Analyzing the classism of sci-fi protagonists | Boing Boing:

After a particularly obnoxious convention conversation where someone lamented the lack of stories about kindly rich men dealing with hardship, she decided to crunch some numbers, and see if she could figure out who’s actually the more under-represented group.

Best Sci-Fi Movies of the Last 15 Years | Den of Geek:

Fifteen years is a long time. We at Den of Geek can certainly attest to that as we’ve seen the industry change and grow, embrace streaming, and pivot toward intellectual property. Yet even as our present stays in a constant state of flux, our fascination with the future remains unwavering.

What dreams may come in 15 years? Or 30? Or a hundred as technology evolves and its relationship with humanity is renegotiated?
If you told a room full of geeks in early 2007 that 2022 would be a world filled with smartphones and tablets, social media-shaped democracies, and something called “TikTok,” they might think you’d written a sci-fi movie. Still in that upheaval, we saw some pretty good science fiction stories come out in their own time, both Hollywood blockbuster big and intimately indie; iconic and underappreciated.
It’s why we’ve polled our complete staff, along with thousands of reader votes, to determine what are the 25 best sci-fi movies to be released during our first 15 years.

William Gibson’s Neuromancer: Does the Edge Still Bleed? | Tor.com:

Fiction, even science fiction, is not about the future: I think everybody knows that. So what is the “future” that Gibson describes here? It’s a future that in some ways looks remarkably like the present: the US hegemony is fading, the poor have gotten even poorer than they were in 1984, and the truly rich have power that the rest of us can’t even imagine. Although often described as glorifying computer programmers as a cohort of romantically wild console cowboys, Neuromancer pushes back at the idea that technical advance always results in progress. This book is still surprising, still relevant, and it still deals with unanswered questions.

Let’s Talk About Our Favorite Monsters (As Romantic Partners) | Tor.com:

Monsters. They lay bare our darkest desires and deepest fears. There’s no hiding the worst with a monster—it’s right there, on the surface. And aside from the fact that claws and big teeth just look awesome, monsters are way more fun than moral, upstanding characters, aren’t they? That darkness is alluring. Sometimes, it’s like gazing into a mirror.

Regardless, our love for monsters remains evergreen. Which means the discussion of which ones we’d like to hook up with rises time and time again. But what would some of these monsters actually look like as romantic partners? Would they be good spouses? Or would they be the type to not even text back?

Five Ways Denis Villeneuve’s Rendezvous With Rama Could Be Truly Great | Tor.com:

Give Women the Spotlight

…sigh. My biggest gripe with Arthur C. Clarke books remains the same with every tome I read. In books already devoid of relatable, meaningful characters, Clarke shunts women into the dark recesses of his stories. Rendezvous With Rama has one incriminating passage that always irks me. Essentially, a crew member of the Rama exploration crew shares an internal monologue about how distracting low gravity can be when a woman is on board. He mentions how the lack of gravitational force makes for excessive jiggling of the breasts. The character goes so far as to question whether women should be astronauts in the first place. I remember reading the passage (which is by far the most egregious, though there are others) with jaw agape.

Beyond the outright sexism, there are precious few women characters in the book at all. It would be an easy (and necessary) win in terms of representation for Villeneuve to gender-swap a few characters and allow women to showcase their scientific talents in the movie. The story only stands to improve by broadening this particular horizon: In a story about humanity’s place in the universe, everyone should be included.

Michael Dorn, Actor-Director-Star Trek: The Next Generation-ENCORE – Storybeat with Steve Cuden:

Michael has appeared more times as a regular cast member than any other Star Trek actor in the franchise’s nearly 55-year history, spanning some 272 TV episodes and 5 feature films. He also appeared as Worf’s ancestor, Colonel Worf, in the film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

David Lynch’s Dune Kept Science Fiction Cinema Strange | Tor.com:

Lynch might not be a science fiction scholar. But Lynch understood the mystic and strange side of Herbert’s creation, and of so much brilliant science fiction literature that gets scrubbed on its way to a film adaptation. So yes, Lynch’s Dune is a mess with many flaws. But science fiction cinema would be a poorer place without it.

2001: A Space Odyssey Tried to Break Us Out of Our Comfort Zone | Tor.com:

But of all the genres, science fiction seems the most suited to the task. Straight drama, or comedy, or even musicals remain rooted in our earthly, observable realities; what can be glimpsed outside your window can also be up on the screen. SF—by dint of reaching beyond, by speculating on the possible, by asking, What if…?—can break through the simple equation of “what is seen is what is,” can prompt us to imagine alternatives, and can get us to question whether what we know about ourselves is as absolute as we believe.

When We Have Come to This Place: The Aliens Series as Cosmic Horror | Tor.com:

In cosmic horror, meanwhile, the villains (whom I am going to refer to as The Horrors, to distinguish them from other villains) are built on a vastly different scale along many possible axes. Often, they’re millions or billions of years old; they’re immune to weapons; they’re able to modify the laws of space and time; they have other powers that humans don’t have and can’t acquire; and they’re just generally so over-the-top Every Adjective In The Dictionary that humans often can’t even look at them (or think about them, depending on the story) without losing their grip on reality.