Some Smart Sci-Fi

Two recommendations for sci-fi lovers:

1) if you're overly worried about the surveillance state we live in . . . or if you're not worried at all about the surveillance state we live in, then take some time off from the screens and read Normal, the new Warren Ellis novel: it's short (148 pages) and fast-paced and vivid, a locked-room mystery set in a high-end asylum/refuge for depressed futurists broken by the digital age . . . and there are lots of bugs;

2) if you're overly worried about alien invasion . . . or not worried at all about alien invasion, then watch Arrival, where Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) truly get lost in translation; screenwriter Eric Heisserer takes a page out of Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slaughterhouse Five: his heptapods see time all at once, like the Tralfamadorians, but this story doesn't have the surreal breezy irony of Vonnegut . . . it's paradoxical, cerebral and byzantine-- and done very realistically-- it's definitely not a thriller, and rather sad, but I loved it and so did my eleven year old son.


rob said...

man, slow down. i'm still reading cold cold ground.

Dave said...

it's cold here. no soccer or basketball this weekend for the kids, so i'm going a little stir crazy. arrival could also be called a tralfamadorian version of 500 days of summer.

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