A Sense-of-Wonderful Century: Explorations of Science by Gary Westfahl

By Gary Westfahl

This ebook gathers jointly a few of the illuminating essays on technology fiction and fable movie penned by means of an incredible critic within the SF box. The items are approximately geared up within the chronological order of while the flicks and tv courses being mentioned first seemed, with essays supplying extra basic overviews clustered close to the start and finish of the quantity, to supply the general air of secrecy of a ancient survey. even if this publication doesn't faux to supply a finished heritage of technology fiction and myth movies, it does intermingle analyses of movies and television courses with a few discussions of similar performs, novels, tales, and comedian books, quite within the essays in this Island Earth and 2001: an area Odyssey and its sequels. Inciteful, unique, and whole of clever and witty observations approximately technology fiction and its occasionally curious dating with the visible media, those essays will either pride and entertain critics, enthusiasts, and audience alike.

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Additional info for A Sense-of-Wonderful Century: Explorations of Science Fiction and Fantasy Films

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For the most part, then, the crew of the Enterprise experienced outer space only by watching it on television. To modern viewers, the ship’s bridge resembles a futuristic home entertainment center, with all chairs positioned to watch a huge television screen. Unaccountably lacking a remote control device, father-figure Captain James Kirk (William Shatner) must bark out orders to subordinates whenever he wants to change channels. ” When necessary, Kirk can order the camera to zoom in for a close-up or recede for a long-range view.

Spacesuits would still figure in some serious movies, like the first Alien film (1979), and in some lighthearted ones, like the James Bond romp Moonraker (1979), but the spacesuit would no longer function as a generic marker that could impose an atmosphere of grim reality on space adventure films. Now, given the other virtues of Star Trek, Star Wars, and similar films and television programs, it might seem petty and irrelevant to criticize them because they are insufficiently focused on the dangers and novelties of space travel; and to be sure, some scientific inaccuracy in science fiction film is far from unprecedented.

But while those films have their momens, only Project Moonbase fascinates me—because it is the only piece of celluloid I know of that even partially reflects the writing style and idiosyncratic philosophy of its noted co-author, Robert A. Heinlein. Of course, this movie has generally not been valued—or even noticed—by filmgoers, Heinlein scholars, or film critics. After being thrown together from an unsold television pilot entitled Ring Around the Moon, written by Heinlein and producer Jack Seaman, the film was only briefly released, and has been rarely seen since; the only time it has been shown on television, I believe, was as part of the Canned Film Festival series of avowedly awful movies hosted by comedienne Laraine Newman.

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