2

The 20 Most Pirated Movies Of 2014 Include Tons Of Science Fiction

fb share tweet share

RoboCop2014It’s that time of the year when every inch of the Internet is packed with end-of-the-year lists, from the usual “best and worst” to more eclectic assemblages of data. In this age of widespread broadband, one annual metric that’s always interesting to check is what the most pirated films of the year were. You might think the list is inevitably going to parallel the films with the highest profile or box office — after all, more interest and more word of mouth should theoretically make it more likely that a potential pirate would have a given film in his or her cross-hairs. But that’s not always the case, and this year’s list of most pirated films does contain several surprises…and a whole lot of science fiction.

We’ve got the full list of the top 20 most pirated films below. A huge surprise right out the gate? Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, one of the biggest success stories of the year, is nowhere on the list. So kudos to Marvel for making a blockbuster that even the pirates apparently want to pay for. Here’s the list, with the numbers listing millions of times they were downloaded:

1

New Research Suggests There May Be A Parallel Universe In Which Time Moves “Backward”

fb share tweet share

big bang arrowOne of the most brain- and reality-bending theories out there involves the multiverse — a hypothetical parallel universe, or set of countless universes, that run alongside our universe and reality. Some people think there’s a parallel universe for every possible decision — in one, you decided not to take that job in New York City; in the other, you work down the block from the Empire State Building. Most people who believe in the multiverse believe that these various universes have a relationship with one another. While scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Neil deGrasse Tyson espouse the idea, some physicists believe it’s more of a philosophical idea than a scientific one. Recently, a team of scientists from the UK and Canada published a paper in the Physical Review Letters that suggests some interesting ideas about time — namely, that it doesn’t necessarily move in the direction we think it does (more or less known as forward). The researchers also suggest that our universe may be one of two created by the Big Bang.

0

This Supercut Of Movie Space Travel Makes You Want To Blast Off For The Stars

fb share tweet share

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is finally here, and though many in the audience are finding it wanting in certain areas, there’s no denying that the portions in space are truly, utterly breathtaking. But his film is not the only movie to ever take audiences beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and into the depths of space, far from it. The journey to the stars and beyond is a well-worn, time-honored tradition in film, as you can see in this awesome supercut of cinematic space travel.

Called “Reach for the Stars,” which admittedly sounds like a motivational video or a mid-1980s Star Search knock off, this compilation comes from over at Fandango. It collects space footage from 20 movies, some you expect—it’s a bit Interstellar heavy, and the Star Trek franchise is well represented—and others that you would never guess. I had no idea that they went to space in The Nutty Professor 2.

1

2014 Hugo Awards Honor Gravity, Ancillary Justice, And More

fb share tweet share

HugoThis past weekend the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention unfolded in London, England, and among the many festivities was the announcement of the 2014 winners for the annual Hugo Awards. First handed out in 1953, the Hugos have become an annual staple and one of the highest honors in science fiction, with members of the World Science Fiction Society voting to decide which works and talents deserve their own snazzy rocketship trophy. This year’s winners include Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity and Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice, which took home awards for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form and Best Novel, respectively.

If you’re not familiar with Ann Leckie or her novel Ancillary Justice, it might be time to update your Amazon wish list. Leckie knocked it out of the park with the acclaimed Ancillary Justice, her debut novel. The book follows “the sole survivor of a starship destroyed by treachery, and the vessel of that ship’s artificial consciousness — as she attempts to revenge herself on the ruler of her civilization.” The space opera is the first of a planned trilogy, with the next installment, Ancillary Sword, due out on October 7. In addition to the 2014 Hugo for Best Novel, Leckie’s Ancillary Justice also won a Nebula Award, an Arthur C. Clarke Award, and tied for a BSFA Award. Talk about making a good first impression! Ancillary Justice is available on Amazon and all the other usual outlets.

1

Scientists Reveal Their Favorite Works Of Science Fiction

fb share tweet share

Here at GFR we cover anything that fits under the umbrella of our twin loves: science and science fiction. And just as the bleeding edge of our scientific understanding is forever pushing the boundaries of our science fiction, SF is itself inspiring fans to take transform their love of starships, robots, and the like into careers in real scientific fields. So what are some of the science fiction movies, shows, and books that real-life scientists love best? The Huffington Post recently asked a handful of scientists precisely that.

PermutationCityDr. Max Tegmark is a cosmologist and physics professor at MIT, and the scientific director of the Foundational Questions Institute, which provides grants to “catalyze, support, and disseminate research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology.” Tegmark cites Greg Egan’s 1994 science fiction novel Permutation City as his favorite, explaining that Egan’s “explorations of the ultimate nature of reality blew my mind and inspired my own research.”

Dr. Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, and the author of books including The Particle at the End of the Universe and From Eternity to Here. He lists another semi-obscure work you might want to add to your Kindle: Robert L. Forward’s Dragon’s Egg. Carroll says, “It’s a story about life on the surface of a neutron star, which would ordinarily be considered completely outlandish. A good reminder that ‘life’ might take on very different forms than we ordinarily imagine. Here’s the Dragon’s Egg synopsis from Amazon:

0

Gravity Lawsuit Targeted For Dismissal By Warner Bros.

fb share tweet share

gravityIt’s a general rule of thumb that anytime anyone makes a lot of money doing something, there’s someone else out there scheming on how to get some of that money. James Cameron’s Avatar alone has been hit with multiple lawsuits over the past few years claiming he stole this or that notion for his science fiction epic, but they typically wind up dismissed. Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is in the middle of a high-profile lawsuit right now, with acclaimed author Tess Gerritsen claiming the lucrative Warner Bros. release ripped off portions of her 1999 novel of the same name. As you would expect, Warner Bros. is calling bullshit on the whole thing and trying to get the entire case dismissed, and has filed the motion to do so.

Some background info: Gerritsen’s novel was acquired by New Line subsidiary Katja (both of which are now owned by Warner Bros.) around the time it was published, and the author received a $1 million payday, along with $500,000 production bonus and a planned 2.5% of the project’s net earnings, had it ever gotten made. She was also brought in to write some additional script-specific material. Her current stance is that portions of her work were lifted and used in last year’s Gravity, such as the whole “female doctor dealing with space accidents, forced to survive on her own.” Granted, there are other aspects of the novel’s plot that have nothing to do with the movie, and Warner’s lawyers point out the film is free from “aliens, government conspiracy theories, gory medical scenes or tales of lovers reconciling.” But a spade with a different handle is still a spade.

Page 1 of 151234510Last »