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Author Archives: Gregory Scheckler

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Science Fiction Notebook: Robot and Frank

Robot and Frank, 2012 directed by Jake Schreier, written by Christopher D. Ford; starring Frank Langella, Liv Tyler, Susan Sarandon (Amazon, iTunes) Summary: Ailing ex-con Frank uses his new home-care robot to pull a heist. Short Review: Excellent example of near-future science fiction. Superbly acted, directed, filmed and written. A soft-spoken, crisply crafted story. Opening images: A dark home interior, with […]

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15 Essential Science Fiction Novels of the 19th & 20th Centuries

A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge An amazing tale of human’s first contact with non-humans, which is also a prequel to Vinge’s earlier book, A Fire Upon the Deep. The world-building and vast scale of the plots is amazing, with wildly imaginative human and human-like cultures competing with each other and an alien culture of spider-like, hibernating creatures. […]

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Science Fiction Notebook: Automata

Automata, directed by Gabe Ibanez; Screenplay by Gabe Ibanez, Igor Legretta Gomez, Javier Sanchez Donate; starring Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Dylan McDermott, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (Amazon, iTunes) Summary: Antonio Banderas plays an insurance adjuster who investigates a robot after a cop kills it. These robots have rules: first do no harm, and second don’t alter any robots. So you can bet those rules […]

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Science Fiction Notebook: The Machine

The Machine, 2013, directed by Caradog W. James, starring Caity Lotz and Toby Stephens (Amazon, iTunes) Summary: A despondent scientist protects his ailing daughter while building a better cyborg, but the British government attempts to steal the conscious cyborg and turn her into a soldier. Review: A smart, beautifully filmed science fiction tale, with strong acting and fairly interesting characters caught in […]

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Science Fiction and Climate Change – The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future

What will future historians say about us and our time? We face many potential disasters, from the possible effects of Climate Change, to an epidemic, war, communications failures, or just dumb technology planning. Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway set forward a disturbing view of how so-called Western civilizations might fail in their science fiction novel, The Collapse of Western Civilization: […]

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Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever adapted by Scott Tipton, David Tipton & J.K. Woodward

Time-travel in science fiction allows writers to play out multiple narratives and endings, with large doses of fantasy. Star Trek is no exception to this, in fact the number of possible wacky time paradoxes in Star Trek is so staggering that we might not be able to ever establish which Star Trek world we are witnessing, ever, or forever, as […]

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How do you balance art and a job?

Like many artists and writers, I’ve usually had two jobs: the job that earns money, and the job that is being an artist. Sometimes the art earned good income and I didn’t need other work, but often it didn’t and I struggled to find the right balance between money and art-making. It’s like the Pushmi-Pullyu of Doctor Doolittle, two minds, […]

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