It’s Science Fiction Thursday again, because Wednesday and Friday just can’t handle rockets and little green men.
We start with adaptation news as Margaret Atwood’s trilogy MaddAddam (which I presume is an elaborate acronym for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Against Drunk Drivers Against Mothers) is getting adapted to an HBO series by Darren Aronofsky. The trilogy involves genetic engineering and armageddon, so you know, light reading. I read the first one when it came out ten years or so ago (Oryx and Crake). It was good, but not great. It was one of those books where the quality of the writing far exceeded the quality of the story, if that makes sense, though I understand that I’m of a minority opinion here. Anyone else read them and have something to say?
There are also rumors that Starship Troopers might be rebooted. And by rumors I mean the optimistic extrapolation of a couple of tweets that is thinner than any theory seen outside of Dustin parsing the secrets of Mad Men from the lint on Don Draper’s collar. Click here for the complete lack of details of any kind. Also, feel free to yell at me in the comments for thinking that Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers is a terrible movie, and that sometimes shit is just shit and not a subtle satire of shit.
This isn’t exactly science fiction, but it damned well should be a movie anyway. Back in the seventies, a little satellite called ISEE-3 was put up into orbit to study solar winds, and after its mission was complete it got stuck into a stable little out of the way orbit where it wouldn’t run into anything. A few years later, a NASA scientist “borrowed” it, with the most colloquial definition of that word, and sent it out to intercept and study a comet. He then pushed the satellite into a trajectory that would take it back to Earth, with the slight problem of requiring three decades to do so. The communications shut down in 1997, but the satellite was still on course, and is set to arrive at Earth this summer. So some amateurs cobbled together a Kickstarter for $150,000 to get together the equipment needed to contact and take control of the satellite once NASA was unwilling to do anything. And two days ago, they announced that they managed to reestablish contact and reboot the satellite after seventeen years of silence.
Tor.com has released all five of their Hugo finalists for free on their website, including a Laundry story by Charlie Stross. Have you read his Laundry novels? They have nothing to do with the cleaning of clothing. They are a wonderful cross between Cthulu and James Bond, and you should go read them now. You can find the stories here.
And a final bit on the print world of this wonderful genre. If the words: “Waldo Butters decided to be a hero” don’t make a thrill of electricity lurch through you all over again, you need to take the rest of the day off and go home to read.
Steven Lloyd Wilson is a hopeless romantic and the last scion of Norse warriors and the forbidden elder gods. His novel, ramblings, and assorted fictions coalesce at www.burningviolin.com. You can email him here and order his novel here.