Reamde by Neal Stephenson

I discovered Neal Stephenson (not actually the man himself, you understand) in my local library. I was browsing for something hefty, preferably by an author I hadn't read before, when I chanced on Cryptonomicon. It seemed to fit the bill. I borrowed it, read it, returned it and almost immediately went out and bought my … Continue reading Reamde by Neal Stephenson

Chicken Little by Cory Doctorow

In his new novella Chicken Little, Cory Doctorow riffs on themes that will be familiar to any reader of classic science fiction. Pohl and Kornbluth’s The Space Merchants is cited in the preface – as is Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels – but I was also reminded of the short fiction of Philip K Dick, where near-future … Continue reading Chicken Little by Cory Doctorow

Revisiting Cinefex (9): Blade Runner

The glowing lights of a police spinner illuminate the cover of Cinefex issue #9. The still is from Blade Runner, Ridley Scott's seminal adaptation of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? Two years into its life, the Cinefex cover design retains the classic simplicity established in issue #1, although the price has … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (9): Blade Runner

Revisiting Cinefex (8): Tron and Silent Running

The cover of Cinefex issue #8 features a striking image of Bruce Boxleitner as Tron in the 1982 Disney movie of the same name. Inside the cover is a still from Douglas Trumbull's 1972 science fiction film Silent Running, featuring one of those funky robots (I could never tell them apart so you'll have to … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (8): Tron and Silent Running

Revisiting Cinefex (7): Willis O’Brien

In one of the most iconic dramatic encounters of the 20th century, the giant ape King Kong looms over the helpless Ann Darrow. This is the cover of Cinefex #7, an issue devoted entirely to Willis O'Brien, the man who brought Kong to life. Inside is a generous introduction from animator and film-maker Ray Harryhausen, … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (7): Willis O’Brien

Transformers: the world’s greatest screensaver

Seeing the new Transformers movie had me worried. A Michael Bay action scene makes your eyes sizzle at the best of times. But in 3D? Thankfully, my eyes survived. The action was devastatingly good and the 3D was the best I've seen. That's more than I can say for the rest of the movie. The … Continue reading Transformers: the world’s greatest screensaver

Revisiting Cinefex (5): Ray Harryhausen, Titans, Roy Arbogast and Caveman

The hideous gorgon Medusa from Clash of the Titans stares out of the cover of Cinefex #5, begging the question: how many readers were turned to stone before they even got the damn magazine open? Inside is a still from an earlier Ray Harryhausen film: 20 Million Miles to Earth. If these two pictures don't … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (5): Ray Harryhausen, Titans, Roy Arbogast and Caveman

Revisiting Cinefex (3): Empire, Walter Murch and Phase IV

The cover of Cinefex #3 boasts a gorgeous still from The Empire Strikes Back showing Luke Skywalker astride his tauntaun. The moody lighting and artful composition - not to mention the rarity of this particular image - combine to make this my favourite of the early covers. The inside cover is a still from Apocalypse … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (3): Empire, Walter Murch and Phase IV

Revisiting Cinefex (2): Empire, Greg Jein and Star Trek

A trio of Imperial AT-AT walkers graces the front cover of Cinefex #2, in a now-familiar airbrushed publicity still from The Empire Strikes Back. The inside front cover shows the incredibly detailed Ocean Park fairground miniature built by Greg Jein for Stephen Spielberg's 1941. The magazine's 72 pages feature three articles: Of Ice Planets, Bog Planets, … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (2): Empire, Greg Jein and Star Trek

Revisiting Cinefex (4): Outland and Altered States

The front cover of Cinefex #4 features a still from Outland: a long shot of the Con-Amalgamate mining complex on Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io. On the inside front cover there’s a full page ad: looks like Disney were hiring Special Effects Apparatus Designers for EPCOT and Disneyland. After that, we get two articles spanning the … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (4): Outland and Altered States