science fiction

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Transcendence Aims High, Falls Flat

Wally Pfister film stars Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall

(Newser) - Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall, tells the story of a dying scientist whose wife uploads his brain onto a computer. Wally Pfister's directorial debut (he's been Christopher Nolan's longtime cinematographer) raises worthwhile questions about technology, identity, and good and evil, critics say—but they're... More »

Why Do Sci-Fi Bad Guys Have Crappy Tech?

Mark Hagerott and Daniel Sarewitz think fiction is doing a bad job warning us about the dystopia around us

(Newser) - Fiction, and especially science fiction, is rife with stories of rebels going on the run and challenging the established order. But that whole narrative "has been rendered implausible by the development of pervasive security technology," argue Mark Hagerott and Daniel Sarewitz at Slate . "Who can go on... More »

Looper Is Head-Spinning Fun

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis star in Rian Johnson sci-fi flick

(Newser) - Writer/director Rian Johnson wins over critics with Looper, a time-traveling sci-fi thriller with brains. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a hired killer set to assassinate a future version of himself, played by Bruce Willis. What the press is saying:
  • Looper is "way inventive but it wears its creativity lightly, like it'
... More »

FBI Suspected Ray Bradbury of Communist Leanings

Huffington Post unveils writer's FBI file

(Newser) - Ray Bradbury's criticism of the government got him investigated by the FBI in the 1960s as a suspected Communist sympathizer, according to FBI files obtained by the Huffington Post via a FOIA request. Bradbury was reported to the FBI by screenwriter Martin Berkeley, who years earlier had told the... More »

Total Recall Totally Forgettable

Critics not impressed with Colin Farrell remake

(Newser) - Critics aren't much impressed with Total Recall, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller about fake memories. While the 1990 original has become a classic of sorts, this version, starring Colin Farrell, has inspired some pretty harsh reviews.
  • "The ambitions of the filmmakers lie in the direction of maximum noise and
... More »

Ex-CIA Agent: It Was a UFO at Roswell

And there were alien cadavers: Chase Brandon

(Newser) - Sixty-five years ago yesterday, a Roswell newspaper alerted the world to the landing of a flying saucer—and that report got it right, a former CIA agent now says. "It was not a damn weather balloon," Chase Brandon, who worked for the agency for 35 years, tells the... More »

Ray Bradbury's Best Predictions

He wrote of flat-screen TVs in the 1950s

(Newser) - The death of Ray Bradbury this week prompted Hayley Tsukayama of the Washington Post to look through his works and pick out 10 of his "most prescient predictions." A sampling:
  • Earbuds: Maybe they weren't Bluetooth headsets, but the people in Fahrenheit 451 had things very much like
... More »

RIP, Ray Bradbury

He elevated science fiction into the mainstream

(Newser) - A sampling of the salutes being directed toward Ray Bradbury, who has died at age 91:
  • Gerald Jonas, New York Times : "By many estimations Mr. Bradbury was the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream."
  • Lynell George, Los Angeles Times : "Bradbury was
... More »

Ray Bradbury Dead at 91

Author wrote seminal sci-fi works like Fahrenheit 451 , and The Martian Chronicles

(Newser) - Renowned sci-fi author Ray Bradbury has died in Los Angeles at age 91, i09 is reporting, with confirmation from his family and biographer. The report does not indicate the cause of death. "If I had to make any statement, it would be how much I love and miss him,... More »

Disney's $250M John Carter Set to Lose ... $200M

Sci-fi epic puts Disney Studios in the red

(Newser) - Science-fiction epic John Carter looks set to go down in history as one of Hollywood's biggest-ever money losers. Disney says it expects the movie—which cost more than $250 million to make, and another $100 million to market—to lose some $200 million, putting its movie studio up to... More »

Homeland Security Tests 'Pre-Crime' Detectors

'Non-intrusive' sensors collect data on prospective crooks

(Newser) - Homeland Security is trying to make Hollywood's science-fiction fantasies come true, CNET reports. While the Tom Cruise film Minority Report portrayed psychics who predict crimes, DHS officials are using a "prototype screening facility" to "detect cues indicative of mal-intent" in people, according to a DHS document. The... More »

Ridley Scott to Direct New Blade Runner

Alcon Entertainment slated to produce upcoming sequel or prequel

(Newser) - "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe..." But would the infamous replicant leader in Blade Runner believe that director Ridley Scott is making a new version of the 1982 sci-fi classic? Sequel or prequel, nobody seems to know—and Harrison Ford's participation is a question... More »

US Dreams of Interstellar Spaceship in 100 Years

DARPA offering $500,000 to space innovators

(Newser) - Is it possible that Star Trek and a sci-fi story written by Jules Verne more than 100 years ago will inspire the next generation of space technologies? DARPA, the research and development division of the US military, sure hopes so. In fact, the agency has promised to award $500,000... More »

Super 8 Almost Super

JJ Abrams directs Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning in sci-fi flick

(Newser) - Super 8 is a fun summer blockbuster about kids, monsters, and filmmaking—but don’t expect a classic.
  • Director JJ Abrams is “clever and sincere,” notes AO Scott in the New York Times , “but still, at least on the big screen, more student than master. Like his
... More »

Source Code an Action Flick With Brains

Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan star in Duncan Jones' sci-fi film

(Newser) - Source Code stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a military pilot placed into another man’s life using a secret program called Source Code—where he's forced to repeat the same eight minutes perpetually in order to catch a bomber. It’s pulse-pounding but deeply human:
  • It’s “the first film
... More »

Blade Runner Sequel Planned

Production firm in talks to buy rights to sci-fi classic's universe

(Newser) - Other Blade Runner movies could be here in time for 2019, the year when the 1982 sci-fi classic takes place. Production company Alcon Entertainment says it's in the final stages of talks to acquire the rights to make prequels and sequels based on the settings and characters of the original,... More »

Tron Trounces Box Office With $43.6M

Sci-fi sequel sends Yogi Bear to No. 2

(Newser) - The much-hyped sci-fi sequel Tron: Legacy trounced its closest competition at the box office this weekend, notching $43.6 million in an opening weekend some 28 years after the original cult hit debuted. Its $200 million budget let filmmakers "do some incredible things," says the director of the... More »

5 Reasons We Need New Star Wars Trilogy

Wired blog: Lucas denies rumors, but maybe he should reconsider

(Newser) - Rumors are flying that George Lucas has another Star Wars trilogy up his sleeve. Lucas says it ain't so, but Scott Thill offers five reasons at Wired why he should reconsider:
  • Purists are annoying: The first movie came out in 1977, and those who whine about Lucas ruining things "
... More »

Lego Robot Builds Stuff—With Legos

Machine could theoretically self-replicate, make Lego-Terminators

(Newser) - Could this be the first step toward a robotic apocalypse? A software engineer has created a machine made of Legos that builds objects made of Legos, based on 3D models. The MakerLegoBot (see video in gallery) takes advantage of the brand's new Mindstorms set, which incorporates motors and moving parts.... More »

Ray Bradbury: We've Got Too Many Internets

Sci-fi great also thinks we need a revolution and a moon base

(Newser) - Ray Bradbury: Crotchety tea partier? That’s the impression you might get from his interview with the LA Times , in which he decries the government, the “Internets” and the state of space travel. “We have too many cellphones. We’ve got too many internets,” the Farenheit 451 ... More »

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