Posts tagged ‘H. G. Wells’

OBSERVATIONS & ONPIONS

POST WAR OF THE WORLDS

The other day I watched the movie War of the Worlds made in 1953 based on the famous novel by H. G. Wells written in 1898. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched this movie and consider it one of my favorite if not my favorite science fiction movie. I also enjoy watching the 2005 version of the movie by the same name.
In the latest version the machines are more in tune with those in the novel, supported by tripods. But I think there is a basic flaw. It is hinted in the movie that the machines were buried on the earth maybe a million years ago. Wouldn’t their technology change over that length of time? Would they know the machines were still functional? Why would they think they would one day invade earth? These are just thoughts on the movies and not the purpose of this piece.
I think it is interesting to speculate what happens after the movie ends. Do the Martians launch another attack on earth, this time wearing spacesuits so they won’t die? And the earth has been decimated. How would the rebuild go?
Think Tokyo after World War II. What about the machines? Would man gain great knowledge from these devices improving life. And then there is the possibility of manufacturing new weapons and means of cloaking making the weapons indestructible. Would man use these new weapons for possibly more threats from space. Or more likely, would they wind up using them on each other.

July 20, 2019 at 10:19 pm Leave a comment

SCIENCE FICTION BECOMING SCIENCE FACT

Since I write science fiction, I had to give praise to SpaceX landing their 14 story rocket on a barge, not a very large barge, in the ocean.

How many of us, advanced in age and wisdom remember rockets landing in movies or TV in an identical manner.  I do not know why but watching the missile land, the fact that the top of the rocket was perfectly flat was something I had never pictured.  It’s delivery, gone.

I just had to mention this historic event and contemplate the next science fiction turned science fact.  I might share that War of the Worlds is one of my favorite science fiction movies along with The Thing from Another World which scared the shit out of the seven or eight year old Walt.  Remember the last line of The Thing after the vegetable James Arness is fried?

“Look to the skies.”  I love that line.

April 10, 2016 at 8:07 pm 2 comments

SCIENCE FICTION AND ROMANCE

WAR OF THE WORLDS

 

For my blog, I don’t write long pieces.  I want to make my point and hold my readers’ attention.  (Notice I use the plural, perhaps wishful thinking.)  Not boring those reading my words.

This may gain your attention.  The entry following this discusses a story of haunting romance, a story captivating me most of my life, along with classic science fiction.

I seldom watch movies more than once, but there are exceptions.  Every chance I get I watch War of the Worlds – the original starring Gene Barry.  For those who may have missed it, he also appeared for a moment at the end of the remake starring Tom Cruise.  In some respects the remake has details reflecting H. G. Wells’ classic novel closer to the original movie.  Let me discuss these comments in more detail.

The original, made in the 1950’s, scared the hell out of me when I was a kid.  The way the suspense builds is magnificent.  Unfortunately, after multiple viewings, I have found some incidents which make little sense.  For one, when to original ship lands it is too hot to approach, yet when Gene Barry, and his almost girlfriend use the wooden farm and another ship lands destroying part of the house, the structure does not catch fire.  Also, for the act which finally results in the death of the Martians is that they venture into a new world without any protective gear.  Would a civilization traveling through space take that chance?  Maybe, if you enjoy something, you should not revisit it multiple time, and keeping the love alive.

Now for the remake starring Tom Cruise. The weaknesses are strong, yet also keep true to the book.

If you watch the movie you may remember when Cruise and his daughter are trapped in a cellar with a character played by Tim Robbins.  I could wrong about it being Robbins.  I’ve been wrong before.  I believe the character Robbins represents is a minister who is killed by the protagonist in the book.  This act of murder is hinted strongly in the movie.  But before this event, Robbins tells Cruise the belief is that the Martian machines were buried on the Earth a million years ago.  I should mention that the Martians come to Earth by way of lightning strikes to power up their machines.  Here comes the ‘give me a break’.  It’s like burying a Model T, and in the meantime, your society develops spacecraft able to travel twice the speed of light.  Yet, to save your civilization, you use the Model T.  Don’t you think that the Martians would have used technology which currently existed?

To the remakes credit, they do depict the Martian’s machines closer in the book than what the original movie.  But overall, I feel the original movie is the best.

Now onto the romance.

February 7, 2016 at 10:12 pm 1 comment

WATERSPIDER BY PHILIP K. DICK

Recently I read a short story, Waterspider, by Philip K. Dick, which was part of a collection, The Minority Report and other classic stories.

The reason I write this piece is that, in past posts, I have threatened to write a piece about science fiction writers and how, through their imaginations, predicted science fact. I’m still going to do it, with Arthur C. Clarke at the top of my list. However, Philip K. Dick beat me to the punch in a fascinating short story, Waterspider.

In Dick’s short story, the present is the future and scientists have sent a mission of volunteer prisoners into space, reducing their mass. The problem is, they don’t know how to restore the ship’s mass and its one-inch tall occupants upon arrival to their destination. Apparently, even in the future, some things never change.

However, the scientists remember a period in the past when people, known as pre-cogs, existed. The debate was whether the first pre-cog was Jonathan Swift or H.G. Wells. I’m surprised Jules Verne was not in the running. These individuals have the ability to predict the technology of the future, and one of them predicted a solution to mass recovery. These pre-cogs, with this ability unknown to them, were science fiction writers. The present-future scientists were able to travel to the past and decide to bring Poul Anderson, who, in a short story solved this problem.

These future scientist journey back in time to a convention of science fiction writers and meet a host of pre-cogs, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, along with a shy Philip K. Dick.

To say the least, this story blew me away. I encourage you to read it, if you can find it.

May 18, 2015 at 6:05 pm Leave a comment

STRUGGLING TO GET IT WRITE: THE SCIENCE FICTION LANDSCAPE

I write from southeastern Pennsylvania, approximately ten miles from Valley Forge, 100 miles from Gettysburg and, perhaps, thousands of years into the future. I am a science fiction writer living in a land of history. In my area, people hold firmly to the past, tenaciously some might say. Preserving houses built hundreds of years ago and land once walked by soldiers in long ago wars.

Yet I, a writer of science fiction, deal in a future denied of the past, where structures gleam of metal and glass and little of the past kept sacred. Perhaps it is time for a reality check. Often, science fiction book covers depict futuristic cities gleaming in their modernism. Yet the reality does not conform to this image, the present truth. The year is 2015, yet how many of us readers of science fiction, the timeline has already past. Think of the years 1984, 2001, 2010, to name but a few of the significant dates in science fiction. Now, look around you and compare the story to the reality.

Nineteen eighty-four is one date which rings most true. In our ever-increasing need for technology and connection to the communication grid, we have given up our freedom as an individual.   Barely a day goes by without the revelation of immense security breaches, all our personal information gone. What I find frightening is that we live in a world where we don’t know who ‘big brother’ is. Is he a computer genius youth, a foreign government, or some criminal out to make a buck? In the end, except for monetary loss, what difference does it make? The difference is, our life is revealed.

Sorry, my mind wondered, back on topic, the futuristic element of science fiction and the fact that some of that future is already here.

As mentioned earlier, the area where I live is steeped in history and clings to the past. How does the need to hold onto the past meld with science fiction? I think that connection of the past and science fiction is kept alive in the relatively new genre of steampunk, a sub-genre of science fiction which I will not attempt. My mind does not twist in that direction. However, steampunk is alive and growing and I’ve included a link to further your understanding of the genre.

Interestingly, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells are referred to in this article as authors writing in the imagery of steampunk.

This piece is just my thinking of the world of science fiction, keeping the past alive, and what direction reality is taking.

 

http://www.ministryofpeculiaroccurrences.com/what-is-steampunk/

 

March 10, 2015 at 7:33 pm 1 comment


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