Regular laypersons like myself look at the secretive think tank Google X and have no problem assuming its researchers choose their projects by throwing darts at a wall covered in science fiction concept art. It turns out that the truth isn’t that much more complicated, as the Google X team takes “impossible” ideas and tries to reverse engineer them. So it should come as no surprise (but still does) that entrepreneur Astro Teller and his researchers put a lot of time into research and development of such improbable concepts as space elevators and hoverboards. This is the one time where failure as a conclusion is less of an issue than there being a conclusion in the first place.
Lock the chevrons in place…
The future is history.
Let’s see what’s out there on the horizon.
Amazon and Netflix have been engaged in an ongoing scuffle over exclusive streaming content for a while now, even aside from both of them diving into the world of actually producing original shows. While Netflix has a lead on the original series front, Amazon Prime has landed exclusive streaming rights to several big science fiction “gets” such as TNT’s Falling Skies, CBS’s Under the Dome, and BBC America’s Orphan Black — one of our favorite new shows of 2013 (and favorite things of 2013, for that matter). Now Amazon has reeled in another sci-fi fish: Syfy’s Defiance, which returns for a second season this summer, and which is now available for streaming by Amazon Prime customers.
The future is starting to look very bright indeed for fans of science fiction television. Recently we’ve got news of an almost ridiculous number of new TV projects that are in the works at various networks. From the big boys to basic cable to the premium channels, everyone is clamoring to churn out new sci-fi shows. It’s going to be a good time. Check out David’s write up of some of our most anticipated titles HERE. Not to be left out of the party, cable channel WGN America is teaming up with Fast & Furious 6 director Justin Lin to create a series out of the short story Radiant Doors.
Written by Michael Swanwick, Radiant Doors was originally published in 1998, and went on to rack up a bunch of prestigious awards. In 1999, the story won the Asimov’s reader poll, racked up a nomination for a Hugo Award for the best short story, and gathered another nom for the 2000 Nebula Awards. Not bad for one short story. According to Variety, Lin will direct the pilot, while Jeremy Doner (The Killing) will handle the writing duties.
If you go to the Titan Aerospace website, instead of seeing information about the drones it makes, you simply find the announcement that they’re “thrilled to announce that Titan Aerospace is joining Google,” as though that partnership is more important than the work they do. Maybe it is. It’s strange, though not surprising, that whatever was there two days ago is gone, erased, as though their real history starts at the moment Google acquired them.
Google hasn’t said how much it paid for the company, so we can use our imaginations to guess the amount, which undoubtedly is so large that for most of us it doesn’t even seem real. The bigger question, though, is what Google has in store for the drones.
Everybody uses social media to promote and compare their likes and dislikes with millions of others doing the same thing. And while it’s hard to sift through all the noise of grumpy cats, relationship troubles, and “Which Farm Animal Are You?” quizzes, there will sometimes be a person or entity who stands above all. Quite literally, in this case, as NASA astronaut Steve Swanson posted the first Instagram picture from the International Space Station, and he just happened to be wearing a Firefly T-shirt while doing so, which technically makes it the coolest gorram shirt in the universe.
The latest trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past dropped this morning, and it hit like a, well, like a magnetically lifted stadium dropped from a great height (I’m not sure if that still counts as a home game or not). This look at Days of Future Past is easily the best of the bunch so far, taking us from a bleak future dystopia overrun with killer robots, back to the era when Xavier was still walking, not to mention sporting a truly excellent leather-jacket-and-shades combo. More importantly, the trailer gives us further looks at Days of Future Past’s massive cast, an unholy stitched-together Frankenstein’s monster marrying the world of Bryan Singer’s two original X-Men films with the prequel setting of the surprise hit X-Men: First Class. (And anyone who mentions that other X-Men movie that came in between will get such a slap.)