Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Posts Tagged ‘lists

Essential

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Time Out have a none more eclectic list of fifty essential science fiction films. For no reason at all they decided on this:

In order to restrict ourselves to 50 films, we opted to dismiss speculative films which deal with dystopian futures: as a result, great films like Blade Runner, Fahrenheit 451 and Hardware will not be found in this list.

Despite this baffling sentiment they have still managed to list 75 films. These are:

The Abyss (1989)
Alien (1979)
*Batteries Not Included (1987)
Cocoon (1985)

Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Battlefield Earth (2000)
The Black Hole (1979)
Cherry 2000 (1987)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
ET: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

Contact (1997)
Sphere (1998)
Critters (1986)
Dark Star (1974)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Dune (1984)
Earth vs The Flying Saucers (1956)
Enemy Mine (1985)
Event Horizon (1997)
Explorers (1985)
The Fifth Element (1997)
Sunshine (2007)
Flash Gordon (1980)

Flesh Gordon (1974)
Forbidden Planet (1956)
The Fountain (2006)
Howard the Duck (1986)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
The Hidden (1987)
The Last Starfighter (1984)
The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976)
Mars Attacks! (1996)

Metropolis (1927)
Morons from Outer Space (1985)
Pitch Black (2000)
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
Planet of the Apes (1968)

Quatermass and the Pit (1967)
Red Planet (2000)
Mission to Mars (2000)
Repo Man (1984)

Brother From Another Planet (1984)
Serenity (2005)
Silent Running (1972)
Solaris (1972)
Solaris (2002)

Soylent Green (1973)
Spaceballs (1987)
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983)
Ice Pirates (1984)
Solarbabies (1986)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
Star Trek Generations (1994)
Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
Star Trek Nemesis (2002)

Star Trek (2009)
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Starship Troopers (1997)
Supernova (2000)
The Thing (1982)

Things To Come (1936)
This Island Earth (1955)
Total Recall
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

War of the Worlds (1953)
War of the Worlds (2005)
Independence Day (1996)
Zardoz (1974)

I’m not a fan of the concept of “so bad it’s good” because usually it is a lie. This means I am unlikely to be checking out a lot of these in the near future. However, there are some pretty big gaps there that I will be seeking to rectify. Any particular favourites?

Written by Martin

15 May 2009 at 11:48

Posted in films, sf

Tagged with ,

This Film’s Crap, Let’s Slash The Seats

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M John Harrison lists some interesting science fiction. Rather brilliantly he adds:

Some of these picks come with a caveat: I don’t much like either the metaphysics or the outcome of Flatliners, for instance, but I think the basic idea–killing yourself for fun–is so sound it makes up for a lot. To avoid revisionary items like “the first 20 minutes of Stargate but the rest is such shite”, I curbed this tendency.

Presumably something similar applies to Event Horizon. I should have bloody asked Harrison to contribute to the BSFA pamphlet I am putting together about science fiction writers on science fiction film . Somehow he slipped my mind.

Harrison also sneakily has Under The Skin by Michael Faber on this and his fantasy list. I must get round to reading both it and The Weight Of Numbers by Simon Ings.

Written by Martin

2 May 2009 at 21:03

Posted in books, films, sf

Tagged with ,

Lists, Beautiful Lists

with 14 comments

As I mentioned early the Guardian are doing a list of the 1000 best novels broken down into seven slightly odd categories. They’ve just reached science fiction and fantasy. Having seen their crime and comedy lists I knew this was likely to be a somewhat strange selection and so it proves but it is a pretty interesting and high quality group of novels of the fantastic. Here is the list in full (bold for read):

Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979)
Brian W Aldiss: Non-Stop (1958)
Isaac Asimov: Foundation (1951)
Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)
Margaret Atwood: The Blind Assassin (2000)

Paul Auster: In the Country of Last Things (1987)
JG Ballard: The Drowned World (1962)
JG Ballard: Crash (1973)

JG Ballard: Millennium People (2003)
Iain Banks: The Wasp Factory (1984)
Iain M Banks: Consider Phlebas (1987)

Clive Barker: Weaveworld (1987)
Nicola Barker: Darkmans (2007)
Stephen Baxter: The Time Ships (1995)
Greg Bear: Darwin’s Radio (1999)
William Beckford: Vathek (1786)
Alfred Bester: The Stars My Destination (1956)
Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

Poppy Z Brite: Lost Souls (1992)
Charles Brockden Brown: Wieland (1798)
Algis Budrys: Rogue Moon (1960)
Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita (1966)
Edward Bulwer-Lytton: The Coming Race (1871)
Anthony Burgess: A Clockwork Orange (1960)
Anthony Burgess: The End of the World News (1982)
Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Princess of Mars (1912)
William Burroughs: Naked Lunch (1959)
Octavia Butler: Kindred (1979)
Samuel Butler: Erewhon (1872)
Italo Calvino: The Baron in the Trees (1957)
Ramsey Campbell: The Influence (1988)
Lewis Carroll: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)

Angela Carter: The Passion of New Eve (1977)
Angela Carter: Nights at the Circus (1984)
Michael Chabon: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (2000)
Arthur C Clarke: Childhood’s End (1953)
GK Chesterton: The Man Who Was Thursday (1908)
Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (2004)
Michael G Coney: Hello Summer, Goodbye (1975)
Douglas Coupland: Girlfriend in a Coma (1998)
Mark Danielewski: House of Leaves (2000)
Marie Darrieussecq: Pig Tales (1996)
Samuel R Delaney: The Einstein Intersection (1967)
Philip K Dick: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)
Philip K Dick: The Man in the High Castle (1962)
Thomas M Disch: Camp Concentration (1968)
Umberto Eco: Foucault’s Pendulum (1988)

Michel Faber: Under the Skin (2000)
John Fowles: The Magus (1966)
Neil Gaiman: American Gods (2001)
Alan Garner: Red Shift (1973)
William Gibson: Neuromancer (1984)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Herland (1915)
William Golding: Lord of the Flies (1954)
Joe Haldeman: The Forever War (1974)
M John Harrison: Light (2002)

Nathaniel Hawthorne: The House of the Seven Gables (1851)
Robert A Heinlein: Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)
Frank Herbert: Dune (1965)

Hermann Hesse: The Glass Bead Game (1943)
Russell Hoban: Riddley Walker (1980)
James Hogg: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824)
Michel Houellebecq: Atomised (1998)
Aldous Huxley: Brave New World (1932)
Kazuo Ishiguro: The Unconsoled (1995)
Shirley Jackson: The Haunting of Hill House (1959)
Henry James: The Turn of the Screw (1898)
PD James: The Children of Men (1992)
Richard Jefferies: After London; Or, Wild England (1885)
Gwyneth Jones: Bold as Love (2001)
Franz Kafka: The Trial (1925)
Daniel Keyes: Flowers for Algernon (1966)
Stephen King: The Shining (1977)
Marghanita Laski: The Victorian Chaise-longue (1953)
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu: Uncle Silas (1864)
Ursula K Le Guin: The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)
Ursula K Le Guin: The Earthsea series (1968-1990)
Stanislaw Lem: Solaris (1961)

Doris Lessing: Memoirs of a Survivor (1974)
CS Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia (1950-56)
MG Lewis: The Monk (1796)
David Lindsay: A Voyage to Arcturus (1920)
Ken MacLeod: The Night Sessions (2008)
Hilary Mantel: Beyond Black (2005)
Michael Marshall Smith: Only Forward (1994)
Richard Matheson: I Am Legend (1954)
Charles Maturin: Melmoth the Wanderer (1820)
Patrick McCabe: The Butcher Boy (1992)
Cormac McCarthy: The Road (2006)
Jed Mercurio: Ascent (2007)
China Miéville: The Scar (2002)

Andrew Miller: Ingenious Pain (1997)
Walter M Miller Jr: A Canticle for Leibowitz (1960)
David Mitchell: Cloud Atlas (2004)

Michael Moorcock: Mother London (1988)
William Morris: News From Nowhere (1890)
Toni Morrison: Beloved (1987)
Haruki Murakami: The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (1995)
Vladimir Nabokov: Ada or Ardor (1969)
Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler’s Wife (2003)
Larry Niven: Ringworld (1970)
Jeff Noon: Vurt (1993)
Flann O’Brien: The Third Policeman (1967)

Ben Okri: The Famished Road (1991)
George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-four (1949)
Chuck Palahniuk: Fight Club (1996)

Thomas Love Peacock: Nightmare Abbey (1818)
Mervyn Peake: Titus Groan (1946)
Frederik Pohl & CM Kornbluth: The Space Merchants (1953)

John Cowper Powys: A Glastonbury Romance (1932)
Terry Pratchett: The Discworld series (1983- ) (Well, I’ve read at least twenty of them…)
Christopher Priest: The Prestige (1995)
Philip Pullman: His Dark Materials (1995-2000)
François Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532-34)
Ann Radcliffe: The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)
Alastair Reynolds: Revelation Space (2000)
Kim Stanley Robinson: The Years of Rice and Salt (2002)
JK Rowling: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
Salman Rushdie: The Satanic Verses (1988)
Joanna Russ: The Female Man (1975)
Geoff Ryman: Air (2005)
Antoine de Sainte-Exupéry: The Little Prince (1943)

José Saramago: Blindness (1995)
Will Self: How the Dead Live (2000)
Mary Shelley: Frankenstein (1818)
Dan Simmons: Hyperion (1989)
Olaf Stapledon: Star Maker (1937)
Neal Stephenson: Snow Crash (1992)
Robert Louis Stevenson: The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)
Bram Stoker: Dracula (1897)
Rupert Thomson: The Insult (1996)
JRR Tolkien: The Hobbit (1937)
JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings (1954-55)

Mark Twain: A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court (1889)
Kurt Vonnegut: Sirens of Titan (1959)
Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto (1764)
Robert Walser: Institute Benjamenta (1909)
Sylvia Townsend Warner: Lolly Willowes (1926)
Sarah Waters: Affinity (1999)
HG Wells: The Time Machine (1895)
HG Wells: The War of the Worlds (1898)
TH White: The Sword in the Stone (1938)
Angus Wilson: The Old Men at the Zoo (1961)
Gene Wolfe: The Book of the New Sun (1980-83)
Virginia Woolf: Orlando (1928)
John Wyndham: Day of the Triffids (1951)
John Wyndham: The Midwich Cuckoos (1957)
Yevgeny Zamyatin: We (1924)

So I make 60 that out of 149 which is considerably better than the 15 or so I was averaging for the other lists. There are some interesting books on there I’ve never heard of like Pig Tales. There are some selections which probably won’t seem to make much sense with a coupel of years hindsight like The Night Sessions. There are several writers who don’t appear for their most important book, the maddest of which must be the choice of Years Of Rice And Salt instead of Three Colours Mars. All in all, a nice chewy list though.

The Guardian have now published the full list of all one thousand books.

Written by Martin

22 January 2009 at 15:06

Posted in books

Tagged with , , ,

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