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Sunday 20 July 2008

•   Feature Review:

Gary Westfahl reviews The Dark Knight

dark knight

This fine film offers an intriguing meditation on the character of one of America's most enduring superheroes, a meticulously constructed argument about conflicting attitudes towards crime, and even a cautionary tale about the use or misuse of advanced technology.

Sunday 13 July 2008

•   Feature Review:

Gary Westfahl reviews Journey to the Center of the Earth


Journey to the Center of the Earth is at least better than we had any right to expect, a lively and enjoyable popcorn movie that only occasionally insults the intelligence of filmgoers. ... Whatever its shortcomings as a film, Journey to the Center of the Earth is still one of the best adaptations of [Verne's] works.

Sunday 29 June 2008

•   Feature Review:

Gary Westfahl reviews Wall·E


It constitutes a sad commentary on contemporary filmmaking to report that one of the best science fiction films I've seen in years is a G-rated animated cartoon, but that strangely is the case... I have enormous respect for Andrew Stanton and the other people involved in making this film, and believe they are capable of the sort of subtlety rarely seen in contemporary filmmaking. So, allow me to turn to what I regard as the really unsettling aspects of this story...

Friday 27 June 2008

•   Special Feature: Comments from this year's Locus Poll & Survey

feb issue

Voters in this year's Locus Poll and Survey offered criticism and suggestions, had words of praise for Locus, commented on the state of the SF/F/H fields, and gave insight into their own preferences and reading habits.

Winners of the poll were announced last weekend; complete poll results are published in the upcoming July issue.

The page of voter comments is open to (moderated) comments.

Monday 16 June 2008

•   Feature:

Yesterday's Tomorrows: Algis Budrys

Graham Sleight's "Yesterday's Tomorrows" column from Locus Magazine's June 2008 issue examined three classic novels by Algis Budrys -- who died last week at the age of 77.

budrys michaelmas

The author I want to discuss this time seems to have none of his work available in North America, the UK, or Australia, although a couple of his books were reissued in 2000 and 2001. That said, given the online book-finding resources available these days, it shouldn't be too difficult to track them down. I want to make the case that it's worth doing so.

Friday 6 June 2008

•   Feature Review:

Gary Westfahl reviews the film documentary
about Harlan Ellison, Dreams with Sharp Teeth

The film is playing at New York City's Film Forum for a week, through June 10th.

dreams with sharp teeth

I am determined to write a review of a new documentary entitled Dreams with Sharp Teeth, and not a review of its subject, Harlan Ellison. Indeed, while some commentary will surely prove inevitable, I would like to say as little as possible about Ellison, the writer who, by means of his habit of phoning and screaming at anyone who writes something about him which he disapproves of, has unknowingly done more than any living writer to promote self-censorship among science fiction critics.

Monday 26 May 2008

•   Feature Review:

Howard Waldrop and Lawrence Person review
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

indiana jones

Not only is this a sequel to Raiders, in many ways it's an homage to it. Certainly part of the appeal is nostalgia for a film now a quarter-century old. And certainly this sucker is going to make a mint. But there's still enough of the old magic, and heart, left in to leave no doubt that this was a film that everyone involved really wanted to make for the characters and story, not just for the paycheck.

Monday 5 May 2008

•   Feature Review:

Howard Waldrop and Lawrence Person review
Iron Man

iron man

Most of my complaints have to do with the nature of the plot, but the direction is first rate, and the first 20 minutes fly along with just the right economy of motion. I also like the fact that Stark is actually shown doing engineering design work. ...Actually, of the recent spate of superhero movies, this is probably better than anything but the first two Spiderman and X-Men films and Batman Begins.

Monday 21 April 2008

•   Feature Review:

Howard Waldrop and Lawrence Person review
The Forbidden Kingdom

forbidden kingdom

This was lot better than we expected it to be. Not only does it blow away anything Jackie Chan's done in American films, it's actually as good as one of his middling Hong Kong films, which is high praise indeed. It's a kung fu time-travel movie for the whole family.

Tuesday 1 April 2008

•   Special Features

Locus Online's roving correspondents report the following developments and breaking news in this busy Spring of 2008...

New Heinlein Novel to be Written
Immew Sill Chalazion reveals the existence of a previously unknown manuscript.

» Multiple Moorcocks to Receive Grand Master Award
Paoli du Flippi reports on the upcoming SFWA event.

» Doctorow releases self under Creative Commons License
Marshal Gegith has the details.

» Bravo TV Wraps First Season of Top Writer
Ferje Vedfamner has seen the first episode.

» Howard Waldrop Upgrades to Steam-Powered Typewriter
L. Ron Creepweans' advice pays off.

» VanderMeers to Assemble Anthology of Kincaidism
Flip Luppaidio looks at Jeff & Ann VanderMeers' latest anthology project.

» Final Martin Manuscript Triggers Mass Suicides at Bantam
Narceen Plowers was there when it happened.

Tuesday 18 March 2008

•   Feature Essay:

Gary Westfahl updates his controversial 2003 essay about Columbia and the promises of science fiction in Tunnel Vision and the Unfarmed Sky

Large numbers of people within the science fiction community apparently still believe that human beings, using only the technology of today, are perfectly capable of doing everything that science fiction said they could be doing in the early twenty-first century, and if hardy farmers aren't planting their crops on the surface of Ganymede in the year 2008, that is simply because we have all been betrayed by a short-sighted public, gutless politicians, inept bureaucrats, and effete academics...

Tuesday 11 March 2008

•   Feature Review:

Gary Westfahl reviews Cj7


The capsule summary of Cj7 on everyone's lips — that it is a Chinese version of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) — is accurate enough. I would also argue that Stephen Chow's effort is, in my expert opinion, a much better film than E.T.

Wednesday 20 February 2008

•   Update: Locus Index to SF Awards

The Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards is now updated with most awards results through the end of 2007, plus 2008 lists so far announced.
» Includes the first online listing of the complete 2007 Locus Poll results

Monday 18 February 2008

•   Feature Review:

Gary Westfahl reviews Jumper


Pondering why Steven Gould's novel works so well, and why this film doesn't work at all, reveals yet again that the wisest observation ever made about the film industry is, "Nobody knows anything." In this case, with access to delightful source material that might have yielded a charming, low-key movie classic, a small army of Hollywood smart guys made all the right moves and ended up producing a one hundred million dollar mess which, if it is lucky, will earn back enough money to cover its catering bills.

Monday 28 January 2008

•   Feature Essay:

Jeff VanderMeer's 2007: The Best of the Year

cisco the traitor

Jeff VanderMeer's surveys the year's best novels, first novels, anthologies, graphic novels, notable reprints, and overlooked books, by Dan Simmons, Michael Cisco, Susan Palwick, Brian Francis Slattery, Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, Shaun Tan, K.J. Parker, Kelley Eskridge, and many others.

•   Feature Essay:

Claude Lalumière's 2007: Recommended Reading

tatulli lio

Claude Lalumière recommends slipstream and cross genre novels, genre collections, associated nonfiction, and comics, highlighting favorites by Nicholas Christopher, Cory Doctorow, Alan Weisman, and Mark Tatulli.

Monday 21 January 2008

•   Feature Review:

Howard Waldrop and Lawrence Person review


Split decision on Cloverfield, AKA The Blair Witch Godzilla. Howard thinks it's a noble failure. Despite reservations going in, Lawrence thinks it's one of the most effective, and terrifying, monster movies of recent memory.


2007 Features Archive