Thursday, January 31, 2013

100 Favorite Movies Challenge

Nathan Bransford challenged people to post their list of 100 favorite movies. The order is about right for the first few and then is pretty much equal for most of the rest. I should list The Centenarian Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared and A Good Day to Die Hard since I'm in them, but neither are out yet. I'm sure I'm missing some, too!

1. Blade Runner
2. Lord of the Rings
3. The Harry Potter films
4. The Princess Bride
5. A Fish Called Wanda
6. Alien/Aliens
7. Sixteen Candles
8. The Shawshank Redemption
9. The Full Monty
10(a)(because I accidentally left it out!) Back to the Future
10. Raiders of the Lost Ark
11. The Silence of the Lambs
12. Schindler's List
13. ET
14. Platoon
15. Unforgiven
16. Pulp Fiction
17. Better Off Dead
18. Watch It
19. Star Wars (IV and V mainly)
20. There's Something About Mary
21. Good Morning, Viet Nam
22. Life of Brian
23. The Godfather
24. Good Will Hunting
25. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
26. Full Metal Jacket
27. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
28. Shaun of the Dead
29. Stand By Me
30. La Femme Nikita
31. Dead Poet's Society
32. Scott Pilgrim vs the World
33. Forrest Gump
34. Rocky
35. Rudy
36. Time Bandits
37. Sliding Doors
38. Groundhog Day
39. Murder By Death
40. The World According to Garp
41. Dumb and Dumber
42. Lawrence of Arabia
43. The Road Warrior
44. Gattaca
45. 28 Days Later
46. Jaws
47. Disclosure
48. Basic Instinct
49. Dangerous Liaisons
50. Cabaret
51. Summer of '42
52. The Thing
53. True Lies
54. Lethal Weapon
55. Die Hard
56. The Right Stuff
57. The Usual Suspects
58. As Good As It Gets
59. Love Actually
60. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
61. Finding Forrester
62. Scream
63. Hardware
64. Jurassic Park
65. Night Watch/Day Watch
66. The Colors trilogy
67. Goodfellas
68. True Romance
69. Ruthless People
70. Down and Out in Beverly Hills
71. Beverly Hills Cop
72. Mrs. Doubtfire
73. Ghost
74. Midnight Run
75. The Sting
76. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (US version)
77. Braveheart
78. The Spanish Apartment
79. Sex and Lucia
80. Queen Margot
81. Showgirls
82. Almost Famous
83. Clueless
84. LA Confidential
85. Carlito's Way
86. Boyz n the Hood
87. MASH
88. Bend It Like Beckham
89. Young Guns
90. Searching for Bobby Fischer
91. A Fistful of Dollars
92. Four Weddings and a Funeral
93. Salem's Lot
94. The Shining
95. Arachnophobia
96. The Exorcist III
97. Manhattan
98. Beautiful Girls
99. Leon, the Professional
100. When Harry Met Sally

TV Shows
1. Game of Thrones
2. Freaks and Geeks
3. Rome
4. Friday Night Lights
5. Northern Exposure
6. Firefly
7. Big Bang Theory
8. Battlestar Galactica (new version)
9. Band of Brothers
10. Frasier
11. The Walking Dead
12. Seinfeld
13. Friends
14. Taxi
15. Sopranos
16. Cheers
17. Deadwood

1. Monsters Inc.
2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas
4. Toy Story
5. Bridge to Terabithia
6. The Secret Garden
7. The Incredibles
8. Finding Nemo

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fresh Ideas in Science Fiction

Quite some time ago a reader of my science fiction novel The Immortality Game (it isn't complete yet, but there is a link on the right-hand bar for anyone wishing to read what is there) wrote that while I was doing new takes on many of the ideas, the ideas themselves had already been done. I didn't argue with the reader, just said thank you, but I have to admit this criticism nagged at me for a long time.

I'm writing this post because the other day the reason it bothered me so much became clear to me. Okay, so other writers in the past first introduced into fiction the ideas of such technologies as nanobots and cybertech mind interfaces. But the idea that a science fiction writer is somehow lessened by using these in his or her own writing is, to me, absurd. As time goes on, what used to be purely speculative instead becomes fully expected, i.e. barring any huge misfortunes, I fully expect we will be using nanobots and mind/data interfaces in the near future (we already are using rudimentary versions today). Thus if I want to write about the near future in a realistic manner, I have no choice but to include such technologies. Doesn't mean I can't find some really cool and inventive ways of using said technologies!
We aren't likely to be looking like this!
I mentioned to a buddy the other day how I felt so many futuristic novels and movies got things wrong by ignoring technologies that will clearly be in play in the not so distant future. How come so many sci-fi books and shows depict characters as being human? In my opinion, we will all be cyborgs within the next century, or at the very least, the number of pure humans will be very miniscule (as in, a few hidden tribes out in the jungles and such). That doesn't mean we will all look like a bunch of robots with metal pieces and parts, but it does mean that our bodies will be enhanced by technologies like nanobots, sweeping through our blood to search out and destroy everything from viruses to cancers and maybe even the common cold.

So all I would ask of any readers of science fiction is this--be careful about criticizing authors for using ideas that you have seen other authors use first, especially if these ideas are ones that seem all but inevitable to actually be used.