Posts Tagged ‘science fiction’

A Subjectively Obscure Sci-Fi Primer: Legend

Legend 1995 TV title cardThe Subjectively Obscure Sci-Fi Primer returns for the new year with another unusual genre crossover. We’ve done the SF legal drama; we’ve looked at a sci-fi soap opera; and now, it’s time for the Western genre to have a taste of science fiction goodness. While we often hear about the Western influence on the sci-fi genre, through shows like Star Trek with its “Wagon Train to the Stars,” or most obviously in Firefly, it’s not too often that this influence flows in reverse–but 1995 UPN series Legend is one such example. There have been others, and more notable ones, too, like The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., so what makes the brief, 12-episode Legend worth a look first? Come along and learn why.

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4 Means of Sci-Fi Punishment–Friday Four

Crime is a fact of life in any civilization (well, almost), be it a wretched hive of scum and villainy or the upstanding Federation. And where there’s crime, there’s laws preventing it and punishments for breaking those laws. But with all this futuristic technology at our disposal, surely we can come up with something a little more interesting than steel bars and heavy fines, right? So here are 4 ways to deal with the convicts of the future, ensuring that they serve out their time… although whether these forms of sci-fi punishment are actually worse than rotting in a jail cell today is up for debate.

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Happy Holidays! A Free ebook gift!

unjust_tinyA special, exclusive short has just been released for free! Unjustified Nostalgia, a short story written just for my most loyal fans, is out now. Check out a brief summary below:

Fiona takes Lance out on a special birthday date to see one of his favorite bands perform live, but the fun’s put to rest when Unjustified Nostalgia reveals that it might be their last show. After a trip backstage, the band’s famed cyborg drummer has a request: help find out why the record label they were planning to sign with has suddenly gotten so aggressive. Can the band’s future be saved, or will they fade out once and for all?


If you’re already a subscriber to my mailing list, you should’ve received instructions on how to download it straight to your inbox last night. If you aren’t subscribed yet, no problem! click here and sign up; once you confirm, you’ll get the details, too, no matter when you’re reading this. It’s a permanent freebie! And don’t worry if you haven’t read The Arcology or Eidolon yet; this story’s relatively free of spoilers, so if you like it, you can always go back and get caught up.

Enjoy the story, and if you have any problems or comments, feel free to let me know!

What Could Have Been: Alphas Season 3

alphasSince the end of Battlestar Galactica, Syfy has had a tough time finding a new flagship show. Continuing BSG in the form of Caprica failed, and Stargate Universe died around the same time. Defiance seemed a possible successor, but it bit the dust last year, and it’s only recently that the heir apparent came to be in the form of The Expanse. In between came Alphas, a show about people with superpowers that were pretty toned down compared to the heroes dominating the big screen at the time. And much like SGU, Alphas was canceled in its second season on a notorious cliffhanger. I’ll be honest; I never was much of a fan, getting bored with it after the first two episodes, but I’m not one to turn down a special request if I can fulfill it (especially since I’m not always able to). So here’s what I found, from the mouths of the writers and cast, on the lost future of Alphas.

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A Dismal Reflection: Apocalyptic Alternate Realities

turn-left-titanicWhen it comes to TV, things are always at risk of getting stale; if a series has a twenty episode season, for example, then a savvy viewer might realize that the lead actor’s character won’t die in episode 10. Characters rarely die at all, in fact, and permanent injuries mean permanent makeup (just ask Coulson how long he went one-handed). Even sets are rarely destroyed, since so much money goes into building them; with so little seemingly at stake (usually), it can be easy for the audience to stop seeing the enemies as threatening. How can you show the danger posed by our enemies without upsetting the status quo? Enter sci-fi’s favorite trick, the parallel universe/alternate timeline, where events and circumstances differ from the primary setting of the show in specific ways. By using these familiar-yet-strange settings, the writers can explore facets of the characters and the world in which they live that would usually be unavailable: how they might react to the destruction of their home, or the death of a critical character. Better still, since this alternate world is only around for an episode or two, massive changes to the status quo can be made, giving the writers a chance to explore apocalyptic themes that are usually out of reach.

What? No, it’s an utter coincidence I’m writing about apocalypses the same week as the election…

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4 Dangers of FTL Travel–Friday Four

millennium-falcon-hyperdriveSince the dawn of spaceflight, mankind has been stalled by the limiting factor that is the speed of light. But no longer–with the advent of Faster-Than-Light (FTL) travel, the entire galaxy is now our backyard. The idea of visiting other worlds, perhaps to seek out new life and new civilizations, going boldly where no one has gone before… it’s very appealing, isn’t it? And it’s finally a reality, so you might be tempted; Earth is boring and well explored, after all, and no new intelligent species are likely to be popping up any time soon. But before you sign up to join the space exploration agency of your choice, consider all the ways this FTL trip could go horribly, horribly wrong. Warp drives, Jump drives, or Hyperspace, they all have their problems, and here are 4 of the biggest dangers of FTL travel.

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4 Prototypes of Popular SF Shows–Friday Four

Captain Pike Star Trek TOS Pilot The CageOne of the unique things about TV is that is often has a long development process, but once something is committed to film, it’s almost certainly set in stone, so to speak. The first episode is almost always the pilot–that first proof-of-concept episode that’s made to sell the network on the idea. There are also spinoffs, which often get a strong upfront order based on the power of the parent show’s name alone (Like Star Trek Voyager, or Doctor Who‘s new spinoff, Class).

But some shows end up taking a rather roundabout approach to get to air; an online video, or a testbed short film is shown to the public without commitments. Viewers react positively, and boom! A show is born. Here are 4 shows that followed an unusual path through the development pipeline, and the 4 earliest SF prototypes that led to their creation.

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A Subjectively Obscure Sci-Fi Primer: Space Rangers

space rangers title cardThe Obscure Sci-Fi Primer is back once again, this time looking at the shortest show we’ve ever seen, clocking in at only 6 episodes. Space Rangers was a 1993 military/action series, following a team of part-police, part-military Rangers on their adventures out of the growing colony of Fort Hope on the planet Avalon. Space Rangers was created by Pen Densham (the 90’s Outer Limits) and originally aired on CBS, right at the time where numerous other amazing scifi series got their start on other networks (or in Star Trek‘s case, no network at all!). Did Space Rangers get the short end of the stick, or was it just as bland and generic as its name implies? Let’s find out.

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4 Clues the New Futuristic Drug is Deadly–Friday Four

TekWar Futuristic DrugLife’s hard in a dystopian world, and sometimes you really just need any escape you can get. That’s why there’s no shortage of new and exciting drugs being created in these kinds of places–or at least, they always sound exciting. A lot of the time, these futuristic drug offerings aren’t quite what you’re promised, and come with some major downsides. The next time someone offers you a first hit for free, pause and think over the points below before you wind up the latest victim of a half-baked narcotics fad.

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Eidolon is Now Available Everywhere!

eidomaskAfter months of writing and revision, Eidolon, the second book in my Lance Canela series, is now available across the web! Eidolon is where the overarching plot of the series begins—a heavier focus on the dystopian world and how it came to be that way. Check out the blurb below:

After Lance’s contact, Wyatt, is driven underground by the followers of a crusading hacker known only as Eidolon, Lance gets saddled with the unenviable task of digging up dirt on them—one made all the more intolerable as he finds himself working alongside a clickbait blogger named Becky, whose only concern is the next big controversy.
But as Lance gets to know Eidolon, his followers, and what he stands for, he becomes less and less sure that he’s on the right side. Is Wyatt taking advantage of him, or could there really be a dark secret at the heart of Eidolon’s attempts to right the world?

If you haven’t checked out The Arcology yet, no worries! I’ve got a special promotion going on that I’ll be posting about tomorrow. In the mean time, check out the links below to find a list of retailers that have Eidolon available. Both the paperback and ebook editions include a special bonus short story, Thoughts as Gray as Ash, following Lance through a more personal case as he searches for a client gone missing.

Amazon (ebook or Paperback): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXPQHCV

SmashWords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/668494

Barnes & Noble (ebook or Paperback): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/eidolon-carlyle-edmundson/1124750035?ean=2940153761695

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/eidolon/id1161482752

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/eidolon-10

And remember, if you enjoy my books, please leave a rating/review at the retailer of your choice!

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