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J.G. Ballard Was Born And Kirk Met The Tholians: Today In Science & Science Fiction

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BallardJ.G. Ballard (November 15, 1930)
J.G. Ballard is one of those writers, like Kurt Vonnegut, who managed to write science fiction but still be considered a “respectable” mainstream talent. Given how much Hollywood loves a good apocalypse, it’s kind of surprising that more Ballard’s dystopian SF books haven’t made the leap to the big screen. That’s going to change in the not too distant future, hopefully. Movie versions of both The Drowned World and High Rise are in the works (the latter with Kill List director Ben Wheatley. It’s nice when Tinseltown notices there are classic science fiction writers not named Philip K. Dick. Ballard passed away in April of 2009. He would have turned 83 today.

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Star Trek Retro Posters For November Start A Private Little War For The Conscience Of The King

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PrivateWarLast Friday we here at GFR had the privilege of premiering two of Juan Ortiz’s amazing retro Star Trek posters, including a truly epic bit of moustachery in the form of his “I, Mudd” poster. Now StarTrek.com has posted the remaining two posters for the month, for the episodes “A Private Little War” and “The Conscience of the King.”

For those not in the know, artist Juan Ortiz has spent the past year or so creating retro-style poster prints for every single one of Star Trek: The Original Series’ 80 episodes. They are some of our favorite things here at GFR, and it’s always exciting to see what approach Ortiz will take with each new batch of episodes. Check out the latest posters — for “A Private Little War,” “I, Mudd,” “By Any Other Name,” and “The Conscience of the King” below, along with Ortiz’s commentary from StarTrek.com. We’ve got information about how you can get your hands on copies of the prints at the bottom of the story.

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Exclusive: Star Trek Retro Posters For I, Mudd And By Any Other Name

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ST_EP_37I’ve been covering the stupendously awesome Star Trek retro posters created by artist Juan Ortiz for over a year now, and I still look forward to each new batch with giddy glee. But this month Christmas has come early, because we’ve been given an exclusive look at two of the four new posters for November! Above we’ve got the poster for “I, Mudd” and below you can see the one for “By Any Other Name.”

For those not in the know, here’s the skinny: artist Juan Ortiz, a dude whose creativity is only exceeded by his work ethic, set out many months back with a mission to create an original, retro-style poster for every single of of Star Trek: The Original Series’ 80 episodes. His approach varies each time, with the posters done in the style of pulp book covers, traditional movie posters, and numerous other concepts. It’s all about finding that visual element that succinctly suggests the story or theme of the episode, even if that image isn’t something lifted directly from the episode in question. For instance, when it comes to notorious interstellar conman Harcourt Fenton Mudd, it’s all about that mustache.

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Navy Launches Stealth Destroyer—To Be Captained By James Kirk

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ZumwaltWith all the recent talks about drones and drone strikes, it seems that the Navy’s new stealth destroyer has lived up to its name, quietly slipping into the water off the coast of Bath, Maine, without attracting much attention. The USS Zumwalt is the first of its kind—its kind being DDG-1000 destroyers.

The vessel may be 610 feet long and 81 feet wide, but for a ship that size it is relatively light. That’s because it’s made from a light carbon fiber composite. The Zumwalt will carry cutting-edge weapons that allow it to target and destroy objects, vessels, fish, or whatever it wants from a great distance. As impressive as that is, the most noteworthy attribute of the ship is its stealth. That carbon fiber composite renders the Zumwalt extremely difficult to pick up on radar—about 50 times more difficult than a typical destroyer. The design keeps the ship low to the wave and angled in such a way to help avoid detection. A Naval Sea Systems Command spokesperson says, “it has the radar cross-section of a fishing boat.”

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Star Trek Topps Trading Cards Are An Elegant Collection For A More Civilized Age

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EnergizeThese days you can find more information about your favorite things in 10 minutes with an internet connection than you could in 10 hours in the days before we all purchased real estate along the information superhighway. Today sites like GFR fill a space once occupied by genre magazines, convention hype, and word of mouth. I’ll admit, I do occasionally pine for the days when running across some juicy new rumor in a dog-eared copy of Starlog felt like unearthing the Ark of the Covenant. Another very cool source to get your geek fix in the pre-internet days of yore was collector’s items such as the Star Trek trading cards released by Topps in the ‘70s. They’re the subject of a book titled Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Cards Series, and the folks at io9 shared some great artwork from the collection which you can see throughout this post. After a brief period of intense examination, we can confirm that they’re 100% awesome.

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Michael Dorn Returns To Voice Worf In Star Trek Online

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WorfActor Michael Dorn has never been shy about his love of playing Worf in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. He’s been trying to get a Worf spinoff project going for years now. While that project still remains in limbo, he is finally returning to the role that made him famous. It won’t be in a new movie or TV show, but rather in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Trek Online.

For those not familiar with the game, over the course of its three years of life STO has released periodic content updates, dubbed “seasons,” which add new storylines and features into the game. The latest of these is the upcoming “Season 8: Sphere of Influence.” Players will get to adventure alongside Worf, now an ambassador for the Klingon Empire, on a mission to New Romulus. Trek lore junkies will get more than just the Worf factor: the story involves the discovery and reactivation of an ancient Iconian gateway. You remember the Iconians, don’t you? First mentioned in the 1989 Next Gen episode “Contagion,” the Iconians were an ancient race who had created a portal technology that allowed them to step across light years instantaneously. They were believed to be extinct, but based on the trailer below, I’m guessing the rumors of their death may have been exaggerated.