Steven Lyle Jordan

Sticky

Bernal SphereSteven Lyle Jordan has written fifteen futurist fiction novels.  His work has been compared to that of Arthur C. Clarke, Ben Bova and Frederik Pohl, and he’s a staunch advocate of genre fiction based on real physics and believable science.

Available in ebook formats at Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

On Facebook: stevenlylejordan

On Twitter: @Steven_L_Jordan (#BringTheFuture)

Superheroes have finally transitioned from comics to screens

Standard

Avengers Age of UltronIn the last post, I examined Marvel Comics and the refusal of the editors to bring the comic books fully into the 21st century.  At the end, I pointed out that the comic book industry is, in reality, a very small one; and that, if it dried up and blew away tomorrow, it wouldn’t exactly be mourned by the world.

That’s because superheroes are too busy working other venues, most notably the big screen and various small screens, and are demonstrating that that’s where the big money is.  And as we rapidly approach another blockbuster summer movie season, we’ll see even more examples of the real future of superheroes in the 21st century. Continue reading

Marvel comics deny the 21st century

Standard

Iron Man coverI grew up reading superhero comic books, like many boys my age.  I was always partial to Marvel’s comics, but I read some DC heroes too, being drawn to artists and interesting stories as opposed to just being tied to specific characters.  My interest hung on longer than some, lasting well into my adulthood; and even though my primary tastes evolved to science-fiction-themed graphic novels and stories, I still occasionally returned to my superhero roots in order to enjoy a good capes-and-spandex yarn.

It had been years since I’d spent much time looking at superhero books, when I discovered something new from Marvel: The Ultimates line was essentially Marvel’s plan to update its familiar characters for the 21st century, to bring some more modern relevance to them.  The first books I saw were an updating of the Avengers, now dubbed The Ultimates.  We were being given new or slightly modified origins for Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Giant Man and The Wasp, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, the Falcon, and even a new Nick Fury and SHIELD headquarters… all of which had more resonance with a post 9/11, terrorist-infested, nano-developing, metal-fiber-wearing, cyber-hacking and genetically-experimenting world.  And I, for one, thought this was a fantastic way to make superheroes more popular with modern kids… and adults like me.

So I was disappointed when it ended up dying. Continue reading

Sports? I have other interests.

Standard

football-ravens-steelersI was recently at a get-together, and I came across someone I hadn’t spoken to in a few years.  As we were getting re-aquainted, my friend asked me: “So, what sports are you into now?”

I told him: “I don’t watch sports these days.”

“Why not?”

“Oh, no reason.  Just lost interest.”

This is, of course, the lie—or, more accurately, the half-truth I told him, and would tell most anyone else, to make sure they don’t run screaming from me at parties.  Because what would be honest for me to say would be something along the lines of:

“I’m not interested in sports, because I’m interested in other things a lot more.” Continue reading

Snowpiercer and Sunshine: Opposite and alike

Standard

Sunshine movie posterI recently had a chance to sit through the entirety of Sunshine, the Danny Boyle movie about a team of astronauts taking a nuclear payload to try to re-ignite a dying Sun.  And when it was over, I immediately thought of Bong Joon-ho’s movie Snowpiercer—not just because both movies happened to have Chris Evans in them—but because they are very similar, even with their very opposite settings.

The opposites are quite obvious: While Snowpiercer takes place on Earth, Sunshine takes place within close orbit of the Sun; in Snowpiercer, everything around them is dangerously cold, while in Sunshine, the heat and energy of the Sun is the chief natural threat.  And while Snowpiercer takes place aboard a train with hundreds of people aboard, Sunshine‘s crew of the Icarus II totals eight.

But it’s in the similarities that things get interesting. (Spoilers follow… these movies have been around long enough now.) Continue reading

Star Trek: Federation

Standard

Star Trek: Federation logoI was just recently introduced to a concept for a Star Trek TV series, conceived of about ten years ago to pitch to Paramount/CBS.  It has re-entered the news recently since Star Trek is rapidly coming up on its 50th anniversary, and so many people would like to see a new Trek TV series on the air when the date hits.

Alas, this idea was never actually pitched to Paramount/CBS, as JJ Abrams came along and made his new movie, which did well enough that Paramount put aside the idea of creating a new TV show for the foreseeable future.  Recent rumors, largely circulated by Latino Review, that this series idea was actually in development, apparently have no basis in fact.

And it’s a shame, because Star Trek: Federation, while maybe not being a perfectly fleshed out proposal, nonetheless has some great ideas for a new Trek series. Continue reading

#Bring the Future

Quote

The worst thing we can do is turn away the Future because it is uncomfortable. We need to look the uncomfortable parts of the Future right in the eyes. How else will we make it better?

Parts of the Future will be uncomfortable. Only accepting and directly addressing that will lessen discomfort. We can no longer afford to hold the Future at bay.

‬.

Humans as AI’s pets? …Okay.

Standard

“Like people including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have predicted, I agree that the future is scary and very bad for people. If we build these devices to take care of everything for us, eventually they’ll think faster than us and they’ll get rid of the slow humans to run companies more efficiently.”

Steve WozniakSo spoke Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in an interview with the Australian Financial Review. And he’s not alone.  It seems everyone from renowned scientists to prominent science fiction authors to SF moviemakers all believe that the “robopocalypse” is nigh, and it spells doom for the human race.  Though maybe it’s significant that we haven’t heard the same from programmers or psychologists over the years… because, so far, no one has managed to come up with a compelling reason why AI would want (or even need) to take over the world… as I’ve said myself in the past.

Regardless, I’d like to address the other half of that comment for the moment: The idea that humans, once the AIs take over, would subjugate us or just plain wipe us out.  Wozniak himself described humans post-robopocalypse as the “pets” of computers… and implied that that was a bad thing.  I strongly challenge that idea. Continue reading