Top 20 list defines sci-fi for 2015

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Pacific Rim

Meet the iconic image of 21st century sci-fi.

My post about the Rolling Stone top-20 sci-fi movies of the 21st century—and my version of the top-20 list—inspired some interesting comments from all over, making clear that (ahem) my opinion about what makes the best sci-fi movies is shared by some, but not necessarily all, of the sci-fi lovers out there.  Of course, as I pointed out in many places, my opinion is my opinion, your opinion is your opinion, and that’s as far as opinions go, pretty much.

But the discussion was useful in another way: That is, to help define what constitutes sci-fi for the audience of 2015.  This is largely an academic exercise, but for those who seek to create sci-fi to be consumed by the populace (and make them a lot of money), if might be worth taking a quick look over these conclusions to make sure you’re doing it right. Continue reading

Steven Lyle Jordan

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By Grabthar’s Hammer!!  Are you still visiting this site?  I thought I’d let everyone know I’ve moved on to a new site!  How did this oversight happen?  How could you have missed it?  How did things go so horribly wrong?!?

Probably my fault.

This site has been moved to StevenLyleJordan.blog. Please visit me there and catch up on what you’ve missed!

Science (fiction) doesn’t have to be believable?

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sci fi movie postersI recently encountered a Facebook post by an author of a science fiction novel based around the idea of global cooling.  He had discovered a website of climate theorists, the Space and Science Research Center, whose opinions roughly matched those of his book, and was proud to point out the connection.

Unfortunately, the SSRC is an avowed anti-warming group, whose theories are not backed by actual scientific data:

“The Space and Science Research Center (SSRC) is (apparently) a for-profit company located in Orlando, FL. They appear to have an anti-global warming agenda, though their arguments have yet to be examined in detail. They present an appearance of scientific grounding, but they do not seem to have any peer-reviewed papers on their theories.” (From Issuepedia)

I politely pointed this out, and added that “although it’s nice to take your SF from the headlines, one should caution whose headlines are being read…”

However, my point was essentially ignored by other posters, including the author, all of whom expressed little or no concern about whether the science in the story was actually correct.  One such poster lauded the author, and added:

“I suspect your book will be much better fiction than anything peddled by the SSRC. Science does not have to be believable, as long as your characters are.”

When I read that, a small part of me died inside. Continue reading

Time for a Wild Cards TV series

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Wild Cards Americans, as a TV culture, have shown ourselves to be truly enamored with two things at the moment: Superheroes; and George R.R. Martin.  His Game of Thrones, with its unique characters, conflicts, violence, sex and dragons, is eating up the airwaves… while right beside it, we watch Arrow and Agents of SHIELD, subscribe to Netflix so we can check out new superhero-based programming soon to be shown there, and go out to see The Avengers and Captain America in the movies while we await The Flash and Batman vs. Superman and the Justice League.

Truly there can be no better time to request—no, I say demand—that the Wild Cards series must be adopted for television, right friggin’ now. Continue reading

Being more exciting

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cover of The Kestral Voyages: My Life, After BerserkerWhat… me?  Perish the thought.  No, I’m trying to make my books sound more exciting.  I’ve recently edited the blurbs for two of my novels, Sarcology and My Life, After Berserker, to see if a more exciting description will help sales.

This notion came to me after a Facebook discussion with author James Moclair, who met with two prospective customers for his new book… but apparently, the customers were deterred from buying by the fact that he, in his mid-sixties, seemed to them to be “too old to be a science fiction writer.” Continue reading

Orphan Black: Serious SF for TV

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Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black

Why have I not broached the subject of Orphan Black on this blog before?  I honestly don’t know, because it’s just the kind of thing I love, as well as love talking about.  Orphan Black is one of my most favorite things in the world, the incredible rare bird.

Serious science fiction.

For television, dawg. Continue reading

New TV projects for me!

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Steven Lyle JordanI was recently told that the TV show premise I’d written was almost picked up by SYFY… except that they had just recently purchased another show very much like mine!  (In other words, late to the party…D’OH!)

However, I was also told that another idea by my TV production contact had attracted the attention of a network, and they want to see more.  As in, some scripts to kick off the show.  And since no one has, as yet, written any… they’ve turned to me to do the honors.

Yes, this is another one of those “I’d tell you the details, but then I’d have to kill you” moments.  What I can say is that the original idea is not mine; but I’ve spent enough time talking to the developers on it that I believe I can put together a dynamite set of opening episodes for it.

So, off I go into my creative world, with a new project to sell and someone already showing interest in it… if I don’t screw it up, of course.  Fingers crossed!

Why can’t serious science fiction compete with this?

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Godzilla 2014Sometimes, it just boggles my mind.  I try to write serious, intelligent and thoughtful fiction with real science, believable characters and groundbreaking ideas.  I believe there is a market for that kind of content.  Yet, when I turn on the TV or go to the movies, I see boy wizards, vampires, monsters and superheroes.  For every single movie like Solaris, we get the Marvel movie juggernaut.  For every series like Person of Interest, we get a thousand variations of Jersey Shore.  And, coming to a theatre near you: Godzilla.  A creature that was silly when it was invented, based loosely on crap pseudo-science, fifty years ago.

Is there really nothing about real, intelligent science that’s more compelling than all of this shlock? Continue reading

The best science fiction

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robot head

There always seems to be discussion and debate about the various types of science fiction, and which is more popular, which is more serious, which is cooler, etc.  I have no problem saying, right up front, that whatever kind of science fiction you like—or whatever type of any genre, for that matter—is what you like, and there’s no need to rationalize or apologize for it to others.  (So, the next time the discussion comes up, I don’t want to have to separate the 2001 and Star Wars fans,  okay?  Groovy.)

That said, this is what I get the most out of from science fiction. Continue reading