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Scientists Reveal Their Favorite Works Of Science Fiction

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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:

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Day Of The Triffids Remake Actually Lands A Great Director

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triffidsThe Day of the Triffids: Where the Earth Orbits Into a Nightmare.”

That classic bit of voiceover on the trailer for the 1962 cult creature feature The Day of the Triffids should serve as the confidence-building rallying cry when the upcoming
re-adaptation
of John Wyndham’s 1951 novel goes into production. That’ll be happening sooner rather than later, now that Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert’s Ghost House Pictures have landed a quality director in director Mike Newell, the helmer of such critically acclaimed flicks as Donnie Brasco, which I love hardcore, and Four Weddings and a Funeral, which I barely remember. I’m pretty baffled that this film is going to such a high-quality director, as the cynic in me was waiting for a first-time director or someone who specialized in schlock horror. Well played, guys.

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Sci-Fi Movie Producer Bernard Glasser Dies At 89

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return of the flyB-movie science fiction producer Bernard Glasser died in Los Angeles this past Thursday. Glasser mainly produced low-budget sci-fi films from the 1950s and ’60s such as Return of the Fly and The Day of the Triffids. While it’s unclear how Glasser died, he passed away at 89 years old.

Glasser, a Chicago native, was a substitute teacher at Beverly Hills High School until he began producing movies in 1950. He reportedly borrowed money from his landlord to invest into Key West Studios lot in Hollywood. Key West Studios is unfortunately defunct. The first film Glasser produced was the 1951 Western Gold Raiders, which starred actor George O’Brien and the Three Stooges. The B-movie had a budget of $50,000 and was completely shot in five days. Glasser continued to lease Key West Studios to producers Burt Lancaster, who made the Western Apache in 1954, and Roger Corman, who produced the chase movie The Fast and the Furious (not that Fast and the Furious), also in 1954.

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Cross The Streams: Hulu Goes British With Doctor Who, Red Dwarf And Life On Mars

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(Affects best possible British accent ever) “‘Ello, luvs. Just popped by to let you streamers know that Hulu got pissed on Old Fashioneds the other night and dropped a bunch of U.K. sci-fi round for everyone to get a gander at. While some episodes listed below are available on Hulu, most need the Hulu Plus subscription, but they’re the only place doing the job this week, so how’s about a pat on the bum for them?” That all fell apart before it got started. Get out your spare time for TV marathons, because you’re going to need it this week.

doctor who hartnell
Doctor Who: Various Episodes, Seasons 1 – 26 (1963-1989)
There’s not too much that I can explain about the great Time Lord that 75 episodes won’t. What’s available is a seemingly random assortment of storylines. You’ll find that Colin Baker’s two seasons are absent, though most of Tom Baker’s seven seasons are here. If anything, I’m assuming this is a good crash course for people who never kept up with the classic era of Doctor Who. (Like me.) Take note that most of these are probably the same ones that Netflix has.

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Hollywood Plants Seeds For Day Of The Triffids Remake

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How odd: it was just last week that I dropped a Triffid reference when posting one of our stories to Facebook, and one of our readers was impressed that we actually remembered the Triffids in the first place. It spurred the creation of an unofficial GFR slogan (“Remembering Triffids: It’s What We Do”) and a round of fond reminiscing about the alien plants, but apparently we aren’t the only ones with Triffids on the brain. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert’s Ghost House Productions are developing a new film version of The Day of the Triffids, based on the 1951 novel by English writer John Wyndam.