swooned, I did so with power and grace like the mighty Chewbacca.

Oh I suppose that hit the Internet like two years ago according to the timestamps, but I hadn’t seen it before so I’m sharing it with you now.

In news from book adaptations, I’ve got good news, bad news, good news. The good news is that Kim Stanley Robinson’s massive series Red Mars is getting a big proper television adaptation. The bad news is that the network in question is Spike, which I thought ran a 24 hour schedule exclusively of Axe commercials. The good news is J. Michael Straczynski of Babylon 5 fame is going to be the showrunner. They’re an interesting set of books, though they’re the hardest of hard science fiction. I remember with vivid detail the building of the world (both in literal and in story terms), but couldn’t name a character moment from memory for the life of me. So in my paradigm, they’re all plot and little story, albeit really well-built plot. Either that would make a kind of lousy adaptation, or will give a really effective skeleton for J. Michael Straczynski to flesh out with character.

(source: Blastr)

In further bookish news, or at least self-indulgent personal updates, I’m up to Intercession on my march through Iain Banks’ Culture series, and it’s slow work, a speed bump in the series. It’s not that it’s bad by any stretch of the world, just disconcerting after several books of spaceships and AIs to be plunged into a world stuck right around the end of the middle ages. I knew going in based on the list of books on Wikipedia that this one was only tangentially in the series, and I’m a completist, but it’s like eating pie when you were promised cake. Except not, because pie is patently inferior to cake.

Anyone have a take on this? Books that throw you a curveball because they’re just not what you expected?

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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