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Science Fiction Thursday: 'Star Wars', SAG Awards, 'Red Mars'

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Science Fiction | December 10, 2015 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Science Fiction | December 10, 2015 |

I once read a factoid that may or may not be completely made up. It insisted that it rained significantly more often on Thursday than any other day of the week through all of recorded history. That’s probably about as true as Johnny Appleseed having an opium addiction, but the sure to be fantastic explanation for it would make for an interesting science fiction short story. And thus, Science Fiction Thursday.

First up, again, just in case you hadn’t yet heard, there’s a new Star Wars movie coming out next week. Probably no big deal to most of you, just something to toss onto the Netflix queue when it gets released sometime next year, but just thought I’d mention it anyway.

Also, George Lucas finally got to see the film. It’s kind of funny that they finally let him see it only a week before the release after over the summer he declared that he had planned out Episode VII, gave the notes to Disney, and they just said thanks but not a chance.

I kind of feel bad for the guy who created something I love so much and no longer has creative control of his own creation. Then I remember the prequels and everything goes red and black for a while.

Anyway, Lucas’ opinion of the film? “I think the fans are going to love it. It’s very much the kind of movie they’ve been looking for.”


Poor George, tortured artists are never appreciated in their time.

(source: SlashFilm)

The Screen Actors Guild Awards announced their nominations. The Martian received no nominations while Fury Road only got one for stunt work, thus proving for the 22nd consecutive year that I don’t care enough about the Screen Actors Guild’s opinions to bother looking up what the hell the Screen Actors Guild actually is other than a platform for Ronald Reagan to use to get other actors arrested.

(source: SlashFilm)

Finally, Spike Television is jumping on the Mars bandwagon by greenlighting Red Mars straight to a ten episode order and skipping that pesky pilot stage. It’s based of course on the trilogy of novels by Kim Stanley Robinson, and J. Michael Straczynski is running the show.

Says a disposable Spike executive:

“The heart and soul of ‘Red Mars’ is about humanity. This group of strangers must find a way to live together and survive under the most daunting conditions mankind has ever faced to become the first living generation of Martians. They will be each other’s greatest source of strength — and if they can’t coexist — the greatest reason for failure”

On the one hand, I love hard science fiction, I love stories of survival, I love Mars, and I love Straczynski’s last effort (Sense8). On the other hand, this is one set of novels that just didn’t do it for me. I’ve got them on a shelf here, but I never read the second and third after the first one grew so tedious that I kept skimming faster and faster, looking for anything to happen at all. Mileage may vary of course, I’m sure they worked for some of you since they’re so well regarded.

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