The Walking Dead Promotes Four Cast Members To Series Regulars

TyreeseOh man, I can’t wait for The Walking Dead‘s third season finale, to see what will certainly be one of the most explosive and deadly episodes of televisi…wait, what? You say it already played? And that it was nowhere near the game-changing episode it was supposed to be? Well, that’s no big surprise. But perhaps a few casting affirmations could make next season…filled with more cast regulars? That’s really the only conclusion I feel comfortable making at this point.

We already knew that David Morrissey was coming back as the Governor, who only recently decided to become the monster he lived and breathed as in the comics, and what’s more, Morrissey has been upgraded to series regular. He’s not alone, though.

Chad L. Coleman, Sonequa Martin-Green, and Emily Kinney are all regulars now as well. While I can’t spend two paragraphs talking about the effect that Kinney will have on the fourth season as Herschel’s daughter Beth — though perhaps we’ll see a wacky storyline where she and her dad have to take part in a three-legged sack race at a memorial picnic — but Tyreese becoming a bigger, more badass part of this growing story has been a saliva-accumulating prospect for comics fan as soon as AMC picked the show up.


The Purge’s First Official Trailer

One of my favorite hallmarks of speculative fiction has always been when the creators envision a futuristic world that, on the surface, is an idyllic paradise, but where these appearances hide a sinister truth. Such is the situation presented in this new trailer for The Purge.

From low-budget masters Blumhouse Pictures (Paranormal Activity, Dark Skies), and staring Ethan Hawke—who worked with them on Sinister last year—The Purge predicts an America that has been reborn. The crime rate has been reduced to a miniscule 1%. Why this drastic change you ask? Because of something called the Purge, a one-night free-for-all where citizens are allowed to commit any crime their little hearts desire. Over the course of a 12-hour period, anything goes, even murder. A response to widespread crime and violence, the aim is for everyone to get all their crazy out at once so it won’t bubble to the surface at random times.

When a stranger invades the secure home of James Sandin (Hawke), his wife Mary (Lena Headey), and their children, during one of these evenings, it puts them in harms way. With no one to call for help, they have to make it through the night alive, hopefully with their humanity intact.

This concept sounds something like Battle Royale crossed with The Most Dangerous Game, especially since in the trailer there is definitely a group out in force, hunting human quarry. [Editor’s incredibly geeky note: It’s also reminiscent of the Star Trek, original series episode “Return of the Archons”. You know, the one with Landru. Clearly Brent is not of the body!]


Laser to the Brain Cures Cocaine Addiction in Rats

laserIt’s that really awkward feeling when you walk into a room where all your friends are, and you think it’s because it’s your birthday, but you can’t even remember when your birthday is due to the rampant drug use you’ve been guilty of. That sudden feeling when you realize you’re actually the subject of an intervention. Rats have that feeling all the time, according to this pamphlet drawn in crayon.

Researchers from Maryland’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the University of California at San Francisco have a study published in the journal Nature that details a process where addictive behavior in rats – in this case, cocaine was the vice of choice – could be eradicated by shooting a laser into their genetically engineered brains. Remember when science was just planetary models and trepanation?

A group of rats were made aware of a lever that dispensed cocaine and then naturally separated themselves into two groups, with a control group hanging out nearby. Once the rats go their taste of the white magic for eight weeks, the researchers introduced a small shock to accompany the dose. Some of the rats didn’t mind the shock, while others did.


Seventies NASA Concept Art Imagines The Future That Still Hasn’t Arrived

Station1We’ve often complained that the future we were promised never arrived. We don’t live in the floating cities or drive the flying cars or smoke the zero-gravity cigarettes the futurists and dreamers of Don Draper’s era imagined. Of course, the truth isn’t that simple. The future did arrive, just in more subtle ways. We can’t buy round-trip tickets to the Moon, alas, but our cell phones are more powerful than computers that once filled entire rooms. I don’t have an android butler, but medical advances make it vastly more likely that I’ll live to see 70 or 80 or even 90 than earlier generations. But still, even knowing all that…I’m still a bit heartbroken that we never got the gorgeous space stations that populated the books I grew up salivating over. Space stations like the one above, and the ones below.


Star Trek Into Darkness TV Spot Crams A Lot Into A Minute

Are you excited for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness yet? If I had to hazard a guess, based on the fact that you’re here, perusing the posts on this particular website, you probably are. If you’re not, this new TV spot for the sequel to the franchise reboot might just do the trick.

Though only a minute long, this teaser has more than enough to get your adrenaline flowing, despite the fact that it doesn’t show you anything you haven’t already seen. There’s action, a futuristic cityscape, and did I mention there’s a volcano? If you still need more, there’s Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) being both a smartass and driven on a personal vendetta for revenge. John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) also appears to be out for some retribution of his own, and since you can never have enough cinematic payback, this is a win-win situation.


Interview: Ex-Heroes Author Peter Clines

Peter ClinesSince 2010, Peter Clines has steadily released some of the most engaging novels imaginable. Through the fan-favorite indie publishing company Permuted Press, Clines has released the first two books of his fantastic superhero/zombie mash-up Ex-Heroes series, The Eerie Adventures of the Lycanthrope Robinson Crusoe (which needs no description, really), and most recently the stellar science fiction/mystery/horror outing 14, which was easily my favorite novel of 2012, and which has put Clines into the stratosphere of popular authors. Near the end of last year, Random House’s Crown Publishing snatched up the rights to the Ex-Heroes series, and has recently released the same-titled first book of the series in bookstores nationwide, a first for a Clines novel.

The Maine-born author was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about Ex-Heroes, the route it took to getting published, and a few bits about writing in general. Luckily, he couldn’t see me robotically pumping my fists in the air while going through his responses.

In brief, Ex-Heroes takes place in a world where certain humans have developed superpowers, and used them to keep the world safe. The all-powerful Mighty Dragon, the unstoppable Cerberus, the muscle-headed Gorgon, the life-saving Regenerator, and the electrified Zzzap, all under the watchful eyes of the mysterious Stealth. It isn’t long before the world faces its greatest threat ever in a zombie apocalypse, and the ragtag team of heroes must work together to save what little slice of humanity they’ve tasked themselves to protect. From cover to cover, it’s an astonishingly fast-paced read, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone, regardless of your feelings about zombies or superheroes. And without further ado, a few words with Peter Clines.