Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of March 31, 2014

As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s hitting shelves in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

AppOverthrow-sAppalachian Overthrow” by E.E. Knight

Captured and sold to the Kurian — allied Maynes Conglomerate, to work as a slave in the coal mines of Appalachia, Ahn-Kha is angered and appalled by the dangerous working conditions, and the brutal treatment inflicted upon his fellow miners. When a protest against shortages is deliberately and bloodily suppressed, Ahn-Kha sets himself against the ruling Maynes family and sets out on a trail of vengeance through the Coal Country.

Finally, the people of the Coal Country are driven to the breaking point — and they now have a leader, a powerful and battle-hardened leader, determined to forge them into an army that will wage guerrilla warfare against the Maynes family and their Kurian masters — and free the Appalachians from their tyranny…


Cross The Streams With Mr. Nobody, Adventure Time, And Slither

Is everybody ready for tomorrow, April 1? You’ll no doubt hear about Arnold Schwarzenegger agreeing to undergo plastic surgery to star in a Predator prequel that takes place in the two hours immediately preceding the first film, or that Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer is being released with white American actors digitally inserted to replace the international cast. It’s certainly a good day for everyone. But before that happens, feast upon this week’s Cross the Streams, where the only fool is the one writing it. Here’s what’s new in streaming science fiction!

mr. nobodyMr. Nobody (Netflix Instant)
Jared Leto had an amazing awards season this year, nabbing multiple wins for his gender-swapping role in Dallas Buyers Club. It was Leto’s first film role in four years, as he’d last starred in Jaco Van Dormael’s offbeat 2009 drama Mr. Nobody, playing a 118-year-old man named Nemo Nobody who reflects back on his forgotten memories through a form of hypnosis. (It’s easy to see why the Academy wasn’t too hot to get this role nominated.) The film follows Nemo at three different stages in his life, and the result is an often engaging, often beautiful mish-mash of ideas whose reins should have been pulled it at some point in the outline process. Add to the complicated story the three-year wait for a U.S. release — it finally came out in a limited release in November 2013 — and you’ve got a movie that seems destined for cult fandom but hasn’t quite reached it yet. Which is why you can watch it on Netflix now instead of a super-deluxe Blu-ray edition.


Chris Carter’s The After Gets The Green Light Along With A Handful Of Sci-Fi Kid Shows

the afterPart of the fun in science fiction is not always being able to tell what will happen next, as the genre allows for any and all outcomes. We reported earlier this month that the second Amazon Original Pilot season produced four pilots that were picked up to be turned into full series, but the ubiquitous online retailer had yet to officially make a statement one way or another. And for better or worse, they finally did, not only confirming that X-Files creator Chris Carter’s trope-filled mystery series, The After, is coming back, but they’ve also added two children’s shows to the mix, and several preschool series. I know some of you have been violently clamoring for GFR to create a section of the website dedicated to preschoolers’ programming, and this is just the first step.

An outsider might wonder just what kind of ratings, or whatever the new-fangled word is for Internet views, that these web-centered series get. Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios, sheds a little light, though without actually letting any specific numbers come out.


The Signal Broadcasts An Agitating New Poster

the signalComing out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, William Eubanks’ indie sci-fi thriller The Signal was riding a big wave of positive buzz. Those of us who weren’t there got to see a fraction of what all of the hullabaloo is about when the first trailer dropped into our laps a few weeks ago. There was also an accompanying poster, but that apparently wasn’t enough, so the film is back with another slick one sheet.

This image follows a similar pattern as the last, with a sterile, white design theme, some guys in sinister looking hazmat suits—but aren’t all hazmat suits creepy looking—and the tagline “R U Agitated?” The poster itself is pretty cool looking, and fits in with the ominous nature of the trailer and all the other marketing for The Signal, but that slogan has got to go.


The Walking Dead Made More Exciting By Animated Wish Fulfillment

Just in case you haven’t been keeping up with AMC’s The Walking Dead over the past year or so, be wary of the following video, which is pretty spoilery in some ways.

If The Walking Dead is most successful at one thing, I’d be safe in guessing it’s “going about things in a way that makes nearly every viewer question why things weren’t done a different way.” For me, the questions are always, “Why didn’t that walker eat Carl’s face?” or “Why didn’t Rick shoot Carl in the face?” But the guys at College Humor have a different set of ideas about where certain scenes from the series should have gone, and they’ve made their own dreams come true with their spoof-tastic “Wish Fulfillment” animation.


Prospect: A Human Coming-Of-Age Short Film Set On An Alien Planet

Growing up is about a lot of things, and sometimes one of them is proving to your parents that you can handle your own shit, even in the most dire of situations. And what could be more dire than potentially getting stranded all alone on an alien planet? That’s the concept behind the recent short film Prospect, from directors Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell, which lends a mysterious vibe to a simple but well-told story. It’s kind of like three chapters out of the Nancy Drew version of Dune.